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Shorter Days

As the days of December move towards the shortest day of the year, our survey teams have to plan their work meticulously to optimize their productivity in the field. Storm Geomatics were awarded a project to survey over four hundred property threshold levels in Cambridgeshire - provided it was done within a very tight timescale. Storm Geomatics have an in-house software system that captures property threshold data quickly and efficiently and minimises data transposition errors. The survey was completed on time and within budget - but not without the use of darkness to capture static GPS observations.

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One of our survey teams needed to capture some spot levels in a small pasture field in the middle of the village of Kelmscott in Oxfordshire. Occupying the field was the village bull "Prince" and his two girlfriends. Now; most of our surveyors are familiar with being around and handling farm animals - but this fella looked like trouble! To minimise the risk of entertaining the villagers to a bull fight in the pasture arena, the bull's owner kindly agreed to accompany the surveyor's during the survey.

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Managing Director Mike Hopkins attended the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Stakeholder Forum at the DEFRA headquarters in Smith Square, London. Mike found the meeting interesting with a good variety of speakers who came across well in presenting the challenges that lie ahead in achieving the FCERM strategy goals. Mike realises that surveyors can play an important part in reaching the FCERM goals and has communicated that to DEFRA through a consultation paper which the Environment Agency have used to help form the FCERM strategy.

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Apart from strong tidal currents, weirs have to be one of the most dangerous places on a river, however they play a significant role in the control of flow and water levels. For this reason it is important that they are correctly represented in a computer model when predicting flood situations. Our surveyors have just carried out a batch of weir surveys on the River Wey and have provided the model data to the client in a format that has allowed the user to quickly incorporate the weirs into an existing model and start producing model outputs straight away.

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Lots of gauging stations surveyed this month for the Environment Agency Thames Region. Full 3D models of each site were surveyed in northern areas of the region. Surveyors have provided the client with full topographical data within the ownership of each site to produce a plan that can be used for either engineering purposes or asset management. Critical levels of the sites were also recorded to ensure that data collected on the instrumentation within the hut is reliable for flood warnings and flow control.

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Measurements in tough conditions especially in and around water are the challenges that the surveyors of Storm Geomatics thrive on. Our surveyors were invited back to the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace this year to accurately measure the World Spey Casting Championships. Competitors from all over the world come to the Game Fair to compete for the world crown of Spey casting. There are big cash prizes and sponsorship deals up for grabs to those successful enough to be placed in the top three. 

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Chigwell Brook

Storm Geomatics Surveyors have been out surveying Chigwell Brook this month. They have completed approximately fifty cross sections along a mixed urban/rural watercourse. This project was very challenging as access to some of the key structures was difficult. The survey team battled on and got the project completed in good time. Vegetation at this time of year also poses a threat to survey deadlines as surveyors take time to cut back foliage in order to expose the points of detail that the clients require.

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Soon you will be able to make a cable car journey across the River Thames from the O2 Arena on the south bank to the Royal Victoria Docks on the north bank. Storm Geomatics have carried out the survey of the bed levels of the river and the dock in preparation for the construction of the huge cable supports. The dock survey was undertaken in a small aluminium boat and the river survey in a high powered rib. The high power of the rib was needed as the pull on the tide at this point in the river is extremely fierce.

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Between the chocolate of Easter and the champagne of The Royal Wedding the surveyors at Storm had a change of scenery - a scour protection survey on a railway bridge at Pevensey, East Sussex. Surveyors filled the three day gap in festivities with a full topographic survey of the area beneath and around the structure and also a Hec-RAS model extending 1km downstream. The data is to be used to design benching on the bridge abutments and address wing wall issues. The survey was carried out at short notice and the data processed fast to allow the engineer to keep his side of the project on track.

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Storm Geomatics started the New Year with a resolution to improve their quality and range of services that they provide to the water industry. To help achieve this goal, feedback and ideas have been asked for by clients. A river survey questionnaire was sent to seventy hydraulic engineers and the results are now available (You can get them by emailing us from the contact link at the top of this page).

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