YTL's Wessex Water Receives UK Institute of Water's Innovation Award

Wessex Water, July 18, 2019

YTL's Wessex Water has been recognised with the 'Institute of Water Innovation Award 2019' for the utility's 'Sewer Renovation 'Re-Rounder' Robotics' campaign.

The prize was awarded at the national Institute of Water awards held in Belfast, Ireland.

Looking to heart surgery for inspiration, the robotic machine has been specifically designed and manufactured to re-round 150mm diameter sewer pipes which have suffered up to 25% deformation. 

The technology allows for safer and more cost-effective trenchless, or no dig, sewer repairs. 

Rehabilitation programme manager Julian Britton said: "Ordinarily, we aim to repair pipes by using a resin lining cured in place by heat or light. However, these liners become less effective when a sewer has more than 10% deformation.  

"This new robot, named the 're rounder' repairs the pipe to its original shape and then leaves behind a metal stent to secure the structural integrity of the pipe, over which we can then line." 

The stent has been specially designed to be thin enough to not affect the flow in the pipe.
Julian added: "We designed and tested a variety of different stent designs, with inspiration coming from stents used in medicine to keep arteries open."
Following two years of development and testing, the re rounder is now in use throughout their network.

After being named the winner of the South West Institution of Water's innovation award, the innovative re-rounder won the national innovation award at the annual President's Dinner in Belfast.

The re-rounder was entered into the national award alongside eight other regional winners, but was named the best of the best, beating more than 30 other excellent innovative offers to bag the main prize.

Rehabilitation programme manager Julian Britton said: "We are extremely proud to have won the Innovation Award 2019, having been judged by senior leaders from OFWAT, Waterwise and Water UK.

"It's evident that when combined with sewer lining the re-rounder brings major benefits in carbon footprint reductions over open cut repair of some 95%.

"For the first time we have established a toolkit which allows us to be truly trenchless in our sewer repairs."

Following two years of development and testing, the re rounder is now in use throughout the Wessex Water network.