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Case Study 1

Is your penstock containment system working?

We often get calls to carry out servicing of site generic pollution containment valves. One of the major issues we have to deal with are penstock valves that have either not be set to close fully or sites that have noticed that when they close a penstock valve they dont stop the flow.

A global aerospace engineering company based in Wolverhampton asked our engineers to carry out an annual service of the pollution containment penstock sited at the final outfall into a balancing pond. The valve operated open / close. However during the confined space inspection we found the valve stops were set at the wrong point. We couldn’t see any evidence of adjustment and could only conclude that the valve had never been set to close. We carried out adjustment to allow the valve to fully close. Though we achieved valve close for our customer, we could not achieve containment as the original valve was specified incorrectly. It’s a warning to all sites relying on a pollution containment valve to make sure that the system they have installed will actually contain a pollution release.

We currently service pollution control valves for a UK dairy. Our first service at any site is to understand the assets and operation requirements. A common fault is to utilise site mains power to control site pollution containment valves. Our client called us out as an emergency response following failure of the system to operate. A simple short from a trailer charge point had tripped out the sites valve controls. Often equipment over flow comes during power outage, connecting containment valves to site mains power that has no emergency backup needs to be avoided. The idea of a pollution containment system is it operates during an emergency.

I was introduced to Sandfield about six years ago when the company I worked for asked me to look at the installation of some new penstock valves and servicing of the existing pollution control valves across the group sites.
After talking to Sandfield and meeting their engineers we gave Sandfield our UK service contract. We then went on to install Toggleblok valve as we were impressed on how it all worked and with the minimum amount of civil work require in many instances.
I have recommended Sandfield Penstock solutions Toggleblok to many companies over the last few years. They have a very professional approach to water and waste control systems.
Richard Smith