“It rained and rained over the winter of 2012/13,” says BAM project manager Lee Bibby. “We had a limit on how much water we could discharge to the sewer system, so we had to dig out huge bunds to store it temporarily on site.”
Deciding which parts of the site, destined to become a world class football facility, to turn into massive lakes was a horrible choice to be faced with.
“We couldn’t use the areas we needed to build structures on, so we had no option but to dig up the pitch areas and use those,” says Lee.
“We really didn’t want to risk ruining the subsoil before we even started creating the pitches but we didn’t have a choice. We had to use these areas.”
So a few months in, areas of the site looked more like a boat lake than somewhere that some of the best footballers in the world were to hone their skills.
Then as the weather improved in the spring, the water was pumped out to the sewers, and a new problem was faced – how to dry out the soil.
“With the environmental commitments we had made, no spoil could be taken off site,” says Lee. “We were excavating for swimming pools and foundations as well as recovering material from the bunds. We had to find space on site to store and dry it all.”
A team was set up solely to deal with transporting and drying out the sub soil around the vast site.