Cadent engineers tackling a major incident in the Derbyshire town of Wirksworth deployed cutting edge technology in their efforts to get some 900 homes back on gas.
The award-nominated ‘Top Tee Siphon Adaptor’ proved to be a boon to Cadent engineers as they pumped out thousands of litres of water from the town’s gas network.
Some 150 Cadent staff from across the Midlands, East Anglia, South Yorkshire and the North West worked to restore gas supplies after a water main burst last Tuesday (8 October) night, flooding the town’s gas pipes. The vast majority of properties are now back on gas.
It was sink or swim time for the ‘Top Tee Siphon Adaptor’, which makes it quicker and easier to remove water from PE (a tough plastic) gas pipes. The Adaptor, which was nominated for an Energy Innovation Centre award, had only recently finished field trials in Cadent’s North West network and received the official seal of approval for use.
Jeff O’Donnell, of Cadent’s Network Innovation Team, is responsible for the implementation of the kit along with specialists Gas Leakage Solutions. He jumped at the chance to try it out in the most testing conditions yet.
“Talk about being thrown into the deep end - although we had used the adaptor on a live network in field trials, it had never been deployed on this scale before. However, it has really proved its worth; we have had great feedback from those using it,” said Jeff.
“Unlike traditional methods, which involve fusing a ‘saddle’ to the underside of the pipe, the Top Tee Siphon attaches to the top of the pipe. This makes it much quicker and easier to access the pipe to siphon off the water and means excavations don’t have to be so deep.
“A series of seals and valves prevents gas from escaping so operatives are never exposed to blowing gas. The Top Tee Siphon Adaptor can also be left in place on the pipe so if water does return to the pipe – which can happen with water ingresses – it can be quickly pumped out again.”
The East Midlands had been the first Cadent network to order the kits. They had been delivered only a few weeks before the incident occurred and a training session had been planned for later in October.
The three kits were put to good use in Wirksworth, with staff receiving on-the-job training under the watchful eye of Jeff, and John Buckland from Gas Leakage Solutions.