Thames Water uses innovative new precise drilling technique
Thames Water used a state-of-the-art drilling technique to help it install a vital new sewage pipe while protecting a centuries-old country path used by medieval monks.
Engineers had to think outside the box when fitting the new pipe at Selborne sewage treatment works in Hampshire, which is close to the ruins of a priory and is surrounded by protected woodland and historic monuments.
Instead of digging trenches and laying the pipe, they used a wire-guided drilling system to tunnel 320 metres through a large limestone hillside. The operation needed absolute precision to ensure the drill emerged in the right place on the other side of the hill and was carried out to perfection as it popped out on target.
The new pipe can now be pulled through the hole without disturbing the land above, connecting the sewage works to a nearby pumping station.
Mark Tolley, Thames Water’s field operations specialist, said: “Protecting the environment while we carry out our vital work is at the centre of what we do and ensuring we could put this new pipe in place without disturbing the beautiful and historic woodland in Selborne was important to us.
“By using some creativity to find a different way of doing things, we’ve made sure Selborne residents can continue to enjoy the countryside on their doorstep safe in the knowledge their wastewater is being safely taken away to be treated.”
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