Articles & Case Studies

Branch saddle retrofit service from Uponor brings time & cost savings

Posted: Monday 23rd April 2007

Plastic pipes and fittings specialist Uponor is providing a new branch saddle installation service to water companies that is bringing them significant time and cost savings.

In the Kidderminster area between Trimpley and Hollywaste Severn Trent Water is reinforcing its supply system with the installation of a large diameter trunk main. As part of this scheme, contractor Balfour Beatty Utilities is installing 8 km of Uponor’s 560mm ProFuse polyethylene water pipe, a new size for water applications, and in order to save time and costs is also using Uponor’s pipeline utility services division, UPLUS, to retrofit flanged outlet branch saddles for air valve installations. The advantage of the Uponor technique is that the branch saddles can be installed retrospectively, into live or dead mains, at the optimum location along the pipeline without slowing down the pipe installation process. The technique is also suitable for horizontal connections such as washouts and local cross connections.

Uponor estimates that the cost savings using this method average £3000 per branch saddle fitting, a significant sum if multiple branch saddles are required on a project, as a 50% reduction in excavation footprint is achieved, creating minimal environmental impact, less disruption to the water supply for customers, fewer fittings and joints within the network and reduced labour and administrative costs, which in turn can contribute to contractors’ key performance indicators (KPIs).

Severn Trent delivery manager Nigel Sporne commented:

“The service provided by Uponor has enabled us to reduce the number of large diameter fittings required to install connections, air valves and wash-outs. This benefits the structural integrity of the main whilst reducing the number of potential leakage sources.”

UPLUS is also working with United Utilities (UU) to install branch saddles at Poaka Beck in Cumbria, as part of UU’s £2.9 billion water quality and environmental improvement programme.

More information on large diameter branch saddle connections is available from UPLUS on 01773 811112 or by emailing

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