Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Friday 6th June 2008

Trenchless technology specialists, Perco, were brought in recently to construct a 20m tunnel to reach and repair a collapsed sewer in Reading town centre. Formerly The Great Western Railway Hotel, the new 4-star Malmaison was close to opening when the collapse was discovered, starting a race against time to make the repair.

Now a rare expertise in the UK, Perco’s ability to build timber headings was needed, as 9m-deep excavation from the road surface would have caused traffic chaos on the busy A329 and roundabout close to Reading station. Engineers worked round-the-clock to drive out a 20m-long heading from the premises, repair the sewer and backfill with structural foam.

Vivid Interiors were main contractors and had completed the refurbishment and fit out when the drainage problem was detected. “A 9-inch clay sewer pipe from the hotel had fractured and fallen into the top of the main sewer,” adds project manager Graham Horwood: “While another subcontractor had proposed a repair by excavation and backfill, we discovered that their initial survey was incorrect and didn’t have enough time within our programme to re-submit road closure applications and carry out the works traditionally.

“Tunnelling was our only other option; Perco surveyed the sewer and pinpointed the damage. They solved the problem very professionally in a short space of time, allowing us to finish the project on programme. You said you could do it and you did.”

Perco is the UK leader in trenchless technology solutions. Techniques include augerboring, microtunnelling, headings and shafts, CCTV, lining, directional drilling, pipe jacking and inspection works. One of a number of Perco pipe bursting methods, Expandit can burst through a range of pipe materials, such as clayware, pitch fibre, concrete, asbestos cement, cast iron and uPVC.

Tel: +44 (0)1604 590200
Fax: +44 (0)1604 590201

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