Civil engineering works, essential additional network installations

Civil engineering works, essential additional network installations

Civil engineering works are involved at all stages of SADE’s interventions. SADE uses all its expertise and techniques to undertake hydraulic and traditional civil engineering works.

Extensive expertise

Far from limiting itself to the hydraulic civil engineering that is at the core of its business activities, SADE very quickly diversified its range to offer traditional civil engineering services.
It undertakes various operations such as: construction of technical buildings and platforms, creation of delivery and unloading areas, car parks and footbridges, dismantling of facilities, and road works such as pavement, pits and gutters.

By implementing the various processes of ground support and improvement, and special foundations, SADE is able to manage and adapt to the worksite’s constraints (type of soil, phasing, etc). SADE is equally capable of acting as project manager to supervise and coordinate the various participants in the project.


As facilities linked to drinking water networks, reservoirs must play their part without degrading the quality of the stored water and comply with strict regulations. Their design, construction, maintenance and rehabilitation are all aspects that SADE can handle with its integrated pool of expertise.

Design and construction

Drinking water reservoirs, whether underground, semi-underground or in water towers, must meet a certain number of sustainable specifications to fulfil their role as part of the networks (storage, pressure, water hammer, etc) without affecting the quality of the stored water.

The essential features of such an installation include:

  • its hydraulic and thermal design
  • the choice of location
  • its structural design and materials
  • its external sealing against groundwater infiltration or runoff
  • its light tightness
  • its ease of maintenance and disinfection
  • its anti-intruder system
  • its aeration

At every stage of the design and construction of drinking water reservoirs, SADE employs its integrated pool of expertise. SADE’s Design Office possesses all the resources and know-how required for the design (hydraulic, civil engineering, etc.). Its workforce, both in France and abroad, has all the necessary abilities for their construction and commissioning.

Maintenance and disinfection

In order to maintain their specified features, drinking water reservoirs must be serviced regularly (maintenance) or selectively (intrusion or other incident) together with disinfection.

With its qualified, experienced and specialised teams (working in difficult-to-access locations), SADE can carry out all drinking water reservoir maintenance and disinfection operations.


In order to restore a drinking water reservoir to its optimum specifications, SADE proposes two categories of rehabilitation solutions:

  • conventional techniques (civil engineering, coatings, etc)
  • the application of geosynthetic products

  Dowload the date sheet Water tower - Hungary 

Retention and storage basins

Retention basins are one of the ‘buffer’ solutions to allow a sewerage network to absorb a large cloudburst. Storage basins are also a ‘buffer’ solution but for supplying treatment units with raw water. As network-associated facilities, these basins form part of SADE’s core activities.

Retention basins

The densification of impervious surfaces mainly due to urbanisation prevents the evacuation of rainwater into the ground. In the event of heavy rainfall and if a town’s sewerage system is not capable of dealing with the runoff, there is a risk of flooding and pollution. In fact, the direct spilling of such water into the natural environment is a serious cause of pollution, in the same way that the inability of the sewerage system to absorb it represents a flooding risk, depending the topography. Being linked to sewerage networks, retention basins are one of the ‘buffer’ solutions for managing particularly heavy cloudbursts.

Retention basins can take the form of excavations made watertight by applying geosynthetic membranes.

SADE is able to intervene at all stages of retention basins:

  • design,
  • construction (earthworks, water-proofing, civil engineering, related facilities, etc.),
  • works and systems maintenance.

Storage basins

Located downstream from the raw water intake and upstream from the treatment process, the storage basin constitutes a means of securing the supply to a drinking water production plant. The intake can be temporarily shut off if reached by a polluted overflow and the treatment unit continues to be fed by the storage basin in reserve.
A storage basin is a civil engineering installation that must be designed and constructed according to exact procedures that SADE is well capable of implementing.
SADE undertakes regular maintenance or selective repairs of these installations that are strategic elements in the treatment process.

Lifting and pumping stations

Drinking water lift stations, wastewater and rainwater lifting stations and pumping stations are all network associated facilities in which SADE specialises.
SADE integrates its field of expertise required for the design, construction, remote or hands-on management and maintenance of these complex installations where efficiency, monitoring, availability and protection are of prime consideration.
Government departments, local authorities, engineering and design consultants, industrial businesses and operators will find in SADE a contractor able to offer a complete package of solutions in the field of lift and pumping stations.

Lifting stations

When wastewater or rainwater is collected below an outlet pipe, a lifting station is required to enable it to join the main gravity network.
A lifting station must meet technical requirements and also management and maintenance safety demands.
From design to construction, a lifting station must therefore draw on SADE’s many integrated disciplines.
Whatever the typology, it can be designed with:

  • a submersible pump unit in the retention pit,
  • a pump unit in a dry pit next to the retention pit,
  • an in-line discharge system on the pressurised duct (pumps or aero-ejectors).

In-line solutions avoid the problems caused by retention volumes such as dangerous gases, odours, clogging, erosion and equipment corrosion.

Pumping stations

Pumping stations allow subterranean water to be discharged to the surface. They take the name of lifting stations when they discharge raw surface water to treatment units.
These are technically complex installations where design and reliability are major considerations.
At all stages, SADE provides tailor-made solutions:

  • technical and hydraulic studies (design, availability, protection);
  • civil engineering (design and construction);
  • installation and commissioning of pumps and ancillary equipment;
  • safeguarding the electricity supply;
  • monitoring, remote or hands-on management and associated automated systems;
  • maintenance.

Download the data sheet Pumping station - Serbia

Marine and river works

SADE’s activities in this sector are very varied:

Sheet piles   

When soil conditions sometimes make certain works difficult to carry out, SADE then makes the site safe by installing sheet piling: shoring for pipe laying or ground support to undertake underground civil engineering work.
Whether installing a manhole, a discharge station, a wastewater treatment plant basin, etc., sheet piles ensure the safety of the workforce and support the ground for works to be carried out in unstable soils.


Used especially to reinforce embankments, dikes and slopes, gabions consist of a metal cage filled with stones. They can then be put into retaining walls or used as decorative items.

When piled on top of one another, their weight is enough to maintain the structure while adapting to the variations in the shape of the ground.

SADE’s expertise covers the technique of using gabions, whether as elements of construction or for decorative purposes. They are a prime example of SADE’s sustainable development approach, by using the natural resource of stones sometimes taken from worksites and re-using them for this new purpose. 

Anti-flood barriers

During storms at sea, anti-flood barriers provide security for sea-front residents and their dwellings.

Made of spaced columns in which boards are inserted (cofferdams), these barriers allow the waves to dissipate while blending perfectly with the landscape.

In France, the risk of flooding is greatest during the 4 main winter months, from December to March. SADE takes this fact into account and offers its clients a flexible solution: cofferdam installation in the event of an alert and removal in periods of calm.

The installation of anti-flood barriers requires a precise specification of the necessary height, depending on the previous increase caused by strong tides, storms or cyclones. The maximum wind speed and the strength of the waves are also parameters that are taken into SADE’s calculations.

Oyster beds

For oyster farmers who wish to improve the health and functioning of their oyster beds, SADE offers a complete restoration service.

For example, after demolition of the existing beds, the work consists of creating:

  • a large basin called a ‘maline’ to ensure a reserve of water at both low and high tides,
  • a cultivation basin to create a stock of oysters, particularly in periods of high demand (New Year celebrations),
  • small filtering basins also used for storing oysters,
  • pipes and pumps to convey oysters from the ‘maline’ to the filtering basins.

These works also improve the working conditions of the oyster farmers: oyster stock conveniently close at hand, significant reduction in handling, etc.

Sea groynes

Sea groynes are environmentally important coastal hydraulic installations. Acting as barriers against the movement of sediment, they stabilise and protect shoreline beaches from erosion caused by currents and storm surges. Constructed at low tide, groynes are often made from a central core of sheet-piling around which is poured a special ‘sea-resistant’ concrete casing. In this sector of activity, SADE employs all its know-how gained in the use of sheet-piling and in its marine undertakings, for both the installation and rehabilitation of this type of construction.




The installation, rehabilitation and maintenance of installations along water courses are part of SADE’s activities, for example quayside repair.

The first points of contact when a vessel berths are the concrete projections on sheet piles that form the dock walls and protect the lower part of the quay. They are able to withstand considerable damage, depending on the impact.

From the concrete block to the mooring rings, and including encrusted sections, SADE undertakes complete quayside rehabilitation after demolition of the existing structure for added safety.

SADE also carries out the repointing of pier walls, the rehabilitation of bridge counterweights, and the removal and transport of lock gates.

Able to adapt to all types of environment, SADES develops APAVE-certified technical resources and trains its workforce to work successfully with these special techniques on projects where safety is of paramount importance.

Other works

Box culverts, round culverts and pipe culverts

The box culvert is a rectangular enclosed civil engineering structure used in gravity networks, especially in wastewater and rainwater systems. They often form part of installations designed to guard against flooding caused by heavy rainfall.
Cast in place after the excavation and either buried or half-buried, the box culvert is an inexpensive technical alternative to laying large diameter pipes. Culverts can also be round.
Box or round culverts can be used to cross obstacles (water courses, roads, pedestrian underpasses, etc.).

SADE has the considerable expertise and techniques required to design and undertake this kind of work that can extend over many kilometres. 



Galleries and tunnels

Underground works: another way to overcome obstacles...






Wells are used for many purposes: supplying drinking water, inspections, extracting geothermal energy, etc.

Each well is different and must be designed and constructed according to precise rules and methods.




Drinking water supply wells
These are large complex installations whose function is to enable the pumping of large quantities of water to supply urban areas. Complete with a sump for the pumps, these wells are always very wide and deep.
The design and construction of this type of installation require many different areas of expertise, particularly hydraulics, civil engineering and the use of specific equipment (pumps, automated systems, monitoring, etc.).
SADE has positioned itself as a complete package supplier for drinking water wells, whether perforated and/or radial and irrespective of the type of lining (vertical kirving of concrete structures, etc).

Canadian (or Provençal) wells
The Canadian well (or Provençal well) is a surface geothermal energy system for supplying a dwelling with warm air in Winter and fresh air in Summer cooled by about 10 degrees. Adapted for individual residences, it is based on an air circulation system acting as a heat exchanger that is buried in the ground to a depth of usually no more than 2 metres.
The design and construction of such a system must be carefully thought-out in order to avoid premature deterioration, the appearance of bacteria or harmful particles or even unpleasant smells and sounds.
SADE offers a complete package of solutions tailor-made for Canadian wells. 

Geothermal wells
Whether open or closed circuit, geothermal air-conditioning systems rely for their functioning on deep boreholes called geothermal wells. SADE’s Well Drilling Department offers a package of solutions suitable for this type of work.

Inspection chambers
Some deep installations require inspection chambers for their operation or maintenance. With its integrated Design Office and its civil engineering know-how, SADE is well-placed to meet all types of requirements concerning inspection chambers: design studies, excavations, sheeting, well casing, equipment, etc.

Shotcrete and sprayed coatings

Spraying is one of the techniques for applying building materials, especially mortar mixes and concrete.

Shotcrete is used mainly for construction, structural reinforcement and the rehabilitation of works or networks when concrete pouring or any other type of method is unsuitable.

Shotcrete is one of the works and networks rehabilitation solutions proposed by SADE. It is used particularly for rehabilitating drinking water reservoirs, networks and sewerage systems. SADE has suitable spraying plants operated by skilled personnel. For preliminary work, it possesses all the necessary resources for pre-solution diagnosis and study.

Download the data sheets :

Flood protection - Serbia (Krupanj and Mali Zvornik)
Flood protection - Serbia (Vrnjacka Banja, Kosjeric, Ljubovika and Bajina Basta)

Sealing and waterproofing

In addition to its expertise in tank lining and working with water-resistant concrete...More details

Modular technical rooms

Since 2005, SADE develops and markets through its BATISADE brand, a comprehensive range of precast concrete modules that provide, for municipal and industrial customers, effective solution for sensitive areas.

From the establishment of the connection modules to the various networks, SADE supports its customers with a turnkey solution.

Roads and Utilities

Roads and utilities are sectors where SADE plays a leading role, both in France and abroad. Roadworks are SADE’s usual field of operations, while networks are its core business.

Roads and Utilities: SADE in all its dimension

Roadways, pavements, kerbs, paving, asphalting, road coatings – these are some of the areas where SADE is involved in repairs or new works. Roads are a SADE speciality sector, with its core business being utility networks, where it covers the entire spectrum: sewerage, drinking water, telecoms, electricity, public lighting, and gas. SADE undertakes projects where the networks’ technical aspects count as much as the aesthetic dimension once the worksite has been cleared.

For roads and utilities, with its Design Office and its Works Centres, SADE has positioned itself as a complete package provider. Internationally, it has made a speciality of roads and utilities for large shopping malls.

Download the data sheets :

Road and other utilities - Hungary
Public area refurbishment and development - Hungary

SADE - 23-25 av. du Docteur Lannelongue - CS 51450 - 75685 Paris Cedex 14