Thames Water Utilities Limited operates a complex network of 124 water and 389 wastewater treatment works. Regulatory requirements are driving a massive capital programme of more than ₤2 Billion over 5 years to improve performance of these facilities. Improvements are planned, engineered, and operated by a variety of internal and external groups and individuals. Shareholders are demanding profitability and the Director General is pushing for improvements to customer service.

To achieve its objectives, Thames has developed an instrumentation, control and automation (ICA) systems master plan. The plan is based on the utility s water and wastewater functional requirements. The functional approach is applied to the large number of diverse facilities by grouping facilities and processes into classifications. The approach is used throughout the plan. Each process and its associated process control strategy are clearly defined to ensure consistency and the cost-effective implementation of instrumentation and control across Thames.

The functional approach was developed for each process control strategy using a series of structured workshops to achieve consensus and company-wide acceptance. Each department of the utility was involved in the workshops (including engineering, operations, maintenance, management systems, research and development, operational science). Top management sponsored the planning effort and committed to making the plan a reality.

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