Thames Water Sewer Isolation Case Study


We are delighted to have worked in conjunction with Thames Water over the past 18 months to develop the UK’s first best practice operational guidelines for safe sewer isolation. Designed to ensure the safety of personnel carrying out sewer maintenance and repair, the Operational Guidelines are based on the correct use of LAMPE Isolation Devices to safely isolation sewers for inspection or repair work. Although pipeline guidelines for the oil and gas industry exist, there was nothing in place for the water industry and a rise in instances of concrete and fatbergs, population growth and ageing sewer networks have seen the need for sewer maintenance and repair increase.

LAMPE Isolation Devices are recognised as being safer than traditional inflatable stoppers for pipeline and sewer isolation. Traditional stoppers, or bungs as they are sometimes called, require greater pressure to expand and make contact with the pipe wall. They can also loosen and be ejected with great force if there is even a minimal loss in pressure. Other isolation methods such as penstocks can be unreliable, outdated and pose a potential risk to workers.

The Guidelines cover all required steps for the proper use of the LAMPE Isolation Device including pre-installation and in-pipe inspection, upstream and downstream use, and deflation, removal, and servicing. Thames Water has deployed the use of LAMPE Isolation Devices and operational guidelines for sewer inspection and repair across its network including at several high-profile sites across London including Chelsea and Greenwich.

To provide an additional layer of safety, the LAMPE Safety Application Monitor has been developed by Ant Hire Solutions’ in-house team to be used in conjunction with the LAMPE Isolation Device. This enables the continuous monitoring of the LAMPE Device’s inflation pressure and back pressure of the head of water, triggering an above ground alarm and enabling personnel to evacuate safely in the event of any changes in pressures from the required levels.

You can find out more about this great partnership initiative in our blog or download the LAMPE Isolation Device Operational Guidelines below:

Download the technical & Operating Guidelines

Richard Dennett, Project Delivery Manager at Thames Water, said:

“The safety of employees and contractors working within our network is of paramount importance to Thames Water. By working in partnership with Ant Hire Solutions to develop these guidelines, we have created a protocol that didn’t previously exist, but was needed. We are confident the guidelines will address some of the major safety challenges the water industry faces in terms of safe sewer isolation.”

Adrian Thompson, Managing Director at Ant Hire Solutions, said: “The volume of sewer inspections being carried out is on the increase and utilities and contractors are using LAMPE Isolation Devices within their repair and maintenance projects more and more because they are by far the safest option.

“We have therefore developed these guidelines with Thames Water to help ensure the devices are being used correctly and in the safest and most effective way in order to protect people working in these confined and challenging environments.”