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04 March 22

Helping to improve the #Environment and working in National emergencies to keep the taps flowing

  • Affinity Water’s Grant Wordsworth, who trained as a mechanical engineer, tells the story of his career
  • You will be monitoring your impact on the environment, on people and natural resources
  • “Learn from others”, that’s his motto

In a new #podcast series for National Careers Week Grant Wordsworth, a Quality Manager with Affinity Water, tells others why he enjoys his career in the water industry and why he would recommend taking up a role in the Company, the UK’s largest water only Company.

Grant joined Affinity Water 11 years ago. He originally qualified as a Mechanical Engineer and his role now is to look after the quality assurance of the Company including during emergency episodes such as Storm Franklin and Storm Eunice.

He co-ordinates all the standby and operational teams to ensure they follow the correct procedures that will lead to successful outcomes being met and the targets achieved. His role is focused on customer satisfaction and helping deliver on those objectives. The podcast can be listened to here:

A novice to water

Grant previously worked for 27 years in forensic engineering, investigating component failures, process failures and business failures too. He was a “novice” to water: “I realised water fell from the sky and should come out of my tap immediately,” Grant recalls.

He continued: “If you want to be a high-quality water company you will be monitoring your impact on the environment, on people and natural resources. Quality is quite a broad subject and business management systems, that control process that have impacts or try and mitigate risks and identify hazards, are key to success. I find it interesting from the forensic basis and from the customer service point of view.”

Working in an Emergency

In an emergency such as Storm Franklin, and Storm Eunice, Grant sits on the trade bodies @WaterUK’s National Incident Management Team (NIM), which co-ordinates all information from all water companies so there is clear picture of the state of the water industry across the UK.

He explains: ““We evaluate the impact and the risks and what recommendations and strategy to follow. This includes talking to DEFRA (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) and the Department for Transport and the Ministry for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

“Storm Eunice saw me wearing both hats and between our meetings I was holding management meetings but over all we got to a good place, and we tried to help other Companies and escalate it to the Department if need be.”

Taking pride in your job

Grant takes pride in his position within Affinity Water: “Our purpose is to provide wholesome drinking water that people can trust and to take care of the environment. There is an awful lot of science and an awful lot engineering and operational support to do that. AW can provide a varied package for individuals who want to work for us.

“Water is vital for life. You can survive without a mobile phone for more than 48 hours, but you can’t survive without water for that long if you are a highly dependent customer. Water is

crucial for life. That’s why restoring water forms part of the National Infrastructure Restoration that NIM tries to achieve. Critical National Infrastructure is critical to the functioning of the UK as a whole and Affinity Water plays a significant part in that for our 3.6 million customers. Each of those customers has individual needs and expectations that our business management systems including our Priority Services Register tries to address.”

Cyber-attacks are also factored in to protect customers.

Learn from others

“It is a very varied job no two days are the same. My role is to share my advice and experience so that others don’t necessarily have to go through the same pain I may have done 20 or 30 years ago. Learn from others, that’s my motto.”

Grant’s professional qualifications are:

  • Chartered Quality Professional
  • Member of the Chartered Quality Institute
  • Specialist member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management
  • Member of the Institute of Asset Management


For further information go to our careers website.

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