The Institute of Water’s Northern Area has appointed a new President, Monisha Gower, Assets Director at Northumbrian Water. Outgoing Northern Area President Noela Fitton, Head of Strategic Bids at United Living handed over the role at Northumbrian Water’s offices on Wednesday, 27th September 2023.

Monisha, who has in-depth experience in delivering end-to-end, high-value projects/programmes and providing consistent and dynamic management, will begin the role immediately.

The Institute of Water is the only professional body dedicated entirely to supporting the careers of people in the UK water sector, and its purpose is to enable members to reach their full potential to drive the sector forward. The Northern Area is one of eight geographical areas covering the UK and the committee runs a varied programme of in-person events, webinars and development opportunities across the calendar year.

Upon being appointed, Monisha said: “It’s a real honour to take on the role of President for the Northern Area of the Institute of Water and I look forward to working with and supporting members during my time in post.

The Institute offers such great opportunities for its members to learn, develop and widen their network, whether they are already working within the water industry or are aspiring to do so in the future. Through such support and development, it can help our sector here in the North to become the go-to place to build a career.”

The Institute of Water thanks Noela for her brilliant commitment to heading the Northern Area for the past year, and welcomes Monisha to the IWater family.

If you would like more information about the Institute of Water, including becoming a member and how to get involved, then please email

From left to right: Noella Fitton, Head of Strategic Bids, United Living and Monisha Gower, Assets Director, Northumbrian Water.

Lintott Control Systems, as part of Galliford Try’s Environment team, has successfully secured a place on two lots on Northumbrian Water’s Chemical Dosing framework.

The works relate to Northumbrian’s Lot 1 Off Site Build Framework and Lot 2 Water and Wastewater Upgrades Framework, each of which will be carried out over a four-year period, with the option to extend for a further four years across the two lots.

David Owen, OSB Director & Asset Optimisation, Galliford Try, commented: “We are delighted to secure our second contract win under the banner of Galliford Try and look forward to working with Northumbrian Water to develop a strong relationship and efficiently deliver against scope. Our off-site build business continues to grow and this contract award is the latest example of our vision to continually look to build on our capabilities and service offering to deliver the needs of our evolving industry.”

Lily Craw, Buyer, Northumbrian Water, said: “We’re delighted to award a long-term framework to Lintott Control Systems. Having a four-year framework in place enables better planning and the building of strategic long-term relationships with our supply chain. We look forward to building a successful and collaborative partnership with Lintott Control Systems.”

The award closely follows Galliford Try’s announcement that its Environment business has been successfully appointed to support Northumbrian Water with additional treatment capacity for the remainder of AMP7.

Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival is set to return to the region this summer and they’re bringing some HUGE global names along with them for the ride.

The north-east water company has teamed up with some of the most influential and innovative organisations from right across the globe to host the five day extravaganza in Newcastle again this July.

Between the 8th to the 12th more than 3,000 people are expected to flood through the gates of Newcastle racecourse to take part in a series of sprints, challenges and quests alongside the likes of confirmed partners Microsoft, IBM, CGI, Ford, Wavin, O2, Reece, Aiimi, Wipro Topcoder, and the Institute of Civil Engineers.

Each partner will be heading up their own unique challenge and leading their sprint teams in five action packed days of learning, creating, sharing and innovation.

The teams will be made up of industry experts, academics, scientists, engineers, students and members of the public who will work together to come up with solutions to tackle major social and environmental challenges.

Sprints will begin on the Monday, where delegates will scope and unpack the nature of each problem and work through the week to develop key ideas, and create working prototypes of their ideas and innovations, that will be presented back at the end of the week.

This year’s festival will see 12 ‘sprints’ and two data ‘hacks,’ all focusing on key issues and challenges such as;
– The impact climate change will have on our communities
– The changes 5G networks will make to our lives
– Exploring the vehicles of the future
– Connecting local and rural communities through food and technology

Ordnance Survey will return for the third year to explore the next steps for taking the underground mapping of pipes and cables project even further, following the recent multimillion pound backing from the Government’s Geospatial Commission to carry out a pilot project in the North East.

Newcastle University are also coming back to the festival to build on the work done last year on the ‘Digital Twins’ project, where a virtual model of the real world is currently being created to help with incident management.

Other partners taking part include Northumbrian Water’s supply partners Esh-Stantec, Wood, Interserve, Mott Macdonald Bentley and Integrated Water Services.

Nigel Watson, Northumbrian Water’s Information Services Director, said: “Things are really starting to ramp up and we’re all very excited about this year’s festival, which is set to be our most ambitious year yet.

The appetite to get involved with the festival has been huge, which I think is driven by the fact that we are delivering on some of the ideas that the past events have generated.

Just this week we’ve seen Ordnance Survey and the multi mullion pound government investment in the Underground Mapping project in the national news. The idea came from our first festival and shows that what is happening here is having a real impact on the rest of the world and making a real difference to peoples’ lives.

The festival is a game changer, harnessing the collective brain power of a really diverse group of people, all helping us with our ambition to be innovation leaders and this year’s event is all about driving performance, taking ideas and making them real and producing innovations that will help change the world…and we can’t wait to get started.”

Photo Neil Denham

Northumbrian Water is expecting thousands of people to its Innovation Festival, from business and organisations around the world, as well as around 1,000 North East schoolchildren who will be taking part in various Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths (STEAM) activities.

The Festival will also see businesses showcasing their latest innovations and inventions including driverless cars, virtual and augmented reality software, smart devices and much, much, more.

For the latest news and information on the festival visit

Generous people across the North East have helped raise nearly £11,000 to transform lives in Madagascar.

Over the last year, Northumbrian Water’s customers have donated vital funds to the company’s charity partner, WaterAid, using the leaflet included in their water bills.

The insert, which explains how some of the world’s poorest people don’t have clean water, decent toilets or good hygiene, offers customers the opportunity to sign up as a regular supporter or give a one-off donation.

The money raised will go towards WaterAid projects in Madagascar, where the charity will help improve communities’ access to clean water, as well as building toilets and running hygiene programmes to educate communities.

The £10,819 raised last year, is just part of an incredible £4.3million raised by Northumbrian Water customers through their bill inserts since 1993.
Northumbrian WaterAid’s Chairman, Andrew Blakemore, said: “The leaflets that we include in the bills give our customers a quick and easy way to donate to WaterAid at a time when they are thinking about their own water supply.

“It’s really easy for us to take water for granted when we can just turn on the tap, but around the world, one in nine people don’t have clean water close to their home.

“Each year, we’re blown away by the amount of support we receive from our customers and their generosity over the last 26 years is just incredible. They are helping transform lives for some of the world’s poorest families, and for that we’re grateful.”

Christine Mellor, Water Industry Partnerships Manager at WaterAid, said: “Around the world, one in nine people live without clean water close to home. Clean water is a human right, not a luxury item reserved for the lucky few.

“The longstanding support of Northumbrian Water and its customers is vital as we work towards a world where clean water and good sanitation are normal for everyone, everywhere.”

A North East water company is going full steam ahead in a bid to inspire the workforce of the future at its Innovation Festival this summer.

School children and students across the region are being invited to Northumbrian Water’s third Innovation Festival, which champions new thinking and innovative ways to change the world.

There are more than 1,000 places available for pupils across various different sessions at the five-day event, which returns to Newcastle Racecourse 8-12 July.

Appropriate for young people aged eight to 21 years, the sessions will challenge students to use the skills they’ve already got in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art or Maths (STEAM), and understand how they can be used in the workplace.

The workshops will include interactive activities such as designing bridges using different materials and testing them to destruction, and learning how to programme a Mars rover robot explorer.

Building on the festival’s zero waste approach, older students will be also looking at ways of fixing and re-using broken items such as electronics, gadgets or clothing, as well as pitching ideas for ways to improve the environment.

There will also be sessions available for parents to come along too, to help students identify what they like doing and explore some career options they might like to consider in future.

It’s all part of the company’s NWG Academy, which inspires and develops people with talent, and helps to retain knowledge in the business.

All of the sessions will be held alongside the main festival, where festival-goers will be working to come up with ideas and solutions to help tackle major social and environmental challenges.

Organisers are expecting this year’s Innovation Festival to be the biggest yet, with thousands of people from businesses and organisations around the world attending.

Northumbrian Water’s Academy Manager, Sophie Carvin, said: “We’re all really excited about Innovation Festival 2019 and the fantastic workshops and sessions we’ve got available for young people.

“Having a talent pool with appropriate skills in the North East is fundamental to the future success of our region and we’re committed to playing our part to inspire young people and share what amazing careers are available to them using STEAM.

“We want young people to walk away from our festival having had a fun time, and recognising that they’re already building skills that they can use at work in the future. We’ll also give them the opportunity to meet adults using the same skills in their jobs, and give them hints and tips to keep on developing their skills.

“We’re expecting demand to be really high for these sessions, so I’d urge schools and older students to book their places quickly using our website.”

Places will need to be booked in advance and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. The deadline is Friday April 26, 2019.

Schools and students can find out more and book their place, by following the STEAM page on the Innovation Festival website at

Selwood, the UK’s leading supplier of pump rental solutions, has won an exclusive contract to continue to hire pumps and pipework to Northumbrian Water for a minimum of three years.

The contract, which comes with the option to extend for a further two years, was awarded following a competitive tender process through which Selwood demonstrated expertise in comprehensive pump and pipework solutions.

Richard Brown, Managing Director at Selwood said: “We are delighted to have won this contract to continue working with Northumbrian Water as valued partners.

“We work hard to meet and exceed the requirements of our clients and partners by providing safe, robust, and reliable commercial pumping solutions and investing in our products, people and resources. We are pleased that this has been recognised by Northumbrian Water in one of a string of recent contract wins.”

Northumbrian Water provides water and sewerage services to 2.7 million people in the North East of England, making it the biggest water supplier in the region.

For more information visit

A North East water company is using rain, and not the water main, to help clear nasty blockages and keep the sewer network flowing freely for its customers.

Northumbrian Water has begun installing rainwater harvesting tanks around some of its larger offices, to collect and store rainfall from the roof of the buildings.

Capable of holding up to 2,300 litres each (or around 28 bath tubs full), the tanks are used by the company’s jetting fleet, who fill up their specialised vehicles with the rainwater, instead of using clean, drinking water to flush out the sewers.

In 2018, around 12,000 blockages had to be cleared across the North East, made up of things wrongly put down the drains, including wet wipes, fats, oils and greases.

Often these blockages can be cleared by shooting a jet of high-pressured water through the sewer network to break up the clog, which also cleans out the inside of the pipe to prevent further build-up and damage.

However, using drinking water isn’t the most sustainable method and while climate change threatens to limit water resources, it can also bring about more frequent flooding.

Part of the company’s ‘Rainwise’ initiative, the rainwater harvesting tanks can help on both fronts, collecting the rainfall ready for use when necessary, while freeing up the capacity in the network during storms.

The water company is also encouraging customers to get ‘Rainwise’ at home, by making small changes to homes and gardens that can help save water and manage rainfall locally, by adding water butts and rainwater planters.

Northumbrian Water’s Sustainable Sewerage Manager, Steena Nasapen-Watson, said, “Historically, we’ve filled up the tanks on our jet vans with clean water from water hydrants to help keep the sewers flowing freely, but this isn’t the most sustainable way to manage our network.

“Water is a precious resource and when it comes to clearing blockages in the drains, we don’t need to use high-quality drinking water. By adding these rainwater tanks, we can ensure the best use of water resources, storing storm water for when we need it.”

For more information about Northumbrian Water’s Rainwise initiative, see

Northumbrian Water teamed up with a range of businesses from across the North East, as well as national and global companies such as Three Mobile, Microsoft and Teal Enterprises, for a special day looking at innovation.

Innov8 My Day took place at the Seaham offices shared by Northumbrian Water and its key partners, MMB, Esh-Stantec, Interserve, Wood and Turner & Townsend, and is part of its work to become the water industry’s most innovative company.

Being innovative is a crucial part of how the company finds ways to deliver an unrivalled, inclusive and affordable customer experience, and provide water and wastewater services that are reliable and resilient. 

Fully-booked workshops with guest speakers were complemented by an innovation “market place”, where companies took the opportunity to demonstrate their own new innovations and talk about how they can benefit the water industry.

One of our guest speakers, John Daniell from Three said: “I absolutely loved running the sessions, and got a real buzz out of both the presenting and the energy in the room during the workshops. Northumbrian Water and its partners should be proud of their fantastic employees”.

The workshops enabled employees of all of the companies to learn new skills and take away knowledge about the culture and behaviours of creativity. Sessions also highlighted the companies’ innovation needs for the next few years as well as demonstrating a new platform, an Open Innovation Marketplace that will allow companies to find out about the challenges Northumbrian Water faces in the future and gives them an opportunity to get in touch with ways they can help.

Nigel Watson, Northumbrian Water’s Information Services Director, said: “Innov8 my Day was about taking the next step in the journey of innovation and inspiring everyone to come up with new ideas to transform the way we work to deliver unrivalled customer experiences. Hosting this innovation day at Seaham with our partners was a great first event to bring everyone together and explore the possibilities of similar future events.”

Northumbrian Water is asking its customers to give their views on its Draft Assurance Plan Summary for 2019/20 – which sets out the tough measures it is putting in place to show customers can have confidence in the information it provides.

The annual consultation and Draft Assurance Plan is a key document for Northumbrian Water, as it is part of the company’s commitment to providing transparent and reliable information, helping to maintain the trust of its customers and stakeholders and enabling them to hold it to account for its performance.

Last year Northumbrian Water was one of just three water companies to be awarded self-assured status by the industry regulator, OFWAT – which is the highest assurance category they can give. The company has also won a number of awards including Utility of the Year 2017 and Company of the Year at the 2018 Water Industry Achievement Awards.

The Draft Plan was developed following conversations with both customers and stakeholders, and reviews with Northumbrian Water employees. There are two versions for consultation – a short summary document, and a more detailed review that sets out the company’s views on its strength’s, risks and weaknesses associated with meeting its commitments to customers and providing accurate information. The Final Assurance Plan will set out how the company will continue to deliver and monitor performance across all of its key areas.

Jim Strange, Asset Strategy Manager for Northumbrian Water said: “It is really important that we have tough measures in place to show how the company is run and how we police ourselves. This means that our customers, stakeholders and employees can have confidence that we are responsible, behaving ethically and reporting our financial and company information clearly.

We really want our customers to be involved in shaping the final version of our 2019/20 Assurance Plan, so please take the time to read the draft and give us your feedback.”

The Draft Assurance Plan is available to view online at Customers who give their views on the plan in a 10-minute online survey by Friday 11 January 2019 will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad.

All responses to the survey on the Draft Plan will be reviewed before the Final Assurance Plan is published in March 2019.

Northumbrian Water is investing nearly £4 million to upgrade its wastewater treatment works in Northumberland.

The work at Wooler Sewage Treatment Works will help to increase its capacity and protect the environment, by ensuring sewage continues to be treated to the highest quality standards.

The announcement follows the news that the water company is investing a further £21 million in the area and also constructing a new water treatment works in Wooler, as well as a new water treatment works in Berwick.

Work is expected to begin in spring 2019 – around the same time that the work on the Wooler Water Treatment Works will begin, in order to help minimise disruption.

Northumbrian Water’s supply partners, Mott Macdonald Bentley, will carry out the work which is expected to take up to 16 months to complete. It will include the construction of additional tanks to cope with increasing populations and help the company to effectively treat the wastewater of customers in the area.

General upgrades and new treatment processes will also ensure that the wastewater is treated to the highest quality levels, before being returned to the environment, to help protect and improve rivers and coastal waters across the region.

Residents in Wooler are being invited to find out more information about both the water and sewage works and how the new projects will benefit them at a drop-in session on Monday December 10, 2018.

The project teams will be at the Cheviot Centre in Wooler between 5.00pm and 7.30pm to answer any questions residents may have.

Northumbrian Water’s Head of Asset Investment, John McGovern, said: “Between both water and sewage works projects, this is a major investment in Northumberland.

It’s important that we continue to invest in our infrastructure as populations grow so that we can continue to provide a reliable water and wastewater service into the future. By upgrading the sewage treatment works we can also ensure we’re treating water to the highest standards and can help improve the quality of local watercourses.”

Customers will not be affected while the work is carried out, although there may be an increase in volume of traffic to the sites.

Once work gets underway, residents will be able to follow the progress by visiting the Wooler sewage treatment works page on