The Importance of Surge Vessels

Surge vessels are important assets in the water treatment process, though incorrect maintenance and management can lead to issues in the supply of drinking water The main purpose of the surge vessel is to maintain the correct pressure whilst water is transmitted to the mains networks. A potable water surge vessel is connected to the mains outlet pipework, pressurised with compressed air, the vessel conserves the water pressure by absorbing any spikes or drops, maintaining the flow and velocity of the water. Uncontrolled surges can cause several issues to water companies, from leakages and water quality issues to infrastructure and network failures. Existing Surge Vessel Problems Many carbon steel surge vessels have been in service for decades, with some of the very old surge vessels manufactured to the ‘Factory Act’, some to the old vessel code BS1515 and some to the current PD5500. In some cases, older surge vessels do not hold any drawings or manufacturing details of information relating to the construction or thickness of the steel used. From the old vessel code, it was common for these assets to only hold a small entry hatch for viewing purposes. Where there is inaccessibility from the hatch size being too small, many surge vessel internal linings have been neglected in terms of maintenance. This can often lead to the breakdown of existing linings and eventually lead to corrosion and contamination of the potable water. Under the requirements of the water company insurance for surge vessels, inspection of these assets on a regular basis is mandatory. If access to the surge vessel is considered safe and fully compliant, inspection of the internal surfaces is undertaken to assess the condition of the surfaces. If the inspection has found that the existing coating is no longer acceptable, then the existing coating must be removed and reapplied with a DWI approved coating system. If the hatch entry is not in accordance to current requirements, the solutions often falls to the installation of a new access hatch to ensure current confined requirements are met, complete with full refurbishment works to the vessel.  Refurbishing Existing Surge Vessels After the design of a new entry hatch has received the approval of the regulatory body, the new opening is cut to allow works to the wall and installation of the new hatch. Where original data of the surge vessel had previously been lost or unknown, the cut hatch is sent for laboratory testing to check the actual tensile strength of the original surge vessel material, before full refurbishment works. The new access hatch is welded onto the vessel and non-destructive testing is carried out as an examination of the welds. Once approved, the complete surge vessel is hydraulically pressure tested, drained and dried to allow the full application of DWI approved coatings. The design of the surge vessel can often incur other challenges. Dependent on the size of the internal surface, scaffolding may be required to allow access to all internal surfaces of the vessel. The scaffolding must be removed after the preparation works are complete to allow for complete testing before reinstalled for the final application of the approved coating system. For external refurbishment, surfaces are often recoated with a solvent-free epoxy coating to give the required protection. Where external surfaces do not come into contact with potable water, the requirement for Regulation 31 approved products is not always needed. Before the vessel is returned to service, the Pressure Relief safety valve must receive replacement or recertification, to prevent possible over pressurisation in the future. Surge Vessel Replacement If a surge vessel is deemed fully condemned, the existing vessel will require decommissioning and removal before a replacement can be installed. In some circumstances where surge vessels are sited within working buildings, logistical challenges can be implied. The removal of a condemned vessel is typically cut into several parts before removed from the site. Likewise, where access is restricted or obstructed, a new vessel is delivered in sections and welded together onsite. Any associated pipework and valves are connected to the new surge vessel, coatings are applied and the complete vessel tested before entering into service.   Stonbury and Surge Vessels As specialist contractors to the water industry, Stonbury is pleased to have refurbished and replaced many surge vessels for water company clients across the UK. For more information on surge vessels, please get in touch.

Welcome to Kingcombe Stonbury

Following the acquisition of Kingcombe Aquacare into the Stonbury Group, we are pleased to now be operating under the new name, Kingcombe Stonbury Ltd Both Kingcombe and Stonbury have over 30 years’ experience each, as specialist contractors to the water industry. As a Group, we have a combined turnover of over £30 million and employ nearly 250 people. The name change from Kingcombe Aquacare to Kingcombe Stonbury offers a true reflection of our combined values, experiences and services. Our national footprint will extend the services of Kingcombe to the wider water industry, whilst bringing treated water expertise into the South West from our new base in Crewkerne. Since the acquisition in August last year, we have seen an excellent cultural fit between the two companies. Visually we are delighted to keep the Mayfly from the original Kingcombe Aquacare livery, combined with the strength of the ‘Stonbury Blue’ this has created what we believe, the right balance between our strengths and the fragile nature of the water cycle. Visit Kingcombe Stonbury

Stonbury Awarded Framework with South East Water

Stonbury are delighted to announce a new framework with South East Water for major Refurbishment, Cleaning and Inspection Stonbury have a long history with SEW, having carried out their reservoir cleaning contract for many years, alongside other major refurbishment schemes secured under individual tender. In 2013 both refurbishment and cleaning contracts were combined, where Stonbury secured the position as reserve contractor on the Framework. After 5 years as reserve contractor, Stonbury are incredibly pleased to have been awarded the position as main contractor within the Framework, running for an initial 5-year term from 2018 to 2023, with a 3-year option to extend to 8 years. The long-term strategy will allow both parties the opportunity to develop a new and fresh working relationship in meeting SEW’s challenging programme over the coming years. The Framework covers ‘all activities necessary for the cleaning, inspection, repair and maintenance of water retaining structures associated with SEW’s vessel maintenance and cleaning programme’ where Stonbury excel with 14 similar Frameworks with water companies across the UK. Jon Perryman, Stonbury Delivery Director responsible for the SEW Framework, comments “the Framework delivery model is ideal for both client and supplier and enables a long-term approach to providing service, in the first instance, but more importantly developing service levels through collaboration, cooperation and collective decision making. We are incredibly excited to be able to share our extensive knowledge of the challenges all our Framework clients face, delivering clean potable water to the public, that we have built up over decades and to ultimately become an added value partner to yet another very important Framework client.    Stonbury bring further skill sets and expertise to all relationships with our clients from design, optioneering processes, budgeting, planning, programming and of course construction services across the full supply network within the water sector and this inevitably ensures our clients ultimate goal.” Currently located from an office in Aldershot to service their Frameworks with Thames Water, Portsmouth Water and Sutton and East Surrey Water, the award of the SEW contract has reinforced further investment in the South East. Stonbury are currently refining searches for a new regional office to operate from, which will offer full client access to hotdesking and meeting capacity. South East Water have also offered hotdesking facilities from their Head Office in Snodland for such interaction and collective working, anticipated to bring huge benefits to the delivery model. The Framework mobilisation process is currently in progress, with delivery personal from the collective teams completing initial inaugural meetings to outline aspirations for the contract. Response has already been incredibly positive, confirming the strong ethos between Stonbury and SEW and making for a successful and exciting relationship.

Stonbury collaborate with Severn Trent for Community Portal

We are completing works at two Severn Trent Water sites which are regularly enjoyed by the general public We are currently working on both projects at Minchinhampton DSR and Elbury Hill DSR, both reservoirs are located within public areas, with shared access points and parking. In these circumstances, it is essential to keep the public and local residents informed of the works to be carried out and consider how this may affect them. Given the critical nature of the sites and the potential for an influx of phone calls from the local public, we offered STW the ITS Stonbury developed communications tool, Community Portal, as an additional means for reaching local residents. The Elbury Hill area is a popular destination for walkers/dog walkers, particularly during the early mornings and evenings, therefore it was particularly important to ensure local residents were made aware of any possible restrictions to the area.   The Community Portal is designed to ensure members of the public are updated with local project works through both visual and text updates. It was decided the most appropriate and efficient way to notify local residents of works to the area was by letter drop. Residents were informed of the plans to the area and information on how to follow for further updates as the works progress.  The Community Portal allows 2-way dialog, enabling local residents to ask questions through the mobile friendly site at any time. Any questions or concerns are resolved quickly and efficiently through the Portal, significantly reducing negative customer calls to the water company. For works to continue at Minchinhampton, local authorities have issued STW with a license to position welfare units and stores in public parking spaces on the outer area of the main site. Signage will be appropriately distributed around the area to inform the public of the works.  To access the Community Portal and view the latest update for Minchinhampton and Elbury Hill, please visit https://severntrent.stonbury.com

Severn Trent Water annual Health Liaison Day

Stonbury were delighted to be invited to Severn Trent Water’s, annual Health Liaison Day and were pleased to deliver a short presentation on our services and highlight the information regarding the importance of the DWI Regulation 31 compliance Severn Trent saw a fantastic turnout of over 120 delegates, from Public Health and Standards, local authorities and representatives from other water companies. Representing Stonbury, James Stonor, CEO and regional team leader Mark Coope attended the event to share company initiatives in relation to public health and the supply of clean drinking water. Stonbury thanks Severn Trent Water for the organisation of the Health Liaison Day which was well received by all.

Wastewater Conference 2018

Stonbury pleased to exhibit at Wastewater 2018 The WWT Wastewater 2018 Conference & Exhibition is the UK’s largest wastewater event covering infrastructure, networks, treatment and sludge. The comprehensive, single-day event showcased the latest topics of the industry and tackled major wastewater challenges. Gathering over 250 industry professionals, Stonbury we’re pleased to exhibit in collaboration with BASF, for the launch of MasterSeal 7000 CR – 360 degree corrosion protection in wastewater treatment plants.   More on Waste Water