Ensuring the security of supply

Technocover’s Terry Batten looks at equipment designed to help water companies protect reservoirs and delivery infrastructure from deliberate contamination and acts of vandalism.

In 1996/97 the government issued a directive to the water industry concerning security matters. Top of the agenda was the security of service reservoirs and the prevention of possible contamination from poisonous substances deployed by extremists, extortionists or terrorists. Since then water companies have endeavoured to classify and upgrade security.

Secure framework
Technocover has carried out work for the majority of water companies either directly or indirectly through small contractors using its skills when upgrading onsite security. Initially water companies carried out the implementation of high-security products in a very piecemeal fashion. More recently, however, many utilities have found dealing with a single company as part of a framework agreement to handle all aspects of security enhancements is the most cost-effective approach.

Technocover’s involvement in framework agreements and reservoir security is extensive. The company has fitted its security products at sites belonging to all major water companies in England, Wales and Scotland, and holds various framework agreements for North West Water, United Utilities – a third-term framework, Thames Water – a second-term framework, Southern Water – a second-term framework and Anglian Water. As well as the above, Technocover is presently involved in negotiations with other water companies. In 1997 Technocover introduced the UltraSecure double-skin, dry-moated access cover system. UltraSecure has been tested and approved by the Loss Prevention Certification Board to category 4 rating.

UltraSecure products have robust steel plate construction, ingenious locking devices and hot-dip galvanising to BS EN ISO 1461.

Since its inception the UltraSecure range has been expanded to include covers of twin and triple leaves plus single leaf security doors. All of the access covers and doors have LPS 1175: Issue 5 Security Rating 4.

Technocover’s specialist anti-terrorist covers, doors and panels, which have been approved for use by government departments, also have water industry applications, particularly for assets identified as critical to supply maintenance. The company can also supply security-enhanced modular buildings, which have been evaluated by government security and defence agencies as capable of withstanding prolonged intruder attack.

Before work commences at a water industry facility Technocover undertakes a detailed client consultation and one of ts surveyors produces a full site survey. An illustrated report including product dimensions, site access, risk assessments and method statements is supplied to the client along with a guarantee of the products installed and any civils work carried out.

Installation is carried out by one of the firms’ experienced fitting teams, which have medical certification and full water company documentation. The team will undertake all civils work including concreting, grassing, cleaning, duct work, alarming and fencing. The combination of consultation, installation and civils work are part of the Technocover Total Service package which means water companies can specify one firm to undertake an entire security upgrade.

In many cases covers and doors on service reservoirs can be fitted live, without the need to drain down, which is important for service-sensitive sites and more economical for the water company. So far thousands of sites have undergone successful security upgrades with minimum disruption. Technocover is currently carrying out refurbishment work and upgrading of security covers, doors and systems, across the UK and Northern Ireland. Currently the company is managing up to ten crews to carry out work on 500 service reservoirs in Northern Ireland. More than 2,000 components are being supplied including security-enhanced access covers and doors, hand-railing, ladders and many special ancillary items.

With the success of the LPCB Security Rating 4 access covers and doors Technocover believes it can offer a formidable crime fighting line-up of security products. Because security products only have a full LPCB guarantee when installed by the manufacturer’s trained fitter, however, the firm believes the installation of its equipment by in-house team is a very important ingredient in ensuring the integrity of clients’ security. The company feels that only by using its own staff can it provide the customer with fit-for-purpose systems with third-party accreditation and full product traceability.

Like Technocover the LPCB is putting more emphasis on manufacturers taking responsibility for the correct site installation by experienced, approved fitters. Technocover’s UltraSecure products have the relevant ‘fitted by trained fitter’ and LPCB approval product identification badging adhered to the inside of the frames


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