Meet the Speakers of the 2018 Borehole Users Conference
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October 24, 2018

With only 2 weeks until the 2018 Borehole Users Conference, we are pleased to introduce you to this year’s speakers.

There are still a handful of places left at the conference which is taking place on the 8th November in Loughborough.

For more information and to book click here.



Dr Phil Ham

Principal Hydrogeologist/Managing Director, Envireau Water


In addition to his Managing Director role, Phil is a Principal Hydrogeologist with over 15 years’ professional experience working with natural water systems.

Phil specialises in hydrogeological impact assessment, which is integral to Envireau Water’s technical work across all industry sectors. Phil has a particular interest and expertise in all aspects of development, management and regulation of independent water supplies. Phil manages groundwater supply and environmental monitoring projects across a wide range of industries including food manufacturing, water bottling, brewing, distilling, and onshore oil & gas. Phil is also part of Envireau Water’s expert witness team and has completed the Cardiff University Law School/Bond Solon expert witness training course.

Phil has been a traditional speaker at the BHUC and is renowned for placing the morning “techie talks” into a practical context. This year he moves to the Chair and will keep the whole show on the road.



James Dodds

Water Management Specialist/Chairperson, Envireau Water


James is the Owner/Chairperson of Envireau Water. He is a nationally recognised expert in water management and water resources hydrogeology, particularly within the minerals, agricultural/horticultural and water bottling sectors, as well as the onshore oil and gas sector, and has a reputation for his tenacity with regulatory systems.

As well as providing technical support to the team, James – a Chartered Geologist – takes the technical lead on Expert Witness projects and regulator negotiation for new and novel permit and licence applications, having achieved the Cardiff University Law School/Bond Solon Expert Witness Certificate.

It has been said of James “If he can’t get you a licence, nobody can” – where did that come from? And what does it mean? At the conference, James will talk about his experiences in abstraction licensing, with insights on some difficult successes; trading and new authorisations.



Andrew Apanasionok & Estelle Nma

Permitting Officers, Environment Agency National Permitting Service


Andrew is a Water Resources Permitting Officer at the Environment Agency. He is experienced in dealing with technical assessments of a wide range of water resources applications. He has particular experience with groundwater and water company applications. He holds a master’s degree in Hydrogeology, and can talk about groundwater and borehole construction all day! Prior to working at the Environment Agency, Andrew worked on creating numerical models for estimating impact of groundwater abstractions on designated wetlands.

Estelle is an Environmental Permitting Officer at the Environment Agency with extensive experience in carrying out risk-based technical assessments to determine a range of water resource licence applications including groundwater, surface water abstraction and hydropower applications. Estelle determines an array of licence types such as, full, transfer, temporary and impoundment to enable businesses to abstract water whilst protecting the environment. Academically, she holds a master’s degree in environmental and Resource Engineering and is a practitioner member of IEMA. Prior to joining the Environment Agency, Estelle implemented sustainability strategies in various business sectors.

Abstraction licensing can be complicated and the ability to obtain a licence depends on a number of factors. Andrew and Estelle will talk us through the standard process for obtaining a licence and the types of technical and regulatory issues that may need to be addressed along the way. The presentation will also cover the differences between in perpetuity and time limited licences, and how that may change in the future. Andrew and Estelle will also present the recent changes to ‘licence exempt areas’ and what that means to existing abstractors applying for a licence for the first time.



Marco Baglioni

Senior Scientist, SEPA


Marco holds a MSc in Geology from the University of Siena (Italy) and has more than 25 years’ experience in the groundwater abstraction industry. 19 years of that experience has been spent as a geophysicist and hydrogeologist in various groundwater related projects in Africa and Southern Europe; working for private companies on large scale projects such as The Great Manmade River Project (Libya) and with international NGOs such as UNICEF (Ethiopia). After a brief period with Scottish Water he joined SEPA in 2006 and is currently a Senior Specialist Scientist in the Water Resources Unit, providing technical advice on contaminated land sites, landfills, groundwater abstractions, soakaways and WFD related tasks such as groundwater bodies classification, nitrate vulnerability zones, diffuse pollution etc.

The abstraction licensing system in Scotland is a different to England and Marco is here to explain why. This presentation will provide a view on SEPA’s approach to groundwater abstraction authorisation at various levels and the technical steps that SEPA undertakes to review a groundwater abstraction application against the Water Framework Directives in general and the impact on water receptors in particular. Marco will explain SEPA’s risk-based approach to licensing and the differences between simple ‘registrations’ under the General Binding Rules to applications for ‘complex licences’.



David Ball

Hydrogeologist, Boode UK Ltd


David is a hydrogeologist. He has a B.A. in Natural Sciences (Geology) from Trinity College Dublin and an MSc in Hydrogeology from University College London. He has worked full-time as a consultant since 1972; initially with Hunting Technical Services and Sir M. MacDonald and Partners on long projects in Africa, Asia and Arabia, and for the last 33 years in Ireland with shorter projects in Mali, Chad, Somalia, N. Korea, Europe and Malaysia. His primary work is groundwater exploration and water supply borehole drilling in Ireland and overseas. He is a former President of the IAH (Irish Chapter) and was an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy Geoscience Committee from 1997 to 2014.

Regulation and quality standards for borehole construction materials are important. It is important that the quality of materials do not undermine the success of the work. In this session David will illustrate how quality alone does not guarantee a successful outcome. He will stress how it is important to go beyond certification and understand the properties of the materials and conditions underground, in order to use materials in an appropriate manner. He will also stress the role of the hydrogeologist on site, in partnership with the driller, to amend the design of a water supply borehole in the light of the findings as they arise.




With changes to the Private Water Supplies (PWS) Regulations, more experience with implementation and a rapidly growing micro-brewing and distilling industry, our panel of experts will describe, interpret and discuss the regulations in practical ways. The workshop will include presentations and participatory sessions.

Our panel of experts includes:


Richard Phillips

Inspector, Drinking Water Inspectorate


Richard has been working as an Inspector at the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) for the past 5 years.  Duties include regulatory assessment of water company compliance data, event investigation, site audits, enforcement and more recently working in the Private Water Supply team.  Richard is a hydrogeologist by training and has held previous roles at water companies in the southeast of England where he has gained experience working in the engineering department delivering groundwater capital schemes and supporting the water resources departments.  Other previous roles include consultancy and undertaking research on nitrate and phosphate removal in the Chalk aquifer.

Richard will update us on the key changes introduced through the 2018 amendment to the PWS regulations, the implications for PWS owners and operators, and what guidance and assistance the DWI is providing to the regulating authorities to ensure effective implementation.


Gillian Plaice

Environmental Health Officer, Northumberland County Council


Gillian is an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) with over 20 years’ experience in all fields of environmental health including private water supplies, pollution control, noise, food hygiene, health and safety, licensing, housing and nuisance.  She has worked extensively in Local Government in Cumbria, Derbyshire, Cheshire, Durham and Northumberland and as a consultant in the private sector. Currently, at Northumberland County Council, Gillian is the lead officer for the regulation of our 1045 private water supplies.

Gillian will provide a real life overview of what the new regulations mean in practical terms, how the people on the ground are interpreting and implementing the regulations, and the pitfalls to avoid.


Alan Dunn

Former Head Brewer, Black Sheep Brewery


Alan gained a degree in Biochemistry followed by his completion of the IBD Diploma in Brewing. He is past Chair of the IBD Great Northern Section and remains on their committee. Alan was awarded a Fellowship of the IBD in 2016.

Having Started in Whitbread Liverpool as a microbiologist he then moved to Ruddles Brewery becoming Head Brewer. He then moved to Black Sheep Brewery in 1999 becoming their Head Brewer and joining the main Board of Directors. Alan stood down and became semi-retired in 2017.

Are breweries subject to the PWS regulations and if so, why? Alan will talk us through the brewing cycle and how raw water is modified by the brewing process. This will reveal the important chemical and microbiological constituents that EHOs should be monitoring in raw water from a human health perspective.


Edward Gibson

Master Distiller, Burleighs Gin


Edward is Master distiller at Loughborough based distillery 45 west distillers who produce Burleighs Gin. Edward has been in charge of production since early 2018 and has already helped the brand grow and expand its portfolio. Following on from studying Theatre Arts at Derby University Edward spent 6 years in the drinks industry between running venues and conducting extensive research into the field of craft distillation.

Small distilleries are the new rage. Edward will explain the distilling process, how it differs from brewing and what EHOs need to worry about.




We are thrilled to have partnered up with the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) who will be running a second workshop in the afternoon focusing on the bottled water regulations:


What does Bottled Water Regulation in the UK look like?

Julia Carter, Regulatory Affairs Manager, AG Barr


Julia graduated from University of London Goldsmiths’ College with BSc Biology and Chemistry and joined the Legislation Section of Leatherhead Food Research.  After almost a decade at Leatherhead Julia became Regulatory Affairs Manager for Halls’ Mentholyptus and Trident chewing gum, based at manufacturing plants in Belgium and Manchester and also at Pfizer R&D HQ in New Jersey USA. Since then, Julia has held varied Regulatory roles – in wholesale retail with Makro/Booker, own label artwork approval for Aldi and fish wholesale with J.Sykes. Since joining AG Barr plc in 2015 she has taken on the regulatory challenges presented by soft drinks and bottled water.

Julia is Vice Chair of the Bottled Water Group at BSDA, working also with EFBW (European Federation of Bottled Water) and is a member of the BSDA Technical and Fruit Juice Committees.  She is currently studying for an LLM in Food Law with De Montfort University with bottled water as her dissertation topic.

Julia will take a look at the effect of UK Bottled water regulations being a devolved issue and a summary of the impact on bottled waters of the new EU Drinking Water Directive proposal.


How will Exiting the EU affect Natural Mineral Waters recognition?

Miguel Arranz

Technical & Policy Advisor, Food Standards Team, Defra


Miguel has been working on the bottled water portfolio since joining Defra in September 2017. A technical and policy advisor for the Food Compositional Standards team, he has been helping the team shape the 2018 regulations and working on EU Exit strategies for the bottled water sector. Before joining Defra Miguel was a food safety and BRC consultant for the meat private sector and worked 15 years on behalf of the Food Standards Agency as an enforcement officer.

Miguel will provide a general update of the issues affecting recognition once the UK leaves the EU, both in terms of what is being negotiated for a future economic partnership and also what would the future would like in the unlikely event of the UK leaving the EU without a negotiated outcome.


Interested in exporting your bottled water brand to the US?

Helen Kelleher

Water & Environment Manager, Zenith Global Ltd


Helen is a hydrogeologist with extensive experience of water resource assessment and management within the bottled water and soft drinks industry. She is the Water & Environment Manager at Zenith Global and has responsibility for team and project management with a focus on UK projects.

Since joining Zenith in 2003, Helen has gained key experience in the development of new and existing bottled water sources, thermal water sources in the UK for bottled water and spa use applications and environmental and source Due Diligence. Helen is a specialist advisor on regulations for bottled waters, including the EU natural mineral water recognition process and compliance for export to US.

Helen holds an MGeol Hons. in Geological Sciences from the University of Leeds and an MSc Hons. in Hydrogeology and Groundwater Quality from Reading University.

There is a strict set of compliance rules at US federal and individual state level that you must adhere to when you apply for a licence to export bottled water. Julia will explore what it involves, whether your source, bottling facilities and brand may be suitable and the technical aspects of an application.


Regulatory Issues surrounding PET

Tony Lord

Principal Chemist, Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira Ltd


Tony is a Principal Consultant at Smithers Pira. His work is concerned with non routine chemical analysis and technical consultancy in support of client investigations, problem solving and bespoke research.

Tony has more than 30 years of experience as an analytical chemist with 26 years of experience in the specialised area of migration measurement of substances from packaging into food.

Tony will provide an outline of the regulatory issues around Food Contact Materials (FCM), non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) and using rPET.