In the latest edition of Scottish Water’s e-Buzz, our very own regional manager for Scotland Brian Campbell was interviewed. Please see below the interview where Brian shares his experience, challenges and the biggest positive of 2017 working with Scottish Water.
Can you tell us about your experience working with Scottish Water?
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to say I have worked both internally and laterally externally with Scottish Water. My experience working with Scottish Water, or to be more precise, Strathclyde Water started in June 1991 as a Junior Operative which was the training scheme the business ran to recruit trainee personnel who would grow and develop the skill sets required to progress into various departmental roles. I was with Scottish Water in various roles from main layer to development manager for just over 23 years before venturing on to learn multi-utility. My experience this year from a
consultancy view has been widely positive from various aspects since the business I manage in Scotland, Connections2energy, straddles practically every technical department from WIA project management, WIRS design, completing applications and
delivering newly constructed assets for adoption both on and off-site for the developer community in conjunction with our partners.
What changes have you witnessed and how has Scottish Water
adapted to the current demand?
The housing market in general has changed significantly since exiting the economic downturn with everyone expecting much more in a far shorter time than ever before to meet with the housing shortages, both private and affordable. This has led to enormous pressure on developers, consultants and Scottish Water to move concept site designs into actual homes. No one could really have anticipated that the upturn in the housing market would accelerate at the pace it has reached. However, it has allowed Scottish Water to introduce new teams and processes which look at assets that serve land which hasn’t even been zoned for housing, triage, PDE’s for new applications and a new vesting team. All of these new innovative steps in the process will help everyone at each stage progress at the pace expected from customers.
The biggest positive from 2017?
The biggest positive from 2017 for Connections2energy was being able to work for Barratt / David Wilson Homes on their 316 unit domestic housing site known as Merlin Gardens which resides on the former Rolls Royce Factory site in East Kilbride. This once was the epicentre of employment of 4,000 people for the town which sadly turned derelict when jet engine manufacture was relocated to Inchinnan. Barratt / David Wilson Homes have come to the area turning a waste land into a place where families want to stay. The project consists of 3 strategic diversions, 10” SI, 150mm DI and 6”CI mains including two tie in’s to
the 10” SI, one to the 6”CI main and over 3.3 kilometres of new self-lay water main. Being involved in such a vast re-development of the former Rolls Royce Factory site meant working closely with various teams within Scottish Water. Service Relocation were instrumental with support and guidance for the 3 strategic diversions including various meetings with Operations and the Asset Planner to ensure the mains that were being diverted by our construction partner, Total Pipeline Technology were moved safely and in sequence to minimise the shut off areas and disruption to the many commercial, business and domestic properties which are fed off these mains. When we progressed the new water facilitation application with our design partner the application was assigned to an adviser within a week and approved within 20 days which was extremely efficient given the size of the project.
We are now focussed on the self-lay areas within the site and to the credit of the teams and team leaders in Development Services when we are calling off mains and services, we are kept right and supported on process to ensure we meet our clients expectations. Please follow the link to our website to read our article on the Rolls Royce project http://www.connections2energy.co.uk/news
What are the challenges?
Looking forward, one the challenges that our business, developers and Scottish Water are facing is with certain Local Authorities not granting section 109 permits to work on roads for utility activities related to upgrades, diversions and reinforcements. While the issue is isolated to a minority of local authorities it is affecting and delaying these types of
works from starting. Fortunately various departments within Scottish Water have stepped in to assist with the challenge and in conjunction with pressure from developers and UCP’s it is hoped there is a swift and positive outcome.
I also need to mention the loss of Colin Ballie from the Service Relocation Team is in there with a challenge, the help and support he has provided to me both within Scottish Water and for Connections2energy has been appreciated.
What are your thoughts for the future regards development in
Scotland and Scottish Water?
There are several things that come to mind – The demand for housing is growing at an unprecedented rate in conjunction with economic growth and government backing which is driving everyone in the industry to look at making processes more efficient, or developers to find ways to build faster through pre-fab kits or rapid hardening concrete. Scottish Water as a world leader in water quality and leakage efficiency has a role to play in continuing its efforts to date in sourcing and approving new or improving on existing technologies such as self-anchoring fittings and under pressure tees to reduce shut down
of mains or with self-anchor fittings, potentially speed up commissioning times if no concrete thrusts are required.
Regardless, the future for development in Scotland is thriving and given the improvements Scottish Water has made to process and investment in people, the water utility will be the market leader in Scotland.
–Published on May 30th 2018 Contact us on 03300552559 to get your utility requirements sorted by professionals.