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Volume 22, No 4 September/October 1995

Editorial Board F R Bishop, Chairman cl- CMPS&F, 12th Fir, 390 St K.ilda Road Melbourne Vic 3004

CONTENTS ASSOCIATION NEWS From the Federal President From the Executive Director Association Meetings

2 4


MY POINT OF VIEW Asset Management in the Sydney Water Corporation


Chris Pollett 10

RA Byrne Victorian Assets Review



R Croft, A Hughes Asset Management Systems, The New Zealand Approach


RA Byrne, R G Leonard Justifying Planned Maintenance and Repair Systems


E GKatz

MANAGEMENT Ps in TCM - The Fuel of Change


A C/,arke

TECHNOLOGY Status of ICA in the Australian Wastewater Industry


P Lant, M Steffens Direct Measurement of Bacterial Activity


PC Pol/,ard,J Keller, LL Blackall, NJ Ashbolt, PF Greenfidd 29

]Groom Cavitation-Devastation in Pumping

AWWA Federal Office PO Box 388 Artarmon NSW 2064 Level 2, 44 Hampden Road Artarmon NSW 2064 Tel (0 2) 413 1288 Fax {02) 413 1047

ACT - Alan Wade Tel (06) 248 3692 Fax (06) 248 3623 New South Wales - Mitchell Laginestra Tel {02) 412 9974 Fax (02) 412 9876 Northern Territory - Graeme Reed Tel (089) 82 7346 Fax {089) 82 7221 Queensland - Lyndsay Chapple Tel {07) 835 0222 Fax {07) 8326335 South Australia - Phil Thomas Tel (08) 2.59 0244 Fax (08) 259 0228 Tasmania - Dao Norath T el (002) 332 .596 Fax (002) 347 559 Victoria - Mike Muntisov Tel (03) 600 1100 Fax (03) 600 1300 W e;tem Australia - Alan Maus Tel {09) 420 246.5 Fax {09) 420 3178

WATER {ISSN 0310- 0367) is published six times per year January, March, May,July, September, November by

TECHNICAL NOTE Maintenance Management in Australia

EA (Bob) Swinton T el/Fax {03) 9560 47.52

Branch Correspondents

EA Swinton Assets: The Queensland Perspective

Features Editor

Advertising Sales & Administration

FEATURE - ASSET MANAGEMENT Life Cycle Asset Management: A Best Practice Perspective

B N Anderson, G Cawston, M R Chapman P Draayers, W J Dulfer, G A Holder M Muntisov, P Nadebaum,J D Parker AJ Priestley,] Rissman


A Sgro

Australian Water & Wastewater Inc ARBN 054 253 066

Federal President Richard Marks

DEPARTMENTS International Affiliates Books Industry News Products Meetings

9 37

38 39 40


The repl,acement value of the Australia 's water assets is many, many times more than the value of the high-tech assets such as our telecommunications systems. Our cover shows the inside of the Centennial Park Reservoir. It was constructed in 7899 as a service reservoir far Sydney, and has lasted the distance, but only because of extensive rehabilitation. It is perhaps symbolic of the thousands of assets, both above and underground, which have been built during the past 700 years or so to serve the water industry in all its ramifications. No matter how old, or how recent, they all require care. As the industry shifts to corporatisation, with staff down-sizing, the old ways of remembering, and caring, are becoming lost. Management of assets becomes a science in itself, aided by electronic memories, electronic scheduling, electronically assisted decision-making. This issue focuses on modern attitudes to Asset Management and maintenance, scanning a fair proportion of our industry, and that of our trans-Tasman neighbours.

Executive Director Chris Davis Australian Water & Wastewater Association assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of facts expressed by contributors or advertisers and editorials do not necessarily represent the official policy of the organisation. Display and classified advertisements are included as an informational services to readers and are reviewed by the Editor before publication to ensure their relevance to the water environment and to the objectives of th e Association. All material in Water is copyright and should not be reproduced wholly or in part without the written permission of the Editor.

Subscriptions Water is sent to all members of the AWW A as one of the privileges of membership. Non members can obtain Water on subscription at an annual subscription rate of $3.5 (surface mail).


ASSET MANAGEMENT IN THE SYDNEY WATER CORPORATION Chris Pollett Chris Pollett is Group General Manager, Utilities, Sydney Water Corporation. He is responsible for the retail business of Sydney Water, which provides water, sewerage and some stormwater services to customers in Sydney, Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. The business is currently undergoing major reforms to become a more customer focused and competitive utility.

Sydney Water When Sydney Water was corporatised this year we were faced with the challenges of operating a successful business, protecting the environment, and protecting public health by supplying safe drinking water to over 3. 7 million people in Sydney, Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. A five year operating licence specifies our levels of service. It also includes a customer contract which spells out customers' rights and a money-back guarantee for failure to provide services to standards. We face a wide range of environmental and other regulations, like any other business. The assets owned by Sydney Water are extensive and it was very clear that asset management would play a key role in being a successful business. Our response to this challenge has been to make asset management a central part of our business strategy.

Asset Management As most people would be aware, Sydney Water manages an extensive asset infrastructure consisting of: • 42,000 km of water and sewer pipelines • 790 water and sewage pumping stations • 270 dams and reservoirs • 34 sewage treatment plants and 7 water filtration plants These assets have a replacement value of approximately $ 12 billion. Obviously in such a capital intensive business where the assets are one of the primary means of service delivery, good asset management is vitally important to achieving the objectives of the Corporation. A well-designed asset management framework is essential to successful customer service, regulatory compliance, environmental performance and financial viability. WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

The Sydney Water Approach We believe we will be successful in achieving our objectives through adopting a system management approach; that is, by focusing on not only the individual assets but the overall performance of the systems of component pipes and pumps etc that deliver services to the required standards. Sydney Water's approach is to: • Facilitate a match between business demands (customer, regulator and commercial) and capability of the assets • Minimise life cycle costs of assets • Enhance reliability and performance • Ensure environmental due diligence • Manage business risks We have spent a great deal of effort looking at the assets on a (water, sewerage and drainage) systems basis . We have 15 water distribution systems, 35 sewerage systems and manage part of over 80 stormwater drainage systems. An essential element in our planning is the integration and linkage with business objectives . This requires a clear view of how the assets at a system level support in quantifiable terms the delivery of services to the new standards emerging from corporatisation. These relate principally to customer, shareholder, and environmental objectives. We have examined the key business processes of service delivery and are working on improving them all. Generally they are founded on four principles: · • Understanding the various demands (ie. the market) and establishing a product . and service specification

• Comparing .the desired performance with the capability of the systems of assets, and identifying any gaps • Deciding how to fill the gaps between capability and desired performance • Managing the delivery of products and services once these decisions are made. Some key elements on which we have focused involve gaining a better understanding of customers' and environmental requirements at a system level; interpreting performance (such as reliability, integrity and utilisation); a good (quantifiable) understanding of the capability of our systems and assets; and having sound maintenance plans and a good incident management capability. By adopting .a risk management philosophy and utilising economic analysis in conjunction with the above approach, resources can be ,effectively and efficiently allocated. Sydney Water's system and asset management approach also considers non-asset solutions, such as demand management, review of service levels, different resourcing options or operational solutions. Planning for the new asset management framework and preparing for corporatisation has been a valuable learning experience for many in the organisation and has promoted a great deal of crossfunctional teamwork. This led to successful implementation of the framework and helped us to operate in a more rigorous business environment, following corporatisation. It is clear that, as the future ..brings increasingly complex customer, regulator . ' and shareholder requirements together with a more competitive business environment we will need to continue to improve the management of our assets so that we can be confident of achieving our business objectives. Clearly understanding the relationships between the newly defined business objectives and how they are supported by system and asset management has been a rewarding anc;I satisfying experience and has given Sydney Water a strong foundation for the future. I would expect this experience is being repeated elsewhere in the industry as it undergoes significant change of the kind being experienced by Sydney Water. 3


LIFE CYCLE ASSET MANAGEMENT: A BEST PRACTICE PERSPECTIVE RA Byrne* Summary Over 60 % of all Water Authority expenditure is consumed by infrastructure asset management. The level and cost of infrastructure service delivery is dependent on how efficiently and effectively this is carried out. This paper looks at the key elements of advanced asset management from the author's perspective of "best appropriate practice".

Key Words Asset management, infrastructure, service delivery, best practice, life cycle costs

Objective of Asset Management Activities The key business objective of any Water Authority is to deliver a service to its customers by best utilising its staff and infrastructure assets. . The cost of the service provision must include the normal recurrent costs plus an appropriate allowance for the consumption (depreciation) of the infrastructure assets. Because of their long lives it is essential that we carry out appropriate maintenance and renewal activities to ensure we are not accumulating unreasonable liabilities for future generations. A mission statement or key objective appropriate for most Water Authorities could be: "To plan, create, acquire, maintain, operate, rehabilitate, replace and dispose of assets in the most costeffective manner at the required level of service for present and future generations". The key elements of this statement are: • Required level of service • For present and future generations. • Most cost effective manner (lowest cost) These elements are the basis of Life Cycle Asset Management The various activities that make up the full life cycle functions for assets encompass all activities from the identification of a need for a service, through the planning stages to the actual supply of this service. Required level of service for present and future generations. Level of service consists of measurable outputs which generally include: • Reliability 10

• Quality • Quantity • Safety/risk. The key performance indicators or quality assurance issues in relation to Level of Service are: • Do clear indicators and standards (policy) of the level of service exist for each service delivery program? • Are these indicators public knowledge and available to stakeholders and customers? • Does the organisation monitor these regularly and how effectively is this done? • Does the organisation have a clear picture of the likely future expectations of its customers? • Does the organisation have asset management plans in place to ensure they can continue to provide both the required current and future levels of service. eg. for 20 years? • Can they indicate the future likely costs and have they communicated this to their customers? • Does the organisation know the business risk costs (consequences) of failing to supply the level of service required? • How good is the method used to establish and review customers' expectations and the interaction required between cost and service? The most successful organisations have: • Regular customer surveys and associated analysis • An "informed customer group " separate from the elected members and general public • An effective complaints process and feedback system • Regular newsletter, public meetings and discussions with special interest groups, describing results of asset management program feedback etc. Most cost-effective manner. The inputs or activities that impact on the Cost of Service outputs are the full life cycle costs of the assets, from strategy planning to renewal or disposal. They involve finance, technical and administrative costs associated with the service delivery. With existing assets , owners have missed the opportunity to reduce the costs of the original strategy decisions or the design/ construction or acquisition activities. They may also have missed

some opportunities to intervene with co effective maintenanc e, operations c rehabilitation options. However, in most cases they sti have the opportunity to reduce the cos over the balance of the asset lives in tl key areas of: • Operations • Maintenance • Rehabilitation, replacement and dispos; • Risk exposure (consequence of failure)

Key Activities

To effectively manage the assets witl in this framework and to properly advi: the organisation , managers need 1 know : • What at e the assets of the organisation • What do they consist of (their physic details) • Their present replacement and writtt down value • The condjtion they are in and at wh rate they are being consumed (decay) • What standard of service is required f. them • The impact that future failures will ha, • The impact of new technology • The optimal strategy to counter the failures and take advantage of the , changes • Whether the assets are being operatr cost effectively • The optimal maintenance required provide the necessary reliability or cc effective life within the business fram work • Whether or not they should be rehabi tated or replaced and when this shou take place • The cost of these future maintenanc rehabilitation and replacement prograrr • How programs will be financed , a1 the impact on customers and stakehol ers • How different levels of funding w affect the level of service. Even for a small group of assets the is a reasonably complex set of activiti to be followed . Management becom much more complex when applied to mature network involving a large nm ber of assets sui;h as those controlled · water authorities. The key elements involved in t effective and efficient management these assets are: • Gutteridge Haskins & Davey Pty Ltd . 3 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000


• Management Processes • Information Systems • Adequate and Reliable Data • Cost Reduction Processes These key elements are dealt with in more detail in the following sections. Management processes. Advanced life cycle asset management processes need to include the following functional activities: • Knowledge of existing assets, including: - Physical details - Levels of service capable of being offered - Performance of assets (reliability etc.) - Condition of the asset - Current utilisation and ultimate capacity • Ability to: - Predict future demand and levels of service required - Predict failure mode (or effective life) - Analyse alternative treatment options to overcome failures - Assess the various options based on the cosUbenefit implications to the organisation (including risk) in the process known as Optimised Renewal Decision Making. - Optimise operations and maintenance

activities continuously to meet the changing business and technological environments - Develop an appropriate Total Asset Management Plan or System Management Plan to include all the above activities. - Continue to improve asset management activities using TQM and continuous improvement programs. The key issue will be cost reduction. When this process is complete the Water Authority will have a clear picture of its capabilities and costs to meet its customers' needs. The authority can then commence the interactive process of communicating this plan to its customers and improving its efficiency and effectiveness. Information systems.The information systems necessary for the advanced asset management of Water Authority assets consists of the modules shown in Figure 1. The order in which these systems are implemented and the degree of sophistication adopted will be dependent on the relative costs and benefits. These will differ for each individual organisation and even for individual groups and even for








Figure 1. Information system modules and interfaces for life-cycle asset management. WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

individual types of assets. For orgaajsations that have mature asset networks these fully integrated systems and specialist modules will be required and will need to be adopted as a "Future Vision" for the organisation's information systems strategy. Adequate reliable data. Adequate reliable data is required to be collected, maintained and processed to provide answers to the qu estions posed above and enable management to choose the options most appropriate for their organisation. The data recorded will vary for each of the modules listed above. In all ca~es the data captured and maintained needs to be based on the benefits that will be derived from having it. Cost reduction opportunities/ commercialisation. The commercial reality of asset management is that once we have se t the standards of service required by our customers we must then deliver this service at the lowest possible cost. If our customers are willing to pay more for the service then we can make a profit and this could be used in other areas of our -business. If the lowest cost still exceeds their ability or willingness to pay then we will need to reduce the level of service or take other appropriate cost reduction actions. Delivering infrastructure and asset services at the low'est possible cost is a complex blend of productivity (work hard), efficiency (work efficiently) and effectiveness (wo,rk smart) as shown in Figure 2. The types of activities that can result in savings being achieved in these areas are: (1) Productivity • Staff: Structure-roles/responsibilities - Attitudes culture-accountability • Improvement processes • Performance monitoring • Competitive environment (2) Efficiency • Procedures/ practices • Expert systems • Support equipment • Efficient operating systems • Support information systems: . • Maintenancejob management, GIS , cost control • Competitive environment • Contracting ouUCCT. (3) Effectiveness • Processes (analysis) - Cost reduction opportunities - Optimised renewals (ORDM) • Full Life cycle information systems • Adequate data • Integrated business system • Total asset management plans Key actions for reducing the cost of asset services will be to: • Reduce life cycle service delivery costs • Predict: 11

- Demand - Failure modes - Business risks associated with the failure • Reduce the direct costs of repairs • Reduce the indirect costs of the impacts of failure on customers • Analyse and assess the optimised renewal strategy {or life cycle cost) for these assets • Other "quick wins" can be achieved by: - Parallel Processing. Getting staff to think through the advanced asset management processes even though the information systems and data may not yet be available - Disposing of Non Core Assets . Dispose of all assets not core to the key business of infrastructure service provision - Outsourcing of Non Core Activities. Continuing the commercialisation of all activities, contracting out etc. and the introduction of a competitive environment to all activities - Strict application of cost/benefit justification for operation and maintenance activities. - Non Performing Assets Rationalise or dispose of those assets that do not have adequate returns or increase the costs income on these assets. - Deferral of Capital Works

improvements or changes. There are several key success factors necessary, n?-mely that the improvements are: • Properly identified • Implemented in achievable portions (let the system and practices evolve) • Based on clear understanding of the processes involved • Properly monitored and reviewed and • Have the full commitment of the entire organisation. To make sure these CIP's are properly structured it is vital that a thorough needs analysis be undertaken and an appropriate improvement strategy be developed. The processes generally adopted are as follows: Review Current Status of Asset Management; Set Future Vision and Best Appropriate Practice for Organisation; Complete Gap Analysis - (Current to Appropriate ); Determine Strategic Options to Overcome Weaknesses Identified (Gap); Cost the Options Available; Determine the Potential Benefits of Each Option; Adopt Appropriate Improvement Program; Complete a Pilot Scheme and Verify the Assumptions; Determine Final Implementation Strategy (Program); Monitor and Review Implementation Program; Complete Regular Strategic Reviews (Continuous Improvement Continuous Improvement Program). I consider asset management to be a Programs (CIP) program that requires continuous The key to any successful asset manimprovements. From this perspective I agement program is the method by believe that while overall strategy needs which the organisation impl ements to be reviewed at a maximum interval of 5 years, individC NECESSARY LEVEL ual activities should OF SERVICE u INFRA STRUCTU RE be subjected to a s ASSET SERVICE Satisfied cus tomer, wllUng (Present & Future) T continuous to pay Jus llfled co111 . DELIVERY 0 improvement pro LOWEST POSSIBLE M COST OF SERV ICE gram (CIP). E The main objecR s tives of these CIP's EFFECTIVENESS {WORK SMART) will be to identify cost reduction opportunities , ECONOMIC VIABILITY Customers.accept level & Cost of Service provided achieve savings and improve business Figure 2. Lowest economic cost ofservice performance. Every Water Authority will move through this process to determine their individCf~~~~~M:l~~~~:r ual programs. 1-•._ll"-dl Th e proc ess is shown schematically in Figure 3.

desirable that organisations adopt appropriate roles, responsibilities and structure that enable a uniform approach to be taken to all service programs. The key success factors in this area are that: • The organisation adopts asset management as a key or core responsibility and makes appropriate commitments to these programs. • A single executive team manager takes ove P ' 1 responsibility for all Water Authc,1. _y assets. • A corporate asset managem ent team co-ordinates and plans all asset managem e nt activities , polic y and strategy throughout the organization and monitors its performance. • A single person in each asset group takes overall responsibility for the asset management of that asset group. • An independent external adviser and auditor provides inputs to these pro grams and provides appropriate reviews/ quality assurance programs.

Summary This paper presents an overview of the issues , .principles and processes involved in adopting best appropriate practice in asset management. Any activity undertaken in the field of Asset Management must be benefits driven .If there is no benefit in what we do, then why are we doing it? This is the essence of good management.

Acknowledgements The author acknowledges the support and feedback received in developing the principles used in this paper from :GHD's clients and their staff who have be en partners in the development of many of these approaches, asset managers all over the world who are not afraid to put their ideas out for all to benefit, and colleagues in GHD's National Asset Management Group.

Further Reading IMEA (National} 1994, National Asset Management Manual, First Edition (IMEA-GHD} Public Works Department NSW 1993, Asset Management Plans Manual, First Edition (PWD NSW), DPI QLD 1994, Asset Management Plans, First Edition (QJd Government)

wmlU'ftl!HAI.COHSUt.fAHT WOJ«TOl\!0 1'1' (,U f.T.J





Figure 3. Continuous improvement progran:i


Management Structure To achieve the outputs necessary for appropriate asset management it is

Author Roger Byrne is the Manager of the Asset (Facilities) Management Group in Gutteridge Haskins & Davey Pty Ltd. A civil engineer, he has over 28 years',experience in the field of asset management and is the principal author of the IMEA Manual. In 7994 he completed a world study tour looking at best practice in infrastructure life cycle management including risk and criticality. WATER SEPTEMBE R/OCTOBER 1995


VICTORIAN ASSETS REVIEW Report by E A (Bob) Swinton Abstract


The Victorian Government has commissioned reviews of the water assets in the state along with an assessment of their condition. The reviews cover headworks, rural water distribution assets and urban water and sewerage assets, and have led to guidelines to assist the new water businesses. This report has been prepared by the Editor from a number of reports issued by the Victorian Office of Water Reform (OWR, now Water Bureau) summarised in a seminar delivered to the Victorian Branch of AWWA injune.

This review was commissioned to undertake an independent audit of all the State's headworks, ie.dams and major structures, and to develop an approach to risk management and financial management, ie to assess business risk, investment requirements and financial implications. The prime consultancy was awarded to the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation Limited, which operated in association with Risk Assessment Consulting Engineers and Economists (RAC) of USA, and local consulting engineers, Fisher Stewart, Montgomery Watson, Marsden Jacobs and the accounting firm, Arthur Andersen. Two international dam experts assisted with the Level 1 screening process. The Principal of RAC, Professor David Bowles of Utah State University, summarised the key points of the review to the Victorian Branch. The scope of the review was to cover all the nominally large and referable dams as defined by ANCOLD. The total of 274 included many retail storages and service basins. The review concentrated on 132 major dams with associated channels, tunnels, pipelines and pumping stations (Table 1) with a total estimated current replacement val e of $7.4 billion.

Introduction Asset management can mean many things, but before anything else, it is vital to know what assets you possess, where they are, in what condition they exist and whether they can operate to provide the intended level of service. Restructuring of the water industry is currently in process in all states, but none more so than in Victoria. Successive Victorian governments have been working away steadily since the early 1980s to rationalise the state's water industry, and the current government has published their policy as "Reforming Victoria's Water Industry - A Competitive Future" (1993). In 1980, there were some 300 minor urban water authorities, plus some major authorities, including of course, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, and the Rural Water Commission, which had a dual function of storing and reticulating water for both irrigation and some town and domestic supplies. The scene is now very different. Melbourne Water has been disaggregated into a wholesale and three retail corporations , and the myriad non-metropolitan urban (NMU) water authorities have been aggregated into eighteen. The Rural Water Commission has just been split into four Rural Water Authorities. The government recognised that capital investment and the subsequent maintenance of the built assets were key cost drivers for the water industry. In 1994 the Office of Water Reform let contracts to review the current status of these assets and their management, and to develop guidelines to assist improvement. Three major reviews covered headworks, rural water distribution, and urban water supply and sewerage. WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

Screening A screening process was used in the Review to identify an aepropriate sample for statistical inference (Figure 1). Level 1 screening, which considered aspects of dam safety, was undertaken on all 274 dams, 102 being evaluated, the remainder being mostly small dams with insufficient data. Four dam safety experts rated the dams on the basis of field inspections and reports on safety, probable maximum flood , spillway capacity, geotechnical and other studies, based on ANCOLD standards and international practice. A key factor in determining the adequacy of flood capacity was the interpretation of ANCOLD incremental Flood Hazard Criteria and the associated flood

design estimate. This sample provided a reasonable analysis of the population as a whole, but could not be considered a detailed safety assessment of individual dams. Of the 102 aams in this screening process, it was found that: • • Slightly less than 50% did not meet the level 1 screening standards on safety • Slightly less than 25% did not meet the level 1 screening standards for modern seismic and structural integrity criteria, and operation and maintenance assessment critieria. This is comparable with data both from other States and overseas . The largest and newest dams were, however, within acceptable criteria. All the Melbourne Water and Rural Water dams met O&M criteria.

Risk Assessment The next stage of the review was concerned with risk assessment. This aspect is gaining significant recognition overseas, and ANC€)LD release of draft guidelines in 1994 has stimulated dam managers in Australia to apply the disciplines involved to specific sites. For thfs survey three sets of societal risk criteria were considered: ANCOLD and BC Hydro (Canadian) - both concerned with dam safety; and UK HSE concerned with industrial employee safety. These were correlated with various cost indices: cost-to -save a life; benefit:cost ratio; risk cost; and total economic cost A representative sample of 20 headworks which did not pass the Level 1 screening was analysed. The benefits of applying risk analysis were illustrated by the cost savings estimated. Statewide estimates of cost of rehabilitations (extrapolated from the samples) showed that for the 50% of dams (mainly smaller ones ) that did not meet the ANCOLD FHC , the estimated cost for total rehabilitation could be $200M, but when the risk criteria were applied, this estimate was reduced to $120M when using the

Table 1 Victorian Headworks Assets Authority RWC MWC NMUs TOTAL

Volume Stored ML x 10 6


10.2 UJ 0.3 12.4

34 22 76 132

Current Replacement Costs:' Other Dams 1.6 1.5 0.4 3.5

0.1 3.7 0.1 3.9

$ Billions Total 1.7 5.2 0.5 7.4


ANCOLD Objective criteria, or $20M, when using criteria based on BC Hydro. On the other hand, although only 25% of the sampled dams did not meet seismic and stability criteria in this Level 1 screening, the fact that such failure would be sudden and without warning increased the risks, particularly where the potential for loss of life was high. However, the lack of seismic and structural information prevented specific assessments, apart from some examples already being addressed. Figure 2 plots probability of failure against potential loss of lives. The middle diagonal lin e is the limit set by BC Hydro. The ANCOLD limit follows this initially but curves away from the high life-loss zone. The ANCOLD Objective, a standard derived from that used by the nuclear power industry, is set further to the left. The criteria which are considered tolerable for industrial safety in UK are further to the right. The left-hand balloon superimposed over these criteria is an envelope containing all the points determined from the sample of dams assessed for flood capacity. (The majority were more or less central in the envelope). The right-hand balloon contains all the estimates for seismic and structural integrity, which, as explained above , have the potential for higher loss of life.





Recommendations The recommendations to the Office of Water Reform are detailed but can be summarised as: • A complete inventory of all headworks assets, not just the dams, is required. • Inspection and assessment should be extended to all of the dams and headworks, based on a consistent rating system • More specific seismic and structural integrity data were required. The risks could be higher than this inital assessment. • Authorities should ensure that all data is retained and accessible. • Consistent Codes of Practice for operation and maintenance, including surveillance, etc. should be established. • Consistent guidelines should be established for risk management, by adopting the ANCOLD criterion as the upper limit, but including the principle of "as low as reasonably practicable". • An appropriate legal framework should be established to encourage the riskbased approach. • More appropriate accounting principles and procedures should be developed, to enable a consistent approach to financial, reporting, pricing and performance issues.The tax implications and cost/ price implications of infrastructure annuity reserves are not well recognised. • The legal and regulatory options need to be evaluated. 14

Figure 1 Interrelationship ofscreening, risk assessment and risk management tasks



' I w



10 · 2

DISTRIBUTION FOR FLOOD CAPAC ITY (including best estimate and high confidence levels)

10 _,



<( u.. u.. 0










ex: ~

10 -4


:, 2



10 ..










Figure 2 Distribution of results of level 2 screening against selected risk based criteria and

ancold flood hazard criterion WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

A manual has been drafted called "Propos ed Dam Safety Evaluation Guidelines for Dam Managers". It was noted that although there was a comprehensive data base for all Melbourne Water and Rural Water Corporation dams , many NonMetropolitan Utilities did not have this. With all the organisational changes taking place, every effort should be taken to preserve existing information (some of it in danger of loss as local personnel are retired}. A staged risk assessment approach should be adopted to guide the most effective use of resources. If such an approach confirmed that BC Hydro risk criteria were appropriate for all dams, in economic terms, the average state-wide impact (excluding MDBC) for improved flood capacity on bulk headworks prices is only about 10/o increase . However, some individual systems might require significant cost increases.

RURAL WATER DISTRIBUTION ASSETS This review, a further part of the statewide assessment of infrastructure assets, was commissioned by the OWR in order to improve business planning, to assess the viability of the businesses, and to improve performance by appropriate measurements and benchmarking. The overall direction is towards rural reform, including self-management and, where appropriate, privatisation of irrigation systems. It was conducted by a team from GHD, Melbourne office, and the accounting firm Ernst & Young. Specialist input was obtained from Riskcorp Australia, Dr. Penny Burns (life-cycle assessment} Barret Purcell & Assoc. (reviewing best practice across Australia, CH2M Hill (co mparing best practice in USA} and Waste Solutions Ltd. (comparing best practice in New Zealand}. The presentation to the Victorian Branch was given by Colin White (GHD}. In July 1992, the responsibilities of the Victorian Rural Water Corporation were devolved into regional Rural Water Authorities : Murray-Sunraysia RWA, Wimmera-Mallee RWA , Goulburn Murray RWA, Caliban Region WA, Southern R WA and Gippsland R WA (the last two have recently amalgamated}. The scope of the review was to assess the status of the assets, the asset management policies and practices, and to assess risks and future financial impacts for these authorities, (including as well the First Mildura Irrigation Trust}. It was to recommend Best Practice approaches and guidelines forAsset Management. Improvement plans were to be developed in consultation with the authorities concerned. WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

Asset Profile Parts of the irrigation infrastructure in Victoria dat~ from the beginning of the century, others are of more recent construction, such as the replacement of channels by pipelines in the north-western areas. The estimate of replacement value totals $2.1 billion, and comprises: 21,600 km channels and drains: 1,670 km pipelines, 14,500 regulating structures, 35,700 other structures (bridges etc}, 60 ,500 meters and outlets, 230 pumping stations and bores (ranging from very large abstractions from the river to small pumps). Effective management of these assets is crucial, since their upkeep contributes some 7 5% of the cost of service. Although a good general understanding of the key principles was evident in senior management, there was considerable variation from what was determined as 'best practice'. To survey this vast and varied array required a staged approach. First a preliminary self-audit questionnaire was answered by the authorities. This was followed by a series of introductory workshops, mainly aimed at raising awareness and defining the bounds of asset management. A major exercise followed with field inspections and interviews with field staff, which resulted in a significant number of corrections to the recorded asset details and condition ratings based on what was actually in place. The information base which had been set up by the Rural Water Corporation was updated, and returned to the relevant authority, with problem areas highlighted. fter review and further input, the lengthy process of defining both current and appropriate processes, support systems and data proceeded. These three elements were used in prioritising future action. A scoring system was developed, where Best Practice was allotted a score, the current status was scored, and an appropriate 'target score' was decided upon. This was not necessarily the best practice score for all areas. The action to bridge the gap was assessed, and allotted a priority.

Developing Best Practice Guidelines The key elements of best practice asset management were defined as: Knowledge of the assets; Definition of levels of service; Prediction of demand. (for a future which is everchanging}; Prediction of failure modes ... (including structural, service and financial }; Identification of options for intervention; and Quantification of business risks ... (this was a novel concept} and these led to the crux: The development of improvement programs. A Best Practice Manual was prepared

which included detailed guidelines in areas such as: oormal implementation of life-cycle management; Support systems; Financial and accounting; Risk management; and Performance criteria.

Assessment of Condition It was obviously impractical to physically check the thousands of listed assets, so an actuarial sample of some 490, slightly skewed to the more significant ones, was visited. In the course of these visits, it was often convenient to inspect adjacent assets, hence the total sample was increased to 880. These inspection reports were checked against the data base (s ome were missing! }, dimensions were checked, as were condition rating and hazard rating. The financial impact of variations was modelled.

Conclusions Mission Statement: This has the prime aim "to operate the system in the most cost-effective manner at the required level of service for the present and for future generations". This involved a rethink of the Goals and Objectives, and a clear definition of appropriate Levels of Service, in order to establish a true cost of the service. Practices: In terms of asset management practices, the rural water authorities were considered to rank within the top 25% of Australian Service authorities, though there were significant variations between individual authorities. The/ maintained a close relationship with their customers, since it was vital to supply water at the appropriate time of the year for use. However, th ere was still some distance to go in providing affordable services and yet meeting the full costs. Assets: There were significant variations in rating of condition, both upwards and downwards, between the field inspection and the 'book data'. This was not surprising considering the original method of assessment (often by recollections of operators in an office-based audit}. (Since the initial assessment in October 1994, the authorities have acted to extend inspections throughout most of their assets}. Although the concept of hazard pr risk was generally appreciated very few assets had hazard ratings recorded. Replacement cost estimates needed updating to improve confidence. Financial: The technical data base did not correlate with the financial system and the two need t'o be reconciled to facilitate asset management. It became obvious that long-term business viability was strongly dependent on cost of asset renewals. The length of the planning period 15

chosen has a significant effect on annuity profiles. Above all, it was the condition of the high value assets which dominated the renewal annuities.

Recommendations Technical: The study recommended that authorities investigate increased use of support systems for planning, asset management and maintenance management. The cost benefits of digital systems should be investigated by individual authorities. (Digital GIS has proved costeffective in urban planning, but is still rarely applied in the rural environment). Longer-term renewals planning and mor e rigorous short-term programs should be developed and analysed using additional data and support tools. R& D efforts both across the State, and interstate, should be better co-ordinated. (there are many problems in common, eg rehabilitation options). Abandoned assets (eg empty channels, drains) need appropriate treatment to minimise risks, particularly through populated areas. Financial.T he deprival method of asset valuation should be adopted (subject to COAG approval). Conventional depreciation should be used to meet Accounting Reporting standards. The effect of the planning period on renewals annuity should be reviewed at customer level to determine a suitable period as a whole for the particular authority, and revised regularly. Concerns over tax on reserves set aside to fund future renewals need addressing. Overall, the study recomended a holistic approach to asset management as outlined in the best practice guidelines, and development of asset management plans.

The concepts of Risk Management, Standard of Service, and the inter-relationship of service, asset management, finance and risk were to be involved, along with coverage of the related requirements of Regulator and Owner. The Objectives of the Government are outlined in the 1993 policy document (OWR 1993) and can be summarised as a call to : act diligently; manage risks properly ; focus on service delivered ; operate effectively and efficiently; get the most out of existing assets; maintain long tern integrity of the assets; and plan and management future expenditures, and all within an environment of "light regulation".

M2ni!2r Effectiveness Fu nding

· · - - - - Avai lability


· - - - · · · · - · ·:

Develop Asset Mgt. Plan

Stra1egic Plans Capital Works Programs · Growth


Operations Procedures


Monitoring Programs


AM Plan

· Renewal

AM Policies AM Standards

QJ2i!in Approval

- Operational

Strategies Plans


Programs Procedures

- Performance

- Condi tion Maintenance Programs -Emergency - Planned Emergency Response Plans

Monitor -Resulti

- Efficiency

Figure 3 Business process model for asset management



Asset Infonnation

Asse,ss \,,

,, Existµig &!;fJitµre 41'°' Ser¢ice


URBAN WATER/WASTEWATER DISTRIBUTION ASSETS The presentation to the Branch was given by Wayne Wood, Melbourne Water, who was the urban working group leader. This review is still in progress. The aim is to develop an asset management framework and guidelines which will assist the water businesses to improve asset management while reducing duplication in effort. A common base should be provided to enable consistent management and regulation. Some Authorities are already well advanced in this area, so the concept of sharing expertise in the framework development was to the fore . The headworks were covered by a separate review so the scope was to concentrate on all those other assets required to service the urban areas, on a life-cycle basis.

The review itself is being conducted in a period Qf extreme change . Th e major reforms being introduced had led to mergers, with consequent staff shedding, at the same time as the concepts of Operating Licences were being intro duced. The business scene is also complicated by the new era of the Regulator General , with responsibilities for customer interests. There was no doubt that the Authorities need help in establishing their directions in asset management in this completely new business enyironment. A team has b een drawn from the water authorities of Melbourne, Barwon,

~trategic De$elopm!!rit , ' Plan"'8 f;!lf

r-- - ---1 L. _ _ I

1 I

Capital Works Plan

I 1 I

Record Assets (Register) Figure 4 Asset planning


Central Highlands, Caliban, Goulburn Valley, Western Region and Gippsland, overseen by David Watson and Susan Brown of the OWR. The first step was to draw up a set of Guidelines to: provide guidance on a common approach to asset management; demonstrate the key elements and linkages; link business plans with the Operating Licence and Business Plan process; and provide Best Practice reference material. It is intended that these guidelines concentrate on filling the gaps, not duplicating other guidelines. The theme was definitely management-oriented, there was no attempt to cover specific technical matters. At a strategic level, having defined the Government objectives, and identified business and external demands, the task was to define the role of asset management in the business, while focussing on service output and business risk. The team drafted broad initial process flowcharts applicable for each facet of asset life-cycle, but these are subject to further development as experience dictates. (Figure 3, Figure 4) At an operational level, the team are providing advice and reference material on how to get started, on prioritising and sequencing activities, on decision making processes, on monitoring efficiency and effectiveness, so as to lead to continuous improvement. The topics are intended to cover business systems, decision support tools, information relationships and data management into standards, policies, valuation, asset registers, financial planning, funding, costing, price justification, managing compliance, monitoring of condition, performance, operation, emergency response plans, reporting and documentation. Thus it will continue to be a very large task, to help bring up the whole of the Victorian water industry to a competitive commercially oriented basis. It will require constant review. Each Authority has its own specific problems, and the intention is to give guidance to the managers, not to cramp their thinking, or their innovative solutions. There are some areas of common reporting to the Regulator General, but rigid benchmarking was regarded as dangerous because of the wide variation in conditions. It was stressed that, unlike the experience in U.K. where regulation of the privatised industry is significant, the aim is to develop an environment of "Light Regulation" through cooperation.

REGULATION This theme was taken up by David Watson of the OWR. For this industry, with its natural monopoly combined with long-life assets, so different from the usual industrial situation, the Regulator WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

General needs to be assured that there is a good resolution between short-term and long-term conflicts. Thus there are three components : The Owner (the Victorian Government) who aims for maximum return on investment • The Regulator-General, who represents the pseudo-market place and the customer interests. • The Minister of Natural Resources, who must carry the long-term responsibility for the service and the resource. These must all work together, in areas which extend from the safety of dams through to pollution of the receiving environment. The OWR stresses that a 'whole-oflife' management philosophy must apply to all assets, focussing on service delivery, risks and costs over whole life of asset, equity, trade-off with other business objectives and confidence in good, appropriate management. Reforming the water industry has raised a number of asset-related isssues: sustainability, appropriate information access, customer protection, inter-generational equity, accountability and responsibility, no call on Government for dollars other than for explicit CSOs, the avoidance of unnecessary duplication of information and regulation, and the most appropriate Best Practices, both planned and undertaken. Thus the regulatory framework for assets, which is being steadily developed, is to be based first on guidelines to assist the new authorities, ensuring codes of practice and standards are in place, then service output measures, with some form of external audit so that government can be assured of mutual confidence in the authorities. If that is achieved, an era of 'light regulation' can exist. On the technical side we should ensure that disincentives for long-term asset management are reduced, along with a higher profile on public safety issues in management of dams. An era of cooperation and coordination is needed between businesses, government and Regulator to avoid duplication of effort

THE REPORTS Office of Water Reform ( 1995). Victorian Headworks Review: Executive Summary. Volume l. Final Report . Volume 2. Risk Assessment Process and Overall Risk management review. Volume 3. Proposed Guidelines for Dam Safety Evaluation for Dam Managers. Rural Water Distribution Assets Project: Executive Summary. Volume 1. Asset Assesment, Current Plans and Improvement Plans. Volume 2. Details of the asset inspections. Volume 3. Best Practice Guidelines Manual. From: The Water Bureau, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Melbourne.

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ASSETS: THE QUEENSLAND PERSPECTIVE R Croft~~ A Hughes Abstract Significant developments have occurred in asset management in Queensland over the past 5 years. The paper outlines these developmen ts with particular emphasis on municipal water supply and sewerage schemes. A key factor in implementation has been the development of Total Management Plans by local governments. Further refinements to asset management practices are also described.

Key Words Planning, asset management, water supply, sewerage, local government

Introduction Four years ago it was reported in this journal (Hughes, 1991 ) that asset management was being given increasing priority by Queensland local governments. Since that period, significant developments have occurred in all sectors of the Queensland water industry. This paper primarily focuses on municipal water supply and sewerage initiatives. Asset management in irrigation schemes is also briefly discussed ..

Current Status • Over 90% of local governments have an asset register for their water supply and sewerage schemes. They have been able to develop "first pass" asset replacement cost profiles for their schemes. At this stage, these registers have been developed using simple spreadsheets, databases and in a number of instances geographical information systems (GIS). ' • Over 80% of local governments now have 10 year financial plans which address recurrent expenditure, depreciation funding and capital works funding for both new and replacement works. • A majority of local governments have undertaken an asset management needs analysis to identify strategies for implementing asset management. In a number of instances the ultimate aim is to have an integrated system for all local government assets. • A significant number of local governments have implemented or are developing appropriate maintenance management systems (wall charts and card based systems for smaller schemes with computerised systems for larger schemes). • All the State's irrigation schemes have a computerised maintenance management 18

system in place . This system (ARMS asset register and management system) was developed specifically for DPI Water Resources. Asset registers are being completed and will be used as the basis for a financial asset register. All of the schemes will be utilising the ARMS work order and planning module from 1 July 1995.

What Has Stimulated Asset Management Implementation? There have been a number of factors which have influenced asset management. These include: • The increasing recognition by the water industry that traditional asset management practices require refinement. • The impending adoption of accrual accounting by state and local governments. • The increasing availability of asset management guidelines to practitioners, for example: - The Queensland Local Government Finance Reference Manual (1993); - The DPI-Water Resources Technical Bulletins on asset management (superseded in 1994 by the Total Management Planning Manual, Volumes 1 and 2); - The Local Government Asset Manag,ement Guidelines produced by the Institution of Municipal Engineers, Australia (1994); and - Other inter-state guidelines and manuals. • The promotion by DPI - Water Resources of the Total Management Planning (TMP) concept to local governments, The State Government has provided a $7 million subsidy (total) over the past three years to encourage TMP implementation. This subsidy has been a significant incentive for local governments to develop appropriate asset management practices.

TMP Process The TMP concept is a dynamic process which is summarised in figure 1, basically it involves: • critically evaluating the current situation ; • setting quantifiable objectives for the next 5, 10,20 years. • assessing the constraints/issues which may affect the achievement of the objectives; • assessing the options (strategies), both management and capital works, which are available to achieve the objectives;

• Selecting the most cost-effective strategies or combination of strategies; • Reviewing performance against set objectives on an annual basis and modifying strategies to achieve the objectives, if required ; andupdating the TMP at regular intervals (at least every 5 years).

TMP Documents Total Management Planning documents consist of the following hierarchy of documents as detailed below and illustrated in Figure 2. • Summary document - this clearly sets out the goals, objectives, strategies and key issues for the schemes. Succinct scheme information, summary financial statements and summary policy statements are also included. Reference is made to specific supporting documents for more detailed information. • Core supporting documents • Financial plan - includes a 10 year summary financial statement, capital works program (new and replacement works), financial performance indicators and exp lanatory notes. The financial plan must clearly demonstrate how the objectives and strategies are to be financed; • Asset1>registers - provide an asset replacement cost profile for inclusion in the financial plan; • Strategy / planning reports - provide information for the capital works program (new works) and financial plan; • Other supporting documents (plans and policies) - Asset management - needs analysis and maintenance management - System management - eg demand management, operations management, effluent re-use, trade waste etc - Environmental management - Risk - hazard management - Customer and community relations

Further Refinement of Asset Management Practices The TMP process has encouraged a "first pass" approach to asset management. Development of asset management by local governments will continue in the following areas: • Refinement of asset registers to meet auditor requirementr This will form part of loc al government commitment to meeting the Finance Standard requirements. It is likely that auditors will • Departm ent of Primary Industri es, Water Resources. GPO Box 2454, Brisbane 4001


require evidence that the registers reflect reality and that policy and supporting documentation exists which demonstrates that the register is accµrate and reliable. • Continual update of asset register residual life estimation. At this stage, authorities have had to accept some uncertainty and ambiguity in the initial estimation of residual life. However, engineers must continue to strive to improve the level of accuracy of asset life estimation. Figure 3 illustrates how this can be achieved. • Extending asset life and reducing lifecycle costs through: - implementing appropriate preventive maintenance (scheduled or conditionbased) and managing this maintenance through formalised maintenance management systems; - being able to identify assets at risk through condition/ performance assessment and implementing repair or renovation before the need for costly replacement; - the sharing of lifecycle information between local governments, consultants and suppliers; - having asset performance information fed back into the asset acquisition process; and - placing a greater emphasis on lifecycle costs in the selection of materials and equipment. • The appropriate use of risk-hazard management techniques to develop optimum maintenance management strategies; • Monitoring performance on an annual basis and comparing performance against objectives. This will also lead to inter-agency performance comparisions; • Continuing training and involvement of field staff. Implementation of asset management may require some cultural changes in the workforce and the acceptance of maintenance planning and documentation systems etc. This will be a sig-

nificant challenge as the success of asset management will depend on the quality of information supplied from the field. • Auditing ~chemes at say 3 to 5 year intervals to identify and remedy weaknesses. This audit could be in the form of a system management evaluation which covers asset management, operations and environmental issues as well as the overall policy framework developed through the TMP process; • Annual update of the 10 year financial plan. This will be necessary if the plan is to remain relevant and provide meaningful information to management.

governments have gained greater confidence in this area and the mystique of asset registers and maintenance management has largely disappeared. The co-operative approach between State and Local Governments and the private sector has ensured that asset management is being implemented at an appropriate level to suit individual schemes. Asset management is now a reality for many schemes. The challenge is to maintain the momentum that has been built up over the past few years.

Authors Richard Croft is an executive engineer


with DP/ - Water Resources, Q,ueensland. Aneurin Hughes was an executive engineer with DP/ - Water Resources until June 7995. He is now employed by McWilliam & Partners, consulting engineers.

Over the last 4 to 5 years there has been a change in management culture by many local governments in the area of infrastructure management. For many it was just part of their on-going development, while for some the TMP process has been a quantum leap. There is now a much greater understanding of asset management in the State. By addressing asset management in their TMP, local

Reference Hughes, A. (1991 ), Infrastructure Management in Queensland's Non-Metropolitan Water Sector, Water 18, No. 4, August 1991.

Reviewed every 5 years (min) Monfor performance annually


FUTURE POSITION Goals/ Objectives

• Service levels • Financial performance

• Financial • Populat ion

• Asset ~ ndition

growth I decline

• Demands I nCJINS

• Town planning / land use • Environmental • Political

·Quantify (water I effluent)

• Social

Figure 1 Total management pl.anning process



Core Supporting Documents

Planning Reports

Figure 3 Refining asset life estimation


Other Supporting Documents

o-,~, • • • I

Cur11nt liluation -dispersed knowledge

Summary Document


Financial Plan


Asset Register

Various Plans / Policy Documents

Figure 2 Rel.ationship between TMP summary and supporting documentation



ASSET MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, THE NEW ZEALAND APPROACH RA Byrne, R G Leonard Keywords Asset Management, Local Government, Information Technology.

Summary The New Zealand municipal sector has undergone significant changes with local councils reducing from over 400 to 77 , parallel with a strong cultural change towards commercialisation and even privatisation. Twenty councils have already implemented a standard computerised asset management information system for the management of the underground pipelines and major facilty assets in water, sewerage and drainage, and the others are well on the way. This paper traces the development of this sophisticated support for the entire New Zealand municipal sector. The cooperative development of the philosophy and the product itself with the objective of micro economic reform is a model for other states and/ or countries to consider.

Introduction In the past few years the New Zealand municipal sector, in the context of the nation's economic changes, has consolidated from over 400 councils to 77. With this reform and a move to commercialisation the driving mission of all infrastructur e service managers had clearly become:

"To provide the most cost effective municipal service at the required level of service for the lowest appropriate cost". To achieve this aim, together with the necessary upgrading of water, sewerage and stormwater facilities, the water industry was facing a bill of some $2 billion, and an appropriate asset management system was called for. At this stage the Minister for Local Government maintained that development costs would be saved by pooling resources over the whole country. In consequence a standard IT system with Advanced Asset Management was proposed. All 77 of the district councils and regional water authorities throughout New Zealand have funded and participated in the development of this product with over 50 of these organisations having committed themselves to implement the system within the 199.5/ 96 financial year.


The Question of Asset Ownership With the rapid commercialisation of New Zealand as a whole and in particular the Government's thrust to privatise many of the key monopoly service providers the municipal industry was torn between moving down the privatisation path or the option of franchising or contracting out as the key efficiency driver while retaining ownership of the assets. Because of New Zealand 's size, its diverse spread of population and the multitude of small population centres it was concluded that franchising and contracting out would be the most appropriate method to improve service delivery throughout New Zealand. Having taken the decision to maintain ownership, organisations then directed their attention to the ways in which they could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the asset management activities. The efficiency aspect has been (or is being) fully addressed through the contracting out, franchising or exposure to competition for most of the day to day activities or tactics in operation and maintena1 ce of these assets.

Enhancing Asset Management The area that needed to be addressed was life cycle strategic management and it was concluded that this would be best assessed by the use of benchmarking across all municipal organisations throughout New Zealand. The key elements of effective benchmarking involve: •Uniform accounting practices and approaches to costing of infrastructure •Uniform definitions and parameters/units •Uniform performance indicators. Each of these issues has been taken on board with significant work being completed in the infrastructure accounting and economics area and the production of national performance indicators for most municipal services. At this time it was realised that life cycle asset management activities are very complex and involve significant variables which impact on the ultimate performance of the assets. Judging the management of these is just as difficult.

By debating these issues and looking at world's best practice in these areas it was realised that the municipal sector in New Zealand needed to: • Raise the awareness throughout the country of "best appropriate practice" in asset management • Raise the skills and experience of staff in this area • Improve the computerised information systems that support this "best appropriate practice". It was realised that the key driver of effectiveness within this life cycle aspect was the detailed analysis of asset management information and to achieve this a sophisticated asset management information system was required to support this analysis process.

Developing the National System Having reached these conclusions the peak body throu'ghout New Zealand, The Association of Local Government Engineers New Zealand (ALGENZ), formed a ~teering committee of their water industry practice group to look at the possibility of developing such a system for water, sewerage and drainage as a national approach. This group sought advice as to the way in which this process could be best achieved. To assure that the product developed met the needs of both engineers and accountants, economists and the Government as 'stockholder', the committee was extended to include representatives of these professions and the Auditor General. In November 1993 th e group employed W orley-GHD to advise them the way in which this could be brought about. The consultants were quick to appreciate the advantages of a national focus and uniform approach to asset management, and the benefits which could be derived, namely: • Cost effectiveness of bulk purchase power • National user group and support network for - Operational advice - Implementation procedures - Mobility of staff - Comparison of techniques - Adoption of best practices • Benchmarking and performance monitoring Some other valuable features includWATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

ed the potentail to publish uniform training booklets, videos and policy guidelines, to answer the basic questions: Why we are doing this ?; How sh.ould we perform asset management?; How can we use the software to help? How will this help you?; How to collect data?; How to classify and structure an asset register? ; How to value the assets?; Presentation of audit trail. There is a dange that such standard systems and approaches can breed complacency through their elimination of innovation and the average standard of mediocracy. It was therefore important that these systems did not cut out the chance for people to be creative and innovative. It was under this basic philosophy that the project was completed . Worley-GHD convinced the ALGENZ subcommittee that providing the information systems mimic the best practice process, then each individual council could adopt their own tactics, practices and analytical approaches that would retain the benefits of innovation and creativeness. Providing the software system catered for these individual techniques then blends of efficiency and effectiveness could be brought to a single software package that could be applied across the entire New Zealand municipal sector. In order to develop this "future vision" for the water industry throughout New Zealand, the consultants demonstrated the evolutionary stages by which asset management is developed, resulting ultimately in best practice being achieved. This was achieved through an objective orientated software design process that included: • Benefit identification • The processes necessary to derive the benefits • Data and information necessary for the analysis and outputs • Computerised information systems that model the process and hold the data • Tactics and practices that can be applied. The best practice process for the management of infrastructure assets in general (a generic model) was outlined and gained the approval of the ALGENZ subcommittee. The specification, the modules and functionality that were required from this information system were then developed. Because the system would be used by councils both large and small and by those in which sophisticated asset management was justified as opposed to those in which a simple or basic approach would be sufficient, the system specification was framed in such a way that organisations could let their sophistication evolve. They could use the single package by adopting the different modules as they were warranted. WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

The Life Cycle Asset Management Information System modules and their interfaces was proposed,as outlined by Byrne, (tl:iis issue, page 11 Figurel).

Adoption All councils were kept informed of the progress of these consultations by a regular ALGENZ Newsletter, and by this means 76 of the 77 eligible organisations were persuaded to join the project and pay their appropriate fee . In April 1994 the final specification was approved and advertising was undertaken worldwide to see which software houses were interested in providing this national product. After an extensive evaluation process and product demonstrations the subcommittee se lected the MITS / Hansen product as the most effective tender. The USA-based Hansen Corporation's Infrastructure Management System (IMS ) is supported and marketed in Australia by MITS Ltd. This company originated from the IT branch of Melbourne Water, and is now a large company providing services to major organisations both in Australia and overseas. Their b ackground in the water industry was a major factor in the decision by ALGENZ. Contracts were signed in November 1994 and the product was customised and enhanced by MITS to meet the ALGENZ specification by February 1995. A demonstration tour was undertaken throughout the nation in December 1994, with details of pricing and other information. As a result of that demonstration tour over 90% of the participating bodies agreed that the product met their requirements and each of these groups gave an indication of the timing of their implementation. To ensure the product met the contract pilot testing was undertaken in the councils of Rotarua and Christchurch. Final pilot testing was completed in March 1995 and the product accepted for full implementation. It was intend ed that the modules would be implemented in the following order: Asset Register; Condition Rating; Maintenance Management; Predictive Modelling; Treatment; Cost; Risk Management; Optimised Renewal Decision Making; Job Resource mangement ; Inventory Control. Implementation commenced in April 1995, and by the end of June some 20 systems were fully installed and staff trained. Most of the other councils are proceeding during the next financial year. There is an abundance of data capture to be performed and users are still learning to us e the tool and develop some of the analytical power available.

The Hansen/Mits Solution The IMS package provides a total

asset, infrastructure and works management solution for both large and small organisations. It has been developed to operate via a client/server or stand-alone environment across a wide range of hardware platforms, including UNIX and PCs as user workstations. The modules use standard operating systems which are capable of integration with a diversity of corporate management systems. As defined in the ALGENZ specification, clients can implement one or more applications at any time. Additional modules add access to the same data base, increasing the value of the data and its ability to cross-reference other assets at customer sites and street locations. The modules address : Customer Service; plant assets; sewer assets; water assets; stormwater assets; hydraulic modelling; street/roads assets; gas assets ; electricity assets; work order management; inventory management; reporting EIS; image capture and display ; contractor management; GIS interfaces; fleet management; permit management; parks and recreation. The MITS Ltd Rapid Asset Management Software (RAMS) has also been incorporated into the IMS. (Two additional modules: pavement management, and statutory accounting (AAS27 reporting) are currently under development)

The Future

Concurrent with the release of a metricised version of Hansen IMS, the ALGJ;.NZ project team is keen to develop a number of national guidelines and standards for the industry. As asset inventories and network connectivity are being developed and entered into the sytems, ALGENZ is working closely with MITS to develop national CCTV inspection standards, water main condition rating guidelines and valuation criteria. The HANSEN product already has the capability to cover Roads and Furniture, Buildings, Parks and Gardens, Plant and Equipment and other miscellaneous assets. New Zealand has also recognised that infrastructure asset management crosses many organisations from airports to railways, from electrical transmission to se werage. Work has already commenced on the provision of enhanced systems to supplement other asset groups. To assist in the coordination of these activities and the development of "best practice" throughout New Zealand an infrastructure asset management subcommittee has been formed under the auspices of ALGENZ involving all key organisations, drawing from the finance, technical and audit areas to the regulators. The Asset Management Subcommittee will be working on the future asset modules together with associated 21


u Ts ~ ~


.___ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Univcnityof Technology, Sydney

The National Centre for Groundwater Management at the University of Technology, Sydney is (NCGM) recognised by the Federal Government through the Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation as a National Centre for Training, Research and Consultancy in Groundwater and Environmental Applications.

A range of postgraduate programs is being offered currently: •

Master of Science , Master of Engineering (1 year course work degrees) Graduate Diplomas (Science or Engineering) Master of Science and Master of Engineering (Research) PhD Graduate Course (15 weeks)

• •

programmes such as: • National Guidelines Manual • Implementation Strategies • Total Asset Management Plans.

Conclusion This approach to asset management represents a most cost effective and efficient one meeting the total requirements of all stakeholders interested in the performance of the municipal sector throughout New Zealand. It takes the councils into the realm of world's best practice , and the joint approach has reduced the cost to less than half the cost of each councirgoing it alone. These systems will help deliver better, more cost effective services to customers and allow them to judge the performance of their organisation or service suppliers more effectively, while at the same time make asset managers more accountable and allow government and regulators to identify effective management more easily.


Study areas include:

Roger Byrne is Manager, Gutteridge Haskins & Davey Asset (Facilities) Management Group. Reg Leonard is Director, Business Consulting, of MITS Ltd. He hol,ds a Master of Business Information Technology, and was previously Manager of the Corporate Computing branch ofMelbourne Water.

• •

Author's Note

• •

Groundwater Contaminant Transport Modelling, Quality and Quantity Optimisation Strategies for Water Resource Development, Waste Management and Groundwater, Contaminated Land Evaluation and Rehabilitation, Bore Fouling and Maintenance, Practical Areas of Hydrogeology including Geophysics, Hydrochemistry and Microbiology aspects, Land and Groundwater Salinity

• • • •

• r


For Applications and Information contact: Professor Michael J. Knight Director National Centre for Groundwater Management University of Technology, Sydney, PO Box 123 BroadwayNSW2007, AUSTRALIA Phone: (02) 330 1984 Fax: (02) 330 1985

As an Australian I envy the New Zealand situation because they have: • A single set of regulations, especially in the accounting area • A government that accepts the performance is due to a team approach between the professional organisations and professional staff that operate these authorities and their government regulators with the government taking a backseat role • A single professional organisation that does not suffer from parochial state interests or divisions • A national commitment to micro-economic reform in all areas of infrastructure management. I believe that this single focus specialist committee will continue the good work commenced under the project and will provide a focus for the coordination and development of asset management activities for wider organisations throughout New Zealand. My hope is to see a similar singular focus adopted throughout Australia covering both the municipal and service authority areas . I challenge our professional bodies and organisations to take up this vision without address to state, industry, profession or other parochial interest groups.

Roger Byrne




JUSTIFYING PLANNED MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR SYSTEMS E GKatz Introduction ''I am the maintenance man. Pay me now or pay me more later!" The purpose of this paper is to suggest a methodology whereby the above statement can be quantified for management policy making purposes. The water supply and sewerage facilities Planned Maintenance and Repair System is the "maintenance man. " An unplanned, unbudgeted, fix-it-when-itbreaks culture leads to the dire conse9u e nce s of shortened facility life , mcreased operating costs, exposure to community health problems, exposure to outage_s of water and sewerage services, and will undoubtedly result in "'pay me more later." It is our role in today's modem urban society to meet the basic vital needs of providing water and disposing of sewage. Th~s includes the provision, operation, mamtenance, and repair of facilities for the collection, treatment, and distribution of potable wa~er plus facilities for the collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage . This paper focuses on the Maintenance and Repair (M&R) activities associated with water supply and s~werage fac!lities and its aim is to provide educat10nal and technical background to policy makers so they will demand and support the implementation of Planned M&R Systems as part of their due diligence responsibilities. Maintenance activities consist of inspection, adjustment, cleaning, lubrication, painting, and minor component replacement activities intended to prevent, or reduce the frequenc y of breakdowns and to extend the useful life of the items being maintained. Repair activities consist of replacing items that have failed. The most dramatic repair is the replacement or complete rebuilding of a facility that has been destroyed by lack of maintenance. Water supply and sewerage facilities usually have a defined M&R force . Some maintenance activities may be handled by the operations forces , and very major repairs may be handled by construction forces. The M&R force may be _c_ommitted to a single geographic facility or may serve multiple facilities over a wide geographic area. The individually located geographic facilities may range from a single catch basin, lift staWATER SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 1995

tion , meter , or distribution valve to a regional treatment plant. The overall goal of the M&R forces is to k_eep the water supply or sewerage facilities capable of being operated. The M&R forces work to maximize the availability of operating "capacity." It may be too late! A word of caution is that years of destructive neglect cannot always be simply solved by trying to implement a Planned M&R System. The deterioration of the facility may have passed the point of no return and the proper business solution may be to continue to run the facility into-the-ground while arrangements are made for the funding and construction of a replace ment facility or the major reconstruction of the rundown facility. For older and suspect facilities, this could be determin_ed ~y including a condition survey as an m1t1al part of the facility specific knowledge base building portion of establishing the Planned M&R System.

The Planned M&R System The Planned M&R System enables the M&R forces to meet the overall goal of maximizing the availability of operating capacity of the water supply or sewerage facilities. The main elements of the Planned M&R System are the people of the M&R forces and the work they perform, but they are supported by the tools they use. As well as the traditional tradesman's tools these can now include a general maintenance knowledge base, the facility-specific maintenance knowledge base, and personal computers plus maintenance , materials, and service management application software plus electronic predictive maintenance inspection tools There are a number of systems on the market but the following tables detail the functions and goals of the software product of the author's company. They are presented as a listing of many of the functions and operating goals included in a proper Planned M&R System. The tables and the comments attempt to introduce briefly some of the proven engineering concepts of modem maintenance and repair management . Concepts not covered in this article are Reliability Centered Maintenance, Fault Code Analysis, Total Productive Maintenance, Maintenance Knowledge Bases, Alarm and Process Control Interfacing, Mobile Computing, Bar

Coding, Automated Planning and Scheduling, EDI Business Transactions, and other concepts.

Goals of the Planned M&R System In order to maximize the available operating capacity of water and sewerage facilities, these are the priorities: • Get the work done • Control the work and resources - Optimize performance - Meet delivery goals - Work efficiently • Account for the work and resources - Financial accounting - Management accountability • Record the work and resources Financial audit trails - Productivity details - Engineering details

Functions of the Planned M&R System In order to achieve these goals the Manager's job includes control of Work, Physical Assets , and Resources: •Work management (planning and scheduling of five work order types plus operations) - Maintenance Operations - Work without Work Orders - Minor Corrective Maintenance - Major Corrective Maintenance - Minor Facility Improvements - Major Facility Improvements - Preventive Maintenance * Predictive Maintenance • Physical assets management (equipment - maintenance records) Detailed information Drawings and documents Accounting information Repair and service histories - Preventive maintenance schedules • Resource management (labor - services - materials) - In-house Labour Purchased services Materials management * Parts inventory * Bills of materials * Inventory rest9cking requisitions * Spot-Buy requisitions * Vendor quotations * Purchase orders - Standard - System


- Standing - Blanket

Preventive Maintenance The modern definition of "preventive maintenance" is the periodic performance of inspections, lubrication, minor adjustments, and minor component replacements with the creation of followup work orders to perform corrective work indicated by the inspections. The performance of corrective work is not part of preventive maintenance! It is a separate responsibility. Predictive maintenance is a powerful component of preventive maintenance Inspection. The inspection process electronically measures , records , analyzes, and compares machine operating parameters and determines whether a failure has already occurred plus predicts if and when a failure is likely to occur. Followup work orders are separately created to perform appropriate corrective work. Predictive maintenance inspections are also often performed as a quality assurance step after work on a machine is performed and before the machine is put back into service. Prev entive and Predictive Maintenance yield huge savings b y allowing for the ultimate in planning and scheduling of the work and by minimizing unexpected breakdowns and reducing the frequency of operational inspection rounds. Studies have rep eate dly found that when preventive maintenance is at least seventy five percent of the work labor that the total work labor is reduced by at least twenty percent compared to the fix-it-when-it-breaks philosophy.

Optimized Tradesman Work Time The major categories of a M&R tradesman's work time are Materials acquisition; Travel ; Delays; Administration; Hands-On Labour Common sense dictates that operational focus should be on maximizing the available productive hands-on labour ¡ time and minimizing the overhead times of materials acquisition, travel, delays , and administration. A measurable indicator of the effectiveness of the management of the M&R forces is the percentage of the available labour hours that are spent at the actual location at which hands-on labour is performed. Great care must be taken in utilizing this indicator without first educating business management and (political) audit personnel in the realities of what percentages of hands-on labour time can be achieved even by the best M&R management. Such education is well worth performing because it will lead to the knowledge able common sense business approval of funding for Planned M&R 24

System components that serve to minimize the materials acquisition, travel, delay, and administration hours which are the 'non-productive' component of a tradesman's time. M&R is mobile highly varied work for short periods of time at multiple work locations. It is not production line work or fixed location construction work. All obstacles to the actual performance of the mobile work by the tradesman should be removed by the planning and scheduling process. In general, it has been found that tradesmen do the actual maintenance and repair work as fast as possible when at the work location and that efforts to have the craftsmen turn the spanner, or move the paint brush, or calibrate the control faster are not meaningful ways to improve productivity.

Benefits from the Planned M&RSystem Cost avoidance and cost reduction. For a brand new, perfectly designed, constructed and inspected facility, the implementation of a proper Planned M&R System will serve as a major cost avoidance activity. For an existing facility which is not routinely using a proper Planned M&R System, implementation will lead to significant cost reductions and improved performance and get the facility started toward capturing the long term cost avoidance benefits. Extended useful life of the facility. Implementation of a proper Planned M&R System will significantly extend the useful life of the facility. This will maximize the financial return on the capital invest~ent. If combined with a sys-

tern of progressive modernization, the facility may have almost an indefinite service life. The historic example of the Roman Aqueducts might be invoked. More recent examples are the Atlantic Side and Pacific Side water supply treatment plants of the Panama Canal Zone. They were built during the first decade of this century, have been properly maintained, are in excellent condition, and continue to routinely supply water to both communities. Avoidance of service outages and degradation of quality of water and sewage treatment. A basic requirement for the very existence of the modern urban community is a reliable supply of good quality water, along with the reliable removal and proper processing of sewage. Rationing , curtailment, and interruption of service are definitely not acceptable and are financially and politically devastating to the community. Outbreaks of disease from degradation of microbiological quality, or dirty water supplies, or environmental pollution are also disastrous. Avoidance of equipment degradation and associated increases in operating costs. Lack of the properly implemented Planned M&R System allows equipment and efficiency of operations to degrade. In addition to loss of quality control this causes increased operating costs. Uncalibrated and non-functioning controls and meter,s, inoperative valves, broken pumps, leaking fittings, obstructed and leaking mains, etc . cause increased chemical, energy, labour, service, and administrative costs .

Minimizing M&R materials acquisition work time. The common practice

First Costs


Program establishment, training, culture changes (2 employee equivalent in first year) Computer hardware and software {tabulated) Knowledge base establishment {estimated total)

First Costs Spread As Annual Cost Annual Operating Costs Operating labour (1 employee equivalent) Computer hardware and software maintenance {20% of first cost) Knowledge base maintenance (100/o of first cost)


50,000 20,000 20,000 90,000 124,000

Macro Benefits Spread As Annual Recurring Benefits Extended life of facility (5 years depreciation equivalent) Avoidance of outages (2 year's depreciation equivalent) Avoidance of quality failures (1 year's depreciation equivalent) Annual Recurring Benefits Reduced maintenance labor costs (2 person equivalent) Reduced maintenance parts and supplies costs (1/2 person equivalent) Reduced operating energy costs {1/2 p erson equivalent) Reduced operating labour (1/2 person equivalent) Reduced operating supplies {l/2 person equivalent)


100,000 100,000 200,000 400,000 34,000

425,000 170,000 85,000 680,000 100,000 25,000 25,000 25,000 25,000 200,000 880,000

Assumptions: (1) Water supply or sewerage facility construction cost of $25 million. (2) Annual employee cost equivalent to $50,000. (3) Long term interest rate 7%. (4) Inflation rate 0%. (5) Estimated base useful life of the facility of 25 years


of having tradesmen and working supervisors informally storing and acquiring parts has a significant hidden work time cost compared to having a formal properly staffed M&R storeroom and materials management system . One study showed that without a formal system over fifty percent of the total M&R labour was being used to chase parts and supplies. This was reduced to about fifteen percent with the set-up of a store room with an experienced parts clerk. The fifteen percent included the time of the parts clerk. The increased tradesman work time made available was used to handle the transition to preventive main-· tenance without hiring additional temporary tradesmen and then the following labour requirements reduction lead to overall M&R staff reduction through natural attrition. The maintenance labour saving is in addition to the traditionally recognized economic benefits from inventory stores management.

Minimizing M&R travel work time. Travel time to and from the work location plus time for getting parts and tools interrupted by work breaks is a major factor in large facilities and when multiple locations are being served. The formal daily work target scheduling that is part of the Planned M&R System, combined with the Systems planned preventive and predictive maintenance, together with smart materials management, all combine to minimize the non-productive travel time. Even though travel time cannot be eliminated, it can be optimized. Minimizing M&R work delays. Lost work time of tradesmen waiting for shut downs and access clearance plus time lost waiting for other trades and contractors is minimized by the Planned M&RSystem. Minimizing M&R administration work time. Lost work time of tradesmen performing extensive paperwork is also minimized by the Planned M&R System.

An Exercise in Calculating the Obvious To those of us who are involved in the planned maintenance and repair field, the benefits and consequences connected with the field are so obvious to us that we often overlook the need to teach them to others. This section is presented as a possible teaching aid. The following is a proforma strategic financial rate of return calculation for a Planned M&R System for a water supply or sewerage facility with a $25 million first cost. Details should be added as needed for the analysis of a particular facility. The details would include local decisions of monetary values to be assigned for the Macro Benefits. The calculation yields a proforma strategic value of over $750,000 per year for the Planned M&R System. The calculation this is equivalent to a proforma WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

rate of return on the first cost of over 200 percent per year.

Planned ·M&R System is Attainable A logical question to be asked by the reader is: If the Planned M&R System is so beneficial and has such a favorable cost benefit ratio, and it consists mainly of techniques that have been well known for many years, why doesn't every water supply and sewerage facility already have such a plan in place? The answer is that a complete Planned M&R System simply was not attainable before the Information Processing Revolution, with its ubiquitous personal computers and application software . The quantity of clerical time, paper processing and information accessing needed by manual and even mainframe computer-assisted systems made it impossible for most organizations to implement planned M&R Systems. Those large facilities that tried to set up and maintain the hordes of clerical people and the paper processes usually failed. In some large facilities, mainframe computer-assisted systems did achieve partial success when the Planned M&R System was given proper priority on the mainframe and functionality was limited. We can now realistically expect to implement the Planned M&R Systems for all facilities . The ubiquitous personal

computer hardware and Windows software, along with the software packages now available, mean that we now have the ability and responsibility to really implement the Planned M&R Systems for our facilities. The PC is changing our maintenance and repair culture and making it really practical for every facility to have a Planned M&R System. Even though the benefits from implementation are major and the consequences of delay are also major, it is necessary, as always , to proceed with the implementation of the Planned M&R System in a proper engineering and business manner.- Governmental and business procedures must be followed; consultants and suppliers carefully selected; and personnel, contractors, and officials educated and trained. This is facilitated by the technologies and state-of-the-art techniques made available by the worldwide Information Processing Revolution.

Author Eli G Katz is founder and CHIEF Executive Officer of Maintenance Automation Corporation of Hallandale, Florida, USA. The firm produces the CHIEF ADvantage™ software for maintenance, materials, and service management. The software is supported in Australia by CMPS&F Eli hauls a degree in Civil Engineering from the New jersey Institute of Technology and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

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Ps IN TCM - THE FUEL OF CHANGE A Clarke>:¡ Abstract This article emphasises that Total Catchment Management is designed for the long haul. The neutrality of Catchment Management Committees, drawn from all relevant 'players', is valuable in the interaction between various groups in initiating change. Planning is essential but it needs to be combined with a hands-on and practical approach focussing on changing processes and practices to give long-term results and acceptance of change

Introduction Total Catchment Management (TCM) in NSW is regarded by many as a cross between environmental apple pie and an elixir. The concept is a catch-all for generalisations such as holistic view, coordinated management, bottom-up approach and so on, and is automatically included in state strategies, plans, programs and curriculum vitae . It is recognised as a "Good Thing" in environmental management and seen as something of an antidote to the ever-present Ps of Power, Politics and Profit. The difficulties begin when we try to translate the warm inner glow to real world situations. We may wholeheartedly agree with the concept of TCM but how are our decisions on environmental management changed as a result of our endorsement. What does it mean in reality, and how can TCM committees contribute to environmental management? Most articles or reports on catchment management are a detailed exposition of a specific catchment plan. They are interesting and useful, but there has been little written on the philosophy and concepts underlying the implementation of TCM . Professor John Burton's article titled "The Big Picture " (My Point of View, Water, October 1993), was welcome. As he mentioned in his article Professor Bruce Mitchell (a Canadia~ authority) described TCM in terms of "three Ps - Philosophy, Process and Product". I suggested then that further discussion of TCM would be worthwhile as a contribution to the continuing debate. At the time of writing this I was a TCM Coordinator for a Catchment Management Committee (CMC) , but this article does not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of any State or Local Government Authority or any group. 26

(In other states TCM is known as Integrated Catchment Management (or ICM) and both terms are used in this article).

Concepts Underlying TCM The concept of TCM begins with the interdependence and interaction of natural resources and the need for that interaction to be reflected in all our management systems and by all management groupings. Interdependence of natural resources. The concept of catchment management recognises the fundamental principle that no component of the environment exists in isolation . The land, water, vegetation, fauna and other natural resources are all intermeshed and both support and interact with each other. Although we may have been aware of this principle to some extent, it is only in recent years that we have clearly recognised the far-reaching effects - over both time and space - that can result from many activities. Land in-filling and excavation, clearing of vegetation, and changes to the hydrologic regime of a catchment are all examples of activities where impacts can extend far beyond a particular site. The urface water catchment is the most obvious physical unit of the environment, and is the term used in legislation, policies and documents, but not all processes and habitats operate within this unit. If our prime concern is a holistic approach to environmental management, then we need to be aware of the variety of geomorphic units . Groundwater may have a quite different catchment from surface water; birds and animals may rely on a network of certain vegetation or habitat types (eg wetlands) located across several surface water catchments; coastal processes may extend across several river catchments along the coast; and an airshed may impact across several other units. The scale of some geomorphic units may be too large to permit detailed assessment at all stages of development. A single proposal within the MurrayDarling basin cannot be expected to consider one-fifth of Australia, and yet it is essential that we establish systems to control the cumulative impacts of all pollution sources. Interaction in management. Clearly an ideal system of management would recognise the appropriate geomor-

phic unit for the natural resource being considered. To achieve this holistic perspective there needs to be a similar holistic approach by our management sys tems, which mu~t have the capacity to transcend the land ownership and administrative boundaries which normally confine them. Until recently most government authorities were conscious of their own areas of responsibility, but there was a sense of "ours" and "yours " at times accompanied by an adversarial approach to the overlaps between disciplines, legislation and territory. As an example, Council boundaries are not usually aligned with catchment boundaries. A further difficulty is the friction generated at the boundaries or edges as each management group attempts to interact with another. Professor Bruce Mitchell (1988), saw these edge effects as a major hurdle to the achievement of integrated catchment management. Community involvement. TCM also recognises that the broad community has a significant responsibility in catchment management and provides for community or "bottom-up" participation by this poup of environmental man agers. Many of us are landowners, however small our block; all of us can cause environmental damage beyond our artificial boundaries, far removed from our activities on site; the cumulative effect of our individual small decisions can be significant. Landcare groups are proving to be highly effective as a means of supporting the community in a hands-on approach and they provide an operational focus for the strategic approach of TCM. It is essential that natural resource management be seen as a partnership between landowners, the community and all levels of Government. We need to encourage community participation and find effective mechanisms to support community involvement in decision-making. We also need to encourage innovative approaches to conflict resolution , minimising edge effects and providing the supporting framework for practical change so that the whole is better than the sum of the parts.

NSWAct By the late 1980s the traditional systems of natural resource management in â&#x20AC;˘ EPA of NSW, PO Box .5 13, Wollongong East 2.520


NSW had grown like "Topsy", with segments of the environment given to separate departments to manage, but with minimal integrating infrastructure. Hence we had departments focusing on soil, water resources, fish, agriculture , pollution etc with their inevitable edge effects, overlaps and gaps . The picture was further complicated by three levels of government and the substantial role played by private landowners. Furthermore, there is a limit to what authorities can do, even if they were fully integrated. The increasing degradation of our natural resources showed clearly that the traditional system was inadequate. The Catchment Management Act (1989) formalised a framework by establishing a network of Committees bringing together representatives from the various stakeholders. There are now over 30 CMCs and 3 Trusts in NSW, covering over 980/o of the state. The Act lists the functions of Catchment Management Committees: • To promote and coordinate the implementation of TCM policies and pro grams. • To advise on and coordinate the natural resource management activities of authorities, groups and individuals. • To identify catchment needs and prepare strategies for implementation. • To coordinate the preparation of programs for funding; • To monitor, evaluate and report on progress and performance of TCM strategies and programs. • To provide a forum for resolving natural resource conflicts and issues. • To facilitate research into the cause , effect and resolution of natural resource issues. • Such other functions relating to total catchment management as are directed by the Coordinating Committee. In addition Trusts are given powers to raise funds by a rate levy. Additional functions have been listed for the Hawkesbury-Nepean Trust which first met in September 1993. The Act also established the State Catchment Management Coordinating Committee (SCMCC), with members drawn from senior ranks of relevant state authorities, Local Government, environmental interests and several CMC chairs. The SCMCC's operation is focused around three major issues: coordination of natural resource management, community and government, and resolution of competing interests.

Discussions on the implementation of TCM can be confusing as the term is indeed a catch-all. I have expanded the three Ps of philosophy, process and product to four with the inclusion of Players and also added the collective goal of integrated environmental management. One way to graphically depict their interrelationship is shown in Figure 1. The concept underlying the TCM philosophy is recognition of the inherent inter-relationship of natural resources, and the need for this interaction to be reflected in our management systems and groupings. Everyone is a player in environmental management, and the groupings shown are merely one way of segmenting the whole community. State Government Authorities includes both environmental regulators and those whose primary function is not environmental management but who are construction and land management authorities, such as Road Traffic Authority, State Rail Authority, Water Boards and so on. Local Government has a role in both groups. Participation and commitment by representatives of all government authorities is vital as many of the changes needed are in government coordination and procedure, particularly in urban areas, where levels of activity are more complex. Until recently, the activities of each group tended to operate in isolation from the others, and although it was assumed that at least environmental managers were heading in the same direction, (not always a correct assumption) there was little opportunity or encouragement to seek an integrated response. TCM does not change the role or responsibility of each group, who retain rights and responsibilities for their own land or their respective charters and legislation. Ideally, strategies and methodology may be modified as each group gains a wider understanding of the impacts and implications of their respective programs. The TCM products are changed practices, represented symbolically by the arrow heads, and each player has their own activities , decisions and responsibilities to contribute. As can be seen in the diagram, each group of practices is but a small component of the PHILOSOPHY


whole, but each needs to be reviewed as part of the T:.CM process to ensure there is an integrated and consistent approach to the collective goal of integratea environmental management. Integrated catchment management cannot be achieved by any organisation or group alone, nor will it survive if it is perceived as being controlled by any one of the players.

Resistance to Change Every research and technical journal is packed with new technologies, methods and information. One would expect that we woulff easily accept and implement changed methods and practices, but in reality, old habits die hard. Change is too often perceived as threatening, a matter of winning and losing, and certainly to be avoided if at all possible. It is time-consuming to identify what needs changing and how to change it, and most of us tend to react defensively to implied criticism of the status quo . Perhaps our one unchanging expectation should be to expect a continuum of change in our standards and practices, as we constantly seek to improve the quality of our environment. The number of changed practices resulting from changed behaviour is a key performance indicator of the success of TCM and will be reflected in a discernible improvement in the health of the environm~nt. TCM is about change but it is also about achieving practical results. Changed behaviour requires knowledge ot the issue, knowledge of possible courses of action, adequate skills, and a desire to act (Hungerford & Volk, 1990). In the early stages of many projects, it seems that little is happening. Getting successful change off the ground is dependent on thorough preparation , analysis and wide consultation, and any assessment of success or otherwise must allow for the long lead times involved. Environmental decline is often the result of interacting factors operating for a long time. Reversal of these effects will similarly be long term.

Plans and Planning "In preparing for battle I have always


The Act defines TCM as: "the coordinated and sustainable use and management of land, water, vegetation and other natural resources on a water catchment basis so as to balance resource utilisation and conservation."



Industry Com mu n i ty Gro up s Ind ivid u als

How Does TCM Work?


Land h olders

Local Go vern


S ta te Govern an t Ma nagcu s / Us_'-'-,- I -- - -- - - - - - ,

Integrated Environmental Management

State Gov arnmen1 Regulators

Figure 1. The TCM Rocket


found that plans are useless but planning is essential." General Eisenhower's statement was quoted by Professor Burton in his article, and he went on to add, "the products of TCM ought to be improved catchment and river management practices. Practices, not plans." CMCs facilitate implementation of change by planning projects to remedy and repair environmental degradation caused by poor decisions in the past, or projects focused on preventing problems in the future by changing the behaviour and decisions of individuals and organisations. They also have a role as a "community conscience." No small task. It is useful to differentiate between a catchment plan which sets the goals , opportunities and constraints for management of a catchment, and a committee's plan of action, which sets objectives and proposes strategies. I suggest it is not enough for a CMC to submit a plan of "action" full of recommended changes, but to be implemented by others. The Committee should identify its own contribution to the practical facilitation of what, how, and where change is to occur. This then becomes a focus for changing the behaviour of decision makers in all groups of players to achieve chosen outcomes. The recent establishment of the Catchment Assessment Commission will provide the structure , expertise and means to prepare Plans of Management and specification of water quality goals for all significant catchments in NSW. The Chief Executive Officers of all relevant government authorities will be required to "sign off' the contribution of their program to achieving the goals of the Plan of Management. I believe that there will still be a need for a community bas ed coordinating body which is an integrating forum, a neutral protagonist for the environment, and which takes a pro-active role in facilitating change. Most of the current activities of CMCs will still be relevant.

Applying the Concept One of the greatest attributes of CMCs is their neutrality. Although administrative support is given by one of several departments they are not formally linked to any one community or government group and most operate through consensus. They have considerable opportunity to set their own priorities and agenda which reflect more than the concerns of any one group or department, and this approach has resulted in a number of innovative approaches, but also a varying standard of strategies and projects. The role of CMCs is to coordinate, facilitate and identify priorities, but the issues and projects are as varied as the landscape. All Committees are required to identify local issues and prepare a


strategy for their activities. Many are preparing catchment or land and water management plans, and working towards the inclusion cif goals and strategic directions in relevant planning instruments. Most CMCs are involved in some or all of the following types of activities. Land planning. The aim of TCM is not to duplicate existing activities. For instance most CMCs do not comment on Development Applications to Councils, although they may be concerned with how an integrated catchment perspective can be built into the system and helping to identify where information is required, who needs it, in what format, and how it can be provided. New approaches to old problems. Changing the way our government systems operate has been a major goal of some TCM programs, initiating small projects using new approaches and methodologies. One CMC used Total Quality Management {TQM} methodology to analyse the process applied in rezoning land. The group representing seven state authorities and three local councils flow-charted the actual processes in precise detail and identified where change was possible , together with the needs and wants of the "customers " at each stage of the proce ss. The TQM methodology offered practical and effective techniques for clarifying where friction or edge effect was occurring. There does not seem to be a standard methodology for identifying the "catchment perspective" and associated cumulative impact. A CMC held a workshop to discuss this problem. Environmental assessment for land rezonings is usually confined to the boundaries of land ownership iri qu estio n , and any broader assessment is generally seen as an unwarranted financial imposition . What is needed is an assessment of the compatibility of the proposed landuse with environmental goals, inherent environmental constraints and cumulative pollution load. Other projects include coordination of water quality testing, groundwater testing, algae management, controls on urban development to reduce erosion and sedimentation, integrating the TCM philo sophy into the planning process, reviewing measures to improve financial incentives for landholders, and so on. Information flow. Effective change is not possible unless those making decisions know what to do differently. The first step is always information in appropriate formats. All CMCs are addressing this issu e with workshop s, brochures and educational material on bushcare , farm property planning, woody weeds, wetland management , river processes, hints for horse owners in urban areas, perennial pastures, land and water management plans, planning for Landcare groups, Streamwatch and Salt

Action support, agro-forestry , wetland buffers, urban wa.tercourse management, drain stencilling and catchment signs, and so on. Assessment for community funding. The CMCs provide substantial support to Landcare and other community groups b y linking with these groups in their on-the-ground activities; providing a source of information and contacts; and undertaking the first stage assessment of applications for National Landcare Program funding according to the CMC strategic framework.

Conclusion TCM recognises that the interaction and interdependence we recognise in the environment needs to be reflected in our management systems and processes. The role of CMCs involves facilitating and coordinating the implementation of change. Expected changes in behaviour may not be easily achieved. It is important that TCM be given a good chance to demonstrate its capabilities and that government provides the technical support to augment its projects in changing decisions which impact on the environment. TCM is designed for the long haul. It has already made an effective contribution and the range of current projects and changed practices already in train show that it will have a substanti al impact. It has galvanised a large group of people drawn from all the relevant stakeholders or player groups and has the conceptual support of much of the bureaucracy The key to the success of natural resource management is not to diminish the structured implementation under the TCM framework but to get behind the community momentum for practical and constructive achievements. It's a handson and practical approach in which we all have a part.

R~ferences Hun gerford H and Vo lk T {1990) Changing Leamer Behav iour Through Environmental Edu cation, in The journal of Environmental Education 21, No 3. Mitchell B {1988) A Canadian perspective on Int egrate d Catchm e nt Management, in Working Papers for the National Workshop on Int egrated Catchment Management: May 1988. 7.5 -100. Sponsored by Australian Wat er Resources Co un cil , published by D epartment o f Water Resources, Melbourne.

Author Anne Clarke studied Geography at the University of Wollongong and then worked for the Lake Jllawarra MaTl{lgement Committee. In the years 799 7- 7994 she was the TCM coordinator for the Illawarra Catchment Committee, She is now Head of the Programs Unit in the NSW EPA in the South Coast region. WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995


MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT IN AUSTRALIA ]Groom Budgets Traditionally maintenance in the water and wastewater industry was driven by the annual budget. That is, the work performed was equivalent to the amount of money available. The question being asked was 'how much money can I save this year if I don't carry out this work?' In the early and mid-80's this was the prevailing view rather than the alternative 'If I don't carry out this work how much will it cost me in the long term, ie. can I afford not to do it?. In those years the financial constraints placed on authorities added to the 'cut the maintenance $' environment. Inevitably, this philosophy led to failures. In Melbourne the most dramatic example was the collapse of the Epsom Road sewer, but this was mirrored by numerous other failures around the nation , either of sewers, pipelines or equipment.

Programming The current move in the water industry to a competitive environment has had some sceptics comment that there will be even more disregard for long-term effects on assets. However, with the drive to improve efficiency and deliver a quality service to client requirements by outsourcing there has been a coincident increase in focus on performing the specified tasks in a more efficient manner. The client sets the requirements and the contractor has the task to meet them in the most cost-effective manner. Programming, reporting and carrying out tasks to a precise description is now becoming an effective discipline for those involved in maintenance management. The obvious return to the client is a clearer picture of what is being done and more accurate and consistent data on which to base asset management decisions. Operations and maintenance involves performing a large number of comparatively small and varied activities on assets. The reporting/recording and analysis of information on asset condition, repair history, cost, man-hours etc pertaining to each activity is a huge task, which was once carried out by a combination of card files and human memory spread out over numerous sub-depots. With the wide availability of PCs all this information, and even more, can now be captured and thoroughly analysed. Various scenarios can be modelled and WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

communicated to decision makers. There is now a clear-cut answer to the question 'Can we afford not to have programmed maintenance?' Given the large and very varied number of assets in a typical water authority, the computer system and software needs to be powerful, flexible and comprehensive.

MMIS Systems

In the same way the contractor has his contractual interest in maintaining the system as well as a benefit from the scheduling, purchasing and other management components of the MMIS package. The move towards contracts which are based on partnering, alliancing or on Quality Based Selection principles recognises that for a 'win-win' contract, sharing information and information systems is a primary element of success.

There are numbers of Maintenance Management Information Systems available on the Australia market. The MMIS Implementing MMIS chosen by Sydney Water Corporation is Maximo 5*. This system was chosen by The water industry has generally lagged behind other major industry secTransfield Maintenance for its contract tors in the application of MMIS. with Yarra Valley Water (a Melbourne Water regional business) for mechanical Within the water industry the initial and electrical maintenance, and ti si focus has been on maintenance of 'active' asset items such as treatment designed to meet the needs of plant and plants and mechanical and electrical facilities. The Maximo system is made up equipment. The area just starting to of 12 interconnected modules tied to an receive attention is the more general area SQL database. Modules can be run simultaneously and other applications of pipeline and sewer maintenance. such as CAD or spread sheets can be There have been previous excursions launched from any module. by enthusiast's to build data bases for Typically it covers: recording asset condition and repair • Works order information. Many of these work • Planning and scheduling extremtly well but have a narrow focus • Asset management and do not provide the maintenance • Purchasing practitioner with data which can be used to improve the delivery of the service • Res~urce management • Reports and analysis and thus reduce the cost of the activity Transfield Maintenance has found performed on the particular asset. In the mid-80's a number of authoriparticular value in the planning and ties embarked on the digitisation of their scheduling models, which have enabled improvement in performance productivimap-based asset information . At the ty and tracking of activities, without gentime there were expectations that integrated text and graphic asset manageerating enormous paper storage requirements. - ment systems would emerge. Some ten years later we are seeing a new generation of flexible MMIS products emerging Intellectual Property which are designed specifically or are Much has been made of the notion that the introduction and use of such sys- readily customised for use on pipe networks and which accept and utilise comtems by contractors results in the transfer puterised map-based information. of intellectual property away from the The advent of high capacity storage client organisations. However, in reality devices such as CD ROMs and gigabyte the introduction of MMIS systems and hard drives and portable computers, as technology will be of great benefit not well as improved telecommunications only to the contractors but also to the provides for an interesting and challengclients. The question of intellectual proping future which can only improve the erty can be solved by contractual arrangements, such as in the case of delivery of maintenance management services. Sydney Water where the system is shared and both parties are stakeholders in optimising maintenance and manage- Author John Groom is Senior Maintenance ment performance. Such clients have the Engineer with Transfield Maintenance. benefit of the information being available Previously he had 21 years experience in almost immediately and being in the design, operations and maintenance of water position of having the details of the and sewerage systems with Melbourne Water. implementation being a contractual item. 29


CAVITATION - DEVASTATION IN PUMPING A Sgro Problem When the pressure of flowing liquids drops to or below the liquid's vapour pressure, the liquid boils and vapour cavities {bubbles) form locally inside the liquid. If the pressure within the flow path subsequently increases above the vapour pressure, the vapour cavities implode releasing energy. The formation and sudden collapse of these bubbles is cavitation. The generation of head in a centrifugal pump does not commence until the liquid enters the vane area and is accelerated towards pump discharge. As the liquid flows between the pump inlet flange and vanes, several points of head loss occur, caused by; a) friction in the suction nozzle; b) acceleration losses as the liquid velocity increases from the suction nozzle to the impeller eye; c) shock losses as the liquid contacts the leading edges of the impeller vanes. The sum of these losses is known as the entry loss. If the suction head minus the entry loss reduce the liquid pressure to or below the vapour pressure, then a condition for cavitation exists, as illustrated in Figure 1. The net positive suction head (NPSH) is a statement of the minimum suction conditions required to prevent cavitation. The required NPSH (referred to as NPSHR) is the minimum value of NPSH required at the pump inlet for satisfactory pump operation and is determined by test and is stated by manufacturers (appearing on the pump performance curve as an NPSHR curve). The NPSHR is equivalent to the entry loss as shown in Figure 1. The available NPSH (referred to as NPSHA) is a function of the suction side pumping system and is defined as the absolute pressure head on the liquid surface plus the static liquid level above the pump centre line (negative for suction lift) minus the friction loss in the piping system leading to the pump minus the vapour pressure head at the pumping temperature. The discharge pumping system has no effect on NPSHA. Figure 2 shows four typical suction systems with NPSHA formulae applicable to each. It should be noted that the units of the terms in the formulae are metres absolute of the liquid being pumped. To avoid cavitation, NPSHA must always be greater than NPSHR at the design flow.


Problems Caused by Cavitation

balance problems with the impeller. 2) The vibrations caused by cavitation and unbalanced loads significantly accelerate the rate of bearing and mechanical seal failures. 3) The vapour ,cavities will impede the flow of liquid through the impeller. In some cases, the flow may be completely blocked . This will result in reduced capacity plus reduced and/or unstable developed head.

The presence of cavitation due to inadequate NPSH can be diagnosed during pump operation by a steady crackling noise in and around the pump suction. This should not be confused with a random crackling noise with high intensity knocks which indicates another condition termed suction recirculation (not covered here) . If the problem were one of noise alone , it is likely that most situations would call for no remedial action. However, continual cavitation causes mechanical and operational problems as follows: 1) Erosion of the impeller, particularly at the leading edges of the impeller vanes. In some cases, the casing itself will show signs of erosion. The extent of damage experienced is significantly affected by product related factors such as corrosion and abrasion. Apart from the damage to the mechanical parts, the erosion can cause loss of pump efficiency and out-of-

Cavitation is Not Terminal The obvious answer is to ensure proper pump selection at the initial stage. Most users would agree that the majority of pump vendors are sufficiently competent in giving customers what was asked for in the specifications. Having said this, it is imperative that the issue of NPSHA vs NPSHR is properly understood and considered by both user and supplier. The solutions to an existing cavitation condition can be determined by considering both NPSHA (the system) and NPSHR (t~e pump). On the system

PUMP OPERA TING WITH: Total Discharge Head: HD Total Suction Head: HS Total Differential Head: 6.H



= Head loss on entry to pump (and this is equivalent to NPSHR)


HS; - - - - - - HL


- t - - - -A







Figure 1 Flow path through a centrifugal pump


side, the NPSHA can be increased by one or more of the following: • Increase the static liquid level above the pump or reduce the suction lift. This can be done in the case of a flooded suction by raising the liquid level in the suction tank, raising the suction tank to a higher level or lowering the pump eg., one floor down.In the suction lift situation, the liquid level in the sump or suction tank can be raised or the pump can be lowered eg., mounting the pump off the sump

side or building a dry sump beside the existing sump. • Reduce the friction losses by increasing pipe sizes and reducing the length of pipe runs and the number of fittings eg., tees, bends and valves. Selection of fittings with lower friction loss eg., long radius elbows and full flow ball valves, should also be considered. In particular, resist the use of suction strainers which can clog. • Decrease the vapour pressure by reduc-



- with Suclion Head Po




.::LOSEO SUCTI ON SUPPLY - with Suction Head


I --


1 L,

l pressure.

Ps =



absolute Vapour pressure of the liquid at




maximum pumping temperature . in metres abso lute Pressure on surt·ace of liquid in closed sucti on tank . in metres


Ls =

Maximum static suction lift in metres

LH =

Minimum static suction head in metres

hr =

Friction loss in metres in • suction pipe at required capacity

Figure 2 Calculation ofsustem net positive suction available for typical suction conditions

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ing the temperature of the product. This can be done~y reducing the operational temperature of the process (if feasible) or cooling the temperature in the suction line eg., cooling annulus on the suction pipework. However, it must be noted that the reduction of vapour pressure by reducing the temperature is rarely possible. The following remedies can be applied to the pump: • Reduce the flow rate by throttling on the pump discharge. This will generally reduce NPSHR (always check the pump curve) and increase NPSHA (due to reduced frictlon losses). Care must be taken to ensure that the flowrate is not reduced below the minimum flowrate recommended by the manufacturer. • Reduce the pump speed as this reduces NPSHR. This will require the user to accept reduced pump performance. • Reduce the pump speed and install a larger diameter impeller. This will have a two fold effect as lower speed means lower NPSHR and in many cases the larger impeller diameter has low er NPSHR characteristics. • Install a different pump! This would normally mean installation of a larger pump as they generally have a better NPSHR value for the same flow rate. The selection of a larger pump is sometimes required with speed reduction. • Change the impeller material to one that is more n;sistant to erosion eg, from cast iron to stainless steel. This does not eliminate cavitation but will reduce the its impact.

Are You on the 'Hit List'? Your application could be a prime candidate for cavitation if the presence of any of the following conditions prevail: 1) High temperature or boiling liquids will increase the vapour pressure head. 2) Volatile liquids - have a high vapour pressure head. 3) Suction tank under vacuum - will reduce the absolute pressure head on the liquid surface. 4) High suction lift applications. 5) Circuitous suction pipework - will lead to increased friction loss. 6) A large number of fittings in suction pipework - will increase friction losses. It should be stated that although these notes are based on application to centrifugal pumps, the majority of the principles apply equally to all other types of pumps.

Author Tony Sgro is Sales and Marketing Manager, Kelair Pumps Australia. Responding to requests from clients for information regarding cavitation in pumping he compiled this trouble-shooting and userfriendly guide, to shed some light on one of the least understood topics associated with pump applications. 31


STATUS OF ICA IN THE AUSTRALIAN WASTEWATER INDUSTRY PA Lant*, MA Steffens Instrumentation, control and automation (ICA) has traditionally been a rather maligned area of wastewater treatment operation and research. Until recently, the reasons for this were many and perfectly justifiable. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Australian wastewater industry is in a transitional phase. Change is inevitable, with the driving forces too strong to resist. The objective of this short discussion is to present the current ICA activity within the Australian wastewater industry. Future directions for the industry are also discussed . It has been compiled from a survey of the Australian members of the IA WQ Specialist Group on ICA conducted in late 1994. As such, we do not claim that it is a comprehensive survey. However, we are somewhat hopeful that this may initiate further discussion on the potential of ICA for the Australian wastewater industry. It is, after all, an area of increasing significance to all involved in wastewater treatment.

Current Situation in Australian Plants The only on-line measurements which may be considered as standard are DO, pH, level and flow rate . Standard off-line analyses include nutrient measurements (various measurements of C, N & P compounds), suspended solids, indicators of biological/ flo e properties and heavy metals. DO is the only variable automatically controlled in most systems. Other variables such as SRT and sludge blanket level may be manually controlled. In anaerobic treatment systems, pH may also be controlled automatically. It is fair to say that most operations within Australia have, until recently, adopted a minimalist approach to ICA.

Driving Forces for Change A major theme of the recent IA WQ Workshop on ICA (held in Banff, Canada, July 1993) was that there are now several significant driving forces for advancing ICA technology (Olsson, 1993). Increasing pressures to operate more complex process plants (eg BNR), faced with tighter economic and legislative constraints, is a global phenomenon. Most process operators are now faced with the challenge of driving their process harder. There is, therefore , a


very real incentive to improve ICA practice.


four Australian organisations, in a project which is supported by the Australian Government through the GIRD scheme of the IR&D Board . The groups are Monash University Water Studies Centre, UNSW Centre for Membrane Science and Technology, AWT and BHP Research. This project, which ended in November 1994, was directed to the development of techniques for the realtime monitoring of total and dissolved nutrients. An on-line phosphorous (Dissolved Reactive P) analyser has already been produced from this work. Program 4 of the CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control Ltd is working under the heading Monitoring and Instrumentation. Project 4.1 is currently developing meters for volatile organic compounds (VOCs); this group of pollutants includes petrol and diesel fuel. Project 4.2 is focussing on the algal bloom problem, where the challenge is to develop phosphorous meters capable of monitoring the low phospohorous levels found in streams which may cause algal pr9liferation.

Whilst it is true to say that sensors are now available for real-time monitoring of suspended solids, TOC, COD, ammonia, nitrite/ nitrate, phosphorus and respiration rate, it is also fair to say that the current captal costs are proving prohibitive for most Australian operations (Table 1). Add to this some rather significant operational costs, and it is easy to see why most Australian processes utilise minimal real-time monitoring. It is our opinion, however, that the bottle-neck caused by analysers will soon become a thing of the past. Indeed, there are several examples (from Europe) where the 'new generation' of on-line instruments have been deployed. Nyberg et al (1993) have successfully implemented on-line TOC, NH 4 , NO 3 , DO, MLSS, air flow, flow rates and sludge blanket level instruments. Similarly, a two year study b y Thornberg et al (1993) concluded that "with little, but responsible, surveilControl and Automation lance", some currently available NH 4 , NO 3 a-nd PO 4 instruments can be reliHistorically, control system architecably used for automatic control. Indeed, ture in the process industries was comit is becoming common practice in pletely distributed with each loop isolatDenmark to include NH 4, NO 3 and PO 4 ed. This type of architecture was characinstruments on new nutrient removal terised by the heavy reliance on operator processes. experience and the large instrumentation Whilst the capital expenditure on costs. these instruments may be large (Table 1), With the advent of micro-computers the returns could easily justify the expen- ¡ came centralised control system architecditure . For example, Thornberg et al ture, where one (central) computer contained all control loops. Whilst this archi(1993) reported that the improvements in N & P removal capacity resulting from tecture offered greater flexibility and facilitated data collection, it was hindered on-line biological nutrient control (using on-line NH 4, NO 3 and PO 4) could result by its dependence on the reliability of the central computer. Computer failure in aeration tank and clarifier volume resulted in an entire loss of the control reductions of up to 300/o. Some of the issues concerned with system. This major difficulty was overcome with the Distributed Control real-time process monitoring are being System (DCS) architecture, now the addressed in Australia. One significant norm in other process industries. activity is an R&D collaboration between A DCS process control system may be considered as consisting of three disTable 1. Instrument costs (without continct levels. At the plant level, localised sumables) controllers, or PLC's, are implemented Instrument {All on-line) Approx Cost $ to automatically r~gulate process variTotal Organic Carbon {TOC) .50,000 ables; such as DO and pH controllers. In Sludge Blanket 13,000 reality, the majority of the effort expend2,.500 Dissolved Oxygen ed here on wastewater treatment plants 30,000-40,000ea Nutrients (NH 4, NO3, PO4) Suspended Solids


â&#x20AC;˘ CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control, University of Queensland


may be to control ancillary equipment (such as blowers, pumps, compressors etc). This is certainly true with large scale processes. 'Sitting above' the local controllers is the Supervisory Control and Data Aquisition (SCADA) system. As th e name suggests, the role of SCADA computers is to monitor and supervise the plant controllers. The strength of this architecture is that if, for any reason, the SCADA computers malfunctioned, the control system (via the localised controllers) will still function. The pinnacle of this control architecture is the Decision Support System. This system will be responsible for process optimisation, quality control (SPC) and data conditioning. This is very much the state-of-the-art in wastewater treatment process control. There is, at present, only one commercial product available which can claim to perform these tasks. The recently developed ST AR (Superior Tuning and Reporting) system was developed by Kruger in Europe and introduced to Australia by ANI-Kruger (Bungaard & Petersen, 1994). It has the role of optimising phosphorous and nitrogen removal, controlling oxygen levels and determining treatment phase lengths (the process is intermittently operated) and has yielded significant reduction in operating cost. There are several recent examples of DCS being introduced into Australian wastewater treatment plants, two of the largest being Luggage point (Brisbane City Council) and Malabar (Sydney Water Board). We envisage that this type of control system hierarchy will become standard in Australian plants over the next decade. While there are definitely economies of scale with this technology, it is worth noting that distributed control systems, with accompanying SCADA system, are economically implemented on medium size municipal plants in Scandinavia (eg 4 Ml/d). This raises the issue of remote monitoring of wastewater treatment facilities. One example of the use of this technology in Australia may be found at Barwon Water (Geelong , Victoria). Barwon Water's philosophy on remote access is to provide a basic alarm, usually generated within the programmable controller, to a Duty Officer. This officer will then access the control system via a laptop computer with the modem via the public telephone network. With the availability of such technology, it is not unreasonable to envisage wastewater treatment plants which are not only monitored, but also computer controlled remotely.

Impediments to Introduction of ICA in Australia As has been discussed, the techological advances in ICA in the wastewater WATER SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 1995

industry over the last few years have been significant. Inadequate instrumentation can no longer be cited as a justifiable reason for resistance to ICA. There are, however, three major stumbling blocks: Lack of control knowledge.

What do we do with the information collected on-line ? In considering the three levels of control discussed, it is fair to say that the localised controllers (PLC's) and SCADA systems are adequately developed for implementation. The unknown link in the chain, however, is the Decision Support System (ie the 'intelligence' of the control system). For example, how do we determine the optimal operating conditions on-line? The Kruger STAR system is the only commercial tool currently developed. In Australia, Project 10.1 of the CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control Ltd, at The University of Queensland, is pursuing research and development work into Decision Support Systems. Such systems will be invaluable when operating closer to process constraints; a growing reality for most process operators. This will clearly become an area of increasing activity. Flexible process design. It is important that ICA is not merely considered after the process design. There is a great deal of sense in performing process design and control simultaneously , as the controllability of the process is intimately coupled to its design and configuration . As such, both should be considered at the design stage. It is no coincidence that many of the curi ent proponents of intermittently operated processes are concerned with plant operation and control. This is quite simply due to the increased flexibility of these systems, which offers far greater scope for process control. Lack of suitable technical/trained staff. It is a fact that the

incorporation of advanced ICA will, require competent operational staff. Over the past six years, Barwon Water (Victoria) have successfully introduced a significant amount of ICA. To facilitate tl1is, they recruited technical staff with a broad experience in industries that had traditionally been at the forefront of process control technology. This is a policy which could clearly be beneficial for other operating companies.

Conclusions Few could argue that the demands upon wastewater treatment processes are increasing, and that the future will be more of the same. Over-design of processes is simply not a justifiable means of control. Processes will be driven harder and forced to operate closer to constraints.

It is inevitable, therefore, that the1 will be an i,pcreased dependence on IC! In summarising the comments of th members of the ICA Specialist Group, would appear that the next decade wi see a growth in Distributed Contrc Systems, on-line instrumentation (e.i nutrient analysers, suspended solids) an remote monitoring (and control?). The acceptance of increased ICA wi require a cultural change in the wast1 water industry , which has traditionall adopted a minimalist approach, with greater dependency on skilled proce! operators.

Help! -

This report was compiled from a sm vey of the members of the IA W( Specialist Group on ICA; a small, bt keen, group of enthusiasts. We ar aware, however, that ICA is a growin interest of many people involved wit the wastewater industry. As such, w would greatly appreciate contact, an, comments, from anyone with an intere! in this rapidly developing field. Th intention is that we may provide a mor comprehensive report at a later date.


This report was compiled with th valuable assistance of the following pea pie: M J McCoy (Barwon Water), Han Regnersgaard (ANI -Kruger), Joh1 Bristow (Simmonds and Bristow), Mub Nalbantoghi, Jeppe Nielsen, Graham Sinclair (Greenspan) , Henrik Aspegre1 (Malmo Water and Sewage Works) am Gus taf Olsson (Lund University Sweden).


Paul Lant is a Lecturer in Chemica Engineering at The University of Q,ueensland. Marc Steffens is a Post-Graduate stu dent in the same department. Both authors ar currently working in Project 70. 7 for Th CRC for Waste Management and Pollutio, Control Ltd.


Bungaard E, Petersen G (1994) Full-scale opera tion results from BNR plants characterisec by steady state op eration, low N and P efflu ent and on -line monitoring and control AWWA BNR2 Conference, Albury, NSW N y b erg U, Asp egr en H and And e rss on B (1993). Integration of On-line Instruments ir the Practical Operation of the Klagshamr Wastewater Treatment Plant, Vatten,. 49, 4 pp 23.5-244. Olsson G (1993) . Advancing ICA Technology b) Eliminating the Constraints. Th e 6th IAW PRC Conference on In strum e ntation Control and Automation of Wastewa te: Tr eatm e nt and Tran sport Sys tem s H amilton, Ontario, Canada Thornberg D E, N eifsen M K, and Anderson ll L, (1993) . Nutri e nt R e moval. On -lint Measurements and Control Strategies. Thi 6th IA WPRC Conferenc e or Instrumentation, Control and Automation o Wast ewat er Treatment and Transpori Systems. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada



DIRECT MEASUREMENT OF BACTERIAL GROWTH IN ACTIVATED SLUDGE PC Pollard*,] Keller, LL Blackall, NJ Ashbolt, PF Greenfield Michael Flynn Award. This paper won the award for the best Poster Paper at the 76th Federal Convention. This award is in memory of Dr. Flynn, a foundation member ofA WWA.

Abstract In biological wastewater treatment processes, the active microbial fraction decomposes organic matter and removes inorganic nutrients . Improving the design, operation and control of these processes relies on the accurate modelling of the microbial population dynamics. The direct measurement of bacterial growth rates could bring about major advances in the accuracy and reliability of these predictive models. The aim of this work was to directly measure bacterial growth rates (activity) in the different compartments of a wastewater treatment process without changing the treatment environment. The technique used to measure growth is novel to the wastewater industry and relies on quantifying newly synthesised bacterial DNA by the rate of incorporation of a radio-labelled nucleic acid. The paper describes how to apply the technique to an activated sludge treatment process and derive useful kinetic parameters such as specific bacterial growth rates (µ), doubling times (td), and biodegradable carbon.

Key Words Bacteria, growth rates , activated sludge, biological nutrient removal, thymidine .

Introduction In wastewater treatment systems, such as in the activated sludge process, accurate measurement of the rate of growth of bacteria is important for the rigorous modelling of the dynamics of these bacterial populations. However, this growth parameter is considered impossible to measure directly because the bacterial population dynamics depend on a very complex array of environmental factors : the quality and quantity of the oxidisable substrate and reducing equivalents and how bacteria interact

The value of .tne technique is its ability to with each other and with their growth environment. quantify the rate of production of new Unfortunately, most of the many bacbacterial biomass in situ, even in a wastewater treatment environment, such as in terial species in activated sludge cannot be cultured outside the treatment envi- activated sludge. ronment. Consequently little is known Wastewater samples.Samples about their function , community struc- from a Biological Nutrient Removal ture or dynamics in the activated sludge (BNR) wastewater treatment system environment (ie in situ). Even for those were used in this study. BNR systems are bacteria that are cultivable, many can generally configured such that the actiexhibit a range of phenotypes and activi- vated sludge system includes one or ties in response to different growth envi- more non-aerate d zones with a single ronment conditions that are unlike those sludge system and a secondary clarifier from which settled sludge is recycled in situ (Lynch and Hobbie, 1988). back into the other zones (Randall et al, Methods often used to measure microbial activity in aerobic activated 1992). Wastewater from the Brendale sludge are oxygen uptake rates (OUR), BNR treatment plant (Pine Rivers Shire measurements of NADH and ATP, activ- Council , QLD Australia) was used for ity of dehydrogenase enzymes and bacte- the measurement of bacterial growth rial plate counts. Plate counts result in rates . The design of this BNR plant is erroneous results. The other techniques based on the UCT (University of Cape are not specific to bacterial cell division Town) system. 'Influent passes through a as they are tied to metabolic processes pre-fermenter, anaerobic, anoxic and that more reflect the physiological state aerobic zones and finall y into the secof the bacterial cell. Droste and Sanchez ondary .clarifier. Bacterial growth rates (1983) critically evaluated some of these were measured in each of these comparttechniques and prefaced their work with ments. the stcl't:ement that the direct measureThe prefermentor, anaerobic, anoxic, aerated and clarifier tanks were sampled ment of the active mass was impossible. To date , no technique has been at a depth of 0. 5 m with a 30 mL syringe. shown to directly measure the growth Sub-samples of 1 mL were transferred rates of bacterial populations in the com- into 10 mL 'venoject"'' blood sample test plex microbial communities of waste - tube with nitrogen gas in head space for water treatments systems. As so aptly put pre-fermenter, anaerobic , clarifier and by Meadow and Pirt (1969). 'There is . anoxic reactors to prevent oxygen transprobably no other technique whose prin- fer to the sample. For aerobic samples air ciples are so often ignored with the result was left in the head space. that experiments are seriously limited, if Assays. Radio-labelled [methyl-'H] not meaningless.' thymidine was purchas ed from ICN This work is dedicated to the direct in Australia Pty. Ltd.at a concentration of situ measurement of the growth rate of 1.0 mCi mL _, in a sterile aqueous solubacteria in wastewater treatment process- tion . Two grades were purchased with es, beginning with activated sludge sys- specific activities of 2 and 35 Ci mmol ' tems. of thymidine , and for the experimental program an intermediate grade of 4 Ci Material and Methods mmol ·1 was prepared by blending. Note: A Curie (Ci) is an amount of Growth rate assay.The principle radioactivity: The specific activity is the of the thymidine technique, in its simplest terms, relies on the fact that bacte- amount of radioactivity per mmol of thymidine. Thus a low specific activity ria assimilate organic matter to produce grade contains mor~ 'cold' thymidine per new bacterial biomass. The cell increases unit of radioactive material. in size until its biomass doubles, then Incubations / assays were started by division occurs. Hence, bacterial growth adding 50µ1 , ie. 50µCi of radioactivity , is an increase in the number of individuals which is marked by the synthesis of new bacterial DNA and cell division . *CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control Ltd The University of Queensland, 4072



to 1 mL of wastewater from each of the different compartments of the activated sludge plant, using the three solutions containing different amounts of thymidine. Care was taken not to allow air into the anaerobic and anoxic samples . Assays were stopped by adding 8 mL ethanol containing 10 mM non-radioactive thymidine. For zero time controls, ethanol was added immediately after the isotope was mixed with the sludge. Samples were stored at 4°C before work up, then centrifuged at 6,000 g for 10 min at room temperature to concentrate the biomass. The supernatant was discarded and 1 mL of 1 M NaOH, containing 10 mM thymidine , was added . Samples were then heated at 65°C for 15 min, vortexed, cooled and centrifuged for 10 min. Supernatant was dialysed in the apparatus of Pollard {1987). After a minimum of 16 hours the samples were poured into graduated test tubes and the volume made to 4 mL and acidified with 200 µL of 100% trichloroacetic acid solution {5% TCA). These samples were boiled for 15 min , cooled and centrifuged, and the radioactivity in 1 mL of the supernatant measured in a scintillation counter after the addition of scintillant {Ready-Safe" Beckman Instruments , Australia) and recorded as disintegrations per minute {dpm). Calculating bacterial growth rates. To calculate the bacterial growth rates, the radioactivity incorporated into bacterial DNA must be converted into the increase in the number of new bacterial cells. Knowing the specific activity (µCi nmo1·1 thymidine) of the [methyl-'H] thymidine, the radioactivity can be converted into th e number of moles of thymidine incorporated into the DNA of actively dividing bacteria, over the incubation period {2.2 x 10" dpm = 1 Ci). Factors used to convert the number of moles of [methyl-3H] thymidine incorporated into DNA to the increase in the number of bacterial cells per unit time {bacterial growth rates) have been determined both empirically and theoretically. There is good agreement between both these methods {Chrost et al, 1988 ). Conversion factors in the literature show that a mean value of 2 x 1o~ bacterial cells are synthesised per nmole of [methyl-'H] thymidine incorporated into DNA (Christensen , 1993) . Therefore, bacterial growth rates in activated sludge can simply be calculated from the number of moles of thymidine (radioactivity ; dpm) incorporated into DNA with the following equation: Bacterial growth rate (cells min -1 ml sludge -1)= Radioactivity(dpm) x [2 x 10 9 cells . nmol -1} [2.2 x 10 '} x [SpeaficActivity Ci . nmol -1}

Calculating biodegradable carbon. After bacterial growth rates were


dilution is known. We obseI"Ved that the highest rates of bacterial growth corresponded to the assays when the lowest specific activities (2 and 4 Ci mmol ·1 ) were employed, ie when a larger amount of thymidine had been used in the assay. In these assays, growth rates were similar, ie. the effect of isotope dilution was minimal, since the source of thymidine used by the bacteria was mostly th e thymidine supplied . These observations were consistent with (cells . min·'. mL x 10 x 60(h) x 24(d) x (100130) the inhibition of de novo biosynthesis x (25. JO ·") =Kg Carbon. m ·'. d ·' pathways observed in previous work (Pollard and Moriarty, 1987; Kornberg Results and Discussion and Baker, 1992) Bacterial growth rates. Bacterial In contrast, when using the stock with growth rates were measured in each of a specific activity of 35 Ci mmol·1 the the compartments of the wastewater estimates of bacterial growth rates were treatment system. To obtain the most sometimes more than an order of magriiinformation from each of these studies tude lower than that determined at 2 or 4 the number of bacterial cells dividing per Ci mmol" 1• In the aerobic tank this differmL were plotted against the time of incu- ence was a factor of three (Fig. 1). This bation of the wastewater with the isotope. suggests that at high specific activities (ie There were three time courses, one for greater that 35 Ci mmol" 1) in situ isotope each of three grades of specific activity of dilution causes an underestimate of the [methyL-3H] thymidine (2, 4 and 35 Ci bacterial growth as de novo thymine synmmo1·1). The slope of each of these plots thesis dilutes the isotope that is incorpowas a measure of the rate of bacterial rated into bacterial DNA. growth. Hence, the best estimates of bacterial Kinetic plots of the incorporation at growth will be made with specific activithe different specific activities for the ties of radioactively labelled thymidine mixed liquor of the aerobic tank are lower than 2 Ci mmol·1 • shown in Fig 1. There was a linear relaGrowth rates and useful tionship between the amount of isotope kinetic parameters. In wastewater a incorporated into bacterial DNA and the variety of factors affect the active bacteritime that the mixed liquor was incubated al community that is responsible for the with the isotope. Similarly, linear rela- removal of organic carbon and the many tionships were found for each of the inorganic ch emical transformations. other compartments with correlation These tnclude protozoan grazing, bactecoefficients all greater than 0.9. ria adapting to substrate , depleting The incorporation of radioactively growth factors , increasing toxins labelled thymidine into dividing bacteria (inhibitors) and binding of substrates to does not appear limited by the rate that solids {Simkins and Alexander, 1984). isotope diffuses through flocculent mater- Today , advanced models are able to ial in the mixed liquor. For the mixed describe some of the mechanisms liquor of the aerobic tank, the isotope involved {Steffens et al, 1995). However, 3 ([methyl- H] thymidine), was rapidly and these advanced models require equally efficiently incorporated into bacteria that advanced techniques to measure kinetic were dividing. This was evident by the . parameters to describe the dynamics of absence of a lag phase {Fig 1) . Similarly, the bacterial population in situ. The work isotope was immediately incorporated in this paper shows that it is possible to into the bacteria for the mixed liquor measure the in situ rate of growth of bacfrom the other compartments, these teria in wastewater. From this basic growth rates are summarised in Table 1. growth measurement other key kinetic In the application of this method to parameters can be determined. wastewater, the [methyl-3H] thymidine Specific bacterial growth rate (µ ) is a incorporated into the bacterial DNA will key parameter in the modelling of wastehave to compete with non-radioactive water treatment processes. Yet, in the thymidine. Sources of thymidine are wastewater industry, there has been no from outside the bacteria as well as with- direct measurement of specific growth in through de novo biosynthetic pathways. rates of bacteria. The thymidine techThese non-radioactive sources dilute the nique described here can be used to amount of [methyVH] thymidine incor- directly measure (in situ) this parameter. porated into the growing bacteria, and The rate of bacterial growth divided the effect is termed isotope dilution by the number of bacteria (or bacterial (Kornberg and Baker, 1992). The thymibiomass) gives a measure of the specific dine technique is a good measure of the bacterial growth rate (µ). Bacterial biorate of bacterial growth when the only mass can be determined by a simple episource of thymidine is the radio labelled fluorescence microscopy technique thymidine supplied in the incubation (Pollard and Kogure, 1993). Also douassay or when the amount of isotope determined, the amount of organic carbon required to support this bacterial growth rate, ie. the biodegradable carbon, was · determined. This calculation assumed that the cells were 30% efficient at converting substrate into their own biomass and that each cell contained 25 femtogram (10 ·15 g) of carbon per cell (Bell, 1993). In the equation, factors of IOii convert mL to m3, while 60 x 24 convert min. to days: 1




bling times (td} of the bacterial community can then be determined from the specific bacterial growth rates where In (2) µ

OUR (oxygen uptake rates} are used to determine the specific bacterial growth rates in wastewater. However, techniques based on the bacterial respiration rates, such as OUR and NADH (Armiger et a~ 1993} can be misleading. Errors can be introduced through physiological stress of bacteria due to temperature or toxins (Staib et a~ 1995). When bacterial populations are not acclimatised to an environment, increases in bacterial respiration may not necessarily be associated with an increase in bacterial numbers, (ie bacterial growth}. Toxins and inhibitors have a marked impact on the efficiency of the bacterial degradative reactions in wastewater treatment. The direct measurement of the inhibition of bacterial growth rates could be used to monitor the influx of growth inhibitors into a treatment plant. The measurement of bacterial growth is also important for determining kinetic constants when modelling degradation processes (Chudoba et a~ 1992}. In studies of batch activated sludge, for exam-

pie, the existing technology often leads to false interpretation of results (Chudoba et al, 1991 ). Parameters currently used to indirectly determine whether or not bacterial cell multiplication will take place (during exogenous substrate removal} include the ratio of the initial substrate concentration to the biomass: S/X0 This ratio can be used to identify when bacteria are rapidly multiplying to optimise the modelling of the microbiological degradation processes (Chudoba et al, 1992; Ho, 1994). The thymidine technique directly measures the bacterial cell division and so may be used to replace the S/X 0 ratio as an indicator of the growth state of the bacterial population. Reducing the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD 5) associated with suspended and dissolved organic compounds is a major objective of wastewater treatment plants. BOD is a measure of the oxygen required by the bacterial population to degrade substrates in the wastewater (Eckenfelder, 1989) . While the method is classically accepted in the wastewater industry, it is a lengthy (5 d} and variable test. Knowing the respiratory efficiency and cell carbon content of the bacteria, the actual carbon uptake can be directly determined from the measurements of bacterial growth

Table 1. Summary of the bacterial growth rates and biodegradable carbon uptake rate in the different compartments of the Brendale activated sludge treatment plant Compartment

Bacterial Growth Rate

Biodegradable Carbon

Uptake Rate

{10'. cells. mL'. min·1) Prefermentor Anaerobic Anoxic Aerobic Clarifier


0 ,-



11 5.0



0.1 3 ± 0.07 0.59 ± 0.06 2.52 ± 0.44 4.'51 ± 0.15 0.16 ± 0.04

± 0.06 ± 0.05 ± 0.37 ± 0.1 2 ± 0.03

2 Ci mmol-1 4 Ci mmoI-1


• 35 Ci mmoI-1

4.0 3.0 2.0

Q) +-'




1.0 0.0







Time (min) figure 1. Bacterial growth in the aerobic compartment of the Brendale activat~d sludge

treatment process at three specific activities. Rates ofbacterial growth are shown (70 6.cells.mL ·1.min ·1J. 36

Acknowledgements This work is funded by the CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control Limited, a centre established and supported under the Australian Government's Cooperative Research Centre Program, and an Australian Postgraduate Research Award granted to PC Pollard.

Handbook of Methods in Aquatic Microbial Ecolof{j, Lewis Publishers, London, 495-504.



Improving the design, operation and control of biological wastewater treatment processes depends on robust models which in turn rely on the accurate measurement of bacterial growth rates. The radio-labelled thymidine technique can be directly applied to activated sludge treatment processes with pre-fermentation, anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic environments. This allows the direct, in situ, measurements of the bacterial growth rates in these systems. Also, other important wastewater kinetic paramet~rs can be determined, these include specific bacterial growth rates (µ}, bacterial do~bling times (td} , biodegradable orgamc carbon and S/X0 ratio as a measure of the growth state. Major advances in t?e accuracy and reliability of these predictive models could be obtained by routinely incorporating in situ measurements of bacterial growth rates.





Armiger, W. B., G. J. Lee, B. R. Schwegler, and Mah, T. J. (1993) Control of BNR processes by regulation of the VF AIM ratio. Water Science and TechnolOf{j, 28, 303-314. Bell, R. T. {1993) Estimating production of heterotrophic bacterioplankton via incorporation of tritiated thymidine. In P. F. Kemp, B. F. Sherr, E. B. Sherr, & J. J. Cole {Eds.),




0.11 0.49 2.10 3.76 0.13

{kg C . m'. d·1)

rates (Table 1) in a 5 min thymidine assay. This is b~d on the fact that the organic carbon taken up is used for energy production and creating new bacterial biomass.


in parenthesis

Christensen, H . (1993) Conversion Factors For Th e Thymidine Incorporation Technique Estimated With Bacteria In Pure Culture And On Seedling Roots . Soil Biolof{j and Biochemistry, 25, 108.5-1096. Chrost, R.J.,J. Overbeck, and Wcislo, R. (1988) Evaluation of the [3H] thymidine method for estimating bacterial growth rates and production in lake water: reexamination and methodological comments . Acta Microbiologica Polonica, 37, 95-112. Chudoba, P., Capdevill e, B. and Chudoba, J. (1992). Explanation of biological meaning of S 0 / X 0 ratio in batch cultivation . Water Science and Technolof{J, 26, (3,474) 3-751. Chudoba, P., Capdeville, B. and Chudoba, J. ( 1991 ). Synchronised division of activated slu dge microorganisms. Water Science and Technolof{J, 25,(7) 817-822. Droste, R .L., and Sanchez , W.A. (198 3) Microbial activity in aerobic sludge digestion. Water Research, 17, 97.5-983. Eckenfe ld er, W .W. (1989) Industrial Water Pollution Control. Mcgraw -Hill Book Company, New York.


Ho, K. (1994) 'Biological nutrient removal in activated sludge processes with low F/ M, sludge bulking control.' Ph . O thesis, Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Australia. Kornberg, A. and Baker, T . A. (1992). 'DNA Replication'. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York. Lynch, J.M ., and Hobbi e, J.E . (Ed. ) (1988) Micro-organisms in Action: Concepts and App li cat ion in Microbial Ecology. Blackwells Scientific Publications, Oxford. Meadow, P. M . an d Pirt, S. j. (E d .) (1969 ). Microbial Growth. Cambridge University Press, London. Pollard, P.C. (1987). Dialysis: a simple method of separating labelled bacterial DNA and tritiated thymidine from aquatic se dim en ts. journal ofMicrobiolgical Methods, 8, 91 -101. Pollard, P.C., and Kogure, K. (1993) Bacterial decomposition in the CaCO3 sedim ent of a tropi cal seagrass (Syringodium iso etifolium) bed. In 'Tr op ic al Seagrass Ecosystems; Structure and Dynamics in the Indo-West Pacific' . Australian journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 44, 155-172 Pollard, P.C., and Moriarty, DJ.W . (1984). Validity of isotope dilution of-tritiated thymidine during incorporation into DNA as an estimate of bacterial growth rates . Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 48, 10761083. Randall, C. W. , Barnard,]. L., and Stensel, H. D. (Ed.) (1992). D esign and retrofit of wastewater treatment plants for biological nutrient removal. Technomic Publishing Co. In c., Lancaster, USA Staib, C.I., Lant, P.A., Greenfield, P.F. and Davis,]. (1995) Model identification for activated sludge treatment of industrial waste water: a case study. Proc . 16th Federal Convention A WWA, pp 883-890, Sydney. April Simkins, S., and Alexander, M. (1984). Models for the mineralisation kinetics with th e variable of substrate concentration and population d ens it y. Applied Environmental Microbiology, 47, 1299-1306. Steffens, M.A., Lant, P.A., Newell, R.B . and O lsson, G. (1995) Advancing instrumentation and automation in the Australian wastewater indu stry. Proc . 16th Federal Convention AWWA, pp 3 11 -316, Sydney. April

Authors All the authors are collaborators in the CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control. Peter Pollard is a Microbial Ecologist working towards a Ph.D in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Microbiology, University of Queensland, developing and applying molecular diagnostic techniques with a view to improving process control in biotechnology He graduated M.Sc. in Biochemistry, La Trobe University, in 7979. Subsequently he worked at CSJROs Division ofFisheries for fourteen years, examining the role of bacterial populations in the trophic dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. Jurg Keller is a Senior Lecturer and Paul Greenfield is Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Linda Blackall is a Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology. Nicholas Ashbolt is Associate Professor in the School of Water Engineering, University ofNew South Wales. WATER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1995

BOOKS Activated Sludge Theory and Practice NF Gray. Oxford University Press 1990. ISBN 019 856 3418. 272 pages. $160from OUP Melbourne. Dr N F Gray is a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin and has authored previous text books in this field. The book is intended for engineers, scientists and plant operators. It is commended for its innovative approach in firstly examining the microbiology of the biomass, then using this approach to highlight the important process design parameters, in a style which is easily understood by general readers. The author emphasises that the most important function is the flocculant nature of the biomass. The floes must be efficient in adsorption and absorption of the organics in the wastewater and also settle rapidly in the sedimentation tank. Various types of biomass are examined under the microscope to assess whether the filamentous organisms would cause poor settlability. As a chemical engineer I found the sections on bacteria, fungi and protozoa fascinating. I never knew that the grazing protozoa can constitute 5-120/o of the dry weight of the MLSS, or that naked amoeba are associated with heavily-loaded plants and testate amoeba with lightly loaded plants (poor blighters) The "b ook is especially useful for operational problems such as deflocculation, pin-floe, foaming and filamentous bulking and there is also a useful troubleshooting guide for operators with nonbulking problems. The opening chapters cover fundamental concepts such as microbial growth, Monad's equation and optimum floe size. This leads on to well-written sections on process control, aeration methods and process configurations. Other chapters trace the history of the activated sludge process from Ardern and Lockett in 1913 through to the Deep Shaft, pure oxygen and the A-B system. One of the strengths of the book is that it is written by an academic with no vested interest in proprietary processes. There are 20 pages of references, but a glossary would have been useful. The book is small so some aspects such as denitrification and modelling are only briefly discussed, but it is very readable and could easily be expanded in future editions

P Keighery, Rust PPK Pty Ltd

Engineering Risk Analysis of Water Pollution: Probabilities and Fuzzy Sets Jacques G Ganoulis 1994 ISBN 3527-30050-3 VCH Weinheim. 136 DM. The assessment of risk is at best an imprecise science. This book seeks to provide a basis for quantitative assessment of the risks associated with water pollution . T.w¡o approaches are explained: a stochastic or probabilistic (eg Monte Carlo simulation) system and the fuzzy set theory. The latter is a new approach for accounting for the uncertainty particularly as an alternative where the other fails . Since few readers are likely to have a working knowledge of fuzzy set theory, a basic outline is presented. Consequently readers must be prepared to work at coming to terms with considerable new theoretical material before being able to appreciate a practical application. However, readers will appreciate the Australian case studies which derive from the author's sojourn at the University of Melbourne. Water quality issues discussed and assessed in detail include risk in coastal water pollution, risk in river water quality and risk in groundwater contamination. In each, the focus is on assessment of uncertainty and on reliability and risk of failure of ¼arious processes, rather than a detailed consideration of each of the contributing factors. Once the framework is determine, the techniques may be used to undertake assessment with limited data and uncertain events. Risk management issues and decision making in the context of uncertainty are considered. The book makes a valuable contribution to the available literature and for those working in the field of environmental and engineering risk analysis in the water industry it is worth considering, however, it is not one for those scared off by differential equations and new mathematical theory.

S McConnell, CMPS&F Environmental.

Warragamba and Burragorang Hans Bandier, 1995. ISBN 0 9592327 7 X. 'I'he Oaks Historical Soc. 2750. $4.00. Hans worked for over 25 years in the Sydney Water Board ~ainly on design of hydraulic structures. This very short monograph is a history of the two valleys which , when submerged by the W arragamba Dam, provided the bulk of Sydney's water supply. 37

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Water Journal September - October 1995  

Water Journal September - October 1995