Severn Trent is working with British developer Aqualiner to test new technologies to re-lay the inside of its pipes.
The water company recently installed special lining material in a section of pipe in Wrexham to provide better protection and reduce the number of leaks and explosions in the area.
Severn Trent is the first water company in the world to use this pipe renewal technology. Its innovative design makes it quicker and cheaper to install than existing open-cut and slip-lining techniques. The installation of the new liner also requires less space on the road, resulting in less traffic management and fewer disruptions for customers.
This new technology is even able to line sections where the host pipe is no longer structurally sound or where part of the pipe wall is missing. Engineers working on the project believe this approach has the potential to change the way water networks are maintained in the future.
Jamie Perry, Director of Innovation Trials at Severn Trent, said, “We are very excited to be testing this new technology because, if successful, it could change the way we work in the future. Aqualiner has the potential to provide us with a more efficient and less disruptive way to deal with our aging pipe network by structurally lining the inside.
“Right now, our main option is to renew leaking pipes by digging up and replacing them. Aqualiner has the potential to fully line a pipe with reduced excavation and less time on site. Ultimately, this means that our customers experience fewer disruptions. We look forward to our continued partnership with Aqualiner as we continue to develop the system to accommodate a wider range of pipe diameters. “
During installation, the new liner is pulled through the old pipe and heated to 200 ° C with a heating element attached to a pig. The pig then moves at a controlled speed through an inversion bag along the pipe, which also forms the new liner against the wall of the host pipe. The heating element never hits the wall of the main pipe, so it can line any material including plastic pipe.
The first attempt was in the Hafren Dfrdwy water network – part of the Severn Trent group.