I grew up in a rural part of central Scotland, surrounded by burns (creeks), rivers and reservoirs. Summer holidays, often in the rain, were spent fishing, swimming, and exploring the countryside.
Looking back, my appreciation for water in the environment obviously started at a young age. My career in the Water Industry started way back in 1989, with the UK’s largest manufacturer of Wastewater Treatment & Stormwater Treatment systems. Here I spent over a decade, in the South of England, working with developers and consultants, providing treatment solutions for new build projects and retrospective installations, where an existing Treatment system was failing to meet current regulations or standards.
There are many Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in the UK, where water-based pollution can cause devastating impact to their environment, and they therefore must be protected from such impacts. This provided me with insight into the affects of both the poorly and well designed and maintained systems have on the environment.
I was part of a team who developed the first real commercially available Rainwater Harvesting System in the UK, serving from individual homes, up to large student accommodation apartment blocks. These relatively simple systems provide dual benefits by reducing the volume of stormwater being discharged and reducing the volume of potable mains water consumed.
I joined the industry team who formed the UK Rainwater Harvesting Association, with the aim of reducing stormwater overflow from new developments, and using water fit for purpose. At this time we wrote a white paper that morphed into the British Standard for Rainwater Harvesting Systems.
In 2017 I had the opportunity to take a role with my company Kingspan in Australia, launching a range of Wastewater & Stormwater treatment and pumping systems. My career has been spent in the commercial part of the industry, providing engineered solutions to developers, that, in turn, benefit our environment.
Getting business to back changes and progress in our industry is one of our biggest challenges and I appreciate the opportunity, in being a Stormwater NSW committee member, to be part of an Association that can and will make a big difference to people’s lives.