Scottish Water is among the five largest water utilities in the UK, providing regulated water and wastewater services to five million customers in 2.4 million homes and 124,000 businesses. The company, with its headquarters based in Dunfermline, employs almost 3,400 people across Scotland. It operates over 29,000 miles of water mains, 31,000 miles of sewers, 280 water treatment works, and 1,800 wastewater treatment works. It is the sole provider of water and waste water services to an area of over 30,000 square miles – a third of the area of Britain – with a small and relatively dispersed population, which requires it to manage a vast array of physical assets.
The company invested £487m in quality and standards improvements in 2012-13, maintaining and upgrading treatment works, water mains, sewers and networks across Scotland.
A major focus of Scottish Water’s strategy is investment in its infrastructure, maintaining and upgrading its physical assets to assist in the provision of clean drinking water and the efficient removal and treatment of wastewater.
The company’s sites and services are operated under business management systems that adhere to the highest standards. These include Certification to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, which shows its commitment to robust best practice business management systems, plus PAS 55 which was the first publicly available specification for optimizing management of physical assets as well as Accreditation by UKAS to: ISO/IEC 17025, which demonstrates the competence of its water testing and calibration laboratories.
Now, the company has become the first in its industry to be certified to the new international ISO 55001 standard, launched in January 2014, which represents the latest international best practice in the management of physical assets.
ISO 55001 has enabled them to demonstrate to customers and regulators that they have achieved a high degree of professionalism in the optimized management of their assets operated to produce clean drinking water and treat wastewater safely and efficiently.
ISO 55001 will help to give customers’ confidence they are managing assets efficiently, reassuring them on issues such as certainty of supply, drinking water quality and water charges.
Scottish Water also sees ISO 55001 as a mark of assurance for its regulators, by helping the company achieve best value from its assets, releasing money for further infrastructure improvements and keeping average household bills in Scotland down, now one of the lowest in the UK. In a report on the company’s performance in 2012-13 The Water Industry Commission for Scotland notes that it has outperformed projections in a number of key areas: levels of service to customers; delivering its 2010-15 investment programme; reducing leakage; and maintaining financial strength.
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