We’re delighted to have recently been awarded UKWIR’s (UK Water Industry Research) ‘Asbestos Cement (AC) water mains deterioration and failure prediction models project’ which will be steered by Technical Director George Heywood.

Evidence in parts of the UK and across the world (e.g. Australia, USA and Canada) shows that the failure rate of AC mains is increasing; as such there is concern that there will be a need for accelerated replacement of these pipes in the near term.

Whilst there may be opportunities to extend the life of such pipes through lining and pressure management, these interventions are inadequate in the longer term. It is important to understand the short- and long-term impact of deterioration mechanisms on the future failure rates of AC mains, in order to plan investment appropriately.

The aims of the project are to carry out a nationwide review of AC mains installed in various environments and to develop deterioration and failure prediction models for use in investment planning.

Servelec Technologies won the project through an open competitive tender process led by UKWIR.

Rebecca Haylock, UKWIR Project Manager, commented that “the panel assessing tenders chose Servelec Technologies because of their expertise in this area, the team they have assembled, and thorough technical approach”.

The Servelec Technologies project team includes Atkins and the University of Surrey.  The UKWIR led project will coordinate closely with a sister project in Australia, being managed by the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), with the UK research having an additional focus on pipe joints.

George Heywood commented “This project gives us a great opportunity to advance the science in this area. Based on the UKWIR National Mains Failure Database, we will collate a large data set on AC mains and their performance that includes the key influential factors of soil and water chemistry. This will enable us to make deterioration models that will greatly improve companies’ ability to optimise their renewals expenditure.” 

Asked about Servelec Technologies’ track record with UKWIR, George commented “we are very proud of our long history of successful UKWIR research projects, including in this area of asset deterioration modelling. We are delighted to have been awarded this project and to be able to contribute to international research in this important area.”


About UKWIR (UK Water Industry Research)

UKWIR was set up by the UK water industry in 1993 to provide a framework for the procurement of a common research programme for UK water companies on 'one voice' issues. UKWIR is responsible for facilitating the shaping of the water industry's research agenda, developing the research programme, procuring and managing the research and disseminating the findings. UKWIR's members comprise 19 water and sewerage undertakers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.