AFTER following in his father's footsteps, a Borders man is retiring after spending 42 years with Scottish Water.

Bill Elliot, of West Linton, joined the utility company on April 1, 1980 when he was 23-years-old, working at Lothian Regional Council, East of Scotland Water Authority and Scottish Water.

His interest in the utility was sparked by his father who worked for the water department at Lothian Regional Council and the family lived at the reservoir keeper's cottage at Glencourse.

Bill said: “My dad really loved his job and as soon as I saw a one advertised, I jumped at the chance to go for it.

"My first role involved working alongside him, carrying out daily operational tasks and inspections in the local area.

"Thankfully, we got on well!”

For 27 years Bill worked at in a number of water treatment and health and safety roles – helping to improve standards around the south of Scotland.

In 2007 he made the switch back to a more customer facing role in corporate affairs.

In this role his first project was the £130million Glencourse Water Treatment Works. During this project Bill helped to find new ways of engaging with the local community.

“After a particularly quiet drop-in session at a village hall, we came up with the idea to host drop-in sessions at local watering holes where we would have a captive audience," said Bill. "By spending a few evenings speaking to locals in their local pub, we were able have more open discussions and from there developed links in with community groups.

"It sounds so simple, but the success of these sessions gave me the confidence that I could do the role and led to it being one of the projects I am most proud of.”

Reflecting on the changes he saw with Scottish Water during the course of his career, Bill said: “There are two key things that have changed since I started.

"Firstly, the technology has come on immensely, from not using a computer until 2004, to now where so many of our interactions are done on mobiles over social media, it really is a different world.

"Secondly, the business has become far more customer focused and caring over my career.

"We have learned to put ourselves in our customers shoes and are far more responsive to their needs – listening and engaging with customers to get the best results.

“Some of my fondest and proudest memories of my life have been at work.

"My son and daughter both worked for Scottish Water at one point and excelled in their roles.

"Hearing about their hard work and talents from colleagues, made for some real proud dad moments.

“Also, working alongside my own dad, I was able to share in his passion and show him my skills.

"I feel so lucky to have those memories now he is in his 90’s.

"I guess you could say my family are very much a Scottish Water family."

Peter Farrer, chief operating officer at Scottish Water, said: “I joined Scottish Water a couple of years after Bill and have worked directly with him at different points throughout my career.

“It is people like Bill who have helped improve Scottish Water’s performance and reputation, while also making it a great place to work. He will be sorely missed. The wealth of experience he has gained is second to none.”

In his retirement Bill plans to get more involved with the West Linton community and enjoying his passion for music as a mobile DJ.