Replace & Reline Water Mains - Sussex Gardens

Barhale was contracted by Thames Water and Crossrail to replace and reline water mains in Sussex Gardens, Paddington, West London. This formed part of a commitment to reline any mains falling within an allowable settlement zone to ensure the long-term stability of the mains because of the Crossrail tunnelling work. Five cast iron mains, some of which were originally laid in 1825, needed to be re-laid with butt-fused polyethylene.

  • 900mm Pipe Handler attached to excavator

Customer Name


Project Location

Paddington, West London


Various welding phases over a two year period

The new Crossrail Paddington Station is currently under construction beneath Eastbourne Terrace, which is located nearby to Sussex Gardens. Due for completion during 2017, it is a significant undertaking requiring 250,000 cubic meters of excavation, 170,000 tonnes of concrete and 14,000 tonnes of reinforcement. The Crossrail Paddington Station will take the form of an underground box measuring 260m long, 25m wide and 23m deep.

This was a very challenging project as Barhale needed to carry out the work in a busy part of London where space was limited. As the area is congested, Health and Safety was paramount to ensure the safety of both the general public and site operatives. To minimise disruption, no-dig slip lining techniques were extensively used. This in itself created its own challenges as it was necessary to work around various underground infrastructure. A proactive ‘right first time’ approach needed to be adopted with regards to the welding work.

Barhale made contact with PSS HIRE in the early stages of the project to discuss how to best manage some of the challenges the project presented. In addition to the McElroy 900 Tracstar Butt Fusion Machine and associated products, additional specialist equipment was proposed by PSS HIRE to provide an effective solution:

  • McElroy In-Ditch Kit for 900 Tracstar - This allowed the pipe to be welded down to the access shaft

  • 900 Pipe Handler - This allowed the pipes to be loaded into the machine in a safe, efficient and controlled manner

  • ControlPoint Bead Diagnostic Instrument (BDI) - To effectively track joint quality and in addition to site supervision and regular joint record downloads

PSS HIRE is a supply partner for ControlPoint, and Barhale was the first contractor to use the new BDI tool for Thames Water. It is a unique on-site tool that provides a clear and quick result on the quality of butt fusion welds without the need for destructive testing. This provided Barhale with additional reassurance over and above the existing standard industry recognised ‘bend back test’.

By utilising smart phone technology, they we were also able to link the results of the BDI to the machines’ joint records and upload in real time to the JointManager website. This website allows full analysis and reporting of all operator, machine, material, GPS location and weld data. The system can alert managers in real time to any non-conformant welds, ensuring potentially faulty joints are removed before being commissioned. 

The use of PSS HIRE equipment and expertise has assisted Barhale to complete various phases on schedule and within budget, whilst providing significant efficiencies and ease of use to the team carrying out the welding. This is an award-winning project for Barhale as the company has been awarded a Considerate Constructors Silver (CCS) Award for their work at Sussex Gardens. The CCS scheme encourages best practice above and beyond statutory requirements and only the very best performing sites are recognised.

“This project and its location presented us with significant and unique challenges. Working with the PSS HIRE team, we were able to share our ideas and work through different options to come up with the best solutions to allow us to carry out this job in a safe and efficient manner.

The Bead Diagnostic Instrument has proven itself to be far more than a standard data capture device. We have been very impressed at the simplicity with which it provides an immediate, definitive pass/fail result on the quality of our welds, without the need for destructive testing. Our operators have very easily got to grips with the operation of the device, and our management team can easily view and share all of the key weld and project data from the JointManager website.”

Tim O'Donoghue, Site Agent, Barhale

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