Delivering what we promise

Calm Networks Operational Training

The issue of transient pressure surge (water hammer) in water networks has been a serious concern for water companies for some time.  Transient pressure surge can occur as a result of network operations or interventions, particularly valve operations, hydrant operations and pump starts and stops.  The potential for structural damage to ageing distribution networks resulting in increased leakage and/or burst mains is significant and inevitably leads to customer supply interruptions

Research carried out by academic institutions into the causes and effects of transient surge, along with analysis of asset failures by water companies, has revealed that over 50% of unplanned supply interruptions can be traced back to network activity nearby, primarily valve operations, that has taken place within the preceding seven days. 

Working in collaboration with Sheffield University and Severn Trent Water, Morrison Utility Services is spearheading a new ‘Calm Networks‘ approach to valve operations. Our purpose-built Calm Networks training rig is designed to demonstrate the potential pressure surge consequences of operating distribution network valves and how these damaging transient surges can be avoided or reduced by modifying traditional operational practices. 

Yorkshire Water, Thames Water and Anglian Water have all engaged Morrison Utility Services to design, supply and install a Calm Networks training rig and provide bespoke training to almost 500 valve operator employees to raise their awareness and understanding of how to avoid transient pressure surges. 

The rig consists of a closed loop of approximately 200m of 90mm diameter PE pipe fed by a heavy duty pump from a tank reservoir. Simulating a section of operational main, the rig can be adjusted to produce a varied range of flow velocities and pressures. The system is equipped with various valves, hydrants, PRV, MSM chamber and other apparatus to replicate equivalent network installations, configurations and conditions.

Strategically positioned pressure sensors, capable of measuring pressure variations and pulses as short as 5/1000ths of a second, are connected (via laptop) to a large display, enabling real time graphical display of pressure variations to demonstrate to trainees the pressure consequences of the operation of the various valves and other apparatus.

By promoting the Calm Networks approach, our aim is to raise awareness of the importance of modifying operational practice to support the ongoing drive to deliver strong customer service and improved SIM performance.  Our work is proving successful and evidence is already pointing to a reduction in the number of burst mains and unplanned customer supply interruptions.

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Customer Innovation Event 2015

Our third Customer Innovation Event took place in London in September 2015.

To watch the film, click here. 

Innovation Awards

2016 Innovate UK innovation grant

2014 Computer Weekly European User Award

2014 Energy Innovation Award

2013 Energy Innovation Award - Best Innovation Implemented/Adopted by a Customer

2013 Pipeline Industries Guild Award - Utility Innovation

2013 Institute of Water Southern Area Innovation Award

2012 Institute of Water Northern Area Innovation Award

2012 Water Industry Achievement Awards -Most Innovative use of an Existing Technology