Barnsley company helps protect Wimbledon
12 May 2011
A unique device invented in Barnsley is protecting thousands of properties across the country from damage caused by burst pipes.
Equipment supplied by Waterguard Services Ltd, based at Oaks Business Park, detects and automatically shuts off the water supply in the event of a burst or major leak.
As well as being fitted in schools, universities, public buildings and homes, the system is installed to prevent flooding of tennis courts at Wimbledon.
It has also safeguarded the temporary water supply during the construction of a number of high-profile projects. These include Westfield Group’s £1.45 billion Stratford City retail and leisure development – dubbed the ‘Gateway to London’s Olympic Park’ – plus an extension to the Royal Courts of Justice.
Waterguard Services director Wayne Strachan said: “The harsh weather last December really brought to the fore the potential damage burst pipes can cause. A fractured 15 millimetre pipe can deliver a huge volume of water in just a few minutes, but bursts often go unnoticed for hours or even days.
“The effects can be devastating. In addition to the more obvious cost of water damage, which can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, there’s the expense of drying-out, as well as the cost of the wasted water. There’s also the environmental impact of the loss of a valuable resource.
“A lot of clever engineering has gone into our system in order to make it simple to use and our many years’ experience helps us meet individual requirements to maximise savings and minimise risk. One council saw a £300,000 reduction in its water bills after Waterguard had been installed in schools, leisure centres and offices - that speaks for itself.
“We’re now working with a number of insurance companies, brokers and underwriters who are encouraging their clients to install our product to protect their high value properties.”
Corporate development specialist Mike Kilroy has been working with Waterguard Services to help implement a marketing strategy for future growth. He is a coach with the Enterprising Barnsley programme which offers free support to high-growth local companies.
The Enterprising Barnsley programme has attracted £2.89m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
Mike Kilroy said: “Waterguard has a superb product that can provide measurable benefits to its customers and the ultimate end user. The challenge in terms of marketing is that the system is used in a wide variety of industry sectors and at various points along the supply chain.
“A priority list has been developed with key targets and milestones identified. It is hoped that by utilising a cohesive and consistent approach in advertising and promotion, Waterguard can build on its already considerable success.”
The system can be attached to water pipes of all sizes and shuts off the water supply if the flow of water exceeds a programmed time period. It works slightly differently on bigger schemes by monitoring the volume of water used in any 30 minute period with a special setting to protect unoccupied property.
It attracts enhanced tax relief under the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme – a key part of the government’s programme to manage climate change.
The system also exceeds the requirements of BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) which is the most widely used assessment method for buildings in respect of environmental protection.
Over the coming months, Waterguard Services is set to launch a new version of its standard device plus a product aimed at homes and small businesses, which has a smaller, language-free control unit making it ideal for export.
Notes to News Editors:
For more information about Waterguard Services contact Wayne Strachan on 07954 418638 or fellow director Mike Chambers on 07875 566247.