Bluesky LiDAR supports major Irish water supply project

Detailed 3D data captured using aircraft mounted laser is helping RPS Group plan, design and engineer a major overhaul of water supply in County Wicklow, Ireland. The Bluesky LiDAR data was used to assess various route options as water supply in the region south of Dublin is rationalised. The Bluesky data was also used to enhance topographical surveys in order to understand and mitigate the risk of flooding in relation to additional water supply infrastructure.

Saeed Khan, Technical Director, RPS Europe, commented, “Bluesky use the latest aerial survey technology in order to capture LiDAR data to exactly meet the requirements of a specific project. The density and accuracy of LiDAR makes it ideal for this type of project giving unrivalled measurement of the earth’s surface and natural and man-made structures.”

The Mid Wicklow Water Supply Scheme aims to address issues of water quality, limitations of source availability and issues with treatment plants. Announced in 2016 Irish Water proposes upgrading the Vartry Water treatment plant after supplies were identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as being at risk of failing to meet the requirements of national safe drinking water standards. As part of the project, supply to seven existing water supply zones will be rationalised with individual sources and treatment plants decommissioned and a single source of supply from the Vartry Water treatment plant will be established.

RPS Group, Ireland’s leading planning, design, engineering, environmental and communications services consultancy, commissioned the LiDAR survey from Bluesky in order to fully understand the topography of the region. The data was used to assess route and pressure control options as a result of high pressures in the trunks mains. Three alternative route options were assessed in order to determine the most favourable including two alternative trunk main routes and relocation of the Rathdrum Reservoir.

The Bluesky LiDAR data was also used to enhance and supplement topographical surveys and culvert information collected by RPS engineers. In line with Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines, published by the Office of Public Works and the Department of Environment Heritage and Local Government RPS undertook a Flood Risk Assessment to support the planning application for the project. The Bluesky and RPS survey data were used to create a hydraulic model developed in Infoworks ICM (Integrated Catchment Modelling), used to calculate flood levels for different levels of risk, which was in turn used to develop a flood extents map.

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