The contest takes place at IWEX, part of Sustainabilitylive! 2010, in April ans challenges contestants to pit their precision skills against their peers.

Contestants, from utility company, partner or contractor the length of the country, will be hoping to be crowned national champions by successfully drilling and tapping a high pressure water main.

With points awarded for speed, precision and of course no leaks – there’s lots at stake as winning team will go on to represent the UK at the America Water Works Association competition in the USA.

The Institute of Water, the UK’s only professional body dedicated to supporting the careers of people working in the UK water industry, holds the contest as a showcase for the profession and is inviting teams of two to sign up.

The pair will drill and tap a 150mm diameter ductile iron main under pressure at 40-70psi and connect a service tap. The challenge will be complete once water discharges from the tap but teams will be penalised for leaks and breaches of safety and technical rules.

“The Institute of Water National Drilling and Tapping Championship attracts people to IWEX who might not normally attend an industry exhibition,” said the Institute of Water’s chief executive, Lynn Cooper.

“It’s a fun way to focus attention on some of the key skills that are necessary within the industry, while enabling teams to meet their peers from other water companies and contractors.

“Spectators also love watching the teams drilling into the water main in the middle of the NEC – it’s not the kind of thing that they naturally expect to find in the exhibition.”

The Drilling and Tapping championships takes place from April 20 to 22 in the IWEX arena at Sustainabilitylive!.

Luke Walsh

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