AMC Plumbing invited KOBUS Services Ltd to undertake a pipe replacement on a water supply pipe serving a private domestic property in Newcastle upon Tyne. AMC, a plumbing firm based in the North East of England, wished to trial the KOBUS Pipe Puller, a trenchless technology, as the job required minimal disruption for the client.
The service replacement was set to be carried out in a suburban area of Newcastle. The property itself was being prepared for sale; a condition of the sale was to replace the lead supply pipe. The 17m lead pipe lay from the kitchen inside the property, underneath the house with the final 5 metres stretching across the front garden.
As the home-owner had requested that the pipe replacement was carried out with minimal damage to the front garden, traditional methods such as trenching proved unsuitable for the job as the end result would have led to large excavations, and disruption for the customer. Furthermore, as there were a number of underground services present (BT cables, electricity etc.), moling posed too high a risk of cable strikes and was therefore not considered for this particular job.
The pipe was exposed at the very base of the garden, to ensure that the length of the front garden remained intact. After the pipe was exposed inside the property, the removal of the lead pipe and replacement with an MDPE pipe from inside the kitchen, underneath the house and to the bottom of the front garden took just under 2 hours. The actual pipe replacement itself took only 320 seconds.
By using a less invasive method for pipe replacement, large excavations were minimised and the front garden was left untouched.
The work was undertaken under standard AMC Plumbing health & safety procedures. There were no reported incidents in respect of either service strikes (HSG47) or operator activity.