01299 823158

Penstock Valve Maintenance & Servicing

If your water pollution containment system relies on Penstock Valves it is critical that those devices are deployed, maintained and serviced correctly.

Penstock Valve Assessment & Servicing

Sandfield Penstock Solutions provide Penstock Valve assessment, maintenance and servicing to ensure that your system performs as it was designed to perform in the event of a pollution event. 

If your water pollution containment system relies on Penstock Valves it is critical that those devices are deployed, maintained and serviced correctly. Sandfield Penstock Solutions service manual and automatic Penstock Valves, Non-return Valves, Flap Valves, Bladder Valves and any other pollution containment devices that you may have implemented as part of your pollution containment system.

What is Penstock Valve assessment & servicing?

If you were to find yourself defending a water pollution charge you will be required to demonstrate that your water pollution prevention systems were appropriate to the risk, regularly serviced and working as designed at the time of the incident. Regular Penstock Valve and pollution containment device assessment and servicing from Penstock Solutions will provide you with documented evidence that your system has been tested and give you an up to date record of servicing.

Sites that implemented their pollution containment systems before 2014, prior to the release of CIRIA c736, are likely to be relying on Penstock Valves which were widely recommended as pollution containment devices until that time.

This legacy has resulted in many businesses relying on a broad range of valves, devices and systems that may have conformed to best practice at the time of implementation but fail to adhere to the latest guidance, CIRIA c736. Penstock Valves are no longer recommended as pollution containment devices but as stated in Section 3.8 of the CIRIA c736 Guidance “the degree of environmental protection provided by each system depends upon its reliability to respond to an incident in the way intended.” What that effectively means is that whatever pollution containment system you have in place it needs to be well maintained so that it performs in the way that it was designed to perform in the event of a pollution incident.

Sandfield Penstock Solutions provide Penstock Valve assessment and servicing to ensure that your equipment is effective in the event of a pollution incident.

Dirty Penstock Valve

Why do you need to service your Penstock Valves or pollution containment devices?

Pollution Containment Devices are distinct from the process valves that form an integral part of your business in that they are only called upon if there is a pollution incident. Moreover Penstock Valves and pollution containment devices are installed in drainage systems and manhole chambers where they are prone to damage, erosion and ragging. The most common failure of a sites Environment Management System in a pollution incident is equipment not operating as intended.

Some of the most common faults that Penstock Solutions Penstock Valve servicing and maintenance services identify and resolve include:

  • Failure to stop flow – ie. unless otherwise specified Penstock Valves are flow control devices and typically have a leak rate and are not designed to stop a flow of liquids completely.
  • Poorly Located Penstock Valves – ie. the positioning of your pollution containment devices renders them ineffective in the event of a pollution incident 
  • Lost Penstock Valves – ie. instances where Penstock Valves were implemented historically and the location of the devices was not documented or they have been stolen.
  • Cemented in Penstock Valves – ie. Penstock Valves cemented in place to prevent theft rendering them inoperable and unserviceable.
  • Lack of Staff Training – ie. staff not knowing where the Penstock Valves are located or how to activate them in the event of an emergency. 
  • Manual Activation – ie. remotely located Penstock Valves not accessible quickly in the event of a pollution incident or staff not available 24/7 to operate the valves.
  • Ragging of Penstock Valves – ie. Penstock Valves that haven’t been maintained filling up with ragging, debris and silt impeding their activation.
  • Inaccessible Penstock Valves – ie. Valves installed in chambers where it is physically impossible for somebody to enter the chamber and activate the valve.

Cemented in Penstock Valve

How often should you service your Penstock and pollution containment devices?

Our recommendation is that you implement and document a regular maintenance plan of your water pollution prevention system.

If you are able to conduct weekly or monthly preventative maintenance your system should be serviced every 12 months, in all other cases we recommend six monthly testing and servicing.

How are Sandfield Penstock Solutions qualified to service Penstock Valves and pollution containment devices?

Sandfield Penstock Solutions conduct all of our Penstock Valve assessments and servicing in accordance with CIRIA c736. Penstock Solutions engineers complete a service check sheet based on the types of pollution devices you have implemented. Our teams have been working in the drainage and pollution containment industry for more than twenty years and have experience of servicing a wide range of pollution containment devices from mechanical penstocks to inflatable stopper systems.

Penstock Solutions are equipped with the necessary confined space working equipment and have achieved all of the training and certification to work in confined spaces.

Penstock Valve Assessment & Maintenance – Case Study

Our client experienced a pollution incident even though they had closed the Penstock Valve on site as part of their environmental management system. The original environmental permit required the installation of a pollution containment device in 2009 when Penstock Valves were considered the most appropriate solution. The site maintenance team had carried out and documented monthly operation of the valve to ensure that it closed as intended. 

The Penstock valve was activated as soon as a spillage was identified, initially the drain backed up, however; it was immediately noted that down stream of the site a pond was becoming polluted. After just 40 minutes all the pollutant materials had passed through the “closed Penstock Valve.” This resulted in a significant fish kill and regulator action 

Sandfield Penstock Solutions were asked to carry out an assessment and service the faulty Penstock Valve.

On inspection our engineers quickly discovered that the Penstock Valve fixings were corroded and missing. This basic fault had enabled a direct pathway through the valve. The issue was resolved by removing the faulty Penstock Valve and replacing it with a purpose designed Toggleblok™ pollution containment device. 

Had a fuller assessment and servicing process been conducted this leakage would have been detected earlier and the pollution event would have been avoided.

If water pollution prevention and CIRIA c736 compliance is currently a consideration for you please do not hesitate to call 01299 823158 or email us, we will be very happy to discuss our solutions with you.


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