One of Flexcrete’s products played a starring role in last night’s episode of ‘Watermen: A Dirty Business’, a BBC documentary series which follows workers from United Utilities, one of Britain’s biggest water companies.
Fastfill, a rapid setting, structural repair mortar, appeared on TV screens all around the country when workers were filmed carrying out repairs to the concrete lined tunnels at Haweswater Aqueduct which supplies drinking water to around two million homes across South Cumbria, Central Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
Comprising one of the UK’s largest and most important water pipes, the aqueduct is 110km long and hundreds of feet below ground level in parts. Considered an example of engineering heritage, it carries 570 million litres of water a day from Haweswater Reservoir in Cumbria to Heaton Park Reservoir in Manchester.
The documentary series, which was filmed over the course of a year, follows United Utilities’ teams as they work to keep the taps flowing and toilets flushing for seven million customers across the North West. Last night’s episode showed the first structural analysis of Haweswater Aqueduct in its 60-year history.
A total of 100 specially trained men and women, known as ‘aquanauts’, carried out the structural surveys over a two-week period in which the aqueduct was drained and shutdown. To help the project, 16 specialist Vehicle Access Systems, known as VAS’s and designed and built in Canada, were flown over to help transport equipment and supplies in the aqueduct, which has a 2.6 metre diameter. During repair work, the Flexcrete concrete repair mortar was hand applied by structural repair specialists Ram Services.
Fastfill was used during this prestigious project as it is extremely rapid setting, well proven in demanding environments and is backed by a number of independent certifications. It is CE marked in accordance with the demands of BS EN 1504, approved by the British Board of Agrément (BBA) and is authorised under Regulation 31 of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 for use in contact with drinking water.
Specially designed for the durable repair of concrete which cannot be taken out of service for long periods, its Portland cement base ensures the cured material is similar to that of base concrete and provides a monolithic repair. Non-toxic when cured, Fastfill is supplied as a single component product only requiring the addition of clean water on-site and rapidly develops its strength, even at very low temperatures. Fastfill can be applied up to 100mm in a single application, or even up to 300mm when bulked out with sand or aggregate. Its dense matrix resists 10 bar water pressure and it develops very high diffusion resistance to acid gases and chloride ions.