KOBUS Services Ltd was invited by Anglian Water to apply the KOBUS Pipe Puller to a particularly challenging pipe replacement in Stamford, Lincolnshire where there was a significant leak on a customer-side supply pipe running under cast concrete steps. Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions had considered a range of possible methods to address the challenge and were also keen to see the Puller deal with the site and location issues.
The ½” diameter lead pipe to be replaced was located on a narrow stairway which formed the side access to two properties. There was a rise of approx. 3 metres from the stop tap/main in the pavement and the point of pipe entry into the customer property. Pipe replacement via open-cut would have been an extremely expensive undertaking requiring complete removal and replacement of the cast concrete steps, closing this access for several days. Moling was not feasible as other house services ran in the same access corridor.
The property is located on the edge of the Stamford conservation area and thus intrusive site works and lengthy pavement closures would also not be acceptable to the local authority, South Kesteven District Council.
The lead pipe was successfully removed and replaced by MDPE pipe between stop-tap and building entry in 147 seconds. The on-site time for the pull was approximately 42 minutes from cutting the supply to re-connection.
Throughout the total 4 hour operation, the pavement along Casterton Road remained open with no disruption to pedestrians. Large excavations were avoided and damage to the steps was totally avoided with two small access holes made at either end of the pipe. The minimal impact on the pavement also ensured that South Kesteven District Council requirements for reinstatement could be fully met.