2 for 1 at Swansea valley Asda

There’s been much discussion about the new Asda superstore at Ystalyfera in South Wales, but remarkably little about its stormwater tanks.

Local councillors, residents and archaeologists have debated at length the proposal to build a 3000 square meter store and petrol station on the site of once the world’s largest ironworks.

But when approval was given, Tubosider solutions were independently chosen to provide the attenuation by each of the two teams separately designing and building the superstore and petrol station.

The consulting engineers for the store, MJMC of Wakefield, are well experienced in supermarket projects and have specified Tubosider in past and other current projects. The future systems they recommend are likely to be helibore steel as well, following a number of failures with crate systems. And MJMC are equally aware of the installation advantages of steel tanks, quick and simple for any contractor.

“From Tubosider’s first design to meet the attenuation criteria, the whole project went well,” said MJMC’s Matt Cooper.

“Space was not an issue, so with a 36 litre/second flow regulator to meet the fairly generous maximum stipulated by the local authority, opting for a longer, thinner structure instead of more, compact one gave us greater economy.” 

Tank strength and fitting speed were also praised by contractors Gilbert Ash, who have a strong track record with Asda to uphold.

“I have only ever used the crate type attenuation system before, which can be much more tedious and time consuming,”said site manager Karl Jordan.

“Gilbert Ash needed to come up with many systems during the build of the project to help speed up the programme. Our client needed solutions and one of these was this Tubosider system. It is generally more straightforward that traditional crate attenuation, and more importantly it is innovative and efficient, to the delight of all involved with the project.

“This was my first experience of Tubosider’s systems, and it was fantastic, it made the whole programme more efficient. We got the best use of location and time, and did not have a single problem, even in all the bad weather. It’s a great all-weather solution. 

“It was a good sized tank – 307m³ in 1400mm diameter pipes, making four runs 35m long, delivered in four loads. But the whole installation was a joy, very impressive – and the good working relationship between ourselves and Tubosider made the whole process easy. ” 

For the petrol station at the Ystalyfera Asda, the experience of using Tubosider was similar again – but with selection based on technical performance.

For all its experience in such projects, contractor Broham Forecourt Developments is relatively new to Tubosider attenuation. But when a stormwater system was tabled to be used for the Asda project, Tubosider was named as the potential manufacturer.

“It’s interesting to work with a new system, and the project has gone off without any issues at all,” says Broham’s Harvey Mitchell. “We fitted the 70m³ tank in one of Tubosider’s largest sizes – 1800mm diameter – and despite all the bad weather, completed the project on schedule in November, just eight weeks from start to finish.” 

Fully operational, the superstore will see Asda create 230 full and part-time jobs in Ystalyfera. But initially the location did involve considerable debate in the area. The site is home to the remains of what was once the world’s largest ironworks, including the buried remains of an engine house, a boiler house and part of a furnace.

So to mark the area’s industrial heritage, Asda is to preserve a charging bank wall on the north-western part of the site, which will be designated a scheduled ancient monument, and install interpretation boards.

The new store is the largest investment in the area since the former Dewhirst factory closed more than a decade ago leaving it empty, and is part of Asda’s recently announced £500 million expansion plans across the UK.