Utility Week

UTILITY Week 4th April 2014

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UtilitY WEEK | 4th - 10th April 2014 | 23 Operations & Assets ogy (SMART) units upstream of the aeration lanes. The SMART units (the green and blue tanks) contain a mesh that provides the ideal conditions for a very dense and highly active attached biomass, which rapidly hydrolyses materials in the wastewater, ena- bling the aeration tanks downstream to cope with a greater load. The upgrade has increased the capacity of the two lanes from 40,000m³/day to 100,000m³/day, and is produc- ing a fully nitrified effluent that will improve the environment and ecology in the Tubli Bay area. If you have an asset or project you would like to see featured in this slot, email: paul.newton@fav-house.com Pipe up Anne McIntosh D uring the first months of 2014, the UK experi- enced some of the worst storms and flooding ever recorded. The effects of this extreme weather were devastating and far-reaching. The storms not only affected private dwellings, rendering many people home- less, but also le entire towns without power. With the latest climate change predictions indicating that flood- ing and coastal erosion are likely to continue to increase in the UK, asset managers need to be more proactive in understanding the risks that this may pose. Flooding causes immediate failures in many electri- cal assets, but as we have seen recently, power can be quickly restored. Despite this, asset managers should be wary of further "hidden" damage in their substations and assets. Flaws can develop which, le undetected, could lead to future problems, such as a reduction in asset performance and reliability, an increase in health and safety issues and further failures. Flood water can be even more dangerous. It frequently contains debris, such as salts, metals, acids, silt and other items in solution or suspen- sion that can continue to cause unseen damage to assets long aer the water has subsided. Future corrosion can be accel- erated, resulting in the need to replace the component or even the asset itself. Considering the past winter, I would advise anyone in charge of electrical assets to undertake a number of steps to prevent unexpected failures, including a condi- tion assessment programme of the affected assets. The Environment Agency has national coverage of flood risk maps for England and Wales, showing areas at risk with probability levels of 1/1,000 and 1/100 chance of occurrence for fluvial flooding and 1/1,00 and 1/200 chance of occurrence in any year for sea flooding. This data can be used to develop a risk assessment approach to determine the resilience of substations. If the risks associ- ated with flooding are considered unacceptable for a site, then consideration should be given to installing a flood defence system or even commissioning a replacement sub- station at an alternative location. Future substation builds should take into account the risk of flooding and the loca- tion, substation design and specified equipment carefully considered to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. With evidence suggesting this extreme weather will continue, any business with large electrical assets must prepare. Failure to act could reduce the reliability and safety of assets and have serious financial consequences. Anne McIntosh, asset management director, EA Technology "With evidence suggesting this extreme weather will continue, any business with large electrical assets must prepare." "Managers should be wary of further 'hidden' damage in their substations and assets"

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