FLASHING up on the screen at the Yorkshire Water Drop In Centre on Friday (26th Feb 2016) was the current average customer feedback score of 8.6 out of 10. The score was derived from the feedback sheets that visitors complete at the end of their visit to the brand new centre above Butterflies Nursery on St. Augustine’s Park in Preston South. 8.6 is a score that is well-deserved. Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by the efforts that Yorkshire Water is making to improve their communication and engagement with local communities around the Saltend waste water treatment works.
With seven customer engagement officers working from the Drop In Centre, each dedicated to keeping local people informed about the progress of the work taking place at Saltend, it represents a significant investment of time, money and effort by Yorkshire Water. The funding being spent on improving treatment processes at the waste water works is an impressive £30m, but without effective communication on ‘how’ that money is actually being spent, it is a figure that can just fly over your head. The resources provided via the Drop In Centre should ensure that anybody with an interest can find out what is happening on the site, and what the end result of the work being undertaken should be.
Anyone requiring information could drop into the centre between 10 am and 6 pm Monday – Friday, but the team there are keen to ensure that channels of communication are opened up on the terms that customers choose. So if you prefer to call there is a dedicated phone line. You can opt to get the latest information via the dedicated page on the Yorkshire Water website. But the staff have gone even further than that. Over the last few weeks nearly 440 customers, former complainants, have been visited at their homes (hours of foot-slogging work) and handed a business card with the mobile number of an individual staff member. In short, Yorkshire Water wants to ensure that people are better informed and knowledgeable about their investment at Saltend.
The centre is a pleasant and appealing room but functional for its purpose. A large aerial photograph of the treatment works features prominently on the wall and Paul Carter, YW’s Communications Officer, referred to it regularly to explain the different stages of the work taking place.
And those works taking place as part of the £30m investment?
- Improvements to the aeration system in the giant eight tanks where the odour-eating biological treatment takes place;
- Research into the viability of covering the tanks whilst still ensuring effective aeration can take place;
- New chemical dosing treatment when waste water arrives at the site;
- A new odour control unit;
- Piloting methods of controlling waste water at the source before it reaches Saltend.
The main work at the site is scheduled to be completed by June 2016.
Yorkshire Water has also utilised drone technology to take some stunning high-definition aerial photographs and video of the treatment works which reveals the sheer scale of the operation at Saltend but also helps people to understand how the different component parts of the site work.
As a result of this customer engagement exercise, the local population will perhaps comprise the most knowledgeable non-professionals in the country on how a waste water treatment works operates! And if the worst happens, and an odour incident occurs, the most savvy-protestors that Yorkshire Water has ever seen! However, in all sincerity, the likelihood of an odour-free summer seems to be very high!
To find out more:
- Call the Drop In Centre on 0345 120 23 44;
- Visit the Drop In Centre above Butterflies Nursery, St. Augustine’s Park, Hull Road, HU12 8QN (across the road from Netto and towards the petrol station). Note: A car park is currently being constructed and should be open soon. The Centre is open by appointment only until the car park is finished;
- Visit: www.yorkshirewater.com/saltend
The following YouTube video will also be of interest to local residents: