Sewage & Water Treatment

‘United Utilities eliminates sewage outfall with a ‘Varley’ Failsafe Self Contained Hydraulic Actuator’


To provide a solution for an unreliable Emergency Failsafe Penstock system, with a reliable and cost effective replacement.


The main inlet Penstock at a rural sewage treatment works had been failing to open as required, in an emergency or power failure, causing sewer backup and overflow.

The original system consisted of an electric actuator supported by a costly and hazardous battery back-up system. Due to the duty of operation, the electric actuator system could no longer keep up with demand.


  • A reliable system that will provide many years of trouble-free operation.
  • Minimal operator input due to rural location of site.
  • A fully self-contained unit for simple direct mounting to Penstock.
  • To interface directly with existing telemetry and power supply.
  • Unit to failsafe, opening the Penstock on demand or power failure.


  • A self-contained linear actuator utilising ‘Accumulator’ technology to store hydraulic fluid under pressure for fail-safe operation.
  • Incorporation of both local and remote control and indication to enable position and status monitoring from a central control room.
  • System designed to operate using environmentally safe ‘food grade’ hydraulic fluid.


  • All sewer channel overflows are now eliminated with reliable, simplified and cost   effective Failsafe Self Contained Hydraulic Actuator.
  • Valuable plant room space has been gained and safety improved, with the removal of the dangerous battery back-up system.
  • Client now operates and monitors the system 24 hours a day without the need to travel to site.
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