Pipeline technology developed in association with Northumbrian Water has scooped a national award for innovation.
Hydrascan cleaned up at this year’s United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology Awards for its Typhoon system, which is designed to clean water mains.
The system was developed by Northumbrian Water to give an efficient means of cleaning the larger trunk mains as part of a four-year £30 million mains cleaning programme. The scheme is intended to improve drinking water quality for 500,000 people in south-east Northumberland, north Tyneside and north of Newcastle.
In 2007, the water company tested a number of systems during field trials and awarded Hydrascan, a subsidiary of Killbride Industrial Services, a contract with Lumsden & Carroll Civil Engineers to clean approximately 50 miles of water mains in Northumberland.
The system is attracting interest from water authorities and contractors across the UK, Hydrascan said.
The new water-jetting technology uses a tethered “pig” system developed from technology used in the oil and gas industry and enables contractors to clean pipes ranging from 6-60 inches in diameter.
Requiring a single entry point, the system cleans up to 1km of pipe at a time and could save water authorities and their contractors millions of pounds in the cost of excavating and re-routing traffic for extended maintenance projects in rural and urban environments.
Northumbrian Water project manager Stuart Tilley said: “The Hydrascan system has proved well-suited to working in urban environments due to its small site set-up, the achievement of high-specification cleaning over long lengths and the ability to negotiate bends, valves and fittings in the network.”
Hydrascan technology achieves high levels of cleaning in pipes lined with concrete, cement, bitumen or PE and can be fitted with imaging equipment for surveying pipe condition.
Technical director Dr Neil Stutchbury explained: “The hydro-powered pig is jetted along a length of pipe where it will switch between propulsion and cleaning operations.
“On its return, multi-directional controlled water jets remove any build up on pipe walls allowing for expedient, thorough and environmentally friendly cleaning at ranges of up to 500 meters – totalling 1km in both directions from a single entry point.”
Hydrascan engineers have a background in the design of tethered and free swimming pigs in the oil and gas industries.