In early 2015, Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) identified the need to augment its resources and capabilities in respect of the operations and maintenance of a number of its water treatment plants. The plants range in size from 4Ml/day to 140Ml/day and in the main use standard water treatment processes (coagulation/settlement and dissolved air flotation [DAF]) to produce treated water for input into service reservoirs and the supply networks. These plants are currently operated and maintained by a team of experienced management, operations and MEICA personnel.
Whilst much had been done by NI Water in the recent past to increase the resources and resilience of the human and physical infrastructure, it had become evident that the level of reserve and flexibility within the treated water production and supply infrastructure was less than desired and the loss of experienced staff resource represented a significant risk to the continued supply of drinking water to the population of Northern Ireland and the compliance of NI Water with the terms of ts licence.
NI Water had identified those plants where this risk is the greatest and developed a prioritised list, together with identification and selection of the requisite staff. Battus were then appointed to develop and manage an intensive programme to augment the current resources and increase its capabilities.
The essential elements of the services and outcomes included the following;
- Collation of the existing NI Water data, information, plans and manuals for the operation and maintenance of the water treatment plants.
- Development of the relevant training materials (covering process, operations, maintenance, H&S, SCADA and telemetry, supply chain etc) and the programme for their delivery;
- Identification of the relevant staff and skill-sets for the resilience programme implementation team;
- Implementation of this training to the identified staff both off-site and on-site and the validation of the same training with site-based operational activities as specified and agreed with NI Water.
The overall purpose of Phase I of this programme was to give greater confidence to the management and customers of NI Water that in the event of a diminution in the availability of experienced resource and plant breakdown and/or failure there was a task-force/resource which could be deployed to mitigate some of these effects. The programme was successfully developed and delivered in conjunction with RPS Group.