Success in Collaborative Working

When it comes to the refurbishment of potable water drinking assets, it is essential for all materials to be in accordance and approved by the DWI Regulation 31. As the amount of available materials under this criterion becomes increasingly scarce, collaboration with material manufacturers has never been more vital. Stonbury has been working together with BASF, DWI approved material manufacturers for several years. After a previous material supplier had changed their formulation and affected product performance, BASF was brought in to critically evaluate the repair criteria and materials used. Working collaboratively with BASF, we were successful in tackling several key issues, including the quicker return to service of assets from 21 days, down to only 10 days. Since then, Stonbury and BASF have addressed several other industry issues surrounding the safe supply of drinking water. Darren Priddle, BASF’s Technical Sales Manager for the water industry and waterproofing comments: “The key issue for water companies is that they can’t afford for assets to be out of service for very long – it costs tens of thousands of pounds a week to re-pump and resource for other locations. Working with Stonbury, we’ve been able to significantly reduce the amount of time that facilities are out of action, using high-performance, cost-effective, DWI-approved materials. Proven waterproofing and sealant technologies help us to deliver long-lasting repairs that provide excellent resistance to harsh conditions and chemicals. Working with BASF’s chemical experts, we can ensure that we use the right system, requiring the least amount of time, at the best lifecycle cost. Working with 15 out of the UK’s 21 clean water companies, we’re looking forward to continuing a relationship that delivers real benefits to our clients." Collaborative working with the supply chain has demonstrated essential in our development as a supplier and contributor to the water industry. As a result, we have overcome several hurdles through newer and more innovative solutions, passed back to our clients as we continue the process of collaborative working with the UK water companies. 

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.

Reservoir Roof Refurbishment Timelapse

At Stonbury, we are proud to maintain our position as leading specialist contractors to the water industry. When it comes to keeping potable water assets, such as service reservoirs and water towers watertight, our specialist project teams have mastered the art over the years. Take a look at our Reservoir Roof Refurbishment time-lapse video below. 

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.