New technologies have recently been trialled by Tideway and Thames Water, to investigate their effectiveness in carrying out inspections for the future Thames Tideway Tunnel system. The hope is that this technology will reduce the need for workers to enter the tunnel – a potentially hazardous working environment – for routine maintenance in future.
In order to test the effectiveness of existing and emerging equipment, two elements of inspection were identified for assessment – inspection of the main tunnels themselves, and of the various shafts and structures that feed to the main tunnels.
Key to the tunnel tests was ensuring that the equipment could be entirely autonomous in its operation, and not reliant on tethers, cables or remote controls that would complicate deployment, use and recovery. The equipment also needed to be able give accurate location of defects or items of interest within the tunnel; bearing in mind that geolocation / GPS is not possible within the tunnel.
Thames Water and Tideway worked with a leading software and robotics company, who supplied a four-wheeled autonomous rover unit for the trial conducted in the Lee Tunnel and Abbey Mills Shaft F. Equipped with LIDAR, stereo cameras and additional sensors, and with Artificial Intelligence capabilities, the rover was theoretically capable of fulfilling the brief. In fact, a similar rover had been used as part of the exploration of the planet Mars!
Additional tests were carried out live in the tunnel to assess how the rover would perform against unexpected obstacles and conditions in the tunnel, with some very promising results.
In addition to the rover, remotely operated drones were tested within a shaft, specifically, to assess if drones could be used to provide visual assessments of these structures.
Initial findings of the trials were presented to Thames Tideway Tunnel project staff earlier this month. Further to this, staff were given the opportunity to trial virtual reality goggles to undertake a virtual inspection of the tunnel – a unique experience for all.
The initial trials were very promising, however this is just the start of the journey towards autonomous inspection, and both Thames Water and Tideway will continue to work with the supplier and the wider industry to develop and refine the technology and our requirements.
*This blog was written by Nick Baker, Tideway London
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Please join us for our annual Raftrace, as we raise money for WaterAid, which is a part of our Thames Love Malawi campaign!
This year’s theme is based around Independence Day, since it takes place on 4th July.
We got a sneak preview of the rafts; one team has decorated their raft to look like a 1950s dinner and another team is paying tribute to the Will Smith’s movie Independence Day.
This event is open to the public and will be held at Reading Rowing Club.
Don’t worry there’s plenty of parking. If you drive past the entrance to the Crowne Plaza car park, through the pay as you go car park onto the fields, where our stewards will help you park safely.
There will be a BBQ, ice cream van and fully licensed bar for everyone to enjoy as well as stalls to check out.
Our executive team will be spilt into two teams, at 5pm they will have a pop quiz challenge. The losing team will have to ride their raft wearing Mr. Tappy (WaterAid) mascot costume.
Here’s the agenda
4pm: Come and view the rafts being prepared, have a drink and enjoy the atmosphere
5pm Executive challenge
6pm: Race begins
7pm’ish: The reason why we say 7pm’ish, it really all depends on when the rafts come in. This is the part where we give out prizes (1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd place) the best fancy dress and the least sporting behaviour (since participants are highly encouraged to splash each other)
Other companies in and around our region will be participating in the race too.
Learn more about our Thames Love Malawi campaign.
Comment below if you have any questions, we look forward to seeing you on the 4 th July!
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Thanks for your patience!
Airvents installed “back in the day” were meant to vent the sewer. Even today they still play an important part in keeping the sewer pipes healthy as they allow the safe release of gases that otherwise would build up and up, and combine to form harmful gases that can attack and destroy the pipes.
In terms of ownership, it comes down to where the pipe in. If the pipe falls within the private section of the sewer, you would be responsible. However, should it fall on the public part, then Thames Water would be responsible for maintaining (and removing).
All sewers before 1937 are public sewers is they were already in place, laid by a sewerage undertaker or adopted by a sewerage undertaker.
In 2011, the law changed again to transfer ownership of shared lines into public ownership.
To determine whether your vent falls within the public or private spectrum, as ownership can sometimes be complicated. Please give our team a call 0800 316 9800.
You might find this image helpful too.
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Welcome to the community and thank you so much for your question! I can’t discuss your neighbour’s account, however we're rolling out smart meters across our region.
We have the right to fit meters under the Water Industry Act 1991 section 162, under our Resources Management Plan for 2015 - 2040. This act grants permission for water companies to meter domestic premises on a compulsory basis in areas which have been determined by the Secretary of State to be of serious water stress (this includes our region).
You can take a look at this map to see the areas we’re working on.
To learn more about our smart meters, please check out our FAQs.
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Photo credit: Koddy Mendez Ahhh Pancake Day! The one day of the year where you can get away with having pancakes for dinner! (or all day)
A very sweet and savoury treat, whether you like chocolate sauce or maple syrup – we can save that debate for another time.
One thing you should remember, after you cook scrumptious pancake, what should you do with the oil?
As you know, when cooking oil gets dumped down the drain, it contributes to horrendous fatbergs, which block our sewers.
What can you do to help our Sewper Heroes? Glad you asked!
Instead of pouring fats and oils down the sink, collect them in a container (such as a yogurt pot or jam jar) and leave them to cool down.
Once set, you can scoop them out and pop them straight in the bin.
Your local council may also have a special way to dispose of fat, oil and grease. Please check with them for more information.
Now let’s get on with the fun facts about Pancake Day (useless trivia to impress your mates!)
Did you know…
The most flips anyone has ever done with a pancake: 349 flips in two minutes! That’s some savvy wrist action right there.
The Guinness Book of Records for the most pancakes served in eight hours is 34,818.
We all have our quirks when it comes to toppings, but some of the most unusual toppings turned out to be sour cream and caviar, ketchup and mustard, peanut butter mixed with ice cream, cream cheese and strawberries.
The famous playwright William Shakespeare loved pancakes so much; he mentioned them in some of his plays. (All’s Well That Ends Well and As You Like It)
In England, we use an unbelievable 52 million eggs on Pancake Day! That’s 22 million more than any other day.
If you’re still looking for a recipe, don’t worry, I got you covered!
Allergy Free Pancakes (Egg, Milk and Gluten Free)
Fool Proof Tradition English Pancakes
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