MJ Abbott

Estate water supply network

The Mapledurham Estate, Oxfordshire


Loss of structural integrity

MJ Abbott have been associated with The Mapledurham Estate since 2005.

We were called to the estate to evaluate the existing private water supply which serves the estate for both domestic potable water and agricultural and commercial use. The system installed was believed to date back to the early 1930s and had developed numerous water losses and had lost its structural integrity throughout the water system.

Project challenges

Private Water Supply Regulations 2015

The estate relies upon two abstraction locations for potable commercial use, and for the at their dairy. The design of the new system had to consider the need to maintain the supply to the existing village and businesses during the works.

In addition, the new system had to comply with the Private Water Supply Regulations 2015, enforced by Oxfordshire County Council. Working with both the client and council, MJ Abbott took a fresh approach to the whole estate and designed a totally new water system which would be fit for the estate for many years.

The estate has varying water usages across the estate at different times of year, as it also accommodates country park events, so extended water usages fluctuated across the estate.

Our approach

Combined gravity and pumped system

Taking into account all users across the estate for both potable use in the village and the commercial use around the estate, we first looked at the feasibility of installing a new water reservoir at the highest location and allowing water to gravitate to the users. This was not feasible as the some of the commercial users were located on the highest ground, so a combined gravity and pumped system would have to be designed.

We took the approach of pumping water from the existing borehole to a new 105,000 litre reservoir on high ground, allowing gravity supply to the village, dairy and country park combined with a new pump house and twin pump booster unit to pressure water to the commercial businesses on the highest parts of the estate.

New 90mm HPPE pipework would be laid from the borehole to the new reservoir, with a gravity flow pipe laid in the same trench to bring water back to the farm and cottages. A separate gravity line using 125mm HPPE pipes were laid from the reservoir back down to the village to supply the water to the houses, dairy and country park.

To allow contingency for borehole failure, a mains water backup was also connected to the system.

The final solution

A comprehensive, resilient water supply system

Various projects have been undertaken between 2005 and 2023 to secure the supplies across the estate, consisting of:

  • Construction of a new 105,000 litres Whites Concrete sectional reservoir and insulated timber pumphouse
  • Design and installation of new pump control system with pump protection and SMS message alert for system failure
  • Twin pump variable speed Grundfos booster pumps
  • Automatic chlorine dosing station to add sodium hypochlorite to the water to safeguard against potential bacterial contamination
  • GSM text alert for pump failures and low water
  • Installation of over 2,000m of 125mm HPPE distribution mains to village
  • Installation of 1,200m of 110mm HPPE pipe to dairy
  • Installation of 3,000m of 63mm pumping main
  • Installation of 900m of 63mm as Thames Water mains back up
  • Replacement piped networks for two further farms off the new updated supply
  • Installation of water meters to all properties for onwards billing purposes
  • Full as built mapping using GPS technology and schematic plans on completion.