Hydrascan pigging system picks up international best 'new product' award

Posted: Friday 17th June 2011

Technology engineered in Tyneside, (North East England) to clean trunk water mains and help maintain and improve drinking water quality has won a prestigious international award for innovation.

The Typhoon, developed by Gateshead based Hydrascan Ltd., in association with Northumbrian Water, has been awarded the 'New Product' by the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT).

The award follows its success in winning the UK Society for Trenchless Technology (UKSTT) Award for innovation last year and being shortlisted in The Engineer’s Innovation Awards.

Developers of the Typhoon system believe it is the best solution to the problem of cleaning water mains infrastructure on pipes between 4 and 60 inches in diameter and it is now attracting interest from across the world.

Typhoon was created in response to a challenge set by Northumbrian Water for an efficient means of cleaning the larger trunk mains as part of its four-year £30 million mains cleaning programme. The scheme will improve drinking water quality to 500,000 people in South East Northumberland, North Tyneside and the 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 tethered ‘pig’ system uses water jetting for its propulsion and cleaning functions and was developed from technology used in the oil and gas industry.

Requiring only a single entry point the system cleans up to 1km of pipe at one time and will save water authorities and their contractors millions of pounds in the cost of excavating and re-routing traffic for extended maintenance projects in both rural and urban environments.

Managing director, Julian Guy, said:

“We are delighted to receive this award and are increasingly excited about the potential for Typhoon - both in terms of meeting the technological challenge and ultimately improving the quality of our drinking water.”

“Its small footprint, agility and 1km range means it is ideal for urban environments and will require fewer costly road closures. Most importantly, it will deliver the best cleaning results on the market and far exceed minimum standards demanded by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.”

The ISTT represents 20 national societies based in six on different continents. Since 1986 entries have been invited for the annual NO-DIG Award for the most notable advance or achievement in Trenchless Technology and is as judged by the ISTT Technical Panel

Northumbrian Water project manager Stuart Tilley added:

“We would like to congratulate Hydrascan and the team on winning this prestigious award and their achievement. We aim to be a national leader and this is reflected by us using the Typhoon technology and innovation. We have been able to carry out a major trunk mains cleaning scheme, which will benefit hundreds of thousands of customers, with minimal disruption and the end result is excellent. Protecting the environment is always at the core of what we do and this technology has met our expectations in this area too.”

Water companies and contractors can now get up close to award winning water mains cleaning technology after the launch of Hydrascan’s new above ground demonstration rig.

The demonstration and training facility is on show at the company’s Tyneside depot and features a 60 metre section of mains pipe with clear viewing sections so visitors can see the water jet powered ‘Typhoon’ system in action.

The 450ml diameter pipe allows developers of the environmentally friendly non-abrasive system to demonstrate its excellent cleaning quality, manoeuvrability, speed and ease of use.

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.

“We have been working on the Typhoon system since May 2007 and today believe we have the most effective and cost efficient system on the market.

“Compared to the Typhoon system, current ‘pigging’ and ‘swabbing’ methods require substantially more plant, equipment and machine operatives on site - each pipe length that requires cleaning necessitates an excavation at each end of the pipe length as access to both ends of the pipe is required and only average cleaning results can be obtained.

“The Typhoon system requires access at a single point only, it can clean up to a valve face and its plant and operative ‘footprint’ is as small as it gets within the industry – which is ideal for urban areas. Most importantly Typhoon’s cleaning results are excellent.

“This product is set to make a major contribution to the maintenance of mains water infrastructure in the UK and beyond. With the help of our contracting partners we can achieve the ultimate aim of leaving a lasting legacy which is cleaner water for all. In theory any good quality jetting company could provide this level of service with this equipment and appropriate training’’.

Hydrascan engineers have a professional background in the design of tethered and free swimming pigs in the oil and gas industries and the system is able to pass around pipe bends and flush out all waste to be pumped off-site and disposed of.

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