WINTER 2019 ISSUE204
IN THIS ISSUE AMP7 PREVIEW SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS SLUDGE MANAGEMENT CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT
INSTITUTE OF WATER MAGAZINE
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CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Welcome to the 2019 Winter Edition of the Institute of Water Magazine from Paul Hickey. To introduce myself, I am Deputy Director – Water Resource at the Environment Agency. It is also my privilege to serve both on the Institute of Water Board and South West Area committee. I find this time of year a reflective one. Looking back, 2019 has been a busy and enriching time for the Institute. The annual conference in Belfast was a huge success. Likewise for the South West committee we had a great Weekend School generously hosted by Jersey Water. It was fascinating to hear from them and colleagues from Guernsey Water about the particular challenges and opportunities in serving these island communities including a visit to La Rosière desalination plant. A big thank you to John Vinson, our outgoing Area President, for arranging this. More recently here at the Environment Agency we were pleased to offer a welcome day to the Institute’s Rising Stars which Jonathon Banks of Northumbrian Water writes up inside. Looking forward we are planning another bumper pack of development and social events for 2020 both nationally and in each of the Area committees. Likewise it has been all go in the world of water resources. We have again been collaboratively working both nationally and locally to manage the impacts of the prolonged dry weather which has caused particular stress to chalk catchments in the South East and East Anglia. This reinforces the need to improve the resilience and in doing so improve the environment.
We have set up a new regulatory alliance – RAPID - with Ofwat and the DWI to facilitate the needed strategic schemes so these are “spade ready” by 2024. This is likely to be a mix of transfers, new storage and other interventions such as desalination. At the Environment Agency we will be setting out this long term need, including a steer on the infrastructure required, in our forthcoming National Water Resource Framework. We will also be stressing the need to raise ambition on demand management. As well as bearing down on leakage, we must encourage greater efficiency by strengthening the link between the water we use at home or in business with the precious habitats that this has been taken from. Taking care of our water resources and improving resilience to droughts are key actions in the face of a changing climate. This edition explores some of these issues with a particular focus on innovative catchment management and the multiple benefits this can bring. I hope you enjoy the Magazine and encourage you to actively engage with the coming programme of events.
22 AMP7 Preview 42 Supply Interuptions 78 Sludge Management 92 Catchment Management
Regulars 4 Members Updates 6 Science News 10 Rising Stars 12 Meet a Member 14 New Registrants 17 Young Persons’ Network 18 CPD 20 Engineering News 111 Area News
Best wishes! Paul
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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 www.instituteofwater.org.uk today.
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WHY NOT VOLUNTEER To recognise and highlight the work done by the volunteers who enable us to offer a range of events and other services we will be featuring volunteers in different roles in the Magazine. In this issue we hear from Krisztian Ivan – Severn Trent Water, Business Leadership Programme – who has joined the Midlands Area Committee.
Why did you join the Institute of Water? As someone new to the water industry and early in their career, I wanted to grab every opportunity to develop my knowledge about and network within the industry. Joining a professional organisation seemed the best way to achieve this. After contemplating the options I decided on the Institute of Water because of the amount and quality of relevant events, and because of their sole focus on the water industry.
What have you got from your membership so far as well as experience? After joining, I started to attend various events in multiple regions. I learned a great deal in a relatively short period of time about how different water companies are operating and what are some of the hot topics on the agenda. I also made contacts and exchanged ideas with everyone else involved either as organisers or attendees. Seeing the benefits provided to the members and the passion the committees put into their work, I decided that I had to get more involved and I joined the Midlands Committee.
If you are interested in volunteering as an Area Committee Member, a CPD or Professional Registration Assessor or a Mentor please email email@example.com or ring 0191 422 0088 to find out more.
CHRISTMAS OFFICE HOURS 4
Our office will be closed over the Christmas Holiday from 12 noon, Thursday 19th December 2019, reopening on Monday, 6th January 2020. We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
2020 SUBSCRIPTIONS At the AGM this year it was agreed to increase the membership subscriptions by 3% in line with inflation; this is the first increase since 2016. From 1st January 2020 the renewal fees will be:
Individual Fellow Member Full Member Associate Member Technician Member Student Member Retired (Associate, Full or Fellow)
£134 £118 £103 £51 £31 £46
Company Affiliate (no of employees) Small (1-50) Medium (51-500) Large (>500)
£360 £515 £824
The fees for the range of professional qualifications available through the Institute of Water are set by the licensing bodies: visit the relevant page of our website under www.instituteofwater.org.uk/professionalregistration for details. Being a member of the Institute of Water allows access to a range of events such as technical, site visits, socials and webinars, on water industry and other relevant topics at both national and regional levels. Area Events are one of the main benefits of membership and are often free or discounted to members. We also run two one-day specialist conferences on the themes of Science, Engineering and the Environment and our showcase three-day Annual Conference. We are committed to ensuring our events support the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of our members and
you can set your CPD goals, record your activities and evaluate your progress through our unique online CPD portal. The portal has been improved and you can read about it in this issue of the Magazine. You can book events and access the CPD portal through your Membership Profile, where you can also view and pay for your membership and/or event invoices, select how we contact you as well as allowing you to choose if you would prefer to receive our quarterly Magazine digitally or by post. You can also sign up to be part of our growing Young Persons’ Network. Please keep your profile up to date to gain maximum benefit from your membership. Log in at www.instituteofwater.org.uk/login and if you don’t know your login details please email firstname.lastname@example.org or give the office a call on 0191 422 0088.
SINGLE STAGE APPLICATION FOR CENV Over the past few months we have been working on a new single stage application process for all Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) applications following the success of our single stage Chartered Scientist application which was launched in October last year. Previously, CEnv applicants were asked to supply limited information which was reviewed to check eligibility to progress to report writing stage. The information included evidence of ‘Masters Equivalence’ which required candidates without a qualification at
SAVE THE DATE Institute of Water Environment Conference 2020 ‘Climate Change and Water’ Where: We The Curious, Millennium Square, Bristol When: Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Masters level to write a separate Masters Equivalence Report. This was perceived as a barrier by some applicants.
Applicants will still have to submit a CPD record covering at least two years and a development action plan.
From 1st November all CEnv applicants follow the same single-stage process by entering evidence against each competence within an application form.
You can download the form and guidance from our website at www.instituteofwater.org.uk/become-achartered-environmentalist-cenv
The venue is a science and arts centre and educational charity which aims to ‘create a culture of curiosity’. The venue exceeds our requirements for sustainability, and has rainwater harvesting, a photovoltaic array generating up to 50KW, air source heat pump, no single use plastics, sustainable procurement and much more. The Conference theme is Climate Change and Water and will explore how we can put ‘urgency into the climate emergency’.
In other words, given the scale of the challenges facing the water sector in the UK, are we doing enough, fast enough?
THE INSTITUTE OF WATER THIRD ONE DAY SCIENCE CONFERENCE On Wednesday 2nd October, almost 100 scientists from across the industry gathered at The Landing, Media City in Salford for the Institute’s Third One Day Science Conference. This followed on from a highly successful Science Panel meeting the previous day, and a training session for new assessors for scientific professional registrations. Hosted by Robin Price, Managing Director of Water Resources East and our Vice President Science, the theme for this year’s Science Conference was ‘Leading Science, Leading Scientists’ a theme which sought to showcase current and future scientific leaders from across the water industry. The keynote speaker for the conference was Dr Helen Pain, Chair of the Science Council and Deputy Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). Helen described the forward strategy of both the Science Council and the RSC, describing the themes which may drive change in the scientific community in the future. Helen challenged the audience with three key enablers
which require action if science is going to contribute to its full potential, namely: curiosity, collaboration and leadership. The remainder of the morning session was devoted to a series of fantastic presentations from scientists from our new Young Persons Network, including several of our current Rising Stars. Borrowing from the highly successful event which kicks off our Annual Conference, for the first time the Science Conference featured a ‘Meet the Science Leaders’ session, giving delegates unique access to some of the most senior scientists in the industry. In the informal setting provided by The Landing, small groups of delegates heard from the leaders about their careers, and their advice for developing a successful
When I was asked to speak at the ‘Leading Science, Leading Scientist’s’ conference my first thought was, “What on earth have I done that is interesting enough to talk about?!” As a small water company, we are not usually at the forefront of innovative research or techniques, but we do still face the same challenges as everyone else – so why not discuss those challenges and share knowledge to help each other?
CSci, Laboratory Manager + WaterAid Representative, Portsmouth Water
My presentation focused on the ‘Regulatory Challenge’ we face as a water
career as a scientist. Following a break for ice cream (obviously!), the conference concluded with a series of interactive workshops on Professional Registration, CPD and STEM. Huge thanks to Jane Banks from the Science Council and Sarah Dunn from the Institute’s Head Office for their Professional Registration workshop in the cinema, to our CPD Champion Matt Bower and to Mark Wood and colleagues from the National STEM Learning Centre. Feedback from delegates has been incredibly positive, and we look forward to our next Science Conference in the Spring of 2021!
company, specifically looking at the Compliance Risk Index (CRI) and Lead. Despite a few nerves, the presentation was received very well and I was overwhelmed with questions around Lead and how water companies can combat the associated risk. The event as a whole was relaxed, informative and a great opportunity, as a speaker and a delegate, to gain knowledge and advice to aid personal development. Thank you to Robin and the team!
SCIENCENEWS It was a pleasure to speak at the Institute of Water Science Conference in Salford and it was fantastic to listen to the fascinating presentations from the other speakers with the theme of Leading Science, Leading Scientists.
CSci, CEng, Operations Manager, Northern Ireland Water Alpha Limited and 2019 Rising Star
The Meet the Science Leaders session was a fantastic event to participate in, which provided a unique opportunity to talk science, water, careers and anything in between with leaders from our industry. I’d encourage anyone with a scientific interest to become a member and sign up to this free event in future!
Whilst the highlight for some attendees was sharing a lift with Rachel Riley or sharing the coffee lounge with Nick Hewer (Countdown was being filmed in the same building!), those presenting will have gained invaluable skills and confidence in showcasing the projects they have been working on.
As a ‘Leader’ who has been working in the industry as a scientist for more years than I like to remember, I benefitted greatly from networking with others and comparing approaches to various scientific challenges.
The Science Panel convened before the conference and discussed the progress we have made in enabling members to gain professional registration. Furthermore, we are now more prepared than ever to assess applicants for professional registration, thanks to the expanded team of trained assessors. With those additional assessors and a streamlined process, the Institute of Water represents a great option for those considering professional registration.
For me, the most thought-provoking presentation invited us to challenge the norm, the ‘but that’s how we have always done it’, something my own Company has been trying to do recently as part of a process transformation project. The presentation highlighted the benefit of having the resource to ensure there is time to review what we do, question what and why we do what do, and accept that innovation is not always about big changes, it can be just small differences that improve processes and deliver efficiencies.
Quality and Compliance Director, Sutton and East Surrey Water
SCIENCENEWSCONTINUED I was approached to join the conference as a leader which I found a flattering invitation but also quite daunting.
Dr Jim Marshall
CEnv, Senior Policy Adviser, Water UK
The quality of the presentations in the morning was outstanding and I wondered what I would have to offer. I needn’t have been worried. The meet the leader session was a really good experience. My groups focussed on putting a perspective of the big issues of the day from lead and the Drinking Water Directive and how to manage micropollutants and the right balance of responsibility.
The Science Conference was my first Institute of Water event - I found the experience extremely valuable in terms of broadening horizons and meeting science leaders.
As an engineer, the science conference was an event where the company of scientists was unfamiliar but with the event being hosted by the Institute of Water, I knew that my choice of profession would not be too harshly judged, and of course with Robin Price as the conference chair it was as though you were surrounded by life-long friends even though you had never met before. The theme of the science conference was ‘Leading Science, Leading Scientists’ and the day started off with a fantastic selection of scientists whose presentations included diversity in science, the vast array of innovative technologies in the water industry and the process of commissioning a new sewage treatment process. The key message I took away from the conference as an engineer was that we need science in order to drive new technology and solutions but we also need engineers in order to drive science. Given the quality of the speakers I would say we are in safe hands when it comes to science!
EngTech, Assistant Network Engineer, Portsmouth Water Ltd
I enjoyed the variety of topics covered in the presentations; some based around real examples of new water treatment technologies being implemented in the industry, counterbalanced with ideas of what the future could look like (e.g. enhanced live monitoring). I particularly enjoyed Thomas Kelly’s theme of how having a considered mind-set and asking simple questions can lead to efficiencies and solutions.
‘Leading Science, Leading Scientists’ – a theme which permeated the agenda of the IoW Science Conference, 2019. The event aptly opened with a workshop for new Science registration assessors; focusing on the process of professional registration and its importance in promoting and maintaining high standards of scientific competence and professional ethics within the Water Industry. The Assessor Workshop segued neatly into the conference keynote by Dr. Helen Pain, Deputy Chief Executive Royal Society of Chemistry and Chair of the Science Council, which defined professional registration not only as a means of demonstrating scientific competence and ethical credentials, but as a way
These kinds of events are exactly what makes the Institute of Water a great association to be part of. There are no barriers to who you can network with, learn from and share your knowledge with. I personally picked up some valuable insights and inputs directly into my work. Thanks to the IoW team for another great event.
It was also great to have Assessor training so that I can now review new applications for Registered Science Technician status. The workshop on CPD was helpful and the talk from STEM Ambassadors gave insight as to what we could do, as members of the Water Industry, to help ensure the next generation have the skills required to meet the challenges of the future. Very appreciative of IoW putting the event on and looking forward to the next one!
RSciTech, Sampling Optimiser, Anglian Water Services
of increasing confidence and developing key skills for career progression. Fittingly, the conference continued with wide-ranging presentations from Young Water Industry Professionals; from the challenges posed by new and impending regulatory change, to a thought-provoking discussion as to whether solutions have a tendency towards over-complication. The day was rounded-off with a series of informal interactive workshops, led by senior scientists from across the water industry – an invaluable opportunity to gain advice for career development and future success.
RSci, Hydrogeologist, Anglian Water Services
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2019 RISING STARS: UPDATE AND REFLECTIONS
By Jonathon Banks
Technical Support Advisor, Northumbrian Water and Rising Star 2019 As we reach the end of a fantastic year on the Rising Stars 2019 programme, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the last few events and outline the benefits the programme has brought to me and my fellow colleagues. Being a Rising Star is something I am very proud of and I can confidently say that this has enriched my career and personal development. I have attended 13 very diverse events across the year, some directed at professional development and training, with some more inquisitive visits to individual water companies. The opportunity to meet and network with people from across the sector has been a truly invaluable experience.
the parchment on which the Magna Carta was written? During our visit we saw all aspects of the business. The company has embedded a culture of ‘believing people matter more than processes’, which is echoed in their values of respect and integrity. What impressed me most and brought to life this culture was their new Young Persons Board (YPB). The YPB aims to get younger colleagues involved in decision making and implementing strategic business outcomes. One of the first things the YPB tackled was creating a social contract and we heard about their draft proposal.
Portsmouth: Portsmouth Water
Another highlight of the visit was a Q&A session with Steve Youell, National Chair of Institute of Water and Inspector at the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI). He gave us an oversight of the strategic objectives and statutory duties of the DWI. We discussed collaboration, enforcement actions and some of the DWI’s non-statutory functions; including advising ministers. Steve described how the DWI represents the UK government on matters relating to European Directives and how they have supported the World Health Organisation with water safety planning.
Solihull: Environment Agency
Since the last Rising Stars article was published in Autumn 2019, I will briefly outline what we have been up to:
Portsmouth Water is a small, water-only provider, steeped in over 150 years’ of history. Did you know that water used from Havant’s springs was used to form
and management-level decisions was really exciting and very forward-thinking.
In the past I have heard of other similar initiatives but seeing how Portsmouth Water was empowering young professionals in this way and involving them in strategic projects
Here, we spent the day with Pete Fox (Director of Water, Land and Biodiversity, Environment Agency) and Paul Hickey (Deputy Director - Water Quality, Environment Agency). They gave us an overview of the Environment Agency (EA) and talked to us about how they are toughening their approach through their ‘Improving water company performance programme’. It was pleasing to see that this programme is also geared at professionally developing their staff. They shared some
RISINGSTARS insights into their relationship with the water industry and talked about the EA’s role in the recent price review.
London: Waterwise, WaterAid Fundraiser, Ofwat, and Water Resources East We were all moved by our visit to WaterAid earlier in the year and we wanted to do our bit to raise money for this amazing charity. With that in mind, we arranged a sponsored walk in London the day before our visit to Ofwat. We teamed up with colleagues at Waterwise and prior to setting off on our travels they gave us a presentation into the work they are doing to improve water efficiency.
We learned that there is a legacy issue from historic licensing which needs to be addressed but there is a fine balance to getting it right. As the EA looks at future scenarios for what climate change may bring, we have an opportunity to embrace using new and innovative approaches to help overcome the challenges ahead. For example, the use of nutrient-trading and better management of phosphorus. This made me think how the next price review (PR24) is likely to focus even more heavily on catchment thinking. It is so important that we work together, not in silos, to galvanise our efforts in providing a more coherent water service, with less waste in both spend and resource.
Maidenhead: South East Area Weekend School The South East Area’s ‘weekend school’ was a leadership masterclass. We were given a three-day agenda packed with captivating key notes, skills workshops, activities on listening skills and personality profiling. These workshops, paired with the team building exercises and well-planned socials, created a fantastic learning platform. The highlight for me was the ‘Insights Discovery’ session, delivered by Paul Rhodes (Seven Institute). Having never explored a personality trait model like this, it challenged me to think about my own personality traits and communication skills. The last two days of the event featured debating, again a first-time experience for me. Facilitators from ‘Debate Mate’ taught us how to make a strong case and how to challenge others constructively. We all agreed that these sessions gave us some excellent communication tips and they had us disagreeing with each other in order to positively influence mind-sets and consider the style in which we speak.
Waterwise presented initiatives such as the European water label. Similar to current energy usage labelling, the new water label would help illustrate to consumers how water-efficient products are. Such a simple idea and if adopted is estimated to reduce per capita consumption within 25yrs by 31 litres a day.
opportunity. They challenge that we are not utilising technology enough and they would like to see a benchmarking tool introduced in the sector to monitor outputs, potentially changing the conversation around performance and price reviews. When I asked Rachel what she considered to be the main priorities in today’s climate she responded; water resource, water quality and building standards. Rachel left us with a challenge for the industry to consider and take away; make use of technology and embed naturebased approaches by pushing the knowledge on natural capital solutions. After the visit to Ofwat we met with Robin Price (Managing Director, Water Resources East (WRE)) who discussed their strategy to help build a resilient future. Forecasts show that by 2060 the gap between supply and demand for water will be at least 75Ml/d and the East of England is one of the most water-scarce areas in the UK. Due to this, WRE is looking to tackle a multisector planning problem for the region by future-proofing our water resources to be resilient enough to meet the needs of our customers whilst also enhancing the natural environment. It was incredibly inspiring to hear about the work Robin and his team are doing for future generations.
During the presentation, we all felt that despite all the noise and conversation surrounding climate change and carbon emissions, water - and the fact that rising demands are swiftly making it a scarce commodity - just isn’t being discussed enough. Do we all truly appreciate the value of water? The conversation set the tone brilliantly before we headed out on our march through the streets of London. Dressed as taps and toilets, we completed a 12 mile walk (22,000 steps) through the centre of London, passing key landmarks. The march was designed to illustrate the distance predominately mothers and children in developing countries must walk every day just to collect water. The following day we visited Ofwat and I was eager to learn about the work they do, outside of regular price reviews. Rachel Fletcher (Chief Executive, Ofwat) emphasised that water companies do a lot more than just provide an essential service and that actually, we need to influence water companies to see their businesses as more than just an investment
What I have found most encouraging during the programme was the time that senior leaders across the industry would happily invest in meeting and talking to us. This relationship underpins the learning delivered through the programme, and I am most grateful for the chance to learn in such a sector-specific way. I have been able to accelerate the development of a diverse and far-reaching professional network in such a short space of time and have made noticeable progress with my CPD along the way. Following a recent promotion I will be starting a new management position in January 2020 and I believe I can attribute part of that success to the learning and confidence the Rising Stars programme has given me. For those of you considering applying for the programme or promoting it to your colleagues in the future, I can thoroughly recommend it. It is worth the investment both personally and in terms of building a forward-thinking, professionally-connected workforce.
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 Tamsin Slater, Water Quality Regulations Team Manager from Severn Trent Water: quality investigations, providing advice and generally keeping all the plates spinning at the same time.
a really precious resource so I feel good about my part in that for my family, friends and all of our customers.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the water industry in the near future?
The variety, one day I can be speaking to our CEO, Liv Garfield, about water quality issues the next I can be on site carrying out audits or I can be buried in a spreadsheet (I love a good spreadsheet) finding some emerging trends.
How long have you been a member of the Institute of Water?
How did you start your career in the water industry?
I joined earlier this year as I start my journey towards Chartership. This is something that is of personal benefit to me but also part of Severn Trent’s commitment to having the most technically competent people in role.
It’s probably not so unusual from many people who joined the industry in the late 90s – I had a family connection and joined the laboratory as a vacation student to cover the summer holidays. After University I came back ‘temporarily’ and I never left.
How long have you worked in the water industry?
What advice would you pass on to someone just starting out in the water industry?
Over 20 years now in various roles. I started in the laboratory and moved into account management then into water quality regulations.
Describe your ‘average day’ at work One of the great things about my job is there is rarely an ‘average’ day! In Severn Trent our water quality functions are split across several teams all focussing on their piece of the puzzle. My team and I are responsible for all the regulatory reporting to DWI, ensuring compliance with the regulations, getting involved in water
Get involved in as much stuff as you can and make connections. The most valuable thing you can have is knowing the right person to call when you need help and if you have that connection with them they’re more likely to help you out.
What is the best thing about working in the water industry? For me it’s about making a difference, about making things better than when I found them. We talk about legacy a lot in Severn Trent and valuing and protecting
Climate change. We need to work hard to secure resources, storage, treatment capacity and maintaining quality whilst also educating consumers on water usage. Also looking really hard at the impact of our own operations on the environment and realising our pledge of zero carbon operations.
What interests to do have outside of work? Singing and cycling in equal measure. Both are fantastic for maintaining good mental health. I cycle to work and occasionally the length of the country too, we have a real focus on green travel so I’m happy to do my part. I was part of the Severn Trent Choir for a number of years as well as singing in another local choir. They say if you want to see the world then join the navy – I say join a choir; I’ve been lucky enough to sing in lots of different countries with my choirs and have made some amazing friends too.
THE ‘S’ WORD: EXPLORING SUSTAINABILITY ACROSS THE WATER SECTOR 21st IWA UK Young Water Professionals Conference Wednesday 15th April – Friday 17th April 2020 Cardiff University The International Water Association (IWA) takes an active role in encouraging young professionals in the water industry through its Young Water Professionals (YWP) group. The IWA UK National Committee, together with the support of various sponsors, has developed an affordable and attractive event for young professionals within the water sector during the last 20 years.
The 21st edition of the IWA YWP conference will be held in Cardiff in April 2020 with a focus on the ‘S’ word; exploring sustainability across the length and breadth of the water sector. The year 2020 will mark the ten year countdown towards the Sustainable Development Goals and over the course of the conference we will review the progress that has been made so far before understanding what action needs to be taken to achieve these goals.
The conference will focus on delivering tools for cross-sector engagement and career development for water professionals, not only with plenary presentations but also with interactive workshops and discussions. We welcome representatives from water companies, regulators, contractors, supply chains and academia with a young mind and spirit.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED – CALL FOR ABSTRACTS The conference offers those who have recently started their career in the water industry or people studying relevant topics at university, the opportunity to present their research and projects. Have you got new ideas for a sustainable water industry? If so, the call for abstracts is now open and the deadline for submission is 24th January 2020.
Microsoft Word or PDF format and submit to the organising team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
co-authors; type of presentation (platform or poster); email & postal addresses + phone number of corresponding author.
There are opportunities for academic presentations as well as slots for those involved in more technical and vocational work. Please apply for these presentation slots by submitting an extended abstract, in English, of up to 800 words including figures, diagrams or illustrations, in
Authors can submit for either a conference presentation or a poster exhibition – please mark up your preference when submitting.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions or queries.
The abstract should contain: Paper title; names and affiliations of all authors and
For more information and to register for the conference please visit www.instituteofwater.org.uk/events
DISPELLING THE MYTHS OF THE PROFESSIONAL REVIEW Sarah Dunn
Professional Registration Co-ordinator One of the elements which concerns potential applicants and candidates who are applying for a Professional Registrations is the Professional Review. In this article we hope to dispel some of the myths and provide guidance from members who have recently experienced a professional review as well as including feedback from our candidate survey. The Professional Review is usually the final stage of the application process for the following registrations; ■ Chartered Engineer (CEng) ■ Incorporated Engineer (IEng) ■ Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) ■ Chartered Scientist (CSci) ■ Registered Scientist (RSci) Candidates are often nervous and unsure what to expect from a face to face review with two assessors. We have spoken to Lee Dark (CSci) from Southern Water, and Dr Nicky Fomes (CEnv) from Navigate Infrastructure Consulting Limited and asked them to share their recent experiences of the Professional Review.
What were you expecting from the Professional Review interview beforehand? Lee: I had been told by a number of people that the interview is more of an informal talk about your CPD and your statement. Previously to this I had expected it to be similar to a University viva, but this wasn’t the case.
Nicky: I’d been well prepared by my mentor. I expected that the interview would be a discussion of my submission, as well as current environmental issues in the sector. I was prepared for an interesting conversation and advised not to be intimidated. I expected an informal job interview and some general questions about environmental issues.
What was the Professional Review like in reality? Lee: The Review was relaxed and conducted at a steady pace. As expected, it went into detail on both my application and CPD. Overall the atmosphere was a friendly one and at no point was I made to feel anxious. To be perfectly honest it felt like three people sitting down having an informed scientific discussion. Nicky: It was informal and enjoyable throughout. Although it did feel like a job interview, in that the assessors had a question structure and took notes. The assessors asked some great questions about my experience and my submission. They were genuinely curious about the situations I described, and it became an interesting topical discussion. They were particularly curious (in a friendly way) about the awkward and difficult situations described in the submission and we had a good discussion about what I’d learned. The focus was consistently positive, on how I could learn and improve. I tried to structure answers around ‘situation, task, action, response’ to demonstrate my personal input to each example. This was not always needed in the interview, but is a helpful way to approach a competency based interview. The best part of the interview was discussing the assessors’ fields of interest, learning how
they used CEnv in their working life and how they came to be assessors. Learning more about tackling environmental issues in the water sector was a bonus.
If you could give a potential candidate advice on what to expect and how to prepare what would it be? Lee: I would advise potential candidates first and foremost not to panic! I found the process from start to finish most enjoyable. I would highly recommend that prospective candidates really know and understand the material they wrote about in their application, taking the time to go over everything. I was advised by a fellow Chartered Scientist to bring handouts with me illustrating some of the key work I’d done. This went down extremely well with my assessors as it offered another dimension to the way in which I could answer their questions. Remember a picture paints a 1000-words. Nicky: You are more prepared than you think you are. The written submissions will form the basis of your interview – as you’ve lived through the examples you’ve given, these will be easy to talk about. Focus on what you’ve learned from your experiences, how you’ve grown and how you intend to develop. If you’re nervous or haven’t had much experience of interviewing, it’s worth asking your mentor for questions they would ask if they were assessing you; or even have a mock interview. If you’re worried about awkward questions, try to think what these might be and have answers ready. There won’t be any ‘trick questions’ – the assessors are just trying to understand the extent to which you meet the competencies.
But don’t just take these Members’ words for it, consider the headlines from our wider Professional Review feedback surveys:
‘strongly agreed’ that their assessors welcomed them and put them at ease
‘strongly agreed’ that their assessors were professional and polite throughout the review
‘strongly agreed’ that their assessors treated them fairly
either ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that their assessors were able to relate to their area of work
NEWREGISTRANTS ENGINEERING Alex Erskine
Associate Director – Civil; RWO Associates Engineering Technician
I’ve always wanted to achieve EngTech status during my career and wanted this qualification to push my career and personal development further within the Institution to progress my Chartership. I am a member of several Engineering Institutions and have struggled to get the advice and assistance required to guide me towards the professional qualifications I desire. However, since joining the Institute of Water earlier in the year, their advice has been astute, insightful and relevant; proving beneficial in helping to directly shape my personal development and guiding me through completion of my application and achieving EngTech status. I will be progressing my Chartership with the Institute following all the support I have received from them and my colleagues whilst also encouraging others to progress their professional registrations as well.
SCIENCE Antony Clark
Strategic Planner - Environmental; Anglian Water Registered Science Technician
Joining the water industry in the laboratory sampling department sparked my imagination, and intrigued me into the science and engineering involved in what I always thought was a simple act of turning your tap on and flushing the toilet. With no formal science background, mixed with the desire to learn and progress in the water industry, I was encouraged to join Institute of Water. It is where I discovered the framework for professional registration and decided to apply for a Registered Science Technician. It allowed me to reflect on the achievements I had done over the past 3 years and, combined with the framework, show I had developed to meet professional registration. I would recommend everybody who has an interest in science to apply to become professionally registered. It has given confidence to my colleagues and myself of the high standards of work I carry out.
Dr Joanna Clint Catchment Projects Manager; Thames Water Chartered Scientist
I applied for professional registration as a logical career step and to gain accreditation recognised by the water industry. I am really pleased to have achieved chartership. Writing my application was a good opportunity to evaluate what I’ve done and learned so far in my career. It has also helped me to identify the areas where I want to learn and develop moving forwards. The professional review interview was a very positive and enjoyable experience, and the whole process has boosted my confidence in my knowledge and expertise.
NEWREGISTRANTS SCIENCE CONTINUED Neil Mason
Treatment and Process Science Manager; Affinity Water Chartered Scientist
Senior Catchment Quality Scientist; Anglian Water Chartered Scientist
Dr Willow Smallbone
Data & Analytics Manager; Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water Chartered Scientist
The Chartership application was a great opportunity for me to reflect on my career to date and crystallise the knowledge and experience I have acquired in my various roles within Affinity Water. Contrary to my expectations, the Professional Review was relaxed and enjoyable, and it is satisfying to have gone through the process and gained independent recognition of my professional competence. I would recommend professional registration to others – as well as being a significant career milestone, achieving Chartered status provides an incentive and focus for future CPD activities, and it has spurred me on to consider further ways of developing my technical knowledge and abilities.
I have worked in the water industry for 13 years and I decided to apply for Chartered Scientist status after being inspired by my colleagues that had successfully achieved professional registration. I was offered help, support and guidance from people across the business who were more than happy to share their experiences. I enjoyed and benefitted from the whole process, but especially the interview as it was great opportunity to showcase my skills and experience that I have built up over the years. It is a very satisfying feeling and would really recommend others apply. It is fantastic to be recognised for the professional level that so many of us are working at by peers in the industry.
I started working for Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water after completing my Biology Ph.D. I applied for chartered scientist status to push and inspire myself to develop even further and to keep my skills up to date with developments. The application process has helped me set up new goals so that I am constantly aiming to improve. Continuing professional development (CPD) allows me to broaden my horizons and deepens my expertise. As a Data Scientist at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water I work on projects across all areas of the business and CSci registration will give me wider recognition by demonstrating my commitment to professionalism, competence and development. During the process of completing the CSci application I enjoyed reflecting on the work and achievements throughout my Ph.D. and career so far. I hope to continue to develop, learn and improve my skills to deliver business benefit.
BECOME PROFESSIONALLY REGISTERED
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.
Find out more at WWW.INSTITUTEOFWATER.ORG.UK
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.
WHAT CAN YOUNG PROFESSIONALS BRING TO THE WATER SECTOR? Generation Z, aged between 14 and 24, are set to comprise 24% of the UK workforce by 20201. “bad news”2. As the percentage of young professionals in the water sector grows, the pressure will increase to modernise company culture and internal processes. As a result, leaders will begin to see a step-change in the development of young professionals and their engagement in their work and company2.
Graduate Technology Consultant, Isle Utilities These young professionals have been labelled by some as self-absorbed, lazy and entitled. Although working with the next generation of employees in the water sector will bring new considerations, companies who channel this will be better equipped to meet the challenges of the next AMP period. Young professionals within the water sector can help their company innovate. Whilst it is untrue to say that young people are more innovative than older generations, they can often be more creative as they lack preconceived ideas of what not to try, attempting things that the experienced workforce would not consider. In addition, the rate of change in the online world is high and these digital natives are primed to work at a fast pace, favouring a nimble and open minded approach and not relying on experience to hold all the answers. Leaders then have the knowledge and experience with which to build innovative approaches from the ideas of the young. Generation Z expect as standard more from their employers than any generation before them. Research by Deloitte notes that Generation Z expect: frequent support in their professional development; a company culture that prioritises wellbeing, flexibility and transparency; open conversations around strategy and decision making, including the
Young professionals are able to provide valuable insight into how to better connect with customers. The norm for a water company used to be ‘out of sight, out of mind’, but with the dawn of social media came the recognition that customer engagement posed an opportunity to improve customer service and orchestrate behavioural change. The first true digital natives have grown up with access to more information at their fingertips than any generation before them and so arguably have the most authentic understanding of the complexities of customer engagement. When exploring how to better connect with customers, young professionals understand, for example, the power of a collective cause, the need for a brand to be constantly moving to maintain engagement and that different messaging is needed for different audiences. Utilising young professionals in these early discussions can help water companies explore ideas for better customer engagement. Finally, young professionals have the drive to energise and stimulate the change needed within the water sector. Generation Z are in constant search of truth3 and authenticity and believe in the power of dialogue to bring about change (in comparison to 57% of millennials and Generation X believing that change can only come about by breaking the system)3. Young professionals will bring this attitude into their companies, helping shape a culture ready to deliver the step change needed to meet the challenges of the next AMP period. As Rachel Fletcher, CEO of Ofwat, remarked at Ofwat’s Future30 Conference in June, young professionals will hold their leaders accountable, pushing for innovation with consideration of the wider
social influences and tools that can no longer be ignored. Welcoming Generation Z into water companies with rewarding entry-level jobs will require a change in thinking, but we must not underestimate the value that these young professionals can bring. They will require fulfilment, support and care but in return will bring significant benefits to their company, given an opportunity. This generation have grown up believing that we can solve problems by working together, and this approach will be invaluable in making change through stakeholder engagement across the catchment to truly meet the needs of society now and in the future.
If you are new to the water industry or at an early stage in your career and would like to network with people who are at a similar stage, make sure you have ticked the ‘Part of Young Persons Network’ box in your Membership Profile. References: 1. https://www.manpowergroup.com/wps/wcm/ connect/660ebf65-144c-489e-975c-9f838294c237/ MillennialsPaper1_2020Vision_lo.pdf?MOD=AJPERES 2. https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/ technology-and-the-future-of-work/generation-zenters-workforce.html#endnote-sup-10 3. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumerpackaged-goods/our-insights/true-gen-generation-zand-its-implications-for-companies
A NEW APPROACH TO CPD FOR THE NEW YEAR The landing page for the new portal
As you know, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is at the very the heart of your Institute. All our corporate members commit to actively participate in CPD and to maintain a current CPD record. For a number of years, the Institute has provided a CPD portal that enables members to record CPD online and leads them through the process to ensure all the elements are covered. The great news is that, from December, we are updating the portal to give it a new look and introduce some great new features.
Sarah Dunn, the Institute’s Professional Registration Co-ordinator explains: “The portal has served us well and helped to keep members on track so that they know they are recording their CPD in the right way. The CPD requirements of the Registration Authorities that award our licences to grant professional registration have changed over time and we need to update the portal to make sure it keeps pace with these. “Those using the portal can be reassured that they are using the correct approach and recording their CPD in line with best practice. Using the portal isn’t compulsory, but it does make it easier for members to submit their CPD record if requested to do so as part of our random CPD monitoring process.” Everyone has different needs and likes to record CPD slightly differently. The new portal has been designed to be more intuitive to use and offers sufficient flexibility for members to record CPD in a way that works for them, whilst still meeting requirements.
Matt Bower, Our CPD Champion explains: “We know that some of our members struggle to understand what they need to do by way of CPD. We really wanted to create something that guides them through the full
CPD cycle at the same time as offering them the flexibility to record information in a way that suits them. The portal’s landing page features an interactive image of the CPD cycle and enables users to enter their record at any level they wish. “One of the comments I heard about the existing portal was that it was a bit inflexible to use – The word “clunky” was sometimes used and I can understand this. I hope that members will find this version much easier to use. I particularly like the “To Do List” function that lets you attach information or ideas temporarily until you decide where in the portal to place them.”
Other key features of the new portal include: Space for a Development Plan and high level Development Aims to enable you to identify existing skills and any gaps;
An enhanced evaluation section that allows you to record how others have benefitted from your learning (A Science Council requirement);
A shortcut to your activities that are due, to enable you to quickly evaluate them;
Improved export functions so that you can download your CPD record in several ways;
Clear guidance to lead you through the process.
The new portal still uses familiar terminology such as Development Goals and Activities – and don’t worry; if you are currently using the existing portal these will transfer across automatically; you’ll just need to link them back to an overarching Development plan. The new system is due to go live in mid-December – what better way to start the New Year than with a clear plan of everything you want to achieve in 2020!
MAGAZINE 2020 FEATURES SPRING 2020 – Distribution Early March 2020 • New Technology and AI • Environmental Protection • Customer Experience/Behaviour • Water Resources Planning
Word Count Guide 1 page article with 2 pictures - 500 words 2 page article with 2/3 pics - 1000 words
SUMMER 2020 – Distribution Early June 2020 • Future Challenges • Heath, Safety and Wellbeing • Water Quality • Reputation
NON-FEATURES LIST EDITORIAL - considered on submission Martin Jameson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07342 850289
AUTUMN 2020 – Distribution Early September 2020 • Innovation • Water Quality Testing/Analysis • Conference Review • Wastewater Networks/Sewer Flooding
ADVERTISING AND EDITORIAL OPPORTUNITIES To discuss advertising and editorial opportunities contact Martin Jameson at email@example.com or 07342 850289
WINTER 2020 – Distribution Early December 2020 • Sustainability • Underground Assets • Collaboration • Energy REGULAR QUARTERLY FEATURES: Asset Management, Wastewater Solutions, Regulation and Training
Global Water Security Symposium Celebrating 70 years of water and environmental health research at Newcastle University. 23-24 January 2020 Frederick Douglass centre, Newcastle Helix
The event will include a careers event and poster session. Sessions will combine keynotes by eminent speakers from industry and academia with lightning talks by participants and open forum discussions on key 21st century challenges for the global water sector. Speakers include: Adam Cartright, Head of Open Innovation, Siemens Gemma Coxon, Lecturer, University of Bristol Jo Parker, Chair, Pipeline Industries Guild Zhiyong (Jason) Ren, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University Dragan Savic, Chief Executive Officer, KWR Water Research Institute Justin Sheffield, Professor of Hydrology and Remote Sensing, University of Southampton Luke Stanbridge, Commercial Director, Z-Tech Control Systems Arnold Tukker, Professor of Industrial Ecology, Institute of Environmental Sciences Mark van Loosdrecht, Professor in Environmental Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Stockholm Water Prize Winner Nigel Watson, Chief Information Officer, Northumbrian Water
Registration is now open: conferences.ncl.ac.uk/watersymposium A fee of £50 includes refreshments for both days, evening drinks reception and dinner on the 23 January.
THE BIG BANG FAIR The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the UK’s largest celebration of STEM for young people.
11-14 MARCH THE NEC, BIRMINGHAM FREE TO ATTEND
Taking place in March every year, The Fair allows visitors to take part in exciting theatre shows, hands-on activities, interactive workshops, excellent careers information and much more! The Big Bang Fair also holds the UK finals of The Big Bang Competition, the UK’s top STEM competition for young people. From 3D printers to investigating the effects of activated charcoal on medicine absorption, previous winners have successful addressed a host of real-world problems.
Volunteer at The Big Bang Fair 2020 and help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers! Develop skills in communication, organisation, problem solving and teamwork, share your knowledge and passion for STEM and see behind-the scenes at one of the UK’s biggest event for young people. With over 80,000 visitors over 4 days, The Big Bang Fair needs volunteers to help facilitate activities, act as career role models, judge student projects and more. Find out more and apply to be a volunteer at The Big Bang Fair 2020: www.thebigbangfair.co.uk/volunteers
“The overall experience was amazingly uplifting. I attended thinking I would inspire others but in fact the reverse happened and I came away inspired by the creativity and technical ability of our young people.” Ken Mollison, The Big Bang Fair volunteer
LOTTIE’S 2ND TOUR A HUGE SUCCESS Lottie is a small doll and the young member’s board of the Women’s Engineering Society had the brainwave of encouraging engineers to take photos of her at work so that children can see what engineers do day to day. Jo Parker took Lottie to meetings with Sydney Water and to Florence for No Dig International. In total 135 engineers posted photos of Lottie during Tomorrow’s Engineers week Anyone who would like to borrow a doll next year to take photos of her at work should contact the Young Members Board at firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence
UK-SPEC REVIEW The Engineering Council’s review of professional competencies is nearing conclusion. Comments about the proposed changes have been received and the revised UK-SPEC (UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence) and Registration Code of Practice were out for further comments until November 15th. The Engineering Council hopes to submit the final drafts to its Registration Standards Committee in February 2020 followed by Board sign off in April 2020
INSTITUTE OF WATER LICENCE RENEWAL Following a review which looked at Governance, Management, Registration, Approval of Qualifications and Apprenticeships, CPD, International and Promotion of Registration, our licence to award Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer and Engineering Technician has been renewed for a further five years. Thank you to all our volunteers – Mentors, Assessors and Panel Members – who enable us to offer this range of qualifications.
WHAT ALL ENGINEERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VARIABLE SPEED DRIVE REPAIRS I’m sure we can all agree Variable Speed Drives are expensive pieces of equipment that require regular maintenance to minimize premature failure and maximize the life span of your asset.
However, all makes of Drives do fail and one of the most common faults is IGBT (Insulated-gate bipolar transistor) failure. An insulated-gate bipolar transistor is a three-terminal power semiconductor device primarily used as an electronic switch in Variable Speed Drives. When a drive suffers an IGBT failure the best practice is to replace all three devices, even if only one has actually failed, as the fault condition more often than not weakens the remaining devices which will inevitably lead to a further premature failure and more costly downtime for the user. So far, I’m sure I’ve not told you anything you don’t already know, but the real issue with drive repairs is this…it is imperative that each repair is fully load tested. This is important because each IGBT has
a free-wheeling diode which you can only accurately be tested with a full inductive load test. Most companies that offer Drive Repair do not have the required load test facilities and hence they simply carry out a resistive load test which actually does not show if the IGBT’s are fully functioning as a power device. This leads to a very high percentage of IGBT drive repairs simply failing again as soon as they are fitted to the original application when load is introduced, leading to another repair cost and more costly downtime for your process. In summary all engineers should only send their valuable variable speed drive assets to drive repair facilities that have fully qualified Drive Engineers who have attended the relevant manufacturers courses. But also insist that the repairer has suitable load test facilities, that they carry out a full load test on your drive and they give you the option
to attend a witness test or at the very least request a video of the final test. Insisting on these simple steps for all your drive repairs ensures 100% that your drive is repaired correctly and fully functioning before you put back into service on your plant, thus ensuring minimum repair cost and minimises expensive lost production costs. Quantum Controls have an 8,000 square foot Drive Repair Facility near Newcastle with full load testing facilities and are Official Drive Service Partners for all major Brands of Drives. When you next have a Drive failure get in touch with our expert team for repair estimate. Email: email@example.com Tel: 01661 835566
FEATURE: AMP7 PREVIEW
UNLOCKING GREATER VALUE FROM YOUR PORTFOLIOS BY USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE by Alan Moore
Senior Manager, PwC
With AMP6 soon to be a thing of the past, water companies are having to sharpen their pencils as they seek to invest huge sums of money delivering a new price control. The same can be said more broadly across the utility sector where huge sums of money are being invested in ambitious programmes as utilities seek to drive down costs and equip their businesses for future customer demands. Yet, the results are all too often disappointing. How can businesses make sure they’re delivering the right programmes and projects, at the right time, to maximise return on investment, minimise risk, deliver regulatory outcomes and achieve greater benefits for customers and shareholders? In our experience, multi-year infrastructure and change portfolios are just not delivering. This view has been reinforced recently by a review of a client’s programme of work. Programme performance was poor, with many business cases having grossly overestimated benefits, and in other cases actual benefits delivery falling short. Overall, our review highlighted a number of concerns, which warranted rapid action and intervention from the business’s senior executives.
Missing the target Why is so much of the investment being made by utilities missing the target? Looking across the sector, a number of common flaws emerge. A combination of patchy and inconsistent data and no common framework for evaluation means
that many organisations are struggling to judge what programmes and projects should be prioritised to maximise outcomes. Moreover, it’s not always clear what the business case is when the demands on organisations are shifting so quickly – what might have made strategic sense in the last business planning cycle may no longer be relevant today. And the challenges are heightened by the need to deliver change across multiple business units whilst optimising spend.
Cut through the noise to increase value Is there a more reliable and informed way to manage utility investment planning? Through use of the latest data analytics and artificial intelligence, we’ve seen how organisations can sharpen their investment focus and subsequent decision making to become more resilient and boost outcomes. Firstly, portfolio planning decisions require robust and comparable data on the investment costs and anticipated benefits of each programme.
Once the data is in place, data visualisation and analytics can be
leveraged to rapidly draw out insights to understand current performance and provide a clearer view on the composition of the portfolio. Taking this one step further, using the latest in artificial intelligence and portfolio optimisation techniques, organisations can model and evaluate the benefits of different combinations of programmes and ultimately identify the optimum scenario which maximises outcomes, minimises asset risks whilst balancing available funding - thereby ‘optimising the portfolio’.
An optimised portfolio offers many advantages, not only giving clearer insights upon which to make investment decisions, but also providing greater agility in responding to changing priorities and market developments. About the author: Alan is the Water Sector lead within Capital Project Services at PwC. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer who sits on our Engineering panel and has been an IWater Member since 2012.
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SEVERN TRENT SHARES ITS EXPERIENCE OF DELIVERING IN-PERIOD ODIS
Customer education in action
Following the success of the outcome delivery incentives (ODIs) introduced by Ofwat at the 2014 price review, the sector is busy getting ready for an expanded and more challenging ODI package for the coming five-year period. by Kristinn Mason
Chief Economist, Severn Trent ODIs have become an established part of the regulatory regime ODIs were one of the most significant innovations brought in by Ofwat at the 2014 price review. The aim was to sharpen companiesâ€™ focus on delivering what matters to customers while giving the companies greater flexibility in how they deliver and improve efficiency.
This led to companies taking on ODIs for the coming five-year period. At Severn Trent, we have very much embraced this new world. Not only did we propose and accept the largest number of ODIs for the current period, we have gone on to deliver some notable service improvements for customers. For example, since 2014/15 incidences of internal and external sewer flooding are down by 62%. This means that in the last year, compared with 2014/15 levels, over 400 customers avoided the unpleasant experience of sewage flooding
into their homes and we have seen 6,130 fewer incidents of sewage flooding customer gardens.
ODIs are about to become even more important For the 2019 price review, Ofwat built on the success of ODIs and asked companies to both make more stretching performance commitments and have stronger incentives. This means that the importance of ODIs is only going to increase in the coming fiveyear period.
FEATURE: AMP7 PREVIEW The upshot is that companies will need to achieve another step-change in performance over the next five years. So, we will all be asking ourselves what we need to consider for delivering ODIs succes0073fully. Off the back of our successes (and some challenges), we are happy to share our experiences and the important lessons we learned.
Delivering ODIs – the Severn Trent experience Our performance on ODIs is not an accident. Rather, it reflects the significant investments we have made; the time, resources and effort we have committed; and the much broader steps taken across the business to transform culture and implement change. In our view, the only way to succeed in becoming truly outcomes-focused is by having our people at the heart of this journey – it is they who are responsible for investing and delivering the services that our customers value most. We have embarked on a programme to transform our culture that involves structured education of our workforce, strengthened links between customers and employees, and aligning the incentives of our customers and employees. Alongside the steps to transform our culture, we are making significant investments to deliver improved performance. This includes investing in data analytics capabilities, investing to proactively inspect high-risk sewers and revisiting every significant sewer blockage within a year. Our aim is to create a lasting legacy through behavioural change that is driven by educating customers and engaging one-to-one with key customers such as food service establishments. Clearly, a mind-set that is open to change is fundamental prerequisite for ODI success and transforming service levels for customers. Sticking with the old way of doing things is not going to cut it – otherwise performance will simply stay at the old levels. As we’ve experienced, openness to change is more than looking for high-profile step-change innovations – it is about a structured multi-aspect approach where the different strands combine to transform service levels. Keeping an eye on the long-term is also important for companies. When planning to deliver on ODIs, we will need to make
A closer look at our programme for transforming our culture Education. We recognised that the first step in getting our people excited about ODIs and the opportunities they provide was to make sure they are understood. So, we invested considerable time and resource in helping explain to our people about ODIs and our outcomes approaches. We started off by inviting every one of our 5,500 employees to join face-to-face sessions led by our Chief Executive. We also adopted regular leadership events for our top leaders and managers to focus on priorities, promote networking and share best practice. Strengthening the links between customers and employees. We wanted to make sure that our people can easily access and interpret information relating to ODIs – which we did by making key data available in real time. One example of how we did this is the Rant and Rave customer feedback tool, which gives immediate and specific feedback (by job) on a constant basis. This helps teams and
individuals to know how they are doing, and lets us rapidly spot opportunities for improvements. We also made sure our employees have the tools and technology to contribute to improved ODI performance. This saw us rollout smart phones to 1,800 frontline colleagues, along with a range of apps to help pass on outcomes information across the business. Our communication cells – a regular forum where teams get together to review and discuss key performance data including ODIs – give further support. New bonus scheme. We invested in a new bonus scheme to focus employee performance on ODIs. Its careful design reflects the broader cultural change we wanted to make towards becoming truly outcomes-focused. The scheme is transparent and simple, and has strong links between what our people do and customer outcomes. It applies to all levels, is aligned to the same set of measures and works on a ‘pay out for one: pay out for all’ basis in teams to foster a team culture.
Investment and delivery in action for external sewer flooding In the current AMP, we have invested in proactive activities to reduce external flooding, to maintain our focus in flood-risk areas and to learn the lessons from our programmes in the previous two years. We also have predictive sewer-floodrisk modelling underway, for the whole of our region, to identify properties at risk of hydraulic flooding. The results of this detailed work will help us better prioritise delivery of further hydraulic
sure we achieve a sensible balance of investment across our businesses. This will involve making sure we fully consider asset health measures, with investment decisions giving due focus to the sustainability of service improvements and long-term resilience.
flood schemes to mitigate both near and longer-term flood risks. To enhance and deepen our liaison with external flood-risk-management authorities, we have committed extra staff. This important step allows for stakeholders to coordinate more closely to help address multiple sources of risk. The idea is that more holistic, joined-up and efficient approaches enhance the ability to mitigate risk and revolve any flooding that does occur.
As we face into the challenges for the coming five years, we can all agree that a successful approach to ODIs will be fundamental for transforming service levels even further for customers and an essential component in maintaining the sector’s legitimacy.
Visit Visitwww.seamstld.com www.seamstld.comfor formore more information informationor orfollow followus uson on instituteofwater.org.uk
FEATURE: AMP7 PREVIEW
OUR INDUSTRY-FIRST ALLIANCE MODEL IN REVIEW by Tim McMahon Head of water networks, Thames Water
For us at Thames Water, AMP6 has been a venture into a new world as we adopted an innovative Alliance model for our water network – the part of our business which operates and maintains the infrastructure needed to get world-class water from treatment sites to customer taps. The idea behind this new model was to ensure we and our four partners worked to the same targets, budgets and way of working to reduce duplication, increase focus and drive a step change in innovation and technology in the network. By working with industry leading contractors, we were, and remain, confident this is the best model to deliver the best outcomes for our customers. Moving to such a bold, new approach hasn’t been without its challenges though and early on in the AMP the organisational design of the alliance, which included mixed teams from Thames Water and our partners, meant it was sometimes unclear who was responsible for what and some were making decisions on things that didn’t fall within their area of expertise. We also didn’t have the agility at that time to move work around the teams, so jobs weren’t shared as well as they could have been. There was also confusion over the dual role of Thames Water as both an alliance member and the purchaser/client meaning it could be unclear who was making final decisions, leading to delays. We knew it was always going to be important to continuously review the new way of working and it was through these
reviews that we were able to pick up on where we were going wrong and make the changes needed to put them right.
time and ensuring our partners were able to play to their strengths, something we know is important to them.
Our key learnings included the need to turn accurate and timely performance data into information, insight and action and to be completely clear on what our expectations of our delivery partners were. It was also clear that we at Thames Water, as the client, needed to drive the behaviours required to ensure we were all working to common goals, a prime example being to meet our leakage target, something we’re now well on our way to achieving. Having everyone take part in the same type of induction, being branded as Thames Water and buying into our values were key to improving our performance.
As we approach the end of the AMP we continue to reflect and review as we’ve done throughout it and for sure there will be more learnings that we’ll take forward to the next regulatory period.
We’ve learnt this can only be accomplished by strong teamwork, effective internal stakeholder management and having everyone understand what “good” looks like. We made changes so we had the flexibility to choose the most appropriate partner for certain types of work, increasing the likelihood of us getting things right first
We’ve set ambitious targets for AMP7 which will need our partners to be even more innovative while working more collaboratively. We’re already working with them to extend the alliance beyond 2020 as we see this as a key stepping stone in building on our successes. We’ve got a specific focus on making processes simpler, improving customer service and reducing costs, and disruption, by reducing our time on site when resolving issues on our 20,000-mile network such as leaks and bursts. Ultimately its about us having joint ownership of targets to get the best outcomes for our customers.
FROM SUSTAINABLE TO FRONTIER – THE CHANGE IN LEAKAGE ECONOMICS FOR AMP7
In July 2017, with one small paragraph of text in a 282-page PR19 methodology consultation document, Ofwat changed the economics of leakage in England and Wales forever.
by Michael Butler Their challenge of a 15% reduction in leakage or upper quartile performance changed the way that leakage targets would be set - the outcome was draft determinations that will see leakage reduce nationally by 17% in the next five years. Now Leakage managers around the country had to change their mind set, from attaining an economic leakage target to how to economically achieve their leakage target. The change in leakage targets was predictable with reports on the sustainable economic level of leakage (SELL)
highlighting limitations with the existing methodology which were not incentivising efficiency - meaning leakage levels hadn’t really dropped since the large reductions seen in the mid 90’s. Since then, population growth has started to cause areas to be in water balance deficit and customers are viewing leakage levels as wasteful. All companies either met or outperformed their targets for 2015-16, which, as the Ofwat consultation document stated, “might suggest they were not sufficiently stretching”. So, the writing was on the wall for the SELL approach, but this raised new questions; How do you achieve the new Ofwat reduction targets with the money available? How do you achieve a change of mind-set from maintaining leakage levels to reducing them? How do you achieve this when there is no one silver bullet that will fix it all over night? One thing is clear, doing 17% more of the same won’t achieve the reductions required, and, in fact may not be possible given the constraints on leakage detection and repair resources. So, a different tack needed to be explored - one which incorporates innovation and the use of new technologies, all based on a firm footing of one of the most respected leakage sectors in the world.
This challenge is reminiscent of that put in front of Sir David Brailsford when he became the coach for British Cycling. Brailsford is a champion of “marginal gains” and, in a BBC interview in 2012, he commented, “The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.” During the 2004 Olympics Great Britain won four medals for cycling. Four years later they won 14, and maybe more importantly, set a foundation that allowed the success to be repeated in 2012 and 2016. Brailsford didn’t seek to reinvent the whole bicycle, he looked to build on the existing foundation - with some of the best and most experienced engineers in the world looking to simply improve each part. He also collected and used data in new ways, seeking every opportunity to make improvements. Similarly, the mindset of leakage needs to be changed. Gone are the days where immediate leakage savings alone are the central metric. Given that leaks are far more likely to grow rather than reduce, fixing them earlier will stop an increase in night
FEATURE: AMP7 PREVIEW Figure 1 - FLO
line. Fixing a leak that is small today might not “save” much water, but the future leakage that it “avoids” will be significant. With the new methodology to calculate leakage which will be used during AMP7, all leaks will impact the leakage figure, meaning that their efficient resolution will be needed to reduce the number of days that a leak impacts the night lines. How will we achieve this significant challenge in leakage? Firstly, we need to break down leakage activities into their component parts. RPS has developed a model based on the ‘life of a leak’ which we break down into four parts - Prevent, Predict, Detect, Repair - this allows us to review each activity that goes into fixing a leak. This model was presented at a Leakage Innovation Workshop hosted by RPS in September. The most efficient way to reduce leakage is to Prevent it from occurring in the first place. Secondly, the ability to Predict where leakage is likely to happen ensures we can target resources efficiently. And thirdly, using the right technique to Detect leaks as early as possible facilitates fast and efficient repair, and ultimately leakage avoidance. As with Brailsford, data plays a key part in the improvement of these areas, and when used appropriately provides actionable insight not only to leakage managers, but to also to operatives on the ground. Data gaps can also be identified and therefore filled, allowing for further improvements in the future. Focusing on the Predict element of the model, leakage operatives must be
sent to areas that will provide the most benefit to achieving the overall target, the methodologies developed for SELL seem like a good place to start, and then building on what was there before. The methods that have been developed over the last decade still provide important and useful information, however, they should be used in a different way. Instead of using these tools to set the target, these can be used to meet the targets as efficiently as possible, while also considering and integrating other emerging technologies. This is the principle behind RPS’ Frontier Leakage Optimisation (FLO) see Figure 1, above. FLO was developed as part of a collaborative project with 6 water companies, looking at how leakage economics should be adapted for the next AMP. FLO works in the opposite way to SELL, taking the company target and disaggregating it to deliver DMA level targets based on historical performance, characteristics of the DMA and the current company leakage situation. From this, the leakage above target and the potential future leakage is calculated. The priority for each of the DMA is then optimised based on the time of the year, historical detection success, available resources, DMA situation and cost implications. This process is then repeated at regular intervals to ensure that the target is appropriate, and the optimisation of the priority list ensures the most efficient DMAs are targeted. A further enhancement, that is currently being
developed, is the identification of the most efficient type of detection method for a DMA given the current season and leakage level. The data collected is fed back into FLO to allow improvements to be made on a continuous basis. With new methods for collecting data, especially around detection activities, using enhanced listening sticks, permanent noise loggers and mobile phones, this data will further improve over the next 5 years. The benefit of this method is that not only is the historic data captured and used in leakage economics for the last decade still valid, but it allows for new methodologies to be integrated, and data enhancements to be made which will improve the overall system. FLO works around the potential flaw in the SELL methodology as it doesn’t set a target based on historic performance that might not be stretching, but instead outlines a method where the stretch target can be achieved in an affordable and efficient manner. Marginal changes in how this targeting process is done has the potential, when combined with all the other improvements, to significantly change the efficiency of leakage and deliver the target reductions required. Ultimately, this will enable the delivery and achievement of the stretch leakage targets during and beyond AMP7. For more information on optimisation of leakage reporting, performance and strategy, please contact, Michael Butler, e: email@example.com
THE KEY TO UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR ELECTRIC MOTORS
As the demands on the water industry become more challenging, Clayton Mead, UK Water Industry Manager, ABB Motion, explains how the latest innovations in variable speed drive (VSD) technology can help water treatment facilities to optimise processes across the plant. With the population expected to rise in coming years1, demand for water and sewerage services is causing increased pressure on the infrastructure. Customer tolerance of any supply outage is falling, requiring water companies to improve resilience while keeping costs low for end users. Meanwhile, there is an increasing appetite to improve sustainability and reduce energy usage. Indeed, Ofwat indicated prior to AMP6 that this should be a key priority for water companies in this investment cycle2. Industrial motors, which are used to power the pumps which transport and
treat water throughout the process, present a great opportunity to modernise operations and work towards achieving these goals. Many motors are run without any sort of variable speed control, and so are effectively running either at full power or not at all. Many processes do not need to be run at full speed all the time, so this equates to huge amounts of wasted energy. Using variable speed drives (VSDs) to control motor speed can vastly reduce energy usage. The Cube Law means that running a motor at 80 percent speed requires only half the energy compared to running the same motor at full speed. As a result, huge energy savings can be achieved,
particularly in variable torque applications like pumps. Furthermore, in addition to the energy savings, modern VSDs are packed with features that can also improve safety, productivity and reliability.
Plant and personnel safety High pressure equipment, if not properly operated and maintained, has the potential to put plant operations and personnel at risk. VSDs incorporate a wide range of safety features to reduce risk. For example, safe torque off (STO) is a function that switches off the drive output to the motor immediately when triggered, and ensures that the motor cannot be unexpectedly
FEATURE: AMP7 PREVIEW restarted. Unlike an external safety contactor, STO brings the stopping function inside the drive, making it failsafe. Even in the event of a complete system failure, the drive will prevent any power from reaching the motor, effectively making STO its default state. Many injuries occur when machinery is being cleaned or maintained3, and so STO can help to reduce this risk. As well as the dangers of rotating machinery, wastewater treatment carries risk to human health in the form of exposure to sewers, sludge and hazardous chemicals and gases. Motor manufacturers can now offer a wide range of low and high voltage motors and generators that conform to ATEX protection standards to ensure safe operation in hazardous areas.
Energy efficiency In the water industry, many pumps, motors and other devices are often operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Water facilities are therefore a large consumer of energy, making them a prime candidate for efficiency projects. Using VSDs to control processes means that motors only use the amount of energy necessary to achieve the required speed, and no more. Even a relatively small reduction in speed and/ or energy use can quickly add up over time given that many pumps are run in constant duty. Energy optimisation is a feature of VSDs that reduces total energy consumption and motor noise level when the drive operates below the nominal load. The total efficiency (i.e. motor and drive) can be improved by up to 10 percent, depending on the load torque and speed. Manufacturers increasingly believe that digitalisation is the key to unlocking the real potential of the whole powertrain, from drive to pump. ABB for instance has introduced smart sensors, which attach directly to motors and pumps to provide performance data that can be used to find energy saving opportunities and monitor equipment condition via the cloud.
Productivity and resilience Non-revenue water is a big issue in the water industry. As well as costing money to fix, each incident can have a negative effect on public perception, making it difficult to justify increases in customer bills which are vital for financing future investment in infrastructure. Leaks are often caused by pressure fluctuation and water hammer, both
of which can be dramatically reduced with the use of VSDs. By controlling pump speed more precisely, and by ramping motors up and down more slowly, large pressure fluctuations can be reduced. Sudden starts and stops can cause hydraulic shockwaves known as water hammer. These shocks can ripple through pipes and lead to bursts, which can cause danger to personnel and equipment. Using a VSD allows demand to be smoothed out, reducing any sudden changes in the direction of water flow. Precision control is achieved by the VSD through features such as PID control. This provides a sophisticated feedback loop to ensure that motors are constantly operating at the correct speed, based on analysing actual speed, desired speed, and any external factors that need to be compensated. This prevents drift and ensures that pressure and flow are always at the required levels, ensuring quality of supply while preventing wear and damage to equipment and infrastructure.
Operation and maintenance Harmonics are a common problem in the water industry as many facilities are situated in remote locations with poor quality power networks. Harmonics are a type of electrical interference caused by non-linear loads on the network. They generate heat, which wastes energy and can cause problems elsewhere on the network in the form of cables and motors overheating. Ultra-low harmonic (ULH) drives can be used to mitigate this problem. These reduce the losses in the mains supply, improving mains quality and reducing the risk of disturbance to other equipment. Ragging of pumps can be a particular problem in wastewater treatment. VSDs allow a motor to run in reverse to clear debris, while blockage detection software can keep the pumpâ€™s impeller clean by running a sequence of ramps between minimum and maximum speed to clear any unwanted materials. This can save large amounts of time and money that would otherwise be spent removing pumps to clean them manually. VSDs are normally highly reliable, and when properly installed and maintained they can have an operational lifespan of several decades. However, they are not indestructible, and lack of maintenance as well as other underlying problems like
overheating or corrosive environments can lead to premature failures. For the water industry, where downtime must be kept to a minimum, a solution for this is available in the form of hire drives. Hiring a drive can ensure that plant activities can continue, while buying some breathing space to decide whether to repair the old drive or replace it with a new one. ABB is one of several drive suppliers that can offer this service.
In conclusion Itâ€™s estimated that the vast majority of industrial motors are run without any speed control. In variable torque applications such as pumps a VSD can pay for itself within six months, with ongoing savings in the future. The installed base of motors at a typical water treatment facility can easily be 10 or 20 years old, as a motorâ€™s relatively long lifespan means that they are rarely replaced. This can mean that facilities are missing out not only on the energy saving capabilities of VSDs, but also some of the recent new developments that can help to improve safety, productivity and reliability. The integration of digital technologies for instance provides unprecedented scope to see how motors are performing, and how operations can be optimised. 1 https://www.ons.gov.uk peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/ bulletins/nationalpopulationprojections/2016basedstatisticalbulletin 2 https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/amp6frameworks-getting-shovel-ready-26-09-2013/ 3 https://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/maintenance-and-occupational-safety-and-health-statistical-picture
WAR ON PLASTICS AND THE DRIVE TO ZERO POLLUTION IN OUR OCEANS
With reports already stating that there will be more plastics in our oceans than fish by 2050 and the enemy already piling up on our beaches, we have a battle on our hands on a par to global warming to stem the flow of aquatic pollution. by Brian Back BEng(Hons) CEng FIET For my sins, I have been around, not just in water and wastewater, but power, gas and rail for over three decades. This career has involved the engineering of smart water networks, metering, wastewater, radio telemetry, and in the last decade, pollution monitoring and reduction solutions. During the execution and delivery of these projects it was inevitable that I would see the “murkier side” of our aquatic world, and to understand with growing concern what is being kept from the public, politicians, environmental regulators and the media. All I can say is, what Sir David Attenborough highlighted on the BBC’s Blue Planet is the tip of a much nastier global iceberg.
Its More than Visible Plastics Not only is the crisis about plastics that entangle whales, fish and turtles, but it is the micro-and nano-plastics such as tyre rubber, cigarette butts, fibres from washing machines, plus the other nasties such as sewage, industrial waste and the cocktail of antibiotics, viruses, bacteria, blood, vomit, faeces and radioactive isotopes carried in a stream of macerated pulped cardboard,
courtesy of the NHS and the healthcare sector since the recent introduction of waste macerators in lieu of yellow incineration bags. My big awakening came this year when I was elected to become a judge on the IET Global Challenge, a competition to find solutions to collect plastics from the oceans. This made me look even deeper into the issues facing our aquatic world, from pollution from disused mines through to plastics, exposing the level of ignorance at all levels and the fact that it could be aquatic pollution that kills us all before global warming.
We Invented Plastic Pollution Sadly, as a long-standing Chartered Engineer, one can only state that the Engineering and Scientific community collectively have been instrumental in the creation of the vast majority of this mess. Not only did we invent plastics and other pollutants, the machines to mass produce them, the food wrappers, tyres, hospital macerators, etc. but are complicit in creating our less than perfect drainage, sewage network and wastewater processing plants that are the principle conduits that carries plastics to our waterways and oceans.
Pollution Regulations and Guidelines are Outdated Shamefully the volume of plastic discharges in the UK are not formally measured. The nearest measure we have is the activation of CSO overflows and storm bypasses at sewage treatment works, labelled Event Duration Monitoring, EDM. However, the whole process of EDM is fundamentally flawed. What we have been doing for decades according to my own daughters is “so last century” by the fact that all we do is compile and publish data historically. Even the EA when speaking publicly, acknowledged the data is full of gaps with data loggers in certain locations reporting as little as 18% of the time. However, what makes EDM useless as a measure is the fact that the figures are recorded only during the bathing season, making the whole exercise no better than a glorified half-baked autopsy report, when we should have real-time data 24/7/365. Then there are the Pollution Prevention Guidelines, PPGs which were mothballed by the EA almost a decade ago. Following the simple common-sense adage, prevention is better than cure, why can’t we have clear guidelines and best practices which are
FEATURE: POLLUTION disseminated to all? As it stands it is like having speed traps without speed limit signs. How much would it cost for HMRC to have all the important links to the relevant documents on their website and your annual tax return? Shamefully, in the UK guidelines are one of the best kept secrets, but why?
Bring on the Cavalry - The Zero Pollution Network Now I have made you all feel guilty and shown that many of us are potentially derelict of our duties to our marine ecosystem, it should be easier for me to say we all need to step up and engage the enemy head on. If we can invent plastics and create the paths to the oceans, then we can also work together to stem their flow. On the 9th September this year, a few of us stepped forward and founded the Zero Pollution Network
The Zero Pollution Network Mission Putting the well-being and greater good of the planet, its people and the entire marine ecosys-tem before anything else, The Zero Pollution Network aims to bring together decades of knowledge, intellectual property, proven technology, skills, innovation, working partnerships, management, promotion, and business finance under a single umbrella to tackle head on the issues facing our world due to aquatic pollution.
deliver solutions in part or in full to rescue our aquatic world from oblivion. It is for those that innovate, those with real solutions, with skilled manpower to install and maintain, with knowledge to share and engineer, with the funds to finance, with trial sites to validate, supply chain with high quality materials and components or for simply those with a philanthropic ambition to leave a positive legacy. The Network is also open to Water, Wastewater Companies, Government Agencies, Research Organisations, Academia and Industry, who we invite to post their challenges to the Network for its members to peruse and to come up with solutions. At present too much time is wasted second guessing issues resulting in numerous square pegs for too many round holes.
A Network that Embraces the Micro and SMEs Small and micro entities are encouraged to engage with the Network as they have a history of innovation at a speed second to none. The Network aims to help these innovators and entrepreneurs by offering to filter out the bright ideas from the lame ducks, to find the right partners to stand alongside them, or lead them, to get them to and beyond the first base of a trial and to ultimate rollout.
The Zero Pollution Network is Open
A Network to Reduce Risk for Venture Capitalists
The Network is open to those that can
Those from the venture capital sector often
shy away from the water and wastewater sectors. The Network aims to change this, through its members plugging knowledge and skill gaps, finding customers, trial sites and validating ideas.
A Supply Chain Network All companies require materials and resources to operate, so what better than for a Network of suppliers with a similar set of ethics to choose from.
Network Powered Promotion Aside from the Zero Pollution Network website. The Network proposes working with organisers of large trade shows and exhibitions to include Zero Pollution Pavilions. As those that have at-tended international trade missions will know, a place on a pavilion can say a great deal about a company, its ethos, aims and give it credibility. It also makes the unaffordable, very affordable, and legitimises networking with both visitors and fellow exhibitors at the show.
Contribute and Leave a Positive Legacy If you feel you can contribute towards the Networkâ€™s ambition of eradicating aquatic pollution, please visit our website www.zero-pollution.net and complete the online enquiry form in strictest confidence. We only have one aquatic world, letâ€™s work together before it is too late!
Saving our World from Aquatic Pollution The Network that brings together the people and companies that can deliver solutions to the crisis of aquatic pollution and plastics in the oceans. The Network that enables us all to leave a positive legacy. The Network that generates public awareness. The Network that fights pollution at source.
Join us today and do something great. www.zero-pollution.net
WINDMILL INSIGHT SOLUTIONS
WHAT WILL MY SUCCESSOR BE DOING ON THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS? A LIGHT-HEARTED BUT POTENTIALLY USEFUL QUESTION
Would you like your managers to be looking for work to do, rather than struggling to meet objectives? And having time to develop their teams, improving their productivity? Surely not possible... Big hairy Ambitious Goals I fully support the “Big Hairy Ambitious Goals” of Peter Simpson, Chief Exec of Anglian Water, and my experience suggests that a BHAG of a step change in management productivity is possible. Of course, if you don’t try, you’ll never find out...
Why managers? My experience says get your managers right and the rest will follow. This is no disrespect for technical skills. Great managers develop their staff with the skills they need, even if it allows them to move on. Managers operate in complex environments, so being able to understand and react to change is critical. Give the willing opportunities to move around the company and work on multi-disciplinary projects to gain experience.
With only three day a week, the two essentials were focus and activity. Focus means deciding what’s important and activity means doing the required tasks. Below are some of the other ideas that made these roles work in the time available.
important as negotiating solutions to avoid time-wasting mistakes. When negotiating change, my rule is to involve those affected by it. Change imposed from above is seldom as effective as change involving those affected. It always pays off in the longer term.
“is what I’m doing useful?”, making me check that I was doing the right things. “Is this what I should be doing?”, to avoid displacement activity. “what is the least I can do with this?”, when faced with unattractive work. “What can I do in the next 10 minutes?”, to make use of small slots of productive time that add up.
Be good with MS Office
Whichever, please ask the question “If I had to do my job in three days a week, how would I do it?”. Perhaps you could achieve a BHAG of your own.
Meetings are important but I always questioned my attendance, contacting the organiser to discuss giving written reports or just attending for a slot. A great time saver.
Properly good. Styles in Word and Tables and Tables in Excel can save you hours.
Over to you These are some ideas that have worked for me over 40 years in the industry. They may work for you, or you may need to find different solutions.
Who knows what that might lead to?
My story A while back I was Water Quality Manager for Network Appointee Variation company three years. Later I was the Interim Water Quality Monitoring Manager for a regional water company for nine months. Both were full-time positions which I did on three days a week as a contractor. Yet everything needed was done right, and I went home by 6 at night. And I happily fitted in my other roles, had some time off, and generally enjoyed the situation. So, in both cases my successor could have had Thursday and Friday off and still got their work done. But they didn’t.
And my secret was? Doing the right things at the right time.
Scheduling Scheduling activity is important, but don’t over-schedule. Plan your day to the last minute and I guarantee it won’t work. Monthly, weekly and daily objectives work for me. Find what works for you.
Learning from other people With the NAV I worked alongside people with of years of NAV experience, so I invested time learning from them. With the regional water company, I invested time with the team managers, finding what was working and what needed fixing. Both saved me hours of learning the hard way.
This article considers how organisations can bring about a step change in management productivity. This cannot be done by courses and qualifications alone but need a rolling programme of learning and practical experience to deliver a pipeline of effective individuals.
No change for change’s sake
I would be more than happy to discuss how we could help you develop and deliver such a programme. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In both roles I started with “no change for change’s sake”. Understanding why an unsatisfactory situation has arisen is as
TOTAL EFFICIENCY Expand site capacity with adaptable high-rate process. Repurpose project at a UK water utility site (6500 PE).
SUSTAINABLE SOURCE TO TAP SOLUTIONS As the water industry prepares for the new drinking water directive from the DWI, pioneering technological innovations, along with collaborative partnerships, are leading the way in addressing the current global water crisis. ATi UKâ€™s Managing Director, Dr Michael Strahand, discusses the most creative approaches that are proactively safeguarding water quality for customer use. Managing the quality of water from Source to Tap is the core responsibility of the water industry. Public health and regulatory compliance are of paramount concern, with customer complaints about taste and odour growing in importance and emerging quality issues informing new key performance indicators. Water companies are not only trusted to deliver water that is consistently safe for drinking, aesthetically acceptable and of high quality, they also need to manage complex interactions between chemistry and energy consumption.
Guardianship The entire water industry has been entrusted with the responsibility of supplying vital water and wastewater services to communities, safeguarding water at all points on its journey from Source to Tap. We are also responsible for continually developing innovative solutions, with increased pressure from government regulators and stakeholders to manage these systems efficiently, effectively and in a transparent manner. ATi UK strongly believes that we are all custodians of the journey that water takes. Until recently, utilities lacked the tools to manage our ageing water system and proactively manage water quality from source to the end user. However, advances in digital technologies are now enabling better knowledge, system hygiene, more efficient monitoring, diagnostics and more targeted investments, along with intelligent system management.
Source To Tap Water Quality Solutions Through ATi UKâ€™s ongoing Source to Tap philosophy, we are more committed
than ever to continue developing new and innovative solutions to ensure the guardianship and protection of water. This commitment has led to us to being the only company able to provide an intelligent and sustainable Source to Tap journey, thanks to our industry-leading range of water quality monitors, including the pioneering MetriNet; the first smart, modular multi-parameter monitor for distribution networks. These solutions provide no-compromise water quality monitoring in service reservoirs, pipes, valves, meter chambers and hydrants, along with measuring right through to the end user. Intelligent solutions, such as the MetriNet, create real-time awareness of water quality throughout the cycle and suggest optimal control mechanisms to ensure the efficient delivery of high-quality water, reducing the risk of compliance violations and customer complaints.
Strategic Approach It is because of this pioneering approach that ATi is trusted by UK water companies to deliver reliable, accurate and low maintenance process water control, with long running framework agreements in place.
This approach is providing water companies with high-powered, smart tools to ensure the energy-efficient delivery of high-quality water to the community. We use the same sensors throughout the range, which makes them interchangeable, simple to use, with minimal training, allowing a single procurement route. There is also low environmental impact due to little or no reagent use. This strategic approach and joined-up solution is designed to offer customers simplicity, range, low risk and sustainable water quality from Source to Tap, continuing to make a lasting difference in the lives of the communities that water companies serve. These solutions also help utilities make progress on the problems that matter most: water accessibility, environmental sustainability, resilience and affordability. It gives decision-makers a structure for environmental issues, collaboration and sharing information for setting priorities. The need for new, pioneering technology to continue improving performance is everpresent â€“ now is the time to change the future of the water sector for the better.
FEATURE: AMP7 PREVIEW
UK DRILLING & TAPPING COMPETITION 2020 A time trial for teams of two, open to anyone connected with the water industry.
19 – 20 May 2020 Utility Week Live 2020 NEC Birmingham
WHAT YOU NEED:
WHAT YOU GET:
Drill and tap a 150mm diameter ductile iron main under available pressure, together with the installation of a simulated service connection. Must be done quickly in a safe, controlled fashion!
Skill, dexterity and speed are a prime requirement, but QUALITY is paramount! Beware - time penalty points are added for any leaks or safety violations.
Prizes are awarded for a ‘Quality Tap’ and Best Newcomer among others. The Men’s and Ladies’ teams with the fastest times win an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the overseas competition.
HOW TO ENTER Call Megan Williams on 0191 422 0088 Email email@example.com
Raising money in support of Water Aid
Stonbury brings water industry expertise to Scotland. Following the steady growth of the business in Scotland over the past year, and the successful delivery of several engineering projects through SR15, Stonbury believe they have a vital part to play in ensuring Scottish Water is ‘trusted to care for the water on which Scotland depends’. Backed by 35 years of experience, Stonbury have established a unique identity that has seen them become the leading specialist contractor for potable water storage and waste water structures. Offering an array of technical experience in both the water
PRESENCE AND CAPABILITY IN SCOTLAND By increasing their critical capacity and resource in both specialist civils and ‘green engineering’, Stonbury now has the capability to service the whole of the Scotland area for multimillion-pound projects. The multi-disciplinary specialist civils team in Scotland have truly shaped themselves to deliver a consistently leading customer experience, focusing on service reliability, resilience and sustainability. The team have seen significant expansion fuelled by their successful relationships with their Alliance Partners ESD, following the successful delivery of various growth and capital maintenance packages over the past year and a half, Stonbury are thrilled to continue working alongside them. The partnership has gone from strength to strength, with several schemes already planned in for next year. Led by Iain Weir – who has operated across the Scottish water sector for over 20 years, with an enviable innovation track-record – the team retains Scottish heritage and local talent, combining skilled project managers with engineers and operatives steeped in water sector experience. Working across
industry and water environment sectors, including refurbishment,
Scotland, with support from the strategically situated base in
maintenance and new build, Stonbury work to protect and enhance
the central location of Stirling and the additional support teams
vital water quality requirements for millions of people across the UK.
throughout Stonbury, they are poised to embrace the challenges over SR21.
Their technical capability and knowledge of water sector best practice, combined with a direct delivery set-up, allows them to
Stonbury’s track-record of innovation, client satisfaction,
offer fast, efficient and lower overhead cost solutions to clients,
and consistent delivery of high-quality solutions throughout
meeting the required standards and specifications,
its 15 UK Water Industry Framework agreements, positions
whilst ensuring compliance with SEPA/DWQR.
them to deliver practical, efficient, low-carbon solutions,
“We are extremely excited at the prospect of working with Scottish Water, to provide a local, skilled and flourishing workforce that delivers only the highest of standards of water services to their customers, with a drive towards innovative and net zero carbon solutions to avoid asset re-building whenever possible.” Iain Weir, Managing Director, Scotland area
that maximise existing asset capacity, whilst tackling the acute challenges the Scottish water industry faces; including enhanced customer expectation, population growth, water
MAKING SAFETY A PRIORITY Stonbury understand that with a contracting model based
stress, and climate change.
on direct delivery capability, they are only as good as the
Stonbury seek to achieve these solutions in harmony with
it is key to uphold safety knowledge, training and equipment
Scottish Water’s customers, though engagement made
when working across a complex asset base. Setting a
possible by their in-house software, InTouch. The online
vibrant, knowledgeable organisation-wide safety culture right
portal is dedicated to communicating to both customers
from the top. ‘Making Safety Our Priority’ is the Stonbury way,
and the local communities about improvement works in
and they are committed to uncompromising safety standards
their area. Scottish Water customers can also access real
in all that they do.
time updates to follow works that may cause disruptions, allowing them to ask questions. In addition, the software has been further developed to allow members of the public
competence and behaviour of their own people. They believe
Working alongside their supply chain, Stonbury have developed excellent relationships with environmentally-leading suppliers
to be able to report leaks.
of specialist products, such as BASF, Sika UK, Flexcrete, Natural
Stonbury also have a version for their water company clients,
products are fully understood and used to their greatest potential
inProgress, which is known as Client Portal. inProgress allows
Cement and Acothane, to ensure that Regulation 33 approved in the safe delivery of water projects.
clients to view live working updates; reducing the requirement to travel to site, thus reducing costs and environmental impact. Clients can also view and store project information such as
audits, testing records, quotations, safety information and
With a hunger to satisfy a refreshed sector perspective that rates
experience, values efficiency, and grows innovation, Stonbury’s
In addition to their cutting-edge project management and customer engagement technologies, Stonbury’s leading digitally
journey to date and future ambitions align uncompromisingly with Scottish Water.
facilitated internal management system, Stonbury World, is
“We are extremely excited at the prospect of working with
soon to replace their current electronic files system eSite, for
Scottish Water, to provide a local, skilled and flourishing
more efficient, up-to-date project management. This will include
workforce that delivers only the highest of standards of water
functions for the organisation of all business aspects across
services to their customers, with a drive towards innovative and
the company including human resources, clients, projects, sites,
net zero carbon solutions to avoid asset re-building whenever
assets and equipment.
possible.” Iain Weir, Managing Director, Scotland area. instituteofwater.org.uk
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS
WARMING TO THE TASK OF SUPPLY RESILIENCE More than 18 months have passed since we escaped the icy grip of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, which left more than 200,000 customers without water and the industry having to address serious supply failures. company. Given that only 6 out of 10 households consider their charges to be fair, companies cannot afford to be complacent.
by Alice Laycock
Policy Manager, Consumer Council for Water
All of us have to live with some level of disruption in our lives – whether it’s a delayed train, the loss of our broadband signal or a cancelled hospital appointment. However, few things have the potential to cause us more inconvenience than the sudden loss of our water supply. It can make day-to-day tasks almost impossible and leave the most vulnerable households feeling even more isolated. There are also long-term consequences for the relationship between a water company and the people it serves.
A more accurate picture emerges when you compare the industry’s performance with a ‘typical’ year, such as 2016/17. It shows that the industry-wide level of disruption has actually increased by more than a fifth over the past two years. Of even greater concern is the fact that four of the companies to report an increase over that period raised the most significant concerns during the Beast from the East. Thames, South East, Southern and Severn Trent were all challenged by the regulator to put in place action plans after the incident but there is little evidence to suggest these are delivering results. Thames, for instance, has seen the amount of time its customers were left without water more than double compared to two years ago. It casts doubt over whether some companies’ plans are as robust as they claim to be and whether Ofwat should revisit them.
Our research shows that disruption can even damage a customer’s perception of whether they are getting a fair deal from their water
Customers can take some comfort from the prospect of tougher penalties for companies that fail to hit a much more demanding
Policy Manager Alice Laycock, from the Consumer Council for Water, examines whether companies are in a stronger position to protect customers from disruption as we head into winter.
Earlier in the autumn, we published our Water, water everywhere? report which showed that the average amount of time that consumers were left without running water had fallen by almost 40 per cent in 2018/19. On the surface that might seem impressive but a different story emerges when you delve a little deeper. The starting point for the year had been skewed to abnormally high levels due to the outages experienced in the wake of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma in March 2018.
interruptions target by 2025. For the first time the whole industry will be expected to achieve the same challenging commitment on performance. Only sector-leading performers can expect to be rewarded for exceeding something that customers would view as part of a water company’s day job. New reporting guidance from next year should also make it easier to compare individual company year-on-year trends, with suppliers having to use the same metric across service areas including interruptions, leakage and sewer flooding. That will strengthen our hand in exposing poor performers. It remains to be seen how companies respond to this challenge but one thing we can be certain of is that it will not get any easier for the industry. Our increasingly unpredictable climate means we should brace ourselves for more extreme weather events – from heavy rainfall and storms to drought-plagued summers. Water companies will find themselves in the eye of the storm and have to adapt. Our climate may be changing but customers’ priorities remain the same – affordable bills but, just as crucially, services they can always rely on. That will depend on the industry pumping vast sums of customers’ cash into strengthening our water and sewerage network and being better prepared to help the most vulnerable households when things do go wrong. Regulators have raised the bar on resilience – the question remains whether companies will warm to the task.
FOR THE WANT OF A NAIL…HOW TO FACTOR IN THE COST OF FAILURE
The recent press coverage of the burst water main in Finsbury Park in London is enough to strike fear into the hearts of operational teams in the water industry up and down the country. by Dean Wheeler Egremont Group
With over 250 homes affected the cost of the incident, clean up, and compensation will be huge. While impossible to predict the exact timing of an incident of this scale, is it possible to minimise the risk of such a catastrophic event?
As Benjamin Franklin so eloquently wrote: “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, For the want of a shoe the horse was lost, For the want of a horse the rider was lost, For the want of a rider the battle was lost, For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
Our work has shown that the average cost of failure in the water industry is between 3-9 times the cost of avoiding the failure in the first place. This is worse when failure occurs creating an emergency (like in Finsbury Park) where costs cannot be readily controlled nor optimised. We have seen examples where the costs of failure amounted
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS to over 20% of total budgets. This means that over one pound in five of Opex is driven by a disruptive failure that needs immediate attention. New thinking is needed, thinking that takes into account the true Totex costs of failure at the start not at the end when budgets are blown across teams and managers are trying to understand why.
Joined Up Thinking How often are business plans (re) written at the start of the year / AMP with budget cuts announced where each separate department is asked to trim their spend by a certain percentage? Once these changes have been made, however painful, there is a sense of achievement. Costs are trimmed, management are satisfied, targets have been met, profitability increases. Not necessarily. In order to implement budget cuts that don’t put other business areas at risk there needs to be a joined up approach to cost cutting. The term ‘systems thinking’ is often used to describe this joined up thinking and while we know this approach results in better business outcomes the objectives, KPIs and budget don’t always support the making of good decisions. Making the right business decision which hurts one’s own teams’ performance is extremely hard. Does the maintenance manager overspend their budget to undertake work which is ‘right for the business’ when the benefits are realised elsewhere? How does their Director view this overspend? How will this decision enhance their career?
Planning for Failure It sounds counter-intuitive but put another way planning for failure is about identifying the risks within the business which could end up costing the most to fix in the long term. Start by working across the company to identify where the major stress points are within the business. What are the biggest costs on a regular basis? Is it possible to invest in different ways of working to minimise these costs before they become a financial burden? It will come as no surprise that the cost of maintaining key assets is a lot lower than all of the associated costs if that
asset fails. Sounds simple, but in an industry where cutting costs has been a key priority for a long period of time, spending money in order to safeguard against future costs is never going to be a popular option. However, in a brave new Totex world its these decisions which will eventually lead to upper quartile performance. The question is how do water companies enable their people to make the right business decision.
Maintenance is King The importance of regular maintenance across the business is the key to understanding how the cost of failure can impact the bottom line in a business. Take the example of the rising main air valve, essential for release of air and wastewater gases. The cost of maintaining air valves across a business could be £250-500k per year dependent on number and geography. If a decision is made to cut the maintenance of these valves the cost saving is easy to see but it’s much harder to see the impact of the decision. In the short term, the lack of maintenance may not have much of an impact, however in the longer term you are likely to see a wide range of different costs hitting different parts of the business. For example, extra power required to push air through the sewer system, possible failure of the sewer network causing pollution, supply interruption and the requirement to fix and replace larger assets as the sewer doesn’t last for its full life. The annual costs of air valve failures can easily exceed £1m.
This is just the start, consider the reputation impact and management time lost dealing with a major incident and the loss of capital expenditure to fund the replacement. These costs are often just accepted as business as usual, yet they far outweigh the cost of regular maintenance but are much harder to see because they happen in the future.
Bravery in Leadership For leaders who are measured on budget achievement, overall profitability and dividend returns to shareholders, a quick fix is appealing. It takes a brave leader to step back and pinpoint where the capital expenditure investment can really benefit the company in the long term. Creating a case for focussed investment is not always easy, it is complex and hard work but the rewards can be huge. The challenge is the savings may come out in many different budgets and over time, which could be described as a true total expenditure saving. The only way to reduce the costs of failure is to focus on avoiding failure in the first place. After all, if a battle can be lost for want of a horse-shoe nail, it is possible to see how a company can fail for want of a new rising main air valve. www.egremontgroup.com
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SHAPES SCOTTISH WATER’S SERVICE DELIVERY
Understanding the customer perspective and putting that at the heart of the response to water supply incidents is a key element of Scottish Water’s ethos around delivering service excellence.
by Andrew Walker
Head of Communication, Scottish Water And that dynamic has helped shape how the organisation works with communities – on the streets and online – to ensure service standards are maintained. Interruptions to supply are an inevitable fact of life at any water company – Scottish Water has more than 30,300 miles of water pipes across Scotland, from the biggest cities to the smallest, most remote rural communities. Serving 2.5 million homes and more than 150,000 businesses and delivering 1.4 billion litres of water a day and managing more than 996,000 litres daily of waste- water, as vital player in supporting Scotland, customer expectations have never been higher. A good, high-quality water supply is something that everyday lives depend on and the relationships with customers, communities and stakeholders is important. Whenever there is a supply interruption,
every means possible is used to communicate with affected customers, including mailshots, social media, our Contact Centre, the media (local and national) and project website pages.
we want to tell them!). If we get that right, we get satisfied customers - they have the reassurance that we are working to solve the problem and they understand timescales for resolution.
With more than 30,000 followers the main Scottish Water Twitter and hundreds more on regional accounts in the west, south east and north of Scotland and almost 29,000 followers on Facebook, social media has become an important platform for engaging with customers. Local media, including newspapers, websites, radio and television, continue to have a large ‘reach’ so the use of a combination of all these platforms helps ensures the message is heard.
“It’s really interesting to see on social media how customers will react positively, even when they are experiencing a loss of service for a period of time, when they can see that we are doing everything we can to sort the problem and keeping them informed as we go along.
Using multi-platforms can reduce the number of calls received via the telephone helpline. And work is ongoing to move to a 5-stage communications approach for incidents which will give even clearer “self-help” advice and information during events. Mark McEwen, Scottish Water’s general manager for customer service, said: “We always need to ask - what will the customer want to know (not always the same as what
“It’s even better when customers come to our defence when others are complaining. “At end of the day, our aim is to continue to be trusted by customers and we always need to have service excellence as our objective when it comes to supply interruptions. “We cannot yet prevent every burst or its impact on customers, but we must do everything we can to respond through alternative supplies, rapid repair response, support of vulnerable customers and a commitment to frequent and relevant updates to our customers.”
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SAFE, SECURE, RELIABLE â€“ OUR COMMITMENT TO CUSTOMERS
For water utility companies service interruptions, whether planned or unplanned, can result in significant inconvenience to customers giving rise to criticism and loss of confidence. by Ben Sydenham
failing can a service provider make than to be in a situation where it is unable to provide the service its customers are paying for and therefore expect.
Water is an essential part of everyday life, and not many people ever expect that they will be without it. Avoiding or achieving shorter interruption times in any event can reduce reputational damage from dissatisfied customers and minimise the risk of penalties or fines.
For AMP 6 our interruption to supply target is an average of 5 minutes loss of supply, per customer, per year, which includes both planned and unplanned events exceeding 3 hours. The minutes interrupted is calculated by assessing the impact of each event. This is the duration of the incident multiplied by the number of customers affected, divided by the Companyâ€™s total customer base. Planned interruptions consist of the those activities that are arranged
Network Manager, Portsmouth Water Ltd
Minimising Interruptions to supply has always been one of the key areas of focus for Portsmouth Water. After all, what bigger
more than 48 hours in advance of the works for domestic customers and 25 days for non-household customers. They are planned for a defined duration and where possible we engineer our prearranged activities to typically last under 3 hours. Our unplanned interruptions normally result from asset failure of some sort such as burst mains therefore our response is reactive in nature. During the previous 3 years we have changed our approach to planned interruptions which has reduced our loss of supply performance from more than 4 minutes in 2016 to 1m:48s in 18/19. To achieve this, we have increased the length of mains renewals
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS utilising no dig methods from less than 20% to more than 70%. We are also using pre-sterilised pipe enabling us to lay the main and transfer the customerâ€™s service in one operation whilst maintaining supplies via temporary overland pipe work. This improves both the efficiency of the main laying process and reduces the customer impact as residents are not subjected to multiple supply interruptions during our works. We have also significantly increased our use of under pressure tees and line stops which eliminates the loss of supply and removes the lengthy notice period for household and non-household customers. For our unplanned interruptions to supply, we have taken a number of measures to continue our strong performance in this area. Burst rates are principally negated by the rate of mains renewals. Over the past 25 years, we have typically renewed approximately 1% of our mains on an annual basis. This has effectively driven down bursts over this period and therefore the associated customer disruption. To further protect the resilience of service we
have a strong water resource position from actions taken by the Company over many years which include: â– Building service reservoirs, which allow 2-3 days treated water storage ensuring supply can continue during periods where a short- term operational shock occurs (i.e. loss of a water treatment works). â– Development of our network of trunk and distribution mains to allow rezoning that ensures all customer supplies can be quickly restored when interruptions to water supply or failure of the network occur. The March 2018 Freeze/Thaw event and Summer 2018 high demand illustrated how good stewardship over many years has enabled us to effectively manage severe weather events. With the vast majority of customers having no interruptions to supply during the freeze/thaw and no usage restrictions during the dry spring/summer period clearly demonstrated the benefits of investing in and maintaining resilient resources, infrastructure and distribution networks across our area of supply.
with minimal disruption to the customer. This requires a competent and motivated workforce who understand the need for the highest levels of safety, hygiene, customer service and productivity. The combined efforts of both our directly employed staff and service providers is testament to the hard work they have put in which has allowed Portsmouth Water to achieve its strong performance in this area. For AMP 7 we have reduced our target further, in line with customer expectations, to 3 minutes for unplanned and planned activities. Whilst this is a very low level of customer interruption, we are committed to achieving as low figure as is reasonably practicable. Delivering a safe, secure and reliable supply of drinking water is at the heart of our business. We will continue to manage our network to ensure that customers are not impacted by service failures, with ambitious Performance Commitment targets that reflect our overall performance and align to customer preferences and statutory requirements.
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CUSTOMER MINUTES - ALL IS NOT LOST
Water companies intend to provide a wholesome and continuous supply of water to every customer. by Jason Harvey
Drinking Water Networks & Customer Service Manager, South West Water The economic regulator of the water industry in England and Wales, Ofwat, expects companies to do this. Not only that, Ofwat requires companies to report their interruption performance and to sign-up to penalties and rewards based on that performance. Ofwat also expects compensation to be paid to customers for some supply interruptions and for failing to provide appropriate alternative water in some cases (GSS Schemes). South West Water, as part of the PR19 customer engagement process, quickly recognized that its customers ranked having a clean and reliable, always on, supply of water as one of their top priorities. Across the UK industry the period customers have been off normal supply has increased by 25% since 2016/17. Although some exceptional climatic conditions contributed to this, water companies, as part of their AMP7 business plans, have had to up their game to meet a universally more challenging
supply interruption outcome delivery incentive (ODI) against a backdrop of ageing assets, falling water bills and stretched customer service commitments. Failure to achieve the business plan interruption performance could result in a significant financial penalty and reputational harm that water companies really donâ€™t want. South West Water has embraced the challenge and taken major steps forward in controlling and reducing these interruptions, significantly bettering its Customer Minutes Lost (CML) performance. The CML performance metric aggregates the total number of minutes of supply interruptions of more than three hours and distributes that as an average across the number of water connections, to normalise the metric across the industry. In 2018/19 South West Water significantly reduced the overall duration of these interruptions, beating its target for average per property, achieving its best ever performance. This was despite a 40% increase in the number of mains bursting
during the summer, due to ground movement arising from the prolonged dry period and a hugely dynamic set of hydraulic conditions linked to extremes of high and normal water usage. Recognising customersâ€™ priorities, the company is continuing to focus on delivering more improvement, particularly given the challenging targets it has set itself for the 2020-25 period. An affordable and speedy reduction of CML can only be achieved via multiple streams. Traditionally the most common indicator of an issue with an asset resulting in supply interruptions is reporting to the company by the customers experiencing the problem. This is no longer acceptable â€“ if indeed it ever was. Burst pipes, failure of control valves, pump stoppages, third-party damage and even energy grid system failure all contribute to supply interruptions and many do have indicators of failure prior to noticeable service impacts to customers. Having an awareness of indicators leading to an asset failure before it becomes catastrophic provides operational teams
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS with the necessary and timely information to locate and respond to the failure before it generates any noticeable consequences. Investment in 1000’s of SCADA connected sensors and flow data points, all monitored 24/7, are key to an improvement in this workstream. Linking these data points though algorithms and machine learning systems further improves understanding and precise intervention focus. The most effective means to removing interruptions is through asset investment and customers do pay for replacement of assets that fail and contribute to interruptions to an agreed affordable threshold. Using asset performance tools and systems to determine frequently failing and/ or high consequence events can make this process more affordable – pin-pointed, or hot-spot investment to maximise benefit at least cost. The replacement of buried pipes and fittings is very expensive, especially for large diameters. Alternative solutions must be considered, alternatives that provide less expensive but adequate enablement to provide mitigation to a supply interruption event - reduce the scale and duration. These may include improved network control functionality (calming), limiting/removing
dendritic systems (cross links – temporary and permanent), more isolation valves and mains injection/connection points. These provide economic engineering solutions that may not exclusively stop failure but can significantly reduce the frequency, time to respond, scale and duration of interruption events. Being able to respond to inevitable failures, ideally before they have a service consequence, is crucial. This responsiveness, including alternative water, has traditionally been actioned by a universally capable field resource. The multiplicity of responsibilities falling to a team of field responders can lead to conflicts of priority, such as a focus on burst pipe isolation, environmental damage mitigation, repair resource coordination and event data logging to list but a few. Explicitly defining CML responsibility, providing dedicated equipment, exhaustive training in core CML tasks and having teams that are well-practised and rehearsed in procedures is crucial. SWW’s Alternative Water Supply team is now the largest in the company’s history.
A role-specific recruitment initiative sourced individuals with generic skills and qualifications, with SWW providing bespoke and comprehensive training, including HGV (C+E) where necessary, to establish a single focussed, enabled and expertly trained AWS teams across the company operating areas. Key to the AWS teams’ successes are a range of tools and equipment. They include: a fleet of high-volume permanently wetted LGV tankers with automatic variable speed direct injection pumping; rapid response AWS light goods vehicles; kilometres of instantly deployable overland temporary hoses, connections and pumps; under pressure installation/line stopping capability (EZValve, SARCO Aquastop and Hydrant Wizard for example); and a large goods-hauling capability to quickly provide customers with convenient bottled water when all other mitigation options are unworkable. The coming CML target for AMP7 will be tough to achieve but South West Water is optimistic. The multifaceted strategy has contributed to a historically demonstrable improvement in CML performance and will continue to do so as the team, the equipment capability and competency grows.
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USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO SUPPORT BETTER WATER DISTRIBUTION PIPE ASSET MANAGEMENT DECISIONS Water utilities are under increasing pressure by customers and regulators to improve performance. Producing and delivering high quality drinking water is only one aspect of performance. Delivery of that water with minimal interruption is important to reduce the number and duration of interruption events, improve the reliability of supply, and reduce negative social impacts on customers. Reducing leakage from water systems is also very important because it allows a better balance of water resource supply and demand and increases water supply network resilience. Appropriately maintaining and improving the asset health of the belowground water main infrastructure network demonstrates a utility’s commitment to asset stewardship responsibility, ensuring the network is maintained and improved for the benefit of current and future generations. Performance improvement is directly related to how well a utility manages its water assets. Water main bursts are disruptive and expensive. It’s better to repair or rehabilitate a risky pipe before it leaks or bursts, but with thousands of miles of pipe in a given infrastructure, which do you replace ﬁrst? Utility asset managers and engineers have done reasonably well with desktop condition assessments. However, the methodology is lengthy, expensive, and subjective. Desktop models process limited amounts of data, and frequently rely on “best professional judgment.” Physical condition assessments are useful, but they don’t scale across an entire distribution system. Moreover, they are time consuming and expensive. Utilities need a fast, accurate, and affordable condition assessment method that objectively analyzes large amounts of current and historical data. This is where Artiﬁcial Intelligence comes into play.
Figure 1 - Pipe Burst Causes Interruption of Service (Twitter/Thames Water)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a set of mathematical solutions to derive a proper model from scatter data. AI’s modeling methods have a common structure. It is a mathematical model optimized by many computations and huge amount of data, which is called training or learning. This is why AI is sometimes called “Machine Learning.” Here, “machine” means computer. AI-Machine Learning (ML) extracts correlation and causation between each data point from the data itself without assuming prior assumptions and theories which might be wrong and make results worse. This kind of approach might not seem special, but AI can be used regardless of the number, dimension, and complexity of data. Even if a problem is beyond human understanding, AI solutions work well. Because most water utilities have pipe, geographical data, and burst history, and because federal, state and local organizations maintain stores of environmental data, there is a lot of data available to assess the condition of water main pipes. It would be almost impossible
for a human to comprehend all the possible relationships between these data points. However, it is possible to build an AI-ML model that uses the computational power of a computer and the data about water main pipes (burst history, geography, and environmental conditions - including soils and climate) to identify which pipes have the highest Likelihood of Failure (LOF) in the coming years. Fracta (www.fracta.ai), a US-based technology company located in Redwood City, CA, offers an AI-ML-based software and service to assess the risk and condition of drinking water mains to help large utilities better assess pipe replacement decisions and allocate funding. Fracta predicts and visualizes the LOF for every water pipe segment in a utility. This LOF score represents the mathematical probability of pipe failure. Recently, Fracta expanded its solution to assess the Consequence of Failure (COF), which determines the severity of a failure and quantifies the direct and indirect costs of water main failures. When LOF and COF are calculated, they’re then placed in the
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS
Figure 2- Fracta Likelihood of Failure Prediction
Business Risk Exposure (BRE) formula: LOF (%) x COF ($) = BRE ($). BRE is calculated in terms of direct and indirect costs. As in all AI-ML applications, the quality of data is critically important. The data used in the analysis must be well-organized and normalized. Both quantity and quality of the data is important. Fracta has developed a software-led approach to data cleaning and normalizing to aid in the challenge of using real-life data from utilities that varies in quality. Examples of varying data quality include missing pipe parameters such as materials and install years, disparate data sets coming from different sources, and sometimes just plain incorrect data values. In some cases, the ambiguity or data gaps in the source data require further exploratory discussions with the utility. These discussions then deﬁne the assumptions that are used to improve and normalize the data. Data acquisition, assessment, and cleaning for any AI-ML process is roughly 60-80% of the work, also known as pre-processing or data wrangling, with the remaining percentage being the ML itself. Once the data is assessed, cleaned, and imputed where needed, it is ready to be fed into a ML algorithm where it is subsequently ‘trained’ to learn the patterns that predict burst events. The more data a model contains, the more robust the model. As utilities are constantly collecting data,
such as new bursts and installed pipes, that data can continually be fed into a ML model. This subsequently enhances the model by either strengthening previously learned rules around burst predictions or from encountering additional circumstances around which new rules can be built. As an ever-increasing amount of data strengthens the predictive power of a ML algorithm benefiting utilities with large amounts of historical burst and asset information, ML can also benefit utilities with limited asset or burst data as ML data can “fill in the gaps.” If a utility has little burst data, future bursts can be informed by patterns found for other similar materials, install years, soil compositions, etc. If a utility has little asset data, a similar process can be applied by simply looking at ancillary geospatial data to impute the probability of pipe burst events. Thus, because ML utilizes many streams of data in order to perform
certain predictions, it begins to learn patterns that can inform situations where many of the usual data points may not be available. Incorporating an AI-ML risk and condition assessment tool like Fracta into a proper infrastructure and asset management program will contribute to the reduction of the economic impacts incurred from water main bursts and leakage, and more efficient allocation of capital by water utilities. Use of best practices and a more accurate, objective tool will align maintenance and capital repair and replacement strategies to more efficiently leverage scarce financial and human resources. They also inject financial integrity to the planning process and refine the investment strategy so a utility will be in a better position to defend planning efforts and fund needed capital pipe replacement projects.
Figure 3 – Fracta LOF Delivery Process
REGULATION DRIVING CHANGE IN LEAK DETECTION Pressure on leakage levels coming from UK water industry regulators is creating noise in the UK leak location technology market, says David Frost, managing director of Servelec Technologies, which has recently acquired pinpoint leak detection specialist Primayer. in pinpoint leak detection. We recognise that the high level of regulation in the UK is challenging the industry to continue to improve performance, driving faster adoption of innovation and making a mature, UK leak technology company like Primayer highly attractive.
by David Frost
Managing Director, Servelec Technologies The scale of leak reduction required by water companies in England and Wales in AMP7 is sharpening strategies to address this eternal industry challenge. Many water companies have set themselves much tougher targets than the 15% imposed by the regulator over the next five years - with Thames Water and Yorkshire Water both citing 25 per cent reduction from 2020-25. To date only three utilities have had their business plans approved - Severn Trent, South West Water and United Utilities. As the industry awaits more detail from Ofwat, it is important to identify where those water loss reductions will be made. In the short-term, water companies can increase the workforce and drive customer and staff reporting in their effort to find and fix leaks, but new detection technologies also have a key role to play. Acoustic loggers that can pinpoint leaks by measuring the sound generated by water escaping the network are front-of-field in this leakfocussed, water-stressed era. With this in mind Servelec Technologies recently acquired Primayer, a leading light
Leak detection devices like Primayer’s Enigma3m can feed data directly into Servelec Technologies’ secure data transfer systems.
Sevelec Technologies, which is headquartered in Sheffield, has had a mutually respectful relationship with Primayer over many years and we wanted to capture and enhance the synergy between the two companies, presenting an end-toend offer to water companies to monitor and control their assets remotely. The process starts with Primayer’s onsite datalogger and correlation system, which feeds directly into Servelec Technologies’ highly secure SCADA/telemetry data transfer systems. Industrial IoT is reshaping automation, engineering and infrastructure globally and for the water industry, the installation of multiple low-cost leak detection devices makes capturing real-time operational data much easier. By harnessing and transmitting this wealth of newly available data, companies can carry out strategic operational analysis to drive efficiencies and reduce cost. Leakage is a global challenge and the UK leads the way. Since privatisation the regulator Ofwat has set the UK water industry stringent leakage targets. Water companies can only meet these targets by using the latest innovative smart technology such as those offered by Primayer and Servelec Technologies. Our market intelligence tells us that budgets will increase significantly for this kind of technology in many regions globally. We now have the opportunity to leverage the full portfolio through our combined channel
partner networks. Water utilities cannot continue to do what they have always done and deliver on their customer commitments. In terms of leakage and spillage events, the UK regulators are gaining teeth through penalties, which is positive from our point of view because our technologies are designed to mitigate these risks. We are optimistic that AMP7 is going to bring a significant increase in the opportunity for organic market growth. We expect to penetrate further and grow significantly, especially through Primayer’s pinpoint leak-noise correlating technology. Water companies are looking for greater analytics capability and we have the hardware and software to provide just that – along with the capability to make better decisions remotely using real-time data. This gives us the perfect tail-wind as we take forward the synergies born from bringing these exciting businesses and technology portfolios together. www.primayer.com
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS
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, Protecta-Line offers a wide range of speciallydesigned fittings including electrofusion fittings, mechanical fittings, mechanical compression fittings, pupped fittings and ferrule offtakes.
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BARRIER AND FITTINGS THE TRIEDPIPE & TRUSTED BARRIER SYSTEM SYSTEM
MANAGING WASTE WATER NETWORKS CHALLENGED BY AN INCREASINGLY WETTER CLIMATE Love them or loathe them, there is no doubt that you will have heard of Extinction Rebellion. The group, which aims to use nonviolent civil disobedience to force authorities internationally to act against climate change, has undertaken a variety of highprofile, peaceful demonstrations over the previous few months. While the methods Extinction Rebellion use are intentionally disruptive and often divisive, the group’s message about the threats of climate change is hard to ignore. There is an ever-expanding body of research, championed by the scientific community, that confirms that the world is getting warmer and weather patterns are becoming more severe as a result.
Climate change and precipitation The world is getting warmer. According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, global temperatures in 2018 were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 19511980s mean. This increase in temperature will impact the climate in numerous ways, including an increase in precipitation, as warmer air can hold more water vapour. In fact, for each degree of warming, the air’s capacity for water vapour goes up by about 7% according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. In the UK, increased rainfall is already apparent. The 2018 UK State of the Climate report, completed by the Royal Meteorological Society evidenced that the UK’s climate is becoming wetter. According to the report, the most recent decade (2009-2018) has been on average 1% wetter than 1981-2010 and 5% wetter than 1691-1990 for the UK overall. Furthermore, the amount of rain from extremely wet days has increased by 17% when comparing the same time period.
The risks of wetter weather The most obvious risk of consistently wetter weather is that of flooding, and in 2018 the Environmental Agency warned that intense bouts of flooding are set to become more frequent. In fact, Met Office records show that since 1910 there has been 17 record breaking rainfall months – with 9 of the 17 being post 2000. In 2015, Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank, and the resulting flooding, caused approximately £1.6bn worth of damage.
Coping with flooding With the threat of heavy rainfall and flooding growing rapidly, for water companies, taking effective steps to mitigate the risk is essential. The demands on the UK’s existing waste water networks are already great. Population growth, for example, is rapidly forcing the expansion of urban areas in order to meet the demand for new housing. This directly impacts the quantity of water entering sewer networks which, in turn, reduces the capacity of a sewer to cope with flood events. When pairing together the challenges of maintaining a Victorian-era sewer network with climate change and urbanisation, water companies are finding themselves under increasing pressure to find smart, costeffective solutions.
including remote and challenging installation sites. Available in two different measurement variants covering 200mm–6m and 300mm10m, SonicSens 3 is compatible with HWM telemetry data loggers, and so benefits from the latest alarm, reporting and dial-in features. To ensure accuracy, SonicSens 3 has been designed with an Unwanted Echo filter feature, which ignores unwanted echoes from objects such as ladder rungs, providing the user with confidence in the recorded data.
To support a variety of different level monitoring applications, including combined sewer overflow (CSO), blockage monitoring, incident prevention and reservoir level monitoring, HWM has developed SonicSens 3.
Powered by the logger, supporting a 5 year battery life and additional battery options, SonicSens 3 benefits from the device not having contact with its environment. This means the sensor is much less likely to be damaged by the contents of whatever it is measuring and requires lower maintenance as a result.
SonicSens 3 is an intrinsically safe, ATEX certified ultrasonic level sensor designed for use in a variety of different applications,
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FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS
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SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS - EVERY SECOND COUNTS
United Utilities is a large water company serving 7 million people in the north-west with over 42,000km of clean water network pipes. and when it comes to keeping the taps running for our customers, we know that every second counts. Reducing interruptions to supply is a significant challenge for the water industry, with increasingly tighter targets and significant scrutiny by our regulators. Our customer research has shown that reducing interruptions is a significant priority for 95% of customers.
by Anna Provost
Water Network Strategy Development Manager, United Utilities We supply urban and rural areas with a diverse water infrastructure network of sizes and ages with one of the lowest average age networks, but we face the same challenges
Our dual approach to improving performance related to supply interruptions is based on developing our immediate operational response as well as planning for longer term resilience of the water network.
Focus on restoration Our improving performance in relation to the common performance measure for ‘Customer minutes lost’ in recent years has been based on the development of our Integrated
Control Centre (ICC). The ICC is conceived as the central hub of our operations, maintaining constant situational awareness of the services we provide to customers and the risks that could impinge on these services. This has been underpinned by an increasing range of options to mitigate the impact of events such as alternative supply tankers, intelligent valves and operational staff with information at their fingertips. The ICC support has developed alongside a change in culture and focus on saving every second, reinforced through the ‘Focus on the 3 Rs – response, restoration and repair’ Response Increasing use of data and technology in the control centre using software to monitor flows and pressures alerts us to likely issues developing in the water network. This allows us to get a head start on our response before the customer has noticed any impact on their water supply.
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS Implementing 24 hour support at all levels within the ICC and in the field means we have the people, knowledge and systems to ensure that we can respond quickly at any time. Restoration Increasing the focus on the restoration of supplies through alternatives methods gives us additional time to plan and implement a repair, this has multiple benefits including faster restoration of supplies to customers and reducing the risk of discoloured water. During AMP6, we have increased the use of alternative supply vehicles (ASVs) to provide an alternative water supply, to restore supplies to customers prior to planning and completing the repair on the network. ASV fleet numbers and operators have increased to one of the largest fleets in the country with 24 hour support including establishing additional bases to ensure that critical time is saved in getting the water to where it is needed. Increasing numbers have also allowed the ASVs to support planned maintenance and repairs in order to reduce the impact to customers from planned work. We also have 4 Overland Support Vehicles (OSVs) that can support with providing overland feeds to smaller numbers of properties or to provide support in rural locations where the ASVs may struggle to gain access. Repair We have worked with our construction partners and suppliers to actively promote non-disruptive techniques and repair methods and focused on innovative ways of working to ensure that we have a co-ordinated response to the event and can complete the repair with minimum disruption to the customer. This includes purchasing and storing of critical spares to ensure that repairs are not delayed by waiting for additional parts.
Planning for the future Alongside the immediate response and repair, we are increasing the resilience of the water network by focusing on developing a thorough understanding of the risks to our water supply system and our approach to managing them. Long-term planning will ensure that we make the network more resilient to supply interruptions and that we continue to provide a reliable water supply to customers in the future. Our approach is built around understanding
risk and increasing the flexibility of our systems, allowing us to respond to the diverse range of hazards to which our systems are exposed. The criticality of mains is assessed and prioritised leading to actions to mitigate the risks. This includes increasing the understanding of how the network operates and the risks facing the system through the development of contingency plans, installation of addition valves and cross-connections to increase flexibility and resilience in network operation. In addition, we are planning a phased replacement of high consequence network assets, focused on those with the highest failure rates. The reliability of supply can also be affected by factors outside our control as our large asset base is exposed to hazards such as extreme weather, security risks and third party damage. However, we can build resilience into our assets, so they resist hazards, and into our systems, so they absorb the effects of losing assets. Redundancy in systems also reduces the risk of failure against our own assets, whether they are pipes, valves, pumps or treatment works. We monitor these risks carefully to
plan investment and recognise that we need to adapt our plans in response to change customer expectations. The changing climate with more extreme events such as the â€˜Beast from the Eastâ€™ and recent periods of prolonged dry weather is placing unprecedented demands on our system. This reinforces the focus on building resilience for our long term strategy. â€ƒ
Conclusion Maintaining a reliable supply of water for customers is challenging and we need to focus on both the immediate and longer-term response in order to ensure that we have a water network that is resilient to future needs. We are working in a challenging environment of increasing customer expectations and tighter regulatory targets with added risks from future climate conditions. We need to continue to focus on developing our people and systems with innovative approaches and plan for the long-term investment in our assets so that they will continue for provide services for generations to come.
COLLABORATION INSTALLS HDPE FLAP VALVES IN KENT
Lower Halstow is a small village located on the banks of the River Medway north of Sittingbourne. Halstow, meaning ‘Holy Place’, has been known to exist since the Iron Age. More recently, it was the setting for the Wonder Woman ﬁlm! At Lower Halstow a freshwater stream drains into the Medway which at that location forms part of the tidal Thames Estuary catchment area. A culvert, with water ingress protected by ﬂap valves, protects the stream by allowing water to pass into the Medway at low tide whilst stopping seawater entering as sea levels rise at high tide. The two existing ﬂap valves had steel frames with rubber doors and their condition had deteriorated to the point where the Environment Agency (EA) decided to replace them. Although the exact date of their installation isn’t known, a 1951 two-shilling piece was found by Invicta Project Manager, Dan Brown, when breaking out the concrete to accommodate the new valves.
The design of the replacement valves was a collaborative effort between the EA, TBS Soest and Invicta. The valve faces incorporate adjustable ﬁsh passes which allow migrating elvers (young eels)* and other ﬁsh to pass through the valves except at high tide. The valves were fabricated from HDPE (polyethylene) by TBS Soest in the Netherlands. HDPE is an ideal material for use in corrosive environments and has been a staple of coastal ﬁsh-farming installations for many years. Access to the seaward end of the 8m-long culvert was fairly straightforward, but the other opening was located in an 7m deep chamber. All work in the chamber was undertaken in line with the HSE ACOP (Approved Code of Practice) for conﬁned spaces, with Top Man in place at all times.
T: +44 (0) 1622 754613 E: firstname.lastname@example.org A dedicated member of the 60
EXPECT...QUALITY IN EVERY STEP In addition to the challenge of conﬁned spaces working, the Invicta installation team was also racing the tides and a large number of Adult Eels congregating in the chamber. Counteracting the tide involved bagging (sealing) the culvert to prevent sea water entering it at the seaward outlet and pumping the river water over the culvert and into the estuary. Due to extensive planning and preparation prior to arriving on site, the ﬂap valves were installed within two days rather than the scheduled three. This was despite the heatwave which took working temperatures up as high as 38˚C at times. The works at Lower Halstow were completed under the EA framework contract managed by Breheny Civil Engineering. Breheny is an EA tier-one framework contractor with extensive experience in river and marine works, as well as projects in the environmental and utilities sectors. This was the ﬁrst time Breheny and Invicta had collaborated on an EA project. Dan Brown was Invicta’s Project Manager: ‘Breheny has huge civil engineering experience. The logistics on the project such as site access, cranage and bagging were really professional. Invicta added its extensive experience of valve design and installation into the mix. As with any new collaboration there was a bedding-in period as we got used to each other’s ways of working. The end result was a really effective team that delivered a successful project for the client.’ David Clark is Breheny’s EA Framework Manager: ’Please can you pass on our gratitude to your operatives who worked on site last week. The heat was gruelling and your men remained highly professional at all times whilst being truly tested with the conditions on site. Thank you.’ *Footnote: Whilst freshwater eels spawn in the ocean they spend the majority of their lives in fresh or brackish waters. After 5 – 20 years in a river or estuary, the eels migrate back to the Sargasso Sea, part of the North Atlantic Ocean, to spawn.
MAXIMISING BENEFITS FROM PRESSURE MANAGEMENT WITHIN AMP7 As part of the final negotiations between Regulator and Water Company, tough environmental objectives were agreed, in particular a nationwide minimum reduction in reportable leakage of greater than 15% by the end of the next Asset Management Period (AMP7), in 2025.
by Michael Hurley Nationally leakage levels have stagnated, fluctuating around 3,200 Ml/d for the past decade. Not since the nineties has there been such a dramatic reduction in the agreed targets. So with 500 Ml/d to aim for, where does the industry start? Without doubt the low hanging fruit has already been harvested, the current levels being determined based upon an economic assessment of viability and then customer willingness to pay beyond the economic point. The new targets have been set around sustaining environmental objectives influenced by climate change and political will. However, as leakage comes down, costs increase at both transitional and maintenance levels. There is a reliance on innovation, advancement in technology and leak detection practice efficiency to offset these cost increases as funding in a highly regulated sector becomes harder and economically unsustainable. Can we get greater/additional benefit from historic investments? Pressure management is one area that can be investigated: ■ How many assets have been installed and forgotten?
How many of these assets have been installed without monitoring? ■ How many of these assets have been installed but not maintained? ■ How many of these assets have been performance reviewed to check that they are still fit for purpose? ■ How many of these assets are not running at optimal levels due to changing demand and leakage levels across the network? ■
The benefits of pressure management are better understood today, 20-30 years ago installations were based on a cost benefit model which quantified the volume of water saved by decreasing pressures. Today there is an appreciation for benefits relating to the effect of network calming, e.g. burst reduction, which can be gained from properly installed, controlled and maintained pressure management assets. The technology available today, to monitor the network, is more readily available and gives us a resolution far more informative
than that available in the past. The ability to investigate what was happening on the network prior to an event to build our understanding of cause and effect is invaluable. So how can we take this knowledge and optimise our historic capital investment to aid our delivery of tomorrows challenging AMP7 targets?
Asset information Firstly, all pressure management related assets must be clearly identified, referenced and key details recorded in systems easily available to all parties involved, with keen eyes focusing on data cleansing and cross-referencing to other corporate systems, e.g. GIS and WM. Some field surveys may be required to accompany desktop data collation. A full review of existing assets may lead to an asset replacement program within the AMP due to age of assets - there are still some older types of direct acting PRV out there!
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS Monitoring Following asset data collation, a GAP analysis of the continuous monitoring of these assets and the levels of service within Pressure Managed Areas (PMA) can be made. Without up to date data, asset performance cannot be assessed. As the costs of data loggers have decreased and data transmission frequencies and methods have increased (such as emerging IoT logging options), programmes of increased monitoring can be implemented, providing the up-to-date data on pressure management that water companies are striving for. Field surveys can also indicate minor civil works to increase data reliability, e.g. pillars/kiosks, and the rationalisation of equipment, e.g. ducting between meter chambers and PRV chambers, preventing the need for multiple loggers at key points such as critical points (DG2) and DMA meters.
Maintenance Vital to maximising the benefits from pressure management assets is maintenance. Strategies must be defined and implemented to ensure all stakeholders understand the importance and potential impact if maintenance is not carried out. Potential strategies include, but may not be limited to: ■ Reactive – ad-hoc as and when an issue is flagged, e.g. customer call ■ Preventative - utilisation of current and past maintenance data to support the development of a planned maintenance strategy - an advancement on the planned major/minor servicing programme ■ Condition based - utilisation of available data to support reactive maintenance decisions - in the sense of responding to the data Recording of all relevant information from site maintenance visits is essential to help identify trends in: ■ Valve types and/or defective parts replacements ■ PRV control failures ■ Control point failures ■ PRV environment issues The increase of data, and new sensing, e.g. control space monitoring, water quality monitoring, can ensure maintenance is at the most beneficial level for a company.
Asset performance Desktop review, utilising up to date time series data and manufacturer data,
can ensure assets are performing within acceptable design bands. Regular reporting on PMA data availability/operability, with the same focus as DMA reporting, ensures companies have the finger on the pulse of the network. This monitoring can be fully automated as part of an operability report.
Asset optimisation Outside of issues identified through daily/weekly reporting and maintenance tasks, regular review of the optimal operation of assets is required to ensure benefits continue to be realised - we can’t forget the existing assets when looking at new. There are cases where pressures may have to be increased due to levels of service or, preferably, opportunities to reduce pressure to save additional leakage, e.g. following mains renewal work and/or customer side improvements. Installation of intelligent control to fixed outlet PRV can be achieved simply and cost effectively realising immediate benefits.
New schemes New additional pressure management opportunities within the AMP can be achieved by: ■ Network Model/Zonal Study ■ High Leakage/Burst Frequency (e.g. NRR) DMA/Zones ■ New Developments ■ Demand Management/Extreme Weather Contingency ■ Ad-hoc field feedback (DG2 rezone, high pressure) Within the new scheme process, ensuring asset standards and process are followed correctly, will give decision makers the best options to maximise the benefits from new schemes by striking a balance between
small, e.g. DMA or sub-DMA PMA schemes, and larger zonal schemes, e.g. multi-DMA or zonal schemes. Large schemes can take time to implement, can be expensive, complicated to monitor and maintain, but could deliver larger savings and provide wider network benefits. Small schemes can be quick and cheap to implement, simple to monitor and maintain, but may only deliver small savings and little wider network benefit. RPS Waternet’s Pressure Management module supports users to do many of these analytics, many of them autonomously, providing a full pressure management suite of tools to collect and maintain asset data, schedule maintenance, monitor performance and design new PMAs. Bringing information from corporate systems and combining it with real time data provides a complete picture with which to further enhance a company’s pressure management strategy.
Benefits The benefits of pressure management are well known to the industry - reduced leakage, reduced burst rates, calmer networks and reduced network maintenance costs, to name a few. However, with AMP7 on the horizon and the challenges that this brings, the full scope of these benefits will need to be realised and maintained. These can only be done with a complete pressure management strategy that treats the assets correctly, but also ensures that the supply of water to customers is not compromised. As with any individual PMA, this strategy will be a fine balancing act. For more information on all aspects of pressure management, please contact, Michael Hurley, e: email@example.com
A SUITE OF PLANNED WORKS SUPPORT SERVICES; MANAGING SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS One of Water Direct’s unique value offerings is its nationwide reactive ability and this represents a significant part of its work with most of the water utility companies in the UK. Rob Allan, Senior Contract Manager at Water Direct, explains how their utility support doesn’t end there and extends to support planned supply interruptions to reduce or prevent impact felt by customers.
Did you know we also provide a broad suite of support services to these clients on a planned basis too? Working towards challenging targets around reduced leakage, reduced supply interruption time and measured improvement in customer experience, water wholesalers have committed billions of pounds in their AMP7 investment programs to repair, renew and replace assets between 2020 and 2025. This work will be done under the scrutiny of Ofwat, the industry at large and of course the customer, whose voice will be more clearly heard through the C-Mex mechanism. This will help incentivise water companies to continue to provide an excellent experience to their customers. In addition to the significant work that needs to be done through AMP7 of course, there is the ongoing program of general maintenance to the network and new equipment installation that generates a need for Water Direct’s planned services.
How can our wholesaler partners benefit from our wider suite of services? What if we could help avoid interruption to supply during that planned maintenance too? The good news is we can, and do so on a regular basis;
We help many of our clients with system chlorination, temporary storage tank cleaning and bulk water supply for ice pigging, flushing, swabbing and pressure testing. We’ve provided temporary water tank and infrastructure installation including Reg. 31 compliant storage solutions, designed to replicate service reservoirs and keep entire District Metred Area (DMA) zones on supply whilst cleaning or repair work is undertaken. We’re often commissioned by water wholesalers to provide site-specific contingency plans for sensitive sites such as hospitals and prisons, and short-term bag-in-a-box solutions like the Aqube and Arlingtons.
Don’t wait for an unplanned interruption to organise alternative water supplies. Among the water logistics solutions that we offer, our planned network injection service is among the most unique and useful, with improved measures of customer service and reduction in supply interruption times high on the agenda. Our technique provides continuous supply of water during planned work and means customers may not need to be off supply at all.
Network injections, what are they? We’ve developed our safe network injection process over many years as an innovative means to provide that surrogate supply
during an interruption, on both a planned and emergency basis. By deploying our state-of-the-art tankers in advance, an alternative supply is instated before the usual supply is switched off, keeping the affected area on supply while essential work is carried out. Our vehicles are equipped with specialist pumps that inject water directly into the mains network at a pre-defined pressure and flow rate. Once programmed with the desired parameters, the system will read the pressure and flow rates and automatically adjust accordingly. The system will take control of the tanker and shut the engine down when demand is reduced to a certain level, eliminating unnecessary idling and reducing noise pollution and CO2. Whilst in sleep mode, the pump continues to monitor and will wake up when demand increases again, bringing the mains up to the desired pressure or flow rate.
Water Direct has pioneered safe network injections and it’s the sort of activity we undertake daily. The safety and integrity of the network is paramount during network injections, since it’s easy to cause damage if the right precautions aren’t taken and our technique reduces the risk of network shock and overpressurisation. www.water-direct.co.uk
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS
NEW R2M TRAINING CENTRE On the 14th August 2019, the newly completed R2M Training Centre in Accrington was officially opened by the Northern Area President, Alex Bolton and aims to provide high quality training to water network operatives across the water industry. Specialist product trainers will lead training which aims to educate operatives on the products available, as well as providing technical demonstrations using product models; enabling companies to make an informed decision on the best solution to resolve water leakage issues. R2M are leaders in innovation, have an excellent understanding in customer service, as well as the regulatory framework within which water companies operate. They supply products which require technical ‘know how’ during the installation process and therefore appropriate training ensures operators are able to fit it correctly, with immediate effect. This supports companies in minimizing customer disruption which contributes to achieving performance targets.
The training R2M are now able to provide, through the new facility, also enables greater and faster access to specialist fittings, with local teams being able to install them. The grand opening was hosted by Paul Rodgers, Operations Director. His team included a security escort and a red-carpet arrival, befitting of any President’s visit. Alex Bolton stated, “It was an honor to be invited to open the new training facility at R2M, the team up there are a great bunch, who thoroughly enjoy what they do and it’s obvious they are a close family company.”
Paul Rodgers, Operations Director had this to say, “We recognized the need for training when speaking to our clients about their needs. As a result, we have had an excellent response since opening the training centre. The aim is to lower Totex costs, eliminate customer minutes lost, guaranteeing all water customers are ‘always on’. Our in-house experts have already provided an excellent service for numerous colleagues within the water sector. We expect their success to continue, due to the dedication and ingenuity of our team.”
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SLD PUMPS & POWER
RAPID RESPONSE HELPS PREVENT CATASTROPHE AT TODDBROOK RESERVOIR A rapid emergency response by specialist hire company SLD Pumps & Power helped save lives, property and the local aquatic ecosystem after the recent partial collapse of Toddbrook Reservoir dam in the Derbyshire town of Whaley Bridge. SLD Pumps & Power is a trading division of Carrier Rental Systems UK Ltd, part of Carrier, a leading global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. As part of the effort to reduce reservoir water levels to avert a potential catastrophic failure of the dam, SLD initially deployed 17 of its high-capacity pumps and related equipment. As the emergency continued, the company quickly deployed five mobile generators with a combined capacity of 1MW, five large submersible pumps, Variable Speed Drives (VSDs), and 500 metres of 12-inch high-pressure hose, plus accessories to deal with variable deployment areas. “I received the emergency call at 3.00 p.m. that the dam was in danger of failing and water levels had to be quickly reduced,” said Richard Broughton, SLD’s national contracts manager who led the project. “By 4.30 p.m. we had the equipment on site ready to go. “It was one of the most important and high-pressure projects we have been involved with. The Environment Agency issued an evacuation order for the endangered area; however, not all residents would leave their homes. It required a huge team effort on the part of everyone involved to avert disaster.”
SLD worked alongside others in a multiagency response. Shortly after the initial deployment, in view of the continuing vulnerability of the dam support wall, the water authorities called for further pumping capacity on site. SLD worked with its supply chain to source the additional pumps, connection hoses and power generators, with equipment transported from Newcastle, Manchester and Nottingham. The emergency plan required water levels in the reservoir to be reduced at a rate of 1.1 cubic metres per second; with the combined efforts of SLD and other operators, the rate of removal actually achieved was 11 cubic metres per second. After four days, the pumping operation removed an estimated 1.27 billion litres of water, reducing pressure on the dam and helping to avoid a potential disaster.
“The rapid reduction of water levels caused a secondary problem – the concentration of fish in the ever-smaller volume of water,” said Broughton. “Oxygen levels were quickly depleting and threatening fish stocks, so we provided aeration equipment to maintain oxygen levels in the water to protect the estimated eight tonnes of fish and the rest of the aquatic ecosystem.” SLD provided the necessary equipment, with engineers remaining on site roundthe-clock until water levels were reduced to the target level, and the emergency was fully contained. For more details on SLD emergency pumping services visit: www.sldpumpspower.co.uk/markets/ emergency-flood-response
THE WESSEX WATER INNOVATIVE RE-ROUNDER by Julian Britton
I Eng MICE, Critical Sewers Manager, Wessex Water
After the implementation of the transfer of private drainage to Wessex Water in 2011, it became imperative that we focus more attention on trenchless alternatives for repair of small diameter sewers. Our overall cumulative volume of public sewers doubled overnight from 17,000km to 34,000km, and the majority of that transferred stock was 150mm diameter. Wessex Water established their Critical Sewers Team in Sept 2004 at Kingston Seymour in Somerset, with the primary purposes of reducing the cost of sewer renovation interventions, using trenchless technologies where possible and mitigating the impact of our necessary works upon customers and commuters. As a Water & Sewerage Company we attract innovators who often wish to consult us and ask for advice at concept stage, where we are able to explain how products may, or may not, fit our modus operandi. We also benefit from fully developed solutions introduced by inventors or contractors etc, but that leaves an area where we recognise an internal need, for which there is no obvious and available solution. This was the case for the structural reformation of deformed sewers.
A greater understanding of CIPP Wessex Water adopted the concept of renovating sewers by way of Cured in Place Pipelining (CIPP) in 1984, defined in the WRc Sewer Renovation Manual as a Type II lining, a British invention patented by Eric Wood, the founder of Insituform Technologies. Our early designs utilised
the methodology of the SRM but, by 2005 we had adopted the American ASTM F1216 method of CIPP lining design, opting for the more conservative ‘Fully Deteriorated’ (FD) condition set out in the document. In those early days at Kingston engineers followed the iterative and periodic development of F1216, but never lost sight of the caveat that polyester resin liners suffer time dependent creep under load. We recognised that special precautions should be applied for resultant thickness’ of liners beyond a host pipe deformation >10% of diameter. Our calculations for the FD liners, which take into account the hydrostatic and geostatic loadings acting upon the pipe, as well as vehicular surcharge loads, proved that at around 20% deformation on diameter; the thickness of the liner doubles, dependent upon the ‘Declared’ mechanical properties of the liner composition. That increase in liner thickness further reduces the hydraulic capacity of the host sewer in its deformed state, which is already compromised by the presenting pipe deformation. Consequently, if we were able to reform the sewer pipe to its original circularity, we would reduce the liner thickness required to hold the damaged pipe, therefore saving on resin and liner thickness, and the ability to restore our flow characteristics.
The Re-Rounder In 2012, colleagues in our Small Schemes Team were presented with a limited length of sewer with a 20% deformation in a 375mm diameter sewer in a ‘running’ sand geology, on the south coast of England. When excavating down, they found the original trench supports from the 1930s which obviously could not be removed at that time. Small Schemes had to chase the defect for 15m metres, costing some £200k. If we had had a device to re-round the sewer it would have been so much more cost affective and beneficial all round. Development commenced on such a machine, a cut out of which is shown below. It represents a simple ram with linkage to transfer the hydraulic thrust of the piston, to five number metal ‘shoes’. The Re-Rounder (RR) was constructed to pass beneath any defect with a diameter deformation <23%. The rationale has been to use the laser on our in-house CCTV cameras to measure the freeboard available, and establish if the RR can pass beneath, the limiting diameter is that across the width of the wheel sets. The device then operates and lifts itself into the centre of the pipe, and whilst the shoes seat in the invert section, the upper shoes push the pipe outward to reform the circularity of the pipe. The shoes have a cumulative force of 70 KN and this has been found capable of lifting all of the types of settled overburden encountered
FEATURE: SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS The RR deployed in sewer
The RR mobilised to the pipe intrados
However, the RR was used to reconstruct the pipe as detailed above, with all four stents placed in 90 minutes, which allowed the CIPP lining to proceed, with a normal 3mm thick liner as opposed to 6mm required by an FD design and 20% deformation. The cost of the RR intervention represented a 95% saving over open cut costs for the four points under consideration.
so far. Unless we are in a hydraulic sand, as mentioned above, we are likely to only lift the settled bedding/backfill material in the shape of a ‘church window’. This represents the ‘Pressure Arch Theory’ for compacted materials, which comes in to play, where the geology becomes self-supporting as it transfers its forces, allowing an arch to form.
The RR loaded with a stent ready for insertion
The problem then becomes the instability of the host pipe as the RR is retracted. This is dealt with by deploying a ‘Stent’ made of stainless steel some 1.2mm thick, which remains in place until we can line over the defect with a full length liner (CIPP), or a spot repair (CIPR). The laser cut shells have a series of ‘V’ shaped ties between full metal strips, which expand as the shell is forced outward, becoming a shallower configuration. There is also a slight crimp in the solid metal strip sections, again a shallow ‘V’ shape, which ‘bites’ into the intrados surface of the host pipe. This provides additional anchorage for the stent should we wish to clean the sewers prior to lining. Flow in the sewer can continue at all times during installation.
Typical deployment at Malmesbury, Wiltshire A 50m section of sewer ranging from 1-3m deep in a narrow street, Abbey Row, Malmesbury presents a typical example of where major advantages can be identified. The length of sewer had SRM grade 5 and 4 defects, with four of the grade 5’s points exhibiting > 20% deformation, some at 3 m in depth. The local Highways Dept of the Council could only allow us a weekend to renovate the sewer. The traditional options would have been to either: ■ Line the sewer over the major defects and accept the structural integrity of the liner would almost certainly have been compromised by the greater bending moments in the liner and the liner would have a reduced longevity; ■ Excavate down on the sewer to replace the four most defective sections, which would mean four teams working for two days and accepting a liner passage on the second day as they backfilled.
Laser survey to establish passage of RR
This new innovation available to us reinforces our continued commitment to reduce our carbon footprint, which has been calculated as 95% less than conventional open cut. Over some 30Km of sewer renovation last year, we avoided 125,000 tonnes of excavated muck away to tip, and a corresponding volume of imported bedding, backfill and black top. That equates to 250,000 tonnes of material transit avoided, and removed some 25,000 lorry movements from our customers streets, increasing safety for all. The Re-Rounder has been awarded the following accolades since its launch within Wessex Water earlier this year: ■ Institute of Water National Innovation Award 2019, Belfast ; ■ Institute of Water South West Innovation Award 2019 ; ■ UKSTT Innovative Product Award 2019, Bristol; ■ UKSTT Renovation Water & Wastewater Award 2019, Bristol; ■ UKSTT Project of the Year Award 2019, Bristol; ■ Wessex Water Best Innovation Award 2019.
RR stent post installation
MANAGING FLOW THROUGH THE WASTEWATER SYSTEM
Figure 1: FFT control at a small wastewater treatment works.
The wastewater industry is facing a future where it will need to control flows passing through the wastewater system in a way that it has never had to before. by Oliver Grievson Technical Lead
In this Asset Management Period the sewerage network has undergone an unprecedented amount of monitoring through the Event Duration Monitoring (EDM) Programme as a result of a ministerial direction that directed the industry to monitor a significant number of combined storm overflows. This has driven the industry, through a risk-based approach, to monitor virtually all overflows that are within the wastewater system. Those that
arenâ€™t going to be monitored by the end of this Asset Management Period will be within the first few years of the next Asset Management Period. The work of the EDM Programme is clearly going to identify where there is a need to improve overflows to stop spills to the environment outside of storm conditions. The effect of this programme will be to channel more wastewater to the treatment works and provide an environmental benefit once investigations have been undertaken, improvement works raised and issues resolved.
FEATURE: WASTEWATER FLOW With the work within the wastewater collection system being undertaken this AMP the next stage by the regulators in England & Wales has been taken and has been raised for Investment in the next Asset Management Period (2020-2025). This programme at the wastewater treatment works will have a profound impact on the way that we manage wastewater flows, how we operate at wastewater treatment works and to some extent the capacity to manage flows across the wastewater system, in order to improve the environment.
Flow to Full Treatment investment programme In the next asset management period, as part of the WINEP programme, there will be a regulatory duty to measure the pass forward flow at the works as well as event duration monitoring on the storm split and the storm tank spill to the environment point. This will see an investment of between ÂŁ1-2 billion spent on flow monitoring and storm water management through the programme itself through 2 monitoring drivers, an investigation driver and 2 improvement drivers designed to see when a treatment works is spilling to storm management system and rectification
as needs be. All of these drivers are being raised under the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (U). The two monitoring drivers will see monitoring of two points at the wastewater treatment works. The first point under U_MON 3 is the storm split with flows that pass over the flow to full treatment control point and pass to the storm system monitored using an event duration monitoring technique. This is similar to the technique used under EDM 1 in AMP 6 insofar as it will require two-minute monitoring. The second monitoring driver is U_MON 4 which will require a MCERT Certified flow monitoring system downstream of the storm split. This brings about problems insofar as there are a large number of treatment works that do not have the space to retrofit flow monitoring at the pass forward flow point (i.e. downstream of the storm split). Figure 1 shows a typical example of this. In figure 1 the flow control device is the rectangular notch in the centre of the picture with the two storm weirs either side. Downstream of this point there is no space to accurately monitor flows. As a
result the whole inlet of the works would need to be rebuilt just to put in flow measurement. This is a particular waste for this treatment works as the rectangular notch is set up to pass forward Formula A (i.e. 6x dry weather flow. As a result of this a separate programme was raised as part of the discussions that happened between the water companies and the Environment Agency. This brought about an investigation programme (U_INV 2) that is designed to investigate where the certified device is at the effluent to the treatment works and where this can be used to imply the instantaneous pass forward flow. This has to be delivered within the first two years of AMP 7 so that it can be raised under PR24 and delivered within the first year of AMP 8. The problem with the investigation programme is the lack of engineers within the industry who are able to deliver this type of investigation considering it entails a combination of measurement uncertainty, specialist flow monitoring knowledge and temporal hydro-dynamics â€“ this is where Z-Tech can help, with a specialist team to assist Water Utilities in assessing their asset base.
Figure 2: Direct impact of using larger pumps to resolve a DG5 issue
Z-TECH The remaining two drivers are improvement drivers with U_IMP 5 designed to expand the hydraulic capacity of the treatment works or the storm tank storage.
the storm tanks to be used as balancing tanks. Figure 2 shows a typical inlet that overflows on a regular basis because of the use of this solution.
The opportunities & challenges of the FFT programme
In this situation the pumped flows to the works caused by using a larger pump to resolve the DG5 issue has caused the inlet to regularly overflow. The situation is not helped by the fact that the downstream penstock is situated extremely close to the storm weir and creates a bouncing affect with the flows causing the system to be overwhelmed.
The FFT programme is going to bring about both challenges and opportunities that the engineering teams, that have been traditionally separate within the industry, must come together to address them. Within wastewater engineering there has been a barrier that prevents the wastewater infrastructure and non-infrastructure teams from collaborating and sometimes projects that have been delivered have had unintended consequences at treatment works. An example of this have been DG5 projects that are designed to protect customers with a typical solution of using a larger pumping system to pass the flows through to the wastewater treatment works. The problem with this solution is that this has an unintended consequence of causing
In the future, the overflow will be monitored by a certified event duration monitor and flow to full treatment monitoring device which will (a) highlight the issue of penstock bouncing and (b) highlight the issue of sites utilising storm tanks outside of the consent condition of rainfall or snowmelt by using storm tank balancing to mitigate the issue.
As flow to full treatment compliance and general flow compliance is going to be become a parameter that is regulated in the same way that the current sanitary parameters are regulated, then this is going to start to affect the OPA score of the water & sewerage companies and directly affect water company performance. This programme is also an opportunity to collaborate in a way that the infrastructure and non-infrastructure teams have generally not collaborated in the past to put solutions in place that manage flows across the entire wastewater system more intelligently, utilising Instrumentation & Control Systems approaches. This is an approach that has undoubtedly been raised as an option in the past but the risk & value eliminated it as a final solution. The flow to full treatment programme will highlight works that have a flow to full treatment compliance problem and will make wastewater pumping station control systems significantly more viable as an alternative solution to managing flows.
WHAT NEXT? Moving forward, the wastewater industry has a significant challenge in managing flows through the wastewater system. Enhanced monitoring of the wastewater treatment system either through the event duration monitoring programme or the flow to full treatment programme in the next asset management period will highlight any issues that the system, as a whole, has in managing flows.
As a result of this, the industry is going to have to get smarter in the way that flows are managed. This is especially important considering that from 2026 the water industry will face very close scrutiny under flow compliance in the same way that sanitary parameters are dealt with at the current time. As such the Operator Performance Assessment (OPA) score will be directly affected, which has potentially serious consequences for the sewage operators.
Despite a regulated start date of 2026 the assessment period starts in 2021 due to the fact that flow compliance will be assessed in a 3 in 5 year approach. This brings about opportunities for collaboration within the industry between the water companies and the supply chain to look more intelligently at both the installation of instrumentation and management of the data that Z-Tech Control system specialise in.
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STRICTER REGULATIONS LOOM FOR EVERYDAY INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS Dr. Akmez Nabeerasool, Senior Project Manager at water treatment specialists Arvia Technology, warns that as environmental concern for the widespread use of Triton X-100 continues to grow, stricter regulation of the commonly used surfactant becomes more likely. Invaluable applications of Triton X-100 The use of detergents in industry and beyond is widespread - apart from their applications in keeping workplaces clean and sanitary, they are used to maintain the highest possible hygienic standards in laboratory research, quality control and manufacturing. Triton X-100 (TX-100) is part of the Octylphenol Ethoxylates group, a key component of most household and industrial cleaners. They are also used in the manufacture of paints and coatings, pulp and paper, oil extraction, textiles and agrochemicals.
New technologies Rapidly developing technologies are producing new waste elements of increasing complexity all the time. Some of these are combining to form new contaminants which pose undefined risks. When broken down, TX100 has endocrine disrupting properties, for which there is scientific evidence of probable serious impacts. Due to these potential endocrine disrupting properties, it is listed as a contaminant of emerging concern (CEC). The most cost-effective and environmentally considerate action industries can take is to capture polluted process water on-site and remove the contaminant traces. Arvia’s system enables the safe discharge of water which has been tainted, discoloured and polluted with a specific and growing list of organic contaminants, including TX-100.
Environmental concerns In the face of this dramatic escalation in the contaminant landscape, the regulators are doing their best to keep the public safe. As the threat increases in complexity, it is realistic to expect that regulation and controls will tighten. The contaminant has already been placed into Annex XIV of the REACH regulation. This means that it should not be used or placed on the market after the “sunset date” which is expected to be in late 2020, unless specific authorisation is granted. This regulatory amend has
encouraged users of TX-100 to investigate options to fully remove it from wastewater to prevent its release into the sewer or aquatic environment. Proof of its effective destruction from effluent may lead to authorisation being given for its continued use, even following its “sunset date”.
Removal of Triton X-100 traces from water - Case Study The team at Arvia have used the unique Nyex™ treatment system to achieve as low a concentration of TX-100 as possible from an aqueous solution. Adsorption studies were carried out prior to the trial in order to evaluate the ability of TX-100 to localise onto the surface of the Nyex™ adsorbent media, which were successful. Regeneration experiments were then conducted to evaluate its effectiveness in simultaneously destroying the TX-100, using a low electrical current. HPLC analysis was carried out on each sample to determine the concentrations of TX-100, starting from 16 mg/L.
The Results Figure 1 shows the treatment profile for the experiment using a Nyex™ 1-20a system. Removal from 16 mg/L was demonstrated and once a reduction to 2 mg/L was reached, the sample was spiked back to 12 mg/L and the trial continued. This was to demonstrate that the process does not only adsorb but continues to mineralise the TX-100
substance. The experiment above shows that it is possible to reduce the concentration of TX-100 in aqueous solutions using the Nyex™ process.
Custom made bolt-ons Arvia identifies the exact nature of the contaminant that’s doing the damage, then specifies a precise variant of its electrochemical oxidation process that optimally removes and resolves the problem. Arvia reduces hard-to-treat organics, hazardous chemicals, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) and colour, from water and wastewater streams. The systems are chemical free and energy efficient, tailored to meet treatment requirements for: ■ Drinking water ■ Regulatory discharge compliance ■ Safe water reuse ■ Influent water treatment.
Environmentally friendly solution Arvia provides a bolt-on system to extend the capability of existing water treatment processes, removing specific contaminants, with minimum disruption and maximum effect. For more information on TX-100 treatment, please contact Joseph Weston, Organic Pollutant Consultant at Arvia Technology on +44 (0)1928 515 310.
HARNESSING THE BENEFITS OF PROCESS PATENTS As WPL is granted another process patent for biological wastewater treatment, technical director Andrew Baird shares insights on what is involved and why it matters in terms of innovation. WPL has been granted a patent for its cutting-edge WPL Hybrid-SAFTM process technology.
WPL Modular Hybrid-SAF™ technology inside
The patented technology employs a submerged moving-bed, fixed-film reactor which can treat wastewater with greater energy efficiency compared to traditional submerged aerated filters (SAFs), in a tighter site footprint whilst meeting environmental compliance. A key advantage is that it can be retrofitted into any vessel, regardless of shape or size, to deliver more efficient wastewater processing. In granting the patent, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has recognized that the technology is new and is not being used anywhere else. WPL has demonstrated this is an innovative step, that it is moving the product forward. Specifically, the process patent relates to the way wastewater is made to recirculate within the biozone and how we can get an even distribution of flow across the media. WPL is doing this in a way that has not been done before.
Patent prepping The technology was in continuous development for three years, and the patent process took more than two years. Extra investment and product adjustments were required to get it patent-ready – and, commercially, the numbers had to add up. There is little point patent-protecting if nobody is going to buy the product. Once it has been decided to take a patent forward, a lot of effort goes into writing the abstracts and application. It then goes to the IPO, which reviews and comments, and it goes back and forth for a while until it is eventually granted.
This procedure is fairly time-consuming and can take anything up to five years. The good thing is that as soon as you file the status is recognised as patent-pending and you are protected.
Financial benefit There are a number of benefits to going down the patent route. There is a patent tax relief, which equates to five to six percent of profits for the product, so it is definitely worthwhile from a financial perspective. But, of course, the protection offered is the biggest driver. We see it as a ‘keep off the grass’ sign and expect companies not to breach the patent. We also think that the idea of having a patented product is appealing to customers.
Continual development WPL is continually looking at how it can develop the technology further and has sponsored a PhD student to research more opportunities and enhanced efficiencies. This signals the company’s wholehearted
commitment to and investment in on-going research and development. In terms of technology refinement, we are now focusing on delivery techniques and ways of making WPL Hybrid-SAF even quicker to install. The modular system requires a fraction of the time on site of traditional treatment process, but any measure that can reduce onsite time is beneficial. We are working to make it truly plug-and-play.
Value from innovation In terms of return on investment, the Hybrid-SAF process technology is proving its worth. It is a significant part of WPL’s business to invest in research and development, and innovation. There is always a risk, but the successful outcomes of our patent applications demonstrates that the investment is all worthwhile. wplinternational.com
PUMP SOLUTIONS AT HINKLEY POINT EDF Energy is building two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset – the first in a new generation of nuclear power stations that will together produce low-carbon electricity for around 6 million UK homes. The multi-billion pound project is being delivered by several teams working together including BYLOR, Balfour Beatty and Kier BAM Joint Venture (KBJV). KBJV’s role is to work on the site preparation and earthworks stages of the project. A key part of the work carried out by KBJV is the excavation of what is known as the “heat-sink”, the huge area that will eventually contain all the cooling water infrastructure and pump house. KBJV took up an offer from James McKiver, Strategic Account Manager at Selwood, for a free trial of a Selwood D150 drainer pump. During a period of heavy rain in October 2017, Selwood’s equipment continued to work as normal, without the breakdowns KBJV had experienced in similar conditions in the past. Following this trial, KBJV turned to Selwood as the main pump supplier, phasing the replacement of the existing on-site pumps with the superior Selwood product. Following an order of 10 Selwood D Range pumps in December, Selwood developed a close partnership with Kier Bam’s water management team, working in close collaboration on the design, pump positioning and optimal performance in the event of a flooding emergency, something which had occurred during the Christmas shutdown in previous years. Selwood’s team then worked closely with KBJV to redesign the pipework runs and the positioning of the pumps on site. The first major project was the dewatering of the heat sink for the first reactor unit. The pumping equipment had to keep up with a potential 45 litres of water a second, pump it up 39 metres to a booster pump, and then on to a water management zone for treatment before discharge. In dry conditions, where only groundwater was being cleared, a series of pumps and pipework carried the water from the heat
sink to an onsite treatment plant 1.5km away.
sweet spots of pump curves, working out friction loss and pipework sizing.
To keep fuel costs down, Selwood developed a pressure sensor for the booster pump which plugged into auto-start terminals on the pumps. This would auto start the booster when water was detected – meaning the pump was only in operation when needed. Similar sensors have been installed on boost pumps around the site that are pumping contaminated groundwater – a far more elegant and safe solution than the previous supplier’s system which used tanks and floats which were regularly overflowing, leading to pollution events.
In late January 2019 a major milestone was reached when the platform was formally handed over from KBJV to the Project’s main civil contractor, BYLOR. This allowed the construction of the permanent civil works in the area to begin. The Selwood solution was acknowledged as a vital part of the puzzle in ensuring the works were delivered without penalties for lost time. Upon completion of the heat sink for Unit 1, Selwood’s teams turned their attention to delivering a similar solution for the second unit.
So far, Selwood’s specialist solutions team has assisted in sizing and calculating flows for more than 50 pumps on site and 54km of pipework. Selwood invested £2million into equipment for Hinkley Point C, manufacturing 30 new pumps especially for the project, and at the peak of the works had 106 pumps on site.
Hinkley Point C is a textbook example of Selwood’s close collaborative relationships with its partners. The project sees Selwood technical support teams, engineers, electricians and a project manager on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. James McKiver, Strategic Account Manager for Selwood, lived on campus at the Hinkley Point C site for 18 months to ensure a constant presence at the site.
SelWatch, Selwood’s in-house developed remote telemetry technology, ensures equipment can be monitored at all times, with any issues flagged instantly by text message, phone call or email. This has minimised delays caused by flow breakdowns and power failures, assisting KBJV in keeping on schedule.
Damion Hopkins, Foreman of the KBJV Water Management Team, said: “Removing the water from a site of this magnitude has been a challenge for the KBJV Water Management Team but it has been crucial in allowing the site to keep on track in all weathers.
As well as installing its solutions, Selwood played a key role in providing training to senior members of the KBJV team on technical aspects including flow curves,
Working closely with James McKiver and the Selwood team, they have assisted not only with supply but also with their wealth of technical knowledge allowing us to achieve the project’s programmed targets.”
WORKING WITH OUR SUPPLY CHAIN TO DRIVE INTEGRATION IN THE WATER SECTOR mackenzieconstruction.com instituteofwater.org.uk
FEATURE: SLUDGE MANAGEMENT
TRANSFORMING APPROACH TO MANAGING BIORESOURCE
For too long the water industry has viewed wastewater sludge as a byproduct that it had to manage for the lowest cost. by Gordon Reid
General Manger Zero Emissions, Scottish Water Over the years this has changed, the first step being the recognition of the beneficial impact it can have on farmland. The second was when renewable energy potential was accelerated by the development of advanced digestion technologies. There are a number of further opportunities that are being explored by the sector to deliver more value from this material- and this is reflected in how we are all now referring to it as bioresource. But while water companies have recognised this, how many can say they fully understand the cost and value chain in the end to end processes in bioresource production in their business? Looking at this in another way, we are running factories that produce a BAS certified product. Have we applied lean manufacturing techniques as used in car manufacture to bioresource production to optimise costs and product quality?
In Scottish Water as part of the transformation programme preparing the business for the next regulatory period, a project is now underway planning to take this approach. This is going to cover how the raw material is produced at WWTWs and WTWs, how the transport routes are optimised and effectively scheduled and how the final product is processed, dispatched and invoiced to farmers for use. The project will not only look at operational practices but maintenance approaches and most importantly people’s behaviour. As an example, are we sure that all decant valves and other dewatering equipment is operating as it should? This makes a big difference to the volume of raw sludge to be transported to processing centres. Scottish Water’s tanker fleet travels over 2 million miles a year transporting raw sludge. This fact highlights the potential for multiple benefits to be gained from the project. There is potential for significant savings by reducing the number of tanker miles by transporting thicker sludge. In addition there is the reduction in the business’ emissions
footprint which is a growing area of concern for all businesses. In a similar vein, can any of us say that our poly dosing at processing sites is as good as it could be? Importantly the project will focus on embedding behavioural change within teams. All too often new scheduling systems can be installed but they don’t get embedded and so things go back to how they were. All the activities associated with the bioresource production line generate large amounts of data. This is where a review of systems is expected to make a significant difference, joining up data sets and making data visible, enabling better decisions. Overall, the aim of the transformation project will be to reduce both costs and drive value, as well as giving greater understanding of the risks in this key but often overlooked part of a water company. It will also make a significant contribution to Scottish Water’s journey to beyond net zero emissions by 2040. The project will run throughout 2020, with the aim of transforming this part of the business.
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FEATURE: SLUDGE MANAGEMENT
THAT’S THE POWER OF POO Anglian Water is proving that poo can be powerful by generating enough energy from the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants to run a town the size of Lowestoft for a year. Last year was a record breaking year for CHP. Graham Powell, CHP Manager, said the figures are the result of a greater focus on the performance and maintenance of the end to end process from sludge treatment to energy generation, collaborative working across teams and improvements in sludge management. Anglian Water’s 22 engines across 10 CHP plants use the biogas that is produced when sludge – a by-product of the water recycling process – is treated using thermal and biological processes. The biogas is used to power engines that heat the sludge treatment process and generate electricity. The company has been using the technology since 2008, but in 2014 there was a step change when Anglian Water set up a dedicated team to take over from contractors and started running the operation and maintenance of the plants in-house. Tim Orsborne, CHP Technical Manager, said: “We’re producing more energy from the same amount of sludge because our teams are taking ownership of the CHP plants and keeping on top of maintenance. We’re working more collaboratively to carry out maintenance work on CHP engines at the same time as work is being done on the Sludge Treatment Centre, so we have less downtime, and we divert sludge to other CHP plants during maintenance to make sure it isn’t wasted.” To encourage even more collaborative working the CHP, Steam Raising Plant and Sludge Treatment Centre teams were brought together to form one new team in April called Sludge Treatment, as part of the new Business Operating Model. Graham said: “This change provides a sound platform to drive innovation by bringing together key subject matter experts with a clear focus on a common goal. It’s vital that the end-to-end process is maintained just like a production line. Reliability of the sludge treatment process is vital to the CHP engines as without the correct sludge feed there won’t be sufficient gas of the right quality to run the engines.”
Graham added: “Looking back over the past five years we should all take great pride in the level of improvement that has been achieved through collaborative working across the whole company and at all levels.” Peter Joyce, Head of Sludge Treatment, said: “The real catalyst for the change in performance has been the sheer energy and focus put in by the newly formed teams. This is creating new opportunities as the integrated team talk on a daily basis.
In the financial year 2018/19 Anglian Water’s CHP plants broke their previous annual performance record by generating 107.5GW/hours, enough to power nearly 27,000 houses for a year. So far 2019 has seen CHP achieve its most productive six months yet, with the highest ever monthly yield of 10.4GW/hours reached in April. The power generated in 2018/19: ■ Avoided the emission of more than 32,700 tonnes of CO2 by generating electricity from a renewable source
“As we’re settling in to the new team structures, it is important that we continue to work at the highest level of safety and expand learning so we have as many people skilled in both treatment processes and sludge treatment as possible. We’ll also be reaching out to other teams within Anglian Water and to our Alliances and suppliers to help us reach an industry leading position.”
- equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road (each doing an average mileage of 1,000 per month at 45 mpg) ■ Created a cost benefit of £8.79 million by allowing Anglian Water to sell the electricity produced by CHP to the grid to offset the energy used to power its onsite operations. ■ Brought in £1.84 million from selling enough surplus energy to local electricity networks to power 7,200 homes for a year.
A WIN-WIN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER COMPANIES An interview with Ulrich Knörle of ELIQUO - the inventor of EloVac®- P. EloVac®- P is the only vacuum degassing technology with simultaneous phosphate precipitation for digested sludge in the market.
What is sludge vacuum degassing and how does it work? Vacuum degassing is a process where a vacuum extracts residual gas from a media, in this case digested sludge. Anaerobically digested sludge releases residual methane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere – methane emissions from sludge treatment make up 75% of the diffuse CO2-equivalent emissions (Gärtner 2017). With vacuum degassing, a pump continuously extracts the residual gasses inside a reactor tank for beneficial reuse such as additional biogas/ electricity. The retention time of the sludge in the reactor tank is controlled. The special feature of EloVac®- P is the simultaneous phosphate precipitation in the reactor tank by dosing magnesium chloride directly into the tank.
How did you come up with this idea and what does it mean to you? For a long time, I worked in the field of anaerobic wastewater treatment. I was always amazed how these tiny anaerobic microorganisms can produce so much gas to generate Megawatts of electricity. The methane in the biogas is a valuable energy source, but it can also be a source of potent greenhouse gas emissions; that is where I started thinking ‘how can a water company contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?’ The answer was clear: we extract the gas from the liquid to make it available for utilisation without releasing it into the atmosphere. Another problem water companies typically face, particularly those with advanced digestion, is the elevated phosphate concentration in the digested sludge, which negatively affects the achievable percent solids in the cake after dewatering. We investigated possibilities
to precipitate the soluble phosphate in the sludge to enhance dewatering and increase the quality of the cake. With conventional technologies, enormous tanks are necessary to allow the growth of the precipitates and finally separate the crystals from the sludge. EloVac®- P’s approach is different: precipitation of the phosphate, no growth of the precipitates and no separation of the crystals. The benefits of this approach are unique: very small footprint (50 times smaller reactor tank), positive effect on dewatering, reduction of polymer consumption and no uncontrolled struvite scaling downstream. In addition, because the miniscule struvite crystals remain in the sludge, the quality of biosolids cake improves as a plant available fertiliser for land application.
What kind of financial and emissions savings can be achieved? From the aggregated benefits of better dewatering, reduced polymer consumption and additional biogas production; and because of the simplicity and compactness of the system, the payback for water companies can be between one to three years. Based on our experience with the full-scale implementation in Lingen Germany, plants can expect approximately a 25% reduction in their overall carbon footprint simply by implementing vacuum degassing.
In what type of plants can this system be installed? Currently, we are focusing on municipal
anaerobic sludge digestion but, in addition to the benefits already mentioned, vacuum degassing can also improve the overall sludge digestion process. One area we are currently investigating is how vacuum degassing can improve sludge density and thus increase digester capacity. Therefore, the benefits are not limited to municipal plants - any type of anaerobic sludge digestion where a certain viscosity of the sludge is not exceeded, can also benefit from vacuum degassing.
In which countries are these systems currently being installed? The first full-scale plant is running at the wastewater treatment plant in Lingen, Germany. Outside of Germany, through our sister companies in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States, the technology will be available, as it has generated a lot of interest. A pilot plant will be available in North America by end of this year. This plant will have a capacity of ca. 20 m³/h, which represents the sludge flow of a municipal wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of ca. 400,000 PE. We are in discussions with various water companies in the UK as well who are interested in piloting the technology, and we are still actively seeking more pilot partners in the UK and across Europe! For more information about EloVac®- P, please contact Ulrich Knörle: ulrich. firstname.lastname@example.org or +49 751 359785-11
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SEVERN TRENT IMPORTS BRAZILIAN BIOMASS TO TREAT WASTEWATER Severn Trent has recently imported pea-sized biomass from Brazil, as part of a new approach to clean wastewater at its Minworth treatment works near Birmingham. by David Lavender
Senior Corporate Communications Officer, Severn Trent Severn Trent is the first water company in the UK to import ‘anammox’ granules from countries as far away as Brazil, which will be used to reduce the concentration of unwanted components such as ammonia in wastewater, before it is released into the local rivers. Introducing hungry Brazilian biomass to the process has already seen encouraging results. The anammox plant is currently achieving an ammonia removal rate of over 80%, which has contributed to a 15% reduction in downstream aeration power usage.
Elliot Hobbs, project manager said:
Brazilian bugs in action
“Importing biomass from Brazil has enabled us to increase the capacity of our anammox plant at Minworth. This approach has reduced our operational costs and carbon footprint of our end-to-end ammonia treatment process, which happens to be one of the most costly and energy hungry practices. “The Brazilian biomass will react anaerobically to convert ammonia into nitrogen, as long as key operating conditions such as temperature, pH and suspended solid concentrations are maintained. The key benefit is that the process uses significantly less air to complete the conversion, in comparison to the conventional approach.” More recently, the team has also imported anammox granules little closer to home, from the Netherlands, increasing their capability to process waste in this way. As the plant matures, and as the biomass multiply, there will be opportunity to export any excess bugs to other anammox plants around the world to assist them with their commissioning process.
Elliot added: “Now that our anammox process seeding is complete, we are focusing on optimising the plant on a daily basis, by data analysis and fine-tuning to maximise the efficiency potential of the plant. As Minworth is a
significant scale, small improvements at the anammox can have significant operational cost savings further downstream. This resulting saving translates into benefits for our customers in terms of the bills that they pay”
FEATURE: SLUDGE MANAGEMENT
CARBON REDUCTION VS EFFICIENT USE OF ENERGY Finding the balance in the water industry. As one of the most energy intensive industries in the UK, the water industry cannot hide from the topic of carbon emissions and must do all it can to reduce our carbon footprint. However, Kevin Mooney, Wastewater Sector Manager at CDEnviro, discusses how to find the balance between the all-important acts of carbon reduction and long-term efficient uses of energy. When we consider carbon emissions, our minds often jump to transport emissions and the burning of fossil fuels, but electricity generation plays a major part in carbon emissions and the water industry contributes around 1% of the UK’s greenhouse gases1. As new technology has emerged to increase the effectiveness of water treatment, so too often has the electricity consumption used in these technologies increased. However,
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this increase is often needed to ensure efficiency downstream. An example of this is the energy used in sludge pre-treatment within the water industry. If water companies reduce the level of treatment at this stage, it would reduce carbon emissions in this area of the wastewater treatment works (WwTW), however we’d argue that when a holistic view of the entire work’s energy consumption is taken, it is evident that removing pre-treatment increases energy consumption downstream. If sludge isn’t treated effectively with rag and grit being removed as soon as possible these materials will cause abrasion and wear, resulting in increased maintenance and downtime to repair parts of the WwTW or to catch up on uptime afterwards. However, treating the source material before it is fed into a digester has been shown to significantly reduce the need for cleanouts.
A TOTEX approach may be what’s needed to ensure a comprehensive approach to carbon reduction in WwTW. Carbon reduction is essential but will only succeed if we make decisions to reduce energy use per m3 of drinking water produced or wastewater treated, but also maintain or improve quality. Carbon reduction is a major issue and one we must face head one, we shouldn’t rush to make fast carbon reductions via electricity reduction alone in the short-term at the cost of quality and the water environment in the medium or long term. For more information on CDEnviro solutions for sludge dewatering or tank cleaning, visit www.cdenviro.com or email email@example.com. 1 https://www.ciwem.org/assets/pdf/Policy/Reports/ABlueprint-for-carbon-emissions-reductions-in-the-waterindustry.pdf
A DIFFERENT APPROACH MAY BE NEEDED TO STIMULATE FURTHER INNOVATION IN THE BIOSOLIDS MARKET The effective management of sludge found in wastewater, industrial or process wastes is a clear objective in many treatment plants across the world. by Anthony McKenna Veolia Head of Business Development
Whilst there are numerous statutory obligations and environmental standards which help drive good practice, there are also sound business reasons why effective sludge management makes sense. Unfortunately, the word ‘sludge’ is a rather unattractive starting point for what is essentially, an energy and nutrient rich organic resource; perhaps better described as bioresources. Where once it was seen as a problem, waste generated during the treatment process these days should be more widely promoted as a valuable product.Depending on the level of treatment, what is produced can be used as a nutrient rich fertiliser product in the agricultural sector. However, as with any product that is to be recycled or reintroduced into the environment, it is important to ensure that it has undergone a safe level of treatment and processing. Schemes such as the Biosolids Assurance Scheme (BAS) in which responsible businesses like Veolia have invested, should give potential end users the confidence that products produced as safe. At present, due to the way bioresources from wastewater are classified, it is difficult to develop full confidence and improve public perceptions.
Is it time for a comprehensive review of how we can reclassify the “waste” as a resource? Whilst many talk up the circular economy potential, as long as valuable sludgederived products remain classed as waste, their potential will never be fully realised. Ofwat has made some encouraging announcements around improving bioresource usage in the energy from waste sector. If Ofwat, together with other regulators throughout the UK, were to review waste classifications, there may be scope for greater appetite and investment in the market for sludge. The potential investment could fund further innovation, keep bills down, and provide sustainable solutions to the growing demand for energy. In a recent consultation from SEPA on their Water Supply and Waste Water Sector Plan, they identified that over 70% of sewage
sludge is now recycled through spreading on agricultural land or re-used in land reclamation. Whilst this is heading in the right direction, more investment is required to ensure that all sludges are treated to the highest standards thus becoming a more valuable resource. The current UK recovery of 25 GWh of energy from sewage sludge from Anaerobic Digestion (AD) only represents a small percentage of the 350 GWh potential estimated energy available. AD, and more recently Advanced AD (AAD or TH - Thermal Hydrolysis), are proven technologies, but there is room to innovate further and incentivise smaller scale developments. Perhaps a reclassification of the highest treatment standard to achieve a product status is the way forward to see new investment put into the sludge treatment infrastructure and recover maximum value for the resource. This, with long-term
FEATURE: SLUDGE MANAGEMENT commitments, would make a more attractive environment for prospective investors. One of the key parts of the sludge treatment process is the efficient removal of moisture from the sludge. Typically, sludge that arrives at a treatment works is very dilute and may only contain as little as 1.5% solids. Removing the optimum amount of the water content as needed will have significant benefits. Good sludge management is achieved when the process runs at peak efficiencies. For example, too much water in the sludge during the digestion phase means that excess water is taking up valuable capacity in the digesters, and lengthening the time taken for treatment. Energy costs will be higher too as heating the sludge containing excess water will take longer. Veolia utilises a number of techniques for dewatering, including belt filter presses, centrifuging, and geomembranes amongst other available options. Whilst such steps donâ€™t treat the sludge, by separating the solids from the liquids, it is much more cost effective to deal with the different components later in the process. Sludge dewatering is the simplest way to reduce the weight and volume of the sludge so that its eventual disposal costs (transportation) are kept to a minimum. When the sludge enters the digestion phase of treatment, the de-watered flow will have a higher calorific value in what is left, however a balance needs to be struck to ensure the pipes keep flowing. Having predictable performance though the whole thickening and dewatering cycle creates significant efficiencies in avoiding unplanned interruptions or poor feedstock and digestate. The need for dewatering solutions isnâ€™t solely confined to the water industry. Many industrial or commercial processes require a dewatering solution too. Veolia works across a number of different sectors and markets to provide technologies and services that help overcome dewatering challenges. For example, the pulp and paper industry produces different kinds of sludges including primary, biological and chemical sludges. Veolia is able to handle difficult sludges
through hundreds of references and in tests made at customer sites. For those sites or industrial operations that already have dewatering plant in place, Veolia can provide support through Brettex, a Veolia owned company. Brettex is an engineering company who specialise in servicing and repairing wastewater treatment equipment - in particular Belt Presses, Centrifuge, Drum Thickeners and Gravity Belt Thickeners. The primary objective is to work closely with customers to assist in optimisation and improving dewatering equipment and plant availability, thereby increasing operational efficiency. Another significant benefit of achieving optimised consistency sludge feedstocks is that the plant can achieve greater efficiency in generating biogas that can be used as a fuel in combined heat and power (CHP) engines or other gas fueled uses. Veoliaâ€™s energy management teams combine expertise in CHP engines (over 600 sites installed), boiler systems, district heating and gas to grid technologies, enabling maximum system use of the available energy resource. With available water resources continuing to drop right around the world, we must also find new ways to ensure that we conserve
wastewater, to protect what we can, and develop solutions to make resources go further. With wastewater treatment now readily treatable to standards where it is possible to return the final effluent back to the drinking water cycle, it is more important than ever to ensure that we harness all available technologies. Through Veolia Water Technologies, there are hundreds of innovations and products that can be used to treat very specific water cleaning issues. Depending on the type of water that is typically found in different parts of the UK, there could be issues with high chemical content, compounds or minerals. In some cases, there is a need for clarification or polishing solutions to remove higher than normal levels of suspended solids or foreign bodies. All of these solutions help contribute towards ensuring that valuable resources can be recovered, with what is left over being safe to return to the environment or recycled and reused where possible. Whilst we are making small gains, perhaps a big step that would propel wastewater sludge and water recovery management to the next level, may very well be for us to re-align our thinking and attitudes to sludge and wastewater re-use and also to re-think the waste classifications in our regulatory framework.
THE BIOSOLIDS ASSURANCE SCHEME
Sludge Recycling Activity – “Incorporating our biosolid into agricultural land”
Dŵr Cymru-Welsh Water follows the common practice that is adopted by other Water and Sewage Companies (WaSCs) and recycles treated sewage sludge, referred to as biosolids, to agricultural land. Jayne Powell
CQP MCQI, BA(Hons), Dip.Q Wastewater Quality and Business Improvement Manager To facilitate consistent practices for the treatment of sewage sludge and the recycling of biosolids, the Biosolids Assurance Scheme (BAS) Standard was developed by the Biosolids Network Group. This group is made up of members from WaSCs within the UK. The BAS Standard aims to provide a transparent set of rules that translate the requirements of the regulations and guidance documents that have evolved since the practice of recycling biosolids to agricultural land commenced. All WaSCs are invited to gain certification to the BAS Standard. The scheme has strong regulatory support including food chain stakeholder support with regulators taking an increasing interest in the merits of the scheme. The BAS successfully achieved UKAS accreditation status in November 2018 and is the first organics scheme in the UK to achieve this.
Implementation of BAS
Since its publication in 2015, Dŵr CymruWelsh Water has been committed to membership of the Biosolids Assurance Scheme. Welsh Water were confident of compliance with all legal requirements associated with the recycling of biosolids to agricultural land. However, management acknowledged that some improvements to systems and processes needed to be made to support effective implementation of BAS and promote a climate of continuous improvement. The journey to implementation of BAS was a three-year programme that initially covered eight sludge treatment centres and three biosolid recycling regions across Wales and Hereford. To establish a project plan for implementation, a full gap analysis was undertaken on existing processes. This involved comparison of actual performance against the desired performance needed to comply with all elements of the BAS Standard. It was during the gap analysis that it became apparent that one of the sludge
treatment centres was not always operating within the ideal temperature range. Following extensive investigations, it was discovered that the heat exchangers that fed the digesters were coated in vivianite. Vivianite is a well-known iron phosphate precipitate that can form in wastewater treatment works where, as in the case of this site, ferric sulphate is dosed during the wastewater treatment process. Testing confirmed that the indigenous sludge produced at this site was high in the vivianite forming minerals. BAS requires that biosolid must be quarantined if there is any breach in any critical operating range. The biosolid can only be applied to land when normal operation of the treatment process is resumed. As such, it was vital that this this issue was quickly resolved to maintain effective sludge management and comply with the BAS Standard. The initial mitigation, involving a robust jetting activity, was not effective in removing the vivianite. Therefore, a regime of chemical cleaning of the heat exchangers was implemented. Whilst this was successful in removing the vivianite and returning consistent temperature levels
FEATURE: SLUDGE MANAGEMENT within the digesters, the chemical cleaning required inhibition of flow to the digesters for 72 hours. This was needed to protect digester health. Inhibiting digester flow was not ideal for the site, due to the large amounts of daily imports that it received. To overcome this, an additional heat exchanger was purchased which was used as a backup during the cleaning process. This ensured that there was no need to inhibit flow during cleaning and normal sludge throughput could be sustained. In addition to operational challenges, the gap analysis uncovered other challenges that needed to be overcome before Welsh Water could apply for certification. These challenges were addressed through a detailed implementation plan, and included: ■ Re-validation of all sludge treatment centres to determine practical optimum treatment targets and critical limits. ■ Further development of HACCP Plans to include contingency planning in the event of failed critical limits or failed critical equipment. ■ Upgrades to our IT systems to support the broader spectrum of soil sampling that was needed. ■ Improvements to the management of biosolid stockpiles and applications to agricultural land. ■ Insourcing of agronomy activity and establishment of a dedicated team to manage this. ■ Development of a dedicated Quality Management System governing all activities. ■ Implementation of a robust internal audit programme ■ An intensive programme of awareness, training and change management within the teams affected by BAS. Change management was one of the most complex challenges to overcome. For the implementation project to be successful, it was vital that everyone who was going to be involved in BAS clearly understood what was expected of them and why complying with requirements was important. To promote change, BAS awareness was delivered to key personnel. However, it was quickly realised that a single presentation did not always capture the attention of the teams. Therefore, e-learning for BAS was developed and issued to the business as part of the knowledge and skills framework. This is refreshed every three years. The e-learning has been very successful in getting key messages out to the key personnel and the
Cardiff Advanced Anaerobic Digestion Plant“One of the first sites where we implemented BAS”
wider business. Following inception, the module was demonstrated to the Biosolids Network Group and NSF auditors. This is now recognised as an industry best standard and elements of the Welsh Water e-learning package have now been adopted in other WaSCs.
security for its Biosolids business. To date Welsh Water has continued to achieve extremely high standards during the audit process, with no issues being identified by the auditor. This has resulted in Welsh Water being identified as the industry best in audit performance.
Certification to BAS
The journey to certification has been a challenging one. Implementing a new Quality Management System to support BAS required significant effort. Incorporating this into an already existing process can inevitably result in a degree of resistance. Communication has been key throughout the implementation of the new management system. By ensuring that key personnel were continuously engaged throughout the change process, trust was gained. This in turn eased the transition to new ways of working and without doubt attributed to Welsh Water’s success in securing certification on their first application.
Once the initial phase of the BAS implementation project had been completed, Welsh Water applied for certification. The certification process involves an extensive audit that is undertaken by the appointed certification body. The current certification body, NSF is UKAS accredited. Welsh Water were initially audited in October 2015. During the certification audit process, Welsh Water were required to demonstrate compliance with all elements of the BAS Standard. The key focus within the audit was to prove that systems and processes used at Welsh Water, ensured effective control and risk management. Welsh Water needed to ensure that biosolid final product quality standards were consistently achieved. Also, biosolid storage and application methods were undertaken in a way that prevented pollution or nuisance to the general public. Failure to do any of this would have resulted in major non-conformance and failure to obtain the certificate of conformity. At the end of the two-day audit, only one minor non-conformance was issued by NSF and this was immediately rectified. The certificate of conformity was granted. The Biosolids Assurance Scheme is now in its 4th year with Welsh Water reporting that 100% of its biosolids output to agricultural land is achieving BAS certified biosolids status, providing a clear strategic direction and
As a BAS certified organisation, Welsh Water can provide confidence to stakeholders that the biosolids they produce is a safe and sustainable product. Since the implementation of BAS, Welsh Water has developed greater governance over the sludge treatment and biosolid activities that they undertake and embedded a cycle of continuous improvement. There may be opportunities to use the credibility of BAS certification to minimise the impact of any onerous proposals resulting from any strategic review. Welsh Water has worked successfully with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), using their BAS certification to provide reassurance that the existing controls are adequate, enabling trust and light touch regulation to become embedded.
THE HIDDEN WORLD OF SANITATION WORKERS Sanitation workers in developing countries are often the most marginalised, poor and discriminated against members of society who carry out their jobs with no equipment, protection or legal rights. According to a new global study on the plight of sanitation workers, millions of sanitation workers in developing countries are forced to work in conditions that endanger their health and lives, and violate their dignity and human rights. The global report, ‘The Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers’ is jointly authored by International Labour Organization, WaterAid, World Bank and World Health Organization, to shed light on these de-humanising working conditions and to push for change.
Undignified working environment Many of the challenges sanitation workers face stem from their lack of visibility in society. Few developing countries have regulations to protect these workers. Where laws do exist, governments may lack the financial or technical means and the political incentives to implement them. Sanitation workers provide a vital public service that is essential for a country’s health and development. Yet in some countries, sanitation work is a socially stigmatising
Wendgoundi Sawadogo, 45, has worked as a manual emptier in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso for 15 years. He works for local households in the area who contact him directly for his services. “You have no paper to show that this is your profession. When you die, you die. You go with your bucket and your hoe without recognition, without leaving a trace anywhere or a document that shows your offspring that you have practiced such a job. When I think of that I’m sad. I do not wish any of my children to do the work I do.” Credit: WaterAid / Basile Ouedraogo
issue, so workers often work at night to hide their job from their communities. Rob Fuller, Water sector advisor at WaterAid, said, “We know that we need a safely managed sanitation system to collect and dispose of human waste and the waste must be correctly treated before being disposed of or re-used, for instance as fertiliser. “However, this report highlights that in many countries the workers operating these systems often come into direct contact with human waste, working with no equipment or protection when maintaining sewers or emptying pits and tanks, which exposes them to a long list of health hazards and diseases. “People are dying every day from both poor sanitation and dangerous working conditions - we cannot allow this to continue. Here in the UK, we are fortunate to have a strong health and safety legislation, backed up by top-class training and access to the best personal protective equipment available. These fundamentals should underpin sanitation work everywhere and we urge the water industry to support us in raising the voices of sanitation workers around the world who face these brutal and inhumane conditions every day.”
Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, has seen unprecedented growth during the past few decades. Juma Ng’ombo has been working as a sanitation worker in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania since 2003. He operates a machine called a ‘Gulper’, which is used to empty toilets in the crowded city settlements. “The Gulper is helping our work a lot, because it is able to reach all corners of the streets and houses where the big trucks cannot pass. When we are collecting the liquid waste, we protect ourselves by wearing gloves, boots, masks, and using sanitiser. I chose this job myself because I had an uncle who did this work, I learnt until I was able to do the job myself. I saw
that this job can help me improve my life.” The world will need many more sanitation workers with safe, healthy and dignified working conditions if we are to meet the goal of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) and bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to everyone, everywhere by 2030.
Credit: WaterAid / James Kiyimba
Safe sanitation must go hand in hand with a safe and dignified working environment for those who run and maintain the sanitation systems that protect our health. For more information and to read the report in full visit washmatters.wateraid.org
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CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT – COMMON SENSE FOR RIVERS AND PEOPLE It’s said that we get the environment we deserve because we can’t afford the environment we want. by Professor Ian Barker
CEnv FIWater, Vice President Environment; and Managing Director Water Policy International But if the scale of the challenge seems too great, there is always the opportunity to find ways to make less costly changes which add up to making a big difference. And that’s the advantage of river catchment management schemes, which can be adapted to solving local problems such as removing a weir that’s acting as a barrier to fish migration, as well as to changing land management practice over tens of square kilometres. Only 14% of the water bodies in England are at ‘good status’ as defined by the European Water Framework Directive. We’re doing better in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland but across the UK there’s still a lot of work to do to ensure that rivers are able to support healthy ecosystems. And if the fish, bugs and plants are happy then the water will require less treatment if it’s used for water supply, flows will be more resilient to droughts, and local communities will benefit from the amenity and recreational value of a river that people want to enjoy rather than avoid. The catchment based approach involves managing land and water together, such as by reducing the runoff of harmful pollutants from agricultural land, roads and industrial estates, and by returning river channels to a more natural shape. It also involves improving farmland soil so that it is more moisture retentive – good for crops and good for reducing flood runoff, and much more besides. It’s win-win all round, but we’re only
Pipiripau catchment, Federal District of Brazil just beginning to deliver catchment schemes at scale and at pace. Catchment schemes are not just a UK approach: most countries in Europe have adopted the same approach, and it’s used further afield as well. I’m lucky enough to work in all sorts of interesting places, and throughout a series of recent visits to Brazil I’ve been following the progress of a catchment scheme near the capital Brasilia in the Federal District. The Pipiripau (meaning ‘shallow river full of stones’) catchment is farmed intensively, and fertiliser and pesticide application, together with sediment erosion from bare fields, were causing problems for the local water company. The water regulator in the Federal District, ADASA, has worked with 16 different stakeholder groups to convert most of the catchment to more sustainable farming methods, improving moisture retention to alleviate drought risk and enthusing local communities about the value of the landscape and their river. The benefits to
water quality are starting to appear and the risk of drinking water quality failure has reduced. In this issue of the Magazine you can read about some case studies closer to home. They all have several factors in common: enthusiastic champions with a determination to improve the health of the river and to deliver multiple benefits for the environment, people, farmers and water companies, by working in collaboration across numerous organisations. Many schemes are delivered in partnership with local rivers trusts. Their umbrella organisation The Rivers Trust has just appointed a new Chief Executive, Mark Lloyd. Mark was previously CEO at the Angling Trust, and his thought-provoking commentary, adapted from a blog he wrote for World Rivers Day on 21 September, can be read on page 73 (adjacent). His message is clear: by working collaboratively it’s possible to deliver improvements to rivers which make commercial sense for water companies, and common sense for rivers.
FEATURE: CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT
TIME TO THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT INVESTMENT IN WATER MANAGEMENT Over the last (almost!) 50 years, I’ve watched our rivers decline. Aside from obvious success stories – mostly in urban areas – my experience has been that there’s now less aquatic life, more dried up riverbeds and more flooding. by Mark Lloyd
Chief Executive, The Rivers Trust The Times and the BBC both recently reported that most rivers are too polluted to swim in and there have been a number of acute pollution and low flow incidents in recent years. The more chronic problems are well-known: urban, agricultural, industrial and sewage pollution; over-abstraction; increasing temperatures; barriers to connectivity; compacted and degraded soils; damaged riparian habitat and litter. What we need to address these are intelligent solutions that make the best use of resources and a collective sense of endeavour to deliver them. The Rivers Trust movement has developed impressively over the past 25 years and almost every river catchment in England and Wales now has an independent charity delivering community-based solutions backed up by evidence. The Trusts collectively employ about 350 highlycommitted and expert staff and turn over £25million each year. They continue to grow rapidly in spite of a decade of austerity in public funding and 3 years of uncertainty about EU funding. The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA), which involves numerous national and local partners in a ‘coalition of the willing’, has developed to a point where it offers a real opportunity for everyone to work together to heal the water environment. CaBA needs and deserves more certain and substantial funding. It also needs to be fully embraced by government and others as the vehicle for change, but the chassis has been built. However, we will not restore rivers to good health with grant and government funding alone. It is clear to us that only the corporate sector, and in particular the
water industry, has access to the funding that will be required to make a difference. Water companies’ collective investment is clearly making a substantial contribution to maintaining and in places improving the environment, but we feel that with better targeting and more partnership working with our sector it could be better spent to achieve much more value for customers. Our strategy therefore is to seek to engage in a much more ambitious way in future with the water industry, not just as a recipient of grants, but also as a service provider delivering and maintaining projects which provide a commercial benefit for the water company as well as delivering multiple environmental objectives. We are convinced that there are significant areas of overlap between the water industry’s commercial interests and our environmental aims. We have delivered Integrated Constructed Wetlands (ICWs) for Anglian Water in Norfolk at a fraction of the capex and opex costs of conventional treatment and we are developing an innovative Natural Flood Risk Management project with United Utilities that will lock up significant carbon
and reduce flooding and pollution. Rivers Trusts can deliver much more costeffectively and with far more community support than contractors on framework agreements. We can also secure co-finance for the multiple benefits arising from nature-based solutions which can make compelling commercial sense. OFWAT’s recently published strategy is notable in its support for such collaborative initiatives and there is good evidence to suggest that water companies may be able to borrow money at significantly cheaper rates if they collaborate with the voluntary sector. A number of leading water companies have either issued or are actively looking at issuing green bonds, in part attracted by the tighter pricing currently available in the green bond market compared to conventional corporate bonds. It’s time to think in a more intelligent, integrated and collaborative way about how we invest in water management. Find out more at www.theriverstrust.org Follow Mark Lloyd on Twitter: @MarkLloydRT
England is a densely populated, highly inter-connected landscape, with a diverse mix of property rights and competition between diverse legitimate interests. by Damian Crilly
It is being increasingly recognised that sustainable management of our natural environment and improving community resilience to natural hazards pose complex challenges. These challenges are beyond the capability, mandate and remit of any one government agency or organisation alone.
aim to “leave the environment in a better state than we found it”. A fundamental concept in the Plan is natural capital. It describes the stocks of assets and the flow of benefits (ecosystem services) that we derive from them. The capacity of the natural environment to produce ecosystem services is determined by natural capital asset stocks and their condition. Benefits can be increased by enhancing natural capital. Equally our well-being can be diminished by degrading natural capital.
25 Year Environment Plan
Place Based Approaches
Manager, Strategic Catchment Partnerships, Environment Agency
The government’s 25 Year Environment Plan places a strong emphasis on providing public money for delivering public benefits like clean and plentiful water, thriving plants and wildlife, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. The Plan has a stated
Central features of the 25 Year Environment Plan are collaborative, place-based approaches. The Plan emphasises “better local planning” and “more effective partnerships” as its priorities for ensuring “strong local leadership and delivery”.
The aim is to deliver outcomes that draw on the combined resources of those involved by generating wider benefits than they would individually. Such an approach requires strategic oversight and prioritisation balanced with local focus and delivery. Many of the problems facing our natural environment are best understood and addressed at a catchment level. Catchments are the scale at which land and water interact. The inter-connected components that bind a catchment together are pathways through which a change in one variable can reverberate throughout an entire catchment system, from source to sea and catchment to coast. Operating within catchments can help to deliver integrated management of the natural environment. It provides opportunities for identifying how to capture synergies and minimise trade-offs.
FEATURE: CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT with landholders to protect water at source (often a highly cost effective and more resilient alternative to water treatment solutions).
It promotes cross-sectoral alignment and a natural forum for deliberation by interdependent stakeholders.
Catchment Based Approach The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) can be considered a bold and unique national policy experiment in establishing optimal governance arrangements for integrated catchment management. CaBA seeks to enhance the benefits of multi-level and cross-sector governance, including public participation, partnership working and social learning. Since its roll out in 2013, CaBA has evolved from 25 catchment pilots to over 100 catchment partnerships operating across the country providing full national coverage. Over 2,500 organisations from the public, private and civil society sectors are now committed to the approach with around 40,000 people involved, delivering around 500 environmental improvement projects a year. The establishment of a ‘catchment partnership’ in each catchment was key to achieving shared outcomes and multiple benefits for land and water management. The experience has confirmed the value of building a collective understanding of each catchment and its flows, pressures, interactions and possibilities. The strengths of catchment partnerships are their convening power, local knowledge, connectivity, enthusiasm and creativity in collaborating. Catchment partnerships give all actors, whatever landscape scale they work or plan at, an access point for engagement. Making their decisions more informed, more coherent with the actions of others, and more likely to draw in partners to make more happen towards multiple objectives. Active involvement by a broader and wider range of public, private and civil society stakeholders in a catchment helps to enhance cross sector working, improving collaboration, coordinated through dynamic leadership. This results in improved targeting and enhanced ‘matching’ and leverage of additional resources to mobilise more involvement and investment in shared outcomes by local communities. Key actors in the catchment partnerships vital for CaBA to operate effectively include: ■ Environment Agency provides baseline regulatory functions and a dedicated national network of Catchment Coordinators to support catchment partnerships. ■ Water companies increasingly reliant on working with catchment partnerships to enable them to work more effectively
Local government increasingly faces difficult trade-offs between sustaining the local economy, environmental protection and flood risk management. Their participation can enhance legitimacy and local accountability. ■ Local business and industry critically important for ‘water stewardship’ in their plant, processes and practices and beyond their fence-lines and supply chains for effective catchment management. ■ Non-government organisations (NGOs) pivotal to building capacity and capability to deliver on ground interventions and make environmental improvements. As trusted intermediaries NGOs facilitate collaboration and coordination. ■
Cumbria Catchment Pioneer The Cumbria Catchment Pioneer is exploring the value of catchment scale priority planning for the delivery of public goods to enable greater public benefits through a place based natural capital approach. The Cumbria Pioneer has grown from the need to establish more resilient catchments following devastating flooding in 2015 and more recently prolonged dry weather in 2018. The Environment Agency is testing and trialling how to enable transactions between ‘suppliers’ of natural capital (such as farmers and land owners) and ‘beneficiaries’ (such as water companies and food processors), connecting the various players in the value chain. The pilot being run in the Eden catchment is exploring how aggregated private investment can be applied to fund nature based solutions like natural flood management measures.
Nature Based Solutions Several catchment management schemes are emerging as ambitious innovative approaches to enhance natural capital through nature based solutions. A proofof-concept constructed wetland has been developed in a collaboration between the Environment Agency, Anglian Water and Norfolk Rivers Trust. It is a nature based solution with more environmental benefits than just water quality. As a solution it has passed through regulatory permitting processes and can be implemented elsewhere. Benefits to Anglian Water,
customers and construction partners include: reduced cost; reduced carbon; a chemical free, low energy process; increased natural capital and; an appraisal of a new treatment technology that could be employed at other sites.
Abstraction Priority Catchments As part of the Abstraction Plan 2017 the Environment Agency has identified 10 priority catchments across England. They have been created to develop and test innovative solutions to water challenges, and to achieve greater access to water whilst addressing unsustainable abstraction. All 10 catchments are in areas where there is: unmet demand for water and/or concerns that abstraction is damaging the ecology; potential for water to be shared amongst abstractors and; a group of abstractors who can trial new and innovative ways of managing water abstraction. A 5 stage catchment based approach is being applied to the priority catchments. Stage one is to engage with abstractors and local groups to fully understand their needs and environmental pressures. It starts with an assessment of water availability. This stage requires a combination of engagement and analytical work to understand the opportunities and constraints to water resources management locally. Stage two co-develops a list of potential solutions to environmental pressures and / or shortages of supply and seeks consensus on an approach that can be implemented relatively quickly and voluntarily. Stage three captures the agreed approach in an updated abstraction licensing strategy for each catchment. These strategies will set out actions and, if relevant, solutions to improve access to water. Stage four implements the agreed approach by amending licences, setting up formal water resources management agreements or changing behaviour. Stage five evaluates the success of the process and the solutions and applies lessons learnt to other catchments. The continuing benefits and lessons from catchment management through catchment based approaches are contributing to the delivery means and objectives of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. Evidence is emerging of the beneficial outcomes they are providing for localised integration of environmental, economic and social priorities in England.
THINKING BEYOND THE ASSET – A COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION TO THE WINEP CHALLENGE? The Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) presents a unique challenge to water companies, with unprecedented levels of investment required in AMP7 to address a range of environmental drivers. whilst strengthening the customer’s role in decision making; improving levels of service; securing resilience for our environment and; increasing innovation. This includes engaging with the community to support solutions that are efficient and affordable.
by Paul Daily
Water Group Director at Stantec The largest area for investment, almost £3 Billion, is to upgrade wastewater treatment works (WwTW) to meet far more stringent consent levels for phosphorus, largely driven by the need to meet Water Framework Directive targets at the waterbody scale. This phosphorus removal programme in isolation presents several challenges for water companies, such as scale and technological requirements. By its nature the WFD is environmental outcome focussed and seeks to promote sustainable approaches where possible; however, current plans for delivery of the WINEP appear in many cases to not fully consider the sustainability of the solutions proposed, as the widespread requirement for secondary and tertiary treatment technology, including at smaller rural works, necessitates an increase in energy requirements in operation, production of treatment chemicals and disposal of waste products. In considering the WINEP challenge we also need to recognise how Ofwat has shifted the emphasis for water companies. The regulator wants to see bills reduce
Water company assets form part of a wider environmental system, and outcomes, such as reduced nutrient loading at catchment scale, can often be costeffectively achieved through an appropriate combination of environmental (referred to as catchment-based) and asset focussed measures, which realise wider benefits and lead to enhanced ecosystem services and natural and social capital (a key policy in the UK government’s 25 year Environment Plan and meeting Ofwat’s requirements mentioned above) compared to a purely asset centric engineered solution. Such solutions can also significantly reduce carbon cost and be deemed to deliver a longer-term sustainable outcome to catchment scale nutrient management. Wider co-benefits can include reduced sediment loading and natural flood management.
Robust system characterisation is necessary to identify an optimal integrated solution The design of such integrated solutions, which can include measures to reduce diffuse inputs from agriculture and the urban environments through ‘catchment nutrient balancing’ (CNB), together with point source reductions from sewer overflows and WwTW discharges for example, which may also include ‘green infrastructure’ such as constructed wetlands, necessitates a need to characterise the system within which they occur. This includes the environmental system, such as hydrological processes occurring at both local and catchment scale,
but also the anthropological system, such as stakeholder relationships, dependencies and their interaction with the natural environment. In order to determine the potential for catchment-based solutions to help deliver the WINEP requirements, the system within which the asset is located needs to be characterised at the scale of the required environmental outcome (e.g. WFD waterbody). Catchment characterisation can be undertaken in a staged approach, with an initial screening exercise performed to assess the relative proportion of nutrient loading derived from the WwTW compared to other catchment sources, and whether this would preclude wider catchment interventions having a meaningful effect on loading reductions. Standard industry approaches can include interrogation and validation of source apportionment model outputs. Subsequently, a more detailed assessment of the potential for catchment based nutrient loading reductions is usually performed based on a more detailed
FEATURE: CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT understanding of the environmental system, notably around hydrological processes, land use and landscape-river connectivity. Modelling, using tools such as FARMSCOPER and SCIMAP, can be used to aid characterisation, refine estimates of achievable loading reductions from non-asset sources and allow uncertainty around these to be quantified. From this, a comparison can be made with the reductions possible from the asset via engineering-based options, and the identification of a potential ‘optimal’ sustainable combined solution that minimises risk and cost (measured in £/kg removed), while maximising wider environmental benefits and enhancing ecosystem services. A key point here is that the catchment solution screening and assessment should be considered as part of, and integrated with, the wider WINEP delivery programme to ensure collaboration between engineers and environmental scientists that provides greatest value to the client.
Stakeholder collaboration is critical to successful catchment-based solutions Stakeholders form the second critical part of the system, and the development and implementation of catchment-based solutions require the co-operation and collaboration of a variety of organisations and groupings, including but not limited to, the water company, regulator, agricultural industry, other industry, the general public and established catchment partnerships. An understanding of the established interactions and inter-dependencies can be developed through application of stakeholder network maps at the waterbody or multiple waterbody scale, which can in turn help to facilitate effective engagement and communication during project design and implementation. An example would be the use of existing third-party mechanisms/relationships to engage with key farms through catchment partnerships or stewardship schemes, or identification and integration of existing environmental schemes in the assessment of catchmentbased solutions, such as river restoration and natural flood management projects.
Principles of adaptive management should be adopted Through this process key knowledge gaps and residual uncertainties should be identified and, if possible, addressed through
Stantec’s phased approach to the screening and scoping of catchment solutions to manage nutrient loading
further investigative work or mitigated in programme design. Indeed, effective programme design needs to adopt adaptive management principles to address such uncertainties and recognise the inherent complexity of the system, to allow a defined solution to be adapted to reflect data collected during its implementation. This reduces the risk of failure and provides opportunity of realising benefits not identified during planning and potentially the ability to outperform programme targets. This requires a structured evaluation plan and defined time-based metrics, against which to assess progress in achieving the targeted outcome.
Flexibility and pragmatism are key to delivering wider benefits While incorporation of integrated catchment solutions into the WINEP offers a real opportunity to develop a progressive, collaborative and sustainable means of delivering long-term nutrient management, significant challenges remain in realising the benefits offered, primarily associated with regulatory constraints or uncertainty. For example, the restriction of the ‘trialling’ of CNB or catchment flexible permitting to water companies with a ‘Good’ Environmental Performance Assessment rating for three consecutive years prevents widespread consideration of such approaches, potentially in areas where they’d have significant positive outcomes. Success, or compliance, criteria of such
integrated programmes also remains subjective, and the current Environment Agency requirement is that success is achieved three years following the implementation date (thus 2027 for sites with a 2024 implementation). At a high level, these criteria could be achieving a reduction of phosphorus concentrations in rivers to levels which achieve Good status under the WFD. However, the requirement to achieve this by 2027 will be dependent on factors outside the control of the programme, including the levels of phosphorus stored in the environment (for example in riverbed sediment and high levels of naturally occurring phosphorous). More specific local metrics need to be considered, including necessary implementation of agricultural measures, or reduced concentrations of nutrients in agricultural drains. Not achieving a given criteria should also not necessarily be considered a programmatic failure and require implementation of an engineered solution. The principles of adaptive management dictate that schemes be reviewed according to data collected and lessons learned during implementation and improved if ‘success’ is still deemed achievable. To facilitate this, the Environment Agency need to demonstrate local flexibility and pragmatism if the goal of achieving longer-term sustainable solutions, which will deliver wider benefits, are to be realised.
PHASE 2 EPA APPROACH TO CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT Terry A’Hearn signs SEPA’s first multi-partnership Sustainable Growth Agreement
The evidence has never been clearer. We are living in times of unprecedented change. Faced with a climate emergency, biodiversity collapse, water scarcity and inequality to name a few. by Terry A’Hearn, Pauline Silverman and Aleks Schmidt-Hansen
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) The world requires radical change from us all to meet these 21st century challenges. Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs) around the world are not exempt. The DNA of EPAs was to focus on specific side effects; end-of-pipe pollution (point source pollution, noise, odour etc.), physical barriers in rivers, flooding and infrequent water scarcity challenges. Lots of great things were achieved using this model including the reduction of industrial pollution and substantial clean-ups of rivers such as the Clyde. This business model was fit for purpose at the time of creation. It is not enough to meet 21st century challenges though.
As a ‘Phase 2’ EPA we must step up to help lead the change. We must continue tackling specific side effects, more efficiently and effectively, and address systemic fundamental effects; climate change, biodiversity collapse, more regular and severe flooding and water scarcity.
What does this mean for catchment management? For catchments we have to look at challenges and opportunities through a whole system, place based lens. Working across multiple sectors to tackle environmental, social and economic challenges. By working with a range of regulatory influencers we can secure compliance and go beyond to deliver stronger economic and social success.
Leven programme The Leven catchment was once the engine that drove Fife throughout the industrial revolution. The river was the backbone
which allowed industry and communities to thrive. Fast-forward to the 21st century and the region now has some of the most deprived communities in Scotland. These communities sometimes have limited economic opportunities and can be disconnected from one another and the natural environment. Industrial use has left a legacy of environmental impacts which SEPA and other agencies have duties to address. In the past, SEPA would have approached the catchment via objectives set out in the Water Framework Directive. We would plan how to tackle any environmental issues directly with those we regulate, and do so on a pressure by pressure basis. The scale of the challenge indicates that tackling environmental pressures in this way will not go far enough in addressing the fundamental effects.
FEATURE: CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT As a phase 2 EPA, SEPA is looking at the catchment through a place based, geographic lens, identifying the environmental, social and economic challenges and opportunities across the region. We have engaged with regulated sectors and non-regulated organisations throughout the catchment. Rather than reviewing permits and other traditional actions, we talked to them about shared 21st century challenges. Through this we identified key partners who are also facing significant challenges and who share outcomes of making the region thrive. In July 2019, 10 organisations from the public, private and third sector came together to sign SEPA’s first multipartnership Sustainable Growth Agreement, committing to help the region of mid-Fife prosper within the limits of one planet. Our vision is that by 2030, the Leven catchment will be a living, breathing example of inclusive growth, achieving environmental excellence whilst maximising social and economic opportunities.
Our vision aims to lead to the following outcomes by 2030: The catchment will have a natural environment that will support a diverse ecology and celebrate its social history. ■ The catchment will support a network of paths and sustainable travel routes that will connect people, communities and business to each other and the environment. ■ The catchment will become a ‘go to’ destination and sustainable tourism will become one of the area’s key economic attractions, in ways which help reduce carbon emissions and strengthen biodiversity of the area. ■ The catchment will be a dynamic hub for social enterprise, youth and education. ■ The catchment will be able to attract and support business and industry and become a hub between the cities of Dundee and Edinburgh. ■ Registered vacant and derelict land will be made productive for the benefit of communities in the region and in support of inclusive economic regeneration. ■
In the next three years we will undertake a series of projects across the catchment to realise this ambition. Our flagship connectivity project will deliver environmental river improvements, develop an active travel network to connect the isolated communities to and along the river and unlock opportunities on the vacant and derelict land in Levenmouth. This addresses systemic challenges in the area, not only environmental ones. Together we can achieve far more than we could as individual organisations. Compliance with regulations is and remains non-negotiable. Approaching catchment management in this way enhances our work as a regulator and delivers much more value for the environment, communities and the local economy. For more information on the Leven please visit www.theleven.org
SEAGAHAN RESERVOIR – THE RUSH SOLUTION WITHOUT POLLUTION!
Weed wiping in progress
Seagahan Reservoir is a drinking water supply in County Armagh, operated by NI Water to supply drinking water to Markethill town and the surrounding rural area. The reservoir is created by a an impoundment on the Butter Water, a tributary of the Blackwater River – the largest river feeding into Lough Neagh. Routine monitoring of the raw water in the reservoir has shown elevated levels of the grassland herbicide MCPA (2-methyl4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid) a powerful, selective, widely used phenoxy herbicide. This herbicide can reach the surface water through run-off from agricultural activity, such as pesticide application via a boomsprayer. In this area MCPA is often applied using a boom sprayer primarily to control Soft Rush Juncus effusus, which can rapidly spread to dominate badly drained, acidic or poorly managed pasture. An extra water treatment mechanism is required to remove MCPA from the raw water, increasing the cost in maintaining the necessary drinking water quality standards at the treatment works. To address the issue of MCPA in drinking water reservoirs a group known as The Water Catchment Partnership
(WCP) was established. The WCP is a working partnership established from representatives from NI Water, Ulster Farmers’ Union, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, DAERA and The Voluntary Initiative. The aim of this partnership is to deliver one message incorporating the ethos from all organisations to effectively tackle the problem of pesticides in the water environment particularly in Drinking Water areas. The partnership proactively work together to promote and raise awareness of best practice when using pesticides in the garden or on the farm, through a voluntary approach to improve water quality. Farmers in NI have traditionally used boom sprayers for apply the herbicide MCPA to rushes. However, trials in conjunction with College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise have shown that weed-wiping with Glyphosate is a more effective and less pollutant rush control method than using
MCPA via a boom sprayer. Using weedwipers to manage rushes is more effective as herbicide is applied directly to the plant, using less chemical and dramatically reduces spray drift and runoff to water. The group then promoted weed-wiping using the herbicide Glyphosate as an alternative to spraying MCPA and to demonstrate an alternative effective rush control method whilst causing less water pollution. Weed wiping as an application method is more targeted to the Juncus effusus, with no drift and little impact on the surrounding vegetation. Glyphosate is more readily removed at the water treatment stage, and is not long lived in the natural water environment unlike MCPA. To encourage weed wiping with Glyphosate landowners within the drinking water catchment boundary were offered a free weed-wiping service as a pilot project to trial the use of weed-wiper equipment which ‘wipes’ rather than sprays the
FEATURE: CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT weeds demonstrating that this is a viable alternative for rush control. Raw water quality was monitored in the catchment throughout the trial to assess its impact on MCPA levels.
Demonstration of the reduction of MCPA levels in the Seagahan raw water as a result of the project.
By providing the weed-wiping service for free, NI Water allowed farmers and landowners the chance to gain experience and knowledge of effective rush management using a weed-wiper whilst protecting the water environment from grassland herbicides. The two-year project is managed by NI Water but carried out in conjunction with the WCP as part of a campaign to help reduce levels of MCPA in catchment areas. The overall aim is to show that MCPA levels can be reduced in the reservoir with improved sustainable practices and without the need for more carbon intensive water treatment processes. NI Water publicised the project via press and stakeholders under the heading; “A Rush Solution without Pollution”, commencing in March 2017.
Project Achievements Providing the free weed-wiping service prevented farmers spraying MCPA across 630 acres of their land and prevented 648 litres of MCPA from being sprayed on the catchment area. ■ Water Quality benefits - Ongoing water sampling of the reservoir throughout 2018 and 2019 has shown a marked decrease in MCPA found in raw water. Analysis of the results demonstrated a MCPA residual reduction of more than 50% in the 2017 period and a further decreases in 2018 & 2019, in comparison with the average for the previous 5 years. ■ Project Promotion – The rollout event in the community hall proved to be effective, with large number of farmers attending to take advantage of the project. The project was successfully promoted by face-to-face engagement, online, press articles, BBC report and targeting the local Farmers’ Mart. ■ Partnership Working – The Water Catchment Partnership brought together a diverse group of partners, utilising the varied expertise of the partnership, which was instrumental in the success of the project. ■ Contractor selection – The decision to use a local contractor situated in the heart of the catchment area was beneficial, as the contractor had a working knowledge of the land and a
personal relationship with the farmers. Rush Reduction – On the area weedwiped there has been a successful rush reduction between 60% and 90%. Weedwiping treatments have seen rushes completely eliminated from certain pastures. Feedback from farmers has been very positive. ■ Pesticide choice – The pesticide ‘Roundup Energy’ was used for the project following trials and advice from CAFRE. This proved very successful for the rush treatment as the pesticide stayed on the leaf of the rush due to the adjuvant (sticking agent). ■ Farm Liaison visits/contractor treatments – It was beneficial for the first visit to be carried out with the farmer present allowing discussions and queries to be resolved. Giving responsibility to the farmer for timing of the weed-wiping was successful as treatments were arranged with the contractor when conditions were at an optimum and no livestock were present in the treated area. Feedback from farmers and UFU has been excellent. ■
Conclusion Overall the trial has resulted in a significant reduction in MCPA residuals in Seagahan reservoir, reducing the risk of water quality exceedances. Critically, it has shown to be cost effective to do this work, demonstrating a saving in water treatment costs. The free weed-wiping trial allowed NI Water to successfully work with the farming community, benefitting both drinking water quality and managing rush infestations, which poses a significant problem to farmers due to poor weather conditions. It is anticipated that the trial will result in a legacy of improved sustainable farm practices across NI to minimise pesticide impacts, and heightened awareness and stewardship of local water quality. The NI Water contractor has been busy treating rushes outside the catchment area which would indicate a change in farm practices. Following on from the success of this project, NI Water has now commenced two further weed-wiping projects to tackle the MCPA problem on a wider basis.
ALIGNING CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT WITH WALES’ GROUND BREAKING LEGISLATION With catchment management rapidly being recognised as a fundamental part of the water supply system, there is an increased interest and investment to mitigate raw water quality challenges and threats at source. The way catchment management for drinking water is being developed differs greatly; some methods target single issue problems, whereas others take a longer-term, more holistic approach. Welsh Water views catchment management as its first line of defence. In this article, Dr Phillippa Pearson, Head of Water Services Science at Welsh Water, explains how the not-for-profit water company is creating new ways of working which are supported by Wales’ ground-breaking legislation. In April 2016, Welsh Government’s Wellbeing and Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 was brought into legislation by the National Assembly for Wales. The Act places a duty on public bodies in Wales to consider the long-term and work more cohesively with people, communities, and other public bodies to achieve outcomes. Although Welsh Water is not a public sector body and does not fall within the scope of the Act, the not-for-profit water company has closely aligned its long-term plan, Welsh Water 2050, with the duties placed on public bodies.
Aligning with Wales’ ground breaking legislation Phillippa explains: “When the Well-being and Future Generations Act came into legislation, we instantly recognised that Welsh Water could play a significant role in helping Wales achieve these goals. As a provider of essential public services, it’s essential that we plan ahead to ensure our service remains resilient and sustainable for future generations. Our long term plan, Welsh Water 2050, has 18 strategic responses to ensure we respond to future challenges effectively. The first of these responses is to, ‘Safeguard clean drinking water through catchment management’ and it is our ambition to put
Pontsticill Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons in place proactive, preventative catchment management programmes for all of our drinking water catchments.”
Building on lessons learned Welsh Water’s Catchment team has a long standing history of working with land managers in its drinking water catchments. Through WaterSource, its evidence-based approach to catchment management, their schemes and initiatives have resulted in industry-wide awards, successful partnership working and, most importantly, demonstrated improvements to raw water quality. Its weed wiper trial, the first in the UK, has resulted in a significant reduction in the detections of grassland herbicides (especially MCPA) and has prevented the need for immediate investment in permanent treatment solutions. Its PestSmart work to promote the safe storage, use and disposal of pesticides was awarded almost £1 million by Welsh Government to deliver its initiative throughout Wales. Phillippa continues “Trials like this have provided evidence that our proactive,
preventative approach not only benefits drinking water quality but also creates multiple benefits for our customers and the wider environment. It’s also given us the confidence our approach will work on a larger scale. This is why we set ourselves a really ambitious goal; to develop and create Wales’ first multi-partner, multi-benefit and multi-outcome project to deliver effective catchment management. We’ve identified an opportunity to do this within the Brecon Beacons”.
The Brecon Beacons The Brecon Beacons is strategically important for Welsh Water; around half of the water they abstract for drinking on a daily basis comes from this area. Its 17 water treatment works supply homes and businesses in Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and the South East Wales valleys with high quality drinking water, so ensuring it remains prosperous and builds resilience for future generations is critical for ensuring a sustainable water service in Wales. The importance of the Brecon Beacons for natural resource management goes beyond water – it’s also vital for communities,
FEATURE: CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT biodiversity, agriculture, forestry and tourism. But climate, environmental and land use change is already placing the area under pressure, so along with key stakeholders and partners, Welsh Water have created the Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment concept to build resilience in the area. This will be achieved by identifying and working towards common goals by sharing knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm.
Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment Phillippa explains more “Fundamentally, the Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment is about driving new ways of working, making better use of existing resources and driving efficiencies through collaboration. It will also move away from single issue management based on boundaries nature doesn’t recognise. Many factors that influence raw water quality are not limited by topography. For example, grazing sheep, wildfires and invasive species don’t conveniently stop or turn around at a catchment boundary. “Traditionally, we have defined catchments by topography and viewed them as isolated or individual areas. Until recently, this was also the case in the Brecon Beacons. With our Mega Catchment approach, we are recognising the common challenges they face and now treat these neighbouring catchments as one landscape scale catchment. When we started to introduce our thinking and the concept of treating the Beacons as a ‘Mega Catchment’ to our partners and stakeholders, the energetic nods in the room showed we were onto something. With strong support from our stakeholder, including regulators and policy makers, we formally launched the Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment concept at our first WaterSource conference in 2017.” Since its launch, the Mega Catchment has attracted considerable momentum, attention and support from a wide range of stakeholders, policy makers and regulators.
International best practice This momentum and attention is, in part, due to interest gained in the project following a visit by representatives from three organisations involved in an internationally renowned catchment management programme in the Catskills, New York. In March 2018, representatives from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Supply Bureau, the Watershed Agricultural Council and the
Representatives from New York’s catchment management programme visited Wales on a knowledge exchange programme in March 2018 Catskill Watershed Corporation visited Wales to take part in an international knowledge exchange visit with Welsh Water. Phillippa explains “Throughout their visit, the representatives explained how their organisations have been working together over the past 25 years to provide over a billion gallons of drinking water, 90% of which is unfiltered, to over 9 million people in New York State and New York on a daily basis. The original purpose of our contact with the Catskills programme was to help us promote the long-term benefits of catchment management and help identify best practice activities which would drive catchment and land management for water quality. “However, during our conversations, we identified so many more opportunities for business-wide benefits, so we organised a reciprocal visit to the Catskill watershed in May 2019. Due to the interest their visit to Wales had generated, we were joined by representatives from Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government who were also eager to see how the Catskills’ ways of working could be replicated in Wales.
Farmer-led solutions An important element of the knowledge exchange visits was to find out more about the relationship between the NYC Water Supply Bureau (a Government department) and the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC), a farmer-led organisation that works with land owners to safeguard water quality by reducing agricultural pollution. Welsh Water has not restricted this international knowledge exchange to its own
staff. In partnership with Natural Resources Wales, they have supported two farmers from the Beacons Water Group in visiting the Catskills region with the aim of further developing the farmer-led group which was established to replicate the WAC approach. Whilst still in development, the Beacons Water Group has been creating, developing and piloting projects to facilitate changes in agricultural practice to improve farm efficiency/ resilience and provide clear environmental and water quality benefits which are above the minimum regulation.
A truly sustainable Wales Welsh Water has taken great strides on its journey to developing its holistic, long term approach to landscape scale catchment management. This is not only supported by its stakeholders but also has the strength of new legislation behind it. The Well-being and Future Generations Act has given Wales an incredible opportunity to lead the way in sustainability. With the Mega Catchment proposal embodying the principles of the Act’s goals, it has the potential to be Wales’ first initiative to touch all seven well-being goals. Phillippa says “We know our catchments face unprecedented climatic, environmental and political change, but with these changes comes opportunities; opportunities to work with new stakeholders and to work collaboratively to protect special landscapes such as the Brecon Beacons. It’s only by working in partnership that we will address our common challenges and achieve our common goal of creating a truly sustainable Wales”.
SUSTAINABLE CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT NI Water’s Sustainable Catchment Area Management Programme (SCaMP NI) aims to improve the quality and reliability of the water through sustainable catchment-based solutions that focus on protecting and enhancing the natural environment. Here are two examples of SCaMP NI projects undertaken in Northern Ireland. Garron Plateau Blanket Bog Restoration During the 1960s and 1970s this 2000 hectare site of peatland in County Antrim was damaged when drainage ditches were dug through the bog. Combined with overgrazing by livestock, the peat was exposed, causing it to erode and dry out. This resulted in the supply of poor quality, peat-rich raw water to Dungonnell Reservoir and increased costs during the water treatment process to remove the colour from the water. The bog also lost its natural ability to store water. This project aims to restore the bog to naturally filter the water and also provide a vital wildlife habitat, encouraging the native wildlife that used to live there to return. NI Water, working with RSPB NI and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), has reversed the damage caused to the bog using an innovative method; instead of draining water away to prevent flooding, in this project, drains were deliberately blocked to raise the water levels. As a result of blocking drainage ditches, raising water levels in the peat, the bog has been recreated and pools have formed throughout the area, giving the ideal conditions for sphagnum mosses to grow. The moss and peat naturally filter the water and this natural filtration process can then reduce the amount of chemicals NI Water needs to use, to clean the water. The drain blocking started back in 2013 and continued through the Co-operation Across Borders for Biodiversity (CABB) project in 2018 & 2019.1
‘Teamwork’ - some of the team behind the 5-year long, NI Water project: Back row L-R: Ivan Graham Lowrys, Peter Smith Lowrys, Rory Doherty QUB, Shaun Thomas RSPB, Roy Taylor NIW, Joanne Sherwood RSPB, Maynard Cousley NIW, Henry McLaughlin NIW, Paul Harper NIW, Front row L-R: Jemma Lowry (Lowrys), Abigael Maiden RSPB volunteer, Laura McAnallen QUB, CEO NI Water Sara Venning, Dymphna Gallagher NIW, Leanne Massey SEUPB and Darren Houston, RSPB.
Joanne Sherwood, Director of RSPB NI, said: “The blanket bog is home to
Roy Taylor, Catchment Manager for NI Water said: “The Integrated catchment
protected birds of prey including hen harriers and rare plants such as bog orchids. The blanket bog restoration, through drain blocking and implementation of actions within a Conservation Action Plan, is not only a win for NI Water in terms of raw water quality, but it is also a win for the environment, creating an improved habitat for wildlife.”
approach has proved to be a sustainable and cost-effective option when compared to dealing with water quality issues at the treatment works. The carbon and biodiversity benefits of restored peatland are also key drivers for this project, which was the first of this type undertaken by NI Water. The success is as a result of excellent co-operation between a number of key stakeholders along with NI Water, through the Sustainable Catchment Area Management Planning (SCaMP NI) programme. Removing pollutants at water treatment works involves using costly chemicals and our aim is to sustainably improve land management so that water quality and quantity is improved at source, long before it reaches our works.”
Designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), a Special Protection Area (SPA), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Wetland of International Importance (WII), the win for customers in the area is better water quality in the County Antrim homes that are served by Dungonnell Reservoir.
FEATURE: CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT The project has already been awarded a prestigious “Green Apple Environment Award’ for its work with Lowry Building & Civil Engineering, who helped to install a number of dams for NI Water as part of the restoration of Garron Bog. It is envisaged that the work undertaken at Garron Plateau will serve as a demonstration site for best practice and serve as a model for future bog restoration projects in Northern Ireland and beyond.
For further information on the Garron Plateau Bog Restoration Project visit: www.niwater.com/garron-plateau-bogrestoration-project/
through a partnership between RSPB NI (lead partner), RSPB Scotland, BirdWatch Ireland, Butterfly Conservation, Northern Ireland Water and Moors for the Future. The project will see 2,228 hectares of blanket bog being restored across Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland.
1 The CABB project has been supported by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding has been supplied by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in Ireland. The project is a €4.9m (£4.3m) project being delivered
Riparian Tree Planting Since the start of 2019, NI Water has been involved in the planting of over 10,000 native trees, as part of a 5-year Riparian Planting Project. The trees are a mixture of native broadleaf species, planted in large areas close to the Glenedra River, from which water is abstracted to supply Caugh Hill Water Treatment Works (WTW), near Dungiven, Co Londonderry. A riparian area is the interface between land and a river or stream. NI Water, working alongside The Woodland Trust and The Loughs Agency is delighted to support this ‘Green Infrastructure’ project, in the second phase of this 5-year planting scheme.
NI Water’s Catchment Liaison Officer, Becca Allen, said: “We are so pleased to be working with The Woodland Trust on this excellent catchment protection initiative. Riparian tree planting not only protects our raw water quality but also provides a home for wildlife and helps reduce the effect of climate change.” The planting of trees stabilises river banks and prevents livestock encroachment, thus sustainably improving water quality for treatment at Caugh Hill WTW. It also helps with flood alleviation, improves the spawning habitats for aquatic life and reduces NI Water’s carbon footprint. In addition to the native trees, a further 2,000 willow pegs have been planted in the area by 25 volunteers, which were cut from local willow trees. An additional 7 hectares of land suitable for riparian
planting has also been identified closer to the Glenedra source, which will further stabilise this important water source. The partnership of NI Water, Loughs Agency and The Woodland Trust has also planted 17,000 trees along the Faughan and Burntollet Rivers this planting season. There are further plans to plant riparian strips along 36km of riverbanks, upstream of Carmoney WTW raw water abstraction. Funding sources and farmer negotiations are ongoing by The Woodland Trust. This work will help alleviate flood risk along the river and
provide shade for spawning fish and habitats for wildlife. This tree planting partnership is an excellent example of how organisations can contribute directly to long lasting environmental benefits for people and wildlife, improve water quality and also lower their carbon footprint.
URBAN CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT
There is a tendency when we talk about catchment management in the sector to concentrate on farmers and land owners. This is understandable, as the connectivity between land use and water quality is of pivotal importance when looking at the protection of water resources. However, working with farmers and landowners is only part of the story. There is a growing appreciation within water companies and other interested parties such as CaBA groups, of the importance of ‘urban catchment management’. Trader discharges, misconnected properties, fly tipping of waste and the impacts of highway run off, all represent potential pollution pathways into raw waters. The picture is further complicated when we start to consider the unintended consequences of health and lifestyle choices. The increasing occurrence of medicines, contraceptives and recreational drugs in our waterways for example, is sadly well documented.
Anglian Water has been taking an urban catchment management approach to address diffuse pollution at its bathing waters for over 5 years. Just as with the agricultural catchment management examples, Anglian believe that prevention rather than cure, is a far more sustainable way of addressing diffuse pollution issues at the beach. Lu Gilfoyle, Anglian’s Head of Environmental Quality says: “after extensive investment in our assets over the last 3 AMP periods, it became very apparent to us that the things left standing in the way of our regions beaches attaining ‘excellent’ status under the Bathing Water Directive, were down to diffuse pollution sources. If we were to influence these, then we had to turn our attention to working with beach users, coastal businesses and homeowners who may be unwittingly the cause of the issue”.
Lu goes on to say: “clearly its vital that water companies continue to invest and run their assets properly so that they do
FEATURE: CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT not cause environmental damage but, we are only one half of the story. If we are to achieve the water quality we all want at the beach then a more collaborative and joined up approach is needed”. Anglian’s coastal approach has different strands. Firstly, the team of dedicated Coastal Catchment Managers have a role to play when it comes to advising Local Authorities and helping them implement the requirements of the Bathing Water Directive. Jenny Cooper Anglian’s Marine Quality Manager says; “EU Directives are sometimes hard to navigate but we have a lot of experience as a regulated business in working to this type of guidance. My team work closely with any Local Authority in our region who needs help to understand their responsibilities when it comes to managing their beaches or understanding the data they receive from the Environment Agency”. The team also work closely with businesses and have a programme in place called ‘Love our Seaside’ educating seaside cafes and restaurants, about the importance of disposing of their fats oils and grease and food waste responsibly. Blocked sewers at the beach, can have immediate polluting impacts to the sea, so building an understanding of the impacts of the causes of sewer blockages with local business forms a key part of the urban catchment advice. Similarly, incorrectly disposed of food or food processing waste can result in elevated bacterial levels for people to swim in if it is able to enter the water and also attracts vermin and seabirds, the droppings of which can be hazardous to health. Sticking with drains, Anglian also has a ‘Blue Crabs’ campaign. Working with Local Authorities, the company marks up surface water drains that have direct connectivity to the beach, with a blue crab emblem. In conjunction with social media and support from local newspapers, the approach has proved successful in reducing the fly tipping of waste and the incorrect disposal of chemical toilets from coaches in coastal areas in particular. Citizen science forms an important part of the coastal catchment strategy. Anglian Water supports community groups to adopt a section of their beach and keep it clean of litter, dog fouling and plastic waste through its BeachCare Programme that it runs in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy.
As well as BeachCare groups, beach users are also enlisted to help as Anglian sponsors ‘2 minute beach cleans’ encouraging day visitors to grab a bag and pick up what they find as part of their visit. The approach is hugely popular and as Jenny says; “the number of boards we have sponsored continues to increase year on year. It’s a little thing that doesn’t take long to do but appeals as people genuinely want to play their part in protecting the environment”. Properties whose owners or builders have accidentally connected them into surface water drains, can be a significant cause of sewage pollution in coastal towns. The team have commissioned a variety of approaches from simply walking the pavements looking and dye tracing, to the more sophisticated use of aerial imagery and software that can recognise misconnected drainage pipe configurations, to identify potential problems. The Coastal Catchment Managers are then able to talk to customers using this information and advise them about what they need to do to connect their properties to the correct sewer. The team also investigate any high sample results from the Environment Agency’s bathing water sampling programme looking for their cause. Where appropriate, the team instigate research to understand more. In one location for example, the work of the team identified that the Environment Agency had been periodically taking samples from a location that was not the designated sampling point and therefore not representative of the designated bathing water. Some research was quickly instigated
with independent experts to demonstrate the detrimental impact of this on the beach classification and sampling returned to the official more representative location. As well as looking for the causes of elevated bacterial levels, Anglian research also seeks to understand potential new threats to water quality. For example Lu states; “one of the latest areas we are currently researching is the impact of algal blooms on beach quality. We have seen an increase in algae in the last 3 years and its ability to harbour some of the types of bacteria that are used to assess beach quality, is well known. The implications of algae on water quality sample results is something that needs greater understanding to ensure that the advice given to bathers about the quality of their beach, is accurate. We have a programme in place for this AMP to improve all our understanding in this area”. The process of implementing measures to address coastal pollution through urban catchment management is difficult. Without it, and its ability to capture the need for collective action of those who live, work and visit the beach, it is unlikely that the stringent standards of the bathing water directive will be fully achievable UK wide. The approach however is building momentum overall. The ramping up of the Chemical Investigations Programme (CIP) and the increasing interest in Trade Effluent impacts for example next AMP, will guarantee that water companies will have to consider the urban environment more and more within their catchment management approaches.
UNIVERSITY OF BATH
BIG DATA GOES DOWN THE PLUGHOLE TO FIGHT FUTURE PUBLIC HEALTH THREATS
Scientists at the University of Bath’s Water Innovation and Research Centre are developing new ways of monitoring public health at home and in low-income countries by analysing wastewater. Rising antimicrobial resistance and fastspreading epidemics like Ebola and the Zika virus are well-publicised threats to global health. Now, scientists at the University of Bath’s Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC @ Bath) are working out how big data and wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) could help combat these issues and keep people around the world healthy. The World Health Organisation (WHO) stated in 2016 that antimicrobial resistance (also known as AMR or drug resistance) is a major threat to health and human development. AMR is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others. Now, studies being carried out by WIRC @ Bath staff could point to how wastewater monitoring could contribute to fighting both
AMR and the spread of aggressive epidemics by reducing the level of pharmaceuticals reaching wastewater treatment works, and creating an early warning system aimed at safeguarding public health. Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Professor in Environmental and Analytical Chemistry, is based in the University of Bath’s Department of Chemistry and is a member of its Water Innovation and Research Centre, WIRC @ Bath. Prof Kasprzyk-Hordern says that instead of monitoring the health of individuals through blood or urine samples, more can be learned about a community’s health at a ‘birds eye’ level when wastewater is monitored. Doing so over wide geographic areas and in long-term studies will give public health bodies new tools in understanding a population’s health, the risks it is facing, and the possibility of developing early warning systems to highlight potential threats before they become crises.
She says: “We have been studying for several years how water systems form a critical part of the public health landscape. “It’s thanks to this that current research focused on safeguarding people’s health both in the UK and internationally is progressing rapidly, on several fronts.”
ReNEW – developing early warning systems in urban wastewater systems A project managed jointly with South Africa’s Stellenbosch University seeks to develop an early-warning system to quickly highlight emerging public health issues in the Stellenbosch area. Following a year’s study of the underlying geographic conditions and seasonal variabilities, the team is now using state-of-the-art tools to target more than 200 biomarkers, including genes, proteins and chemicals that help paint a picture of local community health. Prof Kasprzyk-Hordern says: “We hope that monitoring of selected biomarkers over long periods will speed up the evaluation
FEATURE: CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT of public health status, prediction of future crises, and development of mitigation strategies for rapid- or slow-onset hazards, even before they manifest characteristic end points, such as death in the case of pandemics.” By engineering new integrated sensors for on-site monitoring and building a big data approach to modelling markers within the urban water system in Stellenbosch, the team hopes that urban water profiling can provide real-time responses when certain biomarkers are detected and reduce the burden on public health worldwide.
Urban water fingerprinting Developed from a Europe-wide study that used wastewater sampling to determine levels of illicit drug use in cities, Urban Water Fingerprinting (or UWF) is a recent concept in water science. Anyone working in the water industry will know that urban water is complex and ever-changing. A mixture of substances, it includes a wide range of human excretion products, all of which have different levels of exposure
to stressors (e.g. toxicants and infectious agents) and physiological processes (e.g. specific disease-linked proteins, genes and metabolites). The quantitative measurement of these residues continuously pooled by sewerage systems can provide evidence of the quantity and type of chemical, biological or physical stressors to which the population is exposed and can profile the effects of this exposure, anonymously, at low cost and in real time. Results of UWF studies so far are very promising and therefore it is anticipated that use of the technique will become more widespread. UWF capable of collating and analysing long term datasets has the potential to unravel complexities behind key 21st century public health issues focused on non-communicable and communicable disease epidemics which are rapidly spreading globally. For example, only one daily urban water sample is needed to evaluate more than 300 biomarkers that can determine the state of community-wide health for a community of 100 thousand people, served by one wastewater treatment works – or in lowerand middle-income countries, disposing
We can help you reimagine your water R&D
directly to the local river or open sewer. If undertaken every day for a year, changes in public exposure over time, as well as infectious disease spread and the appearance of new pathogenic strains, could be surveyed for the whole community at a relatively low cost. As yet, such a tool does not exist. However, KasprzykHordern says that if developed, it would have the potential to vastly improve health outcomes, provide quality-of-life benefits and reduce cost of healthcare globally. “Most importantly it could benefit all community members, irrespective of their socioeconomic status,” she adds. Further work is critically needed to develop a system that is recognised internationally to influence regulatory and political decisions both of localised importance (e.g. air pollution in urban areas or infectious disease spread in low resource settings) and at an international scale (e.g. antimicrobial resistance). Several aspects – including accurate measurement of population sizes, work into identifying biomarkers and crucially the development of low-cost sensors, require further investigation.
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PRESIDENT’S DAY On Friday 2nd August Eastern Area held their President’s Day at “Newmarket Nights”, an afternoon at Newmarket Races followed by a Pete Tong concert. Jason Tucker, Area President opened the event, which was sponsored by Groundbreaker Systems, Claret Civil Engineering and Anglian Water. 100 members and sponsors’ guests attended the event, which was a great chance to network with our colleagues and friends and have a flutter on the horses. The Pete Tong concert was also a great atmosphere and some stayed late into the evening. Thanks to our sponsors and Area Committee for organising and supporting this great event.
DRAGONS DEN Eastern Area Innovation Awards – 6th March 2020 The Eastern Area is delighted to invite individuals, teams or organisations operating in the Eastern Area to apply for the Innovation Awards.
Z-TECH’S FLOW MEASUREMENT KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
The application process comprises a downloadable ‘paper’ based form, followed by the opportunity to present your innovation to a panel of senior judges at a Dragons Den– style event, hosted at Kingsgate Conference Centre (PE1 4YT) on Friday 6th March.
Application forms can be downloaded from www.instituteofwater.org.uk/ innovation-awards/eastern-areainnovation-awards
Closing date for applications
The East and South-East Areas of the Institute of Water, in conjunction with Z-Tech Control Systems, hosted a highly successful Flow Knowledge Exchange at the Crystal in London. The knowledge exchange was well attended by some of the leading technical experts in the UK water industry, openly discussing the challenges that the industry faces moving forward. With just under 100 people present and dozens online, the exchange especially focused on areas surrounding leakage and wastewater flow management which are set to be some of the key drivers in England & Wales in the next Asset Management Period. Mark Swain from Severn Trent Water spoke about his approach to delivering FFT flow programme, Oliver Grievson, Z-Tech Control Systems talked about
the strategic direction for flow, Luke Stanbridge & Derrick Hammond, Z-Tech talked on Flowmeter installations & Verifications, Tony Wood spoke about assessment and flow management. The afternoon covered slots for manufacturers: ABB (Electro-magnetic flow), Flexim (Time of Flight Flow), Nivus (Submerged Area-Velocity Flow), RS Hydro (Non-Contact Area-Velocity flow) and Vega (Radar level-based flow).
is 7th February 2020, with successful shortlist applicants having the opportunity to present to the ‘Dragons’, and the winning Innovation put through to the National Final in June 2020. If you have implemented innovations in Technology, Customer Service, Ways of Working or Sustainable Practices and operate in the areas of Anglian Water, Cambridge Water, Essex and Suffolk Water and Affinity Water, then we’d love to welcome your application.
This was a truly collaborative event, sharing best practice in technology, installations and programme management.
AUTUMN SEMINAR 2019 “ENERGY WISE, DIGITAL SAVVY” By Gareth McFarland & Karen Topping Area President Ronan Larkin kicked off the day focussing on two significant change factors facing us in the modern world – namely Global Climate Change and Technological Change. The tone of the keynote reflected that of the wider seminar by highlighting that both ‘Risk’ and ‘Responsibility’. We need to drive consumer behaviour both from a company standpoint towards its own customers but also as customers themselves. David McDonald from NIE highlighted customers will determine the pace of change and that through collaboration companies can assess their best approach to this change. David coined the ‘least regret approach’ adopted by NIE whereby the route of change must be fully evaluated to avoid unnecessary and costly backtracking. Damien O’Mullan, NI Waters Head of Energy emphasised the need, and importance, for collaboration both as a company and as a customer. Damien typified this by asking how can NIW become a prosumer and work with NIE. Paul Roeleveld from Royal Haskoning DHV highlighted the importance of scale and recent trend of fewer but bigger treatment plants. This method allows for a larger collection of potential resources at a more centralised location. Where resources are fewer the economies of scale for resource recovery just don’t add up. Resources retrieved from wastewater products include phosphorus, cellulose and biopolymers. In a ‘big picture’ outlook, again through Collaboration, a company can progress from energy consumer, to energy neutral and become an energy producer. Philip Wiltshire, ARUP spoke about developing and building your own energy strategy. The link from company to consumer is important with attention given to how the energy market is expected to change and how these changes affect overall distribution and consumption of energy.
Tom Woolley, Royal Haskoning DHV talked about using AI to improve water operations. He pointed out the importance of AI is to predict, meaning we can remain in control at all times. Practical uses such as leakage/ bursts and sewer blockages are some of the key areas where AI can aid operational resilience. Rebecca Skuce from Scottish Water was a fantastic addition to the day chairing the morning session and getting the panel discussion going. Thomas Kelly kicked off the afternoon session on the Young Persons’ Network, connecting members early in their water industry career, regardless of age! The Network welcomes experienced members to provide mentoring and support. Thomas highlighted the importance of retaining talent within the water sector. Sam Stephens gave a fascinating insight into some of the projects Atkins have been involved in, such as Catterick Garrison and Sellafield, using digital modelling to address challenges in the asset management lifecycle, resulting in improved continuity.
David Gawley of Pentagon Solutions described how his organisation, a BIM consultancy, develop technology workflows that can overcome traditional barriers between different organisational departments, for example by integrating legacy data with design information and connecting to geospatial systems online, which can then provide real time, asset rich updates. The final presentation of the day was from Ciaran Nicell, outlining Northern Ireland Water’s analytics maturity journey and opportunities to solve business challenges, for example in asset optimisation and network control. Ciaran reassuringly reminded us that still underlying digital technologies is the need for people to develop the capability. The closing remarks made by Ronan Larkin resonated with myself and I am sure other delegates, that the ‘masterclasses’ delivered in the seminar had benefited our understanding of rapidly evolving digital and energy technologies which are needed to meet the demands of future generations.
MINE-FUL WATER Treatment of mine water and the bringing together of youth with experience The Northern Area held its inaugural event for the Young Persons Network, visiting the National Coalmining Museum in Yorkshire. The attendees looked at how mine water is treated before being put back into the environment to ensure that no damage is caused to the plants and animals. We brought together members of the YPN who were new to the water sector with some of our established Northern Area members to encourage shared learning and networking. The event was a great success attracting positive feedback from all who attended. Two of our attendees have written a short piece about their experience of the event. Thank you once again for the speakers and attendees who are the people that make our events.
Gareth Maver – Cost & Modelling Analyst at Yorkshire Water “As a newcomer to the water industry,
having only worked for Yorkshire Water for 3 months and a member of the IoW for just 2 weeks, this event immediately appealed to me as it was through the Young Persons’ Network. The event was very well organised and incorporated everything that a young attendee would want; information, learning and networking (and lots of fun).”
Karen Farr – Technical Advisor Wastewater Performance at Northumbrian Water “The presentation also featured the
joint Northumbrian Water/Coal Authority Lamesley minewater treatment scheme – the only site in the UK - treating sewage works effluent with minewater has created huge environmental benefits for the River Team. The legacy of coal mining is of huge importance environmentally but the potential benefits of working with the Coal Authority to use their iron rich minewaters for co-treatment to meet tighter phosphorus permits is an area that is highly relevant and an opportunity that has yet to be realised in other former mining areas.”
MENTAL RESILIENCE The Northern Area has recently been focusing on “Mental Toughness”, hosting two sell-out events in Northumbrian Water and United Utilities. The audiences were taken through an engaging and interactive session covering: ■ What mental toughness is and how to develop it ■ The brain science around why it’s important to look after your mental health ■ How to control the impacts of stress through simple techniques ■ The importance of sleep, exercise and diet for your brain health ■ The transformative benefits of meditation
Lisa Harrison, United Utilities “I took away extra life tools from the event, or more of a realisation that sleep is extremely important for our health and mind. Also, as a qualified personal trainer, the session gave me a little kick to make more time for myself in the gym or for classes and get my eating back in order. “Practising more mediation just to clear my mind of what is bothering me and recognising it and letting it go. I have also gone back to counselling as I feel there are things I have not healed or let
go of that can affect in the present or future. “I would definitely attend another one of these events and I feel it nice to be reminded to look after ourselves as life/ family/work always gets in the way and we are always the last to look after ourselves and we need to be making it a priority.”
YP NETWORK LAUNCH In September we hosted our inaugural ‘Young Persons’ event in the South West Area organised by our YP committee reps.
COMMITTEE NEWS AND PLANS FOR 2020 The SW Area would like to thank Fiona Murphy for being part of the fabulous YP launch event as she steps down from our committee and heads for a new exciting role as the next step on her career ladder. At the same time we welcome Jon Chouler to the committee, from Bristol Water, as a second YP representative alongside Euan Black.
The event in Bristol saw around 20 young professionals meet, network and find out more about the water sector in the South West. Fuelled by pizza and Prosecco attendees took part in an ice-breaker game with the purpose of meeting someone new. After finding their perfect match (think salt and pepper, or Batman and Robin)
attendees were encouraged to find their new contacts on LinkedIn. Importantly the event was also attended by a number of ‘young at heart’ members who will be key to supporting the professional development of our ‘young’ members, through mentoring and networking over coming years.
A packed events programme is planned for 2020 based on our members’ feedback. Thank you to everybody who has taken the time to reply to our surveys or provide feedback at events – it really does help us. We will be kicking off 2020 with a wellbeing session in late January and the full draft events programme will be circulated to all of our members shortly.
MAKING SENSE OF THE ‘DIGITAL TWIN’ An attendee at our October event told us: “There has been so much talk recently about digital twins but I didn’t really know about what they were and how they could be utilised in the Water Industry”. This feeling must have been shared by many as we attracted over 50 people to explore the topic. Dan Green, of Wessex Water kicked off with a utility view, and highlighted the importance of humans within the new ‘Water 4.0’ world. Next up Dave Gillies, from Cognica, shared how state-of-theart technology for visualising assets can allow data to be made accessible to field teams, maintenance teams and head offices without software difficulties using ‘Matrix 360’ software. Paul Davis, from ARUP, went on to explore the importance of data governance and outlined the
core information needed within a good digital action plan. With an example of automated drainage design in Hong Kong, this talk really outlined the art of the possible provided we have the ‘right’ data that is ‘near enough’ accurate. James Connolly from Evifile explored digital information maintenance, introducing the audience to the concept of digital progressive assurance. Finally, ahead of a lively question session, Kevin Whalley
of Skanska provided a Tier 1 view with examples of using data to enable decisionmaking in the real world. Our thanks to committee member Mark Hitchmough for organising the event, WRc for hosting and to all of our sponsors, speakers and attendees for making the event so successful. Please get in touch if you would like to view the recorded webinar.
OBITUARY: MALCOLM PALMER Malcom Palmer, a former SW Area Chairman and committee member for many years passed away aged 87 in September 2019. Malcolm started his career as an apprentice Plumber in the early 1950’s and joined East Devon Water Board. Shortly after his appointment as an Inspector in the Honiton Area of East Devon he joined the Association of Water Officers in 1961. One of his specialities was his time as
a Bye-Laws Inspector before promotion to Assistant Superintendent in Exeter in the early 1970’s. Malcolm became Area Superintendent for the Exeter Area, with East Devon Water Board, and South West Water Authority from 1974, a post he held for nearly 20 years until retirement. Malcom’s Wife Barbara, who died around 4 years ago also worked within the Industry for many years as Receptionist / Telephonist at local Area Headquarters,
often accompanying Malcolm on Area Visits. Malcolm was a keen supporter of AWO/ IWO for most of his working life and attended many Area meetings. He was a Committee member for many years and held the role of Chairman. He leaves a son and daughter, both well known to Area Members in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Anthony Waite, HMIWater
The committee has had an exciting few months with working on 2020 Events as well as hosting conferences.
MEET THE COMMITTEE The Midlands Committee welcomes Nicola Fomes, who is an economic regulation, policy and strategy specialist, and is proud to have worked in the water sector for 19 years. Her current role is managing director of a small consultancy firm, Navigate Infra.
She has also worked in economic regulation and strategy roles at Ofwat, Mid Kent Water and PwC. Nicky is a Chartered Environmentalist, with a PhD in Earth Sciences. She has two daughters and enjoys art activities, exploring nature, walking, cooking and folk singing.
NET POSITIVE VISION The Midlands Area welcomed four superb speakers to present to their members in September at their Net Positive Vision for the Water Sector Conference held at Severn Trent Centre, organised by Committee Member Manbir Thandi. The event was inspired by Ofwat’s Water Stories consultations announced on 2nd May 2019 which sought the public’s views on what they thought about water in order to help them to develop a new narrative driving Ofwat’s policy and sector behaviour. That narrative has now been published in the “Time to act, together” strategy urging water companies to transform their performance, meet long term challenges through increased collaboration and partnership and to provide greater public value, delivering more for customers, society and the environment.
The event was an opportunity to understand the views from the perspective of various stakeholders. Professor Trevor Bishop, Director at Water Resources South East and former Director of Strategy and Policy at Ofwat provided a comprehensive overview from the perspective of the financial regulator and covered the pressures defining the sector. Dr Mike Keil, Head of Policy and Research at the Consumer Council for Water spoke about the customer’s perspective.
Dr Bob Stear, Chief Engineer at Severn Trent Water, gave an interesting insight into the goals of the World Water Innovation Fund designed to encourage the rapid adoption of water technologies by water companies from around the world working together. He gave a few exciting examples of collaboration including fibre in the use of leakage detection and optimizing valve operations using technological solutions. Finally, Ty Jones, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Engagement at DWF, presented on the value of diversity and inclusion and how to build an inclusive culture.
FASCINATING INSIGHTS FROM SPACE SHIPS TO ANFIELD! South East Area was delighted to hold an exclusive event with the CEO of Southern Water, Ian McAulay, in October. It was hosted by David Port, Richard Aylard, Anna Boyles and Abbie Johnson in a private dining room at the Ginger Pig restaurant situated in the heart of Hove. Guests had the opportunity to hear Ian’s views on the UK water industry and how he is leading Southern Water into a successful future. The fascinating insights included; ■ The recent troubled times of Southern Water and how although it was a trying time, it brought the employees closer together ■ The importance of ensuring diversity of thinking in any room/meeting ■ Ian’s world-class athlete daughter’s attitude of not just being driven to win but being driven to prepare to win – everyone in the race has the desire to finish first, but who’s put the effort into making themselves good enough? ■ Space stations – creating their own mini waste and water production plants! ■ Waste isn’t waste, it’s a resource! ■ Work-life balance – commuting from Colorado to India to Australia via
England! How can we help the sector to improve our public image to help people value the resource and understand the effort that goes into water and waste services ■ Water resources and companies sharing their opportunities and thinking ■ Abstraction and various initiatives (e.g. Test, Itchen, Havant Thicket and Sussex Ouse) ■ Large scale transfer of water to meet resource shortfall is bettered by new and local impounding reservoirs (point of use almost) that provide the additional benefits of recreational facilities etc. ■ Learning from other industries and bringing in good learning and practices, making them work in our industry ■ Regulators possibly driving us to only invest reactively, rather than build better future-proofed assets ■ “The Klopp theme” – management style of football manager Jürgen Klopp and a debate around where he would fit in our industry! ■ Graphene Institute – innovation that in ■
time will lead to no conventional assets Ofwat £200m innovation fund will be spread too thinly between companies and would it be better concentrated on a couple of initiatives to be shared by all? ■ Riccardo engine management innovations for predictive driving applied to water networks (e.g. pressure surges associated with popular events such as Pride in Brighton) ■ Simple changes to working culture such as email signatures (as we aren’t all 9 to 5ers) “I work flexible hours and on weekends - but it doesn’t mean you have to! Please enjoy your weekend and respond in your own timely manner.” ■
The discussions were led by David Port and hearing about Ian’s life in the fast lane and the impact of topical issues such as Innovation, PR19 and Sector Reputation in the political world had everyone in the room fascinated! A genuine thanks to Ian for giving up his valuable time to talk to us. A truly inspiring evening!
ECONOMIC REGULATION A highly engaged and diverse set of people gathered at South East Water’s offices to learn about the interesting world of UK water industry economic regulation.
Chris Esslin-Peard, Head of Regulatory Policy and Strategy at Southern Water began by providing a very well-pitched understanding of where economic regulation is currently and where it has come from. He then went on to give some much needed understanding on why regulators do what they do, how investors make a return on investment in a heavily regulated industry, and provide more detail on price controls, business planning and price review 2019 (PR19).
Sephton, Commercial Director at South East Water took to the stage to enhance our understanding of the role markets have to play in economic regulation. She eloquently explained the markets that have been opened and provided some much needed detail to understanding the retail and wholesale markets. Of particular interest was her excellent explanation of the new appointments and variations (NAVs) market and the new connections and self-lay markets.
Following a lively networking break Tanya
Following the presentations there was a
Q&A panel discussion, chaired by Paul Holton, vice-chair of the South East Area and Investment Strategy Manager at Southern Water. There were some very pertinent questions posed to the panel, which were brilliantly discussed. The excellent discussion and debate highlighted how good the speakers had been and how interesting the subject matter was. It was great to get Chris and Tanya’s views on the future of markets in the water industry and a clearer idea on where they thought economic regulation would be heading in the near future.
Supported by the Scottish Government
Over 80 delegates and speakers were welcomed to this year’s Autumn Seminar which showcased “Delivering Sustainable Efficiencies” - two buzz words often seen alone, that become even more powerful when paired. Sustainability was also evident in the event planning - from the Glasgow city centre venue to maximise public transport accessibility, to the event being almost entirely paperless. Speakers came from academia, industry, consulting, construction and utility backgrounds, and offered equally diverse perspectives - looking at efficiency through 4 distinct lenses. The first lens focused on the role of digital and data applications, with Drew Mackie (Morrison Construction) demonstrating some of the latest digital construction technology, Tom May (Veolia Retail) presenting on their Edinburgh Airport Operation and Nisarg Hirani, (Scottish Water) showcasing various transformation projects which have taken inspiration from the tech sector. The second lens focused on the role of Innovation in the water industry. Alison Bradley (Arup and Scottish Government
Hydro Nation) showed that support is available to innovators through the Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service. Jim Panton (Panton McLeod) then introduced us to the world of Ironman triathlons, with the link into innovation being that of focus - the industry needs to have solutions to problems at the exact time they become hot topics, which can sometimes block innovation for longer term issues. After lunch, delegates were re-energised by Scott McCrae from McCrae Training with a ‘speed mentoring’ development session, ending on a powerful video by Miles Hilton-Barber, the ‘blind adventurer’ who lost his sight in his twenties and then learned to fly - inspiring us to think big! Lens number three, circular thinking, kicked off with an insight into the world of industrial water by Naeem Hafeez (Veolia). Naeem told us about distillery operations and how the linear process has been transformed into a circular system. Dr Ania Escudero from Glasgow Caledonian University
then concluded the session by explaining Phos4you’s mission to solve the ‘P Challenge’ (recovering phosphorous from waste water). The final lens of the day was about operational excellence. Tony McKenna talked us through Veolia’s approach to optimising asset performance and engaging with the people who keep the sites running. Kes Juskowiak (Scottish Water) then added filters of the past, present and future to the operational excellence lens. Steve McGeoch of Ross-Shire closed the final session by showing the journey from traditional to modular construction and the challenges and benefits it brings. In summing up, Area President Mark Wilson, drew analogies from the world of sport to capture some key messages from the day. To rise to the challenge of delivering sustainable efficiencies; think differently, embrace incremental improvement, put in the hard miles and, above all, believe.
ANNUAL FISHING COMPETITION The Scottish Area fishing competition took place on 31st August on Loch Etive, near Oban. After weeks of sunny weather, the weekend turned for the event! However, that did not stop the group that left the pier, split between 2 boats, MV Creagallan and Laura Dawn. The journey out to Loch Etive was thrilling and exciting for those on the MV Creagallan as it had to venture further from shore. Sea-legs definitely needed. Once we got into the Loch it was calm, although rather wet. The rain didn’t stop us from fishing and as it eased off after
lunch things brightened up. The winner was Kenny Spiers with 10 landed, runner up with 7 was Alistair McKenzie and heaviest catch was won by Alan Dick. Adam McCrae picked up the Junior trophy and a prize of a bottle of Vodka, donated by Alan (Dad Scott was very happy!). Thank you to our sponsors, WGM and Morrison Construction and to the skippers, Jack and Ronnie for another fantastic trip. Thank you to Robbie Vennard for the usual donation of brandy for our morning toast, even though he couldn’t be there. Looking forward to next year and hopefully better weather!
Photo: Winner Kenny Spiers receiving plaque from Kathy Auld
BEACH CLEAN This year marked 26 years of the ‘Great British Beach Clean’ and the Welsh Area’s second year in a row supporting this event alongside the Marine Conservation Society. The mission for the day was quite simple; to rid our beaches of litter and gather all important data to assist MCS with making real, tangible change to support our marine life for the future. As well as having some fun along the way... And that’s exactly what we did as the Welsh Area with our enthusiastic group of volunteers. The day was blessed with the last rays of Summer sun as we set upon Blackpill Lido in Swansea Bay. Armed with our rubbish bags, litter picks and PPE we attacked the mission head on for 2-3 hours before a wellearned refreshment in the sun at the local Junction Café. Our attendance at September’s event grew by a considerable amount compared to last year and it was great to see the number of children who came along too, with the youngest being 4 years old.
A common theme amongst the rubbish picked on the beach was washed up wet wipes. Along with the daily used plastics it was a stark reminder for us all to the big impact we can have on our oceans pollution by making little changes in our day to day lives. The Welsh Area would like to thank all of the volunteers who took part in this year’s Great British Beach Clean and a thank you to the Marine Conservation Society for allowing us to work alongside their great team of volunteers. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.
INNOVATION AWARDS 2020 – NOW OPEN! Following a record number of applications in 2019, the IW Welsh Area are delighted to announce that Applications for the 2020 Innovation Awards are now open! The awards recognise innovations used or developed in the Welsh area of IW in the following categories: ■ Market adaptation ■ Ideas ■ Collaborative working ■ Clever data If you would like to request an application form please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is 18th January. Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on 2nd April 2020 at the Vale Resort, near Cardiff. Good Luck / Pob Lwc!
AUTUMN FORUM In December 2015, it was agreed with a matter of urgency that global temperature increases should not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius to inhibit further detrimental impacts on the climate. What would the water industry look like in an earth 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer? Will it experience more severe droughts and flash floods? Why is it so important to mitigate further warming? And how much do we really know about the 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature increase? On October 15th the Welsh Area attempted to tackle of some of these questions at their Autumn Forum; 1.5 degrees: Climate Change and its Impact on the Water Industry. A wide range of speakers explored the potential future implications of climate change for the water industry. Dr Lee Bryant (University of Exeter) shared insight on the levels of greenhouse gasses emitted from reservoirs; it is
estimated that they contribute 7% of global annual greenhouse gas emission. Mark Johnson (Dwr Cymru Welsh Water) explored how we can assess and adapt our operational vehicles to mitigate their environmental impact. His rather poignant conclusion was that vehicles can’t save the planet, but we can. In addition, the conference explored consumer and industry behaviour; interestingly, Ofwat highlighted the concept of customers being classed as vulnerable due to their geographical circumstances (those who live in areas prone to flooding and drought will be increasingly vulnerable as time going on). This is in line with the regulator’s new strategy which focuses on the need for water companies to holistically deliver
for the sake of the environment, society and its customers. The day explored how we can act individually, as well as how we can work together, prioritising collaboration to generate conversation and innovation to tackle climate change. The conference was well attended with graduates, academics and water industry professionals from across England and Wales. The conference generated a lot of questions and discussion; almost too much for us to cover in just one day! The Welsh Area would like to thank everyone involved in organising and speaking at this event and to all the attendees for their participation throughout the day.
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