Blue Acoustics landed the role of acoustic consultant for the recent 300,000 sq ft expansion of the Buxton Water facility in Derbyshire. The site bottles and distributes bottled water around the world by means of a sophisticated and largely automated factory. The expansion would bring the factory boundary closer to nearby dwellings and so necessitated a BS4142 noise survey to quantify the new noise impact, and highlight any areas of concern.

The Buxton Water plant is set in a stunning location on top of the Peak District, and is, as we found to our detriment, very exposed position. The chosen measurement period coincided with a cold snap in November which meant working in minus temperatures.

Long term noise monitoring was required near a number of surrounding dwellings and this was carried out over a 4 day period to establish both weekday and weekend noise fluctuations in background noise levels, largely driven by lorry movements around the nearby quarries. Noise monitoring was attended by both day and night time periods to provide an accurate view of the noise climate around the site.

The site is very busy by day and night, with particular ‘high points’ where loading activity intensifies according to temporal modes associated with distribution patterns.

Because of the enormity of the site, specific noise monitoring was carried out at distance to minimise error (approx 80m from the site boundary). However, this was only possible through the night when residual noise had subsided. The noises associated with the factory were a combination of lorry movements, plant noise and loading noise.

The survey identified loading bay noise as the primary driving force behind the new noise impact, in particular impact noise from the T20 loaders hitting the metal bridging ramps. An appropriate mitigation plan was drawn up to reduce this and other (external plant) noise sources, and planning was approved.

The team at Blue Acoustics has extensive experience across the full spectrum of noise related consultancy. All staff are trained to MSc level in Applied Acoustics and are members of the Institute of Acoustics, which is considered the industry gold standard for acoustics professionals.

We regularly service clients throughout the UK, in particular Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Devon and Somerset. We cover a range of disciplines such as Noise Surveys, Noise at Work Assessments, Industrial Noise Surveys, Residential Noise SurveysSound Insulation TestingHospital Acoustics, School Acoustics and Office Acoustics.

To book your initial consultation please call us on 0333 444 3403 or drop us an email at

We love our work and relish a challenge feel free to drop us a line, we’d love to discuss your project. Give us a call on 0333 444 3403 or submit an enquiry using the button below.