Heriot-Watt University and Inverclyde Council aim to reduce road flooding

A culvert fitted with an Atlas Polar automated trash screen

The project focuses on the performance of automated trash screens in culverts. Culverts are vital links that allow rivers to pass safely under roads and developments. During periods of intense rainfall many critical culverts are not able to operate to their full capacity because of blockages to trash screens which protect their entry.

This means that flooding to the road network is more frequent than predicted. Routine maintenance regimes are not always able to pre-clear trash screens in advance of poor weather which, in the worst cases, results in flooding to the road network.

Automated trash screens offer a potential solution to this problem, but there is a lack of uptake due to insufficient operational experience and design guidance.

To bridge this gap the Scottish Road Research Board has funded a research collaboration between Dr Scott Arthur, from the School of the Built Environment, and Inverclyde Council. The project will study the performance of automated trash screens over a one year period and propose design, operation and maintenance guidance based on the results.

Dr Arthur said: "Heriot-Watt is recognised as being internationally leading experts in trash screen performance and this is a great opportunity to extend that knowledge and use it in a way that will benefit Scottish road users."