South Staffs adopts new technology to meet leakage challenge
South Staffs Water has begun using the HydroSEAL trenchless automated leakage repair (TALR) technology.
South Staffs is targeting a 25 per cent leakage reduction in AMP7, while its subsidiary Cambridge Water is targeting a 15 per cent reduction, and the company said: "We are starting to use an innovative, sector-leading approach to fix leaks without the need to pinpoint their exact location or dig up roads."
HydroSEAL is a new technology that enables leaks in water distribution pipes to be sealed from the inside by inserting a gel-based carrier fluid and repair material, which is moved by the flow of water through the pipe.
When a leak is detected, a chemical reaction enables the repair material to instantaneously stop the water loss and then harden. The remaining gel-based carrier fluid is then removed from the pipe under controlled conditions and the pipes are flushed to ensure water quality is maintained.
HydroSEAL will repair all types and sizes of leaks in a single application and can be applied to a range of pipe diameters and service pipes.
The company said it is very effective for repairing numerous small, background leaks, which would not necessarily be cost effective to locate and repair using traditional methods. In addition, it can be used on all materials associated with the construction of a water distribution network.
"It will complement our traditional ‘find and fix’ approach to repairing leaks, improving efficiency and significantly enhancing our performance by removing the need to locate leaks within the pipe – it is enough to know that there is a leak within a particular section of pipe," the company said.
Originally developed in Israel by Curapipe and trialled in South America, the potential of HydroSEAL for application in the UK was brought forward by two members of the water company's staff, based on their previous experience of seeing the technology in action overseas. South Staffs persuaded the supplier to explore the UK market and then worked together to further develop the product.
SSI Services and Hydrosave (UK) Ltd has the exclusive licence in the UK to offer HydroSEAL and South Staffs Water is the first company in the sector to test and develop HydroSEAL for use in the UK water sector.
"It greatly reduces the need to dig up roads, which can cause disruption and inconvenience for our customers and is a lower-cost, non-invasive and long-term approach to reducing leakage," the company said.
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