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april 2013 |

One of London’s


water main repairs ever


5 7 11 14 17 19

Generating energy from waste: £250m investment Adding chemicals to watchlist would cost ‘billions’ Health and Safety Awards

Working smart under Europe’s longest market Long Reach celebrates extension

Editor’s column The burst in Regent Street was described by Bob Collington as the most complex water main repair ever carried out in London. He said it would have been a relatively simple job 100 years ago, but not today. The trunk main was laid back in the early 1900s and had the freedom of the land. Over time, the space below one of London’s most iconic roads has been loaded with gas, electricity and fibre optics cables, and more water pipes. It is as busy above, as it is below. That is what made this job so complicated – good work to all involved. Elsewhere in this month’s Source, the company has announced major investment in generating renewable energy from sludge and sewer fatbergs (see pages 4 and 5). I visited the Old Ford to find out how she is driving after the Olympics, and zero accidents has been dropped from the health and safety vision. See the centre spread for the update, and all the Excellence in Health and Safety Awards winners. Stuart 2 | april 2013

‘Most comp job we’ve ever Engineers repair major burst on iconic street where it’s as busy below ground as it is above BY SIMON EVANS


water blasting out of the pipe broke two smaller mains, one eight inches wide and one seven. So the task was: turn off the water and fix it. Job done. The phrase “easier said than done”


egent Street, London: one of the best-known shopping destinations in the world. Saturday: the busiest shopping day of the week. As the bargain-hunters buzzed from shop-to-shop on March 2, a 20 inch-wide, century-old water main broke beneath the carriageway at the Vigo and Glasshouse Street junction. Within minutes the road was flooded. Fifteen retail premises had to close. The force of the Clive Dickens at the scene

was made for times like this. Stopping water running through the broken mains, without interrupting nearby customers’ supplies, involved turning off no less than 22 different valves in the surrounding area. Unlike bathroom taps, many of these valves were rusted shut and buried under concrete. Finding and shutting them required great


Bus visits sewer flooding hotspots

The crack in the main


done’ The burst floods Regent Street

skill and care. Bob Collington, operations director, said: “This was the most complex trunk main shut-off we’ve ever done.” Before a 10-metre section of new trunk main could be installed, contractors had to break through and dig out a two metre-thick layer of reinforced concrete, while avoiding slicing through other pipework and cables. As well as nine water mains running under the road at this junction, there are also gas mains, fibre optics cables, phone lines and power lines.

WORKING TOGETHER While their road was shut following the burst trunk main, Westminster Council moved other planned work forward. Rather than shutting off Regent Street again before Christmas, it ensured a new pedestrian road island and two new bus stops were installed. Other utilities were also invited to check their lines and pipes beneath the road. Thames Water also used ground-penetrating radar to check under the carriageway for any voids created by the burst. All voids were filled. Sewers under the road were surveyed. Thirty-five nearby valves and hydrants were upgraded. In total, Regent Street stayed shut to traffic for three weeks. Martin Low, city commissioner of transport, said: “We took the burst water main as an opportunity to group together work. It was the logical thing to do.” Bob Collington, operations director for Thames Water, added: “Having a pragmatic local authority working with us it made this job a lot easier. The result is that this stretch of road is in far better condition than it was before this burst.” Some people even saw the bright side. One tweeted: “Thames Water works on Regent St render it pedestrianised. HEAVEN. Let’s make it permanent.”

The Thames Water flood bus visited communities hit hardest by the relentless wet weather on an 11day roadshow last month. Volunteers from across the business spoke to around 120 customers about sewer flooding and what the company is doing to help. Huge tankers were being used to reduce the flows in the sewer network which had become overloaded with water from rivers and streams and from groundwater pushing into the pipes through cracks and joints. The tankering can be noisy and disruptive, leading to a lot of customer complaints. Bob Collington, director of operations, said: “Some of our customers have had a horrendous time over the past few months as we deal with the effects of the wettest year on record. The roadshows are a way for us to meet face-to-face with them and listen to what they have to say.” The flood bus visited Carterton, Standlake, Playhatch, Hambleden, Compton, Aldbourne and Lambourn from March 6 to 16 and was well-received by customers, who had said they were glad we were communicating with them. Thames Water is now set to carry out thorough investigations on the sewer networks in these areas once water levels have dropped to see what investment is needed and where. Customers in Hambleden april 2013 | 3


WORLD’S BIGGEST bioliquid generator cooking on food fat Fat and oil from fast food outlets and blockages in drains will soon be powering Britain’s biggest sewage works BY SIMON EVANS


Steve Flight with the poem

Come on, says Eileen A Beckenham customer said she had “better have a wash in beer” in a poem penned to a Thames Water technician who had cut her water supply for a repair. Darenth-based NST Steve Flight visited a street in the London Borough of Bromley to turn off a couple of valves on March 1 – leaving some customers temporarily without water. But instead of any complaints, he was left with a little poem – entitled Bard of Beckenham and written by Eileen C – tucked under a cone when he returned later to reinstate the supply. His manager Jennifer Hughes said: “We were all quite pleased to see that during CSAT week the customers were still in good spirit, even though we turned off their supply for a while.”

Bard of Beckenham Wot no Walter? Has he left me at the altar?! I went for a shower, And thought crikey, no power! No cat to lick me clean, Just have to stay here and scream! Not much use of that, Can’t even find the cat! No one to hear, Better have a wash in beer! Hope it is on by Sunday next, Or a group of people will have their Sunday lunch wrecked! I can see that the stand pipe is in place, So a shower outside will test my face! 4 | april 2013

eftover grease from takeaways and restaurants will be collected and fed into what will be the world’s largest bioliquid power plant at Beckton, east London. The plant, being built by 2OC, will produce 130 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year of renewable electricity – enough to run 39,000 average-sized homes. Thames Water has agreed to buy 75 GWh of this power to run Beckton sewage works, which serves 3.5 million people (population equivalent), and the neighbouring desalination plant. The remaining power will be sold on to the national supply grid.

“IT WILL HELP TACKLE THE ONGOING OPERATIONAL PROBLEM OF ‘FATBERGS’ IN SEWERS” The company has also committed to provide at least half of the fuel the generator requires to run – in the form of 30 tonnes-a-day of fats, oils and grease (‘FOG’) that would otherwise end up clogging London’s sewers. It is Thames Water’s sustainable fuel commitments, worth more than £200 million

over the long term, which have enabled the £60m construction project to go ahead. Andrew Mercer, chief executive of 2OC, said: “This is good for us, the environment, Thames Water and its customers. Our renewable power and heat from waste oils and fats is fully sustainable. When Thames doesn’t need our output, it will be made available locally meaning that power will be sourced, generated and used in London by Londoners.” Piers Clark, commercial director for Thames Water, added: “This project is a win-win: renewable power, hedged from the price fluctuations of the non-renewable mainstream power markets, and helping tackle the ongoing operational problem of ‘fatbergs’ in sewers.” Every year across its 109,000km of sewers, Thames Water removes 80,000 blockages, half of which are caused by fat wrongly tossed down drains. These blockages, which collectively cost £1m a month to clear, lead to environmentally damaging pollution to rivers and lakes, and in some cases sewage backing up into homes. Fat and oil will be collected from eateries, before it is disposed of, and from ‘fat traps’ which grab fat from pinch-points in the sewers. The target date for completion of the power generator is March 2015. Fat will soon be powering Britain’s biggest sewage works

Riverside is the most advanced and will switch on its THP plant first, possibly this summer


energy from waste Thames Water invests £250 million to maximise renewable energy from sewage sludge



ndustrial-scale ‘pressure cookers’ are being installed at six of Thames Water’s main sewage works to give its vast ‘poo power’ programme a boost. Thermal hydrolysis process (THP) plants will be switched on at Beckton and Riverside sewage works in Essex, Crossness in Thamesmead, Long Reach in Dartford, Oxford and Crawley sewage works by 2015.

THP plants condition ‘sludge’, the leftover solids from wastewater treatment, by heating it up to around 160 degrees Celsius. The pre-conditioned sludge then goes into existing anaerobic digesters – large, airless vats which break it down – producing biomethane gas that is burned to create heat and generate renewable electricity. Sewage sludge that has gone through the THP process before being anaerobically digested yields significantly more biogas with which to generate electricity to help run the treatment works.

“THP PLANTS WILL BE PRODUCING ENOUGH RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY TO RUN THE WHOLE OF OXFORD AND WOKING” Lawrence Gosden, director of capital delivery, said: “By the time we install all these THP plants we will be producing enough renewable electricity to run Oxford and the whole of Woking, in Surrey. “This investment is good for the environment, our business and our customers. For as well as being environmentally friendly, generating energy from waste also reduces our running costs by protecting us from the price fluctuations of the mainstream, non-renewable energy markets, bringing savings that help to keep customers’ bills down.” The investment will help the company achieve its target to renewably self-generate 20 per cent of all annual energy requirements

by 2015. Last year Thames Water saved around £15 million by generating 14 per cent of its annual energy from sewage. Using THP will also mean there is less solid matter left over at the end, which will reduce by half the number of lorries needed to take it from the sewage works to farmland where it is used as fertiliser. This will save the company around £2m every year. And four of the plants will benefit from a sewage version of a cider press, which will squeeze out 40 per cent more water from the sludge before it goes through the thermal hydrolysis and anaerobic digestion processes.

‘Poo power’ Thames Water is the largest non-commercial renewable electricity generator inside the M25 with ‘poo power’ facilities at the following sewage works: Beckton (Newham), Crossness (Bexley), Maple Lodge (Rickmansworth), Mogden (Isleworth), Rye Meads (Herts), Deephams (Edmonton), Oxford, Reading, Long Reach (Dartford), Slough, Hogsmill (Kingston), Beddington (Surrey), Swindon, Bishops Stortford, Banbury, Aylesbury, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Camberley, Crawley, East Hyde (Luton) and Wargrave (Berks). Once used to generate electricity, sewage sludge is offered to farmers to use as fertiliser or to developers as landscaping material or soil improver. april 2013 | 5


The replacement main in the shadow of The Shard

Fears of repeat burst

Andrew Baines

‘Remarkable approach’ raises the bar approach they waived £100,000 of Why Transport for London streetworks charges. Jason said: “We are experts in streetworks wrote off £100,000 in and should be leading the way in highway streetworks fees for the way construction. This is the future. We will be Thames Water replaced a “WE ARE EXPERTS IN trunk main next to The Shard STREETWORKS AND SHOULD



his is the future of working in the City, said Jason Aldred after the completion of a prestigious project without a single incident in the capital. London network’s head of programme delivery said the way Thames Water and contractor MGJV replaced 350 metres of a 36inch water main in the shadow of The Shard and next to London Bridge Station has raised the standard. With 20 other contractors also using St Thomas Street as a construction site for station improvements, Transport for London were so impressed with the groundbreaking 6 | april 2013

BE LEADING THE WAY IN HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION” looking into more ways to promote collaborative working as it clearly makes a difference.” Chris Gee from Network Rail was blown away by the way the capital delivery team and MGJV set up safety and logistics meetings with all the construction companies to keep everything on track under tight deadlines. He said: “This is a truly

The 75-year-old cast iron main in St Thomas Street burst in 1999, costing millions in repairs and third party damages. Thames Water was funded by both The Shard development and Transport for London (TfL) to review its condition at the beginning of 2012. It was then decided the 36-inch main should be replaced to help prevent another big burst in this high-profile part of the capital. The pipe itself was relined by pushing a smaller diameter steel pipe through the old cast iron main. The Shard is a 95-storey skyscraper which opened to the public on February 1. At 309.6 metres (1,016 ft) high, it is the second-tallest building in Europe. On the other side of the street, London Bridge station – which welcomes 50 million passengers a year – is receiving a £6 billion facelift, expected to finish in 2018. remarkable approach to collaborative working and sets a great example for the construction industry.” With all the criss-crossing of new pipes and services, Thames Water shared its trenches with others who needed access – where possible. Its site office became a hub of activity with the ‘open door’ policy helping communications between all parties. Andrew Baines, senior contract manager for the project, said “we needed to do something special to make this work” and the project was put to bed in early January ahead of schedule.

Staring down the barrel You are now staring down the barrel of the biggest pump shaft in the UK. Completion of the 11,000 cubic metres continuous concrete structure is another milestone for the Lee Tunnel team at Beckton. Deputy project manager Roger Mitchell is expecting to push on a further 500 metres in April as tunnelling continues deep underground. The tunnel boring machine is now directly underneath the Northern Outfall Sewer and will run in a straight line for the next 3.5km, following the course direct to Abbey Mills. He said: “Everything is on track and moving forwards as expected.”

Adding chemicals to watchlist

would cost ‘billions’ Thames Water director RICHARD AYLARD tells MPs sewage flooding and river discharges are a higher priority than chemicals


dding chemicals to the ‘priority substance’ list determined by the Water Framework Directive would entail “enormous” costs, a parliamentary committee heard last month. Speaking at the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into water quality, Richard Aylard, director of sustainability at Thames Water, told MPs that evidence for adding new substances to the list was weak and the costs for dealing with them to the suggested levels would run into billions of pounds. The European Commission (EC) has proposed adding 15 chemicals to the ‘priority substance’ list, which already contains 33 chemicals. He said there was a case for more research in assessing the toxicity of the chemicals

proposed by the EC, but at the moment there was a lack of evidence to include them. Richard pointed out that just to treat two oestrogens, additions proposed by the EC, it could cost the water industry up to £30 billion

chemical issue could divert resources. “If we have to spend a huge amount of money dealing with this problem, it’s potentially going to drive out investment on problems which are of much higher and more obvious concern to your constituents,” he told the MPs. “IT COULD DRIVE OUT INVESTMENT The other witnesses at the inquiry largely ON PROBLEMS WHICH ARE OF agreed with the company director. Marco MUCH HIGHER AND MORE OBVIOUS Lattughi, senior operations manager at RPS Group acting on behalf of CONCERN TO CUSTOMERS” Environmental Industries Commission, over 20 years. This would translate also said there was a lack of evidence into a bill increase for customers for including the chemicals. of £100 a year and double some He said the main issue was that the wastewater bills. level to which the substances will need He added that this did not include to be monitored is so low energy and financing costs and there is no technology that carbon emissions would available to actually increase by a third for treating do it at present. He the wastewater to more added that the money stringent standards. needed would not Richard said Thames Water be proportionate to wants to do more on reducing benefit the public. sewer flooding and reduce Printed with sewage discharge into rivers kind permission of and spending money on the Richard Aylard april 2013 | 7

innovation The Old Ford and Olympic Stadium are neighbours

Old Ford has a

new driver Making the award-winning plant as efficient and effective as possible after the Olympics BY STUART WHITE


emand at the Old Ford water recycling plant dipped dramatically after London 2012. Its corner of Stratford is currently the biggest building site in the country for its reincarnation as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The major changes have brought new challenges to this part of Thames Water’s innovation team located in the shadow of the iconic Olympic Stadium. They are using the time to

make the award-winning plant as efficient and effective as possible, and look closely at its design. It is the first of its kind in the UK and senior research scientist Marie

“THIS SUMMER’S PEAK DEMAND IS FORECASTED TO BE 50% HIGHER THAN CAPACITY” Raffin says they are now finding out what it can really do. The 28-year-old from Nantes in France said: “Demand has

obviously dropped since the Games and so we are working with the Legacy Corporation team to look at the best ways to get the most out of it now and in the future. “We expected low demand during the winter but this summer’s peak demand is forecasted to be 50% higher than the plant capacity. The team is working hard now to find a way to meet that demand.” The plant uses state-of-theart treatment processes to turn north Londoners’ sewage, via the historic Northern Outfall Sewer, built in the 1800s, into non-drinking standard water for irrigating greenery and flushing toilets. Since April 5, 2012, it has supplied more than 55 mega litres of non-potable water – the equivalent of 22 Olympic swimming pools – from a 3.65km network.

PUBLIC BACKING During London 2012, Thames Water asked visitors what they thought about the non-potable water system. The survey showed that 96% of the respondents were supportive of using it in public venues such as the Olympic Park and 90% indicated that they were supportive of using it in their own home. Interestingly, the largest proportion of respondents (42%) indicated that they were happy for private water companies to be in charge of such systems. Many respondents rationalised their responses by indicating that water companies ought to have the most relevant expertise for administering these systems.

‘Biggest risk’

Marie Raffin said it is a bit like a ghost town after London 2012 8 | april 2013

While special pipes (black with a green stripe) and valves (red and lefthand closing) are used to differentiate non-potable water and potable water networks, cross-connections remain one of the biggest risks for Thames Water. This is exacerbated by the constant change in the ownership of the Olympic Park venues and irrigation systems, as well as the ongoing construction work. Non-potable water demand is the second challenge to overcome as seasonal and daily variations are expected in the future. It is therefore important to keep talking to customers to get things right.

Twitter – one good, one bad


Happy customer: I have never spoken to such frien dly and nice people as those on your leak line.

with media manager Simon Evans

Each month BH drills down on the news and issues affecting Britain’s biggest water firm

Maggie Philbin it – don’t block it


Three very naughty boys A whopping £38,000 was raised for WaterAid’s life-saving work in Bangladesh at Thames Water’s second Big Fat Cheesy Quiz. However, this picture suggests the kitty is still owed £60. Let BH explain: a very strict player discipline regime was imposed on all 350 competitors. Those caught cheating were given on-the-spot £20 fines, all for WaterAid. Unrepentant finance director Stuart Siddall hemorrhaged £160 after incurring eight such fines for repeated infractions. Despite the eagle-eye efforts of event staff, however, the unauthorised use of an iPhone by these three Thames Water employees (pictured) was not picked up. When challenged on this incriminating image, the man holding the phone, asset management director Nick Harris, insisted he had been sending

Supersewer support The London Evening Standard showed its hand on the proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel supersewer. In a leader column on the Government’s plan to kick-start the UK’s flat-lining economy, the paper said: “Thames Water’s supersewer is expensive, at £4.1 billion, but the project is essential if we are to stop raw sewage pouring into the Thames every time it rains.” Come on then, let’s hug it out you lovely hacks, all is forgiven.

Anyone fancy a Nando’s?

Maggie interviews Phil deep underground last month

he found fame in the early 1990s presenting the flagship BBC science programme Tomorrow’s World. But the highlight of Maggie Philbin’s career did not take place until last month when she was taken into London’s historic Fleet sewer by supersewer supremo ‘Sir’ Phil ‘Bazalgette’ Stride to film a piece for the Beeb’s Bang Goes the Theory – set to air this month. Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s magnificent brickwork, coupled with Phil’s masterful patter on the capital’s need for additional sewerage system capacity, ensured his underground

Unhappy custom er: Shocked at lack of customer service! Is there an ybody at your offices who de livers on what they promise ?

date was a roaring success. Maggie (@maggiephilbin) later said on Twitter that her trip had been “darkly, gloomily beautiful”. BH is still trying to figure out whether this refers to our breathtaking sewers or the rugged handsomeness of her host… She added: “And the brickwork was fabulous.” With Maggie now fully abreast of the need for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, BH thinks it may be worth asking her to be the face of our ongoing campaign to stop fat and wet wipes blocking our sewers. Look out for Maggie Philbin it – don’t block it. an urgent missive to his wife. So, an urgent tweet to the wife, requiring assistance from two colleagues or a blatant attempt to cheat their way to quiz glory? You decide. Company directors Lawrence Gosden, Nick Harris and Richard Aylard, you have until the publication of the May Source to cough up…

The burst pipe on Regent Street (page 3) was so big it called for the services of Clive Dickens. We did a series of web-based films updating customers on our progress. They required careful editing – not least to dim the audio of big Clive, whose distinctive strains were captured off camera declaring: “Anyone fancy a Nando’s?” The nearby chicken restaurant never had it so good.

Dirty developers’ tricks foiled

A property developer (page 15) is re-routing sewers in St Albans so a batch of new homes can go up. To the annoyance of our call centre staff, however, the developers have erected Thames Water signs at their site to make it look like our work, not theirs. It emerges the might of a well-known London PR agency, who in the interest of discretion BH will not name, is behind this deliberate misrepresentation. Hey there, here’s a free PR tip: don’t lie Directors caught on about stuff!

camera. Out of shot is Stuart Siddall’s iPad april 2013 | 9



use of pipe technology Olympics water engineer visits Bangladesh Thames Water’s Clive Dickens, who led on the planning and construction of the water network to support the Olympic Games, is visiting Bangladesh to see firsthand what life is like for those without safe water and sanitation. During this month’s trip, Clive and a team from Thames Water will visit urban slums and rural villages to view how money raised by employees and customers is changing lives, and what work is left to be done at the half-way point of the four-year Thames 4 Bangladesh programme in support of WaterAid. Many people, particularly engineers, are keen to get out to Bangladesh and help with construction work. But WaterAid’s philosophy is to give communities the help and support they need to do it for themselves. Clive said: “As soon as I heard I was going to Bangladesh, my first reaction was ‘how much blue pipe can we take?’. Designing water networks and laying pipes is our day job. “You want to make a difference straight away. But I can see now that we have to empower the community to do it for themselves, not only so what they build will last, but to give them confidence and pride.” See next month’s Source for a full report from the trip.

Award for the company’s innovative development and use of a new generation pipe condition tool BY STUART WHITE


hames Water, JD7 and Morrison Utilities won a prestigious Pipeline Industries Guild prize for its cutting-edge pipe condition tool last month. The team’s innovative use and development of the JD7 Pipescan+ kit claimed the Utility Pipeline Technology Award at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on March 12. The trophy, introduced in 2003, is made for the most significant contribution to this specialist area, and designed to promote the development of new ideas in the general field of utility pipeline technology.

“IF SUCCESSFUL IT WILL ENABLE US TO TARGET OUR WATER MAINS REPLACEMENT PROGRAMME MORE ACCURATELY” Robin Clarke, asset strategy consultant, said: “Pipescan+ provides water companies with comprehensive and previously unobtainable data to determine the condition of our distribution water pipes and to optimise pipe replacement programmes. “We were delighted to win the

Robin Clarke, Stuart Hamilton (JD7) and Will Browning (Morrison Utilities) collect the award

10 | april 2013

award against strong opposition. The system is still in its development phase, and Thames Water has been leading the industry in its application into live water mains. If JD7 Pipescan+ is used to optimise successful it will enable pipe replacement programmes us to target our water mains replacement mechanism through a seal and programme more accurately, and disinfection arrangement. deliver our customers an even Robin added: “As with so much better service in the future.” work in Thames Water, this has JD7 Pipescan+ is a new been a team effort, from the generation survey tool which development of the asset strategy provides a detailed structural (Tony Owen), through project condition assessment of smaller development (Brad Howe), and diameter mains using ultrasonic implementation by Morrison transducers that rotate to provide Utilities (Andy Hemmett). 360-degree scanning at pre“It has also included much determined intervals. liaison with the innovation team This data enables pipe condition (Lawrence Scudder) and most and pipe life expectancy to be importantly Phil Renton, Neil Jones assessed, as well as profiling the and Joel Beales from the water geometry and features of both quality team.” internal and external surfaces. The miniature size and configuration is designed for insertion directly into live mains from purpose-made housing via a through bore hydrant (TBH) located directly on top of the main, Thames Water is looking to use avoiding any requirement for JD7 Pipescan+ to get full-life isolation and interruption of supply. use out of existing pipes and Movement is provided through to build knowledge of their a 100 metre umbilical cable deterioration rates. operated by an electronic drive This will help avoid unnecessary operational and maintenance costs. Currently, any meaningful pipe condition and deterioration assessment involves numerous and repeated excavations. This often requires sections to be cut out for detailed analysis resulting in the unnecessary ‘destruction’ of the pipe. The Pipescan+ system ensures any disruption is avoided and drastically reduces the cost of analysis and repeat analysis. The system has been designed for 100mm to 300mm diameter (4-inch to 12-inch) mains, and its use in larger water mains is currently under development.

What are the benefits?

EXCELLENCE in Health and Safety Awards Turn over for full coverage…

Simple changes to stay

healthy and well Condition check pilot scheme takes off, explains health and wellbeing manager JILL COTTRELL Finding time to look after ourselves can be a challenge. We all live busy lives with work and family commitments and it is easy to allow our health and wellbeing to take a back seat. Being less active and eating more convenience foods can lead to problems such as obesity and an increased risk of serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. By understanding our risk factors and making some simple changes to our lifestyle we can help to ensure we remain healthy and well, reducing the risk. Recognising how difficult it is to find the time to have a health check with your GP, Thames Water joined forces with Healthy Performance to run a pilot project delivering mini health checks to our NST’s in the workplace. Employee’s attending had the opportunity

to have their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked as well as a diabetes test. They were also able to talk about general lifestyle issues such as diet, exercise levels, smoking, alcohol intake, stress levels and sleeping habits with advice being provided on simple steps they could take to improve their health and wellbeing. The feedback has been fantastic. Leading the way was operations director Bob Collington,

who said: “It’s great to get my personal results (just glad their confidential) and I’m delighted as a business we are investing in a programme that enables our people access to a proactive check on their health and personal advice on their wellbeing.” Engagement with the pilot program has been great, with 141 employees attending appointments over 10 days, and we have had a number of enquiries from other teams asking to get involved. Plans are well under way to roll the program out further, starting with operations from this month.

Technicians said:

Operations director Bob Collingto n is keeping his results a secret

“It’s good to see Thames Water thinking of staff wellbeing” “I feel this is beneficial and motivational to keep myself healthy – thank you” “As a result of my health check I will get back to the gym three days a week” “Was very well explained and helpful” “Very good, got some really useful information and tips” april 2013 | 11

health and safety

Excellence in H&S performance

Karl Simons gets the audience thinking

H&S initiative of the year


T Health and wellbeing initiative Best H&S improvement

12 | april 2013

hames Water’s triple zero vision was revised to ‘zero incidents, zero harm, zero compromise: keeping you safe and healthy, every day at work’ at last month’s Health and Safety Conference. The tweaked company motto puts important emphasis on ‘every day’ and replaces accident with incident. Chief executive Martin Baggs opened the conference, at Blue Mountain in Bracknell on March 14, by talking about “where we’ve come from and reached over the past few years”. Karl Simons, Thames Water’s new head of safety, health and wellbeing, then explained the importance of shifting belief in the company’s triple zero vision. He asked everyone at the conference centre an important question: Do you think it is possible to have a working environment free from occupational injuries and illness?

He then spoke about changing the way people think about triple zero from it being something to be achieved in the future to something that is achieved every day. Karl said: “Has anyone in your team been injured at work today? Do you know if anyone in your team has

“DO YOU THINK IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A WORKING ENVIRONMENT FREE FROM OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES?” suffered an occupational illness today? Have any of your team walked by an unsafe situation today? “If the answer to all three of these was ‘no’ then your team has achieved triple zero that day and if you can do it one day you can do it one week and one month and one year.” Part of the conference was run through a series of breakouts including a talk from

Excellence in H&S innovation

Design contribution

March’s Health and Safety Conference preceded Thames Water’s third Excellence in Health and Safety Awards

Best practice in H&S collaboration

ro vision updated wheelchair-bound James Gorry, who shared his horrifying experience of falling through a roof while working. A hypnotist/illusionist spoke of the power of suggestion and how seeing does not always mean instantly believing, a group of actors made everyone consider how to intervene effectively and Ryder Marsh discussed the psychology behind why people do certain things.

‘Excellence’ awards The three shortlisted for Young person of the year at Thames Water’s Excellence in Health and Safety Awards have all been given free membership to IOSH for a year. The chartered body for health and safety professionals’ head of membership division Carolyn Issitt was one of the judges for the third annual prize-giving ceremony, and faced a tough challenge picking the winners.

Barhale’s David Crawford, also featured on page 15 of this month’s Source for his work in Datchet, pipped MVB’s Dan Wildman and GBMJV’s Jamie Street to the young person award for his innovative solutions to health, safety and environment issues. This included making sure on-site safety messages were displayed in five different languages for foreign workers and encouraging near-miss reporting through charity donations. Other winners among a number of quality entries included Optimise, Z-Tech and J Browne Construction.

Roll of honour Excellence in health and safety performance GBMJV – 2,500,000 hours without a RIDDOR Health and safety initiative of the year Z-Tech Control Systems – developing smart drivers Excellence in health and safety innovation J Browne Construction – HGV driver/cyclist safety initiative Best practice in health and safety collaboration MGJV and Optimise – working together on the SCADA project Best health and safety improvement Optimise opex teams – improvements in H&S performance Design contribution MVB, CH2M Hill, Mott MacDonald – Lee Tunnel wet shafts Health and wellbeing initiative Health and Safety Leadership Team – health kiosk Young person of the year David Crawford (Barhale)

Visit for more information on the awards

Young person of the year april 2013 | 13

quiz final Martin Baggs presents The Muppets with the Big Fat Cheesy Mirrorball Trophy

Muppets take the Cheesy biscuit Big Fat Cheesy Quiz final raises a stonking £38,000 for WaterAid


Roquefort and roll dancing

he Mouchel Muppets created a stilton-esque stink by retaining the Big Fat Cheesy Mirrorball Trophy. Not even Thames Water’s Appleassisted Executive team (see Borehole on page 9) could dethrone the two-time trivia champions at the grand finale, featuring 44 teams, at Shehnai in Reading on March 7. The climax to a company-wide quiz competition, involving staff, contractors and suppliers, helped raise a cheddar-tastic total of £38,000 for WaterAid. Thames team 50 Shades of Grey Matter finished a honourable joint second, alongside MGJV’s Didn’t Brie Do Well, but it was The Muppets who turned the tables blue by retaining their title. Shades brainbox Gerard Lyden, also the PR14 opex strategy and impacts manager, said: “As our brainiest quizzer from the qualifiers couldn’t make the final our objective was to avoid being in the bottom three.

“So to come second and just one point behind the reigning champs was a stunning result – so tantalisingly close to claiming the coveted Mirrorball. “As first-timers we didn’t know quite what to expect and by the end of the night it is still pretty hard to put the whole experience into words, it really was

“IT IS PRETTY HARD TO PUT THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE INTO WORDS, IT REALLY WAS UNBELIEVABLE” unbelievable. At £38k, the amount raised from the event is staggering and as we saw on the night is visibly changing lives in Bangladesh.” Quizmaster and Thames Water media manager Simon Evans donned a leopard print suit and swaggered into the arena to Shabba Ranks’ Mr Loverman. Stakeholder engagement’s Paresh Kavia backed him up as MC, while further entertainment came from a Leicester-based dance troope, a naughty step and raffle.

The chief executive opens his wallet

Raising cash for WaterAid 14 | april 2013

The cheesiest quiz ever

Datchet teamwork

‘a shining example’ Window of opportunity opens during tunnel relining project

Optimise have finished relining the tunnels which carry water from the Thames to Datchet pumping station. Project manager Vasile Chirita is pictured here with engineers Steven King and David Crawford



rare shutdown of a pumping station which handles the equivalent of up to 60 per cent of London’s daily water demand got a number of teams working in harmony. Capital delivery contractor Optimise’s essential tunnel relining project in Datchet, Berkshire, aimed at reducing the risk of flooding, was the ideal time to get a number of other contractors on site to tick off some more jobs. The site was soon greeted by up to 45 visitors at a time, all involved in various projects – such as rewiring work, valve chamber inspections and high voltage cable installation. Project manager Vasile Chirita was put in charge of safety, crucial given the number of teams on site, and made sure the different work areas were segregated. This also allowed the operations team to continue their normal activities with minimal disruption before all works were finished on February 28. The exceptional teamwork prompted a commendation from abstraction engineer David West, who said: “The tunnel relining project at Datchet is a shining example of contractors building a good working relationship with operations.”

That’s no Thames Water sign! BY NATALIE SLATER A couple of willing action-men challenged a dirty-tricks developer last month. David Gable and Russell Harvey sprang into action after a bit of

in-depth investigation from the capital delivery team about work receiving complaints in St Albans. After a month of waiting for answers as to what Thames Water was doing in the Inkerman Road area, frustrated customers went to the press.

The newspaper promptly wanted to know why work was delayed and why the site was so messy and disruptive. Gable & Harvey were on the case. The duo raced to the site where they found some rather dubious signage claiming work was being carried out on ‘behalf of Thames Water’ – not so, thought both. The crime-fighting duo said in harmony: “That’s no Thames Water sign – it doesn’t take a genius to figure out these customers are being misled.” The good guys won and the sign was amended. And the customers are now awaiting some solid answers from the developers.

David Gable, asset integrator (left), and Russell Harvey, construction assurance engineer, challenged this sign, left

If you see suspect Thames Water signs, call the fraud hotline on 0800 917 6936 april 2013 | 15

news Save Water Swindon shortlisted – again The Save Water Swindon team will find out if they have won another top award later this month. The project has been shortlisted in the Sustainability Communications Campaign category for the Environment and Energy Awards in Birmingham on April 16 after scooping the Environment Agency’s Chairman’s Award at the UK Water Efficiency Awards in September. Save Water Swindon is a campaign launched by Thames Water, Waterwise and the WWF in June 2010 to help everyone in Swindon use less water in the home. The project aims to test the effectiveness of communications through customer research and is on track to reduce water consumption in the Wiltshire town by 1,000,000 litres per day by 2014. Findings will then be used to form the UK blueprint on how to run effective water efficiency campaigns.

£10,000 fine for sewage pollution Thames Water was fined £10,000 for a sewage leak in an Oxfordshire stream which killed more than 270 fish. A burst inlet pipe downstream of Faringdon sewage treatment works caused sewage to overflow into Faringdon Stream and discharge into woodland. The Environment Agency said it was “distressing” for so many fish, including chub, dace, roach and perch, to die following the 48-hour leak in August 2011. Thames Water pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates’ Court to the discharge of sewage. The company was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £4,488 and a victim surcharge of £15.

WaterAid Lottery The winner of February’s WaterAid Lottery jackpot of £800 is MF Lee. Runners-up in the monthly draw, each receiving £25, were: Trevor Smith, Nicholas Beard, Dawn Hennessy, Rob Hales, P Jensen, FC Rossiter, JM Tranter, BK Davis, M Walsh, Leung Fo Yuan, Karen Rudkin, Alan Hillier, Ruth Bolt, Nainita Patel, T Pollard, Helen Chapman, Michael Thomson, Gregory Handley, Robert Nockolds, LJ Tredinnick, Roger Cox, Robert Cox and WJ Fisher. Shares in the lottery cost £1, and you can have as many as you like. Contact Ginika Okoye for more information. 16 | april 2013

Kidderpore reservoir’s

virtual new roof C BY ANDY GINGELL

apital delivery contractor GBM is using an innovative modelling tool to bring to life proposed designs for Kidderpore reservoir’s new roof. The project, set to start soon, will bring the redundant reservoir in Finchley Road, Camden, back into supply by demolishing the existing aluminium barrel-arch roof and replacing it with a secure concrete one. The use of 3D CAD and a building information model (BIM) in designing the improvements represents a first for capital delivery’s baseload projects. GBM have been using laser technology to gather precise data on the dimensions of the existing structure. This information is fed into the model to create a graphic representation of the existing site, which is used to design how the new reservoir will look. After adding the construction programme, the BIM can then demonstrate how the improvements will be made in time and space (4D BIM), enabling the construction teams to ‘virtually’ bring their build programme to life. Kevin Walker, GBM project manager, said: “The team is using BIM to plan their construction programme and their deliveries to this restricted site in the most efficient way

possible. The model is also helping us to reduce our health and safety risk as we’re able to identify better, safer ways of working before any construction begins.” All of this data has been provided to GBM’s supply chain, sharing planning and health and safety benefits. The precision data is helping everyone involved from creating demolition plans to sizing pre-cast beams and scaffolding structures, and will will change the way the site is managed in the long term. Scott Wilkins, head of programme delivery, added: “Although this technology is already being used on the huge Deephams upgrade and Lee Tunnel, this is the first time it will have been used on one of our baseload projects, providing an exciting glimpse into the future of construction for us.” The barrel-arch roof is going

More bang for your buck! Help charities programme administrator CLAIRE IREDALE reach GAYE gold Do you get pangs of guilt every time you get an email from a colleague running across the Arctic in his underpants to raise cash for WaterAid? For those of us who find turning good intentions into good deeds more difficult than a charity bike ride around the globe, help is at hand with our Give As You Earn (GAYE) scheme. It’s easy and effective, and means your chosen charity/ charities will get more for your money. Unlike Gift Aid, where charities have to claim back the tax, your GAYE donation already includes the tax. It comes straight out of your gross monthly Claire Iredale

salary so, for example, a donation worth £5 to the charity costs you only £4, and for those lucky enough to be on a higher tax rate the benefits to charity are even greater. As an added extra Thames Water will match 10% of all GAYE donations, so don’t miss out on the chance for your favourite charity to reap the rewards. You can nominate more than one charity to benefit – and you can easily change the amount or nominated charities at any time. Giving regularly through GAYE, rather than making occasional one-off payments, is particularly beneficial because it means the charity has a better idea of future income and so can plan activities for the long term. If enough people join, we can even upgrade our Payroll Giving Quality Mark. Thames Water currently has a silver award with 5% of employees taking part, but we’d love to reach gold. Sign up to the scheme at www.thameswater.

WORKING SMART under Europe’s longest market Team strike up a healthy rapport with Walthamstow traders while replacing Victorian water mains BY HEATHER LEWIS-JONES


he team replacing the Victorian mains under Walthamstow market have been doing all the talking. The kilometre of market stalls attracts a lively trade seven days a week and the steady flow of pedestrians meant capital delivery and their contractor Optimise had to work closely with the London Borough of Waltham Forest

and traders to ensure the project had minimal impact on local people. Guy Walker, senior contracts manager for the London network team delivering the project, said: “We are around half way through and are really pleased with the progress. From the start, we’ve been looking for the approach that would be least disruptive, not only to the market traders but to all local businesses and their customers.” The team wanted to strike the right balance between duration of the works and how the area – Europe’s longest outdoor street market with around 400 traders – would be affected.

To ensure their safety, clearly signed crossing points have been sectioned off and regular health and safety audits are carried out. Guy added: “Understanding the views of local stakeholders has been key to ensuring this project runs smoothly. By working with them and adapting our plans to suit their needs we’ve been able to minimise disruption.”

“WE COULD HAVE DONE IT QUICKER, BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE DISRUPTIVE” Guy explained: “We could have done it quicker, but it would have been more disruptive. Having discussed the options with the council, we decided to work in four six-week phases.” During each phase affected stalls are moved to temporary sites nearby with Optimise keeping a dedicated crew in the area every day to sort out any issues, including ensuring access to the temporary electricity supply. Capital delivery has also kept people informed using information boards and signs, a SMS text update service, and drop-in sessions to ask questions and raise concerns. As well as the practical considerations of keeping the market running during the works, health and safety is of utmost importance, particularly given the high number of shoppers.

The work in Walthamstow market is set to finish in June and forms part of a £4.7 million project to replace over 17km of mains in the area. Find out more at april 2013 | 17

‘Proud for the The PR14 ambassadors were briefed for the first time in London on March 1

Planning for the future Senior business strategy manager KEITH GARDNER is here to solve problems What is the price review? Every five years we have to submit our proposed business plan to our economic regulator Ofwat. This lays out how much we plan to invest in our service over the next five year period and critically the impact it will have on our customers’ bills. Ofwat’s job is to make sure we are doing this as efficiently as possible.

What’s your role? I am responsible for the business strategy, looking at the long-term challenges we face and working with different parts of the business to identify solutions.


full public consultation in May and need as many responses as possible to help validate our proposals.

What about our employees? Yes, very much so. No-one knows Thames Water as well as its employees so we need as many as possible to tell us what they think.

What’s your favourite thing about your job? I really enjoy the fact that the work we are doing is absolutely fundamental to how we will be able operate the business for the next five years and beyond. We need to be sure that we are thinking about the long term and not just the next AMP (2015 to 2020).

Where can I get more information? The PR14 pages on the portal are updated regularly. Or get in touch with me or another member of the strategic business planning team, or all those wearing the PR14 ambassador pin badges.

From my perspective, it is the introduction of outcomes. Ofwat have asked us to produce a set of longer-term aims and objectives that are in the interest of our customers and wider society. These outcomes are the end result of our activities, for example the provision of safe and reliable water and sewerage services. Ultimately, everything we plan to do should contribute to the achievement of these outcomes.

Yes, it is absolutely critical they are at the heart of our plans. We will be launching a

Roadshows rolling The Price Review Roadshows kicked off in March. They will visit over 30 Thames Water sites before finishing in Swindon on April 19. The roadshows are an opportunity to learn about the price review, how it affects the 18 | april 2013



eams involved in the major upgrade at Long Reach sewage works celebrated the closing of a major project with a handover ceremony last month. Around 20 stakeholders, including the local MP for Dartford, Gareth Johnson, gathered on March 15 to mark the occasion with the capital delivery team who delivered the project, contractors GBJV, and the site’s operations team. Nick Fawcett, head of programme delivery, said: “This was a proud moment for the team. They managed to complete the project without any lost time incidents, a remarkable achievement given that they worked over 500,000 man hours.”

“THEY COMPLETED THE PROJECT WITHOUT ANY LOST TIME INCIDENTS, A REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT” This £40m extension of the sewage works will improve the quality of treated effluent returned to the River Thames and meet new Environment Agency standards. With the extension now complete, the next stage of the upgrade will see a further £26m

What’s different about the 2014 review of prices?

Will our customers get to have their say on these outcomes?

Long Reach celebrates £40m extension which will improve quality of treated effluent by over 50 per cent

Keith Gardner has worked for Thames Water for 10 years

business and how you can have your say on future plans. The remaining dates for the roadshows can be found on the PR14 pages of the portal, but include Beckton sewage works on April 9, Earlswood on April 15 and Walnut Court on April 18.

d moment team’

Visitors check out the new SCADA system

KEY FACTS Upgrade is part of a £675m programme to extend and improve London’s five main sewage works, creating a cleaner, healthier River Thames It will improve the quality of effluent discharged to the river by over 50 per cent Allows for a population increase up to 2021 Project scope includes an upgraded power supply, new treatment equipment and odour improvements invested, starting this spring with the construction of a Thermal Hydrolysis Plant (THP). This will make it possible to create more renewable energy by breaking down the solids left after the sewage treatment process – enough to power 3,000 homes. This will leave the works virtually self-sufficient for its power needs. This second phase will also see a 50 per cent reduction in odour.

Project manager Russell Waller hands over to Adam Crysell

Long Reach works manager Daniel Kennedy leads a tour

Rise of Long Reach A book featuring a collection of amazing images from the past was gifted to the Long Reach operations team at the ceremony on March 15. Called Long Reach 1875-2013, it explains and illustrates the rise of the sewage works, explaining how it has coped with a boom in population from 70,000 to 900,000 across Bexley, Croydon, Dartford and Tonbridge. The pictures shown here are from the 1970s during the last major upgrade, which involved new sedimentation tanks, a power station and generators, aeration tanks, final settlement tanks, a compressor house, pumping facilities and a sewage screening plant. Email if you would like to receive an electronic version of the commemorative book. april 2013 | 19

source Search for future water scientists BY CRAIG RANCE Thames Water is on the search for the water scientists of the future. The company has launched a higher apprenticeship scheme to find two students to work in its state-of-the-art Reading laboratories. Over two million water samples are tested each year and the trainee experts will help keep the company’s drinking water among the cleanest in the country. The three-year scheme will allow the apprentices to earn while they learn and can even be extended to achieve a degree. Janet Burr, director of human resources, said: “This is the first time we’ve looked for apprentices with a science background. We are still taking on apprentices for maintenance and engineering roles as we have previously, but we have expanded to give lab-based opportunities for people leaving school or college aged 18. “Going to university is a big step and isn’t right for everyone, so this will give them the chance to earn and learn, and potentially get a degree at the end of it. “There is a huge pool of talent out there and we’re really excited to work with them.” Applications and information can be found at or on twitter by following @thameswaterjobs, with the closing date at the end of April.

Engine restoration started in July 2008

BEAM a long time Museum’s VICTORIAN MAYHEM celebration to mark 125 years of sewage works engine BY STUART WHITE


he Markfield beam engine was set to fire up for the first time in its 125th anniversary year on April 1. The restored Grade II listed engine house and parts of the settling tanks are all that remain of Tottenham sewage works and is now a working steam museum and cafe. Located a few yards from the River Lea towpath between Stonebridge Lock and Springfield Marina in Markfield Park, it was originally constructed in 1888. The area was not included in the original Bazalgette sewage system because Tottenham fell outside the London border. The treatment works were operational for over one hundred years until 1964, when all the incoming sewers were diverted to the extended East Middlesex Works at Deephams, Edmonton. Museum trustee Ken Brereton said: “It is amazing the engine house has survived in this area. Most other engines have gone.

£3.8 million has been spent on the engine house, beam engine and Markfield Park project

The preservation work was very satisfying, especially getting the engine going again. It amazes people that it is still here, let alone that it still works.” To mark the 125th anniversary the museum, which opens on the second and fourth Sundays of every month until September, is holding a ‘Victorian Mayhem’ celebration on July 14. The engine will next be steaming on the two May Bank Holiday Mondays. Visit for more information and the full history

Revamp for old sewer system Dropping off the application

Tunnel decision due Thames Water submitted a one-tonne application for Development Consent for the Thames Tideway Tunnel on February 28. Pictured is delivery manager Rick Fornelli, planning projects manager Ian Fletcher and head of Thames Tideway Tunnel Phil Stride delivering the 50,000 page application to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. The Inspectorate has spent the whole of March examining the document to decide if the application is valid before beginning the examination process. 20 | april 2013

A £2.4 million scheme to improve the sewer network in Tottenham is set tp kick off. Before the tunnel system was constructed in the 1960s, the sewer network in this part of north London discharged to a treatment works at the end of Markfield Road – the museum.

“WE WANT TO REPLACE A LARGE SECTION OF THE OLD VICTORIAN SEWER NETWORK TO HELP PREVENT THIS HAPPENING AGAIN IN THE FUTURE” But now the 50-year-old tunnels are struggling to cope with demand and action is required to prevent further sewage flooding to customers.

Senior contract manager Dave Meacham said: “A number of properties unfortunately experience the misery of sewer flooding in this area. We want to replace a large section of the old Victorian sewer network to help prevent this happening again in the future.” The work, which is set to start on April 15, will replace an old section of storm water sewer. It will also improve a complicated section of combined sewer system which currently struggles to deal with both customers’ waste water and storm water following heavy rainfall. The scheme, carried out by Thames Water contractor Optimise, will increase the capacity of the sewer pipes in Markfield Road, Constable Crescent and at the entrance to Rainbow Works and is expected to be finished by the end of January 2014.


NETWORK DAMAGE COST RECOVERY TEAM Who we are? Recovery specialists Diane Harris (waste), Eve Ralls, Nagina Razaq and Trish Gibson (clean) have over 20 years combined experience, while Lauren Hosking joined as team leader in September.

Back, Lauren Hosking, Nagina Razaq and Trish Gibson. Front, Eve Ralls and Diane Harris

Red Nose Day record Thames Water volunteers helped this year’s Comic Relief charity telethon raise a record £75m. Call centres at Walnut Court, Swindon, and Kemble Court, Reading, took £94,117 worth of calls to add to the giant Red Nose Day total on Friday, March 15. Each centre had 50 lines and around 90 to 100 volunteers involved in roles ranging from answering the phones and taking donations to team leaders.

What we do? We support the business by proactively investigating damages caused by third parties and recovering network repair and maintenance costs that are incurred as a result of these incidents. How we do it? The cost recovery team, currently based at Clearwater Court, gathers damage evidence from internal and external sources to build robust claim packs. Close liaison with operations and other departments is essential to be successful. Why it is important? We reduce the financial impact on both internal and external Thames Water customers while setting a precedent to third parties that they will not get away with damaging our assets.

Serious fun at Walnut Court

Block Wan

What are your challenges? The department faces many challenges. Some cases can take up to six years to resolve and can reach values of over £200,000.

Get in touch If anyone believes they have information about third party damage please give us a call on 0203 577 8600 – it may not yet have been reported.

The Daily Star reported fashion guru Gok Wan ranting to his 1.3m followers on Twitter about his drains on March 21. They said his home in Southwark had smelt of sewage for nearly two weeks. Thames Water contractors promptly removed concrete from the line to resolve the problem.

Plant qualification for operations staff A group from wastewater operations were celebrating recently after completing their NVQ level 2 in operating process plant. Operations director Bob Collington and asset management director Nick Harris praised their efforts before presenting the certificates at Kemble Court. Head of control Chris Featherstone then showed the group around the control centre and introduced them to colleagues they normally only hear on the phone – at all hours of the day and night.

From left, Stephen Beazeley, Marcus Duncan, team manager Paul Gibbons, John McGrath, Adi Wakefield, Rob Cook, Rob Lenny, Dave Guntrip, Rob Dennett, team manager Chris Hatton, team manager Nigel King, Wayne Draper and Gary Gilliam april 2013 | 21

nature Thames Water’s partnership with the BUMBLEBEE CONSERVATION TRUST takes off

T What’s the


wo pilot schemes are showing how Thames Water sites can all be improved for bumblebees, regardless of space. Coppermills water treatment works and Crossness nature reserve are being used to try and halt and reverse declines in bumblebee populations in the south east of England. Bumblebees contribute significantly to the economy by pollinating crops, yet several species are threatened with national extinction. Bees also support the wider ecosystem through pollinating wild plants, and the pilot aims to ensure populations have a long-term future. Biodiversity engagement manager Cathy Purse said: “Coppermills is positioned in a residential area of east London with very little spare land, so we wanted to make sure the bumblebee enhancements could work. “We know biodiversity can still flourish on an operational site and wanted to show this.” Crossness is at the other end of the scale – a large nature reserve in south east London, managed by Thames Water. “This site is already good for bumblebees but we want to see how much further we can go,” Cathy added.

Rare species at Coppermills A survey revealed four species were on site: common carder bee, red-tailed bumblebee, garden bumblebee and the moss carder bee. The moss carder is a rare species and was an important discovery for Coppermills – the nearest recent record is over 15 miles away in north Kent. The presence of males and a newly emerged moss carder queen suggests a successful colony has been nesting nearby. The greatest bumblebee diversity was recorded along the eastern edge, where there are most flowers. All 12 moss carder bee individuals were foraging on red clover, demonstrating the importance of this plant for this species. Cathy said: “It’s important to let wildflowers grow, and the introduction of yellow rattle – a plant which feeds off the roots of coarse grasses – will help. It will play an important role in grassland restoration by creating space for less competitive wildflowers to establish. Bumblebees also love it.”

‘Exciting discovery’ at Crossness Three species were recorded at Crossness: the common carder bee, the red-tailed bumblebee and the buff-tailed bumblebee. But the star of the show was the shrill carder bee, found foraging on black horehound along the track adjacent to Island Field. Cathy said: “The shrill carder is one of the rarest bumblebees in the UK so this was an exciting discovery. Further surveys will now need to be conducted to monitor its presence and find out if it’s nesting in the area.” The next stage of this pilot project will be to train up interested people to survey for bumblebees on site.

How to get busy A BEE Wild about Thames two-day training workshop takes place in Walthamstow on April 20-21 to learn skills to use at sites or in the garden. Another bumblebee identification day is also planned for the summer in Reading. The events are free and open to all. 22 | april 2013


‘Like many referees, I’m just a frustrated player’ Crossness site manager ADAM CRYSELL, 27, from Braintree, doubles up as a Football League assistant referee. He talks to Source editor Stuart White about his rise to the Championship So Adam, straight in, what’s the biggest game you have reffed? The most prestigious was probably the FA Youth Cup quarter-final between West Ham and Man Utd a couple of years ago. Others include being assistant referee for a big Conference match between Aldershot and Stevenage which was live on Setanta, and fourth official for England v Turkey (U18) and Brighton’s first game in their new stadium on the opening day of 2011/12 season.

How about the biggest crowd? West Ham v Burnley in December 2011 was a 35,000 full house.

What’s it like having fans on your back if you make a decision they don’t agree with? There are not many they do agree with. When you are so focussed it becomes background noise. It’s more when there’s a bit of downtime if the ball is dead or up the other end when you really hear people. Generally the banter is pretty good though.

Can the crowd influence your decision? Not really. You can often sense a change in atmosphere and we might then tighten things up and give some softer free kicks to regain control.

How do you cope with the pressure of having to make split second calls? If you have trained hard, know what you are looking for, get yourself in the best possible position and have the courage to go with what you believe, you will generally call it right.

“Diving is a plague on the game. But it’s not getting worse – the media are better equipped to pick it up” But what about all that diving in the Premier League? Simulation is a plague on the game. But it’s not getting worse – the media Adam Crysell up close with Brighton boss Gus Poyet

are better equipped to pick it up. Players play to win and managers instruct them to do so at all costs. When the stakes are so high, it’s no surprise people stretch the truth to get an edge.

Going back, how did you get involved in reffing? I played throughout school and was the typical mouthy centre midfielder. In our last PE lesson, my teacher refereed a ‘big’ game between classes and had a shocker – and I told him. He lost his rag with me and threw the whistle at my feet, telling me to have a go if I thought I could do better. I probably did worse but really enjoyed it. I looked up doing a course and took it from there.

Were you any good as a player? I was okay at school but couldn’t hit a barn door now. Like many referees, I’m just a frustrated player.

How quickly have you climbed the refereeing ladder? After a season I went into the promotion system and have progressed pretty quickly. Within 10 years I was appointed to the National List of Assistant Referees.

What next? Premier League? I love what I do and will give it my all to see if I can progress. It is extremely competitive. I am on a list of 135 referees across the country, and only four will be promoted at the end of the season. Last season the difference in average mark between the top and bottom official was marginal. We’ll see. april 2013 | 23

Time not wasted Val’s marrying the man who found her the job nine years ago VALERIE ODIFE, 28, from Wembley, is a senior waste planner at Kemble Court. She spoke to Natalie Slater about the wet start to 2013 Did you always dream of a career in sewage?

You’ve recently been promoted into your new role, what’s it like? I make sure everything that needs to be done is done. It could be sewer flooding or a blockage, but it is my job to stay on top of things. This means there’s lots of relationship building with our customers and contractors.

What’s the biggest challenge in your job? If there aren’t enough resources to go around – trying to get each job done with what you have. Ultimately, the customer suffers, but I do all I can to help.

What has it been like since the beginning of this year with the wet weather causing so many problems? It has been really busy with lots of major cases. We are working closely with the pollution team to try and prioritise what is most important and help our customers.

“THERE’S LOTS OF RELATIONSHIP BUILDING WITH OUR CUSTOMERS AND CONTRACTORS” What’s it like working shifts? It suits my lifestyle so I really like it. You work hard when you’re here but you get the time off to compensate. I couldn’t do a nine-to-five job. I am a get-up-and-go kind of person and like to travel a lot.

And you travel a long way from home to work. That must be hard? My role has moved around over the years. I was at Mogden and Cricklewood, and then Kemble. It’s just the way it goes.

What do you think makes you good at your job? I don’t like things undone. At the end of my day I like every job to be complete because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.

What’s the best thing about it? Definitely the team I work with. It’s a very male-dominated environment but that suits my personality. They are very supportive and always make me smile. Valerie Odife says her team always make her smile

And the worst thing? My team! They have bullied me into doing this interview. I’m only joking, I wouldn’t have been here nine years if I didn’t love it.

Designed by: Octagon Design and Marketing Ltd, Britannic Chambers, 8a Carlton Road, Worksop, Notts S80 1PH. Tel: 01909 478822 Email:

Not really! I was recommended for a job in scheduling by a friend – nine years ago now. That friend is now my fiancé (Dexter Crossley) but he’s since left TW and we are hopefully getting married in October.

Source April 2013  
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