World first in the pipeline for Scottish Water

by Scott Douglas

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Scottish Water and construction partners Black & Veatch are working with pipeline manufacturers KWH, preparing for a world first as the laying of the Glencorse pipeline gets underway.

Power has already been delivered to the mobile pipe production plant and test construction completed in early February. A number of lengthy stretches of pipeline have already been produced, in preparation for the start of construction.

For the first time in the world a mobile pipeline production plant has been established, at Seafield Mill on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

The pipeline plays a significant part in the ‘green’ credentials of the new works, and will deliver clearer, fresher drinking water to around 450,000 customers throughout Edinburgh and Midlothian when complete in 2011.

Senior Project Manager, Richard Anderson said: “The new Glencorse Water Treatment Works and its associated pipeline represent the best thinking in terms of construction – it will reduce energy use, maximise the very latest technology and deliver clearer, fresher drinking water for customers throughout Edinburgh and parts of Midlothian for many, many years to come.

“This pipeline further enhances the environmental credentials of the project, which will not only sensitively blend the treatment building into the surrounding countryside with the largest ‘green’ roof in Scotland, but also reduces energy use by incorporating efficient modern hydro-turbines to generate on-site power.

Equivalent of filling 70 olympic sized swimming pools

In addition the location of the water treatment works and the route of the pipeline will help to reduce energy need by removing the necessity for energy-sapping pumps.”

Around 175 million litres of water will pass through the pipeline every day, that’s enough to fill Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Pool around 70 times a day.

Because the pipeline production plant is mobile, it has been brought to the construction project, avoiding the need for hundreds of additional lorry movements.

Fewer lorry journeys means better carbon footprint

This will help to reduce lorry journeys by around 75%. This plays not only a significant part in reducing the carbon footprint of the construction, but is also better for the local community with fewer lorries on Midlothian’s roads.

A further benefit of the mobile facility is that once all the pipes have been manufactured, the pipeline production plant will be dismantled and removed, leaving the site at Seafield Mill in an enhanced condition with additional landscaping and tree planting.

The location of the works and the route of the pipeline will allow Scottish Water to deliver clearer, fresher drinking water direct to the Capital using gravity, rather than energy sapping pumps.

Locating the mobile production plant on the route of the new pipeline will also allow the project team to produce extra long pipes. This means fewer joints, reduced handling and most significantly a reduction in the construction period.

George Merry of KWH Pipe said: “This ‘world-first‘ in pipe production technology shows how the long established partnering arrangement between Scottish Water , Black & Veatch and KWH Pipe can lead to significant cost savings in pipe production and installation techniques and at the same time, help reduce the carbon footprint in a major engineering project.

Cutting edge green technology

“The cutting-edge technology employed in the mobile pipe production unit will bring major benefits to all parties involved, with KWH Pipe being able to manufacture and supply the pipe for the project in approximately 50% of the time it would take in a normal pipe production unit”

The Glencorse Water Treatment Works (WTW) will also use ‘green’ technology to generate 250 kilowatts of power through an on-site hydro turbine. That will help to produce about a third of the facility’s energy needs.

Because the Glencorse WTW is replacing the existing Fairmilehead and Alnwickhill facilities, which have been serving Edinburgh for more than a hundred years, there will be no disruption to the city’s drinking water supply during construction.

Customers can keep up to date and comment on the work by visiting our special website, www.scottishwater.co.uk/glencorse.    

PICTURE NOTE: Photograph shows staff at the Glencorse site. By Douglas McBride Photography

 

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