Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) is the mutual recognition scheme for occupational health and safety standards particularly within construction. SSIP facilitates mutual recognition between health and safety pre-qualification schemes saving time, effort and cost of multiple certifications.

Incidences of pollution will have a significant impact on funding throughout AMP7. It’s, therefore, vital that businesses involved in water and wastewater treatment focus on preventing chemical leakages. Hiring or purchasing bunds, structures that underly and wall-off areas containing hazardous chemicals or liquids, thereby providing containment in the event of leaks, represents a small investment. However, it drastically reduces the risks associated with storing chemicals.

Businesses have an array of choices to make when it comes to selecting a bund suitable for their needs. They can opt for a permanent bund, built directly on the treatment site or manufactured off-site, transported and then installed. Temporary or portable bunds, used for smaller volumes, meanwhile, are made from lighter materials. They include intermediate bulk containers (IBC) bunds, which when constructed for movement by forklift trucks are often referred to as pallet bunds.

The most suitable material for the bund must be considered and selected based on several factors, including the size of the storage containers, the nature of the chemical stored, and the bund’s position and environment. The decision is also strongly affected by whether it will be built on-site or manufactured off-site.

The most traditional permanent bunds are built with concrete, brick or block walls, standing on concrete floors. These materials, and any mortar used in the masonry walls, must be watertight and capable of resisting the chemicals.

In recent years, as off-site bund manufacture has grown in popularity, different materials and construction methods have become more common. One alternative for permanent bunds is prefabricated steel. However, this is susceptible to both atmospheric corrosion and attack by the stored chemical, so a special resistant coating must be applied to it.

Together with the growth in off-site and modular manufacture of chemical dosing systems, there has been a considerable evolution in bund construction methodology and design in recent years. For packaged systems up to around 30,000 litres, fabricated polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) bunds with a rectangular footprint are now commonplace. However, certain design issues must be addressed if they are to be considered viable alternatives to civil-engineered bunds constructed on-site.

When it comes to choosing the capacity of your bund, the UK WIMES: Water Industry Mechanical and Electrical Specifications stipulate that it should be 110% of the total storage capacity of the largest tank or 25% of the total capacity of all tanks, whichever is the greater. However, requirements for outdoor bunds may differ a little between individual water companies. Thames Water, for example, insists on sizing at 110%, while Yorkshire Water extends this to 130% in its own specifications.

Finally, bunds must be protected from the elements and rigorously maintained if they are to function correctly in the long term.

Taking all of this into account, the safest approach is often to buy or hire complete chemical storage and dosing equipment set-ups from WES. They come with the most appropriate bunds, as well as all necessary filling and safety systems, and all components are pre-assembled and pre-tested. For easy installation and integration with the plant’s existing operation, each delivery is also accompanied by the right pipework, connectors and control features.

Hugh Rose joined WES in April 2021 as an Electrical Design Engineer. Hugh works within the Capital Projects department at WES. We asked Hugh a few questions to find out more about him!

Can you tell us about your role?

The role is to aid the senior electrical engineer both within the confines of the factory and on site. This also includes working with the commissioning engineers and technical staff to ensure any details on the drawings are kept up to date. It also involves ensuring that any designs for site distribution both inside and outside the unit are compliant to the latest wiring and water authority regulations, following with the design specification and cable calculations for final documentation.

What has it been like working for WES so far?

Coming from outside the business it has been a bit of an eye opener, the workload is building as I become more acquainted with procedures and compliance issues. The company has a very pleasant working atmosphere with easy interaction between staff and departments.

Tell us about your career path?

My career has been varied to say the least, starting as a Weapons guidance engineering apprentice in the Royal Navy, then training and qualifying as an approved electrician, moving into Film and TV production, running my own business for 20 years and then finally into electrical management and design culminating in a move to WES early this year, managing IEng. accreditation and membership of the IET along the way.

What are your interests outside of work?

Outside work I collect and restore analogue sound equipment and have a small music studio at home left over from my TV days. I also enjoy travelling and spending time with my grandchildren.

Lawrence Wretham has recently joined WES as a Proposals Engineer. Lawrence will be assisting Les Bunce in the Hire division. We asked Lawrence a few questions to find out more about him!

Can you talk to us about your role?

My role is to assist customers with their requirements for hired dosing systems. I will visit site, measure up and try to find the best solution for their dosing needs.  I will send a comprehensive, itemised proposal and will recommend a full solution built around the customer’s choice of chemical.

What has it been like working for WES so far?

Genuinely interesting. I’m really impressed that we have such a wealth of knowledge here and so many time-served experienced people. Our ability to manufacture is also remarkable as it combines several disciplines and processes so well. I’m constantly learning.

Tell us about your career path?

I come from a construction industry background and have been in equipment hire for a long time. I was a branch manager for a major equipment hire company for several years. When I was at school,  my first Saturday job was with compressors and air tools. I did a brief stint as an estate agent in the early 1990’s, but I’m OK now.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have quite a few hobbies!  I am a keen cyclist and am always restoring at least one old bike.

I ride a unicycle (I used to commute on it) I am learning to weld. I fix old computers and laptops. I love to visit historic places and have been to almost all the English Heritage castles in Southern England. I listen to lots of music from classical to rock, metal, rap and world music and love live music events.

Sam Anderson, an engineering undergraduate, will be working with WES over the next 13 months as a part of a placement year for his university course. Placement years are a great option for students to develop skills and gain valuable experience before graduating and entering the working world.

What course are you studying? 

M.Eng Chemical Engineering at The University of Birmingham

How have you been finding the first few weeks at WES?

The first few weeks have been excellent, it’s been great getting hands on with setting up and commissioning pumping systems; and seeing the design process I have studied being used in industry. It’s been a steep learning curve – but I can’t wait to continue integrating with WES and ultimately be managing projects of my own!

Why did you choose to do a placement year?

I always wanted to include a year in industry as part of my degree, the exposure to the working world in advance of obtaining my degree will be invaluable in applying for grad jobs. Also, I am looking forward to developing skills that can’t be obtained in lecture theatres and tutorials; building working relationships with qualified engineers and managers and absorbing the advice they have to offer.

From two weeks working with WES, I am already seeing the benefits of working for a small, rapidly growing engineering firm. The closeness of the business allows me to gain experience in multiple departments, from commissioning and building dosing rigs in the workshop and on site, to managing projects and designing systems in the CAPEX business office.

How will the placement year impact your final year of university?

By spending a year with WES, connecting the dots between engineering concepts and engineering practice, I expect I will be able to understand final year content quicker and with more depth. For example, I am already better at visualising a built system from a paper P&ID, something which took longer during my third-year design project.

WES Ltd are excited to announce the purchase of an additional new facility. Directly next door to the existing WES facility, the 2 units combined will nearly triple our existing capacity providing 28,000 Sq/Ft of workshop & office facility within a 2 acre site.

Managing Director Kevin Wheeler said: “WES Ltd have ambitious growth plans, investment in this additional new facility combined with the significant additional capabilities of our parent company RSE Group, means we’re fully prepared to support our customers in meeting the expected demand in chemical dosing systems and services in the coming years”.

Love it or ditch it?

Let’s face facts, when equipment breaks down, the primary concern is how will productivity and profitability be impacted in both the short and long term? Not to mention the general public’s water supply being disrupted if there is downtime at the water and wastewater works.

When breakdowns occur, we go back to the age-old question of repair or replace? It is a decision that requires careful consideration in order to maintain productivity and manage costs. Corporations have long used the 50 per cent rule as a guide: if breakdowns and repairs exceed 50 per cent of the total cost of replacing equipment, then you should replace it outright.

However, in a world where repair and remanufacture promotes a circular economy and is the more sustainable option, the regular servicing and maintaining of equipment mean that those old 50 / 50 guidelines are shifting.

Systems must be maintained regularly
Reliable and efficient chemical dosing systems, for example, are vital to the regulatory compliance, safe management and cost-effectiveness of water and wastewater treatment operations. To avoid equipment failures and minimise leaks, spills and blockages, these systems must be properly and regularly maintained. However, as we’ve seen over recent years, many companies are falling short of this.

In fact, when the Environment Agency released its latest annual report on the environmental performance of England’s water and sewerage companies, it showed that four out of nine companies are falling short of expected standards, which is having a detrimental impact on the environment. Ultimately, if you are not maintaining your equipment regularly you will have no choice but to replace it and perhaps face other consequences. Not making maintenance your priority has other repercussions too:

Shortened asset life
Poorly maintained dosing equipment simply won’t last as long and a replacement will mean adding to the company’s capital expenditure (CAPEX). Most other savings achieved through maintenance relate to operating expenditure (OPEX). Considered holistically, the benefits of good servicing can be combined to enable effective planning and optimisation of total expenditure (TOTEX).

Inefficiency
Without regular servicing and recalibration where necessary, a dosing system can end up injecting larger quantities of chemical than needed. Energy consumption may also increase when equipment isn’t functioning at full efficacy.

Environmental harm
If the doses from a failing system are too low, insufficiently treated wastewater may be discharged into the environment. If doses are too high, the discharge may be toxic. In the event of a significant chemical leakage or untreated discharge due to faulty equipment, the effects on rivers, streams and other habitats may be devastating. Along with the cost of fines, enforcement undertakings and remedial works, the company will be facing a PR disaster.

Breakdown? Have you considered hiring a chemical dosing system?
Other maintenance-related services from WES include replacing components, upgrading or re-purposing systems, relocating equipment, modifying controls and training operators.

As an alternative to replacement, we can also support operations through various other solutions. This includes the rapid delivery of hired dosing systems in emergency situations, or where planned shutdowns are scheduled.
In short, whatever a business needs to keep its chemical dosing systems well maintained, we have alternatives so that the fallback doesn’t have to be replace.

How can WES help?
Specific maintenance needs vary between sites, applications and the nature of existing equipment. We offer a free on-site survey to audit the chemical dosing system regardless of age or manufacturer, against current standards and best practice. An assessment of the equipment’s general condition is produced, along with recommendations on any repair or upgrade work needed. Based on those reports, WES will make a recommendation.

WES are delighted to announce the successful completion of a 2-stage assessment to become an accredited supplier on Hellios Information’s JOSCAR approval register.

JOSCAR (the Joint Supply Chain Accreditation Register) is a collaborative tool used by the aerospace, defence and security industry to act as a single repository for pre-qualification and compliance information.

This demonstrates WES’ continuing support to the defence sector, as well as commitment to quality assurance.

Achilles UVDB Verify is an independent audit of an organisation’s Safety, Health, Environment, Quality (SHEQ) management systems and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We are thrilled to announce our 100% score in all categories following our recent audit – this was for both our management systems and our on-site operations.

This is a demonstration of our continuing commitment to striving for excellence in our industry. Well done to all our employees at WES for their valued contribution.

ACHILLES UVDB VERIFY AUDIT DECLARATION

AMALGAMATED SCORESMSE Percentage ScoreSite Percentage Score
Health & Safety100%100%
Environment100%100%
Quality100%100%
CSR100%100%

Leonardo da Vinci, the world-renowned artist and engineer, said ‘wisdom is the daughter of experience’. So, with this in mind, here is some food for thought for those looking to overcome those all too frequent specification and installation pain points, based on the WES team’s extensive experience in this field:

Location, location, location  – with more stringent requirements for the removal of phosphorus under AMP7, there has been an increase in demand for chemical dosing systems on smaller, trickier sites. To overcome the pain point of a difficult location or small footprint, many compact packaged dosing systems are increasingly popular. This is because:

Keeping the costs down – the best way to keep costs down is to minimise any nasty surprises. This is where standardisation, experience and simplicity can make all the difference:

Speeding up delivery times – time is money and mistakes can be costly in terms of service quality, expense and speed. To ensure the job is delivered as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible:

None of the suggestions listed here are rocket science. They are just based on the WES team’s years of experience in delivering the right chemical dosing system, in the right time frame and at the right price.

For more information on how WES can help you achieve the best chemical dosing system to meet your needs – painlessly – please contact us

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Les Bunce

Hire Business Manager

Les Bunce is Hire Business Manager. He leads the WES Hire Business responsible for managing the supply of our Temporary Chemical Dosing hire fleet on both a planned and emergency basis. Les has over 25 years’ experience in the hire industry and fully understands our customers’ hire requirements.

Patrick Fisher

Capital Projects Director

Patrick Fisher is Capital Projects Director. He leads the business stream responsible for project management, design, engineering, manufacture and delivery of “Capital project” chemical dosing systems. A degree qualified engineer with over 10 years’ experience working in fluid delivery solutions to the water, general industrial, petrochemical, and food & beverage industries.

Bob Cook

Senior Proposals Manager

Bob Cook is Senior Proposals Manager. After completing a traditional engineering apprenticeship at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bob was one of the original partners who started the business in 1986. In addition to board activities, Bob now applies his considerable experience to developing proposals & solutions to meet customer requirements.

Ian Price

Dosing Products Business Manager

Ian Price is WES Dosing Products Business Manager, leading the business stream responsible for delivering a wide range of standardised chemical dosing packages, ad-hoc dosing needs and ‘off the shelf’ dosing products & solutions. A mechanical engineer with over 20 years’ experience in fluid handling solutions into the water, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and food & beverage markets.

Jamie Cole

Operations Director

Jamie Cole is Operations Director. Jamie joined the business in 2018 from a career in delivery of services to the property and utilities sectors. Jamie is responsible for the management of all external operations and activities of the business including installation, service, hire & warranty.

Graham Ward

Business Development Director

Graham Ward is Sales and Marketing Director. His extensive experience includes a number of senior roles working for various SMEs and large organisations in the water, power generation, petrochemical, marine and food & beverage industries. As a qualified marine engineer, Graham has established his career in Sales and Business Development and is responsible for the business development, marketing and sales of systems, products and services across WES.

Carl Millington

Non-Exec Director

Carl joined WES as Non-Exec chairman following an appointment via the Business Growth Service to assist the business with growth strategy. A highly experienced Business Mentor, Coach, Managing Director & Non-Exec Chairman, having led product, manufacturing, contracting and service provider businesses for nearly 30 years. A strong track record of market, sales and profit growth within a diverse range of sectors.

Core competencies include business growth strategies, board & business leadership, strategic planning, sales & marketing management, P&L & balance sheet management, acquisitions, divestments, outsourcing, TUPE transfer, mentoring & coaching.

Kevin Wheeler

Managing Director

Kevin Wheeler is Managing Director. Kevin trained as an Engineer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment and joined the business in 1989. Kevin now leads the Board of Directors setting strategy and defining priorities to meet the business objectives & growth aspirations whilst adding experience to technical issues where required.