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At Reedness near Goole, we raised flood protection bunds along a 3.3km stretch on the banks of the River Ouse to guard against the threat of flooding. We also construct sea outfalls for The Coal Authority, including this design and build project at Whitburn in the North East of England. We have constructed a number of new mine water treatment works, including this one, at Saltburn Gill for our client The Coal Authority.


Throughout the history of JN Bentley, much of our work has been associated with water and the water environment through work with water companies, local authorities, the Coal Authority and more recently, the Environment Agency.

The majority of our work in the environmental engineering sector is delivered through JBA Bentley, an integrated design and build contractor that specialises in the safe and efficient delivery of low carbon solutions. JBA Bentley’s mission is simple – the company uses its ingenuity and expertise to develop and deliver sustainable low carbon solutions that make a positive difference to our clients and our communities.

JBA Bentley was formed back in 2013 when JBA Consulting – one of Europe’s leading specialists in environmental engineering and management – joined forces with national civil engineering contractor JN Bentley.

Its first client was the Environment Agency (EA); in the years since, JBA Bentley has established itself as a highly reputable framework supplier to the EA as part of their Water and Environmental Management (WEM), Marine and Coastal (MCF), and Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Central Hub frameworks.

As JN Bentley and more recently JBA Bentley, we have also worked with the Coal Authority since 2004. Projects have predominantly involved the delivery of projects that treat water discharged from abandoned mines across the UK. We work at not only traditional coal mines, but metal mines too.

We have wide experience of land drainage works for the Internal Drainage Boards and have constructed surface water storage systems and pumping stations. We have also applied sustainable urban drainage (SuDS) techniques to our projects in areas of hardstanding with our commercial clients.


Our scheme at Reedness is one of our Asset Recovery Programme of Works (ARPW) projects with The Environment Agency (see below). We raised flood defences to provide long-term protection to the area.

Based over a 3.3km stretch of land, to meet the programme we undertook work on several fronts at any one time. We estimated a total of 8,000 wagon movements throughout the scheme and, with the villages of Reedness and Swinefleet nearby, we took steps to minimise disruption. Site teams engaged proactively with the community to alleviate concerns, making house calls and even holding an assembly at the local primary school.

Craig Yr Aber

The Coal Authority has a responsibility to treat mine water before it is discharged into the natural environment. One way of achieving this is to use a passive mine water treatment scheme.

The scheme at Craig yr Aber, near Bridgend in Wales, involved the construction of two settlement ponds, two wetlands and two drying beds. These features remove iron from the water in an entirely ‘passive’ way – no chemicals are required to assist the process. Saturated ground conditions led the project team to use innovative bales made of recycled tyres to engineer the embankments on site.

Flood defence

Chantry Cottages

A significant number of our schemes involve working with clients such as the EA to implement preventative measures to guard against issues such as flooding.

A tidal surge in early December 2013 caused widespread disruption along the East Coast, with many properties flooded and extensive erosion of coastal areas. The surge entered the Humber and associated rivers, filling the River Ouse and then entering the Dutch River.

Having identified the unstable banking on this stretch of river, delivered a three-phase scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to surrounding areas and properties at times of high tides.

The solution has seen us construct a permanent flood defence using a combination of sheet and continuous flight auger (CFA) piling, steel tendons and rock armour to reinforce the embankment.

Over £1m was invested in the temporary works at Chantry Cottages, including 25,000 tonnes of stone used for ramps and piling platforms, some of which has since been reused on other schemes. These temporary works were crucial in enabling the permanent works to be delivered safely.

Saltburn Gill

We constructed a mine water treatment works at Saltburn Gill in the North East of England to stop untreated iron stone mine water from being discharged into the natural environment.

Ochre deposits were polluting 2km of watercourse, generating large ‘ochre aprons’ on the slopes of the tributary and directly preventing salmon migration, as well as threatening 1km of Saltburn beach. The works were delivered in two phases, and comprised of the construction of four settlement ponds; each with pre-cast concrete inlet, outlet and aeration cascade structures; together with a sludge drying bed and new wetland.

Snaith Ings

5km of riverside embankment on the lower River Aire between Pickhill cross bank and Rawcliffe barrier bank is the primary flood defence for the community of Snaith.

A flood event found serious issues with the structural integrity of the bank due to its age, composition and vermin holes. The solution was split into two sections; with a risk based approach taken to deliver works to high-risk locations; involving a combination of sheet piling through the embankment crest, geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) for seepage prevention, crest raising using site-won material and spillway crest marker installation.

Whitburn Sea Outfall

The first scheme we have delivered under the Coal Authority’s design and build Confluence’ framework was in the North East of England, at Whitburn Sea Outfall.

A solution was required to reduce and maintain water levels by pumping from a nearby mine via a borehole to the sea. A successful test phase proved the validity of the solution – the installation of a 450m-long outfall from the mine shaft to a point 150m out at sea. To install the pipework in fragmented limestone (a rock-type susceptible to collapse), instead of drilling and then lining the void before pulling the main pipework back through, our solution saw the casing itself become the outfall pipe.

In December 2015 floods hit York once again, with waters rising into the electrical switch room for the incoming mains supply, rendering it inoperable. 
After significant involvement in the emergency response to the floods, we were then engaged by the EA to deliver permanent upgrade works on site.

Foss Barrier

Built in 1987 in response to severe flooding five years earlier, the Foss Barrier forms an important part of the flood defences of York. A gate can be closed to prevent rising waters in the River Ouse from backing up into the River Foss and flooding parts of the city.

In December 2015 floods hit York once again, with waters rising into the electrical switch room for the incoming mains supply, rendering it inoperable.

After significant involvement in the emergency response to the floods we were then engaged by the EA to deliver permanent upgrade works on site.

At the core of these works is an upgrade to the Foss Barrier Pumping Station where we are increasing the capacity of the pumping station through the installation of eight new pumps and associated MEICA equipment. Each pump weighs 6.5 tonnes and is capable of pumping 6m³/second.

The upgraded equipment will be housed within an extension to the existing building that will lift all critical equipment above the flood zone. To facilitate this, all equipment has been temporarily located on a purpose built platform.

The ARPW is largely focused on improving the condition of flood defences that protect properties, critical infrastructure and prime agricultural land from both fluvial and tidal flooding.

Asset Recovery Programme of Works

In 2016, the EA awarded us an extension to our Asset Repair Programme of Works (ARPW), taking it through to October 2018.

The extension is reward for the hard work and dedication of the teams involved in the framework since its inception in October 2014. They have developed great relationships with the client, delivering safe, efficient and sustainable solutions across a large geographical area.

The ARPW is largely focused on improving the condition of flood defences that protect properties, critical infrastructure and prime agricultural land from both fluvial and tidal flooding.

Both teamwork and leadership have been essential to the successful delivery of a challenging programme. Key too has been the streamlining and pooling of construction activities and resources, driving a reduction in costs, delivery duration and carbon footprint.

Our team is pictured here picking up a Team Achievement Commendation at the ICE East Midlands Awards.

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