Owen Pugh Group and HSC Drain Services help boost North East local infrastructure

Member Article

HCS Drain Services boosts North East infrastructure

Statistically the UK summer of 2015 has been one of the wettest on record. Stormy weather fronts have battered Britain’s shores on a regular basis, causing several floods in many parts of the UK.

The increasing frequency of these wet summers has put the spotlight firmly on the country’s drainage system and its capacity to cope with future heavy rainfalls. It has also opened up opportunities for construction firms to improve the drainage infrastructure so that it’s sufficiently robust enough to deal with extreme weather conditions.

Owen Pugh Group has forged a strong reputation in this field via its drainage inspection and repair service arm, HCS Drain Services Ltd, which undertakes specialist work to help minimise the impact of severe flooding. This work includes sewer CCTV surveys that assess the structural integrity, blockages, silt levels and root infestation within the sewer system.

HCS’s large fleet of jet vac units are then used to extract silt from the system using high-pressure water jetting and suction pumps, ensuring that the sewers can operate at the maximum flow rates they were designed for. Additional services include septic tank emptying, lining and in drain cutting works.

Due to the nature of the work, HCS has a varied client base and maintains drainage services for water utilities, local councils and large civil engineering firms. The firm, which has 45 staff, also carries out work for clients with specialist requirements such as drainage and pump maintenance for large leisure and pub groups.

Recent projects include a two-year scheme to provide drainage and asset management support services to Durham County Council. The work, which started earlier this year, will see HCS and sister firm Owen Pugh GDC provide an emergency response service to alleviate any issues within the drainage network to ensure the smooth running of the network come rain or shine.

HCS is also working with several other local authorities across the North East as well as private sector companies including Egger, Carillion, Cummins and Ibstock.

This work has been won on the back of increased investment in staff and equipment. Last year HCS purchased four 26-tonne Jetvac combination units, which are used primarily for cleaning large diameter sewers with high-pressure water jetting and then removing the waste with powerful suction pumps.

The £750,000 investment was followed recently by the £70,000 purchase of work planning software to increase efficiency for customers and help drivers operate the company’s fleet of vehicles more efficiently. This coincided with the appointment of two experienced professionals to boost the capabilities of the HCS team.

Paul Laidler joined the firm as operations manager and his main responsibilities include efficiency and effectiveness of works on site as well as carrying out health and safety audits, undertaking risk assessments and implementing quality control procedures. Meanwhile, new planning manager Paul Bowers brings to the role more than 25 years’ experience of the drainage industry and his expertise includes managing vactors and CCTV units, investigating and managing pollution issues and making efficiency improvements across the business.

As headcount has grown, the Stockton-based company has expanded its reach by opening a second depot in Blaydon to service an increasing number of clients in the north of the region. Many of them are calling on HCS to carry out a range of services including CCTV sewer surveys, high-pressure water jetting, drain tracing and relining, sewer cleansing, repairs and remedial work, waste disposal, tanker jetting and insurance work. The company also specialises in cleaning out large-scale septic tanks and carrying out repair work in confined spaces.

This wide portfolio of work is playing a major role in maintaining and improving many of the structures that are integral to the North East built environment. This will become even more important if the storms that have lashed Britain this summer continue to do so in future years.

For more information visit www.hcsdrains.co.uk and www.owenpugh.com.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Owen Pugh Group .

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