14 Jul 2021
TasWater staff member wins national award
TasWater Small Plant and Equipment Officer Craig Woodhouse has won this year’s Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) Problem Accepted Solution Supplied (PASS) award.
The award provides an opportunity for water industry operational staff to share their innovations and solutions to others in the water industry.
The North West based Small Plant and Equipment Officer took out the award for his water jetting foot valve operation.
“It is a great honour to receive recognition for my foot peddle technology I developed for water jetters,” Mr Woodhouse said.
Water jetters are powerful, high pressure machines which clean out blockages within TasWater’s sewerage network.
“The new peddle mechanism has eliminated the need for two people to use the machines, and it has also helped bring them up to current Australian standards.”
“In the past there had been communication issues when operating the water jetters, communication was sometimes difficult when both colleagues are not in the same line of sight as each other.”
“Miscommunication can increase the likelihood of an accident and possibly a severe injury, so I had to take action.”
The new operation involves a radio-controlled foot valve that, through a receiver and control box, supplies power to activate a high flow high pressure valve to supply high pressure water.
“When assessing the situation, I realised the communication issues could be eliminated if the operator, at the point of jetting, could have full control of the machine.”
“With the new foot peddle, the operator is able to turn the water from the jetter on and off and if they fall or lift their foot, the machine shuts the water down.”
There are more than 15 jetter units within TasWater and to replace them all with an Australian standard compliant machine would cost nearly $1.5 million.
“The solution I developed is a lot more cost effective, the valves are made in America but can be fitted to all existing jetter units by Tasmanian contractors.”
The new foot valve operation equipment will soon be installed to water jetters across the state, leading to improved health and safety outcomes for staff as well as ensuring blockages in our
systems can be cleared out efficiently and effectively, benefiting our customers and the environment.