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Groundwater in Construction - Responding to the Challenges of "Design-Build-Redesign" On Engineering Projects

10 October 2017
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Event type:
Evening Meeting, Lecture, Regional Group
Organised by:
South East Regional Group
Mott MacDonald, Sydenham Road, Croydon
Event status:

Please note, earlier 17:30 for 18:00 start  

Groundwater can represent a significant risk to an engineering scheme – whether in terms of ingress volumes/rates, pressures, or water quality. ‘Design and Build’ engineering schemes may find Designers responsible for initial design through to tender, Contractor procurement and subsequent review/re-design. Initial ground investigations may highlight potentially challenging ground and groundwater conditions (e.g. multi-layered water-bearing aquifers), but programme constraints, in combination with site access permission restrictions, may mean that tender and Contractor designs have to be developed without secondary investigation. As such the ability to fully quantify groundwater risks, and design targeted de-watering schemes to mitigate risk in advance of construction commencing on-site, becomes constrained.

Our talk this evening will provide an overview of the challenges faced when designing shafts in challenging ground/groundwater conditions, without a full understanding of groundwater risks and quantified mitigation measures. Case study examples will be presented of field investigations undertaken at the time of construction to better quantify geotechnical risks associated with groundwater, the results of which were rapidly fed into engineering re-design/dewatering system design.


Claire Howarth is an hydrogeologist with over 20 years engineering and environmental consultancy experience, working on a wide range of civil-engineering projects for private and public-sector clients. Currently Principal Engineering Hydrogeologist within the Foundations and Geotechnics Division of Mott MacDonald Ltd, she is the groundwater technical specialist for major infrastructure projects in the UK and overseas – particularly focused on dewatering and drainage issues. Claire is also part of the Geological Society’s Engineering Group Working Party currently developing guidance on Engineering Geology of Groundwater in Design & Construction.

Venue & Time

Mott MacDonald House, 8-10 Sydenham Road, Croydon  CR0 2EE - evening meeting, 17:30 for 18:00 start