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Case study: Western Power Distribution

Western Power Distribution is is best known for its management of the electricity network across central England. When it took the decision to re-enter the multi-utility market, it required fresh surveys of its gas supply network, particularly in new housing estates. These were needed because it is the utility provider’s responsibility to keep detailed records showing the position, depth and diameter of their equipment. Planners, developers and contractors rely on these records when starting their development of a site.

Challenges

Housing estates consist of a variety of polyethylene gas pipes, ranging from large mains to small diameter connections to the individual properties. These are notoriously difficult to locate with basic equipment and Western Power Distribution’s existing surveys were not sufficiently accurate.

Solutions

Subscan used a combination of advanced ground penetrating radar, experienced surveyors and utility knowledge to supply precise survey data. The company supplies Western Power Distribution with AutoCAD files along with photographic evidence and asset sheets.

Since its appointment in 2010, Subscan’s survey accuracy has averaged 85% (an improvement of 30% on Western Power Distribution’ previous surveys). This provides Western Power Distribution with a reliable and cost effective solution to their mapping problem.

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