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CP508  Reducing Pollution Risk at Critical Locations in Sewer Networks Sewerage
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Sewerage operators are experiencing an increase in the number of pollution incidents caused by failures in the sewer system. This is of concern because pollution incidents are an important measure of serviceability, they impact on the environment, affect customer service scores and risk a prosecution, resulting in reputational and financial damage to the company.

A very high proportion of these incidents are occurring in parts of the sewer network that have relatively low blockage rates and no previous history of incidents. It is therefore not practical to use, for example, established blockage prevention measures to reduce the number of pollution incidents.

This project will enable companies to proactively identify critical locations in the sewer network, where an asset failure would be more likely to cause a pollution incident and to take measures to reduce pollution risk from an asset failure at that location. Overall the project will enable more effective proactive management of the sewer networks to minimise the number of pollution incidents.

Business Benefits to Clients

Reduced numbers of incidents through:

  • More effective focus of interventions on those parts of the system where an asset failure would be most likely to lead to a pollution incident.
  • More effective use of monitoring, to identify the onset of asset failures at critical locations, and application of low cost physical interventions, to reduce the number of critical locations.

Work Programme

  1. Overview and examination of sewer network pollution incidents and pollution incident data and selection of a number of examples for more detailed investigation.
  2. Detailed assessment to identify the mechanisms that lead asset failures to cause a pollution incident and to identify critical locations.
  3. Review and assessment of low cost modification of systems to reduce the probability that asset failure will cause pollution.
  4. Review of monitoring options and equipment that provide early warning.
  5. Development of methodology and guide for assessment and adaptation of sewer networks.

Project Output and Implementation

  • Procedure for sewerage planners/operators to identify critical locations in the sewer system.
  • Guidance for sewerage operators on interventions to reduce the criticality of highly critical locations
  • Guidance for sewerage operators on low cost innovative early warning monitoring

Related WRc Work

  • CP312 Propensity of properties to flooding (2008)
  • CP258 Proactive low cost monitoring for sewer cleaning (2009)
  • P9112 Operation guidance for pollution prevention and control in sewer systems (2001)

WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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