Water Direct has announced three-year contract with South West Water to provide alternative water provisions to customers during supply interruptions.

This provision helps to support South West Water’s customers with a supply of bottled water during an outage, whilst the usual supply is restored, and forms a key part of meeting SEMD (Security and Emergency Measures Direction) requirements.

South West Water provides water and wastewater services to c. 2.2 million people in total across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire, including the provisions it’s been delivering within the Bournemouth Water area since 2016.

The contract gives South West Water access to Water Direct’s Nationwide Bottled Water Bank which secures emergency provisions of bottled water, delivered anywhere in the UK within a matter of hours. As well as the initial delivery on the first day, the contract guarantees their contracted volume every day following until no longer required.

Water Direct has added further depots in Newton Abbot and Truro to its existing 20 bottled water storage locations to ensure quick turnaround and delivery across South West Water’s region. This shorter lead time, local storage and daily assured volume of bottled water, provides a unique solution that helps South West Water better support its customers.

South West Water’s Director of Networks and Customer Service Mark Hillson commented, “This contract is a welcome addition to our emergency planning efforts, bringing a robust, local and faster solution for our alternative water supply needs. Our customers’ experience is a high priority, even more so as we head into the AMP7 period with C-MeX scores a key focus.”

 Rob Allan Senior Contract Manager at Water Direct added, “It’s been great to partner with South West Water and create a contract bespoke to their alternative water supply needs. The Newton Abbot and Truro bottled water storage locations are a great addition to our Nationwide Bottled Water Bank, enabling a fast response time for all South West Water customers.”

South West Water is launching its Think Sink campaign for businesses this month to remind food service establishments of their responsibilities regarding the proper disposal of fat, oil, grease and food waste.

Parts of North Devon, Exmouth, Plymouth and Truro have a history of sewer blockages and flooding. When disposed of via the sink, fat, oil, grease and food waste can build up in pipes. This causes blockages and flooding, as well as attracting vermin such as rats.

Every year, tens of thousands of litres of waste fat, cooking oil and grease are poured down sinks by people who don’t realise the problems this could cause.

In extreme cases, fat and oil can combine with other material to create fatbergs, as seen in Sidmouth when earlier this year workers spent eight weeks braving exceptionally challenging conditions to break up 64 metres of congealed, fat, oil and wet wipes.

South West Water’s Director of Wastewater, Andrew Roantree, said: “Every year we deal with around 8,500 blocked sewers across our region, which costs about £4.5million. This has an impact on bills, which we’re trying to keep as low as possible. Overall, we spend £35million a year to maintain and upgrade the sewerage network.

“We’re doing our bit – and we’re seeking to enlist the help of businesses in the communities we serve. Our award-winning Love Your Loo and Think Sink campaigns have been encouraging household customers to play their part for several years.

“Over the next couple of months, specially trained South West Water advisors will be visiting hotels, restaurants, cafes and other food service establishments to provide advice on correct waste disposal and the simple changes they can make to help ‘stop the block’ in Devon and Cornwall.”

Jersey Water welcomes 40 delegates from the Institute of Water South West Region to a Weekend Conference at the Royal Yacht Hotel on Saturday 27th April.

The theme for the weekend is sharing best practice and collaboration across the region.

The extensive itinerary includes keynote speakers from Jersey Water, Guernsey Water, Southwest Water and more, tackling complex issues such as the future challenges facing the water industry and how its gearing up to face them.

Delegates also have the chance to experience a guided tour of La Rosière Desalination Plant led by Jersey Water’s Chief Engineer Malcolm Berridge, for some, this will be the first time they have seen one first-hand. A relaxed networking evening and the opportunity to sample local delicacies at the Old Court House will conclude the weekend.

John Vinson, President, South West Region, Institute of Water says; “The Institute of Water South West Weekend Conference is a high-profile event in our calendar, it brings together water industry experts from across our region to explore and share current best practice.

We will be discussing how the future challenges facing our industry will be met and how we achieve this with the customer at the centre of everything we do. We are really pleased that Jersey Water are hosting the event this year, the Channel Islands are an integral part of the south west and it is vital we collaborate across the whole region. It’s also a beautiful place to visit!”

Helier Smith, Chief Executive Jersey Water says; “We are delighted to sponsor such a prestigious event for the water industry and have the opportunity to share invaluable insights with colleagues. We are very much looking forward to an insightful and engaging weekend.”

Southern Water is one of the first companies to be given a new-fast track approval process for engineering works which might affect the habitats of rare or protected species.

The licence from Natural England, the Government’s adviser for the natural environment, means a quicker approval process for engineering projects and development in recognition of high quality work protecting vulnerable wildlife, including dormice, badgers and crested newts.

We are one of the first four out of 17 major water companies in England and Wales to receive an ‘organisational licence’. The company will continue to carry out the same level of care and scrutiny and will continue to report on outcomes to Natural England.

“From a business point of view and investment in the environment, this will mean that work on key schemes will start sooner and there will be less bureaucracy but that is not the important point for me,” said Ian McAulay, Chief Executive, “We’re delighted to have this gesture of trust in our stewardship of the habitats and wildlife living in them. I am very proud that our efforts to be a friend of the environment and to stick to the best possible practice in everything we do has been recognised by Natural England.”

Whenever Southern Water undertakes a new project, it conducts a careful ecological survey to analyse the wildlife living in the area. The emphasis is placed on sensitive or protected species and if precious animals such as great crested newts or dormice are found then no work starts until a careful plan to prevent and mitigate any possible damage to habitats.

“This is fantastic news for Southern Water but especially for our ecologists and environmental advisors who work in close harmony with Natural England. I know I speak for everyone in the company when I say the reduced paperwork and new way of working will actually increase protection of our important species and habitats” said Dr Nicola Meakins, Southern Water’s Environmental Manager.

Andrew Smith, Natural England Area Manager for Thames, Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight said:

“Natural England is pleased to have worked with Southern Water over the last year to develop this Organisational Licence, which will benefit both Southern Water and Natural England by removing the need for numerous individual licences. The licence has been issued based on Southern Water’s experience in working with mitigation licences; avoiding impacts where possible and designing mitigation strategies that follow best practice for the species.

“The development of new strategic licences, such as this, is part of Natural England’s licensing improvement work to reduce our regulatory processes and we are hoping to work with more water utility companies.”

South West Water has been recognised for excellent customer service at the 2019 UK Customer Satisfaction Awards.

The company won the TLF Research Best Return on Customer Service Investment Award at the prestigious event, held in London this week.

Run by The Institute of Customer Service, the annual awards ceremony celebrates UK customer service achievements across the public, private and voluntary sectors.


The awards were created to showcase those organisations who genuinely place customers at the heart of their business strategy and build a sustainable culture of customer service within their organisation.


South West Water’s Customer Service Director Jo Ecroyd said: “I am really proud that the efforts our people are making to put customers at the heart of everything we do have been recognised in this way.


 “We are all privileged to provide essential services that directly impact on the quality of life of the customers and communities we serve. Achieving such a prestigious award demonstrates that our customers really matter to us, that we listen to them and shape our plans around them.


“We will continue to work with our customers to understand their needs and to deliver a range of services that exceeds their expectations.”


In addition to South West Water, another 15 organisations and individuals were recognised for the way in which they have delivered the highest standards in UK customer service over the past year. 


Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer service commented: “Given the challenging external environment, it is more crucial than ever to highlight – and celebrate – those inspirational moments which engage people on an emotional level and positively impact their experience of a brand.


“Our awards showcase the organisations who are achieving those things and setting the standard. I would like to congratulate every one of our winners – and all those who were shortlisted – and commend their ongoing commitment to improving customer service in their organisations.”

Organisations from a variety of sectors were recognised for their achievements at the prestigious awards ceremony. Of the 100 shortlisted organisations and individuals, some were well-known names and brands, whilst others represented small business and the public sector, demonstrating that good customer service is vital to all organisations and industries.

Some of the registration and renewal fees of the Professional Registrations that we administrate will increase from the 1st January 2019.

These fees are decided by the Professional Bodies and not the Institute of Water.

The fees for 2019 are:

Environment Registration Fees by the Society for the Environment

  • For Chartered Environmentalists (CEnv), the new registration fee will be £86 and the annual renewal fee will be £43.
  • For Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech), the new registration fee will be £40 and the annual renewal fee will be £20.

Engineering Registration Fees by the Engineering Council

  • For Chartered Engineer (CEng), the new registration fee will be £51.90 and the annual renewal fee will be £39.90.
  • For Incorporated Engineer (IEng), the new registration fee will be £43.80 and the annual renewal fee will be £33.80.
  • For Engineering Technician (EngTech), the new registration fee will be £17.90 and the annual renewal fee will be £19.40.

Registration and renewal fees by the Science Council for all science registrations will remain unchanged for 2019.

You’ll also be pleased to hear that there will be no increase in Institute of Water Membership fees.

The South West Area are delighted to welcome Kingcombe Stonbury as Gold level sponsors to the area.

Kingcombe Stonbury are specialist contractors in all aspects of water maintenance and management including lake restoration, aquatic weed control, fisheries management, river bank repairs and desilting.

Working in both the water and environmental industries, Kingcombe are proud holders of framework agreements with the Environment Agency and local Water Companies for minor civil and maintenance works. Projects often include lakes, reservoirs, streams, rivers and riverbanks and water and waste water treatment works.

Through the Stonbury Group, Kingcombe are also specialists in the repair, maintenance and refurbishment of potable water assets, including service reservoirs and water towers.