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Bomb clearance experts sign deal with South East Water

BACTEC International chairman Guy Lucas in Kuwait with a US 500lb low drag bomb
BACTEC International chairman Guy Lucas in Kuwait with a US 500lb low drag bomb

An award-winning bomb disposal firm has won a contract with South East Water to check for unexploded ordnance (UXO).

BACTEC International is examining 46 project sites across the region where the water utility plans to renew or install new water mains.

The firm will ensure the safety of South East Water’s personnel, the public and the infrastructure surrounding each site from any possible effects of unexploded ordnance that may be found throughout the project.

Initially BACTEC will conduct preliminary risk assessments for all 46 sites using a new Bombrisk interactive reporting service.

This is an instant online service for developers and construction firms to find out if there is any UXO on a proposed development site.

If a live UXO item is discovered, with a net explosive quantity of 8kg or less and is deemed safe to move, the BACTEC Bombtruck will be able to collect the item and transport it to a licensed disposal facility.

BACTEC International's Bombtruck
BACTEC International's Bombtruck

Lucie Tiverrier, BACTEC’s project manager, said: “BACTEC is very pleased to be involved in this project. We believe BACTEC’s flexible approach and the unique services we offer, such as Bombrisk and the Bombtruck, has enabled us to win this exciting long term project.”

Rannoch Yule, South East Water project manager, said: “It may seem far-fetched but we assess our strategic water main laying schemes to determine the likelihood of finding unexploded ordnance nearby.

“The risk of finding ordnance, predominantly a remnant of World War Two, is generally very low and the chance of finding any that are still active is even lower. Having said that, Kent in particular suffered prolific bombing during the war and there are a number of our schemes near to military facilities in the West so it is important that we are assessing the risk at our sites thoroughly.

“Out of the companies we looked at BACTEC was selected for their technical expertise and the commercial merits of their offer.”

Meanwhile, BACTEC, which has cleared mines from the Falklands and other explosive ordnance from more than 45 other former battlefield sites worldwide, is moving its offices from Medway City Estate to Crossways Business Park, Dartford.

It has been based in Medway for the past 22 years, but is keeping a workshop and stores at its old headquarters. It also has offices in Australia, Cambodia, Iraq, Lao PDR and Mozambique.

Apart from clearance, BACTEC carries out land and marine surveys, investigation, consultancy and training. It works for governments, the Ministry of Defence, the United Nations, NATO, fims in the oil, gas and construction industries, as well as a wide range of local and international organisations.

BACTEC (Battle Area Clearance, Training, Equipment and Consultancy) was founded by Major Guy Lucas and his wife Joanna in 1991. It is now owned by German investor Perusa Partners. Major Lucas continues as chairman, with Kevin Kneebone managing director.

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