- Process Engineer (non-craft qualified)
- Operations - KWS Alpha
- Based at Balinrees Water Treatment Works (WTW), Belfast
- Joined KWS in 2008
I am part of a five man team, based at Ballinrees WTW, and we are responsible for producing up to 50MLD of water which is distributed within the local area. Ballinrees is unique within KWS Alpha, in that the raw water supply can be either from Ballinrees reservoir, or the River Bann. The raw water for other KWS Alpha sites is from Lough Neagh.
Additionally, Ballinrees WTW has two different treatment processes running in parallel; a CoCoDAF plant, which I have operated through my previous role with Northern Ireland Water, and a new plant, which operates using DAF cells. There has been a steep learning curve for all involved at Ballinrees in terms of learning how to operate the new plant, and also in showing others how to operate the old plant.
There are many aspects to my role, some of which are routine tasks and others are reactive. Routinely, I may be required to carry out lab tests on water at different stages of the treatment process. This can then be used to optimise our chemical usage throughout the plant. Chemical stock levels are monitored on a daily basis and saved in a central location electronically, allowing others within the business to schedule deliveries and monitor usage to budget projections. While most chemicals are stored in bulk tanks, some are not, e.g. polymers, and I would routinely check that the hoppers are topped up to ensure continuity of supply of these chemicals 24/7. Chemical reagent levels are also monitored, and reagent bottles changed as necessary. Empty bottles then have to be disposed of accordingly.
As the raw water source is a reservoir, there are a number of tasks to be carried out in terms of management of the catchments and intakes - these are generally more pleasant tasks in the summer than in the winter! As the reservoir is an area to which the general public have access, it is important to manage the Health and Safety of this area, in addition to the Health and Safety in the plant itself. My favourite part of my role is mechanical maintenance, which can be either reactive or routine, e.g. changing hoses on pumps, PVC pipe repairs, removing pumps and gearboxes etc.
I have been an employee with Kelda for three years, and during this time I have been re-trained in many different skills related to my role. The most significant of these to date was achieving an NVQ Level 3 in Controlling Process Operations, which was challenging because it had been some time since I was required to complete formal assessments.
I really enjoy my role within the company and feel that we all work well together as a team.
Interested in joining us?
Covering both water and waste water operations, we employ people with a range of skills including operational and technical, process specialists, accountants and many more.
For the right people we can offer significant career prospects and the opportunity to help shape the future development of KWS, if you are interested and mobile.
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