Pioneering Boskalis water quality adaptive monitoring in Southampton

Although Dutch company Boskalis Westminster has been working in the UK for around 80 years, its pioneering water quality Adaptive Monitoring technique had not been deployed until recently in British waters, when the company embarked on a project on behalf of Associated British Ports (ABP). ABP, which operates 21 ports in the UK, awarded a contract to Boskalis for dredging parts of Southampton Water in a bid to significantly increase the draught for large containerships visiting the DPWS Southampton Container Terminal. An important part of the tender procedure was that any contractor should be able to comply with ABP’s water quality Adaptive Management Strategy (AMS), which was developed together with the Environment Agency (EA). According to Dr Adrian Fewings, Environment Agency Fisheries’ Technical Specialist, the adaptive monitoring strategy was needed to protect the population of Atlantic salmon to ensure compliance with the Shellfish Waters Directive and to ensure no deterioration of the water body under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Sue Simmonite, development and environment manager at ABP explains: “When ABP took the decision to proceed with the capital dredging project, it was vitally important that we implemented measures to protect water quality for a range of species, including the protected Atlantic Salmon migrating to and from the Rivers Test and Itchen, in line with the EA’s requirements to maintain high quality water standards.”

In-house system

Simmonite explains: “We felt that the most effective way to ensure the water quality was to give the contractor the responsibility for monitoring it. Boskalis had its own in-house, proven system and this gave us a lot of confidence that it had the ability to operate effectively and maintain the required quality levels. This system has been used by Boskalis before, so we knew the company was familiar with it and that was a major advantage.”

Boskalis

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