Warning to UK utilities on pipe liner testing

Apr 07, 2015

IKT LinerReport celebrates 10 years of CIPP quality improvements; Contractors and clients failing to carry out liner tests; Increase in number of contractors reaching 100% on performance criteria

A specialist laboratory that carries out quality tests on cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining installations has warned that some UK utilities are failing to carry out adequate assessments. IKT Institute for Underground Infrastructure, a not-for-profit sewerage research organisation headquartered in Germany, releases an annual report about the lining tests it carries out.

The LinerReport has been ranking the performance of both contractors and of individual lining systems for a decade and IKT is celebrating the report’s 10th anniversary this year. Germany is recognised as a global leader in liner technologies and the report has historically focused on German liners and contractors, recently extending to pipe liner specialists in Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Managing Director Roland W Waniek says, "Over the past decade we have seen a significant improvement in the test results for the criteria of elasticity, flexural strength, wall thickness and water tightness of CIPP liners. The results are currently hitting 98% on most criteria and there has been an increase in the number of companies reaching 100%. All in all, pipe liner quality is improving year on year – showing a 10% improvement since 2004.

"However," Waniek warns, "we still find that some contractors cannot provide evidence of their own testing and, more worryingly, some clients are not demanding evidence of the test results for the liners they purchase.  Requirements for the taking of samples and testing should be built into every contract."

"However," Waniek warns, "we still find that some contractors cannot provide evidence of their own testing and, more worryingly, some clients are not demanding evidence of the test results for the liners they purchase.  Requirements for the taking of samples and testing should be built into every contract."

Julian Britton, Critical Sewers Manager at Wessex Water, which regularly tests the liners it uses, agreed that testing CIPP liners was an important part of the process.

"With any cured-in-place product, including CIPP, the client should gain confirmation of adherence to the correct minimum standards, and thus longevity, by ensuring a fully auditable trail of design through to post-cure testing," he says.

Waniek sees strong growth in CIPP liner installations: "We anticipate an increase in pipe lining during the AMP6 regulatory phase in England and Wales," he says. "As capital expenditure on pipe replacement declines, maintenance and repair of existing assets will need to increase.

"Pipe lining is an effective way of delivering high quality pipe repair with minimal disruption to the general public. However, it is important for utilities to ensure that their investments in liners are meeting the required standard and that they will last.

"We recommend that utilities and industrial clients collect test samples from every lining installation they commission and have a significant proportion of those samples tested in a qualified laboratory."

IKT Institute for Underground Infrastructure, which is headquartered in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, carries out assessments on cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) - glass-reinforced plastic and needle-felt liners used to rehabilitate sanitary sewers, storm drains and pressure pipelines for water and process effluents. The annual IKT LinerReport is designed to deliver transparency to the global market for pipe lining technologies by comparing products and techniques.

IKT Managing Director, Roland W Waniek, says, "IKT began publishing annual reports on the results of its pipe liner tests in 2004. Our aim has always been to raise the quality of the technologies on offer to the market. The LinerReports have driven an improvement both product and procedure. Transparency now prevails where clients were previously obliged to rely solely on suppliers’ promises."

Technical enquires to:
Roland W Waniek, IKT Institute for Underground Infrastructure
E: waniek@ikt.de
T: +49 209 17806-0
http://www.ikt.de

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