Aliaxis - GPS Protects New Community
September 2021

Sector: Contaminated Land
Product: Protecta-Line
Client: Anglian Water
Contractor: Bedfordshire

The Wixams development is being constructed on a 750 acre brownfield site, formerly known as the Elstow Storage Depot, and is expected to be the one of the largest developments created in the UK since WWII. Transforming the site into a new community, Wixams will ultimately consist of four villages offering new homes, jobs, amenities and educational facilities, and, once completed, will be home to 4,500 families who will benefit from 121 hectares of landscaped parkland and facilities.

The first village, Lakeview, has been occupied since 2009 but the infrastructure for villages two – four has now commenced. As with any new residential project, the utility infrastructure is central to the development and Anglian Water is responsible for installing the water mains distribution pipe network for the scheme. With the site previously used as a munitions works, a detailed soil report was undertaken and, when analysed by Anglian Water, it was revealed to contain elevated levels of ground contamination.

Due to potential risks of water contamination, Anglian Water stipulated that barrier pipe must be installed for the water mains, and, due to previous difficulties with ductile iron in the construction of Lakeview, Anglian Water has turned to us for the next three villages. As a result, more than 4km of Protecta-Line barrier pipe is being installed by Anglian Water’s approved contractors, Achiva Limited, to cater for all of the water distribution needs for the development.

More than 3km of a mix of larger diameter 450mm and 355mm Protecta-Line has been installed through the spine of the development, with smaller spurs of 225mm and 180mm coming off into the housing estates, before dropping down to 90mm as it goes into the cul-de-sacs to supply each individual property.

Currently all open field land, there was no space or logistic restrictions with the installation, which has allowed the pipeline to be installed using an open cut installation and butt fusion jointing technique, which offered a quick and simple installation process.

Commenting on the scheme, Simon Pink, Project Engineer at Anglian Water, said: “We had some issues with the ductile iron that we used for the first village on this development, which caused us some delays and resulted in some necessary repair and replacement work and so we wanted a smoother installation for the second phase.

“We have used Protecta-Line successfully on other schemes, so we knew that it would provide a reliable and safe solution for Wixams. The pipe system was much easier to handle on site, compared with ductile iron, and offered us a much quicker and simpler installation process.”

Available in sizes up to 630mm, Protecta-Line is a fully approved integrated barrier pipe and fittings system. Its tough multi-layer construction incorporates an impermeable aluminum barrier layer wrapped onto a central core of PE80 or Excel (PE100) pipe. Its innovative design ensures that any contaminants remaining in brownfield sites and former industrial land cannot permeate into the water supply.