Whaley Bridge dam: UK manufacturing helps to save the day

    Less than 24
    hours after an emergency order to supply materials to the Toddbrook Reservoir
    was placed, more than 8,600 bags of Saint-Gobain Weber technical mortar products were
    on site to help secure the dam.  

    The small town of Whaley Bridge in
    Derbyshire made headlines at the beginning of August when part
    of the Toddbrook Reservoir dam structure was
    damaged. The emergency services were clear in their warnings: there
    was a major risk that an estimated 1.3 million tonnes of
    water could suddenly overwhelm the town, putting
    lives at risk and destroying property
    and livelihoods. Some 1,500 people were evacuated from their

    On Friday 2 August, EPMS
    Supplies, a national distributor of construction products, contacted
    Saint-Gobain Weber to place an order for materials that would
    help temporarily repair
    the Toddbrook Reservoir.   

    “We received a
    call late afternoon to ask if we could supply in excess
    of 200 tonnes of Weber Precision Grout or Repair
    Concrete to the site the following day,” said Mohammed Aljan,
    head of infrastructure at Saint-Gobain Weber.  

    “From a logistical point of
    view, it was obviously a challenge. As we manufacture in the UK on a large
    scale, we were ready to deliver to site very quickly. There were 200
    tonnes of Weber Precision Grout delivered from our manufacturing plant in
    Flitwick and an additional 50 tonnes already at EPMS Supplies

    Nine lorries were
    required to transport all the materials from Flitwick in
    Bedfordshire to Whaley Bridge. By the end of Friday 8,640 bags of Weber Precision Grout were
    prepped ready to leave site. 

    Stewart Nicholas, operations
    director at Saint-Gobain Weber, co-ordinated the internal process of getting
    the product out to the dam on Saturday morning. 

    “Obviously because of the time
    sensitive nature of the incident, we needed to pull out all the stops
    to get the materials to site as soon as
    possible. In total we had 11 members of staff helping, including two
    members of staff who came from our Telford plant to
    help load the lorries at 6:30 on Saturday morning. Thanks
    to Simmonds Transport, all of the materials reached the
    dam just a few hours later.”   

    Once on site, the products were
    applied to the dam over a period in excess of 24 hours. Weber’s Precision
    Grouts and Repair Concrete has been used for over 30 years in
    civil infrastructure projects and are known for their strength,
    durability, ease of installation and non-shrink properties.