Leeds Castle Bath House Desilting

The Brief

Leeds Castle needed to undertake a structural survey of their sub structure within the Bath House.

The Bath House was full of moat water and heavy silts so Leeds Castle commissioned Sweeptech Environmental Services to perform an innovative no dig silt extraction process using their specialist desludging tanker.

To do this, the water needed to be emptied to allow the maintenance team to set up scaffold structures under the arches and inspect stonework and repairs required.

During the process Leeds Castle’s curator studied the extracted silts to see if she could discover any artefacts.


It was crucial to minimise disruption throughout the process, to avoid damage to any potential historical archeological finds, while ensuring that aquatic life in the area was protected from harm.

In addition, our work was vital in ensuring that swimmers could continue to use the lake safely, including those competing in upcoming triathlon events, an important part of Leeds Castle’s diverse range of uses throughout any given year.

To make the area ‘workable’ we needed to ‘dam up’ the main moat from the bath area, to allow separate extraction of sludge, silt and water to leave the area ready for the Castle’s maintenance team to do their work on the stones of the arches and action any required repairs.


Our innovative no-dig technology allowed us to successfully deliver on this project and achieve the desired outcomes highlighted in the brief.

As an outcome of our work The Castle’s Curator, Annie, found some nice historic Victorian glass bottles, some masonry which could be reused for repairs around the bath house. In addition we uncovered some interesting wooden planks which people used to sit on around the bathing area, alongside another intriguing find, that of an old victorian barrel.

After processing 1,100,000 litres of sludge wastewater without our vehicle needing to leave the site, the fish and wider pond habitat were left in good health.

A competitor business that tendered against Sweeptech would have delivered a much greater carbon footprint at far higher costs. The project would have taken about 65 movements to a waste disposal facility to complete the same exercise which equates to an increase of 1,300 miles of HGV road movement.

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