United Utilities – the water provider for north west England has announced that an electric baggage vehicle normally seen at airports is going to be used on a major aqueduct inspection. The Haweswater Aqueduct which flows from the Lake District to Manchester – a distance of 90km is be given a thorough inspection involving 80 engineers over a two-week period. To enable the job to take place quickly and to avoid disruption they will be using the specially adapted Canadian vehicles.
United Utilities’ senior project manager Paul Anderton said: “These vehicles are perfect for running safely and cleanly through pipes which form the backbone of the North West’s water pipeline network.
“We have been testing a specially-adapted version in an empty pipeline under Cumbria’s Tarn Moor – high in the Bampton Fells. “The beauty of these vehicles is that they don’t have dirty, oily engines, which could pollute our pristine pipes if something went wrong.”
“Some points will be nine kilometres from the nearest access point. These vehicles will not only carry workers to where they’re needed as quickly and effectively as possible, they’ll also tow essential welfare equipment to keep them comfortable while they’re at work. One will be kitted out as a rescue and first aid vehicle, in case anyone feels unwell while they’re down there,” said Paul.
The exact date of the inspection has not yet been finalised, but could be as soon as later this year. It will provide the first detailed information on the condition of the 60-year-old concrete pipe’s full length since it was built in the 1950s.
In this type of work it is essential that good hygiene practices are followed to ensure that safety of the drinking water. Attendance on the National Water Hygiene Scheme course is a requirement for the job. More details on the course which is also known as the “blue card course” is available at https://waterhygienecard.co.uk