Technology supports sewer systems for the 21st Century

Acoustic Sensing Technology Ltd, a spin-out company from the University of Sheffield, was formed in 2013 to commercialise the EPSRC-supported research of Professors Kirill Horoshenkov and Simon Tait initially begun at the University of Bradford.

SewerBatt technologyIn less than 12 months, the company’s first product, the SewerBatt™, which uses acoustics to quickly locate blockages and structural defects and to determine the pipe length and serviceability, won a multitude of awards in recognition of its innovative technology. Building on 15 years of EPSRC-supported work, the technology provides information in a matter of minutes to assist an operator in determining whether a sewer pipe may be partially or fully blocked and requires cleaning. The speed of assessment whilst using minimal equipment – approximately 20 per cent of the time taken using more traditional methods such as CCTV – has the potential for significant cost savings. Since its launch, SewerBatt™ has received glowing praise from industry experts, leading Piers Clarke, Thames Water’s Commercial Director, to describe it as 'a phenomenal technology'.

In 2014, SewerBatt™ technology was adopted into Yorkshire Water’s five-year plan and the company began installing it in areas vulnerable to sewer flooding. More recently, Network Rail Scotland has been using SewerBatt™ to help establish their drainage systems service condition. Traditional methods would have required 13 weeks of preparatory work by the network, however SewerBatt™ provides a more time and cost effective method.