Premier Engineering

United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology UKSTT

Written by Roma Publications

United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology – UKSTT

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018, the United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology ( UKSTT ) is a registered charity involved in the development and promotion of Trenchless techniques.

Since its formation in 1993, the Society has based itself in the promotion and education for the effective use of trenchless technology. Membership is open to, as well as being a benefit, to any company or individual with an interest in ‘no-dig’ methods. To find out more, Premier Engineering sat down with UKSTT Chairman Matthew Izzard:


What does the role of Chairman entail?

“The chairmanship is a voluntary, two year elected position. We have a main council of 20 people responsible for the running of the organisation. My role as chairman is to oversee the running of the society, both in its entirety and its sub-committees, in an accountable manner. I also represent the UKSTT at different events throughout the world.

“The society has certain legal responsibilities to meet and we also have a Strategic Plan and Risk Mitigation document that guide the decisions that are made.

“I am halfway through my term as chair at the moment. Dawn Greig will take over as chairman in 2019.”


What are the main aims of the UKSTT ?

“We were formed in 1993, so this year is our 25th anniversary. The absolute base of what we do is about the promotion and education for the effective use of trenchless technology and the benefits this has to the environment, increasing safety, reduced disruption to the public and reducing the financial cost of civil engineering. We seek to assist companies and organisations in applying it in areas where it’s not at the moment, developing future markets and providing education to our future engineers.

“Our showcase event is the biennial No Dig Live exhibition – now the largest event of its type in the world which is supplemented by Roadshows and MasterClass events. We also offer various different technical events to companies. They are free sessions where we will get one of our representatives to come along and talk about a particular subject. It could be a general overview on a market area – such as water rehabilitation or it could be something more application specific such as horizontal directional drilling.

“We also represent the industry on relevant International Standards committees, work in conjunction with other organisations on Government Steering Groups and have recently agreed a support program with the Department of International Trade to train their Trade Representatives in trenchless technologies to develop export opportunities for our UK manufacturers and suppliers of equipment.

“The UKSTT is an Affiliated Society of the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT) where we have an active voice in working alongside other societies from around the world in promoting, educating and developing the industry.”

As well as being your 25th anniversary, 2018 also saw the return of No-Dig Live. How important is this event to the Society?

“The No-Dig show, held at Peterborough Arena is the largest single focus event we hold, run by Westrade Events. Is is a three day exhibition attended by about 2,000 people. By holding a ‘live’ show this means that people can come along and physically see the equipment working. They’re not just walking past static events. This is supplemented by seminars and presentations and culminated in our Gala & Awards Dinner, recognising the best in our industry.

“Every interim year we then do two or three regional roadshows. They are just one day events rather than three days. They are static exhibitions with series of different conference papers at those events as well. In 2019 we have events planned in Dublin, Scotland and Bristol.”

You are also quite active in education, looking to inspire the next generation. Tell us a bit more about that?

“There are various, different activities that we do but the main one is the university Outreach programme. We offer lecturing services, again free of charge, to universities that run civil engineering courses who wish to include trenchless technology as part of the module.

“In addition to this we also run a successful placement program for member companies wishing to expand the knowledge experience of younger professionals as well as our “Young Professional Award” which carries a £2,000 bursary for the winner to enable them to travel and gain further knowledge by visiting international seminars.”


Is a lack of engagement with young people one of the biggest obstacles facing trenchless technology?

“I’ve never yet met anyone at a school or in higher education that’s said they really want to be involved in trenchless technology! Everyone seems to end up in it by accident. However, once they’re in it, there does seem to be a hook because people tend to stay in the industry for years. It’s one of the nicest things that although we’re a niche part of the utilities industry, there’s a strong bond that exists within all the different companies and organisations.

“We’re trying to be dynamic and are very much focusing on addressing this area and engaging with people. Like a lot of industries these days, we’re losing a lot of experience just through people getting older. We’re trying to go through that transitional stage at the moment, bringing the society up to date and making it more relevant to younger people.

“Anybody under the age of 25 can get free student membership for the UKSTT . This gives them access to things like a dedicated YouTube channel with all the different presentations that we do.

“Accessibility to the society is important on a level members feel comfortable with. Increasingly demand is for ‘instant information’ in small bites, We have therefore increased our digital media platforms, are in the process of re-developing our website ( and have a series of webinars in the pipeline. The ISTT Grant funded YouTube Channel has allowed us to broadcast presentations made at these events and membership also allows access to an international library of over 1,500 technical papers.”


So how else are you looking to boost membership levels?

“I feel it is very important for the UKSTT to be pro-active and be outward looking in what we do. We are here to work for our membership and listening and understanding their needs is pivotal to the direction the organisation goes.

“Not all members are taking advantages of the benefits of membership. We try to ensure they are getting as most out of this as possible, including free publication of articles in newsletters and social media, discounted advertising and trade show rates, opportunities to be involved in steering groups and presentation sessions and in providing networking platforms for discussion. We also get project enquiries come through our website which we pass out to our membership. Last year we actually got over a £1m worth of projects given to our members through that enquiries service.

“By providing a more dynamic, proactive society this has been reflected in record membership numbers which is very encouraging for the future.”


And finally, with approximately a year left of your time as Chairman, what do you hope to achieve with the rest of your time?

“First and foremost, it’s to hand over a good society to Dawn – to make sure that it’s functioning properly and that it’s going in the right direction. Our main focus at the moment is that drive with the young professionals.

“After the success of the No Dig Live show our team are already planning the next Roadshow, scheduled for Dublin in March, dealing with membership enquiries and at our next Council Meeting have some exciting ideas planned for discussion to provide the best service that we can.”

For more information, please visit


VIP-Weco has power to seal hydro-electricity pipe

Global seal and gasket manufacturer VIP-Polymers Ltd began 2018 receiving a commission to supply its VIP-Weco internal seals to repair leaks to a hydro-electric water pipe near Inverness.

Joints at eight locations along the 1.5km pipe were not water tight to the pressure standard demanded for the 1.35MW power project.

Business Development Manager Jim Shaw said: “Our VIP-Weco seals achieved the desired results with complete success and minimum disruption to the operation of the hydro power scheme.

“The defective joints had been caused by settlement of the 6m pipe sections within the trench infill, located along a 100m stretch of the pipe, which began 80m from the entry point. The partners involved in the hydro project urgently wanted a solution that was quick and cost effective to deploy, and they certainly got that with VIP-Weco.”

VIP-Weco seals are used worldwide for trenchless rehabilitation of pipes for water, fuel, and gas. They use WRAS-approved material, comply fully with BS6920, and have a typical life expectancy of 50+ years.

Sleeves made from EPDM or NBR rubber are applied to the inner wall of the pipe, then held in place by stainless steel retaining bands to create a safe, durable and low-cost mechanical sealing solution.

VIP-Weco seals were installed at five locations (the quickest installation time being just 16 minutes) where the GRP pipe was 1600mm in diameter and two points along a 1400mm diameter polyethylene pipe.

A final seal was installed where the pipe stepped down from 1600mm to 1400mm, with a section of 1600mm ductile iron joining them. A bespoke seal was manufactured, with an extra retention band, to accommodate the 200mm variance in diameters.

Minimising downtime was essential to the success of the pipe rehabilitation project and each metal retaining band was supplied in two sections, making them easier to transport into and along the pipe.


United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology ( UKSTT )

British Standards Institution Working Groups

Working Group B/505/13/01 – Renovation and repair of drains and sewers

UKSTT provide representation on BSI Working Group B/505/13/01 which under the direction of BSI B505 Wastewater Committee is responsible for providing active participation in the work of CEN Technical Committee CEN TC 165/WG 13 Renovation and Repair of Drains and Sewers.

BSI B/505 Wastewater Committee under the direction of BSI CB/50 Infrastructure Committee, is responsible for the development and maintenance of standards in the engineering aspects of wastewater collection, drainage and treatment, up to the point of disposal.  Subjects covered include pipes and fittings, manhole and other access covers, gullies, separators, pipe laying technology, waste outlets and traps, renovation and repair of drains and sewers, drainage systems inside and outside buildings, sewer and drain cleaning operations, positive and negative pressure systems and wastewater treatment plants.  This is done in liaison with the B/504 Water Supply Committee.

The membership of B/505/13/01 Working Group comprises of several experience UK and International technical consultants, water plc senior engineers and system practitioner engineers under the chairmanship of Don Ridgers.  They meet on a regular basis to provide input into the development of new standards.  This can involve reviewing and providing comment on draft standards prepared by CEN Standards Committees or other EU Standards Committees as well as active involvement in developing new standards for adoption by CEN.

Currently the BSI Working Group B/505/13/01 are working on the following standards:

1) Assembly of UK comments and on draft standard Specialist Mortars for Sewer Construction and Renovation.  This standard is being developed in the following three parts – Part 1 General Performance Requirements, Part 2 – Performance Requirements Particular to Cementitious Mortars and Part 3 – Performance Requirements Particular to Polymeric Mortars.

At present the Working Group are reviewing a draft of part 1 which has been prepared by the German Working Group and is based on the GSTT Bulletin Mortar specifications for Sewage Pipes and Public Drainage Installations.  The UK review involves considering the various technical performance parameters and properties of mortars for different applications and test methods to establish compliance to the proposed standard.  The initial comments are due for submission to CEN by the end June 2018.

2) The Working Group has provided input into the development of the draft revision of Standard EN 15885, Classification and characteristics of techniques for renovation repair and replacement of drains and sewers.  This was circulated to National Committees in April 2018 for approval to progress to publication.  This Standard provides an overview of trenchless methods used for renovation and repair of drains and sewers, and for their replacement on the same line, regardless of the material used.  In respect of sewer renovation techniques using plastics materials only, it reproduces definitions and other information (but no requirements) contained in EN ISO 11295.  Due to their continuous development the most up-to-date information on these particular techniques may be contained in either this document or EN ISO 11295, which ever is the latest edition.

3) BSI Working Group B/505/13/01 have also provided input and comment in recent years on the development of following standards which are currently at draft outline stage:

BS EN ISO 11296 Plastics piping systems for renovation of underground non-pressure drainage and sewerage networks – Part 1: General, Part 2: Lining with continuous pipes, Part 3: Lining with close-fit pipes, Part 4: Lining with cured-in-place pipes and Part 7: Lining with spirally-wound pipes

BS EN ISO 11297 Plastics piping systems for renovation of underground drainage and sewerage networks under pressure – Part 1: General, Part 2: Lining with continuous pipes Part 3: Lining with close-fit pipes and Part 4: Lining with cured-in-place pipes

These standards still require the addition of structural design information for renovation systems.  UK Working Group Member, Dr John Gumbel, is liaising with both German and Austrian representatives to prepare these standards.  ISO have indicated that they would be interested in participating in this work with the aim of creating ISO EN standards.  Initially it has been considered prudent to focus this work on gravity sewer applications although there is support in ISO for a standard on the design of pressure systems.

The UKSTT are represented on the B/505/13/01 Working Party by Council Member Norman Howell who will be pleased to provide members with further information on request through the UKSTT Secretariat.


Mole Utilities specialise in “impossible” cable installations.

When Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) needed to install a 180mm electrical duct at a busy roundabout junction and under tram lines in Birkenhead, they were told by other engineering companies that it just wasn’t possible. With a number of existing utilities in the way it looked like the only options would be to trench, or abandon the plan altogether.

Luckily, this is exactly the sort of project where Mole Utilities come into our own. With our background in civil engineering, 30 years of experience and specialist equipment, we identified a possible route and completed the work with minimal disruption.

The challenges included a busy road junction which couldn’t be closed to traffic and existing pipes and cables at various depths. To install a 180mm duct we scanned the site to carefully plan an exact route and drilled down to a depth of 4m to be certain not to intersect gas and water pipes. There was no room for error but with scans of the ground completed and continual tracking our team were confident.

The path of that the cables needed to take passed directly through a major road junction which provides access to the town centre, ferry terminal, local collage and business park. Understandably the local council would not give permissions to close any part of the road – with over 20,000 vehicles using the road each year the disruption to traffic, even for a short time, was not an option.

Restricted access at all of the entry and exit points meant that the route had to be meticulously planned and followed to the inch. Our small scale drilling rig meant that just a tiny space needed to be cordoned off from pedestrians and our trained operatives hit the mark every time.


Typhoon cleans filter pipework inside Mitchell House WTW

Kilbride Environmental Services are based in Gateshead and provide a wide range of innovative cleaning and inspection solutions for potable water, wastewater and industrial pipelines and related structures.  They are the developer of the award-winning Typhoon High Pressure Water Cleaning System that provides outstanding cleaning results for a wide range of pipelines.  It offers a long-range solution from a single point access, utilises water recycling to minimise water usage and can be used in both urban and rural environments.  Since its introduction in 2008 over 150,000 kilometres of pipeline in the diameter range 300 to 1800mm have been successfully cleaned.

Kilbride were recently commissioned by United Utilities to clean sections of 400mm diameter unlined ductile iron pipes which form the outlets from three second stage filter tanks at Mitchell House Water Treatment Works located in Accrington.

The pipelines were located within the Treatment Works building and had a complex configuration that included several bends and upstands together with in line valves.  These pipes contained a build-up of scale as well as other debris and Kilbride used the Typhoon Cleaning System to remove this material and provide an exemplary clean to this pipework.  Access to the building for the jetting and suction hoses was gained through a pedestrian fire door with access to all the pipework from the three tanks being achieved by the removal a 90-degree bend.  A recycling vehicle was sited outside the building adjacent to the access doorway and provided the jetting and suction capability for the cleaning work.

All the works were successfully completed within one working day and demonstrated the versatility of the Typhoon System to clean complex sections of pipeline situated within confined locations alongside its ability to clean long lengths of large diameter pipelines.

For further information, please visit or call 0191 487 9667


PMP Utilities

Originally founded in 1983, PMP Utilities has over 35 years’ experience of safe working in high risk confined spaces; providing bespoke engineering solutions, often working in confined spaces and at height. We are renowned for our ability to generate new and innovative solutions to often complex and difficult mechanical engineering problems, with a view to minimising the disruption caused by traditional access methods and solutions.

Principal activities include:

  • Confined Space and Rope Access
  • Confined Space Rescue Teams
  • Mechanical maintenance engineering skills
  • Pipeline leakage repair using AMEX-10 seals
  • Confined Space Surveys

PMP’s 16,000 sq ft headquarters in Burnley contains an engineering machine shop and large fabrication floor areas which enable us to fabricate our own temporary works and plan our work methods around the most practical and cost-effective approach. The building also houses mobilisation, training areas and storage for the rope access and confined space rescue equipment, as well as modern welfare areas for the 30 strong operational team.

PMP is the UK’s sole agent for the AMEX® -10 Pipe Joint Repair System; a WRAS approved mechanical seal for the internal repair of leaking pipelines.

These seals offer a No Dig / Trenchless Solution, minimising the need for invasive access, for internally repairing leaking joints and radial cracks, as well as isolated damage in pipelines.

AMEX-10® seals provide a new water and air tight seal which spans the leaking joint and surrounding area. They are fitted from pipe to pipe, which allows for movement from articulation, elongation and rotation and can be used in pipelines of any diameter where safe man access is achievable.

With the ability to provide our own dedicated teams, including rescue, we offer a single interface for the client to manage, that integrates the specialities, greatly reduces risk, cost and time compared with managing several independent subcontractors.   Tel: 01282 855220


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