A £1.2m Yorkshire Water project to establish an in-house Operational Jetting Team is the first of its kind for the utility company. The new team, consisting of 22 staff, has been equipped with a 14-vehicle fleet of new jetting vans and combination units that were designed and supplied in a joint project between Morrison Utility Services and Rioned UK.
Following the 2015 Boxing Day floods, Yorkshire Water re-evaluated its capability to respond to escalations in flooding and pollution. To cope with the destructive effects of a unique flooding event such as 2015, the company was forced to call in additional resources from other utility companies. A new business case defined a strategy to allow Yorkshire Water to handle this requirement internally, without the need for what is known as “Mutual Aid”.
To equip the new team, Morrison Utility Services was approached. As an AMP6 contractor partner to Yorkshire Water, Morrison Utility Services manages the support and delivery for all water networks repair and maintenance activities, as well as developer and metering services, across Yorkshire Water’s geographic footprint.
Morrison Utility Services has partnered with Rioned for several years, utilising its jetting equipment on other wastewater contracts. Jeremy Harrison, Director, Plant and Fleet Services at Morrison Utility Services, says Rioned were asked to provide a comprehensive solution to meet the new team’s requirements: “From our perspective, we always look in detail at the quality and specification required for the task in hand. The feedback about Rioned equipment has been very good, and the quality and reliability of the jetting equipment makes it possible to fit into further vehicles and second or even third life the unit if required.
“We’ve been working with Mark at Rioned very much from the offset. From the first meeting, he’s brought clarity and flexibility, along with, of course, the right specification.”
Delivering a solution to handle larger pollution events meant undertaking customisations to the standard van-pack and combi unit features. Mark Cox, Rioned UK Sales Manager, explains: “We designed a specification that would allow both the jetting vans and combi units to remain on site for longer periods. For example, the combi units are fitted with a feature that allows the waste water tank partition to also be used for clean water, meaning much longer running time.”
One of Rioned’s biggest UK projects to date, the new fleet includes 10 jetting vans that are fitted with the CityJet jetting unit; a proven performer for UK water companies. The new high-pressure units have been housed in customised vehicles featuring a waterproof spray lining, large water tank, bulkhead, LED low-volt lighting, night heaters, racking and welfare fittings. The vans were also fitted with CCTV systems and supplied with drain cleaning accessories such as root cutters.
The four Flexcom 7.5t combi units include additional features such as power inverters, CCTV systems and additional storage with heaters for drying. Mark Cox says the 7.5t Flexcom is ideal for rapid response incidents: “It’s a lot lighter and more manoeuvrable than bigger units, and therefore a lot more efficient. It’s also a single-resolution unit that can be operated remotely by a single person.”
Yorkshire Water’s new team has been established to respond to, investigate and resolve sewer network pollution incidents both in and out of hours. It will primarily be used to unblock sewers and prevent sewage escapes in periods of escalation, and in support of contractor teams.
Lindsay Page, Service Delivery and Optimisation Manager for Waste Water Services at Yorkshire Water drafted the original business case and says the purchase of the new vehicles and equipment has exceeded expectations: “The process has been seamless and we’re extremely happy with the outcome and the new equipment. This is the first time we’ve operated our own jetting fleet and we’ve created a fantastic new team that will play a focal part in supporting Yorkshire Water in achieving its performance commitments. It’s a very exciting project and we have the potential to make a real difference.”