As we provide this update the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak is having an ever greater impact on the country – and by the time you read this the UK could be in total ‘lock-down’. Our industry will of course be affected significantly in these difficult times, and the NADC has an important role to play in a number of different ways.
- First of all, we communicated with the Prime Minister’s Office to ensure that drainage contractors are regarded as an essential service in the event of restrictions on movement being implemented. Clearly the health and environmental risks of raw sewage overspill occurring due to blockages and fractured pipes should be sufficient reason for drainage contractors to be permitted to react to emergency call outs. We will remain in contact with the Government during this time.
- Next, we have provided guidance to members in respect of the Coivd-19 Outbreak (shown separately in this edition of Drain Trader) and we will keep this guidance under review and revise it as appropriate as circumstances change.
- We are endeavouring to represent the wider industry at this time of emergency and not just our members. This is we have presented an industry view to Government and why we have published the guidance we have sent members in Drain Trader.
- Then there is the issue of Training, and it has been necessary for virtually all of our Approved Training Providers to cancel courses for the time being. This means that members and the wider contractor community cannot access our existing Courses in High Pressure Water Jetting, CCTV surveying, Drain Lining and Confined Spaces for the time being.
- And of course, there is the on-going consultation programme in respect of DrainSafe™ the new Approved Contractor Quality Scheme which is due to be launched in September at No-Dig Live in Peterborough in September. Some face to face visits with stakeholders has had to be postponed and our ability to hold the Regional Events which are mentioned elsewhere in this edition may be constrained.
However, this does not mean that NADC has come to a grinding halt!
- First of all, you will see from the front cover of this month’s edition of Drain Trader that the new WRc Drain and Sewer Cleaning Manual which was developed by WRc alongside NADC will be released in mid-April. This will be the authoritative ‘Bible’ for drainage contractors and NADC members can claim a discount when ordering the Manual by contacting email@example.com
- With training courses having to be cancelled there is now an opportunity for NADC to move forward more aggressively with the development of our new qualifications which include SHEA Drain and Sewer (with CSCS accreditation), Vacuuming and Tankering, Sweeping, Excavate and Repair and a new patching/lining course (over 2 days which can also be taken as separate modules of 1 day each).
- We are progressing with the final drafting of the DrainSafe™ scheme documentation and systems support.
- We will also now arrange to engage with stakeholders about DrainSafe™ in virtual and telephone meetings to ensure that the development of the scheme does not stall
- If we are unable to proceed with the physical Regional Events for members (and indeed non-member contractors) in respect of DrainSafe™ we will arrange Webinars so that we can still engage with the industry and get involvement and feedback from those who the scheme is there to serve and protect.
- We will continue our engagement with the Environment Agency on the issues associated with Gully Pot Cleaning and Decanting, and with the water companies in respect of hydrant use, infiltration and misconnections.
- We will continue to work on enhancing ever more the benefits of NADC membership and building our membership to give us an even stronger voice with Government and other stakeholders.