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A Highland Odyssey

Last week saw me and my colleague, Graeme, brave the cold, wind and ice, and set off North to Inverness to revisit our new friends at Highland Council.

A previous venture in the summer had included me giving our Engineering vs Pseudomonas CPD to a full house of council employees, many of whom were part of their in-house Water Safety Group, and the rest being fitters and FM operatives. 

That highland excursion, in mid-August, also included a number of visits with our demo van to CDMM and Pick Everard Consulting Engineers, Norr Architects, Orchard Park Care Home, and Raigmore Hospital Estates department. The reception at each of these organisations was revelatory – not only were many of our hosts unaware of our greatly expanded product range (since 2007 we’ve added the award-winning and patented Optitherm thermostatic tap for clinical settings, the Duŝo sport shower column, and the patented In-line Thermal Disinfection Unit, ILTDU, for managing the risk of DWS retrograde colonisation by (increasingly) anti-microbial resistant (AMR) pathogens such as Pseudomonas Aeruginosa), but a few also commented that ‘I’d spec you just for coming all the way up here to see us!’

Not long returned, we received the following email from Warren Bradshaw, CMD Management Officer at Highland Council:

Thank you so much for coming up to the Highlands and giving us your presentation, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have had nothing but good feedback about it from everyone who attended. Making yours the most well thought of CPD Sessions yet, which will stick in everyone’s minds.

I have been asked by my Line Manager to arrange (if you are willing) the same again for our health care staff, Responsible Premises Officers and some designers.

I have also been asked to run a third including TMV Maintenance to the FM Branch and our Measured Term Contractors of the organisation.

As such, our recent expedition was to fulfil Warren’s request. I gave my CPD again, this time adding an appropriate Christmas stocking theme to our bag of props or ‘goodies’ as some prefer to call it! Most of the audience were new faces, but a handful were lucky enough to enjoy the presentation for a second time; commenting after that, as a densely packed presentation, it had been very helpful in securing their understanding and appreciation of the complex concepts discussed.

For the maintenance training, which we gave to HC employees and the council’s preferred installing and FM contractors, I had them pair up and share in the dismantling of a Horne 15 thermostatic mixing valve (H15-21B, DN15 TMV complete with isolation valves, strainers, check valves and flow regulator). There is a correct way to do this task and I had fun pointing out to each group if they’d passed or failed: the hot and cold valve seats need to meet cleanly with their corresponding faces to ensure effective shut-off of each water supply. These surfaces (lower edge of the slide valve – hot valve face- and under surface of the cover assembly – cold valve seat) therefore need to be treated carefully to avoid damage - like a nick from particulate matter. I also went through the importance of the integral isolating and servicing valve and why we have a fine-mesh basket strainer rather than a disc strainer. 

High velocity flushing is an important part of commissioning a new TMV installation, but we also advocate periodic flushing to remove excess biofilm from the pipework’s internal surfaces. This is a means to improve water quality and also mitigate against retrograde contamination.

Thank you to Warren for organising this event and for the close attention paid by our participants. Certificates of attendance are on their way. Also, don’t forget that we have free to access online maintenance training materials (narrated videos, photos, drawings, instruction documents etc) on this website.