Water Industry Asset and Quality Conference 2018

150 delegates, including representatives from 15 UK water utilities, took part in Stonbury’s seventh annual Water Industry Asset & Quality Conference on 20 November 2018. The event took a deep dive into water quality issues as they relate to maintenance of drinking water structures. Water companies have many challenges in AMP7 (the asset management period which runs from 2020-25) and Ofwat is putting ever more pressure on water companies to drive up customer satisfaction. Customers were very much in the minds of the speakers at the Stonbury event, which took place at the Hilton St George’s Park, training ground of the England football teams. Speakers from Anglian Water and Northumbrian Water opened up about two incidents that had attracted customer complaints about taste and odour in drinking water. In both cases the cause was contractors’ failure to follow instructions for use (IFUs) – on a filler and a lining product. The companies have collaborated with Stonbury to develop a code of practice (CoP) for the application of specialist materials to drinking water structures, which will be rolled out following the approval from Water UK.  Anglian Water’s head of water quality, Clair Dunn urged people to get a copy of the CoP and give feedback. Alan Brown, scientific support officer at Northumbrian Water said, “This isn’t just about the contractor, it’s about the water undertaker as well. We need to have the right information and the confidence that the process we’re working within works for us as well.” Delegates were struck by the opportunities presented by the use of flow cytometry to measure water quality in distribution service reservoirs. Aidan Marsh, flow cytometry project leader, Northumbrian Water said, “What we’re hoping to do is produce a more biologically consistent water which will be more robust to pathogens by a lower chlorine dose. It’s that consistency that’s going to lead to customer satisfaction.” Zoe Kellock, Severn Trent Water’s lead on distribution service reservoirs and tank coordination, described the multiple challenges the utility faces as it moves to a more proactive clean-inspect programme. “We’re still investing a lot of money in our reservoirs, we’ve still got a lot of reservoirs we need to take out an inspect,” she said. “One of the most common failures we find is ingress around the hatch, so we are investing in a hatch improvement programme – it’s a simple thing, but it really boils down to better planning.” James Stonor, CEO of Stonbury said, “I’m thrilled with the day’s event and the interaction we’ve had from everybody  - the speakers on the platform and the questions from the floor." “We’ve heard a lot of concern about sustainability of assets and a lot of honesty about the challenges utilities are facing. There doesn’t seem to be a common approach to resolving that, so going forward I think the key issue is water company strategy - the strategies they’re going along with at the moment might not be fit for the future." “I was particularly pleased to hear Aidan’s presentation on flow cytometry – that is the start of something really game-changing in terms of being proactive and predicting events, learning from that and building in machine-learning. I noticed there was a lot of note-taking during that session.” Summing up Stonor said, “This is the seventh year for our Water Industry Asset & Quality Conference and I think we’ve seen some great initiatives today and some really interesting shares. The attitude of the water companies here - where they’re actually giving out their information, their data, is to be welcomed and I think it’s the next step-up – a big credit to them.” Video Summary

Health and Safety Empowerment Cards

As a growing company, communicating the significance of health, safety and wellbeing empowerment to all our workforce becomes increasingly more vital.  What is health, safety and wellbeing empowerment? The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health, safety and wellbeing empowerment as “a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health, safety and wellbeing” and is both an individual and company process. Empowerment is based on the idea of giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity and motivation. As well as responsibility and accountability for the outcomes of actions, which will contribute to an employee’s competence and satisfaction. To reinforce this message, we have introduced Empowerment Cards for every employee to carry with them when at work. The card authorises an individual to stop any work activity that you believe cannot be undertaken safely. The cards are signed and authorised by Group Managing Director, Ian Mellor, empowering all employees to challenge and ask questions and if necessary and to stop work if they feel that the task they are asked to do is unsafe.

Stand Down Days 2018

This year our Stand Down Days have been making the rounds, reinforcing the importance of Health and Safety through a series of talks, videos and workshops. Our most recent Stand Down Day was held in Gosforth Park for our teams in the North East. With the permission of Northumbrian Water, all sites were closed for the day, allowing full attendance from both site-based and management staff. The day was led by both Stonbury QSE Director Stephen Brown and QSE Manager Glyn Iceton. Hard hitting content was delivered, including a detailed first-hand account of how a fatality in the workplace is investigated and conducted by the HSE and the ensuing legal process. This was balanced by some light-hearted tasks, demonstrating the importance of skin protection and following the correct procedures. Skin sensitisation can be caused by mishandling some of the materials that we use on site on a daily basis, as a result of the chemicals making up these products. During the task, everyone was asked to wear protective coveralls and gloves and shown how to remove them correctly and safely. A practical task was carried out with strawberry jam (representing the uncured material), which was then placed onto their gloves and everyone was asked to prove they could remove all items, without any of the jam coming into contact with their skin or clothes. Everyone agreed the challenge was an extremely useful reminder on how to safely carry out a regular, routine task. A reoccurring theme throughout the Stand Down Day was the empowerment of all site operatives to stop work on site if they identify or are uncomfortable with any working practice perceived to be a risk to their safety. This was reinforced by the issue to everyone of an empowerment card, signed for use by our Managing Director Ian Mellor. On the reverse side of the card, the cardholder must also sign a statement confirming their empowerment to intervene and stop site activities if they feel it is right to do so. We believe team gathering days are extremely informative and worthwhile and look to more themed and focused Stand Down Days in 2019.

Anglian Water Race Night 2018

Stonbury we're delighted to attend and support the Anglian Water Race Night for WaterAid UK.  We are pleased to share an incredible £63,000 was raised, which will support WaterAid’s work across the world, to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene by 2030.  Thank you to everyone that joined us and the WaterAid team for another enjoyable night. 

Anglian Water Fly Fishing Challenge

Stonbury were delighted to support the Anglian Water Fly Fishing challenge at Rutland Water The event was a huge success raising £6814, an increase of over £1300 from last year! Thank you to Anglian Water for arranging the fundraiser and our Stonbury fishers for supporting the event. Funds raised will make a difference in supporting WaterAid’s work across the world, to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene by 2030.

A Contract That Thinks Outside of the (Concrete) Box

Asset Management, Savings and Outperformance alert by Yorkshire Water 'The start of AMP6 meant that many contracts and frameworks were up for renewal, one of which was the Service Reservoir Refurbishment and Repair Contract. Ensuring that the renewed contract delivered the lowest cost and risk to the business was of high priority. The solution to this was to negotiate an extension of the existing contract with Stonbury, with the aim to achieve a significant cost saving against AMP5. A large proportion of work under this contract is Service Reservoir (SRE) roof membrane replacement which is managed and delivered through the collaboration of Asset Planning, Asset Solutions and Stonbury. To achieve a significant cost saving against AMP5 a different way of thinking and true collaboration in setting up the contract was required, aswell as an ongoing focus on this throughout the duration of the contract. The biggest change for AMP6 was moving from a reactive way of working to a more proactive one. This has led to a variety of benefits including bulk buying of materials and logistical savings. The proactive nature of the work and the reputation of Stonbury also allowed for work to be carried out over live tanks which makes operational savings on draining SRE’s and carrying out cleaning. The forward-thinking management of this contract allowed for other savings and efficiencies to be planned in. This includes a freezing of prices for the first three years and a summer discount rate which is extended beyond the summer months. The success of this contract is due to the great working relationship between Stonbury and Yorkshire Water with a focus on a common goal. The collaboration in this contract and the ways in which efficiencies and savings are driven are excellent examples of outperformance. This contract is forecast to achieve up to £2.5m of outperformance.'