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As part of an upgrade of cancer treatment equipment at a UK Hospital for client The NHS (National Health Service), comprising the installation of a new linear accelerator used for radiotherapy treatment, buried ducting which is used to carry vital cabling for the new unit was inspected and found to be subject to groundwater infiltration and condensation.

Given that the cabling that the ducting is used to carry costs something around £70,000 for 25 m (£2,800/m), it was decided that the ducts needed to either be replaced or rehabilitated to ensure that they remained water- and air-tight over the life expectancy of the Radiotherapy unit. The former option was discounted due to the location of the ducts within and beneath the hospital building, as this would have caused significant disruption and inconvenience to both the operation of the hospital and its patients. So, a renovation solution was investigated to rehabilitate the four 20 m long, 100 mm diameter ducts.

Metro Rod HLP (Hull, Lincolnshire & Peterborough) was contracted to complete the works, which would turn out not to be a simple, straightforward renovation operation.

Given the nature of the equipment involved and the location of the ducts within the building, and the ongoing Covid emergency, the renovation operation had to be carried out using strict hygiene control methods.

Initial works involved the CCTV inspection of the four ducts to establish the current state of repair so that a long-term solution could be planned for the renovation. The CCTV survey showed that whilst two of the ducts were clear of obstruction, the other two had concrete deposits located within the duct run, which would need to be removed before lining could take place.

To achieve this end, Metro Rod discussed options with and ultimately brought into the operation C J Kelly International Ltd (CJK) and Picote Solutions in a joint venture to provide the necessary equipment to complete the works on what was to become a high-profile job.

Again, given the location in the middle of the hospital building and the need for the highest hygiene standards given the delicate nature of the incoming cancer treatment equipment, CJK and Picote loaned brand-new, previously unused equipment to Metro Rod so that no cross-contamination from previous sites could be possible. This included a brush cleaning system and a concrete removal tool from Picote, which was designed to work with one of the company’s Maxi Miller units, with lining materials being provided in addition by CJK. The project was scheduled to run for just four days, again to minimise the impact of the works on the hospital site.


On the first day of the works, the Maxi Miller with the concrete removal tool was used to first clear the concrete from the ducts in question over the course of a single 16-hour shift. This left just three days to clean the now concrete-free ducts and the remaining two ducts and line them with 100 mm diameter Brawoliners provided by CJK.

The project was so high profile for the client that both Spencer Horsfield (Company Director) and Robert Forsyth (Technical Manager), the two most experienced lining personnel in this division of Metro rod, undertook the works personally. Cleaning works did not have access to a manhole, so cleaning spoils had to removed just from the pipe access end. The duct runs themselves had a round configuration, with each starting with a vertical drop leading to a 20 m long horizontal run and then a vertical rise at the receiving end. The lining could not use water or ambient cure options due to project timings. Therefore CJK/Picote provided one of the new Picote Smart-Heat systems to accelerate the curing times for the liners.

Picote’s Maxi Smart-Heat is built on a light and rugged aluminium frame similar to that of the Maxi Miller with 30 m of heating cable. The system is designed to speed up the ambient cure of CIPP liners by approximately 35%. Maxi Smart-Heat is also a significant alternative to traditional heat curing methods, significantly reducing the amount of equipment required on-site and simplifying the CIPP liner curing process. Once the liner is inserted and inflated in the pipe or duct being renovated, the heating cable is inserted, and the power turned on. The Rod heats up, raising the temperature inside the lining, thereby accelerating the curing process.


Covid regimes meant that every day the contractor’s crew was screened for symptoms prior to starting work, and all equipment was spray disinfected/sterilised before and after use. The Metro Rod crew also had to work within a strict hygiene protocol during the course of the works.

Commenting for Metro Rod Spencer Horsfield said: “Under normal circumstances, this would not have been the easiest of jobs anyway given the location within the hospital building and the sensitive nature of the treatment equipment being installed. But, added to this was the need to be particularly careful given the current and for now ongoing Covid situation. We have a long-term relationship with John and Martyn at C J Kelly, and their ability and willingness, along with Picote Solutions, to provide brand new, unused equipment for this project and accessories was absolutely key to maintaining the hygiene standards required. Our thanks must go to them for this assistance.”
For C J Kelly International, John Kelly, Senior Partner, said: “As Picote Solutions’ first dealer in the UK, we have always had good relationships with our clients. To be able to work with Metro Rod on this hospital project with Picote to ensure the best equipment was available to complete the works to the highest hygiene standards is something we would always try to do for any of our clientele if and when we can.”

For Picote Solutions, Dawn Greig said: “This was a case of ‘what is best for the client given the location and equipment involved’. We were able, with C J Kelly to, provide the perfect solution necessary. It was a pleasure to work with both C J Kelly and Metro Rod throughout this project.”

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