Leak-busters save the day at Pyramids Centre pool

120121-5377 PYRAMIDS (NEWS) MRW  13/1/2012''The Pyramids on Southsea seafront ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (120121-5377)
120121-5377 PYRAMIDS (NEWS) MRW 13/1/2012''The Pyramids on Southsea seafront ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (120121-5377)
The site in South Downs National Park

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A DRAIN-CLEARING company took on a job with a difference to enable youngsters to enjoy the pools at the Pyramids Centre in Southsea.

Farlington-based Freeflow Drains saved the day by finding the leak and fixing it in an afternoon.

Freeflow director Paul Needham said it was a ‘heart-in-the-mouth’ job which could have easily gone awry.

He said: ‘The leak was from a broken pipe under the pool. They didn’t know exactly where it was and they were going to have to dig the pool up to find it.

‘We have got cameras we use so we put them in and found where exactly the leak was.’

After discovering the location of the leak – which had kept the pool closed since early January – the firm used a fibreglass patch wrapped around an uninflated ‘sausage balloon’ to fix it.

The balloon is inserted into the pipe and inflated at the site of the damage. The fibreglass patch then sticks to the pipe and seals the hole.

The patch takes a couple of hours to set, and can be used in either wet or dry places – ideal for a pipe below a swimming pool.

Whilst the firm performs this kind of operation regularly, it’s rare for Freeflow to work on something of quite such a major scale as the Pyramids Centre.

Mr Needham added: ‘It sounds simple but there are all sorts of things that can go wrong. It’s a real heart-in-mouth time.

‘They wanted to open by half-term and they managed to open on time.

‘We were called on the Wednesday and spent Thursday assessing it and fixing it in the afternoon.

‘On Friday they tested it and said all the pressure was back up so it was fixed. They couldn’t open with the leak – they were losing thousands of gallons of water, leaking into their basement.’