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Meet Geoff Williams

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Job: 

Senior Engineer, Service Planning

Job description: 

Wellington Water is responsible for providing drinking water, storm water and waste water services to 400,000 people living in metropolitan Wellington (cities of Wellington, Hutt, Upper Hutt, and Porirua). My job mostly involves planning work to ensure water services are provided over the long term and in the most cost effective way. The Service Planning team works across the 3 waters networks. My main focus is on drinking water. The drinking water network includes $2,000,000,000 worth of assets including four water treatment plants, 2,400km of pipes, 10km of tunnels, 140 reservoirs and 90 pump stations.

Work background: 

About 10 years working for the Water Corporation of Western Australia and the last 10 years working for Greater Wellington Regional Council water supply group (now part of Wellington Water Limited). I’ve done a variety of work including hydraulic modelling, strategic planning, asset performance testing, water quality management, energy management and asset management.

Favourite part of job: 

Working with great people who have a passion for providing water services to the community. It’s very satisfying because it’s so fundamental to everyone’s health and wellbeing, yet it’s taken for granted by most people because most of what we do is below the ground and can’t be seen.

Least favourite part of job: 

There’s always too much to do!

What I am working on now: 

I’m working on a project to improve the way work is managed within Wellington Water. I’m also writing a service plan for the drinking water network to help our Client Councils see that we are managing their assets well and understand how much money will be needed to keep providing the services over the next 30+ years. 

A quick story about a job well done: 

I was the project manager for a job to convert two large water pumps into electricity generating turbines. The pumps were originally designed to transfer water between the Macaskill Lakes in Upper Hutt but they were rarely needed for that purpose. There were some important safety features we had to add, but overall it was fascinating to learn how easy it is to convert a conventional pump into a turbine by running it in reverse. The turbines now generate about $100,000 worth of electricity every year.

A (humorous) story about a job that went badly and what you learned: 

I once worked on a project to add asset tags to identify our equipment. We messed up the rules about what got a tag and what didn’t and a small air compressor ended up looking like a Christmas tree! The lesson was to think a bit harder in the beginning to avoid unnecessary work.

Qualifications: 

Bachelor of Engineering (Natural Resources).

Interests outside work: 

Playing the drums, working on home renovation projects, mountain biking, skiing, tramping and having fun with the kids


Meet Geoff Williams, Senior Engineer in Service Planning at Wellington Water. Image: WWL.