Interserve FM Archive

4 August 2020

Interserve team wins award for two emergency projects completed in challenging circumstances

Interserve’s Cyprus Water Management team has earned a Certificate of Commendation from the Commander British Forces Cyprus for fixing a chlorine leak and repairing an essential drinking water pipeline in challenging circumstances.

The company delivers critical total facilities management services to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation on the Permanent Joint Operating Base contract, which includes four overseas bases: Cyprus, Ascension Islands, Falkland Islands and Gibraltar. In Cyprus Interserve is contracted to act on behalf of Ministry of Defence as the appointed Water Authority and Sewage Authority.

The team, which is part of Interserve’s Central Government and Defence business unit, ensures a safeguarded and durable water supply to all those who live and work on the British Sovereign Bases and at the United Nations station. They maintain 25km of pipes that transport water from an isolated mountain spring - the Kissoussa Spring - across 49 river crossings, a break pressure tank, through an 680m long horizontal directionally drilled tunnel and via numerous fittings and inspection chambers. It is collected in the Symvoulos Dam and Reservoir at Episkopi.

The first repair was carried out at the Kissoussa River Crossing after a storm damaged a drinking water pipe. The pipeline, which supplies the Western Sovereign Base Areas, had burst and they had to stem the leak to restore supply.

The second repair took place at the Symvoulos chlorination plant after a lightning strike caused a chlorine gas leak. Working alongside emergency staff from the Defence Fire Risk Management Organisation, Interserve’s team swiftly designed and implemented a temporary engineering solution to maintain effective chlorination and safeguard the uninterrupted supply of safe drinking water.

Interserve’s Michael Constantinou, who retired from his post as a Water Distribution Foreman for the Cyprus Service Provider (CSP) in March 2020 after 50 years’ service, along with CSP’s Assistant Water System Engineers, Christos Panayiotou and Maria Christofi, collected the award from Commander British Forces Cyprus on behalf of all the team – which consists of 57 people.

Brian Talbot, Managing Director of Interserve’s Defence and Central Government business unit, said: “I’m delighted Commander British Forces Cyprus Major-General Robert Thomson recognised our excellent Interserve Cyprus Water Management team for their superb efforts in extremely difficult circumstances.

“Fixing the water pipe took a high-level of expertise and dedication. The team had to work waist-deep in very cold mountain water and completed the repairs in less than two-days. Likewise, the work they undertook to fix the chlorine leak also required a great deal of engineering prowess.

“The conversion of reservoir ‘raw water’ to potable water presents a daily challenge for the team. Processes such as aeration, sedimentation, coagulation, filtration, disinfection, re-circulation and pumping are all part of the daily routine. They provide an excellent example of the skill, dedication and undoubted expertise that Interserve supplies to the Ministry of Defence on contracts across the globe.”

Notes to editors

Interserve Facilities Management was a part of the Interserve Group and was acquired by Mitie on 30 November 2020.