A day in the life of Justin Cordwell

Justin Cordwell, 

Southern Network Manager, Hobart

Each morning, Justin Cordwell briskly walks the halls of the TasWater Office in Hobart to prepare for a day’s work ensuring our customers receive a reliable service.

Justin holds a daily review meeting with coordinators from Glenorchy, Clarence, Hobart and Huntingfield, who deal with both water and sewer. They discuss health and safety, environmental issues, complaints, hazardous work, significant outages, work order data ensuring regulatory response times were met, people issues (resourcing levels, training, sick leave) and success stories such as compliments received from our customers.

Following this, Justin meets with Neal Synott, Urban network Departments Manager and Jason Briggs, Northern Networks Manager to convey the information gathered from all daily review meetings. In doing this, information from the field is discussed between all teams at all levels.

Justin Walk the floor

“At 8.45am I will do what is called a walk of the floor, this involves looking over the six different area white boards, to ensure the agreed level of service is provided to our customers, through effective personnel, planning and technical management,” Justin said.

The purpose of walking the floor is to communicate about what, when and where crews are undertaking work. This can include sewer cleaning, preventative maintenance on water assets, attending urgent corrective maintenance on both water and sewer assets and water leak investigations.  Justin’s teams have set regulatory response times where trained call centre staff prioritises each job so his field crews know how urgent it is.

P1 water leak (60 mins): Water leaks that require immediate response, 000 equivalents, which if not attended to within 60 minutes or less would result in a catastrophic outcome.

P2 water leak (180 mins): Water leaks that require urgent attention that, if not attended to in 180 minutes or less, would result in minor damage to life, property or environment

P3 water leak (72 hours): Water leaks that do not require urgent attention, water leaks that are not affecting property, minor leak of a stop tap or a soakage issue. These are are prioritised so a crew will attend within three days.

High (60 mins): Non water leak issues that require immediate response such as sewer overflows, odour complaints, pump station faults or discoloured, cloudy/aerated water.


On any given day, Justin’s southern team could attend 20 P3s, six P2s and 12 sewer jobs. This number often varies due to seasonal changes. The summer period is generally the busiest due to ground movement and warmer temperatures.

Justin’s role at TasWater is reactive with daily challenges from all aspects.  On any one day he can be handed human resource issues, people issues, customer complaints, reporting sewer overflows to the EPA (Environment Protection Authority), and the EHO (Environmental Health Officer) and providing guidance and assistance to his coordinators who directly report to him around major bursts or sewer overflows.

Justin will also hold monthly meetings with crews from each of his areas; he currently has eight coordinators reporting to him with teams of around 65.

Each month he gets his teams together and holds monthly team meetings to discuss any standing issues.  Justin utilises this time to ensure all safety policies and procedures are being followed to minimise injury and illness in the workplace and out on the field, but to also chat with his crews around general health and wellbeing within their teams.

No day is the same for Justin. Some days you may find him in meetings with other departments such as Facilities, Fleet, Assets, Water Quality, Legal, IT and Health and Safety. 

“I also manage the after-hours crews rotating every Wednesday, to provide assistance to our customers 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,’’ Justin said.

Justin Location shot