River Hull Integrated Catchment Study

This ICE Sir John Fowler Awarded scheme considered a variety of options for the catchment area including large flood storage reservoirs, new pumping station arrangements, and rerouting flows around the city of Hull.

The River Hull Integrated Catchment strategy (RHICS) for East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council, is a technical and environmental study of the hydrological catchment areas of River Hull, Holderness Drain, Hull, and Haltemprice. 

The final strategy proposed a comprehensive range of options for the River Hull catchment.  These included: Raising the embankments along the two man-made drains; changing the operation of the Hull Tidal Surge Barrier; improvements to Bransholme Pumping Station; improvement to channel conveyance through removal of sunken vessels and dredging to previously seen channel profiles in the river; and natural flood management.

This required an optioneering process of the strategy; presentation of the strategy and accompanying drawings from model outputs; provision of cost estimates for each option; and the coordinating of other stakeholders to produce the final strategy. Pell Frischmann also carried out a hydrographic survey of the River Hull and project managed the delivery of the accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitat Regulations Assessment.


Pell Frischmann we are environmentally mindful when working on projects - especially within schemes that involve heavy civil engineering work. This was vital due to challenges, such as instantaneous run off formed by surface water drainage and vastly tarmacked land, creating an increasing need to know how much water comes down on the catchment area and where it goes.

This led to the incorporation of a modified 3D Integrated catchment model (ICM). The ICM not only calculates the catchment’s wide surface area and flow of characteristics in the river as previously used in 2D, but incorporates man-made interventions in the catchment such as car parks, industrial estates, and housing, which also have a mitigated effect on run off.

The construction of major road systems with large drainage channels also creates challenges towards flood mitigation. The ICM has enabled Pell Frischmann to improve our effectiveness towards dissipating and managing the water flows across the catchment. Other challenges of the RHICS saw the need to protect ecology such as otters and other species within the area while finding resolutions to the old tidal navigated river. These interventions were placed into distinct projects - such as the Boat Removal Scheme - to assert an individualised element of environmental importance onto them.

This vast range of ecology and interphase between salt water and fresh water tidal flow had led to greater barriers within the scheme. Technical Director - Laurence Waterhouse explained “We have gone to great lengths, if not spent hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of tax payers money, to mitigate the effects demanded by the catchment/strategy. So, it is imperative to express the importance of our environment and the need to maximise outcomes to help save and maintain it. At Pell Frischmann we are environmentally mindful when working on projects - especially within schemes that involve heavy civil engineering work.”

Options considered

  • icon-arrow Raising embankments
  • icon-arrow Hull tidal surge barrier changes
  • icon-arrow Pumping station improvements
  • icon-arrow Dredging
  • icon-arrow Wreck removal

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