An Interview with David Clapham

6th February 2018 Training

Hi David, I hear you’re chairing the RHE Biennial Private Water Supplies Conference at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 24 April. What’s happening? 
“Amongst other things, the Conference in April is designed to give attendees the chance to hear about potentially disastrous situations and to find out how and why they happened and how they were dealt with. Our case study talks get the people who were there to discuss them with you so you can learn and prepare.”

Such as?
“The biggest worry for any environmental health practitioner must be a large E. coli O157 outbreak from one of the private supplies in their area. We risk assess and sample to try and ensure it doesn’t happen, but what if it does? Are you ready? Could you learn more about it?

Well, um…
“Patrick Mackie from Argyle and Bute Council is a brilliant speaker and he will be talking about when it happened to him and the lessons he learnt that will be useful for everybody involved in private water supplies.”

Sounds good, what else?
“Ben Ellis of Stratford Council will be talking about another nightmare scenario. A large village spring supply with very high levels of pesticide in it for several years. A problem that had been largely ignored until he came along and found severe, on the ground practical issues and no obvious cause or solution. He will be talking about how the problem was investigated and eventually sorted out to everyone’s satisfaction.”

Impressive! I heard there are 3 case studies planned…
“Number 3 then. What do you do when you have lead and nickel problems at very high levels from a borehole with no obvious cause? It was rumoured that lead shot had been poured down the borehole at the end of the war, but the nickel was hundreds of times over the limit. Julian Hatherall of JH Groundwater worked with the owners, the contractors, the council and consultants to get clean water to this decidedly interesting private water supply. Another practical talk from the professional involved in resolving the problems.”

Thanks, David. Can we hear some more another time soon?
“Hmm, ok but in the meantime take a look at the summary and maybe book a front seat - or one near the back if you want to be close to the buffet!”