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CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Welcome to the 2019 Autumn Edition of the Institute of Water Magazine. For those who don’t know me, my name is Sarah Murray and I am a Senior Scientific Officer at Affinity Water. I am also the young person’s representative on the Institute of Water Board. This is a three-year position and I aim to make the Institute of Water as useful as possible for people at an early stage of their careers. Firstly, I would like to say a big well done and thank you to everyone who helped organise an amazing annual conference back in June. The Titanic Belfast was an impressive backdrop to an exciting and thoughtprovoking conference which highlighted key issues and ideas including digital technologies, environmental consequences and reputational issues. Included in this magazine is a review of the annual conference. It serves as a great lookback at what we did and for those who didn’t manage to attend, it shows what you missed. The annual conference was the launch of the Institute of Water’s Young Persons Network (YPN). Through the YPN we aim to help people at the start of their career, from providing support and information on professional registration, technical skills and soft skills, for example, such as how to chair a meeting. Each region has their own YPN representative and you can read who they are and how to contact them on page 17. If you are interested in supporting the YPN or would like to know more about the support we can help with way, please just get in touch with one of them. On 2 October, the one-day Science conference returns. This event will be held at The Landing, Media City, Manchester.

Being a scientist myself, this event is great to improve your technical knowledge with speakers from many different scientific fields and provides you the opportunity to network with people doing similar job roles. In this edition of the Magazine, we have features in Innovation, Leadership, Asset Optimisation and Research, as well as our regular features, New Registrants, Rising Stars and Area News, where we get a snapshot of what our Areas around the country have been up to. For the many of you who are working on their CPD, I’d recommend you take the time to read the article by Lucy Hird and her approach to CPD. Lucy was the winner of the CPD Award, presented at the Institute of Water’s President’s Dinner and Awards. In the article, Lucy shares useful advice and tips. Trust me, it’s worth reading. One last thing, my role on the board is to ensure the young person’s viewpoint is heard and I’m keen to get as many people involved as possible. If you have any ideas or concerns, please get in touch. Otherwise, I will hopefully see you at an event soon and I hope you enjoy the latest copy of the magazine.






22 Innovation 59 Conference Review 68 Asset Optimisation 86 Leadership 92 Research

Regulars 4 Members Updates 6 Membership Grades 8 Environment News 10 Science News 12 New Registrants 17 Young Person’s Network 18 CPD 20 NEW ‘Meet a Member’ 101 Area News

Sarah Murray Young Person’s Network Representative, Institute of Water Board Member, Scientific Officer, Water Quality, Affinity Water

Institute of Water HQ: 4 Carlton Court, Team Valley, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear NE11 0AZ Website: President: Sara Venning Chairperson: Steve Youell Chief Executive: Lynn Cooper PR & Communications Manager: Lee Hansom Tel: 0191 422 0088 Email: Advertising: Martin Jameson Tel: 07342 850 289 Email: Designed and published by: JimJam Media Ltd Email:

The Institute of Water is the only professional body solely concerned with the UK water industry. We can support and develop your career whoever you are and whatever you do. We do this by providing a unique learning, developing and networking framework. For details on how to join visit today.



Clean Water Wave (CWW) is a social enterprise, passionate about making water safe to drink, and put back clean and compliant into the environment. CWW’s unique, robust technology backwashes autonomously to maintain its exceptional filtration performance; it does so using only the power of a light bulb, no chemicals, and with no moving parts. CWW’s Clean Aqua for Everyone (CAFE) filtration system is designed for decentralised treatment where autonomous operation and minimal maintenance are at the top of the agenda. CAFE is a low energy gravity flow / low pressure filter that uses the market-leading recycled glass media AFM™ for optimal performance, with an expected life span of 25-30 years.

The CAFE was designed for drinking water purposes, but while testing at a municipal waste water plant, we’ve discovered it is also an outstanding polisher of ‘clean’ industrial and waste waters, removing microplastics, toxic chemicals, and pharmaceuticals that we need to stop getting into our environment and food chain. Established just two years ago, Clean Water Wave’s team have decades of experience that they have poured into the CAFE system. CWW is mission driven and all profits are used to help low income communities access clean, safe drinking water.

CPL Activated Carbons CPL Activated Carbons (formerly known as CPL Carbon Link) is a leading manufacturer and supplier of activated carbon products and services into the water treatment industry.



We are the only UK carbon supplier that can offer all of the following: ■■ Broad range of Filtracarb® activated carbons, including UK-produced impregnated versions; ■■ Regen-Sys® - separate reactivation facilities for ‘green’ (potable) and ‘amber’ (industrial) spent carbons; ■■ Wide range of Clean-Flo® mobile carbon filter vessels, produced in-house by our subsidiary CPL Icon. Potable-only versions also available, with DWI-approved lining and stainless steel pipework. Full engineering capability for pipes/connections – design, manufacture and install;

Water Direct

With nationwide coverage and 24/7 service, Water Direct provides planned and emergency temporary water wherever and whenever it’s needed; water is often taken for granted and when a supply is unavailable Water Direct can provide an alternative. Whether you’re a water utility company experiencing an interruption due to a burst main or contamination, a building site in need of water for welfare or site processes, or a private individual in need of a swimming pool fill, we can help. Delivering quality assured water across the country, Water Direct has been the supplier of choice for alternative water supplies for more than 20 years. Using a unique quality management system ensures that every delivery in undertaken safely by a highly


Experienced Site Services support for the delivery/removal of carbon and filters; Technical back-up with UK R&D and QA laboratory facilities.

CPL Activated Carbons have been reactivating spent carbons since 2013. We underwent a significant capacity increase in 2018 with the trebling of our ‘amber’ capacity and the start-up of our state-of-the-art ‘green’ facility for regenerating carbons used in potable water applications. Our aim is to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for all carbon filtration products and related services. CPL Activated Carbon – “The Active Force in Carbon & Service.”

trained technician and every drop delivered is of drinking water quality. Water Direct’s services include delivering water via tanker, bottled water, temporary storage tanks, water supply contingency planning and plastic-free alternatives such as the Aqube, a one-use recyclable tank, or bottles made entirely from plants. Working across a wide variety of sectors, over the years Water Direct has continued to provide the highest level of customer service to customers, whether we’re delivering 1,000 litres or 1 million litres.

WEW Engineering A multi-disciplinary specialist Consulting Engineering Company and is dedicated to Water, Energy/Bio-Energy and Wastewater sectors.

WEW Engineering is focused on sustainable, energy-efficient water and wastewater treatment, including waste-to-energy projects. Our highly professional team comprises of specialist Water Chemists, Chartered Engineers, Master Planners, Field Specialists, and 3D CAD Designers. In-house water engineering specialties include chemistry and process design, with integrated mechanical electrical instrumentation and automation engineering services. WEW Engineers have been applying cutting-edge technologies in the Water, Energy and Wastewater sectors, both Municipal and Industrial, for over 40 years. Since inception, the Company’s reputation has been widely recognised and we provide Consulting Engineers services internationally. The company undertakes process design integrated with MEICA selections to provide the most sustainable solutions to any water/wastewater/solids application and utilise BAT to apply proven R&D and emerging technologies at field level. Service areas include masterplanning, brownfield plant surveys (process/ MEICA), comparative evaluation/ reporting of feasible alternatives, detailed process and works design with BIM 3D AutoCad, specifications, PSDP, project management, certification, planning/design/commercial evaluation of bio-energy system concepts, energy modulation to minimise carbon footprint, carbonation evaluations, treatment/ re-use of nutrients, organic solids, condensates and waters from advanced treatment, odour removal, licencing/ planning, expert witness specialist, energy audits.


INSTITUTE OF WATER PARTNERS WITH ICE The Institute of Water (IWater) is delighted to announce an exciting partnership with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) that enables members to access benefits that span both organisations, including events, professional development and publications. The organisations have worked together to offer a second membership at a very attractive rate which presents members greater opportunities for their professional development. IWater members who take up the offer will have full access to all ICE facilities in the UK and abroad, online knowledge, the ICE Benevolent Fund and will be allowed to use the postnominals AMICE. There will also be opportunities to contribute to knowledge sharing around all aspects of water management and an intention to work together to identify and address issues of importance to the sector and society. ICE members will also have full access to IWater facilities and services and be allowed to use the post-nominals MIWater.

How it works For IWater Members ICE will offer Associate Membership (AMICE) to Institute of Water Corporate Members, Fellows and Technicians who are not currently members of ICE at 50% of the regular AMICE fee paid in the UK. This is £102.75 as opposed to £205.75. IWater members who take up the offer will be invoiced by ICE at the time of joining (pro-rata, depending on when they join) and thereafter each October. To join ICE at the discounted rate, go to

For ICE Members IWater will offer Corporate Membership (MIWater) to ICE Corporate Members, Fellows and Technicians who are not currently members of IWater at 50% of the regular Corporate Membership Fee. This is £57.50 as opposed to £115. ICE members who take up the offer will be invoiced by IWater at the time of joining and annually thereafter. To join IWater at the discounted rate, go to

DISTINGUISHED MEMBER AWARD Volha Sinkevich, Environmental Quality Administrator with Anglian Water, has received a Distinguished Member Award to recognise her work in writing an Environmental Sustainability Policy and Environmental Management System for the Institute of Water. Both featured in the last issue of our Magazine and were launched at the AGM in Belfast where Volha was presented with her Award by Ian Barker, Vice President Environment. Ian said: “One of the great things about the Institute of Water is seeing young professionals seize opportunities to learn and develop. Volha put herself forward to prepare and implement our Environmental Management System and has worked hard to ensure that we become a much more sustainable organisation. “I was delighted to present her with the Distinguished Member Award in recognition

of this achievement and her ongoing commitment to our sustainability.” Volha replied: “It is a great honour to be a member of the Institute of Water. I cannot express how much I appreciate the exciting opportunity to create something of high social and personal value like the Environmental Management System and I was greatly privileged indeed that Ian Barker entrusted this piece of work to me. “It does give wings, when you feel people believe you can influence a change towards more sustainable ways of thinking.”



How long have you been a member? Do you know your Institute of Water membership grade and are you aware of the options? Many people join as an Associate but there are other grades that may be more appropriate for you. Corporate Membership If you have been employed in the water sector in any capacity for five or more years, then you are eligible for Corporate Membership. A Corporate Member is a team player who is competent in their area of work, reliable, informed, motivated and committed to the water industry and its customers. Corporate Members are entitled to use the post nominals MIWater. All Corporate Members are expected to be committed to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and must adhere to our Code of Conduct. To upgrade to Corporate Member, you need to obtain the support of someone who knows you in a work capacity and email your application to the Institute of Water with a copy of your CV. Chris Bolton, Engineer, WSP, said: “Having been an Associate Member for nearly 12 years, I recently took the opportunity to upgrade to Corporate Membership. I did so to help gain recognition and highlight the years of service dedicated to the industry. I was also keen to commit to my CPD by leveraging the many events and networking opportunities available to us as members.”


Claire McCullough, Scientific Technical Lead, Southern Water, said: “On a personal level it was nice to have recognition of working in the industry for 7.5 years after a change in career: once in the water industry I knew I wouldn’t be leaving! On a professional level, it’s good to have the recognition of my experience in the water industry as I’m putting together the training material and plan for the Water Process Science Team. The next step is to become a Chartered Scientist!”

manageable objectives that will help progress my career within Jersey Water. The scheme allows me to increase my knowledge and understanding related to the new skills and knowledge I have acquired since starting in my role. I hope to obtain the status by the end of the year and head into 2020 as an RSciTech!”

Members who hold a Professional Qualification that involved a Professional Review Interview are also eligible for Corporate Membership.

Fellow Membership

Technician Membership Members who have attained or are pursuing Engineering, Environmental or Science Technician are Technician Members; when they achieve Registration are entitled to use the post nominals TMIWater. Siobhan O’Regan, Water Quality Technician, Jersey Water, said: “I am a recent graduate and a young scientist working as a Water Quality Technician in the Water Quality Team at Jersey Water. I am pursuing Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) status as the scheme has

You can read about two of our latest successful Technicians - Alistair Leckie (EngTech) and Will Dyer (RSciTech) in the New Registrants section.

Fellow Membership - and the right to use FIWater after your name - is awarded to members for dedicated service to the Institute or to prominent people in the water sector. You don’t need to be a CEO to be a Fellow – although we are proud that four Water Company CEOs are – but we do expect Fellows to remain active and be committed to supporting the activities of the Institute for years to come. Kathy Auld, Project Manager, Scottish Water, said: “I am very proud to be a Fellow of IWater. For me, the recognition that it brings of not only my professionalism but of my personal contribution to the Institute is gratifying.

MEMBERSHIPGRADES I have been on the Scottish Area Committee since 1995 and am delighted in the way we have grown into a thriving part of the Institute. I will definitely continue to support the Institute for the benefits I receive and to give the current and future members support to take us into the future.” Carmel Bradley, Finance Business Partner, Northern Ireland Water, said: “I became an Associate member in February 2002 a few months after I joined the water industry. I had the opportunity to join The Northern Ireland Area Committee shortly after this, became Area Treasurer in 2003 and I’ve held the role ever since! It has been fantastic to be involved in the Institute which has provided inspiration, development and knowledge-sharing opportunities throughout my career to date within the water industry. “To have the recognition for dedicated service to the Institute and be awarded Fellowship status in 2017 was the icing on the cake for me – I am very proud to have achieved this accolade.” To qualify you must possess at least one of the ‘Attributes of a Fellow’. These include leadership, expertise and be an active member of the Institute of Water. A full list can be found in the guidance on the Institute of Water website.

Student Membership Student Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the UK water sector who is pursuing a relevant vocational or academic qualification. Emily Slavin said: “I am a PhD student at the University of Bath researching the effects of surface mixers on raw water quality in reservoirs and the production of taste and odour compounds by phytoplankton. I joined the Institute of Water as a Student Member to gain a better insight into the industry across all sectors, not just my research bubble. I’m keen to progress into the industry after finishing my PhD and being a member will provide me with networking opportunities at the many events organised throughout the year. Ultimately, I would like to progress towards Chartered status.” Natalie Lamb said: “I first joined the Institute of Water after attending the UK Young Water Professional Conference in 2017 during my MSc with Cranfield University based at Anglian Water. I was really impressed with the event and enjoyed the specialism for young people as well as the heavy presence of industry, something totally different from the more academic presence of other conferences I had attended so far. The event encouraged me to sign up to the Institute of Water and boosted my confidence to present at the next two conferences - one of which I was lucky enough to win first prize! during my PhD with the University of Sheffield

based at Anglian Water. “This year my membership has been increasingly useful for me as I have been attending more events, from improving my mental resilience to helping the environment with a beach clean, something I would love to keep up as a full member in the coming year when my studies come to an end.”

Retired? If you are retired you can retain your membership grade for a reduced annual fee (currently £45); alternatively, you can pay a oneoff fee of 10x the current Retired rate to become a Retired Life Member. Once paid, there are no further annual membership renewals to make.

Taking a career break? If you are going on long-term leave or taking a career break, we can freeze your membership payments for up to one year while you still have access to all the benefits of membership. You can find full details of all our membership grades on our website at If you have any questions or would like to enquire about changing your membership grade please phone 0191 422 0088 or email

Appointment of 5 Non-Executive Members to the Board of Northern Ireland Water The Department for Infrastructure is inviting applications for the appointment of 5 Non-Executive Members to the Board of Northern Ireland Water (NIW). NI Water was established on 1 April 2007 as a government owned company. The Department for Infrastructure is responsible for the appointment of the Board. NI Water is responsible for the delivery of water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland. The role of a Non-Executive Member is to bring experience and judgement to bear on issues of strategy, performance and governance and to be prepared to constructively challenge and assist executive management in the development of strategic objectives and policies. Do you think you can play a key role as a Board Member of NIW? How to Apply Applicants will be expected to demonstrate their ability in a number of competencies. Information about NIW and details about the role of Non-Executive Members, the selection process and competition criteria are included in the Candidate Information Booklet. All candidates will be expected to have high standards of probity and integrity. Information about NIW is available at: The competition documents can be obtained week beginning the 9 September 2019 via the following methods: Websites: or under current vacancies. Email: Telephone: 028 9054 1049 - Text relay service on 18001 028 9054 1049 In writing to: Public Appointments Unit, Department for Infrastructure, Room 542, Clarence Court, 10-18 Adelaide Street, Belfast BT2 8GB. Time Commitment and Remuneration The appointment will be effective from 1 February 2020 and will run for a period of four years. The current remuneration is £18,000 per annum based on anticipated attendance of one to two business days per month. The Members will be expected to attend all board meetings and other ad hoc meetings as required. This may involve a commitment both inside and outside of normal working hours, including representing NIW at occasional evening engagements. Women, younger people, people with a disability and ethnic minority communities are currently under represented on the Board and applications from these groups would be particularly welcome. Closing Date The deadline for the receipt of applications is 12 Noon on Friday 4 October 2019. CVs and late applications will not be accepted. Applications can be made available in alternative formats, e.g. large print or Braille, on request. Equality of Opportunity The Department is committed to the principles of public appointments based on merit with independent assessment, openness and transparency of process. The Department is also committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified applicants irrespective of religious belief, disability, ethnic origin, political opinion, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or whether or not they have dependants.



HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU USE? How much water do you use each day? Any idea? Take a guess… By Professor Ian Barker Vice President Environment

At the Institute of Water Conference in Belfast in June, one of the speakers (Vittoria Danino from the Anglian Centre for Water Studies) asked the audience of 150 how many knew how much water they use every day. Just three people put their hands up. If you have a water meter, and are particularly interested in understanding your environmental impact, you may have looked at your water bill and, depending on your water company, been able to better understand your consumption. But it’s more likely that, in order to work out just how much water your household is using, you will have had to divide the number of cubic metres you’ve been billed for by the number of days the bill covers, then divided that number by the number of people in your household, then multiplied the result by 1000 to convert it to litres to give you your per capita consumption in litres per day. If you’ve done all that - or even read to the end of the last sentence – well done! But the chances are that you don’t routinely get your calculator out, that you don’t know how much water you are using at home, and you don’t really know whether you are water wise or a water waster. If you don’t have a meter, then estimating your consumption will be little better than a finger in the air. And you certainly won’t know

how much you, as an individual, are also using at work, down the gym, or when you go to the pub. Defra recently published a long-awaited consultation document which explores ways in which managing demand for water could contribute to water security. It builds on work by Water UK and the National Infrastructure Commission, which suggested that to maintain current levels of resilience in the face of climate change and population growth at least 3,300 million litres of water per day of additional capacity is required by 2050. About two thirds of this could be achieved by saving water through reducing leakage and managing demand; the remainder would need new infrastructure. Water companies need to understand how the water they put into supply is used by their customers, because that will show them where there might be scope for managing that demand. Currently the average per capita consumption (pcc) in England is 141 litres/person/day (l/p/d); worryingly, this figure is starting to rise after several years of progressive reduction. But how much do we actually need to use? The article below about Glastonbury by IWater member and Waterwise Policy Manager Lydia Makin suggests that – for a while at least, and with the right type of infrastructure - 20 l/p/d is achievable. During the recent severe drought in Cape Town pcc fell to 50 l/p/d. But in the UK, what might be a realistic goal?

In their water resource plans water companies in England are forecasting a reduction in consumption to 123 l/p/d. Some are going much further: Southern Water has committed to a target of 100 l/p/d by 2040 and Yorkshire Water is aiming for 111 l/p/d by 2045. But overall, government wants to see a much greater level of ambition to reduce personal water consumption. And although that ambition is essential, it hides a problem. Future water security in England is reliant on customers responding as the companies have forecast in their plans. All water companies are working hard to engage more closely with their customers, who may see and may act on the messages about turning off the tap when they brush their teeth, the savings to be gained from taking a shorter shower, and so on. But they are still a very long way from understanding the crucial role that they are expected to play in ensuring secure water supplies and a healthy water environment: that they will need to reduce their water use by up to one third. There is therefore a great deal more to do to increase understanding, awareness and buy-in among customers. But first, all of us in the water industry need to know how much water we use, and then see what it really takes to achieve 100 l/p/d. Only once each of us has done that will we be able to look customers in the eye and say ‘You can do it too’.


Policy and Project Manager, Waterwise Some say Glastonbury is the best festival on earth, respected for its world class music acts and magical atmosphere. It is also well known as a “green” festival, with roots in the 1970s environmentalist movement and a reputation for ambitious leadership on environmental concerns since then. Today, it has developed into an engineering and infrastructural masterpiece, more aptly described as a pop-up city. With a population of 200,000 people it has all the same water, sewerage, waste, data and energy needs as somewhere with centuries of city planning and infrastructure investment (for comparison, Reading has a population of about 220,000 and Swansea 240,000). Having attended Glastonbury


2019 I think this pop-up city can teach us a lot about what green cities of the future could look like. From my experience at this year’s event, the average festival goer had a PCC of less than 20 litres. There are over 3700 toilets and 700 meters of urinals at Glastonbury, none of them use water. They were either composting loos or long drops into shipping containers that were taken away to be treated following the festival. All the showers were closed this year because of the need to conserve water in the hot weather and there weren’t always taps to wash your hands (they provided hand sanitiser). I learnt a lot. I realised that you don’t need water to brush your teeth and that I could wash with about 8 litres of water in a bucket (including washing my hair). All food was served

on compostable paper plates, so there was no washing up to do either. I wasn’t washing my clothes or cooking my own food, and there are lots of other ways we use water in normal life beyond just these essentials, but it’s an astonishingly low figure and proof that significantly reducing PCC is possible on a large scale. Even if we were to double or triple that figure to 40 or 60 litres, that is still low compared to the targets we have set as an industry to date. This is also very low considering it is all down to behaviour change and not utilising rainwater harvesting or water reuse. So, could green cities of the future have PCCs as low as 40 or 60 litres per day? And should we be looking beyond the target of 100 in the near future?

A GLOBAL WILDLIFE CRISIS Each year, wildlife is seriously harmed by chemical and pharmaceutical residue in our waterways. With 100,000 commercially registered compounds across Europe and no adequate treatment in place to prevent the residue from entering our waterways, where will it stop? Arvia’s Nyex™ wastewater treatment system can remove these harmful pollutants before it’s too late. Get in touch with one of our Project Engineers today to see how Arvia can improve your wastewater treatment capabilities by removing even the most persistent chemical compounds.




Bookings are now open for our third One Day Science Conference, which will be held on Wednesday 2nd October at Social 7 at The Landing, Media City in Salford, Manchester. The conference will build on the highly successful previous Science Conferences in London and York, and forms part of our series of technical conferences which are free to members. Hosted by Robin Price, Interim Managing Director of Water Resources East and our Vice President Science, the theme for this years Science Conference is ‘Leading Science, Leading Scientists’, and will showcase current and future scientific leaders from across the water industry. In the morning we’ll hear from scientists from our new Young Persons Network, including several of our current Rising Stars. Confirmed speakers so far are Sarah Murray (Affinity Water), Georgia Brown (Severn Trent), Thomas Kelly (Northern Ireland Water), Beth Hall (Isle Utilities), Emma Camm (Portsmouth Water) and Angela Dignan (Scottish Water). More speakers will be announced soon!


Borrowing from the highly successful event which kicks off our national conference each year, for the first time, the Science Conference will feature a ‘Meet the Science Leaders’ session, giving delegates unique access to some of the most senior scientists in the industry. In an informal setting, small groups of delegates will hear from the leaders about their careers, and their advice for developing a successful career as a scientist, and the leaders will be there to answer questions on any hot topics! Confirmed leaders so far include Marcus Rink (DWI), Charmian Abbott (United Utilities), Clair Dunn (Anglian Water), Alan Brown (Northumbrian Water), Karen Light (WRC), Jim Marshall (Water UK), Nicola Houlahan (SES Water) and Dymphna Gallagher (Northern Ireland Water). Again, more leaders will be announced soon!

The conference will conclude with a series of interactive workshops. Delegates will be able to meet experts in Professional Registration, CPD and mentoring, and will be able to learn more about the opportunities to get more involved in STEM activities. We are grateful to colleagues from the Science Council and the National STEM Learning Centre for their support in running these workshops. All in all, a varied, and very different day is promised – we look forward to seeing you there! This conference is free for Institute of Water members and is a great CPD opportunity. Go to scienceconference19 to book your place.


ONE DAY SCIENCE CONFERENCE WEDNESDAY 2 OCTOBER 2019 Social 7 at The Landing, Media City, Salford, M50 2ST BOOK NOW



Principal Monitoring Scientist & Technical Manager, Southern Water Chartered Scientist

Nick Adams

Area Quality Manager (Thames Valley), Thames Water Chartered Scientist

Sarah Le Sueur

Laboratory Supervisor, Jersey Water Registered Scientist

Will Dyer

Sampling Optimiser, Anglian Water Registered Science Technician


Becoming a Chartered Scientist is something I always wanted to do but never seemed to have the time. When I took on the role of Technical Manager within Southern Water attaining chartered status became a requirement. This was a good thing because that requirement gave me the focus I needed to knuckle down and get it done, and I’m so glad I did! Not only is it a great feeling to be awarded Charted status by your peers, but the process itself I found really enjoyable. I had two fantastic assessors who put me at ease from the start and I found our conversation insightful and stimulating. As a team leader I am now in the process of mentoring my staff through the same journey and it has inspired me to undertake the assessors training myself.

I’m proud to have achieved Charted status and that my 20 years’ experience in the water industry is recognised. The application process itself was straightforward and lent itself nicely to being tackled in bite-size chunks – ideal for those with busy jobs! The professional review was a very positive experience and I enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time discussing relevant matters with like-minded colleagues. I would really encourage others to seek a level of professional registration that recognises their experience and expertise in the industry.

I have worked for Jersey Water for 25 years firstly as a Laboratory Technician then as Assistant Laboratory Manager and presently as Laboratory Supervisor. I recently achieved Registered Scientist status after suggestions and encouragement by colleagues. At first, I was very apprehensive but after completing the competency report and the Professional Review interview, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I had enjoyed the whole process. I will certainly be considering Chartered Scientist as my next step and will be encouraging younger work colleagues in the laboratory to follow suite in the future.

I applied for RSciTech to consolidate and build upon the skills I have gained during my time working in the Laboratory Logistics department at Anglian Water. After completing a Chemistry degree, it has been fascinating to see how science is implemented in the area of field-based data collection. It has been great to experience sampling from rivers, effluents, potable water sites and customer properties – within the context of public health and environmental monitoring. I am interested to learn more about the water industry as a whole - I believe being a member of the Institute of Water will be a great way to do this. 

NEWREGISTRANTS ENGINEERING Alistair Leckie Telemetry Controller, Northern Ireland Water Engineering Technician

I am delighted to have achieved Engineering Technician (EngTech) from the Institute of Water and would encourage anyone to apply for professional registration. The EngTech qualification has already helped me take on new duties in my role at NI Water and will certainly benefit my career and personal development. I had worked in NI Water for nearly 10 years but hadn’t considered applying for the EngTech qualification. The management team in NI Water encouraged me to apply and supported me through the application process. I am particularly grateful to my sponsor - Thomas Kelly, who gave his time, support and guidance.


Managing Director, Navigate Infrastructure Consulting Chartered Environmentalist

I decided to apply to become a Chartered Environmentalist as part of setting up my business as an independent consultant covering regulation, strategy and policy in the water and other infrastructure sectors. I’m proud of what the achievement means at this point in my career. The value from my perspective is, firstly, that it gives a strong signal of my personal commitment to promoting long term environmental sustainability in the water sector. It re-emphasises my background in earth sciences, which I draw on in my work alongside economics. It also provides a structured process for writing a personal development plan, and a driver to update it regularly. I needed to fit my application around some (very) intense periods of work with water companies on their PR19 business plans, which meant I was a bit slow in starting. I was thinking about it in the background though, and the process ultimately fitted in well with the lulls when companies passed their submissions over to Ofwat. I chose an Institute of Water mentor, which I would recommend – I felt supported and knew what to expect throughout. Meeting and connecting with new people in the sector is a hidden benefit of the process: including my mentor, sponsors, assessors and the panel in the background (some of whom have subsequently referred to reviewing my application). I appreciate the time that others took to advise, review and provide feedback. The interview was a constructive, thought provoking and friendly conversation, not at all daunting. This was helped by my mentor and sponsors giving me pointers on what to expect. I would highly recommend applying for professional registration through Institute of Water, whose culture and support played a large part in making my experience of professional registration enjoyable. I hope that I will have opportunities in future to mentor others seeking to become Chartered Environmentalists.


The Institute of Water is licensed to register Chartered Engineers, Incorporated Engineers, Engineering Technicians, Chartered Environmentalists, Registered Environmental Technicians, Chartered Scientists, Registered Scientists and Registered Science Technicians.


Professional registration recognises competence and expertise in a subject

area and demonstrates an understanding and knowledge of this expertise. Having a professional accreditation brings high self-esteem, higher earnings potential and improved career prospects. Becoming professionally registered is a great example of Continuing Professional Development and is often recommended or preferred by certain industry bodies and regulators.




[Jason and Lee being presented with the winner’s cheque from IWater’s Vice President Engineering Jo Parker and sponsors Martin Topps and Jackie Lonergan from Mueller]

By Graham Mills,

Drilling and Tapping Judge Even though there were fewer entries this year, the competitiveness between teams was as intense as it has always been, which resulted in two days of excitement, two days of nervousness, two days of pressure, two days of networking and an afternoon of fun. That’s what the competitors experienced in this year’s National Drilling and Tapping Competition, which took place on the 21st and 22nd May, as did the crowds who watched and cheered on the teams as they demonstrated their expertise and battled it out to become national champions. As well as the reigning UK champions, Northumbrian Water’s Colin Pearson and Alan Dixon defending their title, past champions were also in attendance including a couple of ‘old boys’ Malcolm Holmes and Jeff Ray who won the competition back in 1991. To make it an international affair we also had two teams from the Netherlands, Waternet and Groningen, also taking part.

Day One

The morning of day one was a time trial with the teams looking to book their place in the final with those with the fastest times going through. After the first couple of runs it looked as if Rig A was going to produce the quickest times, courtesy of less leaks at the ferrule to main compared to Rig B, where there was plenty. However, with the teams completing two runs, one on each Rig, they all had equal opportunity to produce a Quality Tap. Anglian Water, Severn Trent, Clancy Docwra, Northumbrian Water, Waternet and Groningen all secured their final spots, however, despite a gallant effort the ‘old boys’ missed the cut. The afternoon session, the not-so-serious competition, had the teams mixed up with a Driller from one team paired with a Fitter from another. A recipe for disaster? Well that wasn’t the case and although there were a few ‘what do I do next moments’ the teams demonstrated their expertise producing some excellent runs while entertaining the audience and having fun

doing so. With a time of 3 minutes 10 seconds it was the pairing of Waternet’s Marco Borhem and Clancy Docwra’s Steve Mason who came out winners.

Day Two

It’s the final, the Judges have completed last minute checks, the rigs are ready and the audience builds in anticipation of the competition to come and they weren’t to be disappointed. The early pacesetters all came from the teams on Rig A with Waternet’s Marco Borhem and Ben Harmens posting a leading time of 2 minutes 47 seconds while those using Rig B were still suffering from ferrule leaks. Then things changed, ferrule leaks started play their part in the run times on Rig A while on Rig B, Clancy Docwra’s Steve Mason and Aston Elsey put in a Quality Tap with a time of 2mins 36secs to take the lead. So it came down to the final two runs and with Anglian Water’s Jason Barrett and Lee Maddock on Rig B and Severn Trent’s Mark and Adrian Powney on Rig A. Both teams knew they were going to have to put in a Quality Tap to stand any chance of winning. With a blistering run time of 2mins 13secs Jason and Lee had set the fastest time, but was it penalty free? Yes, was the answer and the Anglian Water duo had regained the title of UK Drilling and Tapping Champions.

[Marco and Steve receiving their mixed team awards from IWater’s Megan Williams]

opportunity to have a practice run. Although there was a fair bit of water evident during the drilling all seemed to be going well until Michelle started to take the tapping machine off the main and with water spraying everywhere. There were a few damp people about, none more so that Michelle herself who took the brunt of it. Turns out the ferrule hadn’t been shut-off. Did she forget or were the Northumbrian men’s team somehow involved? Whatever it was, it provided an exciting finale to what had been a great twoday competition. We’re looking forward to Drilling and Tapping 2020.

With time to spare prior to the presentation ceremony, Northumbrian Waters ladies, Michelle Menear and Helen Angus were given the

Drilling and Tapping Sponsors

[Michelle getting soaked]




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By Charlotte Rhodes

Network Asset Technician at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water & Rising Star 2019 The past month has been a whirlwind for us Rising Stars, with the International Water Association’s Young Water Professionals Conference, the Institute of Water Annual Conference and the Northumbrian Water Group Innovation Festival, all within a few weeks of each other! But it has been so rewarding in so many ways and I can’t thank the Institute enough for the incredible experiences we are having as part of this programme. The Annual Conference this year focused on disruption within the industry which is something I believe to be of the utmost importance going forward, particularly in light of the environmental and political uncertainty we (and much of the world) currently find ourselves in. We heard a variety of speakers discuss our adaptability to the climate emergency, plastics within our systems and supply chains, diversity and inclusivity within the industry, everincreasing customer expectations and the role of technology in all these challenges. A personal highlight of mine was being able to formally introduce a plastics debate between sustainability consultant Mandhy Senewiratne and BBC’s The One Show presenter and environmental campaigner, Lucy Seigle. This is a topic I am very passionate about and spend a lot of my own time campaigning for, therefore this opportunity was a real privilege! As a result, I was later invited by Mandhy to speak at a satirical debate on air pollution in her local South East Area at Tideway offices in London the following week, something I would never have


had chance to do if not for this exposure, which has given me valuable experience of not only public speaking in a different context but also events in other areas of IWater. Something I can now bring back to my own committee. Another highlight was receiving this year’s President’s Cup on behalf of Welsh Area Committee, something we are immensely proud of, and meeting the legendary rugby referee Nigel Owens in the process! Having been fortunate enough to attend last year’s conference in Glasgow, the chance to get more involved this time around demonstrates just how valuable the Rising Stars programme is to professional and personal development and it’s an experience I would recommend to anyone. The Northumbrian Water Group Innovation Festival was a fascinating insight into how Northumbrian Water have created an ‘innovation culture’ and as a keen environmentalist myself, their ‘zero waste’ approach had me at hello! The event was truly festival-esque as we collected our lanyards and located the nearest water source, ready to explore the wide variety of tents and activities throughout the day. The sprint I chose centred around how Northumbrian Water Group can look to engage with rural communities and was therefore a hotbed of discussion for the potential for new and SMART technologies, as well as the integral importance of community engagement. The mixture of participants from different areas of the industry and experiences was something I found hugely beneficial in order to fully ‘explore the question’ and all its viewpoints, as was the objective for Day One. I would have loved to have stayed to see what prototypes were presented at the end of the week but our second day in Newcastle was jam-packed with exciting gas-to-grid and SUDs site visits and thoughtful discussions with senior leaders of Northumbrian Water and Heidi Mottram, CEO. What is always a point of

interest for us as Rising Stars, is that in all of our leadership masterclasses so far it seems that our concerns as potential future leaders and those of the current heads of our industry are very often aligned, reinforcing the hope that we have the opportunity to make real, meaningful change in our lifetimes. Moreover, the unique opportunity to have these conversations in the first place is truly something special, we all value it immensely. The ‘zero waste’ approach is exactly what I think we should be seeing as business-as-usual not only for events, but offices and sites too as much as possible. Did the festival achieve this? Not exactly, but it was still miles ahead of most similar style events I’ve been to and therefore I look forward to seeing this grow and grow as the Innovation Festival continues, hopefully spreading far and wide! Avoiding food waste, bringing our own cups, bottles, containers and cutlery, avoiding freebies if we don’t need them, challenging suppliers and thinking carefully about how many times we use something, be it free or purchased, are all well within our reach as individuals and businesses. Collectively these are things that make a huge difference not only to the environment but also to our customers and their futures. One of the main reasons I joined the Rising Stars programme was to experience different areas of the water industry and work towards enacting change in order to leave the world better than we found it. So far, it has enabled me to do just that and at the time of writing, I particularly look forward to our visit to Ofwat in October to query their views on longterm sustainability and One Planet Prosperity, as SEPA currently operate. There are some real challenges facing us at this critical time but I’m excited to see how the industry changes over the coming years and thrilled to be a part of it!



Are you interested in professional registration but don’t know where to start? Are you looking for a mentoring partnership but want some more information? Have you never been to an event before and are a bit nervous about attending one? The Institute of Water Young Person’s Network (YPN) is here to help! The YPN was launched at the Annual Conference in Belfast, with an event that included information on professional registration and the Rising Stars programme. The aim of the YPN is: “To engage with individuals from a range of academic and vocational backgrounds at the start of their careers in order to develop a fundamental knowledge of the water industry, the wider sector and the opportunities that exist within, whilst further diversifying IWater’s membership population.” Many people involved in a professional development institution can find the experience quite daunting, especially during the early stages of their career. The YPN has been designed as a safe environment with an opportunity to meet like-minded people with a similar level of experience. We want to offer support to help you find a

clearer plan of what you wish to gain from being a member. We can help you navigate the development opportunities available through the Institute of Water and look at ways to collaborate and support each other to get the best out of our membership. Whether you want to become professionally registered, gain industry knowledge or just meet other young people in the industry, the YPN will offer a gateway to these opportunities, so we need you to get involved. While events will be aimed at those in the early stages of their career, we need the support of our whole membership community to share experiences, knowledge and advice which helps us all to develop our skills and grow that community feeling that we love about this institute further. Each of the areas has its own YPN representative who is responsible for organising events in your local area. Please feel free to contact any of the reps below if you have any ideas/suggestions or just to say hello.

Young Persons Network Contacts Board Member Sarah Murray, Affinity Water - South East Area Kirsty Ayres, WSP Scottish Area Ross McCorrisken, Scottish Water Northern Ireland Area Ross Calder, Northern Ireland Water - Welsh Area Bevita Mattu, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water - Eastern Area Fionn Boyle, Anglian Water - Midlands Area Georgia Brown, Severn Trent Water - Northern Area Jonathon Banks, Northumbrian Water - South West Area Fiona Murphy, Bristol Water & Euan Black, WRC -



A PERSONAL APPROACH TO CPD It is well understood that making a start on your CPD is probably one of the most difficult parts of the process and the way you continue to approach your CPD will likely be very different to someone else doing the same thing. By Lucy Hird

Operational Change Analyst at Anglian Water Services Limited So, it’s not surprising that at times you may wonder if you are ‘doing the right thing’. Worry not. Lucy Hird, winner of the Institute of Water’s CPD Award 2019 shares her approach to CPD along with some advice which you may find helpful: “Since I had the honour of receiving the Institute of Water Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Award 2019 in Belfast, I’ve been asked several times “Where can I find the best CPD log template?”, “Should I use the Institute of Water’s online platform?” and “How many hours should I be logging?” Of course, I’d recommend the Institute of Water’s online platform, but I suppose the answer is… use whatever works best for you! If the format is not readily accessible, adaptable, reflective and practical to maintain, then setting aside 15 minutes a week for updates becomes a chore and one day, as I did, you’ll notice you’ve been hitting that dismiss button on your MS Outlook Calendar reminder for the last three months.

Be honest, be true, and be yourself

I distinctly remember a ‘lightbulb’ moment during a ‘Power of Working Relationships’ course where we were looking at self-awareness – in particular emotional intelligence, personal resilience, motivators, personality types and the different ways people learn. I realised that day that I’d been expending too much energy pursuing and revisiting areas of little benefit because I was imitating the paths of others. Now I focus on fewer, more meaningful activities targeting weaker areas, using methods which exploit my strengths. I would urge anyone at a crossroads in their career to spend time on self-reflection, and will forever advocate the benefits of taking active control over your CPD.

Have a clear development plan with realistic time-based goals

I’ve found I prefer working in a logical, systematic way, so each year I set one or two long-term goals in my development plan, then work backwards, breaking this into smaller attainable skills and experiences (using SMART goals – that is, goals which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).


Lucy Hird accepting her CPD Award, with Duncan Tait, Fujitsu Global Director and Corporate Executive Officer (far left), Lynn Cooper, Chief Executive, Institute of Water (near left), Sara Venning, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Water (near right)

This keeps me focused on what I need to achieve by the end of the year to stay on track. It also gives me the flexibility to add new goals as they arise, and shift others to the following year, without losing sight of them completely. When setting goals, I ask myself: ■■

What are my learning objectives?


How will I know when this goal is complete?


How do I plan to fill this skills gap? Webinars? Reading? Mentoring?


What are the logistics? (for example, budget, manager approval and resources)


When will I start/finish giving consideration to my current workload and other commitments?

I populate all of this into a simple table so I can easily review my progress periodically, and record any lessons learned along the way for future projects. Some goals go on to get superseded or even aborted as business and personal priorities change. However, I never delete them, as my ‘future self’ will be expecting an explanation for my ‘past self’ decisions at the next review and she doesn’t tolerate excuses!

Maintain an activity record

I keep a separate record detailing the dates and types of activities I’ve completed, along with

their link back to each goal. I’m definitely more of a kinesthetic/visual learner so try to give priority where I can to hands-on learning, or video tutorials/training. I like to write my own notes so I can draw charts and graphs which help me understand, retain and use the information later. Afterwards it is imperative to write truly honest evaluations, even if an activity wasn’t as rewarding as anticipated. Stay positive! Challenges are only opportunities to adjust the plan to make it more resilient. Document anything you’ve learned and how you might apply this in your workplace and seek alternatives if your goal hasn’t been fully met.

Look outside your network

You can even gain transferable skills from an activity outside work, such as joining a fitness class, or volunteering for charity. For me, this was using kayaking to regulate my emotions whilst overcoming a fear of deep water and joining a new support network of inspiring professionals within Anglian Water’s Analysts Community. CPD is all about taking personal responsibility for equipping yourself with a toolbox of skills and knowledge, not only to open doors, but to build new ones.”



Mentoring — both having a mentor and being a mentor—can prove invaluable for those later in their careers, not just those on their way up. To be successful you need help from others, and mentoring ambitious young people creates a network of rising professionals who can help inform you and make valuable connections for you. Mentoring helps you keep in touch with the younger generation. As a leader of any organisation or specialist in a particular field, knowing the next generation’s perspective can greatly influence your thinking going forward. A rising professional in her 20s, for example, might have a very different perspective on achieving gender equality than your older contemporaries have. Mentoring gives you access to people of different backgrounds, with different perspectives, which can help to influence your own thinking. Mentoring younger people can also give you optimism about the future. It connects you to people who not only care about their careers and professions but about trying to make impactful improvements in the world. It gives you insight

into how younger generations work, talk, and communicate. And on occasion it gives you access to someone who can help you work out your iPhone!

Five Ways Mentoring Can Benefit A Mentor’s Career Encouragement from a mentor can be critical to success, particularly for early-career professionals. But what’s in it for the mentor? 1. Mentoring helps you become a more effective leader A mentoring experience can help you develop your own leadership skills which you can then use to advise, coach and develop your own staff. 2. Better understanding of your own experience Your experiences may seem quite ordinary to you but when you participate in a mentoring program you will see how beneficial and helpful those experiences can be to those who are upcoming in your profession.

INSTITUTE OF WATER MENTORING SCHEME To read more about this programme, go to

3. Mentoring hones your transferable skill-set Mentoring teaches you how to accommodate others’ ways of thinking and working. 4. Mentoring gets you out of your comfort zone Mentoring gives you the chance to get out of your comfort zone and use your expertise in other areas. It also improves your listening skills and using your listening skills to improve your ability to give guidance. 5. The rewards of mentoring are a two-way street You will learn that you don’t have to be in the exact same discipline to be helpful to a mentee. You will also find that mentees have a lot to offer the mentor—you may find yourself learning from them. Mentoring isn’t just about helping other people or about being altruistic, it can make us better managers and better leaders. Mentoring therefore remains important throughout life.

The Institute of Water Mentoring Scheme is an initiative which aims to unlock potential, support career goals and develop talent in the water industry. We support our members by offering those who are looking to gain additional knowledge or advice the opportunity to learn about a new area of the water industry, apply for professional accreditation or to simply acquire guidance on building and enhancing their career.


MEET A MEMBER The Institute of Water is proud of its members. Put simply, they make our Institute what it is…a great network to support your development and share experience. We’re taking this opportunity to showcase one of our members to get some insight into their role, their views on the water industry and a bit about themselves. In this edition, meet Alex Hughes, a Network Analyst for Portsmouth Water:

Alex, how long have you been a member of the Institute of Water? Roughly 4 years.

How long have you worked in the water industry? A little under 5 years. Describe your average day at work: I’m responsible for maintaining and developing Portsmouth Water’s fleet of data loggers and analysing, interpreting and reporting on the data obtained. Including (but not limited to) leakage figures, household and non-household night usage, interruption-to-supply reporting and lowpressure contacts. The start of the day is always taken up with reporting a daily leakage figure, a new initiative for Portsmouth Water that arose from the ‘Beast from the East’ winter storms, which allows us to quickly respond to increases in water flow across our area of supply and direct the detection teams efforts more efficiently. After that, it’s time for a coffee! Depending on relative urgency of deadlines, I might then spend my day number-crunching nonhousehold usage figures. Or updating the monthly low-pressure records. Or driving out to download/ fit/fix loggers. Or any number of data-related tasks supporting other areas of the business (there’s always more than you think there would be).


What do you enjoy most about your job?

What is the best thing about working in the water industry?

I (largely) have the freedom to structure my own day in a way which was not possible in my previous employments. On fine days I can go out and work with my hands, fitting and fixing the logger fleet and on ‘orrible, wet days there is always paperwork to do in the warm, dry office.

Stability and longevity. I used to work for a supermarket and often didn’t know what days/ hours I was working for the upcoming week. Before that I was working at a variety of shortterm agency jobs. Whilst this provided me with a wide range of experiences, neither situation was conducive to a healthy work/life balance or stability for the family. As with most utilities, this really can be a job for life.

Lots of my job boils down to ‘problem-solving’, mostly of the ‘why-isn’t-this-blasted-thingworking?’ variety, with enough ‘how-do-Iachieve-that?’ to keep things interesting. I find it personally satisfying to be able to chase down and resolve these issues as they arise.

How did you start your career in the water industry? I applied for a job as a Leakage Technician but impressed my interviewers so much that they offered me a slightly different post, Leakage Analyst. Based more around loggers and data manipulation in the office than leak detection, my task was to provide guidance for the leakfinders out in the field.

What advice would you pass on to someone just starting out in the water industry? First off, be conscientious! Water is one of the basic needs for life, supplying water to everyone isn’t always easy and it must be done right. Even if you never even see a water-pipe in your daily work, something you do every day contributes to maintaining the health and well-being of many thousands of people (how about that for a motivational poster!). Secondly, ‘The Water Industry’ covers an awful lot of ground. If you are looking for new challenges in your working environment, there are many opportunities for cross-training into a different sector of the industry which may well complement your skill set and appreciate your experience. Similarly, take a swing at everything they offer you; you may surprise everybody!

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the water industry in the near future? With the increases in global population and the uncertainty of the effects of impending climate change, I think that most of the big challenges will centre around the supply and conservation of water sources to fill the increasing demand. Coastal desalination plants will probably play an increasing part in this as soon as someone develops a sufficiently economical and ecologically viable system. Of course, challenges in supplying ever greater quantities of potable water also lead to challenges in processing ever greater quantities of wastewater. In an increasingly capitalistic culture, existing water sources must be defended with greater diligence against threats such as fracking and other environmentally polluting practices.

What interests to do have outside of work? Miniature Wargaming (mostly Warhammer 40K) and D&D Roleplaying.

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“The brain doubles in size every 600,000 years; computers double in capability roughly every 2 years.” Leo Johnson, Disruption Lead, PWC. As my first time attending, these were some of the words that resonated most with me at this year’s Institute of Water Conference. AI, robots and flying cars (already in production if you believe what you read!) were top of the agenda and a common theme across the three days. If we were not already aware of technology’s immediate impact on the way that we work, live and survive, we certainly were by the end! Dejected faces spread throughout the room:

by Chris Gethins

Talent Acquisition Lead for Z-Tech Control Systems



There will be more than 140 million climate refugees by 2040


Duncan Tait (CEO of Fujitsu, EMEA and America’s) told us that 1 million people move from the countryside ot the city EVERY day; placing further pressure on already strained assets


There are 28 cities in the world with 10 million+ inhabitants


Exec level banking customers will be among the first to have their jobs automated; the top 5% generate almost 150% of banks’ profits


70% of what we currently consider jobs will be automated by the time the next generation are graduating university

The message was clear ‘AI is already here and there is nothing we can do to stop it. We must embrace it and use it as an opportunity for change, growth and improvement’. I’m not going to lie, I felt a bit scared, apprehensive, angst ridden and many other words for concerned! As a recruiter with almost a decade in the game, I am continually being told that my role will soon

FEATURE: INNOVATION be redundant and I’ll be tossed in with the rest of the ‘learn to code’ gang! I can’t turn on Linkedin without seeing the must have ‘AI software to streamline your candidate attraction process’ or ‘automate your recruitment process with our bot wizardry!’. The AI recruitment world is an absolute mine field: ■■

There are job aggregating tools such as Indeed and Career Builder who magically help direct candidates to your job ad


Test and assessment tools like HackerRank and Pymetrics that will help test the technical capabilities of potential hires


Automation tools/ CRM’s/ Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that can do backflips


Video interviewing software that will make your potential new employee feel really special (like a pair of old socks)


Limitless other sorcery, I mean software; each one claiming that they will clean up your HR process and land that unicorn ICA at your feet!

They all miss one vital thing… human interaction! Having a streamlined recruitment and on boarding process is not just about how to find people and list them into a nice tidy portal-based system, easy on the eye and ready to be yay or nay’d. I’m lucky at Z-Tech that culturally it’s all about ‘Is she/ he a good person/ can you see yourself

working with them/ do they fit with our values?’ over ‘Can they do the job right now?’. A bot or algorithm is never going to understand that ‘thing’ that you struggle to put your finger on; the one that makes a good hire a great employee. It’s never going to be able to bring that story to life about when the finance girls played that epic prank on the software lads, or how proud you all were when Steve from Systems ran his first marathon! In the recruitment market, AI has its limitations. Just last year Amazon canned their Recruitment AI tool for being sexist! The machine-learning tool was four years in the making and was intended to give applicants a star rating out of five. The problem was that the data it was using as its base median was male dominant and was inadvertently promoting male applicants over female – if a company rumored to be touching the value of £1 Trillion can’t get it right; what hope do the rest of us have? I’m not totally against AI in the recruitment space. Far from it. Last year, at Z-Tech, and after some painful beauty parades we implemented Workable, an American ATS. This particular bit of kit has allowed us to implement a system that facilitates the tracking of conversations/ move candidates along a hiring process/ get feedback from hiring managers and align our attraction tools with an almost one-stop shop database.

But even this super modern and very easy to use system isn’t flawless. I’ve found huge frustration with the lack of ability to link with our email/ calendar provider and the integration process was clunky at best! I also would not be able to do my job without Skype; we’re known for our Aussie and Kiwi fraternity - 72 at last count! I would say that I skype potential candidates at least twice a week and we’re able to have the HR process almost complete before they land; before we’ve ever seen them in the flesh! Let’s finish with the good stuff; Recruitment in the Utilities sector and particularly within the water industry needs to understand that AI is going to make our lives easier if we embrace it in the right way. Forbes recently published an article stating that it will help take away the more mundane HR tasks allowing us to concentrate on the human factor and getting it right. If we are sensible in the way in which we change and adapt we can utilise AI to give us a more effective recruitment processes, streamline progresses and ensure that our recruitment practice gives every applicant an equal chance of success. My hope, for Z-Tech at least, is that we continue to hire people on our values and that’s something that you can’t identify without seeing the whites in someone’s eyes!

D:MAX is industry-standard for tank cleaning.



As a Hydro Nation, Scotland sees water as part of its national and international identity; it recognises that the sustainable, responsible management of its water resources is crucial to its future success, a key component of the flourishing low-carbon economy and the basis of growing international trade opportunities. By Barry Greig, Senior Policy Advisor and Hydro Nation Manager Scottish Government Directorate for Environment and Climate Change: Water Industry Division. Arlene Goode/Summer Davies, Arup, Network Integrator for Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service. Neil Kitching, Energy Specialist (water), Scottish Enterprise. The Scottish Government works closely with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Development International to support companies in the water sector as part of the overarching ‘Scotland: The Hydro Nation Strategy’, which aims to maximise the value of Scotland’s water resources ( policies/water/hydro-nation/). Innovation encompasses the development of new processes, technology or materials that are more efficient, effective and sustainable than those they replace. As such, innovation is critical


to the health of our water industry due to the contribution it makes to the overall economy by driving down costs for consumers and helping to differentiate businesses from their competitors. However, we recognise that companies developing innovative water solutions face significant challenges before they can bring a product or technology to market such as testing, verification, regulatory compliance and certification. Those considering exporting their products to international markets face the additional challenge of navigating different regulations in each country. That is why we established the Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service (HNWIS) in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Water and the Scottish Funding Council. HNWIS is a service specially

designed to support Scottish based companies developing new technology or services for the water sector and, through its joined-up partners, aims to build an ambitious, well-connected water sector to stimulate innovation and unlock market potential. The free service provides access to specialist technical consultancy support including Product Readiness Assessments and Product Trial Support for products at a later stage of development (TRL6-8). This includes bespoke one-to-one advice and access to a range of state-of-the-art testing and evaluation facilities in Scotland, including two Development Centres and the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen. HNWIS also collaborates with the EU funded Water Test Network to access specialist facilities across North West Europe. Through proactive communication and engagement, HNWIS builds links across the water

FEATURE: INNOVATION sector, increasing the number of collaborative projects and knowledge sharing between businesses, R&D establishments, innovation centres, industry networks and end-users. Our recent event in Glasgow brought together over 140 people from across the industry including tech developers, end users and regulators. Although HNWIS does not provide direct funding, the service can facilitate access to innovation specialists and can signpost companies to development and marketisation financial support through the enterprise agencies with which it is closely aligned. Scottish Water is also helping to drive innovation and growth within the water sector by enabling businesses and academia to access test facilities at its two Development Centres at Bo’ness and Gorthleck to conduct trials in live, operationalscale environments. Since commissioning of the Development Centres in 2015, following grant funding from the Scottish Government, the company has worked closely with a number of users to enable large-scale testing for various technologies for real-world application.

Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service launch event

The Development Centres are now part of the Water Test Network, a transnational network of 14 testing facilities allowing SMEs in North-West Europe to test, demonstrate and develop new products. Three of the test centres are based in Scotland, creating a strong link for the programme to the water sector in Scotland. (https://www. Development-Centres) Since 2016 Hydro Nation has been supporting the SEPA-led VIBES (Vision in Business for Environment of Scotland) Awards Scheme which rewards good environmental practice by Scottish businesses. We consider VIBES an exemplary scheme and one that can undoubtedly raise the profile of businesses that are successful in reaching the finals. Working with our colleagues in SEPA, we have co-created the ‘Hydro Nation Award’, which recognises businesses, partnerships and collaborations that have specifically developed innovative products, practices or services in the area of water treatment and water technology.

Wastewater Development Centre, Bo’Ness

According to recent research commissioned by Scottish Enterprise, the water sector in Scotland currently provides over 16,000 jobs (with over 1,000 people working directly in R&D and innovation) generating a turnover of £3.7 billion. Over 60% of the companies questioned in the Scottish water sector have plans for growth with a high proportion indicating that innovation and technology development are a priority for their business. Maximising the value drawn from this opportunity and continuing the growth of the water sector in Scotland, requires a collaborative and widereaching approach to innovation. HNWIS, in

Water Development Centre, Gorthleck alliance with other initiatives supporting The Hydro Nation Strategy, is working to support and accelerate excellence in water innovation in Scotland, reinforcing the country’s identity as a centre of excellence in water.

For further information on HNWIS and to join our network, please visit or email




What if it were possible find out what is really going on in your business? What if you could solve issues before the normal stage at which they’d flag as even being an issue? What if you could align how your customers think with exactly how you communicate with them? Where would you even start? The gathering, storage and analysis of data has been making headlines. It’s been described as the most valuable resource on earth. The rise of data as an asset and data-driven insights as a way to get ahead, in business or in elections, has been fast, furious and more than a little scary. But the reason such techniques are hitting the headlines is, that however you feel about the way they have been applied, done right they work. Yet the gap between simply gathering and holding a myriad of data and turning it into deep insights that catalyse change is still vast for many organisations.


At Egremont Group we are using data analysis software with our clients in the water industry to help them glean insights from data sets too vast to be analysed with human eyes alone. Once we have these insights we work hand in hand with them to develop solutions and enable the organisation to change. To do this we are working with Relative Insight, a company founded by PhD students from Lancaster University specialising in linguistics. The team has coded every word in the English language and assigned them into topics, and also into emotions where relevant. The main

innovation in this type of analysis is that it allows us to analyse qualitative data or free text in the same way that we can analyse numbers. Originally developed for Child Protection Services, the programme can detect adults masquerading as children in chat rooms simply by studying the language used by verified children in a school intranet and comparing that with other general conversation (unconfirmed children / adults) in an internet chat room. With the ability to analyse five million words in 30 seconds it is easy to see the benefits.

FEATURE: INNOVATION In traditional data analysis the Analyst is looking for something. In the work we do with Relative Insight the interesting words and phrases that are discovered may mean nothing to the Analyst at first glance, but with some context, further exploration and discussion with relevant teams, patterns start to emerge and deeper, actionable insights can be gleaned. The Analyst is literally finding answers to questions they didn’t know to ask. In the water industry we are using this type of data analysis to evaluate free text logs across the organisation to see what is really lurking beneath the surface.

Maintenance data – the devil in the detail Operational data is often made up of a tick box, or standardised responses on a drop-down list. But these are frequently accompanied by ‘free text’ where an Engineer can add commentary. For years this information has been collected and filed away, creating vast and wide-ranging data sets containing insights and trends. It would take literally thousands of man hours for human eyes to scan and process every form. At Egremont Group we are combining Relative Insights’ cuttingedge tools with our experience of the water industry and hands on approach to transformation to uncover these trends and patterns in operational data that have remained hidden, and then thinking through how to change ways of working to realise benefits. For example, in analysis of a three-month sample of operational data ‘Comms’ was a topic found to be more prevalent in one region than the others. Upon further exploration, we highlighted that a specific comms issue was causing this regional difference.

require lengthy, detailed analysis as well as a preconception that there could be a relationship between a generic term like ‘valves’ and an inability to complete jobs right first time. The real value to the organisation comes when the Engineers understand that the words they use in these free text forms are important and can be used to spot hidden issues and trends. Part of our role is to work with the business leaders to change behaviour within the organisation and encourage the Engineers to be appropriately expressive when writing up descriptions of jobs and their work. Using this approach emotion, like frustration, can be tracked as a lead indicator of underlying issues. Ultimately, we are changing the mind-sets and behaviours of Engineers and their managers so they understand the value of a rich problem description to predicting future asset failures.

Communicating with customers – are you speaking the same language? How often do water companies send out a variety of different customer communications only to find that none of them ‘land’. With language analysis it is possible to scan the transcripts of all customer service calls over a set time period and order them by outcome i.e. positive customer engagement/ satisfaction scores. The words and phrases used by the customer and by the customer service operative can then be analysed to see which words are used to produce a positive outcome. Equally if the customers of a certain business are using much more informal or colloquial language and the business itself is always very formal there is a clear difference between the two. Meeting halfway can make the business appear more engaged and approachable to its core customer base and therefore drive up customer satisfaction scores in the long term. These findings can then be fed back in to the organisation for training purposes and to inform the language style the

organisation adopts in communications. Of course, spotting the disconnect in language is only the first part of a longer-term behavioural change that will need to take place across the organisation. Matching your customer’s style of communicating is possible, but if you are going to do it then consistency will be needed across all communications channels.

Data as a valued partner The examples above are just the start of how a data-based approach could benefit the industry in the future given the right tools. Language analysis is just one – how about using AI to review photos to spot hidden insights about failed assets? The connections and patterns that can be discovered are only one part of the story. What we do then is up to us. When we work with water companies we have a host of tools at our disposal, but experience tells us that real sustainable change happens when we harness an organisation’s people as a part of the initiative. This will continue to be true, but as water companies are asked to do more, with less, taking a new approach to data analysis could help you identify potentially surprising barriers to success. Then you can start focusing in the right places and asking how you can break through those barriers. So, are you asking the right questions to unlock your potential? Or could you do with some help from your data? By Alex Graham, Principal, Egremont Group and Alec Brazier, Analyst, Egremont Group.

Through our experience in the water industry, we knew that this issue has been at the root cause of pollution events and believed our client should therefore proactively rectify the problem. By implementing a back-up system to warn the control centre when a communications problem has occurred Engineers can be on site to restore it quickly before there is a major incident rather than playing catch up. By collecting and analysing Engineers’ commentary, a data set that the organisation already had but had previously not known how to leverage, we can identify points of unidentified operational risk and make recommendations to address them before the risk is realised. In a separate experiment we compared the commentary of Engineers’ jobs completed right first time in full, to those that were cancelled, or required a follow-on rework. The Relative Insight tool was able to detect that the word ‘valve’ was three times more likely to be included in the comments for jobs that required rework. To draw this type of insight from traditional analysis would



LEGIOLERT® TEST FOR LEGIONELLA PNEUMOPHILA RECEIVES AFNOR NF VALIDATION CERTIFICATION AND WINS WATER INNOVATION AWARD IDEXX, the global expert in water microbiology, has received both regulatory and industry recognition for Legiolert, the culture test for enumeration of Legionella pneumophila in water. Legiolert has been granted NF Validation Certification by AFNOR and has also won Water Europe’s coveted 2019 Water Innovation Award in the Water Technology & Infrastructure category. The AFNOR Certification, under the reference No IDX 33/06 – 06/19, follows a study that was carried out by independent expert laboratories. The performance of the Legiolert method was judged equivalent to the performance of standard EN ISO 11731, used worldwide and NF T90-431, used in France. The trial results involving 14 laboratories showed good reproducibility of the method. Data from the study was then subjected to rigorous scrutiny by an expert committee made up of stakeholders from regulatory authorities, users from public, private and industrial laboratories, and manufacturers. The Water Europe award recognises “innovative breakthrough solutions or technologies” that further its vision of a future-proof model for a European water-smart society. Water Innovation Award winners are considered to demonstrate best practice in their field or application and are chosen based on their impact and replicability as well as their technological innovation.


The IDEXX Legiolert test is a rapid method for the detection of Legionella pneumophila, the primary causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease. Legiolert was launched in Europe in 2017 by IDEXX to complement its portfolio of water microbiology testing solutions for the monitoring of water within buildings and facilities, and to assist in the simplification of testing and reduce the risk posed by Legionnaires’ disease. The Legiolert method accurately and sensitively quantifies Legionella pneumophila in water, providing a confirmed result in 7 days, versus up to 14 days with spread-plate culture methods. Preventing Legionnaires’ disease involves finding and controlling Legionella pneumophila in building water systems, cooling towers, and even distribution water, to reduce the chance of the bacteria multiplying and causing infection when vulnerable people breathe in air carrying the bacteria. The Legiolert test is faster, easier to use, and more accurate than traditional testing methods. Using this innovative test increases the odds of detecting the pathogen before it causes disease, so that building owners can take the required steps and protect public health.

Legiolert is a culture test method based on a bacterial enzyme detection technology that signals the presence of Legionella pneumophila through utilisation of a substrate present in the Legiolert reagent, which also contains a rich supply of amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients to promote the growth and reproduction of Legionella pneumophila cells. Actively growing strains of Legionella pneumophila use the added substrate to produce a brown colour indicator. Legiolert detects Legionella pneumophila within 7 days at 1 organism in a 100 ml sample for potable water and at 100 organisms in a 100 ml nonpotable sample, such as cooling tower water. The Legiolert test has already been used in private laboratories, government laboratories, and water utilities including in Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Canada, the U.S. and in other countries around the world. An ISO 13843 study, five peer-reviewed and published articles on Legiolert performance, and ISO 17025 accreditation options for the method are all available.

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©2017 IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved. AD 20190808-1558-00 ® registered trademark of IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries.

No IDX 33/06 06/19

IDEXX Legiolert® AFNOR ‘NF Validation’ Certified for Legionella pneumophila testing in hot and cold sanitary water and cooling tower water.

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AVT AND R2M DELIVER AVT EZ VALVE™ KITS TO FIRST UK WATER COMPANY CUSTOMER Newly acquired equipment and expertise make South West Water the first water company in the country to become self-sufficient in installing AVT’s unique inline valves. Advanced Valve Technologies (AVT), and its UK distributor R2M Ltd. have provided AVT EZ Valve™ Kits to South West Water, allowing the company to take a major step forward in controlling burst situations and reducing service interruptions to customers. With the strategic decision to acquire these kits from R2M Ltd, South West Water operatives now have the ability to quickly install valves using their own resources. The AVT EZ Valve is a unique, patented inline valve designed by AVT, a manufacturer of advanced industrial valve products and minimally invasive compact fittings. The valve is just one of a number of innovations South West Water is using from R2M Ltd. The kits include an innovative machine that mills a small 120° slot in the top of the pipe, eliminating the need to cut a coupon or remove a section of the pipeline. This design allows the valve to be installed under pressure, enabling faster restoration than alternative solutions, preserving pipe integrity, and allowing installation under full pressure with no need to shut off the water supply. The system is the lightest and most compact on the market and the fastest and simplest to install. As water flow does not have to be interrupted when placing the valve, South West Water can make repairs without interrupting service to its customers. AVT President Harry Gray says, “We are pleased to help South West Water improve its internal capabilities for managing potential interruptions to supply using our award-winning inline valve. We designed the AVT EZ Valve Kits to put our technology in the hands of companies that need it. As the first water company in the UK to take advantage of this innovation, South West Water is in a position to respond swiftly to emergency situations and better manage its supply interruption outcomes.” “We have a long history of close collaboration with South West Water,” says R2M Ltd. Valve Division Director Matt Harris. “They were looking for more ways to provide a better level of customer service as they work towards their AMP7 commitments. They like the EZ Valve as it is compact and fast to install on live networks.


Importantly, they wanted an asset that not only looks like a valve but also operates the same as a standard valve.” South West Water has purchased three 100mm to 300mm (4-inch to 12-inch) AVT EZ Valve Kits along with a range of valves, spares and accessories and put 30 of their installers, a mix of internal resource and operatives who are contracted to the company from the Kier Group, through intensive training at their Exewater Depot in Exeter, Devon. The purchase of the installation kits from R2M Ltd. frees South West Water from reliance on a third party and enables the company to quickly and effectively carry out live valve installations while maintaining supplies to customers. As part of the partnership agreement, AVT UK Sales Manager Jason Taylor, Installer Ewen Patrick and Sales Director Shawn Petty worked with R2M Valve Division Director Matt Harris to train the SWW and Kier Group employees to install the inline valve. Trainees received classroom instruction followed by hands-on training, during which they familiarised themselves with the installation process. SWW and Kier Group staff have 24/7 access to AVT and R2M Ltd. support and will carry out their first live installation with AVT or R2M expert oversight.

According to South West Water Mark Hillson, Director of Networks, additional employees will receive training to install AVT EZ Valves using the three installation kits, which will be located at our regional hubs and will serve customers across the South West and Bournemouth operating areas. “We were eager to have access to the specialised kits so we could begin installing the valves ourselves,” he said. “With the exceptional training our field teams have received, we now are in a position to act much more quickly to emergency situations and will be better able to manage burst situations to offer even more reliable service and keep customers in supply” Ranked among the industry’s most innovative solutions, the AVT EZ Valve is designed with a built-in isolation gate that allows the valve to be installed under pressure in challenging conditions. Using this valve allows customers to improve uptime and achieve greater environmental stewardship because it enables faster restoration than alternative solutions, has no negative effect on pipe integrity, and can be installed at full pressure with no need to shut off the water supply.


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SUPPORTING GRASS-ROOTS INNOVATION Specific operational challenges exist in all Utility companies, whom in the past have relied on external suppliers to put forward solutions. This could be a service or a product – helping us to do things more efficiently, effectively or safely. main. The original prototype was fabricated by one of our network technicians which we then developed into a tool. This will be available to all our technicians and contractors working across our network. Working with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David to develop and trial cost less than £1000– a relatively small spend to deliver significant benefit.

easily, and first time. This helps us prevent repeat blockage incidents, reduce the maintenance costs to resolve, and deliver a better service to our customers. The tools can achieve savings of up to £1 million every year, as the need to excavate is eradicated. The success of these tools has attracted interest from other water and sewerage companies. ‘Sewer Boot’ - This was developed to remove silt and capture wet wipes in the sewer. This received an award at the Institute of Water awards in 2019.

by Euan Hampton and Gemma Hall But the people on the ground can often be overlooked – with products distributed out in to the field sometimes before or without understanding the true problem. Who better to provide a solution to a problem than those that deal with these challenges every day. At Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, we proactively encourage and develop mechanisms to inspire and nurture grassroots innovation. To achieve this, we developed a simple internal process for not only recording ideas, but – perhaps more importantly – recording our challenges. Once identified, we work on these together, and engage with others if further expertise is required. We have a unique way of working that allows us to create a culture of innovation. Our senior management team have a vested interest in innovation and sponsor our innovation projects. We work together to deliver innovation that addresses operational challenges, whilst also understanding the demand of the day-to-day operation of our Water and Wastewater assets. Our path to innovation inspires others to challenge and create their own solutions to their operational challenges. This enables us to get buy-in from operational colleagues across the business from day one. This type of development also shows that innovation doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.

Recent examples include:

The aqua ferrule isolation spade - A method to isolate asbestos cement ferrules at the tap in point without the need to isolate sections of


CoCo Daff Cleaning Rig - The cleaning of the central channels on our CoCoDaff dual cell filters have in the past been costly and required significant planning time. One of our Instrument Technicians suggested the development of a small rig, which by combining a market available pool cleaner, a pump, and some extra hosing would enable effective cleaning at a fraction of the cost. As the initial expenditure was low (<£1500 to purchase the equipment), and the saving significant (in terms of maintenance expenditure and time), this resulted in an almost instant pay back on its development! Both of these recent projects were recognised through the Institute of Water Innovation Awards, winning the Idea and Market Adaptation categories respectively. ‘Blockage remove tools’ - A suite of drainage clearance tools designed by one of our wastewater operatives. A set of tools have been created to address issues (i.e. sewer blockages) that typically would have required some form of repair work; usually by excavation. The development of these tools enables us to clear problems such as roots, objects, concrete and rags (wet wipes)

‘Telescopic Window Cleaner’ - This was developed to remove dirt from level sensors, hence preventing interference with the instrument and abnormal readings being recorded. This tool received an award at Welsh Waters’ annual Health and Safety Conference 2019. Moving forward into the next AMP, we are hopeful that the success of these projects will continue to inspire our operational colleagues. As an industry, its likely there are a great number of ‘light bulb’ moments occurring daily, and the challenge is to capture these potentially innovative ideas and solutions. If we can harness these and share them, then further benefits will be realised – reducing our maintenance costs, increasing our efficiency, reducing operational health and safety risks, and improving the service we provide to our customers. Should you have any queries or wish to contact us to discuss Innovation at Welsh Water, please contact, or visit us at


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ANAEROBIC DIGESTION FOR WASTEWATER TREATMENT – LOW ENERGY & LOW TEMPERATURE TECHNOLOGY Reducing energy consumption is one of the biggest challenges facing the water industry. Maintaining and exceeding environmental compliance, whilst reducing energy consumption across a large number of sites is a key ambition for water companies. In addition, resolving these challenges must be achieved without increasing the cost to customers. So, finding suitable treatment technologies for which a strong business case can be built is the aim for utilities to continue to meet, and achieve, their energy reduction goals. As we explore below, Welsh Water is making strides towards achieving these goals. Anaerobic digestion, while typically associated with sludge treatment, is not normally thought of in the context of primary sewage treatment. A unique new approach, developed by NVP Energy, introduces the innovative concept of ‘Low Temperature Anaerobic Digestion’. Treating municipal wastewater (primary and post primary) at ambient temperatures, the technology addresses the challenge of treating sewage, whilst generating, rather than consuming, energy. The innovative microbiology and reactor design enables efficiency for high-volume, low-strength wastewater treatment, with potential that energy costs can be reduced by over 90% - and sludge production reduced by 90% when compared with conventional solutions. Psychrophilic anaerobic granular biofilms (working in low temperatures) convert the organic waste to biogas with a high methane content. The design allows the process to proceed with no external heat input, operating at ambient temperatures as low as 4oC.


[Figure 1 – Diagram showing potential placement of technology on a typical municipal wastewater treatment plant.]

Meat Processing, Milk Processing, and Malting. In these competitive industries, the technology’s feasibility, effectiveness and reliability was tested and proven, paving the way for trialling within the wastewater treatment industry. Welsh Water, keen to test the potential of this technology, embarked on a full-scale demonstrator project in close collaboration with NVP Energy. The site chosen for the demonstration was Builth Wells. Positioned prior to secondary biological treatment, the objective is to quantify the reduction in BOD/COD load across this process, and monitor energy consumption and sludge production.

The technology has gathered many accolades to date, most notably at the BlueTech Awards 2018, Energy Globe Awards 2018, AD & Biogas Awards 2017, AD & Biogas Awards 2018, and Wex Global 2019. The technology was also recently shortlisted for the upcoming UK Energy Innovation Awards for Best Innovation in Water.

Installed during 2019, the technology is now commissioned and in operation.

Due to the adaptability of the design and compact footprint, this low temperature anaerobic digestion technology can be integrated into existing infrastructure or installed as part of a new-build wastewater treatment plant.

Craig Davey, Project Manager at Welsh Water said: “We are pleased to be working with NVP Energy to trial this new to market technology. Moving into the operational and sampling phase of the project, we have a keen focus over the next two years to fully validate the benefits we believe this technology can bring to Welsh Water.“

This new technology has been developed over 15 years at lab and pilot scale, then brought to market by NVP Energy. They have commercialised this technology with full scale plants operating in multiple markets including Brewing, Craft Brewing,

Michael Murray, managing director of NVP Energy stated “From the outset, this has been an excellent collaboration with Welsh Water from senior management through to on-site operations, paving the way to getting this first-of

a kind technology demonstrated at full-scale at a municipal treatment site. It’s an exciting time for this technology given the energy reduction benefits it is poised to have at a macro-scale.”

[Figure 2 – Low Temperature Anaerobic Digestion Plant at Builth Wells WwTW.]



DON’T TAKE RISKS WITH APPROVALS With an increase in the development of brownfield sites to combat the housing shortage, the demand for water supply pipe has also risen, but GPS PE Pipes is warning that it is crucial to check products have the relevant industry approvals and are safe for use in brownfield sites. When it comes to Polyethylene (PE) pipes, the relevant British Standard is BS 8588: 2017 ‘Polyethylene pressure pipes with an aluminium barrier layer and associated fittings for potable water supply in contaminated ground’. Only by specifying pipe and fittings that meet this standard can contractors, developers and utilities be confident they are specifying a reliable and safe barrier pipe solution. It is important to look at the fittings, in addition to the pipe, as some pipe materials may be approved to BS 8588, but the fittings are not covered under the approval. Commenting on this issue, our segment manager, James Roper, said: “We are seeing an increasing number of products emerge that are labelled as ‘pipe for contaminated land’ but they don’t have BS 8588 approval for the fittings as well. This is worrying as fittings that have not been approved to transfer drinking water in contaminated land are at risk of potentially contaminating water supplies. This would not only be dangerous for consumers, but would cause a major costly repair and replacement project for contractors and utilities, with fines also possible.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of contractors, developers and utilities confirming that both the pipe and fittings to be used in contaminated land have the necessary approvals in place before making selection choices.” Ensuring that any contaminants remaining in brownfield sites and former industrial land cannot permeate into the water supply, Protecta-Line pipe and fittings are fully approved to BS 8588. An integrated system, ProtectaLine offers a wide range of specially-designed fittings including electrofusion fittings, mechanical fittings, mechanical compression fittings, pupped fittings and ferrule off-takes.

WHEN IT COMES TO THE SAFE TRANSPORTATION OF DRINKING WATER CHOOSE PROTECTA-LINE Over the last 20 years Protecta-Line has helped supply clean water through contaminated land for every leading water utility


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SOBYE TRIAL SUCCESS The ‘Sobye’ self-cleaning belt filter from Jacopa’s Swedish manufacturing partner, Nordic Water provides an automatic, compact solution for primary treatment to replace settlement tanks. The filter has recently undergone extremely successful trials at a unique Scottish Water test facility demonstrating excellent process performance and proving the effectiveness of the system. Jacopa’s testing was undertaken at the Waste Water Development Centre on a dedicated inlet receiving a continuous stream of live, screened effluent on a large scale. The influent from the waste water treatment plant’s inlet works entered the Sobye filter and following treatment by the filter, primary treated effluent was returned to the downstream plant treatment processes. The Sobye factory-built, small footprint primary treatment process is designed to remove solids and particles from wastewater. It is intended to replace the need for the usual space-taking settlement tanks found at wastewater treatment plants, reducing both footprint and costs and due to its effectiveness, it can offer savings of up to 50% on investment. The system takes screened, municipal wastewater from the inlet works and this then flows under gravity through the moving robust filter belt with filtered wastewater being discharged from the bottom of the tank. The belt speed is controlled to allow a layer of sludge to build up on the belt which increases filtration efficiency. The effectiveness of BOD and suspended solids removal across the Sobye unit is at least equivalent to conventional primary settlement but with the greatly reduced footprint discussed above. Operational and maintenance costs are also similar to those of conventional primary settlement tanks and scraper systems. The Sobye solution offers at least equivalent process performance, a smaller footprint, modular and factory build off-site, lower whole life cost, reduced carbon footprint, shorter delivery times, and minimised site health and safety risks compared to the construction, operation and maintenance of conventional primary settlement tanks. The system can be deployed as a temporary treatment solution and produces high quality sludge and readily-verified performance. The belt filter can additionally be retrofitted easily into existing facilities, as it is simple to install. Jacopa envisages that given the speed and ease


[Sobye Belt Filter] of implementation it will also be embraced as an effective permanent treatment system, with the option for rental where shorter-term challenges to efficient operation exist due to works overload or where maintenance of primary tanks is a concern for operators. The Sobye belt filter was the focus of a recent industry presentation by Joakim Nilsson of Jacopa’s Swedish manufacturing partner, Nordic Water. Nilsson explained that while existing primary treatment practice is predictable, scalable, and normally robust, nevertheless high loads, inlet works failures and scum can pose significant issues, and repair and maintenance can be hazardous. He produced data showing the superior performance in both biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS) removal, highlighted the 6-8% dry solids produced and showed that the sludge had a higher calorific value product. In summary, he concluded that the Sobye filter provides at least equivalent process performance to primary settlement tanks, with a far smaller footprint. The filter is also modular and factorybuilt offsite, and offers lower whole life costs, a reduced carbon footprint, and shorter delivery times. The filter also minimises related site health and safety risks.

[Sobye at Scottish Water test facility] Jacopa Managing Director Alex Lloyd said: “We have been extremely pleased with our collaboration with Scottish Water and by the reliable operation of the Sobye filter and results of the tests, which underlined the effectiveness of the Sobye filter as a replacement for standard primary settlement tanks. On sites where space is at a premium and customers seek tangible innovative solutions to reduce costs, we envisage there will be considerable interest in Sobye”.

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As usual, Jacopa is taking the lead by delivering timely solutions to some of the wastewater industry’s most pressing challenges.

FLOW CONTROL Steinhardt’s ‘HydroSlide’ provides highly accurate flow regulation of foul and surface waters, giving a constant discharge through the required head range with certified performance.

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PRIMARY TREATMENT The high efficiency Sobye self-cleaning Belt Filter replaces conventional primary treatment of municipal wastewater and sedimentation processes and delivers the benefits of a smaller footprint with a significantly reduced investment.

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Filton Airfield near Bristol has an assured place in British aviation legend. It is where the Bristol 167, the world’s first wide-body passenger aircraft, was developed – and was the home of Concorde in the UK. Several years after its closure, Filton Airfield is set to once again become a home for cutting-edge innovation – but this time in water, rather than air technology. It is set for redevelopment into a new sustainable housing and business area, where University of Bath expertise will be used to create a hub for the development of sustainable circular economy concepts.

The Filton Airfield Development The Filton Airfield site was purchased in 2015 by and slated for development by YTL Development UK Ltd, a subsidiary of the multinational YTL Corporation. The £800 million scheme, a new suburb to be named Brabazon, will comprise more than 2,600 new homes and 62 acres of commercial space, as well as new schools, recreation spaces and health facilities. As the parent company of Wessex Water, YTL is set to place significant focus on the development’s water management capability, and is working with the University of Bath’s Water Innovation and


Research Centre (WIRC) to investigate and implement the waste-minimising circular economy practices it will need to appeal to planners and future residents. The large size of the development presents a unique opportunity to fully demonstrate and test these practices.

The NextGen project The development is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project ‘Towards a Next Generation of Water Systems and Services for the Circular Economy’, or NextGen. This project’s goal is to assess, design and demonstrate a wide range of circular economy concepts that could augment and increase efficiencies in the local water cycle. The project’s focus at Filton will be wide – instead of being limited to demonstrating new technologies for water, nutrient and energy re-use, it will also boost and create new market dynamics, by developing an on-line market place where technology suppliers can offer their new technologies to create circular economy solutions. Project team members will also work with

stakeholders and residents to fully understand the practicalities of the circular economy principles and help prepare homeowners to adopt the new behaviours needed to make the system work effectively. The project will also address social and governance questions to ensure long-term adoption and social acceptability of the circular economy. Professor Jan Hofman, Director of WIRC, explains: “We need to make sure people fully embrace the water systems that will be used at Brabazon. People have to understand how the circular economy system saves money and improves the living environment. Re-using water needs to overcome the yuck-factor and be fully accepted.”

Circular Solutions for Water, Energy and Materials Water Although water supply in the Bristol area is sufficient, it is becoming a scarce resource on a

FEATURE: INNOVATION national level, so the Filton development presents a key opportunity for nation-wide learning. The UK water sector’s ambitions for the coming decades of reducing water consumption and halving the freshwater abstraction1 to sustainable levels could benefit greatly from planned studies at the Filton development. The water system developed at Brabazon will be focused on re-using water and the use of alternative water sources , such as the collected rainwater. In this way, the amount of freshwater abstracted from the environment can be reduced significantly. Applying circular economy concepts could be one of the solutions to reducing water abstraction. By re-using water and collecting rainwater for non-potable purposes (toilet flushing, washing machine use, or in garden hosepipes and sprinklers), the amount of water being taken from freshwater sources could be reduced. As the Brabazon community will be entirely new, it offers great opportunities to create a different future-proof water system. Plans include collecting rainwater the huge 10,000 m2 roof of the YTL Arena, a new concert and events venue planned as part of the scheme, as well as the roof surfaces of the new homes. Because water demand is constant and rainfall is generally unpredictable, storage capacity will be created on and around the site, including in green spaces in the Filton area. Using water ponds and streams in parks integrated

in the residential areas could also create a water treatment system to improve water quality before use. Additional storage could be created in underground aquifers, a technology already demonstrated at one of the other NextGen project sites in the Westland region in the Netherlands. Energy “An often-overlooked aspect of the water cycle is energy usage and wastage,” says Prof Hofman. “The use of hot water accounts for 30-50% of UK energy bills, and yet the heat from a bath or shower literally flows down the drain afterward, and is finally dissipated and lost in the environment.”

nutrients which can be recovered as fertiliser. A study will also be carried out to explore the potential of material recovery within the development. Under the current circumstances, it is expected that the wastewater will be transported to and treated at the Avonmouth Sewage Treatment Works, where biogas is produced at a large scale. The Water Innovation and Research Centre at Bath.

The Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC) at the University of Bath will support YTL Development in the NextGen project. WIRC will provide knowledge and expertise to design and potentially implement the water and energy recovery systems. WIRC will also perform the materials recovery study. Moreover, WIRC will be responsible for the energy assessments of the 10 demonstration cases in the NextGen project and provide input to the water and materials assessments of the new circular economy demos.

In the Filton Airfield case, options for recovering the heat from the sewers will be explored. As sewer heat is low-grade energy, it cannot be transported over long distances, but could be re-used in the local area, for instance for heating of a swimming pool or a shopping centre. The Filton scheme, comprising mixed-use development, will be well-placed to explore heat recovery options – for example, the size of the development will deliver sufficient energy to be used for space heating in schools or public buildings. Additionally, options to use heat from the air-conditioning and cooling system of the YTL Arena may allow further energy recapture. Materials Wastewater contains valuable materials, such as

We can help you reimagine your water R&D

More information:,, Professor Jan Hofman (

1 UKWIR 12 Big Questions,

Water Innovation & Research Centre

Through the Water Innovation and Research Centre at the University of Bath our experts work with industry, academia, and other stakeholders to tackle the fundamental issues surrounding sustainable water. Through WISE, our Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Informatics: Science and Engineering, we work with collaborative partners to train the next generation of skilled water scientists and engineers. To explore a partnership with water research experts and students at the University of Bath for your organisation, contact




Parameters Turbidity [NTU] Battery Voltage [V] Cl2 Free [ppm] Temp [�C] Water Switch Aquamaster - FlowRate [l/s] Aquamaster - Pressure [bar]

Using Analytical Standpipes as a simple, yet essential first step to improving water distribution system management. Water distribution networks are massive and diverse physico-chemical and biological systems that are trusted to deliver water that is consistently safe for consumption, aesthetically acceptable and typically of high quality. This high performance has to be sustainable, however this requires planned if not regular maintenance, and with the costs involved, water companies are increasingly being expected to justify essential interventions by evidencing value and regulatory compliance. The most common maintenance strategy is flushing, whereby increased hydraulic loading is used to mobilise, and then ideally remove, accumulated network material that if left poses risks such as discolouration and elevated metal, inorganic or bacteriological concentrations. Flushing has historically been conducted as a reactive strategy with benefits identified as an immediate, although short-term, reduction in localised consumer contacts. Yet flushing also provides an excellent opportunity for data collection and subsequent analysis into valuable information regarding network behaviour that can provide companies the chance to justify pro-active strategies and identify resource savings. The critical first step is an accurate knowledge of the flow rates used, and when combined with monitoring of additional water quality parameters, this enables a SMART approach to optimise flushing practices, understand network risks


and inform future operation scheduling or capital investment options. Operational flushing plans typically have set flow rates and/or turnover volume to be achieved at hydrants as part of program to remove network accumulated material. An arguable justification to suggest all flushing operations should be monitored, is that recording flows whilst on site allows operators to evidence work undertaken, and especially if supported with modern logging devices that include geotag metadata. International research, such as that conducted by the PODDS team at the University of Sheffield, has highlighted two processes governing accumulation of particulate material within water distribution systems as the root cause of most water quality issues. The first is the endemic growth of biofilms that entraps passing particulates creating cohesive material layers. The second is sedimentation, when flows become effectively quiescent thus allowing gravitational settling. Both these processes are flow dependant, and when flows exceed typical values, such as the aim of flushing operations, the additional hydraulic shear stress causes mobilisation of either material source into the bulk flow, effectively removing the risk of unplanned high magnitude material mobilisation that can be observed by consumers. Material accumulations processes however are

continuous, irrespective of pipe material, location or condition as evidenced by the short-term value of flushing, and knowledge of the deterioration rate is therefore important when designing maintenance schedules. Although regarded as a relatively simple operation to conduct, effective flushing strategies require an understanding of deterioration rates to enable managing risks and more importantly an understanding of typical flows to ensure that at the time of the flushing, these are exceeded. It is not sufficient however to just open a hydrant, as uncontrolled flows can not only cause system de-pressurisation with subsequent ingress risks, but also has the potential for mobilisation of material in upstream pipe sections creating widespread issues. With this understanding of network behaviour, it should therefore be obvious that in addition to evidencing work achieved and recording volumes of water used, monitoring of flushing flow rates is essential to correctly conduct the work and comply with risk assessments. This evidence may be useful in demonstrating effective and sustainable network management to the Drinking Water Inspectorate and Ofwat. The instrumented standpipe from Langham Industrial Controls has been produced to allow water companies to deliver both effective mains flushing and gather additional intelligence. This

FEATURE: INNOVATION intelligence may be fed back to ensure optimal operations and planning of water mains flushing. The Langham Industrial Controls instrumented standpipe includes a wide range of sensors all working simultaneously. The data collected is processed and logged within the standpipe, from here the data and the geolocation are transmitted back to a central database. This database enables the water companies to freely download their data and use it in any way they wish. However the more common and useful analytical functions are embedded in the databases functionality. The data collected includes flow and pressure and these can be set to display units specified by each company. Both data are displayed together on a clear LCD panel to show the operator what is happening. The volume of water passed is also available, enabling network managers to know how much of the distribution system has been cleaned, and to make leakage calculations more robust. All this data is verified through ABB instrumentation, thus ensuring high accuracy to better than Âą0.5% over an exceptionally wide flow rate. In addition the standpipe can be supplied with a turbidity sensor incorporated. This gives the operator an instant read out on the device so that the turbidity of the water being flushed is always available to be seen. This data is also included in the data fed back to the central data

base and can be freely used at will by the water companies. Again this is measured by industry standard equipment from a leading supplier. There are several other options available for more intelligence that Langham Industrial Controls can supply upon request. The Langham Industrial Controls instrumented and intelligent stand pipe includes industry standard communications protocols, e.g. WiFi, Bluetooth and Modbus. The latest generation of safe and high capacity Lithium power can be supplied to give at least 12 months operational use. The stand pipe is available in 2 configurations. There is the traditional vertical version and also a very handy and compact horizontal version. Being SMART however involves using multiple data streams to inform operations, and flushing provides an excellent opportunity to achieve this, for example adding turbidity, pressure or chlorine online monitors that are now readily available. With the objective of flushing to remove network material, the monitoring of turbidity is an obvious choice. Multiple benefits include allowing operators to appreciate the impact of their actions, and therefore, the cleaning value. To understand site discolouration risk, indicate when operations can be safely closed down as desired conditions return, and the mode of material accumulation that can inform future interventions. Concurrent analysis of flow and turbidity can be used for spatial analysis to highlight extent of material

deposits, indicate changes in pipe type or diameter and network features including valve status. For longer term resource management, the recording of turbidity highlights risk zones, whilst comparison to return operations can inform asset deterioration rates and hence maintenance schedules and future operational costs. Return flushing information can also be used to support changes in network management and provide costbenefit analysis investigating capital investment options. Adding pressure to flow data facilitates hydraulic model calibration, that, with turbidity data, can be used to determine flow velocities, and therefore, effective pipe diameters. The addition of chlorine monitoring can indicate when a clean water front is attained, and aid dosing requirements if de-chlorination is required when discharging to environmentally sensitive areas. PODDS delivers a robust, rational and science backed methodology for the maintenance of water quality in distribution systems. This most effective methodology, developed over many years from working with many water companies and Langham Industrial Controls, needs good data to ensure that optimal results are delivered both to the water company and customers. The Langham Industrial Controls instrumented and intelligent stand pipe provides all of the vital hydraulic and water quality data PODDS needs. All the data, along with the time base and geolocation are made readily available from a central database for water companies to apply to PODDS and other operations.

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HOW TO ALIGN WATER UTILITIES AND SMES TO FOSTER OPEN-INNOVATION For years now, the water industry has been focusing on open innovation, calling upon SMEs who have a proven track record of quickly responding to technology and market challenges. by Paul Horton & Virginie Vinel

CEO / MCIM Board Director, Future Water Association The water regulator OFWAT’s recent consultation* challenges the utilities to drive transformational innovation through their business. The consultation sets out a framework for financial incentives to move from transformational innovation theory to practice. The challenge lies in finding balance between the investor, financial, commercial world and operational practices, whilst developing an innovation culture. Focusing on quantified value propositions is a proven way to align Corporates and SMEs and to accelerate the wider uptake of water innovation.

From closed to open innovation Open innovation lies at the intersection of research, practice, and policy and brings many actors in the “knowledge exchange” process alongside the utilities, such as customers, suppliers, universities, scientific stakeholders and public institutions. In an Open Innovation context, all sorts of innovations need considering: from small incremental changes to fully disruptive digital solutions such as a smart network systems and Software as a Service (SaaS) with for example: ■■ plug & play integrations with incumbent data meters, GIS, SCADA; ■■ data lakes, and; ■■ a cloud services with incremental steps towards IoT solution. Alongside this is, Customer Immersion (think supply chain and consumer) whereby staff - often in the higher reaches of a company experience their business from a customer point of view. This approach, whether B2B


or B2C- helps not only start-ups test, improve and promote their product or value proposition but also supports corporates/utilities to understand what customer value is in the supply chain and among consumers. This approach is essential as water companies have highlighted innovation culture as crucial to delivering AMP7 priorities. Having the right culture in place can ensure that innovation is exploited and collaborations with SMEs focuses on bringing new thinking into the business, which can be combined with the creativity knowledge of staff inside the utility.

Collaboration between water utilities and SMEs Working with SMEs on Open Innovation requires water utilities’ Innovation, R&D and Asset Management teams to challenge existing behaviour, be more creative and to adapt to new entrepreneurial practices. This form of collaboration can help overcome the view that the water industry in not attractive for innovative companies, especially when only 30% of SME’s who win proof of technical concept pilot projects, manage to upscale and the initial investment is lost.

Accelerating Open Innovation can be achieved through Realigning everyone around value and whilst the concept of value proposition is not new, bringing all the parties together to codevelop the value proposition around the utility challenges is critical. Most companies face difficulties when developing quantified value propositions but for the past 20 years the Cranfield Best Practice Research Club has therefore been monitoring how the customer buys. Water utilities, SMEs and others can now benefit from the proven techniques and innovative solutions outlined in their research. Utilities and SMEs have many reasons to rally around the concept of quantified value propositions since it will accelerate the innovation process: pilots will therefore be more readily used to deliver solutions to strategic challenges that utilities face. Ultimately, focusing on value will also secure lasting corporate and SME collaboration. Visit *To read the consultation from Ofwat, go to: consultation/ofwats-emerging-strategy-driving-transformationalinnovation-in-the-sector/




Leading ductile iron drainage solutions manufacturer, Saint-Gobain PAM UK, have recently launched a range of new digital capabilities to support their access covers and gratings range, including a fully parametric BIM library and a new Digital Product Selection tool named PAMSearch. The first of these new capabilities to launch is the PAMSearch Digital Product Selector, an online search tool that is designed to make product selection easier and improve the accuracy and speed of specification decisions. This is due to the systems intuitive interface, which uses a number of parameters such as the required application and height, width and depth figures to recommend the correct product from the 3000-strong range of access covers and gratings. Following the arrival of PAMSearch, Saint-Gobain PAM UK are also expanding their BIM offering which was first launched last year and included their every product in their building drainage range. The new library includes key ranges such as the Inter-Ax, Opt-Emax and Ult-Emax access covers and gratings such as Aqua-Max and Watershed and is one of the first BIM libraries in the carriageway ironworks industry, helping to promote the usage of BIM and project management software for infrastructure projects. The new library will mirror the existing building

drainage library by offering both full and data-lite versions of the library which will be available from Saint-Gobain PAM UK for free; in addition, SaintGobain PAM UK have integrated the library into their PAMSearch Digital Product Selector tool, with customers able to download BIM models directly from the product pages on the new site. Paul Thompson, Marketing Manager for SaintGobain PAM UK, commented; “We’re thrilled to be expanding our digital capabilities by launching PAMSearch and our new BIM library, which we know are going to make a huge difference to our customers. The success of BIM and digital enablement is widely seen across the residential and commercial building sectors and we want to help push the infrastructure industry to take advantage of the significant benefits that working digitally can provide. “Our customers played a key part in the development of our new digital offerings. We wanted to provide tools that make their lives easier, so interacting with them to discover what

challenges they faced was crucial to developing a system that meets their needs. For example, one of the key features of PAMSearch is the ability to refine a search by specific requirements such as a skid resistance, security or one-person operation. With over 300 standard products and over 3000 variations in our product portfolio, searching through for the correct product without using PAMSearch would take a significant amount of time. The new system vastly improves the speed of product selection, boosting productivity for both customers and their clients. “One of the key drivers in the future of the construction industry is digital enablement. Everyone from contractors to specifiers and even the site team are using data and digital functionality to improve productivity and efficiency. That’s where these new capabilities fit in; they support the industries drive to work smarter, which is something we’re really proud to be a part of.”




Following successful development work and trials, an innovation in the cleaning of gravity filter beds is now set to become common place in the water industry. Panton McLeod has now completed another successful trial, this time working in partnership with Scottish Water to clean gravity filter beds while the filter media remains in place. This dramatically reduces the costs and time involved in current methods which means the filter media is removed and often replaced and aeration nozzles and pipework is replaced rather than being maintained. Panton McLeod has been using its own proprietary cleaning solution to clean and disinfect services reservoirs for over 20 years now. This is a proven and well-established cleaning technique for drained down water storage assets that is used across the industry in the UK. The team at Panton McLeod are always exploring new ways of using this same product to address different and common problems faced by the water industry. This resulted in a recent successful trial using the product to clean a rapid gravity filter bed with


the filter media in place. The filter nozzles and aeration lines were blocked with biofouling and the build-up of pressure during the backwash was causing the pumps to trip before completing the backwash cycle. This hugely impacted the Iain Ross, Capital Liaison Engineer with Scottish Water explains “We were experiencing issues with some filters having an extremely violent backwash and through investigation work we found that the nozzles in the filter floors were choked with a sort of biological film. Rather than remove all of the media and remove all the nozzles we were investigating to see if we could do something with the media still in place.” Iain came across the new technique while watching EddyVision, an online media channel aimed at providing water industry information to the sector. In the episode, Yorkshire Water were facing significant costs to replace media, nozzles and aeration lines of one of their gravity filter beds. Yorkshire Water were also considering a reasonably sized capital project to bring in a different source water for the treatment works

in the hope that this would slow the build-up of biofouling in the future. The episode highlighted that Yorkshire Water now have another, much more cost effective, option to call upon after a cleaning trial there enabled normal operation of the filter bed once again without the significant cost of replacing all the media and filter bed fittings. Iain Ross continues “I saw the episode of EddyVision and it immediately sparked a light bulb moment. I got in touch with Panton McLeod to see what we could achieve. They came up with a methodology to do a clean using PM77, with the media still in place. They developed a methodology to use dosing lances which were used to spray the chemical throughout the filter bed quite evenly allowing us to control it. We filled the plenum up with water so that it held the chemical in the exact area where the nozzles were.” There were many challenges facing the project, but the main objective was always clear; to save

FEATURE: INNOVATION Scottish Water and are now developing that into a long-term water quality package that water companies can choose that will realise even more cost savings.” Following the successful clean the gravity filter bed is now performing a uniform backwash which has reduced the amount of media that is lost during the cycle, leading to additional savings over the lifetime of the asset. The team at Panton McLeod are now looking at an additional six gravity filter beds with a view to completing one every month.

[Before and after pictures of the nozzles following the Yorkshire Trial] money, time and reduce the environmental impact of cleaning gravity filter beds. Everything from volumes to dilution rates to contact time, waste management and scaffolding set up had to be precise, effective and efficient to ensure the team were successful. If it didn’t meet this criteria the team would rethink and come up with another solution. Simon Jefferson, Commercial Director at Panton McLeod said “Scottish Water are a forwardthinking organisation, meaning we could work

well together. Our teams developed a process that was not only effective but unlocked significant efficiencies that we could pass on directly to our clients. Simon continues “We work closely with our clients across the country and through listening to them we realised that the cleaning of gravity filter beds was a costly and time-consuming challenge. A challenge where long standing, traditional solutions were not being reviewed in a creative way to try and drive increased value for the customer. We wanted to address this for


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Iain Ross added “It’s vital for Scottish Water to explore new ways of dealing with old challenges because it leads to cost savings as well as efficiencies, time savings, health and safety reasons along with environmental impacts. If we were to replace the media it would include the cost of lorries running up and down the road, the quarrying costs and large amounts of labour, not to mention the increase in downtime. There’s a whole raft of benefits.” This has now led to a much broader discussion with stakeholders across the water industry and academia to explore further uses of the PM solution and enhanced cleaning techniques, including membrane filter cleaning, utilising the cleaning solution to address common industry problems in a different and more cost-effective way.

USE OUR CLEANING METHOD THAT KEEPS THE MEDIA IN PLACE, REDUCING COSTS Performance Iron and Manganese bio-fouling can reduce the performance of gravity filter beds Blockages This leads to blocked airlines & nozzles which reduces backwash and air scour performance Enhanced Cleaning Our Specialist PM bio-foul removal solution cleans media, lines and nozzles Efficiencies Effectively clearing blockages while avoiding disruptive maintenance saving money & downtime



One of the biggest Festivals of Innovation the world has ever seen landed in the North East in July. From 8 to 12 July, more than 3,000 people from nearly 700 leading organisations around the globe, descended on Newcastle Racecourse for Northumbrian Water’s third Innovation Festival. The aim of the event was to come up with innovative solutions to some of the biggest and hard-hitting challenges faced by society and the environment, within five action-packed days. Industry professionals were joined by engineers, local businesses, students, designers and members of the public, to focus on key issues such as climate change, the impact of 5G and vehicles of the future. Around 1,800 young people also flooded through the racecourse gates to learn about skills that can support their career, with the aim of inspiring them to consider a career in science, technology, engineering, art or maths (STEAM). The North East water company created the perfect environment for open innovation and collaboration where


delegates delivered an incredible years’ worth of work in a week. They started by scoping and unpacking the nature of each problem through a number of different ‘sprints’ and ‘hacks’, working each day to develop key ideas and create working prototypes of their ideas before presenting them back at the end of the week. One of the big concepts and prototypes to come from the five-day-event included a new device named ‘Dragonfly’. This smart device, aimed at monitoring the quality of water in rivers, came out of the CGI ‘Enabling the Rural Revolution’ sprint, which looked at ways in which the power of emerging technologies could enhance rural communities and the environment. Dragonfly would be powered by water and collect real-time river data, helping with the early

warning of incidents and enabling Northumbrian Water to further strengthen its industry-leading environmental performance. The ‘Plant Buddy’ sprint, led by IBM, looked at how it could use technology to bring together communities, helps save water and improve health and wellbeing. It built on the idea of a ‘Plant Buddy’ - sensors in the soil that will help farmers and allotment holders understand how to care for their plants in a sustainable way. The sensors would be combined with an information sharing platform or app, that creates a virtual community of growers who can share tips and advice, as well as receiving specific information about how much water they need and when. This will help growers to maintain their plants and crops without over or under-watering, and ensure water does not go to waste. It would also help to educate children about plants and increase their

awareness of their health and wellbeing. Another idea was developed by Ordnance Survey at the Festival, who brought the next big digital mapping project off the streets as part of the ‘Mapathon’ sprint.

Radar sensor £470*

It follows Northumbrian Water’s recent announcement that it is taking part in some trailblazing pilots which will see two detailed digital maps created – one of underground assets and the other of roadside infrastructure. The underground mapping project, which was born out of last year’s Innovation Festival, will result in a shared digital map of the pipes and cables that run underground for utilities and local authorities, to help save lives and reduce the disruption caused when they are struck by mistake. This year, the team worked out what street assets and data are most important to map at ground level using Mobileye tracking technology, and how this can produce real-time data analysis for identifying any causes and sources of incidents and damage.

Low-cost radar sensor for water level measurement One sensor, all round capability - Reliable level control for water and sewage treatment facilities, pumping

It will build on the shared underground asset map by producing a next generation shared digital streetscape map for utility companies.

stations and rain overflow basins. Level sensing for

In between all of the hard work and problem solving, the Festival saw a number of different activities taking place, including volleyball, yoga, tech demonstrations, pub quiz nights and musical bingo.

measurement, open water and flood level monitoring.

Throughout the week, festival goers were also joined by a number of celebrity guests, including BBC Business expert Steph McGovern, TV inventor Dick Strawbridge and gadget guru Georgie Barrat who helped energise and inspire attendees.

▪ Measuring range up to 8 m

Festival Founder and Northumbrian Water Group Information Services Director, Nigel Watson, said: “That’s the third Innovation Festival under our belt now, and what a week it was! We had people from all over the country - and the world in fact, join us to focus on innovation and to help us make a difference. “All 3,000 of our festival guests worked incredibly hard and we had fantastic support from all of our sponsors, our partners and our guests who helped make it happen and contributed. Innovation isn’t all about individual genius, it’s all about collaboration. “More than 7,000 creative and inspiring ideas came out of the Festival and while some of them may not come to fruition, some of them will absolutely work. We’ve taken them away and we’ll work on testing them and modifying them, until we reach a point where they will make a real difference to our industry, our customers, our communities and our environment.”

sludge processing and AD units. Open channel flow

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CHANGING THE STATUS QUO IN WATER MANAGEMENT As reported in the IoW Summer Issue, five regional multi-sector water resource management groups are emerging in England to tackle the biggest challenges today and create a consensus for water management on a national scale. Water Resources East is one of those groups helping to change the status quo. It’s nothing new that water supplies in England are under pressure from factors such as drought, climate change, erratic weather, and population growth. In Eastern England, however, it’s argued these factors are even more acute to the point where, if they’re not addressed now, could prevent the region’s huge potential in areas such as sustainable economic development, agricultural output, housing supply, and environmental conservation. It can be easy to forget the urgent need for change whenever it rains but it’s not uncommon to have Eastern England compared to Jerusalem for rainfall and the Western Cape in South Africa for risk factors such as demand vs. supply deficits and sporadic weather events – turning these challenges from abstract buzz phrases to tangible warnings of what could be. In 2014, it became clear that the status quo in the water sector needed to change: a new way of thinking about, talking about, and managing water. Water Resources East was born out this need.

WRE Methodologies Until recently, water resource planning in England and Wales was dominated by deterministic forecasts of the balance between supply and demand and least costoptimisation. Used almost exclusively by water companies, the Environment Agency, and Ofwat, this approach identifies the most cost-effective way to maintain levels of service in a single planning scenario that combines environmental need with best estimates of the future impact of drought, climate change and population growth. Within this planning framework, risk and uncertainty are accounted for using a planning allowance known as ‘Target Headroom’. While this approach performs well for single sector planning where the supply-demand investment drivers are well understood, they are not suitable for multi-sector planning or for planning where there is significant


Its origins are rooted in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) which emerged out of the 1992 United Nations backed ‘Dublin Principles’. These principles sought to define and promote changes in concepts and practises considered fundamental to improving water resource management. IWRM is practised in many countries today. The Global Water Partnership defines it as: “a process which promotes the co-ordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems”. The purpose of IWRM, and therefore WRE, is to help break the long practice of water users managing resources in isolation from one another and moving from single-sector requirement-based planning to a more inclusive, long term approach.

Long term strategy

The overall WRE long-term strategy indicates that Eastern England will need more storage capacity

uncertainty about investment drivers and the related risks over the long term - which is the reality we’re now moving into. For IWRM planning that takes account of the uncertainties and risks from many factors including climate change and growth, WRE uses a combination of what is called decision making under uncertainty (DMUU) methods. These include multi-objective evolutionary optimisation (MOEO) and robust decision making (RDM). The MOEO-RDM approach (MO-RDM) allows the vulnerability of water resource systems to be quantified in terms of the impact of growth, climate change, and drought on abstractors from different sectors and the environment. The analysis is simulator based, with uncertainty accounted for using a wide range of plausible future scenarios, and vulnerability defined in terms of metrics and thresholds which are specified by each sector.

and water availability by 2060. These include multi-sector reservoirs; aquifer storage and recovery; effluent reuse; strategic pipelines; water trading and transfers; and even the possibility of desalination run off renewable energy. Along the way, WRE will be guided by its two core principles: ■■

Through collaboration and shared vision planning, WRE promotes sustainable and resilient solutions to balance the competing needs of all water users.


There isn’t a lack of water but a lack of sustainable and resilient water management and any decisions that one sector makes will inevitably impact others.

Steve Moncaster, Technical Director of WRE, said: “At the heart of our technical process is collaboration between the different abstractors and users of water and developing strong relationships. In many respects, this can be more important than the innovative technical work since it drives a serious improvement in the quality of our overall decision making.

Subsequently, MO-RDM identifies ‘paretooptimal’ portfolios of schemes that are capable of meeting minimum performance thresholds over a wide range of plausible future scenarios. In these, performance in respect of one metric cannot be improved unless at the expense of another, therefore trade-offs between the portfolios must be used to select the one which best meets the overall needs of the planners. In this way, WRE can produce strategies and plans which simultaneously meet the needs of the public water supply, environment, energy and agri-food sectors. In the last step of the MO-RDM process, the selected portfolio is rigorously stress tested and the vulnerability analysis updated. It’s an adaptive process however, and where additional improvements are needed, alternative portfolios can be selected and tested and, if necessary, the process can be re-run based on new information that becomes available.

FEATURE: INNOVATION You can’t have one without the other and I’m really looking forward to seeing our outputs over the coming year”.

What next for WRE?

WRE became an independent company in June 2019. This has allowed full impartiality and the development of governance plans, technical work, and decision making led by our stakeholders. For the five regional groups, of which WRE is one of them, the overall strategy has been set by the National Framework. A directive from the EA and Defra it seeks to secure long term resilience to water resources in England by articulating national and regional water needs; outlining the contributions expected from each regional group consistently across government and regulators and addressing the barriers to collaboration. By August 2020 WRE will have developed a draft single, multi-sector, regional plan for Eastern England working collaboratively with all water use sectors in the region. This includes focusing on a ‘twin track’ supply with demand management approach, achieving outputs through catchment scale pilots, and integrating with other organisations’ strategies and plans to form a cohesive approach to water management. WRE’s regional plan is underpinned by a three-part technical programme that will make it possible: sub-regional planning, abstraction management reform, and environmental land management schemes working directly with landowners.

have been with WRE since the beginning such as Jean Spencer, Chair of the National Planning Framework. She said: “WRE is at the forefront of forming a regional plan for Eastern England to improve resilience to water resources for all users and it’s integral in feeding into the National Planning Strategy for water. The multi-sector and collaborative approach WRE has pioneered is fundamental to the future sustainability of water in the region – ensuring that all users are included, valued, and able to influence the direction regionally and nationally in a tangible way”.

What should the regional plan deliver?

Defining methods and plans is all well and good but what does that look like on the ground? One asset management scheme WRE is focusing on to deliver the regional plan, and using the methodologies described on page 40, is a multisector water sharing reservoir.

It works by capturing over spill from high winter rainfall and seasonal floods before they are expelled to the sea, captured by the environment, or infiltrated into the aquifer. These captured waters are then transferred to multi-sector reservoirs or to temporary wetland storage areas. Distribution of captured water looks to water rights and equitable access, with transfers and trading being made between sectors depending on their needs and environmental considerations which are constantly influx and vary year to year. Key elements include public water supply; improved flood risk management; environmental conservation and restoration; increased drought resilience; enhanced productivity for the agri-food sectors; and improved waterway navigation. As a result of applying WRE methodologies the aim is that the reservoir can adapt and be resilient to changing futures.

Institute of Water Vice President of Science and WRE’s interim managing director, Dr Robin Price, has high hopes for what WRE can deliver. He said: “WRE will be blazing the trail for multisector water planning. We will need to tackle complex issues like water rights and ownership, financing options for multi-sector initiatives, and a changing regulation landscape but I know we’re up for the challenge”. There’s been nothing but support for the move to independence especially from stakeholders who

[The WRE team at FloodEx: Nancy Smith, Robin Price, Henry Cator & Steve Moncaster]

[Schematic of a multisector water sharing reservoir]



To ensure a consistent standard and quality of water, assets, infrastructure and processes must be carried out within the use of stringent environmental parameters. This has driven the industry to increase its focus on efficiency and innovation to operate at the highest level of environmental protection.

by Malc Holmes

Restoration Innovation and Development Manager for Anglian Water


The UK has over 416,175kms of water mains supplying potable water every day to 66.4 million people. Chlorine has been proven to be the simplest and most effective means of disinfecting water in such a large scale, being used within the UK for approximately 100 years.

Anglian Water has taken a step forward with the help of innovative partners, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the dechlorination process, working to reduce the likelihood of residual chlorine which may enter water courses during emergency works or weather events.

From water main installation and tanker usage, to the maintenance of service reservoirs and the extensive network of pipes, chlorine has many different uses across the industry.

Dechlorination Methods

Water companies, along with the Environment Agency, are always looking for ways to preserve and protect the environment where they possibly can; ensuring that water quality is of the highest standard possible. Chlorine limits are put in place to protect the environment and ensure that water entering watercourses is kept to a high standard.

Crystals Thiosulphate crystals have a high absorption rate and, in this form, are very effective at neutralising chlorine on contact. However, they offer very minimal control, accountability and little scope for innovative development.

The most commonly known, and used, methods of dechlorination in the water industry are crystals, tablets and liquid solutions:

FEATURE: INNOVATION Tablets A more expensive method in comparison due to the contact time required for the tablets to take effect. High water flows can often cause the tablets to breakdown and particulate discharge into the environment. Liquid Solutions The most accurate way to dechlorinate mains discharge is to use liquid solutions administered via suitable flow proportional dosing equipment. Through the careful monitoring of dosages, an acceptably low trace of chlorine can be managed into the water course, ensuring the risk to aquatic life is minimal.

Taking an Innovative Step to Dechlorination

With liquid solutions being the most accurate way to dechlorinate, Anglian Water have begun to utilise the latest in flow proportional dosing equipment and chlorine analysis, while also monitoring post-dosage discharges, to improve their dechlorination process and reduce the likelihood of environmental impact. Working with Aquadose, who possess years of experience in water treatment systems and analytical equipment, a need to improve dosing control technology was identified, aiming to provide Anglian with a more consistent and accurate dechlorination process.

Data Capture

The exciting, innovative technology allows Anglian Water to capture vital data from its dosing equipment and chlorine analysers, recording a log of dosing parameters, trends and locations, which can then be stored remotely into the cloud. The secure data capture from the fully calibrated dosing equipment helps to provide Anglian with further validation of the entire dosing process, ensuring that historic data can be kept and is readily accessible. “This technology is already helping us to better monitor what we’re putting into our region’s watercourses. We always strive to ensure that we protect the environment at every opportunity and these advances in dosing equipment can help us do just that,” Malc Holmes, Anglian Water’s Restoration Innovation Manager, said. Through the continuous monitoring of the final discharge, Anglian can also record dissolved oxygen, pH and turbidity levels at environmentally sensitive areas. This enables discharged water to be comprehensively evaluated and audited, improving Anglian’s processes through continual learning and improvement.

Greater Control

David Watkins and colleagues at ATi, Aquadose helped to develop technology that would allow chlorine analysis to become more portable, providing greater flexibility to Anglian and allowing seamless integration with the water network. Utilising the new plugand-play technology improves the accuracy of monitoring for the presence of chlorine within dosing parameters throughout the entire process. The additional development of a mobile/ tablet app also allows operators to control and monitor the equipment remotely, with wireless connectivity between dosing equipment and chlorine analysers providing additional dosing control for the very first time. “We’re already seeing the results of this technology, with better awareness and visibility of the dosing process ensuring that we are always performing within our parameters. Through greater control, we are making sure that we’re driving efficiency and effectiveness in the dechlorination process,” Holmes added.



REMOTE NOISE LOGGER TRIAL PINPOINTS 115 LEAKS A technology trial involving installation of 295 Enigma3m remote correlating noise loggers in a water distribution network in Malaysia, has successfully cut net night flow by a third. The same technology can deliver similar benefits to UK utilities, says Roger Ironmonger, managing director, Primayer. Leakage remains one of the biggest concerns for the water industry – in the UK about 20% of water supplied is lost through leaks. Regulator Ofwat has set all water companies a target of cutting leakage by at least 15% during the 2020-2025 investment period – and it expects them to adopt new tools and techniques to do so. In southern Malaysia, water supply company Ranhill SAJ, a subsidiary of Ranhill Holdings Berhad, has set an even more demanding target to reduce non-revenue water (NRW) to 5% by 2025. In December 2018 NRW – loss through leaks, bursts and unauthorised connections - was 24% and a number of actions was set in motion. UK leakage technology specialist Primayer was approached by Ranhill through Mimtech, the company’s authorised distributor for the southern region of Malaysia, and the Enigma3m advanced remote correlating noise loggers were deployed in a three-month trial throughout August, September and October 2018. The pilot project took place in the state of Johor where the water distribution network is divided up into smart district metered areas (DMAs). Five DMAs were involved in the first phase. The aim of the first month of the project was to locate leaks by correlating acoustic signals obtained by the Primayer Enigma3m loggers; during the second month leaks were repaired and further monitoring was carried out in the third month. The trial was carried out on Bandar Putra B DMA in the state capital Johor Bahru, with a total pipeline length of 38.51km and some 5,052 connections under investigation. The leakage rate was determined by measuring the net night flow (NNF) and subtracting legitimate night flow from the minimum night flow. Prior to installation of Enigma3m NNF was 30.99l/s and total daily flow rate was 6,200m3/day. During the implementation of the smart DMA programme, a total of 295 Enigma3m units were installed by the team from Ranhill Water Services, the leakage control contractor appointed by Ranhill SAJ. The Enigma3m loggers were


[Map showing the positions of 295 Enigma3m loggers. Leaks found with highest confidence factor indicated in red.]

installed at hydrant valves, air release valves and on exposed fittings along the pipeline. The distance between sites for Enigma3m units varied depending on whether the pipes were metal or polyethylene.

pipes were also located. After three months of Enigma3m installation, NNF was reduced by over a third to 20.08 l/s. This gives a saving of 705m3/ day water, with a total cost saving of more than £3000 a month.

The Enigma3m loggers installed in Johor use GPRS communications to transmit daily noise data to locate leaks in water distribution networks remotely, a major step-up from traditional techniques which include the use of metal rods to listen for leaks from above ground. Loggers are deployed in underground chambers and require no installation above ground.

Zainudin Ngadiran, section head of the NRW control department of Ranhill SAJ Sdn Bhd, said, “A challenging target for leak reduction has been set by Ranhill SAJ and we are exploring technologies than can pinpoint leakage to help us reduce levels of non-revenue water rapidly. The trials with Primayer have shown that it is possible to deploy sensors that can precisely locate leaks, enabling our teams to carry out rapid repairs.”

Deployment of multiple loggers means correlation can be performed, locating leak positions more accurately. Leak location results can be viewed on PrimeWeb, Primayer’s cloud-based data collection platform for water network pressure, flow and leak location monitoring. PrimeWeb makes collection of real-time data possible, along with visual display of water network hydraulic data, leak alarms and correlated leak positions. Ranhill SAJ’s on-the-ground leakage crews were able to locate incidents using Google Maps and, together with street-view visualisation of leak positions, manage incidents efficiently and effectively. A total of 115 leaks were found and repaired in Bandar Putra B DMA during the Enigma3m trial. Small leaks at hydrant valves and communication

Ranhill SAJ serves a 3.1 million population and manages 22,175km of pipes over an area of approximately 19,000km2. The company intends to expand implementation of the Smart DMA concept across Johor state and some of the state’s most critical DMAs will be managed permanently with Enigma3m, depending on the age of infrastructure and site conditions. It is expected that more Enigma3m loggers will be required for the expanding programme in Malaysia. Back in the UK, Primayer continues to deliver major technology rollouts with a number of water utilities; helping the industry drive down leakage to meet and even exceed rigorous regulatory targets.


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Innovation becomes more important to the water market every year. by Patrick Randall

Everflow Tech’s Senior Project Manager From the cleaning and containment of potable water with the recent issues around water purity, to technical advances in the conveyance of water and leak detection, as well as better filtering and cleaning of waste – especially trade effluent – there’s now a stronger focus than ever on creating interactive systems. With a focus on automation, customers can use these systems to manage water consumption and issues as they occur. We’re entering a new age where communication can be faster than ever before, and for something as essential as water, making sure it flows clean and pure is becoming the responsibility of everyone.


Everflow can accredit a lot of its success to its passion for innovation. We always push for the best people for every role and put a huge focus on our employees being idea driven people, especially in the subsidiary companies Everflow Tech and Everflow Operations. We have found great returns from running events like vision evenings where the directors get to share the goals of the company with all of the employees and open up for fair equal exchange of ideas.

us work together as a team to take on the scaleup challenge, as well as our focus on automation. We have recently developed our own software, which has both increased revenues and improved efficiency – and has been integral to our scale-up success. I can only thank my amazing team for believing in my vision, and our loyal customers and brokers for helping us achieve it. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in the future.”

Our directors’ recent words around our growth sum this up perfectly: “My main goal has always been to create a water company which would not only provide great value water rates to SMEs but would go beyond that and make lives easier through innovation and new ways of thinking.

The vision laid out here, has given us a goal to aim for – we will create the water company of the future, and this means creating advanced and innovative technological solutions. Everflow Tech was launched for this reason and has been researching and creating forward facing solutions for all areas of the water utility market.

We’ve experienced incredible growth over the past few years thanks to the importance we place on our company values, which have helped

Everflow Tech was born by identifying the challenges currently faced by water retailers. With our experience in the industry, through

FEATURE: INNOVATION Everflow Water, which had become the fastest growing business water retailer in England in terms of supply point gains, we were wellpositioned to create solutions that would enhance business processes and customer experience. It rapidly became clear that we could package these solutions into a platform designed by the water industry for the water industry, and this collection of innovative ideas became the Eclipse platform, the most advanced billing engine available, which allows for bills to be quickly developed, easily rendered and display detailed management information for customers’ benefit. One major challenge that we developed a solution for was the increased regulations around customer and industry data. These were sweeping regulatory changes which put pressure on systems that were developed to stay inside the now outdated frameworks. This was an important consideration in the design of the billing and management platform we’ve created, ‘Eclipse’. The system stores data for all the steps of quoting and contracting a customer for the considered legal limits, while automatically clearing outdated or no longer useful data as its terms of use state. This allows complete peace of mind for the data administrator and the customer. Another challenge we identified was the ease

of correcting and validating billing, this could be a hugely lengthy process, especially when it concerned trade effluent bills. We discussed the topic at length and innovated a simple yet complete solution which we immediately put into Eclipse. The reconciliation engine is an easy to use tool that gives a full and complete comparison between what’s been billed in the system and what the actual market settlement charges were. This creates the strongest form of bill validation possible and allows certainty that the customer’s bills will be correct. Eclipse started with its quoting engine which is still one of its most unique and noteworthy features. We pushed to create a standard that all quotes can compare to, and that can be used by any retailer that takes on the Eclipse platform. The quoting tool is a TPI friendly wizard that allows the pricing of any supply point in the English or Scottish market. The entire process is then automated and gives the customer the most information possible for a fair and easy comparison. Right now, we are just at the beginning of exploring what Eclipse can be, we already feel very passionate about the project and Everflow Tech has managed to bring Eclipse to other water retailers with great success. We have big plans to keep Eclipse moving and growing. We want our innovations to make the water market easier for retailers, water

brokerages and most importantly, customers. We feel that the ideal reality for the customer is for them to be able to be quoted, agree a contract and manage their meter reads and billing themselves without a problem ever arising that the system can’t solve for them. The balance around customer responsibility is a huge talking point for Everflow Tech at the moment, we want customers to feel like they have power over their own supply and bills without feeling like we’re giving them an extra task to complete. We also want water retailers to have more time to be able to focus on managing the greater picture of the supply for their customers, reporting on automated meter reading and benchmark assessments across supply points are just a few of the background processes Eclipse offers to help with this. We are very excited for the future and want to gain the opportunity to work with even more retailers across the market, so we are opening our own technology to be used by others. We already have some retailers using it, please contact us at if you would like to know more. One huge benefit of helping competitors use the Eclipse platform has been the open exchange of ideas. Some of the best ideas can come from the most unexpected conversations, and at Everflow Tech we pride ourselves on our ability to think outside the box when it comes to solutions.

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Join Industrial Leaders at the Siemens Crystal, London, for this Z-Tech Knowledge Exchange all about Flow, Flow measurement, products, installations and verifications. The first sessions of the event is dedicated to changes in legislation for Flow to Full Treatment (FFT) (Bulletin 27) and a practical way of managing the programme for compliance. The second sessions are all about practical installations, maintenance, calibrations and verifications – the industrial standards explained. The afternoon is all about the technology, with a full range of the technologies available and what’s new!

Who should attend? Anyone is welcome with an interest in Flow, from clean to wastewater, places are limited so please book early. This is a FREE to attend event, sponsored by Z-Tech Control Systems.


Programme: 9.30 Tea/Coffee & Registration 10.00 Welcome 10.10 The (strategic) direction of flow Oliver Grievson, Z-Tech Control Systems 10.40 Delivering the FFT flow programme Mark Swain, Severn Trent Water Break for Tea/Coffee 11.30 Flowmeter Installation and verification, practical application Luke Stanbridge, Derrick Hammond, Z-Tech Control Systems 12.00 Meter calibration & verification standard Andy Godley, WRc 12.30 Lunch and Emirates Air Line

13.00 Manufacturer sessions: ABB - Electro-magnetic flow Alan Hunt Flexim - Time of Flight Flow Andy Hammond Nivus - Submerged Area-Velocity Flow Mike Smith RS Hydro - Non-Contact Area-Velocity flow Rob Stevens Siemens - Ultrasonic level-based flow Derek Moore Vega - Radar level-based flow Matthew Westgate 15.30 Final comments and close Limited places available - visit the IoW website to BOOK NOW.





Wessex Water’s recycling centre at Tetbury, Gloucestershire, contains a biofilter treatment plant which is used to remove nitrates from sewage, to improve the quality of wastewater and minimise risk to the environment. The filters are fed from a dosing syphon chamber at fixed rates and flow volumes. The system is gravity fed with no moving parts and was housed in a brickwork chamber which was built in the 1970s. The chamber was badly in need of replacements due to leaks and unstable foundations. YTL Engineering and Construction (YTL E&C) was tasked with replacing the chamber with a new concrete structure and syphon unit. Because of the gravity-fed nature of the syphon system, the new chamber had to be built on the footprint of the existing one. The filters, as a critical part of the water treatment process, needed to remain running for the duration of the rebuild – so a pumping system was needed that could mimic the gravity-fed device with 100% reliability.

The Challenge There were a number of challenges to be overcome. The pump setup had to replicate the original system by feeding at a fixed rate that would not overwhelm the filter capacity but be sufficient to rotate the filter arms which were moved by water pressure alone. Insufficient pressure would cause a compliance failure due to uneven flow distribution. The pumps also had to feed the filters only intermittently, as constant flow causes failures of filters due to the biological elements not receiving oxygen from the air.


The location of the site also presented a challenge – on a hill with limited access for plant and no practical options for refuelling if diesel pumps were used.

synchronise the pump operations. The site team added an air valve supplied by Selwood in order to provide quicker discharge times to the filter feed pipes to help maintain compliance.

Working closely with Wessex Water and YTL E&C, Selwood used a disused storm chamber to house electric submersible pumps. The chamber was repaired to form a sump for the pumps, and the syphon feed was diverted into it. Due to a lack of power options in the area, Selwood’s pumps operated on a duty standby basis from generators provided by Power Electrics.

The finalised pumping system was complex and multi-faceted, working within the strict constraints of the site and the operation of the old system.

These pumps were controlled with ultrasonic level control and alarm telemetry to deliver flows equally to the two filters at fixed volumes and variable flow rates, dependent on incoming flows to the works as a whole. Initial results were unsatisfactory as the filters adapted to the temporary system. Liaison between parties established further requirement for a recirculation pump to dilute the flows and provide a second pass for a flow rate of 20l/s. Mindful of the cost, a Selwood S150 electric Super Silent pump was used to provide this function as this could safely use the site power supply and would not need diesel power. Selwood electricians attended site frequently to make adjustments as advised by the Wessex Water scientist, and to

The result Once installed, the system ran faultlessly and the site remained in compliance for the duration of the works to rebuild the chamber. There were no mechanical failures, and Selwood’s electricians made regular visits to fine tune the system to keep it reliable and compliant.

The recommendation Alex Adams of Wessex Water said: “Working with Selwood on this challenging project has been rewarding. Whilst the system that was replaced was simple, its function was complicated and to mimic it with a pumped setup was difficult. Thanks to close working with Selwood’s Framework Manager, site visits from Selwood electricians and a good understanding of the site requirements from all concerned, it was a great success to develop a system that performed reliably for the project.”



T I TA N I C | B E L FA S T 27-28 JUNE 2019


REFLECTIONS AND THANKS It was an absolute honour to host the Institute of Water’s Annual Conference 2019 this year in Belfast. The three days were extremely busy and took a lot of organisation, but it was very rewarding to see so many water sector professionals come together for this event. When I look back, I find it hard to believe how much we managed to fit in! Our Conference attracted around almost 600 people from across the water sector and took place in the dynamic setting of Titanic Belfast, a truly iconic venue – voted one of the world’s leading tourist attractions that leant itself perfectly for the 2019 IOW conference. We explored the theme of ‘disruption’ - how climate change, pollution and the emergence of new technologies are causing ‘disruption’ to populations around the world and how the water sector need to respond. To help us navigate these themes, we had the assistance of distinguished speakers such as Sir John Parker, Chairman of Pennon Group, Leo Johnson, Disruption Lead for PwC, Duncan Tait, President and CEO of Fujitsu EMEIA and Head of Fujitsu UK, John Mahony, Group CEO of ReputationInc and the BBC’s ‘The One Show’ reporter Lucy Siegle, plus many water sector colleagues. Their talks gave us valuable insights into the challenges we face and helped us see how we can meet those challenges and move forward confidently as a sector.

It’s hard to deliver a conference of this scale without the aid of sponsorship and I wish to take this opportunity to once again thank all of the sponsors involved in the conference and our associated events. I also give my thanks to Lynn Cooper and her team at the Institute of Water HQ, Lanyon Group, and my own organising team at NI Water who all worked tirelessly to make this conference happen. I thank the Rising Stars 2019 who took an active part in the Conference and facilitated the sessions. I hope you found this development experience valuable and I wish you the very best in your future career. A personal highlight of the two-day Conference was the President’s Dinner and Awards. It was an honour to host this event in the fabulous setting of Belfast City Hall. This dinner was our opportunity to celebrate the great work that happens across the water sector and I was humbled to meet some of our fellow water practitioners who are so committed to their profession.

attended the conference and they’ve kindly taken the time to write and share their own independent reviews of the conference. For those of you reading this who are yet to experience an Institute of Water conference, I hope this Review gives you a flavour and it encourages you to attend a conference of ours in future. And finally, I thank all the attendees. The energy and enthusiasm that you brought to conference was inspiring and I truly believe that this is what sets the Institute of Water Conferences apart from others. Sara Venning Institute of Water President and Chief Executive of NI Water

We’ve also had help from some of our younger members of IWater in producing this Review: McKenna Robinson and Joshua Graver from Anglian Water, and Michelle Calder from Scottish Water. Each of them

We would like to thank our sponsors. Without them, this conference would not have been possible.




A review by Mckenna Robinson, Optimisation Project Analyst at Anglian Water We were welcomed to the conference by the new president of the Institute of Water and CEO of Northern Ireland Water, Sara Venning. She began by giving us a brief history of the changing times of the industry from the all-male Belfast water commissioners to the truly diverse workforce that we see now. Sir John Parker delivered the opening address, he emphasised how we are the custodians to a finite resource and how critical it is that we preserve water. This can be done through exceptional leadership and embracing the full meaning of change. “Be as you wish to seem” – Socrates. The key theme around reputation resonated through the session. Sir John expressed that privileged leaders must protect the reputation of the water industry and it’s the values of our leaders that are the most important – our actions speak louder than words. As an industry, to be successful in society we must deliver through our people; a leader should encourage, support and develop the people of tomorrow. “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”. The keynote speaker, Leo Johnson opened with this Marilyn Munroe quote as he

delivered two very different messages of how artificial intelligence could unlock either a utopian or dystopian future. As AI is accelerating past human intelligence it is causing disruption to existing business models across multiple sectors. A dystopian future with crumbling infrastructure, cyber terror and a lack of water is a real threat to today’s society, with a predicted 140m refugees by 2040 it’s how we act now that will prevent this. Leo expressed that instead to reach a utopian future we need to have a collaborative approach, using innovation and AI to reach our full potential. John Mahony opened with “everything we do, we say and everything our stakeholders say about us defines our reputation”. He reiterated the earlier point that having strong leaders are key and added that our culture and governance are intrinsically linked with reputation being embedded in business strategy. It is important that if we do something wrong, we fix it and make sure that it doesn’t happen again – this is imperative to building our reputation whether as an individual all the way through to the industry as a whole. A pre-conference survey showed that we are all proud to work in the water industry, from this we can build a personal truth so that we can be authentic and impactful in the causes that we fight for. As global issues such as climate change and water scarcity

become more apparent, we need to continue the journey of sustainability so we as an industry prove that we care. John then chaired a panel with Peter Simpson, Richard Flint and Heidi Mottram to continue the discussion on developing reputation. Peter affirmed the point that we all need to do the basics brilliantly if we are to succeed. The session closed with Duncan Tait from Fujitsu discussing digital disruption, with the rise of AI around 70% of jobs that we do today will be changed or gone completely. Quantum technology enables us to complete calculations in seconds that have previously taken decades and the next generation of the internet allows us to have an octillion amount of internet addresses. With billions being spent on cloud technology to increase the speed of running businesses we need to invest in our people through reskilling so that we become futureproof to the everchanging digital landscape. The Q&A with Duncan and Brendan Monaghan further highlighted the need for us to learn from and teach each other so that we can continue to develop a diverse and inclusive workforce. This is enhanced through creative thinking, STEM skills and closing the gender pay gap.


THE CONFERENCE – DAY ONE PM A review by Michelle Calder, Drainage Analyst, Flooding Investigation Team at Scottish Water The afternoon of Day One of the conference was opened by Charlotte Rhodes, Rising Star for the Welsh Area, who gave a summary of her experiences on the Rising Star programme before introducing Lucy Siegle and Mandhy Senewiratne who presented two opposing viewpoints on one of the most hotly debated topics of recent times, the use of plastics. Lucy, a broadcaster, journalist and author of “Turning the Tide on Plastic” presented the anti-plastic view, though she was keen to point out she is not anti-plastic, or indeed anti anything. Instead, she is pro full disclosure – we should know what is in what we use, understand its impact and change our behaviours accordingly. Mandhy, a sustainability consultant and director at Fyrefly Global then presented the pro-plastic view, or more specifically the pro professional plastics view – arguing that plastics have a place and that rather than limiting or banning their use we should change how we deal with the consequences.

introduction of wastewater heat recovery systems to provide heating to buildings in two areas of Scotland. ■■

Richard explained Northumbrian Water’s environmental pollution challenge – they were one of the lowest ranked water and wastewater service providers with regards to environmental pollution. Echoing an earlier presentation, he explained how people were the key to success, and that their Leading Improvement through Employees (LITE) workshops, involving frontline employees, leaders and regulators, provided ideas which led to lots of marginal gains rather than one “silver bullet” solution.


Finally, Ann chaired a thoughtprovoking session on shocks and stresses in the water industry. We were asked to map out a variety of situations, from the everyday to the extreme, in terms of their likelihood and impact on the UK water sector. The group covered a wide cross section of the industry, so it was interesting to see the range of views that arose. For me this underlined the continued need to collaborate with others in what we do, as what is our priority may not be theirs or indeed our customers.

For me, the biggest revelation from this plastics discussion was that the UK plastics industry is unregulated – there are currently no controls on the type of plastics put on the market (which goes some way in explaining the constant confusion on what is recyclable and what is not), and no producers of plastic pay for recapture, sorting and recycling of waste plastic. If the water industry is held accountable for the pollution we can cause to the environment, why is that not the case for the plastics industry? The next part of the afternoon brought 3 breakout sessions chaired by Donald MacBrayne (Scottish Water), Richard Warneford (Northumbrian Water) and Ann Cousins (ARUP). ■■


Donald took us through the journey Scottish Water Horizons, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scottish Water, has taken in producing energy from waste and proving that innovation as a disruptor really works. This includes Scotland first anaerobic digester, 3 biomass projects on Scottish Water assets and more recently the

The final presentation of the day came from Vittoria Danino, Head of Anglian Centre for Water Studies, on social approaches to reducing water consumption. Vittoria explained that what people say they will do and what they actually do are different things and telling people to do something, even if they know it is the right thing, rarely works. Therefore, many information campaigns fail to impact behaviours. However, if we can disrupt, or even nudge, societal norms so that something like saving water is not only seen to be the right thing to do, but something that most others do too, we can have a much bigger impact. Again, a key point for me was that collaboration is key – we need to understand what our customers think when they see our messaging before we can start to change their views. The afternoon was brought to a close by Sara Venning, thanking both attendees and sponsors alike and summing up the day’s events. I was struck by Sara’s closing remarks that even after years of campaigning by the water industry, we are still not the downfall of single use wipes – the debate around plastics is. Is this another example of the unintended consequences of disruption, or simply the result of “calling an emergency”?


THE CONFERENCE – DAY TWO A review by Joshua Graver, Water Regulations Inspector at Anglian Water Well…our final day certainly didn’t disappoint! After a brilliant social event hosted by Z-Tech the evening before a number of us were slightly on the fragile side. The morning was kicked off with an introduction by Tim Bergin who highlighted challenges facing our industry, a key one being the ability of retaining talent. As all industries are ever changing at an extremely fast rate, you’ve furthermore got an evergrowing gig economy to compete with. This was followed by an engaging talk from Oliver Rees, he explained in detail about three mindset changes that the industry must alter, which are ‘close to open, control to empowering and exclusive to inclusive’. This led to some comparisons of how different companies approach challenges, such as Telsa’s open approach to reward anyone who successfully hacks their cars with a $35,000 reward, plus a free car. These examples are a great insight to companies that have achieved those required mindset changes. Ciaran & Mark’s key messages focused on how data & AI could be the next ‘Disruption’ in the form of robotic process automation (bots), along with how most companies struggle to take innovation from paper to practice. I feel this will be key for the future, as our customers seek a swift response while ensuring it’s personal, it’s the personal

aspect I feel is key, as Ciaran highlighted ‘by Starbucks using your name their revenue rose by 25%’. We got to hear from Thomas & Ross about their time attending 1st Latin America & Caribbean YWP conference, which sounded brilliant! They explained the staggering impact western culture is causing in Chile due to the demand of avocados (1 avocado=300 litres of water), leading to water scarcity. This made me realise how every decision we make has an impact, even 7000+ miles away! Plus, I’m pleased more Iwater members got to share an amazing experience similar to myself. The Young Person Network was officially launched by Kirsten & Sarah, which sounds great for young people like myself emerging into this industry, plus I got to experience ‘network speed dating’ in their afternoon session. As someone in their early career it was brilliant to hear the focus & investment

Seven Trent are putting on ensuring their workforce remain ‘healthy, resilient & productive’ to succeed, they’ve started to achieve this by creating a ‘challenge cup’. Employees can pitch innovations for the business which relates back to the mindset changes Oliver mentioned, from this it successfully led the company to create a drone team which has made £200,000 of savings! They’re also creating a new tech academy as part of PR19, costing £10 million. Lastly, we finished with a panel discussion focusing around talent acquisition and retention which Nick Ellins summarised perfectly with, ‘if you practice inclusiveness, you’ll get diversity’. The brilliant conference was closed by Sara, highlighting all the aspects myself and fellow members were lucky enough to enjoy over those three days which involved over 600 people, raised 1000’s for Wateraid, to make it the ‘hottest ticket in Belfast’.

STREAM 2019 The Institute of Water continued its partnership with the STREAM Industrial Doctorate Centre and hosted a selection of students who showcased their water industry-focussed projects, via poster presentations, to conference delegates. Delegates were challenged to engage with the students, pose challenging questions and vote for their favourite innovative research project.

The student that achieved the most votes from delegates was Amanda Larasati from Imperial College London for her EngD project with the very long title: In-situ/On-site Regeneration of Activated Carbon for Water Treatment: Batch Tests. This project looked at researching feasible, yet practical on-site regenerant solutions for water treatment. Great work Amanda!



Sponsored by

Ten water sector leaders in the same room at the same time and the chance to ask the questions that matter to you!







Meet the Leaders is one of the Institute of Water’s most unique opportunities where delegates get the opportunity to ask leaders from across the water sector their views and opinions on the topics which matter to you. Discussions ranged from current trends and new initiatives in the water industry to advice and tips on career development. Meet the Leaders took place the day before the full Conference and was a great way to energise and engage with many of the delegates. Around 80 delegates attended this event.

Z-TECH SOCIAL NIGHT The social side of conference is as important as the main programme: it’s an opportunity to catch up with colleagues, network and make new water industry friends – a big part of what the Institute of Water is all about. This year we were delighted to welcome Z-Tech Control Systems as our new sponsor for this feature evening. Traditionally the details of this evening are kept a secret up until arrival at the venue, and this year proved to be exceptional with a ‘Game of Thrones’ themed night at the traditional Irish pub, The Dark Horse. The Z-Tech night included quiz, themed characters and traditional Irish dancing. Because this event was sponsored by Z-Tech, all your ticket contributions are donated to WaterAid and this year we were able to raise almost £2000 to help give the gift of clean water as a human right.






Sara Venning, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Water Anthony Ferrar, Managing Director, Sutton & East Surry Water Robin Price, Interim Managing Director, Water Resources East Richard Flint, Chief Executive, Yorkshire Water Thomas Faulkner, Executive Vice President Skanska UK Phil Newland, Managing Director, South Staffordshire Water Plc Michael Roberts, Chief Executive, Water UK Nick Ellins, Chief Executive, Energy & Utility Skills Rachel Fletcher, Chief Executive, Ofwat Helen Busby, Digital Sales Manager, Atkins


CONFERENCE EXHIBITION The Exhibition is a key feature of the Institute of Water’s Annual Conference and is a fantastic opportunity to put product solutions, new technologies and services in front of some of the most influential and relevant people in the UK water sector. Around 250 delegates had the chance to network with our exhibitors in Belfast.

“Panton McLeod view the Institute of Water Conference Exhibition as the main event in the UK water industry as it’s a great place to meet all of the key stakeholders and find out about all of the innovation that’s happening across the country.” Panton McLeod


INSTITUTE OF WATER PRESIDENT’S DINNER AND AWARDS 2019 Professionals from across the water sector came together to celebrate a year of success and innovation. The Institute of Water’s President’s Dinner and Awards – a formal dinner event sponsored by Fujitsu – is the most prestigious social event of the year for its members and partners. Held on the 26th June, nine awards

were handed out to individuals and organisations, who have demonstrated excellence in development, outstanding performance and innovation. This year the Dinner was hosted by newly-elected President, Sara Venning, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Water, and set within the splendour of Belfast City Hall. Guests enjoyed a three-course meal, drinks and entertainment amongst water

Institute of Water Continuing Professional Development Award Presented by Lynn Cooper, Chief Executive of the Institute of Water Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is one of the components of a successful career and our Corporate Members have given an undertaking to maintain their competence throughout their career. WINNER: Lucy Hird, Anglian Water Services


Sponsored by

sector peers, friends and colleagues. The Institute of Water continued their support of WaterAid by hosting a raffle which raised a fantastic £4,000 for the charity. The Institute of Water and WaterAid would like to thank the generous guests and the companies who donated prizes for the raffle; McAdam Design, Portsmouth Water, Fujitsu, McAllister Group and Charles Brand.

Institute of Water Allen Bolton Award Presented by Simon Cyhanko, Immediate Past Chair of the Institute of Water Allen Bolton was the founder member of the Institute of Water. Allen spent a lifetime in the service of the water industry and served in every office of the Institute at some point in his long career. Allen died in 2011 and this Award has been established in memory of him and in recognition of all that he did for the industry and the Institute. WINNER: Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water Services

Area Committee Members of the Year Award

Institute of Water President’s Cup

Presented by Simon Cyhanko, Immediate Past Chair of the Institute of Water

Presented by Simon Cyhanko, Immediate Past Chair of the Institute of Water

The Institute of Water is greatly supported by a number of volunteers who are committed to professional development, sharing best practice and supporting their professional body. The Committee Members of the Year Award shines a light on the great work of our volunteers and awards those who have gone the ‘extra mile’.

The Institute of Water has built its foundations on the professionalism of its members and the passionate commitment of the eight volunteer Area Committees who run the regional activities. The President’s Cup recognises that commitment and is awarded to the Area Committee that has performed at an exceptional level over the past 12 months.

NATIONAL WINNERS: Anna Boyles from Thames Water, Luke Stanbridge from Z-Tech Control Systems and Kirstin Watt from Scottish Water.

WINNER: Welsh Area


WaterAid 2019 Award for Outstanding Commitment

Water Industry Training Organisations of the Year for 2019

Presented Rachel Westcott, WaterAid

Presented by Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills

This special award is to celebrate exceptional commitment to transforming lives by improving access to safe water in the world’s poorest communities and is presented to a person who has shown outstanding commitment to WaterAid in terms of influencing and fundraising, both within their company and individually. WINNER: Ken Hutchison, Scottish Water

Water Industry Skills Champion Award 2019 Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills This award is given to an inspirational skills champion, who has made a tangible difference in supporting skills and people development in the water and wastewater sector. WINNER: Milo Purcell, Drinking Water Inspectorate, Deputy Chief Inspector

This award is given to an organisation that pro-actively and passionately champions the provision of training to make a tangible difference in the water and wastewater sector. The nominees have a progressive and committed approach to delivering high quality training and assessment provision. WINNER: McCrae Training Ltd and Control Point

Outstanding Commitment to Water Industry Training for 2019 Presented by Nick Ellins, Chief Executive, Energy & Utility Skills This special lifetime achievement award is given to recognise individuals in the supply chain who have served the water industry with the provision of high-quality training services. WINNER: Gordon Hollywood

Water Industry Skills Employer of the Year 2019

National Innovation Awards

Presented by Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills

Sponsored by

This award is given to an organisation that pro-actively and passionately champions a skilled, motivated and highly qualified workforce to make a tangible difference in the water and wastewater sector.

Presented by Mercer and Marsh

WINNER: Anglian Water

This award shines a spotlight on the many innovative companies in the water sector to demonstrate their excellence and is just part of the effort the Institute of Water is making to promote the right cultural environment and encourage pride in the sector. WINNER: Wessex Water - Sewer Renovation ‘Re-Rounder’ Robotics.



Serviceability improvements leading to the implementation of innovative asset optimisation strategies. As we move towards Water Company final determinations for AMP7 one thing is consistent. For the problems that matter to customers, there is going to have to be a significant change in approach, behaviour and technology to meet the challenges being targeted by Water Companies and set by Ofwat.

by James Hale

Technical Director, RPS


From a wastewater perspective, the common performance commitments to reduce pollution and internal flooding have all attracted significant percentage reductions by the end of 2024/5. An example is the 20% reduction in Pollution Incidents targeted by United Utilities and a 24% reduction in Internal Flooding incidents targeted by South West Water (both Fast Track companies). These targets are then stretched further with long term aspirations to, in some cases, eliminate

these critical service failures. The scale of these reductions will force innovation as continuing with the same approaches will lead to penalty. What is clear is that an improved understanding of how systems operate in all conditions is a fundamental part of achieving these targets. Managing wet weather performance will play its part, however understanding the risk to our wastewater networks of dry weather performance will be a critical factor, particularly when trying to mitigate the risk of internal (and external) flooding. Obviously data will play its part, but the critical element is making intelligent decisions based on this data. AMP6 saw the roll out of Event Duration Monitoring (EDM) at Combined


Sewer Overflows (CSO). Whilst these sensors are intended to support the Storm Overflow Assessment Framework (SOAF) and enable Water Companies and the Environment Agency to target high spilling overflows for intervention, if set up right, they can also provide early warning of operational issues which may cause dry weather operation and a likely pollution incident. Understanding the ‘normal’ operating conditions at these locations will enable timely and targeted intervention. At RPS, we have been working with Water Companies using Machine Learning principles along with historical information to develop normal performance bands and alerting models where conditions deviate from ‘normal’. This has allowed early identification of operation issues likely to cause blockage and rectification of the problems on site.

they are the primary location for interaction with watercourses and sources of pollution incidents. Monitoring the most beneficial locations for flooding and pollution from pipe assets needs a depth of understanding of the consequence of failure. Once you understand what happens to a network should every asset fail, you can then build the understanding of likelihood of failure across a catchment and therefore risk. Whether this is achieved through deterioration modelling, historical performance analysis or the use of Machine Learning and AI to prioritise clusters of assets, these locations then become the targets for serviceability monitoring. This does enable us to use these innovative processes, supported by engineering judgement and knowledge to position monitors to provide the highest serviceability benefit.

This is a principal that can be taken through to any monitored site, so as monitoring programmes expand (another commitment for many Water Companies in AMP7) there is a real opportunity to utilise Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) principles to better understand networks and improve serviceability. Again, RPS is working with Water Companies to utilise these techniques, looking at blockage/flooding performance but using the same principles to assess longer term impacts of new development.

With thousands of monitors comes gigabytes of data. A real big data challenge. And it is not just the scale of the task that is a challenge, it is the co-ordination of information coming from a multitude of places. Monitors will live stream data, but are potentially on different platforms accessed in different ways. All of these data sources are separate from the intelligence of the geospatial data and modelling information held by Water Companies. This poses an important question; how do you pull all of this together to inform a coherent strategy?

It should be noted that data does not necessarily mean intelligence. Placing 5,000 monitors into a network is not going to reap the level of rewards that this level of investment should unless there is strategic intelligence as to why that location needs to be monitored. The EDM monitors at CSOs implemented in AMP6 provide instant value as

This is where RPS has been able to build on experience from the clean water side of our business, where extensive sensor and monitor distribution has been in place for years. From this experience, RPS has developed the Wastewaternet™ platform which enables all of these disparate datasets and live streams to be

visualised, assessed and actioned in real time, supported by Machine Learning and AI where required to drive the serviceability improvement programmes. We are currently working with Water Companies to implement this system to start to achieve these strategic changes.

“There is a real opportunity to utilise Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) principles to better understand networks and improve serviceability.” But as we become more intelligent customers, our behavioural impact also needs to play a part. Can we change serviceability performance based on a few key changes in our behaviour? In the future property level sensors will also play a part and the IOT will become part of the solution. Will we have a system that can incorporate this scale of data, link to existing Water Company systems? Provide analysis, intelligence and smart decision making in real time? We feel that all of this is possible and we need to gear up our systems and tools to enable this. Wastewaternet™ will be instrumental in achieving this. Finally, can we deliver a shift change in serviceability to meet the targets of AMP7? At RPS we certainly are on the journey to accomplishing this. For more information please contact James Hale, Technical Director, RPS. e:


RIGHT DECISIONS - RIGHT TIME The Asset Investment Planning processes encompass many different types of decision-making on different timescales, with competing objectives to balance. By Matthew McConville and Will Slater

Asset Management Consulting Limited Water Companies are constantly challenged to make the right decisions at the right time to realise maximum value from their asset base. Every Price Review is an opportunity to assure the regulators (as the voice of the customer) of our stewardship credentials and the ability to optimise our approach to Asset Management. The many thousands of individual decisions that go towards our plans involve achieving the correct balance between the cost, risk and performance of competing asset interventions. Decisions on asset investment are made throughout a water

company and not just at a strategic level. The decisions naturally vary across time horizons and the scale of the asset base with strategic decisions focusing on the demands placed on the entire asset base, through to tactical decisions on how best to maintain individual asset classes, down to operational decisions on prioritising work orders and defect remedies. Water companies investment planning processes can benefit from the use of advanced modelling and analytical techniques to develop plans that meet constraints and deliver best value for customer money. The maturing Asset Investment Planning (AIP) solution market can deliver this capability, providing there exists a mature organisation to deploy and use it.

Figure 1 Water Company Decision Making across different timescales


Asset Investment Planning Solutions AIP Solutions are complex technologies that are more challenging to specify, implement and deploy than other IT systems, notwithstanding the need to integrate any solution into the existing system landscape. AMCL have supported businesses (including water companies) in removing some of the associated complexity in deciding if a tool would be helpful and then if it is, helping to generate the criteria for solution vendor selection. To provide further subject matter expertise in this space, AMCL have completed a market study that has identified a set of criteria to select vendors.


Figure 2 AMCL Asset Investment Planning Solution Market Study Assessment Categories

Assessing the Tools The AMCL AIP Solutions Market Study investigates the business opportunity to deploy these types of systems and how to assess their suitability for individual organisations. In the study, vendors were consistently assessed against nine functional categories that AMCL considered core to the investment planning process. Additionally, to evaluate the vendor as a valuable partner for an organisation, a further nine company organisation assessment categories were used. AMCL followed a structured process to gather information against the assessment categories and critically, client reference insights were gathered about the vendors, the solutions and the ideal investment planning process. From this assessment, AMCL have found that the market is well served with good quality vendors that will support most investment planning processes and functional needs. However, it is important to understand when comparing the products’ capabilities that each vendor approaches the

AIP solution space in different ways, displaying varying strengths and areas for improvement. Developing a clear project scope, requirements and improvement roadmap will allow water companies to select the right solution from a functional perspective. It is equally important to choose an AIP solution vendor with a culture and approach to match each company. The benefits of a good partnership are numerous, from increased speed of implementation to tailoring the development of the product to a water companies’ needs. This article contains extracts from the AMCL Market Study. If you would like to know more, you can download a copy from the AMCL website

“Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.” Laurence J Peter




Visit www.seamstld.comfor formore more information informationor orfollow followus uson on


ROI FOR INITIAL ASSET INVESTMENT REQUIRES PLANNED MAINTENANCE OEM service contracts may not always initially look attractive to the UK Water Industry, but, given the increasing pressures to achieve compliance with equipment that is becoming ever more complex, and the demand on staff who are becoming stretched even more thinly, service contracts can be proven to make good business sense and help increase the return on investment of the initial outlay. Generally, obtaining buy in from the water industry for OEM planned maintenance programmes has always traditionally proven to be a formidable task, as many water companies place the emphasis on capital expenditure rather than maintenance, with the temptation to rely on in-house staff to carry out general maintenance tasks. However, it is becoming clear to several water companies that the number of staff required to carry out such tasks safely, make them difficult to plan for. Maintenance staff within the water companies are often spread thinly territorially, so getting them together in one place for a day or several days at a time can prove to be difficult. Eliquo Hydrok have been manufacturing water treatment equipment for more than 25 years, historically the technologies had previously been supplied to clients without the expectation for any form of servicing requirement. With the development of the Integrated Fixed-film Activated Sludge (IFAS) and Fixed Bed Diffused Aeration (FBDA) process treatments, plus the tertiary filtration systems in conjunction with Mecana, it became clear that offering a service and maintenance package would be both desirable to the client Water Companies, and provide additional reassurance that the product would meet its expected life span. Many of the Eliquo Hydrok clients who purchased equipment stated that maintenance would be carried out by their in-house personnel, they have subsequently found that, even after the training supplied by the OEM, the tasks have proven time consuming, less efficient and costly. This has led to a realisation on their part that reverting to the OEM for service tasks is not only desirable, but in some cases, imperative. Leaving valuable assets to deteriorate as evident in the images shown, can not only result in potential damage to the equipment, but also result in the failure to comply with discharge permits. Once serviced, the units are returned to good working order with minimal disruption to the treatment process.


As a solution, Eliquo Hydrok have spent time and investment developing a service team format that allows a service package to be offered which requires minimal input from the water company whilst offering maximum efficiency in the service process. Having teams carrying out the tasks on a regular basis means they are proficient in these tasks and able to reduce the down time required of the assets. The cost efficiencies mean that the water companies can concentrate their resources on the day to day tasks required to keep the plants running, leaving the equipment OEM to specialise in the tasks that they understand. Using the OEM service teams, who are trained and equipped to carry out the task, also reduces the requirements for the temporary supply of specialist equipment such as pumps and pressure washer. Eliquo Hydrok teams are fully equipped with all the required plant in a specially purposefully fitted van and once on site the only external requirement is wash water from the client. The use of petrol driven cleaning equipment ensures that even on remote parts of the site, the task can be achieved without further input from the clients. Contact: David Kertai, Business Development Manager at Eliquo Hydrok, 01726 861900,

Mecana unit before Mecana unit after


PLANNED MAINTENANCE AND REFURBISHMENT Complete managed solutions for process upgrades, asset refurbishments, planned and reactive maintenance and asset optimisation.

Planned and reactive maintenance

Asset refurbishment

Diffuser refurbishment and/ or replacement

Mecana Filter segments being cleaned

Helps to extend asset life

Tank and lane cleaning

Prevent unplanned outages

Full or partial refurbishment

Helps to ensure consent compliance

Acid dosing

Fully managed PPM service available

Process equipment relocation

Rapid availability of spare parts minimises downtime

Diffuser replacement programmes Pipework and manifold replacement




ELIQUO HYDROK LTD I T 01726 861 900 I






The distribution network can be quite a black box when it comes to understanding pressure variations. Operations are often based on a set of theoretical assumptions, rather than real knowledge of what customers experience at the tap. Distributing water at too high pressure increases the risk of bursts and leakages, while at the same time, wasting energy unnecessarily. Conversely, if the pressure is too low at the point of supply, the consumers expectations for the supply quality are not met. And without knowledge about what is really going on in their district, it is hard to handle customer complaints about pressure. The lack of pressure data in the distribution network can be partially attributed to the expense of installing monitoring equipment, especially deep in network away from treatment plants and pump stations. It requires installation of power supply, water proof cabinets and Remote Telemetry Units, which comes with considerable expenses. Yet, understanding pressure variations at extremities and high locations in the network is critical to making informed operational decisions that reduce risk of damage to infrastructure and ensure customer satisfaction. Installing pressure sensors at strategic places in the network, can light up the network and give access to the knowledge on pressure at critical points. The Kamstrup PressureSensor is designed to make pressure monitoring at remote locations cost-effective and easy. The device is unique in that it also detects water hammers and pressure transients, as well as monitoring the background


pressure level. It is IP68 approved to ensure that water cannot penetrate the casing and damage the electronics, and powered by internal batteries to be installed anywhere in the distribution network â&#x20AC;&#x201C; also if no power is available. Intelligent alarms built into the sensor warn when the average pressure is too high or low. The remote communication setup is simple and reliable. The device communicates over widespread 4G cellular networks via Kamstrupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s battery operated 4G Bridge. The 4G Bridge is also IP68 approved meaning that no additional infrastructure is needed to protect the equipment. The transmission of data can be done as often as every 5 minutes to secure a sufficient level of data to support continuous optimization and trouble shooting. The solution helps to create transparency about pressure variations throughout the distribution network that means customer complaints can be handled in an informed manner, and operations can be optimized to ensure all customers have enough pressure without overcompensating on pump set-points. In the long run the pressure sensor can be a crucial tool to prolong the lifetime of the pipes in the distribution network, reduce the energy consumption, lower the number of bursts and leakages, as well as the overall level of Non-Revenue Water.

Kamstrup PressureSensor and 4G Bridge

You can’t optimise what you can’t measure Creating transparency with smart metering solutions


Water loss Low pressure


The water industry is facing challenging times – from population growth and climate change to ageing infrastructure. We believe that the answers to our industry’s challenges can be found through digitalisation and intelligent use of data. No more digging in the dark – it’s time to light up your distribution network and create the transparency and knowledge needed to target your efforts proactively. Let’s base decisions on facts, prioritise tasks based on knowledge, and plan ahead based on reliable forecasts.



INTEGRATION IN THE WATER SECTOR Integrating sustainability

by Scott Harvey

Health, Safety, Environmental & Quality Manager

Integrated supply chain

“We have always maintained there must be a more efficient, more eco-friendly way of carrying out excavate and fill construction projects, reducing the need for the conventional method of excavating and replacing material on site. After years of research and development, Mackenzie Construction has successfully developed a process in 2018, which we have called Smart Surface - a superior hydraulic road binder system that stabilises existing ground conditions to create or repair paths, roads and hard standings. Where sufficient material exists on site to meet the required levels and falls of the surface, it is possible to have zero importation of aggregate, which greatly reduces the environmental footprint of projects.

by Mark Wilson Contracts Director

‘We have recently showcased our new industry collaboration initiative, ‘Strengthening Our Foundations’ and we are very proud of what it can offer our business, our clients and the wider industry. However, when it comes to our supply chain, integration is even stronger than collaboration. At Mackenzie Construction, we believe we are only as strong as our supply chain and we ensure integrity, trust and mutual respect are central to all of our relationships with

Integrated knowledge

“The entire construction industry is facing the challenge of an aging workforce. Our team of 60 Foremen have over 1000 years service between them and it has become evident that this must be a business priority for us, to work out how to capture and retain this valuable knowledge. Throughout our 40-year history, our professional, highly skilled and engaged workforce has helped us to grow into the business we are today. As a result, we place people at the heart of our success and recognise that, by investing in our workforce and equipping them with the knowledge and skills required, they are empowered to deliver our standards of safety and quality everyday on site.

by Andy Dalrymple Managing Director


We wanted to develop a bespoke Foreman Training Course which sought to empower and support our Foremen, equipping them with the appropriate tools and techniques to coach and mentor our younger workforce. The programme was structured around three modules focusing

Our ambition for Smart Surface is to keep refining the process whilst keeping an eye on other innovations in our industry, which may help us to explore more innovative processes and practices that can further contribute to the circular economy in future. Another driver for us, is a focus on carbon management and performance. Given the recent climate emergency and the Scottish Government commitment to drive carbon reduction by 70% by 2030 and to zero by 2040, we are very clear on the importance of looking at embodied carbon and how we can use this information to ultimately reduce our own carbon footprint across all of the solutions that we offer to our clients.”

the experts we choose to work with. We have stringent procedures in place to explore clear understanding of the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that each supplier brings to the team. We encourage innovation and knowledge sharing to consistently offer a first class service to each of our projects and clients, as well as creating an integrated, knowledgable, safe and committed workforce whom we can trust to uphold our values and our reputation.”

firstly on zero accidents on site, secondly on coaching and mentoring a team and thirdly through empowering leadership, the ability to leave a lasting legacy through people. Our Foremen are the front line supervisors of our projects, responsible for the day-to-day health and safety of our people on site and for the quality of work we deliver for all of our clients, both in the water sector and beyond. We are proud of our family culture and it is imperative that this is passed down through the business to the next generation of our workforce. From the feedback, our Foremen have found this course valuable, with a new found appreciation of how important their role within our business is. This subsequently led to the recruitment of some fantastic apprentices who will become the future of Mackenzie Construction and we will continue to invest in addressing the challenge of knowledge retention to make our business, and our team, stronger.”





DETECT CHLORINE GAS MORE EFFICIENTLY AND SAFELY Its typical odour revives childhood memories of swimming floats, headers off the 10-metre dive board and water slides, but this same odour puts an employee or safety engineer in the industry on alert. We are referring to chlorine, Cl for short. An omnipresent all-rounder The most prominent property of chlorine is its reactivity: it links with many elements, even at normal temperature and is frequently explosively. Chlorine is present in numerous organic and inorganic compounds, from harmless chlorides, such as sodium chloride (table salt) through to highly toxic dioxins, a chlorocarbon. Chlorine gas itself is an everyday and fundamentally controllable risk in the Water Treatment Industry if its presence is reliably detected. But this is not that easy...

The long path to the sensor The problem with chlorine gas is that it quickly gets caught on device surfaces, on the diaphragm of a gas detector for example, on the bump test adapter or in the valves of a calibration station, explains Ulf Ostermann, Sensor Expert at Dräger. The consequence: it simply takes much longer for the gas molecules to reach the sensor, regardless of whether a personal gas detector, clearance measurement or a functional test is used a reason for the accumulation is contamination on the devices or hoses. Anyone working in the industry knows: a mobile gas detector is never completely clean, says Ostermann. Slight to severe contamination is impossible to avoid, depending on the environment in which it is used. Deposits are formed by particles, vapours or even just the skin of the user. Chlorine molecules immediately get caught if a surface displays traces of grease. Chlorine also particularly likes to accumulate on soot particles.

Bump test cost factor The design of test stations marketed by most manufacturers does not allow chlorine gas tests, as the path that the test gas has to travel to the sensor is too long. As a result, in many operations, the devices are exposed to gas manually. But this is error-prone, time-consuming and expensive. The molecules often get caught in the device‘s fittings, reports Ulf Ostermann. For a test gas cylinder with 5 ppm chlorine, three litres of gas first have to be pumped through so that it functions in the first place. If the test gas is then fed through additional hoses to the gassing module, the number of surfaces to which chlorine can become stuck increases even further.


A tedious procedure, especially if several devices have to be tested. And, from a commercial perspective, the workload as well as the test gas consumption have a significant impact. Wouldn‘t better cleanliness solve the problem of accumulation? This is a question that we are often asked in practice, says Ostermann. But you must not forget: we are talking about molecules. Even a device that is fastidiously wiped down with a moist cloth still displays minuscule deposits with which the chlorine molecules would react. Even the extensive use of cleaning agents does not improve the situation.

The smart solution Countering the ›inertia‹ of chlorine gas during detection with a rapid sensor is much more effective. Chlorine sensors have significant differences in their response times, the products available on the market range from 30 to 120 seconds and more. The expert Ostermann explains the practical implication of a sensor that is 4 times faster than another: sensor speed is a safety issue for safety engineers and gas analysts

in a plant environment: faster response times means more time to react, more reliability when deciding on the safety precautions and, in an emergency, naturally also: fewer or less-seriously injured people and a smaller amount of damage. Faster means safer – this equation would be emphasized for a hazardous substance such as hydrogen sulphide. Ultimately, a few seconds can be the difference between life and death in the event of exposure to H2S. But how important is the sensor speed for chlorine? Ulf Ostermann explains: H2S is obviously a special case because it is impossible to smell in dangerous concentrations. In contrast, chlorine can be directly identified by its odour in all concentrations. This means that, in the event of unexpected exposure, e.g. due to a leak, your own nose would provide a warning even if the sensor did not respond. But: the odour alone does not indicate whether a concentration is within the workplace threshold range or 20 times over this limit and this makes a significant difference after a few breaths. Let‘s not forget: this is about the health and safety of employees.





The River Clyde is synonymous with shipbuilding. It is estimated that the shipyards on the Clyde have collectively built 30,000 ships in the 175 years since Robert Napier built the first steamships there. Today, the Clyde remains a centre of shipbuilding excellence and recently a significant sum of money has been invested in upgrading the facilities at the shipyard. The work was focussed on refurbishing the Dry Dock. Once completed, the refurbished dry dock – also referred to as a ‘graving dock’ – will provide the UK with the operational capacity to compete for ship refurbishment contracts in the global market. Farrans is the main civils contractor and AVK’s involvement in the project started with a phone


call back in May 2018, after the engineering team had been surveying the Dry Dock pumping station and had noticed the Glenfield name on the valves. Glenfield’s Contract Manager visited site to carry out a full audit. The valves and pipework were about ninety-five years old and had not been used for over half of that time. A collective decision was reached that the existing valves and cast-iron pipework were beyond economical repair. In September, Glenfield was awarded the contract to manage the refurbishment of the pump discharge. The project required the removal of the existing steelwork access platform, valves and

pipework and the supply and installation of a modern equivalent replacement. The replacement knife gate and check valves were sourced from Orbinox and ACMO respectively. Orbinox (Spain) and ACMO (Italy) are both AVK Group companies. The exact specifications of the replacement valves were as follows: ■■ AVK Orbinox; DN1000, EB, actuated knife gate valve, PN16 (x2) ■■ AVK ACMO; DN1000 221SD, slanted seat, tilting disc check valve PN16 (x2)


The logistics of the project were far from straightforward. The pumping station is 8m below ground, in line with the base of the dock. This is common practice with dry docks as it optimises pump efficiency. Once a ship is in place and the dry dock gates are closed the water is pumped out and returned to the Clyde at low tide. Entry to the pumping station is via a 2.6m² access hatch at ground level. All materials had to leave and enter the pumping station via the hatch. The pipework reached DN1500 diameter at one point so great care was needed to ensure the work was completed without damage, both to the structure and to the live 11kV power cable located very close to the hatch. A further complication was that no welding was allowed on site and burning equipment could not be used. The site work was undertaken by a team of six service engineers from Invicta Valves, an AVK Group company. The engineers came from Invicta’s headquarters in Maidstone and from its branch in Kilmarnock. Site health & safety and security were extremely important and all Glenfield and Invicta personnel had to undergo a strict vetting process, in addition to completing confined spaces training, an emergency response team was also located on site at all times.

fittings were bespoke including a DN1500 to DN1000 reducing tee and a 40 degree bend. For Glenfield, the success of the project was primarily down to the close working relationships within the four AVK companies involved: ‘Glenfield secured the work and our team of specialist engineers proved invaluable throughout. Before the project reached site, we effectively switched to Invicta, with Glenfield acting as the Contract Manager, responsible for project delivery alongside the Invicta site engineers. The support received from our sister companies, Orbinox in Spain and ACMO in Italy was excellent and contributed to a really effective project delivered on time and to budget. Rebuilding the pump discharge system with only minor site adjustments was a testament to the professionalism of the AVK team.’ Paul Boyden - Director, AVK UK Water Projects If you would like more information please contact Jim McAllister, Project Manager Site Services: Tele: +44 (0) 7717 726553 Email:

After the cast iron pipework was removed from site it was reassembled and detailed dimensional measurements were taken to create a template. A duplicate carbon steel pipework system was then fabricated in sections. Many of the pipework



SECURING WASTEWATER TREATMENT FIT FOR THE FUTURE As population growth puts pressure on wastewater treatment plant capacity, Andrew Baird, technical director, WPL, makes the case for better understanding and greater flexibility. It is no surprise that Ofwat has coupled population growth with climate change as the two long-term trends putting water industry assets under strain. The number of people living in the UK is expected to rise by 3.6 million (5.5%) over the next 10 years, from an estimated 65.6 million in 2016 to 69.2 million in 2026. Demographic change was also cited in Thames Water’s recent announcement that it is constructing its first sewage works since 2005, in Guildford. The utility says population growth, which will particularly impact London and the south east, makes the new works necessary. In Ebbsfleet new town in Kent, plans to build 15,000 new homes for an expected population of 40,000 are already underway and as mains sewerage is currently unavailable, WPL modular packaged plant is providing an effective alternative. The modular configuration of the treatment units is designed to be highly flexible and will serve the town as it expands. New build is an obvious way to meet the demand of population growth, especially when a whole town or housing development is underway, but optimisation of existing wastewater treatment assets can also reap significant rewards. As the regulator has highlighted, not all water companies have sufficient understanding of the condition and resilience of their existing assets, or how this is likely to evolve over the longer term. Deeper knowledge about assets means utilities can be more efficient in their maintenance and replacement activity, reducing the risk of service failure to customers. In my 30 years in the water industry, I have installed, restored and maintained a wide range of wastewater treatment equipment and have identified many ways to drive efficiency and deliver major savings in both capital and operational outlay at many sites. One option that is sometimes overlooked is the repurposing of older assets, which are typically longer lasting because they were over-engineered when investment was less constrained. The outer shells of most older concrete treatment tanks not only remain intact, but are strong and have plenty of life left to give.


WPL Hybrid-SAF™_installation sherborne worker While sometimes neglecting the potential of this legacy infrastructure, there is simultaneously a perception at large in the industry that an alternative wastewater treatment technology could be available in the next 20 years - but no one has yet pinpointed exactly what that is. The water industry knows it urgently needs a technology that is available, robust, flexible and financially viable. My belief is that the solution is already here in the shape of modular offsite build - and it is cost positive. In a recent project with Wessex Water, WPL retrofitted an existing circular sludge tank with WPL’s Hybrid-SAF cells, which proved significantly more cost-efficient than the trickling filters originally planned and doubled process capacity. The utility shared the site’s 2040 design horizon, ensuring the solution was futureproofed for anticipated population growth. In our experience, the cost of traditional treatment plants is two to four times higher than modular build and the civil engineering work required means much longer is required onsite than for packaged plant installation. For WPL, asset specification is based on a 20-year lifecycle, which takes into account localised population growth and migration.

major benefits in terms of capacity. At one small rural site, a legacy WPL plant was upgraded within the confines of the existing site footprint, while keeping effluent quality within consents at all times. After undertaking hydraulic analysis, WPL’s design engineer advised minor alterations and improvements including switching the media to one with a higher surface area. The changes near doubled the flow and load and major capital investment was deftly avoided. Those charged with making investment decisions want certainty that assets are reliable and that they will work. Pollution risk to the environment is non-negotiable - water companies are coming under heavy scrutiny and corporate reputation has never been more highly prized. Asset management requires continual development if utilities are to meet the major challenges of population growth and climate change in a way that is sustainable and affordable to customers. Asset optimisation that can fuse legacy infrastructure with new modular technology creates robust futureproofed treatment plant with the flexibility to adapt to those innovations sitting just beneath the horizon.

Sometimes minor process interventions can reap


TOTAL EFFICIENCY Expand site capacity with adaptable high-rate process. Repurpose project at a UK water utility site (6500 PE).


WATER RESOURCES: NATIONAL FRAMEWORK AND REGIONAL PLANNING It was a little out of the ordinary; an open letter from a group of Water Industry Regulators to the Water Company CEOs. Not something we often do, but it was an important step. One amongst many others that is changing the way we plan and deliver water resources in England for public water supply customers, but also for all water using sectors and the environment. by Polly Chancellor

MCIWEM, CEnv, CWEM, Senior Advisor, Water Resources, Environment Agency It was August 2018 and the Water Resources long-term planning framework (2015-2065)1, together with the 2012 near miss of a severe drought had set the scene for a change in our thinking. The letter was jointly signed by Defra, the Environment Agency, Ofwat and the Drinking Water Inspectorate to all the Water Company CEOs, giving the same clear message: we need to work together to build resilience in water resource management in England. The letter identified five actions and in this article I’d like to give my view on how we are making progress with the three I’m most involved with as we just pass the first year’s anniversary of the letter going out. The three actions I’ll cover here are: ■■ Clear, joined up direction from government and regulators. ■■ Regional water resource planning that transcends company boundaries and identifies optimum solutions for the region, and the nation as a whole. ■■ A responsive regulatory approach to deal with issues as they arise. So, to start with explaining what we are doing to provide clear joined up direction from government and regulators. We are developing a national framework for water resources. This will be published in December 2019. It’s led by the Environment Agency, but to support us we have a senior steering group, independently chaired by Jean Spencer (previously Chair of the Long term planning framework steering group) and made up of about 40 members including government, regulators, water companies and representation from environmental bodies and other large water users, such as the agriculture and energy sectors. The steering group is strongly supported by the regional coordination group which is leading the


Figure 1 - National framework governance structure, July 2019

way on regional planning. Figure 1 shows the governance structure. Following on from the National Infrastructure Commission’s report: Preparing for a drier future2, the framework will articulate the challenges of water availability nationally and regionally to at least 2045. As well as public water supply this will factor in demands from sectors outside the water industry. It will consider changes in population, the impacts of climate change, the need for environmental improvements and the most

appropriate level of resilience to drought. And this isn’t a one-time only, we expect the national framework to become part of the water resources planning cycle. It will identify the scale of reductions in demand and leakage and increases in supply and transfers likely to be necessary. It will do this at a national and a regional scale, propose ambitious milestones and set expectations of the sorts of approaches regional groups and water companies should consider to meet the challenges they face.

FEATURE: LEADERSHIP This leads to my thoughts on regional planning which needs to identify optimum solutions for the region and the nation. While the national framework gives the direction and sets the challenge we need the multi-sector regional groups to help select and deliver the right solutions at the right time. We now have five regional water resource groups established. Some, like Water Resources South East and Water Resources East have been around for a long time, whereas the West Country, West and North groups have only recently set themselves up. The map in figure 2 shows the geography of the five groups. Each regional plan will need to set out how it will contribute to meeting the challenge set by the national framework. Regional plans will be consulted on in early 2021 and public water supply actions will be implemented through the company water resource management plans. Their primary purpose is to find the right strategic solutions for the region and the nation. We will see early thoughts on regional planning in February 2020 when each region will publish a resource position statement, presenting their supply demand balance and their classification as a net donor or net receiver of water. Figure 3 shows the timeline for the first round of regional plans. For regional plans to meet our high expectations they need a responsive regulatory regime. To support this Ofwat have led the establishment of a new body called the Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) - made up of Ofwat, Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate. In the spring, the

Alliance is key to prioritising and addressing these. Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales are fully engaged and are key players in Water Resources West and the Steering group, supporting the development of the best solutions for resilient water resources. So, to conclude. What outcome do we really want from all this extra activity around water resources planning? A lot of modelling and technical work is going into this, along with a whole host of papers and meetings about process, policy and legislation. Good evidence shows that the benefits of additional resilience heavily outweigh the costs, but what we really need to keep in mind is what we would like water supply and the water environment to look like in 20 or 30 years’ time. To achieve that, the time to act is now! Figure 2 - Regional groups, 2019 price review (PR19) established a fund to support the investigation and development of a number of strategic schemes by the water companies. RAPID will oversee the portfolio of strategic schemes to ensure the regulatory decision processes are aligned with project requirements so the best schemes go forward. RAPID will also develop the regulatory and commercial framework options that support joint infrastructure projects and act as the principal regulatory interface with industry. The aim is to have infrastructure projects ‘shovel ready’ by 2025. We have worked with consultants to identify barriers to collaboration and the Regulators’

It all comes down to the key message from the August 2018 letter. We want a more resilient water supply, for the public, but also for all the commerce and industry that depends on it such as farmers and growers, manufacturing and industry. But we also want an improved water environment. And we should be ambitious in these aims. It will be challenging, in part because England’s rivers, wetlands and groundwater will increasingly feel the impacts of climate change. This is our chance to be bold and take a long-term view to make sure environmental enhancement is at the heart of every decision we take on planning for the future water resources. 1 Water UK: Water resources long term planning framework (20252065), July 2016 2 National Infrastructure Commission: Preparing for a drier future: England’s water infrastructure needs, April 2018

Figure 3 - Regional planning timeline, 2018 – 2023


SHAPING FUTURE LEADERS There are many attributes that good ‘leaders’ need to have. Some are considered innate abilities but many other skills are crafted and shaped through experience, training and mentoring.

by Alice Stringer

Accelerated Management Trainee at Anglian Water There are many great examples across the water sector where organisations are investing in people to help them become future leaders such as management trainee programmes. Institute of Water member, Alice Stringer from Anglian Water is an Accelerated Management Trainee with Anglian Water. Alice has kindly given us an insight into this trainee scheme and the type of skills she has had the opportunity to develop: “Leadership within the water industry is vital towards helping it develop, steering it towards innovative ideas whilst sustaining thriving, inspired and driven teams across the sector. Although not a wholly unique role, with each water company having its own variation of it, the Accelerated Management Trainee (AMT) programme at Anglian Water provides its future leaders with the skills and experience to develop successfully into a future management role. Programmes such as these have the aim of creating effective leaders within each area of the business, whilst attracting fresh talent to the water industry. The AMT programme builds upon a variety of skills to help you reach your full potential before becoming a leader. Throughout Anglian Water’s two-year AMT programme, you will be exposed to many different departments. During this time, you will get given objectives related to each department you’re temporarily placed in, acting as a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ and delivering something that can enhance each


area. Whilst doing this, you will be given the opportunity to boost your skills ready for your future career as a leader in the water industry.

the evolving water industry to their teams and colleagues and the AMT course will give you lots of practice and trial runs at this.

Analytical skills are important to practice applying before taking the role of a leader. Any managerial role will require you to consistently assess methods of working; looking at certain processes and assessing whether they can be improved to benefit your team and the wider business.

Receiving and adopting feedback is another skill that gets developed in this programme. Regular meetings will be held between you and your sponsor and/or placement managers to discuss what you’ve been involved in as well as any suggestions and ideas to help you progress and continue developing your career steadily.

Within each placement you will be exposed to a large variety of different processes within teams and as an AMT you will have a fresh perspective as you approach each business unit. As one coming ‘from the outside’ coupled with a strong analytical mind, you will be able to assess the ‘norm’ as someone approaching a unit from outside its usual bubble. You can subsequently think of innovative, streamlined ideas to present to a team. Practice in doing this in each new placement will build your confidence and ability to formulate and share these ideas, and at the end of your programme, it will become second nature and easily applicable!

It will be common to receive feedback on how certain aspects of your skillset can be enhanced or developed and receiving this feedback constructively will allow you to seamlessly advance towards being into a future leader.

Possessing good presentation skills and the sharing of ideas is another vital strength of a future leader in the water industry. As noted, new ideas are highly important in the water industry, they help companies evolve and adapt so they can reach their full potential and run in creative, effective ways. Sharing these ideas in presentations, therefore, is crucial towards letting your target audience know what can be developed. The AMT programme possesses many opportunities for you to further your experience in presenting and, much like the exercising of analysis, practice makes perfect! The programme will provide many occasions to present to a variety of audiences, be it senior management or HR, as well as ‘learning sets’ which provide you with an opportunity to share what you have learned in your most recent placements with your peers. Training courses are also significant; these will help you recognise any areas for development in how you deliver presentations whilst giving you the chance to improve this based on feedback. Again, a future leader will frequently need to present new information surrounding

Being able to effectively manage your own time and workload on the AMT programme is essential. The programme will provide you with numerous opportunities as well as allowing you to gravitate towards your interests within the industry. To get the most out of the programme, it is up to you to manage your own time, so you can get the most out of your period in each placement for your own learning and development. Managing your time effectively will enable you to be an effective leader in your future roles, ensuring you get the most out of each day. This is just a snapshot of some of the skills you can enhance on this AMT programme. There is evidently a lot that you can sink your teeth into, and the best part about this role is that you can really focus on your own development whilst learning a lot about the ins and outs of the water industry. It is an excellent networking opportunity and will open your eyes to sectors that you would never have been involved with before, be it in the operational field whilst a burst main is gushing from the road to spending time learning about anything from billing to metering to working with developers. The diversity of the water industry and the role itself provides an exciting opportunity for anyone wanting to progress with their career. These programmes aim to get the best out of each trainee, providing them with a good understanding of the business, along with the ability to really exercise their leadership skills.”


YOUNG WATER DRAGONS - NEW SKILLS FOR WATER INDUSTRY INNOVATION Much is spoken in the Water Industry of the need for transformational innovation, but we also know that the Industry faces a skills shortage with the age profile of the workforce skewed towards the 50s and 60s and as many as 50% retiring by the end of the next decade. by Alastair Moseley

Board Director of Future Water Association & Innovation and Skills Lead There has never been a better time to inspire young people to choose a career in water, harnessing bright young minds to operate the technologies of the future whilst overcoming the inevitable shortage of skills.

The Challenge However, the Water Industry is not on the radar of most young people in terms of their careers. To most, it is almost invisible and when asked about water they cannot offer any understanding of how the water is delivered to the tap or where it goes after it is flushed, despite there being literally thousands of careers, technologies,

science and engineering marvels behind it, that young people would love!. The public face of the water industry is not geared towards inspiring career choices. Websites usually simply promote the business and the relationship with customers, suppliers, etc. Rarely are they inspiring and compelling to a young person (or their parents and guardians) seeking ideas for career opportunities. Nor do water utilities and suppliers promote themselves as environmental organisations, with a major role to play in water management, alongside being a key part of the social economy in which they operate. They are in effect missing a trick!

The solution With the world of employment moving towards the ‘portfolio’ approach to jobs, there will be increasing movement between roles. It will

therefore require the water sector to look ever more attractive if it is to attract and retain the skills it so desperately needs! By raising awareness of the complexity of the industry, how the assets are managed and the exciting technologies, ideas and machine learning systems that are now being used, young people may yet discover that a career in water can be as exciting as careers in other sectors such as finance, aviation and manufacturing, where they are more usually directed by schools careers advisors. One option is to inspire young people to become curious about water through after-school STEM Clubs, operated by the STEM Network, encouraging them to develop projects based on water science and engineering.

Young Water Dragons Rising to the challenge, Future Water Association, supported by over 20 organisations, created Young Water Dragons (similar to the Association’s Water Dragons initiative) aimed at schools with pupils 11-14 years of age, who want to enter the national STEM Big Bang Fair. The relevant schools are judged by industry figures and Young Water Dragon award is given to the school with the best water project. The competition now in its third year. has unearthed some great young people who are now curious about water! In 2019, supported by Anglian Water and its partners, the Association developed a ‘Water Zone’ at Big Bang Fair, which was visited by over 6,000 youngsters each day. The zone had a quiz competition, virtual reality headsets, pipe connectivity challenge and virtual reality digger all helping to encourage the pupils to ‘think water’. It was a great showcase for the fantastic careers in the water industry.

The Future The aim is to grow Young Water Dragons and expand the Water Zone at the 2020 Big Bang Fair in order to get even more young people interested in water! Want to help? Find out more at: young-water-dragons/ or contact



Anglian Water was recently announced as the first organisation to be named an Employer Champion for both Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech) registrations. The Employer Champion programme is an initiative recently launched by the Society for the Environment, the umbrella body responsible for the CEnv and REnvTech professional registrations across 24 Licensed Bodies – including the Institute of Water. The programme has been developed to recognise and reward organisations that demonstrate a sustained commitment to developing their employees specialising in environmental disciplines. To be recognised as an Employer Champion, an organisation must value professional registration from a senior level, support individuals through the process and commit to championing their experts. Six organisations were announced as the first CEnv Employer Champions at the Society’s annual Awards and Lectures for World Environment Day


in June, including: ■■ Anglian Water ■■ Arup ■■ Atkins ■■ Environment Agency ■■ Skanska ■■ Willmott Dixon Since the June event, Locogen, Wills Bros and WSP have joined the above CEnv Employer Champions. However, for the launch day Anglian Water took the extra step by becoming the first and only CEnv and REnvTech Employer Champions. Reacting to the announcement, Anglian Water’s Head of Technical and Professional Development, Rick Butler said: “I am delighted that Anglian Water have been awarded ‘Employer Champion’ status with the

Society for the Environment. Becoming the first company to gain this for both Chartered Environmentalist and Registered Environmental Technician demonstrates our on-going commitment to developing our employees. It highlights the value that Anglian Water puts on professional registration and our continuing support for professional development at all levels within our organisation.” Anglian Water, the largest geographical water company in England and Wales, faces significant environmental challenges. It operates in the driest region in the UK, receiving on average a third less rainfall than the rest of England. Combined with a high-proportion of flat and low-lying areas, a quarter of which lies below sea level, this leaves the region open to the

FEATURE: LEADERSHIP dual threat of flooding and drought. These risks have driven Anglian Water to invest significantly in the environment, including allocating £783 million to environmental protection and enhancement between 20202025, involvement in initiatives to improve water quality and reduce plastic pollution and introducing Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to aid surface water management. Significantly, the organisation has recognised the huge need for competent environmental professionals to ensure that they are able to respond to these challenges. Anglian Water have supported their staff to develop their skills and knowledge via professional registration. Among them is Steve Coles REnvTech, Process Controller at Anglian Water, who spoke recently about the benefits he has experienced from REnvTech registration both personally and for his organisation: “I find that since I have had the qualification, it has allowed me a lot more confidence when I’m talking to other people about the environmental side of the business... it allows me a little bit more leverage when collaborating with external contractors and talking to management.” The importance of environmental professional registration in ensuring organisational credibility is also cited by Rick Butler, who spearheaded

“The water environment in the UK is degraded from the impact of pollution, excessive abstraction of water, and changes to water availability from climate change. Investment and action by water companies, industry and farmers will need to be ramped up to prevent further damage to fragile ecosystems. But it’s not just a matter of throwing money at the problems; in order to make progress we need well trained, thoughtful professionals able to identify and deliver the most cost-effective and sustainable solutions to benefit people and the environment. I’m very pleased to see organisations in the water sector increasingly recognising the importance of supporting the professional development of their staff so that as a nation we are better placed to face the challenges.” - Professor Ian Barker CEnv FIWater, Managing Director, Water Policy International; Board Member, Society for the Environment and Vice President Environment, Institute of Water. the application for CEnv and REnvTech Employer Champion status: “Having a workforce that is continually up to date with its knowledge and application of

environmental principles is essential to meet the demands of the water sector - professional registration allows us to do this. The wide range of issues that we face as a business require us to have environmental professionals at all levels within the organisation. Promoting biodiversity, improving catchment management, protecting coastal waters, collaborating with agriculture, recycling biosolids and enhancing the aquatic environment are just some of the roles in which Anglian Water benefits from having staff with strong environmental credentials. The reputation of our business in the view of our regulators, customers and other stakeholders depends on this on-going professionalism.” Your organisation can join Anglian Water at no cost by applying to gain CEnv and/or REnvTech Employer Champion status – and showcase your commitment to championing the environmental experts you employ. Employer Champions can come from across a huge range of sectors and vary in size, but they all employ and support registered environmental professionals. Find out more at: If you don’t meet the criteria to become a CEnv and/or REnvTech Employer Champion – don’t worry! The Society for the Environment and the Institute of Water still want to work with you to develop professional registrations within your organisation. Simply get in touch to kick things off.

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DELIVERING TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE THROUGH RESEARCH-LED INNOVATION Stantec Technical Directors, Elliot Gill and Professor Chris Digman explore the role that practitioners have in creating transformational change to benefit clients and customers. collaborative research is driven at the right time, with the necessary levels of funding?

The benefits of collaboration that strengthen research led innovation

by Elliot Gill and Professor Chris Digman Stantec Technical Directors

It is now clear a business as usual approach will not deliver transformational change in performance Our water industry is facing many challenges whilst striving to meet customer expectations, keep bills affordable and enhance the water environment. This is set within the context of a ‘declared climate emergency’, an ageing infrastructure base and whether we can efficiently exploit new technologies. A further emergency will arise if we don’t quickly align the right people and technologies to address these challenges and effect transformational change. At the same time, we operate in a tough economic environment where more is continuously expected for less. So how will we achieve transformational change to meet the performance, cost and resilience challenges we face? Will it result from a ‘silver bullet – big bang solution’ discovered through blue-sky research alone? There are exciting research programmes that have this in mind, but we will require more fast paced improvements, most likely driven through collaboration between those with a delivery (practitioner) and research mindset. However, this collaboration can be difficult due to conflicting business and commercial interests. Furthermore, do we have a research and development plan set out that is coordinated and managed to ensure that the right


No single university professor, water utility, equipment supplier, construction firm or consultant has the answer to creating transformational research outcomes. We need to collaborate in smarter ways so that innovation is unlocked and embedded to deliver lasting value. And we need to do this quickly. Whilst research and academia are seriously striving to improve uptake, through a ‘pathways to impact’ approach, it can be argued there is much more to do. Firstly, it’s important that as practitioners, we invest in our people to have strategic relationships with Universities, taking on visiting roles that support university research by sharing our practitioner and problem-solving mindset. These roles require a low-self-interest, to the individual or the organisation, but the wider dividends can help strengthen blue-sky and applied research proposals, help pinpoint critical needs and help create connections. For applied research, closer to utility operations and delivery it can help focus the research and avoid duplication with industry-led advances. There is of course the balance of available time – but will consider this aspect later. Secondly, collaborating on industry driven research such as from UKWIR1 and CIRIA2, to tackle near market issues provides a wider view. Bringing together academics, smaller specialist firms and practitioners offers strong and diverse teams, especially when ideas and innovation from outside the water sector are introduced. For example, the development of B£ST3 for CIRIA brought together academics from the UK and Europe, along with practitioners and SMEs with a wide range of skills to create a tool that is supporting how the industry considers costs and benefits when choosing more sustainable multi-stakeholder solutions to the problems of pollution and flooding.

Creating the right mindset to innovate through research Of course, research-led innovation can be very bottom-up. Nurturing a culture within organisations, especially practitioner ones, where the acceptance of the status-quo is not acceptable and continuous improvement is normalised, enables people to ‘research and innovate’. Therefore, investing internally, within a structure that applies the principles of sound science can lead to home grown innovation. This benefits people with their own development and meet their appetite to ’make-a-difference’. At Stantec we have seen the importance of providing a clear mechanism for our people to submit their ideas for evaluation (for example through a grant scheme), and then the delivery framework, project management and guiding technical support to help turn ideas into reality. A great example in the UK is how through Stantec’s grant system we created our Climate and Rainfall Toolbox, building on leading-edge research from Imperial College, London. The toolbox improves how we plan for and design greater resilience in wastewater systems.

Is it a question of funding? Of course, there is always a desire to have more available funds for research from bluesky through to near-market. Certainly, if this was well focused, the probability of more research driving innovation and leading to transformational change would increase, but it is never that straight forward. Collaboration between academics and practitioners can be highly productive but there are barriers in the market for practitioner organisations’ fuller involvement which discourage it. For example, do we need to revisit the incentives for practitioner organisations to become substantially more involved in research and development activity. This could provide not only supportive technical knowledge but bring the programmatic delivery experience to enhance research outputs. Transformational change will be hastened if there is greater participation and sharing of risks across the supply-chain of practitioners in collaborative research activity.


Further thought may also be applied to liberalising the intellectual property rights being shared between client and suppliers. This could enable the sharing of the benefits across the industry and ultimately communities and act as an incentive for more supply-chain investment in research and innovation. Our experience of delivering programmes of work across the UK and globally highlights the power of the ‘spend to save’ approach. This requires the appropriate framework and governance, but when the needs are identified early, research led innovation can deliver value. But what should we do when there is not the time to meet a required outcome? This may be due to many reasons but having a more mature system that helps ensure that if the outcomes to society are worthwhile –regulation and governance allows the space to be created and for the research to take place, delaying the achievement of the short-term outcome. We can help to minimise this requirement,

through the creation of collaborative research roadmaps.

partners beyond the United Kingdom would add further value.

Collaborative roadmaps with programmatic delivery

Creating transformational change is not optional and research plays a key role

If challenged we must admit that established industry structures and processes are weak at the swift identification of knowledge gaps, commissioning research to fill these and then delivering research which makes a rapid difference to outcomes. We believe that research roadmaps are critical tools to improve this process. They can be strengthened through a programmatic approach to delivery with an accountable ‘innovation integrator’ directing investment and collaboration, thus making sure jigsaw-pieces are completed and envisaged benefits shared for the good of water customers and the environment. Such leadership would inject much needed pace into the process and sense of urgency in striving for solutions and co-ordination of activity with

We face compelling reasons to enable rapid and transformative change in the water industry. The climate emergency is compounded by an ageing infrastructure designed and constructed for a different time. We are strong advocates for research-led innovation, based on sound science, offering solutions to the challenges we face. It is imperative that academics and practitioners (consultants, contractors and water utilities) collaborate with well-calibrated incentives and leadership to drive forward improvements so to affect the transformational change. 1 2 3






Challenging times call for radical and innovative solutions. Amidst heightened scrutiny and increasing pressure from factors such as climate change impacts and population growth, water companies can no longer rest on the laurels of simply getting the basics right. The task of delivering more for less, reducing bills while improving core services as well as meeting ever-growing environmental responsibilities in areas such as carbon emissions, has never been greater; the stakes never higher.

by Perry Hobbs

Head of Environment, South West Water


Over the last 30 years the sector has made great progress, delivering environmental benefits whilst continuing to improve operational performance and customer services. Until recently this has been delivered largely through traditional approaches but this is becoming increasingly difficult – the law of diminishing returns drives us to be even more innovative and collaborative.

It is an old truism that necessity is the mother of invention. In this instance the offspring is the Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water and Waste, or ‘CREWW’ as we call it. A partnership between South West Water and the University of Exeter – which was recently confirmed for £10.5 million co-funding from Research England – CREWW will be a purpose-built, collaborative and co-creative environmental research space, dedicated to the delivery of innovative, sustainable, research-led solutions in areas spanning resilience, natural capital, water quality, wastewater management, customer service, catchment management, pollution reduction, leakage detection and water supply challenges.

FEATURE: RESEARCH South West Water has pledged £20m coinvestment for CREWW, to help solve some of our own – and, by extension, the sector’s – biggest operational challenges. A unique and worldleading facility-to-be, CREWW was introduced in our fast-tracked PR19 business plan as a key pillar of our strategic response to both welldocumented pressures such as climate change, but also emerging issues such as microplastics. We see CREWW as benefiting the whole sector. And CREWW will not be an academic cul de sac; far from it in fact – we believe the research carried out at CREWW will be significant from a regional, national and global perspective, propelling South West Water and parent company Pennon Group into a research-led vibrant business. The centre will be co-creating the rigorous innovation and research needed to bridge the gap in delivering our promised customer bill reductions of 11% by 2025 whilst catalysing economic inward investment, jobs, growth and skills in the local, regional and national economy. South West Water and Pennon will benefit from putting the research into practice to improve performance in water, wastewater and customer service in ways previously inaccessible through existing discrete research programmes. The Centre will house state-of-the-art research facilities, scientific/laboratory equipment, cocreation spaces and virtual reality decision theatre technology. This will allow us to engage with the global environmental conversation and, at home, to contribute to delivery of the UK Industrial Strategy, the 25 Year Environment Plan, UN Sustainability Development Goals and the regional growth strategies of the Heart of the South West and Local Enterprise Partnerships. CREWW will deliver public benefits both by positioning the UK as a leader in environmental research and applications and integrating findings into the water and wastewater sectors leading to direct customer benefits at large scale. The research programme will start in April 2020 and the purpose-built centre on the University’s Exeter campus is due to open in September 2022. From 2020 CREWW will be delivering world-class pioneering research for South West Water within the broad themes of drinking water quality, wastewater quality, pollution incidents reduction, water supply and leakage reduction. For example; synthetic drought impact assessment, in-pipe leak repair solutions, deeper understanding of microplastics in effluents, behavioural research to help us with water efficiency and sewer misuse and insight on antimicrobial resistance in wastewater systems. To give some physical context for the Centre, the facility is being designed to support over 100 research-led training apprentices per year, upskill over 250 water industry staff, facilitate knowledge transfers and develop innovative thinking. A key

aim is to enhance strategic research partnerships by providing the space to share ideas, work, educate and train with university faculties, and other bodies such as Natural England, Defra, the Met Office and the Environment Agency. The planning and design phases for the new building are already underway, with construction due to start on the University’s Streatham campus in Summer 2020. In the meantime, we are working alongside the University to define the problems, challenges and needs so those can directly shape the equipment, skills and people within the Centre. I began by saying challenging times need radical and innovative solutions and I believe CREWW will deliver exactly that, both in terms of its approach and scale of application. Ultimately, through CREWW, we aim to turn these challenging times into exciting times of meaningful change and genuine, measurable improvement.

University of Exeter perspective By Nicky Cunningham, CREWW Manager The University of Exeter greatly values its relationship with South West Water, which has been built over more than a decade of working together. During that time, particularly through Professor Richard Brazier’s research group in Geography, the partnership has transformed the way water catchments in the South West are managed in order to improve water quality and water resilience. This partnership has already been able to provide crucial insights into real world issues, ensuring

that the research challenges we tackle here at Exeter are both relevant and significant, which has positive impact not only across the region but also nationally and internationally. Yet we know that the water sector is facing a number of challenges – delivery of a sustainable and resilient water and waste water service is becoming ever more demanding in the face of climate change and population growth, and people have increasingly high expectations of environmental quality, while at the same time wanting their bills to be as low as possible. We believe that genuinely transdisciplinary research is the solution. CREWW will bring together expertise from across the University of Exeter – particularly Geography, Biosciences, Engineering, Economics and Psychology – and working closely with our colleagues in SWW, will enable collaborative scenario planning, co-creation of research questions and the development of practical new solutions. Our aspiration is to develop the broadest range of engineering, nature, economic and behaviourbased solutions to deliver multiple benefits to the environment, society and the economy. This will allow the water industry to continue to deliver high levels of service to customers and the environment, in the most cost-effective way. South West Water’s commitment to creating a purpose-built water research facility meant we could apply for an additional £10.5M funding from Research England. This will finance state of the art facilities which will support research and professional learning, plus innovation and entrepreneurship through our award-winning SETsquared partnership. Challenging but exciting times lie ahead and we are absolutely delighted to be an integral part of the solution.


CAN OUR SEWERS COPE WITH FUTURE RAINFALL EVENTS? Planning and designing our future urban environment requires an understanding of our changing climate and the risk that this brings. by Dr Zoë Frogbrook

Strategic Programme Manager, Research and Innovation, Scottish Water The latest climate change projections indicate that future rainfall patterns will likely change, with fewer – but more intense – storms and longer dry periods. This could have a serious impact on sewer networks, including the risk of flooding and pollution incidents due to overflows discharging into our watercourses, streams and rivers. Consequently, we need to know how to integrate and capture the risks of climate change projections into long-term drainage plans, so that water in the urban environment can be moved and managed effectively, whatever the rainfall event.

UKWIR Tools and guidance The water industry has been aware of this risk for several years, and projects commissioned by UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) have helped address this issue. The latest UKWIR project, delivered by CH2M (in association with the Met Office and the University of Newcastle), resulted in easy to use tools and guidance to generate future rainfall patterns for sewer design and hydraulic modelling. This is based on the Met Office high resolution climate model and gives water companies the ability to apply future climate change projections of rainfall data. This UKWIR project1 provided: ■■

Guidance on projected increases in rainfall intensity to generate single, design storm events in future possible climates, using existing design storm events. Design storms are typically used in managing flood risk;


A tool called RedUP (Rainfall Event Duration Uplift), which generates future time series rainfall (TSR) from an existing TSR for a given location. The TSR represents rainfall that can be expected over a period of time within a given sewer catchment, e.g. 10 years’ worth of rainfall in Edinburgh. Future TSR can typically be used to understand how climate change impacts may alter the risk of pollution incidents from sewer systems discharging.

Putting the project into practice Scottish Water has been actively using the UKWIR


We need to understand how often events like these may occur.

RedUP tool and the guidance on design storm uplifts to generate future rainfall predictions for Scottish catchments. An example of this is a project to investigate whether different sewer networks are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than others. To do this, 12 representative catchments were selected, with each catchment having different characteristics. The sewer network hydraulic models were then assessed against the baseline and future rainfall in 2030 and 2050, with the climate change rainfall generated from the UKWIR RedUp tool and guidance. The data was divided into different areas e.g. flooding at manholes, overflow spills into watercourses, and pump running time, to look at any differences in the impacts of a changing climate. Using the current climate projections, the model suggests a range of events may occur: ■■

The number of manholes with significant flooding (greater than 10m3) may increase up to 10% during storm conditions in the 2030s and 20% during the 2050s. These figures varied across catchments with some seeing a much greater increase;


Around 30% of the Combined Sewer

Overflows (CSOs) may experience an increase in spill frequency during the 2030s and 2050s, but 65% may decrease; ■■

In contrast, the spill volume could increase for 60% of the CSOs;


No significant change in annual pump running time, suggesting no significant impact in pump energy consumption.

This is consistent with climate projections that suggest there may be fewer, more intense, rainfall events. In addition to this project, Scottish Water has also used the climate change rainfall in the development of capital investment schemes (i.e. flooding schemes) and drainage area plans. Mark Williams from Scottish Water led the project for UKWIR and said: “The benefits of applying the UKWIR RedUP tool is that it has enabled us to understand the scale of potential risks presented by climate change to the drainage infrastructure within the urban environment. This knowledge allows us to work with others to better manage rainfall in the urban environment in the future.” 1 UKWIR 2017. Rainfall Intensity for Sewer Design – Stage 2 Technical Report (17/CL/10/17).

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR WASH: INTERVIEW WITH RUTH ROMER, WATERAID’S SENIOR PRIVATE SECTOR ADVISOR We all have a role to play in making clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere by 2030 – Sustainable Development Goal 6. Businesses can and should be part of the solution to the global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) challenge; this, in turn, could present business benefits and opportunities. What do you think motivates business in the current economic climate? Business today is not only focused on the bottom line, but also on the multi-faceted area of riskmanagement, whether reputational, physical, financial or regulatory. Water companies for example disclose to bodies such as CDP Water about how they manage water related risks to their business and investors use this resource to inform their decisions. Water security is becoming increasingly vital, and as such, companies are aiming to reduce the risks and seize the opportunities of effective water and sanitation management, which can be good for business and profitability.

Why should business invest in WASH? At a global level, the economic case for investing in WASH is well-established; it is estimated that every dollar invested in sanitation returns US$5.5 in increased productivity, and every dollar invested in drinking water supplies returns US$2. Forwardthinking companies will see that investment in WASH throughout their supply chains will deliver positive results not only financially, but also socially in terms of reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, unlocked potential, and overarching resilience for the entire parent company. Business leaders striving to achieve sustainability consider the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profit. When motivated not only by money, but also by ensuring that workers in the supply

chain have access to decent facilities, and that environmental issues are managed, companies will be rewarded with the financial benefits of WASH interventions. In turn, these can be communicated to funders and potential investors and so the ripple effect continues.

What is the water sector doing to strengthen the business case for WASH?

skills and expertise with like-minded companies around the world. The impact of this work transcends globally, as does the necessity to carefully manage all our water sources, rivers, lakes and the oceans. We all have our part to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, wherever we may be.

How do progressive businesses take the lead?

Water companies manage water access and sanitation issues as part of their ‘business as usual’. With consideration of both quality and efficiency, these are the physical risks that need to be managed as part of their business. It would however be encouraging to see more progress in the management of other potential risks such as reputation and brand and explore how to consider social issues.

Companies can embed WASH throughout their business objectives, with clear strategies on where improvements can be made. Many businesses already consider environmental water management in terms of water withdrawals and discharges, and now they should target their efforts to the social aspects too within their water management strategy with the development of a holistic water management strategy.

Twinning projects within the sector, such as Anglian Water’s Beacon Project and Thames Water’s relationship with Malawi’s Central Region Water Board, are great examples of partnerships that go beyond CSR. They see the water companies sharing their skills and knowledge to improve water provision around the world, while also benefitting their own staff, who can learn from the experience, and building their brand and reputation in both markets.

Having a clear financial business case for integrating WASH considerations into a water management strategy can be useful. ‘The Business Case for WASH’ is WaterAid’s tool for helping define the financial return on investment that will encourage the C-suite to think about WASH when setting goals for the future. Companies such as Diageo, Gap Inc., HSBC, Twinings and Unilever are pilot testing the guide to help strengthen the business case.

We’d like to see the water sector continue to be an advocate for change, sharing its influence,

To find out more visit: washmatters.wateraid. org/uk/business-case-for-WASH

The Beacon Project: sharing knowledge through partnerships and supply chains The Beacon Project is set in Lahan, a fast-growing town near the Indian border in Nepal. It’s a collaboration between WaterAid, Anglian Water, its Alliance Partners, the Nepal Government, the Lahan Municipality and the Nepal Water Supply Corporation (NWSC) and it underpins their support for the UN Sustainable Goal 6 - to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Working with local communities, the programme helps create an approach to provide sustainable water and water recycling solutions that can be replicated across the country. The project team are not just building assets and leaving communities to maintain

them; they are working alongside the people living there and equipping them with skills and knowledge for the future. Dave Ward, Chairman of the Beacon Project Board, said: “The Beacon Project is an exciting and unique initiative enabling partners in the UK to share vital knowledge on water resource and business planning, expansion plans, finance and tariffs with utility operators and service providers in Nepal. It also gives our staff an emotional connection to the project while learning and developing their own skills.”

A practical session to monitor ground water, Lahan, Nepal Image credit: WaterAid/ Mani Karmacharya


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WELLBEING CONFERENCE Titled ‘You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf’, the second Wellbeing Conference held by the South East Area Committee and hosted by WSP, was a well-attended and insightful day of presentations and discussion. By Kim Rodwell, Environmental Protection Advisor, Thames Water Presentations from colleagues across the water industry covered how employee wellbeing is a key factor in creating an environment where people want to work. We also heard about initiatives in place to support our wellbeing across the water sector, such as wellbeing programmes and mental health awareness weeks. The differences in needs for field-based and office-based employees were discussed and we heard how new products and advancements in technology could help to maintain the physical health of operational staff. The day included talks from a range of inspiring guest speakers including Davina Macdonald

Russell, Senior Consultant at BMT, who shared her personal story and how this led her to establish and champion resilience and wellbeing within the workplace through the peer support system Sustaining Resilience at Work (StRaW). To finish the event, Dr Lindsay Browning, founder of Trouble Sleeping Clinic, informed us about the importance of sleep and shared some top tips to getting a good night’s sleep. This event was incredibly valuable and thought provoking. As an industry, it’s clear we recognise that our wellbeing, both mental and physical, is vital for us to thrive and flourish as individuals. It was encouraging to see such strides being made towards promoting wellbeing. Thanks to Kirsty Ayres, Senior Engineer at WSP, for organising!

SUMMER VISIT TO THE HISTORIC ABBEY MILLS PUMPING STATION The South East Area were delighted to hold a day of engineering and architecture at the historic Abbey Mills pumping station in East London in July. Mark Lusher from Thames Water Eight2o presented some of the complex major sewer rehabilitation schemes and sewer bridge refurbishment projects that have been delivered so far in AMP6. This was followed by a presentation on some of the Emergency Sewer Schemes that are currently being delivered by Thames Water Eight2o. Hearing about the challenges at Baker Street in central London was a particular highlight. Following the presentation, we had the opportunity to have a guided tour of the Historic Abbey Mills Pumping Station with Thames Water’s Gerry Sullivan. Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s famous pumping station was built in the 1860s to help combat London’s stink problem. Abbey Mills takes its name from watermills belonging to Stratford Langthorne

Abbey, a Cistercian monastery founded in 1134 by William de Montfichet. The abbey stood in the marshes beside the present-day Channelsea River and was endowed with estates in West Ham. The first record of a mill here was in the early 14th century. The abbey remained a wealthy and influential landowner until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s. Abbey Mills pumping station is a muchadmired masterpiece of Victorian public works engineering, built in 1865–8 and nicknamed ‘the cathedral of sewage’. Designed by Joseph Bazalgette, the station’s pumps drew waste

water from the drains of north London and sent it down to the filter-beds at Beckton. Not only did we learn about the great architectural detail on the site, we heard about some of the stars of film and music who have utilised the backdrop. No less than Paul McCartney, Kylie and Batman have filmed at the site! The event was hosted by Anna Boyles, Regional Manager at Thames Water and a particular thanks to Mark and Gerry for their time and providing some fascinating insight.



VOLUNTEERING IN NEPAL WITH RALEIGH INTERNATIONAL Rose Jolly, Chair of the Midlands Area, shares her experience of building a water system in rural Nepal. By Rose Jolly, Severn Trent Water “In January this year, I made the decision to leave my job, my family and the rainy UK for 3 ½ months to take part in a WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) project in Nepal. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time, but when it came to be getting onto the plane, I really wasn’t sure if I had made the right decision! Landing in Kathmandu and meeting the other Team Leaders, it became clear that we would ultimately each be deployed to a rural village to lead a team of British and Nepalese volunteers to build a water system. Amenities would be basic, including squat toilets, cold bucket showers and limited access to running water and electricity. Learning that I would personally be responsible for the 24/7 safety and wellbeing of our volunteers, with our own line manager over a six-hour drive away, brought home the seriousness of the role. Within a week I travelled to my allocated village of Kisedi. The village is the home of approximately 300 people of the tribal Tamang community. The warmth, friendliness and generosity of the villagers made me feel much more excited about taking part in the project and the beautiful mountainside location of Kisedi was also incredibly inviting! When I first came to the village of Kisedi I saw electricity, running water and families that had a motorbike or satellite TV. It made me question why we were even working in this community. However, I quickly realised the significance of not judging a book by its cover. After several meetings with different groups, I came to learn that many children missed school because their parents needed them to help with farming, the community regularly went without power or water for several days or weeks, and they had limited understanding of good hygiene practices often resulting in sickness. It was only then that I started to appreciate the value of speaking to the community, listening to their concerns and working alongside them to jointly deliver the best outcome for their differing needs. Once our volunteers arrived and we were given our targets: build a new reservoir, 3km of pipe, 8 tap stands, 10 handwashing stations and 4 toilet pits. We would also organise several awareness raising and training sessions for the villagers.


We quickly got stuck in, working with the community to dig toilet trenches and mix cement. It was hard work in the baking heat and the team weren’t helped by repeated episodes of D&V (diarrhoea and vomiting). There were many challenges throughout causing delays and changes to our project. The villagers had differing views on how they could most benefit from the additional water which resulted in arguments. We also had problems working with the Nepalese NGO causing interruptions to the delivery of materials. However, these issues taught us how to cope with setbacks and work as a team with the added challenges of cultural differences and a language barrier. Working with young people has been a new experience for me and it has been incredible seeing how much the volunteers developed and how easily they adapted to a different environment without the comforts of home. The way of life in Kisedi also inspired me. The people were highly skilled and did everything for themselves and their neighbours – whether that be building a new house, putting up electricity pylons, or fixing the water supply when something went wrong. This was all done without the exchange of money and under the mutual understanding that one day the favour would no doubt be repaid. The villagers were incredibly generous despite having very little and in our last few weeks we were given many invitations for

all 15 of us to be guests and eat in their family homes. Overall, despite it being frustrating at times I found the experience of volunteering in Nepal incredibly rewarding and do feel like I’ve learnt many transferable skills that I can take back into my career in the water industry. The experience has also opened my eyes to a different way of living, inspiring me to be more active and involved in my own community.” If you are interested in finding out more about Raleigh International and its volunteering programmes, Rose will be hosting a lunchtime event in Severn Trent Centre, Coventry at 12pm on 12th November. There will also be the option to take part in a live webex.



The committee has had an exciting few months with planning new events as well as some of the committee taking a trip to this year’s Institute of Water Conference in Belfast. Our calendar for the rest of the year is not only busy, but we have some new faces joining the committee who are all geared up and ready to go with our events. Below are some short profiles of some of our new and existing committee members:

Cieran Muldoon Cieran works in the Wholesale Market Unit at Severn Trent Water as part of a small team dealing with a wide range of complaints from water retailers. He has worked for Severn Trent Water for two years and has so far worked on two major projects: The Hafren Dyfrdwy data migration project and also as a UAT tester for the new outbound dialling system for our front-line credit management colleagues. He’ll be looking to bring his previous background in events and promotion to help propel the Midlands Area Committee into a strong position moving forward.

WELL DONE A big congratulations goes to our Area Forum Representative, Gary Cox, who was nominated as the Midlands Area Committee Member of the Year! Great job Gary!

Manbir Thandi Manbir is a Director at law firm DWF and heads up their national Water Group. He acts on behalf of utilities and contractors on a wide range of insurance related litigation matters.

Stephen Woodhams Stephen has been in the water industry for almost 10 years working within South Staffs Water. During this time Stephen has held a number of roles across the business within Asset Management and joined the Capital Investment Delivery team as Project Manager in 2016, whilst also holding an operational role as Supply Duty Officer. In 2016, Stephen was selected as the Midlands Area Rising Star which provided a fantastic development opportunity for Stephen gaining valuable insights from across the industry. Stephen completed a BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree with First Class honours graduating in 2018.

Also, a huge well done to our 2019 Rising Star, Georgia Brown who has been selected to be the Midlands Area Representative for the Young Persons Network which was launched at this year’s annual conference. Georgia will be supported by our new committee member Jack Picketts to run this fantastic programme within our area! It was also great to see Georgia present at the conference about her experience so far in the Rising Star Programme.

SKEGNESS BEACH CLEAN On a blustery early June day we held a beach clean event in Skegness ahead of World Oceans day. The event was supported by Keep Britain Tidy and we had an informative talk from Skegness aquarium as well as a trip to the aquarium after the clean. When we first arrived at the beach we couldn’t see much litter, but it was surprising that over a couple of hours we managed to pick up several bags of litter ranging from small pieces of plastic right through to a boot! We also collected a huge amount of shark egg cases mixed into the seaweed at the strandline. It was a fantastic event where we all learnt a lot about litter and its impacts upon our local environments. Thanks to everyone who came along!



PRESIDENT’S FORUM AND DINNER The South West Area President, Professor Ruth Allen hosted a water forum and President’s Dinner in the wonderful surroundings of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous SS Great Britain. The President’s Forum topic was future change and the keynote speaker was Mel Karam, CEO of Bristol Water who spoke about the company’s sector leading social contract. Mel explained that this was nothing new and in fact, Bristol water was formed as the result of a social contract. Two schemes were put forward in 1845 to bring much needed fresh water into the city of Bristol to support a growing industrial city and expanding population. These two schemes were presented to Parliament, one put forward by a consortium including Isambard Brunel and a second group headed by James Simpson, another prominent water engineer. Parliament approved Simspon’s scheme. This decision was not based on cost, but on social justice as it sought to provide all of Bristol, whereas the Brunel consortium’s scheme proposed a cheaper plan that would see only the affluent parts of the city supplied. Mel went on to evidence how Bristol Water is once again looking to put social benefits at the centre of its activities. Other Forum speakers included Laura Mann of Wessex Water, who described how the company

is building on the success of EnTrade to open up data and develop novel solutions with suppliers and other stakeholders. Dr Sarah McMath the newly appointed CEO of MOSL spoke on progress to date in the nonhousehold retail market and the future challenges it faces. The Big Pitch followed. This was akin to a form of speed dating - where groups of delegates moved around our sponsors tables at seven-minute intervals to hear what our sponsors could offer the water industry aligned to the theme of future change. Thank you to RSK Group (RSKW and ADAS) for sponsoring the event and to our annual sponsors of Kingcombe Stonbury, Z-Tech, HWM, WLLS and Hydrotech for their continued support. Next to speak was Paul Hickey of the EA who spoke on the current water resource situation, the resilience challenge facing the industry and wider society and how the Agency’s approach was evolving to meet these challenges.

the Ashton Hayes – Going carbon neutral project. Gary spoke about how the community of about 1,000 people was aiming to become England’s first carbon neutral community. In the evening the President’s Dinner took place on board the famous ship. Drinks on the deck were followed by an excellent meal in the first-class dining room of course! It was great way to round off a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day.

Last to speak was Garry Charnock who spoke about

AN INSIGHT INTO PR19 On 16th May South West Water hosted an evening meeting to provide an insight into PR19. The event sparked lively debate between the local water companies and the regulators. Nicky Fomes of Navigate Infrastructure kicked off the evening with a regulatory insight informed by her background at Ofwat (PR04 & PR09) and PwC utilities strategy team (PR14 & PR19). Mark Worsfold, South West Water, followed this talk with a view on how South West Water approached PR19 as well as talking more generally about the price review process from

his extensive experience at Ofwat and Yorkshire Water. We then turned back to the regulator and heard the views of Kevin Ward at the Environment Agency. Kevin focused on the environmental challenges faced by the sector and updated the audience on the ambition of Water Industry National Environmental Programme (WINEP).

OTHER NEWS We are delighted to welcome two new reps to the committee to as part of the IWater Young Person’s Network: Euan Black, from WRc and Fiona Murphy, from Bristol Water. Look out for events organised by these in the next few months, including a meet and greet social on the 25th September, Bristol.


Details to be announced soon. As always, thanks to our annual sponsors who make all of our events and activities possible. If you have ideas or suggestions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Frank Van Der Kleij concluded the presentations by sharing Bristol Water’s long-term vision. Frank focused on customer priorities in the region and how Bristol Water were planning to tackle these during PR19 and beyond. The evening was well attend and provided plenty of time for the audience to engage in an interesting debate with the panellists.


MEET THE COMMITTEE EVENING In celebration of another successful year, the Scottish Area Committee provided an opportunity to meet the committee in an informal environment. There was much discussion and a great deal of shared stories from the water industry, including good interaction between some senior professionals and those new to the industry.

historic skittle alley soon turned into a highly competitive arena with some questionable scoring. A couple of beers and some excellent wine certainly added to the atmosphere.

stories and to learn a bit more about others within the industry and the current challenges and solutions that they are encountering in the work and careers.

The Sheep Heid Inn, established in the 14th Century, provided an historic backdrop to the conversation and the skittle alley then drew the attention of the group. What started as an inquisitive and enthusiastic appreciation of the

Food was provided to allow a breather from the white-hot heat of competition. This was of an extremely high standard, including a number of excellent salads, wraps, pizzas and meat platters. It provided a great opportunity to share some

All in all, the event was received very well with such feedback from attendees as ‘Great food and great fun’ and ‘a pleasure to meet the committee in an informal environment.’


The Scottish Area Committee would like to thank Masood Naqshbandi of Abyss Solutions and Euan Hampton of Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water for hosting a webinar on Digital ROV Surveys. The webinar was organised through Panton McLeod who are the UK partners of Abyss and featured a recent digital inspection that was carried out in Wales. Masood gave an overview of the technology available and what it can do to generate digital models of assets. The focus was on a Welsh Water dam inspection project that created a digital twin of an open water reservoir. Once the digitised data is collected it can be used to create a fly through of the asset, create a CAD style drawing and a Reservoir Condition Database. The database contains maps, condition grades and other data that can then be used to maintain and monitor the asset.

Masood also showed examples of the famous Hoover Dam in Nevada, looking at intakes at Lake Mead using a high-fidelity imaging system. A video demonstrated the high-quality underwater data being collected with real time monitoring before talking about advanced analytics and water pipelines. By surveying pipelines and comparing the high-quality data it enabled decisions to be made about the timing of repairs and monitor remedial work undertaken by contractors. Euan was able to give an insight from a water company point of view on why the Welsh Water project in the Elan Valleys was so important. The company was unsure what was under the

water as they do not have as built drawings on what is an aging asset and this digital ROV option meant that they could get accurate data sets and images to help shape decision making. Collectively the Elan Dams supply six million people with drinking water, and it is vital that they are always able to remain functional. The fascinating aspect of the software is that it can capture millions of images and stitch them together while removing floating particles from the picture that makes the water appear clear. There was great feedback from the audience and there were many questions asked and answered on the day.



GOING DUTCH In May 2019, a group of 13 NI Area Members set out for Amsterdam on a knowledge transfer trip. By Roisin O’Neill, Trade Effluent Officer, Northern Ireland Water Invited by Royal Haskoning DHV to visit their headquarters in Amersfoort and see their cutting-edge technologies and hear about their innovative ideas for wastewater and sludge treatment. We were warmly welcomed by our host Eric Zandbergen, a familiar face as he was a guest speaker at the Northern Ireland Area Annual Conference in 2017. On arrival we travelled to the Cruquis Museum and learnt about how the Dutch keep their feet dry. 17% of the Netherlands has been reclaimed from the sea, the landscape is very flat so innovative technology has always been needed here. We learned about the sense of Dutch civic responsibility and pride in their achievements

and country. Resource planning, management and stable financial input has given them

world class infrastructure especially in the water and waste sector. Reclamation of land and reclamation of energy resources were key themes we were told about by the technical experts of Royal Haskoning DHV. Tried and tested technology has allowed them to have an energy neutral wwtw sector. On the second day of our trip we travelled to Zutphen waste water treatment works to learn about the innovative ideas Royal Haskoning are using to treat sludge and to become an energy neutral sector. The document ‘The Dutch Roadmap for the WWTP of 2030’ presents many of these carbon neutral ideas. On our final day we travelled to Tollebeek

wastewater treatment works to see how new technologies can predict when and where to turn pumps on or off, using the data they have to predict changes in treatment following different weather patterns. I was very impressed with the Dutch ‘unchlorinated’ tap water, it was very palatable and safe to drink. The trip was open to all Institute of Water members and created a lot of excitement. We recruited three new members from the wastewater operational side of NI Water. The trip gave everyone a fantastic opportunity to get to know colleagues better and share this unique opportunity. I went home feeling empowered from a brilliant trip. We work in an exciting industry and we can definitely learn from our new Dutch friends.


WELSH AREA WIN PRESIDENT’S CUP The Welsh Area Committee is thrilled to have won the 2019 Institute of Water President’s Cup! Presented at the recent national President’s Dinner and Awards at Belfast City Hall, the Cup was accepted by Welsh Area representatives Ceris Van De Vyver and Charlotte Rhodes. Ceris was particularly thrilled as she got to meet one her heroes, Welsh International Rugby Union Referee, Nigel Owens. The President’s Cup is awarded to committees in recognition to the volunteers that give so much personal time and energy to create unique opportunities for Institute of Water members to develop their skills and learning within the water sector. To select the winner, the Institute of Water Head Office Team look back at the performance of each Area Committee over the past 12 months. The Welsh Area has an amazing committee who have worked particularly hard over the past year and we’re looking forward to the year ahead.


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Profile for Institute of Water

Institute of Water Magazine - Autumn 2019  

This is the 2019 Q3 edition of the Institute of Water Magazine containing original news and views from the Institute of Water and wider wate...

Institute of Water Magazine - Autumn 2019  

This is the 2019 Q3 edition of the Institute of Water Magazine containing original news and views from the Institute of Water and wider wate...