Page 1

Volume 23 No 6 November/December 1996 Austra lian Water & Wastewater Association Journal

Editorial Board F R Bishop, Chairman B N Anderson, G Cawston, M R C hapman P Draayers, W J Dulfer, GA H older M Muntisov, P Nadebaum, J D Parker AJ Pri estley, ] Rissman


Advertising & Administration AWWA Federal Office Editorial: H elen C umming Advertising: Sandra Brennan PO Box 388 Artarmon NSW 2064 Level 2, 44 Hampden Road, Artarmon Tel (02) 94 13 1288 Fax (02) 9413 1047


Branch Correspondents ACT - Ian Bergman Tel (06) 248 3133 Fax (06) 248 3806 New South Wales - Mitchell Laginestra Tel (02) 941 2 9974 Fax (02) 9412 9876 Northern Territory - Ken Mcfarlane Tel (089) 24 7363 Fax (089) 24 7161 Queensland - Ted Cusack Tel (07) 3244 9600 Fax (07) 3244 9699 South Australia - Peter Martin Tel (08) 8303 8723 Fax (08) 8303 8750 Tasmania - Dao Norath Tel (03) 62332 596 Fax (03) 623 47 559 Victoria - Mike Muntisov Tel (03) 9600 1100 Fax (03) 9600 1300 Western Australia - Jane Oliver Tel (09) 420 2462 Fax (09) 420 3178

Water (ISSN 0310 • 0367) is published six times per year: January, March, May.July, September, November by

2 4

From the Federal President From the Executive Director MY

Features Editor EA (Bob) Swinton 4 Pleasant View Cres, Glen Waverly Vic 3150 Tel/Fax (03) 9560 4752





Post Budget Thoughts on Education and Training for the Water Industry


D avid Waite WATER Drought Management for Victorian Urban Water Supplies


RMoran Some Overseas Impressions


P Mo sse Ozone Technology Seminar Report


WASTEWATER The 'FILTER' Technique for Land Treatment of Sewage Effluent


NS Jayawardane, J Blackwell Water Quality International '96 Chemical and Petrochemical Industry Seminar Report

Australian Water & Wastewater Inc

22 28


ARBN 054 253 066

Federal President Mark Pascoe

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 service to readers and are reviewed by the Editor before publication to ensure their relevance to the water environment and to the objectives of the Association. All material in Water is copyright and should not be reproduced wholly or in part without the written pennission of the Editor.

Subscriptions Water is sent to all AWWA members as one of the privileges of membership. Non-members can obtain Water on subscription at an annual subscription rate of S35 (surface mail).

The Pollutec Stormwater Pollution Trap: Fleld Trials


RA Allison, T H F Wong, T A McMahon Port Phllllp Bay Environmental Study


Reviewed by EA (Bob) Swinton BUSINESS Contracting Out: Another Management Fad?


G Hodge Alliance Type Contracts In the Water Industry


S Brown, G Simpson, J Ricketts Quallty Accreditation In the Water Industry


R Cooper DEPARTMENTS International Afflllates National Afflllates From the Bottom of the Well New Products Meetings

5 7

2 17 49




developments have taken place at a national and state level which have required and/or facilitated a shift from Abstract reactive responses to a pro-active 'risk This paper describes the developmanagement' approach. ment of a drought management plan for The Water Act (1989) Victoria. A the Victori~n water sector by the new Water Act was introduced in Victorian Department of Natural Victoria in 1989 which initiated many Resources & Environment (formerly changes: the Department of Conserva ti on & • local water authorities were granted Natural Resource s). Emphasis is given more autonomy, under general supervito the short term and long term sion by the Minister for Water planning guideline s that h ave been Resources via the annual approval of an developed to assist urban water authorauthority's business plan. They are now ities to formalise their own comprehenexpected to be self-sufficient in sive risk managem en t strategies for planning for and managing their dealing with drought. Such supplies at all times , including strategies involve the integradrought periods. tion of short term 'drought Drought response has been characterised • a framework for formalising response' planning and longer by a crisis management approach water rights in Victoria was term 'strategic' planning for introduce1 which provides the water supply system, with the basis for granting bulk the aim of ensuring that 'accep table' water entitlements (BWEs) These neous demand on drilling resources. quantities of water will be available to Many au thorities required significant BWEs can be traded on a permanent or consumers at all times. Progress to date assistance from government in the form temporary basis . This new system ·will by Victorian water authorities in impleprovide authorities with more flexibilof technical advice and financial subsidies. menting the planning guidelines is Typically, the application of restric- ity 111 manag111g supplies during described. · ti ons on supplies led to calls by the drought. In addition, the existence of public and politicians for the construc- well defined rights to water will Key Words tion of more sto rages by 'the govern- minimise the disputes which inevitably ment' to ensure that sufficient water arise in times of drought. Drought planning, drought manage• only in a severe and widespread ment , security of supply, risk management would be available to satisfy demand during future drought periods. As a drought is the Minister likely to conse quence , many of the State's exercise powers given to him in the Introduction were constructed in ·the years Water Act to declare a water shortage storages The State of Victoria has a long immediately following a drought. and qualify those rights to water. history of drought and has experienced This lack of drought planning and New national drought policy. A four major droughts in the past 30 years the reactive response on the part of National Drought Policy was -in 1967-68, 1972-73, 1976-78 and many water authorities reflects a announced in August 1992, which 1982-83. Despite this history, there has emphasises self-reliance in the planning been a reluctance to accept drought as a perception of drought as an infrequent, abnormal event which temporarily and management of drought response. 'normal' occurrence. As a consequence, No assistance will be available for water disrupts 'n ormal' activities. This drought re~ponse has been characauthorities perception was reinforced by the proviin drought times (except terised by a crisis management of 'disaster' assistance by the State in very 'exceptional' circumsion perhaps approach, resulting in many inefficiencies in response (Keating, 1992; Moran and Federal Governments, which stances). The ethos of self-sufficiency included the reimbursement of expen- formalised in the Victorian Water Act is and Rhodes , 1993). consistent with this new National The major problems in past droughts diture incurred by water authorities on have occurred with non-metropolitan water cartage and emergency ground- Drought Policy. Increasing vulnerablllty to drought. urban supplies. Scattered throughout water bores . There was therefore little for water authorAs noted previously, many of the State's institutional incentive Victoria, there are around 345 towns (with a total population of aro und 1 ities to carry out appropriate planning storages were constructeq in the years to enhance their state of drought immediately following drought periods. million) serviced by local water authorpreparedness. However, this era has come to an end. ities. At the time of the 1982-83 If water supply development were to drought, there were over 300 local Recent Developments continue at the same rate as the current authorities (water trusts and local growth in water consumption (2% per Since th e last major drought 111 councils) with water supply functions. annum), Victoria will have developed Few authorities had contingency plans Vi ria in 1982-83, a number of

R Moran



for responding to droughts, other than having restriction policies in place. Re strictions were implemented as the need was recognised (often not early eno ugh) and as the politics of the situation allowed. In many cases, restri ction s alone were not adequate to conserve dwindling supplies and other emergency measures (s uch as the installation of gro undwa ter bores and water cartage), had to be devise d and implemented at short notice. Difficulties were encountered with the timely provision of emergency supplies, e.g. delays of two to three months because of the simulta-

WATER all of its available water resources within 35 years (DCE, 1991). It is clear that m ore efficient use n~eds to be made of available resources. Already, financial realities and pressures from the environmental lobby are resulting in the deferral of many construction programs and in supply systems being operated with less available water in drought periods. M any water authoriti es have implem ented demand managem ent succes sful programs , which m eans that their customers are becoming more conservative water users. H owever, as a consequence, in the event of a dro ught, the short- term savings made by introducing restrictions will be smaller than in the past. Improvements In forecasting rainfall deficiencies. Since 1982-83, significant

advances have been made in understanding the El Nino ph eno m enon which is associated with the occurrence of widespread drou ght in eas tern Australia. The Bureau of M eteorology now provides regular forecas ts of seasonal rainfalls (three month s in advance). T his information can provide valuable lead time for auth orities 111 preparing fo r and responding to drought. Increasing sophistication of water resources planning techniques. There

have also been significan t advan ces in the analytical techniques available fo r water reso urces planning. These techniques, which include simulation modelling of system s using stochastically- generated data, have the potential to provide water managers with a more sophisticated understanding of sys tem performance and security of supply. In turn , this should facilitate more effi cient operation of supply systems, including the development of appropriate operational strategies fo r dro ught periods. H ow ever, local water authoriti es throughout Victoria (p articularly the smaller ones) have been slow to adopt these more sophisticated techniques.

effec tive response to drought • long term planning is about managmg the ri sk-within resource constrain ts-by ensuring that water supply system s are designed to provide an appropri ate level of se curity of supply. The distinction is somewhat arbitrary as there are stro ng links between the two co mp onen ts. In dec iding what con stitutes an 'appropriate' level of sec urity of supply, trade- offs will need to be made be twee n the costs of im prove d sys tem sec urity (su ch as additional storage) and the risks of, and cos ts associated with , water shortages of varying severi ty and duration (including the cos ts of providing em erge ncy supplies). A 'drought management plan ' thus needs to integrate planning for short term drough t response and long term strategic planning fo r the supply system , with the aim of ensuring that 'acceptable' quantities of water are available to consumers at all times. T hree majo r produ cts are being deve loped as part of the drought management plan projec t: • S hort T erm Planning G uidelines for Victo ria n Wate r A uthorities • Long T erm Plann ing G uidelines f or Victo rian Water Authorities • A D rouiht R esponse Plan fo r the Victoria n Water Secto r. T he two se ts of planning guidelines, which are designed to help authorities wi th th eir dro ugh t planning, are disc ussed in m ore detail below. With proper planning by authorities, it is expec ted that mos t droughts will be handled at the local/regional level. H owever, in the event of a severe and w idespread dro ught , the drought

Short Term Plannlng Guldellnes The short term planning guidelines (DNREa, in prep) outline a six step framework (summarised in Table 2) that w ater authoritie s n eed to follow in preparing for drought and coping with it when it occurs-i. e. in developing a drought response plan (DRP) . This framework was adapted from approaches to drought planning used in the USA (AmWWA, 1984; Wilhite, 1990). Such a DRP incorporates not only the sequential actions to be carried out as water shortages threaten, but also all the pre-drought activities necessary to ensure timely implementation of effective action as conditions become drier, and a post-drought review phase

Table 1 Steps in developing a drought response plan Phase Pre-drought




Set the overa ll framework and goa ls for the plan : • review past experience during drought • define the overall supply context (system yield and security of supply) • define the overall legal and institutional context • set (quantitative) goals for system operations


Identify and eva lu ate response options: • identify possible demand reduction and supply enhancement measures • evaluate these measures from a technica l and financial viewpoint, the social and environmental impacts, and the institutional/legal requirements and constraints • identify gaps in information


Develop a sequential plan of action for responding to drought: • establish a system for monitoring early warning signs and system status (including the identification of suitable 'triggers' for the various stages of response)' • develop sequential plan for demand reduction/supply ,enhancement • develop a system for monitoring the effectiveness of actions during droughts


Identify and implement necessary pre-drought phase activities arising out of step 3



Plan implementation



Post-drought evaluation and revision of plan

Drought Management Plan for Victoria's Water Resources In late 1989, work began on a drought m anage ment plan fo r the Victorian water sec tor (M oran and Rhodes, 1991). Emphasis was given to improving drought resp ons e in the non-metropolitan urban component of the water sec tor. It was convenient to divide the dro ught planning into two components: • short term planning 1s abou t minimising the impacts of dro ught (on consumers, on the authority, and on the environment) by appropriate management of the situation- i.e. it is about having appropriate 'drought response plans' in place to ensure a timely and

response plan which is currently being developed for the whole Victorian water sector will provide a coordinated response at State level. In addition to these major products, a history of drought and water shortage in Victoria has been prepared (Keating, 1992) , together with a number of background technical reports on a range of topics relating to short and long term drought planning. Topics relating to short term planning include demand reduction strategies (Semple, 1993a), supply enhancement strategies (Semple, 19936) , water shortage indices (Srikanthan & Stewart, 1992) and an inventory of emergency groundwater bores (Bartley, 1992; Bartley et al, 1992) . Topics relating to long term planning include water supply performance m easures (Rhodes, 1992), risk in headworks planning and management (Rhodes, 1993) and a Low Flow Atlas for Victorian Strea ms (Nathan & Weinmann , 1993).



WATER • consumer expectations in relation to, and participation in decisions about, security of supply • risk assessment and managementincluding the economic and social impacts of shortfalls in supply, use of modelling, sensitivity of results, appropriate levels of risk. While appropriate levels of risk are Current Australian practice In yleld discussed in general terms in this estimation and security of supply section, desirable limits of risk (security specification. This section describes of supply) for Victorian water supply initiatives by national and state agencies systems are not specified. This is consisto promote appropriate planning tent with the recommendation made by techniques for water supply systems. An the Australian Water Resources Australian Water Resources Council Council (AWRC, 1989) that 'in preferworkshop on risk and reliability in the ence to adopting standard levels of planning and management of water supply reliability, decisions on risk supply systems was held in November should be specifically related to the 1988 (AWRC, 1989). The issues, economic, social- and environmental conclusions and recommendations circumstances and objectives of the arising out of the workshop are particular supply region' . This approach represents a major discussed under four headings: shift from traditional practice in • description of risk and reliability • factors determining decisions on Victoria. In the past, decisions about 'appropriate' levels of security of supply reliability • means of varying consumption have typically been based on subjective judgements made by engineers about between normal and dry years what constitutes 'acceptable' levels of • methods for analysing reliability. Long term planning techniques. risk for urban consumers. The most This section provides information and commonly used forms of security criteria have been based on an analysis of practical guidance on: Long Term Plannlng Guldellnes • data requirements for long term system behaviour during critical periods As noted previously, authorities were planning-including streamflow, climate (usually the worst h1storical drought) slow to adopt sophisticated analyses of and demand data, data extension, data and have involved the provision of some system - performance and security of generation, demand models, environ- 'carry-over' storage. Where more sophisticated simulasupply. Therefore, there was a need to mental flows, bulk entitlements, system tion studies using stochastically-generprovide water planners (authorities and characteristics their consultants) with practical • yield estimation, system performance ated data have been carried out, the guidance on such techniques, along and security of supply-including specification of security criteria can be with techniques that will enable them to definitions of yield and security of extended to include the frequency , make informed trade-offs between long supply, factors affecting yield, use of severity and duration of shortfall term and short term management performance measures, appropriate periods. However, even in these situastrategies. methods for assessing yield and system tions, the actual criteria adopted have The long term planning guidelines performance, the derivation of operat- typically still been based on subjective (DNREb, in prep .) are aimed at provid- ing rule curves and their impact on judgements by engineers about acceptable levels of risk. Little attention has ing this information. They are divided security of supply been given to examining the benefits and costs associated with different levels Table 2 Steps in developing a drought management plan of risk. A framework for considering the Step relative merits of different security Teak criteria is provided in Section III of the 1 Define desirable (quantitative) objec_ tives for system operations guidelines. 2 to ensure more effective response m future. To assist authorities with their planning, two 'case studies' were carried out for the Stawell and Bright urban systems to illustrate the step-by-step application of the short term planning guidelines in developing DRPs. In the case of Stawell, the DRP involved the development of target curves for the city's major supply storages, which indicated when supplementary pumping from a nearby irrigation storage (Lake Fyans) should be initiated, and when various levels of restrictions on water use should be applied. The case study for Bright involved setting triggers for the various drought response actions based on the baseflow recession curve for the Ovens River from which supplies are drawn . Response actions included the application of restrictions on water use, pumping from dredge holes adjacent to the river, and the use of emergency groundwater bores. A full description of these case studies is given in HydroTechnology (1993a, 19936). A summary of the planning guidelines is given in Appendix A of these case studies.

into three major sections: • Review of Current Australian Practice in Yield Estimation and Security of Supply Specification ~ Long Term Planning Techniques • Guidelines for Integrating Short Term and Long Term Planning to Produce a Drought Management Plan (DMP). -

Identify the risks of, and the Impacts associated with, supply shortfalls given the existing system: (a) determine the yield and security of supply for the existing system (expressed In terms of the probability of occurrence of shortfall events of varying severity and duration) for current and projected future demand levels (b) determine the Impacts (social, economic and environmental) of shortfall events


Identify strategies (demand reduction/supply enhancement) for managing the risks and Impacts of periods of shortfalls In supply: (a) Identify 'short term' options (and costs) for minimising the Impacts of shortfall periods of varying degrees of severity and duration (b) Identify 'long term' options (and costs) for reducing the likelihood of occurrence of shortfall periods of varying degrees of severity and duration


Examine trade-offs between options identified in step 3 to arrive at an 'optimum' mix of short term and long term options for managing the risks and impacts


Review and update drought response plans, strategic plans and business plans


Develop a framework for monitoring and evaluating system performance to determine whether changing conditions necessitate a review of the strategic plan &/or the business plan



Integrating short term and long term planning In a DMP. The objective

of a DMP is to ensure that 'acceptable' quantities of water will be available to consumers at all times. It consists of two components: • a long term 'strategic plan' for water supply based on: -an evaluation of the yield and security of supply for the water supply system -the adoption of an appropriate level of security of supply to be provided by the supply system -the development of management options (demand reduction and/or supply enhancement measures) to meet

WATER security of supply objectives over an analysis, a sophis_ticated trade-off analy- 18 regional water authorities in early appropriate planning horizon sis is simply not warranted in some 1995, so considerable variation in • a 'drought response plan' which is situations. However, in many situations response could be expected. Authorities were first asked to designed to provide a timely and (particularly for larger systems) there is efficient response to drought when it significant potential for large savings to concentrate on their short term occurs, and which is tailored to the level be made by examining such trade-offs response to drought, to ensure that appropriate contingency plans were in of security provided by the system at in detail. One of the more detailed approaches place should a drought occur. In any point in time. Decisions about 'appropriate' levels described in the planning guidelines is November 1991, they were asked to of security of supply are therefore key to hydro- economic risk analysis (Rhodes, submit draft drought response plans developing a DMP and need to be made 1993). This approach can be used to (DRPs) with their 1992-93 Business by individual authorities based on a arrive at least- cost trade- offs between Plans. About 80% of the then 110 water different combinations of short term authorities sub~itted draft drought thorough understanding of: • system yield response options and long term system response plans. The quality of these augmentations which provide different plans varied considerably. In February • system behaviour under stress • the risks of, and economic, social and levels of security of supply. Using 1993, seminars on drought response environmental impacts associated with hydro-economic analysis, the likelihood planning were held at four locations in water shortages of varying degrees of of shortfall periods of varying severity the State to clarify the key issues (such severity and duration and duration and the costs of dealing as system yield and security of supply) · • the trade-offs between the costs of w· th them can be weighed against the which had not been well addressed in short term drought impacts and costs of improving system security and many plans. . In 1993, the number of authorities response measures and the costs of thus reducing the frequency, severity longer term improvements in security and duration of shortfall periods. This had been reduced to 85, and they were of supply approach has the potential for produc- requested to submit detailed drought • consumers' preferences for different ing an ' optimum' mix of short term and response plans by December 1993. Approximately 50% of them complied levels of risk and their willingness to pay long term options. with this request. The majorfor improvements in security ity of those that did not, were of supply. authorities about to be Table 2 provides a frame- In the past, decisions have been based on amalgamated into larger work for considering these subjective judgements made by engineers regional authorities. The issues and arriving at an majority of submitted plans appropriate mix of short term about what constitutes •acceptable' were satisfactory. Detailed drought response options and levels of risk feedback on the submitted long term strategies designed plans was provided. As it to provide an appropriate level Regardless of the method utilised, a happened, many authorities had to of security of supply (i.e. a DMP). Some of the steps are similar to those involved range of viable options covering a range implement the early phases of their in developing a DRP. However, in of levels of security of supply should be DRPs in the summer of1994-95. By December 1995, detailed DRPs developing a DMP, it will probably be identified and the trade-offs between necessary to carry out a more detailed costs and security of supply explicitly set for all supply systems were required evaluation (particularly of system yield out. Ideally, consumers' preferences from the new regional water authorities. and security of supply) than was carried with respect to the various options However, some of them had inherited a out for the DRP. would then be canvassed as one input large number of systems and had difficulty in meeting this deadline. By April The process outlined in Table 2 is into the decision making process. In identifying the preferred mix of 1996, detailed DRPs had been not strictly sequential as a few iterations may be required to arrive at a compro- options, an authority will then have set completed for approximately 80% of all mise between desirable and feasible in place the framework for its long term systems and work is continuing on the objectives for system operations. Also, 'strategic' plan for water supply and a remaining 20%. Full DMPs (integrating drought the extent of the analyses carried out in DRP which is tailored to suit the level Step 2 a will depend in part on the of security of supply for the system at response planning with longer term strategic planning for water supply information arising out of other steps. any point in time. For example, if the impacts of shortfalls Two further case studies have recently issues) will subsequently be required in supply are small (Step 2 b) or there been completed (for Broadford-Kilmore from authorities. are relatively inexpensive ways of and for Maryborough) which illustrate dealing with them (Step 3 a) there is the development of full drought Concluslon little justification for undertaking a management plans based on the above Together, the short term and long sophisticated analysis of system guidelines (HydroTechnology, 1996a term planning guidelines and the associperformance. and 1996b, Weinmann & Erlanger, ated case studies provide a useful tool Step 4 is the key to integrating short 1996). A seminar describing the results for water authorities to use in developterm and long term planning for of these case studies will be held in late ing effective risk-based drought drought. The Planning guidelines 1996. management strategies. Already, outline a variety of ways in which the considerable progress in improving selection of an appropriate mix of long lmplementatlon authorities' preparedness for drought and short term response options can be These drought planning require- has been made, and detailed drought accomplished. These approaches vary ments have been introduced during a response plans are in place for about considerably in their level of sophistica- period of progressive restructuring of 80% of the non-metropolitan urban tion, varying from the use of subjective the Victorian water industry. This has supply systems throughout the State. judgement to methods involving resulted in a reduction of the number of Plans for the remaining supply systems detailed technical and financial analyses . authorities from over 300 in 1982, to are expected to be completed by As with the yield and security of supply about 110 in 1992, 80 in 1994, and to December 1996. WATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996


WATER The technical skills of the recentlycreated, larger regional water·authorities should be adequate to carry out the next implementation phase of the planning guidelines. This phase involves developing comprehensive drought management plans for the supply sys tems under their control.

References AWRC 1989. Proceedings of the National Workshop on Planning and Management of Water Resource Systems; R.i sk and Reliability. D epartment of Primary Industries and Energy. AWRC Conference Series No. 17, G C Dandy and AR Simpson (eds), AGPS, Canberra, 412 pp . AmWWA 1984. Before the Well Runs Dry: Vol. Il- A H andbook on Drought M anage m ent. American Water Works . Association , Denver, Colorado, 62 pp. Bartley J G 1992. An Inven tory of Drought Relief Bores 111 Victoria. Drought Management Plan for Victori a's Water Resources , Background R eport - SS, Department of Water Reso urces, Victoria. Bartley JG Rhodes, BG, & M oran, RJ , 1992. · Status of Drought R elief Bores in Victoria. Drought Management Plan for Victoria's Water R eso urces, Background Report-S4, Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Victoria, 12 pp. D CE (1991). Water Victoria: The Next Hundred Y ea rs. Department of Co nserva tion & Environment, Victoria, 242 pp. DNRE_a (in prep .). Short Term Planning Guidelines for Victo rian Water Authorities. Drought Management Plan for Victoria's Water Reso urces, Department of Conservation & Natural Resources Victoria. ' DNRE_b (in prep. ). Long Term Planning Gmdelines for Victorian Water Authorities. Drought Management Plan for Victo ria's Water Resources, D epartment of Conservati on & Natural Resources Victoria. ' H ydroTechnology 1993a. Drought R esponse Plan: A Case Study for the Bright District Water Board. Prepared for the D epartment of Co nservation & Natural R eso urces, Drought Management Plan for Victoria's Water Resources, Report SG2, Department of Conservation & Natural Resources , Victoria, 89 pp. H ydroTechnology 19936. Drou ght Response Plan: A Case Study for the Seawell Water Board. Prepared for the Department of Conservation & Natural R eso urces D ro ught Management Plan for Victoria'; Water R eso urces, Report-SG4, D epartment of Co nserva ti on & Nat ural R eso urces, Victoria , 11 8 pp. 1996a. D ro ught H ydro Techno logy Managemen t Plan: A Case Study for the M aryboro ugh Supply Sys tem. Prepared for the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources , Drought Management Plan for Victoria's Water Resources , Report - LG1, (in prep.). H ydro Technology 19966. Dro ught Management Plan: A Case Study for the Broadford-Kilmore Supply System. Prepared for the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources Drought Management Plan for Victoria'; Water R esources, Report - LG2, (in prep.). Keating J _1992. T he Drought Walked Through: A History of Water Shortage in Victoria. D epartment of Water R esources, Victoria, 304 pp. Leonard J 1992. An Overview of Victoria's Gro undwater Resource s. Drought



Management Plan for Victoria's Water Reso urces, Background Report - S3, Department of Water R eso urces, Victoria, 39 pp. Moran R _J & R.hodes B G 1991. Drought Planrnng and Management for Victorian Water Supplies. Proc. of the International H ydrology & Water R eso urces Symposium, Perth 2-4 Oc tober 1991 , The Institution of Engineers, Canberra, A ustralia , pp. 335-341. Moran R J & Rhodes B G 1993. Past Institutional Arrangements for Drought Response and Recent Developments. Drought Management Plan for Victoria's Water Resources, Background Report - Sl, Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Victoria, 118 pp. Nathan RJ & Weinmann PE 1993. Low Flow Atlas for Victorian Streams. Drought Management Plan for Victoria's Water R esources, Backgro und Report - L3, Department of Conservation & Natural R esou rces, Victoria, 170 pp. Rhodes B G 1992. General Applicability of Water Supply Performance M easures. Drought Management Plan for Victoria's Water Resou·rces, Background Report - L2, Department of Conservation & Natural R eso urces, Victoria, 28 pp. Rhodes B G 1993. Risk in Water Supply H eadwo rks Planning and Management. Drought Man age ment Plan for Victoria's Water Resources, Background R eport - Ll, Department of Water Resources, Victoria, 75 pp. Semple L H 1993a. Demand R eduction Options fo r Water Supply Syste m s. Drought Management Plan for Victoria's Water Resourc es, Background R eport - S6, D epartment of Conservation & Natural Resources, Victo ria, 104 pp. Semple L H 1993 6 . Supply Enhancement Options for Water Supply Systems. Drought Managemen t Plan for Victoria's Water R eso urc es, Background Report - S2, Department of Conservation & Natural R eso urces, Victoria, 39 pp. Srikanthan R & Stewart B J 1992. Drought Assessment fo r Viccona : A Case Study. Bureau of Meteorolob'Y, M elbourne, 132 pp. Weinmann PE & Erlanger P D 1996. Water Supply Risk and Community Losses - A Drought Management Case Study. Proc. of the 23rd HydrolOb'Y & Water R esources Symposium, Hobart 21-24 May, 1996, The Canberra, In stitution of Engineers, Australia. Wilhite D A 1990. Planning for Drought: A Process for State Government. Final R eport to the National Science Foundation, Grant No. A TM-8704050, International Drought lnformat10n Ce ntre, Technical R eport Series 90-1, 52 pp.

Author Rae Moran, who graduated M A (Geog) and M Eng Sci, is a hydrologist. She has worked with the Victorian government departments concerned with reorganising the water industry since 1986. Prior to that, she worked in the Melbourne Board of Works. (Water Bureau, D epartment of Nat ural Resources & Environment, 232 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne 3002.) This paper is an update of a paper presented by Ms Moran to th e American Water Resources Association Summer Symposium, June 1995. (Watl!r Resources and Environmental Hazards: in the Pacific

BOOKS Hydra 2000 Five volumes. £95 (UK pounds sterling). Individual volumes can be purchased. Thoma s Telford Services Ltd H eron Quay, London E14 4JD. The papers from the congress of the International Association of Hydraulic Research, September 1995. These conference proceedings present the latest research and newest technologies in the water environment and will b of benefit to reseachers, designers, constructors, managers and environmental specialists. Vol 1. Integration of Research Approaches and Applications. 619pp (£40) . Vol 2. Industrial Hydraulics and Multi-phase Flows. 263 pp (£30) . Vol 3. Future Paths for Maritime Hydraulics. 356 pp (£30) . Vol 4. Hydraulics of Water Resources and Their Development. 420 pp (£35). Vol 5. J F Kennedy Prize: Student Papers. 108 pp (£24)

Dams and the Environment: Rldracoll: A Model Achievement ICOLD Bulletin 100, 1995. 95pp. $62.50 includingpostage. (20%discount to ANCOLD members). For the Ridracoli Dam project near Rome, Italy, which commenced in 1966, the environmental study extended into the area's economic and social development. The dam was completed in 1988, and supplied more than a million people, along with 60 gigawatts of energy. The bulletin summarises all aspects of the project: the dam, diversion tunnel , water treatment, distribution , catch water tunnels and can_als. The environmental damage which had plagued the area earlier was controlled. Proj ec ts included restoring the landscape and derelict stone houses, reafforestation and river development with allocation for summer flow . An objective assessment of the effects of this project was later conducted and reported to the 18th Congress of ICOLD in Durban, South Africa 1994. It concluded that the local environment had been significantly enhanced. This book is a useful guide to technical , social and cultnral considerations, asserting that large dams can be built with extensive improvement of the local environment. It is well produced and easily readable, with numerous photographs. H Bandier


SOME OVERSEAS IMPRESSIONS P Mosse Water Treatment Quality drinking water is a high priority everywhere. In Europe it is driven by the EEC Directive, which has been applied well ahead of their current drive on wastewater disposal. Technologies observed included biological removal of nitrates, ammonia, iron and manganese, ozone treatment to break . down pesticides and algal toxins, GAC or PAC to remove residuals and other orgamcs. Large variations in raw water turbidity are not acceptable to their treatment¡ plants. Either water is drawn from deep ground water or from shallow alluvial sands underlying or abutting the rivers . In Paris this aquifer is artifically replenished . When surface water is used, reservoirs ensure settlement prior to treatment . Where algal blooms occur in these in summer, PAC is dosed at the flocculation stage. Small water treatment plants are not common, the preference being to concentrate effort in large plants, with extensive reticulation, despite the extra care required to maintain disinfection residuals at the ends of the system. In Paris, water is drawn from the (somewhat polluted) River Seine and is chemically flocculated, sand filtered, then infiltrated into the underlying aquifer through large doth-covered sand beds. The storage ¡is equivalent to some months supply. _The water is then drawn from the aquifer (30 m deep), passed through, nitrification biofilters to remove quite high concentrations of ammonia , then oxidised and disinfected by a combination of ozone and hydrogen peroxide to remove pesticides and toxins. The water is then filtered

Advanced integrated wastewater ponding system pi lot plant, Grahamstown, South Africa

through GAC and chlorinated to a residual of 0.2 mg/L. The plants, together with the interconnected reticulation system, are controlled from a central sophisticated control system, with a single operator on each shift.

Waste Water Treatment South Africa, with a water regime similar to that of Australia, was impressive. When asked if their WWTPs were BNR, the rather surprised reply was: 'but of course'. Apart from the huge sophisticated plants operated by East Rand Water, there were interesting new developments in lagoon systems, which could be usefui in the Gippsland situation These were AIWPS (Advanced Integrated Wastewater Ponding System), a Californian development, and PETRO (Pond Enhanced Treatment Process), a South African

Advanced on lin e monitoring of nut ri ents, Kru ger, Copen hage n

development. In both, the accent is on enhancing algal production in the final pond to increase oxygenation, and removing the algae prior to discharge. In both systems, some of the oxygenated water from the final lagoon is reycled to the top of the first facultative lagoon, thus reducing odour emissions. Algae are removed from the discharged effiuent by a DAF process or by gravity settling depending on the species of algae. In PETRO, the algal-laden final effiuent goes through a trickling filter before discharge to the receiving water. Experiments on the use of structured algal ponds for the treatent of a tannery effiuent are in progress in Grahamstown, South Africa. Here high S.G. algae, such as Spirulina spp. are cultured. These can be fairly readily harvested as a stock or fish feed . (CMPS&F is maintaining a contact with these developments). In Europe, visits were made to the companies which market the UTB, Kaldnes and the Kruger Biodenitro and Biodenipho processes. The Scandinavian countries all have stringent limits for nutrients-to protect their rivers, lakes and estuaries-but in France and the UK, limits were mostly far less stringent than in Australia. Whatever the limits, most operating plants were 'impressively equipped with sophisticated process control systems.

Rivers No European plants visited disposed any effiuent to land. The discharge was 13

WATER Training Interactive software and CD-ROM packages are available in the USA for training operators. Costs are equivalent to sending an operator on a one-week course.

Bllllng Anglian Water have trialled a credit card-smart card system linked to the meter in one of their areas. They report good acceptance by the public as a way to better control their consumption and payments. An emergency card allows several days of free supply should a customer forget to install credit on the card!


5000 PE BNR plant , Innovators' Cent re, Anglia n Water, Cambridge

to rivers, with the need to provide environmental flows (and water supplies to· downstream towns) the priority. On the mainland of Europe, effiuent requirements were less stringent than in Australia, but in sensitive areas, new legislation is gradually driving more effort into nutrient removal . The general impression was that the rivers were not regarded as at risk. (This could well be disputed by the sensitive tourist.) Yet these same rivers provide the resource from which drinking water was supplied. They just spend more on sophisticated water treatment. In East Anglia, contamination by pesticides and nutrients has lead to blooms of both green and blue-green algae in the rivers. A survey showed that 80% of the P came from WWTPs. Since 1990, they have used ferric salts in the main treatment plants and P levels in the rivers have fallen from 100 µg/L to ca. 20 µg/L. Green algae have declined in parallel, but blue-green algae only responded for the first time in 1995. There has been no attempt to reduce consumption of P-containing detergents.

Blosollds Disposal to land was the favoured method, but rarely, if ever, was there any financial return to an authority, which usually had to cover the costs of transport, if not actual spreading. This was still cheaper than disposal to landfill. In most cases, serious consideration was being given to back-up systems in case any public, or agricultural, scare developed. Incineration was one option. The availability of a large acreage disposal site under control of the authority was seen as a tremendous benefit, since the bureaucracy of control 14


of disposal to private land is expensive. In Fort Collins, USA, the municipality purchased a 26 000 acre ranch to ensure in-house control of biosolids use and the improved grazing is let to local ranchers on agistment, rather than disperse the biosolids to private holdings.

Membranes Memtec (Australia) is a strong player internationally, but hames such as AQUASOURCE (French), Memcor (microfiltration) and Fluid Systems (RO) of USA were prominent among the dozen or so companies now exploiting these technologies. Cryptosporidium and Giard/a figured frequently in conversations with water companies , and it seemed that membranes provided the only totally reliable system for removal. A Californian membrane plant draws from a water course which fluctuated rapidly from 10 NTUI to over 400 NTU . It has operated virtually unattended for over two years, controlled by remote SCADA system. This could be the way ahead for the ·small communities m Gippsland which depend on such fluctuating streams and currently do not meet WHO standards. Water Factory- 21, in Orange County, California, has a number of membrane systems on trial, including a Memtec unit, which produce potable water from secondary treated wastewater. It is then injected into their deep aquifer.

Dr Peter Mosse is Technology Manager, Gippsland Water, PO Box 348, Traralgon, Victoria 3844. He accompanied Dick Stanistreet, a Director of Gippsland Water, on a hectic four week mission, aiming for the WEFTEC conference and exhibition in Miami. Their purpose was to inform themselves on developments overseas which could influence their planning for both water and wastewater treatment. Specifically, they were lookingfor cost-effective alternatives for smaller communities (500-35,000 persons) in temperate climates, similar to Gippsland. Gippsland Water is responsible for some 40 towns in this size range, as well as servicing Victoria's major power, oil, gas and paper industries . Their itinerary commenced in South Africa, then on to Norway, Denmark, Hungary, France and the UK. In the USA, their prime visit was to the WEFTEC Exhibition, then to Ca lifornia. They had a brief stop-over in New Zea land. Tannery treatment plant pilot-high rate alga l ponds


Ozone Technology The ozone technology seminar, held in Melbourne in February 1996, was attended by over 40 Victorian members who came to listen to five international speakers. Robin Lowndes, ofOzotech Ltd UK, started the session by noting the positive aspects of using ozone and the various applications and industries in which ozone is used including: manufacturing processes, food industry, medical therapy, water supply, and efiluent treatment. Robin explained that overseas, particularly in Europe, ozone is demanded by consumers in the following ways: communities' insistence • Swiss resulted in a switch from chlorine to ozone • Paris consumers demand ozone and blue-water (high dissolved oxygen concentrations) • German authorities regard ozone as indispensable for treating highly polluted Rhine River water • Holland has moved towards ozone, abandoning chlorine residual in many cases • Vancouver (Canada) consumers voted to have ozone instead of chlorine

• USA is recognising the benefits of ozone treatment. In the past, there seemed to be a block against ozone in the Englishspeaking world. However, with high chlorine doses ofup to 10 mg/Land the need for dechlorination contact tanks, this trend is changing. This is evident in the UK. Before 1990, there were four plants operating using ozone. Since then, 25 ozone plants have been built and ten additional plants are currently under construction. In France ozone has been used to faci litate biofiltration with granular activated carbon filters. This combination seems to reduce distribution systc::m problems due to microbiological regrowth. In the cost debate, ozone technology should not be assessed in isolation. The analysis must encompass all aspects of potable water treatment and distribution. Robin briefly discussed the only ozone drinking water plant in Australia: at Jervis Bay, NSW. Robin presented applications where ozone is used for odour control at sewage works. Examples included ozone scrubbing towers used by the Southern Water Authority (Bogner, UK) for H 2S (odour, corrosion) control.

The second speaker was Rip Riu. Rip is the editor of Ozone News, (USA). His technical background is in organic chemistry, an area in which he holds a PhD. In 1971 he was cofounder of the International Ozone Federation. His experience with ozone includes studying ozone uses in Europe for the USEPA. Rip explained that ozorie is excellent for oxidation of organics and inorganics, disinfection and advanced oxidation, and is environmentally friendly. In 1980 there were three ozone plants in the US. After 1990, more plants began to use ozone as the USEP A began to apply more stringent constraints on disinfection byproducts. As of 26 July 1995, there were 108 ozone plants operating in the USA. In the USA, a conventional treatment process using ozone usually incorporates two stage ozonation. The first stage is upstream, at the start of the treatment process, where ozone is rapidly mixed with the raw water. The second stage is prior to sand filtration. In comparison, the French typically dose with ozone upstream of granular activated carbon contactors as a final treatment step. Rip discussed the treatment benefits

E nvironmental protection from the ground up ... -.... -:. = I

:., .. .


. / l!I

II ~




... .. ~J -·






o meet today's needs for efficient protection of the environment Grundfos have developed a unique 2" pump - the MP 1 - for monitoring groundwater quality in contamination threatened areas by extracting groundwater samples for analysis.

The Grundfos range also includes a series oflarge submersible pumps in extra corrosion resistant materials for transfer of contaminated water from waste dumps and industrial sites. Grundfos have been leaders in pump technology for almost 50 ·years and each pump is backed by a worldwide service network. Contact us if you want to know more about the Grundfos range.



Grundfos Pumps Pty Ltd ACN 001 920 765 515 South Road REGENCY PARK SA 5010 Tel: (08) 8461 4611 Fax: (08) 8340 0155

Western Australia Victoria New South Wales Queensland

Ph: (09) Ph: (03) Ph: (02) Ph: (07)

353 4595 9562 7500 9683 3344 3841 2644



WATER of ozonation. Preozonation can assist in coagulation , lowering chemical doses. Additional ben efits include reduced settled water turbidity, longer filter runs and less backwashing. Intermediate ozonation provides effective disinfection. Generally ozon e tec hnology produces a higher quality water than conventional treatment alone and the high dissolved oxygen concentrations result in 'blue water'. Rip went on to present an overview of a few US water treatment plants using ozone technology. IA Aqueduct Plant: • 600 M gal/day plant w hich came on line in 1987 (world 's largest ozone water treatment plant) • pre-ozonation and direct filtration, ozone assists in coagulation • first to use cryogenic conversion of air to oxygen • first to use deep bed monomedium (anthracite) filter • filtration rate @ 15 gal/fc 2/min (33 m/hr). (In comparison, chlorine could only produce half the filtration rate resulting in double the filter area and co uld not meet USEPA regulations .) • ozone system cost was US $ 16.1 million. (In comparison, a chlorine dioxide system would have cost approximately US $34 .5 million.) • use of ozone has resulted in a saving


of US $200,000 - $300,000 per year in chemical and disposal costs. Gwinnett County: • augmentation of 100 Mgal/day to 150 Mgal/day • ozonation and direct filtration with 5 ft anthracite media depth was chosen • ozone increased filtration rate by 50 percent and consequently the additional 50 M gal/d filter works was not required, resulting in a US $20 - $30 million capital saving. Andover, MA: • 24 M gal/day on line in 1990 • pre-ozonation and granular activated carbon (GAC) contactors for taste and odour control • raw water TOC is reduce d from 6 mg/L to 1.5 mg/L • GAC is reactivated every 2 years . The GAC reactivation frequency is shorter without ozone. • without ozone the treated water turbidity is 2+ NTU (with ozone it is less than 1 NTU) • ozone introduction has resulted in a 32% reduction in costs. Metropolitan Water District (IA): • six treatment plants using ozone • ozone used for T&O and disinfection byproduct control • ozone costs are less than GAC and chlorine • a combination of ozone and hydro-




NSCA ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES NSCA Environmental Risk Management Consulting CapebUltles ere provided by expert consultants experienced lo a wide range of Environmental Management Services Including:


-er -er -er -er



-er -er -er -er -er -er

Environmental due diligence seminars for Board members Environmental awareness and due diligence seminars for senior management Environmental improvement plans developed and implemented Environmental compliance audits and reports Environmental risk management surveys Environmental incident investigation Environmental awareness training for specific areas of concern or general application Environmental advocacy to government agencies and community groups Contaminated land surveys and analysis Waste minimisation and cleaner production planning and assessment Environmental Management Diagnostic Reports (EMDR) with/without NIES subsidy Computer based Model EMS Policies and Procedures licensed for do-it-yourself application Development of tailored environmental management systems based on NSCA's EMS

NSCA's Environmental Management System conforms with BS 7750 and AS / NZS ISO 1400l(Int). For initial no obligation briefing to key personnel on cost effective and practical environmental risk management in your organisation:

NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA Ring free call 1-800-6555-1 o Fax 02 698 2301



gen peroxide results in a 33% saving on ozone costs • two hydrogen peroxide plants currently in design . Rip also discussed plants in Fort Worth and Cambridge and the positive impact ozone has on their performance. He concluded by saying that capital cost comparisons rarely favo ur ozone in water treatment. However, advantages which need to be accounted for are downstream cost savings , plant equipment savings , higher water quality , assistance with primary disinfection and minimal production of disinfec tion byproducts. Discussing the applications of ozone in industrial wastewater treatment, Rip also provided some examples. Full scale applications included use in refineries for phenol destruction, textile and elec tronic industries. D eveloping wastewater uses for ozone include pulp bleaching to replace chlorine and detergents , and for the treatment of landfill leac hates. The third speaker was Willy J Masschelein of Brussels Waterworks. Willy spoke about ultraviolet light and photochemically assisted processes. There are approximately 60 plants in Brussels treating leachates utilising a combination of ultraviolet irradiation and ozonation. H e outlined the types of lamps available and described the linear yield and intensity of low and medium pressure lamps. Willy explained that ozonated water absorbed a significantly greater amount of radiation from low pressure lamps compared to medium pressure lamps. Ozone and UV technology in combination are most applicable for heavily polluted waters . The fourth speaker was Brian Croll of Anglian Water, UK. Brian spoke about pilot testing and experience with ozone in drinking water treatment. H e pointed out that the region w hich Anglian Water serves can be classed as semi-arid , with a hot climate, high evaporation rates and concentrated arable agric ulture. Consequently, surface waters have high levels of pesticides and nitrates. Large reservoirs are typical. The surface water supply is usually supplemented with groundwater. Brian presented water quality data for Grafham. This water is hard , with high phosphate, pesticides (Atrazine, Simazine), high taste and odours and algae levels. Anglian Water initially used chlorine throughout their conventional treatment processes. Problr::ms with this approach were taste and odours , pesticides, THMs, high total coliforms and discolouration problems. To improve taste and odour, PAC (powdered activated carbon) was introduced (70 to 100 mg/L) for six months. This proved effec tive and was eventu-


Molded Plastic ally replaced with GAC. THM reduction was achieved by reducing excessive pre-chlorination and the use of monochloramine for disinfection (residual) in the distribution system. Brian then delineated the new EEC directives which require pesticide concentrations ofless than 0 .1 µg/L and herbicide concentrations ofless than 0.5 µg/L. As a result of these issues, Anglian Water began to seriously consider ozone. Ozone was chosen as a preoxidant, replacing chlorine, to assist in coagulation and lower THM formation. GAC was effective at reducing pesticide concentrations to acceptable levels but required regeneration too often. To reduce this problem, ozone was applied in front of the GAC and resulted in · longer GAC service. It also assisted in oxidising pesticides. He concluded by outlining the current Anglian Water approach for such problem raw waters . The treatment processes generally include preozonation, garnet media in filters to reduce algae breakthrough, ozonation prior to GAC and final disinfection with chlorine . The fifth speaker was Carl Yates of McGoodwin, Williams & Yates Delivery Consulting Engineers, USA. Carl presented a US Case Study: 'Implementing an Ozone Drinking Water Plant'. He discussed the Piney Bay (8 Mgal/d- plant's basic process unit design paramdesign capacity) water treatment plant, eters . He explained that ozone facililocated on the Arkansas River near tated biological filtration in the GAC Clarksville, Arkansas . filters. The ozone treatment system Water shortages in the region involved a maximum ozone dosage of 4 demanded another source of water. mg/L with ozone generated from air at However, the Piney Bay source was not 1.5%. The total plant cost was US approved by the state regulator. In order $4.2m with the ozone component to convince the regulating authorities , a contributing US $0 .8m of the total year-long pilot study was undertaken. costs. Operating costs are US $0.40 per The pilot testing determined that the thousand gallons. water was treatable and approval for a The final speaker for the afternoon water treatment plant was granted . was Clem Hinchliffe of Aquazon, However, it was mandated that GAC be Sydney. Clem presented details on the used in the treatment process. Jervis Bay Water Treatment Plant, Carl then summarised the treatment

High Strength Compact



Pinch Valves

Media Compatible Fast

' I




Geotest Instrumentation has recently been appointed the Australian Distributor for the FCI PETROSENSE PHA100 Portable Hydrocarbon Analyser for the direct analysis of hydrocarbon in water and vapour. The detection & measurement of petroleum hydrocarbons in water was historically achieved by sampling, followed by field or lab analysis usually by gas chromatography. With the advent of Petrosense PHA100, the world's first patented fibre optic chemical sensor built into a portable analyser, it is now possible to measure ppm levels of petroleum hydrocarbons in-situ. That is to say, in groundwater via a sampling well, at the interface and in the vapour above the water. Petrosense combines patented fibre optic chemical sensor (FOCS) technology

Process Systems Pty Ltd Ph (07) 3890 3122 Fax (07) 3890 3133 Australia's first ozone drinking water plant and outlined the treatment steps including pre-ozonation, balance tank, sand filtration, ozonation (contact tank), GAC filters and chlorine disinfection. Ozone, chosen for colour control, was found to be more economic than chemical coagulants for treating the raw water colour levels . It also degraded blue-green algae toxins. Ozone dosing is controlled by Redox sensors . The plant is completely automated and remotely controlled. Report by Jim Giannopoulos

with digital electronics and an advanced microprocessor that makes Petrosense unique in the marketplace. FOCS technology is based on modulation of the transmitted light intensity when the sensor is exposed to hydrocarbons. The Petrosense sensor is designed with a proprietary. chemical coating which responds reversibly to increasing or decreasing levels of petroleum hydrocarbons. Typical applications include: Field investigations, Site assessment, Well plume monitoring, Spill tontrol, Leak detection AST/UST. The unit works equally well for groundwater, surface water, waste water, soil gases, bailer samples and collected samples. Further iriformation: Geotest Instrnmentation, 454 Waverley R.Jl, East Malvern Vic 3145. Tel: (03) 9572 3399 Fax: (03) 9572 3444. WATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996



NS Jayawardane, J Blackwell Abstract The FILTER technique for sewage effiuent treatment was developed to provide a sustainable and cheaper alternative to existing land treatment systems and nutrient removal plants, in the high-rainfall settled areas of Australia. It combines using nutrient rich effiuent for intensive cropping with filtration through the soil to a subsurface drainage system during periods of low cropping activity and high rainfall. Field trials on commercial sized plots at Griffith Sewage Works showed that the FILTER system meets its main objectives of providing nutrient reductions . in drainage water below EPA limits, while maintaining adequate flow rates, crop production and crop nutri- ¡ ent removal. Thus the total phosphoru-s and total nitrogen concentrations in the drainage waters were reduced well below EPA target limits of 1.0 mg L and 15 mg L, respectively. The total phosphorus and total nitrogen loads were reduced by 96% and 85%, respectively. Adequate 18


hydraulic flow and nutrient removal rates were maintained with mean effiuent loading rates of 8 mm/day. Pasture and cereal fodder yields of 12 and 11 t.ha- 1 , resp ec tively, were obtained during the summer cropping season to offset costs. Other beneficial effects are reductions in suspended solids and pesticide residues and increased N :P ratio.

Introduction Community and government concerns on pollution of rivers and coastal areas, and formation of algal blooms are well known . Sewage effiuent discharges have been identified as important sources of nutrient pollution, especially in the Murray River Basin. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has been promoting sewage effiuent treatment by land application, to reduce nutrient and other pollution of water bodies, and to minimise waste generation. However, in the urban coastal belt and the adjacent settled inland areas of Australia, land treatment of effiuent for irrigated cropping and woodlots is often less economical than other treatment techniques. This is mainly due to the cost of winter and wet weather effiuent

storage, on high-value urban lands. In addition, on the low permeable clay soils which predominate in the urban areas of eastern Australia, waterlogging and salinisation could reduce the long-term sustainability and economic viability of the effluent application sites (Greenfield 1995). In woodlots, nutrient removal is low after canopy closure. In detailed discussion with sewage effiuent managers in the Murray Basin, Qayawardane 1995), the need to develop modified land treatment techniques which eliminate such deficiencies was identified.

Filter Technique A new technique, termed FILTER (Filtration and Irrigated cropping for Land Treatment and Effluent Reuse) was developed to overcome these problems. The FILTER system aims to provide a sustainable and economically viable land treatment system, on the limited areas of high-value )and around urban centres. The FILTER technique is a combination of using nutrient-rich effluent for intensive cropping, with filtration through the soil to a sub-surface drainage system during periods of low cropping and heavy rainfall. It thus

WASTEWATER provides effiuent treatment throughout the year to eliminate the need for effi~ent storage. Effluent application and sub-surface drainage is regulated to ensure adequate nutrient removal, thereby producing low-nutrient drainage waters which meet EPA criteria for discharge of treated effiuent to surface water bodies. This filt):ation phase with high hydraulic loading could be followed, if required, by a cropping phase with reduced hydraulic loading to remove any nutrients stored in the soil, thereby providing a sustainable system. The specific combinations of filtration and cropping phases used will depend on the site conditions . Figure 1 is a diagram of the system.

samples were analysed for dry matter content, seed ·w eight, and nutrient content. Soil samples were collected from the top and bottom ends of each plot to measure extractable NO x-N at the start and the end of the summer filtration period. A total of 12 effiuent applications or filter events was carried out, at approximately fortnightly intervals. Each filter event consists of an effiuent application

Metred effluent supply to Irrigation bay

Table 1 Dry matter yie lds and nutrient remova l in harvested crops, compared to net add it ions in the effluent. Pasture


Tota l dry matter (t ha· 1 )



Total-N removed (kg ha·1 )



Total-N applied (kg ha·1 )



Tota l-P removed (kg ha·1 )



Tota l-P applied (kg ha·1 )



40 m

Effluent supply from s_ewage treatment pla·ot for irrigation

· Fleld Testing of the FIiter Technique Field testing of the FILTER technique is being conducted at the Sewage Treatment Works effluent disposal site of the Griffith City Council. The clay soil at the experimental site belongs to the transitional red-brown earths. A summer filtration experiment was carried out on four one-hectare plots Oayawardane et al. 1995, 1996). The plots were deep ripped to O. 9 m depth , with gypsum added to stabilise the increased soil macroporosity. On each plot, sub-surface drains were installed at 10 m spacing and 0.85 m depth, using a commercial pipe layer. The sub-surface drains from each plot empty into a sump. The watertables in the plots are controlled by pumping from the sumps. On two plots a mixture of grasses was grown for fodder and on the other two plots a millet crop was grown for fodder and grain. During the summer filtration, three fodder cuts were taken from the pasture crop . The millet crops were cut once for fodder and then harvested for grain and fodder at the end of the cropping season. At each time of harvesting, a plant sample was collected from one-square meter areas at the top and bottom of each plot. The plant

period, followed by a 1-2 day post-irrigation equilibration period, an 8-10 day pumping period and a 1-2 day pre-irrigation equilibrium period. During each filter event, the amount of efiluent applied to each plot and the rate of drainage water flowing into the sumps was measured. A sample of efiluent applied to each plot was collected using a continuous sampling device. Drainage water pumped from each plot was also sampled.

Loosened soil 1m


-rPumpon - - - Pump off

Agricultural pipe buried at 0.9 m depth and 1o m drain spacing

Collecting pipe for drainage water

Figure 1 Schematic diagram of FILTER plots 6


:J" 4 "c, E

-3 C. I













Filter event Figure 2 Tota l phosphorus concentration in the effluent applied ( X ), and drainage waters from the pasture ( • ) and millet ( D ) plots, during each fi lter event WATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996


WASTEWATER During the first three filter events an effluent application of 100 mm was used. For filter event four, an effluent application of around 200 mm was used. After filter event four, effluent applications of around 100 mm were used. Hydraulic loading rates, calculated by dividing the amount of effluent applied by the length of the filter event, ranged from 6-12 mm day- 1 . The rainfall received during a given filter event ranged from zero to 48 .2 mm. The summer filtration exercise was followed by filtration throughout the winter.

Fleld Trlal Results Hydraulic loading rates. To treat the 4 to 8 ML day- 1 effluent discharges from the Griffith Sewage Works on a 100 ha land block, ·a hydraulic loading rate of 4 to 8 mm day- 1 has to be maintained. During the summer and winter filtrations, a mean hydraulic loading rate of around 8 mm day- 1 was maintained. Adequate drainage rates were obtained at this high hydraulic loading rate, even during heavy rainfall periods, to provide suitable soil conditions for the crops grown, during both summer and winter filtrations.









0 10











Filter event Figure 3 NO,N in drainage water from t he pasture ( • ) and millet ( D ) plots during each filter event


~ 20


z I






5 0 0







Filter event Figure 4 Total-N in the effluent applied ( X) and drainage waters in the pasture ( • ) and mi llet ( D ) plots, during each fi lter event


phosphorus in the effluent applied and drainage waters during the entire filtration period is shown in Figure 2. Phosphorus concentration in the effluent applied varied from 2 to 6 mg 1-1 . The millet and pasture plots generally showed phosphorus concentration values in the drainage waters below the EPA limit ofl.0 mg 1- 1 , throughout the filtration period. ·The mean value of phosphorus conceqtration in the drainage waters of all plots throughout the filtration phase was 0.44 mg 1-1 . There is approximately an order of magnitude reduction in phosphorus concentration due to soil filtration and crop uptake during the filtration phase. The mean total phosphorus loads in the sewage efiluent and the drainage water from all plots during the filtration phase were 43 .6 and 1.7 kg ha-1, respectively. This indicates that at least 96% of the phosphorus applied is retained by soil filtration and crop uptake . The balance of 4% includes unabsorbed phosphorus from the effluent and some phosphorus released from the soil phosphorus stored during previous effiuent irrigations, before trialing the FILTER technique. Figure 2 shows the uniformity in the low values of total-P in the drainage water of all four plots throughout the summer filtration, in spite oflarge variations in total-P in the effiuent. This is due to soil buffering. This buffering effect eliminates the need for real time monitoring of total-P in the incoming effiuent and the drainage waters. During the winter filtration the total-P concentration in drainage waters remained below 0.5 mg 1 -1 , even though the level in the effiuent applied ranged from 1.4 to 6.7 mg 1 -1 . Nitrogen concentrations and loads.



Phosphorus concentration and loads. The concentration of total


Nitrogen in the effluent and drainage waters occurs in three forms, namely NOx-N, NH 4 -N and organic-N, which make up the total-N. The concentration of individual forms of nitrogen in the drainage waters depends on their interactions both within the effiuent and with the soil nitrogen pool. The concentration ofNOx-N in the effiuent applied was below 1.0 mg 1-1 . The concentration of NO -N in drainage waters during the filtration phase is shown in Figure 3. The high concentration of NOx-N in the drainage waters during filter events one and two is related to the ~xceptionally high values of soil NOx-N (363 kg ha- 1) before the start of the filtration phase. However, the NOx-N in d_rainage water fell to below 10 mg L-1 m filter event four and thereafter. These reductions in NO -N concentrations during the operatio; of the FILTER technique

WASTEWATER could be explained as largely due to a lowering in soil NOX-N to 7 kg ha-1 by the end of the summer filtration . This could be attributed to the high denitrification po tential of the soil in the flooded soil layers. Crop uptake could also be a contributory fac tor in reducing the NO x - N levels in the soil. The total-N concentration in the drainage waters during the filtration phase (Figure 4) is dependent on the factors affecting the individual nitrogen components . While the total-N concentration showed high value s during filter events one and two due to leaching of soil NOx-N accumulated before the FILTER installation, the value remained below 10 m g L-1 from filter event three to 12. Thus, the use of 'the FILTER technique at the Griffith Sewage Works site resulted in maintenance of total-N levels well below the 15 mg L-1 limit specified by EPA, under the efflu ent quality and FILTER operation condition that prevailed during the summer filtration phase (after removal of excess, easily m obilise d NO x-N, which had accumulated in the soil from previous effluent dumping, befo re FILTER ins tallation). Under summer filtration , the lowering of the acc umulated soil NOx-N to a level which had only a small impac t on the total-N in the drainage water occurred quickly , i.e. within two filtration events. The total-N loads in the effluent applied and drainage waters in all plots during filter events one to 12 were 104 and 16 kg ha- 1 , respectively. T his represents a to tal-N load reduction of 85%. During winter filtrati on, the to tal-N in drainage water remained below 5 mg L- 1 , w hile the level in the effluent applied ranged from 5 to 14 mg L-1 . N:P ratio. The N:P ratio in the applied efflu ent was very low, wi th a mean value of 3. Previous studies have indicated that as th e N:P ratio is reduced below 12, the risk of occ urrence of blue-green algae progres_sively increases. In contrast to the effluent , the drainage waters showed a higher N: P ratio , with a mean value o'f23. This will lead to reductions in risk of downstream occu'rrence of blue-green algal blooms. Blue-green algae. The effluent from the Griffith Sewage Works showed presence of blue-green algae (Microcys tis). T hese occ urrences co uld be related to the high values of phosphorus and the low N:P ratio. In contrast , the drainage water from FILTER plots was colourless and free of blue-green algae, due to soil straining of the algae. Suspended solids. Suspended solids content decreased from 128 mg L-1 in the effluent applied to 5 mg L-1 in the drainage water from the plots, during filter events 10. Where the drainage

water is intended to be reused after chlorination, the reduction of the suspended solids will lead to increased effectiveness of chlorination. Lower suspended solids content also reduces the risk of formation of harmful by-products of chlorination. Crop growth and nutrient uptake.

The dry matter yields from the fodder and grain harvests are given in Table 1. Due to selection of crops which are moderately-waterlogging and moderately-salinity tolerant, crop yields and nutrient removal rates achieved during the filtration phase were comparable to those obtained overseas in well managed land treatment systems . Crops removed all of the nitrogen and 75 to 100% of the phosphorus applied (Table 1), at the high efflu ent loading rates. This indicates that a nutrient balanced system is achievable with the lower hydraulic loading rates which will be used in a commercial sys tem . Financial returns to cropping will help to offset capital and operating cos ts of the FILTER system. Changes in salt concentrations and loads. After equilibrium is reached, the

salt loads in the effluent applied and the drainage waters will be the same, while the changes in salt concentration will depend on the balance between evapotranspiration and rainfall. In salinised soils, excess salts need to be leached before equilibrium is reached .

Potential Use of FIiter System for Treating Other Wastewaters In a separate trial involving spiking the efflu ent with the full range of pesticides used in agricultural enterprises in the area, the pes ticide loads in drainage waters were reduced by more than 98%. This indicates a potential use of the FILTER system to clean up contaminate d farm run-off water, before discharge to streams. Modified FILTER systems may be use d to treat industrial and commercial effl uents con taining ch emicals and heavy metals which aclsorb on the soil particles. The FILTER system may also be modified fo r use in feedlots, piggeries and dairies.

Future Research ¡ R esearch is needed to evaluate the potential use of the FILTER technique under different soil and site conditions, and to develop FILTER management systems to assist wastewater managers to optimise the FILTER operations at any given site.

Conclusions Field trials of the FILTER technique on commercial sized plots at Griffith Sewage Works during summer and winter filtration showed that it meets its

primary objectives of reducing phosphorus and nitrogen in drainage water below EPA limits for discharge from the site, while maintammg adequate flow rates, crop yields and nutrient removal to potentially provide a sustainable and economically viable system. Other benefits are an increase in N :P ratio and reductions in suspended solids, algae and chemical contaminants which absorb on soil particles, in the drainage waters. Research is . needed to develop FILTER management systems to assist wastewater managers to optimise FILTER operations under different site conditions.

Acknowledgements The research project was conducted in close consultation with David Tull, Director Engineering Services, Griffith City Council. The project was jointly funded by CSIRO, Griffith City Council, NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation and the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy. Mr G Nicoll and F J Cook contributed to the field studies.

References Greenfield PF (1995). Land based disposal/treatment of sewage effiu ent. Consultancy report prepared for CSIRO Division of Water Resources, Canberra ACT,July 1995. Jayawardane NS (1995) . Wastewater treatment and reuse through irrigation, with special reference to the Murray Basin and adjacent coastal areas. CSIRO, Division of Water Resources, Griffith NSW. Divisional R eport 95/1. Jayawardai1e NS , Blackwell J, Nicholl G and Cook FJ (1996). The FILTER technique for sewage effiu ent treatment by land application. I. Pollutant removal. Submitted to Soil and Tillage R esearch. Jayawardane NS, Blackwell], Nicoll G, Cook FJ and Pender C (1995) . The research project on land treatment of effiuent from the Griffith City Council Sewage worksProgress report on the summer filtration phase during the period November 1994 to March 1995. Report prepared for GCC, PWD and DPIE . Division of Water R esources Consultancy Report No 95/46.

Authors Both authors are from the Griffith Laboratory of the CSIRO Division of Water Resources, Griffith, 2680. Dr Nlhak Jayawardane is a Principal Research Scientist. He graduated with BSc (Agric) from the University of Sri Lanka in 1966, and with a PhD (Soil Science) from the University of Tasmania in 1977. John Blackwell is an Assistant Chief and Senior Principal Research Scientist. He graduated with a National Diploma in Agriculture in 1965 and a National Diploma in Agricultural Engineering in 1966 from the Writtle Agricultural College in the UK. WATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996


WASTEWATER concentration. There was also an interesting paper by Liss from Canada on methods for studying floe structure, and what these procedures told us about the organisation of floes . The paper by the Italian group at University of Rome, which includes Ken Lindrea from Bendigo, described some elegant and metisulous experimental work looking at the significance n2-, t"Bpers 8S Presumptive of storage polymers like PHB in the for Salmonella Contamination I n ~... kinetic selection of the filamentous Drinking Water .. ..,_... bacteria in activated .sludge plants . Although it is often difficult to interpret Tanya Gawthorne. Robyn A Gibbs. KunMlla - ln•lttute lo, Env•~at ~---- ~ Goon. E. Ho ........c•. _,,Uniwuilr data using complex mixed microbial populations in biomass sainples, this ~.. --~ paper showed that such information can be extremely valuable in explaining how actual plants may work, and may provide some clues as to why certain filamentous bacteria may grow [.; profusely. ~ Eckenfelder gave a very amusing presentation of the possible environmental and ecological importance of some of the products of metabolism of microbes treating industrial wastes. With no obvious concern for his well established and distinguished reputation, he gave out plenty of pointed advice to some of the younger members of the audience as to .what they should be doing next. The rest of the papers in the session Dr Robyn Gibbs with poster papers-an ideal medium for presenting technica l were describing work which was, in my 1nformat1on at a large conference view, either poorly carried out or the story. As one more astute poorly conceived. Much of it was Microorganisms In Activated questioner asked, 'Why don't engineers presented by engineers attempting Sludge and Blofilm Processes want to know about the microbiology microbiological based projects but with The papers in this session ranged of ac tivated sludge? Do they always little or no understanding of the from the very exciting to the very modern principles of microbiology. want to keep the process a black box?' ordinary. In some cases it was difficult WQ must do more to actively IA A great deal of effort is still needed to believe they had survived the referby both parties before engineers and support communication between the eeing process. In fact , it was clear from microbiologists can communicate two disciplines. talking to people , that some of the productively, but such interactions are IAWQ should also change the way papers which had been rejected by the these sessions are organised. This .is the essential if activated sludge processes are appointed referees still ended up being to be better unders tood. This paper by second conference I have attended. In presented at the conferynce. Wagner et al was presented, for some both I have been very disappointed Linda 'Blackall's presentation reason, in the 'Nutrient Removal' with the general quality of the papers described some very important work section of the conference, which ran and posters in this area. Here are a few directed at trying to resolve the taxonconcurrently with the 'Microorganisms suggestions . The organisers must make omy of some of the filamento us bacte- in Activated Sludge' sessions. In my the refereeing procedures more strinria cau~ing bulking and foaming in opini on, such a clash was a major . gent and accept only those papers of activated sludge plants, ;md was one of organisational sh or tcoming of the high quality. Quantity is not as importhe better papers given at the confer- conference, and must be avoided at -tant as quality at an international ence. The other outstanding paper was future IAWQ conferences. After all, conference of this kind. from Michael Wagner and the groups biological nutrient removal does They must reduce the delay time from Munich and Sydney Qanine involve microorganisms. before submission of papers and confer- Flood) describing the use of molecular The paper given by Nielsen and his ence presentation to no more than six probes for in situ hybridjsation of nitri- group from Denmark on the possible months (currently 12 months) so that fying bacteria in ac tivated sludge. significance of iron reducing and more up to date information can be Such elegant and impressive data, oxidising bacteria in activated sludge, presented. They should' include,· as which is required to view the role of and their detec tion of large amounts of major components, invited papers these organisms in activated sludge, was DNA in the flo e matrix, was challeng- given by acknowledged experts which not appreciated by some of · the ing. They don't ye t know just how critically overview progress in the area engineers in the audience w ho could significant this is , but their data clearly in the two years since the previous not see the relevance of studies of this questioned the value of DNA levels of Water Quality International Conference. (This is done already by some of the kind . They thought it just complicated activated sludge as a measure of biomass





WASTEWATER other specialist groups). Las tly, worksh ops or discussion groups dealing with specific topics, i.e. biomass characterisation , molecular probe use , etc., should become a regular part of such an event . If not, then ·I think much of the better work in this segment of water research will be presented elsewhere. Such a change in approach might also increase the numb er of people at tending the presented papers. R eport by Bob Seviour Latrobe University, Bendigo

Health-Related Water Microbiology The number of paper and poster . presentations in the health-related water microbiology stream at the Singapore IAWQ conference was much lower than normal. Thi s was because a separate symposium is being held by the Specialist Gro up in Mallorca, Spain from O ctober 6-10 1996. T here were three paper prese ntati ons and four poster presentations, covering a range of topics. A gro up of researchers represented by Regina Sommer (Austria) investigated the effi ciency of UV disinfection systems using Bacillus subtilis spores as the test organism. They fo und that the efficiency of UV disinfec tion devices could be improved by up to 40% by coating the inside of the irradiation chamber with reflec tive material such as aluminium . T hey also presented results from a survey of the quali ty of water use d in dialysis ward s. T hey found bacterial contamination from tubing systems and heavy metal contamination after ion exchange (mercury) and from corrosi on (copper and zin c). They called for better pro ce dures and suggested that guidelines be introduced to ensure the quali ty of dialysis water. Two different group s· of researchers (represented by Francesca Auli cino (Italy) and Robyn Gibbs (Per th) surveyed wastewater . sludges and showed that enteric viruses, Cia rdia and Salmonella were present in sludges from wastewa ter trea tment plan ts. Ciardia were also _d e tec ted in · sto red and composted biosolids. Another paper from Murdoch University described the use of H 2S papers as tests for Salmonella contamination in tropical drinking water. The tes ts were designed to be used in conjunction with coliform tes ts as Salmonella are fo und in tropical waters in the absence of coliform bacteria. In another presentation from Australi a, Cheryl Davi es fr om the CSIRO Division of Coal and Energy Technology introduced a flu orimetric assay for the detection of faecal coliforms in beach water samples. The test was rapid (one hour), inexpensive

and could be performed in the field . Report by Robyn Gibbs Murdoch University

Anaerobic Blologlcal Treatment The anaerobic treatment session was quite successful with 18 oral presentations and a large number of posters. The contributions came from all over the world (exceptions were Australia and Africa) with a focus on Japan , Europe and USA . The presentations included fundamental aspec ts, case studies and opera ting proced ures, mainly in high-rate anaerobic treatment systems. D egradabiJity and operation studies for a range of resistant compounds were reporte d. These included pentachlorophenol, nitrophenols, long- chain fatty acid s and eve n nitrocellulose . The versa tili ty of the anaerobic processes was thereby proven again as mos t of these studies showe d good degradability of the tes ted sub stances in anaerobic trea tment. The only reactor design paper came from the Netherlands. It presented full-scale data of the expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactors. This is a process in between the upflow anaerobic sludge blanke t (UASB) and the fluidized bed (FB ) reac tors. It-claims to

be able to handle higher organic loads than the UASB reactors. While the data shown demonstrates a higher loading than usually applied to UASBs or similar reactors, there is probably also scope for load and performance increases in these types of reactors. There seems to be an increasing interest in this type of treatment in Japan , with an emphasis on fundamental aspects of both biochemistry and process operation. These areas are likely to be most important in achieving better understanding and future improvement of the technology. The Australian scene was not represented at this conference despite the increasing popularity of this treatment technology in recent years. This is ' manifested by the fact that around Brisbane alone, three new plants are currently under design or construction. At the coming IAWQ Specialist Conference in May 1997 in Japan, it is expected that a number of contributions from Australia will be presented. By the time the papers are due for the next IA WQ Biennial in July next year, maybe some results from the newer installations will be available.

Nutrient Removal Nutrient removal m wastewater

PROCESS EQUIPMENT Warman belt press filters, centrifuges, purifiers and belt/drum thickeners offer: • superior performance • competitive pricing • skilled technical support • equipment for every type and size installation • product reliability • national sales and service. Every product is backed by the Warman reputation for delivering high performance equipment with lower ownership costs.



WASTEWATER treatment is obviously very topical at the moment. The presentation stream on nutrient removal was the only one that was conducted over the whole period of the conference, with approximately 50 oral presentations and an even larger number of posters. H owever, one of the reasons for this large interest is the fact that there is no IAWQ specialist conference in nutrient removal. The biennial conference is therefore the main platform for prese ntations and posters in this fi eld. The contributing authors came from a large number of countries, further evidence of the significance of nutrient removal worldwide . The focus of the presentations was quite evenly split between nitrogen and phosphorus removal topics, with a small number of papers addressing overall operational aspec ts and sludge handling and disposal. Mo st papers were concerned with biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes. C hemical phosphorus rem oval was m ainly discussed as back- up to biological processes or for sludge treatment. The program allowed sufficien t time for discu ssion between presentati ons and this was used effe ctively. Particularly during the sessions on phosphorus removal, valuable contributions were made from the flo or. An

interes ting aspect . that surfaced during the discussion is the increasing number of reports on the negative effect of very high volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations on the phosphorus removal capacity. While this is mainly seen in researc h experiments, C liff Randall, Chairman of the IAWQ Specialist Group on Nutrient R emoval, reported significant difficulties with P removal in a full scale industrial treatment plant with very high VFA concentrations . Such cases. show that despite the large number of BNR plants operating satisfactorily, significant further research work is needed to help understand the micro bial processes in biological P removal. Con tributions from Australia were qui te rare (only one presentation) which might have to do with the fact that the deadline for full papers for the conference was directly after the AWWA National Convention in Sydney. Furthermore , the BNR conferences in Australia serve as local specialist conferences in this field and usually attract significant attention. T he next in this series is BNR3. It will be held in Brisbane from 30 November to 4 December 1997 and is a joint AWWA-IA WQ regional specialist conference . The Call for Abstracts is being distributed very soon .




Invest in accurately graded, durable media from your complete filter media professionals.

U'e a,u ~ td-

~ tp,4:

• Decades of mineral processing experience. • Media produced to the AW>NA 8100-89 Standard. • An extensive product range at competitive prices. • Manufacturing In accordance with Quality System AS 3902/ISO 9002 • Packaging alternatives to suit any requirement. • Proficient technical assistance and support. • . Prompt delivery Australia-wide and Overseas.

So, tap into our extensive experience and helpful service when next you require filter media.



683 Beenlelgh-Redland Bay Road, Carbrook Qld 4130 INTERNATIONAL: +6173287 6444

.:EE CALL: 008 on 744



FAX: (07) 3287 6445

To prepare yourself for the next IAWQ biennial conference, to be held in Vancouver in mid 1998, the full paper needs to be submitted by mid 1997. Hopefully, there will be a bigger contribution from Australia at that time! Reports by Jurg Keller University of Queensland

Agro-Industries Waste Management Management of the wastes from agro-industries plays an important role in Australia as well as in countries relying on these industries for economic growth and well-being. The importance of the subject is reflected in the nine papers presented orally and seven papers presented as posters at WQI 96 by authors from 13 countries spanning Australia to Europe. Though not necessarily containing toxic pollutants, the main characteristics of agro-industry efiluents are the high concentrations of organic substances (BOD, COD), oil, grease and nutrients . Some are produced seasonally, presenting a unique challenge to their disposal or recycle/reuse. There were some new developments announced at the conference, mixed with a fair amount of reporting of applications. 011 and grease. Oii and grease not only contribute to high COD, but are particularly difficult to treat. Treatment using yeasts has been proposed by Chigusa et al Qapan) following laboratory and pilot plant trials . A mixture of nine strains of yeast has been found to be effec tive in degrading wastewater from soya bean manufacture (COD 24,000 to 61,000 mg/L) in a yeast activated sludge' process. The yeast culture was maintained by chlorinating the feed to the reactor to control bacterial contamination of the yeast culture. Over 90% COD removal was achieved within what appears to be similar HRTs to conventional activated sludge, and the remainder could be easily treated in a conventional bacteria activated sludge process. Anaerobic bioflocculation was proposed for the removal of oil and grease from wool scouring effiuent by Charles et al (Australia) . In this new process, oil and grease emulsions are destabilised by subjecting the wastewater to anaerobic conditions sufficient to biodegrade the detergent which emulsifies the oil and grease (HRT two to four days). No methane is produced, and the clarified efiluent can be ,treated by conventional aerobic treatment to achieve a BOD of20 mg/L. High BOD, COD and seasonal variation. Anaerobic digestion has been the mainstay of high BOD wastewater treatment, and two papers dealt with this topic: Setiadi et al (Indonesia)

WASTEWATER described laboratory investigations of palm oil mill effluent using anaerobic baffled reactors and Gavala et al (Greece) modelled co-digestion of olive-mill dairy and piggery wastewaters to overcome seasonal variation in their production. A treated effluent/feed recycle ratio of at least 15 was required to overcome the need for alkalinity supplementation in the anaerobic baffled reactor operating at 15 g COD/L/day. The modelling work, supplemented with batch experiments to provide kinetics data, showed the feasibility of codigesting effluents produced from different industries with different/overlapping seasonal variations. Chuda and Pujol (France) described a novel way of overcoming the problems .of seas9nal pro_duction of grape harvest wastewater. C lay was added to the conventional activated sludge process· during peak periods. The clay particles become sites for attachment of the activated sludge bacteria, thus assisting with retention of biomass in the aeration tank and with settling of the sludge in the settling tank. The low cost of the clay and its inertness enables the excess activated sludge to be disposed onto farmland. Upgrading the capacity of a trickling filter plant for treating cheese factory wastewater by replacing the filter with a complex moulded polyethylene packing,

which is maintained in suspension and which retains the biomass, was reported by Rusten et al (Norway). Waste to treat waste. The use of chitosan (manufactured from the waste of the shrimp processing industry) for the recovery of proteins and fats from dairy wastewater, was put forward by Selmer-Olsen et al (Norway) . The chitosan replaces carboxy-methylcellulose (CMC) as the adsorbent, and the recovered proteins and fats can be used as a feed additive. Textlle wastewater. Textile wastewater treatment is plagued by the variety of dyes and their resistance to treatment. Tunay et al (Turkey) reviewed available methods and highlighted the need to define colour/ colour removal more precisely because biological treatment can increase 'colour' after treatment. Naumczyk et al (Poland) described the use of electrochemical treatment, emphasizing the different mechanisms of dye removal with different types of dye and electrodes or their combinations Biological treatment is now recognised as being generally ineffective in removing dyes. Chemical precipitation requires large dosages of chemicals, oxidation (chlorine or electrochemical) is effective but can produce chlorinated organics, while adsorption is effective though it can be expensive. It appears

that a combination of several methods can provide an optimum. Land treatment. Land treatment has been used widely by agro-industries, and several papers described the use of land for treatment. Duarte et al (Portugal) reported on its use for pig slurry, and Sansanaynth et al (Thailand) described disposal of shrimp pond effluent. Meisnerr et al (Germany) reported that fallowing of land results in increased leaching of nutrients to groundwater during the fallow period. Fundamental ·s~udles. Cecen (Turkey) provided understanding and/or new data on nitrification of high ammonia wastewater from a fertiliser plant. Schiegl et al (Germany) discuss~d removal of residual COD from paper mill effluent using an activated sludge process. Accumulation of nitrite occurs in a biofilm nitrification reactor when the ratio of oxygen to free ammonia is less than 10. Removal ofresidual COD (lignin) in an activated sludge process is mainly due to physical adsorption to the activated sludge.

Report by Goen Ho Murdoch University

Membrane Technology Twelve papers were presented in the two sessions on membrane technology, with a further ten po'ster presentations.

UVTA™ "Terminator"™ 60 series UV Effluent Disinfection Units

Do not require a channel and can operate up to 20m head Ideal for in-situ pipe installation Consistently achieve <20 FCU and no short circuiting Australian buih ·

Ultraviolet Technology of Australasia Ply Ltd Incorporated in South Australia Ultraviolet Light Water Disinfection Systems ACN 007 940 481

71 Lewis Road, Glynde SA 5070 PO Box 222, Marden SA 5070

Telephone: {08) 8337 0079 Facsimile: {08) 8337 9465 WATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996


WASTE WATER Progress and interim conclusions were reported by Gnirss et al on a German proj ec t studying w hether microfiltration is a technically feasible and economically competitive process fo r secondary efflu ent di sinfec tio n and phosphoru s removal. Flat shee t, tube and hollow fibre m odules were tested at pilo t plant scale. For bac teri a and phosphorus removal, all three sys tems gave satisfactory results. With a specific energy consumption of abo ut 0.2 kWh/m 3 filtra te the dead- end system (Memcor) requires o nly one- fifth of the energy of cross-flow sys tem s and has been selected for testing at fu ll-scale operation in three plants . T he key to good ec onomics is achieving a high flu x. Vigne wara n et al fo und that particle size and its distribu tion have a significant effec t on the flu x and quali ty of permeate 111 the cross- flow microfiltration of suspended latex particles. M agara et al Qapan) drew attention to the poo r rej ec ti o n ratios fo r so m e hazard ous micro-pollutants in reverse osm osis (RO ) sea wa ter desalinatio n plants, specifically boro n and bromoform . As the boron levels in the filtrate excee d the Japanes e Government 's drinking water q uali ty standards, further study is p lanned of the mechani sm s of boron rejec ti on 111 RO plants to develop

an appropriate me mbrane fo r the control of boron in desalinated water. With inc reasingly stringent standards being applied to drinking w ater and reclaimed was tewa ter there were other papers from Japan . One paper reported on the use of very low pressure RO (or nanofiltration) membranes for removal of nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, sulphate chloride ions. Thin film and negatively-charged composite membranes were o perate d at tran sm embrane press ures of 0 .03 to 0.49 Mpa. The research provided funda m ental data fo r the design of promising applications. Kim et al reported on the influence of clay (kaolin) on the fo uling of ultrafiltrati on m em branes by o rganic sub stan ces (pro tein , polysacc haride , ful vic and humi c acids, algal cell material, etc) . Improved understanding of the factors infl uencing membrane fo uli ng will permit wide r use of membrane processes in water treatment. T he authors sugges ted that the flu x decline with increased clay and the effec t of di spersion agents and coagulants were due to changes in the resistance of the clay particle layer. N agaoka et al studied the influence of bac terial extracellular polymers (EPS) on the performa nce of the submerged membrane sepa ration ac tiva ted sludge (SMAS) pro cess . C hange of the


• Waterproof • 100 reading memory • Infra-red data transfer • Measures pH, mV, ion concentration • Built-in software, and menus guide user

pH Scientific Pty Limited Ph: 02-9983 9112 Fax: 02-9983 9113 ACN 051309141 26


• Suitable for various electrodes including combined 'dry' directlON electrodes: ammonium, calcium, chloride, fluoride, nitrate, nitrite

m embrane filter resistance was explained as a function of viscosity of the mixed liquor, which suggests the importance of monitoring the viscosity to maintain membrane flux . U eda et al have tested in a pilot plant the application of a membrane bioreactor to small scale wastewater treatment. They achieved over 90 percent removal of organic matter, suspended solids and colifo rm bacteria. To maintain good membrane flo ws, sludge viscosity needs to be kept low• by regular wasting of excess sludge . As inten sive air flow was n ee ded to rem ove sludge from the m embrane, air was oversupplied and denitrifica tion became the performance limitation. P ropo sals to e·nhance denitrification include: • concentrating iri°flow of raw sewage at the beginning of the anoxic period • shortening the aeration time • maintaining a high MLSS. Urbain et al reported on the perform ance of a pilot- scale ceramic m embrane/bioreactor system, fed with a synthetic wastewater containing high m olec ular weight organics such as casein and starch . At steady state , particularly high effluent quality was obtained and maintained for 140 days . TSS was around 11 ,000 m g/L. The TiO 2 m embran e used retained heterotrophic microorganisms and the bacteriophage M S-2 used to determine the retention of viruses. W ith ceramic membranes costs are high . Brockmann and Seyfried found that m embrane co upled anaerobic reactors do n ot perform as well as other bioreactors, due to the loss of biological activity of the sludge floes in the turbulent conditions of pumping and membrane filtration . P erformance improvement will require the development of designs for gentle sludge tran sport. Low transm embrane pressure systems could be · better than crossflow system s and also would have a lower energy cost. Brasquet et al proposed coupling fibre activated carbon (FAC) fabric s with ultrafiltration m embranes . For the adsorption of organic matter and micro pollutants, FAC has the advantages of fast adsorption kinetics, high adsorption capaciti es and ease of handling, compared with granular or powdered adsorbents. Elinaleh and Ghaffor tested ultrafiltra tion fo r treating oil refinery wastewaters to m ee t the n ew European standards of less than 5 mg/L hydrocarbons and less than 10 mg/L suspended solids. Their inorganic, composite m embran e produced an effluent free of hydrocarbons and suspended solids at any operational condition. Satisfactory and steady flux performance was obtained even at 35° degrees Celsius. When a helical baffle was used, progressive fouling was almost avoided.

WASTEWATER Bilstad and Especial tested membrane filtration for treatmen t of produ ced water from North Sea oil production , the new efiluent standards being beyo nd the reach of centrifuges and hydrocyclones. They fo und that ultrafiltration, but not microfiltration , co uld meet the more stringent standards for total hydrocarb ons, suspended so lids and dissolved constituents. No irreversible fouling of the membrane surface was experienced, and cleaning with alkaline detergent restored the clean water flu x . The titles of the ten poster presentations are: • Application of Low Pressure Reverse Osmosis Membrane for Zn 2• and Cu 2+ Removal From Wastewater • Dye Wastewa ter Treatrn.ent U sing a Hollow Fibre M embrane Bioreactor • Effec t of Anaerobic Diges tion Broth Composition on M embrane Permeability • Competitive Adsorpti on of Trace Organics on M embranes and PAC in PAC-UF Sys tem • Enhancement of Performance of an Extractive M embran e Bioreacto r System fo r D etoxifica tion of Monochlorobenzene Wastes • Microfiltration of Oxidation Pond Efiluent Using Single Flexible Tubular Fabric M embrane and Polyelectrolyte Dosage • Biologica l D enitrifi ca ti on 111 a

Membrane Bioreactor • Designing of a Pretreatment System for Tertiary Treated Wastewater Ro Desalination Plant • Influ ence of Configuration and Substrate on the Properties of D ynamically Formed Membranes • Nitrifica tion in a Bubbleless Oxygen Mass Transfer M embrane Bioreactor. Report by David Tolmie University of NSW

Environmental Engineering Education Environmental Engineering Education (E 3) is a new topic for IAWQ and WQI '96 hos ted the first session. Five papers w.ere presented and even though it was the last day of the conference, they attracted an audience of 100-150 people, boosted by the Chair being the President of IA WQ. The papers were: D elivery and • ' D evelop ment , Evaluation of Interactive Technology Training-a Case Study' , R G Skerratt (UK) • 'Environmental Engineering Education in Germany ', T G Schmitt and PA Wiiderer (Germany) • 'A Process Engineering Approach to Water and Wastewater Treatment Edu cation ', T Stephenson (UK) • 'Environmental Ethics in Engineering Education-a Missing Fundamental',

D G Wareham and P Elefsiniotis (NZ, Canada) • 'An Educational Water Quality Management Game', J J Kao and Y J Chen (Chinese Taiwan). Each paper caused a lively discussion since the issue of environmental engineering education is a matter on which everyone had some opinion. There was some concern that environmental engineering still seemed to reflect the process side of water and wastewater treatment, as evidenced by the majority of papers presented at the conference which came from chemical or civil engineers. . However, all acknowledged that in future the educa-. tion sessions should embrace some of the wider issues in environmental engineering. The president of IAWQ, Dr Tom Keinath, closed the session by saying that he had been encouraged by the response and discussions . They showed a keen interes t in this area which had vindicated his initial proposal to implement the session. He looked forward to having a full session on E 3 at the next IAWQ Biennial Conference in 1998 in Vancouver, Canada. Report by Cynthia Mitchell University of Queensland and David Wareham Canterbury Univers,ity Christchurch, NZ

KSB Ajax Pumps is a leader in the field of environmental engineering with pump technology that is already proven in sewage treatment and water supply plants in Australia and around the world.

Forrers and KRT Subm·ersible motor pumps used for all types of sewage and effluent in water treatment and industry.

Amamix Submersible mixers used in municipal and industrial sewage treatment

Omega and RDL Axially split volute casing pumps used · mainly for municipal and industrial water.

KSB Ajax Pumps 27 lndwe St Tottenham 3012 (03) 9314 0611 Vic (03) 9867 8166 NSW (02) 9584 2099 QLD (07) 3282 1766 SA (08) 8234 0066 WA (09) 330 7766 KSB Ajax Pump.s




Chemical and Petrochemical Industry Three presentations were made at the Victorian Industrial and Hazardous Wastes special interest group seminar on ' Chemical and Petrochemical Industry' . Held on 17 September 1996 , it was attended by around 50 people and chaired by Don McRae , KME . First up was a joint presentation by Chris Lloyd, GHD and Martina Zeitler, Mobil Oil Australia: 'Mobil Altona Refinery Wastewater System Upgrade' . This presentation covered details of the project involving: • a new wastewater treatment plant to reduce odour emission and wastewater flooding to stormwater at the Mobil Altona Refinery • a new ballast water treatment plant at the Williamstown Dock crude unloading facility. The main sources of odour at the refinery were a series of open separators, skimming and stormwater ponds, comprising the earlier wastewater treatment facility. The flooding in the refinery was due to a lack of sewer capacity.

After being appointed in 1993, GHD carried out hydrological studies to quantify flows, and treatability studies for the combined refinery wastewater and ballast water. GHD subsequently embarked on detailed design, completing the project in early 1996 at a cost of $22 million. Among other components , the works at the refinery included a new wastewater treatment plant (design average flow 4.5 ML/d). It has a number of innovative features, including hydrocyclones for secondary stage oil removal and aluminiuin floating covers for oil- stormwater collection and treatment ponds. Martina Zeitler outlined how the old ballast water treatment facilities at Williamstown Dock were not able to meet new EPA licence requirements for discharges into Port Phillip Bay. The main areas of concern were sulphide, dissolved oxygen and BTEX concentrations, along with other toxins such as phenols. She then described the new plant constructed at the Williamstown Dock. It includes a number of new treatment elements such as a pressurised corrugated separator for primary oil removal, a pressurised filter with walnut shells for secondary oil removal and a pressurised


SCHOOL OF CIVIL ENGINEERING POSTGRADUATE DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES Environmental Engineering Waste Management Water and Wastewater Treatment Groundwater Investigations and Management The UNSW School of Civil Engineering has offered distance learning postgraduate courses in waste management and water and wastewater treatment for some years. Commencing 1997, two new courses -Master of Engineering Science (Groundwater Investigations and Management) and Master of Environmental Engineering Science · will be offered. All four courses are available on an external studies fee paying basis and do not incur HECS (graduate tax) liability. Subjects are available in the fields of environmental engineering science, solid waste, hazardous waste, wastewater treatment, water treatment, water and wastewater analysis, hydrological processes, groundwater contamination and remediation, project management, environmental economics, law and management. The formal Graduate Diploma course and the Masters course can be completed in one year full time, or two to three years pari time. Subjects may also be undertaken individually to meet continuing education needs. Open learning style. documentation is provided to suit students residing outside Sydney or overseas. · Applications for March 1997 commencement should be submitted no later than 20 December 1996. Late applications will only be considered if places are still available. For further information and application forms, please contact: Ms Rosalie Pang, School of Civil Engineering The University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052 Ph: (02) 9385 5072 Fax: (02) 9385 6139 Email:

For details about these and other postgraduate courses in environmental and water engineering, an Information Evening will be held at 5.30 for 6 pm on Wednesday 20 November in Room 109 School of Civil Engineering Building.





activated carbon contactor for reduction of BTEX and toxicity. The treated ballast water is subjected to spray aeration which increases its dissolved oxygen concentration prior to discharge into Port Phillip Bay. The second speaker was Paul Clare, Director of Fueltreat Australia, whose presentation was: 'How Reducing Your Waste Can Boost Your Profits'. Paul discussed the change in industry attitudes from end of pipe effiuent treatment to conscious ·waste management-treating waste as a by-product with a dollar value . The more product that can be recovered from waste, the more money is saved on feedstock and waste disposal costs, leading to better bottom line profits. Paul presented two case studies where using emulsion breaking products such as Breakclear 50 and Breakclear 20 led to significant product recovery (oil), cleaner water and decreased sludge quantities (for disposal). In the cases presented, the savings due to reduced sludge disposal and oil recovery were as high as an amazing 19 times the investment m terms of chemical costs. Paul also highlighted some alternative uses for recovei;ed products and residual sludges. These included using reclaimed oils for cogeneration (instead of reprocessing), using residual sludges as fuel in cement kilns and using reclaimed water for irrigation. The third speaker was Merv Ogston, Manager Water Processes, BOC Gases. His talk was on 'Pure Oxygen Technologies for Chemical Waste Treatment' . Merv began his presentation by describing the VITOX system-a pure oxygen injection system with applications in biological treatment of chemical waste waters . It provides rapid oxygen dissolution in activated sludge system, leading to improved BOD/COD removal efficiencies. Merv presented the Hunstsman Chemicals case study, whei;-e BOC gases have built an activated sludge plant to treat waste waters from the styrene manufacturing facility at Footscray. The waste waters contain phenols, benzene, toluene , acrylonitrile and cumene . .The activated sludge plant was designed to operate at a high MLSS of 11,000 to 15,000. However, it currently operates at a much higher than design MLSS of 19 ,000 and uses 2 x 4 tonne/day VITOX systems for oxygen supply to the biological processes within the plant reactor. The plant is operating very well, achieving high levels of breakdown of incoming chemicals, especially phenols. Report by Mohit Sibal


THE POLLUTEC STORMWATER POLLUTION TRAP: FIELD TRIALS R A Allison, T H F Wong, T A McMahon Abstract A new pollutant trapping device, based on a solid separation mechanism referred to as continuous deflective separation, is being developed by Pollutec Pty Ltd. A 6 m x 6 m x 4 m . system was constructed alongside a 1220 mm diameter main drain in Coburg, an inner city suburb of Melbourne, then connected into the flow. A joint research project involving a number of parties aims to compare effectiveness and costs of three methods of trapping gross pollutants in the urban environment: street channel entry pits, traps within main drains , and traps installed in slow-moving receiving waters. This paper describes the installation of the Pollutec trap , early results on its performance and the characteristics of the material collected.

Keywords Stormwater, gross pollutants, pollutant traps


based on a solid separation mechanism referred to as continuous deflective separation (CDS), and developed by Pollutec Pty Ltd, is being trialed as part of the project. Its functionality has been reported by Wong and Wootton (1995), and is briefly described below. The field component of the study "involves monitoring a CDS unit and a number of side entry pit traps (Banyule City Council) in the same catchment. The trapping performance and cleaning requirements of each system will be examined and will provide useful information for the decision-making protocol. The characteristics of each method will be compared in terms of costs and the volume and type of material collected. Previous monitoring in the Coburg area (Allison and Chiew, 1995) found that" natural material (leaves and twigs) contributes at least two thirds of gross pollutant loads and commercial areas were found to have larger amounts of human-derived materials (paper and plastics) than other areas. Storm event monitoring also showed that the highest concentrations of gross pollutants were during the early stages of runoff events. However, the largest quantities of material (loads) were being transported during times of high discharge. The first part of the field studies

concerns the CDS unit trap. This paper discusses the technology of the CDS system, the construction of the CDS unit in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg and preliminary results from the field work. Two objectives of the field work are to determine the trapping effectiveness and hydraulic performance of the CDS unit and to investigate the types and amounts of litter and debris which are transported in stormwater drains . A feature of the project is the range of parties it brings together: Melbourne Water (Parks and Waterways) , Pollutec Pty Ltd, the Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology, Commonwealth EPA, Moreland City Council, Banyule City Council and the Merri Creek Management Committee.

Background The CDS mechanism of solid separation is accomplished by diverting the incoming flow and associated pollutants away from the main flow stream of the pipe or waterway into a pollutant separation and containment chamber. As described by Wong and Wootton (1995), solids within the separation chamber are kept in continuous motion and prevented from 'blocking' as commonly observed with direct filtration systems. This is achieved by hydraulic design which ensures that the force exerted on an object by the circular flow action is significantly higher than that caused by the pressure differential across the separation screen. Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of a typical system. It should be noted that the water, while forming a vortex in the centre of the screen chamber, is forced to reverse its flow in order to pass through the screen apertures . However, solids are swept across the screen and concentrated in the central vortex. Floating objects are kept in continuous motion on the water surface while' the heavier pollutants settle into the containment sump . The screen itself is effectively self-cleaning. As noted above, the unit

Litter and debris (gross pollutants) from urban stormwater channels are major pollutants to receiving waters. They are aesthetically unpleasant, smell, attract vermin and are a potential source of nutrients as they break-up in catchments and waterways . The CRC for Catchment Hydrology is the focus for a large project aimed at developrng a decision-making Inlet protocol so that authorities Scree n can determine effective approaches for trapping gross pollutants within a particular urban drainage area . The protocol considers three --+i----- Overf lo w l. categories of trapping location: at street channel !.\. entry pits, within main I, drains, and in slow-moving receiving waters. It takes into Outlet I Chamber I account the urban drainage system layout, the predominant land-use and funding limitations in assessing the benefits and costs of the devices. A gross pollutant trap Figure 1 Schematic representation of the CDS structure




Photograph 2 Sump in place and the floor reinforcement t ied

Photograph 3 Shell of t he chamber where t he screens will be placed

is constructed alongside the drain. A 1220 mm diameter drain. The catch- standard precast pipe-was also fitted to diversion structure at the upstream ment area is approximately 50 the base. entrance of the CDS unit diverts hectares-35% commercial area, 60% The shell of the separation chamber stormwater into the separation chamber inner suburban residential areas and a was then cast (as shown in Photograph 3) and acts as a bypass weir. small pocket of light industrial activity. following which the separation screens It is constructed so that during The site was chosen because of previ- were installed in the separation periods of above-design conditions, ous work in the catchment (Allison and chamber. The separation screens are excess stormwater can bypass the CDS Chiew, 1995) , its range of land uses, delivered in sheets and were mounted in unit. The selection of the height of the and its size being small enough for a the separation chamber with standard weir determines the frequency of complete survey of the stormwater stainless steel bolts (Photograph 4). As stormwater bypass. The height of the de.bris. Also there was adequate access to weir is dependent on a number of the drain for construction and the main structure neared completion, the existing 1220 mm diameter pipe factors including the topography of the maintenance. was cut open in preparation for its site, depth of cover of the existing pipe connection to the CDS unit. and the discharge capacity of the Construction stormwater system. Hydrologic simulaThe construction of the CDS unit Photograph 5 shows the stormwater tions of stormwater runoff by Wong et al was carried out while keeping the exist- pipe exposed and preparation made to extend the CDS unit diversion struc(1996) were used for catchments with ing stormwater system critical storm durations of0.5, 1, 3 and in operation. The unit 6 hours. These simulations were carried was first constructed out to determine the volumetric diver- alongside the storm sion of the CDS unit under a range of water pipe to be design standards for the diversion struc- connected to the CDS ture. The results for each of these unit. All necessary simulations were found to be similar as structural work was illustrated in Figure 2. completed before For design bypass frequencies of breaking into the more than 0. 25 years ARI, diversion existing stormwater for efficiencies greater than 93% were connection to the found , suggesting that the height of the CDS unit. During diversion structure need not be set too construction, a small high in order to gain significant benefits road was closed and in the overall proportion of stormwater water, gas and diverted to the CDS system. It was telephone services concluded that for an optimal retrofit to were relocated. The existing stormwater systems, a bypass construction comfrequency based on a 0.25 years or 0.5 menced with excavayears ARI would be sufficient for effec- tion ofland¡adjacent to tive gross pollutant entrapment and the stormwater pipe would riot unduly affect the discharge (Photograph 1). Next, capacity of the drainage system. the steel reinforcements for the base of Fleld Site the CDS unit were laid The CDS unit is located in the and concreted (PhotoHarding Street Main Drain, Coburg, graph 2) . In addition, Photograph 1 Excavation down to t he f loor of t he Victoria. The unit is located at the the separation sumpchamber (6x6x4 m) junction of two streets and connects to a which is . made of a 30



Photograph 5 Construction adjacent to the drain

Photograph 4 Fitting the separation screens

ture into the pipe. Photograph 6 shows the completed unit fully contained underground.

estimates of discharge rate and volume and allow investigation of the hydraulic losses through the system. Pressure sensors were also installed across the top of the overflow weir to collect depth data. The depth data provide estimates of the capacity of the device and the proportion of discharge which bypass the treatment chamber via the overflow weir. The depth sensor indicated that,

Trapping Performance Two acoustic flow meters (which measure depth and velocity data) were used to monitor discharge, one located 8 m upstream of the CDS unit and one 7 m downstream. These probes provide

100 - . - - - - ~ - - - ~ -

99 98 97

-t-1- -- - + - - - - - ' - - - - - l - - - - - + - - - - - + - - - - - I


-t-:-lt--- - t - - ' - - - - - - t- - -- + - - - - --+-------1

to date, less than 0.1% of discharge flowed over the weir In this unit the screen perforations were 18 mm by 4.7 mm. As material captured cannot return to the stormwater system, it is reasonable to expect 100% capture rate of material larger than .the separation screen size , for the monitoring period. The trapping efficiency for material less than the mesh size is unclear, although laboratory studies by Wong et al (1996) have indicated a high percentage (near 95%) of captured sediment of sizes down to 50% of the separation screen aperture size . The field data from the Coburg field study indicates that 70% of the sediment collected from the unit was less than the me sh size, suggesting that it traps finer sediments.

Gross Pollutant Characteristics


-e-30m â&#x20AC;˘ 93 ~ -0

3 hrs


1 hr


6 hrs

~ - -~ - - ~ - - --'--- - - ' 2 4 6 8 lO

Figure 2 Plot of the% volume through CDS Unit device against ARI designed for Diversion Structure

Because of its high capture rate, the CDS unit provides an excellent monitoring device for gross pollutants travelling in stormwater. The cleaning process involved removing the floating and sump materials , by hand (Photograph 7) and transporting this material back to the University of Melbourne where it is placed into baskets and left to drain overnight. The material was then sorted into the following seven classifications for floatWATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996



Photograph 6 The final product at road level

ing and sump material: • plastic - personal - from pedestrians, motorists or residents (eg. food & drink items, cigarette butts) • plastic - commercial - from business activity (eg. packing polystyrene, wrapping straps) • paper - personal - from personal use (eg. newspapers, bus tickets, food & drink containers) • paper - commercial - cardboard etc • metals - foil, cans • vegetation - leaf litter and any vegetative material • others - cloth, unidentifiable . After sorting, the volume of each classification was estimated, the samples weighed and then sub-samples from different classifications were taken and the material was dried. Cleanouts of the CDS unit were carried out following significant rainfall, in an effort to correlate the amount and types of gross solids transported with storm characteristics. Figure 3 shows the percentage composition of the total load (floating + sump) by dry mass for the seven cleanouts performed to date. During the cleanout, gross pollutants were collected using a wire leaf rake and consequently much of the sediment was left at the bottom of the sump. The amount of sediments attached to the sump material was estimated by ashing the washed and unwashed samples. Preliminary results suggest the contribution of inorganic material is between 10% and 25% of the dry mass of vegetation from the sump. During commercial operations, a wire basket will be located in the sump and the pollutants collected there-in are 32


Photograph 7: Removal of material trapped in the separation chamber

mechanically lifted for disposal. The masses of material from the monitored cleanouts are shown in Figure 4. Dry mass of material per hectare (vegetation and total load) is plotted against the volume of runoff through the trap . These are preliminary data and do not represent storm intensity, time between storms or antecedent conditions. Further analyses are being carried out to provide insights into how these factors affect gross solid loads.

shows a trend of increasing energy loss attributed to the CDS unit with discharge (as represented by increasing depth of flow in the 1220 mm diameter pipe). At the commencement of bypass flow, a maximum energy loss of 250

Hydraulic Performance Data from depth measurements upstream, downstream and across the bypass weir allow estimates of the hydraulic impedance of the unit. The unit has been monitored for two months . Water has passed over the bypass weir four times with the proportion of stormwater volume bypassing the CDS unit being less than 0 .1 % . Losses are estimated from the difference in hydraulic energy of the flow directly upstream and downstream of the device. Figure 5 plots the computed energy losses for the 23-24 June 1996 storm event. As expected, the plot

Photograph 8 Research scho lar Rob in Allison sorting the trapped materials into seven classifications

ENVIRONMENT mm was computed. To date , there has been no recorded storm event which has led to pipe full flow condi tions.

the first author. To date , discharge data and trapped · material have been collected over two months and the material caught in the trap has been collected and analysed seven times. Monitoring suggests that the CDS unit is an efficient gross pollutant trap . During the two months of monitoring, practically all material greater than the minimum aperture size of the separation screen (4. 7 mm) was retained in the separation chamber. Analysis of material trapped found a significant proportion

Summary and Concluslons This paper has documented the construction and monitoring of a stormwater gross pollutant trapping device using the continuous deflective separation (CDS) mechanism developed by Pollutec Ltd. The field study is part of a broader gross pollutant research proj ect currently being carried out by o

Vegetatio n

ml Plas tic · person al

a Pape r - perso nal

o Pla sti c · comm / in d.

C le an # I

C lean #2

Clean 11 3

C lea n # 4

of the solids trapped were below the 4.7 mm minimum separation screen aperture size. The hydraulic impedance of the unit appears to be quite low, allowing possible installations in a range of channel slopes. Further monitoring is continuing to record the hydraulic performance under pipe full and pressurised conditions. Analysis of trapped material indicates that more than two thirds of the load is vegetation, which could potentially impact on the loads of nutrients to receiving waters. Personal litter (mainly plastics and paper) makes up most of the remainder of the load. The mo st common items were food and drink containers, cigarettes and packaging · debris. Monitoring will continue for another ten months. It will provide information on the hydraulic performance when the collection chamber is full, the long-term cleaning procedure and frequ ency, and the sediment-trapping performance.

References Cl ean #5

C lean #6

Clean # 7



6 01/.



Figure 3 The compos it ion of trapped materia l by dry mass

.. . .




120 0

'" e, ]

. .

. .... .




• O rgan ics

• Total load



• I0




Ru n off ( mm)

Figure 4 Amounts of vegetation and tota l po llutants cleaned from the Poll utec trap

.. .. . .• .,,, .......

0.3 0.25


0.2 0. 15

g "' "'




0. 1

0 -0.05 -0. 1 -0.1 5

Figure 5 Plot of losses versus pipe (23-24 June 1996 event)


The authors wish to acknowledge the generous support in time and resources by Pollutec Pty Ltd, Melbourne Water Corporation, Commonwealth EPA, Moreland City Council , Banyule City Council and Merri Creek Management Committee. In particular, the authors wi sh to acknowledge the support of Sharyn Ross and Ian O 'N eill from Environmental Engineering at Melbourne University and Ian O'Callaghan and Brendon Salmon from the Merri Creek Management Committee.





Alliso n R A and Chiew F H S (1995) Monitoring of Stormwater Pollution for Various Land Uses in an Urban Catchment, Pro c. 2nd Int. Sym. on Urban Stormwater Management, M elbourne Australia, 11-13 July, IE Australia, NCP 95/03, Vol. 2, pp 511-516. Wong T H F and Wootton RM (1995), An Innovative Gross ' Pollutant Trap for Stormwater Treatment, Proc. 2nd Int. Sym. on Urban Stormwater M anagem ent, M elb ourne A ustralia, 11-13 July, IE Australia, NCP 95/03, Vol. 2, pp 407- 412 . Wong T H F, Wootton RM and Fabian D (1996) A Solid Separator Using a Co ntinuou s D eflec tive System, paper accepted for the 7th International Conference on Urban Stormwater Drainage, H anover , Germany, 9-13 September 1996.

fl8W' 1cle'f:)fH for an

overflow event

All authors are members of the CRC for Catchment Hydrology, PO Box 197, Caulfield East, 3145. ' Robin Alllson is a Research Scholar and Tom McMahon is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Un iversity of Melbourne. Tony Wong is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University. WATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996


ENVIRONMENT consulting firms. The study commenced in October 1992 and the Final Report was completed in June 1996.

Previous Studies

Introduction Port Phillip Bay in Victoria is large (1900 km2), but surrounded by a population of over thre e million people. Melbourne and Geelong are major ports, both with significant industrial activity. It is a relatively closed 'estuarine' system, with a flushing time to the ocean of approximately one year. There was anxiety that it might be in danger of eutrophication, and although in previous years a number of surveys had been carried out the results were inconclusive in relation to long-term trends. In 1991 Melbourne Water initiated, and subsequently funded, a thorough study to guide long-term sustainable management of the Bay. Professor Chris Crossland, now of the Coral Reef CRC, Townsville, conceived the basic requirements of such a study. A Management Committee chaired by the (then) Victorian Department of 34


Conservation and Natural Resources, with representatives from Melbourne Water, Melbourne Parks and Waterways , the EPA and the (then) Port of Melbourne Authority supervised the project, and Melbourne Water allocated a budget of some $12 million. It was decided that the CSIRO should be contracted to design and manage the scientific research. Dr Graham Harris, of the (then) CSIRO Institute of Natural Resources and Environment, has an international reputation in aquatic ecology, nutrients and algal blooms (see Water, May 1995). He accepted the position of Director of the Study Team, to which he recruited ten experts from a wide range of CSIRO divisions. In all, the team delineated some 47 research tasks, which were allotted to a total of 29 major contractors, including CSIRO divisions, other government agencies, universitie s and private

In the 1960s the bulk of Melbourne's wastewater was routed to the Western Treatment Plant (WTP) where it was treated by a combination oflagoons and land systems, the efiluents draining to Port Phillip Bay at points along the Werribee shore. In the rapidly developing suburbs, a considerable number of non-sewered properties resulted in significant pollution of natural creeks and rivers flowing to the Bay. In 1968 it was proposed to develop the sewer network, and build a large activated sludge plant at Carrum, discharging the secondary disinfected efiluent off the eastern shore of the Bay. There was so much public disquiet about possible environmental effects that in 1969 the Government decided to construct a 60 km pipeline to carry the secondary efiluent out to the ocean. They also agreed to continue with the study of the physics, chemistry and biology of the Bay to provide base-line data from which to assess the long-term effects of urbanisation. This 'Phase One .study' continued for two years and yielded a detailed 'snapshot' of the health of the Bay. To some people's surprise, the Bay was found to be remarkably healthy. As little was deduced about the actual processes taking place, the authors of the report recommended a second phase to address deficiencies. Some¡- localised studies and a 'Phase Two -Study were carried out in later years, but no integrated modelling was attempted. It demonstrated an enigma: despite the annual input of more than 8000 tonnes of N , the concentration of N in the water column remained low , and phytoplankton levels were also low.

1992-The Project Starts The first stage of the current study was to collect and analyse all previous data. These were summarised in eight reviews spanning physics, chemistry, biology and ecology. Those of particular interest to readers of Water are summarised below. , Nutrients. The review of nutrients showed the dominance of inputs from the Yarra River and the WTP , some 80% of the total, with WTP contributing about half of this. Comparing nitrogen inputs in 1970 and 1990 shows the fall in input from other sources (drains, etc) due to increased connections to sewer over the 20 years. Together with population increase, this had resulted in an increase in N from WTP to nearly

ENVIRONMENT 7000 tpy by 1975, but when the Eastern system was commissioned, · with discharge to the ocean, this was reduced to 3500 tpy. · It confirmed the discrepancy in the N balance and that the level of inorganic N in the water column was comparatively low , only 5% of the total N. Toxlcants. In no reports were levels of metals in waters anywhere near the ANZECC guidelines for protection of aquatic life in marine waters, ·and levels in sediments were less than half the USEPA guidelines (unlike a number of closed waters in NSW) . Apart from early data from Corio Bay, due to an industrial discharge which was later ceased, levels in edible seafood were never above NHMRC limits. Data on complic;tted organics were sketchy, but there was no doubt that contamination with petroleum products was at low to moderate levels all over

1996-The Results

Physics. Th1rty pages of the report cover the data acquired to estimate mixing and flushing processes. From this data, models were constructed for effects of wind, waves, hydrodynamics and transport. Transport of sediments and of particulate matter from the rivers was analysed. Finally, a hydodynamic and transport model was generated, segmenting the bay into 59 compartments , which could be correlated with the ecological model. Nutrients. In this chapter the sources of the nutrients are itemised and loads estimated. The processes at WTP (a comb~ ation of lagoons and land treatment), remove about two-thirds of the N and P in the raw sewage. The eflluent contains N mainly as NH 3 , with the highest concentrations in winter and spring, when the denitrification is less · effective . WTP now discharges just over 3000 tpy of N, Water and loads from the rivers Phytoplankton Nutrients and creeks are just as significant, totalling nearly 2000 tpy. The input from atmosphere is estimated to be a further I c,ooN,.P,Si,, I o,c::> co, + NH:,IN03 + P04 + s10. 1000 tpy. Phosphorus totals 1600 tpy with WTP Bacteria Bloturbators contributing two-thirds Burial & & ~ of this. Deposit Feeders Bioirrigators With improvements in Sediment the WTP system, dissolved organic carbon in Figure 1 A process for nutrient dynamics in Port the eflluent has declined Phi llip Bay from 7000 tpy in 1980 to 4000 tpy. Dissolved silica the Bay, and quite high in Corio Bay. in the eflluent is of the order of 800 tpy. The question of what happens to the Design of the Study nutrients has been more difficult to From this base, the study was answer. A succession of cruises with designed to obtain better knowledge of: continuous underway analyses gener• catchment inputs ated a very large database for ammonia, • exchange processes between the Bay nitrate, nitrite, phosphate , silicate, and the ocean chlorophyll, D 0, salinity and tempera• sedimentation processes · ture. • sediment nutrient fluxes and processes Comparison with previous data • significance of macrophytes, seagrasses (1970) indicated that whereas the pool and microphytobethos in the system of P in the Bay has remained reasonably • pfiytoplankton productivity compared constant at ca 1500 tonne, the pool of to ambient nutrient levels total-~ had declined from 8500 to 3000 • phytoplankton grazing rates tonne, being depleted faster than the • finally, development of models of exchange process with the ocean. nutrient dynamics. A project which examined the nutriThe basic objectives were to assess ent concentrations in sediment cores whether inputs of nutrients and indicated that two important processes toxicants were likely to have deleterious were taking place: effects on the physico-chemical status of • production of soluble N, P , Si in the the waters, · sediments and biota, and sediment eventually on human health, and to • bio-irrigation and bioturbation. assess the level of nutrient input which Consideration of all data has led to a could lead to eutrophication. Both total model for nutrient dynamics in the and local assessments were required. In relatively shallow and static waters of the event of possible adverse outcomes, the Bay. This proceeds along the what managerial controls should be following cycle, illustrated in Figure 1: applied, and when? ·1) ammonia, nitrate, silicate and




some of the phosphate are taken up rapidly by phytoplankton in the water column and by the microphytobenthos coating the sediment 2) grazers of phytoplankton rapidly recycle nutrients in the water column. However, the diatoms , made dense by their silica content, sink to the bottom. 3) there they are degraded by a variety of aerobic organisms, yielding CO 2 , NH 3 , P0 3 , Si0 3 4) bacteria in the sediments oxidise some of the NH 3 to nitrite and nitrate. Denitrifiers take 6ver and produce N 2 gas. 5) the silica skeletons redissolve readily back into the water column 6) sedentary animals, such as worms, turn over the sediments, providing alternate aerobic and anaerobic conditions to enable nitrification and denitrification to take place, and release nutrients back to the water column 7) Some PO 4 remains sequestered in the sediment but 70-90% ofN reaching the bottom is denitrified. This was the single most important discovery of the study. These processes preven t soluble and available N from accumulating either in the water column or in phytoplankton, because N is removed as nitrogen gas. If the sediments in the bulk of the Bay became oxygen starved, the Bay would rapidly become eutrophic, since the pool of phosphate is more than adequate to cope with an increased nitrogen pool. The role of the bio-irrigators and bio-turbators is vital to maintain oxygen transfer deep into the sediments. In the highly loaded zones of the Yarra estuary, Hobsons Bay, and off WTP, although benthic animals are very active, they cannot maintain sufficient oxygen in the sediments, so that NH 3 is recycled for a new cycle of phytoplankton production. Note that the above process also depends on the availability of silicate for diatom production, since it is mainly the diatoms which sink to the sediments. The remainder of the chapter di scusses the sedimentary processes, nutrient fluxes and budgets in more detail. It is estimated that the benthic fauna contain some 3000 tonnes of N, while phytoplankton, microphytobenthos and macroalgae together contain a total of ·1200 tonnes. The phytoplankton 'turn over' around 40,000 tpy of N and the microphytobenthos about 21,000 tpy. Thus the 6000-8000 tonnes ofN discharged by humans into the Bay each year has , up to now, been mainly converted into nitrogen gas. Toxlcants. Early studies on toxicants had concentrated on the possible effec t on human beings, consuming commerWATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996


ENVIRONMENT human consumers, monitoring of edible fish and molluscs has been carried out routinely for some 20 years. The project included a task to survey metals in flathead, mussels and dominant benthic flora from six off-shore areas. The historic cadmium in Corio Bay is being gradually mobilised and dispersed into the Bay proper, but concentrations in biota are well below concentrations. Other Metals in the sediments. permitted Sediments are the ultimate metals, including mercury, are all well sink for most metals enter- below limits. In the 1970s, the mean ing the Bay, whether they mercury concentratio~ of flathead was originate as soluble ions or 0.5 Âľg/g wet weight, and in some as particulates. Most will locations exceeded limits. By 1990, this exist in the sediments as had declined to 0.23 Âľg/g, and results insoluble sulfides. However, from the project indicate that the if oxygen is present, they decline has been sustained. Benthic plants were also surveyed, could still be solubilised and ingested by benthic fauna, and showed that metals were similar to and possibly be bioaccumu- those reported elsewhere and not a lated up the food chain. cause for concern. Organics. In all of the samples A considerable amount of data was already available collected for metals, organics were also (particularly for Corio Bay), analysed and ten pages of the report and this was extended in the discuss the results . Apart from study by sampling from 33 petroleum hydro carbons, levels of sites in grid patterns off synthetic chemicals are very low in WTP, in Hobsons Bay, and water and sediments, and do not present in the centre of the Bay. any environmental threat. However, Also, nine input streams DDT is still evident in sediments in and drains were sampled. Hobsons Bay at levels above the guideSamples were separated line limits, long after its use was banned. into silt , fine sand and Bioaccumulation of other lipid-soluble coarse sand fractions and each was compounds such as chlorophenols and analysed for 0.5 M HCl-labile metals dioxins has long been a concern, but and also for total metals. concentrations detected in fish and The results show that most sites were mussels are all at the lower range of well below the levels for adverse biolog- international data. T he highest concenical effects. The levels offWTP were, in trations of dioxin found were 0.45 pg/g general, even lower than in the central in flathead fillets and O. 68 pg/ g in Bay. The exceptions were the sediments mussels , compared to the USFDA limit from the mouths of input rivers and of25 pg/g. drains, including the Yarra River, Fish health. The presence of visible where for some metals the lower guide- anatomical deformities or lesions has line levels were just exceeded. been used internationally as evidence of Analysis of deep cores might be exposure to sublethal effects. The expected to yield a history of metal design of the project did not include contamination prior to and during the such measures of pollution stress, but course of 200 years of European settle- given the low concentrations of all ment. However, the processes of biotur- pollutants, such effects might be limited bation interfere, and the rate of to only a few key areas. Previous studies sedimentation is difficult to estimate, had never found significant lesions. The even when Pb-210 dating and the influx study recommends that modern indicaofTBT are used as markers. tors of sub-acu te stress should be Without being able to apply accurate applied in future investigations. dates, it was clear that contamination by Ecology. The ecological investigalead, copper and zinc has increased tions indicated that the Bay is in a steadily over the last century, but healthy state, with few significant algal chromium has started to decrease. blooms. However, there h ave been Arsenic is a special case. It is some changes in specific biota (eg, fish somewhat more concentrated in the species), some of which could be a deeper sediments, and is mineralogical normal fluctuation or tl}e result of rather than anthropogenic. It is being fishing practices and habitat modificamobilised into the water column, and is tion. The results suggest no effect of widespread over the whole of the Bay, toxicants on marine biota, and that at a mean concentration of2.8 Âľg/L. contamination has decreased over the Metals in biota. Because of the last 20 years. biomagnification effect of the food Since the Phase One Study in 1970, chain, and possible adverse effects on there have been changes in the species column showed that all concentrations were one to two orders of magnitude lower than the ANZECC guidelines. Higher concentrations were found in Hobsons Bay and Corio Bay, the latter a result of the industrial discharge which has since been controlled.

Sc ientists measuring salinity

cial or recreational seafood. (The focus has perhaps shifted now to the possible effects on the vital benthic organisms). With enhanced analytical methods, all possible sources have been surveyed for a wide range of both metals and organics. Metals in the water column. The processes at WTP remove substantial proportions of all metals. Although the concentrations of copper, chromium and lead in the outfalls themselves are marginally higher than the ANZECC guidelines for aquatic health, they are rapidly diluted in the mixing zone. Earlier monitoring data (1979-81) were analysed and showed that the loads of metals originating in the rivers and creeks were many times more than came from WTP. The effects of shipping were monitored, and no detectable effects were found, except in dockyards, where slightly elevated concentrations ofTBT, zinc and lead were noted. It was estimated that most groundwaters in the catchment actually reported to streams and drains, so that direct inputs of gro undwater to the Bay would contribute less than 1% of the total load. Atmospheric input of lead (from vehicle exhausts) would mostly report via the catchment run-off, rather than directly into the Bay. An estimate of about 500 tpy has been suggested. A survey of metals in the water 36


ENVIRONMENT composition and relative abundance of benthic invertebrates. A charac teristic of eutrophi cation is an increase in d~posit feeders, but in the Bay the reverse has occurred. To some extent this is complicated by the appearance of exotic species which could affec t the vital deposit fe eders and bioturbators which up to now have controlled the nitrogen levels. Their impact is not yet known . They have the potential to increase ammonia levels, and po ssibly displace other species. Modelling. The results and conclusions from all these investigations have been quantified in an integrated model designed to assist management of the eco-sys tem. It is based on the vital process of denitrification . To quote two · paragraphs: ' The Bay's response to increase d loadings is dominated by positive· feedbacks limiting deni trification . Both sediment process models and empirical evidence from chambers suggest that denitrifi cati on effici encies should eventually diminish as nitrogen loads increase. This feedback essentially fixes a maximum denitrification capacity for the Bay. Once loads excee d this capacity, nitrogen must accumulate in the Bay until loss through flushing to Bass Strait matches inputs. This can only occur at

extremely high water column concentrations of PON·, DON or DIN. By any account, the Bay would be considered eu trophic once this occurs. The data and the model suggest that this capacity is probably somewhere in the range of two to three times current loadings.' Evidence from both modelling and empirical observations is that long before that, eutrophication would commence in critical input zones.

Recommendations The report concludes with recommendations. These can be summarised as: • continue management of toxicants, particularly from waterways, and investigate long-term chronic effects on biota • protect biodiversity, including strict controls of habitat des tructio n by fishing, dredging, coastal engineering. • restore habitat w herever feasible. • regularly monitor seagrass, reefs, etc. • establish protected areas. • protect coastal and intertidal zones. • control introduction and spread of exotic species. • aim for a reduction of nitrogen load by 1000 tpy. Focus on storm loads from rivers, cree ks and drains. Improve denitrificati on efficien cy at WTP, particularly in winter. Se t loading targets and timelines.

• continue a monitoring program to provide early warning of unforeseen impacts • use the integrated model to assess trends in data, and publicly report annual performance • integrate the model of the Bay into catchment models so that long-term sustainable management becomes possible.

Further Action The study demon trated the n eed for more accurate data in a number of areas. It stressed that on-going monitoring was essential , and a suggested program has been drafted . A series of management workshops will be held using the model to analyse and develop strategies, and it is planned to publish a CD-ROM disk. The details of the study are contained in 45 technical reports, with seve ral still to be completed. The bibliography cites a further 150 papers, both local and international, which constitute a valuable data bank in themselves. Copies of Port Phillip Bay Environm ental Study-Final Report can be obtained from CSIRO Publishing, PO Box 1139, Collingwood, Victoria 3066for S60 within Australia.







Drying of Sewage Sludge Armin Vonplon, inventor of the Swiss Cambi Technology Sludge Drier, addressed W estern Australian AWWA members on 'Experiences in the Thermal Drying of . Sludge at the Subiaco Wastewater Treatment Plant' on 19 July. Armin discussed the new direct flu e gas drying technology utilised in the Swiss Cambi drier which can produce a dustless granular product of 92% total solids quality. He compared this new approach to conventional direct drum dryers w hich have significant ¡ odour problems. He detailed the operation of two overseas Swiss Combi plants. T he first ; in Beele Germany, was set up in 1988 and serves 100,000 people. It operates in a residential area w ithout odour complaints. The second, at W essex in the UK, serves a population of 500,000 and is run on biogas. T he granular product (Biogran) has good slow nutrient release properties, is excellent in lawns, and is commonly used on golf courses.

SA Branch Debates Effluent 'Should all efiluent be reused? ' was the subj ect of a lighthearted but topical debate held at the SA Branch AGM on 30 August 1996. Strictly moderated by Don Bursill , the case 'for' was eloquently put by the team of Ian Kirkegaard and Richard Clark, who asserted that it was not a question of whe ther all efiluent be reused but rather a fact that all efiluent is reused by virtue of the natural water cycle. The case 'against' was pragmatically argued by Kevin Y errel and Victoria Neverauskas. Kevin conceded that as much efiluent as practical should be reused but the case for total reuse was unreasonably idealistic. Victoria (flippantly) put the case that instead of reuse on land , more nutrients should be discharged to the marine environment to increase fishery productivity. 'Fish are worth more than spuds and lucerne' he said. At the conclusion of debating time, the audience was asked to record their vote by applause , the intensity and duration of which was measured by that most accurate of instruments, the Branch President's ear. N eil Palmer found Ian and Richard to be the winners. Unfortunately security at the venue appears to have been lax as over drinks, a number of the audience indicated that Kevin and Vic had been robbed. 38


Women in the Water Industry The inaugural meeting of the NSW Women in the Water Industry Group , held on 7 August, was attended by 20 people. This number is significant considering there are only just over 100 women in the NSW AWWA . The aim of the interest group is to promote and improve the participation of women in the water sector. Roger Pettitt indicated the support of the branch. The provision of equal access to all services reflected the strategic plan to increase the proportion of females in AWWA to better reflect that in the water industry and other organisations. Leeta Caiger (R obyn Tuft and Associates/ Analchem) discussed the benefits of using community groups to assist scientific proj ects, particularly in gaining data . Leeta described the QUACK project (Quality and Catchment Knowledge) taking place across the Berowra catchments. QUACKERS (sampling volunteers) routinely collect water samples, taking measurements using hand held meters, and identifying macro invertebrates . Leeta viewed training as the most crucial step in ensuring good quality data and successful community involvem ent. Split sampling has been introduced to determine the level of quality ass urance achieved, which is evidenced to be high . The use of community groups has allowed 19 sample locations to be studied for a longer time period that otherwise would not have been afforded. The project QUACK appears likely to receive a grant to continue due to its success. Marion Boman (UTS), describing her interest in AWWA and its programs, also remarked on the range of disciplines represented at the seminar. Marion stated that females are more likely to follow a path that is socially positive and community aware. H ence the 50% registration rate of women in Environmental Engineering courses . Marion described the Women in Engineering program at UTS . The main activity areas include recruitment, promoting public interest, developing . curricula and participating on advisory committees. Jenny Stauber (CSIRO), the final speaker, presented toxicity as simply ano ther water quality parameter to be routinely monitored. Jenny concentrated on the Pump Mill Industry as having developed toxicity assays but indicated how the technology could be applied to many sectors such as mining, ch emical, pharmaceutical or food manufacturing.

The pulp mill industry has suffered from a poor environmental record mostly due to the pulping and chlorine bleaching processes. Jenny described the toxicity tests generally employed including lethality, biochemical effects, fi sh-death, inhibition of growth, and sub lethal effects on lower order organisms such as sea weed. Jenny discussed the need to develop applicable bioassays as standards such as using local seawater species for pump mill effiuent as opposed to using tropical freshwater species since estuarine discharge is most common. One example of bioassay developm ent used a variety of local species at various life stages. Various effiuent types were tested including chlorine containing effiu ent , elemental chlorine free (ECF), and totally chlorine free (TCF) effiu ent. The surprising result was that the TCF effiuent was more toxic due to residual peroxide . Secondary effiuent treatment (anaerobic and aerobic) reduced this toxicity considerably.

Engineering for the Future Another recent event attended by A WWA members was an annual seminar at the University of T echnology, Sydney on 24 July. This is run by the Women in Engineering Unit of UTS . Therese Flapper (CH2M HILL) and Tammy Samuel (AWWA) attended a stand on behalf of AWWA. A variety of speakers illustrated the involvement of engineering in today's environmentally aware society. Ten parallel interactive workshops were run . Within each workshop, specific subjects were covered, including wetlands, pollutant trap demonstration and solar and hand pumps. Wiser Water Ways topics were particularly relevant for AWWA . The wetlands workshop described the use of this technology to treat waste , providing an aesthetically pleasing vegetated stormwater conduit, in contrast to common concrete channels. The students were enthusiastic about the role of engineers and scientists in enhancing the urban environment. A second topic was 'How To Understand a River', but with a difference: the use of artists . Through art, engineers are taught to think about land, waterways and human life in a different way. Two artists described their work in the Camellia area, Duck Creek and the Parramatta River. By researching the local ecology, culture and history, the artists 'were able to better understand the development of contamination, recognise pristine areas and heritage sites and perhaps most importantly, provide a conduit for better communications between industry and the environmental section.


CONTRACTING OUT ANOTHER MANAGEMENT FAD? G Hodge Abstract This paper investigates whether recent contracting reforms are simply another management fad, or part of a more fundamental change. It 1s . concluded that contracting is a fundamental reform with some significant benefits, but, as with any reform, there are negative impacts. Contracting out may well be introduced solely for ideological reasons , as in the pursuit of 'privatisation'. A recent analysis of empirical results noted that current contracting reforms are based mainly on the wealth of evidence available in the fields of garbage collection, maintenance and cleaning services. Direct translation to other areas, however, requires caution.

Introduction Management could be forgiven for being just a touch sceptical when being told to introduce contracting reforms to their business . Over the past few decades, we have observed a long series of initiatives: management by objectives, pe,formance budgeting, systems analysis, customer focus , centralisation, decentralisation, bench-marking, world best practice, total quality management, business process re-engineering, financial re-engineering, commercialisation, corporatisation, privatisation, and even re-inventing government. Organisations have also been encouraged to team-train, adopt strategic plans, practice quality circles and adopt numerous other techniques . Each of these reforms has promised greater efficiency or effectiveness. Most have delivered something. However, more often than not, these reforms have fallen far short of the promises made. Is contracting-out simply just another management reform 'fad', or something more fundamental? How can we interpret the current drive in pursuit of privatisation and competition? Which attributes of these reforms will be long lived, and how can our organisations and communities best adopt these reforms to the advantage of both businesses and society? To better understand the contracting reform, a willingness to differentiate between the hype and the lessons of

experience 1s necessary. What is required is a contrast between our beliefs about the promises, and actual empirical evidence on effectiveness and impacts. What general lessons can we therefore learn from other areas of contracting which could be adopted in the water and waste water sectors?

Tille Privatisation Movement The roots of the 'contracting out' thrust are found in the privatisation movement . Indeed, such is the strength of the linkage that academic and industry writings on the topic of contracting in the United States are more often than not entitled 'privatisation' . In the United Kingdom, the introduction of compulsory competitive tendering has been long recognised as a major component of the Thatcher government's privatisation platform. Governments of all persuasions are seriously considering privatisation as an important reform mechanism and many are currently adopting it with vigo ur (Letwin, 1988; Hartley and Parker, 1991). This movement has heavy ideological foundations and vociferous debate has arisen over the efficacy of privatisation reforms . Claims vary, and the language is value laden. What we can say is that privatisation is as much a political and social reform mechanism as it is an economic one. Some would even go so far as to suggest that privatisation is an ideology or a belief structure which is pursued as an end in itself. In the United Kingdom, privatisation reforms were initiated, not as part of an economic agenda, but primarily to reduce union power. The economic and market rationale for the reforms came several years later. The roots of contracting out are a part of the privatisation movement. More recently , contracting reforms including competitive tendering could be seen as part of the 'competition ethos' (Hilmer 1993). But let us also take heed that any ideology-whether privatisation or competition-may lead to reforms which, in the h eat of reformist passion, throw out the baby with the bath water. Let us therefore be aware of contrasts between the reality of current practices (which can always be improved) and the theory of market

competition or the theory of privatisation . In any political argument, theory always seems to win over facts! This area is ideologically charged, and simplistic claims on one side or other are common. There are also special interests at stake: private companies seek new markets, whilst unions or current employees fight for the comfort of status quo.

Private versus Public Production Is there unequivocal evidence on the efficiency of private sector production relative to public production? Unfortunately, the answer is no . Considerable evidence is available, but most careful analyses comment on the notorious difficulties involved in comparing the two sectors. The two reviews of Borcherding et al (1982) and Kay and Thompson (1986) , although dated, exemplify this point. The first looked principally at US and German firms. For 40 of the 52 cases reviewed, private supply was reported as ' unequivocally more efficient'. The second review also looked comprehensively at the literature but came to thy opposite conclusion. Kay and Thompson concluded that 'no simple generalisation about the superiority of private sector performance could be sustained'. There was, however, some agreement between the two reviews. Borcherding noted that it was not so much the ownership that was at issue, but the lack of competition which led to the less efficient production in public firms. In a similar vein, Kay and Thompson supported the view that the efficiency of all firms-public or private-is improved by a competitive environment.

Ownership, Competition and Regulation Studies in this area argue that m considering reforms such as private sector delivery of services, several fundamental variables are relevant. For example, Hartley and Parker (1991) distinguish between the extent of competition in the market, and the separate issue of the ownership of the assets used to deliver services. To this, we could also add the dimension of regulation. Thus, the cube shown in Figure 1 could be developed. What is evident from this diagram is the notion that competition or regulation in any area may be increased without changing ownership . However, this is not the usual message we hear from our political leaders, who often merge these three separate WATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996


BUSINESS past. These include economy, dimensions together in party economic efficiency, financial policies. returns, increased competiSome examples well illustion and private market trate these concepts. development. The social Whitfield (1983 , p 67) notes a Full Competition dimension looks at the 1980 investigation revealing Competition promised benefits to that nearly 70% of some consumers of better services, 16,101 research and consultMonopoly lower prices and increased ing contracts in the US were choice . It also looks at the awarded without competisocial impacts and outcomes tion . Contracting with or Public Private of changes such as the degree without competition is possiOwnership to which equity and need are ble. Looking at the ownereffected by privatisation ship dimension , contracting Figure 1 Competition/ Ownership/Regulation Cube either through outsourcing to activities. The democratic dimension external suppliers or to public-private debate is one which extent to which processes represents the in-house teams is also possible. brings into focus very different values. Values underlying public sector remain open for public action and Evaluating Private and Publlc actions are fundamentally different to collective citizen actions are enhanced. Activities those underlying private sector actions . The legal dimension reveals governIt is not a case of one or the other. Both ment performance in terms of legal The adoption of a framework for comparison is important, particularly as sets are desirable m a modern appeals or criticism from an independent umpire such as the Ombudsman. the public sector is .increasingly being community. Private sector values are founded on The political dimension covers a multiasked to ensure that government is individuals making a choice in the tude of possible performance areas. 'more like business' these days. But are government and business market, through elements of demand These include election results, fiscal different? Fundamentally, yes. A private and price. Customers view alternative management, the increasing of business sector business aims to provide the offerings as equitable and can exit the confidence and the control of corrupmaximum financial return possible to its market if not satisfied. The company tion. This framework has been develshareholders. The search is for higher chooses its target customers. Company oped from a knowledge of privatisation profits , and the company can be judged decisions are, understandably, confi- goals internationally, and from other on ratios such as return on equity or dential. Competition is the instrument suggested dimensions of public sector performance. return on assets which neatly summarise adopted in advancing the company. In terms of contracting out or The foundations of public sector the various elements of the company's actions see citizens enjoying the right to competitive tendering, a rather narrow performance. In contrast, government enterprises collective choice in the polity, arguing set of specific objectives has been usually have multiple obj ectives. They about the need for resources based on documented in the international literaaim to use their assets wisely to ensure equity considerations. Openness rather ture. As Chandler and Feuille (1991) that the maximum benefit is returned to than secrecy is expected for public note, 'the primary rationale for the whole community, meeting many action. The whole community is served contracting appears to be cost savings economic , social , environmental, and rather than just the target market. The rather than increases in the quality of political goals. In some government search is for justice rather than market services or some other factor' . trading enterprises, customers may pay satisfaction, and the instrument used is at the counter. Here, financial ratios through collective action in the polity, Review Method It is difficult to separate out the such as return on assets or rate of return using one's voice. In judging the efficacy of contracting technical lessons from the broader on equity may easily be measured. Nonetheless , it is likely that even such and competitive tendering, we require a business and societal impacts. To the agencies have more than one objective framework which is greater than simply extent that privatisation is an ideology, and that performance over several areas a one-dimensional financial judgement then two different reviewers of the same will be required. In other agencies, neat because of these values. Any possible empirical findings will come to quite performanc_e figures are usually not so differences in these fundamental values different conclusions. One reviewer need to be included in our judgement might operate from the paradigm that easy to obtain. Indeed, the central issue in the together with any differences in finan- 'government will always be less efficient debate surrounding both privatisation cial or economic performance. To than the private sector', with mantras and contracting, is what we, the collapse these notions within a financial such as 'good government is small community, expect of government. As or market framework only, is to empha- government'. Another reviewer may Mintzberg (1996) recently observed in sise one set of values to the detriment of operate from the opposite belief, characterised by catch phrases such as the Harvard Business Review, businesses the other. 'private sector greed' and mantras such sell as much as they can with arms as 'profits before people'. length trading and within the forces of Evaluation Framework What is needed is a review method supply and demand. This is fine for cars, At least five different areas or dimenwashing machines and toothpaste. sions might provide a framework for which is transparent and clean, but the However, he pointedly argued that he judgements on contracting government method one uses can determine the expects more from his government- services (Hodge, 1993) . These could review conclusions reached. How can saying 'I am not a mere customer of my include economic, social, democratic, this be so? Quite simply. The evidence on government, thank you. I expect legal and political performance . something more than arms length The first, the economic dimension, contracting out and competitive tendertrading and something less than the includes several areas which have been ing is voluminous. An international encouragement to consume'. What the subject of privatisation goals of the literature search (covering some 1,400 journals and magazines, as well as some Mintzberg is arguing here is that the 40


BUSINESS 6,000 non-serial publications and inter- were found for the traditional services knowledge itself also led to real perfornational theses) revealed 245 references of maintenance, cleaning, and refuse mance improvements . In terms of country studied , appearing to direc tly presen t experience collection. These were all significant. with 'contracting'f'contracting o ut'/ • several o ther services were found on Australian studies appeared to show 'privatisation through contracts' (Hodge average to have financial performance results not statistically different from 1996a). After retrieval and reading, 128 improvements which were n ot signifi- those in Britain . However , both references were potential so urces of can tly different to ze ro , including Australian and British results were empirical evidence on the effectiveness police/security, health , fire, training and significantly greater than those from the United States. of contrac ting out and competitive transport services • other services yielded results which tendering. While reviewing this literature, the showed significant savings under som e Contracting: Other Effects researcher might carry with him some tests but not others. These included Financial dimensions of performance perso nal o bservations, positive or corporate services, engineering and park aside, these studie . also provided an negative, of the impacts of contrac ting and recreation services. insight into the other dimensions of We should also note that virtually governm ent performance. Albeit, with performance, and consciously selec t the evidence which tends to support those none of these comparisons included the these less quantitative areas relying beliefs. An impressive array of findings costs of developing the tender process, more on personal judgement. can be gathered supporting one side or articulating specifications, tender develUnemployment. In terms of social the other. Literally, one can find opment, or contractor monitoring. The results, it was apparent that contracting whatever one wants to find! If a review costs of these elements are large ly efficiencies lead to employment reducselected only the empirical tions and that minority groups findings of the more carefully were more often affecteddesigned and implemented The often quoted '20% savings' appears with women part-time workers studies, a more reliable picture to be deceptively optimistic on average, and blacks bearing the brunt. may emerge . This, however, is Those not winning contracts and unlikely to apply to many public not guarantee d. and not subsequently able to This is particularly the case get employment also suffered. sector services for narrative reviews. They are Surprisingly little appears to be always subj ect to the criticism known about this group of the that those findings which the reviewer unknown , but thought to be in the community and the relevant 'labour finds more palatable are emphasised, order of at least two percent. Thus , our re-absorption ' rates. What little research whilst those wi th which he disagrees are likely overall savings from contracting is available in this area is worrying. It played down. This review method (and amounts to say 7% to 12%. Hence, the suggests that the local 'business unit' the accompanying flaws) is, unfortu- often quoted general '20% savings' cost savings gained through contracting nately, the most common in use . Often appears to be deceptively optimistic on out government services may be the reader is left uncertain as to the average, and unlikely to apply to many completely offset by the increased extent to which any conclusions can be public sector services . The available unemployment outlays at the national trusted. global statistical evidenc e sugges ts level (Escott and Whitfield, 199 5). This alternative One method different services yield different cost area clearly deserves further inquiry. lS 'meta- analysis', which uses as its data reductions. Corruption. In terms of the purely the statistical measurements No general differences between the democratic process, the risk of corrupfo und in the reports found in the above cost savings available from contracting tion in the systematic sense was noted. mentioned search. It has been adopted through the private sector or contract- Contracting was seen as often being recently to analyse performance findings ing through the public sec tor were associated with 'cosy politics' where the in the field of contrac ting (H odge, fo und. H owever for the case of cleaning business sector exerted undue influence 1996a, b). This has produced some very and refuse collection services, the on government decisions and public different perspectives to those presented savings achieved through the public policy processes (Kobrak, 1995) . Again, in 't raditional narrative style revi ews sector were only two thirds of those the evidence here suggests that this is such as Industry Commission (1995). A achieved through the private sec tor. not an isolated incident, but more of a full review of all of the available empiriSeveral other conclusions could also systemic risk with this reform. It therecal evidence is not appropriate in this be made. Savings from more recent fore cannot be dismissed, as it has been paper but the major findings are projects were found to be much smaller by some advocates , as an unimportant summarised . than those for earlier studies . More and minor issue. It is neither minor in sophisticated studies, where controls for magnitude nor unimportant. Contracting : Cost Savings many variables were present , also When , as Kobrak states, business had A wide range of conclusions were yielded savings aro und one half of an undue influence on the disbursement made from the meta-analysis, but the simpler studies . The savings for local of around two thirds of the Housing and more important included the following: government services appeared to be Urban Development Capital Works • an average cost reduction of around smaller than those for higher levels of funds in the US throughout the 1980s, Considering various this influence is no small matter . Nor is 9%-14% was found for those studies government. which presented their statistical quality performance measures, as best it easy to solve. Donahue (1989) again measurements. This result was highly we can tell from the currently available points to the 'chronic troublesomeness' significant statistically, with a sample international evidence, there was little of the relationship between government overall change. size of 20,131 m easurements . and business interests in the contracting Finally, costs in areas adjacent to of US military projects. A string of • the cost savings for different services were very different (ie statistically those areas actually contracting services corruption cases within the contracting showed savings of around two thirds process in the US Defence D epartment heterogeneo us) • the largest improvements in average that of those areas! It was concluded that demonstrates that even with processes economic performance (based on both the threat of competition and the acqui- having been streamlined over several cost and productivity performance data) sition of n ew financial performance decades, and with close media scrutiny, WATER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996


BUS I NESS the risk of corruption is ever present. prio ri ty, the public sec to r sh ould Publlc scrutiny. The tradition ally competitively contract those traditional accepted openness of government can areas for w hich cost savings have been be¡ progressively closed-off from public shown to exist. Other areas deserve scrutiny and accountability. Political more caution . In this, it is important to leaders were seen to mask any reduction separate o u t those servi ces w hi ch in the levels of services offered through governments are happy to operate under the guise of these 'now being a contrac- contract (such as those w here productor's responsibility' . tion efficiency matters most and w here N or should the public be comfo rt- service is easily perfo rmance able with the increased use by govern- m onitored), and those which it is no t ments of the phrase 'commercial- (su ch as services w here procedural in-confidence' w hen their decision s or fai rness matters m ost or w here service actio n s are ques tion ed . Such tac ti cs performance is a m ore complex matter). sugges t a loss of accountabili ty, and It is also important to separate out point to the n ee d fo r strengthen ed those services w hich should more accountability m echanism s, rather than properly be described as 'governance' weaker m echanism s which refo rmist functions rather than simply 'service governments are tending to demand. production' functi on s. Public goverStrategic Risks. M aj or co n cern s nance fu nc tion s are typically no t well were the strateg\c risks in contracting. unders tood within the private sec tor . For the provision of a minor service . Private sector contracts require precise over, say, three years, the risk of poor specificati on of deliverable services, perfo rmance can be managed knowing ra ther than vague notions of 'democthat o ther competitors are waiting in the racy, fairness or openness'. A blin d wings. H owever, w hen governments let insisten ce of contracts for all govern10 or even 20 year contracts, there are ment functions implies a blindness to attendant risks. Such longer terms do governance itself. Lastly, the existence not sit well with the well-known private of several areas of con cern such as sector emphasis on short term financial unemployment effects, the possibility of perfo rmance. undue business influen ce or cozy T he narrative part of this review politics, and the po tential fo r corruption argued that the drive to contrac t out all need to be acknowledge d , and government services w as often very accountability mechanisms strengthened. heavily fo unded on the 'privatisation ideology'. Conclusions

Implications Therefore, any government agency considering the introduction or extension of contracting out sho uld recognise that a continuum of po tential options is possible, ranging from simply determining the ac tual costs of services at one extreme, up to full competitive tendering at the other. C ontrac ting, when applied to a service area, enables an organisation fi rs tly to carefully review the specifications of w hat is required, secondly to market tes t the services offered , and thirdly, to ensure performan ce to that standard. Fro m an economic perspective, market testing itself has been show n to reduce the co sts of service production . Either the market testing option or exposure of in- house production teams to contract tendering is likely to achieve real cost reductions. Full competition is likely to achieve similar financial gains w hether contrac ting out to the private sector is adopted or contrac ting in-ho u se, w ith the exception of a few service s. Although it can be ac companied by business benefits , this reform is not 'neutral'. It carries with it other impacts and risks. Business and public leaders need to be aware of these and resist being carried along in a tide of fervour. Several implications exist. Firstly, as a 42


The Evidence from Five Countries, Journal of Eco nomics, (Zietsch rift fur N ati onalokonomie), Supplement 2, Springer- Verlag/Wien , NewYork pp 127-156. C handler T and Feuille P (199 1) Municipal Privatisation, Public U ni ons and Administration Review, 51(1), pp 15-22. D onahue J D (1989) The Privatisation D ecision: P ublic Ends, Private M eans, Basic Books, P ublishers . (H arper Collins) Escott K and Whitfield D (1995) T he Gender Impact of CCT In Local Government, U K E qual O pp ortunities Co mmission, Research Discussion Paper no. 12. H artley K and Parker D (1991) Privatisation: A Conceptual Framework , In Privati sati on and Econ omic Efficiency: A Comparative Analysis of D eveloped an d D eveloping Countries, Edited by Attiat F O tt & Keith H artley, pp 11-25. Hilmer F et al (1994) National Competition Policy, 1993. H odge G A (1993) Minding Everybody's B usiness : P erformance M anagemen t in P ublic Sec tor Agencies, Public Sector M anagement Institute, M ontech Pty Ltd. H odge G A (1996b) Con tracting O ut Government Services : A Review of International Evi dence, M ontech Pty Ltd, M elbourne Australia. H o dge G A (1996a) Privatisa tion : A M eta-Analyti c R eview of Performance, Unpublished D oc toral D issertation, Graduate School of Government, Monash University. Ho lc ombe R G (1990) T he Tax Cos t of Privatisation, Southern Econom ic Jo urnal, 56 (3), pp 732-742. Indu stry Commission (1995 ) Competi tive Tend ering and Co ntrac ting By Public Sector Agencies, D raft Report, 24 October, Australia. Kay J A an d T hompson, D J (1986) Privatisation: A Policy In Search of a Rationale, The Economicj ournal, 96 (3), pp 18-32 . Kobrak P (1995) Privatisation and Cozy Politics: Can W e H ave One Without the Other?, P aper presented to the 56th Annual Conference of the American Society for Public Administrati on, T exas, July 22-26. Letwin O (1988) Privatising the W orld: A Study of International Privatisation in Theory and Practice, Cassell E ducati onal Li mited , London, pp 156. Mintzberg H (1996) M anaging Government, Governing M anagement. Harvard Business Review, M ay-June, pp 75-83. Savas ES (1987) Privatisation: The Key to Better Government, C hatham H ouse Publishers, N J , 308 pp. W hitfield D (1983) M aking it P ublic: Evidence and Action Against P rivatisati on, Plu to Press, London.

Contrac ting is n ot just an other managem ent fad . Throughout history, it has always enabled the public sec tor to buy in expertise w hen not available, and to increase production capacity on a flexible basis in specific areas. A range of refo rms in delivering public sec tor services is possible and desirable. Contracting is a fundamental change in the way public sec tor services are delivered , and as such is worthy of careful analysis. N on etheless, so me care is required to separate the hype from the actual empirical evidence on contracting perfo rmance, in order to make informed decisions. It is only with this knowledge that we can ensure that the interests of both businesses and the Author general community are advanced. Graeme Hodge is a Course Leader in Contracting offers some real financial the Faculty of E nginee ring at RMIT advantages in some areas, particularly University (GPO Box 2476V Melbourne those traditional areas of garbage collec3001 ), responsible for a double degree tion , cleaning and m ainten an ce. program in C ivil Engineering and Business However, translating the findings in A dministration. H e has masters degrees in these areas to a catch phrase such as Business Administration and E ngineering ' contrac ting out all governm ent Science from Mona sh Univers ity and is services', involves a leap of faith . currently a PhD researcher on privatisa tion Unfortunately , a large part of this leap of issues in the G raduate School of faith is not backed up by the evidence . Government. H e has wide experience in senior management in the public sector and References was awarded a Confedera tion of British Borcherding T E , Pommerehne W W , and Schneider F (1 982) Co m paring the Industries scholarship to work in the private sector in the UK. Efficiency of Public and Private Production:



team compiled a short list of potentially suitable tenderers. Each of those tenderers were provided with a copy of the tender.

S Brown, G Simpson, J Ricketts

Tender Response Evaluation Abstract Under the Western Australian Government's program to expos e Government Trading Enterprises to private sector competition, the Water Authority of Western Australia (Water . Corporation since 1 January 1996) outsourced many , of its in-hous e services. This paper addresses three of these outsourced contracts . They are of particular interest because they are 'Alliance ' based agreements between the corporation and the contractors which have some unique elements of sharing both the risks and the rewards. As such , they are not conventionally structured contracts, rather they build in incentives so that both the private sector and public sector parties can benefit.

Introduction Prior to the outsourcing, the Water Corporation employed approximately 400 people in the Perth North and South regions who were engaged in providing operations and maintenance services to reticulation assets . worth approximately $5 billion. To ensure competition and enable comparisons between the two regions , it was decided that separate contracts would be awarded. Ultimately , the contract for the Perth South Region was awarded to United Constructions Pty Ltd and the contract for the Perth North Region to Serco Australia Pty Ltd in December 1995. It is estimated that the value of the contracts over their five year lives is in the vicinity of $170 million. A third contract was signed with Dawson-AOC Pty Ltd in May 1996. T his contract covered the provision of mechanical and electrical maintenance service for the Bulk Water and Wastewater Division within the Perth Metropolitan area. It is estimated that the value of this¡ contract over its five year life is in the vicinity of$35 million. This covers the work previously carried out by 95 employees on assets valued at $180 million (the Bulk Water and Wastewater Division is responsible for water sources , treatment, quality & distribution and wastewater treatment, industrial waste & effiuent disposal/ reuse).

Key Aspects of the Journey Throughout 1995 , the corporation had been examining the general issue of outsourcing and had entered into a number of outsourcing type agreements in that time. However, these contracts were the corporation's first major foray into the contracting out arena and to an alliance type agreement. There was nothing unusual about the steps taken to finalise the contracts. What was unusual (given the umque nature of what was proposed by the corporation and the extent of the services being outsourced), was the relatively short time taken to finalise the contracts - approximately ten months from Registration of Interest to execution.

Deciding to Contract Out Approval to contract out the Perth North and South Services was taken by the Board of the then Water Authority m February 1995. Prior to this approval, the corporation established project teams responsible for managing the outsourcing process and ensuring that the corporation 's objectives in that process were met. After all necessary approvals had been obtained, the corporation advertised a request for Registrations of Interest for the 'Provision of Operation and Maintenance Services'.

Tender Preparation Preparation of the tender document began in March 1995. Its preparation involved the project team taking both external legal advice from Freehill Hollingdale & Page and accounting advice from Price Waterhouse as to the preferred structure of the tenders and of the contract itself. There were also substantial conditions of tender concernmg human resources and industrial relations matters. The structure which was ultimately adopted was innovative in comparison to the corporation's previous contractmg experience. Consequently it required considerable examination and review by its own officers and external advisers as to its suitability. From the registrations that were received by the corporation, the project

An external¡ pre,bity auditor was appointed and key stakeholders (including the unions and government) were invited to send observers to the process. The qualitative and quantitative aspects were kept separate for the entire tender assessment process and prepublished assessment criteria were used. A verbal presentation by each tenderer was an assessed part of the process.

Negotiation Phase With the Perth North and Perth South contracts, negotiations with the preferred tenderers commenced in mid-July 1995. Weekly negotiation sessions were set up to ensure that the negotiations progressed at an acceptable rate. These sessions became more frequent as the proposed commencement date for provision of the services drew nearer. At the same time as the negotiations were being conducted, employees of the preferred tenderers who would be directly involved in the provision of the services started working closely with the corporation's own employees in the regions. This was to ensure that there was a smooth transition between the services being provided by the corporation to being provided by the successful tenderer. By the end of October 1995 , the parties had reached agreement on most of the major issues that had to be agreed between them. For a number of reasons -principally relating to concerns in connection with transferring employees -there was a desire that the preferred tenderer begin providing the services in early November. While the major issues had been agreed between the parties by that time, the formal documentation necessary to record that agreement required further work and a number of more minor issues needed to be resolved between them. Given these circup1Stances, a decision was taken by the corporation to enter into a 'Heads of Agreement' with the preferred tenderers. The Heads of Agreement was designed to govern provision of the services between signing of the Heads and the execution of the formal agreement. The



BUSINESS Heads of Agreement were executed by the parties on 10 November 1995 . During November and early December 1995, the final outstanding issues were agreed between the corporation and the contractors . The formal agreement (and associated documents) was executed by the parties on 14 December 1995 . It is important to note that the formal agreement was not a 'standard' contract, rather it was one which was jointly developed by the parties during the negotiation process. The Bulk Water Contract followed similar steps (less the Heads of Agreement), with the contract signed on 22 May 1996.

_ C ontract Type The contract is an 'alliance ' type agreement. An alliance relationship has been succinctly described in the article 'What is Partnering?' which appears in 'Partnering - A Strategy for Excellence - An Introductory Guide for the Building and Construction Industry', October 1992, and reads: 'A long term commitment between two or more organisations for the purpose of achieving specific business objectives by maximising the effectiveness of each participant's resources. This requires changing traditional relationships to a shared culture without regard to organisational boundaries. The relationship is based on trust, dedication and common goals, and understanding of each other's individual expectations and values.' It is this attitude that the parties to the contract took into their negotiations. This has been reflected in the contract itself which embodies concepts of shared risks and rewards, cooperation, 'open book' accounting, the payment of'Direct Costs' and an agreed level of profit in the management fee. The key aspects of the alliance nature of the contract are embodied in that document. The contract establishes what is described as an 'Alliance Board' . The Alliance Board is an essential element because it aids in breaking down the organisational boundaries between the parties to the contract. The Alliance Board achieves this because it is comprised of equal representation: two representatives of the successful tenderer and two representatives of the corporation. The Alliance Board meets at least quarterly. It has a mandate to deal only with matters of policy or which relate to substantial issues or activities to be carried out in the performance of the services . It does not concern itself with day-to-day issues .

Members of the Alliance Board are senior management of each of the parties. This is critical if, from an organisational point of view, the decisions of the Alliance Board are to carry weight within each of the organisations which are party to the contract. The functions of the Alliance Board are detailed in the contract and include matters such as: • enquiring into and reporting to the parties upon any matter related to the operation, discharge or performance of the contract • promoting a cooperative approach to the contract in each participating organisation • facilitating and encouraging open and forthright communication between the pa ties to the contract both by way of formal and informal means which the Alliance Board determines

the corporation receives continues to improve on an annual basis. The contract creates an explicit basis upon which the alliance is founded by imposing an obligation on all of the parties to act in good faith towards one another and in respect of the alliance established by the contract. In a similar way to the obligation to act in good faith, the contract makes it clear that each of the parties, in exercismg their respective powers and functions under the contract, must act reasonably.

Contract Structure

The contractors were required to incorporate what the tender described as the 'Service Company'. The Service Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the contractor. Under the contract, the Service Company employs the outsourced personnel of the corporation and has primary responsibility to provide the services in return for which it is reimbursed the 'Direct Costs' of the services. The management fee and profit are paid direct to the • to make recommendations to the contractor. During the term of the parties to the contract in respect of contract, the Service Company is not either parties' performance under the permitted to conduct any activity other contract. than the provision of the services, In addition to these specific without the prior approval of the corpofunctions, throughout the contract a ration . number offunctions are imposed on the Among other things, the contractor's Alliance Board. On the whole, those obligations under the contract extend to functions relate to determinations that managing the Service Company and may from time to time be required delivery of the services by the Service under the contract. Company; arrangmg performance For instance, the Alliance Board: bonds as security for the Service • prepares a budget, known as the Company's liability; providing a 'Alliance Budget', for the provision of guarantee of the provision of the the services for each year during the services so that if the Service Company term of the contract defaults , the corporation can call on the • sets the performance goals and contractor to perform the services in performance indicators which apply to accordance with the terms of the the provision of the services during each contract. year and which are used to determine In addition to the guarantee provided the eligibility of the contractor to by the contractor, the corporation receive its 'performance payment' required an all assets charge over the • has a role in reviewing the efficiency assets and undertaking of the Service of the continued use of the assets of the Company, a cash performance bond corporation (which were licensed as from the contractor and a guarantee of part of the contract), in the provision of the contractor and Service Company's the services obligations under the contract from the Decisions of the Alliance Board are parent company of the contractor. The given weight not only because of each total security package taken by the parties' commitment to the alliance corporation ensures that it is adequately concept which underlies the contract protected in the unlikely event that but also because it is a default under the there is any default by the Service contract for a lawful direction of the Company in providing the services. Alliance Board to be ignored. A critical part of the contract was A vital and active Alliance Board is defining the exact scope of the services. absolutely critical to the successful The nature of the corporation's operaperformance of the contract and the tions and maintenance activities meant alliance relationship contemplated by that it was not possible to define each of that arrangement. In addition, a vital the particular services with an absolute and active Alliance Board is critical to degree of particularity. Therefore it was ensuring that the standard of service that necessary for the parties to agree to an

Partnering is based on trust, dedication and common goals



BUSINESS indicative list of services and include a mechanism whereby that list could be amended from time to time by the parties either by the deletion or addition of particular service types.

Employee Issues The Service Company was required to make offers of employment to employees of the then Water Authority who were engaged in providing the services and who wanted to transfer to the Service Company. The contract contains detailed provisions dealing with issues such as: • transition payments to the outsourced employees • responsibility for sick pay payments • obligations in relation to compliance with relevant State and Commonwealth employment and superannuation law • an obligation to ensure that the Service Company continues, throughout the term, to have employees available with the same competency mix as the persons originally employed by it. The importance of the employee issues cannot be overstressed. Much of the negotiation phase of the contracting journey was spent with the corporation and the contractor negotiating with the employees and their unions.

Insurance Historically, the corporation has been a 'self-insurer' of its assets. A number of discussions were held between the corporation and its insurance brokers and the insurance brokers of the contractor to identify the appropriate types of insurance cover that the Service Company be required to maintain during the term of the contract as well as the appropriate levels of cover. Under the contract, the contractor and the Service Company are required to maintain the following insurances: employer indemnity insurance and worker's compensation insurance, public and products liability insurance, professional indemnity msurance, transit insurance, motor vehicle third party liability insurance.

Because it had been providing the services, the corporation already had those assets available. The corporation recognised that it would be more cost efficient if it made its assets available to the Service Company for the purposes of the contract. Those assets were made available, under a separate license agreement between the corporation, the contractor and the Service Company. The license agreement confers a non-exclusive license on the Service Company in respect of those assets and the term of the license is linked to the term of the contract.

Dispute Resolution Traditionally, the corporation has included in its contracts a standard arbitration procedure under the provisions of the Commercial Arbitration Act 1985 <:illA) as the basis for the resolution of contractual disputes. In this contract, that model was discarded. The reasons for that are twofold. First, the ' alliance' nature of the contract did not lend itself to a combative arbitration-based dispute resolution procedure. Secondly, the corporation took the view that arbitration was (potentially at least) a very expensive and time consuming way to resolve a contractual dispute. In the circumstances, the parties agreed to a streamlined 'staged' dispute

in respect of any dispute which may arise between them. The contract specifies a number of defaults which enable the contract to be terminated. The defaults are, on the whole, standard contractual defaults with the addition of a default being failure on the part of the contractor or the Service Company to comply with the lawful direction of the Alliance Board. This default provision is a recognition of the strength of the 'alliance' nature of the contract.

Service Quality Outcomes The alliance nature of the contract is reflected in the area of service quality outcomes. The most important determinant of service quality outcome is the concept of shared risk and reward which is apparent in the contract in connection with both the Performance Payment and the profit component of the management fee. Before the contractor can receive a performance payment it must have satisfied the following 'gateway' conditions: • achievement of certain performance goals set by the Alliance Board • achievement of a saving on the Alliance Budget • maintenance of quality certification. If those gateway conditions are satisfied (and this is reviewed twice during each year), the corporation calculates the cost saving achieved by the contractor/Service Company by comparing the actual costs incurred in the provision of the services with the budgeted costs for providing those services as specified in the Alliance Budget. That cost saving is then shared 50-50 between the corporation and the contractor, the latter's share being its performance payment. Any cost overrun is also shared 50-50. It is the responsibility of the Alliance Board to set the performance goals and the performance indicators which the contractor and the Service Company must meet during each year of the term. Once set, the performance goals and performance indicator will determine the service quality outcomes for the ensuring year. There are no constraints on the Alliance Board when it comes to setting those target levels, other than the common understanding which each party brings to the alliance that the level of the services is to increase to the greatest extent possible (or at least remain constant) and the cost t~ the corporation of delivering the services is to decrease. It should be noted that none of the contracts has indefinite terms. The quality of the service delivery will be an important factor in the corporation's

The 'alliance' did not lend itself to combative dispute resolution procedures

Licensing At an early stage it became obvious that the successful tenderer would require access to a number of the corporation's assets if it were to properly provide the services. An option that the corporation could have adopted would have been to require the contractor/ Service Company to acquire all of the specialised tools and equipment, premises, motor vehicles, etc. it required to provide the services.

resolution procedure. In general terms, the procedure involves senior members of each of the parties meeting and attempting to resolve the matter between them. If those parties fail to reach a resolution, then the matter is referred back to the Alliance Board at which time the Chairperson of the Alliance Board (a corporation appointee) is entitled to exercise a casting vote. If any party is aggrieved by the resolution of the Alliance Board following casting of the casting vote by the Chairman, that party is entitled to serve notice on the other party or parties and terminate the contract. In that way, the parties are not put to protracted litigation/arbitration proceedings. The resolution of the dispute is placed at a management level sufficiently removed from where the dispute arose, to allow a level of objectivity to enter the dispute resolution process. It is hoped that this will encourage the parties to reach a negotiated settlement



BUSINESS decision to extend the term or to retender the services. The incentive to secure an extended term (together with the natural competition w hich exists between the contractor/Service Company in each of the regions), is likely to be an additional catalyst to the continual improvement in service quality to the corporation. Those catalysts did not exist prior to con tracting out the services .

contracts), and to benchmarking current service delivery so that some u seful measure of the contractor's performance can be developed. • in order to achieve another dimension of competition, a decision to divide the work into two parcels (in this case based on geographical regions), will bring about not only that competition, but also a basis for comparison • encourage an open and cooperative approach between the parties in the Key Lessons negotiation. If an alliance is the The contract represents an mnova- preferred method of contracting out , tive approach to the contracting out of the 'alliance spirit' should be fostered at important operating and maintenance the negotiating table. functions. To date, both the corpora- • incentive based contracts which tion and the contrac tors are very pleased share risk and reward bring additional · with the way in w hich the process they foc us to the principal and the contractor have agreed operates and the positive , in setting and seeking to obtain perforproductive and open nature of the mance targets relationship 'that it is creating between • to be effective, an Alliance Board their organisations in connection with must remain at the higher 'policy' or big issue level and leave the day-to-day the delivery of the services. In respect of the contracts, a number running of the contract to those on the gro und of lessons can be learnt: • to be successful, a great deal of work • to ensure that the alliance is jointly must be carried out by the o utsourcing owned and not forgotten by the parties, organisation prior to deciding to it is vital to hold a third party brokered contract out. That work must foc us on workshop before the contract issues such as w hat approach sho uld be commences (or shortly after), at which taken to the outsourcing (eg. alliance the Alliance C harter and principles are based or more conventional contractual j ointly developed and agreed to by the models based on Australian Standard principal and the contractor.

Master of Engineering (Environmental) Study off-campus, part-time or full-time, with Australia's distance education expert. Progress step-by-step. Stage one, Graduate Diploma > Stage two, Masters

This paper is based on a case study written by Jason Ricketts, Partner of Freehill Hollingdale & Page, which will be published shortly by the Public Sector Management Office in Effective Contracting for Services-A Casebook of Good Practice in West Australia. Their permission to use this case study is gratefully acknowledged.

Deakin supplies quality study materials, expert tutors, and library service to your door. Other postgraduate courses include: Graduate Certificate of Water Engineering Graduate Diploma of Water Engineering and Management Graduate Certificate of Local Government Engineering Graduate Diploma of Local Government Engineering and Management Graduate Diploma of Clean Manufacturing Master of Engineering (Clean Manufacturing)


Applications invited immediately. A postgraduate information package can be obtained by contacting the School of Engineering and Technology and quoting 'WA' on telephone (052) 27 2033, c DEAKIN u . ,.. facsimile (052) 27 2167 or e-mail -t/ V




1:» '

Engineering your future 46


The whole process and the final result of these contracts has been innovative. To date, both the corporation and the contractors are very pleased with the way in w hich the process they have created operates and the positive , productive and open nature of the relationship that has been created. Not surprisingly, there have been some wider benefits. The most obvious of these are the cost savings-around $1 million-almost 5% of the annual Operations and Maintenance budget for both the reticulation regions. These savings have of course been passed on to the consumer. The restructuring of the w hole water industry w ithin WA has been equally important. Employees are now highly trained in their area and enj oy a choice of employers for their skills. The Water Corporation now has three partners in many things it plans to do and is increasingly involving them in future planning. The contractors have gained experience in areas previously closed to them and are now in a position to tender within Australia and overseas. As well as this, there has also been a cross fertilisation of ideas back to the Water Corporation. The contractors are passing on their expertise in areas such as pipe replacemen t techniques and human reso urce management to further increase service standards . In effect, this outsourcing of the Water Corporation has created a w hole new industry with positive employment and revenue earning implications , especially in the burgeoning Asian region.


Deakin keeps you in touch by telephone, mail, personal computer.

> > > > > >

Community Benefits

Partnering - A Strategy for Excellence - An Introductory Guide for the Building and Construction Industry, October 1992.

Authors Steve Brown is Project Manager, Water Corporation, Geoff Simpson is Manager, Asset Management Services, Water Corporation and Jason Ricketts is Partner, Freehill Hollingdale & Page.



sewage treatment, environment protection, sales and marketing and trade waste . Certification would provide a target for all staff to aim for, irrespective of their previous background. It would be a visible proof o commitment and would provide a firm basis for the continuing external audit after certification had been granted. Quality accreditation is now recognised over a wide range of industries and its application to some areas of the water supply industry had already commenced. One such application in a sector of the previous Melbourne Water had been incorporated in another of the retail companies, Yarra Valley Water. He decided to aim for ISO 9001, rather than ISO 9002, since the former encompasses engineering and design factors. Such an approach would also apply to the sub-contractors involved in the company policy of outsourcing .

amalgamation of the eastern segment of the prev10us Melbourne Water Corporation with a number of smaller Abstract authorities (Dandenong, Mornington South East Water Limited is one of and others). Consequently the new the three retail companies disaggregated Managing Director, Russell Cooper, found a complex mix of cultures and from the previous Melbourne Water in January 1995 by the Victorian procedures. Government. He had come to the position from his previous post of General Manager of When the company commenced operation the Managing Director EMAIL Electronics, with a background decided that the way to integrate the of supplying high-tech engineering to a various components, drawn from the - range of industries . In that position he precursor authorities, was to institute a had instituted a formal quality accreditation procedure, with separate formats quality management system. This has proven to be successful. The company for procedures and for work instrucis the first urban water authority in tions. At Email he gained accreditation Australia to be granted ISO 9001 status to ISO 9001 status in August 1992. in all aspects of its operations, and the From the success of that experience, results are evident in staff commitment. after joining South East Water he (Other water companies have been granted similar status, but only in specific operations and so far , not throughout their whole organisation).

R Cooper


Do it Better

South East Water purchases bulk water from the wholesaler, Melbourne Water. Similarly, most of the wastewater is delivered to Melbo urne Water's Eastern Treatment Plant, although South East Water does New company slogan operate a number of minor WWTPs . South East Water has the responsibility for operation and decided to fully integrate the various maintenance of all reticulation systems and varying components of the new and other plant, together with customer business under a quality accreditation system covering all aspects of the service and billing. business : finance, corporate services, When the company commenced operations in January 1995, it was an assets and engmeenng, field services,

Do it Now


Feb I Mar I Apr I May I Jun



I Aug I Sep I Oct I Nov

To commence the process, the business was analysed into 'bite-sized chunks'. Each was required to prepare an implementation program and this was backed by total management commitment. Training sessions were organised and personnel assigned specific responsibilities. Guidelines were established and progress reviewed at weekly

meetings. The challenges which faced the new company in its start-up were many. New financial systems were being installed, in place of an outdated program. There was a problem in locat-


Task Name


Dec Jan

1996 Feb Mar Apr May Jun


Aug Sep Oct

Operational Procedures Additional Proced ures - ISO 9001


Fin ancial Mgt New Procedures


Qu ality System History


Quality Man ual Draft


Fi nal Qua lity Manua l


First Rou nd Desktop Au dit


Refin e Processes


Audit for Certification


10 Syste m M'tce & Imp Proj ects

Figure 1 South East Wate r: Quality system implementation WATER NOVEMBER/ DECEMBER 1996


BUSINESS ing suitable training resources and the documentation load was heavy. At the same time, there was initially a fair amount of employee insecurity due to the rapidity of change. A deliberate decision was made to set a short time frame of nine months (contrasted to the two years which EMAIL had required). The time schedule proposed is shown in Figure 1. This decision focused effort, because the goal was tough-but achievable-and it was notable that performance at all levels improved during this period . The culture change to a policy of 'Quality is a part of what we do' was marked, and the element of competition by comparison with the other retail companies set up at the same time was useful.

the Local Area Network (LAN). The reason for use of LAN was that with all the drafting, revisions and redrafting that was necessary to achieve a consistent format , the volume of paper would have been immense. More importantly, being on network made all documents instantly available to all readers. Naturally, each document was saved as 'read only' with 'protected input', but once a document had been revised by its author and 'signed off, it was instantly accessible by all staff, to the three main offices on the network. Amendments were notified by e-mail to any group concerned. The major consequence was that all staff were automatically up-dated on screen and could print out a relevant document as required. This reduced the likelihood for an out-of-date work instruction to be used, which is a common cause of error.

Documentation Analysis of the situation resulted in the need for 71 procedures and 430 work instructions to be written (Table 1). They were composed by the in-house staff, which allowed the flexibility necessary for trained and skilled personnel at all levels to be both analytical and innovative. Work groups were assisted in the methodology by a consultant. All documentation was produced and stored on computer using


As mentioned above, the simultaneous initiative through the whole company was far more than the in-house training team could manage. Two consultants were engaged and a total of 14 internal auditors were trained. The quality system training was run by the quality manager, and it was also necessary to run supplementary courses Table 1 South East Water: Quality documents to cover detailed Divisions Number of Procedures Work aspects in some areas. documents


40 141 62 46 30 157 42

Generic Assets & Engineering Corporate Service Field Services Finance Sa les & Marketing Sewage Treatment & Environment Protection

13 12 7 6 7 18 8

The Agency

27 129 55 40 23 139 34

500,----------------~ 400

100 0


! . -













Figure 2 Unplanned water supply interruptions, 1995

3r-----------------~ 2.5 2


0.5 0


! . -










Figure 3 Sewer stoppages/100km of main, 1995-1996 48


In Australia there are currently about six agencies offering the service of quality accreditation to ISO 9001 standard. From these South East Water chose QAS (SAA) and the contract commenced in May 1995. By September, a number of trial audits had been run and adjustments made , allowi ng the final audit to be run in early December. A few minor noncompliances were notified , corrected, and m midDecember, QAS advised that South East Water was the first major urban water authority to reach the standard for all their segments.

The Staff This marked a significant occasion to celebrate and to thank the staff at an official launch. A new company slogan was adopted: Do it Better, Do it Now. The opportunity was taken at that function to review the goals of enterprise bargaining and also to launch new corporate uniforms to cement the new loyalties.

The Future Gaining accreditation is only the first step, and momentum must be maintained. Continuous improvement programs are a part of the company culture, and quality remains on the agenda at each executive meeting.

Achievements The job of integrating a number of existing organisations into a new coherent structure was always going to be a challenge. Aiming for quality accreditation has helped to achieve it and the results are already evident in a number of areas. In the engineering field , this is demonstrated in the steady reduction in unplanned water supply interruptions throughout 1995 (Figure 2 ) and the reduction in sewer stoppages from July 199 5 to March 199,6 (Figure 3). This has been achieved by the development of a computer tracking program and an expanded customer hot-line telephone system reporting to a Communications Centre. A computer software package 'Waterlog' has been specifically tailored to call-up all relevant information to answer a fault report. The service is shared with the major contractor, Thiess Environmental Services, who have their own staff within the centre and direct communication lines to operations. This is only one way in which quality is being continuously improved throughout the organisation. A program of continuous improvement has been fostered, with each division and the company being made accountable for devising and implementing agreed projects.

Author Russell Cooper has a Bachelor of Science followed by a Graduate Diploma in Management . Prior to his appointment as Managing Director of South East Water (PO Box 382, Moorabbin 3189), he was a General Manager at Email Limited, where he had responsibility for petrol pumps, aircraft refuellers, telemetry and computer software packages. This paper has been drafted by the Features Editor from a presentation by the author to a combined meeting of the rwA and AWWA in Victoria.

Profile for australianwater

Water Journal November - December 1996  

Water Journal November - December 1996