One of five RioCom jetvac units supplied to Sapphire Utility Solutions

At the start of April, Sapphire Utility Solutions launched its Waste Infra Network Services (WINS) contract with Severn Trent Water. As part of this, the handover of key equipment took place at Donington Park in Derbyshire, which included five RioCom 7.5t jetvac units supplied by Rioned UK.

Since its foundation in 2013, Sapphire has quickly become a trusted name in the utility industry, providing a wide range of utility services for the clean water, wastewater and gas infrastructure sectors.

The new £50m per year Waste Infra Network Services (WINS) contract with Severn Trent was awarded to Customer Solutions Plus, a joint venture between Sapphire Utility Solutions and Network plus. The 4-year contract will deliver vital wastewater reactive maintenance services on behalf of Severn Trent’s eight million customers across its entire network - the UK’s second-largest wastewater network.

Rioned’s UK Sales Manager Mark Cox demonstrates the features and functions of the RioCom to Sapphire engineers.

Sapphire will be committing over 250 field teams to the contract, operating over 100 vehicles, including combination units, recyclers, jetting vans and commercial vehicles.

Colin Kelly, Sapphire Utility Solutions Managing Director, said he was delighted that Sapphire, alongside partner Network Plus, had been awarded the contract to maintain Severn Trent’s critical wastewater network: “This award is testament to our fresh thinking, collaborative mindset and complementary strengths.”

In light of new environmental regulations and the need to streamline operations, the popularity of “single resolution vehicles” is growing across the industry as drainage contractors and utility companies seek emissions compliant and efficient solutions.
Mark Jewell, Head of Fleet at Sapphire, says the decision to go with the compact 7.5t RioCom jetvac units was in part informed by these factors: “The jetvacs are sleek, compact and low weight. Operating single resolution units helps minimise downtime and speed operations.

“Price was also a big factor when considering the options,” he explains. “And the fantastic turnaround time was a testament to Rioned’s level of service.”

The 7.5t RioCom was developed as an Ultra-low Emission Zones (ULEZ) compliant solution that is ideal for work in inner cities and areas with restricted space. The PTO drive converts power from the turbocharged, direct-injection engine to operate the jetting and vacuum pumps. The unit offers pump performance similar to much larger tankers utilising a Jurop PNR82 pump with a suction capacity of 1800 GPM and a high-pressure pump with a capacity of 2200 psi @ 22 GPM.

Part of the new fleet supplied to service the WINS contract with Severn Trent

The fleet has now been in operation a few weeks and Mark says they are performing well: “The feeback from the team has been all good. They find them easy to use and the on-site training and handover was comprehensive. We’re currently running two-man operations but planning to move to single man operations, which the RioComs will allow us to do.”

Mark Cox, Sales Manager at Rioned, says the 8-week turnaround was a push for the engineers in Holland and the UK: “The Rioned stock building programme came to the fore. We have a reliable supply of pre-purchased chassis and several jetvacs in build at any one time, which means we were able to meet the lead times requested. The multiskilled team in The Netherlands needed to commit extra resources to the project, with the UK team finishing the installation of the lighting and accessories in Thetford to ensure the units were fully compliant for handover.”

“We have a long-standing relationship with Sapphire Director Michael Patel and it was a real pleasure to be part of this major project.”