The dynamics of watermain construction and renewal differ from wastewater: from a mechanical perspective, watermains are pressured, sterile, of smaller diameter and are laid shallower. However, the social ramifications of water loss during a repair or renewal have far greater impact for asset owners. Also referred to as ‘hot tapping’, tapping under pressurised conditions enable works to be conducted without the need to shut down water supply to consumers.
Hot Tapping is a method of making a new connection into an existing pipe while it is still under pressure. The process involves drilling or cutting a water line connection without having to interrupt the area around it, meaning that works can be carried out in live stream conditions. This allows the operator to install a fitting on a pipe that is full of water, and affected residents will not notice a difference.
Using tapping bands and other specialised equipment, Interflow’s Civil Works Division can ‘tap into’ various types of pipe. This is a very effective method for the construction and renewal of water main system: it allows for the pipe to remain in service and can be applied to many types of pipes including copper, cast iron, ductile line, AC, HDPE and UPVC, and can build on current water reticulation systems. Synonymous with the people-centric philosophy of Water Authorities, hot tapping is ‘community friendly’, as there is no disruption to existing consumers and neighbouring communities.