Eureka! Inspiring Innovation

November 4 , 2014


Every day new ideas are being suggested by our staff to improve their work, to make it more efficient, cheaper, or more sustainable and, of course, to maintain our compliance with tighter drinking water, effluent and environmental standards. Nevertheless, it offers more as it is vital to both creating competitive advantage and long term success for job growth. As a Group, to make this happen, we are immediately looking at the further cultural change to stimulate more innovation at all points, recognizing that cultural change is the key to sustainable innovation.

Wessex Water encourages its employees to be innovative enabling them to share their ideas through their “Eureka!” suggestion scheme. This scheme, which has been playing for eight years, encourages innovation from its employees for improvements, from energy saving initiatives to trialing new technology. These can be very simple tweaks or elaborate, bold ideas which point to generate substantial increases. As an incentive, financial rewards are given to those whose ideas are successfully implemented. Each year the best ideas submitted to the Eureka! can attract a top prize of £10,000. However, this year with so many great ideas flooding in, the judges decided to split the prize between two submissions.

      Mike Hayes monitoring the water quality at Durleigh reservoir
Membrane technician Kevin Green and production technician Bill Brown shared this year’s award for their energy saving idea. They suggested restricting the use of two pumps at Washpool water treatment works and using gravity to move water from the Fiveways reservoir to Holly’s Lane reservoir. The pumps will only be called into action if the reservoir level remains low, allowing the Company to save up to £10,000 a year. The other winner was an EMI technician, Mike Hayes, based on the Durleigh water treatment works. He suggested stopping a pump running unnecessarily at a booster station, resulting in a reduction in energy consumption.

They believe the ability to innovate is the key to progress and at Wessex Water they have established an environment and applied structures and incentives to capture and apply the innovative ideas and talent that run through our company. They see this as essential to helping Wessex Water progress on our journey to becoming a truly sustainable company.

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