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Apprentice Engineer

Here at Excel Water, we are a rapidly expanding water treatment company that has been established for over 25 years. We provide our customers with water treatment specific to their needs.

We are looking for an Apprentice who is willing to learn and the job will be a full time position with occasional weekends.

Skills required:

          A full clean driving license.

          Be able to travel independently.

          Have an understanding of hand tools.

          A desire to learn and improve new skills.

It is beneficial to:

          Look smart at all times.

          Have a good work ethic as the job can be challenging.

          Be able to work as a part of the team.

Full training will be provided internally and externally. 

If you are interested in this position, please send your CV to or email us with any questions you may have.

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Apprentice Sales Administrator Vacancy

About us:

We are a well-established water treatment firm who have been providing customers with a high-quality service for the past 25 years. We specialise in providing pure water solutions for their applications and provide them with bespoke solutions for any water treatment issues they may have. Due to expansion, we are seeking an Apprentice Sales Administrator.

Key Function:

To support the Business Development Manager and the Management Team.

Skills Required:

  • Confident on the telephone with a polite and professional telephone manner.
  • Proficient in social media applications such as Linked In, Instagram, Twitter etc.
  • Excellent keyboard skills and proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher and PowerPoint and internet.
  • Can work as part of a team.
  • Experience in sales and customer service would be an advantage but full training will be given, and relevant NVQ will be provided as part of training.

Tasks to be carried out:

  • Answering the telephone.
  • Data Input onto the CRM database.
  • Utilising Social Media Accounts.
  • Researching information on the internet.
  • Sending Email Mailshots.
  • Preparing and sending Postal Mailshots.
  • Service Agreement Management.
  • Booking in work for the engineers.
  • Preparing quotations.
  • Filing Customer files.
  • Contract renewals.
  • Following up sales mailshots & leads.

You must be:

  • Honest.
  • Smart.
  • Enthusiastic.
  • Motivated self-starter.

This is a full-time position, working 40 hours a week.

Based at offices in Allerton Bywater.

How to apply: Email your CV and covering letter to

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Grant support helps Leeds water treatment company excel

A manufacturer and supplier of products for water treatment, filtration and purification has invested £220,000 in relocating to new premises in Allerton Bywater, with the support of a £25,000 grant accessed through Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Service.


Excel Water Ltd manufactures, installs and services water filtration and purification systems for clients across the UK in the automotive, food manufacture, chemicals industry and toiletries sectors.


Managing director Emma Armitage and her brother Darren Field took over running the family-owned business two years ago. Supported by the LEP Growth Service, turnover has now reached over £1.1 million and the move is expected to open up opportunities for further investment and growth.


Grant support for relocation from Ledston Luck Enterprise Park to the new 1,250 sq ft premises at Kiln Park in Allerton Bywater, has allowed the company’s offices, manufacturing and storage to be brought together under a single roof. A new testing and research facility has also been created.


The LEP Growth Service is delivered in Leeds in partnership with Leeds City Council and Leeds Beckett University. The service aims to link SME businesses to the wide range of support available through the LEP and other organisations, including grants to help invest in growth, create new jobs and prosperity for the region.

Emma Armitage said: “The move to the new premises has enabled us to bring all our business under one roof and accelerate our plans for growth. The support we’ve had from the Council and the LEP has been fantastic and has really supported the growth of our business. We are excited to take the business to the next stage and are looking forward to the new challenges this will bring.”


Following the move, Excel Water’s team of nine full-time and part-time staff is set to expand, with five new jobs in the pipeline, including a new business manager, water treatment engineer and accounts administrator, plus two trainee positions.


Cllr Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council executive member for employment, enterprise and opportunity said: “It’s great to be able to support innovative local businesses that are investing in growth and creating high quality employment, together with opportunities for young people. Water quality is a major issue here in the UK and abroad, so there is undoubtedly a huge market for the expertise Excel Water can offer.


Expansion of the business will allow more large-scale projects to be undertaken such as those recently completed at a large car manufacturing plant in Oxfordshire and a major regional hospital in Lancashire.


The project in Oxfordshire involved the design, manufacture and installation of a system capable of processing 40,000 litres of water per hour. The system uses nano filtration and reverse osmosis to produce pure water used to clean vehicles in between paint applications.


In Lancashire, team has installed a water purification system for a major regional hospital, designed to treat water extracted from the hospital’s own bore hole. The system takes out iron and other metals present in water taken directly from the ground.


Emma Armitage said: “Water quality is critical for hospitals, for food preparation and in many other manufacturing processes but its quality and content varies from one part of the country to another. Iron and manganese can be an issue in certain areas, while nitrates are often found around farming land. These elements, along with harmful bacteria, can all be removed with the correct treatment and filtration systems.”


Roger Marsh, OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said: “I am very pleased that Excel Water Ltd has benefited from support from the LEP Growth Service and that the business is set to achieve their growth ambitions as a result.  I encourage all businesses to pick up the phone and find out about the support available for growing businesses at every stage of their development.”


The LEP Growth Service can be contacted on tel: 0113 348 1818 or by email at:




Notes to editors:

1)      Pictured: Cllr Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council executive member for employment with Emma Armitage, managing director, Excel Water Ltd.

2)      The LEP business growth programme offers grants of between £10,000 and £250,000 to support capital investment in new equipment, machinery, premises fit out, refurbishment and expansion. Depending on the size of the company, grant support of between 10% and 20% of total eligible costs is available.

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Getting to know you……. Jessica

It’s the Valentine season this month, so along that theme we thought we would share an insight into what members of our team love!

This is the lovely Jessica, who is often the first person you would speak to when you call our Excel Water office.


What is your role at Excel Water? Accounts Administrator

What sort of customer problems do you deal with? Accounting issues, organising engineers

What do you love doing at work? Dealing with any customer queries which come through!

What’s your greatest achievement at Excel Water? Completing my apprenticeship

How would your co-workers describe you? Awesome! The perfect colleague! Always there to help!

What is your favourite pastime? Aiming to read 60 books in one year.

What is your favourite food? Lamb Tikka Masala with Popadoms and Chapatis

If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be and why? New York, because it is the home of broadway and I love broadway!

If you could have any type of car what would that be? A Purple one!

Thank you Jessica!



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The Solution is Crystal Clear …..

The problem………. Our customer had 2 old softener and RO combi units on site which were feeding their glass washing machines, but unfortunately, they were having failures on their double glazed units and struggling to keep up with demand as the orders were increasing.

The situation was becoming a major concern for our customer, so they asked us to come and offer some advice.

Our senior engineer visited site and established that not only was their current system no longer fit for purpose, they also had another problem, water pressure, which was too low and was causing the system to constantly trip out and production was having to cease.

The Solution……….. We recommended a break tank and booster set system which fed new twin duplex water softeners and a new twin 900ltr RO systems (built by us in our workshop).  Providing them with high quality water and enough of it to cope with the increased demands.  As a little bit of an extra, within our design we also made provisions for them to be able to up capacity in the future without having to purchase brand new plant.

However, this was not enough! they also wanted to be efficient with the waste water on site, so with a bit of clever designing, we implemented a system that reused the waste stream from the RO’s to feed the glass cutting machines.

Result………..  Our customer is now using 100% of the water from the RO system as opposed to sending 25% to drain!! They are very happy with this system, and are now producing high quality products and keeping up with demand easily!

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My night at The Gherkin by Emma Armitage

Thanks to a call from Ilona at Made in Yorkshire I was lucky enough to have been invited to attend a conservative event at The Gherkin to promote UK manufacturing, and in my case to represent Yorkshire Manufacturing.

I was extremely excited and honoured to be considered.  I have worked hard over the last few years promoting our business, since being handed the reigns by my father and taking over the position of Managing Director. I have been pushing myself to improve and having graduated from the Goldman Sachs course for business last year, I have continued to do so, however despite all this, I dislike leaving Yorkshire and am not very London Savvy!

I arrived at The Gherkin transported by a lovely taxi driver who knew London like the back of his hand, I went through airport style security and after a quick body search (I always set off the alarms and look unnecessarily nervous), I was in!

The venue is beautiful with fantastic views over the London skyline, it was lit by soft candle light which made the event feel even more intimate.

After a short drinks reception Mr Rees-Mogg arrived and gave a short speech about the conservative views on Manufacturing in the UK and how they were trying to help UK businesses’ make excellent trade links. 

I was one of the lucky ones who was able to have a quick chat with him and tell him about why I think it is so important for local Manufactures to get together and to buy locally where possible. Groups like Made in Yorkshire and Made in the Midlands are invaluable to local businesses enabling them to make contacts locally and support each other. Mr Rees-Mogg was very patient and listened to my thoughts on the issues that British Manufactures face, and my views that the British brand is still very strong and perceived as a quality product.  We also discussed what help we need from the government to help promote and market our businesses as British brands.

The conversation then turned to Cricket as Mr Rees-Mogg is an avid fan, luckily for me it only stretched as far as knowing Yorkshire Cricket is in Headingly which is as far as my knowledge extends on the subject! 

So after a lovely event with IIona and the ladies from Made in the Midlands  I headed back to the hotel for some much needed shut eye. 

After successfully navigating the tube network on the way down I was determined to do the same again, until I realised there were severe delays on the tube network so I ordered myself an Uber.

Well…. I managed to get a new Uber driver who didn’t know the area well and managed to miss Kings Cross Station twice!! I should have followed my own advice and got a local London taxi cab! However, as luck would have it my train was delayed by 10 minutes (otherwise I would have missed it) so I jumped on the 1st carriage I could find. 

So picture this, I am feeling rather hot and weighed down with luggage and still need to navigate from 1st class right through the train (which was moving at this point!) down to standard class at the other end.  However, my trip was clearly blessed, as a very nice conductor upgraded me to 1st class for a very reasonable price which meant I could work on the way back and arrive back in the office in record time feeling refreshed and ahead of the workload.  Result!


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Why we do What we do!

Excel Water Ltd was set up by Brian Field, he served his time at Vickers defence factory in Leeds known as Barnbow. Vickers manufactured tanks and were a munitions factory during the war who were known for producing some of the best quality engineers in the country.

He then went on to work for AE Turbines manufacturing parts for aeroplanes. His career then moved in a slightly different direction when he accepted a job as a water treatment engineer for Permutit. His time at Permutit was well spent and in the 8 years he was there he progressed from general servicing to design engineer as well as in charge of training other engineers.
Whilst working at Permutit, Brian could see a real gap in the market for the manufacture of demin plants so he decided to set up Excel Water to provide this service.

The first demin plants were called EX30’s, EX60 and EX120 (the number relation to resin bed volume). We sold lots of these over the next few years and gave us a real boost to getting us known in the industry. However we feel that the success of the company has been that we ensure customers needs are embedded into the core values here Excel Water Ltd. We don’t sell customers run of the mill, make it fit reverse osmosis, and demin systems, we are one of the very few water treatment companies that have the expertise to design and modify plant specifically for that customer, be it an issue with footprint, or additional monitoring equipment required, we spend time speaking with the customer making sure they get exactly what they need.

In the 24 years we have been established, we find that this practice pays dividends as 40% of our existing customers have been utilising our services for over 15 years, they trust in the knowledge of our engineers and the genuine qualities they have.

“We have used Excelwater for servicing and maintenance of our Demin plant for the last 5 years. The demin plant is a vital part of our manufacturing process so it is imperative that we have minimal down time. I’m happy to say that in 5 years we haven’t lost so much as an hours production through the demin plant. The plant produces a water quality of less than 1µ/cm which means we are able to supply our customers with a first class product. It would be great if all my other plant were as reliable as the demin plant and that my other contractors were as reliable as Excelwater are. An excellent product supported with excellent service levels. Top marks from Caldic”

We understand that the right quality water on our customers sites is critical to process, be it ensuring boilers are running efficiently with the use of soft water, or that toiletries products are free from sediment and minerals, or that glass is smear free, our customers want to make sure that their product is the best, and we want to help them to achieve this.

As with any company times change, Brian has since retired and handed over the reigns to his son and daughter. Emma Armitage, is the Managing Director responsible for driving the business into the next millennium, and Darren Field is the Engineering Director, responsible for ensuring the engineering knowledge and training is passed from generation to generation, with the recent addition of Brian’s grandson as one of our new apprentices, we really are keeping it in the family!.

The team here at Excel Water are always looking for new ways to assist our customers with any water related problems, and with the emphasis on businesses nowadays to be more ‘green’, we have taken this onboard and our reverse osmosis plants are designed to be more efficient with their reject water, and recycling modifications are incorporated into the design. We also help our customers with cost savings for water usage, be it introducing a borehole to site or a rainwater harvesting system, calculating cost savings against mains and designing the system required to treat the water to a potable standard. We are with our customers every step of the way and always will be.

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How things have changed in the water treatment industry

As in any industry times change! So, to stem my curiosity I decided to carry out an informal interview with one of our senior design engineers who has been in the industry for over 30 years to find out what the major changes have been and how he feels about them.

What was the industry like in the beginning and how did it evolve?

One of the major players was Houseman / Permutit, they were a UK company and started out on the banks of the Tyne making boiler chemicals for steam ships. They then sold Permutit off to Thames water and started their own pre-treatment branch to enable more independence. The old Permutit and Memcor guys were really well trained and scattered to the 4 winds and set up their own companies – Excel Water being one of them!

What was the first type of plant you worked on and built?

I was a marine engineer at the time on an auxiliary ship feeding bases in the Falkland Islands. The first  plant I worked on was a very basic sea water RO desalination plant, basically, you pumped water at the membrane until the skin blinded (looked like a tom tom drum off the Tarzan movies!) You then took the skin off and put it in a bucket of acid to descale the membrane. (this was very early 1980’s and I will show my age if I tell you when!!)

The old Brunner softeners were a nightmare to service though and the vessels were made from steel. These days vessels tend not to be made from steel anymore and resins have become more efficient so they don’t need changing as often.

I then moved to another company and was asked to build an RO for them, yes it was very over engineered as per the customers spec, but it is still going!

My designs have changed over the years and I now stick to the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid!) and the recovery rates on RO’s have improved greatly, 40% recovery was all the first ones could achieve and now I have been able to build 90% recovery systems due to modern membrane technology.

What do you think the biggest change in the industry has been over the space of your career?

Back in the early days the main plant you worked on were softeners and Demin plants. Softeners haven’t changed much apart from voltage. However, Demin plants have evolved but mainly in the controls aspects and our EX Power Demin plants at Excel Water that were designed by Brian are very impressive.

The industry shifted from Demin to RO because of health and safety and COSSH implications in the mid 90’s. However, prior to that Demin ruled! During the early 2000’s, effluent became a bigger issue so the focus seemed to change to Reverse Osmosis. Substantial changes in membrane technology such as ultra-filtration and the quality control aspect is a lot better nowadays which makes a difference.

I feel that there is a big skill gap in the water treatment industry, this is due to the intensive training sessions that were carried out in the early days, companies don’t offer this anymore. Because of this I dedicate time to carry out this training here at Excel Water.


Ultimately there is more competition online now with companies selling basic plant such as water softeners and RO’s off the shelf, which is giving the industry a bad name as systems are not always sized correctly. Also, people now want things instantly and don’t double check their water quality with a water analysis when buying online, this can cause problems further down the line.

In your opinion what do you think the future of the industry holds?

I feel that the future for the water treatment industry will move towards sea water de-salination as the population is growing and there is not enough fresh water.

90% recovery systems especially on larger sites will become preferable and grey water treatment solutions will become more sought after.

Membrane Bio reactors for effluent treatment

Boreholes are becoming a big thing due to cost saving, and the water authorities being privatised. This has probably caused the increase in boreholes being sunk over recent years.

In my opinion. there will always be a place for an expert engineer in the industry who knows what he is doing and has the experience to overcome issues and problems.

Interview with Ray O Leary, written by Suzanne Whitham – Excel Water Ltd

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