A triumphant night all round for Anglian Water and partners Mott MacDonald, GTM, JN Bentley and Carillion, taking the Outstanding Innovation 2010 title at this year’s Water Industry Achievement Awards

The award, sponsored by Ofwat, was the culmination of an evening filled with great food, fantastic entertainment awards presentation and a charity auction.

Around 300 guests attended the prestigious event, organised by Faversham House Group (FHG) titles WET News and Water & Wastewater Treatment, when it took place at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre on May 20.

Following a champagne reception, WET News editor Maureen Gaines got proceedings underway, outlining what was in store for the evening and reminding guests what the awards are all about – recognising, rewarding and celebrating excellence and innovation in the water industry.

Before the eagerly anticipated awards were announced comedian extraordinaire Paul Thorne quickly got the audience laughing. He announced that with temperatures North of the border having risen to -2 deg C, global warming had finally reached Scotland.

Paul also reminisced about his shopping trips to Warrington. Every week, he would drive to Warrington – and get the train back!

Next, it was time for the audience to celebrate the innovative achievements of the award winners and finalists as the presentation got underway.

First winner of the night was Anglian Water with partners Mott MacDonald, GTM,

JN Bentley and Carillion, walking away with Partnership

Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Imtech Process and Saint-Gobain PAM. Later in the evening, the team took trophy number two, the Ofwat-sponsored Outstanding Innovation 2010 award.

The team won both awards for Anglian’s Wing Water Project. The judges felt the entry summed up an extraordinaryThe judges felt this entry demonstrated an extraordinary partnership, creating an innovative commercial model to ensure the complex project was delivered early and significantly under budget.

Anglian’s Paul Naylor said: “It’s fantastic! Such a lot of hard work from such a lot of people – it’s great to be recognised. We’re really producd.”

The key to the team’s success, was that “all the partners felt equally uncomfortable”.

Not to be outdone by Anglian’s brace of trophies , Southern Water went one better – scooping three.

Southern first win was Community Campaign of the Year, for its Blooming Schools Campaign, which has helped 300-plus school gardens and educating thousands of kids about environmental issues in the process. The company’s Fat Fighters Ease the Pain in Drain initiative earned Southern its second win of the night, this time for FOG (Fats, Oils and Grease) Reduction Initiative of the Year.

The company’s hat-trick came when it won People Initiative of the Year for its Masters Programme. The judges said Southern continued to demonstrate that people are at the heart of its strategy, ensuring it has the right skills for the future. David Coleshill, Souther Water’s learning and development manager, said: ” It’s great to win all three. It’s a really great initiative trying to bring graduates into the water industry.”

The next award was for SUDS & Flood Management Initiative of the Year. This went to Richard Allitt Associates and Infoterra for their Urban Creep project, which involved a pioneering approach to gathering data on how paved surfaces have changed in the urban environment.

A special award presented was for the winner – Sheffield University – of the first ever IWEX University Challenge. The competition has taken place during IWEX in April but the winner received the trophy at the awards.

Sheffield University won the challenge for its research to address Data, Rich, Information, Poor) in the water sector.

Next up was Carbon Reduction Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Asset International. The worthy winner of this award was Severn Trent Water, for its Renewables Solutions scheme. The judges were impressed by the company’s inventive initiative that has saved a further 8,500 tonnes of CO2 in the past year.

Severn Trent’s Andrew Gardner said: “It’s a fantastic achievement. A lot of people have been involved with this. It’s been a long journey for us.”

Customer Satisfaction Initiative of the Year went to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, with

its Drop-In-Process scheme. The judges were impressed by the way the company dealt with a community in an area that had suffered severe flooding.

Imtech Process’ Don’t Walk By scheme earned it the Health & Safety Initiative of the Year title. The judges said the company had shown outstanding leadership and implementation of H&S management.

The award for Most Innovative Technology of the Year went to RPS Water for its pioneering Accuflow technology that allows water firms to identify a leak and decide whether it is worthwhile to fix.

Byzak’s Retroflo wastewater pump control was crowned winner for Most Innovative Use of an Existing Technology. The product is available to any variable speed drive, and offers a 100% reduction in blockages.

This year’s winner for Outstanding Individual Contribution to the Water Industry was Arthur Arscott, director at RPS Water.

Arthur was recognised for his many achievements in reducing leakage as well as his great commitment and enthusiasm in developing and promoting innovation in the industry.

During the awards, there was a big surprise for guests. Unbeknown to the guests, three imposters had been mingling among the audience.

In turned out, that the imposters were in fact singing group Incognito. The audience was soon standing and swaying as the group sang it repertoire that included “Nessun Dormer” and “That’s Amore”.

The evening ended with a charity auction on behalf of WaterAid, which saw guests dig deep for some fantastic prizes – two tickets for Manchester United’s first home game next season; a Blue Experience Red Letter Day; two tickets for an England game at Wembley; tickets for Souther n Water’s Brighton Sewer Tour; and a golfing four-ball prize at a Marriott Hotel. The auction raised over £3,714 for WaterAid.

· A big thank you to our award sponsors – Ofwat, Saint-Gobain PAM, Imtech Process and Asset International – and to everyone that took the time to enter the awards.

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