Beckton to Riverside, UK

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Project summary

The Beckton to Riverside sludge main Section 3 follows a route through Creekmouth, Barking, East London. The proposed 1.8km route is to be laid on the highway of existing roads, including River Road, Long Reach Road, Creek Road, and Thames Road. A utility/GPR and topographical survey was required by the client.

A topographical survey of the diversion route was required to confirm ground levels, road features, and above-ground features present.

Utility and GPR surveys were required to identify utilities along the proposed route alignment on both the carriageway and footpath. To avoid the use of traffic management and reduce the cost involved in this survey, a towed GPR system was used to survey the carriageway along the 1.8km of road.

The brief

As part of an ECI (Early Contractor Involvement) works for the Beckton to Riverside project, the client requires a utility/GPR and topographical survey.

The purpose of the survey was to identify utilities along the proposed route alignment, particularly the alignment (including any horizontal and vertical bends) and depth of the Thames Water Twin sewer line. In addition to the detection, verification, and location of active, abandoned, redundant, or unknown underground utilities and the location of their associated surface features, chamber dimensions and confirmation of service depth, diameter, material, and type at chamber locations have also been recorded where accessible.

Our work:

Murphy Geospatial UK Ltd attempted to locate the depth and position for all the underground services, including plastic pipes and ducts, concrete sewers, foundations, fibre optics, communication cables, etc., using various techniques, such as sonde surveys, radio detection surveys, ground-penetrating radar surveys, and any existing records that may be available. All methods are non-intrusive.

Murphy used various GPR systems such as a multi-channel IDS Stream C to carry out the survey on the footpath along with a GSSI Utility scan 350HS system where access was restricted. The carriageway was surveyed using a multi-channel towed GPR system, an Impulse Radar Raptor 45 – 18 channels coupled to a GPS allowing for live reference.


As well as all the confirmed utility services identified, there are unidentified features shown as GPR Anomalies. These features may be the result of services which are running through the sites, abandoned services, natural geological features, or land drains, amongst other things. Additionally, areas with possible underground slabs or reinforcement have been detected.

An example of GPR data obtained on the carriageway is illustrated in the figure below. A number of GPR anomalies can be identified; some have been correlated to the EML findings or the utility desktop records.

Figure 2: The results obtained on River Road and possible interpretation from the correlation between on-site observation, EML survey, and desktop record.


For more information on this project, please contact Elodie Roussel at or +44 203 598 3775

  • Client

    Murphy Group

  • Sector/Market


  • Services

    Subsurface Investigation

  • Location

    London, UK

Services Used

Subsurface Investigation and Mapping

Subsurface Investigation

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