World First As Yorkshire Water Repairs Pipes Without Digging Up The Road
Nov 12, 2008
Digging up Yorkshire's roads to fix leaking water pipes or bursts could become a thing ofthe past thanks to Platelet Technology® being pioneered in the water industry byYorkshire Water.
The concept works by inserting Platelets® into a water pipe through points on the network to seal the leak from the inside without the need to interrupt customers' supplies or dig up the road. Originating from the medical concept of platelets in the human bloodstream, the technology has the potential to revolutionise the way leaks are repaired and reduce Yorkshire Water's impact on customers.
"We had already set ourselves the target of achieving zero interruptions and zero excavations in the highway by 2010 which meant we were on the lookout for technology which would help us to achieve this," said Simon Barnes, head of innovation at Yorkshire Water.
"Since 2006, we have reduced holes in the road by 14,000, the time those holes are open by 50 per cent and customer supply interruptions from 700,000 in 2005 to 169,000 last year. This is a huge achievement but we knew, to achieve zero, we had to think differently about the way we do things."
Until now, leaking pipes and bursts have been repaired in much the same way as they always have been, often involving road works and temporary traffic lights. The new concept, conceived by Brinker Technology for use in the oil and gas industry, has been developed in partnership with Yorkshire Water for use on the water supply network.
Mr Barnes added: "We are trialling the technology now to understand its potential to repair different types of bursts. Because its use does not require us to dig holes in the road to get to the leak, there are lots of benefits to be had in repairing difficult-to-access problems like those under busy railway lines or roads.
"The future benefits of the technology are huge; from the day-to-day repair of bursts to the reduction of leakage levels and holes in the road. It will being the repair and maintenance of the water network into the 21st century.
"The Platelets® have undergone and passed stringent British Standard tests for materials that come into contact with drinking water and we carried out extensive consultation with Ofwat, the Drinking Water Inspectorate and the Consumer Council for Water before carrying out the trials."
Andrea Cook, Chair of the local watchdog, the Consumer Council for Water Northern, said: "We welcome this initiative which will make people's lives easier. There will no longer be a need to switch off a consumers’ supply while work is completed and there will also be reduced disruption on the roads. We believe customers of Yorkshire Water will see this as a great benefit".
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