Sunderland school children get VIP passes into £2.5m major construction site

14 December 2015

This main sewer has a peak flow capacity of over 6,000L per second –about 75 baths full of water – and is always in use.

Twenty-four Year 6 pupils from St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Sunderland have visited a major construction site at Pallion New Road in Sunderland to see for themselves what lies behind the major works.

The works, which began in July, are on public space used by local people and a footpath has been diverted. Now the scheme is entering a major construction phase the teams from Esh Construction and MWH, working on behalf of Northumbrian Water, agreed it would be a good time to invite the school children to see the works first hand.

A huge pipeline – a Combined Sewerage Overflow (CSO) - a major part of Northumbrian Water’s sewerage network serving homes and businesses in Sunderland - is being diverted in preparation for the building of the new Wear Bridge crossing. Three large shafts ranging from 3.5 to 12.5 metres in diameter are being installed to depths of up to 12 metres in order for the sewerage pipe to be diverted in the scheme which has been designed by MWH and is being built by Esh Construction.

Graeme Ridley, Northumbrian Water Project Manager explained:
“Many of the roads near to Pallion New Road have to be widened or realigned to create the approach to the new bridge and this in turn impacts the sewerage network which we at Northumbrian Water manage.

“We love to engage with the communities in which we are working, so we invited the school children to let them see what’s going on, what we’re doing and why. It helps them understand why it’s so important to keep safe around work sites and this is a really great opportunity to show them a large project with big machinery and, who knows, we might inspire a future generation of engineers in the process!”

In September it was announced that an Esh Construction-MWH joint venture had been awarded one of five Framework agreements, worth £500 million in total, by Northumbrian Water to upgrade its vast network water and wastewater assets.

Stephen Wilkie, Regional Managing Director of Esh Construction, based in County Durham, said:
“Esh and MWH have worked closely together for over 10 years on many large value schemes. We were proud and pleased to win this new 10 year contract for planned maintenance to Northumbrian Water’s water and wastewater network which also extends our working relationship with them spanning over 20 years. This scheme at Pallion is a great example of the type of major long term, large-scale capital projects that Esh-MWH will work on under the new contract.”

Cath Schefer, Managing Director of MWH UK said:
“We were delighted to be appointed to the AMP6 framework contract with our partners Esh. As this scheme at Pallion in Sunderland shows we have worked together for many years – over 10 - combining our complementary capabilities. Together we drive efficiencies and work hard to achieve ‘best in class’ customer service. This scheme at Pallion is a good example of that.”

The Pallion project is a major part of Northumbrian Water’s wastewater network in Sunderland. This main sewer has a peak flow capacity of over 6,000 litres per second –about 75 baths full of water – and is always in use! Stephen Wilkie said:
“This is quite a technical job especially as the area in which we are working is so compact. The visit from the children was a great chance to show them how what we are doing here relates back to their homes and what happens after they’ve pulled the plug out of the sink or flushed the loo.”

Headteacher at St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Maureen Galbraith, said:
“This was a brilliant opportunity for the children to see first-hand some of the important structures that enable us to live our modern lives in our homes and cities. It’s not often that children get the chance to see such a large project and we are really grateful to everyone for arranging it and for taking the time to explain to the children. Back in the classroom we will be able to use what we have learned here in lots of different lessons such as maths, writing and the creative curriculum. Visits like this bring our learning to ‘real life’.”

The children’s visit to the site is planned to be followed up by a visit to the school by ESH-MWH in support of its STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths - agenda. Pupils will work alongside ESH-MWH staff using a toolkit including worksheets and bright, vibrant toy versions of materials commonly used in the construction world. The toolkits are designed to put construction based STEM topics into a stimulating, relatable and every day context.

Northumbrian Water Group supplies 2.7 million people with water and waste water services in the North East and 1.8 million people with water services in Essex and Suffolk.

MWH is dedicated to Building a Better World. As specialists in water and natural resources, MWH employees use innovative ideas and technology to help solve complex infrastructure and environmental challenges. This work is built on a nearly 200-year history during which MWH has delivered services from initial planning and design through construction, start-up and operations. Today, MWH employs more than 7,000 experts including engineers, consultants and construction professionals in 35 countries on six continents. Each of these experts is committed to serving global communities through sustainable development and project delivery. MWH is a private, employee-owned company headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado. For more information, visit or connect via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

ESH GROUP provides construction and construction related services to both public and private sector clients.

Services delivered include brownfield remediation, civil engineering, design and build, refurbishment, fencing, landscaping, plumbing, facilities services, social housing, private housing and commercial development.

Esh Border Construction construction services in Cumbria, North West & Scotland
Esh Property Services social housing new build and regeneration
Esh Facilities comprehensive buildings maintenance services
Lumsden & Carroll Civil Engineering ground works and civil engineering
Esh Build commercial new build

DEVELOPMENT BUSINESSES: Esh Developments, Esh Homes, Trivselhus by Esh, Esh Acorn Homes

Bartram Walker mechanical + plumbing installation + maintenance
Remedios innovative diagnosis brownfield remediation + services
Deerness Fencing + Landscaping landscaping, fencing manufacture + installation
Green Energies energy saving, heat + power
Esh Training Solutions employment + construction related skills training
Mechplant operated + non-operated plant hire
Stephen Easten Specialist Building historic buildings restoration

ESH CHARITABLE TRUST support for communities, education and young people funded through Esh Group resources

Issued by Karenic Communications Limited on behalf of Esh Group.

For further information on this release please contact - Karen Gray – 07976 841123

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