Durapipe helps clean up at Wessex Water

After 15 years pumping air through a sewage treatment works in Dorset, it appears that the Durapipe does exactly what it says on the tin

The company sites exceptional reliability of Durapipe UK's products for what it describes as "a vast amount" of its pipework being specified for a refurbishment project at Wessex Water's Cabot Lane Sewage Treatment Works in Poole, Dorset.

The Damar Group is undertaking the refurbishment of the BAF (biological aerated filter) plant; originally built in 1994, the plant was due its 15-year cycle refurbishment, which started last summer and has seen all of the existing air diffuser pipework and fittings replaced with new products.

Wessex Water informed The Damar Group that the existing Durapipe Air-line Xtra pipework within the plant had performed exceptionally well over the past 15 years and so, due to itsproven reliability, requested the same product be used again.

The BAF and Digestion Plant consists of 24 cells, which use the biological aerated filter process to treat sewage effluent. Each cell is a five-metre deep bed of filter media with bacteria growing on it. The waste is then pumped upwards through the filter media and the bacteria feeds off the waste, helping to clean the water. To speed up the treatment process, air is forced through a diffuser at the bottom of the bed, which generates bubbles that rise through the filter providing a steady stream of oxygen for the bacteria.

As part of this process, Durapipe Air-line Xtra pipework has been installed to transport the compressed air, which is forced up through the diffusers to generate the bubbles. Durapipe UK supplied the pipe in 4.5-metre lengths with 14 x 4mm holes drilled at specific intervals. A diffuser was then fitted to each of the holes and the pipework was installed on the bottom of each of the cell beds.

The product's proven ability to keep compressed air clean throughout the lifetime of the system was the reason for selection, as Mike Back, project manager for The Damar Group, explains: "Wessex Water had been extremely pleased with the performance of the existing Durapipe Air-line Xtra pipework within the plant; it had successfully kept the air clean and free from contamination with little maintenance required. As a result, the company requested that the exact same pipework system was used again, which is a true testament to the quality of the product."

He says: "The team at Durapipe provided excellent service from the initial enquiry, continuing throughout the installation process.

Due to the nature of the application, we had very specific criteria, such as pipe cut in 4.5m lengths with 14 x 4mm holes drilled at very exact points.

"It was crucial that these requirements were met to ensure the treatment plant works efficiently and Durapipe UK met all of our requests and provided the product on time - we cannot fault the service."

Durapipe Air-line Xtra is a purpose-designed pipework system for distribution of air that can operate up to a pressure of 12.5 bar. A lightweight and non-corrodible system with a protective layer on the inside, the company says it is the ideal solution for ensuring that air is kept clean and uncontaminated until use.

The refurbishment project at Cabot Lane Sewage Treatment Works is due for completion in October 2010 and is one of 405 sewage treatment works operated by Wessex Water, which when combined, treat more than 480 million litres of sewage every day.

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