Monday, September 26, 2022

World’s first live drinking water installation

Aqualiner completed the installation for Severn Trent using its unique fully-structural pipe lining system

Aqualiner Limited has successfully completed what is claimed to be the world’s first live drinking water installation using its unique fully-structural pipe lining system for Severn Trent Water in the UK. The installation was in a 9 in (230 mm) diameter cast iron distribution water pipe with significant tuberculation and used Aqualiner’s MIPP™ (Melt in Place Pipe) system, which is claimed to be the only DWI (REG31) approved liner for UK drinking water pipes.

Aqualiner Limited, a company commercialising a unique trenchless pipelining technology for the water markets and Severn Trent Water, one of the largest water companies in the UK, completed the installation near Wrexham, Wales, for Hafren Dyfrdwy which is part of the Severn Trent Group.

The installation was on the 9 in (230 mm) diameter cast iron pipe was the equivalent of replacing the pipe, especially in terms of improvement in water quality, but without having to dig the pipe up. Pipe renewal options are currently limited to open cut replacement, pipe bursting or slip lining. They all have an impact on the customer or on the capacity of the network. The water industry is continually seeking new and innovative ways to reduce these issues. After many years of research and development, a novel structural liner has been developed by Aqualiner, in conjunction with Severn Trent, Yorkshire Water, Anglian Water and Wessex Water.

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Aqualiner’s fully structural stand-alone liner, comprising of glass fibre reinforced Polypropylene, is environmentally friendly as it involves no hazardous chemicals/resins and uses minimal amounts of power to install. The liner is thin-walled (3 mm), minimising any loss of hydraulic capacity, yet strong enough to withstand all the internal pressures and external ground loads thereby extending the life of the pipe for up to 60 years. Once the lining process is completed and cooled it can be rapidly returned to service and requires minimal future maintenance.

Aqualiner was provided with excellent project and site support by the operational teams from both Hafren Dyfrdwy and Severn Trent Water. Severn Trent Water is the UK’s second biggest water company serving more than 4.2 million homes and business customers in England and Wales. The company delivers almost 2 billion litres of water every day through 46,000 km of pipes.

“This is a key achievement for Severn Trent Water and Aqualiner in the planned development of our MIPP process that offers the water companies a more efficient, less disruptive way of renewing their aging network of pipes by structurally lining them. We are extremely excited by the significant commercial implications having completed our first live drinking water installation.” stated Archie Adams, Aqualiner’s Managing Director, who added, “Aqualiner now plans to raise additional investment to rapidly focus on the expansion of its lining capabilities by producing ‘utility contractor ready’ commercial equipment with 100 mm to 300 mm diameter capability, increase the lining length and develop associated lining materials. At the same time, Aqualiner plans to expand the business to meet the demands of global licensed contractors conducting commercial installations.”

Patents

Further to this, 2021 has become a milestone year for Aqualiner’s patent portfolio (excluding licensed patents) as the total issued patents in various countries increases from 1 to 8 with a further 11 applications currently pending.

Aqualiner recently announced that it has received confirmation from UK Patent Office of the grant of its Patent – GB2571127. This Patent covers Aqualiner’s unique design necessary to achieve even air flow and temperature as it exits the heated pig. The Company has also filed patent applications for European coverage along with US, Canada, Japan and Australia. These applications remain pending.

In addition, the Company has also received confirmation of the grant of its European Patent – 3519723, covering the unique internal design of the heated Pig that melts the material in the pipe, in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland and Liechtenstein. Further applications for this patent are pending in US, Australia, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy.

The Company continues to build its patent portfolio extending its life to 2038 and beyond. Aqualiner was originally granted, by a consortium including Severn Trent Water, Anglian Water and Yorkshire Water, exclusive worldwide rights for the use of patents covering the lining process and related equipment. These patents covered the applications of the original Aqualiner prototype, but additional patent protection has been and is being sought by Aqualiner as the design and applications develop. During 2016, the Company started to make applications for patents covering the new inventions.

“Aqualiner has made a huge financial investment researching and developing our pipe lining technology. Protecting that investment through a deliberate and calculated patent strategy is core to our long-term business plan. We are excited about the grant of these patents as they significantly extend the life and coverage of our intellectual property portfolio.” stated Archie Adams, Aqualiner’s Managing Director, who added, “The Company now has patents with a longer life than when Aqualiner was originally formed. Aqualiner’s ownership of intellectual property is critical to obtaining competitive advantage along with corporate value and strengthening licensing terms.” Website: www.aqualiner.co.uk

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