Although rising main failures account for less than 1% of the number of pumping station failures in the UK, they are the cause of over 30% of the incidents that involve pollution or flooding. Rising main failures are more likely to lead to pollution as it is often difficult to set up by-pass arrangements, and it can be difficult to carry out repairs before pollution occurs.
Environmental clean up costs can therefore be significant and pollution incidents resulting from rising main failures appear to be more likely to lead to prosecutions than other types of failure.
Four water utilities funded this project, which provided a proactive maintenance strategy, to identify and upgrade those rising mains most at risk of failure. This allowed pre-emptive repairs to be undertaken before failure occured.
The application of the proactive maintenance strategy developed:
- Reduced the number of sewage pumping station failures
- Provided the environmental regulators with reassurance that this activity was managed effectively, reducing the likelihood of prosecution in the event of an incident.