Water cleaning specialist Panton McLeod has been celebrating after carrying out its first-ever contract with Folkestone & Dover Water Services.
The Borders-based company, who are the UK’s leading drinking water cleaning engineer, carried out an inspection at a facility in Kent earlier this month which they hope will lead to more work in the region.
Panton McLeod, which already works with major UK water firms such as Severn Trent and Scottish Water, was hired to inspect an underground water storage tank – known as a Service Reservoir – to ensure it remained clean for the tens of thousands of households it supplies in the region.
The facility is one of a network of structures, often hidden from public view, that are involved in delivering drinking water to homes and businesses across the Folkestone and Dover area.
Despite being out of sight, the large underground concrete reservoirs have to be maintained to the highest standards. Traditionally such tanks could only be closely inspected or cleaned if they were emptied to allow experts inside – a time-consuming process that can prove costly for water companies.
But Panton McLeod was able to swiftly and expertly carry out a routine inspection of the service reservoir by using a specialist underwater submarine – or ROV unit – which meant the work was completed without any need to take the reservoir out of service.
Paul Henderson, Operations Director with Panton McLeod, said: “The only other option other than using the remotely-operated sub was to drain the reservoir and have workers actually going into the tank to inspect it.
“Our technology means we can carry out a thorough inspection while ensuring the supply through the reservoir is totally unaffected. We remotely control the ROV unit and it is able to inspect the tank quickly and safely, while the water is still in use.
“This is the first time we have worked with Folkestone and Dover Water so we had to go out of our way to prove to them that, by using our machinery, it would not cause any problems with the quality of the water in these tanks. They have very strict health and safety measures in place, so we had to work hard to prove that our equipment was the best thing for the job.
“Every time we use our ROV Inspection and Cleaning equipment on live reservoirs it is critical that all water quality issues are given the utmost consideration. However, as we have worked extensively with most water utility companies across the UK, it isn’t often that we have to ‘start from scratch’ with a new client and demonstrate the benefits of our equipment.
“Our staff were all up for the challenge and were quickly able to allay any fears that FDWS had. By using our mini-submarines, we were able to carry out the work quickly and thoroughly.
“We’re delighted to have completed our first successful operation for Folkestone and Dover Water and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”