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3M helps eliminate 80 per cent of excavation disruption in Yorkshire Water project


5 February 2014

An innovative pipe lining solution from diversified technology company, 3M, has resulted in 80 per cent less disruption  in a recent project re-lining Yorkshire Water communication pipes, helping to reduce lead contamination in the water passing through.

With replacement of lead pipes being an expensive, disruptive and environmentally damaging process, a solution was needed to address such problems.  To date, 2,000 lead communication pipes have been re-lined with Scotchkote Rapid Setting Polymeric Lining 166L by 3M which, according to Yorkshire Water, has resulted in a significant reduction of excavated material going to landfill, the equivalent to 188 lorry loads.

Scotchkote Lining 166L, developed by 3M in collaboration with HTC Ltd and Yorkshire Water, was created to help reduce lead migration into drinking water passing through the estimated 9.3 million lead service and 6.3 million communication pipes in the UK. The solution is already helping to reduce maintenance downtime, traffic disruption, pollution and the carbon footprint within pipe management projects and helps assist Water Utilities in meeting European lead legislation.

Richard Christopher from HTC Ltd explains:  “The product is applied using the patented Serline air vortex system, which injects the mixed resin into a carefully controlled air flow and allows the air to carry the product quickly down the pipe, depositing the fast-curing resin to the dry wall of the pipe.  It effectively uses the air stream within the pipe and, at the required position, creates turbulence to act as the application medium.”

Traditional methods of reducing the lead content without a full replacement programme have included orthophosphate dosing at source, however this can cause problems at treatment works, is increasingly costly and not sustainable.

According to HTC, the excavation size of this project was reduced by an average of 80 per cent which meant a substantial carbon footprint reduction.  Also, cleaning and lining using the Serline air vortex system is completed in minutes which meant noise pollution was also cut by 80 per cent as less time was spent outside of residents properties.  Atmospheric pollution from the excavation plant and equipment was also reduced and third party damages to other buried assets minimised, as the carrier pipe was already installed.

Steve Taylor from Yorkshire Water said:  “The majority of homes that were built before 1970 are supplied with water running through lead pipes.  Nowadays it is evermore important that we help meet current and future legislation around reducing the lead content in our customers’ water, at the same time, causing as little disruption as possible to their daily lives.

“Other benefits have included less water leakage, less need to dose pipes with certain chemicals, and fewer plastic pipes being used.”

This collaboration between Yorkshire Water and 3M recently received prestigious industry recognition.  The Innovative Water Product/Service of the Year award was presented to Yorkshire Water at the Environment and Energy Awards 2013.

The judging panel commented:  “The Serline system is an outstanding piece of innovation, showing great integration within the supply chain and addressing the very real and pressing need to help prevent people from drinking water that is contaminated with lead.”

Scotchkote Lining 166L from 3M is part of a portfolio of high performance coatings that can be used in the water industry.  For more information, visit www.3M.co.uk/scotchkote.


3M and Scotchkote are trademarks of 3M Company.
Serline is a trademark of Whirlwind Utilities Limited.
Yorkshire Water is a trademark of Kelda Group Limited.


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