Emergency response teams working 24/7 to support the water industry during COVID-19 crisis

At this time of national crisis, Jarrow-based UTS Group’s highly experienced emergency response teams are playing a vital role in safeguarding the UK’s critical water infrastructure.

Responding, on average, to as many as 30 serious incidents every week, the company is fully prepared to answer the demands of clients in the water industry, when there is a sudden, large scale loss of water supply.

With its headquarters on Bede Industrial Estate, Jarrow, UTS Group was established in 2001 by managing director, Shaun Sadler and employs approximately 200 people.

Shaun Sadler, said: “UTS is an essential emergency service to the water industry. We have faced many challenges over the years and have been tried and tested in the most demanding of environments. I have to give credit to all our staff, who have an amazing can-do attitude and a determination to deliver that never ceases to amaze me.

“At the moment we have to take this responsibility to a different level for we are, as a country, akin to being on a war-footing. That means we have to support our critical water industry at a time when there are so many vulnerable and worried people isolating in their homes as a result of COVID-19, when our NHS is trying its very best to cope with unparalleled demand and other essential businesses need to be battle-ready and fit-for-purpose. Our message to them all is that we are with you every step of the way.

“Securing water supply throughout the country is an absolute necessity and whilst we are always ready to meet an emergency, we are especially prepared at this time, with additional operational contingency plans in place, as per government advice. We know the important role we play and as a company we also recognise that our number one priority is the safety and protection of our staff and in that respect we have taken all precautions and followed official guidance.”

“I am more than aware that this virus has the potential to impact on us all and for that reason we place utmost priority on looking after our team. This includes constant communication about health and ensuring we have every safeguard in place, so they are well looked after as the key workers they are. Whilst there is strong camaraderie throughout the business and we always look to inject some fun in to our busy days, we are supportive in terms of wellbeing and mental health and for that reason we encourage colleagues to come forward knowing there is always a friendly face for them to talk to.”

UTS is a dedicated engineering company in the great Tyneside tradition. Its customers are in the utility, industrial and commercial markets, where UTS produces a vast range of couplings, flange adapters and repair clamps for customers in the UK and export markets. Its unique selling point is having the capability to provide almost any product for the piping industry, to incorporate tailor-made solutions and to fabricate its products to suit any size of diameter and oval pipes, if required.

In addition to its manufacturing capability, which includes welding, fabricating, machining, powder coating and wet spray finishing, the company guarantees a 24 hour, 365 days a year, emergency service anywhere in the UK.

Emergency jobs can be turned around within 8 to 24 hours depending on location and can be for a national emergency to something more local but always a crisis.

Shaun Sadler, added: “By way of example, a call from our client came in at 11am. Our engineers drafted the component and marshalled the team. By 4pm all materials had arrived and fabrication began in earnest. By 7.30pm the part was fabricated and ready for coating to reduce potential rusting and corroding. By 2am the part had left our Jarrow facility for the south of England. It was onsite by 11am and installed soon after. So that was less than 24 hours for a bespoke, high-quality fitting essential for the public’s water supply.”