Constant vigilance and water safety understanding: the way to keep Scotland’s water quality results rising

McCrae Training, a multi-sector training and consultancy business, has joined Energy & Utility Skills in welcoming the water regulator for Scotland’s recent announcement that the quality of the nation’s water is high.

Both organisations have also supported the call by Scottish Water for increased excellence in site operating practice, including mandating the National Water Hygiene Scheme ‘Blue Card’ for any individuals who work on or near drinking water assets.

The fifteenth report from the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland (DWQR) provided a summary of the quality of Scotland’s public water supplies for 2016 and its scrutiny of the quality of drinking water provided by Scottish Water, who also provides sewerage services for the country. The DWQR acknowledged the results as a reflection of “the benefits of on-going investment in water quality and Scottish Water’s focus on improving operational practices.”

Scott McCrae, Director of McCrae Training, one of Scotland’s leading training providers and utility specialists, said: “The results announced by the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland show how focusing in on every detail of managing the water process is securing results for the people of Scotland. Keeping these high standards in place across over 240 water treatment works and associated water distribution networks, requires everyone working or on near drinking water assets to play their part and have a clear understanding of how to act and their public health duty of care.

“The National Water Hygiene Scheme, or ‘Blue Card’, has become an industry standard in protecting water quality and Scottish Water has set clear expectations for its role in a safe water approach. I echo the call from Scottish Water for all those who enter sites or go near these water assets to ensure they have invested in the skills to stay safe, and the knowledge to keep water quality at these high levels.”

“The whole Scottish Water industry can be proud of the results that have been announced by the Drinking Water Quality Regulator, and the ongoing focus of Scottish Water and its partners on making excellence the standard ” added Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of the Energy & Utility Skills Group, the West Midlands-based expert voice on workforce issues in the sector across the UK, which has supported recognition of the National Water Hygiene Scheme by the Energy & Utility Skills Register (EUSR), part of the Energy & Utility Skills Group.

Mr Ellins added: “The National Water Hygiene Training and Accreditation Scheme was introduced to the industry over a decade ago as a collaboration between the UK water industry, key public health bodies and EUSR, to provide the workforce with the ability to operate to the highest hygiene and safety practices whilst working on the water network.

“It now forms an integral part of the Scottish Water Distribution Operations Maintenance Strategy and has become established as a vital element in making excellence the standard in public health. Scottish Water and the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland have set out very clearly their expected standards of hygiene knowledge and behaviours for those in contact with the public water supply, promoting a safety-first culture right across Scotland.”

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland, Sue Petch, said: “It is imperative that all activities carried out on water supply systems are of the highest standard and are done so in a way that prevent any impact on drinking water quality and consumer confidence in the supply. The National Water Hygiene training and accreditation scheme makes sure that anyone working on water systems is able to demonstrate their competence and understanding of best practice.”

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