They say it’s not what you know but who you know, and in late 1990, a friendship provided SA Water's Senior Construction and Maintenance Worker Andy Bradshaw with access to government jobs within South Australia, eventually landing him a role at the utility's Woodside Depot, where he still works today.
Andy’s 30-year career with SA Water started on a stone mason truck, raising valves, fire plug chambers and sewer manholes, and although the work the local team do hasn’t changed, the way they do it has.
“At Woodside, we do everything from checking water meter leaks, changing meters and replacing meter taps, to replacing and maintaining large water mains,” Andy said.
“Thirty years ago, it was all done by hand – when we were installing a new water main, we used a jackhammer and shovel – now it’s mostly done with machinery, which is generally faster and more cost-effective.
“We even use tablet computers to look up what valves need to be shut off, which enables us to isolate only a section of main for repair, limiting the number of properties temporarily without water.
"When I first started, we used map books to find the valves or a microfilm to locate a meter – technology has been the biggest change and challenge of my career.”
Over his 30 years of service with SA Water, Andy says his highlight has been getting to know a great bunch of people.
“I’ve met and worked with a lot of people over the years, currently we have a 16-person team at the Woodside Depot and they all make coming to work interesting and fun,” Andy said.
“I’ve also been involved with quite a few projects over the years that have helped improve water supply and water quality across the Adelaide Hills region – work like a major water storage upgrade at Lenswood was a great project to be involved in.
“As part of these works, we had to empty the tank, organise temporary water mains shutdowns and restoration. It was a challenging project, but right throughout, our customers received a continuous supply of safe drinking water.
“What might look like us just working away in the background, is actually us working to improve and better understand our customers and our network.”
District Leader Mark Evans said Andy’s career milestone is testament to his hard work and perseverance.
“Andy is an experienced member of our team and is the go-to guy for knowledge of the local network, which provides clean, safe drinking water to large parts of the Adelaide Hills and some towns in the northern area of Fleurieu Peninsula," Mark said.
“30 years with SA Water is an excellent achievement and having dedicated people like Andy working across the state to provide trusted water services for our customers means we make can have a long-term impact on the future sustainability of South Australia.”
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