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Thames Water unveils micro excavator to reduce works disruption

Vac2

Thames Water is using a new micro vacuum excavator to reduce traffic disruption caused by street works.  

The small vacuum excavator greatly reduces the size of holes used to access water pipes, meaning engineers can work on pavements and allow traffic to pass by as normal. The mess created is also greatly reduced.  

The machine is one of a number of solutions being investigated by Thames Water to carry out work in the narrow streets and tough clay of the capital.  

Thames Water head of metering Mark Cooper said: “By helping to develop this new vacuum machine and bringing it to the streets of London, we aim to significantly reduce disruption for customers and commuters and make the process of installing meters easier for everyone.” 

This machine works by sucking soil from the ground before recycling it back into the hole it came from.  

This new machine from Thames Water works by sucking soil from the ground before recycling the same soil back into the hole it came from.

This machine works by sucking soil from the ground before recycling the same soil back into the hole it came from.

This new machine from Thames Water works by sucking soil from the ground before recycling the same soil back into the hole it came from.

The device is currently being used in Thames Water’s  smart meter installation programme across London, but its long-term goal is to repair leaking pipes in the capital.  

“We only dig up roads when we absolutely have to but we also understand customers can find this extremely frustrating. This is why we’re continuing to invest in ways to use technology to minimise disruption and improve the resilience of our network,” Cooper added.  

This announcement follows a call by Ofwat for water companies to “up their game” in repairing leaks, and a promise from Thames Water to invest £11.7bn across its network to cut leaks by 15%. 

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