Seal with safety: industry guidelines for safe sewer isolation

Sewer isolation is key to ensuring the safety of pipeline inspection and flow control operations, as well as preventing spillages of raw sewage and the fines that result. Without durable and reliable equipment workers can also be put at risk, but at present the industry is at a crossroads, with aging equipment and processes failing to tackle new challenges.

Seeking to address the issue of safer work practices Ant Hire Solutions have developed the industry’s first set of operational guidelines for safe sewer isolation. These have been based on our many years of experience deploying cutting-edge LAMPE Isolation Devices for the nation’s contractors and water companies and developed in conjunction with both Thames Water and LAMPE.

The problem with sewer isolation today
At present, there are no formal guidelines for workers needing to isolate sections of sewers to reference regarding the safe use of isolation equipment. Pipeline guidelines do exist; however, these are primarily geared towards the oil and gas industry.

As a consequence contractors and utilities across the UK are unwittingly operating sewer isolation devices unsafely or relying on outmoded and rigid isolation methods such as penstocks. And they are doing so at a time when sewer inspection operations are increasing as a result of ageing networks, population growth, and the rise of both fat and concrete bergs.

As a consequence, workers are being put at risk of potentially dangerous accidents and the infrastructure that millions of households and businesses constantly rely on being jeopardised.

Ant Hire Solutions and LAMPE Isolation Devices
Ant Hire Solutions offer a range of class-leading LAMPE Isolation Devices that improve upon the capabilities of traditional inflatable stoppers. Inflating fully at just 0.01bar, they make full contact with a wide range of pipe and sewer wall profiles, allowing safe and secure placement without the need for bracing. What’s more, in the case of depressurisation, a LAMPE Isolation Device will continue to withstand the head of water without losing grip with the wall, keeping water at bay until workers can exit the pipeline.

To ensure best practice and the total safety of site personnel and the environment, Ant Hire Solutions recommend a LAMPE Isolation Devices is installed in conjunction with an important additional safety feature.

The LAMPE Safety Application Monitor (SAM) has been developed by our in-house team to continuously monitor and record the device inflation pressure and back pressure of the head of water. If the pressure of either should alter during operation, the SAM’s multistage warning process kicks into action. An alarm and beacon are set on site and an email and text message are sent instantaneously to the necessary individuals, ensuring action can be taken and operatives kept safe.

Learn more about our cutting-edge sewer isolation solutions.

Best-practice sewer isolation device operational guidelines by Ant Hire Solutions

Alongside providing the highest quality equipment, Ant Hire Solutions has worked with Thames Water and Mott Macdonald Bentley to develop a set of best-practice operational guidelines for safe sewer isolation works using the LAMPE Isolation Device.
Focusing on all procedures, including pre-installation work, installation operations, and post-operation processes including deflation, removal, inflation control unit operation and servicing, the LAMPE Operational Guidelines are a first for the UK.  Click on the links below to find out more.

View the full Ant Hire Solutions Operational Guidelines for LAMPE Isolation Device here.

Contact our experts today to learn how our sewer isolation guidelines and equipment can benefit your operations.