Case Study – Penstocks Modernised

Case Study – Penstocks Modernised


The WA Cooke Group, Site Services Division was tasked by Costain on behalf of United Utilities, to project manage the modernisation of 3 reservoir bywash penstocks. And to provide a safer and more efficient means of operation for reservoir control level. Both internal and external resources were used to complete this project.

What is a Penstock?

Put simply, a penstock is a valve that controls water, wastewater or sewage input and output. The valve controls a sliding door that can be operated by hand or by means of an actuator. The valve controls the passage of water by raising and lowering the sliding door.

Modernising the Penstock

To achieve the goal of modernising the penstocks, powered actuators & gearboxes were to be installed to automate the process.

A 6-step delivery was implemented to accomplish this goal, all project management and welfare was completed by The WA Cooke Group:

1) Designs were completed for both civil and electrical drawings.

2) An excavation was undertaken to lay 250m of cable ducting with pull chambers.

3) Scaffolding was erected and mechanical reworks were made to the penstocks.

4) Gearboxes, actuators and a cable tray were installed.  

5) Electrical cable pull and connections were installed, linking the actuators to the main building distribution board and an antivandal local DB installed.

6) The penstocks were then tested, after successful testing, the penstocks were commissioned handing the units over well ahead of programme schedule. (Video below)

Our Subcontractors

To help complete the project, various works were delegated to our subcontractors on the job.

Coll Civil Engineering Ltd assisted with the 250m trench before cable was installed.

RS Scaffold Ltd provided all site scaffolding.

SCORE Group supplied the actuators, ready for installation.

Finally, WH good provided electrical work including cable installation and connection to the main building.

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