Project status prepare

Project Overview

We’re further developing a plan to address flooding in Merchant Quarter, which is caused largely by incapacity in the current sewer network – as well as other factors including its low-lying position in the city, surface water, groundwater and tidal impact.

What are we doing?

We are working to reduce flood risk in the area. Over recent years a number of options have been explored in detail and the final solution has been identified as:

  • interventions in the Merchant Quarter area to reduce flooding from sewers.
  • interventions at York Place pumping station to make its operation more resilient, and to reduce surcharge levels in the low-level sewer, further reducing flood risk
  • surface water management in Merchant Quarter to reduce the impact of flooding in extreme events
  • sewer enhancement interventions in the Merchant Quarter area

In 2022, extensive site investigations were carried out and we received advice from specialist surveys and contractors. This work has concluded that the safest way to proceed with the project is through an ‘open-cut’ method which involves excavation of the road surface. This is particularly challenging as there are a large and complex network of other utilities – such as the electricity and gas lines – below ground.

This means that both the installation of the sewer, and the utility diversion to enable this, are expected to result in more significant disruption to the city’s road network that we’d previously thought.

Why are we doing it?

Merchant Quarter has been impacted by a number of severe flood events in the past and we’re taking action to identify ways to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and business in the city caused by sewer and surface water flooding.

What are the next steps?

We need to discuss the project in more detail with partners in the utilities sector, as it’ll require extensive planning so we can deliver the work with as little disruption as possible. Meantime we’ll be looking at what traffic impacts might look like, and how long the disruption might last, in close liaison with Aberdeen City Council.

We expect this preparatory work to take around two years, and the delivery of the work is anticipated to take longer than initially expected. However we’ll continue to engage with our stakeholders and maintain regular updates.