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Networks Issue No.12

Summer 2013

A Steep Challenge! A new road and improved drainage aids access at the William Girling Reservoir

> intro

Welcome Emergency! Ian Noble contract director And so our third year of coming together as the Optimise team is complete, and in this edition I take a glimpse ahead at the two years that remain of our AMP5 adventure. These quarterly Networks magazines provide a regular snapshot of our journey and we have come a long way since the first edition three years ago. A fascinating aspect of the programme is the never-ending changes that we embrace in order to move forward. In this edition, this is clear in the report on the OPEX reorganisation taking place, and in the innovative pipe-pulling technique developed for the lead pipe replacement programme in north London. Amid all the change, some things endure, not least the relentless volume of work and the financial, regulatory, practical and personal challenges in our way.

Notting Hill highlights Optimise expertise Emergency works for Capital Delivery come in all shapes and sizes. While the two North London projects on page 11 are fairly typical, once in a while a really high profile job comes along that hits the headlines.

the top of the water main.

One such project in Notting Hill Gate in May showed how Optimise rises to the occasion.

The Optimise team and Thames Water communications team worked closely to make sure that the local media understood why the road had to be closed. This was particularly challenging as they were unable to give an estimated end date until the voids had been thoroughly investigated. The team used a combination of press releases, a text message service and even a YouTube video to keep residents, local businesses and anyone who commutes to the area updated on progress.

The project came Optimise’s way when the emergency repair and maintenance contractor for North London discovered huge voids under a leaking 30 inch pipe outside Notting Hill Gate tube station. To protect the safety of drivers, the road was closed. A large gas main in the way also added to the complexity of the job, and extensive investigations had to be conducted to determine the extent of the voids and work out whether the repair required National Grid to move the 24-inch gas pipe, which ran over

It was vital to ensure the ground was stable before any heavy equipment was brought in, as only then could work begin on the water pipe.

Complaints were also kept to a minimum by visiting local residents and businesses and holding a drop-in for interested parties.

But one thing that does not change is our ability to deliver. From longterm ongoing activities such as the lead pipe replacement programme, the flood alleviation programme and SCADA, to the countless individual projects we complete, all of these demonstrate how we improve people’s lives across the Thames Water area. From tunnel relining to reservoir maintenance, and from major capital schemes such as the Speen pipeline to being relied upon to solve technically-complex emergency projects, one thing is clear. When a job needs doing, Optimise gets it done.

Huge voids were discovered under the road and flood defence barriers were excavated around the main excavation. A YouTube video also kept locals informed.

Front Page: Optimise is constructing a 5.7 km long road around the edge of the William Girling Reservoir in Enfield, north London.


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Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

> health and safety updates

Service Strike! Incident highlights strike risks A service strike resulting in burns injuries led to a series of stand downs and the briefing of approximately 800 people, all organised within three days of the incident. An experienced gang was working in Carnaby Street in the West End on the north London Developer Services contract when the team leader, Dave, struck an uncharted cable. The low voltage 414v 3 phase supply was to a building which had spurred off the LV street supply. Dave received flash burns to his face, arms and legs and was taken to hospital. After transfer to a specialist burns unit and treatment for his injuries, he was released the same day and should make a full recovery. A tool box talk for all front line operatives was immediately implemented and a series of stand downs urgently organised, at which 800 people in groups of up to 250 heard Thames Water and Optimise managers discussing service strikes, time versus risks and the consequences of getting it wrong. The briefings included a video of a powerful interview with Dave, in which he described the intense emotions of being involved in such an incident, and the worry of his wife and two children when they heard the news. The same video saw colleague Kyle describe his horror at seeing Dave ‘engulfed in flames, with smoke everywhere’. The stand down briefing spelled out Optimise’s responsibilities in providing the correct information, training, tools and equipment, and the role of operatives to use or implement them all properly. It also reminded everyone of the Zero Compromise card that has been introduced across all of Thames Water and Optimise giving everyone authority to stop any activity that cannot be carried out safely and to assist in putting it right.

HSEQ manager Nick Gilbert said: “We have worked hard to reduce the level of service strikes in the business, and as a result we have cut the service strike incident level from 40 per month, some 12 months ago, to around 20 per month. However, around a third of these were electricity cables and this latest incident graphically demonstrates how these have the potential to cause our people significant harm.” In order to reduce service strike levels even further, Optimise has also embarked upon an important new assessment and training programme. Optimise has employed an external specialist who has established that the behaviours and attitudes of individuals in the work place are key elements in the level of risks being taken and can therefore directly affect the number of utility strikes occurring. Basically, overconfidence can mask a lack of knowledge and underconfidence can prevent a competent person from acting safely when challenged. Nick Gilbert said: “The new Cable and Underground Utility Avoidance Evaluation measures these risks. It identifies each participant’s knowledge and understanding about the behavioural risks they may take in any given situation.”

“...we have cut the service strike incident level from 40 per month, some 12 months ago, to around 20 per month...” Nick Gilbert, HSEQ manager

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

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> health and safety updates

H&S Stand Down Zero Compromise spells out commitment In April Optimise stood down all its people in support of the Thames Water ‘Zero Compromise’ initiative.

This site  fully  suppo rts   Thames  Water’s  zer o   compromise  cards  

it is absolutely clear what they mean by each one.”

A revised Health and Safety vision was launched. The ‘zero accidents, zero harm, zero compromise’ slogan has been updated to ‘zero incidents, zero harm, zero compromise: keeping you healthy and safe, every day at work’.

In addition, ‘Zero Compromise’ Cards were introduced. Everyone working on behalf of Thames Water is being given a copy of the credit card-size card, which was launched by Thames Water CEO Martin Baggs at the March Health and Safety Conference.

Also, Thames Water’s new health and safety policy was spelled out. Optimise HSEQ manager Nick Gilbert said: “A key aspect of this is that now each of the seven health and safety aims are attributed to one of the three zeros. They have also created sentences to support the zeros so that

Nick Gilbert said: “Everyone at Thames Water – and Optimise – is empowered and authorised by Martin to stop work if it is unsafe, and to assist in putting it right. No-one should feel that they might be challenged for doing the right thing. Everyone has a copy of the card so everyone knows the right thing

If you  see  any  unsafe   act  on  site  or   circumstance  that  coul d  lead  to  an   incident,  please  stop  and   immediately  assist  i n  pu9ng  it  right.    

to do is to protect the health and safety of themselves and others. “The new slogan, updated policy and the Zero Compromise Card are all designed to help us achieve triple zero every day. I would encourage everyone to think about their role in keeping us all safe.”

Lost Time Incident Boards Boards display safety record The use of Lost Time Incident Boards on Optimise sites is continuing to drive home the safety message. The boards were recently introduced for use on CAPEX projects and are displayed on main sites which last for more than one month, to show the number of days since the last occasion

that a lost time incident occurred on the site or another CAPEX site. Meanwhile the equivalent boards on OPEX sites have had to be reset to zero following a RIDDOR when an operative fractured an ankle after slipping off a trailer. Nick Gilbert said: “It was a most unfortunate event. It brought to an end

Behavioural Safety Training helps change attitudes The programme of Behavioural Safety training continues, with a further 120 staff trained during June and further dates to follow. Behavioural safety is a proven technique that uses psychological and cultural engagement to help change people’s attitudes and behaviour regarding safe working. Optimise has chosen the well-respected MindSafety organisation – already used by three of Optimise’s four JV partners -- to deliver the training.


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The programme of Optimise-specific training began in Spring 2011. It includes elements developed specifically for the organisation’s requirements after agreement with the Health & Safety Leadership team. Watch out for a new series of behavioural posters launching soon.

an OPEX accident-free record spanning more than 18 months – which was a superb achievement. “Now the daily counter starts ticking again as we try to extend the accidentfree period once more.”

> health and safety updates

Near Miss Winners Paul spots streetlight hazard Best Near Miss Winner Congratulations to Paul Cruse for winning the January to March 2013 Best Near Miss Award. Paul works on the Opex Repair and Maintenance Contract in Thames Valley. He was called out to repair a leaking main in Buckingham Drive, Emmer Green and noticed that the leak was located under an electric streetlight. He immediately realised the danger of trying to repair the main with the live streetlight in situ and contacted the local council to have it removed before carrying out any further works.

Paul Cruse (right) receives the Near Miss winner vouchers from supervisor Ian Turner.

Random Near Miss Winner The Random Near Miss winner for January to March 2013 was Callan Roach, whilst working on the Optimise SDAC Sewer Survey contract in East London. Contract manager Dave Sayers (below left) is pictured presenting Callan with £50 in vouchers of his choice.

In light of the recent Thames Water stand down, Paul has demonstrated an excellent example of Zero Compromise and he is to be congratulated for escalating the matter to a safe resolution. He wins £50 in vouchers of his choice which were presented to him by his supervisor Ian Turner.

Lighthouse Charity Presentation £10,000 cheque from Optimise Near Miss success Pat McMahon from Developer Services is pictured presenting a ‘big cheque’ for a massive £10,000, on behalf of Optimise to Rob Smith, Chairman of the Lighthouse Club, for its Lighthouse Benevolent Fund. The Fund was set up by the construction industry charity to give assistance to construction workers and their families who suffer an injury or ill health. Optimise donates £1 for every Near Miss Card received. The reporting levels have been outstanding and in February the 10,000th Near Miss card was submitted.

Rob Smith, left, Chairman of the Lighthouse Club, receiving the cheque from Pat McMahon from Developer Services.

The Lighthouse Club is run by people in the construction industry, operating from 22 locations around the UK. Since its formation in 1962 the Lighthouse Club Benevolent Fund, the registered charity, has given out nearly £10 million in aid and has helped thousands of construction workers and their families. Membership of the club costs £20 a year and is open to anyone in the construction industry. Go to for more details.

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

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> Spotlight

OPEX Update Progress continues on reshaped programme “The pilot has showed what we can accomplish when we all work together. When our NSTs and Enablers can tell us what a job will require, we can plan better and it helps us avoid aborted visits.” Tim Turner, performance manager

Following agreements reached with Thames Water earlier this year, OPEX in Optimise continues to make good progress. Initially, OPEX was able to improve the process of capturing photographs of work and applying for payment from Thames Water. These changes have enabled a single system for managing photos to be used, have removed the requirement to take photos using Toughbooks and allowed the team to stop using whiteboards for job information, which Mobile-i can do automatically.

has been Tim Turner of Optimise, who has recently taken a lead role in the Brixton planning office. ”The pilot has showed what we can accomplish when we all work together,” explained Tim, as he addressed Thames Water and Optimise staff at briefing events in Croydon and Oxford at the end of June. “When our NSTs and Enablers can tell us what a job will require, we can plan better and it helps us avoid aborted visits.” R&M South London has also been focussing on the cost of street works. In April, overstaying permits and incurring fixed penalties cost Optimise £612,000; since then, Dean O’Toole has

been working with the team in Brixton to develop daily checks that permits for the work are always in place, that permits are closed when work is completed and the causes of fixed penalty notices are avoided. More information on these projects and other initiatives kicked off during the last three months was recently shared at a communication event with management and supervisory staff from Thames Water and Optimise. Attendees also heard about a new joint dashboard, designed to show the most important measures for the management of our contract, on a single page.

More recently, OPEX has been piloting a new way of working together in South London. A joint team of staff from Optimise and Thames Water have been working together to plan, schedule, deliver and apply for all jobs in the Croydon area. Leading the pilot

WAMI Becomes SAP+ Changeover sees key changes The WAMI programme has now officially been closed down, and is being further developed under its new name, known as SAP+, a new optimisation phase. In line with the changeover, and in response to more than 400 changes requested to the newly introduced systems, 16 important developments will be introduced from July onwards as part of the 2013 Quarter 2 release.


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These include enhanced visibility of work, access to business objects reporting, the ability to bulk upload photographs from contractor systems direct, and real-time reinstatement extraction functionality. SAP+ business integration manager Louisa Coles said: “Recently there has been a series of workshops directly related to these Change Requests and this larger end-to-end ‘Optimisation’

piece of work, focusing on work flowing through the system and identifying the bottlenecks, issues and bugs.” Approval in principle has been granted from Thames Water for internal field staff training to be managed by the individual contracts, and the training programmes are currently being constructed, and relevant staff identified.

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

> Spotlight

OPEX Initiatives New communication techniques introduced Along with the joint projects in hand with Thames Water, the Optimise OPEX teams have also taken the lead and introduced a series of new initiatives themselves.

users. John said: “Regional manager Mat Sheppard and senior contracts manager Alan Marshall quickly promoted the idea to be used across all the contracts - R&M in South London and Thames Valley, and DS in North London and Thames Valley.

“The boards are located in the offices as well as the cabin where the operatives can view it to remind and engage them in the delivery of the contract on a daily basis.”

A regular newsletter – the Dig Issue – has been created to bring key messages to OPEX gangs. John Anthoney of R&M in south London said: “This originated in Brixton as the Brixton Blog, and then Alan Marshall said we should have the message going across both south London and Thames Valley contracts. Alan came up with DIG ISSUE, which we all thought was spot on!

“This method has now been used to send out quick response alerts after significant incidents, to all teams within an hour of receiving the request. Messages are predominantly of a safety nature, but can also include environmental and customer care topics too.”

There has been very positive feedback to the TechTalk in-cab manuals introduced in R&M and these are now being introduced to Developer Services, in a form modified to suit their different processes.

“We have tried our best to grab people’s attention by not only having some banter and a quiz, but some bullet point safety messages.”

Developer Services contracts in Thames Valley region and North London have introduced ‘Keeping Our Customer Promises’ information boards, to promote good customer service. Karen Ives of DS at Kidlington said: “This has been a great incentive to the teams as a whole, creating awareness to everyone on the contracts about the importance of customer communication and delivering a great job in the agreed time scales.


Toughbook Alerts John and Lee Mussell at Brixton also came up with the idea of daily alerts which could be sent electronically to appear on the screens of all Toughbook


Information Boards

Training Film In house video on Photo Compliance Developer Services’ informal Innovations Media team has developed a new Photo Compliance induction video for use by DS and R&M gangs.

Do identify your location.

The training film takes OPEX teams through the correct procedure for photo-recording job progress, including the reasons photos are vital, the dos and don’ts, and the health & safety considerations. It was designed and created by Karen Ives, Leon Bryan, Emily Griffiths, Nikki Leeder and Holly Lowe. Karen Ives said: “It has been posted on the Vimeo website so it can be widely accessed. We are also looking at producing similar induction training videos for Toughbook usage and SAP.”

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

Don’t stand in the road.

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> Spotlight

Year 3 And Look Ahead Contract director looks back – and on to coming years Contract director Ian Noble is touring Optimise bases to deliver an update on Year 3 activities and achievements, and look ahead to the remaining two years of the AMP5 programme. Networks takes a look at the key points from his presentation.

Year 3 highlights Hard to believe now, but Year 3 started with official drought warnings, and with a hosepipe ban in place. An Optimise team worked with Thames Water to communicate water saving information and all sites implemented water efficiency methods. Almost inevitably, London and the Thames Valley then received more than double its historic long-term average rainfall for April and we were set for a very rainy Summer! The London 2012 Olympics presented enormous challenges to Thames Water and Optimise – but delivered huge success and praise too, for the way the pre-Olympic capital works and Olympics Opex support were carried out. The event required massive preparation and major operating adjustments for many different parts of the Optimise business. Optimise had 25 waivers approved during the year. These are innovations and ways of doing things differently, totalling £20.8m. This figure represents 70 per cent of Thames Water’s overall savings from waivers. This is a good thing from the point of view of saving the client money, but we do need to find more projects to complete instead. We have also had


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further successes with innovation and seven Optimise innovation case studies have been posted on Thames’ Innovation Hub. Along with health and safety, the customer has taken centre stage at Thames Water. Optimise has performed exceptionally. In capital delivery Thames Water set our target as one commendation for every three written complaints. In year 3 we achieved a ratio of 1:1.1 and have reduced Capital delivery complaints by more than 50%, exceeding the agreed reduction target of 20%. In Developer Services, written complaints have also been dramatically reduced from a high during WAMI implementation of 630 in one month, to 30 in December 2012 - and the numbers are continuing to fall. Other Year 3 highlights have included Thames Water’s praise for Optimise’s rapid response to emergency baseload light projects, which continue to arrive at a rapid rate. These include Friar Street in Reading, Carlyle Avenue, Southall and the emergency jobs featured in this edition of Networks, among many others. Thames Water is also delighted with our work on SDAC (sewer jetting and inspection) as this work is coming in at a cost of around one third of the original estimates.

Year Three Health and Safety Optimise achieved the Accident Frequency Rate milestone of 3 million

hours worked and Zero AFR in the year, which is a superb achievement. Unfortunately an operative has since slipped and fallen when loading a lorry, fracturing his ankle. Service strikes were reduced by 50 percent over the year – which is a good result. But despite missing 99.7 percent of the services we came across, the 109 electricity cables we did hit all have the potential for death or serious injury. As reported on page 3 we have a new service strike reduction initiative starting soon to further cut strike levels, looking at confidence and competence. Finally on health and safety, Optimise delivered a great performance at the Thames Water Health and Safety Awards with wins in three categories and Near Miss reporting levels have been outstanding - in February the health and safety team received the 10,000th Near Miss report.

Meanwhile at Thames Water… There have been changes in the Thames Water leadership. Bob Collington now heads Operations, Lawrence Gosden heads Capital Delivery and Asset Management and Karl Simons has joined as head of Health and Safety.

AMP6 For the next AMP round Thames Water has decided to base its delivery on the alliancing model. Two ‘design and build’ consortia, a programme manager and a technology and innovation provider have been chosen.

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

> Spotlight

YEAR 3 – KEY FIGURES OPEX Repair & Maintenance 13,266 jobs completed by an average of 32 teams in Thames Valley The winning organisations are: • Design and Build: Costain Veolia Water Atkins (CVA) and Skanska MWH Balfour Beatty (SMB) • Programme Manager: MWH • Technology and Innovation Provider: IBM There are likely to be opportunities for Optimise and/or its partner companies to become involved as Tier One contractors and that will become clearer over the next year or so. Remember that Optimise still has at least two years to demonstrate its ability to deliver without compromising safety or customer satisfaction.

18,349 jobs completed by average of 37 teams in South London WAMI implementation

OPEX Developer Services 8614 jobs completed by average of 29 teams WAMI Implementation Customer satisfaction score improvement - written complaints back to pre-WAMI (630 written complaints for all areas in May 2012 and reduced to 30 by December 2012)

Capital Delivery Of 415 awarded projects, 94 are currently onsite and 183 are Taken Over 70.44km of mains replaced

Years 4 and 5

8,034 lead pipes replaced

For OPEX Repair & Maintenance Years 4 and 5 present significant periods of change – and the opportunity for significant improvements. New rates have been agreed, and improved forecasting and reporting are being introduced to manage resources better. Increased workshops and system changes are also planned.

39 properties have internal flooding resolved

Improved relationships are also high on the agenda, and teams will be asked to get to grips with the sustainability challenge, which means ensuring that customers are happy, the client is happy and Optimise makes money from the contract. OPEX Developer Services will also be working to new rates. The Developer Services Tracker system is being implemented to manage customer contacts more effectively.

232 GW3 achieved to date, against end Year 3 target of 233 218 Starts on Sites achieved to date, against end Year 3 target of 207 183 Takeovers achieved to date, verses end Year 3 target of 185 £98.3M baseload VOWD delivered in Year 3, lower than our target of £110M, but better than Thames’ target of £86M Plans are being introduced for smarter working and sharing resources with VMR for North London and with R&M for Thames Valley. Like their R&M colleagues, Developer Services teams will need to meet the sustainability challenge. Meanwhile, for Capital Delivery Year 4 promises to be its busiest year yet. A target of £525m by the end of AMP5 has been set and £120m in Year 4 and

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

£50m in Year 5 have already been secured. Major projects include Swindon, Haydon End, Speen and Maida Vale, as well as a significant programme of flood alleviation and CSO work.

Thank you for all your hard work.

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> Projects

Lead Pipe Replacement Massive programme is ‘leaving good legacy’ The massive lead pipe replacement programme being carried out by Optimise continues to hit all its targets. The programme, centred on the Enfield area in north London, aims to meet a Thames Water regulatory target by replacing lead communication pipes and boundary boxes at homes, ahead of new European standards which come into force in December this year. These further reduce the very low levels of lead permitted in drinking water. Before 1970 it was common practice to use lead pipes when building houses and Thames Water identified Enfield as a hotspot for potential water quality issues, defined by the age of properties and the lead supply pipes connecting them to the mains. Since October 2010 Optimise has been charged with the verification and replacement of up to 12,000 lead communication pipes and the provision of new boundary meter boxes within these Enfield hotspot areas. Since then a further 13,000 units have been added to the programme, 4000 of them in the Redbridge area of east London. John Chambers, construction manager on the lead pipe replacement programme, said: “The scale of the

project is considerable. To date there have been 20,000 excavations in the footway, 6000 excavations in the carriageway, 120,000m of lead replaced with PE pipe and 20,000 new boundary meter boxes installed. “In addition we have procured and replaced several thousand paving slabs as part of the considerable reinstatement process.” Site agents Robbie Twomey and John Casey have been involved since the start of the LPR programme and at its peak there were up to 16 three-man teams in action. There are currently 10 teams at work. During Year 3 of the AMP 8,034 replacements were completed and the team expects to deliver a further 6,000 at least during the present year. John’s team aims to use a mole as the preferred no-dig method of replacing the lead pipes, but this is only possible where existing services and ground conditions permit. He said: “We have examined a number of innovations to avoid open cut working when moling cannot be used. These have included a spray lining technique which was being trialled in Doncaster, a self drive vacuum

Lead pipe replacement programme site agents Robbie Twomey and John Casey.


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excavator, and a core drilling and suction technique. “The most promising is the Kobus pipe puller, and we have now four people trained to use the technique.” (The pipe puller is featured on the Innovations page of this edition of Networks magazine.) Other recent improvements include the use of Mobile-I cameras, as used by OPEX R&M, to give better data management of the photographs that are taken. The major challenges of delivering such a massive programme in crowded north London residential streets are inevitably traffic management and customer interaction. John Chambers said: “Thames Water distributed a leaflet to explain the replacement programme but of course our teams are the ones in the front line for dealing with customer questions and complaints. Having said that we have had many more letters of appreciation than of complaint,” said John. “We are doing a good job. We are leaving a good legacy.”

> Projects

Emergency Projects Optimise rises to difficult tasks Thames Water Operations has called in Optimise to deal with a number of technically-complex emergency projects in recent months. At 80 Harwood Road, Fulham, the Optimise team had to rent an empty

ground floor flat in order to create an access route to the rear gardens of a terrace of houses, where a 9” sewer had collapsed very close to one of the houses and within feet of a basement extension next door. With no other access for machinery or other equipment, team leaders Shaun Carbin and Steve Chapman had to dig a 4m deep pit by hand to reach the broken sewer. Site manager Chris Howford said: “When we dug underground we found a 2m x 1m x 1m void where the sewer had washed away the soil. We called in structural engineers and carried out a temporary works design, including propping up the ground floor extension of the house.”

Steve Chapman and Shaun Carbin at work at the Fulham emergency.

The team has replaced a burst rising main at Longford near Heathrow Airport.

Optimise was called in to find and replace a burst 4” rising main sewer. Site foreman Nigel Powell said: “The sewer was very deep and close to a river and so was a technically complex project.

Relining will occur from a new manhole to be constructed in an adjacent road through to the excavation, with patch repairs likely to the pipe upstream.

“At one stage because of the high water table, groundwater was 1.5m deep in our 3.5m deep excavation and extensive pumping was required to enable us to work.”

And in Bath Road, Longford, in the shadow of Heathrow airport and with jets taking off just a few feet overhead,

The new main has now been laid and connected into the pumping station at the site.

Northfield Road Thatcham It’s all about customer care A new 12” main to alleviate sewage flooding had to be laid in the gardens of eight houses in Northfield Road, Thatcham in order to avoid a culvert in the road. The work to replace 94m of 6” main included a connection in the busy main A4 road, and the Optimise team was able to end its road closure earlier than planned because the work went so well. Stakeholder engagement manager Rachel Groves is pictured with local residents Doug and Jean Ralph, whose garden was one of those affected.

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

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> Projects

SCADA Remote management of pumping stations rolls out A SCADA programme to enhance 267 waste water pumping stations in Thames Valley is under way. The programme involves modifications to each pumping station control panel to provide remote management and reset facilities. The work includes energy and power monitoring for each pump motor, three phase voltage monitoring, the provision of remote pump overload reset, and the provision of reversing starters to allow reverse control.

Maple Lodge, said: “This is just one of many SCADA schemes under way. The benefit for Thames Water is the ability to remotely manage waste water pumping stations with resultant increased efficiency and financial savings, because it will no longer be necessary to physically visit the station to reset equipment following a problem.”

In addition a Multitrode Multismart enhanced pumping station manager remote terminal unit is installed and this incorporates a dual GPRS/ADSL modem to replace old legacy telemetry infrastructure.

Specialist supplier JR Pridham Services Ltd (JRP) has been contracted by Optimise to complete the work, which is scheduled to run until March next year.

SCADA - Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition - allows the remote control and monitoring of pumping stations and district and zonal meters within the Thames Water network for both clean and waste water. Jamal Abdullah, part of Optimise’s SCADA asset integration team based at

Ian Procko, business development director of JRP, said: “We have multiple teams carrying out the work and each pumping station typically takes around a day to modify with a further day required for the Remote Telemetry Unit replacement. There is a 28 day proving

period between the end of the work and the handover to Optimise, and then on to Thames Water.”

(Foreground) Jamal Abdullah and JRP’s Ian Procko at one of the Thames Valley upgrades.

Wraysbury Tunnel Relining Rolling programme moves on to next stage Optimise’s rolling tunnel relining programme has moved on to structural refurbishment of the Queen Mother and Wraysbury Outlet Tunnels. New secondary structural lining tunnels are being concrete lined within the existing primary wedge block tunnels. The work comprises 2880m concrete relining from Shaft 4 to Shaft 6 of the Queen Mother Outlet Tunnel, and 230m concrete relining from Shaft 3 to Shaft 6 of the Wraysbury Outlet Tunnel. A new 40m deep, 7.5m ID temporary shaft is being constructed, and this will be backfilled once the work is completed in February next year. The 40m deep temporary shaft will be backfilled once work is completed.


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Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

> Projects

Kennington Road MPs see flood prevention scheme Oxford’s MPs Nicola Blackwood and Andrew Smith recently inspected Optimise’s ongoing work on the £1m flood prevention scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to 20 homes in Kennington and Oxford’s southern fringe, and met the team who have worked so hard to make it happen.

liaised very closely for nearly two years with the Environment Agency, Network Rail, the Vale of White Horse District Council, Oxford City Council, Kennington Parish Council and Oxfordshire County Council, as well as the neighbours whose gardens make up the working area.

Peter Quinn from the Optimise Cardiff design team, delivery manager Mark Yates, Kevin Mullan contracts coordinator, Rachel Groves stakeholder engagement manager and site agent Brendan Slattery have

The scheme includes extensive works to restore the capacity of the Hinksey Drain, removing silt from beneath Munday’s railway bridge and the channel downstream. A new flood relief overflow channel will be cut

over land south of the Redbridge waste reception centre. A new surface water sewer will also be installed from Kennington Road to the Hinksey Drain. A new sheet piled wall has been constructed to protect an extra high voltage electricity cable and widen the channel. This work was undertaken during track possessions agreed with Network Rail to happen in the early hours of Sunday mornings in May. Over 1700 letters were sent to local residents in advance. The team had booked four possessions but only needed to use two. Contracts coordinator Kevin Mullan said: “The site team of Brendan Slattery, Sumit Chawla and Richard Moule worked with the piling subcontractor to complete the piling works after only two possessions, minimising the overnight noise disruption to local residents. Thames Water’s customer centre did not receive any calls about the work and this is a great credit to the construction team” The entire project is expected to be completed by September.

Oxford’s MPs Andrew Smith and Nicola Blackwood recently inspected Optimise’s ongoing work on the £1m flood prevention scheme.

Part of the extensive team involved in delivering the project.

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

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> Projects

William Girling Reservoir Steep access hampers new road construction Optimise is constructing a 5.7 km long road around the edge of the William Girling Reservoir in Enfield, north London. The construction of the 200mm Type 1 gravel road began in February and is due to finish in June, and will improve access around the crest of the reservoir. The work also includes the installation of land drainage along one very boggy side of the site. The 334 acre (135 hectare) reservoir is part of the Lee Valley Reservoir Chain that supplies London with drinking water, and sits next to the King George V Reservoir. It was completed in 1951.

of soil excavated from the crest when creating the road could be spread along the shoulder of the reservoir embankment and this has saved an enormous amount of material from needing to be removed from the site, as well as saving the project almost £88,000.” Site foreman Kieran Kelly said: “The work is going very well, despite the very exposed conditions which have meant problems with extreme cold at the start of the year, and with mosquitoes as soon as a warm spell arrived!”

Project manager Asiri Bamunu Arachchi said: “Getting the men, equipment and materials up and down the steep embankment which encloses the reservoir has been a real challenge. “We have achieved a significant environmental bonus by agreeing with Thames Water that the 7000 tonnes

Work underway on the new road, top, and Asiri Bamunu Arachchi and health & safety adviser Paul Murphy.

Speen Pipeline Update £10m project is on schedule Construction of the new 19.2km pipeline to reduce abstraction from the River Kennet at Speen WTW is continuing on schedule and by the end of May 6.9km had been completed approximately 36% of the length. The £10m project will run a new trunk main between Tilehurst, Reading, via a new water booster station in Bradfield, to the Cold Ash service reservoir near Newbury.


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Delivery manager Justin Seely is pleased with the team’s progress. He said: “This is a big scheme working along country lanes, past ancient woodland and scheduled monuments, and involves three river crossings and the crossing of the M4 motorway. “Currently we are working across open fields and the team has taken the opportunity to use a large trencher to dig the trench for the pipe. With that piece of kit (pictured right) we are

making excellent progress, managing to dig 1800m in just 2 weeks.”

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

> Innovation

Kobus Pipe Puller New technique reduces open cut working An innovative no-dig method for replacing lead pipes has been introduced in the lead pipe replacement programme running in Enfield, north London. While moling remains the principal no-dig technique in use, this is not always possible where there is a risk of coming into contact with existing utilities and cables. The Kobus pipe puller has now been introduced following tests and feedback from Optimise.

It virtually eliminates the potential for service strikes and significantly reduces the impact in both time and road-space of utility works on the highway. The lead service pipe is disconnected at the main and at the customer boundary, and a pilot wire is inserted through the lead pipe. This is used to pull a 10mm eight ton wire bond through the existing lead pipe. When the bond is through, the ends of the lead pipe are sealed and a ‘kobite’ compound is pumped into the annulus between the lead pipe and the wire bond. After 20 minutes this becomes solid. The new PE pipe is attached to the end of the now-solid lead pipe and this is attached to a winch and extracted, pulling the new pipe behind it. The connections can then be made.

Robbie Twomey, site agent, said: “Each pull through takes around five minutes and the customer is typically without water for no more than 20 minutes. There is a tremendous saving in reinstatement cost of materials, as well as eliminating the need for road closures.”

“The Kobus pipe puller has now been introduced following tests and feedback from Optimise. It eliminates the potential for service strikes and significantly reduces the impact in both time and road-space of utility works on the highway”

Pipe pullers Sean O’Hanlon and Paul O’Leary.

Customers will choose Thames Water because of our performance

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> People

Two Minutes On...

Capital Delivery Planning In our regular look around Optimise we spoke to senior project controller Christopher Ruff about the work of the north London Capital Delivery Planning Team. What does your team do?

Is it tough?

Project coordinator Matt Carter (pictured above right) and I monitor progress on North London’s 200 capital projects from their start through to the handover to Thames Water.

It is certainly challenging in terms of the remorseless deadlines which we must meet. As long as we get the information on time it isn’t tough, but public holidays can disrupt our monthly schedule. For instance, at Easter we can lose two days in our cycle and that can make a big difference.

What does your work involve? Once each project is released we track it through its various stages of design, progress through Gateway Three, and then onto detailed design, procurement and construction. We look at the key milestones and forecast and record costs and then report monthly. The information we create goes forward to John Barnes for his DES report - the key monthly report in which we transfer information to Thames Water to update their systems.

Do you enjoy it? It is enjoyable. Optimise has a very good team here. They have the right approach - they want to deliver the projects and meet the deadlines.

If you had a magic wand what would you change? More reporting time, please, and reporting periods which are all the same length!

Soccer Aces At Kidlington Clean sweep The OPEX soccer team from Kidlington depot has won promotion to Division 2 of the Pitch Invasion Oxford league with a straight six wins and no defeats. Victory scores included a 12-6, a 9-1 and a remarkable 18-0 for the team, which plays under the FC Clancy name. Team members are captain Darren Sawala, Ryan Binnee, Dan Mason, Richard Jewell, Leon Bryan, Loyce Coates, Ashley Mackay and Steve Bowen.

NETWORKS EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION TEAM EDITORS: Erica Fairhurst, Optimise communications manager, Tel. 01189 251 755 Ken Harrison, Tel. 07801 649045 DESIGN & PRODUCTION: Anthony Hughes, MWH, Tel. 01925 845000

Contact Us: If you have any comments or suggestions for the Networks Magazine or would like to contribute, please email Networks is printed on recycled paper

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