A firm of water management specialists is one of the fastest-growing civil engineering companies in the UK and has been hailed as a rising star in the industry.

Waterco, which has a base in Chester and branches in Manchester and Ruthin, has rocketed 33 places up the rankings in the New Civil Engineer magazine top 100 businesses.

It was also named as the company to watch in the magazine’s Editor’s Choice Awards.

Now its success has been praised by Welsh Assembly Member Darren Millar, a Conservative Shadow Cabinet member in the Assembly, who paid a visit to the company.

He said: “I am delighted to be back and to have a business like this operating in my constituency.

“They’re the fastest-growing company in their sector and they’re certainly in the growth end of the engineering business because we have seen more flooding locally and nationally recently and addressing flood risk is one of their specialities.

“It’s vital we know where water is going to go when it comes over our sea defences or our riverbanks and that’s where Waterco comes in because you have to come up with solutions for development.

“They are doing that and picking up bigger and bigger contracts which is fantastic and with 50 employees they must now be one of the biggest private employers in the area.”

Waterco was founded in 1990 by managing director Peter Jones who has more than 40 years’ experience in the water sector of civil engineering and works with utility companies, government bodies, communities and businesses including contractors, developers, architects, surveyors and the legal profession to provide solutions to drainage, flooding and other water issues.

Its team of specialists include engineers, environmental scientists and project managers who aim to help clients understand and take control of the environment.

They work extensively with water utility companies across the UK and with local authorities like Cheshire West and Chester Council and in the private sector across the UK with clients such as housing giant Redrow Homes

The award from New Civil Engineer magazine was presented to commercial director Pedr Jones, Peter’s son, at a ceremony at the Hilton Grosvenor House Hotel in London

Peter Jones said: “What we have found surprising is how many people locally have the talent we need so we can then bring them in and skill them up and that’s what makes it possible to grow.

“It has seen us open a new branch in Manchester so we are continuing to expand and broaden our horizons.”

Waterco’s expertise has seen it work with such diverse clients as the National Trust on a water management scheme for historic Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan and on a flood risk assessment for 20 electricity sub-stations for Northern Power.

It has even carried out flood risk river modelling work from Beddgelert in Gwynedd to Nigeria and on the effect of breaches of the sea defences on the North Wales coast.

Pedr said: “We are currently looking at work in Scotland and the North West and opening an office in Manchester has created new opportunities for us including working with housing developers and planners.”

Peter Jones added: “We take a practical and hands on approach to the challenges presented by clients after taking time to listen to their objectives and then digging deeper and thinking more broadly to find smart solutions.

“Ultimately, our goal is to support water companies and planners in delivering their objectives, give communities information and confidence, and not damage the natural environment.”

Darren Millar added: “Waterco are thriving and are clearly expanding in a strategic way while being able to recruit staff locally and attract new talent to the area as well.”