This year’s nominations recognise exceptional innovative projects & products across 7 categories.
Highly prestigious, the UKSTT awards have been at the heart of the industry since 1995. Representing the best of a highly competitive field, the shortlist for 2021 has been selected by an independent panel of industry experts.
This year’s winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony on the evening of Wednesday 15th September during the biennial No-Dig Live event.
· Innovative Product
Qinov8 UK Ltd – The Aquapea – Recent advances in polymer technology have enabled the development of a ground-breaking alternative to traditional pipeline leakage reductions and repairs called the Aquapea.
This is a pea-sized product made from a specially formulated two-part polymer with a buoyant polypropylene core, which allows it to free swim inside customers service pipelines and in most cases, repair the leaks without unnecessary costs of excavations and with little impact on the customers and environment. The Aquapea is WRAS Approved and is water quality tested to BS6920 ‘for use in contact with water intended for human consumption’. This is in every sense a trenchless technology.
Wessex Water Ltd, Headlight AI Ltd, Bright Innovations Group Ltd – ‘Telesto’ 3D LiDAR Modelling of Tunnels in Semi-Turbulent Flow – Telesto is a multi-sensor system with intelligent software that attaches to a floating platform that traverses underground assets for 3D modelling in semi-turbulent flow. It enhances the health and safety for workers involved in the surveying of subterranean assets by preventing confined spaces entry, thereby removing the associated hazards. It goes beyond CCTV and laser profiling solutions on the market and provides a more cost-effective route towards asset digitalisation compared with traditional surveying techniques. The customer obtains the 3D information and the position of defects and anomalies, which are automatically extracted and reported using traditional and machine learning approaches.
SGN, ULS Technologies & RPS – Robotic Roadworks & Excavation System – SGN and ULC Technologies have collaborated to develop an advanced robotic system to pave the way for change in the way utility roadworks are performed. The Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System (RRES) will replace conventional methods of excavation, utility interaction and reinstatement.
Using a precision robotic arm with hot swappable tooling including a below-ground locating sensor package, RRES will use AI, machine vision, and “soft-touch” excavation tools on an electrically powered mobile platform to provide an end to end solution.
By eliminating the need for traditional equipment and processes, the system promises a range of benefits including minimising disruption, emissions and safer working conditions for operatives in the field setting a new standard for the future of roadworks.
· Renovation Water & Wastewater
TPMD, Southern Water – Heading Underground – Upgrading Thanet’s Sewers – The sewers beneath the streets of Ramsgate and Broadstairs are unique; constructed more than 100-years’ ago, and some more than 28-metres below the surface, pipes rest at the bottom of hand-dug chalk tunnels. Southern Water is investing more than £30m upgrading this ageing network, ensuring it’s fit for future generations. Delivered by confined space and trenchless technology experts, TPMD, this complex engineering challenge comprises of tunnel repairs and strengthening, patching, CIPP lining, manhole upgrades and new storage tanks. Working in more than 170 streets, over two summer seasons, specialist construction skills reduced the impact on these bustling seaside towns.
Wessex Water & Onsite Ltd – Weymouth Saline Intrusion Sealing – As an 18-year high astronomical tidal surge approached the sound coast in July 2020, Wessex Water identified chloride spikes via saline ingress into the sewers, around the historic harbour in Weymouth Dorset. As the sea water took advantage of defects in the 600mm trunk sewers, the process at the Radipole sewerage treatment centre would be affected. Within a few weeks of appraisal, a £450k scheme by Onsite Ltd, sealed 700m of sewers and adjoining manholes, on cost and ahead of programme. A sustainable matrix of solutions meeting high standards of H&S compliance, over a continuous framework partnership of 20 years.
Wessex Water, Onsite Ltd & Bateman Consulting Pty – The River Parrett Twin CIPP Pressure Lining Renovation
When considering the British Water Industry, the use of Cured in Place pressure liners is still relatively new, considering they were first used in the UK by Insituform Permaline Ltd; and abroad by Ashimori and Osaka Bosui and the development of Paltem and Phoenix in the 1980’s. But with the new ISO 11297, we have the opportunity to encourage their use to a greater degree, as Wessex Water have at the River Parrett, Somerset. Twin 450mm diameter Class A, ‘Independent’ pressure linings , saving almost £1000k over alternative methods, using submarine eversion techniques to overcome highly fluctuating tidal threats.
Terra Solutions / Irish Water – Dublin’s Phoenix Park & River Liffey
The Liffey Siphons are twin 900mm diameter foul sewers approximately 3.4km in length, under Dublin’s Phoenix Park & River Liffey. Its a key section of sewerage infrastructure for Dublin’s needs. The siphons were constructed in the mid-1980s to connect the Blanchardstown to the Grand Canal Sewer System and onward to Ringsend for treatment. After cleaning & CCTV surveying the lines a suite of challenging trenchless installation/remedial works were deployed to rehabilitate the siphon inlet/outlet chambers, the two tunnels through which the siphons pass, tunnel access shafts, as well as upgrade works to the hatchboxes & flow-meters on the siphon line.
· New Installation Water & Wastewater
Barhale – Mill Harbour Sewer Diversion
Civil engineering and infrastructure specialist Barhale was engaged by Ballymore to design and build an adoptable solution facilitating the construction of 766 new homes in Canary Wharf. The initial client solution encroached within the DLR footprint. Barhale’s innovative solution reduced risk, time and cost. The location entailed working outside of the footprint of the future apartment blocks’ site to allow the diversion of an existing 1600mm sewer connecting to the existing Thames Water sewer. Additional challenges were presented by the need to negotiate the other utilities, telecoms and heavily-used roads supporting one of the world’s major financial centres.
McAllister Group / Tideway Tunnel (Ferrovial) – Chelsea FLUME, Thames Tideway Tunnel
The project scope was to introduce a temporary flume structural liner for Thames Tideway Tunnel into the Low Level No.1 (LL1) Thames Water sewer on Chelsea embankment to safeguard the asset during the construction of a new weir chamber connecting on to the main Tideway tunnel beneath the flume. The LL1 sewer was exposed to the springer level where the temporary support cage / leakage liner was removed. After which the mild steel flume was installed and supported by 16no. rods to a top beam at ground level. The LL1 sewer is a 2084mm diameter circular brick sewer originally constructed by cut-and-cover methods in the late 19th century. Cover to the sewer is approximately 8.5m below road level. The mild steel flume installed had an internal diameter of 1.9m and spanned approximately 14m of the weir chamber shaft.
O’Connor Utilities Ltd / Irish Water / Ervia – Cork Harbour Main Drainage System
The Cork Harbour Main Drainage System project was developed to end the discharge of raw sewage into Cork Harbour and to achieve compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. 14 Pumping Stations and 27km of sewers have been installed to collect 40,000 wheelie bins per day of sewage for treatment at the new Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant.
O’Connor Utilities were contracted to design and install two parallel kilometre long x 500mm diameter pipelines beneath the Rive Lee estuary by HDD to connect 20,000 properties on the east side of the harbour to the treatment works on the west.
· New Installation Energy & Communications
Eco Drill Ltd / Volker Infrastructure / A F Howlands Associates / Alresford Associates – Hornsea 2 Wind Farm Onshore
Eco-Drill Ltd undertook horizontal directional drilling at 62 locations along a 40 km route from Horseshoe Point, south of Grimsby, to the National Grid onshore substation in North Killingholme, installing 3 individual directional drills at each location for the Hornsea 2 Wind farm ( an addition to the world’s largest off shore windfarm). Each of the individual 186 drills involved installing 3 way 250mm SDR 11 electric cable duct in tre-foil configuration from 40m to 400m in length. The use of Radius Pipe systems “ClearDuct” pipe resulted in no internal de-beading required which meant the elimination of cctv survey.
· Application of Digital Technology
Scanprobe Techniques Ltd – Mina Survey
Mina Survey is a free mobile app available on iOS & Android, which enhances the trenchless survey capabilities for the drainage and utilities industries. Connecting wirelessly to your Scanprobe push-rod camera system, it enables the user to create and deliver fully formatted reports with in-pipe photos & digital drawings to the customer on site, in minutes, at no extra cost. Saving the engineer time and effort, and providing the customers with a visual and trustworthy report.
Plowman Craven Ltd / IWJS – Macclesfield Gyro
Plowman Craven’s utilities team was asked to find the line and level of 2x 90m culverts that ran under a road so that connections could be made from a new housing development in Macclesfield.
Using a state-of-the-art gyroscopic mapping system our surveyors were able to successfully locate both the 600mm and 800mm culverts at a depth of 15m – despite the many challenges of dense vegetation, dangerous access and utility congestion.
Wessex Water Ltd / Headlight AI Ltd / Bright Innovations Ltd – ‘Telesto’ 3D LiDAR Modelling of Tunnels in Semi-Turbulent Flow
Telesto is a multi-sensor system with intelligent software that attaches to a floating platform that traverses underground assets for 3D modelling in semi-turbulent flow. It enhances the health and safety for workers involved in the surveying of subterranean assets by preventing confined spaces entry, thereby removing the associated hazards. It goes beyond CCTV and laser profiling solutions on the market and provides a more cost-effective route towards asset digitalisation compared with traditional surveying techniques. The customer obtains the 3D information and the position of defects and anomalies, which are automatically extracted and reported using traditional and machine learning approaches.
Public Sewer Services / Anglian Water Services Ltd / Sykes Pumps / Highway Safety Management Ltd – Woodfield Road, Benfleet, Essex
Condor Pipe glides to the rescue
A 300mm foul water pipe was 75% deformed along with significant root infiltration with further structural defects upstream causing a risk of bank erosion, landslides and damage to badger setts along with residential properties. PSS devised a way to mix, match and adapt a methodical system to repair the pipe with little impact to the environment.
The works were completed in a fraction of the time, significantly reducing the budget cost to the satisfaction of the client, stakeholders and residents.
Watertight Management Ltd / Severn Trent Water – Camers Green Mains Renewal
The Camers Green project started in November 2019 with the purpose of installing 8,825m of new water mains replacing the existing, ageing 3in, 4in and 6in AC & CI water mains. Watertight Management Ltd carried out the work on behalf of Severn Trent Water Limited as part of their mains replacement programme with a target completion date of April 2020 in order to meet their leakage and burst criteria. The detail design and environmental support was provided by Severn Trent Water Limited’s framework suppliers. There were numerous highways, private land, customer and environmental challenges.
Wessex Water / Onsite Ltd – Weymouth Saline Intrusion Sealing
As an 18-year high astronomical tidal surge approached the sound coast in July 2020, Wessex Water identified chloride spikes via saline ingress into the sewers, around the historic harbour in Weymouth Dorset. As the sea water took advantage of defects in the 600mm trunk sewers, the process at the Radipole sewerage treatment centre would be affected.
Within a few weeks of appraisal, a £450k scheme by Onsite Ltd, sealed 700m of sewers and adjoining manholes, on cost and ahead of programme. A sustainable matrix of solutions meeting high standards of H&S compliance, over a continuous framework partnership of 20 years.
· Young Professional
Gordon McMillan – Innovation Project Officer, SGN Innovation is key in unleashing the potential of trenchless technology within the utility industry. The Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System (RRES) has the potential to revolutionise roadwork operations and set a new standard.
Throughout 2020 Gordon has been working on developing the world’s first all-electric autonomous robot which fuses artificial intelligence, cutting edge robotics and advanced custom tooling.
As RRES will take up less space than conventional methods and remove the operator from the hazardous excavation zone, the system will have significant financial, safety and environmental benefits.
Josh Bentley – Critical Sewers Engineer, Wessex Water
Josh took his first steps into the world of trenchless technologies when he started a new role in the Wessex Water Sewer Rehab Team in 2019. Before joining this team, Josh had completed his first 2 years of a 3-year civil apprenticeship, spending time in other departments linked with Wessex Waters Engineering and Construction sector. One of these departments being sewer rehabilitation. Within this ‘rotation’ Josh was able to see the new innovative ways in which Wessex Water repaired sewers and tunnels. Seeing the possibilities and ideas people created which had huge beneficial outcomes sparked his interest in the industry ever since.