Major investment in specialist pipe installation

Major investment in specialist pipe installation

Trenchless Technology was a major investment when Water & Pipeline Services were setting up as a new company in 2012 and the purchase of a Ditch Witch JT30 All Terrain Horizontal Directional Drilling Rig, Suction Excavator and Grundoburst Pipeburster were key to being able to offer the most beneficial method of pipe installation taking into consideration the safety, environmental or economic impact. WPS Ltd have a wealth of experience across a variety of disciplines within utility construction and they offer full construction projects in relation to water, sewer, and gas projects. They are fully accredited to ISO19001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, UVDB Category B2, Constructionline, Acclaim WIRS and are working their way to getting  NERS accreditation for cable laying.

Suction Excavation

WPS Ltd aim to achieve zero damage in all work activities and have recently added a suction excavator to our operational equipment to allow them to achieve this target.

Applications include:

• Replacement of pipes and fittings

• Renovation and new installation of gas, water, heating pipes, cables and disposal lines

• Exploratory excavations

• Railway trackside maintenance and repair

• Use of ground displacement rockets

• Clearing away environmental damage

• Replacement of contaminated soil around the roots of trees

• Removal of material in demolition projects

• Removal of gravel from flat roofs

• Cleaning blocked street gutters & gullies

• Operations involving the use of horizontal boring units

• Leaf removal

• Application for special operations


Suction Excavator Productivity Rates
Material m3/hour Time for 1m3
heavy soil with buried cables and pipes 1.6666 36 min
dry heavy soil 2.5 24 min
wet heavy soil or clay 3 20 min
moderately heavy soil with buried cables and pipes 4 15 min
muddy soil, gravel, crushed rock 6 10 min
sandy soil 10 6 min
water 30 2 min

HDD Case Study

Project Title: Haddington Utilities, Letham Burn

Project Duration: 6 weeks

Project Difficulties: Crossing under a bridge with unknown footings whilst keeping a clearance under the Letham Burn.

Other options

Open cut..not an option with the bridge in the way and no other wayleave options available.

Augering – Pits would be too deep at a depth off 3.5m which would have required a road closure.

Thrustboring – Not an option due to the number and size of ducts.

Microtunneling – Discounted due to costs.

Directional drilling was chosen due to costs, speed of installation, the impact to the local community was minimised as it was all executed under a single lane closure so access was maintained at all times.

Number of utilities installed:

1 x 250mm gas main approx 50m in length..Pipe spec sdr17.6mm

1 x 315mm watermain approx 50m in length..pipe spec sdr 17,6mm

5 x 180mm electricity ducts approx 50m in length pipe spec sdr 17.6mm

1 x 90mm gravity/pumped sewer approx.50m in length later extended to 215m in length to cover full length of works when cost savings were considered due to the depth. Pipe spec sdr 11.

Further works awarded when onsite

80m of 90mm gravity sewer pipe within the site that was due to be open-cut down a site road.

The award for this job was awarded after a tender process and was awarded on previous experience and confidence of the client that the works could be done on time and on budget.

In addition to the drilling our scope of works including opening notices, traffic management, supplying of all the pipework and jointing. Excavation and backfilling of any launch, trial and receive pits were also carried out by ourselves.

All works were completed on time and budget with a happy client as they had visions of a site that they couldn’t sell any houses due to utilities not being connected in time. The council were also happy that the integrity of their bridge wasn’t compromised at all during the works with no leakage of drilling fluids noted at any stage of the process into the Letham Burn.


Horizontal Directional Drilling

Managing Director John Graham said: “This offers savings to the customer on construction costs and also offers an environmental benefit in reducing the amount of open cut work and removal of spoil to landfill.

“This equipment will also drill rock and offers pipe size installation up to 400mm with lengths of more than 200m in one single shot.

“All our operatives are directly employed by WPS and work to a high standard of safety, we promote a can-do attitude and have had great feedback from our clients. The HDD method can also be used to install gravity sewers to grade over distances up to 200m in length with sizes usually installed being 90mm or 125mm.”

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