Elvington Water Treatment Works

Yorkshire is self-sufficient in water with a grid system of pipes and pumps enabling water to be moved quickly around the region. This means that shortfalls in any specific areas can be made good enabling Yorkshire Water to maintain a high level of service to its customers.

The Authority has 138 reservoirs, supply 45% of consumers requirements. A further 22% comes from underground and the remaining 33% is extracted from rivers. The water treatment works at Elvington accounts for nearly 20% of all water consumed across the region and lies in a largely agricultural area.

It performs two important functions:

Removing large volumes of sediment: Recent changes in weather patterns have greatly increased the occurrence of flash flood events which in turn increase the amount of soil erosion from surrounding farmland. as a result, the sediment load in the rivers has also increased. Over 11,000 tons a year of sediment is collected from the Elvington Plant.

Removing toxins arising from the use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides on the surrounding farmland: This is the main function of the Actiflo process itself, where the raw water is flocculated with microsand and polymer in a mixing reactor. The microsand promotes the ‘clumping’ of particles and accelerates the normal process of settlement by many times, increasing the speed of water clarification by many times.

Benchmarq’s task, was to convert the laser scanned structure, large diameter feed pipework, supporting structural steelwork and peripheral features such as fencing, access platforms, guardrails etc. into a 3D CAD model for the end Client.

Working closely with our survey partners, we took the 50 GB of point cloud data and imagery gathered on-site to use as the basis for constructing the model.

The structure to be modelled was of a modest size – some 60m long with an average width of 12m, and a height of 6m.

Constructed of 5 reinforced concrete chambers fed by 900mm diameter pipes, this structure itself was relatively straightforward to model.

From a modelling point of view, the other main challenge was to identify a consistent way of modelling repeatable geometry elements and component assemblies such as pipe bends, valve gear etc. The solution was the use of reference planes to identify the best fit for the geometries under consideration.

The Final Result

Although not strictly required in terms of an end user deliverable, we elected to develop a 3D BIM Revit model from the surveyed data. This provided a wider and easier-to-use toolset for the development of the model from the point cloud data; it also meant that it provides a platform for the population of the 3D model with attribute data should the Client require that in due course.

The deliverable required by the Client’s Statement of Requirements was a 3D CAD file which the Revit software was able to produce as a simple export.

Had the 3D BIM model been embedded with a significant amount of attribute data, this might have resulted in some data loss or at least a clunkier way of exporting that attribute data without resort to plugins such as FME.

As it was, this particular model essentially represented a ‘geometry-only’ export and therefore attribute data was not an issue.

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