PMP Utilities Ltd (‘PMP’), a leading provider of asset refurbishment, renewal and repair services in hazardous, challenging environments and part of M Group Services, recently completed de-vegetation works on two reservoir dam walls in Galloway Forest, south west Scotland.
PMP Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) trained rope access technicians were engaged to manage the de-vegetation of the ‘out of reach areas’ on the reservoir dam walls at Bruntis Loch and Little Bruntis Loch. The work was carried out on behalf of civil engineering and structural repairs contractor, Mackenzie Construction.
PMP Project Manager Scott McCamley commented: “The uncontrolled growth of vegetation can damage embankments and concrete structures and make regular inspection difficult. When trees and woody plants are allowed to grow on earthen dams, they can hinder safety inspections, interfere with safe operation and lead to potential dam failure.
“Root growth from shrubs and woody plants is a problem for all dams, but more so on earthen structures, where vegetation growth can lead to excessive soil erosion as the roots do not necessarily bind soils together. The de-vegetation works undertaken by our specialist team will now permit closer inspection of the structure by reservoir engineers, allowing them to advise the client of any required repair work to keep it in peak condition.”
Both dams were built in the second half of the nineteenth century to supply water to the dressing floors at the East Blackcraig Lead Mine. The Bruntis Loch Dam is an earth and clay embankment with battered masonry faces on both sides. It was constructed across the shallow valley of the Bruntis Burn and makes use of natural rock outcrops on the valley sides.