Environmental leadership recognised

18.05.2016

A North East utility’s environmental credentials have been recognised by winning two national awards.

Northumbrian Water was shortlisted nine times in eight categories at the Water Industry Achievement Awards 2016, which took place in Birmingham last night.

The water company scooped the awards for ‘community project of the year’ and ‘sustainable drainage and flood management initiative of the year’.

Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive Officer at Northumbrian Water Group, said: “Recognition of our industry-leading work, delivering quality for customers and looking after the environment, is very welcome.

"To pick up two awards and be shortlisted nine times in one of the industry’s biggest celebrations shows the high quality of work being done throughout Northumbrian Water Group.

“Much of the work we are doing is driving standards and quality, not only for our own customers, but for those across the UK. We are very proud of these awards and the customer and environmental benefits that they represent.”

The utility’s Water Rangers scheme, which won the community project of the year, encourages and enables people to help protect and improve water quality in rivers, streams, becks, burns and bathing waters throughout the region.

More than 30 volunteers, over the age of 18, walk along 32 public access routes, next to watercourses in Skelton (Middlesbrough), Peterlee, Hebburn, Jarrow, Stanley, Durham City Centre, Corbridge, Stocksfield, Bedlington, Ashington, Cambois and Morpeth.

The routes are between 210 metres and 1.2 kilometres long and are patrolled either once a week or fortnightly.

After doing their walk, Water Rangers report on the condition of the watercourse within their route, to Northumbrian Water, so that any potential pollution or other issues can be dealt with quickly.

Northumbrian Water’s second award of the night was for the sustainable drainage and flood management initiative of the year.

The water company has formed a partnership with South Tyneside Council and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust to launch a pilot project, SuDS (sustainable drainage systems) for schools and communities.

This initiative is industry leading in progressing proactive community-led flood reduction solutions at locations that have not suffered flooding and will provide benefit to those that had.

Northumbrian Water, South Tyneside Council and the Wildfowl and Westlands Trust worked with Fellgate Primary School and St Joseph′s RC Primary School in Jarrow to install sustainable drainage features at the schools. The features included a rainwater garden, wetland, pond and wildflower area and rainwater harvesting – all of which help to manage surface water in the natural environment.

The initiative is supported by community engagement and an education programme for both pupils and their parents.

Northumbrian Water was also shortlisted in other categories including: carbon reduction initiative of the year, customer satisfaction initiative of the year, data project of the year, people initiative of the year, health and safety initiative of the year and water resource management initiative of the year. The water company had two entries shortlisted in the partnership of the year category.

For further information contact Cara Charlton on 0191 301 6720.

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