Essex & Suffolk water reassures users over Millennium Bug

Essex & Suffolk Water has reassured users that it has established plans to ensure the continuity of its water supply continuity over the millennium period following media reports on the water industry's level of Millennium Bug compliance.

The company says the reports were based on facts and figures compiled at the end of January 1999, and do not correctly reflect the current situation.

Essex & Suffolk Water says it has been working on the ‘Millennium Issue’ since 1997 to ensure that any risks are identified and disruption minimised. Established plans to ensure water supply continuity already exist and are well practised, the company says.

Essex & Suffolk Water has also initiated a Millennium event strategy which will ensure that water will be available over the Millennium period and the other critical dates.

Neal Warren, Essex & Suffolk Water’s Year 2000 Programme Manager said: “The reports that have been printed in the media are based on the status of the Water Industry at the end of January this year, and a new status report is to be produced by the OFWAT on June 10 following a second audit which will be a more accurate reflection. Essex & Suffolk Water project a status of 95% blue by the end of June 1999, and 100% by the end of September 1999.”

In the publicity released by Action 2000, the Water Industry is rated Amber. This rating is described as “a risk of some material disruption, but agreed plans are in place to rectify problems.”

The ‘traffic light’ system adopted is as follows:

  White = No Assessment = Unable to form an assessment due to present level of information.

  Red = Poor = Assessment indicates that there is a severe risk of material disruption to infrastructure processes and that timely rectification may not be possible.

  Amber = Average =Assessment indicates that there is some risk of material disruption to infrastructure processes, but that there is an agreed containment plan to rectify shortcomings.

  Blue = Neutral = Assessment indicates no risk of material disruption to the infrastructure process.

Neal Warren concludes, “We are very concerned that the public and, more importantly, our customers, may have been mislead by this information and are eager to reassure them. We are maintaining our company web site with information on our Millennium procedures and further promotion will take place shortly.”

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