Crossrail, the company in charge of building Crossrail, London’s major new East to West rail link, is employing Syrinix’s technology to help protect pipelines and tunnels. Building a new underground train line through London is a major engineering task, and massive new infrastructure will be required, such as tunnels, stations and access shafts. Because subterranean London is already a busy network of utilities pipes, building Crossrail will have a significant impact on existing utilities around the construction zone, including water and gas.
In terms of the water network, asset owner and operator Thames Water has specified a number of accommodation works that will need to take place, including full replacement of pipes, diversion, rehabilitation, and, of course, monitoring of critical pipelines, which is where TrunkMinder comes in. Crossrail are responsible for implementing the devices to meet Thames Water’s requirements, and TrunkMinder has been chosen as a cost-effective and reliable alternative to other techniques, with its constant data monitoring and fit-and-forget functionality. The manufacturing process is already underway for the first devices, which will be deployed in September 2012. Further devices are planned to be deployed in late 2012, as construction of the rail link progresses.
The TrunkMinder units will capture the condition of the water mains prior to construction work, document any effects on the water mains of the construction process as it takes place, and then continue to monitor the long-term effects of the new rail line through mechanisms such as consolidation settlement. The system will continually and automatically monitor the pipelines for any changes, such as small leaks arising from ground movements. Any leak will automatically send an alert, within seconds, to the utility operator, allowing them to make a fast, proactive intervention rather than waiting for a burst to happen.
The system will help to prevent closure of stations and disruption to travel both during and after construction of Crossrail, and hopefully put an end to accidents such as the burst pipe at Stratford Underground station (the Olympics venue station) in June, which led the closure of the Central Line between Bethnal Green and Leytonstone after around two million litres of water poured into a ventilation shaft and flooded a track.