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Gagan Mohindra MP experiences a ‘day in the life’ at Thames Water’s Maple Lodge Sewage Treatment Works

Tuesday 8th August 2023 10:00

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Gagan Mohindra MP clearing wet wipes

  • The visit explored the benefits of converting biogas produced from sewage sludge, into biomethane which can be fed into the gas grid to provide heat to around 3,900 local homes. 
  • Gagan met with employees and apprentices on different jobs, from removing wet wipes to reviewing machinery. 
  • Thames Water apprenticeship schemes climbs up 21 spaces in the “Rate my Apprenticeship” rankings. 

Gagan Mohindra MP for South West Hertfordshire, has experienced what it takes to be a Thames Water engineer after spending a day working at Thames Water’s Maple Lodge sewage treatment works (STW) in Maple Cross. 

Looking to get stuck in and increase his knowledge of the water industry, the MP spent the day removing wet wipes from the treatment works, checking on different machines around the site and meeting with company employees and apprentices.   

The visit to the Maplelodge site, which serves over half a million people also demonstrated how sewage sludge could be used to produce biomethane and highlighted how it could be used as a source of energy to heat nearby homes.  

Gagan has welcomed Thames Water’s commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and to unlocking the benefits of energy conversion, which could contribute to local energy security. This potential energy source aligns with the aims of the Governments Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS).  

Gagan Mohindra, MP for South West Hertfordshire, said: “It was great to spend a day of work experience at the Maple Lodge sewage treatment works in Maple Cross.  

“It was an insightful visit where I had the opportunity to shadow Thames Water staff and learn more about key processes that happen at the plant, such as how biogas is used for heating and electricity.  

“I look forward to continuing my close work with Thames Water in the coming months and am reassured that they are working hard to support river health and the local environment across South West Hertfordshire.” 

Daniel Scurtu, Thames Water’s deputy site manager at Maple Lodge said: “It was a pleasure to have Gagan join us for the day to learn about our industry and see him get involved in the important work we do here.  

“The water sector has a significant role to play in the future of renewable energy and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the benefits of producing and investing in biomethane conversion.  

“Our research shows our customers agree with this use of resources, as it will contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions emitted by the company and help them reduce their carbon footprint too.  

“This is as a key pillar of our operational net zero strategy, and it will contribute to the government’s Net Zero Agenda and deliver a domestic source of renewable green gas for our customers.” 

The GGSS was launched to provide financial investment for new biomethane conversion plants, with the incentive to increase the proportion of green gas in the gas grid.  

Although the GGSS does not currently include existing digestion facilities in the water sector as eligible for investment, Thames Water have been campaigning and liaising with the Government on the possibility on widening the scheme to include their sites. 

If revised, Maple Lodge STW could join 24 additional Thames Water sites to be eligible for support on this scheme. At a local level this means sewage sludge, which comes from treated wastewater, could be converted, and used to provide heat to approximately 3,900 homes in the area around Maplelodge STW and thousands more across the region. 

During his time on site Gagan also met Thames Water apprentices and discussed the positive contributions that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses, and the wider economy.  

Georgina Vane, level 6 project manager degree apprentice, said: “It was exciting to meet with Gagan and to have the opportunity to discuss my apprenticeship at Thames Water. I explained that my apprenticeship has given me the best of both worlds, enabling me to gain a qualification whilst earning a living, and in an industry which provides essential services every day.”  

Thames Water is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce by building a pipeline of skills from local communities and the education sector and by creating lifelong employment and learning opportunities for its employees.  

The company recently moved up 21 places in the ‘Rate my apprenticeship’ annual rankings, moving to 71st of the best 100 apprenticeship employers out of 700 reviewed businesses. As part of its skills strategy, the company have invested in expanding apprenticeships to offer more opportunities, more choice and to ensure there are development opportunities across all levels.   

Find out more about Thames Water careers and apprenticeships here