Case Study: Live Leak Contaminated Water Pipe Repair at a Wastewater Treatment Works

Clearing up a mess – Sylmasta save a Wastewater Treatment Plant from an environmental catastrophe

A Wastewater Treatment Works was undergoing a major infrastructure upgrade when contractors mistakenly cut through a 450mm steel contaminated water pipe which required a rapid live leak repair to prevent a serious environmental incident.

Case Study Data

Wastewater Treatment Works
Sussex, United Kingdom
Repair Type
Live leak pipe repair
Highly pressurised leak on a 450mm steel contaminated water pipe

Products Used

SylWrap Pipe Repair Contractor Case
The site was recommended a Contractor Case in the aftermath of the incident as it would enable them to carry out up to six emergency live leak repairs in the future

Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape
Multiple Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tapes were used to increase the pressure resistance of the repair

SylWrap HD Pipe Repair Bandage
SylWrap HD provided a protective layer over the initial repair

SylWrap Universal Pipe Repair Kit
Both Wrap & Seal and SylWrap HD are available as part of the Universal Pipe Repair Kit

Case Study PDF

Case Study Review

The contractors working at the Wastewater Treatment Works in the United Kingdom mistakenly believed the pipe in question had been decommissioned and was due for removal. In actual fact, it was one of the most important live pipes on site as it was linked to all the waste treatment ponds. As a result, there was no feasible way to stop the flow once the pipe had been breached.

From the moment the pipe was damaged, the severity of the cuts inflicted to such a highly pressurised pipe resulted in a significant amount of contaminated water escaping. A rapid, live leak repair to the wastewater pipe was therefore required to prevent a catastrophic situation from occurring.

The break in the contaminated water pipe allowed large amounts of contaminated water to escape

The contractor contacted Sylmasta for urgent assistance. Luckily, the Wastewater Treatment Works was located less than one hour from Sylmasta HQ and so our technical team were able to rush all the SylWrap Pipe Repair products needed to the site and offer assistance throughout the repair.

Several Wrap & Seal Pipe Burst Tape were first applied to the pipe. Wrap & Seal is made from self-fusing silicone which fuses to form a solid rubber band over the hole or crack, sealing the leak. The 450mm diameter of the pipe combined with the high pressure meant that multiple tapes were needed to provide an effective seal.

This initial repair was then overwrapped using a SylWrap HD Pipe Repair Bandage. SylWrap HD is a composite repair wrap with a water-activated resin which sets rock hard in 30 minutes, providing an impact resistant layer over the Wrap & Seal to protect the repair from further damage.

Within an hour of Sylmasta being on site, the contaminated water pipe had been permanently repaired at a cost of less than £300 to the contractor. This included additional SylWrap HD should there be any further mishaps or any existing pipes require strengthening or reinforcing during the construction works.

A 450mm contaminated water pipe at a wastewater treatment works undergoes a live leak repair to prevent an environmental catastrophe
The successful repair of the contaminated water pipe

Had a live leak repair not been possible, then the Wastewater Treatment Works would have had to shut down the entire site to isolate the damaged pipe whilst a replacement was sourced and fitted. The cost of such a procedure would have been astronomical.

The speed of the SylWrap repair also prevented a serious environmental incident from unfolding. This could have been damaging in monetary terms through the cost of a clean up operation and possible fines, and for the reputations of both the Wastewater Treatment Works and the contractor involved.

Understandably, the project manager was extremely happy with the speed and ease with which the contaminated water pipe had been repaired. He emailed Sylmasta a few days after the repair, saying: “Thank you so much, the pipe repair worked a treat.”

Sylmasta have since recommended that the Wastewater Treatment Works takes stock of a SylWrap Pipe Repair Contractor Case. The Case contains enough equipment to carry out up to six live leak pipe repairs. By keeping one on site, the Wastewater Treatment Works will have everything they need to fix any future leaks as soon as a problem arises.

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