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River weir upgrade demonstrates project capabilities

17 January 2014

For many years Buscot Weir on the River Thames had used electric motors to adjust the position of two sluice gates to manage the river level and flow rate. These motors, with the associated valve shafts and an electrical control panel in an adjacent building, had become obsolete and needed replacing to safeguard the river banks from potential flooding in the future.

The Environment Agency wanted to ensure that future inspection and maintenance could be carried out safely, which involved construction of a new access walkway platform along the length of the weir.

Rotork Site Services submitted a contract proposal encompassing project management and total supply of all the elements required – new valve actuation, valve adaptation, wiring and control panel, new walkway platform, removal of old equipment, installation of new and commissioning.

Rotork’s design team was able to replace the two existing electric motors with a single IQ3 electric valve actuator to operate both sluice gates simultaneously, driving through a combination of new shafting and three gearboxes supplied by Rotork Gears. The IQ3 actuator is certified as watertight and temporarily submersible to IP68, providing secure environmental protection for long term reliability in all anticipated ambient conditions.

As the installation is adjacent to a public footpath, additional security is provided by the fitting of a vandal-proof cover over the actuator’s local control buttons to prevent any unauthorised operation or interference.

Rotork Site Services co-ordinated the manufacture and fabrication of all the new equipment and materials required for the upgrade.