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Case Study

Improving Buried Assets Location Accuracy Standards in the UK

Severn Trent improves time, cost and quality using MGISS Global Navigation Satellite Systems technology.


Related Topics

Satellite Detection

Condition Monitoring


Severn Trent is one of Britain’s largest water companies, providing clean drinking water to over eight million people every day. The company operates across the Midlands, from the outskirts of Sheffield, down to Bristol, and into north and mid-Wales. Following its transition to outsourcing mainlaying to smaller contractors with the surveying of drawings being done in-house, the water provider saw the potential to improve location data accuracy and efficiently using GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) technology.


With data crucial to providing increasing service quality for its customers, Severn Trent identified the need for this enhanced businesses capability, which would provide accurate data recordings. This need was two-fold. Firstly, Severn Trent required accurate location and other data on fittings when laying and renewing water mains. Secondly, they wished to measure reinstatement details, which are important to the maintenance of highways.


MGISS’ first solution was to replace Severn Trent’s use of steel tape measures for triangulation and offset measurements with GNSS technology to ensure enhanced accuracy. Severn Trent can calculate the exact depth of the main, reducing the time it takes to find their assets when excavating in the future to undertake repair and maintenance activities – and the accurate elevation readings help to ensure that adequate water pressure is delivered to customers.


Further benefits include the ability to survey open trenches and for the design team to receive photos of issues faced in the field and adapt in real-time. Severn Trent’s next step is the integration of the new equipment to ensure better accuracy when surveying water service pipes to individual properties. While not required to record this data, Severn Trent’s desire to continually improve their service is prompting them to trial this solution as part of their “Green Recovery” initiative when replacing Lead Services.

It’s the speed needed to operate the business. We understand our network better. Unfortunately, it used to take 80 days from a main being laid to it going onto our records. With GNSS we can do it live.

– Martin Oliver, Lead Project Manager for Clean Water, Severn Trent
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