Water Journal September 1979

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I 1ssN 0310 - 0367


Official Journal of the AUSTRALIAN WATER AND WASTEWATER ASSOCIATION Vol. 6, No. 3, Sept. 1979-$1.00 Registered for posting as a periodical -

100 nm

Category 'B'.


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Sea, Lake & River Intake Potable Water Treatment Primary Sewage Industrial Circulating Water Industrial Plant Effluents Industrial Process Liquids Industrial Separation Processes Harvesting Debris from Waterways Pump Protect;on


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32 Hastie Avenue, MANGE RE, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND Telephone: 633 - 969, Telex : NZ-2473 Static Filter Screens Barkers , Chippers, Log Loaders, Chip Screens Pheumatic wood chip handling systems, Blowers, Feeders, Screens Pulp and Paper making machinery Paper Mill machinery Paper machinery felts TMP Systems-Fiberizing, Refining & Screening Moisture testing systems and machinery Self-cleaning Bar/Filter Screening Testing Equipment for printing industry Pulp Machines & Nozzles Paper machinery testing equipment Paper machine roll grinders Mullen board testing instruments


Chairman, C. D. Parker F. R. Bishop Mary Drikas Joan Pawling T. M. Smyth T. Fricke B. S. Sanders J. H. Greer W. Nicholson B. J. Murphy W. E. Padarin J. Bales P.R. Hughes H. Wilson Editor: Publisher: E. A. Swinton A.W.W.A. BRANCH CORRESPONDENTS

CANBERRA A.C.T. W. E. Padarin, P.O. Box 306, Woden, 2606. 062-81-911·1 NEW SOUTH WALES T. M. Smyth, G. H. & D. Pty. Ltd., P.O. Box 219, Neutral Bay Junction, 2089. 02-908-2399 VICTORIA J. Bales, E.P.A., 240 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne, 3002. 03-651-4685 QUEENSLAND P. R. Hughes, P.O. Box 120, Kenmore 4069. 07-378-7455 SOUTH AUSTRALIA Mrs. M. Drikas, C/- E. & W. S. Salisbury 5108, Adelaide, 5001. 08-258-1066 WESTERN AUSTRALIA B. S. Sanders, 39 Kalinda Dve., City Beach 6015 092-21-0321 TASMANIA W. Nicholson, 101 Acton Rd., Lauderdale 7021. 002-30-4679 NORTHERN TERRITORY H. Wilson, Water Resources Branch, D.N.T. Bishop St., Darwin 5790. 089-89-7322 EDITORIAL & SUBSCRIPTION CORRESPONDENCE G. R. Goffin, 7 Mossman Dr., Eaglemont 3084, 03-459-4346 ADVERTISING Mrs. L. Geal, Appita, 191 Royal Par. Parkville 3052. 03-347 -2377 WATER

CONTENTS Editorial .................................... .


Association News ............................ .


Viruses in Water and Sewage and their Significance - L. G. Irving ........................... .


The Bayside Sewerage Systems of The Mornington Peninsula - J. B. Murray .......................... .


Potential Use of Brisbane Sludges as Fertiliser - P. J. McKinnon ....... . ...... . .... . ... .


Conference Calendar, Letter to The Editor ....... .


INSTRUCTIONS TO AUTHORS Articles should be of original thought or reports on original work of interest to the members of the A. W. W .A. in the range 1000 to 5000 words. Diagrams or photos would be appreciated. Full instructions are available from B'}lnch correspondents or the Editor. CSIRO Style Guide preferred .

COVER STORY Rotavirus, first described by doctors at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, is now recognised world-wide as an important cause of gastroenteritis in children. Together with gastro-enteritis caused by other viral agents , rotavirus infection is likely to be spread by sewage contamination of water. The electron micrograph on the cover was prepared by Dr. J. Marshall, of the Fairfield Hospital for Infectious Diseases, from a,faecal specimen of an infant with diarrhoea. It shows 70-nanometre particles with typical morphology, including the "spokes" from which the name is derived "Rota" - a wheel. Editor's note: - A nanometre is one-millionth of a millimetre! A photograph of a common or garden E.Coli bacterium on the same scale would spread over an area four times the size of thi!; page.

Finnegan Simplifies Organics-in-Water Analysis Routine analysis of organics in water a problem? The Finnigan OWA Organics-in-Water Analyzer. is the problem-sol ving system designed to meet your analysis needs . Simplified pre-programmed procedures make the Finnigan OWA system simple to operate . Yet it provides complete measurement of both gross and trace compounds in water.


• Use of a high reliability turbo-molecular pump results in low residual vacuum background and low energy and water consumption DATA SYSTEM


• Proven Nova 3 computer used for system control, data acquisition and data processing • High speed interactive graphic display terminal • Highly efficient software routines • Chained commands for automated processing

• Proven quadrupole analyzer • Automated ion source optimization with operator override capability • Reliable microprocessor controlled GC with full complement of options

SELBYS SCIENTIFIC LTD. Melbourne 544 4844

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The Paper Cycle The re-use of paper and The Community benefits from this paperboard collected from sources outside recovery activity because a valuable the industry has been a feature of the resource is separated and collected, and Australian paper industry since its disposal by other means is not required. beginnings more than a century ago. The material recycled by A.P.M. together wit.h other new pulps, produces A.P.M . Ltd., Australia's largest paper and paperboard to be used in the producer of papers and paperboards for preparation, distribution and storage of the packaging and building industries, is many of the goods used by Australians. the largest collector and user of wastepaper in Australia. The quantity co ll ected is some 400,000 tonnes each year and this provides about 50% of the Company's total fibrous raw materials. . Wastepaper is collected from industries, warehouses, large retailers and 0 supermarkets, offices, shops and households.

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SANDVIK BELT SKIMMER Removes up to 1000 litres per hour



Belt Skimmers have been used with great success for several years in many countries. They are installed at a variety of places, from airports for gathering of spilled gasoline to oll refineries for collecting heavy olls . At fish canning Industries for fish oil, in slaughter houses for gathering of animal fats. For tar oil in the Baltic Sea and olive oil in the Mediterranean.

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Meters for Industry


cold water metering unit for rate of flow with analogue output

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The H2S·Attack-Proof Sewer: Humes Plastiline • Sulphuric acid attack in sewers, the result of a bio-chemical process.will affect the cement gel leading to the possible collapse of the sewer. But not with Humes Plastiline. Plastiline is a tough P.V.C. lining actually keyed directly into the wall of the pipe or to the wall of a manhole or any in-situ structure, permanently protecting it from attack by H2S and aggressive wastes. Tens of thousands of square metres of Plastiline have been used in Australia and Asia since 1963, and regular and rigorous inspection of these projects has shown it has given complete satisfaction in service, even under the most severe conditions . For mains sewers, trunk sewers and industrial waste pipes from 300 mm upwards, or as plasticised P.V.C. sheet for in -situ application, find out about Humes Plastiline - Ask the man from Humes .

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Donkin supply rotary blowers, boosters and exhausters - either centrifugal or the simple and robust Roots type. Major uses include smelter gas exhausting, fuel gas boosting, sulphur dioxide handling in acid plants, material::. handling and providing air for sewage treatment. These low-pressure machines are available for high volumes - up to 170,000 cubic metres per hour.

The Donkin valve range includes gate, butterfly-end non-return valves for the control of fuel gas mains, air, coke oven hot gases, corrosive sulphurous gases, or process gases in industry. Units are available from 600 to 1200 mm, even to 1800 mm pipe bore size.

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~ Hawker Siddeley Engineering Pty. Limited Incorporated in NSW

Head office : 262 -284 Heidelberg Road, Fairfield Vic. 3078 . Tel: 489 2511 Branches: Sydney, Brisbane, Perth. Hawker Siddeley Group supplies electrical and mechanical equipment with world-wide sales and service.







FEDERAL PRESIDENT ' A. Pettigrew , P.O. Box 129, Brisbane Markets , 4106. FEDERAL SECRETARY P. Hughes, Box A232 P.O. Sydney South, 2000. FEDERAL TREASURER J. H. Greer, C/- M.M.B .W ., 625 Lt. Collins St., Melbourne, 3000. BRANCH SECRETARIES Canberra, A.C.T. D. Coucouvinis, Cl- Dept. of Construction, . P.O. Box 306, Woden, A.C.T ., 2606. New South Wales R. M. Lehman, Sinclair Knight & Partners , 2 Chan dos St., St. Leonards, 2065. Victoria R. Povey, S.R .W.S.C., Operator Training Centre, P.O. Box 409 , Werribee, 3030. Queensland J. Ryan, C/- Gutteridge Haskins and Davey, G.P.O. Box 668K , Brisbane, 4001. South Australia A. Glatz, C/- Engineering & Water Supply Dept. , Victoria Square, Adelaide, 5000. Western Australia R.J. Fimmel, P.O. Box 356, West Perth , 6005. Tasmania P.E. Spratt, C/- Fowler, England & Newton , 132 Davey St., Hobart, 7000. Northern Territory K. Sajdeh, Cl - Dept. of Construction, Mitchell St., Darwin. WATER

EDITORIAL AUSTRALIAN WATER COORDINATING COMMITTEE Following the policy of keeping members Informed of the forward developments of our Association, I would take the opportunity of this Editorial to report on the first meeting of the Australian Water Co-Ordinating Committee, held in Sydney on Friday, 18th September. This co-ordinating body acts as a Secretariat and comprises our own Association together with the International Association for Water Pollution Research, Water Pollution Control Federation, the Australian Academy of Technical Sciences, and the International Water Supply Association . Those present at this meeting were - Dr. N. Norman, Dr. D. Weiss , Dr. T. Judell, Mr. D. Lane, Mr. P. Hughes and myself, acting as Chairman, being the current Federal President of A.W.W.A. The purpose of this Committee or Secretariat is to ensure that our common interests in water and its various aspects in Australia are not duplicated or overlapped in our activities. This will enable us to speak with a common and united voice in the many areas associated with Water and its future ramifications. It is most desirable that Australia does not fall into the situation now existing in some overseas countries where a fragmentation of professional and interested bodies on water has unfortunately developed. One of the important outcomes of this meeting was the formalisation of the generous offer of I.A.W. P.R . to provide an equal amount with our own association towards a paid editor to ensure the efficient publication of our Journal WATER. We are most grateful for this practical assistance. I am pleased to advise our members that Mr. George Goffin of Melbourne, a longstanding member of our Association, and a past Federal President, has agreed to carry out this function. George is experienced in this field, and both the Journal Editorial Committee and ourselves are aware of our good fortune in obtaining his services. This is an important development , since the Journal as time goes by, will act more and more as the mouthpiece for all water activities in Australia. ' I would also take this opportunity to convey the thanks of the Association to all those who have laboured so diligently in an honorary capacity for the editing and production of the Journa~since its inception. It has been a monumental task, as a "spare time" activity , to develop the Journal to its present high standard . From contact with the state branches I am pleased to report that most of the State Committees are now functional. Written reports will be presented to the November meeting of Federal Council. Allan Pettigrew, FEDERAL PRESIDENT

A.W.W.A. MEMBERSHIP Requests for Application Forms for Membership of the Association

should be addressed to the appropriate Branch Secretary. Membership is in four categories : 1. Member- qualifications suitable for m_embership in the Inst . of Engineers, or other suitable professional bodies . ($12 p.a.)• 2. Associate-experience in the W.&W .W. Industry, without formal qualifications . ($12 p.a.)* 3. Student . ($5 p.a.) 4. Sustaining Member- an organisation involved in the W .&W .W. Industry wishing to sustain the Association . ($65 p.a.) *Plus State levy of $3 in N.S.W . and Vic.


(eJ ASSOCIATION NEWS RETIRING EDITOR With a sigh of relief which must be audible over the whole continent , after this issue we hand over the job of Editor. Running a Journal of this nature on an honorary basis has proved on . the one hand a demanding chore (in more senses than one, as Branch Correspondents will testify). On the other hand , we have developed contacts and insights into the diversity of people and interests of the A.W .W.A . which will remain valuable, both on a personal and a· professional level. To have read meticulously each and every paper submitted has been in itself a valuable education! The incoming Editor, Mr . George Goffin , will be tackling the job on a professional basis , thanks to the funds mentioned in the Editorial. He will introduce himself in the next issue. E. A. (Bob) Swinton

NEW SOUTH WALES On Wednesday , 18th July , the Association 's members were treated to a pleasant technical session ; 'Water Quality in the Brewing Industry'. The speaker was Mr. D. O'Donnell , Chief Chemist of Tooheys Ltd. The venue , 'the brewery' , was excellent. After an inspection of the brewhouse, some sampling of the final product took place . Our Annual General Meeting was held on 29th August. Reports were received from the outgoing President, Ken Waterhouse , and Treasurer, Jim Oliff . The outgoing executives , Ken , Jim and Peter Mitchell, must feel very pleased with their efforts over the past. year . I am sure all members would join with me in congratulating them on their f ine effort . The incoming Committee will be pleased to find the N.S.W. Branch in a sound economic position and .well equipped to undertake the expanded role given to it by the Federal Council. The new Committee is: President, Mr. M. Dureau ; Vice. President , Mr. T.M. Smyth; Immediate Past President , Mr. K.A. Waterhouse ; Honorary Secretary , Mr. R.M. Lehman; Honorary Treasurer, Mr. W . Muirhead. Committee : Mr. G.W . Montgomerie, Mr. R.R. Ash, Mr. K.A. Waterhouse, Mr. D. Stevens, Mr. T. Judell, Mr. H. Bandier, Mr. P.J . Mitchell, ~r. T.J . Twyman, Mr. J.K. Knight , Mr. G.B. Douglass, Mr. J. Eslake Hunter District Board Representative. 8

Following the A .G.M . , Mr. George Whitehouse of the Water Resources Commission addressed us on 'Water Resources Management Using Landsat and Photogrammetry' . In recognition of the encouragement , help and financial support of N.S .W . sustaining members of A .W .W .A., we this year invited them to our Annual Dinner on 21st September . Thirty two sustaining members and their ladies joined with 80 more of us to wine, dine and dance and to hear Alan Wilkie of Channel 9 tell us how he manipulates the weather forecasts . A most enjoyable evening . Forthcoming events on our calendar are on 23rd October, when at a joint meeting of the Institution of Engineers Australia, Peter Jessop will deliver a talk on the Gosford Regional Sewerage Scheme , and 30th November, we will hold our Annual Christmas Party at the North Sydney Leagues Club .

associated with fulfilling and undertaking the requirements of the Clean Waters Act in Queensland. Our Christmas Act itity is planned to take place on 28th November at the offices of C.I.G . Enviroshield at 1688 Ipswich Road , Rocklea, thanks to the kind hospitality of C.I.G . and its Queensland manager , Keith Strickland . The Committee for 1979-80 is as follows : President, A. Pettigrew; Vice-president and Treasurer, B. Rigden; Secretary , J. J. Ryan ; Membership Secretary, C. Norton ; Asst. Treasurer, N. Whyte; Programmes , R. Black ; Functions , N . Jones; Correspondent , P. Hughes . All correspondence relating to Branch administration should be addressed to : Mr. J. J. Ryan Hon . Secretary


The August meeting of the SA Branch was a combined meeting with the Town and Country Planning Association. The subject for the meeting was "Water Policy in South Australia" and two speakers Mr. K.J. Shepherd, Director, Planning EWS Dept . and Professor P. Schwerdtfeger Prof. of Meteorology, Flinders University addressed the meeting which was attended by 50 people . Mr. Shepherd 's talk was mainly based on a recently released Government report entitled " Metropolitan Adelaide Water Resources Study". Mr. Shepherd discussed the plans for future water supply in South Australia for the next 30 years and mainly stressed the princ ipal recommendations made in the Government report . • continued emphasis will be placed on the use of the River Murray as the cheapest source of water for Metropolitan Adelaide. Although the demands on th fl River Murray may in some years exceed available supplies , the level of risk is being quantified , and management strategies formulated. • water demand management programmes to contain rising water consumption within reasonable limits . By influencing both overall and peak demands, major capital investment and operating costs should be deferred .

At the Annual General Meet fng on 2nd August, a new committee was elected headed by President , Robert Lloyd; Secretary , Kewal ~ajdeh ; :reasurer, Ron Freyling, and Vice President cum Correspondent , Hugh Wilson . ExSecretary Alan Wade is now back in Canberra with a promotion in the Health Department. The Branch now has 50 members , and 5 sustaining members to date, and is becoming increasingly active . The AGM was addressed by Mr. W . E. Morrison , Director of Water Resources, who spo.ke on their development in N.T. On 12th September , the annual dinner and ladies night had Dr. Ella Stack as guest speaker. She is Mayor of Darwin and spoke very knowledgeably on Science , Man and Environment . C.I.G. gave a lecture and film on Injection of Oxygen in Sewage Systems later in September, and the October meeting will be on the Legal Arrangements and Monitoring in the Uranium Province - the speaker being Mr. John Paul , Principal Engineer of the Environmental Studies Group of the Water Division of N. T.

QUEENSLAND The Queensland Branch activities have naturally centred around the organisation of the Eighth Convention , which is now finalised and 'ready to roll' . The A .G.M . on the 5th September was attended by some 60 members . The Annual Reports indicated that the Queensland Branch must be the fastest growing Branch for 1978-9. The guest speaker was Mr. Humphrey Desmond, B.E., D.I.C ., M.I.E .Aust . , Director of the Water Quality Council. Mr. Desmond has been with the Department of Local Government for the past ten years, prior to which he was Chief Engineer for the Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. Humphrey in his usual manner gave a very enlightening talk on the problems

A.W .W .A.

G.P.O. Box 668K Brisbane 4001 .


Mr. Shepherd and Professor Schwerdtfeger at the S.A. meeting.


• investigation and review of alternative sources of water and associated costs . • examination of alternative pricing systems. • further investigations of flood mitigation of the Torrens River . • Planning of urban environments to encourage effluent reuse for nonpotable purposes. • deletion of Kangaroo Creek Water Treatment Works with provision for the additional capacity at Hope Valley when required in 1985. In addition to these recommendations, Mr. Shepherd drew attention to the high cost and impracticalities of providing almost 100% security against restrictions of Adelaide's water supply as a result of severe drought. Deferment of future major capital works for some years could result , if the concept of restrictions , say once every 20 years on the average (5% probability) , came to be accepted by the community as a means of achieving considerable financial benefits . . Professor Schwerdtfeger discussed icebergs as an alternative source of water for S.A . Among matters considered were the types of iceberg, their shape and suitability for towing from Antarctica . It would be practicable to tow bergs of approx . 1 km in length, and sufficient of the initial mass would survive to make the exercise worthwhile . The principal problems associated with icebergs as a source of water are those relating to recovery of the water once the iceberg has been towed to the Australian coast. The Ice could be "mined" using explosives, with the broken ice being taken ashore by ship. Alternatively the berg could be melted by solar radiation and the water pumped ashore . In the case of S.A. a particular problem is associated with the very shallow continental shelf: suitable bergs would be unable to approach closer than approx. 200 km from Adelaide. Among other points touched on was the environmental impact of an iceberg towing program. Prof. Schwerdtfeger indicated that the principal impact would be felt by life on the sea bottom when the berg ran aground. The meteorological influence would be restricted to the immediate vicinity of the bergs . Following the two talks a short but lively discussion ensued . The Annual General Meeting of the South Australian Branch was held on Friday, 14th September, 1979, in the Institution of Engineers, Australia, building, North Adelaide . Mr. Bruce Roberts of the Engineering & Water Supply Department addressed the meeting on "Environmental Problems and Solutions in Sewage Treatment Works in South Australia". Mr. Roberts paid particular attention to the odour problem and the sludge disposal problem. He also spoke of the significant increase in demand for environmental information which has occurred WATER

in the recent few years from the public concerning new sewage treatment works as well as in the operation of existing works. The Branch Committee for 1979/80 is as follows : - President, Moss Anders ; Vice President, Bob Clisby; Immediate Past President, Dr. Oliver Fuller; Secretary, Tony Glatz; Treasurer, Mary Drikas; Committee : Gavin Wood, Doug Lane, Kevin Trevarton, Arthur Green hough, Charles Hulse, John Shepherd . Mr. D.R. Orchard was appointed Audi tor .

over $1400 million, actually has started with construction of its wastewater control system since the construction site itself is govern~ by an E.P.A. discharge licence . Robin Cromer, Senior Research Scientist of the Division of Forest Research, CSIRO, outlined the experiments on irrigation of Pinus radiata with the Board's effluent, and Brian Newell of the Ministry of Conservation spoke on the Gippsland Lakes. A high-powered conference indeed, but well-lubricated by typical country hospitality.

VICTORIA The Annual General Meeting of the Branch was held on 25th September. Office bearers elected for the forthcoming year were: President , E. A. Swinton ; Secretary , R. L. Povey ; Treasurer, K. H. Wood ; Vice President , A . Longstaff ; Committee : W. J . Duller, F. R. Bishop, K. J . Chiller, W. Drew, J. S. F. Rogerson, A. G. Strom , R. B. Turner, I. M. Lowther, R. Vickers , J . North , M . Cornell. Retiring President Mr. Bill Duller thanked the outgoing committee and in particular, Alan Strom of the Programme committee. A total of 21 speakers have contributed to the success of the year. Bill then presented the retiring President's address entitled 'From Rains to Drains and Beyond' which described the long term experiments conducted by M .M.B.W . on the Maroondah catchment, which was ravaged by the 1939 fires , and still shows a fall in water productivity. The August meeting considered the problems encountered with the com missioning of a complex tertiary sewage treatment facility. David Philp, Department of Construction, A.C .T., gave the meeting a frank and comprehensive report on the progress in commissioning the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre . The Weekend Regional Conference was held at Traralgon on 12-14th October, and was attended by 70 delegates and 40 family guests . The conference examined water and wastewater strategies for the Latrobe Valley, which by virtue of its abundant brown-coal supplies, is an increasingly important industrial area. The close co-ordination of the major industries, the State electricity Commission, Australian Paper Manufacturers and Essa-BHP, with the Latrobe Valley Water and Sewerage Board was evident throughout the con ference. Papers were given by Gordon Coulson and Brian Reidy on the problems and potential of the existing disposal system which culminates in irrigation at Dutson Downs Farm and the ocean outfall pipeline being constructed to take the saline overflow from the S.E.C. ash ponds . Athol Douglas, chief chemist of A. P. M., described their in-plant water systems, and Ralph Urie, chief Civil Engineer of the S.E.C., spoke on the water supply and wastewater circuits of the huge power generating complex. The Loy Yang project, which will cost

TASMANIA The Tasmanian Branch held its Annual General Meeting at Hadley's Hotel in Hobart on Friday 28th August, 1979. Thirty two members and guests attended the meeting and enjoyed the excellent four course dinner that preceded the event. Special guests at the A.G . M . included the Hon . Dr. Julian Amos, Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industry, Environment and Water Resources, and Mr. Allan Pettigrew the A.W.W.A. Federal President. In opening the meeting the President Mr. Jim Stephens said that the past year had been essentially a period of consolidation for the branch, following the intensive efforts put into the 1978 Summer School. The programme for the year had been outstanding in terms of variety and the excellence of guest speakers and financially the branch was in a sound position with a surp lu s for the year of over $100 .00 . Dr. Julian Amos presented a very frank account of his personal viewpoint on a wide range of environmental matters from nuclear r:1ower to participation of the public in environmental impact studies. The interest created by his talk was highlighted by the enthusiasm shown during question time. Mr. Allan Pel'tigrew briefly addressed the meeting on the activities of A.W.W .A . at Federal level. Mr. Brian Healey was installed as Branch President for the coming year. Branch membership is now 76 including 11 sustaining members. Six new members have been admitted during the last twelve months including the Municipalities of Burnie and Wynyard as sustaining members . Unfortunately in the same period four members were lost to other branches leaving a net gain of four. The final meeting for the year will be a visit to the Turrill Lodge Wastewater Treatment Plant at New Norfolk on 28th November, 1979. Upgrading of the plant is at an advanced stage and when com plete will provide new inlet works, increased primary sedimentation and digestion capacity . Secondary treatment facilities consisting of biological filtration, secondary sedimentation and chlorination are being added to the plant concurrently . The design average dry weather flow is 58 litres per second with a peak wet weather flow of six times ADWF. 9


Virology is a comparatively young science . Although viral infections such as hepatitis, smallpox and rabies have been reported since antiquity, the first demonstration that a filterable agent could cause infection took place just before the beginning of the 20th century. Remarkable progress has been made in the study of these agents in 80 years, with significant acceleration in the last three decades . Many viruses, which are the aetiological agents of human disease, can now be isolated in cultural animal or human cells and effective vaccines have been produced. Other viruses can be visualized by the electron microscope or demonstrated by serological techniques which are adaptable to laboratory diagnosis of infections . Interest in viruses in sewage , wastewater and surface water is even more recent but there is a growing awareness of the need to develop sensitive, convenient and reliable techniques to detect these viruses. It is only by these means that we will be able to assess the extent of viral contamination of the water we use for drinking , recreation or agriculture and to define the public health significance of this exposure to potential pathogens . In the virus laboratory at Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital, we have been carrying out a study on the epidemiology of viruses in Melbourne sewage and effluent on behalf of the Reclaimed Water Committee of the Ministry of Water Resources and Supply . This project was commenced in October 1975 and in May 1978 we received an additional grant from the Australian Water Resources Council to join a collaborative study at the Department of Agriculture's Research Station at Frankston to investigate the survival of viruses on crops irrigated with chlorinated secondary etfluent. Effluent and natural water , present many and sometimes unique difficulties for the isolation of viruses, but there are basically two types of water from which samples may be collected . These are : (i) Sewage and effluent where the viral content is relatively high but which may also contain large numbers of bacteria and fungi; (ii) Potable and some surface water with a low viral content. All of these waters could contain other substances which in terfere with viral detection processes and of course many other environmental factors such as rainfall and industrial waste discharges may alter these drastically from time to time . SAMPLE PREPARATION

From sewage and treated effluent , grab samples of quite small volumes (e.g. 200 ml) will yield virus. In these samples the bacterial and fungal contaminants have to be removed by centrifugation , filtering or treatment with antibiotics before viruses can be assayed in cultured cells. From water where the virus content is low, the viruses must first be concentrated into convenient volumes for laboratory assay and many methods have been developed to do this. None of these techniques is consistently efficient for virus recovery nor equally suitable for every type of water. The favoured method at present is to absorb virus particles onto a microporous filter and subsequently elute into a smaller volume (Standard Methods, 1975) - still further concentration is necessary by precipitation of virus attached to a floe and elution from this . An even further concentration can follow by hydroextraction (Farrah , 1977). Constant modifications are being recommended by different researchers (Farrah , 1976; Katzenelson, 1976; Sobsey, 1979; Sweet, 1974) . Dr. Louise Irving is Medical Microbiologist in the Virus Laboratory, Fairfield Hospital for Communicable Diseases, Yarra Bend Road, Fairfield, Victoria, 3078.



For the field work that is being carried out by Fairfield Hospital virus laboratory, a virus concentrating apparatus has been built to this principle (Hill, 1974; Wallis, 1972) (Fig . 1). The test water, which is chlorinated secondary effluent , is pumped through a 5 micron prefilter to remove particulate matter , then the pH is adjusted to 3.5, which is optimal for virus adsorption. The addition of cations also enhances adsorption and sodium thiosulphate may be added to neutralize chlorine. Following mixing, the water passes through an adsorbing filter. In use at present is an 0.45 micron epoxy fibre glass pleated cartridge filter (Filterite Co.). Charges carried by virus particles at acid pH cause attachment to the filter media, due to an electrostatic property, not related to the pore size of the filter . The virus is then eluted into an alkaline fluid , which is adjusted to neutral pH and transported to the laboratory for further processing . Recently filters which carry a net positive chiirge have been introduced, eliminating the need to adjust and maintain an acid pH for virus adsorption (Sobsey , 1979) . We are hopeful that investigations with this new filter and other modifications of our methods will enable us to develop a more sensitive and reliable detection systen'I for virus in reclaimed and surface waters. This is our immediate goal but we must also understand the significance of our findings. HUMAN VIRUSES

The human viruses which have been detected in domestic wastewater are enteroviruses, adenoviruses , reoviruses (Melnick, 1978) and , recently , rotaviruses (Gerba , 1979). The presence of heptatitis A virus is indicated by the abundant epidemiologfcai evidence that infectious hepatitis can be spread by sewage contamination of water and food (Craun, 1976) . All these viruses may be referred to as human enteric viruses since they are excreted from the gastrointestinal tract. The virus load in raw sewage is considerable . It has been estimated that a patient with an enterovirus infection may excrete more than one million infectious virus particles perg of faeces , while in a study of Mexican children, 10% were infected by enteroviruses at any one time (Ramos-Alvarez, 1964) . This figure may differ in other communities and in temperate climates seasonal variation occurs. The incidence of enteroviral disease in Melbourne as monitored by admissions to Fairfield Hospital shows that there is a peak in the hotter months of the year . However, several different types of enteroviruses are always circulating. Our records also show that different enteroviruses are prevalent at different times and that the types present vary from year to year. Often one particular enterovirus will be responsible for an outbreak causing an increased number of clinical infections even though several other types are also WATER










. . . . . . .. .. . . . . .. . . .. .. . . . . . . .




EC HO 19



.. . -- .. . ·- -





















































Methods of virus culture used in many studies have not favoured the isolation of adenoviruses and reoviruses, but one United States study reports 26-57% of sewage samples containing reovirus and 25% with adenovirus (England, 1972). Our own investigations, where techniques to detect these viruses were employed, show adenovirus in 100% of raw sewage samples and reovirus in 92% in a 12 month period from September 1977 to August 1978. All these viruses are able to survive conventional sewage treatment and even though significant amounts may be removed, no treatment process currently employed is capable of removing all viruses . Some virus will persist after final chlorination, since chlorination as practised in conventional treatment does not produce substantial inactivation of viruses even when bacteria are extensively killed (Lund, 1978; Melnich, 1978) . Again our find ings from the large activated sludge purfication plant near Melbourne support these statements (Table 2) . Even with efficiently operating sewage treatment, therefore, viruses are being discharged into oceans, rivers and lakes and it is well known that not all treatment plants always run at maximum efficiency . Depending on many factors such as temperature, sunlight, organic and in-organic composition of the water, viruses may survive for surprisingly long periods. For instance, enteroviruses have p·ersisted for 168 days in tap water, 130 days In sea water, 125 days in soil and 90 days in oysters in laboratory experiments (Melnick, 1978) and, although in the




1977 1978


. . .


being isolated. During 1976 there was an outbreak of viral meningitis due to echo 19 (FIDH report to WHO , 1976) the enterovirus we were isolating most frequently from patients; this virus was also found in higher concentration in sewage at that time. No one virus type has been shown to be constantly detectable in sewage over a long period; not even Sabin attenuated polio vaccine strains, which were suggested as indicator viruses . In centres where the vaccine is routinely administered to babies these viruses should always be in the sewage but they are not invariably detected . An Israeli report has recorded (Katzenelson , 1979) that poliovirus was not isolated from 50% of sewage samples despite regular administration of live attenuated vaccine to the infant population . Absence of poliovirus, therefore, cannot be taken to indicate that there is no virus present . The range of enteroviruses isolated from Melbourne sewage during the period August 1977 to August 1978 can be seen in Table 1. The enterovirus input into sewage varies in type and concentration and many figures are quoted - as high as 500,000 1u · per L from Israel (Melnick, 1978) . In the United States, it has been estimated to range from 50 - 210,000 IU per .L, with an average of 2,000 to 70,000 per L (Larkin, 1!:)76). In Europe a peak of 10,000 IU per Lin September is quoted (Lund, 1978), while our figures from raw sewage at a large activated sludge purification plant near Melbourne range from 200 - 5,000 IU per L.


.. .. .-.. ... . . . . ..



• Infectious units per litre.


. . .. . . .. .. . .



.. . . . . .. . .. ... .. .. .. . ... .. .

. . .


.. . .

21 A 1978

field other factors tend to reduce survival times, they may persist for considerable periods. VIRUSES IN WATER SUPPLY

Our environment is in this way being continually seeded with human viruses, which have even been detected in the drinking water supplied to large modern cities . In Paris in the 1960s, a study found that 18% of 200 samples of drinking water tested were positive for viruses; in Russia viruses have been isolated from the distribution system of Moscow's municipal supply on several occasions . In Romania South Africa and, recently in the United States similar repo;ts have been made (Melnick, 1978). The full significance of this contamination of our surroundings on the overall pattern of viral infections is not really known . There is no doubt that outbreaks of hepatitis A have occurred as a result of sewage contamination of drinking water and of shellfish grown in contaminated water . Some of these outbreaks have been widespread and dramatic, as the New Delhi episode in 1955-56, when 30,000 people developed hepatitis due to a gross and obvious incidence of polluted water being mixed with the city's water supply (Viswanathan, 1957) . More recently, hepatitis outbreaks associated with drinking water have mainly involved smaller municipal supplies and probably many represent human error as well as inadequate technology. Shellfishborne infectious hepatitis is also well documented, including an outbreak which occurred when a large family party ate mussels gathered at Blairgowrie, Victoria in 1971 (Dienstag 1976). ' ' Gastroenteritis is frequently reported as a water-borne infection , but the aetiology of these outbreaks, which often involve holiday camps or smaller supplies, has largely not been determined. The recent development of tests to diagnose infections due to rotavirus and Norwalk agent may soon reveal that some of these episodes are due to viruses. In fact, a retrospective survey carried out in North America produced evidence that 8 of 25 outbreaks of gastroenteritis were due to Norwalk agent and one of the 25 was caused by rotavirus (Greenberg , 1979) . The large number of cases of food poisoning due to oysters which occurred in Australia last year is another example, as it seems that some of these cases were due to the Norwalk ag_ent (Cross, 1979). The role which watt:ir plays in endemic viral infections (as opposed to outbreaks or epidemics) is hard to evaluate. Consider the case of a low level of viral contamination in a municipal supply so that a number of people ingested an infective dose. Some would probably already be immune so that no infection would result and a large percentage of the infections which actually did occur would be subc linical so that only a few of the people infected would have overt illness. It would also be likely that Infection would result in different symptoms so that unless virological tests were available, it would not be obvious that the same virus caused a headache in one patient and a rash in another. In the meantime, those indi vidu als with subclinical infections, as well as those who were ill, could" spread the virus to their contacts and the original water-borne source never he elucidated. 11




X 102 X 10 2 1 .2 X 103

X 102( + 10%) X 102 ( - 1 % ) 6 .8 X 102 (-43%)


5 .1


9 .5


6 .7

9 .4

INFECTIVE DOSAGE There has been much discussion about what constitutes the minimal infective dose of virus for man. Th is is diff icult to determ ine as , of course, experiments to investigate this in humans using a viru lent virus in non-immune subjects have serious eth ica l implications. However, there is some evidence to suggest that for some viruses in a suscept i b le host the infective dose may be very sma ll indeed, even as low as one infectious particle (Katz, 1967; Westwood, 1976). On the average, however, a much larger dose wou ld probably be requ ired . This nevertheless indicates that drinking water shou ld ideal ly be free from viruses. A lthough some workers have postulated that small amounts of virus in drinking water may provide an immunizing dose, such uncon t rol lab le administration of a non-attenuated vaccine would never be to lerated . Whi le man was not meant to be a " gnotobiotic" animal , reared in a sterile environment, it has been very obvious that as civilizations have developed and hygiene improved , especially in regard to the supply of pure water for household use and w ith efficient and safe disposal of sewage, there has been a profound and para ll el improvement i n the hea lth of the community. Diseases have disappeared and life expectancy has increased . Even in the less affluent countries simple measures such as a properly-a pplied sand fi ltration can greatly improve a water supply and hence the health of the population it supports. With less exposure to infectious agents and the consequent change in disease patterns , another effect can be seen . In times past, those of the popu lation who survived would have had high levels of immunity to many enteric organ isms . Now the leve ls of immunity to some infections are much less . In Mel bourne 20 years ago 80 % of the 40-year olds had antibody to hepatitis A , now only 60 % are immune (Gust , 1978) . In other studies the degree of affluence of a community is mirrored by the hepatitis A antibody status . In Costa Rica , with poor socioeconomic circumstances , 90 % of the population are immune to hepatitis A by their 10th birthday , while in Corpus Christi , Texas, and in Me l bourne , two average cities of the western world , only 40 % are immune at twice that age . The epidemio logy of polio in Scandinavia is a classic example of how a disease pattern can change. With improved sanitation , the exposure of Scandinavian infants and young chi ldren to po l iovirus declined . Exposure at this age group resulted in a low incidence of clinical illness and para lysis but most infants acquired i mmunity from subclin ical infection. With better standards of hygiene , older chi ldren not having contacted the virus remained susceptible to polio . Exposure later in life was more likely to cause i ll ness , the disease tending to be more serious with a h igher incidence of paralys is in an o lder age group (Christie, 1974). The situation changed again with the introduction of a successfu l vacc i ne . Our affluent society is , therefore , more susceptib le to infections acquired from our effluent. The problem of sewage pollution of surface water with the potential risk to drinking water drawn from this source is one side of the picture . On the other hand , water is a precious commodity of which Austra l ia and other countries have short supp l ies . Urbanization, industrialization and increasing population lead to ever increas ing demands for more water , so that treated effluent be i ng discharged into the ocean is a waste of a potential resource . There are many industrial and agricultural processes where perhaps good use could be made of this water and its nutrient , with conservation of fresh water for domestic supplies. First, however, we must make 12



X 101 (-93 % ) X 102 (-41 % ) 2.5 X 10 2 (-63 % )

93 %

4 .5

5 .5

42% 79 %

sure that in each situation the use of this reclaimed water is safe from the pub l ic health point of view . Around the world , much thought is being given to the problems of deliberate re-use of treated effluent .

REFERENCES 1. CRAUN , G.F. (1976) . Microbiology - Waterbone Outbreaks . In Journal WPCF International Revi ew: 1378-1397. 2. CHRSTIE, A.B . (1974) . Infectious Diseases: Epidemiology and Clinical Practice. Pb. Churchill Livingstone. 3. CROSS, G., FORSYTH , J., GREENBERG , H., HARRISON , J., IRVING, L., LUKE, R. , MOORE , B. and SCHNAGL, R. (1979). Oyster-Associated Gastroenteritis. Correspondence AMJ , January 27: 5. 4 . DAVIDSON , G.P., BISHOP, R.F. , TOWNLEY, R.R .W., HOLMES, I.H ., RUCK . B.J. (1975) . Importance of a New Virus in Acute Sporadic Enteritis in Children . The Lancet , February: 242. 5. DIENSTAG, J.L. , GUST , 1.D., LUCAS, C.R., WONG , D.C., and PURCELL, R.H. (1976). Mussel-Associated Virus Hepatitis Type A: Serological Confirmation . The Lancet 1: 561-563. 6. ENGLAND, B. (1972). Concentration of Reovirus and Adenovlrus from Sewage and Effluent by Protamine Sulphate Salmlne Treatment. Applied Mi crobiology 24: 510-512. 7. FAIRFIELD INFECTIOUS DISEASES HOSPITAL. Report to W.H.O. (1976) . 8. FARRAH , S.R., GERBA, C.P., WALLIS , C. and MELNICK, J.L. (1976) . Concentration of Viruses from Large Volumes of Tap Water using Pleated Membrane FIiters. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 31 : 221-226. 9. FARRAH , S.R., GOYAL, S.M., GERBA, C.P., WALLIS , C. and MELNICK, J.L. . (1977) . Concentration of Enteroviruses from Estuarine Water . Appl ied and Environmental Microbiology, May: 1192-1196. 10. GERBA, C.P. (1 979). Personal communication . 11 . GREENBERG, H.B., VALDESUSO , J., YOLKEN , R.H., GANGAROSA, E., GARY , W., WYATT , R.G., KONNO, T., SUZUKI , H. , CHANOCK, R.M. and KAPIKIAN , A.Z. . Role of Norwalk Virus In Outbreaks of Non-Bacterial Gastroenteritis . Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 139, No. 5: 564. 12. GUST, I.D. , LEHMANN, N.I. , LUCAS, C.R .-(1978) . Relationship between Prevalence of Ant ibody to Hepatitis A Antigen and Age: A Cohort Effect? Correspondence. Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 138, No. 3: 425. 13. HILL, W.F., Jr., AKIN ,· E.W., BENTON , W.H., MAYHEW, C.J. and JAKUBOWSKI, W. (1974) . Apparatus for Condi tlonln'g Unlimited Quantities of Fini shed Waters for Enteric Virus Detect ion. Appli ed Microbio logy 27. 6: 1177-1178. 14. KATZENELSON , E., FATTAL, B. and H0STOVESKY , T. (1976). Organic Flocculation : An Efficient Second Step Concentration Method for the Detection of Viruses in Tap Water . • Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 132, No . 4: 638-639. 15. KATZENELSON , E., and MEDMI, S. (1979). Un sul tablllty of Pol loviruses as Indicators of Virological Quality of Water. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, February, Vol. 37, No. 2: 343-344. 16. LARKIN , E.P., TIERNEY, J.T. , and SULLIVAN , R. (1976) . Persistence of Virus on Sewage-Irrigated Vegetables . Journal of Environmental Engineering Division , February: 29. 17. LUND, E. (1978) . Virological Examination. Manual on Analysis for Water Pollution Control - WHO/ EURO: 341. 18. MELNICK, J.L. , GERBA, C.P., and WALLIS, C. (1978) . Viruses In Water . Bulletin World Health Organization, Vol. 56, No. 4: 499-508. 19. RAMOS-ALVAREZ , M., and OLATE, J. (1964). Diarrheal Diseases of Children. Am . J. Dis . Child . 107: 218-231 . 20. STANDARD METHODS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF WATER AND WASTEWATER, 14th (1975) Edition. Mlcroporous FIiter Technlc for Enteric Virus Concentration and Detection in Finished Waters . American Public Health Association and American Water Works Association : 971. 21 . SOBSEY , M.D., and JONES, B.L. (1979) . Concentration of Polioviruses from Tap Water I..Jsi ng Positively Charged Microporous Filters. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 37, No. 3: 588. . 22. SWEET, B.H., ELLENDER, R.D., and LEONG, J.K.L. (1974) . Recovery and Removal of Viruses from Water - Utilizing Membrane Techniques . Symposium on Detection of Viruses In Waste and Other Waters . Convenor Gerald Berg . Development In Industrial Microbiology , Vol. 15: 143. 23. VISWANATHAN , R. (1957) . Infectious Hepatitis In Delhi : 1955-6 Epidemiology. Indian Journal of Medical Research 45, Suppl. 1. 24. WALLIS , C., HOMMA, A., and MELNICK, J.L. (1972). A Portable Virus Concentrator for Testing Water In the Field. Water Rtlsearch, Pergamon Press, 6: 1249-1256. 25. WESTWOOD, J.C.M., and SALTAR, S.A. (1976). The Minimal Infective Dose. Viruses in Water. Ed . BERG, G., BODELY, H.L., LEMMALI, E.H. MELNICK , J.L. , METCALF, T.G . Published by American Public Health Association . WATER


THE BAYSIDE SEWERAGE SYSTEMS OF THE MORNINGTON PENINSUL~ by J.B. Murray INTRODUCTION The Mornington Peninsula forms the south-eastern and southern shore of Port Phillip Bay . The area extends 50 km from Mordialloc Creek to Point Nepean , the eastern head at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay . Mordialloc Creek , which is 30 km to the south-east of Melbourne, was until 1970 the southern limit of the sewerage district of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) . The paper discusses: a historical review of the development of the six sewerage systems constructed during the past 40 years , and the design features that inc luded reduced rates of infiltration initiated by GHD in the mid 1960's . PREWAR Before the second world war urban development within the area was predominantly for summer recreat ion with isolated and smal l centres of permanent population . The first move to estab lish a Sewerage System was made in the mid 1930's by the Shire of Mornington when it com missioned GHD for a feasibility report for the town of Mornington . In 1939 the Mornington Sewerage Authority was established , the design population being 6,000 persons . During the war the Mornington Sewerage System was extended by the construction of a pump station at Mt . Martha with a connecting rising main to serve the newly formed Balcombe Army Camp. After the war this pump station and rising main formed the headworks for the Mt . Martha sewerage system .

THE POST WAR GROWTH The rapid post-war growth of Melbourne during the 1950's heralded a change from recreational to dormitory use of the urban development within the City of Chelsea and the bayside urban development within the Shire of Frankston . This growth was responsible for the development of the new bayside suburb of Mt . Eliza, located generally within the Shire of Mornington , but with its northern fringe extending into the Shire of Frankston . Although the growth in the areas to the south of Mt . Eliza was significant, the pre-war character was generally retained . An exception was at Rosebud where the Influx of retired couples significantly increased the permanent population . Feasibility reports prepared during the late 1930's and early 1950's resulted in estimated sewerage rates that were not considered economically feasible , and so the schemes lapsed. Despite this, the rapid growth and changed use, combined with the flat topography and high water table over large areas of the developed and developing urban areas highlighted the essential need for sewerage systems in lieu of the existing nightsoll collection and septic tanks . THE NEW SCHEMES In the early 1960's, because of the ever-pressing need for sewerage, the Councils of the City of Chelsea and the Shires of Frankston, Flinders and Mornington each commissioned GHD to prepare feasibility reports for the sewerage systems summarised in table 1.

TABLE 1. Feasibility Studies Munici pal Council City of Chelsea Shire of Frankston Shire of Flinders Shire of Mornington


Extent of Area

1961 Limit of planned urban development 1961 Limit of planned bayslde urban development 1961 ditto 1962 Mt . Eliza Total =

Fig . 1. Extent of urban development by the early 1960's.

John B. Murray, is a Senior Projects Engineer - Sewerage, Gutteridge, Haskins & Davey Pty. Ltd., Melbourne .


Estimated Populations : 1961 /62 Design

25 ,000

28 ,000



• 40,000 2,000

120,000 10,000



Chelsea The Che lsea Sewerage Authority was established in 1962. The sewerage system for the ultimate development com prised 100 km of 150 and 675 mm diameter sewers, three dry well and 24 wet well type pump stations, and seven km of 100 to 200 mm diameter and eight km of 600 mm diameter rising mains . The design and construction of Stage 1 were undertaken during 1964 to 1968, and the design for Stage 2 was completed in early 1969. The works comprised : Stage 1 Stage 2 Sewers (km) 30 40 Pump Stations (each) 6 5 11 2 Rising Mains (km) In the late 1960's negotiations by the Chelsea Sewerage Authority with the M MBW culminated In the latter extending its district to include the sewerage district of the former and the abandonment of the Sewerage Authority . The direct effect of this decision was to defer for about three years the start of the construction of Stage 2 so that costs were significantly increased by lhe rapid rate of Inflation of the mid 1970's.


Frankston The Frankston Sewerage Authority was established in 1963. The sewerage system for the ultimate development comprised 400 km of 150 to 600 mm diameter sewers , three dry well and 23 wet well type pump stations , nine km of 150 to 450 mm diameter rising mains and 20 km of 750 to 1200 mm diameter gravity outfall mains . The design and construction of Stage 1 were undertaken during 1964 to 1968. Subsequent stages have proceeded continuously at rates determined annually by the availability of funds . The present sewerage system , with a connected population of 62 ,000 persons, comprises 360 km of 150 to 600 mm diameter sewers, three dry well and 26 wet well type (ten temporary) pump stations, si x km of 150 to 450 mm diameter rising mains and 19 km of 750 to 1200 mm diameter gravity main . The site for the sewage treatment plant for the Chelsea and Frankston Schemes was selected in the early 1960's on the south side of Thompson 's Road Carrum , immediately to the south of what was to become the South Eastern Purification Plant (known as SEPP) of the MMBW .




Mount Eliza The Mt. Eliza Sewerage Authority was established in 1963. The design and construction of Stages 1 to 3 were undertaken during 1964 to 1968. The present sewerage system with a connected population of 5000 persons comprises 30 km of 150 to 375 mm diameter sewers , two dry well type pump stations and nine km of 200 and 300 mm ,u iameter rising mains . The sewage was conveyed to and treated at the sewage treatment plant of the Mornington Sewerage Auth ority . The New Mornington Sewage Treatment Plant By the early 1960's, the easterly development of Mornington had greatly exceeded forecasts of the late 1930's, and had extended around and beyond the site of the sewage treatment plant . Because of this development and the limited area of the site it was neither environmentally nor economically possible to augment the plant capacity to the planned capacity of 300 ,000 persons . In 1968, the Authority commenced investigations to obtain an alternative site for the plant. Despite this , the development within the Mornington Sewerage District , which includes a significant area of Mt. Martha and the Mt. Eliza Sewerage District , necessitated the augmentation of the plant constructed in the early 1940's. The works carried out between 1968 and 1974 increased the plant capacity from 6000 to 18,000 persons . The site for the new plant had to be suitable for both the present and the future residential zones within and adjacent to the Sewerage Districts of the Mornington and Mt. Eliza Sewerage Authorities . The site requirements were : • minimum expenditure on headworks , i.e . ,pump stations , rising mains and gravity outfall mains , • geographically remote and if possible , screened by the topography , • adjacent to the MMBW's outfall main from SEPP . The four year design and . construct4on programme for the sewage treatment plant , for a first stage of 35,000 persons , comprised a major wet well type pump station , two km of 600 mm diameter rising main and four km of 750 and 1200 mm diameter gravity outfall main and was completed in 1978.

- 70000

Fig. 2. Frankston and Shire of Cranbourne Sewerage Auth orities - 1978. Dromana-Rosebud When the scheme for the Shire of Flinders was advertised in 1962 about 5000 objections were received , mostly from absentee owners within the area to the west of Rosebud . As this area still retained much of its pre-war character , the Council resolved to delete it from the scheme and a feasibility report for only about half of the original area was prepared . The Dromana-Rosebud Sewerage Authority was established in 1967. The sewerage system for the ultimate development comprised 250 km of 150 to 600 mm diameter sewers , two dry wells and one wet well type pump stations , 18 km of 150 and 600 mm diameter rising mains and six km of 750 to 1050 mm diameter gravity outfall mains .


The design and construction of Stage 1 were undertaken during 1971 to 1975. Subsequent stages have proceeded continuously at rates determined annually by the availability of funds . The present sewerage system wKh a connected summer population of 5000 persons comprises 40 km of 150 to 375 mm diameter sewers , one dry well and one wet well type pump- stations, nine km of 150 and 600 mm diameter rising mains and two km of 1050 mm diameter gravity outfall main . The site for the sewage treatment plant was selected in the early 1960's on the north side of Limestone Road, Boneo, and was later to be bisected by the 2300 mm diameter inverted siphon of the outfall main from SEPP .

Carrum Downs and Langwarrin The Cranbourne Sewerage Authority was reconstituted in 1976 as the Shire of Cranbourne Sewerage Authority . Separate sewerage districts were established for the towns of Carrum Downs and Langwarrin which are in the Mornington Peninsula area. Although the present population is small , 5,500 persons , the planned future population is 70 ,000 persons . The sewage from both sewerage Districts will be conveyed through nine km of 600 to 1350 mm diameter gravity outfall main to the M.M .B.W.'s SEPP . The headworks constructed to date comprise 60% of the gravity outfall main for Carrum Downs and for Langwarrin a short section of the gravity outfall main to provide connection to a temporary regional sewage treatment plant . Frankston Outfall Main Despite the fact that the present flows, in particular the peak wet weather flow , are significantly less than the design flow , the capacity of the Frankston gravity outfall main is inadequate for the planned increase in the ultimate population of the district from 95,000 persons (1964) to the current 125,000 persons. Rather than augment the existing gravity

outfall main by construction of a parallel main, the Carrum Downs gravity outfall main has been enlarged to 1350 mm diameter to provide the required additional capacity . The cost is being financed jointly by the Shire of Cranbourne and Frankston Sewerage Authorities . When appropriate, a pump station will be constructed adjacent to the Frankston gravity outfall main at Skye Road to divert excess flows through a five km long, 525 mm diameter rising main to the Carrum Downs gravity outfall main .

capable of deflection due to differential ground settlement and/or superimposed loads without structural failure or loss of water-tightness. To achieve this, the following design features were adopted during the mid 1960'~ a) To Avoid Broken Pipes and Joints • pipes and fittings jointed with flexible rubber rings, • rig id quality control, in particular the inspection and testing of the structural strength of vitrified clay pipes, • flexible section type, bedding and side support , of compacted 12-15 mm nominal size screenings, • short length (300 & 600 mm) pipes to give additional ECONOMIES IN COSTS flexibility at discontinuities caused by manholes and The development over the past 40 years of sewerage sewer branches, systems along the bayside of the Mornington Peninsula • deletion of the concrete surround from the stacks constructed and operated by Sewerage Authorities estab(jump-ups) of branches , • water testing using a minimum head of 1.8 metres for lish ed under the Sewerage Districts Act has been outlined . The approximate cost of these works expressed in present all 150 to 600 mm diameter sewers of the sewerage system and all drains of sewerage installations prior to money value is $80 million . The work still continues with an estimated annual capital expenditure by the five Sewerage refilling of trenches, • allowable leakage rate of 0.3 litres per 25 mm diameter Authorities of the order of $7 million . The annual expenditure of a Sewerage Authority is the per 1o metre of test section per hour 'for sewers and summation of the fixed and running charges . The fixed drains , • allowable infiltration rate prior to the acceptance of the charges are directly proportional to the capital cost of a sewerage system and normally represent 70-80% of the sewers within each section of the sewerage system of annual expenditure . Hence, reductions in the capital cost 67% of the above rate. result in reductions of a similar order in the annual expendib) To Avoid Leakage at Inspection Openings ture and hence, the sewerage rate. • introduction of vitrified clay plugs jointed with rubber rings held in position with brass and later galvanised The capital cost of gravity sewers in a sewerage district with ground slopes of less than 0.5 %, with non-cohesive soil mild steel clips, and a high water table is at least twice that for a sewerage c) To Avoid Leakage at Manhole Covers district with the same allotment areas and density of devel• introduction of the use of cast-iron manhole covers and frames with clearances of 0.3 mm for all manholes, iropment , but with ground slopes in excess of 0.5%, a selfsupporting cohesive soil and no water table. respective of their location . c) To Avoid Percolation Through Walls of Pipes and Manholes The three principal means to minimise capital costs compatible with efficient and economic operation are : Manholes • reduction in the rates of both permanent and storm• rigid quality control, inspection and hydrostatic testing water infiltration. of all pipes and fittings for sewers and drains, • adoption of minimum grades for 225 mm diameter and • allowable permeability rate at the end of a 25 hour test period for vitrified clay pipes of only 40% of that stated larger sewers based on a minimum velocity of 600 mm/ sec when flowing full with an absolute minimum grade in the Australian Standard 1741 "Vitrified Clay of 1 in 2000, Pipes", • rigid control of concrete mix and use of concrete • adoption in areas of non-cohesive soils, high water table and almost complete development, of an economical vibrators. maximum sewer depth for open cut construction in Design Infiltration Rates conjunction with multi-wet-well type pump stations and For a sewerage district with ground slopes of less than 0.5% and an ultimate population density of t he order of 30 rising mains discharging to an adjacent downstream catchment. persons per hectare, the design infiltration rates adopted Infiltration were : The principal sources of infi ltration are: • permanent: litres/ha/day a) broken pipes and joints in sewers, branches and branch i) cohesive and non-cohesive soils above the sewers of the sewerage system and drains of the water table • 1100 sewerage installations (formerly termed 'house conii) low cohesive and non-cohesive soils below the water table 5500 nections'), b) leakage through inspection openings on drains of • stormwater: sewerage installations, iii) cohesive soils above the water table 22000 c) leakage through manhole covers, iv) low cohesive and non-cohesive soils above d) percolation through the walls of pipes and to a lesser the water table 16500 v) ditto, belo.w the water table 11000 extent , the walls of manholes . Typical design flow values, based on the above infiltration The design concept adopted by GHD for the sewers and the drains of the sewerage installations was that of a flexible rates and an al·lowance of 230 litres per day for the domestic pipeline complete with its appurtenances . This was to be sewage from an equivalent person , are set out in table 2. TABLE 2. Design Flows Infiltration L/ha/day

Hourly DWF L/EP/day

Max . Hourly

Population Eq. Persons E.P.

Ultimate Density EP/ha


Storm water


Max .


WWF (max) DWF (Av)





370 (230+ 140)

670 (140+ 530)







330 (230+ 100)

530 (100+ 430)



60 ,000




300 (230+ 70)

410 (70+ 340)






A comparison of the above maximum hourly wet weather flows and those adopted by other authorities, such as the M.M .B.W. and M.W.S.D.B. Sydney, are sPt out in table 3. TABLE 3. Typical Metropolitan Design Flows

Maximum Hourly Wet Weather Flow L/person/day

Populations Eq. Persons












Actual Wet Weather Flows The effects on the dry weather hydrograph of two storms on a section of about 1000 hectares of the Frankston sewerage area are shown in Figures 3 and 4 to illustrate the effectiveness of the above measures . The February 1977 storm is estimated to have a return frequency of the order of once in 100 years and so far, beyond the· range for economic design. During and immediately following the storm general surface flow was observed thus flooding disconnecter gullies. That these were the principal routes of access of the stormwater to the sewerage system was confirmed by the return to dry weather flow conditions nine hours after the storm . The wet weather flow peaked twice within half an hour and the rate of stormwater infiltration was twice the design value. For each storm the quantity of stormwater infiltration was less than 1 % of the rainfall on the sewerage area. Variations In the dry weather hydrographs due to storms with rainfall of less than 10 mm are of the same order as the day to day variations during dry weather periods. Economy by Flatter Sewer Grades The criterion for the determination of the minimum grades for the 225 mm and larger diameter sewers of the sewerage systems was that the velocity of the sewage had to be FRANUTON


sufficient to prevent the build-up of grit or faecal matter. A high standard of construction for the sewers was adopted with deviations from line and grade not exceeding 5 mm. All pipes and fittings were to have a fall in the clirection of flow and be jointed with rubber rings with a minimum velocity, when flowing full, of 600 mm per second. The adopted minimum grades were determined from the Colebrook-White formula using a roughness value, ks, of 1.5 mm for mature sewers with a slime built-up of 5 mm and the minimum velocity of 600 mm per second. Typical examples of the adopted minimum grades are, 225 mm diameter, 1 In 300,450 mm diameter, 1 in 800 and 900 to 1200 mm diameter, 1 in 2000 . The sheer force on the walls of the sewers constructed at the adopted minimum grades is inadequate to remove slimes and so allows the generation of hydrogen sulphide in the sewers . DESIGN FOR THE WET SANDS The design concept adopted for sewerage systems in areas of non-cohesive soils and high water table was: • open trench construction with a maximum economical depth of four metres as determined from trial trenches using different construction methods, • multi-wet-well type pump stations, • rising mains discharging to either the closest sewer or where appropriate, to a control sewer of an adjacent downstream catchment. The use of wet-well type pump stations was made economically and reliably feasible by : • the introduction to Australia in the late 1950's and early 1960's of efficient, reliable and compact vertical and horizontal spindle submersible pumps with closecoupled submersible electric motors, • improved reliability of electric switchgear and controls , • substantial reduction in the capital cost of the wet-well type compared with the dry-well type pump stations of the same depth and capacity. FRANK STON


RAINFALL 7th MN - 9.00AM. - 42 mm 8th 9.00AM. - 11.30AM. - 12 mm AREA 1090 ha POP. 21,500 Persons DENSITY 19.7 Persons/ ha DESIGN MAXIMUM HOURLY WET WEATHER FLOW - 24100 L/ ha/ day

~ - - - STORM OF 23/ 2/77 RAINFALL - 40mm IN ABOUT 55 MINUTES AREA 990ha. POP. 21 000 PERSONS DENSITY 211 PERSONS/ ha



STOftM OF 7/8/78


15,000 30,000

25,000 - ·- ·- DE SIGN MAXIMUM HOURLY WET WEATHER FLOW - 24 000 L/ ha/ day






____ _,,,,,..,,,,,,./,,,...-----

..... 1/


0 L__.L_...,___ L......1...__J___J_j__.J.._--'-- ' - - - - ' - - - ' - - - ' ~ - ' - - ~~ ~ ~ 2PM.



HOURLY DRY WEATHER FLOW AVERAGE - 190 L/person/ day MAXIMUM - 400 L/ person/ d, y

Fig. 3. Effect of stormflow.




INFILTRATION PERMANENT - 1 300 L/ha/ day !DESIGN 1 300 L/ ha/ day) STORMWATER FLOOD - 32 400 L/ ha/ d,y MAXIMUM - 19 600 L/ha/ d•y (DESIGN 16 JOO L/ ha/ d,y)




L___ _ _......1..._ _ _,___ __,__ _ _ _ _...,___ __ ,




HOURLY WET WEATHER FLOW Maximum - 16 100 L/ ha/ day HOURLY DRY WEATHER FLOW AVERAGE - 150 L/penon/ day MAXIMUM - 380 L/ person/ day




INFILTRATION PERMANENT 800 L/ ha/day (DESIGN 1 300 L/ ha/day) STORMWATER - 8100 L/ ha/ day (DESIGN 16 JOO L/ ha/ d,y)

Fig. 4. Effect of stormflow.


The controls were so arranged that should high-level occur due to power failure, malfunction of the duty pump or inflows exceeding the pump capacity , the pumps would operate either solo or in parallel. The former mode was adopted where the discharge was to a relatively small catchment area which drained to another wet-well type pump station . A typical example of this design concept is the sewerage system for the suburbs of Chelsea and Bonbeach . The system covers an area ot'260 ha, serves a population of 7500 persons , and comprises 30 km of sewers and five wet-well and one dry-well type pump station.

I~ Ill.I.II'


Fig. 5. Chelsea and Bonbeach . THE HYDROGEN SULPHIDE PROBLEM As a result of reduced infiltration , flatter minimum grades and , in the areas of high water table, maximum depths of four metres in conjunction with wet well type pump stations and rising mains , there was a substantial reduction in the capital cost of the sewerage systems. This reduction could be offset by costs resulting from the significant increase in the build-up of hydrogen sulphide in the sewerage systems . A detailed investigation of the three sewerage systems that incorporated the above criteria was therefore carried out to forecast the magnitude of the build-up of hydrogen sulphide both during the first 5-10 years of operation , and for the ultimate population . Its effect on the operation and maintenance of each sewerage system was assessed . These investigations indicated that there would be no significant operational problems provided that : • adequate precautions were taken to dispose of odours at main dry-well type pump stations and to a lesser extent at the minor wet-well type pump stations, • air valve pits on rising mains , within the residential areas, were sealed with air-tight covers and vented to the sewers of the sewerage system , • the sewers were vented through the drain vents of the sewerage installations . Due to the remoteness of the two sewage treatment plants from the three sewerage districts (about 8 km in each case) , it was recognised that odour problems could occur at the inlet to these plants. However, there was no·signiflcant effect, in the first couple of years of operation . The investigations indicated that there would be significant maintenance problems within relatively small areas in each of the sewerage reticulations and along the Frankston gravity outfall main, due to the corrosion of concrete, rein forced concrete and , perhaps to a lesser extent , asbestos cement pipes and fittings , if these materials were used


without appropriate precautions to prevent corrosion . All ris ing mains were designed to remain full under normal working conditions, and hence there was no free water surface within the mains and therefore , no 'eorrosion . The manufacture of good quality 100 mm diameter vitrified clay pipes and f ittings jointed with rubber rings commenced in Victoria in the late 1950's. During t he early 1960's, rapid improvement in the manufacturing techniques took place so that by the late 1960's, the range of diameters available, jointed with rubber rings , had been extended to include 600 mm . Because of this , less than 3% of the total length of sewers of the ultimate sewerage systems will be constructed of reinforced concrete pipes which will need protection . The 'plastiline' lining of reinforced concrete pipes with diameters greater than 600 mm increases the final cost of the con structed main sewer or gravity outfall main by 20-25 %. This increase is equivalent to about $2 per metre for the sewers of 600 mm diameter, and less for those constructed with vitrified clay . This cost increase is insignificant compared with the additional cost due to the use of steeper minimum grades which would result in: • a significant increase in the maximum sewer depth for the same number of pump stations , or • a reduced increase in the maximum sewer depth with an increased number of pump stations. CONCLUSIONS Of the 450 krr, of 150 to 1350 mm diameter gravity sewers that comply with the above design and construction criteria, 20 % have been operational for more than ten years . Routine maintenance inspections of the gravity sewers has shown that there has been : • no build-up of grit or faecal matter, • no pipe movement , structural failure or loss of water t ightness, • some corrosion due to hydrogen sulphide of unlined manholes along sewers (diameter greater t han 1000 mm) that required repair, by rendering , after nine years operation . These results justify the adoption of flatter grades , rigid quality control of pipes and fittings and construction standards , flexible rubber ring joints and section type and where applicable maximum sewer depths of 4 m In conjunction with wet well type pump stations and rising mains . The total sewage flows are continuously recorded and selected periods analysed to assess the actual values of the components . These, with the exception of the wet weather flows shown on Fig . 3, have been significantly less than the design values, thus indicating the effectiveness of the methods used to reduce infiltration and justification of the adopted rates of infiltration and design maximum hourly wet weather flows .

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The app lication of digested sludge to agricu ltural land has been recognised as a desirab le means, both environmentall y and economical ly, of sludge d isposal. In addition to being inexpensive , land application recyc les nutrients essential for plant growth and provides organic matter important for soil structure . However, an excess of certain heavy metals and nutrients is known to be toxic to crops. This paper looks at the heavy metals removed in Brisbane's two largest waste water treatment plants and makes a preliminary assessment of the poss ibil ity of utilizing the sludge as a fertilizer . TABLE 1 INDUSTRIAL WASTE -



Metal Aluminium

Anodising .


Electrop lating; Some air-conditioning wastes; Tanneries .

treatment plants . Table 1 shows a variety of industries in Brisbane and the metals they discharge into the sewerage system . A large number of other industries d ischarge meta ls into the sewerage system, but the concentration of these metals is generall y insignificant . Tables 2 and 3 show typical Influent and effluent metal levels in sewage over a period . These are generally low , though occasiona lly a metal slug will pass into the plant (e.g . Ni - Luggage Point) . The problem of applying excessive trace metals to agricultural land in municipal sewage sludges is -partly al leviated in Brisbane by the strict factory effluent standards imposed on industries (see Table 4). However, the levels of metals in a domestic sewage sludge are stil l large enough to warrant carefully controlled application rates to soils . TABLE 2 LUGGAGE POINT METAL LEVELS



Electroplating; Radiator repair shops .


Enameling ; Stee l surface coating industries .


Battery manufacture; Scrap battery industries .


Electrop lating .


Electrop lating; Galvanising .


Enamel ing; Laundries .

PR IMARY EFFLUENT PR IMARY INFLUENT Range (ppb) Mean Range (ppb) Mean

Zn Cu Fe Ba Mn Cr Cd Ni

295 85 1520 79 125 46 <5 79

0- 680 13- 195 1100-2100 28- 135 100- 150 0- 135 0- 12 0- 860

128 26 820 35 109 14 <5 57

50- 240 <7.5- 40 665-1000 23- 62 99- 130 < 5- 63 0- <5 0- 685



110- 470


160- 345

Samples were composited four-hourly, on 17-22 January, 1979. Samp les stored in 2% HNO - autoclaved one hour, then analysed by ICP-AES .



Sewage is comprised of a wide variety of substances from domest ic and industrial sources . A large number of industries throughout the metropol itan area of Brisbane discharge their treated (or untreated) effluent into the sewerage system, which finally passes predominant ly into Luggage Point Treatment Plant , and to a lesser extent, Oxley Creek and the small

Heavy metals which have entered the sewerage system are most ly removed at the treatment plant. Some metals in the dissolved form when leaving the facjory will react with the sewage and precipitate before reacfiing the plant - this makes removal of the metal in the plant more effective . Metals are removed in two stages by an activated sludge treatment plant. Firstly , metals are removed in the primary settler by sedimentation of inso luble meta ls or metals absorbed to particu late matter. Second ly, there is adsorption of dissolved metals or fine part iculate metals to the biological f loe in the aeration tanks with subsequent settling out of the material in the secondary clarifiers .

Peter McKinnon is with the City Chemist's Laboratory, Department of Water Supp l y and Sewerage, Brisbane City Council. This paper was presented to the Queensland Branch in May 1978.


ELEMENT Zn Cu Fe Ba Mn Cr Cd Ni B




306 154 2210 156 128 42 < 7.5 <15.0

90- 970 44- 530 1060-9047 70- 420 97- 201 0- 90 0- 47 0- 60

292 119 1647 120 114 19 <7.5 <15 .0

60- 850 20- 315 1400-3600 90- 255 74- 175 0- 95 0- 10 0- 50

22 <7.5 202 42 88 <7.5 <7.5 <15.0

0-119 0- 30 84-490 15- 86 81-112 0- 10 0- 8 0- 40


101 - 420


178- 433



Samp les were composited four [4] hourly, on 9- 13 October, 1978; 30 October - 24 November, 1978; 19-27 February, 1979. Samples stored in 2 % HNO-3 ., autoclaved one hour, then analysed by GIP-AES. 18


The efficiency of metal removal depends on the total metal load and the efficiency of the treatment process . Table 5 shows that metals are generall y more efficiently removed in secondary treatment than in primary treatment only. This parallels an increase in suspended solids removal - Oxley Creek's suspended sol id removal varies between 90-99%; Luggage Point's suspended solid removal varies between 60-70% , since it is at present only a primary treatment facility . It should be noted that during the current investigation, Oxley Creek's primary tanks were not functioning at their maximum efficiency . This was due to the presence of an excess of digestor supernatant In the primary tanks resulting from a lack of digestor space . The supernatant was causing some floating of solids and subsequent carry-over in the primary effluent. Although Oxley Creek's primary metal TABLE 4 BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL SEWER ADMISSION LIMITS



Aluminium Arsenic Barium Boron Cadmium Chromium Copper Iron Lead Manganese Mercury Nickel Silver Zinc

100 10 20 10

4 20 10 150

100 10

Nil 20 5 100

removal was down , Oxley Creek's secondary removal and Luggage Point's primary metal removal were better than those reported in a Canadian study (Oliver and Casgrove 1975).

Therefore , heavy metals entering most treatment plants predominantly finish up in the sludge solids (even more so with secondary treatment plants). ¡ Numerous studies overseas have revealed extreme variabil4 ity in levels of metals , total N and NH =in sewage sludge from different sources . Tables 6 and 7 illustrate Brisbane's digestor sludge composition and once again this is compared to overseas levels (Sommers 1977) . It can be seen that Brisbane's sludge metal levels corre late closely with those in the U.S.A., and generally speaking our sludges have metal levels representative of a predominantly domestic sewage. The nutrient results show a fair degree of variability between here and overseas. APPLICATION TO LAND

The application of d igested sludge to an agricu ltural land has been recognised as a desirable means, both environmentally and economically, of sludge disposal. However, the heterogeneous nature of sewage sludges and the presence of

potentially harmful trace elements necessitates a detailed knowledge of the chemical composition of each individual sludge prior to developing recommendations for its potential use as a fertilizer. Great emphasis in the past has been placed on the accumulation of non-essential trace elements in the edible portion of crops (e .g. Cd and Ni) . Chumbley (1971) and Brown (1975) place greater emphasis on the toxicity of Zn , Cu (two essential elements) and Ni ; Patterson (1971) reported damage to crops where sludge had been applied which contained hioh levels of extractable Zn , Cu and Ni. De Vries and Tiller (1971) found that the ease with which lettuce absorbed metals from sludge-amended so il decreased in the order Cd> Zn> Ni> Cu>> Pb . Patterson, de Vries and Tiller evidenced no toxic effect with lead in their investigations . Chromate is very toxic but is generally reduced to a non-toxic form by organic matter. Cr 3+ is not thought to produce a problem . Boron (strictly speaking a non-metal) must also be considered, cereals and potatoes being particularly sensitive to excess B. Brown (1975) suggests that the significance of toxic metals (e.g . Cu , Ni and Zn) accumulated in sludge-amended soils will depend largely on whether these metals ultimately assume chemical forms in the soil that cannot be absorbed by plants . The chemical and bio logical environment of the soil is obviously different from that of a waste water treatment plant. Metals applied to soils with sludges will undergo changes in chemical form over a period of many years . If the greatest portion of the applied metal ultimately reverts to a chemical form that cannot be utilized by plants, metal toxicity will not become a problem on sludge d isposal sites. On the other hand, moderate increases in the 'available' metal content of a soil may have prorwunced toxic effects on plants . For these reasons , the overrid ing factor to be considered is the ultimate increase in 'available' meta l that may be used by plants rather than the 'total' content of sludge amended soil. Unfortunately, little is known about the conversion rate of different forms of 'bound' metals to forms that are 'available'; overseas investigations are being carried out in this regard . Some in formation is available on nutrient conversion; Miller (1975) has suggested that a reasonable rate of conversion by soil micro-organisms of organic nitrogen to inorganic nitrogen which is available for plant uptake, is 10% of the organic nitrogen during the first year the sludge is added to the soil and thereafter 5% per year of the remaining nitrogen. These estimates are in line with general soil nitrogen concepts . In our climate, this 10% figure could well be exceeded since temperature and the amount of irrigation affect this figure . ., The toxicity of metals varies , too , with the type of crop : generally, grasses are much more tolerant to metal toxicity than are cereal crops which are likewise more tolerant than vegetables . It has been suggested by Chumbley (1971) that the differing sensitivities of crops should not be taken into account In giving advice on the use of sewage , particularly In horticultural or in arab le or mixed farming situations, since any toxicity that is allowed to develop wil l last for many years and will affect future crops which cou ld we ll be different .



Zinc Copper Iron Chromium Barium Manganese Boron

% Removal in Primary Tank

% Removal in Secondary Tank

Oxley Creek

Luggage Point


Oxley Creek


5 23 25 55 23 11 0.5

57 69 46 69 56 11 0 .5

54 33 49 55

93 97 87 72 65 23 2

50 60 55 72

xx 33


xx 6


XX = Metal levels were too low to determine percentage removal. N.D. = Not Determined.






Survey * U.S.A. Plants Mean Total Range Metal

Oxley Creek Mean Mean Mean Available Metal Metal

Luggage Point Mean Mean Total Available Metal Metal

Zinc Copper Lead Chromium Nickel Cadmium

0.0108-27 .8 0.0085-10.1 0.0058-19. 7 0.0024-28 .8 0.0002-0.352 0.0003-0.34

0.1521 0.0777 0.0398 0.0111 0.0050 0.0010

0.1899 0.0582 0.0419 0.0427 0.0136 0.0026

0.338 0.142 0.164 0.207 0.040 0.0106

0.0322 0.0050 0.0061 0.0002 0.0016 0.0003

0.0662 0.0052 0.0051 0.0002 0.0048 0.0014

Total Metals: HNO 3 /HCI0 4 Digested . Available Metals: 2 tiour D.T.P.A. Extracted. TABL-E 7 ANAEROBIC SLUDGE ANALYSIS PERCENTAGE ON DRY WEIGHT SLUDGE

Element Total Nitrogen N Ammonium Nitrogen NH4 -N Nitrate Nitrogen NO3-N Total Phosphorus P Total Potassium K

Survey * 150 Plants U.S.A.

Oxley Creek Mean

Luggage Point Mean

5.0 0.94

1.9 0.3

1.65 0.2




3.3 0.52

1.15 0.27

1.75 0.50


Recommendations for sludge application rates can be based on the fertilizer value (N, P, K) and on the "zincequivalent value" for 'available' metals in sludge . The lower application rate is the recommended one . The zinc-equivalent value was derived by Chumbley (1971) from pot experiments which indicated that copper was twice as toxic as the same amount of zinc and that nickel was eight times as toxic as the same amount of zinc. It Is not a rigorous correlation, but has the advantage of simplicity for preliminary assessments. The Nitrogen (N) requirement:

Sommers (1977) has recommended an application rate of 100 kg/ha 'available' nitrogen. This Is equivalent, in terms of oven-dried sludge, to approximately 12 tonnes/ha of Oxley Creek Sludge and 15 tonnes/ha of Luggage Point Sludge. The Zinc-equivalent value:

Chumbley (1971) suggests that it is permissible to add zincequivalent amounting to 250 ppm of top soil. The zincequivalent value of Oxley Creek sludge is approximately 550 ppm and that of Luggage Point sludge is approximately 1,150 ppm . Since one hectare of land contains approximately 400 tonnes of top soil, the total application rates are equivalent to 300 tonnes/ha of Oxley Creek sludge, or 100 tonnes/ha of Luggage Point sludge (based on 105°C oven dried sludge). The zinc-equivalent application rates are based on values determined for available metals in a soil of approximately pH 6.5. If the pH of the soil drops below 6.5, 'bound' metals can readily become 'available' metals . If the application rate is based on the zinc-equivalent value than any increase in available metals could impair plant growth or even kill the plant. Chaney (1973) has reviewed the limited data on soil conditions that may result In metal toxicity to plant growth. There is little doubt that Brisbane's predominantly domestic sewage sludge can be utilized as a fertilizer. However, the following points need to be observed : 1. The application rate should ·be based on the lesser value, i.e. the 100 kg Nitrogen/ha value:-12 tonnes/ha Oxley Creek sludge , 15 tonnes/ha Luggage Point sludge (based on 105°C oven dried sludge). 20

These application rates are in close agreement with De Vries (1978) , Jorgensen (1975) and Jenz et . al. (1976) . De Vries carried out an investigation in South Australia, and recommended an application rate of 24 tonnes/ha dried (76°C) sludge for most crops except the leafy vegetables (9 tonnes/ha in this case). Jorgensen concluded that if the pH is maintained at pH 1!. 7.0; soil with high content humus and clay is considered ; and municipal sludge is used, that more than 200, tonnes sludge can be applied totally, that is 20 tonnes/year/ ha over a period of ten years, without any danger. Zenz et. al. applied 17.7 tonnes/ha dried sludge to agricultural land and their data Indicated no significant Increase in the metal levels of grain grown on l! hese fields . 2. pH control is important, but not as critical as it would be if the application rate were based on the zinc-equivalent value . Too low a pH releases 'bound' metals and increases 'available' metals . However, since the recommended application rate is a factor of 10 lower than the zinc equivalent application rate, then any variation in pH will not dramatically increase the metal toxicity . Too high a pH converts ammonium nitrogen to ammonia and this can kill plants. The ideal pH seems to be 6.5 - 7 .0. 3. The potassium concentration in sewage is low with respect to the nitrogen and phosphorous levels and thus potassium would need to be supplemented according to the requirement of the particular crop grown . Phosphorus may even need to be added in certain cases . 4. It should be noted that before sewage sludge can be utilized as a fertilizer, appropriate measures need to be taken to destroy any pathogens (i.e . bacteria, enteric viruses, protozoans and parasitic worms such as helminths) . Melnick (1978) stated that because current epidemiological methods do not offer reliable means of determining whether waterborne viral outbreaks have occurred, it is impossible to ascertain the risk from viruses associated with the land application wastes at this stage. Kibbey et. al. (1978) state that the greatest concerns to sludge disposal in rural areas would be the maintenance of drinking water quality in rural watersheds and the potential for faecal organisms to contaminate crops grown on the same soils. WATER

5. Sewage is also . known to contain harmful organic compounds . Lee and Jones (1977) state that the risk associated with these compounds has yet to be determined . Brisbane's sludge has not been analysed for any of these compounds to date. Heat sterilizing (De Vries, 1978) is being used to kill pathogens , although composting has been found equally effective in killing pathogens, provided all the compost mass •reaches the lethal temperature (Kazuyoshi-Kawata, et. al., 1977) . . Under 'The Resource Recovery and Conservation Act' of 1976, the E.P .A. is to issue minimum criteria to be used by the U.S.A . for determining which land disposal facilities for sludge will be classified as having reasonable probability of having no adverse effects on health or the environment. These criteria will be most helpful when they become available . CONCLUSION The ideal application rate of Brisbane's sludge for use on agricultural land for most crops lies in the range 15-20 tonnes/ha bed-dried sludge . At this concentration, toxic metals are quite low and nutrient levels are generally sufficient, with the exception of potassium, which would need to be supplemented . Increased application rates of up to 200 tonnes/ha have successfully been used in Brisbane for growing grass. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The author wishes to thank the Chief Engineer and Manager, Department of Water Supply and Sewerage , Brisbane City Council, for permission to publish this paper . A special thanks goes to Mr. M. Pascoe for his assistance with the chemical analyses .

REFERENCES BROWN, R.E., (1975) Significance of trace metals and nitrates In sludge soil , Journal W.P.C.F., Vol. 47, No. 12. CHANEY , A.L., (1973) Crop and food chain effects of toxic elemerts In sludges and effluents , U.S. E.P.A., U.S. Dept. of Agr., Universities We,rkshop , Champaign-Urbana, Ill. · CHUMBLEY , C.G. , (1971) Permissible levels of toxic metals In sewage used on agricultural land, Paper No. 10, H.M. Stationery Office, London. DE VRIES, M.P.C., (1978) Investigation on the use of sludge as a fertilizer In a market garden area north of Adelaide , S.A. , Int . Conf . on Developments In Land Methods of Watewater Treatment and Utilization . DE VRIES M.P.C. , and TILLER , K.G ., (1978) The effect of sludges from two Adelaide sewage treatment plants on the growth of and heavy metal concentrations in lettuce, Aust. Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Volume 18, February. JORGENSEN , S.E. (1975) Do Heavy Metals prevent the agricultural use of Muni cipal sludge? Water Research, Vol . 9, pp . 163-170, Pergamon Press. KAZUYOSHI-KAWATA , P.H., CRAMER , W.H. and BURGE, W.D., (1977) Composting Destroys Pathogens, J. Water and Sewage Works , April. KIBBEY , H.J., HAGEDORN, C., and McCOY, E.L., (1978) Use of Fecal Streptococci as Indicators of Pollution in Soll, J. Applied and Environ . Micro. , Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 711 -717 . LEE , G.F., and JONES, A.A. , (1977) Chemical Agents of Health Significance in Municipal Wastewater Effluents and Sludges, Proceedings of the Conference on Risk assessment and Health effects of Land Application of Municipal Wastewater and sludge , Uni. of Texas . MELNICK, J.L. , (1978) Proceedings of the Conference on Risk Assessment and Health Effects of Land Application of Municipal Wastewater and Sludge, Uni of Texas at San Antonio. In Sorber, C.A. and Saglk , B.P. Health Effects of Land Application of Wastewater and Sludge: What are the risks? J. Water and Sewage Works , July. MILLER, R.H., (1975) (Prof . of Soll Microbiology, Ohio State). Personnel Communication . In Brown, R.E. - Significance of trace metals and nitrates in sludge soil , Journal W.P.C.F., Vol. 47, No. 12. OLIVER, B.G., and COSGROVE, E.G., (1975) Metal Concentrations In the Sewage , effluents, and sludges of some Southern Ontario Waste Water Treatment Plants, Environ Letters 9 (1). pp . 75-90 . PATTERSON , J.B.D., (1971) Metal Toxicities Arising from Industry. Trace Elements in Soils and crops. Mini stry of Agr. Fish. Food Tech . Bull. , 21, 193. SOMMERS, L.E ., (1977) Chemlcai Composition of Sewage Sludges and Analysis of ttleir Potential use as Fertilizers , J. Environ . Qua/., Vol. 6, No. 2. ZENZ, D.R., PETERSON, J.R., BROOMAN , D.L. and LUEHING , C. , (1976) Environmental impacts of land application of sludge , Journal W. P.C. F., Vol. 48 , No. 10, October.



The Nat ional Committee on Hydrology & ~ ater Resources of the Institution of Engineers , Australia, held its annual symposium in Perth on 10-12 September attended by over 200 delegates . The symposium was preceded by a weekend study tour of the south-west of Western Australia on the topic - "Water Resources and Land Management Issues in the Darling Range" . Eighty delegates saw eleven sites, where conflicts between water resources and land are being studied . The primary message was the increasing salinity of many of the major rivers of the south-west; some rivers being already too saline for future potable supply to Perth . The main cause is large scale clearing of natural forest for agricultural purposes over the past 150 years , which reduced the evapotranspiration demand resulting in a rising (saline) water table intersecting stream channels, and leaching the salt stored in the soil into the previously Ires river systems . Destruction of jarrah forest by dieback disease is having a similar though less extensive effect. Other aspects of the study tour were the effects of bauxite mining and post-mining rehabilitation on the forest ecology and hydrology, and recreation demands on water supply storages . A novel approach in one experiment was to determine the evapotranspiration from a 20 metre high jarrah tree by enveloping it in plastic (open at the top), drawing air through the top and out at the bottom, and measuring the increase in water vapour cootent of the air. At special public exhibition 'RESOURCE 1' by the W .A. Government consisting of a sequence of displays coincided with the Symposium . Displays featured : natural resources and their management, history and development of water supply, water and Waste treatment, research and planning. The ·w .A . Government, despite the Stat e's limited energy resources in the South West, has declared water to be the most critical resource and the exhibition emphasized the Government viewpoint .


ANTHRAC lTE filter media

ACTIVATED CARBON powered and granulated

DESALINATION EQUIPMENT vapour compression and multi-effect distillation


iron and manganese removal

GARNET 3 EDEN ST, CROWS NEST 2065 PHONE: (02) 9290393





From K. J. Hartley, E.W.S., South Australia

1979 December 2-7, New Delhi

International Symposium on hydrological aspects of droughts . UNESCO. December 3-7, San Francisco

Symposium on organic contaminants in groundwater. A.G.U. December 10-13, Canberra

Symposium on hydrology of areas of low precipitation . I.A .H.S. 1980 January / F ebruary , Sydney Course on Water Treatment.


N.S.W . February 4-8, Adelaide A .W.W.A. fourth Summer


A.W.W .A . March 10-June, Sydney

Graduate course in hydrology. Uni. N.S .W . March 17-19, Surfers Paradise

Course on Upgrading Wastewater Treatment Plants (see advt.). Uni. Old. April 14-18 (47), Adelaide

Engineering Conference . I.E. Aust. April 15-19, (44,47), Oxford, England

International symposium on application of recent developments in hydrological forecasting to the operation of water resource systems. IASH , WMO, UNESCO . May 12-16, Adelaide

ANZAAS jubilee conference . ANZAAS . June 23-27, Toronto, Canada

International Water Pollution Controi Federat ion conference and exhibition . July, Melbourne

Env ironment symposium. I.E . Aust . July 7-16, Sydney

Course on Municipal Wastewater Treatment . Uni. of N.S.W . July 14-18 (49) , Townsville

Groundwater recharge conference. AWRC. July 14-24, Edmonton, Alberta




symposium on Alberta Re-

interaction .

search Council. J.uly 21-25 (49), Uni. of ClermontFerrand, France

Th'ird WMO scientific conference on weather modification. WMO. August 18-22 (44,47), Brisbane

The following comments are offered .on my paper "Odqurous Condit ions in Lagoons Treating High-Sulphate Wastewater" , published in Water (December 1978). Professor B.W. Gould , University of New South Wales , has pointed out to me that my assessment of the power input to a lagoon by wind was incorrect. The equation given relates to the total power dissipated by surface drag, but most of this is lost through turbulence in the air . The smal l fraction transmitted to the water results in both water currents and water waves. On ly the currents are effective for mixing, most of the wave energy being dissipated against the downwind bank of the lagoon. Because of the shallow depth of a lagoon, the current speeds resulting from given wind speeds are less than values measured in lakes or in the ocean. An attempt to quantify the relationship has suggested that currents caused by light winds are laminar and therefore ineffective for vertical mixing ; it would seem that a breeze is needed to provide turbulent water flow and hence effective mixing through the depth of the lagoon . Laminar flow conditions are suggested by the influent streamlines in lagoon 3 shown in the photograph on the cover of the December 1978 issue of Water. Artificial power input by surface aerator is inefficient because of its concentration at a point. Power dissipation is very high near the aerator declining rapidly to very low values further away. Since my paper was written, lagoon 4 at Whyalla has been observed in a milky (but not odourous) condition while its aerator was operating . A much lower power input would suffice for mixing if the power cou ld be dissipated more uniformly . Travelling aerators are available commercial ly ; alternative ly , an air bubble system utili zing one or more lin e discharges is suggested .

NEW A.W.W.A. TECHNOLOGY at just Sc a page A.W.W.A. 8th Fed. Convention, Gold Coast - Papersover 500 pages of techn ical papers for just

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Seventh Australasian hyd·raulics and fluid mechanics conference. I.E . Aust.

(Incl. postage in Australia)

September 1-4 (49), Paris

Available from: THE CONVENTION SEC. A.W.W.A. 8th FED. CONV. P.O. BOX 129 BRISBANE MARKETS 4106 TEL.: (07) 200 1176

Thirteenth international water supp ly congress and exhibition . IWSA. November, Adelaide

Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium. I.E . Aust .


INTERNATIONAL "WHO'S WHO" IN WATER SUPPLY, 1979 The International Water Supply Association have published a 193-page directory (in four languages) of members and corporate members , and li stings of the professional associations and institutes for water supply. It also includes a directory of manufacturers (European and American mainly) . The Australian information seems fairly complete, though there are some notable omissions from the major supply authorities! A worthwhile document for those in the business. Cost £10 from 1 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1 H9BT.

WATER PRACTICE MANUALS The Institution of Water Engineers and Scientists has again entered the publishing field with a wide-ranging series under the general title "Water Practice Manuals". It is intended that these books will gradually replace the very successful "Manual of British Water Engineering Practice", the fourth and final edition of which was published by the Institution in 1969. The books will deal mainly with the engineering and scientific elements concerned with the water cycle but they will also focus attention on subjects which , particularly in England and Wales, have now become associated with the overall management of that cycle. The books will not be confined entirely to British experience . Where relevant, references will be made to overseas practice and, in particular, to thinking and developments within the EEC. The full series of books will form a basic library for thos~ concerned with the technology and science of water. Individual books in the series will attract readers both inside and outside the water industry. Despite the introduction of the new bool<s, much of the material contained in the In stitution's existing three volume "Manual of British Water Engineering Practice" remains valid and copies of that Manual will continue on sale until present stocks are exhausted. First book

The Structure and Management of the British Water Industry. Further books in the series

Recreation on water and water catchment areas. Groundwater: assessment and development. Planning and development of water resources. Water quality and the environment. Water distribution systems. Water supply treatment plant. Analytical aspects of water and sewage treatment. Instrumentation and automation. River engineering, agriculture and the environment. Price of first book: UK £13 .00 (£16.00 Airmail) I.W .E.S. 6 Sackvi lle St ., London W1x1DD , U.K. WATER

LAUNCESTON TREATMENT PLANT USES F.R.P. PIPE Consulting engineers Scott and Furphy required pipework that was cheap and easy ~o install, had a long life and cou ld be easily landscaped for aesthetic beauty .

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Fibreglass reinforced plastic proved ideal for both sludge transfer llnes and digester gas llnes (pictured) whlle offering substantial cost advantages. The job had origina ll y been let in cement lined cast iron, but Fibreg lass Reinforced Plastic was chosen as an alternative for the substantial saving it offered both immediate ly and over an extended period of time as well as its corrosion resistance. However, the consultants were still concerned about F.R .P.'s abrasion resistance, so the pipe to be supp lied was zircon lined - an alteration which in separate tests has shown an abrasion resistance four times superior to that of steel. Approximately 1000 metres of 150 mm and 100 mm diameter pip ing , together with the necessary bends, tees and other fittings, were manufactured at the Transfie ld works in Sydney, shipped to Launceston by container and installed by local labour. The Sewerage Treatment Plant was commissioned in November, 1977, and the consulting engineers indicate that the F.R.P. piping has been performing extremely satisfactorily .

THE "ROLLS ROYCE" OF METERING PUMPS FOR ACCURACY, RELIABILITY One of the most essentia l elements in continuous processing is not on ly the accuracy , but the reliability of the dosing equipment. Mono Pumps (Austral ia) Pty . Ltd-. is now ab le to supply industry with a metering pump that is not only extremely accurate , but is utterly reliable . The Q Range stroke control mechanism has been designed specifically to eliminate the use of pivots, l inkages and bushes, so often the cause of inaccuracy in many metering pump designs . A selection of plunger, bellows , mechanical diaphragm and hydrau lic diaphragm pumpheads is available . These pumpheads are constructed from a variety of high grade corrosion

The largest of the new premier range of dosing pumps on the Australlan market, the 04 Metrlpump with standard electric motor drive and slngle plunger pumphead from Mono Pumps (Australla) Pty. Ltd. This unit is suitable for pressures up to 620 bar and can provide flow rates up to 7800 1/h from a single pumphead. It can be fitted with duplex pumpheads to double output and is suitable for ganged assemblies, For further information : Mr. David Dawson , Australian Sales & Marketing Manager.


A new industrial hand and arm dryer , the Supreme BA 201 , starts electronically when the arm or hand Is • in the drying chamber and stops immediately the arm Is withdrawn , thus eliminating costs when not being used. It further Improves the economy by recycling the hot air flow to increase the machine's efficiency. The unit Is Ideal for general industrial situations with particular emphasis on industries that operate In hygienic conditions. For further information : ¡ Mr. R. Snow, International Contamination Con-trol Industries Pty. Ltd. 194 Burnley Street, Richmond, Victoria 3121. P.O . Box 124 Brighton, Vic . 3186. Phone (03) 429-4329.




An intensive 3-day continuing education course. (a) pH Meters (b) Specific Ion Meters (c) Conductivity Meters and Electrodes (d) Dissolved Oxygen (e) Electrophoresis Power Supplies

(j) Automatic Titration Equipment (g) Industrial Process Controllers/Recorders (h) Custom Data Processing Systems. *Only a showcase of the instruments in s~ock, all with digital, meter, or chart recorder displays. For a demonstration in your laboratory, contact TPS/ IONODE Sales. The TPS Range of portable , laboratory and industrial instrumentation offers a combination of quality, economy and service. Already exported tc 12 overseas countries (including Japan and the Near East) , TPS rigid standards ensure accuracy when it counts. Time is our most precious commodity. TPS has the service backup that many imported instrument agents lack - because we 're right here when you need us 1 CO NTACT OUR FIELD SERVI CE TEAM

DATE, VENUE: March 17th-19th, 1980, Chev-

ron Hotel, Surfers Paradise. LECTURERS: Professor Wes Eckenfelder,

USA; Mr Ian Sandford, Gutteridge, Haskins and Davey, Australia; Dr Paul Greenfield, University of Queensland, Australia. '

CONTENT: Load reduction to local treatment

plants, modifications to lagoons and waste stabilisation basins, redesign of aeration systems and activated sludge plants, application of oxidation ditches as an upgrading measure, upgrading sewage treatment works, redesign for nitrification-denitrification, phosphorus removal etc. COST: (includes tuition, lecture notes, lun-

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TPS/IONODE SALES Sydney - Eddy Joseph, 922 6833 Melbourne - Pat Griffin, 347 6866 Brisbane - Peter Kozionas, 229 1955


The Perteet Solution



DETAILS: Dr P.F. Greenfield,

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An aeration SfStemis only as good asthe fineness of its bubbles * *


System established since 1919, with many hundreds o plants insta lled throughout the wor ld. Aeration tanks flexible in design up to 9 metres depth offering maximum use of available area. Fine bubbles of 2 mm diameter give high oxygen transfer efficiency.

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You cannot compare the Sharples Sludge Oewatering Centrifuge with other conventiona l sludge dewatering systems because a centrifuge has so many 'plus factors ' in its favour.


Centrifuges are totally enclosed . No offensive smells.


Centrifuges occupy much less space than other sludge dewatering systems

~i Ce nt rifuges don 't suffer from screen blinding they have no screens .

~~ Cent rifu ges.can accept wid e Vdriations in 'feed ' concentration .


Centrifuges can operate in the open - no costly housing - reduced ¡c,vils '


Centrifuges handle ove, 80% of sludge dewalering duties in the United Str1tes of Am er ica of wh1cn more than 50 % are SHARPLES instal lations

Sharples have more experience - more muh1c1pal centrifuge installations in the UK than any other centrifuge supplier.

~ I • Sharples have the widest range of sludge dewatering centrifuges - to suit any sludge and any capacity .

Nii Sharples SOC Centrifuge standard construction is stainless steel eli minati ng corrosion problems.


Sharples have perfected a new and revolutionary hard surfacing technology to protect wearing parts which in operation out lasts other hard surface treatments by as much as 30 times .


Sharples Centrifuges are bac ked by a fully trained Service Team and a comprehensive Spares faciiity.

~~ British built with British labour. Faced with all th ese facts and we have plenty more to sup port our claim that th e Sharpl es SOC Centrifuge is the oniy comple tely cost eff ective answer to sludqe dewalering or sl udg e concentration.