Cardiff Harbour Authority, UK

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The regeneration of Cardiff Bay created a complementary development of housing, leisure, business and commerce - however they had a problem.

Debris, rubbish and invasive aquatic weed was entering the bay from two rivers (approx 500 hectres water space). Cardiff Harbour Authority launched a competitive tender for a range of equipment to undertake a wide range of environmental responsibilities.

Liverpool Water Witch provided a successful solution.

Needs

  • Keep the bay clear of natural/man-made debris:
  • Trees, branches, large floating mats of aquatic weeds (Canadian pond weed and Milfoil) submerged plants rooted in sediment, reed beds and the occasional animal carcases
  • Algae scum on the water surface
  • Household furniture, telegraph poles, gas bottles, trolleys, tyres - and even the odd motor vehicle!

Solution

Equipment provided by Liverpool Water Witch included:

  • Mk. 3 Water Witch workboat
  • 4 Skipper barge units - with a capacity of 24m3 providing effecient storage and transfer facilities for debris
  • Open top and tank skips - for storage and and transfer of solid and liquid waste
  • 200m solid bouyancy debris boom
  • MOP Oil recovery skimmer
  • Fire fighting/salvage pump - 41 litres per second capacity
  • Weed cutter
  • Weed ripper - for removing bottom-rooted plants
  • Silt bucket
  • Log grapple
  • Crane attachment

As with all Water Witch Workboats, the craft was built to Lloyds Register of Shipping Classification standards.

Results

  • During an intial 12 months over 892 tonnes (3,408m3) of litter and debris was removed by one Mk. 3 Water Witch boat.
  • An average of 10 skip loads of waste removed each week
  • Salvage pump enabled emergency assistance to be given to a sinking vessel, and a small craft on fire
  • In periods of heavy rains, the boat recovered approximately 8 skip loads (48m3) per day
  • Specialist equipment attached to the boat made complicated pollutant removal possible. Algae scum that accumulated on the waters surface (especially undesirable near-by residential developments) was removed using the general purpose basket.

Summary

The cardiff harbour Authority had initially investigated buying seperate vessels to deal with the range of functions required:

  • Debris collection boat
  • Oil spill response unit
  • Removal of aquatic weed equipment
  • Algae filtration system

Water Witch met all these demands with one versatile workboat.

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