Industry first as Yorkshire Water trials innovative technologies

Aug 24, 2016

Serline pipe lining technology used to restore lead supply pipes / Overland Supply Vehicle and Manifold keeps customers supplied throughout / Combined technologies mean minimal disruption to customers and lower cost

In a first for the water industry, Aquam’s Overland Supply Vehicle and Manifold has been used to supply water to customers while the company carries out lead lining work. The specialist water supply vehicle was used to create a temporary network for Yorkshire Water customers in Malton while lead-lining work was carried out in May 2016.

The Overland Supply Vehicle and Manifold, developed by Manchester-based Aquam, but originally pioneered in Yorkshire, helped maintain water supplies to customers by creating a temporary network. Once the temporary supply was established Aquam engineers used its advanced Serline pipelining system to coat lead supply pipes.

Scheduled repairs

The Overland Supply Vehicle was originally developed to provide cover during emergency bursts, but can also be used to cover scheduled repair and maintenance work. Any loss of supply of more than three hours can affect water company Outcome Delivery Incentives, a key component of customer Service Incentive Mechanism (SIM) scores. Previously, lead lining work could lead to a four-to-five hour interruption of supply, but using the Overland Supply Vehicle meant Yorkshire Water customers could continue to use water supplies as usual while work was carried out.

Alternative to replacement

Another innovation from Aquam is the HTC Serline pipelining system, which provides an alternative to ripping out and replacing existing lead pipes and has already been adopted by several UK utilities, including Yorkshire Water. The work in Malton took place as part of Yorkshire Water’s £13m programme to replace lead supply pipes which will benefit 200,000 homes across the region. Like other utilities in the UK Yorkshire Water has a rolling programme of replacing lead service pipes in order to reduce the levels of lead found in drinking water in accordance with European water quality legislation.

Technologies together

Aquam technical consultant Roman Boryslawskyi said: “This is the first time the Aquam Overland Supply Vehicle has been used to supply cover while Aquam is also carrying out lead lining work using the Serline system. It’s fair to say this was a tricky operation, but the technology worked well and allowed disruption to customers to be kept to a minimum.”

The work took place on a main thoroughfare on the south bank of the River Derwent between Malton, Beverley, Driffield and the A64 east to Scarborough. On one side of the road is a row of shops, while the other side is mostly populated with older domestic properties – many over 150 years old.

Two mains - one 6-inch (152 mm) and one 3-inch (76 mm) diameter - run parallel along the length of the street. The majority of properties are supplied by the 3-inch main and there are numerous shared supply lines to properties not fronting the road itself and to flats above shops.

Roman Boryslawski said: “Because of the age and complexity of the network in Malton this was a challenging job. However by using the Overland Supply Vehicle, Aquam engineers were able to carry out the lead lining work without any loss of service to Yorkshire Water customers. “As the work progressed it was clear that the two systems were operating smoothly together.”

Temporary network

The Aquam Overland Supply Vehicle contains everything needed to set up a temporary water supply, including hoses, adaptors and pressure reducing valves. A water meter can be fitted to measure the amount of water diverted to households from the main to ensure it is not classed as ‘unaccounted for’ usage.

At the heart of the service is an innovative new technology. The Overland Supply Manifold (OSM) is a solid machine-cut nylon device developed by Aquam trade partner Aquacheck Engineering. Each OSM becomes the hub of a temporary but stable potable water network, allowing up to 24 houses that have lost mains water supply to be reconnected swiftly and easily.

Roman Boryslawskyi says: “Although the idea of a temporary manifold has been around for a few years, the difference is the new manifold is made from a single piece of nylon - it is much more adaptable and robust. Once the temporary network is in place it creates a very stable supply, which means householders will be able to use taps and toilets just as they would normally.”

Lead lining

After establishing the emergency supply Aquam engineers fitted injection adapters to the lengths of lead pipe to be lined.  The engineers working in Malton covered the work in sections, creating temporary networks as the lead lining work was carried out.

The Serline pipe lining system uses a flexible polyurethane lining to coat the inside of existing pipes, creating an impermeable barrier between the lead pipe and the water and preventing the lead from leaching into the water system. The lining, which is shot through the pipe using special adapters can be applied in 15 minutes and is quick drying, meaning the pipe can be returned to service after four hours. It has an expected lifespan of at least 80 years.

Robust and secure

Boryslawkyi said: “It is always challenging when you use two technologies for the first time, but these two systems, both from Aquam, worked exceptionally well together. The temporary water provided by the Overland Supply Vehicle is so robust and secure that it is perfect for creating cover during scheduled operations such as lead lining.”

Steve Taylor Innovation Technician of Yorkshire Water said: “Like many utilities in the UK Yorkshire Water still has a substantial number of lead supply pipes in its network and has a rolling programme to replace them. In the work recently carried out at Malton Yorkshire Water opted to use pipelining technology rather than ripping out and replacing existing pipes. 

“By combining this advanced technology with the service provided by the Overland Supply Vehicle it was possible to carry out this major work without disrupting normal service to customers. The Overland Supply Vehicle, which provides a temporary mobile network is a simple but very effective idea which works very well in practice.”

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