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Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

Welsh Water – Resource management and waste collection scheduling


Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, the regulated company providing water and sewerage services to over 3 million people living and working in Wales and parts of England, operates wastewater treatment works at 880 sites of varying size, and collects sludge (partly-treated waste) from them regularly. It uses 33 specialised bulk tanker vehicles based at 23 strategic locations to transport this material to larger sites for further processing.


  • Historically these trucks ran on predetermined “milk round” routes that reflected the typical collection pattern required by each treatment plant. Rounds were planned in advance for a whole year’s operations, with frequencies ranging from twice daily to once every few months.
  • However, these fixed journeys did not always reflect actual operating requirements. Vehicles would proceed even if there was not enough sludge at a site to make up a full load, compromising efficiency. Sometimes the driver might be asked by on-site staff to do unscheduledwork such as hosing down the yard, potentially disrupting other visits later in the day.
  • If an urgent job came up, a driver might be pulled off a scheduled round to deal with it; but there was no standardised system for identifying available drivers or recording work left unfinished. Often an external contractor would be hired in to do the reactive work at extra cost, eventhough an in-house driver could have handled it.


  • The organisation used Truckstops to build a new “template” schedule of vehicle journeys that were based on historic data and driver feedback, and took account of any constraints on vehicle size or weight.
  • Where possible, vehicles and drivers were kept on the same work as before, but Truckstops optimised routes and call sequences, creating an improved “base plan”.
  • Significantly, the plan is no longer fixed. Journeys are now scheduled by Truckstops week by week. Drivers capture operational details in real time, including arrival and departure times on site, load volumes and water content; and Truckstops then schedules intelligently for the week ahead.
  • This has been made possible by the introduction of TranSend ePOD, VSc’s signon-screen electronic data capture and proof of delivery system. Drivers carry Motorola MC75 handheld computers, and use these to report back details of their activities by GPRS in real time.


  1. The project has produced wide-ranging benefits. Welsh Water has been able to reduce the cost of bought-in services significantly by using its own drivers more productively. It has reduced unnecessary collections from sites that need not be visited so frequently, and improved itsvehicle fill rate. By avoiding unnecessary repeat visits to sites, it has also improved its service to the sites, since the operation is now more reliable.
  2. The organisation can now identify delays at sites, and calculate the cost to serve each site more accurately. And by correlating vehicle movements with information about each load, it can detect instances where the water content of the sludge is too high, and save costs by imposing tighter operational controls.
  3. The project has involved a culture change for drivers,” admits Steve Farley, the organisation’s logistics manager, “but they have realised there are advantages for them.” In particular, he says, they appreciate a new instruction to seek approval before doing unscheduled work. “Now they don’t have that responsibility.”

Further information

If you want to hear more about how CACI's Logistics expertise can help you, get in contact now on +44 (0)20-8568-7000

“The system is doing exactly what we wanted it to. For the first time we have full visibility of the operation, and can run reports and analysis in finer detail than ever before.”

Dave Lewis, Procurement Specialist
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water
UK Headquarters

Kensington Village
Avonmore Road
W14 8TS View Kensington office map



Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water