Morrison Utility Services Win the Institute of Water Northern Area Innovation Award Winner 2012

26 March 2012

Morrison Utility Services has won the Institute of Water’s first Northern Area Innovation Award.

A panel of judges selected the ‘water siren’ as the regional winner to go forward to the Institute of Water National Innovation Award 2012 which is sponsored by Northumbrian Water.

This innovative technology offers a step change to the way water distribution pipes can be accurately traced, reducing costs, excavations and delivering enhanced levels of customer service and confidence.

The competition was open to individuals, teams and organisations working in the water industry in the North of England with an innovation or innovative idea.

The introduction of the lead replacement programme in 2010 highlighted the need to accurately trace the position of hundreds of thousands of ferrule connection points on distribution water mains. The Water Siren has been developed to trace the position of buried water pipes, of all diameters and all material types (especially plastic).

Speaking about the Award, Richard Warneford, President of Northern Area and Distribution Manager of Northumbrian Water said: “The Water Siren is unique in that it does not rely on the material of the pipe wall to transmit a signal. The signal generated by the Water Siren does not propagate into any other adjacent utility and therefore eliminates any confusion.

“The Water Siren can be connected to a domestic garden tap or similar fitting on a stand pipe, therefore completely eliminating the requirement for any excavation. In addition, since the signal requires the flow of pressurized water in the pipe to enable it to be traced, there is no customer supply interruption, and no discernible discomfort experienced inside the customer property.”

Morrison Utility Services Team together with other regional finalists will go forward to the Institute of Water National Innovation Awards, sponsored by Northumbrian Water. Jonson Cox, Chair of the Water Sector Innovation Leadership Group will head up a panel of Judges to select a winner who will be offered the opportunity to showcase their winning idea at Water UK’s 2012 Innovation Hub.

Richard Warneford continued: “This Award offers a much needed spotlight for the many innovative individuals and organisations out there willing to demonstrate their commitment to excellence, and is just part of the program which the Institute of Water is delivering to promote the right cultural environment and encourage pride in the water sector.”

Pamela Taylor, Chief Executive of Water UK and Patron of the Institute of Water is support the Institute’s Award:

“I am pleased to add my support to the Institute of Water as they seek to promote a cultural environment for innovation to flourish, and wish to invite the overall winner of the National Innovation Awards for 2012 to take part in this year’s Water UK Innovation Hub.”

Professor Martin Cave will present these Awards at the Institute of Water President’s Dinner in London on Friday 18 May 2012. Please contact Lyndsey Gilmartin on 0191 422 0088 or e-mail: for details on how to book places at the National Awards Dinner.

For more press or event information please contact Lyndsey Gilmartin, on 0191 422 0088 or e-mail

The Institute of Water was founded in 1945 and is the only professional body that exclusively supports the careers of anyone working in the UK water industry.

The Institute of Water is the only professional body concerned solely with the water industry. It aims to provide opportunities to help members increase their knowledge about those topics that are crucial to the future success of the industry.

The Institute supports the careers of people working in all professions and at all levels across the UK water industry by offering a unique and independent learning, development and networking framework.

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