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Water quality customer contacts

Background

If a customer has any concerns about the quality of their drinking water – for example about its appearance, taste or odour – they may get in touch with their water company. You can find out more about these parameters on the Discover Water pages for Appearance and Taste & smell

As part of our commitment to excellent drinking water quality, we are looking to reduce the number of customer contacts we receive in these areas. We hope that working collaboratively with the supply chain through a Marketplace challenge will generate a wide range of innovative approaches.

What are we looking for?

Can you suggest any novel ways to reduce the numbers of customer contacts about water quality, while still maintaining a high level of customer service?

We foresee two distinct categories of solutions, based on where they would be implemented:

1. Within our network of pipes – i.e. how can we influence factors that are more under Wessex Water’s control?

2. Within customers’ homes – i.e. how can we influence factors not under our control, such as internal plumbing and fittings issues?

Solutions may involve data analysis, innovative technology, customer relationship management, customer engagement campaigns or any other ideas…

We would consider solutions addressing both appearance and taste/odour together, or either of these factors separately. Short, medium or long-term solutions welcome. We are looking for innovative solutions that don’t require significant upfront investment.

You may find the following background information useful:

· In the DWI Chief Inspector’s reports you can find out summary information for every water company’s drinking water quality performance.

· Each year we report the number of contacts due to appearance, taste or odour of drinking water to our regulator, Ofwat. You can read more about this metric on p75-76 of our Outcomes Performance Commitment Appendix, which includes details about the definition and targets.

· In the Performance reports section of Wessex Water’s website you can find our annual performance reports, which contain historic performance on related metrics, as well as some basic information on mains.

How to get involved

For this challenge we’re not looking to hold a briefing session, but we are very happy to answer any queries you may have in order to consider responding. Please send queries through by 11:59PM on Wednesday 27 January – we will respond to them all here (unless there are questions that wouldn’t be appropriate to share answers to that may relate to specific IP of an organisation).

The deadline for interested parties to submit their proposals is 11:59PM on Friday 19 February – please send them in to marketplace@wessexwater.co.uk

Submissions should be kept to eight pages or fewer to allow our team to review all of them. The following bullet points should provide some guidance on what to include:

· Clarity on whether the solution would be implemented within the network or homes, and whether it addresses both appearance and taste/odour together or one of those factors separately.

· Indicative financial information.

· Key operational information (applies primarily to network solutions).

· A summary of your expertise in this area and, if applicable, examples of your solution in practice elsewhere in the world.

· Any additional datasets that your solution would require. As these datasets may be sensitive or confidential and so unsuitable for publishing, we will consider these requests on a case by case basis after the submission deadline for those solutions we’d like to explore further.

We will review all the submissions and see if there are any we would like to discuss and explore further, and feed back to companies accordingly. We’ll aim to get back to you by April but will keep you informed if further time is needed.

We will also feed back more generally on the challenge via our blog page.