As the company which developed Europe’s first barrier pipe more than 30 years ago, egeplast has a long-standing track record in the delivery of innovative pipe systems for specialist applications. Here, James Roebuck (National Sales Manager at egeplast UK) explains why barrier pipe is the optimum solution for contaminated land applications.
Construction sites located on contaminated or ‘brown field’ sites present a unique set of challenges for water companies and contractors. Both organisations need to ensure the pipe network is effectively sealed and the clean water it carries is protected from potential contamination while delivering their projects on time and within an often stringent budget. All too often, the temptation is to focus on what appears to be the cheapest solution – standard pipe which is wrapped to prevent the ingress of harmful contaminants – when in reality a tried and tested barrier pipe solution delivers a more robust and cost-effective solution.
So what are the issues with taking a standard pipe and wrapping it for use in a contaminated environment? The issues for both the water company and the contractor are two-fold: the quality and durability of the solution, and the overall cost of the product and its installation.
Barrier pipe is undoubtedly more expensive to purchase ‘off the shelf’ than standard pipe but by the time standard pipe has been wrapped on site the costs of this option can be quadruple the price of a barrier pipe system. In addition, as the pipe is wrapped on site in less than ideal conditions, the quality of the wrap is nowhere near that of a specially designed and prefabricated barrier pipe which has been manufactured in accordance with strict quality control standards in a dedicated manufacturing facility. The integrity of a wrapped pipe on-site may well be compromised and it will almost certainly be less durable than a specially designed and fabricated barrier pipe system.
In contrast, by specifying SLA barrier pipe contractors and water companies can be confident that they have a robust, durable solution that is ultimately much more cost effective to purchase and, because SLA barrier pipe requires only a standard installation process on site, is much quicker, easier and cheaper to install. The installation ‘outcome’ is inevitably superior.
As a result, utility companies and contractors now specify egeplast SLA barrier pipe on sites where contamination is likely. By doing so the water company and its contractors are also able to access a wide range of compatible fittings manufactured by egeplast UK at its Doncaster manufacturing facility. This means there is no need to fabricate fittings on site. Sometimes utility companies buy alternative mechanical fittings, often manufactured from different materials, to “connect” during the installation process. This significantly increases installation time, cost and inconvenience. Difficult installation conditions on site often compromises the installation. Whereas using SLA fabricated fittings creates a sealed system and gives performance assurance to the utility company and their consumers.
Perhaps the benefits of using SLA barrier pipe and working with egeplast UK are best summed up by Chris Wiseman, Senior Buyer at contractor JN Bentley, which recently worked with Northumbrian Water on a water treatment works project. Chris comments: “We required SLA barrier pipe and fabricated fittings for a project in contaminated ground. As we have come to expect, the team at egeplast UK was able to do the fittings required with a very quick turnaround and it was an easy process to sort and work with egeplast UK on the right solution for the project. The level of quality and service provided make egeplast UK one of the best if not the best pressure pipe and fitting supplier in the UK.”
For more information on the egeplast SLA Barrier Pipe system, contact egeplast UK on 01427 875770.