Mouchel Selected for Water Distribution Studies by South West Water

Posted: Thursday 25th February 2010

Consulting and business services group, Mouchel, has been appointed to deliver an extensive series of Water Distribution Studies as part of South West Water’s (SWW’s) K5 framework programme.

K5 is SWW’s capital programme for the UK water industry's Asset Management Plan 5 (AMP5) period which runs from April 2010 to March 2015. A total £590 million will be invested in the company’s assets in a programme agreed with the industry regulator, Ofwat.

SWW provides water and sewerage services across the South West of England. Its water service is delivered via a network that comprises approximately 15,000km of water mains, 270 service reservoirs, 188 pumping stations and 32 water treatment works. Like other water companies in England and Wales, SWW is required by Ofwat to carry out Distribution Studies of its clean water distribution system (which extends from the water treatment works boundary through to the customer's tap) to provide a framework for targeting investment.

During the AMP5 period, SWW aims to develop its approach to Distribution Studies from the current, static ‘snapshot’ approach – with each asset on the network assessed once every five years – to a ‘live’ system. This will provide an ongoing and constantly updated view of the network, highlighting sections that most need attention and reflecting the effects of interventions already undertaken.

As well as helping to target investment during the K5 programme, this ‘live’ system will act as an umbrella for SWW’s future business planning, combining performance data with predictive deterioration models to establish an effective approach to asset management.

From the start of the contract in April, Mouchel will continue the production of the Distribution Studies in their existing format, ensuring a seamless handover. In parallel, the team will work to develop the ‘live’ system solution, prior to its gradual introduction during the course of AMP5.

Key enhancements under the new system are expected to include:

· the development of higher-quality, calibrated hydraulic models to allow a better understanding of where service levels are at risk of being inadequate; and

· a ‘Viewer’ interface to provide a wide range of SWW users with themed geographic and graphical summaries of the live data which has been accumulated.

The system will also be capable of extensive automatic report generation to satisfy Ofwat requirements.

Simon Tomlinson, Divisional Director, Asset Management & Operations South at Mouchel said: “We are delighted that our capability and experience of strategic asset management, hydraulic modelling and other distribution study types - plus geographical and database-oriented IT solutions - have been recognised by SWW as capable of turning its vision for Distribution Studies into a reality. We believe that this opportunity also reflects the strong and successful partnership we have established with SWW in supporting its AMP5 business planning activities. This has given us the perspective to ensure that the right overall solution will be developed which aligns detailed technical system design with longer-term strategic objectives.”

Phil Allen, Asset Planning Manager at SWW, said: “Having developed our vision for Distribution Studies and Water Network modelling, in light of our Periodic Review 09 Business Planning process, we are now very excited at the opportunities that it presents both in terms of operational information and investment planning. Mouchel share our vision and we are convinced that they will deliver leading edge business support for this service area which will enable us to deliver against the very demanding challenges presented within AMP5.”

The initial duration of the framework is two years. This may be extended by up to a further five years at the discretion of SWW, subject to performance.

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