Water Journal February 1992

Page 1


ISSN 0310-0367



FEDERAL SECRETARIAT PO Box 388, Artarmon 2064 Telephone (02) 413 1288 Facsimile (02) 413 1047 Office Manager - Margaret Bates

FEDERAL PRESIDENT Barry Sanders, Phone (09) 420 2453

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Peter Hughes, Phone (02) 413 1288 Facsimile (02) 948 1746

FEDERAL SECRETARY Greg Cawston, Phone (042) 29 0236

FEDERAL TREASURER John Molloy, Phone (03) 615 5991

BRANCH SECRETARIES Canberra, ACT Peter Cox, PO Box 306, Woden 2606 Phone (062) 498 522 New South Wales Nick Apostolidis, GCEC. 39 Regent Street Railway Square 2000 Phone (02) 699 9922 Victoria John Park, Cl- Water Training Centre, PO Box 409, Werribee 3030 Phone (03) 741 5844 Queensland Don Mackay, PO Box 412, West End 4101 Phone (07) 840 4844


My Point of View Association News President's Message It Seems To Me


News from the Branches 8 10

IAWPRC News Industry News

Features 12 14 19


26 29 32

35 36 38 40

Water Industry Training Assumes a National Perspective N. Whyte and B. Davis Multi-skilling at the Hunter Water Board - The First Five Years W. Scholz and S. Weatherstone Award Restructuring in the Water Authority of Western Australia D. Knight and P. G. Lutz Safety Aspects in a Highly Aerated Diffused Air Wastewater Treatment Plant J. Charlton and J. Foreman Safety and Operator Training J. Park Cross Flow Micro-filtration with In-Line Flocculation S. Vigneswaran and S. Boonthanon Ultraviolet Disinfection in Municipal Waste Water Treatment Plants A. MacDougall Asian Waterqual Conference Report Environmental Water Allocation Seminar Report Product Information Conference Calendar

South Australia Neil Palmer, C/¡ State Water Laboratories, E&WS Private Mail Bag, Sali sbury 5108 Phone (08) 381 0268 Western Australia Steve Gibson, CMPS, 200 Adelaide Terrace Perth 6000 Phone (09) 325 9366 Tasmania Annette Ferguson, GPO Box 503E, Hobart 7001 Phone (002) 28 2757

OUR COVER ~~-~ .. --

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Northern Territory Lindsay Monteith, PO Box 351, Darwin 0801 Phone (089) 81 5922

EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE E.A. (Bob) Swinton, 4 Pleasant View Crescent, Glen Waverley 3150 Office Phone-Fax (03) 560 4752 Home (03) 560 9306

ADVERTISING Ann Sykes-Smith, Appita, 191 Royal Parade, Parkville 3052 (03) 347 2377 Fax (03) 348 1206

Aerated basins have long been recognised by wastewater treatment plant operators as a ha2ard, since it is well-known that aerated water has a lower density than normal water. To test this aspect in practice the Occupational Safety Advisor for the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage of the Brisbane City Council took advantage of the water commissioning of a highly aerated basin at the Wacol WWTP. He performed a controlled experiment, measuring his apparent weight while trying to swim. The experiment demonstrated that buoyancy was significantly reduced, but also the currents and the reduction in viscosity which made swimming actions less effective added to the danger. These observations led to increased emphasis on design of safety aspects, as discussed in the paper on page 23.

PUBLICATION Water is bi-monthly. Nominal distrlbulion times are lhe third weeks of February, April . June, August, October. December.

IMPORTANT NOTICE PRODUCTION EDITOR John Grainger, Appita, 191 Royal Parade, Parkville 3052 (03) 347 2377 Fax (03) 348 1206

The views expressed by the contrlbutors are not necessarily endorsed by the Auslralian Water and Wastewater Association. No reader should act or !ail to act on the basis of any materlal contained herein. No responslbllil y is accepted by the Association, the Editor or the contr ibulors for the accuracy of inlormatlon contained In lhe text and advertisements. The Auslralian Water and Wastewater reserves the right to alter or to omit any art icle or adverlisement submilled and requires indemnily from advertisers and contributors aga insl damages which arise lrom material published . All materlat in Water Is copyright and should not be reproduced wholly or In part without lhe written permiss ion ol the editor.

WATER February 1992


MANAGEMENT WATER INDUSTRY TRAINING ASSUMES A NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE by N. WHYTE and B. DAVIS On Friday 13 December, an event of vital importance to the Australian water industry took place in Canberra. Representatives from water authorities, employers'. unions and educational institutions from throughout Australza met under the joint auspices ofAWWA and the AWRC to address the longoutstanding issue of developing a uniform national approach to water industry training and education in Australia. The meeting resolved to pursue the establish11:e;1t and fo_rmal recognition of a National Water Industry Training Council, the ro les of which are to include the development. ~nd implementation of national competency standards specific _to the water industry. This offers an unprecedented opportunity for the entire water industry to pool resources and effort, and thereby establish a mechanism for the future growth and prosperity of the whole industry, and the nation.

THE AUSTRALIAN SCENE The issue of training has increasingly become crucial to the future direction of Australian industry. The demands for micro-economic reform and economically sustainable development dictate the need to improve workforce skills in accordance with Industry requirements. There can be little doubt of the significance and impact of the water industry on the nation, and its contribution to the welfare of industry and the community. However, until recently there has been minimal effort made to coordinate the training and educational requirements of even the authorities responsible for the municipal water scene, let alone the wider water industry. AWWA itself has been involved in promoting and developing education and training for treatment plant operators for some thirty years, resulting in individual courses being conducted by various State bodies, but without the benefit of national recognition or portability of qualifications. Over the years, both AWWA and AWRC have conduc~ed numerous surveys and employed consultants to report on education and training needs. In every case, the recommendations included the creation of some national body to establish common standards and reciprocity. In every case, nothing happened. In 1969, the question of education and training was raised with the Senate Select Committee on Water Pollution, and in 1970 it's recommendations included: (a) a National Water Commission which would encourage, assist and co-ordinate research and education; and (b) as a matter of urgency, the Commonwealth ~ovemment sho.uld examine the facilities for education of profess10nal and techmcal persons in water pollution so that provision of adequate facilities will not be delayed. Again, nothing really happened. It is easy to blame AWWA, AWRC and Governments for failure to act on a matter of such national importance, but the truth is that we, the water industry, must accept the blame. AWWA and the AWRC represent us, the Commonwealth and State politicians represent us, we cannot expect them to act unless they can see that a majority of the water industry is demanding action. This was illustrated when we in Queensland sought recognition by the Department of Employment Education and Training (DEET) some two years ago. They responded that the water industry had no clear definition or focus. This was quite true at the time and, regrettably, there are still people in this industry who are unaware of the extent of the water industry, the numbers of people involved, the industry profile and its education and training needs.


WATER February 1992

Norm Whyte of the Water Resources Commission (Qld), is Secretary

of WITA (Qld) Incorporated. Brian Davis, is a member of the Secretariat Support Group, Water Resources Commission (Qld). ¡

The input of Leon Henry, President of WITA (Qld) is acknowledged.

For example, the briefing paper for the Industry Commission's inquiry into the water industry still quoted a figure of some 39 000 employed, whereas our preliminary surveys indicated some 250 000 people. In fact, there are 54 000 licensed plumbers alone, and while it is agreed that plumbers may be part of the building industry, there are aspects of their training needs (such as backflow prevention, flow in pipes, pressure regulation) which are common to water industry training. It is proposed that the water industry embraces the whole of the water management cycle including a very large private sector, as illustrated in Fig. I. It includes rainfall stimulation; catchment management; provision and management of storages; pumping raw water for irrigation, public water supply for industries; channels and pipelines; public and private water treatment plants; public and private water reticulation and storages; , hydraulic service~ to buildings; sanitary plumbing; private and public sewage collection, pumping and treatment; effluent recycling and disposal; effluent reclamation for water supply; stormwater drainage; swimming pools; private irrigation schemes. The indu~try includes profes~ionals, paraprofessionals, technicians, tradesmen, skilled and unskilled workers, and trainees, all with different requirements for education and training. A major concern is that industries and enterprises having water industry sectors range in diversity from tourist resorts to abattoirs, and few (if any) provide for the training of their water industry operatives within the network of their own industry training schemes. The National Training Board (NTB) is aware of this problem and proposes that training proceed in a hierarchy of occupation (e.g. scientist), industry (e.g. water) and enterprise (e.g. Local Council) with mobility between enterprises and industries ensured by the national competency standards applied to the right competency levels set by the NTB (refer Fig. 2).

THE QUEENSLAND EXPERIENCE Following the withdrawal of support from a national AWRC working group on operator training in 1989, a working party was RURAL WATER '













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formed in Queensland to look at opportunities for furthering industry training within the State. This body, representing State and Federal agencies, industry and unions, went on to form the Water Industry Committee (WIC). The WIC approached the Department of Employment Education and Training (DEET) seeking recognition and funding for the development of an Water Industry Training Council (WITC). At that time DEET did not accept that a clearly defined water industry existed and emphasised the need for the industry and any training council to have a national focus. The DEET rejection prompted the formation in Queensland of an incorporated body, the Water Industry Training Association (Qld) Incorporated (WITA), as a legal entity to assist in industry recognition, and communications with such bodies as DEET and the National Training Board (NTB) on a national basis. Several attempts have been made to impart a national direction to the Queensland initiatives. Over recent months there has been increasing support for a national initiative from within the industry and from the various branches of AWWA throughout Australia. WITA has actively communicated with DEET, the NTB and the secretariat of AWRC to encourage this national thrust. A national focus for the water industry and one national body (such as a WITC) is a prerequisite to recognition of the training initiative in the national arena. Both the NTB and DEET have made it clear that they wish to liaise with a single body representing the national interests of the entire water industry.

bodies. Around fifty participants were able to attend, a particularly good result allowing for the short notice ab1e to be given, Opening addresses were presented by Richard Marks, AWWA Federal Vice President, and Terry Roberts, representing the AWRC Standing Committee, both of whom emphasised the need for a national industry focus, and support for training initiatives. Leon Henry then gave a presentation in his capacity both as Chairman of the AWWA National Standing Committee on Education and Training and as President of the WITA (Qld). Leon pulled few punches, and indicated that the time for academic analysis of the industry had passed and the time for positive unified action was well and truly upon us. Leon also addressed the issue of the large private ("non-authority") water industry sector, whose training needs are often not addressed by AWWA, AWRC or the Unions - again emphasising the need to have industry and association involvement i_n the national training scene. Significant changes to the industry due to factors ranging from revised environmental standards to award restructuring were also addressed. Commonwealth policies on education and training were then presented by Bob Cooper from the National Training Board and Des Lyons representing DEET. Bob Cooper was particularly supportive of the thrust for establishment of a national body to prepare uniform competency standards. An overview of progress to date and future directions was then given by Norm Whyte, Secretary of the WITA (Qld) Incorporated. The presentation outlined work done by AWWA and two AWRC working groups, and the lessons learned in Queensland over the past two years. The vast magnitude of water industry activities was again addressed, together with an indication of the extent of occupational coverage. The objectives of convening the national Conference of Water Industry Associations were also discussed. Figure 3 depicts how key industry bodies would be linked to major national strategies through the Conference and its sponsors. WITA / WITC NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

INITIATION OF A NATIONAL FORUM Meanwhile it became evident that the private sector of the water industry was relating favourably to the WITA proposal of a national Conference of Water Industry Associations as a means of uniting the many factions of the water industry, whilst still retaining those associations' individual integrity. AWWA Victorian Branch organised a seminar to discuss the national direction of water industry training in August 1991. The seminar was well attended by tripartite representation. Liaison by WITA with the NTB in October led to the proposal that a national conference of water industry Associations be held in early December to formulate a national forum for the establishment of a WITC. On learning that an AWRC Standing Committee meeting was to discuss national water industry training initiatives on December 16, the opportunity was taken to convene a national forum, chaired by AWWA. This was timed for December 13 in order to convey the resolutions of the water industry directly to the AWRC. On being advised of this meeting, the AWRC considered the forum of such importance that it approached AWWA, and joint sponsorship of the event was organised. This arrangement will further the initiatives of the WITA and AWWA to have the water industry speak with one voice, reflecting the needs of the public sector, private sector and water industry associations and unions.

THE CANBERRA MEETING: "CONFERENCE OF WATER INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS" Invitations were sent to over 220 key water industry personnel throughout Australia, representing some 105 organisations covering industry, employers, unions, and state and federal authorities and




* competency standards




national recognition





* advice to Government


education & training


provision of training


Continued on page 37 WATER February 1992


MANAGEMENT MULTI-SKILLING AT THE HUNTER WATER THE FIRST FIVE YEARS BOARD by W. SCHOLZ and S. WEATHERS10NE SUMMARY The Hunter Water Board has experienced major re-organisation in the past ten years, involving a considerable measure of decentralisation and a reduction in field operations staff. In 1986, in order to improve performance and increase flexibility of the workforce, a multi-skilling package integrated with a comprehensive training program was implemented on an optional basis. In 1988 a new structure required all operations personnel in water supply and sewerage to be multi-skilled. To accomplish this the training program has had to be considerably revised and improved. This paper presents the experiences of the past five years in developing and implementing a competency-based, multi-skilling training program for field operatives in the Hunter Water Board.

INTRODUCTION The Hunter Water Board provides water and sewerage services to approximately 410 000 people in the municipalities of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Greater Cessnock and the Shire of Port Stephens, an area totalling some 5366 square kilometres. The Board employs 1073 people to design, operate, maintain, construct and administer its services. Customers are served by 3800 kilometres of trunk and reticulation water mains and 2660 kilometres of sewers. In 1975 the maximum workforce was 1615 when new construction activities and expansion of services peaked. In that era of confidence, comfort and considerable autonomy for the Board (as for many public monopolies) management practices were not performance oriented. Technology forced some changes that were considered radical at the time but change was essentially slow. Training did not figure highly in the organisation, being mostly unstructured and 'onthe-job' with the result that occasionally bad practices and myths were passed on (in some cases from father to son). By the end of the seventies change was occurring but dramatic changes occurred in 1982 after John Paterson was appointed Chief Executive and a programme of decentralisation was commenced. In the early days of this decentralisation Managers in the new Districts were keen to improve performance and increase the flexibility of the workforce (up to then employees worked either on water supply or sewerage operations). They negotiated with the union a multi-skilling package (in water supply and sewerage) that integrated a comprehensive training programme with promotion tied to skills attained. This scheme was implemented in 1986 with multi-skilling being optional for employees. Very few supervisors, however, opted to be multi-skilled and most remained "single stranded". In 1988 a new structure was introduced that required all operations personnel to be "multi-skilled" in water supply and sewerage. The new structure also provided for a 38% reduction in field operations staff (through a voluntary redundancy scheme), appointment by merit to the new supervisory positions and an intensive training programme. The intensive training programme was essential to get the new structure operational but its compressed nature was less than desirable. Subsequent improvements have concentrated on learning guides, workplace tutorials, on-the-job training and getting greater line ownership of the training process. The Structural Efficiency Principle is now being implemented across the Water Board through the Workplace Development Project. Workplace Development is a logical extension of the work which commenced in 1986 and provides further opportunities to refine the multi-skilling programmes within a consultative framework. This paper is an edited version of a paper presented at "The /99/ National Symposium - Mu/ti-skilling for Productivity" organised by International Exhibition Specialists in November 1991.


WATER February 1992

Wayne Scholz is Manager Organisation Planning Development at the Hunter Water Board. He has 21 years of Defence Force service as an Engineer Officer.

Stephen Weatherstone is Project Manager for 'Workplace Development: He graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) in 1974.

DEVEWPING A COMPREHEnJSIVE APPROACH The history of multi-skilling at the Hunter Water Board goes back to 1983 when we of the Planning and Development staff questioned the training that we were providing for operations personnel. Was the training appropriate? Did' we know what they did? Did management know what training was required? We didn't get appropriate answers to these questions but we were convinced that: • more information was necessary on what people do or should do in their jobs before an effective training programme could be developed • the best people to talk to about the job were those people doing the job • training should be part of the fabric of management in the organisation • training should be supported by simple manuals and other documentation • competency-based training was the way to go • training modules should form part of a complete package • productivity could be improved through training With these basic principles and beliefs we started. The experience was a voyage of discovery, adversity and perseverance, but, sticking to our beliefs we were able to produce some worthwhile achievements. Task/Skills Analysis A Task/Skill Analysis was our approach for gathering information on-the-jobs of Turncock, Construction Ganger, Sewerage Maintenance Ganger and Pump Station Attendant. These jobs had developed over a long time with little documented information on specific tasks undertaken and skills required. In 1983 the idea of as)dng people about their own job was rather novel. We found out much later that techniques such as DACUM were conducted in a

similar way and could have provided more structure and re.suJt.s sooner, but we were pleased with our results. This new initiative met with some resistance but it was generally accepted by the union and by those employees volunteering to part with their knowledge. We learnt a lot in this process about our employees, their skills and practices. In many cases the practices were documented for the first time.

Our Task/ Skills Analysis identified the tasks associated with a particular job, the skills required to carry out those tasks and produced a set of training objectives. The successful formula that we developed for conducting a task/ skills analysis was: • Interview the people doing the job and document ta.sks and skills. • Review, discuss and revise documentation with peer groups. • Review, discuss and revise with management to ensure that information meets organisational objectives. • Facilitate discussion and agreement between management and employees. • Meet with Management (including supervisors) to determine standards. • Publish and distribute the document and acknowledge those who contributed. The final Task/Skills Analysis document was produced in early 1985 and extended to 107 pages. It provided an excellent reference for training, for management and was much in demand by internal job applicants to "bone up" on questions likely to be asked at an interview. Institutionalising of Multi-Skilling and Training

In 1985 a working party consisting of management and union representatives examined the "Recruitment, Training, the Provision of Relief and Progression for Water and Waste Water Operations and Maintenance in the Operating Districts". The working party recommended the creation of two new classifications, namely Maintenance Employees Operations and Maintenance Employee Operations Trainee to facilitate the development of the workforce in the districts. This workforce would eventually be skilled in water supply and sewerage operations, maintenance and construction. The report set the scene for assessing competence and linking the competence to promotion - a major step forward. For trainees to achieve the required level of competence, a programme of on-thejob and off-the-job training was to be developed. A project team was established comprising three trainers, two coming from field operations and one engineering surveyor with an engineer as Project Leader. The challenge for the Project Team was to determine the skills required for multi-skilling, develop the techniques for assessment of competency, prepare and conduct the training programmes and co-ordinate and facilitate the on-the-job training within the Districts. This scheme was implemented in 1986 with multi-skilling being optional for employees. There were financial incentives for existing maintenance personnel to transfer to the new position of Trainee and undertake the training but no rewards for supervisors. As a result, very few supervisors opted to be multi-skilled and most remained "single stranded". What was important, however, was that for the first time frontline field operations staff were to be given systematic training, they were to be formally tested at the completion of training and their pay rates were to be based on successful completion of training. In 1988 a new structure (see Figure 1) was introduced that required all operations personnel to be "multi-skilled" in water supply and sewerage. All new supervisors were required to undertake and successfully complete an intensive training programme before being confirmed in their positions. Numerous problems confronted us including lack of resources, participants who did not want to be in the training programme, anger REGIONAL ENGINEER


about the restructure and loss of mates (despite.the n!dundancy being voluntary), a time frame for training that was too tight, availability of participants and much more. However, the programme has been successful and this success can be attributed to: • Continued support of training programmes by regional management. • Locking training, testing and assessment into promotion and payment. • The perserverance and "pure grit" of the Trainers in making it work . Competency Profile, Skill/ Knowledge Profile

The task skill analysis produced some very useful data but in 107 pages it did not define the required competencies of personnel in an easy-to-understand way. We were influenced by concepts of competency based training which were emerging at that time and developed the Competency Profile and later the Skill/ Knowledge Profile to summarise the skills, knowledge or tasks that employees must be able to demonstrate to a required standard. These instruments formed the basis of our training modules and the assessment and testing processes. Originally the competency levels were based on the level of supervision required. That concept created some difficulties with objective assessments so it was changed to competency levels that focussed on the training needs of the individual. Three levels currently used are expressed as follows: "A" Those tasks where the employee requires on-the-job training only to reach the required level of skill. "B" Those tasks where the employee required on-the-job and offthe-job training to reach the required level of skill. "C" Those tasks where training is not required as the employee has reached the required level of skill for Maintenance Employee Operations. This assessment process will be revised as we move towards the National Competency Standards Format and greater line responsibility in the management and delivery of training. Figure 2 is an example of a Skills/ Knowledge Profile. Manuals

Before undertaking any training it is essential to obtain all material in an organisation on standards, codes of practices and policies. We found very little information on some 9J the subjects that we were required to teach and were forced to write the following manuals: Standard Construction Practice for Water Supply and Sewerage

- produced by us prior to the implementation of multi-skilling. It set a standard and style that was adopted in later publications. Traffic Control - produced to improve our practices that up to then had not kept up to Australian Standards. We ensured that our store stocked only equipment that met Australian Standards. We were also able to introduce such things as dayglow orange vests with retro-reflective stripes, a standardised inventory of retro-reflective signs, ripple type lamps, "witches hats" with retro-reflective stripes and a system of signs suitable for carriage on our mobile maintenance vehicles. The manual provides assistance to staff who are required to plan and implement traffic control using simple and clear text and illustrations. Administrative Forms - produced to provide a guide for filling out the numerous forms used by our operations and maintenance personnel. One fundamental principle of the manual is that the purpose of the form and the people who process the form should be clearly defined. This manual requires regular updating to maintain its currency. Operation of Plant & Equipment - produced to provide basic








operational and safety information on plant and equipment such as pumps, compressors, Cutquick saws etc. Manuals have been recently compiled from course notes and handouts on Water Supply and Sewerage Operations and Maintenance. Training Modules



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GANGER OtERATIONS (Fourpc,son,ang -MEO or MEOTs with Ganger)


~;~~1ri:i Fig. 1 -

Regional water supply & sewerage operations structure

Training modules were based on the Skills/ Knowledge Profiles. Modules were first developed as part of the 1986 multi-skilling programme and subsequently modified and expanded for the restructure of 1988. Modules include Traffic Control, Water Supply Construction, Excavation, Job Management, Sewerage Operations and Maintenance, Plan Reading and Service Location, Sewerage System Fault Diagnosis and more.

WATER February 1992



NAME._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ PAY NO.




~ On-the-job training and tuition needed in arees indicated to attain the required level of akJIVknowledge. ~ Intensive off•the-job tra.ining and special tuition needed in area, indicated 10 attain the required level of akilVknowledge.





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• • • • •



Explain techniques for dealing wtth difficult eustomets DNcribe way, of cre1ting a poaitrve image of organlution Explain techniques for communication with public Explain how to obtain miJti-linoual servic•


~ ~~;;~:•-~•ol; ~ ~ 0

• " • • • " •


• •

• 1~ 1-

• •

• 1-


• 1~



• •



Describe toUrcet ol water & explain treatment provided EKplain purpose of chlorination and nuoridation Explain elfecta· of chlorination in water supply Describe factors that affect water quality Describe procedu'H for water sampling & chemical analysis Describe & explain h.nctions of eMtments of waler distribution system Explain meaning of t«ms used In water supply 1y1ten. Explain zone ayatems from zone plans Explain purpose and operation of tMTietry & control ay111tm1 Read gtiuges and meter, Explain procedu'N tor 1hutting dowl'Vrecharging water supply Oeacribt lechfflquea & proc:edtns tor cleaning watennaina Expialn tachmquN & p,ocech1es for watermain repair Place Indicators for valvfl and hydrants Operate putl1)ing stations ..-.d r"'91'VOlrs Conduct water ae,vlct il'N'Ntigation Operatevalv• and hydranll Effect rrinor rept;M'S on hydrant, and valvea Expiain typet, of MMCN & configurations between main & meter stand Expain p,oc~• for ahutdown,r-,.ir & r•toration of waternain Report on action required for protective coatings ol installations


.._ • Demonstrate correct UM ol lool.,equipmenl



• Determi,- cauHa ot low p<euute and explain actior-. required • Oetem'li,- cauHa of no water and explain actions required • Oeterml,- cauH of pipe noise and e,cplain actions required • Oetemil,- cause of water quality problem and expain actiont required • Determine cauHI ol water l•k• and explain actiona required • Oetermi,- cause ol resk>t'1.tion problems and exp&ajn action required Localt Board'• pipet • Determine cauM of rm.lfunction or hydrantalvafves and take action required



• Oetennine cauM ol p,otMem in S.W.C. and explain action ~ed • Oiagnoae,,..lfunc:tions ln waler pumping stna. and explain remedial action • Oetem,ine cauN of ,,..lfunctk>n ol sewerage ovlf'flowl and explain action required • DNcribe operation and maffunctiont of variable t,peed pumping 1tn1. • Detennine maltunc1ionl in H'#9f pumping 1tn1. and expllin action required Olagnoae ITICllfunctions & explain action r8(1uired for ; • Detennine problems due ID poor manhole hydraufic:1 and expia;n action required ~ • Prea.M.re reducing vatvea (PAV)

• • • •

• • • • • •

• 1-

• Locate manholea and • Determine caUMS ol odour and demonltrate action '9qUired

Identify & reporten-ora on P'l,nt 0emo,-n1e technlqun for loedng watemw.ln• & MWefl Oncribe procedure tor obtaining MtYlce check• Oesetibe typical allgnmenta for other aervices • Oncribe indicator• ol other NfVioel • Explain huatdl working near other AuthoritiN' Hl'ViCH

• 1-

• Oetemw'le c:ause1 of aurcharging 1t-eft and explain remedial action,, • Determine c:auaea ol aurcherging houM drains and detcribe remedial actions • Determine c:au1e1 ol sublldence and explain actiona r~ired • Determine c:aUMt of teepage and explain actionl requir-.d


• 1-


Describe and explam functions ol variout sewerage sysleml Explain meaning ot tenns ...ect In NWefage 1ys1emt Oescribe houte layout ot drain1 and connection 10 nw.ln• Explain & demonlnle tectriqu11 UMd 10 cleaM:lear ....,.,.oe 1yaterra Explain procedtxN for repeir/rr.int of gravity MWefl & riaing mainl Operate MWagtt ~l"IQ ltatiON Oemor.trate COffec:t UM Of t,oll/equipment


• Scale appropriate plana • Meuure di1tance Ultng a tape • LOCllte 11.ndtratkl, Iota, fitt;ngl, pipelinN from plant



• Fire axtinguilher • FN'staid

• UM questioning tecf'V'lique IO obtain intom.tion from eu110mer1

• • • •



• ExP'ain key points ol eo.rd1 Mfery policy • Explain responsibi~ties under OCCl4)8tional health a aalety act MNt requi,.,,,_,,ts for MW9I' entry eertifictilt • Explain requirement.a tor pe,10nal hygiene with MWSge • Explain proceduta for danger/out of UM tags • Describe maintenance checks & proced11es for vehides • Dncribe accident reciJCtion tectniques lor drive,a


SIOrmwater Vandalism Uaeofatandpipel; Admiuion ol li&bility Damage 10 Board's ine;tallatioru





Explain otitective& and goals ol Board's buaineu plan Explain dutiel and responaibilitin of Mt'Vice operator Explain relationahip with olhet' (?per&tiona staff Oetcribe functions ol Board under Water Aulhoritin Act E•plain power• and reaponlibilitiN provided in Act Describe a explain re4evant by-lliwa and regulations under Act Explain M'lciiona and operation of MNice centre Demo,.trate UM of Board'• mobile radio communicetion1

The required leYel of skiMtnowledge has been attained.


• • • •


~ • Completestandardformarelevant.,thejob


• • • •

Produm a nffie control plan Explain key factor in P'l,cement of 1\gns and devicea Explain requirements for night time traffic control Explain Urritation&1purpoae1 of traffic tigns & deYiOH Dffcribe procedurN for implementing/removing lraffie control 0.ICl'ibe tactora in operatiorJmainterence of b"lffic control

Explain purpose and ptOCedurN of an 1tandard fonns U.. Board'• pe,10nnel policy manual u a reference Explain Ml'Vice operabrl' procedunta Write an accurate & dear report on a specific talk

Reffux valvN Automatic lnletvelv11 (AIV) Airvalves Preuurerellofvolvn

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• P\an repeif/maint woric: • Organise repaif/malnt work • Oeaeribe techniques of control • Explaln principlu ot decillon making • Explain roles of service operator & superintendent & areu of interaction • Expleln techniques to resolve conflict STAFF DEVELOPMENT SECTION - HUNTER

Fig. 2 -

Example of a skills knowledge profile

Participants were required to "pass" all the modules in their Profile to qualify for promotion. Our training techniques involved practical exercises, theory, simulations and on-the-job assignments supported with notes or manuals. We developed our own material with displays, practical exercises and simulations for ductile iron pipelaying, sewer pipelaying, water distribution systems and traffic control and many others. We were pleased with our work and believe that our Water Distribution System Model was innovative and effective. Following the intensive training programme associated with the restructure we needed to change focus. There weren't enough participants to make off-the-job training viable and we were convinced that the effectiveness of learning would be improved with more structured workplace training. To facilitate this change we developed Learning Guides for several of the modules. We also introduced workplace tutorial sessions where trainees and their supervisors could ask questions and discuss problems. Figure 3 is one example of the Learning Guides.

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2) 3) 4)

The Superintendent i1 your contact who will li aise and arransc your practical upc ricncc wilh the appropriate personnel ea. T«hnicaJ Trainin1 Co-ordi nalOf, 1an1er eic. When you Clll competently perform 1he required pt'K tka l taskl, an appo1n1ed 1an1er or the Supcn ntendent will si1n 10 verify When you feel that you have o btalneG the necessary prac tica l e1perience and th eory requiremenu (course material) 11Ta11ge through your Superi ntenden t for formal ie.atinJ. You can arran1e with your Superintendent for a tutor ia l to re rreshk: larify coum mate rial. and to U&CSS your readiness formaJ 1CStin1.


TRAINING ORlECTM'..S Detcribc water sourcea and uplain tre11ment basica ll . Descr ibe factor1 that affect water qualit y. Ducribc procedures for water samp ling and che mica l analytit. Detcribc and t.lplain func tions of key elements o f water d i11lbutio11 syste m.

E1 pla in term s used in water SUDDl IVS ten'I J.

Fig. 3 -



PRACTICAL TASKS • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Cou rse m11erial See Note 1 Cou rse materia l C he mist s See Note 1 Course mater ia l C hemisu See Note I Course ma teria l See Note I Consu lt S.O. Plans Course mater ial Librar



Take an K tive role la.kins a water sample for c hem k:al analysis, followi na: standard orocedure. With aooronria1e oe rsonnel :ln1a • Pum i..., Slltion

• Reservoir • Hi h k.vel tank

I.earning guide for water supply operations and maintenance

WATER February 1992

Assessment and Learning Contracts Our original approach to training was to focus on the "gap" between the actual skill level held and the required skill level. In the competency or Skills/ KnowledgJ Profile the skills and knowledge required for the job were defined. To identify the "gap" it was necessary to assess the skill/knowledge/ competency levels of the individual and compare those with the required levels. Our initial assessment process was very subjective as it involved the supervisor passing a judgment on his/ her subordinate. Many biases were apparent and it was clear that several supervisors did not know, to any great depth, the skills of their subordinates. We were forced to change the assessment process to something more objective. The latest method enables the trainer, the employee being assessed and the supervisor to assess the employee's training needs with greater objectivity and with the involvement of the individual. We achieve this with extended interviews sometimes involving a theory test and or demonstrations of knowledge or skills. This process usually produces agreement on competency level and shows the areas in which the individual meets the required standard and where deficiencies exist. The deficiencies identify training needs and this is formalised in a "learning contract" between the individual and the supervisor. In the restructuring of 1988 assessments were dispensed with and all the new and existing supervisors were required to undertake the whole training programme. This ensured that all the key players got the same message, that any new practices and standards were introduced throughout and that we would have an opportunity to influence culture in a positive way. We also made the judgment based on our earlier experience that going through the process of assessment for some forty people would take too long and would detract from the benefit of total involvement. The process, from recruitment to qualified Maintenance Employee Operations is shown in Table 1. Payment for Development of Skills and Career Progression Payment for development of skills was important in gaining the acceptance of multi-skilling. The new structure has created a potential promotional progression from Maintenance Employee

Table 1 - Current Programme for Maintenance Employee Operations Trainee Recruitment • Internal applicants on "District Entry list" • External applicants. Induction Job famili arisation and development basic skills on-the-job for a period of two months. • Info rmation sessions conducted by supervisor covering - Organisational structure of Region - Functions of Region and key working relationships - Employee's job and responsibilities - Required training and assessment process - Regional working conditions and practices - Safety a nd relevant policies • Trainees undertake basic skills development programme on-the-job Water repairs Water construction Stop valve installation Standpipe operation, etc Training Needs Assessment • Extended one-to-one interview with trainee using comprehensive questionnaire based on skills/ knowledge profile.

• Currently the Assessment is conducted by specialist staff but on the near future it · will be the Field Superintendent's responsibility. • Any disagreement on the individu al's level of competence is resolved by a practical test. Learning Contract • Agreement between trainee and supervisor to undertake and provide training in areas of deficiencies identified in the Assessment. Training Modules • Training undertakes the appro priate trai ning modules as defined in the learning contract involving off-the-j ob and on-the-job training. • A learning guide describes learning obj ectives, resources, training modules and structu red on-the-job experience. • Trainee tested using an appropriate combination of written, verbal, practical tests and assignments. Promotion to Maintenance Employee Operation • Success ful completion of training modules, tests and asssessments qualifies the trainee for promotion.

Operations Trainee to Superintendent with Training. The current scheme is described below: • Maintenance Employer Operations Trainee (appointed as a new recruit or from other parts of the organisation. On-the-job and off-the-job training provided). • Maintenance Employee Operations (appointed on reaching required level of competency). • Ganger Operations (competitive appointment subject to training and reaching the required level of competency). • Service Operator (competitive appointment subject to training and reaching the required level of competency). • Superintendent (competitive appointment, currently working on training requirements as part of Workplace Development). The Trainers

A critical element in making multi-skilling work was the contribution of three trainers. Two of the trainers were previously fieid supervisors with several years experience in water supply construction and maintenance and sewerage construction and maintenance while the third was an engineering surveyor with extensive sewer design and construction experience. After appointment, the trainers had some formidable tasks before them: • Develop the competencies required as trainers. A train-the-trainer course was only the start. • Learn how to use computers. Two trainers had never used a computer before and were expected to produce course notes, overhead transparencies etc. • Revise the Task/ Skill Analysis of the positions to be covered by multi-skilling. This was a critical foundation for developing training modules and implementation of multi-skilling and was an integral part of the learning process for the trainers. • Develop competency assessment techniques - this broke new ground for us and we made lots of mistakes. • Produce procedural manuals where required - very little was available and trainers had to produce them, no one else would .

• Develop and conduct training modules. Some innovative ideas were introduced in the effort to maximise the effectiveness of training. • Develop and conduct testing. We decided that testing was essential to ensure that payment for skills was legitimate and not just a sop to employees or the union . • Develop a recording system and maintain records. The first system was hard copy with test results etc. , held in a folder for each person. Later a spreadsheet was developed to handle all course participants and display progress. • Counselling and one-to-one tuition became one of the roles for the trainers. Many participants had difficulty with classroom learning and literacy and called on the trainers for assistance with personal and work related problems.

IMPLEMENTATION The new structure has been operating successfully since March 1989. Most indicators show that productivity improvements resulting from the change have been substantial, but we are not perfect yet. Since implementation, fine tuning of the operations has been essential, some things didn't work as well as expected and in one aspect of operations (pumping station operations and maintenance) some specialisation has been reintroduced. The new work organisation involved a roster system causing the ganger to change duties (from emergency maintenance to construction or longer term maintenance work) on a regular basis and the maintenance employees under that ganger to split up and move to another crew. This changeover every six weeks or so also involved a new ritual - changeover of vehicles and gear from a single cab vehicle for the two man crew to a double cab for the four man crew. This was not a very efficient process and is now modified. Surveys and discussions with people involved in the training programmes and restructure have revealed some very positive views of the news structure. The most common feedback was that work was more interesting because of a greater variety and challenge. Many participants involved in the training programme for the 1988 restructure did not want to undertake the training, they felt that they were being taught to "suck eggs"; they had nothing to learn. New participants in the system however, are keen to learn and are pleased to come to training courses. Learning is institutionalised because of industrial agreements and it is our belief that a learning culture is emerging. One measure of our sucrcess occurred recently - a Maintenance Employee who resigned from the organisation to travel and live in Europe requested a certificate of achievement stating his level of competence in the training modules completed. Another measure of the high regard for the Trainers has been the consistent requests from course participants for assistance with training onthe-job and for assistance in preparing for job interviews. The intensive training programme required as part of the restructure in 1988 was, in part, ineffective. Although people were tested as the end of the training module and "passed", Trainers often' received requests for one-to-one tuition on-the-job. We were also advised by supervisors that some participants could not perform tasks that they had been able to demonstrate to us. We concluded that the intensity of off-the-job learning, with little opportunity for learning to be reinforced on-the-job, was the problem. Subsequent training programmes have allowed more time, more structured workplace experience and have given the learner greater responsibility for the learning . Commitment from regional management for training has continued. They have actively supported changes that improve training and are recognising their increasing role in the delivery and management of training .

LESSONS LEARNED Some of the key points are: • Make sure principles underlying new Job Design and Work Organisation are sound. One of the guiding principles for the Ganger Operations was the sharing of overtime on emergency work (a contentious issue in the previous structure where a handful of emergency staff got the overtime "cream"). This resulted in a roster system that broke up teams on a regular basis, caused some jobs to be worked on by several crews and time-consuming changeover of gear between specialised vehicles. We believe that the two key principles should have been variety (which was achieved) and responsibility for whole jobs.

WATER February 1992


• Establish resources (e.g. Administration, research, trainers, expertise etc.) prior to implementing new systems - give adequate lead time - before beginning training. • Plan the process with management, identify priorities and consult with stakeholders on a regular basis. • Manage voluntary redundancy carefully; it can lead to understaffing, loss of expertise in some areas and negative attitudes from those who stay. • Keep to standards - don't let them be watered down as an expedient. Everyone has to know that you are serious about tests and payments. • The monetary reward system for the Maintenance Employee Operations Trainees should have been implemented early, in stages if necessary. The training process involving on-the-job assessments and structured experiences was long and participants saw little immediate return for effort. • Structured on-the-job training is vital. A few days off-the-job in a training room followed by an examination is not enough. Onthe-job training and assessments must involve the line supervisor. • Provide additional training for other line managers involved in the restructure so that they can positively influence change. We concentrated on training for personnel at the lower levels hoped that the Field Superintendents would support what we were doing. It was a mistake; we should have pushed harder for additional resources for a Superintendent training programme. • Remove any existing supervisors if they are not suitable and unable (even with training) to support the change. It's unfair and demoralising for them if they don't cope with the new order. • Trainers were the front line for management in the change. They took the brunt of ill feelings towards management, they pushed people where they never thought they could not go, culture changed because of them, they were committed to the job and worked hard. Without them our successes would not have been possible. • Institutionalising training and learning through agreements or awards is essential for success in restructuring and multi-skilling.

Our experience, we believe, supports the tllrust of the Structural Efficiency Principle. • Keep going, you can't turn back even if you wanted to, but don't hesitate to change things if necessary.

THE FUTURE We believe that our efforts over the last five years have created the environment and direction for training in our Field Operations area well into the future. Some of the key elements in that future are: • Adoption of National Competency Standards Format to describe the competency requirements for all classifications. This will enable better definition of performance criteria and assessment techniques. • Ownership of training by line management with specialist support as required. This change will be accelerated by the recent appointment of one of the Trainers to the job of Field Supervisor in our Southern Region. • Greater responsibility by the learner for their own learning. This will be achieved by extending the Learning Guide concept, providing workp lace tutorials and emphasising learning opportunities in the workplace. • Redesign of the Ganger's job to give greater ownership and responsibility. This will include a greater role in training, planning, cost control, investigation, performance monitoring and communication. • Computer aided assessment and recording -systems. • The introduction of Total Quality Management. Some personal rewards Looking back over our experiences now, it is extremely rewarding to note the personal growth of all three trainers. In 1989 they presented papers on their experiences to the LoGov Conference in Gladstone, Queensland. In 1986 such a scenario was unthinkable. In the last six months two of the Trainers were successful in winning a promotion within the Board. The remaining Trainer is continuing the thrust of recent changes to get greater line involvement and is assisting Tubemakers with their national Century Plus training programmes. '

15m flDlRAl (ONUlNllON GOLD COAST APRIL 18-23, 1993. O


CALL FOR PAPERS The Convention Committee is calling for platform and poster papers on the following: • Treatment techniques • Drinking water quality • Water quality in aquatic areas including tropical • Sludge management and reuse systems such as the Great Barrier Reef • Planning, design and operation of irrigation schemes • Management, administration and operation of water and wastewater systems • Total catchment management • Recreational and other alternative uses of water • Disinfection and waterborne disease storages • Education and training • Corporatisation and privatisation Intending authors are invited to submit a 200 word abstract. One of the major emphases of the 1993 convention will be quality poster presentations with additional interaction between presenters and audience for selected topics. The organising committee recognise that posters encourage interaction and discussion in a manner often not possible in a platform presentation. Presenters are encouraged to prepare papers specifically for the poster sessions. INQUIRIES


Receipt of Abstracts Notification of Acceptants Receipt of Full Text


WATER February 1992

30 April 1992 30 June 1992 30 November 1992

All correspondence, including abstracts, should be addressed to: Sonja van den Ende, Conference Secretariat GPO Box 2600 BRISBANE QLD, AUSTRALIA 4001 Phone: (07) 234 1993, Fax: (07) 224 7999

MANAGEMENT AWARD RESTRUCTURING IN THE WATER AUTHORITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA by D. KNIGHT and P. G. WTZ SUMMARY Within the Water Authority of Western Australia, an innovative multi-dimensional enterprise-specific solution has been developed for wages employees awards in response to the 1988/ 89 National Wage Decisions. The joint Authority/ Union solution was heard as a model case in the Federal Commission on 19 April 1990, when the first of the Water Authority Awards was granted the second structural efficiency adjustment; with commendation for progress achieved. The Water Authority solution is a skills-based system centred around a broadbanded skills schedule which groups skills that are like and similar and broadly ranks them by increasing skill, knowledge and responsibility. The trade and non-trade areas of the Water Authority's activities are linked into the same skills schedule and job analysis has generated new multi-skilled job designs. The new awards allow for total flexibility in job design to fit the needs of the business. A classification structure and accompanying procedures to support the skills schedule have been developed. These provide employees with a skills-related payment and skills-related career path using the concept of major generic jobs as described in job descriptions. This enables an employee to pursue the acquisition of skills required to meet the needs of the Water Industry, by undertaking appropriate structured training.

INTRODUCTION The Water Authority of Western Australia provides public water supply, sewerage, drainage and irrigation services to a population of over 1 500 000 in more than 300 town and country communities throughout Western Australia. Western Australia covers an area of 2 525 000 km 2 (32.9% of area of Australia) and conditions vary widely from the Central Business District of Perth with its widespread suburbs to the mining areas of Kalgoorlie and the Kimberley and the remote outstations in the desert. The Water Authority provides its services through 24 700 km of water mains, 7200 km of sewers, 800 km of irrigation channels and pipes and 2600 km of drainage channels and pipes. During a typical year the Authority supplies 310 000 megalitres of water and treats 89 000 megalitres of sewage. The Authority has over 3200 monitoring bores, 362 surface water gauging stations and licenses 13 000 private bores to assist it in managing the state's water resources for both utility and general water resource management. The Authority is a regionalised statewide organisation employing over 4350 people of whom approximately 2500 are wages employees, trade and non-trade, distributed across the whole of Western Australia. There are seven major awards covering these employees and all the awards were previously structured in a similar way; with too many classifications, too many allowances and inappropriate and outdated employment rules. The combination of base rate plus allowances which made up an employees' total pay restricted the employer's ability to use the workforce effectively, by limiting the possibilities for job rotation and therefore job enrichment. The awards also lacked important procedural agreements, such as grievance and disputes procedures which help promote an industrial environment of consultation rather than confrontation. The National Wage Decision of August 1988 created a rare window of opportunity for a jointly agreed fundamental change to the award system. The framework of commitment to change was set down in what is now known as the Structural Efficiency Principle. The major thrusts of that principle are to change the awards in order to: • establish skill-related career paths

This paper is based on that presented by the same authors to the 14th Federal Convention, Perth, in March 1991.

Both authors work in the Corporate Services Directorate of the Water Authority of Western Australia Peter Lutz has 16 years experience in the Australian Water Industry and has worked for the past five years in the field of human resource management and employee relations. He has a PhD in mathematics from the University of Western Australia and spent the early part of his career solving mathematical and computer based problems associated with the water industry.

Donna Knight has 16 years experience in the water industry, the past four being with W.A.W.A. in the field of human resource management and employee relations. Prior to this she worked for Severn Trent Water in the U.K., initially in Scientific Services and later as an Employee Relations Specialist. Donna has an Honours degree in zoology and genetics from the University of London.

• eliminate impediments to multi-s,illing and thus broaden the range of tasks an employee can perform • create appropriate relativities between different categories of workers within the award and at enterprise level • ensure working patterns and arrangements enhance flexibility and the efficiency of the industry. These joint ACTU Employer objectives provided a balanced approach to restructuring the workplace, since it took account of both employee and employer demands. In August 1989 the National Wage Decision offered a two tiered payment system for demonstrated change to the awards in line with the structural efficiency principle. The criteria for receiving payment under this wage decision were that both parties had to demonstrate that the joint commitment entered into the previous year had been taken seriously. The emphasis on enterprise level agreements with the unions was strong and the Commission was clearly encouraging both parties to come to it with a jointly agreed position.

JOINT COMMITMENT TO CHANGE The joint Union management commitment to change within the Water Authority was set down in a Memorandum of Agreement, and the Water Authority had a deliberate strategy of negotiating such memoranda of agreement with the relevant respondent unions on an award by award basis. The Memoranda of Agreement negotiated with the different unions were almost identical. They contained agreed programs for change, guarantees and assurances for existing employees on employment protection including appeal mechanisms, joint education programs for employees and jointly agreed consultative committee structures with agreed terms of reference designed to encourage employee participation in both the development and implementation of the new restructured awards. All these factors were designed to establish an appropriate environment for change,

WATER February 1992


encourage employee co-operation and minimize the natural inherent resistance to change. Consultative committees were established at regional level, consisting of both operational management representatives arid employee representatives, to review the products of structural efficiency being developed . These committees reported to top joint consultative committees.


THE SKILLS APPROACH The structural efficiency principle places the focus of restructuring of awards clearly on reward for the acquisition of skills required to meet the needs of the business. The emphasis on skill rather than task represents a fundamental change to the way a business can be analysed, and its results can be used to provide novel solutions to previously insolvable inflexible working problems such as demarcation disputes and restrictive working arrangements. The Water Authority began by analysing the non-trade and trade areas of its "Water Industry" business. This included an analysis of the skills associated with the services it provides to its customer; Water, Sewerage, Irrigation, Drainage and Water Resources. The determination of water industry skills in these five service areas was undertaken following a prescribed method of systematic analysis. For each service, specific activities were identified and these were described using a set range of verbs linked to specific assets and subassets associated with the Water Industry. For each activity a range of tasks and sub-task were identified, the sub-task division ceasing at a point where a skill had been identified. It is interesting to note that whilst the subdivision of task and sub-task provides an almost unmanageably large number of tasks and sub-tasks, the number of skills to perform such tasks tends to be common and the resultant number of skills identified through this process totalled approximately 600. Furthermore, the structuring of the information into set Activity statements, not only assisted the process of making sense of the 'telephone book quantity' of tasks generated but also aided the process of examining job design; by highlighting possible areas for redesign. In order to test the analysis method, information was initially collected in two pilot regions of the Water Authority; one metropolitan region and the largest country region. This provided a fair representative sample of the varying operational activities occurring within the Water Authority and its results led to some refinement prior to the analysis being extended to all the remaining metropolitan and country regions.

SEQUENCE OF CHANGES PROPOSED FOR NEW AWARDS Having identified the skills, they were grouped into a hierarchical broadbanded skills schedule from which a new skills-related classification structure was derived. The development of a range of training programs, determined by defining appropriate on-the-job, informal and formal accredited training for each of the skill modules identified, then follows. At the same time any other award variations such as new procedural agreements and the rationalising of allowances can also occur.

SOLUTION DEVEWPED The solution that was developed is multi-dimensional and enterprise-specific. It is a total human resource management product. Fig. 1 shows the total picture, the products and their interrelationship with each other. This solution has been negotiated with all the relevant unions and is now common to all Water Authority wages awards. Fig. 2 takes the core of the solution and displays it as a matrix of skills, this is called the broadbanded skills schedule.

DESIGN PHIWSOPHY The grouping of the non-trade skills across the skills schedule was achieved by grouping them into like or similar skills. This approach had the advantage of removing at the start any perceived demarcation between the different service areas of the enterprises' activities. The view was taken that, for example, the skill group "Repair and Construct" (Group 3), contained all the skills identified to repair


WATER February 1992






Award restructing solution

Fig. 2 -

Broadbanded skills schedule

and construct the network whether that network conveyed water or sewage. Similarly the skill group "Vehicle and Ancillary Plant" (Group 4) captured all driving skills whether it was for truck, van, car or crane. By treating driving skills as a broadbanded ancillary skill rather than a highly paid task, monetary reward in future became related to the acquisition of water industry type skills rather than for providing a transport service. The word skill was left deliberately broad in scope for the purposes of the skills schedule, thus the skills modules identified were either skill based, knowledge based, representing a level of responsibility or accountability, or were a combination of all three. Ranking the skills modules was done on the basis of increasing skill, knowledge and responsibility. The skills schedule which emerged from this process consisted of a matrix of 10 groups of like and similar skills, including three metal industry skill groups plus a building trade skill group, with six skill bands A to E arising from ranking the skills. Skills in a band across the schedule were deemed to be of roughly equal value. Because of the varying size of the skill modules identified within the schedule, it was decided that it was not practical or appropriate to count skills. The skills in the lower part of the skills schedule A and B tend to be skills predominantly required to meet the needs of the business. In the C band level and above, responsibility type skills, representing a linking together of a range of B level skills, and associated with sound knowledge of some area of the business, are identified. The C band has skills which are at the same level as the base grade trade skills in the trade skill groups 5, 6, 7 and 8. This relationship was therefore adopted as an important relativity.

An employee with a skills profile containing skills from the C level was therefore determined as being a skilled worker and because of the relativity with a tradesperson, tended to have the type of skills which are composite of skill, knowledge and responsibility which would take four or five years to learn. Fig. 3 illustrates a typical skills profile of a country-based nontrade wages employee, who works in isolated communities and has to travel long distances to perform work. It is of interest because the skills scattered across the skills schedule demonstrate the high degree of multi-skilling possible in such circumstances. There are a number of skills identified in skill groups 6 and 7 (fabrication and mechanical) at the semi-skilled band level of A and B which the nontrade wages employee performs in the interests of flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness and for which a full trade ticket is not required; although it is acknowledged that appropriate training is necessary. This profile provided support to the "whole of job" philosophy used in job designs developed for the non-trade wages employees and formed the basis of a Major Generic job developed for the majority of country-based wages employees. Major Generic jobs were developed for all key operational areas, country and metropolitan and the details were captured in documents for the employee in the form of a job description.








Cl C2 C3 C9


f---- - - -- - -- - --- ---- -----Bl B2 B3 B4

BS B6 B7

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MAJOR GENERIC JOB DESCRIPTION Thus a Major Generic Job Description represents for an employee a prescribed definitive statement of what the broadbanded skills schedule solution means to him/ her personally. All employees who choose to participate in acquiring skills are given the most appropriate Major Generic Job Description; and there are currently approximately 20 to choose from. The job description is a jointly negotiated and agreed document, having been formally discussed, and debated at all levels of the consultative committee structure. It has a number of pages (see Fig. 4) the most relevant being the skills profile page as this determines the classification level of the job. The code on the right hand side of the skills profile page is the reference number of the skill module in the award, for example Al, means skill band A, skill group 1 (source and treatment). The jointly agreed job description sits outside of the award, whilst the skills schedule and classification structure are in the award.



A2 A3 A4

AS A6 A?


Fig. 4 -

Major generic job description













The classification structure was designed to complement the skills schedule and the philosophy described (see Fig. 5). Each skill band has a classification level with each level being further divided into a number of increments. The increments are designed to encourage skill formation within a skills band. The design of the classification structure was also influenced by the National Wage Decision that all employees' rates of pay should

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Classification structure and progression

WATER February 1992


be compared to a tradesperson on the basis of a percentage relativity. Accordingly the C band WIW Level 3.2 corresponds to the Metal Trade Classification level ClO; representing 100% of the Tradespersons' rate. It was decided that ·a job should be classified · using the skills profile contained in the job description and determined on the basis of the highest ranked skill. The job annotated in Fig. 4 has a skills profile of a range of A, B and C level skills and consequently this would rank as a Water Industry Worker Level 3 job. In order to satisfy the structural efficiency principles of skill related career development it was decided that a balance was needed between the employer's wish to pay for skills required to run the business and the unions' declared agenda of seeking a system where employees are paid on the basis of skills acquired. From this arose the two philosophies for progression which exist in the skills schedule. Progression through WIW Level 1 and 2 is based on skills acquisition and progression from WIW Level 2 into WIW Level 3 and beyond being based on promotion into a vacant position.

SKILL RELATED CAREER PATHING AND JOB DESIGN/REDESIGN The job designs within the Major Generic Job Descriptions and the progression rules within the classification structure are designed to provide employees with opportunity to pursue a skill related career path within the Water Industry. Most Major Generic Jobs describe the skilled C level (WIW Level 3) job and employees entering the Industry in a particular operational area would be offered the appropriate subsidiary of a Major Generic Job at the A/ B Level (WIW Level 1/2). This arrangement provides the new employee with a statement of his/ her job, the skills required and thus his/ her training can be readily identified. As the employee acquires skills and progresses through the incremental points of WIW Level 1/2 he/ she is effectively serving a non-trade Water Industry apprenticeship. Existing employees offered a Major Generic Job Description also benefit from the new system. For example, previously narrow jobs captured in the old award as classification titles such as Timberman, Renderer, or Pipesetter, have been merged into an all encompassing job called Construction Worker WIW Level 1/2 which is also a subsidiary of a new Major Generic Job at C Level (WIW Level 3) called Senior Construction Worker. When an employee formally known as Timberman accepts a WIW Level 1/2 Construction Worker Job Description, he/ she accepts that a range of new skills may need to be acquired, such as pipesetting and rendering in order that he/ she may be capable of performing the whole job. In return he/she will receive incremental pay increases annually until WIW Level 2.4 (97% of tradespersons) rate is reached. He/she is then able to apply for promotion to Senior Construction Worker Level 3 when a position becomes vacant. Consideration was also given to those employees whose existing career path had plateaued, or were considered to be in a cul-de-sac job. It was decided that more creative tailored career pathing would have to be designed. In such cases, provided the job design made operational sense, the Water Authority would have to sponsor an individual to learn new skills in another part of the skills schedule; whilst protecting his/her pay at the plateau level. The job description would therefore be specially tailored with skills for both the old and new job in the skills profile. Such a description would not be a Major Generic job description. Job design and redesign are clearly an important product of the solution developed, and in order to promote a joint understanding of its significance the new awards now contain jointly agreed principles for job design plus a jointly agreed procedure for creating new jobs and documenting them on a job description form. This procedure utilizes the consultative framework developed as part of this process.

The continuing process of award restructuring within the organisation is now evolving to a point where training priorities need to be set in order to begin to recover some of the investment paid for redesigned reclassified jobs. These training priorities are identified through two separate mechanisms. One is through the individual interview process, the other is from the architectural design of the new Major Generic Jobs. The development of training packages is also under review so that the standard of training provided is of a sufficiently high standard to attract the appropriate accreditation. The general principle that is being applied to the development of training packages is that in the main all skill module training packages in future will be designed with an off-the-job component. This will involve the delivery of a structured uniform message at a training centre by a recognised trainer using information provided by technical experts and usually captured in the form of a manual. The off-the-job formal training may also include some practical training at the training centre. The second component will be on-the-job, where the supervisor would ensure practical application of the theory already learnt, with the assistance of an Instructors' guide. Finally the individual will receive a final assessment as to competence which would lead to some form of accreditation.

OUTCOMES From an employee's perspective the solution provides each wages employee with more varied work and better paid jobs, captured in document form for the first time as a job description containing skills which are common in description and value across the whole enterprise. The design of the system provides the employee with an opportunity to make fair comparison of his/her job with others in the Water Authority and where appropriate put a reasoned case for regrading. The skills profile within the job description also assists in determination of individual training needs. The consultative mechanism introduced offers employees an opportunity to contribute to the process, check that individuals have equal access to training and through the jointly agreed disputes settling procedure offers a recognised structured formal process fqr hearing grievances and disputes. From the employer's perspective the new awards have total flexibility for job redesign, which means job design can fit the operational needs of the business. Some of the job redesigns already agreed have resolved former demarcation issues and have adjusted old inappropriate relativities and restrictive practice. For example truck drivers and storeperson relativities were adjusted down to the national relativity of between 88 and 92% of tradespersons' rate, allowing refocusing of these jobs onto water industry skills. The emerging structure of workable joint consultative committees have provided an important learning curve for those involved. Future consultative arrangements for workplace committees are being written into the award with permanent terms of reference including scope, objective and membership guidelines. The Water Authority's approach to the award restructuring exercise resulted in a total Water Authority specific solution being developed. Whilst separate consultative arenas existed in parallel, depending upon the award, and the union respondent to that award, a common solution has been developed and introduced into each. The systematic analysis of the Water Authority's business has generated skills which are linked through tasks to defined operational activities. This has not only helped in developing job redesign, but has also helped determine skills ranking and relativities. Award Restructuring within the Water Authority continues as an on-going process in both non-trade and trade arenas and the methodology described in this article and the resultant restructured awards provides the framework for continued job redesign and improvements in Employee Relations practices.

TRAINING NEEDS Within the Water Authority there was joint commitment to the structural efficiency principle and as a consequence both parties acknowledged the need for: • establishing new training arrangements which ensured equal access to training and career advancement for all workers • preparedness to support training associated with a wider range of duties.


WATER February 1992

In the December 1991 Edition of Water, Table 1 on page 18, in the article "Focus on Some North Queensland Water Quality Issues" by A. Moss and J. Bennett read S. Johnstone River Ni:97, Cd < 3.


Safety Aspects in a Highly Aerated Diffused Air Wastewater Treatment Plant by J. CHARL10N and J. FOREMAN ABSTRACT The new Waco! Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brisbane is an extended aeration recirculation process designed with sequencing batch reactor capability utilising a diffused air aeration source. Due to the high associated concentration of bubbles in the aerated zone of the process, an experiment was performed to determine the safety aspects associated with personnel accidentally falling into the aerated basin. The study indicated that the particular subject's net weight increased up to approximately six to eight times normal weight in highly aerated fluid, which would lead to a dangerous situation if personnel fell into the basin under conditions of maximum aeration. To avoid such a dangerous situation, guard-railing has been designed to be installed on both the inside and outside of walkways around the basins. This report describes the results of the experiment and consequences for design of wastewater treatment plant processes utilising diffused air as the aeration source.

John Charlton is a chemical engineer with the Projects Design Section of the Brisbane City Council. John has been involved in the detailed process design of the new Waco! Wastewater Treatment Plant.


INTRODUCTION Safety handrails and kickboards In the water and wastewater industry, there does not appear to have been a consistent set of safety design criteria in the past with respect to guard-railing and kickboards around treatment plant basins, as evidenced by the number of inconsistencies within and between local authority installations. For example, guard-rails may be placed on walkways in three different locations: 1. on the outside of walkways to directly protect personnel from falling off the basin onto the ground, and indirectly protect people falling into the basin contents, 2. on the inside of walkways to directly protect personnel from falling into the basin contents, and indirectly protect people falling off the basin, 3. on both the inside and outside of walkways to stop people falling either into or off the basin. As well as possible health effects due to coming into contact with wastewater products, operations personnel may be hurt by rotating machinery within the basin, e.g. by vertical shaft aerators and mixers or submersible propellors. The situation is exacerbated with diffused air plants where the density of the basin contents is reduced due to the air-water mixture. Personnel falling into the basin may have difficulty in keeping afloat due to their heavier weight caused by the lower fluid density. Queensland Workplace Health and Safety Legislation The Workplace Health and Safety Act was introduced in Queensland on July 31, 1989. Included in the Legislation's broad cover of Workplaces are all Water and Wastewater 1reatment Plants in Queensland. This Act requires employers to have a greater responsibility for the health and safety of their employees than ever before. Employers have a "duty of care" to provide • a safe and healthy place of work • safe systems of work • safe plant and machinery • ensure qualified and competent staff. The current Legislative requirements for hand railing and edge protection at Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants are included in the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations. Two of these Regulations refer to Australian Standard 1657 SAA Code For Fixed Platforms, Walkways, Stairways And Ladders. An Australian Standard referred to in the Legislation is then to be construed as part of the Law.

Jeff Foreman is the Occupational Safety Advisor for the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage of the Brisbane City Council. Jeff advises the Design, Construction and Operations branches on issues of safety.

The following are specific regulations associated with Safety issues that are relevant to treatment plants: • Regulation 133 (7)(b) - Requires an employer to "provide effective safeguards where an employee may come into contact with reciprocating, rotating or moving JJarts of plant." Many treatment plants have submerged rotating propellors. • Regulation 135 - Specific Guarding. At a workplace, the employer shall ensure that guarding for fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders shall comply with the requirements of Australian Standard 1657. • Regulation 141 - Access to be provided . "At a workplace, safe and protected means of access shall be provided to a) every building or structure b) every part of a building or structure and c) all plant". • Regulation 142 - Standard. "The means of access shall comply with the requirement of Australian Standard 1657". Responsible employers should ensure that guard-railing and edge protection at Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants under their control comply with the Regulations and Australian Standard detailed above. Such protection may especially be required if basins within the treatment plants are under aeration, because of the difficulty of keeping afloat due to the lower fluid density. Air intensity The Waco! WWTP is an extended aeration process utilising diffused air as the source of oxygenation, and is detailed in the reference. The plant will consist of two aeration basin modules that are interconnected to allow Sequencing Batch Reactor operation. Since only half of the aeration basin capacity is under aeration at any particular time in the sequencing mode, the aeration intensity installed is twice the normal unsequenced operation. For the S.B.R. mode of operation, the maximum air flow to a basin is 6000 m 3/ hr with each basin having the following zone volumes: Anoxic Volume = 2050m 3 Aerobic Volume = 3500m3 Total Volume = 5550m 3

WATER February 1992


The basin water depth is 4.5 m, and assuming a bubble rise velocity of 0.25 mi s, the air bubble intensity under maximum conditions is: 4¡5 m x 6000 m 3/ hr x ~ 0.25 mi s 3600s _ 1OJo 1 m 3 air 3500 m3 100 m3 basin volume which approximately represents a 1% reduction in density of the aeration basin fluid. Perceived weight The air-water mixture in the fully oxygenated aeration basin has a decreased density by about 1%. Although this is a minor reduction in fluid density, the net bouyant force or "perceived weight" of a person in a fluid is dependent on the difference between the density of the person and fluid i.e.: Pperson -pmixture p Density



Since the density of a person is marginally greater than that of water, a slight difference in the density of a person or that of the fluid mixture has dramatic consequences in the perceived weight of a person in the mixture, as shown in the following table. The densities are expressed relative to unaerated water.

I. Normal 2. Aerated

Perceind Weight Ex pressed as

Relative Density

Co ndition


P water

1.01 1.01





Purpose of experiment An experiment was conducted to determine the safety aspects of a scenario where a person may fall into a highly aerated diffused air aeration basin which has rotating machinery operating within the basin. A person's weight was measured in normal unaerated water and compared to that measured in aerated water. The consequence of the measured perceived weight of the person is discussed with respect to the design aspects of guard-rails and kickboards around the diffused air aeration basins at the new Waco! Wastewater 'Ireatment Plant, designed and constructed by the Brisbane City Council. An experiment, previously described in the literature (Stevens 1986), indicated that the perceived weight of a person increased to over 8 kg in a conventional aeration tank with the subject wearing swimming trunks. However this would not accurately model a practical case of personnel wearing heavy safety boots and overalls, and falling into an extended aeration basin which typically would have equipment exerting a longitudinal velocity around the basin.

METHOD Subject The test subject was a 29 year old male in excellent health and physical condition . The subject has had considerable experience in surf life-saving and is the Occupational Safety Advisor associated with the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage, Brisbane City Council. Apparatus A set of scales was suspended between a davit boom and the test subject to allow positioning in the aerated zone of the aeration basin at Waco! WWTP. 1\vo "OVA" submersible mixers were operated to produce a velocity of approximately 0.3 mi s around the aeration basin. Two "HV Turbo" centrifugal blowers were operated to produce up to approximately 6000 m3/ hr of air via several hundred pairs of "OVA" cylindrical rubber membrane air diffusers located near the floor of the basin in the aeration zone. The scales are not particularly accurate at low levels of suspended weight. The aeration basins each have an inner anoxic zone with an outer aerated annulus as shown in Figure 1. The recirculation ports between the two zones were isolated so that no flow travelled between the zones which may have influenced the hydraulics at the test location. Procedure 1. The aeration basin was filled with town water to the overflow weir height of approximately 4.5 m.

WATER February 1992

(as shown on our cover picture).

Pperson - P water

In this example, the perceived weight of a person in an aerated fluid has doubled even though the density of the mixture has only varied by 1%.


2a. Condition 1, control The blowers and mixers were not opera,ed hence no aeration or mixing occurred. 2b. Condition 2, experimental The blowers were operated to produce an air flow of approximately 3000 m / hr in the aeration zone via the rubber membrane diffusers, simulating maximum output in the normal mode of operation. The submersible mixers were not operated. 2c. Condition 3, experimental The blowers were operated to produce an air flow of approximately 6000 m3/ hr in the aeration zone via the rubber membrane diffusers, simulating maximum output in the S.B.R. mode of operation. The submersible mixers were turned on to produce a circulation velocity around the basin, of approximately 0.3 mis. 3. To provide an indication of buoyancy offered by the water, a set of scales (0-100 kg) was suspended between a davit boom positioned above and a safety harness worn by the subject. A life line was attached to the harness and two observers positioned nearby. 4. The test subject entered the water of the aeration zone of the aeration basin, positioned his body under the scales, ceased treading water, relaxed and the weight was read off the scales,

RESULTS Condition 1 - Control. The weight of the test subject in the control condition of non-aerated water was measured as 5 kg. Condition 2 - Experimental. With one blower on maximum output simulating maximum aeration conditions in the normal mode of operation, the weight of the subject was measured at 20 kg, hence the weight as perceived by a person in aerated water was approximately four times their normal weight in non- aerated water. The subject expressed some difficulty in attempting to swim back to the side of the basin and returning to the surface following submersion. This was exacerbated by the presence of wet overalls and boots. Condition 3 - Experimental. The weight, of the subject in the experimental condition of highly aerated water with two blowers on maximum output simulating maximum aeration conditions in the S.B.R. mode of operation was measured at 30 to 40 kg. Hence the weight as perceived by a persoIY in highly aerated water was approximately six to eight times their normal weight in non-aerated water. The test subject was struggling to keep afloat throughout the time of submersion and would not be able to maintain the energy to keep afloat for extended periods, despite the subject's high state of fitness. The situation was exacerbated by the current produced in the aeration basin by the submersible mixers, and the reduced viscosity of the air-water mixture which rendered swimming actions less effective. Note, that due to the inaccuracy of the scales and the difficulty of reading the oscillating scale reading during the experiment, the measured weights are considered unreliable, however the ratio of weights measured in the experimental conditions compared to the control condition are considered to be repeatable.

DISCUSSION Although there may be variable effects depending on the person's size and weight, clearly, if a person fell into the outer highly aerated annulus of the Waco! WWTP aeration basins in the sequencing batch reactor mode of operation, the person would be in considerable danger of drowning or being seriously hurt by the rotating submersible mixers. This is especially the case if the person was severely knocked before actually entering the basin fluid, e.g. due to slipping on the walkway and bumping their head on the concrete or pipework. It is therefore imperative that sufficient safety aspects be installed to avoid a person falling into the basin fluid. The possible methods of avoiding this situation include: 1. Safety handrails on sides of walkways adjacent to the fluid. 2. Safety cages around submersible rotating equipment. 3. Safety cables for support or lanyard cable switches to shut off equipment. 4. Ladder for access out of the basin and Life buoys or jackets on safety handrails adjacent to the basin exit ladders.

5. Restricted access to basins, and associated safety procedures for persons entering the plant. Handrails are suitable to be installed on the fluid side of walkways and are compatible with current safety legislation. A spring loaded gate with appropriate safety sign located at the base of the entrance stairway to the aeration basin would deter the general public from having access to the aeration basin without authorisation. A safety procedure should be formulated to warn of the dangers associated with operation of the aeration system. These methods attempt to avoid the dangerous situation in the first place. Safety cables positioned just above the surface and before submersible machinery is a low cost method to allow security from danger from machinery if it is possible to tread water, and an associated ladder would allow access out of the basin. Safety gear including life buoys should also be considered for installation at a convenient position to allow a second person to aid the person who has fallen into the basin. Note that standard life buoys or life jackets may not be rated for applications associated with aerated water. Hence safety gear rated for greater bouyancy should be chosen. Safety cages are impractical around submersible rotating equipment as they influence the hydraulics around the rotating blades causing higher power draw and possible damage to blades due to . non-uniform and unsteady currents striking the blades.






CONCLUSIONS I. Air intensities of 1 m 3 air/100 m 3 of basin volume are likely to produce fluid densities that will cause intolerable difficulties in keeping afloat if a person falls into the basin. This is particularly

the case if there is a circulation current of approximately 0.3 mi s around the basin. Due to the safety hazards associated with keeping afloat in highly aerated water, and the presence of rotating machinery, handrailing has been placed on the fluid side of the aeration basin walkways, both on the outer aerated annulus and on the inner anoxic zone at the Waco! WWTP. Due to the height of the walkway above the ground being approximately 2 m, a handrail and kickboard was designed to be placed on the outside of the walkway of the outer annulus at the Waco! WWTP. A safety cable has been designed to be draped across the basin width just above the water level and placed at a reasonable distance before any submersible rotating machinery. A lanyard safety trip cable may also be considered to provide automatic shut-off of operating machinery. A safety ladder has been designed to be placed at the position where the safety cable is attached to the basin wall to allow a convenient exit from the basin. Safety cages around rotating machinery are unlikely to be suitable due to the possible loads on propellor blades caused by unsteady and non-uniform hydraulic currents, which may lead to equipment failure. A life buoy has been placed at the basin walkway.

REFERENCES Charlton, J. (1991) Design of nitrogen removal treatment plant with sequencing batch reactor capability. Water 18 No.6. Stevens, P.L. (1986, May) "I fell into an aeration tank". Operations Forum . WPCF. pp 21-23.






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319 Parramatta Road, Aubwn 2144 NSW Australia Ph (02) 748 2309 Fax (02) 648 4887 WATER February 1992



SAFETY & OPERATOR TRAINING by J. PARK ABSTRACT The Water Training Centre at Werribee, Victoria has been training operations personnel from both Victoria and interstate since 1978. The Centre now offers a Certificate in Water Operations, a fully accredited Certificate Course, to operations personnel of water and wastewater systems. Within this course, there is substantial coverage of occupational health and safety (bHS) issues. Trainees are offered both OHS management training and practical training to encourage safe work procedures. OHS training is considered to be a vital part of the overall training plan which is directly linked to more efficient and safer plant operation. This paper covers the establishment of OHS training for the Water Industry together with details of OHS programs offered by the Water Training Centre. Included is some discussion on the need for OHS training, breaking down traditional barriers to appropriate OHS practices and some suggested solutions which could see the Industry safety record improved.

THE NEED FOR OHS TRAINING Safe work procedures: In providing a water and wastewater service to communities, the water industry is responsible for a diverse system of resources. Physical resources include • Water storages • Treatment facilities • Water distribution systems • Wastewater collection systems • Pumping stations • Treatment and disposal facilities. together with the administrative, operations and maintenance components of the complete service. These resources are usually well recognised, however, the human resources have often been overlooked. This human resource is involved in performing a very diverse set of activities on a day-to-day basis and thus, the health and safety of this resource to the overall efficiency of the system must not be overlooked. Historically, work procedures have evolved "to get the job done" and any hazardous situations were only identified where accidents occurred. If the work procedures were achieved with no serious mishap, the general attitude was that the work must have been performed safely. The need for safe work procedures has been identified in recent times to ensure that the organisation and the individual have


WATER February 1992

done everything practicable to prevent accidents occurring and thus ensure compliance with relevant Government Regulations. Safe work procedures are vital to the health and safety of all personnel and should be formally implemented to ensure that all employees, regardless of length of service, are fully aware of their personal obligations. The lack of safe work procedures has been particularly evide~t in the water industry in the area of entry mto confined spaces. The Australian Standard, AS 2865 "Safe Working in a Confined Space," requires safe work procedures to be implemented for all confined space entries. This Standard also emphasises the need for training of personnel in these safe work. procedures ~nd training in the use of all eqwpment required to be used. Standards covering other areas of health and safety have similar provisions. Training courses at Werribee emphasise the need for safe work procedures and require trainees to develop such procedures in a classroom situation and then apply these to practical applications. Legislation: Occupational Health and Safety Legislation has been tightened up by Governments in recent years to ensure that safe work practices are adopted. Most of this legislation emphasises the need for training of personnel in the provisions of the legislation and safe work practices. Two problems associated with OHS regulations are - apparent ignorance of many of such regulations - perceived difficulty in applying regulations to practical situations. Training is recognised as a responsible method of ensuring that work is performed effectively and safely. Training is also an essential method of overcoming ignorance by maintaining consistency with relevant legislation. The trend in Victoria is towards legislation which requires the employer to perform assessments of work places and work practices to ensure that activities are performed consistently with Codes of Practices issued with the Regulations. These Codes are designed to ensure that work is carried out in a manner both healthy and safe to the employees concerned. Attitude The attitude of employees in the Water Industry to OHS varies from very positive to very indifferent. Generally, where management provides positive leadership, the employees will be more receptive to OHS issues. Older operators with the "I've been doing it this way for 30 years and never had

John Park is Training Development Co-ordinator with the Water Training Centre located at Werribee, Victoria. He has been employed by the Victorian Government in the Water Sector for 19 years, 11 of these in training. John is also the AWWA Victorian Branch Secretary.

an accident" attitude are still a problem, but nevertheless a lessening one with better work standards today. Of greater concern, however, is the operator's attitude, particularly in smaller water organisations, that "I'll find it hard to keep my job if I stir the pot on OHS". This is a concern where organisations do not see any problem with expecting an operator to perform for example, con.fined space operations or chlonne cylmder changeover procedures with no personnel back-up or safe work procedures. This backup is not only an essential element of safe practices but also a legislative requirement. Such an actiivity is both extremely unsafe and contrary to current OHS legislation.

WATER TRAINING CENTRE Establishment of OHS training Courses in Water and Wastewater Treatment were initiated and conducted by the AWWA in the 1970's to provide operators with process monitoring and control skills. Because of the distinct need for this type of training, the Water Training Centre was established to cater more formally for Water Industry Operator Training. Early training programs identified the importance of safe practices as vital to effective training in the operation and maintenance of water and wastewater systems (Povey R. L. "Water and

Wastewater Treatment in Victoria, An Operatoinal Review'; Water, December 1983). Hence all basic training courses incorporated general safety sessions and emphasis on personal hygiene. As the Centre's expertise and resources developed during the 1980's, additional OHS training was developed and implemented. This included • More intensive practical training in the safe handling of chlorine; • Management of OHS in treatment plants; • Entry into Confined Spaces training. The advent of the Certificate in Water Operations in July, 1989 has formalised and

fully accredited all in-Centre operator training programs conducted by the Water Training Centre at Werribee, including safety training subjects. Certificate in Water Operations: Two Consultancies in 1988/1989, assessed training needs in the Victorian Water Industry and resulted in an accredited Certificate Course from which the Certificate in Water Operations was developed. This Course, originally providing two major streams of study, for Water and Wastewater Treatment has now been formally amended to provide streams of study for Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection also. Figure I shows the Course Model including subject areas and subjects that operations personnel can undertake. The Certificate Course has accredited status recognised by the Victorian State Training Board. There are several OHS training programs offered within the Certificate in Water Operations, which trainees undertake as part of their training plans towards the award of a Certificate.

• Toxicity and other hazardous properties of chlorine; • Safe handling of containers; • Safe cylinder changeover procedures; • Emergency procedures; • Coverage of relevant Government legislation. All safety training is designed to comply with the following • AS 2927 "The Safe Handling & Storage of Liquified Chlorine Gas" • Dangerous Goods (Storage & Handling) Regulations 1989 • Dangerous Goods (Transport) Regulations 1986 • Drugs, Poisons & Controlled Substances Act 1958 The Dangerous Goods regulations which are administered by the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Authority require licences for certain bulk chlorine installations, training of operators, security, emergency procedures, and that two persons be present when working on chlorine installations. The regulations require design of chlorine installations to comply with the above Australian Standard. The Drugs, Poisons & Controlled Substances Act is administered by the Health Department, Victoria which requires a Poisons Permit to be obtained for

OHS TRAINING PROGRAMS Chlorine Two subjects in the Certificate in Water Operations are designed for the operators of liquefied chlorine gas installations for both water and wastewater applications. These two subjects are most commonly offered as an integral five day live-in training program at Werribee. Trainees are instructed in microbiology, chemistry of chlorine, operation of ch lorination equipment, troubleshooting and, of course, safe handling and storage of this most toxic chemical. Safe handling training includes • Operation, use and maintenance of self contained breathing apparatus;


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Confined space entry In 1984 following a trip to the United Kingdom, where the author inspected a confined space entry training program and practical training simulator, proposals were initiated to conduct a confined space safe entry course at Werribee. A training simulator was constructed (Fig. 2) and all relevant safety equ'ipment was purchased to resource this training. Subsequently the first three day Confined Space Entry Course was conducted in August 1986. The trainees for this inaugural course were "invited" to attend and were chosen to provide a good cross-section of Victorian Water Boards. In addition to this, the trainees selected were known to be able to provide positive input and thus assist in the development of this course. This "pilot" concept proved to be successful and it is considered that the Centre's Confined Space Entry training closely meets the needs of the industry as a result of this method of development.

1.-t·H• lOGIN Of WIii • Mill JGUI tcP

Certificate in Water Operations Course Model



the purchase of c.hlorine from ICI. For the issue of a permit, the Health Department requires the installation to comply with AS2927 and the operator to have attended a training program similar to that offered by the Water Training Centre.

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The Confined Space Entry course was developed as a three day in-Centre program consisting of a balance of classroom training and practical training. This course is now a subject in the Specialist Studies Area of the Certificate Course. Trainees undertaking the full Certificate Course can select Confined Space Entry as an option in their training program and it provides a usefu l support procedural training activity to other more technical and operational training undertaken by the trainees. It should be noted that the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Authority has requested that this subject be included in the Certificate's compulsory subject listing and this is currently under investigation. The Confined Space Entry subject is specificall y designed for operations personnel, who are unlikely to undertake the Certificate program but who are required to enter confined spaces as part of their work. It is a suitable training program for any person in the water industry either responsible for those who enter confined spaces (eg. Engineers and Supervisors) or WATER February 1992


those who do the work themselves. This subject is designed to be consistent with • Health (Entry into Confined Spaces) Regulations 1984 (A Victorian Government Statutory Rule currently being revised by the Occupational Health and Safety Authority) • AS 2865 "Safe Entry into Confined Spaces" The subject covers the following content • Definition of confined spaces in the water industry; • Confined space hazards; • Properties of these hazards; • Selection, use and maintenance of the following safety equipment: Respiratory breathing apparatus Gas detection equipment Harnesses and lifelines Winches and tripods Ventilation equipment • Standard Safe entry procedures • Ventilation • Practical application of all equipment and procedures Trench Shoring This two day subject is conducted by the Gellibrand College of TAFE also located at Werribee. It is designed to provide trainees with all necessary information and skills to supervise responsibly the construction and safe support of trenches. At the conclusion of the program trainees may undertake an assessment conducted by the Victorian Department of Labour, to meet the requirements for a Mine Manager (Trenches) Permit. Safety Management This three day training program is a compulsory subject for operators wishing to complete the Certificate in Water Operations. The objectives of this subject are • to ensure full awareness of the trainee's responsibilities under Occupational Health & Safety legislation. • to develop necessary skills to implement treatment plant safety programmes • to understand relevant Government OHS legislation. These objectives are achieved by both lecture format training sessions and workshop group discussions to develop solutions to typical OHS issues common to the Water Industry. Field Seminars: Where needs exist, the Water Training Centre is able to conduct short duration Seminars on OHS in the workplace. These Seminars are typically of ½ to 1 day duration and commonly are requested by Water Boards as on-site refresher training programmes which illustrate the commitment of some Boards to a continued improvement and/ or maintenance of OHS standards. The most common subjects addressed in these Seminars are • Confined Space Entry • Trench Support • Chlorine Handling


WATER February 1992

The Centre has also conducted Seminars on more general safety issues. There are, of course, several benefits in conducting continuing training in this manner • Addressing practical issues within the actual workplace; • Cost and time savings achieved by not having to travel to an external training location; • Shorter, more direct refresher training; • A less threatening environment for the trainee who, in many cases, has been out of the classroom for many years. The current disadvantages of this type of training include • Lack of training resources normally located at the Centre • Delivery of non-accredited training due to its summary nature. This last point is very significant. It should be noted that the Centre's accredited training subjects have very distinctive objectives, theory and practical training sess ions together with well defined assessment procedures. It is not always possible to achieve this level of training in off-Centre training sessions.

SOLUTIONS Training The staff of the Water Training Centre has proven the benefits of training in solving problems in OHS. Recent Dangerous Goods legislation and of course, existing OHS legislation require employees to be appropriately trained to perform work they are expected to do. This includes training in the nature of the hazards faced and also the equipment and procedures necessary to perform the work so as to pose no risk to the health and safety of the employee and others. Training, if designed appropriately, addresses the right needs and remains practical in application, can not only provide employees with the right information, but positively motivate the employee to understand the importance of these safe concepts. Provision of resources For work to be performed in compliance with relevant OHS legislation and, above all, in a manner safe to all involved, resources in the form of equipment, training and safe work procedures are very necessary. For work to be performed safely where confined space entries are undertaken, a specific safe work procedure should be laid down that is consistent and is employed for all entries. This type of work also requires a wide range of safety equipment to be available and used in appropriate cases. A significant investment is needed to purchase this equipment and it makes positive sense that, given these resources, the users are appropriately trained in their practical application. Where a water organisation feels that it is unable to justify expenditure on certain expensive items, consideration could be given to shared resources. ie. where two or more organisations pool their resources to

purchase items which can be shared. Where practical, this gives thl organisation greater access to a wider variety of equipment at a more reasonable cost. It also ensures that the equipment gets more use rather than being a dust gatherer at the Depot! The disadvantage, of course, is that access to the equipment at the appropriate or emergency time may be unavailable unless proper work planning and communication is carried out.

CONCLUSIONS It has been seen, in the period of operation of the Water Training Centre, that OHS training is both. an important and a necessary part of any work related training program . The general demand for better work standards plus a much heightened public awareness to OHS issues has meant that OHS training in all industries is necessary. Operations personnel are required to perform a diverse range of work tasks in many locations every working day. This work has often been performed in the past with no knowledge of the hazards faced , or by a lone workman, because many small Water Boards "cannot afford additional manpower". The growing strictness of OHS Legislation Australia-wide together with the need for all employees to be aware of their work related OHS responsibilities, has meant that OHS training programmes are absolutely necessary. It will be through more operator training and a more positive attitude to OHS issues, that the Water Industry will enjoy a much improved and more responsible safety record in the future.

~ 15m ff ~f R~l (ON~fNllON GOLD COAST• APRIL 18-23, 1993.

INQUIRIES All correspondence, including abstracts, should be addressed to:

Sonja van den Ende Conference Secretariat GPO Box 2600 BRISBANE QLD AUSTRALIA 4001 Phone: (07) 234 1993 Fax: (07) 224 7999


CROSS FWW MICRO-FILTRATION WITH IN-LINE FWCCULATION by S. VIGNESWARAN and S. BOONTHANON SUMMARY Cross flow microfiltration with in-line flocculation reduces the clogging of membranes thus leading to high quality product water at economic filtration rates. A series of laboratory-scale experiments conducted with artificial suspensions and typical waters and wastewaters show that this is an attractive process for water and wastewater treatment. A detailed semi-pilot scale study conducted with artifical clay suspension (particle size distribution of which is similar to that of surface water) and also a typical surface water indicated that the filtration rate can be increased by more than 2000Jo by adopting in-line flocculation .

Dr. S. Vigneswaran is presently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Civil Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney. He graduated BSc (Hons) in 1975 from the University of Sri Lanka, and MSc in Environmental Engineering in 1978from the Asian Institute of Technology. He was awarded the degree of Docteur Ingenieur in 1980 and Docteur es Sciences degree in 1987 in the field of Chemical Engineering from the Universite de Montpellier, France and Institut National de Polytechnique de Toulouse, France respectively.

INTRODUCTION Membrane technology (an emerging field) has already gained wide popularity and various membrane processes falling under this category have been accepted as efficient filtration processes. Processes such as Reverse Osmosis (RO), Ultrafiltration (UF), Microfiltration (MF), and Pervaporation are being used in solid, liquid and gaseous separations. MF, which uses membranes with pore size 0.01 to 0.5 µm range removes most of the impurities in water and wastewater. Cross flow micro-filtration (CFMF) is a very useful process for removing colloids and suspended solids in water. Unlike the standard filtration process, accumulation of the filtered solids on the filter medium can be minimized in CFMF by the shear action of flow, since the direction of the feed flow is tangential to the filter surface. However, in most of the applications of CFMF, the dissolved solids, colloids and suspended particles found in the liquid lead to membrane fouling, flux reduction and inferior effluent quality. In wastewater treatment, membrane processes are generally used in combination with biological processes. In this treatment method, dissolved organics are treated by the biological process while membrane processes (UF or MF) are used for final solid-liquid separation. Incorporation of the flocculation process in micro-filtration is an effective way to reduce the colloidal particles fraction. Some laboratory- scale studies conducted indicate that significant improvement in flux and effluent quality can be achieved by the process of CFMF with in-line flocculation. In the case of domestic sewage treatment, however, although the filtration flux was improved by using this process, there was no significant improvement in the removal of dissolved organics. This paper presents laboratory and pilot-scale results for the application of CFMF with in-line flocculation .

CFMF WITH IN-LINE FWCCULATION In-line flocculation prior to micro-filtration is a good method to reduce the internal clogging of membranes. Flocculation is used to achieve two objectives: eliminating the penetration of colloidal particles into the membrane pores and modification of deposit characteristics to increase the filtration flux and to reduce the cleaning requirements. The mechanism involved in this process is simple. Internal clogging caused by the colloidal particles reduces the permeate flux and life span of the membrane. To avoid this, the membrane can be selected with lower pore size range. By this, the internal clogging phenomena can be controlled. However, higher pressure has to be applied and lower flux will result. Prior flocculation of the suspension makes the particle size bigger (micro floe formation) so that CFMF can be used with lower pressure and higher flux .

Dr. S. Boonthanon is presently the Director of Clean Technology Co; Ltd, Bangkok, Thailand. He graduated BSc in 1974 from Kasetsart University, Thailand and MSc and Doctor of Engineering in Environmental Engineering in 1976 and 1991 respectively from · the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand.

EARLIER STUDIES ON THIS SYSTEM A set of experiments conducted with bentonite suspension and poly-aluminium chloride as flocculant indicated the following (Ben Aim et al., 1988): when the flocculant dose was optimum, the permeate flux was about eight times higher than that without flocculant addition (Table 1), but when an over-dose of flocculant was added, a decrease in permeate flux was observed. The optimum dose of poly-aluminium chloride in this experiment was almost the same as that found from the jar test. In addition to the flocculant dose, floe formation is also dependent on shear or agitation velocity (velocity gradient, G) and flocculation (or detention) time. Since the range is in the region of micro-filtration, it is not necessary to form big floes; a microfloc is sufficient. In the study conducted, it was also found that as the shear velocity increases, the permeate flux increases (Tobie 1). This increase was very significant at optimum Table I: Performance of CFMF with in-line flocculation of bentonite suspension Bentonite Concentration

Poly-Aluminum Chloride Dose

(mg/ L)

(mg/ L)

Rotational Speed (Shear) (RPM)

Steady State Filtration flux (m 3 /m 2 h)

Effect of Poly Aluminum Chloride Dose:


0 50 75 100 150 400

300 300 300 300 300 300

0.08 0.18 0.60 0.65 0.80 0.35

Effect of shear velocity: 1500

150 150 150

100 300 500

0.35 0. 75 0.85

(Bentonite suspension = 600 mg/ L; rnillipore membrane cellule; cellulose nitrate membrane of 0.2 µm pore size)

WATER February 1992


dose. The results clearly indicated that flocculation improves both permeate flux and effluent quality. Thus, the main factors to be considered are shear or crossflow velocity and flocculant dose. . A detailed study was also carried out with floes of different sizes in the suspension. A suspension of kaolin clay was flocculated with aluminium sulfate in a spiral flocculator to obtain different sizes of floes. Higher permeate flux was obtained with larger floes in the influent. An almost linear relationship was observed between the permeate flux and floe sizes (Table 2). The results of laboratory-scale CFMF with in-line flocculation in water treatment (Table 3) and sewage treatment (Table 4) were encouraging. However, all these studies were conducted with small membrane modules, with no backwashing. A detailed study was therefore conducted using a tubular module of an inorganic membrane using backflush as the cleaning technique to study the effect of the advantage of in-line flocculation arrangement in CFMF. Table 2: Effect of floe size on permeate flux after 60 minutes of filtration (Vhineswaran et. al., 1987).

An artificial suspension of clay was used-in this study. The size distribution of cla:y is given in Fig. 2. Alum of known concentration was used as flocculant. The results are summarized in Figures 3 and 4. It is clear that prior flocculation doubles the quantity of water filtered after 2 hours of filtration (curves 3 and 1 in Fig. 3). This corresponds to an improvement of productivity of 250-270% by flocculation (curve 3 and 1 in Fig. 4). It should be noted that the values compared above were without backflush. Here, productivity and improvement in productivity are defined as: productivity

= Increment in net volume of permeate produced during a particular time Membrane area x Time interval)

Improvement in Productivity (I )(%)



Productivity with backflush x 100 Productivity without backflush

When in-line flocculation was used with regular cleaning by flush (cleaning for 2 seconds after every 2 minutes filtration with a back flush pressure of 100 kPa), the improvement in flux was still better. For example, the productivity was about 340% higher with flocculation and backwashing compared to the one without flocculation (curves 4 and 2 in Fig. 3). It is also very interesting to

Permeate flux after 60 minutes of filtration (m 3i m 2h)

Mean floe size (i,m)

Re c!rculot ion

1.80 1.95


2.05 2.25 2.40 2.70 2.90

Compresstd Alr Ro1ometer


(kaolin clay suspension 1000 mg/L; Flat plate geometry membrane cellulose; Cellulose nitrate membrane of 1.2 µm pore size; Transmembrane pressure 90 kPa)


S 1 (N/C)

Poly-Aluminum Chloride Dose (mg/L)

Stead State Filtration Flux

0 60

0.22 0.47

Membrane Module


Table 3: Influence of in-line flocculation in Garonne river water filtration (Ben Aim et. al., 1988)


(m 3 /m 2h)

Wottr Cooler

(Ceraver tubular membrane with 0.2 mm pore size; Influent water turbidity = 67 NTU)


Figure 1. Experimental set up of tubular ceramic membrane with periodic backflush cleal\ing techniques

EXPERIMENTAL STUDY WITH ARTIFICIAL SUSPENSION An experimental study was conducted to show the significant advantage of in-line flocculation - CFMF system (Boonthanon, 1991). In this study, a single channel tubular ceramic membrane, having an outer diameter 10 mm, an inner diameter of 7 mm and tube length of 250 mm with pore size of 0.21-tm was used. The total effective permeate area was 4,550 mm2 • The experimental set up (Fig. 1) consisted of a storage tank from which the test water was pumped under pressure into the tubular membrane filter. The bypass system was necessary for controlling the operating pressure (AP) and crossflow velocity (Vs) at 100 kPa and 3 m/s respectively. The operational backflush pressure (APb), which is the difference between backflush pressure and operating pressure, was maintained at 100 kPa. The cooling coil was set inside the storage tank and a temperature controller used to maintain the operating temperature at 30 ± 2°C. The concentrate and the permeate flows were recirculated. Permeate was used for backflushing and the excess overflowed to the storage tank. A programmable controller (Omron Sysmac-S6) together with solenoid valves was employed for an automatic operation and control of the membrane filtration process. This equipment also allowed the variation of the duration or frequency of backflush.

Stor091 Tonk





j .5 ,e


!!... 50


~ .,


"' 5


20 10 0 0.1

60 Olometre ( microns )

Median size : 1.64 microns Oiameter for 50 ¾ : 1.64 microns and 100 ¾ : 4.98 microns

Figure 2. Particle size distribution of clay (Analyzed by Cilas Alcatel Granulometre HR 850)

Table 4: Performance of CFMF with in-line flocculation arranl(ement in sewal!e treatment (Vil!neswaran and Chilunl!, 1988) Membrane pore Flocculent Dose Size (i,m) (mg/L)

Influ ent CO D mg/ L Total

0.45 0.45 0.20

0 50 50

(cross-flow velocity T=32.50°C)


125 125 125


60 60 60

Effluent COD

E.coli Cone (colony/ 100 mL)

Color (Haze n Scale)

Permeate flux

Turbidity (NTU)

(mg/ L)





2 (m 3/ m .h)



40 40 30

lxl0 8 lxl0 6

10 10 0

200 200 200

<5 <5 <5

0.23 0.62 0.43

25 25 25

0.1 0.1 0.1

5xl0 7

= 5.41 mi s; transmembrane pressure = 90 kPa (13 psi); sewage from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok; cellulose acetate membrane;

WATER February 1992

note that the improvement in productivity is very significant and it also increases with time (curve 4 in Fig. 4). A similar study conducted with surface water near an intake point of a. water treatment plant in Thailand led to at least 2000Jo improvement in flux with this process (Chen Dar Wen, 1990).


3.0 o CFMF without bockllush and without alum o CFMF with bockllush and without alum c. CFMF without bockllush and with alum o CFMF with bockllush and with alum

2.8 2 -6 2.4

We're going Into


2.2 N~








::: 1.4 ]u

12 .

1~:~~ 0 .6


---::::. _ .__ -

. 0 .2



the&, Availahlc Tcc/Joologics are:

-·--- ·- - ·- - .- ·-·- - ·-·---o--(j)






N;t cumulative pe;meott volume p~r unit membrane area, m3/m2

Fig. 3 - Variation of productivity with net cumulative permeate volume per unit membrane area using different combinations of backflush technique and flocculation (Clay suspension of turbidity 50 NTU, Vs = 3 mis, 4P = 100 kPa, .iPb =100 kPa, alum = 50 mgl L, dm = 0.2 µm , area of membrane = 0.00455 m2, temperature = 30 ± 2° C, dotted line represents extrapolation)

,., . . .---------------=-------, o CFMF without bockllush and without alum ::,!! 0 •


1.0 o CFMF with bockllush and without alum o CFMF without bockllush and with alum o.9 o CFMF with bockrlush and with alum






~ 0.7



.; 0 .6



a. .5 0.5









0.3 a. .§ 0.2 0.1






0.8 12 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.8 Net cumulative permtolt volume per unit membrane area, m3/m2 0.4


Fig. 4 - Variation of improvement in productivity (1 0 ), with net cumulative permeate volume per unit membrane area using different combinations of backflush technique and flocculation (Clay suspension of turbidity 50 NTU, Vs 3 mi s, .iP 100 kPa, .iPb 100 kPa, alum 50 mgl L, dm 0.2 µm, area of membrane 0.00455 m2 , temperature 30 ± 2° C)











This significant improvement in the process efficiency due to prior flocculation can become a major breakthrough in membrane technology, especially in water treatment. More studies have to be performed to assess the increase in quantity of sludge produced and chemical concentration in the effluent.

REFERENCES Ben Aim, R., Peuchot, M., Vigneswaran, S., Boothanon, S. and Yamamoto, K. (1988) A New Process for Water Reuse: In -line Flocculation-Cross Flow Micro-filtration, Water Poll '88, Bangkok, Thailand . Boothanon, S. (1991) Application of Cross-flow Microfiltration in Water Treatment, Doctoral Thesis, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand. Chen Dar Wen (1990) Application of Micro-filtration with Back/lush Techniques in Water Treatment, M. Eng. Thesis, Asian Institute of Tochnology, Bangkok, Thailand. Vigneswaran, S., Chang, D.J., Pandey, J.R. and Boonthanon, S. (1987) Application ofFiltration laws in Cross-flow Micro-filtration, Proceeding of Water '87, Bangkok, Thailand. Vigneswaran, S. and Chen Chilung (1988) Application of Cross-flow Micro-filtration with On-line Flocculation Arrangement in Sewage Treatment, Water Poll '88, Bangkok , Thailand, November.








TBLBPHONB 07 358 3098 FAX 07 358 3098

WATER February 1992



Ultraviolet Disinfection in Municipal Waste Water Treatment Plants by A. MacDOUGALL ABSTRACT Studies of UV disinfection of wastewater have demonstrated that the process can consistently meet an effluent faecal coliform standard of 200/100 ml or less, depending on suspended solids and UV transmission. Some results are quoted for operational plant in Australia. Throughout the world over 300 systems have been installed in wastewater treatment plants for final effluent disinfection . There is increasing concern on mutagenic, carcinogenic and other health risks from conventional chemical disinfection, (refer Tobie 1 Appendix). When the effluent can be re-used for water treatment or stock watering, consideration must also be given to biomagnification and bio-accumulation of toxins in plant and fish life in aquatic systems, and where animals drink from the water stream. This paper examines re-use, and inadvertent re-use of effluents, then looks at design criteria for disinfection.

INTRODUCTION The elimination of pathogenic micro-organisms in wastewater discharged to receiving waters which may be used for human or livestock purposes is of utmost importance. In Australia, wastewater has been disinfected almost exclusively by chlorination. An increasing body of research has revealed that even moderate chlorine residuals in wastewater are deleterious to the aquatic biota in the receiving streams. Chlorination also produces chlorinated compounds that may be toxic to humans and animals. The emerging alternative to chlorination is UV disinfection. UV is an attractive alternative to chlorination since it disinfects but does not chemically alter the wastewater. The advantages of UV disinfection are: UV equipment occupies little space and is relatively inexpensive when compared to chlorination and ozonation. The disadvantages of UV as a means of disinfection are the lack of a measurable residual and the possible occurence of photoreactivation which can repair the damage done by the ultraviolet light. Disinfection by UV radiation is a physical process relying on the transference of electromagnetic energy from a source (UV lamp) to an organism's genetic material. The lethal effects of this energy result in the irradiated cell being unable to replicate (Levin 1991). The primary and most widely used source of UV light energy is the !ow-pressure mercury arc lamp. Approximately 85% of the energy output falls within the optimum wavelength range for germicidal effects of 250 to 270 nm.

REUSE OF EFFLUENTS The use of UV irradiation for the disinfection of treated wastewaters has now become accepted as an effective and economical alternative to chlorine. As a consequence, a number of treatment plants are installing the process to meet the growing desire of the public to protect our environment. The major motivation for UV usage as an effluent disinfection is the concern that inadvertent re-use in potable water schemes do occur, not only in the rivers of highly industrialised countries of Europe, but also in pristine areas of Australia. The Murray River is an obvious example of re-use and Hamilton & Greenfield, 1991, in a paper presented to the 1991 AWWA Convention in Perth, studied rivers in Queensland, the Condamine, Balonne and MacIntyre. A comparison of potential reuse is given in Table 1, with the obvious conclusion that in dry periods the percentage of river water derived from discharged effluent could get to 100% of the inlet water to a water treatment plant in certain rivers.


WATER February 1992

Angus MacDougall is a Director of Process and Pollution Control Pty Ltd, a company he formed in 1982 after a lifetime in Controls and Instrumentation, most of his experience being in work for the water industry. His company has since specialised in a number of 'Best Available Technologies' including U.V. disinfection and odour control.

Table 1 Sewage Effluent Contribution to Stream Flow for 1978-1986 River

Queensland Condamine

Ballonne McIntyre New South Wales Namoi Macquarie Barwon Darling Murrumbidgee


Victoria Ovens Goulburn

Loddon Murray


Urban Centre

Dalby Chinchi lla Surat Beardmore Dam Goondiwindi Gunedah Walgett Dubbo Brewarrina Bourke Gundaigai Wagga Wagga Narrandera Hay Griffith Balranald Sydney via Warrengamba Dam North Richmond Macleay Wangaratta Seymour Shepparton Bet Bet SC Kerang Echuca Swan Hill Mildura Adelaide Melbourne

Av Monthly Data Mean 0/o Max 'lo

0/o Water used for Town Supply Continuous

High Demand

100 n/ a n/ a n/ a 2

0 90 100 n/ a 100

50 150 n/ a n/ a n/ a

2 5 0.75 0.5 0.33 0.6 0.6 0.8

100 7 n/ a 7.5 6 2.7 2.5 2.5

0 100 100 0 100 100 33 80 prior to 0 after

0 n/a n/ a 0 n/ a n/a n/ a 1973

0.9 0.9

2.5 2.5

100 100

n/ a n/ a


0 .5

n/ a 40 2

70 100 40

1 0.1 0.3

2 0 .1 5 0 .6

100 100 100

8.6 7.3 3 2.6 17

1.5 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.6 1

1.4 1.5

2.5 2.8 7

100 100 100 100 35 n/ a

90 15

HEALTH RISKS The micro-organisms associated with waterborne diseases have been classified as: • Waterborne - Pathogens transmitted by drinking water. Their origins are faecal material. • Waterwashed - Organisms which are transmitted by contact because of inadequate sanitation or hygiene. Their origins are faecal material. • Waterbased - Organisms which spend part of their life cycle in aquatic animals, and come into contact with humans in water, often through the skin. • Water-related - Micro-organisms that live in water and bite susceptible individuals . Table 2 from 'Health Effects of Drinking Water Treatment Technologies' (1989) lists the disease and transmission routes.

Table 2 Water Related Diseases and Route of Transmission Water Related Diseases (World Wide) Bacterial Diseases Bacillary Dysentery (Shigella spp .) cholera (Vibro cholera) Diarrohea (Campylobacter) Diarrohea (Eschericha Coli) Leptospirosis (Leotospira spp.) Salmonellosis (Salmonella spp .) Typhoid fever (Salmonella typhi.) Skin infections (Pseudomonas spp . and Staphylococcus spp.) Yersiniosis (Yersinia spp .) Viral Diseases Enteroviruses Gastroenteritis, Norwalk agnet and Rotavirus Hepatitis A (Hepatitis virus) Parasitic disesascs Acanthamebiasis (Acanthamoeba spp .) Amoebic dysentery (Entamoeba histolytica) Ascariasis (Ascaris lumbricoides) Balantidial dysentery (Balantidium coll) Dracontiasis (Dracunculus medinensis) Giardiasis (Giardia lambila) Meningoencephalitis (Naegaleria spp and Acanthamoeba spp .) Schistosomiasis (Schistosoma spp .)














CURRENT STATUS OF UV TECHNOLOGY Replacing Better Available Technologies UV has been recognised as an effective disinfection since a paper presented to the Royal Society in London in 1877. Downes and Blount described the lethal effects of solar radiation on microbial population and attributed this to short wave ultraviolet radiation. Current thinking supports this theory but also recognises that other UV frequencies can repair and encourage growth of organisms. An understanding of the killing mechanisms or forces is necessary to evaluate UV as an alternative or preferred disinfectant. A bacterium consists of the basic cell structure of cell wall, cytoplasmic membrane and nucleic acid . The target of UV disinfection is the genetic material, nucleic acid. Microbes are destroyed by UV if the light penetrates through the cell and is absorbed by the nucleic acids. The rearrangement of the genetic information interferes with the cell's ability to reproduce. A cell which cannot reproduce is considered dead since it is unable to multiply to infectious numbers within a host. Chemical disinfection requires destruction and penetration of the cell wall, with high chemical dosages and long contact times. Viral Efficiency The UV disinfection process has been shown to be as effective for bacteria, and more effective for viruses, than chlorine or ozone. A comparison of the dosages (time plus dose) relative to that required to kill £. Coli is shown below. UV Chlorine Ozone E. Coli 1 1 1 1 1.5 2.6 · Salmonella 1.5 6.5 2.6 Polio type 1. virus T he interesting fact is that UV is consistently around the dosage of l, while the others fluctuate, suggesting the difference in direct radiation of the DNA versus chemical attack through the cell membranes.

MAJOR FACTORS IN EVALUATING DISINFECTANT ALTERNATIVES C urrent efforts have focussed on the development and demonstration of uniform methods for designing and evaluating full scale UV systems for wastewater treatment. In conjunction with the growing store of operating experiences and the failures of some methods, UV disinfection is now moving from innovative technology to one that is established in the engineering community. To assist in engineering and cost effective evaluation, major factors and procedures that need to be considered when evaluating disinfection are listed: Effectiveness: ability to achieve target levels of selected indicator organisms; broad spectrum disinfecting ability; reliability.

Use-Cost: Capital cost; amortizati~n cost (pay back or recovery of costs); operating and maintenance cost - cost of special wastewater pre-treatment. Practicality: ease of transport and storage, or ease of on-site generation; ease of application and control; flexibility; complexity - ability to predict results - safety considerations. Pilot Studies: dose requirements; refine design details. Potential: toxicity to aquatic life. Adverse Effects: formation and transmission of undesirable bioaccumulating substances; formation and transmission of toxic, mutagenic, or carcinogenic substances. UV is one of the better available technologies, when the following factors are considered: • effectiveness in destroying bacterial and viral pathogens. • safety precautions for transport, storage and application. • environmental impacts, especially as related to halogenated organics. • THM formation and chlorine residual toxicity. • equipment reliability and ease of maintenance. • process reliability and simplicity. • process control flexibility. • overall construction, operation, and maintenance costs. Residual This paper is addressed to final effluent disinfection. However, since UV doesn't have a residual, for potable or process water requirement, immediate point of use disinfection by UV would be practical, but if storage and reticulation is required a residual disinfectant must be used. Design Considerations for UV Disinfection The design of any chemical or physical reactor requires a constant hydraulic performance over varying flow rates. It is essential to get good exposure to the destructive mechanism, that there is a minimum of turbulence which could interfere with the contact mechanisms, and with no dead or poor circulation areas. The reactor should have these flow characteristics: Plug flow: This means that each element of liquid spends the same amount of time in the reactor. The flow is straightened before entering and that sudden transitions are avoided afterwards to prevent differing velocities within the contact chamber. Dispersion: There should be some lateral dispersion since the UV intensity spectrum decreases with distance from the source. Headloss: Should be minimal in open channel reactors, as high headlosses could expose the lamps to air or cause a higher level of water over the top lamps that could be disinfected to a lesser level. Effective Volume: Full use of the reactor must be achieved at all flow rates. Modularity: Each component should be designed for easy cleaning and / or maintenance, as the effectiveness is only as good as each component in the system. One lamp or banks of lamp not operating means a significant portion of the effluent would be receiving minimal disinfection . Operation & Maintenance An ultraviolet system is not complex to operate. It is in essence a lighting system with the lamps immersed in the effluent. The operator is required to monitor the UV light intensity inside the reactor. This is done by means of a UV intensity detector probe and a continuous meter read-out. The system can be designed so that alarms can be activated should the UV intensity drop below a pre-determined level, with further safeguards on individual or 'banks of lamps' failure. Factors Influencing Sleeve Fouling The following factors will all influence the rate of fouling of the quartz sleeves: • Industrial effluents, especially those high in heavy metals, will increase the fouling rate, unless these metals are removed prior to disinfection . • High hardness levels will result in a calcium/ magnesium type of deposit on the sleeves. • Certain biological processes product 'sticky' biomass, which under low flow condition, may adhere to the quartz sleeves, contributing to a fouling layer . • Increased levels of suspended solids and reduced UV transmittances indicate the presence of solids which may contribute the fouling.

WATER February 1992


• Phosphates can act as a coagulating agent, attracting heavy metal ions. These larger metallic-phosphate molecules can combine to form a complex layer on the sleeves. . • During periods of low or no flow, there is no natural scouring action to remove solids attached to the sleeves. These solids can 'bake' onto the sleeves, where this will increase the rate of fouling. Lamps should be turned off during extended periods of no flow. Routine Cleaning

UV Lamp banks should be checked regularly for the presence of algae or other debris which may become lodged on the end of the UV modules. Such debris can be removed by lifting out the module or using a hose to dislodge the debris, which will then move past the lamps and out of the system. Cleaning Tank

Medium sized systems are generally designed to include a mobile cleaning tank which is used to clean 3 or 4 modules at a time. Lamp modules are removed from the channel after power to the module is disconnected, and modules are placed in the tank. The tank contains a mild acid solution which is agitated by a small air compressor. Use of a cleaning tank significantly reduces the time required for cleaning. A mounting bar is included in the tank design so modules can be suspended at a convenient height for final wiping. Very large UV systems are designed to provide for either inchannel cleaning of whole banks or lamp modules, or for removal of whole banks of lamp modules by overhead crane for removal to a cleaning basin (usually in the ground).

COST FACTORS The major operating costs for a UV system are the power costs, lamp replacement costs (every 12-18 months) and interest on capital. Lamp life is increased by minimising the number of starts, operating the lamp electrodes at the same temperature (both ends submerged) and by keeping the lamps cooled (by the water) at all times while in operation. The following comparisons in Table 5 are given as examples for two Queensland Council installations, and a proposed system for a Northern N.S.W. town, as summarised by an independent consultant.

Table 3 Ballina shire Council Ultraviolet Disinfection Monitoring at Ballina S.T.W. All results faecal Coliforms (Org/ 100 ml) Date

04.12 .90 06.12.90 12.12.90 17.12.90 18.12.90 08 .01.91 15.01.91 23.01.91 29.01.91 05.02.91 12.02 .91 19.02.91



1.10 4.39 131.90 437.50 875.00

1200 9 60 9 20 0 20

9 9 0 2 12 5700 0 0 2 0 0 88 2 15 70 24 6


7000 100 60 220 0 13000 50000

110 1200 3700 5700 4700



Greater Taree City Council

The installation at Wingham WWTP showed early test results with a very poor quality effluent, due to the plant augmentation not being completed. (Chlorophyll A levels of 42.7 mg/L) . To evaluate the results, two effluent samples were taken and one exposed to sunlight for 3 hours to measure any re-activation. Table 4

UV Dis Power Cost @


The high effluent levels of 08.01.91 co-incided with a system shutdown due to lamp and tube damage. This was caused by stunned and slightly sunburned mullet and turtles, and has emphasised the need for effective screens if the effluent is being discharged from ponds in lagoons. Effective screens were achieved by default at Wingham, where flow straighteners were used to minimise the effect of right angle entry into the channel.

Table 5 Annual Australian Costs 1991 Plant LIS


12C/ kw hr

Chlorine gas

Sodium Hypochlorlte

Cblorne Dioxide

$A51.50 206.00 6180.00 20600.00 41200.00

310 12300 35000 116000 231500


1480 7000 180000 480000 830000

6800 205000 385000 770000


Influent Faecal Coliforms/ 100 ml

After UV

3 Hours Exposure





The results are excellent considering the high algal content in the effluent.

CONCLUSION Installation Costs

UV does not require expensive civil work with large volume detention tanks. A simple channel is all that is required, where the UV lamp modules are submerged in the effluent flowing through the channel. Recent installations in Australia have provided duplicate channels, to allow for future expansion with very low civil cosls. Retrofitting to existing chlorine detention tanks is extremely simple, where the channel is formed in a portion of the detention system and the balance of the tankage can be used for other purposes, such as clarification or nutrient removal stages.


An effluent pond discharges through the UV channel to a tidal creek system, where there is virtually no dilution factor as slackwater and run-in tides retain the discharge for up to 8 hours of the day. Discharges must meet bathing quality standards at the exit to the UV unit. Table 3 summarises some results . Note the reduction from 50,000 faecal coliforms to 88. (Bathing quality standard 200) .


WATER February 1992

Operational results show that UV disinfection of treated wastewater is a viable alternative to chlorination and is a more responsible alternative to 'no disinfection'. The results obtained above demonstrate that UV systems can be designed to operate with minimum maintenance, that they will meet increasingly demanding standards for receiving waters without introducing toxicants to fish and aquatic plants, with the added security of effective virus kills if spray irrigation is used . The increasing 'green' awareness and the public liability in personnel in the water and wastewater industry suggest UV should be increasingly used throughout Queensland and Australia.

REFERENCES Downes, A., Blount, T. (1877), 'Research on the Effect of Light Upon Bacteria and other Organisms', Proc. Roy . Soc. London , 26,488. Drinking Water Health Effects Task Force (1989), 'Health Effects of Drinking water Treatment Technologies', Lewis Publishers 41 -8 1. EPA (1986), 'Design Manual - Municipal Wastewater Disinfection', U .S. Environmental Protection Agency, No EPA/625/ 1-86/ 21 (October). Hamilton, G., Greenfield, P.F. (1991), 'Potable Re-use of Treated Wastewater', Proceedings A WW A 14th Federal Convention, Perth (March). Levin, L (1991), 'Retrofitting for UV Disinfection', Journal of America! Operators Association (April).


ENVIRONMENTAL WATER ALWCATION Armidale Workshop Stirs the Debate 'Australia has to stop talking about the rules of the game and start playing it', said Professor John Pigram, convenor of a international forum on water allocation for the environment which was held last November in Armidale. The meeting vigorously debated the contentious issue of environmental flow allocations, and how they should be put into practice. In the meanwhile a major algal bloom infestation occurred to the west, in the Darling River. The Seminar/ Workshop was attended by approximately 180 representatives from state, federal and local government, universities and research institutions, the irrigation industry, and conservation groups. There was representation from the United States of America, South Africa, New Zealand, and Canada as well as Australian States and Territories. Following the presentation of invited papers in plenary se.ssions, the Seminar/ Workshop divided into four Working Groups and three Discussion Forums. Workshop topics included: • Ecological Sustainability of Riverine Ecosystems - Principles and Procedures • Unregulated Stream Flows: Off-stream Diversion Flow Protection • Urban Waterways and Estuarine Environments • Decision Support Systems for Water Allocation Policies The Discussion Forums examined: • 'The Rules of the Game' - Providing for Environmental Water Needs - Institutional Settings and Regulatory Frameworks • 'Making it Happen' - Experiences in Meeting Environmental Water Requirements • 'Keeping the Peace' - Environmental Dispute Resolution in Conflict Management. The aim of these deliberations was to develop recommendations directed towards the question of Water Allocation for the Environment. However, because of the complexity of the issues raised, it was difficult to reach agreement or achieve consensus over the full range of problem areas put forward. The meeting was able to identify some key areas where agreement could be reached, as well as those areas where there was disagreement, and those where there needs to be more research and negotiation. The Statements of Principle, are expected to form the basis of recommendations to AWRC and ANZECC for endorsement, with Courses for Action referred to resources management agencies for consideration and possible implementation.


WATER February 1992

A report by Bruce Hooper



• Water allocation for the environment should be managed in ways that maintain/restore/enhance natural processes for riverine ecosystems, using a combination of flow management, structural works and other techniques. • Reallocation of water to maintain natural ecosystem processes should be on the basis of determined environmental requirements, within the context of catchment management objectives, and taking into account, through community consultation, national, state, and regional

• Areas of insufficient understanding of riverine ecosystems should be acknowledged in formulating river management plans, so that plans are implemented with due caution, appropriate monitoring is instituted, and research to improve understanding is initiated; such areas should include relationships between biota and the necessity for peak flows, seasonal flows, etc. • Environmental water allocations should include, where practicable, sufficient quantities for flushing flows to help prevent, and if necessary, ameliorate blue-green algae blooms. • Guidelines should be developed for the practical management of unregulated flows on a valley-by-valley basis, in the context of claims both for environmental purposes and for off-stream diversion; such guidelines should be flexible enough to provide for uncertainty and changes in knowledge and community values. • Management of unregulated flows for environmental purposes should be on a 'merit-risk' basis, i.e. related to the ecological effects of various size flows and the desirable frequency of that flow. For example, if fish passage has been hampered by low flows for a long time, then medium flows to provide fish passage fnaybe of a higher priority or merit than extra irrigation. The desirable frequency of these size flows would need to be established. Conversely, if these flows are allocated to other uses rather than fish passage, then there could be a risk of damage to the ecosystem and this risk should be estimated. • Assessment of ecological risk should be on an event-by-event basis and take into consideration antecedent conditions of the riverine ecosystem and water quality, as well as the characteristics of the flow hydograph; the risk to off-stream diverters of unregulated flows be assessed in a similar context. • A number of mechanisms should be examined for managing access to unregulated flows, e.g. - market-based approaches for water sharing - volumetric allocation (on any event byevent basis) - restrictions on off-stream diversion • The issue of rights to unregulated flows should be clarified, as well as the question of any rights to compensation for loss of rights. • Reallocation of unregulated flows from off-stream diversion to environmental purposes be subject to a transition period, supported by an effective process of community consultation, for the phasing in and fine tuning of any changes, and for the trial and monitoring of proposed guidelines.

policies for ecologically sustainable development. • Many of Australia's rivers and water resources are already overallocated, and there may be difficulty in allocating sufficient water resources to meet fundamental environmental baseline requirements. The exception could be in the Northern Territory. • Mechanisms need to be found to reallocate waters so that the environmental requirements of rivers can be met. These mechanisms may include transfer or sale of water right allocations, reallocation by regulation, or placing of a moratorium on further allocation pending adequate environmental review. • It will be difficult, in the immediate future, to change existing uses for which water allocations have been made, and a transition period will be needed. However, as a first step, unallocated, unregulated flows should be recognised as available for environmental purposes. • Further diversion of unregulated flows, from regulated or unregulated systems, should only be on the basis that ecological sustainability of riverine ecosystems is not impaired. • River flow regimes need to be examined, so that water management authorities may release flows in a way which mimic natural conditions, using 'state of the art' technology to improve understanding of environmental water requirements and to support decision making processes. • Although there has been a great deal of discussion on water volume allocation and some discussion on water flow regimes, the issues of water quality have not been widely discussed or resolved in Australia. • Total water cycle management and the concept of reuse of water should be pursued. • Agreement on definition of terminology is needed to avoid uncertainty and misunderstanding. Proceedings at $50 available from Centre for Water Policy Research, University of New England 067 332 420 Fax 067 733 237

N. WHYTE and B. DAVIS Continued from page 13 After additional comments from industry speakers, the meeting developed the motion: That a tri-partite working group convened by AWWA and AWRC facilitate the establishment and formal recognition of a national Water Industry Training Council, the roles of which are to include the development and implementation of national competency standards specific to the water industry. On being put to the vote, this was carried unanimously. The meeting also resolved (a) The meeting will reconvene in Sydney during the AWWA/ WMAA Hazardous and Solid Waste Convention and Trade Exhibition which is being held between March 29 and April 2 1992. The purpose of the meeting is to provide feedback on AWWA/AWRC activities. (b) The convenors will issue newsletters to the industry reporting on progress. (c) AWWA will make available its Branch network to facilitate discussion within the industry, and the flow of information between industry and the working group. It was not possible to get any real agreement at the meeting as to the composition of the Working Group or the National Body. This is understandable, and some suggestions have been prepared for AWWA Federal Executive, as to who should be involved and what the program should be.

A NATIONAL WATER INDUSTRY TRAINING ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED) AND WATER INDUSTRY TRAINING COUNCIL In the light of the Queensland experience, it is considered prudent to proceed along the lines of establishing an incorporated national association (WITA) which operates as a legal entity, in parallel with the thrust to gain approval for a national WITC.

The need to have a legally constituted body to represent industry members in their negotiations is augmertted by the fact that should WITC status be deferred or refused for whatever reason, the WITA can continue to cater for industry training needs and seek project funding from DEBT and from water industry organisations. The AWWA Standing Committee on Education and Training has prepared a program for consideration by the AWWA/AWRC Working Group which provides for the formation of a Water Industry Training Association by the end of April, its incorporation in Canberra by the end of June, and application for recognition lodged with DEBT and the NTB in July. The application for WITC status would also be made in July. On approval of a WITC, the WITA would seek a change of name and become the WITC (Aust) Inc. If approval is not forthcoming, the WITA would continue to do the work of a WITC. Although such a Program may appear somewhat ambitious, this path has to a certain degree already been navigated, and the WITA (Qld) is pleased to lend the benefit of its experience towards the achievement of these national objectives. With appropriate assistance from all the other interested parties, this Program can be realised . One thing we can be sure of, is that in the current economic and industrial climate, if we cannot get our act together nationally, there are any number of international Water Industry Training bodies currently active in the Region which would be pleased to step in and fill the breach. However, we can ill-afford the cost of importing this expertise, nor should we need to when the talents and the knowledge already reside within the industry here. All we need to do is accept the need, actively strive to link together all these skills, and then share themwith the rest of the vast Australian Water Industry, for the benefit of all. A national Water Industry Training Association/ Council is the mechanism to achieve this. With a cooperative and unified Australian Water Industry, we will be in a position not only to ensure our own training and education needs are met in an efficient manner, but to earn valuable overseas revenue at the same time.

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