I was delighted to celebrate my 43rd year in Environmental Health as a delegate at the Southern Centre two-day Private Water Supplies – Undertaking and Reporting Risk Assessments training event in Stirling on 31 October and 1 November. 

The first day was classroom based and Gavin McCulloch of WaterSense Ltd covered the theory of legislation, preparation, hazard identification, writing up reports and enforcement. A potentially dry topic was enlivened with enthusiastic contributions from the ten delegates (delegate numbers were kept low intentionally and the event has been presented at a number of other locations to meet demand) adding to Gavin’s own personal experiences as an expert and Director of his company.

The second day practical session took the form of a walk-through from source to tap at a private water supply in the Ochil Hills between Stirling and Dunblane. It was a dreich day to be out on the hills but all delegates turned-up in warm and waterproof clothing. The hands-on approach really brought the theory of the day one learning to life.

A huge well done to Lynn Crothers, the Southern Centre Management Committee, those local members who prepared the groundwork for this event and, of course, to Gavin McCulloch.

My first major project as a recently qualified Environmental Health Officer in the early 1980s while working with the City of Edinburgh District Council was being given the responsibility of identifying, recording and sampling private water supplies mostly in and below the Pentland Hills ahead of the implementation of the first EC Directive on Private Water Supplies. Refresher training was long overdue – you’re never too old to learn!

Tom Bell