Scottish Water Experts Help to Keep Supplies on Tap in Darlington

Water quality engineering specialist Panton McLeod has used the latest cleaning technology to ensure that customers’ water supply in Darlington is maintained at the highest possible standards.

The company was contracted by Northumbrian Water (NW) to carry out a clean to one of the huge storage tanks at a major water treatment works in County Durham – a facility that provides drinking water to thousands of homes in Darlington.

The facility is one of a network, often hidden from public view, that are involved in delivering drinking water to millions of homes and businesses across the Northumbrian Water region. Despite being out of sight, the large water containers have to be maintained to the highest standards.

Panton McLeod had originally been called to clean one of the main storage tanks at the water works following a remedial repair project during the run up to Christmas. However, due to the adverse winter weather and operational changes, the firm was asked to start work on the facility earlier than planned at short notice – in order to ensure customers would face no disruption to their water supplies over the festive period.

By using specialist pumping equipment, the firm’s expert team of engineers was able to get to the site quickly and ensure that the cleaning work was carried out with minimal disruption – and more than a day earlier than they had originally planned.

Paul Henderson, Operations Director at Panton McLeod, said: “We have a long history of working with NW and also had previous experience of cleaning particular facility from a few years ago, so we were ideally placed to carry out this new project at the water treatment works for NW.

“We were called to clean one of the two main storage tanks at the facility, using special pumping and air moving equipment to ensure that the work was done swiftly, safely and efficiently. The facility supplies up to 100 million litres of water a day to households in the Darlington area, so we had to ensure that customers’ supplies were not affected while our work was ongoing.

“We were originally scheduled to carry out the work during the last few days leading up to Christmas, but the final date for the project was changed at very short notice. This meant we had to respond quickly to make sure we could get our staff on-site earlier than we had expected.

“As this cleaning work also took place during the critical festive run-up – and when severe winter weather across the country during December was making travel conditions to site almost impossible – it was a challenging project for us. However, we deployed a resourceful team, including some local engineers from the South Shields area with appropriate off-road vehicles and equipment, who were able to get to the facility and carry out the work quickly and efficiently.

“We had team members travelling up from Nottingham who were on-site within five hours of taking the initial call from Northumbrian Water. Considering the adverse weather, this was a tremendous effort by our team and enabled us to work into Sunday evening, by getting this initial pumping stage completed it allowed us to have the whole facility cleaned and ready by 1pm on Monday – more than a day earlier than was originally expected.

“I am delighted that we ensured the facility was able to get back to full productivity as quickly as possible. All of the lads worked extremely hard and their efforts ensured that customers in Darlington were able to enjoy their water supplies and cook their Christmas dinners with confidence. I would also like to thank team leader John Davison and the other NWL site staff for helping out, there was a great team effort and their coffee and biscuits definitely kept spirits up in the cold conditions.”

John Davison, NW Team Leader added “Without the swift response, expertise and hard work of the Panton McLeod team in very unpleasant weather conditions we would never have been able to return the tank to service as quickly as we did.

Their assistance was pivotal in ensuring the supply of excellent  quality drinking water was never comprimised. On behalf of Northumbrian Water and our customers I would like to pass on our thanks.”

Panton McLeod has 15 years experience at developing and applying highly specialised procedures to clean and disinfect the UK’s drinking water storage structures.

The firm has also pioneered the use of underwater robots in the UK which are used to inspect and clean these structures while they are still on-line – meaning that there is no disruption to customers’ supplies.

For 2010, Panton McLeod will be placing great emphasis on the repair and refurbishment of drinking water storage structures across the country, having in recent years carried out repair projects for some of the UK’s biggest water companies.

In the past decade, the firm has grown from its headquarters in Newtown St Boswells and it now has further offices in Nottingham and in the United States. The U.S. base in Denver, Colorado, is the hub for its North American division Panton McLeod Americas – which is currently revolutionising the way drinking water storage and treatment structures are cleaned and disinfected across the USA.

Contact: Holyrood Partnership
Phone: 0131 561 2244