Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Friday 7th December 2012

Ashworth,one of the leading distributors to the mechanical services and process industries markets, has recently supplied a substantial quantity of Victaulic stainless steel fire main pipe for the refurbishment of the Kingsway Tunnel,a road tunnel which runs under the River Mersey in Merseyside from Liverpool and Wallasey. The existing system was a 1970’s cast iron pipe system that had experienced leaking and intermittent failures. The replacement of the pipe was therefore considered the most cost-effective solution. The upgrade also included new Victaulic couplings and valves.

The six-inch fire main pipe provides water to 94 fire hydrant cabinets along the length of the tunnel. The refurbishment of the tunnel pipe system came from Merseytravel’s continuous objective to maintain appropriate standards of safety. The £3.5million programme not only saw the replacement of the pipes but also their relocation so that future maintenance would minimise emergency closures, in addition to providing new levels of fire prevention safety throughout.

Councillor Gordon Friel, Chair of Merseytravel’s Tunnels, Ferries and Visitor Economy committee commented, “This was an extensive project where minimal disruption to the public was a high priority. Elements of the works needed to be carried out at night and therefore speed of installation was high on the agenda. The new system supplied through Ashworth met our requirements.

Cllr Friel added, “Its stainless steel finish provides the corrosion protection we required. Furthermore, the pipe’s thin wall, and subsequently its light weight feature, made the logistics behind installing the product safer, and the least amount of disruption to the public as possible.”

The new system provided was appropriate for a tunnel environment. The grooved pipe jointing system features steel pipe, which is already pre-grooved maximising the limited time to install. It requires no welding or hot works, activities which are not authorised in a tunnel environment without appropriate risk assessments and method statements. In addition, the jointing system also allows for the curvature of the tunnel furthermore enhancing the speed and ease of installation.

Ahmed Kotwal of Ashworth said: “This was a large project, which had many requirements. Working closely with the authority and engineers, we were able to supply a solution that met all these requirements.”

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