Ireland Water 2018

Stonbury were delighted to attend the Ireland Water Conference in Dublin After more than four years since the introduction of Irish Water as a new utility, the sector has faced several hurdles and now on an upwards mission to deliver consistent and sustainable, high-quality drinking water to the public. Attending in collaboration with BASF, DWI material manufacturers to the water industry, the conference brought together key affiliates from the Irish water sector, providing insight into the future investment and regulation of the industry.

Board of Directors

Stonbury are pleased to announce new appointments to the Board of Directors From April 2018, James Stonor begins his new position as Chief Executive Officer for the Stonbury Group, taking a strategic role in the development of the company. This appointment makes way for Ian Mellor, previously Operations Director, to take place as new Managing Director. Ian has also appointed existing QSE Manager, Stephen Brown and Operations Manager, Chris Challands to the retrospective Director roles for greater board representation. Both Jon Featherstone and Jon Perryman remain in their current positions as Delivery Directors, with the additional appointment of new Contracts Directors, Michael Campling, who has served Stonbury for over 25 years and Vernon Cowan, who Stonbury welcomes back after a 10-year sabbatical at Affinity Water. The new Contract Managers will bring a greater level of quality to ongoing and future delivery schemes. Ian Mellor comments “I am delighted to be appointed as new MD for Stonbury and will continue to progress James’ vision of a modern, diverse, professional and safe company to work in. I, of course, recognise the importance of a well thought out system, which we will continue to improve upon as an organisation, this means we can continue to attract and retain great people, as, without them, there is no organisation at all.”

Changes to Client Portal

We are delighted to announce the launch of new and exciting features to the Stonbury Client Portal The Client Portal is our online, user-friendly tool that allows project information and progress to be easily shared between contractor and client. Since launching in 2005, the Portal was developed to serve as an additional service to our clients, to assist with the management of refurbishment schemes that we had been contracted to undertake for them. From its humble beginnings, the Portal has now developed into a system that brings multiple benefits to its users. Our cloud based software is easily accessed from any web-enabled device, allowing users to check the progress of the job without having to make unnecessary calls or visits to site. Since its launch, the Client Portal has demonstrated a sustainable impact on reducing paperwork, lengthy email chains and of course, time and travel costs. Clients are updated on their projects through a diary style, real-time update made by our teams on site. New Client Portal Features We are pleased to now have launched some exciting new features to Client Portal. Clients can now produce their own posts within a project, this includes uploading photographs, video and documents utilising our Client Portal as a complete working ‘Project Folder’. In more recent years, Client Portal has been developed to not only document the progress of projects, but also to store information on the assets and projects. Any associated documentation such as inspection reports, quotations and drawings can be uploaded and stored with the project, ensuring crucial aspects of the projects are never lost. The Client Portal now provides a permanent record of the project, which can be downloaded and used as a report upon completion. These new features will undoubtedly aid in the development of Client Portal and its full potential to be used as an online project system, for both ourselves and our clients. If you are a new client and wish to sign up to our Client Portal, please do get in touch. Alternatively, for a simple step-by-step tour on how to use the Portal effectively, please log-in with your user details and click ‘View a Tour of Portal’ along the top of the page.

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.