A Water Services training course designed to help reduce surge effect in water networks has received a Certificate of Accreditation from the Institute of Water - the first course ever to be accredited by the Institute.
Recent research shows that human error in how hydrants, valves and pumps are operated is a major cause of surge effects in water supply networks. Surge is a major cause of leaks and bursts in pipe infrastructure. Much of this harm can be avoided by modifying the way the network is operated - achieved by ensuring operators are thoroughly trained.
Water Service's Calmer Networks Training, which can now be delivered on-site or online, ensures that candidates achieve an understanding of the causes of transient surge in the water network. A licensed network operator itself, Supply UK is currently delivering 40 training sessions for approximately 600 employees of Thames Water and its partner companies. A permanent test rig has been set up at the utility’s facility at Kempton Park, Middlesex.
An online training course for occasional users, which can be taken for free, has just been launched and taken up by Tier 1 contractor Amey, the first major contractor to see and experience the course.
It also provides training and assessment of acceptable levels of competence when operating a range of valve technologies found in the water network.
The benefits of the training extend beyond reducing surges to include:
Increased lifespan of existing infrastructure
Reduced leakage and water wastage
Fewer incidents of discolouration and contamination of the water supply caused by ingress
Fewer customer complaints about leakage, water quality and supply interruptions
Reduced risk of pollution from burst main run-off to water courses
Reduced traffic disruption caused by leak repair
Significant cost reductions
Richard Coffey, managing director of Water Services UK, said:
“Utilities are facing considerable pressure to improve their customer SIM [service incentive mechanism] scores by meeting the DG3 regulation on supply interruptions, while simultaneously keeping bills low. This means ensuring better care and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
“Calmer Networks Training is a win-win for utilities and their customers – reducing leakage, improving water quality, preserving pipework and cutting costs. The benefit is on-going too, with best practice becoming embedded in those utilities that invest in routine training of standpipe operations staff.”
On successful completion of the Calmer Network Training course, operators receive a photo identification card and certificate. Their details are registered on a central database for a year, after which an annual refresher course is required to keep their skills up-to-date.
The new online course was also shown to participants at a recent innovation day hosted by Supply UK Water Services showcasing the latest in leakage prevention technology, including an innovative device that maintains water supply to multiple households in the event of a burst. Delegates from Korean utility maintenance specialist Wareco also attended the open day with a view to exchanging technologies with the UK.