What does a typical day look like for a water treatment consultant?
As a senior water consultant, my role is really varied. A typical working day would consist of a visit to a food factory in the morning, where I would complete cooling tower and steam boiler analysis for the client to ensure full compliance with all the relevant legislation and guidance. After that, I would meet with the contract manager for a large facilities management company, where we would discuss a number of the buildings in their portfolio, including large heating and chilled systems. In the afternoon, I would head to a recycling plant to carry out a survey on their cooling towers, steam boilers and process water to see how we can optimise their water treatment programme.
What are your roles and responsibilities as a water treatment consultant?
Consultants are in place to ensure that our clients meet their obligations under the law in relation to their water services, whether it be small domestic systems or large complex industrial cooling systems. We are required to have a good working knowledge of all of the current legislation and guidance in order to apply this practically across a broad range of systems, supporting clients in helping them to achieve the legal requirements for water safety. I provide bespoke consultancy advice for my clients and undertake a broad range of water treatment services on site, while also making sure that I am establishing and maintaining good working relationships at all times.
How did you become a water treatment consultant?
I joined the water industry while I was still a student, having had prior experience of cleaning cooling towers and tanks during the holidays. Once I graduated, I joined on a permanent basis as a trainee. I have had a number of roles within the industry including engineer, risk assessor and account manager. During my time in my various roles, I have completed numerous industry training courses and am always looking to expand my knowledge.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
The thing that I enjoy the most about being a consultant is the variety that the role brings. I am lucky enough to be able to visit a wide range of sites, from city centre office blocks and military bases to large industrial sites. I also really enjoy meeting and working with new people, and the client-facing nature of my role means that this is something that I am able to do every single day.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in your role and how have you overcome them?
In my role, I am required to have strong technical knowledge of water treatment services, as well as the health and safety measures surrounding Legionella control, as I often come up against technical challenges on site. Many of these can be unique to the individual site, and I am lucky that SOCOTEC has a team of industry leading experts should I need any advice.
What are some of the most interesting/high profile projects you have participated in?
Over the course of my career, I have worked on behalf of a number of high profile clients, including an international glass manufacturing company, which served as a multi-site contract across the UK. I have also faced numerous technical challenges across a portfolio of ageing factories and production facilities.
How does your role fit into the broader project delivery within SOCOTEC’s Water Treatment & Equipment team?
As a senior member of SOCOTEC’s team of water treatment consultants, I am expected to take a prominent role within the team, which involves technical input at operations meetings and training junior members of staff. Consultants also act as a key point of contact between SOCOTEC and the client, which means that I contribute to a significant proportion of project delivery from start to finish.
What do you enjoy the most about working within SOCOTEC’s Water Treatment & Equipment team?
As my role requires me to maintain a high level of technical expertise, I regularly participate in a variety of training courses and programmes to ensure I am up-to-date with all of the relevant legislation and guidance within the water treatment industry. SOCOTEC believes in its employees and provides them with the opportunity to develop and achieve their career goals, and this has enabled me to maintain a high level of expertise in my field.
Do you have any advice for individuals considering a career as a consultant in the water treatment sector?
If you are looking for a career with varied days and lots of technical challenges, then a role as a water treatment consultant may be for you. The client-focused nature of the role is also ideal for those who enjoy working with new people and establishing strong working relationships, so strong communication skills are an absolute must.
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