Wales & West Utilities is pioneering a mobile data capture solution to make sure that the network of gas pipes that it owns, operates and maintains can be located easily. 

The gas pipeline and emergency service for Wales and the south West of England is the only gas distribution network in the UK to use innovative GPS technology as part of their multi-million pound 30 year gas pipe investment programme. 

Wales & West Utilities has worked with AMT-SYBEX and Leica Geosystems to build a bespoke, new mobile solution that uses high-precision GPS equipment to measure and map the exact location – to the centimetre, of each new pipe as it is laid, as well as capturing important metadata about valves, junctions and other components.

Beverley Robinson, Wales & West Utilities Data Records Manager explains the need for such technology:

“We’re investing £1.4m each week upgrading old metal gas pipes to new plastic ones, and as part of this programme we want to make sure we have a greater and more accurate understanding of where our pipes are located.”

“This technology brings many benefits and we are delighted to be leading the way in the industry. Being able to accurately locate our pipes saves time for our engineers and back-office teams whilst high-precision GPS increases the accuracy of asset data and reduces the risk of errors. It is also means we can share data across the business quickly, and that future work on our network is safer and more efficient due to better location data being available.”

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service that serves Wales and the south west of England, puts customers at the heart of their business and is rated the top utility company in the UK for customer service. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night. 

The company also has a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being upgraded to new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.