‘Water utility workers are key workers too’ says Southern Water

Southern Water workers carrying out vital maintenance are experiencing abuse from members of public unaware these key workers are keeping water and wastewater assets and networks running.

Southern Water’s Head of Wastewater Collection, Peter Stakim said these were “isolated incidents” but urged the public to show restraint.

“Our teams have always had to put up with a few cases of unfair and unacceptable behaviour – often from impatient motorists but there are reports from workers who feel the public don’t understand why they out and working. These are key workers keeping taps flowing and toilets flushing,” he said, “We’d like to thank the vast majority of customers who are polite and keeping social distance and plead for the tiny minority to follow their example.”

All non-essential works and home visits were stopped early in the crisis – including visits to care homes, medical facilities and schools, in a bid to ensure that their COVID-19 preparations and management are not disrupted.

But essential works including visits regarding any supply interruptions, water quality concerns or flooding incidents must still go ahead to ensure the region and its people continue to receive crucial supplies and services.

On the Isle of Wight Southern Water workers have been continuing to support residents by finding and fixing leaks both on the water mains and sewer network; work that safeguards supply and services. They have also continued responding to water quality complaints often requiring access to premises to enable repairs.

In addition they have of course also continued to maintain water supply works to ensure water quality and security of supply along with required maintenance at pumping stations and treat-ment works to protect the environment. The above key workers are simply unable to work from home and provide the area with crucial services.

Said Stakim: ‘We want to tell you, in line with government advice on COVID-19, we’re doing everything we can to protect our employees and customers, while making sure that we continue to supply you with water and wastewater services. Our ways of working have already changed, and there may be further changes to come, but our mission remains the same – to keep our employees and customers safe and our services running.’