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Refurbed sewerage tanks for Glastonbury? Now that’s music to our wee-ers

Project Title Refurbing sewerage tanks for Glastonbury

Project Brief

Glastonbury. You don’t have to be a music fan to know what it is, but did you know that it attracts in the region of 175,000 festival goers each year and employs around 50,000 support staff?

It is in fact the largest greenfield and performing arts festival in the world and it all takes place at Worthy Farm in the village of Pilton, Somerset.

With more than 200,000 music lovers to cater for, festival owner Michael Eavis has plenty to consider in the way of health and safety, sustenance and of course toilets. Plenty of toilets.

Glastonbury now proudly boasts a variety of loos, some admittedly more ‘au naturel’ than others including the festival must-have – the long drop.

Consisting of 35 underground concrete tanks, each spanning in the region of 200 square metres, it is vital that these long drops are meticulously maintained in order to protect surrounding wildlife and of course to provide the festival goers with a hygienic toileting experience.

Our Solution

How to refurb a long drop

Over time, the waste in the tanks had caused some visible degradation of the concrete and the tank floors had fallen victim to chemical erosion. It was time to take action.

Making the decision to refurb the long drops in time for the 2016 festival, Michael Eavis enlisted the help of Ultimate Coatings Limited (UCL) to carry out some essential sewerage tank corrosion protection work.

With a decade of experience in specifying and applying polyurea technologies, and a keen advocate of our products in particular, UCL knew that they had both the expertise and access to the right product portfolio to make the project a resounding success.

Here’s a rundown of the preparation work for the tank floors:

  • A high-pressure 8,000psi jet washer was used to clean the walls and floors of all 35 tanks
  • The floors were then planed off using a diamond grinder – removing any fibres and weak concrete, creating a smooth, even base
  • The floors were then vacuumed to remove any dust or debris
  • Finally, they were subjected to a high temperature flash-off with a gas roofing torch to remove any exposed polymer fibres

And what about the walls? Well they had previously been rendered, leaving a smooth, flat surface which required very little subbase preparation, so it was on with the tank repair work. UCL repaired any damaged areas with fast-dry repair mortars before using four 400,000 BTU indirect heaters to thoroughly dry each space.

Mindful of vapour drive and water infiltration, UCL advised the site owners to dig a pit next to the affected tanks so any unwanted water could be easily pumped out. This, along with the use of additional cold air ventilation prior to any coating being applied, made for speedy progress.

Here’s what UCL did next:

  • A damp tolerant epoxy primer (EP-90), was applied to correct pin-holing
  • A second layer of primer was applied, this time it was a high pigment-loading polyaspartic StainGuard Rapide specifically to tackle pinholes
  • Finally, SPI’s Polyshield HT-100F UB polyurea liner was applied, directly bonding to the coating beneath to create a monolithic internal liner

The result?

The long drops at Glastonbury are fully waterproofed and the refurbishment work has been given a product guarantee of twenty years and an application warranty of two years. Now that the tanks are no longer degrading, owner Michael Eavis is considering the implementation of his own sewage processing system, which will not only reduce the number of waste tankers visiting the site, but improve fertilisation methods across the farm.

Are you working on a project like this? If you’d like more information about the performance coatings used at Glastonbury, visit the products page for Polyshield HT100F UB Polyurea or read more about our protective linings and coatings solutions.

To discuss your requirement in more detail, call us today on 0800 0921 232 to speak to an expert.

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