Interruption to Supply - Bishops Stortford - CM23
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Affinity Water Limited
Tamblin Way Hatfield
Hertfordshire AL10 9EZ
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27 January 23
Affinity Water supplies 950 million litres of water each day to its 3.8 million customers across the South East of England. Now in a new podcast one of its top team of operational scientists explains how rigorous testing processes 24 hours of the day monitor the quality of the water abstracted from both chalk aquifers (boreholes) and river water sources to bring fresh clean tap water to customers’ homes across its regions.
Allowing access to one of its water treatment processing sites, Maria Kominou, Affinity Water’s Head of Operations for Production and Network in the South, takes a tour of the site to explain how the sampling and testing processes work.
Affinity Water takes 65 per cent of its water supply from boreholes and chalk aquifers and the rest from River water sources. Remarkably each year the Company takes 9,500 samples from customers’ taps; 13,000 compliance samples from Treatment works; and 8,000 compliance samples from surface sources.
Maria explains: “In all we conduct 185,000 individual lab tests from compliance samples. We also take hundreds of compliance samples each day from our treatment works to make sure the water quality is always of the highest standard, and we make sure our processes are efficient and effective at all times”.
Maria goes on to discuss the importance of customers signing up to Affinity Water’s campaign saveourstreams.co.uk to find out how they can save water in their homes and what free appliances are on offer to help them to cut down on their water use. “How we utilise water when we are at home or out and about is very important because we can save a lot of water by our own habits and behaviours. Knowing the effort it takes and where the water is coming from, I think it is important to help customers appreciate that. It all has an environmental impact and we can do our bit to save water and the environment,” she said.
Maria continued: “Affinity Water has done really well on a measure of water quality in what we call the Compliance Risk Index (CRI). The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) does technical audits on water companies to make sure our operating practices are always effective, and they assess our sampling programme, and our sampling results every year. They can also assess specific incidents, to make sure we have the right recommendations and improvement plans in place, and that we investigate any complaints from consumers, and they can enforce any activities. They play a big part in ensuring all the water companies comply with all the regulations and standards. From source to tap we make sure the water is of the right quality.”
Explaining how the science of Water Filtration works Maria walks past the Granular Activated Carbon Filters (GACs) and stops at an experiment on a table to show how the science of GACs actually works. “This site can treat up to 153 million litres per day, which is the highest flow we have done back in the Summer last year”, she said.
Maria, who joined Affinity Water as a Graduate Trainee fifteen years ago, maps out what a day in her life is really like and what she finds rewarding about her job, having worked her way up the Company in different management roles. She talks about the high demand periods in hot summer months and what happens when there is a freeze and thaw, including the regular daily “Pacesetter” team meetings that happen across the business to plan and cope with possible emergencies and plan for contingencies.
She recommends the Company’s Apprenticeship schemes and says Affinity Water also invests in its people allowing them to “upskill” and develop their careers: “I used to be a graduate and moved through different roles to become a Head Of. The water industry is very rewarding and at Affinity Water we want to make sure our product is of the highest standards. I have worked with some very talented people, and I have learnt so much from them over the years and that is amazing,” she said.
In three quick fire questions at the end of the podcast she says she enjoys the beginning of her day as much as the end, enjoys working and problem solving with her colleagues, and might one day climb the career ladder even further.
She concludes: “It is very exciting. I really enjoy what I do and will see what happens in the future”.
Find out more about a career with Affinity Water.
You can find out more about saving water energy and money off bills with free water-saving devices, take the short quiz to claim yours: affinitywater.co.uk/saveourstreams
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