The problem

The Facilities Manager of a Make-Up Factory contacted Village Heating to carry out an inspection report on a poorly designed system that had been installed by a national company, causing the factory issues. The National installation company installed a tank and system, which as a result started to generate problems for the factory over time, with corrosion and failure to work when needed, during business-critical times. Pipe work was also incorrectly installed which resulted in the sewage waste and chemical waste sharing the same pipe. This was a serious environmental issue and could have landed the company with hefty fines since it is important for the local water board to collect separate samples of the chemical and sewage waste.

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The Strategy

Our lead project manager coordinated multiple mechanical plumbers and specialist drilling subcontractors. This had to be done over a weekend period as the business could not afford to suffer any down time during their normal operational hours. All materials were dropped at the site ready for the engineers to start work the day before, which was signed and checked off by the Project Manager. Our contingency planners made sure that additional van stock and suppliers were available to the engineers, should there be a shortage of materials over a weekend period where suppliers would be closed. Emphasis was placed on Health and Safety precautions as our engineers worked with chemicals and heights. Full RAM’s, risk assessments and COSSH statements were drafted. Our H&S officer and auditors also attended the Client site during and after works.

The Process

Since our client wished to operate during the week, our engineers took initiative and completed the job over one weekend to ensure that our client’s needs were met. This prevented any business down time and disruption. Our VHL engineers started the process by first running the 60-metre-long pipe from the outside of factory to the front of the building. To meet the regulations, the waste pipe was run underground into the main drainage route area. The correct size WRAS approved tank that was installed, to ensure that the chemicals are separated from the waste and the waste can be pumped through the waste pipe. This guarantees that the two pipe lines were separated to allow separate samples to be collected.

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How issues were avoided

To avoid the risks concerning heights, chemicals and Health and Safety, our Project Manager took several safety measures:

  1. Prior to commencing, the Project Manager ensured that his team of engineers were all dressed in their PPE, with spare PPE available should any additional be needed later
  2. All engineers had read and signed all risk assessments and method statements
  3. H&S induction was carried out on site at the start of the job, and a H&S supervisor was appointed
  4. Welfare facilities were created and provided through our supply chain and the client
  5. Next all the engineers were made to explore the premises to ensure that they had complete knowledge of the site, and given a copy of a site map due to the size of the building and grounds
  6. Our skills matrix ensured that we used engineers who had the necessary training to work on this project safely, such as Asbestos awareness, working at heights, CSCS cards, and ManSafe. Technical qualifications such as Water Regulations courses and Legionella awareness training were also included
  7. Finally, significant emphasis was placed on constant communication amongst the team, mobile phone numbers were exchanged


The Make-Up factory benefits from this job as the client will now be able to operate in a more energy efficient manner. More revenue can be generated by the client since they can now rely on the longevity of the tank system to produce their products knowing that the pipe work installed by our engineers will do its job. By completing the job at a high standard with in-depth monitoring and inspection, we ensured that our client will not need to spend extra time and money dealing with recalls.

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