A hot water safety and efficiency measure for all new UK homes

June 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Some of us use our elbows, some of us use our big toe, and some of us don’t use anything at all. Every year 112,000 people are treated for hot water scalding in the UK and around 6% of them have to be hospitalised. Many people might not of think a hot bath as a potential danger but the scalding one can suffer is a second-degree burn and causes very serious splitting of the layers of skin and then blistering. It’s a very common and serious problem with the young and the elderly in particular, which is why the Housing Minister, Iain Wright, has this month announced plans to change the way British houses tackle their water.

From October 2009, all newly built houses in the UK will be fitted with a gadget that limits the hot water temperature as it comes out of the taps. On top of this device there will also be a system that prevents any one person from using more than 125 litres of water per day. The amendment will come to the Building Regulations bill under the part that deals with sanitation, hot water safety and efficiency. Mr Wright was keen to stress his desire for change on these two issues, one of which will help the health of UK residents and the other that helps the environment.

On top of the requirements for new houses, the government has come up with other plans for water facilities in people’s homes and is also looking further into use for grey water – which is the old sullage water that comes from shower, baths, washing machine and sinks – as well as rainwater, which the UK has had aplenty in recent years.

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What is the UK’s most considerate water treatment plant?

June 15, 2009 at 3:50 am

In this day and age it’s vitally important that water companies play by the rules and provide an ethical and environmental service to their local communities, the country and the world as a whole.

The Considerate Constructions Scheme, is a scheme set up to reward companies in an industry that rarely is given targets to meet that aren’t financially driven. This year a water treatments plant in Perthshire, Scotland, the Glenfarg water treatment works (WTW), has beaten over 7000 rivals water works to be crowned the “most considerate site of 2009”.

Engineering and construction company, Black and Vetch, has praised the Scottish site for its work with wash water, disinfection, sludge recovery and many others. There has been a staggering £4.3 million upgrade to the water plant, which will provide a water service for over 180,000 households when completed.

Glenfarg hasn’t won this award for being profitable or shrewd. The word “considerate” hasn’t been used lightly here. There have been exceptional advances in the environmental challenges at the site. The energy saving systems in Glenfarg vastly exceed any rival. It has also led the way in terms of safety practice at its plant, providing a secure and safe working environment for all its staff members. In such a rural and protected area in Perthshire, there have been many local challenges faced, all of which have been met with sympathy and open arms by the board, the managers and all the staff at the plant. A Director from Scottish Water has called the work in the area “exemplary” and says it has set a benchmark for the rest of the UK.

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Wessex Water to cut 200 jobs

June 2, 2009 at 1:42 pm

With rising unemployment figures across the country, there is more bad news as the recession has claimed yet another victim, with Wessex Water this time being the company to announce large job losses.

The company has just announced that it will be cutting 200 positions from its workforce, blaming “the economic climate” for the unfortunate decision. One of the areas in which it has been worst affected is its future investment programme; this has been badly hit, and as a result the company has announced that it will have to make the job cuts by the end of the year.

The job cuts will take place across the company, but the worst sector to be hit will be the engineering and construction division. The cuts are clearly necessary, but the company has stated that it is hoping to achieve them through making a careful review of the number of agency staff that it employs, allowing it to keep the number of permanent workers employed to a maximum.

The total number of staff that the company currently employs is 2,500, so the 200 job losses represent quite a significant cut and the redundancies will be felt across Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Gloucestershire.

The decision has been described as “regrettable” by Alan Morgan, the head of Human Resources, but it is essential because the company is “running out of work in some areas”. To make the process easier, the company will also use a consultation process in a bid to get staff moved to other areas of the company rather than having to put them out of work.

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