Cowley Weirs Feasibility and Design
Network Rail required a study that AquaUoS staff developed, that took forward a completed feasibility study to a detailed design and EiA phase that considered the removal of Exwick Weir, Cowley Weir and Pynes Weir to improve the current flood risk to the Cowley Bridge Junction section of track with specific reference to flood risk at Cowley Bridge and Stafford Bridge. The River Exe and the River Creedy in the vicinity of Cowley Bridge exhibit extensive historic modification with numerous and often substantial impoundment structures on the watercourse including at Cowley Bridge and upstream at Pynes Weir and Exwick (north) Weir on the Creedy branch of the River Exe. These structures have absorbed much of the natural gradient on the watercourse and this will be released should these structures be removed.
AquaUoS staff undertook the geomorphological assessment and modelling component of the study that sought to develop options that worked with natural processes whilst also reducing the current flood risk to the nearby rail infrastructure. This involved reinstatement of appropriate morphology to manage the ~7m increase in hydraulic head through removing the weir structures.