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UU commissions new assurance tech for West Cumbria project

United Utilities has commissioned innovative new assurance technology to use across 100km of pipeline, allowing it to manage contractors and meet Ofwat's regulatory requirements for its £300 million West Cumbria water supplies project.

Using data from the digital evidence platform eviFile, United Utilities can produce an Ofwat-compliant digital evidence pack for any pipe within just four seconds instead of manually creating reports.

The North West water company specified that Farrans and Roadbridge, the two construction and civil engineering contractors laying the pipeline, use eviFile.

The technology works via standard tablets and smartphones, enabling field operatives to use their devices' cameras and GPS capabilities to record works completed. Every use is securely captured with information on time, date, geographical location, user and device orientation, resulting in high-quality data and fewer site visits for project managers.

The platform is being used across United Utilities’ West Cumbria water supplies project, which involves construction of 100km of new pipeline linking the area to Thirlmere reservoir and the rest of the region’s water supply network.

The programme began in 2017 and will bring more reliable and sustainable water supply to West Cumbria by 2022.

Since the project began, United Utilities has been using eviFile data for hundreds of live evidence packs at any one time. The company shares the reports directly with Ofwat to demonstrate that the regulator’s Outcome Delivery Incentives (ODIs) have been met, as well as the Environment Agency and Drinking Water Inspectorate.

United Utilities head of construction services William Eyre said: “We’re very driven to improve the visibility of the health of our projects and believe eviFile is the tool to do it. We now have a much more efficient, accurate and secure way of reporting on progress of construction against our delivery schedule and on key issues like environment, quality and health and safety.

“Introducing this technology has brought benefits across the whole project supply chain, for contractors, field operatives, project managers, stakeholders and regulators. There is already 68km of pipe in the ground, so we’re pleased with progress on our plans to provide a more resilient and sustainable water supply for our customers in West Cumbria.”

Luke Allen, managing director of eviFile, added: “It’s very rewarding to see the immediate impact we’ve had on United Utilities’ West Cumbria pipeline project. We know that when reporting is done manually and retrospectively, the data can be poor quality, takes significant resource and erodes confidence from regulators; eviFile offers a better way of doing things.

“We can make a complete evidence pack within four seconds, which could take months using traditional methods. Our digital evidence can’t be tampered with which also helps utility companies, contractors and regulators all avoid costly legal disputes.”

Author: Robin Hackett, Deputy Editor, WWT and WET News
Topic: Data, IT & Communications , Innovation
Tags: United Utilities , technology , eviFile

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