Teamwork to the Fore in Carnoustie Storm Response

12 December 2023

Building back better after Babet

Watch timelapse footage of our specialist contractors working to restore the trunk sewer by Carnoustie Golf Links

“I am so proud of our team who were deployed to resolve the damage to this vital sewer infrastructure. I want to express my appreciation to everyone who helped in this emergency situation.”

Drew Mackie
Construction Manager, Morrison Construction

A month ago, communities up and down the east coast of Scotland were still taking stock of the damage wrought by stormy seas combined with high tides in the aftermath of Storm Babet. 
The coastal impacts of the weather event presented a sting in the tail, affecting many of the same communities which had already experienced extreme flooding impacts at the height of the storm. 
By Carnoustie Golf Links, the seas broke through coastal defences and washed away a 30 metre section of a strategic sewer pipeline and the surrounding land. The affected area continued to be battered by the sea and inundated twice daily by the tide as repair efforts began. 
Support was almost immediately on hand from local civil engineering contractor, Geddes, who were released from planned work by Angus Council to begin the recovery effort as soon as the challenging conditions permitted. 
Within days, work progressed far enough to allow a specialist team of engineers from Morrison Construction to begin the repair of the pipeline itself, including the installation of 40-metre-long sheet piles to supplement the restored and reinforced rock armour. The pace of the work is well reflected in time lapse footage recording the coordinated efforts of both Morrison and Geddes teams.  
The repair work was overseen by Scottish Water’s PFI partner Veolia, alongside a simultaneous 24-hour operation to minimise the impact of the incident on the local environment and manage the operation of the major Waste Water Treatment Works at Hatton. The biological treatment process at the WWTW had been placed on an unplanned ‘crash diet’, but needed to be sustained to allow the resumption of normal service as quickly as possible. 
The combined work of all the teams involved, supported by Carnoustie Golf Links and Angus Council enabled the sewer network to be returned to normal operation within less than two weeks. 
Scottish Water’s PFI Performance Manager Craig Carr said:   
"Given the scale of the damage that had been wrought by the forces of nature, it is a huge credit to the whole team on site that flows could be restored via the pipeline within 10 days of the damage occurring. 
"The footage does not really do justice to the very difficult conditions on site in the first few days, when high tides and waves continued to batter the area. However, it shows the pace of the combined efforts once the protection of rock armour had been largely restored. 
"As we adapt to the wide-ranging impacts of climate change on our infrastructure, we know that we will face more challenges like this. We aim to improve our ability to anticipate and prevent damage where we reasonably can, but our ability to respond quickly when required will always be a key element of our resilience. The first-class support from our supply chain and from other key partners, which was strongly in evidence at Carnoustie, stands us in good stead." 
Drew Mackie, Construction Manager at Morrison Construction commented: "I am so proud of our team who were deployed to resolve the damage to this vital sewer infrastructure. The sewer was quickly returned to normal working order whilst the team battled severe weather conditions in a marine environment under tight timeframes. The quality and resilience the team have shown is exemplary and I want to express my appreciation to everyone who helped in this emergency situation."

Following their support of the emergency pipeline repair, the team from Geddes returned to previously planned coastal defence reinforcement work in the area on behalf of Angus Council.