Water-calming is first course ever to be accredited by Institute of Water;
600 Thames Water networks operators already trained;
Supply UK's E-training course taken up by Amey
Water networks: keep calm and carry on
A training course from Suppy UK designed to help reduce surge effect in water networks has received a Certificate of Accreditation from the Institute of Water - a first for the Institute.
Recent research shows that human error in how hydrants, valves and pumps are operated is a major cause of surge effects in water supply networks. Surge is a major cause of leaks and bursts in pipe infrastructure. The good news is that much of this harm can be avoided by modifying the way the network is operated.
This can be achieved by ensuring operators are thoroughly trained, which utilities must do under their duty of care. Supply UK’s Calmer Networks Training, which can now be delivered on-site or online, ensures that candidates achieve an understanding of the causes of transient surge in the water network.
It also provides training and assessment of acceptable levels of competence when operating a range of valve technologies found in the water network. A licensed network operator itself, Supply UK is currently delivering 40 training sessions for approximately 600 employees of Thames Water and its partner companies. A permanent test rig has been set up at the utility’s facility at Kempton Park, Middlesex.
Fire authorities too have been keen to take advantage of Calm Network training. Poorly managed emergency use of standpipes can create bursts that cost millions to utilities and risk outing water supplies during critical fire incidents.
The benefits of this training go far beyond reducing surges though, they include:
Increased lifespan of existing infrastructure
Reduced leakage and water wastage
Fewer incidents of discolouration and contamination of the water supply caused by ingress
Fewer customer complaints about leakage, water quality and supply interruptions
Reduced risk of pollution from burst main run-off to water courses
Reduced traffic disruption caused by leak repair
Significant cost reductions
Roman Boryslawskyj, a former operations manager in water supply and networks, is now working with Supply UK on a consultancy basis to help deliver their training packages.
He says, “It’s about protecting the network by operating in a calm environment; then you don’t disrupt customers. In Yorkshire Water, we saw up to a 50% reduction in bursts due to the serviceability initiative of which pressure reduction and calm networks training were key elements.”
“Each burst attracts an average of 35 complaints and costs £1,000 a time – and that’s just an average cost,” Boryslawskyj pointed out.
Richard Coffey, managing director of Supply UK, said, “Utilities are facing considerable pressure to improve their customer SIM [service incentive mechanism] scores by meeting the DG3 regulation on supply interruptions, while simultaneously keeping bills low. This means ensuring better care and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
“Calmer Networks Training is a win-win for utilities and their customers – reducing leakage, improving water quality, preserving pipework and cutting costs. The benefit is on-going too, with best practice becoming embedded in those utilities that invest in routine training of standpipe operations staff.”
He added, “At Supply UK, we hire standpipes out and maintain them for the utilities and other users, so we feel we have a duty of care to ensure they know what they’re doing with this kit. Used inappropriately, it can damage the network.”
On successful completion of the Calmer Network Training course, operators receive a photo identification card and certificate. Their details are registered on a central database for a year, after which an annual refresher course is required to keep their skills up-to-date.
An online training course for occasional users, which can be taken for free, has just been launched and immediately taken up by contractor Amey, the first major contractor to see and experience the course. Supply UK Water Services can develop bespoke e-training calm networks packages for organisations with specific in-house requirements.
James Lawton from Amey commented, “The e-training calm networks training package is a great way of educating our workforce and showing how we are effectively managing our clients’ networks.”
Richard Coffey said, “Amey instantly understood the reason and logic behind the initiative. We are delighted to be working with them for the benefit of their water industry clients.”
Warning to UK utilities on pipe liner testing
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
Warning to UK utilities on pipe liner testing
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.”
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.”
A three-point bending test being carried out on a pipe liner sample
Tightness testing of a pipe liner sample
Software specialist Graham Allen joins Aquamatix
Network control system specialist welcomes new software director.
Software specialist Graham Allen joins Aquamatix
AquamatiX, an innovative software company specialising in real-time control and performance management of water and wastewater networks and systems, is pleased to announce that Graham Allan has joined the company as Software Director.
Allan joins from specialist water industry software developer Crowder, where he developed an interest in software as a service (SaaS) and the Internet of Things (IoT). He said, “The move to AquamatiX provides the opportunity to explore some new ideas for cloud-computing applications and the Internet of Things in the water industry. It also gives me the opportunity to work in an ‘agile’ environment - developing software with functionality that evolves in response to what the customer wants.”
The appointment of Allan further strengthens the Aquamatix team. Earlier in the year, Cambridge-based telecommunications expert John Bechtel joined the company as Operations Director. Following a restructuring of the company, Bechtel heads up the Technologies side of the business, which focuses on using the IoT to wirelessly connect sensors across water and sewerage networks and utility catchments. Bechtel has a substantial track record in project delivery across the telecommunications sector and in deploying networks and commercialising products worldwide.
Laurie Reynolds, Managing Director of AquamatiX, said, “We are delighted to have been able to persuade Graham and John to join the executive team. Their combined skills and experience are already driving AquamatiX’s development of WaterWorx™, a completely new and extremely reliable approach to wireless connectivity that can be deployed across the whole network and even the whole catchment.
“Traditional proprietary closed systems require specialist technical systems engineers to build and maintain them. We are developing a range of intelligent devices, which are interconnected via cloud-based computing and digital communications resources. “The platform saves significant time for deployment, is based on an open standard and is significantly lower in cost than traditional systems.”
AquamatiX’s WaterWorX™ platform combines real-time measurements and performance data with asset and GIS data to gain knowledge and understanding of asset condition and system performance. The insight gained can be used to optimise new investment to balance capacity, obsolescence, demand and risk.