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Scottish Water's Orkney workers

Voiceover: On the Orkney islands, Scottish Water employs 37 local people to keep water flowing to customers and to ensure that their waste water is treated and safely returned to the environment.

Voiceover: Alan Taylor is a Water Team Leader, working from the main office base on the Orkney mainland. The job of keeping water supplies in place takes him and his team to the 20 inhabited islands.
My job involves managing 20 part and full time staff who are based at various locations throughout the Orkney Islands. Doing this job there are never two days the same. One minute we may be focusing on a process issue at one of our treatment plants on the Orkney mainland, and then in the afternoon you may find yourself boarding a ferry or chartering an aircraft to take you to one of the other islands to focus on an issue there and keep water flowing to our customers.

Voiceover: Not all of Scottish water’s Orkney Islands team are based on the mainland. Zoe Flaws is a water operative, working on the island of Rousay, 2 miles north of the Orkney mainland. He also holds down another job with the fire service, which keeps her busy alongside being a mother.

I’m a treatment operative out on Rousay, contracted to 10 hours a week, and that leaves me plenty of time to be a full time mum and I’m also a crew manager for Rousay fire service, it keeps me very busy. With my role in Scottish Water I meet many challenges due to the remoteness of the treatment works. It’s very challenging due to the small amount of water we actually produce, keeping the plant running on such a small scale can lead to more problems than when the plant is running the whole time.

Voiceover: Ryan Norquoy is a water treatment apprentice based at the Hatson depot in Orkney. He combines his on the job work with studying for a vocational qualification on the Scottish mainland.

I’ve been with Scottish Water for a year now, entering my second year apprenticeship, I’m a water treatment operator, based at Kirbister and Boardhouse Treatment Works, most of the time it is challenging, varies a lot, and a lot of practical stuff that I like it, it varies every day. Sometimes I can be there for a couple of hours, sometimes until late, you makes the most of it, it is a good job and a good opportunity, I also get to go to college and get a degree, so quite like that about it.

Voiceover: Continued investment in the Orkney islands is constantly improving the service for our customers. For more information on the work Scottish Water is carrying out to improve services in your area, visit or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Scottish Water's Orkney workers talk about the unique challenges the job brings.