A local water company won a national award last night - one of the highest accolades in the utility sector.
Southern Water won the Capital Project Management category of the Utility Week Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
“I’m delighted our work has been recognised at such a high level,” said Richard Price, Southern Water’s Director of Engineering and Construction who paid tribute to the workforce of over 100 whose efforts helped to win the award.
When repairs were required to Ramsgate’s unique 100 year-old sewer system – a network of deep tunnels instead of trenches - staff were faced with working in the most inhospitable conditions imaginable to clear by hand sewer sludge and debris up to 300mm deep.
The company managed the project by co-ordinating the efforts of ten specialist companies, working together but each bringing their individual skills to the table. This lead to a ‘world first’ use of technology being introduced to reduce disruption to road users and the public, and a string of safety measures to protect the large workforce of over 100, resulting in an exemplary record of zero accidents during the 249 days of the project.
Expert project management cut the project’s duration by 30% and reduced costs by 10% while critically ensuring that safety was paramount at all times.
Utility Week Editor Ellen Bennett said: "The Utility Week Awards are widely recognised for the rigour of the judging process. Competition is fierce. Winning a place on the shortlist is an achievement in itself and our winners are the best of the best."
Winning this year was particularly difficult because there was a record number of entries.
Added Ellen: "A Utility Week Award is a hallmark of quality."
The judges were Chief Executive Officers and Directors of leading companies across the industry and consumer bodies.