Meet the people working Christmas day to keep our water flowing

24 December 2023

While many of us will be enjoying a late breakfast, pouring ourselves a glass of fizz, and looking forward to enjoying a well-earned break from work on Christmas Day, we may want to spare a thought for those of us who will spend December 25th clocking on.

365 days a year to deliver its essential services to around 3.1 million customers. To keep these essential services running over the festive season, several colleagues from Welsh Water will be clocking in for a full shift this Christmas Day.

For some it is the opportunity to provide a service or to cover staff who want to spend time with their children, for others it is a way to fill the time while they wait to see their children for their own Christmas in the following days.

Here are just some of the company's 'Christmas Heroes':

Adam Davies, Water Logistics Technician from Bridgend: “I’m a Water Logistics Technician and have been in the role for three years. I’m based in Clydach in the Water Logistics team.

“I’ll be working from 6am-6pm on Christmas Day. We are a reactive department dealing with any water related issues on the network, so we could be out on site assisting with water tankers helping to ensure that customers remain on supply if an incident were to occur. We also will have some maintenance duties to complete at our Clydach depot”

“I have always put the customer first. I want to ensure customers have water and to make sure other families have water so their Christmas days are not spoiled. I may be needed to help ensure customer’s water supplies are maintained or restored as quickly as possible.”

“Christmas is all about the kids. I have two boys - aged 7 and 12- and as long as I get to see them open their presents, I will be happy. Eating and drinking can wait until the job is done.”

Cathryn Pond, Vulnerable Customer Team Manager, Swansea: “I’m based in Cardiff and have been in the role for 10 months, however, I’ve been with Welsh Water for seven years. I am on standby on Christmas Day and Boxing Day – so from 8am Christmas Day until 8am on 27th December.”

“I will be working closely with the 24-hour team to be there for the customers who need to call us. I will be keeping an eye on any incidents ongoing and the amount of customer calls coming in which could indicate an issue, and checking in with the wellbeing of our teams that are in working with us.”

“This will be my first Christmas Day working so I’m looking forward to taking part. My partner who works for Clydach depot as a Distribution Inspector has two boys. We take it in turns to have them and sadly it’s not our turn to have them this year, however, this fits well with us both working this Christmas period. We will be having our Christmas Day with the boys on the 30th December.”

Jack Price, 24-hour team member, from Newport said: “I'm working from 1pm to 8pm on Christmas Day. I am on emergency response, picking up on any emergency customer contacts, escalating and reacting to any incidents in different areas throughout Wales. “I am happy to work Christmas Day as it will allow members of my team who have children celebrate the day properly, as well as providing essential services to our customers in need. I have the morning to see family and watch my niece and nephew open their gifts, I'll squeeze a Christmas dinner in before my shift starts.”

Gemma Walsh, Wastewater Network Technician, Gowerton: “On Christmas Day, I’ll be working 10am-6pm. I’ll probably be mostly answering the phone if any issues occur and getting on with some admin work. I don’t mind working on Christmas Day too much, hopefully I can watch my daughter open her presents and I will try to cook dinner in stages! My in-laws are coming to me this year so they can help with cooking and babysitting!”

Peter Perry, Chief Executive Office at Welsh Water said: "Providing water and sewage services to more than three million people across Wales and Hereford is an extremely important job. Providing an essential service is a huge responsibility, and one we all feel privileged to undertake on behalf of our customers.

"Our business needs to operate around the clock, every day of the year - it's just part and parcel of delivering such an essential service. I’d like to extend my thanks to all of the people giving up their Christmas Day to provide support to our customers and wish all our colleagues and customers a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year."