Severn Trent Water, which serves over 8 million customers across the heart of the UK, has added ACO’s Q-Brake Vortex stormwater flow controller to its Approved Products List. The inclusion follows a rigorous assessment of the quality, performance and whole-life value of the product by the company’s New Product Group and now authorises the specification of Q-Brake on any of its surface water infrastructure development projects.
Having seen the ACO Q-Brake Vortex at its launch at the Infrastructure Show, ACO was invited to submit the product for full evaluation. “As Q-Brake offers up to up to a 10% cost saving in upstream surface water storage infrastructure, it was of particular interest to Severn Trent Water,” says Peter Bembridge the member of ACO Water Management’s Business Development Team who fielded the initial enquiry. “In the follow-up assessment we had to not only demonstrate full regulatory compliance but also satisfy Severn Trent’s own minimum requirements for life expectancy, in situ performance and ease of maintenance.”
ACO Q-Brake Vortex enables the saving in infrastructure by exploiting the hydraulic characteristics of a forced vortex. An extremely efficient physical process which requires no moving parts, it allows Q-Brake to have an outlet cross section 4-6 times larger than traditional flow controllers, making it less prone to blockage, easier to maintain and, by permitting higher flows at lower head pressures, significantly reduces stormwater storage volume requirements.
To ensure that specified discharge rates to any downstream watercourse or sewer are accurately controlled, each ACO Q-Brake Vortex is individually sized and manufactured to the requirements of a specific project.
Manufactured from grade 304 stainless steel, the ACO Q-Brake Vortex is fitted with a patented bypass door and emergency drain down facility. Operated by pull cable fixed to the bypass door, it allows the ACO Q-Brake unit to be remotely accessed from the surface, minimising any need to enter the manhole chamber (a key requirement of Building Regulations 2000 Section H) and enabling the upstream system to be independently drained, completely bypassing the ACO Q-Brake’s inlet.
“As conventional flow controllers such as orifice plates and sized pipework are prone to blockage they require frequent cleaning to prevent upstream surcharging and possible flooding,” says Peter Bembridge. “The unique fluid dynamics within the vortex employed in ACO Q-Brake has enabled us to overcome these issues. By sizing each unit to its individual requirements, engineers and specifiers have the strongest level of assurance that permitted discharge rates will be accurately met.”