YORKSHIRE WATER will this week shut down Studforth water treatment works near Harrogate as part of a plan to cut the number of works it operates from 86 to 66.
Studforth is the thirteenth treatment works to be closed since summer 2006. It is not needed because the company has cut leaks from 317Ml/d in 1999/2000 to 295Ml/d in 2005/06.
The closures are part of 'Project Clearwater' whose main goal is to eliminate supply interruptions by 2010. Yorkshire also plans to eliminate the need for excavations and resulting traffic disruption and improve the operation and maintenance of the supply network.
It plans to do this by automating its entire water distribution network. 'The plan is to run Yorkshire Water as if it is one production plant, ' explained Clearwater central control and optimisation project manager Dave Owen.
'If we have total control and monitoring of the system, it will remove the need for reactive visits. If an asset fails, we see it on screen and another one kicks in automatically'.
Remote asset control will also be carried out on a serviceability needs basis, rather than as part of a fixed schedule.
'We are thinking of our assets as conceptual space stations, they are expensive to get to so you only go once, ' said Owen.
The company hopes this approach will remove peaks troughs from the investment cycle.
'It should be streamlined and continuous and won't stop for the AMP (asset management planning), ' said Clearwater project manager for automation and maintenance Andrew Ward.
WTW closures Summer 2006 closures:
Gorpley, Eggborough and Langthwaite December 2006 closures:
Kilham, Elmswell, Burton Agness, Haisthorpe, Haisthorpe East Haisthorpe West, Thorp Arch, Elslack, Osmotherley Boom and bust Historically the ve year regulatory cycle has led to stop-start investment cycles in the water sector.
Companies wait for water regulator Ofwat's approval before beginning work. The result is that investment across the industry reaches a peak simultaneously, forcing up the cost of labour and materials - something Yorkshire Water's new strategy aims to avoid.
Water industry research body UKWIR is currently working on a study to assess the cost impact of this on the industry. To take part go to: www. ukwir. org/site/web/ content/news