Water mains renewal schemes are essential and can be done trenchlessly or via open cut trenching. However, the practice of renewing the service pipe at the same time is often the rate limiting step to completing the job. Assuming replacing these smaller communication pipes is done at all. We understand why and it comes down to short term costs. Ofwat, the UK regulator, is challenging the water industry in the UK to reduce leakage by 50% by 2050 and this ultimately means updating assets. Sure, pressure management on the system can reduce the risk of leaks. Leak detection methods abound in the industry and are improving all the time. There are even more methods of repairing leaks. But there is no escaping the fact that in the long term pipes must be renewed.
The Kobus Pipe Puller offers a cost effective and less disruptive technique for replacing old service pipes with new PE pipes on mains renewal schemes. The Puller can replace lead, copper, poly and steel service pipes quickly and without the need to close the road. For example, the mains might be located on one side of the carriageway (as in the main image here), and it would mean either closing the road to replace a service pipe crossing the road, or reinstating over the main, opening that half of the road to install the new service pipe, reinstating that half, then reopening over the main again to finish the service connection. There is trenchless moling of course and this should be employed wherever possible. But what if there is a gas main or HV cable running across the line of the new service? The Pipe Puller can minimise the risk of damaging other utilities and keep disruption to a minimum.
Wessex Water are successfully replacing comms service pipes on mains renewal schemes and have multiple Pipe Pullers to support the work as the preferred method. It is so successful that Wessex Water are also replacing the homeowners’ supply pipe at the same time if the customer gives their permission. That’s customer service!