Behind the scenes we have around 300 people working to supply you with water and there are lots of different jobs needed to make this happen. There are staff at the treatment works carrying out daily tasks as well as regular maintenance to ensure we can treat water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Then there is a team of people who ensure the pipe network runs smoothly which includes planning when to replace old mains that are coming to the end of their useful life as well as repairing ones that suddenly burst. There are people in our laboratory who carry out thousands of tests a year to ensure the water is always of the highest quality. We also have inspectors and meter readers and staff to manage customer accounts and queries. Some people spend a lot of time working outdoors, others are office based, some work shifts and some are on standby to cover emergencies. We have invited four people to tell you a little more about their work.


Name: Henrietta
Position: Energy & Carbon Manager

I joined SES Water after 14 years in the energy industry where I had experience across energy supply, industrial energy efficiency, low carbon technology development and in energy consultancy. Prior to that I studied Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

I am responsible for all aspects of our energy use and the carbon emissions associated with our work. Cleaning and distributing water involves a lot of pumping and that means a lot of energy! I look after our energy strategy, working with the Board to make sure that as a company we are supporting the right projects to reduce our energy and carbon emissions. I manage a lot of projects, from installing solar panels, to identifying inefficient pumps, to introducing electric vans to our vehicle fleet. I also work closely with our energy supplier to ensure we are minimising the cost of energy. I enjoy the variety that the role brings – one day discussing strategy with the Board, the next day at a treatment works identifying or overseeing energy efficiency improvements, another day poring over energy consumption data. I like tackling the operational challenges that industry faces when trying to become more energy efficient.

I’ve spent my whole career in the energy industry and that’s really useful background but it’s not essential. Engineering is about applying knowledge in a creative way and working with others to solve problems. Being good at analysing information, enjoying problem solving, being able to build rapport and communicate with others and being resilient are all essential skills. Above everything else you need to be passionate about what you do, to bring people along with you to help make change happen.


Name: Alison
Position: Water Strategy Manager

I joined SES Water after university, following three years at Thames Water working in network water quality.

I am responsible for working out the amount of water we have available from our boreholes and reservoirs and comparing that with customer demand, to ensure we have enough supplies to go round. I have to forecast this for the next 60 years so that we have the right plans in place to either reduce demand, for example by fitting more water meters, or by increasing supplies.

There is a range of skills needed for my role, from being good with analysing numbers to looking for trends, to considering the psychology of how our customers will respond to water saving messages. I also use the scientific knowledge I gained at school and university to understand how our resource levels will respond to low rainfall periods and climate change.


Name: Ruben
Position: Network Engineer

I joined SES Water after finishing university (Civil Engineering degree) and working in an Engineering Consultancy in Spain for a number of years, designing road projects.

There is a lot of variety in the things I do, but mainly ensuring the designs and the construction works are carried out according to SES specifications. This includes checking or producing technical plans and documents, ensuring the construction work is done safely, on time and controlling the finance of the projects. In order to reduce the impact our works have in the community I also liaise with a wide range of parties such as Councils, Boroughs, residents, etc.

Skills required: Good at maths and science, solving problems and thinking outside of the box, communication skills: being able to talk to a wide range of people, attention to detail and team work.


Name: Kieron
Position: Network Inspector

I joined SES Water after a wide range of roles mainly in sales and retail. I started my career with SES as an operations advisor within the customer contact centre. I later moved on to join the repair and maintenance team in the field, as this was a role that allowed me to be hands on and work outdoors, which I found appealing.

I spent just under 2 years as a repair and maintenance operative, before making the leap to become a Network Inspector. I was fortunate enough to have a wide variety of experience to allow me to pursue the role. Being an Inspector is a challenging and rewarding role. The role is ideal for me, as I’ve always enjoyed problem solving. The role also allows me to meet a lot of new people, which really helps when you’re an outgoing individual. I take pride in my work, as I know that my actions and decisions can have a major impact on our network. I’m not on my own though, I work as part of well-knit team who always support me, even in the toughest of situations.

My day to day tasks can vary so much, to the point where I wouldn’t ever say every day is exactly the same. This is a big win for me, as it allows me to test all my experience and skills for the challenge at hand. The role is very versatile and fast paced at times, which I also find enjoyable due to the support I receive.

As a Network Inspector, my day could involve some of the following; customer enquiry visits, leak detection, water quality checks, emergency response, regulation advice…. The list goes on.

This role would suit those who are: outgoing, problem solvers, technical, take ownership, like outdoor working, methodical and approachable. Mathematics and science backgrounds will certainly assist in the role. The role is very physical…. You must enjoy walking..