Expert group to debate pipeline leakage issue
22 May 2012, News release from Exova
The world's leading independent testing group, Exova, will lead an industry debate on how practices must be changed in order to tackle the issue of leaking pipe joints.
The debate, around high-density polyethylene (HDPE) water pipes, will form part of the next Pipeline Innovation Research Club (PIRC) seminar, due to take place in June and to be attended by some of the industry's top professionals.
The PIRC, led by Exova, funds high level industry research which is shared with members in order to raise standards within the pipeline and utilities sectors.
The leakage issue has been thrown into the spotlight recently with Ofwat, the UK's regulator of the water and sewerage industry, warning that HDPE pipes often begin leaking soon after installation. Exova will argue at the event that a cost-effective solution can be provided to minimise these leaking joints.
The PIRC's latest event on June 13 takes place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. The seminar is sponsored by Severn Trent Water.
Dr David Lowe, technical manager for Exova's utilities division, will address the audience on the issue of leaking pipes, and highlight the requirement for the industry to redefine best practice which will also be the theme of the event.
He said: "It is clear that there is a vital need to redefine best practice and ensure that PE fusion joints can be made far more reliable. This will mean tightening all the applicable standards including training and accreditation."
Further contributions will be provided by a series of leading consultants to the water industry, beginning with Jo Parker MBE, who will provide an insight into her research interests and also chair the event.
Mike Shepherd, an authority on pipeline standards and formerly from Thames Water, will provide a strategy to obtain the most from procurement processes; Charles Ashdown, formerly of Welsh Water, has specialised as a consultant in advances in rehabilitation technology and will provide his views on low impact streetworks.
Dr Ken Murphy, Exova pipeline expert, will give an update on the successful use of microwave imaging for butt fusion (BF) and electro fusion (EF) joints; and site manager Steve Gordon will discuss the practical implementation of the new standard for pressure testing.
David Carey, operations manager for utilities at Exova, will close the day by presenting a new vision for PE welder training and accreditation, a key element required to minimise leaking joints in the future.
Exova is a leader in the research, development, testing, quality assurance and failure analysis of modern plastic pipe materials and joints.
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