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of people

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worldwide can

their drinking water Thames Water has u npa ralled exper ience worldwide in the d esign and construction of mun icipal water and waste water systems. Thames Water Asia/ Pacific is Australia's largest and most experienced d esign and construct company in the water treatment industry, with our st rong presence locally supported by a pool of international exp ertise. Ask us abo ut th e major contracts we have co mpleted throughout rural and urban Australia an d the Asia Pacific region - both as sole con tractors and with all iance partners.

Thames Water Asia/I c ific Pty Ltd Guaranteed Water Ma agement Solutions ACN 004 624 220 28 Clayton Road Clayto North Victor ia 3 168 Australia Telephone: + 6 1-3-9239 4 100 Fax: +6 1-3-3-9239 4200 Em ail: thameswate r@than eswater.com .au

Volume 26 No 6 November/ December 1999 Journal Australian Wat er & Wastewat er Association

Editorial Board F R B ishop, Chairman B N Anderson, D Deere, P Draaye,~, W J Dulfer, G Finlayson, G A Holder, P Johnstone, P Nadebaum, J D Parker, M Pascoe, A J Priestley, J Rissman, F R oddick, E A Swinton

•, Water is a refereed journal. This symbol indicates that a paper has been refereed.


General Editor P eter Stirling PO Box 84, Hampton Vic 3188 Tel (03) 9555 7377 Fax (03) 9555 7599 Email: hallmark@halledit.com.au

Features Editor EA (Bob) Sw inton 4 Pleasant View C res, Wheelers Hill Vic 3150 Tel/ Fax (03) 9560 4752 Email: swintonb@c031 .aone.nct.au

Branch Correspondents ACT - Ian Bergman T cl (02) 6230 1039 Fax (02) 6230 6265 New South Wal es - Leonie H uxedurp T el (02) 9895 5927 Fax (02) 9895 5967 Northern Territory - Mike Law ton Tel (08) 8924 6411 Fax (08) 8924 64 I 0 Queensland - Tom Belgrave T cl (07) 3810 7967 Fax (07) 381 0 7964 South Australia - Angela Colliver Tel (08) 8227 11 11 Fax (08) 8227 1100 T asmania - Ed Kleyweg t Tel (03) 6238 2841 Fax (036) 234 7109 Victoria - Mike Muntisov Tel (03) 9278 2200 Fax (03) 9600 I 300 Western Australia - Jane Oliver Tel (08) 9380 7454 Fax (08) 9388 1908

From the Federal President ......................................... .......... .. ...... .......... ...... 2 From the Executive Director .. .... .. ... .. .................... ......... .... ..................... ...... 6 OUR




Is Monitoring the Answer to Cryptosporidium?.... ..... .. .. ...... ............. .... .. .. ... 3 C Fairley, M Sinclair INDUSTRY


Dr John Langford to Receive Peter Hughes Water Award ...................................... 4 Profile: Rhonda Harris, President, Water Environment Federation (WEF) ...... 7 T Flapper Stockholm Junior Water Prize Update ............................................................... .. ........... 9 WATER Comparison of Cryptosporidium and Giardia Guidelines ... .. .................. 10 D Deere •, Telephone Survey of Water Consumers .. ... ... .. ... .. ............. ... .. ........... .. 13 R Thurman , K Smith, R Ford, S Sterry, W Gri chting •, MIEX® DOC Process Launched in WA .... .... ... ... ................ ... ...... ... .... ... . 17 M Bourke, M Slunjski

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WASTEWATER •, The ZELflocc® Process: A Low Capital Cost Option For Improved Nitrogen Removal ............. ..... ...... .. .......................... .. ... ........ ....... ... ............. 21 D Deere ENVIRONMENT \ Bioremediation of Atrazine-Contaminated Groundwater ........... .. .... . 27 A Tilbury Environmental Engineering Research Event 98 ..... .. .... .. ... .. ....... .. .. ....... ... 31 Repo rt by EA (Bob) Swinton BUSINESS

Federal President Alle n Gale

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\ Water Licenses and Property Rights: The Legal Principles for Compensation in Queensland .... ... .... ... ... .... .. .................................... ..... .. ... 34 P Tan •, Catchment Management: Facilitating Stakeholder Participation ... 38 J Robinson How Are Our Catchments Managed? ........... .... .. ... ... .. .... ................... ........ 43 R Ford DEPARTMENTS Aquaphemera ............... ............ ............ ...... ..... ................... ... ... ..... ...................... 4 International Affiliates .... ......... ........ .. ...... ................. ........................... .... .. ...... 8 Books ..... ...... ....... ...................... .......... ... .... ............ ....... ... ... ........... ....... ...... ....... 46 Membership ....... ...... ............ ....... .............. ........ ... .......... .... ...... .. ...................... . 47 Meetings ... ..... ..... ................. ...... ... .......... ... ... .............. ............ ........ ....... .. ... ....... 48 OUR COVER: Addition of a specially prepared natural zeolite to the activated

sludge systems at Oxley Creek WWTP, Q ueensland, has increased the M LSS and sett/ability of the floe, allowing nitrification to be operated, as detailed in the paper on page 21 . Photo courtesy of Z eolite Australia L td.

AWARD FOR WATER WORK Dr J ohn La n gfo rd , Ex ec uti ve D ir ec tor o f th e W ater Ser vi ces Asso ciation, w ill receive th e Pe ter Hughes W ater Award, which recognises a world class contribution to water affairs. T he j udging panel selected D r Langford for his work on improvements to national urban water management, fo r bo th efficiency and health outcomes. Since taking up the role of Executive D irecto r of the th en newly-created Water Services Association in 1995, J ohn La ngford has spearheaded the development of national codes fo r urban water systems. H e was also the principal architect of collaboration between health regulators and water authorities, to research and resolve questions about C ryptospo ri dium and alumi niu m in water and to manage water quality to achieve positive public health results, not just meet numerical standards. This led to a major study of water quality and health in Melbou rne still being fi nalised bu t likely to set a b enchma rk for epidemiology around the wo rld. Dr Langford was also instrumental in encouraging the CSIRO to embark on a

ground- breaking study of urban water systems, the Urban Water Program. Just completing its initial phase now, the Urban Water Program has generated a suite of computer models that will not only help to understand the impacts of urban water services on the environment , but w ill also aid the development of scenarios for sustainable w ater systems a major national goal. As well as m anagin g t he Water Services Association, D r Langford is Chair of two Cooperative R esearch C entres: Freshwater Ecology and Catchment Hydrology. H e serves on numerous other boards and advisory committees and maintains a punishing schedule in pursuit of reform. Before joining WSAA, Dr Langford was CEO of the R ural Water Corporation in Victoria and achieved major reforms to pricing and management there, but had to preside over the dismantling of the organisatio n. J ohn Langford will receive his crystal trophy from the Australian Water and W astewater Associa tion in April next year, du ring the Enviro 2000 conference in Sydney.

Environmental and Water Industry Specialists • • • • •

asset management water and wastewater technology risk management infrastructure planning strategic pa rtnership

Contact Andrew Osborne or Peter Everist Tel 03 9694 1200 Fax 03 9694 12 11 Web w ww.fisherstewart.com.au Engineers • Surveyors • Proj ect M anagers • Planners • Environmental Consultants





Quality Endorsod Company

,-S!ICOI U ::l~


Aquaphemera It would be hard to fin d a m o re dramatic illustration of the changes to water engineering and techn ology tha n " W at er an d t h e A ustralian economy" , published j ointly by the Australian Academy of T echnological Sciences and Engineering and the Institution of Engineers Australia, in Ap1il 1999. This reviews the future, until 2020, for developing Australian water resources within the framework of the national policy for sustainable development. The study presents an excellent primer for those to w hom the econo mics of water are still a hazy concept. The emphasis throughout is on the benefi ts of institutional and econ omic reform (C OAG and all that). ft opines, correctly in my view, th at at the nat io nal l evel w ater quantity is not a limiting facto r to development. Further, that the trends of d em and can b e m et w i th o ut recourse to major river diversion and lengthy p ipelines. W hat is more surprising, and rather disturbing, is the st at ement that ' .. .water quality is unlikely to seriously effect economic activity in the time horizon of the study'. Th.is is disturbing and I w ill mention two reaso ns. The first is that that the account extols the virtues of full cost reco very for water users. H owever, the economic processes outlin ed do not include the recovery of the costs of declining water quali ty. This is put in to the future research basket. It must be addressed now as an integral part of the overall resource problem . The second reason is that, although the report supports allocatio ns to environmental flows, it pays o nly minor me ntion t o integrate d c atchment management. T he increases in dryland salinity are of concern no t only for the losses to agricultural p roductio n but for its adverse effects on national water quality. As with beer, questions of quantity and quality are intimately rel a t e d. T h e rep o r t d oes n o t adequ ately address land issues; water and land cannot be divorced from each other. It may be true, altho ugh I am not convinced, that by 2020 the effects of declining water quality may n ot make a major dent in gross domestic product but, as sure as eggs are eggs, the cumulative time bom b of increasing dryland and we tland salinity w ill create unsustainable future w ater quality. D ingle Smitli



PROFILE: RHONDA HARRIS PRESIDENT, WATER ENVIRONMENT FEDERATION (WEF) Rlro11da Harris is 011/y the second wo111a11 to hold ~{!ice as President ef the Water En11iro11111e11t Federation {WEF), an org@isatio11 that has more than 55,000 111e111bers across the globe. Sire is w rre11tly to11ti11g tire world to represe11t WEF at co1ifere11ces, se111i1iars, meetings and 11ario11s otlrer water related gatheri11gs a11d is 111ell k11ow11 to A WWA 18th Federal Con11e11tio11 delegates as the wo111a,i who i11trod11ced 11s lo Li11e Da11ci11g! Therese Flapper clratted to Rlro11da via cyberspace to prodiice this i11ter11ie111. How did you progress through WEF to the position of President? l j o ined WEF and m y M em be r Assoc iati o n, th e Wa te r E n viro nme nt Asso ciatio n of T exas (WE AT) in 1982 as a stude nt in uni ve rsity. I foll o wed a te nyear plan of fu ll- time w ork and part-tim e university and th e n w hen I graduated in 1984, I j o ined the WEAT Membership Committee. I too k over th e C hair of that committee in 1985, held it until 1990 and j o in ed th e WE F M em bershi p C ommittee at t he sam e tim e. In 1989 the W E AT Board voted to place me as Di rec tor representi ng W E AT o n the WEF Board of Co ntrol (now Board o f D irectors) fo r a th ree-yea r te rm fro m 1990-1993 . In 1994, W EAT voted me into the offi cer to train as Vice Preside nt, and I w as President of W EAT in 1996 w hen th e W E FTEC w as held in m y hom e city of D allas. In the spring befo re that con fe ren ce, in M ay of 1996, I was called by the WEF nominating committee chair, w ho asked if I wo uld consider beco min g an o fficer of W E F. O f course I accepted, and the term is a four- year co mm itme n t as V ice President, President-Elec t, President and Past P resident. What are you enjoying most about fulfilling the role? T he most e njoyabl e thing about be in g an offi cer of WE F is the oppo rtunity to meet people and make lasting fri e ndships all ove r the world. What do you normally do in the water industry? How are you employed? I o w n a co nsulting fi rm, Professio nal Operations, Inc. (PRO- OPS, Inc.) that specialises in ope rations and managem ent consulting fo r environm ental facil iti es, includin g wa ter, w astew ate r, storm water and solid waste fac iliti es and system s.

What qualifications do you hold? I have a Bachelor of Science D egree in Civil En g in ee rin g fro m th e Un iversity of Texas at Arlington, T exas and a Maste rs in B u si n ess Admini st rati o n fr o m So ut h e rn Meth o di st U ni versity in D aLlas. I am a R egiste red Pro fess io nal Engineer in the State of Texas and a Certified Water O perator and Certifi ed Wast ewa te r Operato r as well as an Approved Operations Trainer fo r T exas. Have you come across many issues of discrimination or harassment over the years in the water industry? I have dealt with all aspects o f the indusny from consultants to governm ent officials to industty ow ners to operations perso nnel. In vai¡io us instances people have been surprised that a woman is wo rking in th is field. In some instances, certain people

would not work w ith me because I am fe male. This happened more in the rural areas, plant operations and smaller industries, w here they were j ust not accustomed to seeing women in these types of roles. T he overall atti tude has improved tremendously in the years since I have been working in the field, but the re is stiLI some progress to be made. What one piece of advice can you offer to our Women In Water members? The one piece of advice that I w ould offer th em is to get involved. Get onto a comrnittee. T his is the best way to get to know th e other professionals in you r association. G et onto a WE F committee if yo u are interested. Eve n if you cannot tra vel, you can participate by fax and internet. You will greatly expa nd your professional hoii zons and find that excellent professional opportun ities w ilJ come from the contact that you make w hen you are active in the organisation. G o for it! • Therese Flapper is th e C onvenor o f th e AWW A Natio nal W o men In W ate r Special Interest G roup. She is an environmental scientist w ith her own consulting com pany Alchem y Scie nces and is developing a fu ngal bioreactor as part of her PhD studies at the U niversity of N SW .

Ozone is effective for inactivating

cryptosporidium and giardia cysts that are not removed in the treatment process. Ozone is best used to either treat the plant full flow or for treatment of filter supernatant return. FOR FURTHER DETAILS CALL YOUR NEAREST OFFICE OF IONICS WATERTEC

HEAD OFFICE: Brisbane Ph: 61-7-32791888 Fax: 61 -7-3279 1790

Sydney: Ph: 61-2-9983 1944 Fax: 61-2-9983 1787


Ph: 61-3-9570 8366 Fax: 61-3-9570 8399





Minimising the Risk from Cryptosporidium and Other Waterborne Particles Paris, France, April 1999 Reported by S. Haydon The confere nce, organised by IWSA, IAWQ and IQ3A was well attended with se ver al hundr ed r egist rat ions from approximately thirty cou ntries. Fou r Au stra lian de lega t es attend ed. The con ference had a large number of papers concerning cryptosporidi1m1 (cry pto) with the other pathogens not covered to the sam.e extent. The key issues can be su mmarised in the fo llowing broad groupmgs:

Regulation T he UK will be making the detection of 1 oocyst per 10 litres ciypto in a filtered water a criminal offence, with specifi ed co ntinu ous sa mpling bein g requi red . Due diligence will be a defence and also if a < 1 mi cron microfi ltratio n plant is used the law is waived. The UK Drinking Water Inspectorate see crypto as th e biggest waterborne threat in th e UK . Th e UK Drinking W a t er Inspectorate places no reliance on disinfec ti on due to the difficulties with analytica l methods, viability etc. For exan1ple, the m ouse bioassay is not precise, one genotype does not infect mi ce, and there are differences between oral and injection methods. The law places the greatest reliance on barriers w ith the 1 /10 level bein g a treatment standard. Outbreaks are regarded as being associated with changes in turbidity absolu te va lues are not regarded as important b u t relative changes are considered to be sign ifi cant. T he USEP A will be also setting a treatment standard rath er than a guideline. A M CL for crypto appears unlikely to proceed for USA or Canada Treatment T he co nference showed a signifi can t focus on UV and ozone, in particular ozone, for inactivation of crypto and Ciardia. There is now m ore evidence to suggest that low pressu re (normal) U V doses inactivate crypto, depending upon w hi ch method is used to assess viability. If low pressure U V is shown to be adequate this will have a major impact on approaches to c rypto and Ciardia managem ent. Several studie s using ozone as a p retrea tm en t to impr ove filtration performance fo r particle removal in the crypto range w ere presen ted. Other studies focussed on enhanci ng ozone 8

contact time to achieve inactivation of crypto . T his also gives an improvement in performa nce of the filtration plants. Most papers indicate that there has been a significant shift to particle counting, w ith turbidity meters being regarded as too coarse fo r m onito ring filter performance . T here were several papers dealing with elevated disi nfec tion byproducts w hen using elevated ozone levels. In particular, bromates appear to be of concern.

Detection & Identification Several researchers presented papers showing a notable difference between the cu rrent methods using stains and microscopy and those using m ouse infectivity or tissue culture to test fo r infectious ciypto. Using infectivity techni ques shows that crypto is more easily inactivated than previously thought. This is of particular interest w hen UV is used. Th ere appears to be a swing towards cell cu lture for identification of infectious crypto and away from m icroscopy methods. Cell cul ture methods which use human intestinal cells shou ld present more reliab le information than those usin g a mou se model, since there are some identified inter-species diffe rences for example one species of crypto that in fects people does not in fect mice. T his methodology is som e time away from being a "production " method. There was little m ention of m olec ular techniques for identification of crypto. Only two pape rs m ention ed PCR techniques and molecular typing specifically. One paper of interest in th is area did show how closely the hum.an strains of crypto are to other animal strains. The paper stated that of the six to eight species id entified, C. wra ir (gu in ea pig) and C. 111elegra11dis (turkey) are genetically ve1y similar to C.parr111111 and may be zoonoti c. C.parvu,n probably overlaps with these spec ies and also w ith Cjelis (cats) as Cje/is has been found in AID S patients who are hi ghly susceptible. The authors noted that usually cocc idia are host specific, however, ciypto does not appear to fall into this group. A uthors stated that there are still maj or concerns with the methods used to collect and concentrate samples, w ith little significa nt improvement in this area. Several papers presented were on evaluating different m ethods and on different co mbinati ons, in parti cu lar


fil tration m ethods. Of note were papers detailing the variability in the test strains of ciypto suppli ed to most labs, showing that significan t batch variability occurs. O thers were in the impact of preparation of oocyst samples on their viability and the likely impact on subsequent studies.

other Issues While the UK regards crypto as the biggest water issue, it is still not a notifiable disease. H owever, there is a large amount of informal reporting between health agencies . In the U SA the crypto epidem ics have shifted the concern away from chemicals in water back to microbes in water. Co mpromised groundwater has been implicated in a number of crypto outbreaks. One UK outbreak indicated a connection of the groundwater source with contaminated surface water. Other European papers disc ussed the in1pact of wastewater efflu ents on surface waters. Som e papers discussed risk and hazard assessmen t m odels, and two papers from Au strali a reported o n the Sydney in cid ent. On e paper addressed th e performance of the Prospec t T reatmen t Plan t, and th e o th er the incident history and impacts as well as the possible causes of the incident. Of particular interest is the possibility of an internal wave being established in the reservoir following the large rainfall preceding the incident. This wave, w hich w as identified by hydrodynam ic m odelling, explained the wildly flu ctu ating levels on the o utlet of the reservoir. Th e post-conference visits were to a 340 ML/ d nanofiltration plant at M erysur-O ise, abou t to b e commissioned alongside the conventional biologica l treatment plant, and to a 55 Ml/ d ultrafilt ration polishing plant at Vigneux-surSeine.

â&#x20AC;˘ T he Proceedings will be published in Water, Science and Technology in an issue at the end of 1999 or early in 2000.






JONATHON DUNIAM RECEIVES HONORABLE MENTION IN STOCKHOLM Our Australian Entrant in th e Stockholm Junior W ater Prize 1999, Jonathon Duniam (16) from Marist College, Burni e, T as m ani a was awa rded a n Honorab le M e nti on in th e Stockholm Jun ior Water Prize, effectively placing him second in this pres tigious Internationa l C ompet ition. Th e Prize was awarded to a team of three young Spanish students for their project " Echin o d e rm s as Bi o logi ca l Indicators ofWater Quality in the Alboran Sea Coast". " W e are ve ry pleased with J o n athon 's success in Stockholm," remarked A WW A President Greg C awsto n who accompan ied Jo nathon on his trip to Stockho lm. "Jo n athon displayed a thorough grasp of his proj ect which took him with in an ace of w innin g the prize." Th e annual Int e rnati ona l Stockholm Junior Water Prize is the most prestigious Internatio nal Award p rese nted to a Hi g h School stud ent fo r a water science project. It was established in 1995 by the Stockholm W ater Foundation to support and interest science students in water and environm ental issues. National winners display their proj ect at the Stockholm Water Symposium, held annually in August, w hi ch attracts so me of the world's foremost water scientists. Th e winning proj ect rece ives $US 5 , 000.00 and a beautiful blue crysta l sculpture. Jonathon's winning entty was entitled " Habitat Assess ment for the Burnie Burrowing Crayfish (E11gae11s yabbi111u111ra) on Shorewell Creek, Burnie, T asmania". His project studied the threatened crayfish by monito ring stream water and mapping vegetation and burrowing distributions in order to assess the quality of the habitat. H e chose four sites to reflect changes in water quality from th e upper co lower catchment and conducted several physical, chemical and biological tests including: pH , alkalinity, temperature, turbidity and dissolved 0A-ygen and testing for the presence of coliform bacteria. Th e results showed chat despite its poor water quality, Shorewell Creek supports several coloni es of the Burnie Burrowing Crayfish. "We have already had an enthusiastic response from students eager co represent Au strali a at Stockholm next year,"

remarked R owena Curtin M arketing Manager A WW A and Co-Ordinator of the Australian leg of the competition. Anyone interested in fu rth er information about the Stockho lm J unior W ater Prize or looking to en ter should e mail Rowena at rcurcin@awwa.asn.au. J onathon has provided an account o f his trip to Stockholm.

"The Most Unforgettable Experience!" Jonathon Duniam Relates His Stockholm Experience Upon receipt of the prize - generously sponso red by R io Tinto - in the Australian National Competition, I was not really aware of the importan ce or significance of what I was about to embark on. Along w ith the suppo rt of my family, the A WWA and my school, I prepared myself for one of the most terrifying experiences of my life so far. Nothing could have been fu rther from the truth! When I arrived in Sweden, things were all very calm and relaxed including the chauffeur driven Saabs! I had no idea w hat the ocher competitors would be like . Mu ch to my surprise, alJ of them were ve1y human, not the super science " nerds" I had expected. From the word "GO", all barriers were dropped between co mpe titors as we

ven tured out into the beautifu l city of Stockholm which totally overwh elmed us. Throughout th e trip, ! made fr iends that I w ill never forget. Bac k ac the Symposium, ! observed the other competitors' posters and realised that I was in for some extremely stiff comp etition. The interviews were cond u cted on th e Monday morning and they coul dn't have been more relaxed! Ac the end of the day, I cou ld tell everyone was reli eved to have the hardest and most difficult task, the interviews, ove r. The next few days were almost completely for our leisure. Several boat cruises and d inners were enjoyed by all throughout the course of the week. The social events included the Stockholm J unior Water Prize Award Ceremony. HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and the Prince o f the Netherlands attended the ceremo ny . After Princess Vic toria had p resented the wi nner from Spain with their prize, I was confronted wi th a great amount of shock as I received my H ono rable M enti on. No one, even myself, could have anticipated this. From that night onward, I have shaken countless ha nds, greeted innumerable people and posed for an in finite numbe r of photograp hs. It seemed chat way anyway. On Thursday n ight, the R oya l Banq uet took place. It was quite the scene of pomp and circumsta nce. The night was enjoyed by everyone. After th e banquet, all 34 delegates hit the town u ntil a!J hours as a sort of goodbye. This drew to a close a once in a life time experience. Th e friendships made in th e Stockholm Junior W ater Prize , the people met at the symposium and the sights seen in the city of Stockholm a!J added up to the most unforgettab le experience I have ever engaged in . Something I had expected to be boring curned out to be the best! Next year's delegate truly has something to look forwa rd to. I w ish them all the best . I once aga in would like to than k Greg Cawston, AWW A, Rio Tinto and the Stockholm Junior Water Prize fo r givi ng me such a life changi ng expe rience.




COMPARISON OF CRYPTOSPOR/0/UM AND GIARD/A GUIDELINES 1996 TO 1999 D Deere Rolling Revision The 1996 N HMRC/ ARM CA NZ Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (AOWG) were produced as a "loose leaf' format and are subject to a formal Rolling R evision process. Two updated draft Fact Sheets have been produced as part of this process and are available for review at the N H MRC website at http: // www . n h mrc. healt h . gov .au/advice/water. htm. The table provides a sununaly of the differences between the 1996 version and 1999 draft of these Fact Sheets. Operational Practices The main change is that the key concepts espoused in the body of the

ADWG are now specifically addressed within the Fact Sheets themselves. This includes notes on th e need for proper quality control of laboratory testing, the multipl e barrier approach fro m catchment to tap and the need for good operatio na l pra ct ices for prevention o f contamination. They fu rther imply the need to match treatment needs to source water co ntamination levels. T his may appea r to be do ubli ng up between Fact Sheets and docu m ent body. However, since th eir introductio n, the importance of the body of the ADWG has been under-ap preciated wi th readers from all stakeholder sectors often guilty of apply-


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ing th e Guidelines as noth ing more than a num erical "product specifi cation ". Incorporating more detail into the Fact Sheets, o r cross-referencing between Fact Sheets and th e body of th e Gu ideli nes, may assist in reducing this problem. This issue has been of such concern to NHMRC/ AR.MCANZ that another activity taking place as part of the Rolling R evision process includes reviewing the body of the gu idelines themselves to make the good system managem ent issues mo re explicit. This wi ll invol ve ex tensive consultatio n w ith water utilities and is currently at an early stage.

Testing T he need for a reliable test for the human infectious viable forms of these com plex pathogens is noted as a key knowledge gap and a key priority. The Fact Sheets co mmen t on the sign ificant limitations of tests, th e need for validation of viability assays and the need for proper quality co ntrol due to the poor recovery efficiency of th ese tests. T hey then explicitly recommended investigative testing in so urce waters and the use of viabil ity and species tests w here practica ble . This may appear to be som ething of a contradi cti o n. However, if tests are to evolve and improve, the industry needs to su pport the testi ng market by performing regular tests. By using viability and speciation tests w here p racticable, this will develop these tech nologies and at the sa me time genera te da ta of relevance to th e va lidation need. It is critical to note that th e type of testing recommended is "investigative" implying performing tests where there is som e clea r purpose rath er than simply as a matter of routine. The Author Dr. Daniel Deere is M anager, Water Q uali ty, for Sou th East Wate r Ltd. e- mail daniel.d eere@sewl.com.au

Fact Sheet No. 15 Glardla

Fact Sheet No. 14 Cryptosporidlum Subject area Guideline General significance (tap water) Australian Significance (tap water) Hosts

1996 guideline None set

Catchment issues





1996 guideline None set

1999 (draft) None set Associated with many outbreaks


Protection of catchments from human and dairy wastes a priority.

Source water protection from human and animal waste a priority. Perform sanitary surveys. Deep or confined aquifer bores should be free of contamination if property maintained.

Change from "human and dairy' to • human and animar wastes. Sanitary surveys suggested. Bores included.

No Australian outbreaks shown to be due to public water supplies. Wild and domestic animals, human wastes, aquatic mammals, beavers, cats and dogs, sheep, goats. cattle.horses, native rodents, bandicoots. Survive longest in cooler areas, outbreaks tend to be from these areas. Protection of catchments from human and domestic animal wastes a priority.


Resistant to chlorine

Resistant to chlorine, ozone better but no disinfectant thought to provide complete protection.

More resistant to chlonne than entenc bacteria.


Filtration essential for sources subject to pasture run-off

Distribution system

Not mentioned

Filtration required for unprotected catchments. Plant design and operation to be carefully examined, attention to backwash and surge avoidance. Turbidity to be monitored from all filters. Treated water continuously monitored, should have consistent output regardless of input. Failure to perform as determined by turbidity or particle counts means risk of unsafe water. Use trained and skilled personnel. Backflow, closed storages, intervention to prevent ingress

Ozone mentioned No disinfectant thought to provide complete protection. Filtration as a requirement changed from "for pasture run--0ff" to ·unprotected catchments·. Much more detail on treatment plant operation.

No Australian outbreaks shown to be due to public water supplies. Humans and wild animals, host range of human infectious strains uncertain. Outbreaks generally linked to human waste. Source water protection from human and animal waste a pnonty if adequate disinfection not attained. Perform sanitary surveys. Deep or confined aquifer bores should be free of contamination if property maintained. More resistant to chlorine than enteric bactena. Ballpark chlorine inactivation rate given. Other disinfectants such as ozone flagged as better than chlorine. Filtration or enhanced disinfection required for unprotected catchments. Plant design and operation to be carefully examined. Use trained and skilled personnel.

System management issues mentioned

Not mentioned

Backflow, closed storages. intervention to prevent ingress

System management issues mentioned

Testing methods

Being developed

Detail given on limitations of methods. Need for appropriate QC stated Need for development of infectivity assay nagged.

Being developed

Detail given on limitations of methods. Need for appropriate QC stated. Need fo r development of infectivity assay flagged.

Routine Testing Investigative Testing

Not appropnate


Not appropriate

Testing expliciUy recommended for investigative purposes

May be important in outbreaks. Prospective studies may be valuable.

Bores mentioned

Not mentioned

Development of response protocols in liaison with health authority suggested

If detected in distribution system, seek advice from health authority. If detected In source water. treat and remove source of contamination as appropriate.

No standard method developed. Poor recoveries. Exacting QC essential. Preferable to determine viability and species. Major need is for a test for human infectious form. Distribution: not recommended Source: not mentioned Distribution: after events (storms/ turbidity/high source water counts. plant outages. distributions system problems or suspected outbreak Source: to assess risk factors, provide basis fo r catchment management, determine treatment needs. For deep or confined aquifer well-maintained bores, use traditional indicators. If detected in drinking water notify health authority and take all measures to assess and minimise risks. Protocols should be developed with the health authority for response to results.

No Australian outbreaks shown to be due to public water supplies From human and pasture run-off



May be important in outbreaks. Prospective studies may be valuable.



---... 0

rn ("') rn

Bore water testing

Not mentioned

Actioning results

If detected in an epidemiological or prospective study, take control action, seek advice from health authority. If detected in distribution system, seek advice from health authority. If detected in source water, treat and remove source of contamination as appropriate




;:o p (!) (!) (!)



Significant difference None Noted as most important pathogen


l> -I rn ;:o

Significant difference None Noted as being associated with many waterborne outbreaks None

1999 ( draft) None set Most important waterborne human pathogen in developed countries No Australian outbreaks shown to be due to public water supplies. Humans and cattle as key sources, sheep, livestock. farm animals and pets noted.

No standard method developed Poor recoveries Exacting QC essential Preferable to determine viability and species. Major need is for a test for human infectious form Distribution: not recommended Source: not mentioned Distribution: after events (storms/ turbidity/ high source water counts. plant outages, distribution system problems or suspected outbreak) Source: to assess risk factors, provide basis for catchment management, determine treatment needs. For deep or confined aquifer well-maintained bores, use traditional indicators If detected in drinking water notify health authority and take all measures to assess and minimise risks Protocols should be developed with the health authority for response to results.

Sheep added to explicit list of sources with pets and livestock also mentioned

Operational procedures at filtration plants should be carefully examined where cysts are present in raw water.

Explicit list of sources more general and uncertain. Human waste as general link. Notes on in cooler areas dropped. Change from • human and domestic animal" to • human and animal" wastes. Sanitary surveys suggested. Bores included. Ozone mentioned. Approximate chlorine inactivation rate given. Filtration or enhanced disinfection nagged as a requirement changed for unprotected catchments. More detail on treatment plant operation given.

None Testing explicitly recommended for investigative purposes.

Bores mentioned

Development of response protocols in liaison with health a.ithority suggested.

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TELEPHONE SURVEY OF WATER CONSUMERS R Thurman, K Smith, R Ford, S J Sterry, W Grichting Abstract A telepho ne survey was co ndu cted between May and September of 1998 in rural Vi ctoria, Australia that targeted consum ers rece iving either full y treated [Ho rsham , Warracknabeal and Bacchus Marsh), partially treated [Ballarat, Linto n, Buninyo ng, H addon , Blackwood) o r untreated drinking wate r [over 50 rural towns in northern and western Victoria]. R esults revealed that satisfactio n with drinkin g water depended o n the level of education, type of occupation and age of the consumer. The p erceived rate of recent gastro en teritis as re po rted by consumers was 4% (15/ 368) and was n ot attributed to th e type of water used in the household. Th e quality of drinking water supplied to som e of these towns has improved sin ce th e su1vey was conducted.

Introduction Pure water is an important and invaluable reso u rce that is becoming m ore and mo re diffi cult to obtain as p o pulati o ns rise, resources shrink and p o lluti o n contaminates limited reserves (Badenoch, 1990) . Less than 1% o f the E arth 's water is fresh water and it is estimated that over five milli o n children di e each year du e to lack of pure drinking water (Watso n,

1996). In 1993 several hundred th ousand people beca me sick and as many as 100 di ed after consuming contaminated drinkin g wate r in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (M acKenzie et al., 1994). This o utbrea k raised public awareness about drinking wa ter qu ality . In 1998 C iardia and Cryptosporidiu111 were reported in large n umbers in Sydn ey's water supply, further raising public awareness in Australia even tho ugh no si gnificant in crease in the number of cases of gastroenteritis eventuated (CR.C WQT, 1998). As th e frequency and extent of waterbo rn e o u tbrea ks inc rease, a g rea te r number o f peopl e are turning to altern ative water sources (Thurman an d Sterry, 1998) . B ecause Australi a has a large rural populatio n and is o ne of the dri est continents on Earth , many reside nts li ve beyo nd the distribution system of water authoriti es and rely on alternative sources such as bottled water, bore water and rai nw ater collected in tanks to provide their w ater needs (Thurman , 1995).

R egardless o f the sou rce, many types of Random Telephone Numbers drinking water are subj ec t to seaso nal In order not to bias the survey by variation and may pose a health risk using existing telephone b ooks or sim ilar (Thurman et. al , 1998). Since some lists wh ich exclu de sil ent (unlisted) forms of gastroenteritis are not no tifiabl e numbers, it was decided to ge nerate o ur diseases and cases can vary fr om mild to own teleph one n umbe rs. Australian severe and are usually self- lim iting, many teleph one n um bers have two composuffere rs do not see k medical attentio n. nents: the fi rst fou r d igits (the prefi x) This m akes it difficult to determi ne the represent the exchange loca tion, the tru e rate of gastroenteritis. remain ing fo ur digits (the suffix) repreTh e la ck of correlation between the sen t the subscriber nu m ber. T h irty-n ine presence o f a pathogen in a water supply exchange locatio ns falling into the three and th e incidence o f gastroenteri tis have types of drink ing wate r were identified led to widespread un certainty about the and a list of the firs t fo u r digits of signi fica nce o f microo rganisms in the telephone numbers in these locations was water and their impact o n consum ers. created . T h irtee n locati ons rece.i ved Questions arise concerning the h istorical treated drin ki ng water, thirteen received sign ificance of these and o ther micro- pa rtially treated drin k ing water and orga ni sm s asso c iated with drin k in g thirtee n rura l exc hanges received no wate r, promptin g su ch qu estio ns as: reticulated dri nki ng water (householders H ave pathogens al ways been in the water consu med untreated drinking water or but are onl y recently being identifi ed an d chose to treat it themselves) . e num e ra ted as d e t ec ti o n m e th o d s Fo ur-d igit su ffixes we re ra ndo m ly improve and find wider use? Are many generated and patched to each of the consumers protected aga inst outbreaks excha nge prefixes to co mplete the ph o ne due to previous sub- clinical episodes numbers used in this survey. T he process wi th p arti ~ular mi c roo rga ni sm s an d was repeated to generate 1490 ran do m the re fo re future o utbrea ks will have teleph o ne numbers, drawing on each o f sm aller m o rbidi ty rates than expected? the 39 loca tio ns. We initially plann ed to Since som e detectio n m eth ods do not con tact 200 househ olds in each of the d istin guish b etwee n vi able and no n- th ree target groups: those consumi ng viable microorganisms, is it possible that either fu lly treated, partially treated or many o f th e path ogens detected have u ntreated drink ing water. However, 57% little hea lth impact? of r andomly ge n erated te lep h one The obj ectives o f this study were to nu mbers were not valid and 11 % were investigate the perceptio n of various no n-residential num bers. O f the val id groups o f people to their water supply household num bers called: 32% never with resp ect to hea lth and aesthetic answered and 37% refused to participate. qualities. For the purposes o f this survey O f the ho useholds that answered the the fo llow in g definitions were used: telep hone, 45% agreed to be surveyed. Treateci drinking water = drinking water that has bee n filte red and disin fec ted. The Survey The telephone survey was conducted Partially trea ted drinking water = drinkin g wate r th at has been disin14 fected . 12 Untreated drink.l!l 10 ~ in g wa t e r 8 drinking wa ter 6 that has received 0 z 4 n o tr ea tm e nt. 2 Di a rrho e a 0 parti cipants Type of reticulated water h avi n g hi g hl y credibl e gastroFigure 1. Type of ret iculated water usage by respondents using alternatives to town water enteritis. C 0 0.





WATER between the hours of 1 pm and 6 pm Monday through Friday, in order to optim ise th e number o f successful calls. The numbers were rando mly ge ne rated and call ed. Nu mbe rs were called up to six times at different tim es of the day o ve r a period of th ree days . If contact was not estab lished du ring that time the telephone number was abandon ed. A total of 267 households we re contacted and 120 (45%) com pleted the survey. In format ion ga i ned from the te le pho n e survey was in t e ra c ti ve ly ente red using th e SPSS Data Entry ll module (1987). D escriptive and inferential statistics were obtai ned usin g SPSS for Windows (1996). Th e responde nts were asked to repo rt th e ages a nd se x of all h ouse h old members as well as how man y times th ey ate o ut in the last two weeks, all in ciden ts of pe rce ived diarrhoea and w hat they believed caused the illn ess. T hey were th en asked th e type of dri nking and cook ing water th ey used in the ir house and whether o r not they treated it in any way. Finally, th e head of the house was asked to quantify the level of sati sfaction with th e water used in the household and gi ve their level of edu cation and o ccupation . Qu esti ons related to consume r sati sfaction were asked last, aft er establishing m orbidity, eatin g and cook ing patterns, to ensure that th e people surveyed were not influ e nced by later qu estio ns.


Correlation Analysis

Water Supply and Type Used

In analys in g the data, six variabl es related to th e head of th e ho use hold we re re- ca tegorised into o rdinal level groups as fo ll ows: • O cc upatio ns: Professi o nal, Clerical/ Skilled and Others (Unskilled , H ome

Of th e 120 ho useholds contacted, 97 we re o n reti culated wa ter and 23 we re no t on a retic ulated system . O f the 97 households o n reticulated wate r, 23 also co llected and drank rainwate r and eight drank bottled water. O f those 23 house-

20 ~



C 0

~ 10

0 ~

5 Bottled water

0 Type of water

Figure 2. Type of water usage by respondents not connected to town water

dut ies, Unemp lo y ed , R e tired and Stude nts) ; Formal edu cational attainment: Primary, Secondary, Certificate/ Diploma and Tertiary • Age : 18- 25 years, 26- 35 years, 3650 years, and 51 years and older • Satisfacti on w ith water supply: low satisfa ctio n (0-3), moderate satisfa ction (4- 8) , and high satisfac tion (9- 12) • Amo unt of water take n eac h day: 03 cups, 4-8 cups, and 9- 12 c ups • Years of Edu cation: 7- 10 years, 11 13 years, 14- 21 years. C o rre lat io n co effic ients b e twe e n combi nations of these variables we re determi ned in order co establish significant relation ships b e tw ee n variou s elem ents of th e study (such as age vs . satisfa ctio n w ith th e water) using th e Spearman RH O stati sti c for ord in al data (G ravetter and Wall nau , 1996) .

Table 1. Spearman correlations of data collected from households receiving three different types of drinking water Variables

Age and number of cups of water Age and satisfaction with water quality Number of cups of water drunk and occupation Number of cups of water drunk and years of education Number of cups of water drunk and education attainment Number of cups of water drunk and satisfaction with water quality Occupation and satisfaction with water quality Years of ed ucation and satisfaction with water quality Education attainment and satisfact ion with water qual ity

Type of drinking wate r treatment Treated (N = 40)

Partial (N = 57)

Untreated Total (N = 23) (N = 120)

- 0.34*









0. 24

0 .03


0.1 2







- 0.08

- 0.01




- 0.00

- 0 .07


- 0.28

- 0.08

- 0.22

- 0 .20


- 0.04 0.29** -0.04

- 0.20*

Notes Treated = filtration + disinfection; Partial = disinfection; Untreated = no treatment Level of statistical significance: * p < 0 .05, * * p < 0.01, * ** p < 0.001



holds on re ticul ated water but collecting and consum ing ra inwate r, the re ticu lated supply th ey we re rece iving was as fo ll ows: 14 were rece ivin g treated wate r, 5 we re recei ving partially treated wate r and 4 were receiving un treated drinkin g water (see Figure 1). Of the 23 households not on a reticulated wate r system , ·19 collected rain water, three had bores (wells) and on e drank bottled wa ter (see Figure 2) . The number o f c ups of dri nking water reportedly consumed by the head of th e household each day ranged fro m non e to twelve w ith the mode bei ng fo u r cups pe r day .

Home Treatment Of the 120 households surveyed , eight b o iled the ir drin king w ater a nd 21 fi ltered it. Of the eight households that boiled the ir water, on e received treated drinking water and the othe r seven rece ived parti ally treated drinking wate r. Of the 21 households that fi lte red their water, fi ve received treated water, fiftee n rece ived partially treated water and on e rece ived untreated drinkin g water.

Gastroenteritis Ni ne fa m ili es re ported th at a total o f fift een fa mily members (4% of responde nts) had contracted diarrhoea in th e last two weeks. T welve o f the reported cases came from fami lies recei ving eithe r treated d ri n kin g water [7 families] or partiall y trea ted drinking wate r fl fami lyl. Th ree repo rted cases cam e fro m a fami ly consumi ng untrea ted d rin k in g w ate r. Th e ex p ec te d inc id e n ce of gastroenteritis du ring o ur study period , based o n data fro m H ellard and Fairle y's paper (1997), was eight cases.

Correlations T able I includes some of the Spearman correlations among demograph ic variables by the type of drinking water treatm ent. In general, as the age of the consumer in creases, th e amount of water drunk decreases. T he mo re skilled a person's occupatio n, the fewer c ups of wa te r they arc li kely to dri nk each day. Th e older som eone is, the mo re likely they are to be satisfied with the type o f water consum ed (data not shown) .

WATER Sociological Data Of the 368 individuals (177 males, 19 1 fema les) surveyed in the 120 households that agreed to take part in the ~u rvey, 149 (41 %) had not eaten out in the past t\vo weeks. Of those w ho d id eat out, 133 (36%) did so either once or twice, 64 (17%) had eaten o ut between three and five times and 22 (6%) ate out bet\veen six and 1 -l- times in the past two weeks. T he num ber o f ind ivid uals in each of the 120 house ho lds that were contacted ranged from one to e ight people with a mean of three pe ople. N ine (8%) ho useho lds w ere single parent, 52 (43%) were two pa rent ho useholds and 59 (49%) ho useholds had no ch ildre n. T h e o ccupatio n of the head o f each house ho ld was placed into one of eight categories. From m ost common to least co mmo n, they were as fo llows: H om e duti es 29 (24%), P rofessiona l 26 (22%), Skilled 23 (19%), U nskilled I -l- (12%), C le ri ca l 12 (10%), Stu d e n t 8 (7%), fo ll owed equ ally by U ne m p loyed 4 (3%) and R eti red 4 (3%). Years of fo rmal educatio n of each head of the ho usehold ranged fro m seven yea rs to 21 years. Twelve years was the average. Education awards attained were grouped into seven cat ego r ies . Fro m m os t co mmo n to least commo n , they were as

45 40

"' 35







30 25 20


15 ~ 10


5 0





Age group Low satisfaction

Moderate satisfaction

High satisfaction

Figure 3 . Water sat isfaction by age

fo llows: Secondary 82 (68%), T ertiary 20 (17%), Certi fica te IO (8%), D iploma 4 (3%), Primary 2 (2%), foll owed equa ll y by Ph D 1 (1%) and M aste rs I (1%). R.espondents were asked to report th eir level of satisfaction w ith the type of re ti c u late d wa te r supp li e d to th e ir household. W e fo un d no sign ifica nt diffe rences between age grou ps for those w ho desc ribed t he ir satisfactio n as low or moderate . H owever, of ch ose w h o described thei r sa tisfaction as high , th ere w as a positi ve corre la tion wi th age (F igure 3) .

Discussion and Conclusions T his study has identified a number o f facto rs that m ay be important in de termin ing pe rcep tio ns and p ra cti ces in relation to dri nking water. Because 2-1-% of th e 120 households su rveyed treated their wate r (e ight bo iled it and 21 fil tered it), th ere appears to be co ncern abou t the aesthetic quality or safety of drinki ng wate r. H owever, the n umbe r of househo lds reportin g bo uts of gastroe nteritis w ith in t he two week period before the survey was small and no ne believed it was caused by the drin king water. Th is suggests that the

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quality of drinking water of households surveyed in this study is perceived co be good regardless of the source. H owever, consumers appear to be concerned about aesthetics. Whether or not chose households which treated their drinking water actu ally prevented gastroenteritis or wheth er the treatment had no effect on the health impact of their water supply is not known. M o re households receiving partially treated drinking water e ith er boiled or filtered it (22 ho useholds) than those receiving treated drinkin g water (6 households) . This suggests a bias against partially created water, probably on the basis of taste and odour due to the likely higher levels of orga nic material reacting with the chlorami ne disinfectant. The fact that nearly a quarter of households (24%) that were o n a reticulated su pply chose to collect and drink either rain water or use bottled water suggests that there is dissatisfaction with the perceived qua lity of reticulated drinking water. A sid e from t he sc ie ntific data, va lu ab le information co ncerning dem ographics was obtained durin g th is study. R esults imply that the more education a person has or the more

ski lled their occupation, the less likely they are to be satisfied with the quality of their drinking water. We also found out that the o lder someone is, the happier they are with their water supply. Cultural mores may play a role here, in that older people appear to be less inclined to complain about water qua lity than you nger people . In conclusion , significant interactions among demographic factors and attitudes to quality of water were identified in thi s study . Further research invol ving comprehensive studi es of ind ividuals' satisfaction with the quality of drinki ng water in conjunction with soc iometric factors such as educatio n, age, occupati on and perceived water quali ty are needed to co nfirm th ese observations.

Acknowledgements Many thanks co Lisa M cCarty for her assista nce. This project was fund ed by che Australian Catholic University and Central H igh lands Water, Ballarac. References Badenoch J (1990) HMSO, London. Watson A ( 1996) Na111re, 381:386.2. Macl{enzie W R., Hoxie NJ, Proctor M E, Gradus M S, Blair K A and Peterson D E

(1994) N E11glj Med, 331 :161-167. CRCWQT (1998) Health Stream, Sinclair M (Ed.), 11:1-13. Thurman R B, Sterry S J (1998) Water, AWWA, 25 (2):7-10. Thun11an R (1995) Aust. Microbiol., 16(1):20-22. Thurman R, Faulkner B, Veal D, C ramer G, Mciklejohn M (1998) J Appl Bacteriol, UK, 4:627-632. SPSS Data Entry 11 (Computer Software) (1987) Chicago, IL: SPSS Inc. SPSS for Windows (Version 6. 1.4) (Compuccr Software) (1996) Chicago, IL: SPSS Inc. Gravcttcr F and Wallnau L ('1996) Statistics for the Behavioral Sde11ces (4th ed.) New York: West. Hellard M E and Fairley C K (1997) Austr NZ J Med, 27: 147-149.

Authors Dr Robert Thurman is Senior Lecturer and Faculty Research Liaison Officer, Ken Smith is Senior Lecturer, Sandra J Sterry is R esearch Associate and Wolfgang Grichting is Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research with Australian Catholic Uni versity, PO Box 650, Ballarac Vic 3353, email: r.churman@ aguinas.acu .edu .au. Bob Ford is Executive Manager Water Services with Central H ighlands Water, Ballarat, Victoria.

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MIEX® DOC PROCESS LAUNCHED IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA A NEW AUSTRALIAN DEVELOPMENT M Bourke, M Slunjski Introduction The joint press release fro m Orica Watercare and the Water Corporation of Wes tern Australia on 12th August 1999 announcing the installation of a $11 million MIEX® DOC Process plant in Perth signalled the successful commercialisation of a project that has its origins back in the late 1960's w hen th e CSIRO and IC ! Australia (now Orica) began research into the development of the Sirotherm magnetic ion exchange resin. The idea for the M IEX® DOC Process emerged in the late 1980's w hen the Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC) was researching methods for removing high levels of di ssolved organic ca rbon (DOC) present in Sout h Austra lian water suppli es (M orran, 1996). Through this work it was found that certain an ion exchange resins were ve r y e ffective for DO C re mo val. Column systems were rapidly foul ed by waters with high suspe nded matter levels but a stirred system had no such problem and was successfully employed in several studies at the AWQC (Bursill, 1985 and Hine, 1987) . A new magnetic anion exc h ange res in was deve loped by CSIRO that had a very rapid reactivity and high capacity for DOC. This resin formed the basis for a new process for DOC removal from drinking wa ter developed jointly by A WQ C, Orica Watercare (then IC I) and CSIRO. This team took the process from bench scale to a 1 million litres per day continu o us MIEX® DOC Process pilot plant at the Wanneroo Ground Water Treatment Plant in Perth, WA in 1996. Water Corporation of WA are now proceeding with the installation of a 225 M L/ day MIEX® DOC Process plant at Wanneroo GWT P w hi c h w ill be compl eted in early 2001. Process Description The MIEX® DOC Process is a continuo us ion exchange process that employs a magnetised ion exchange resin (MIEX ) designed for the removal of D OC from drinking water supplies. When in contact with wa ter, negatively



Ffj) ooc

N 3


• • • • • •



• • • • •








Figure 1: MIEX® Resin DOC Removal Chemistry

charged DOC is removed by exchanging with a chl oride ion on active sites on the resin surface (see Figure 1). This results in a reduction in the DOC level and a small in crease in the treated water chloride level (2 to 4 mg/L). The M IEX resin has been developed to enable removal of DOC to occu r in a stirred contactor, much like a flash mixer in a conventional water treatment plant. The resin beads are much smaller than conventional resin beads at aro und 150~t m, to allow rapid DOC adsorption kinetics in the contact vessel. Under mixing conditions, the resin beads are d ispe rsed to provide the maximu m surface area available for adsorption of DOC. A magnetic component is dispersed within the resin particle stru cture so that w hen passed to a settler the fine resin beads rapidly agglomerate into larger, fas t settling floes. Resin recovery rates of greater than 99.9% are achieved at settler rise rates of over lOm/hr. The majority of the settled resin collected from the separator is recycled back to the contactor as a concentrated suspension. A portion, usually 5 to 10 %, of the recycled resin stream is continuously diverted to a resin regeneration system, and the regenerated resm 1s

contin uously replaced into the system. The small amo unt of resin which is lost due to carryover from the separator is made-up by the feed of fresh resin (Figure 2). The fine particles lost from the settler are easily trapped in the su bsequent flocculation and filtratio n steps. The regeneration step is curren tly co ndu cted in a relatively smaJI fixed-bed w hich is periodically emptied and refilled. The spent regenerant consists of a brine of 2M Na Cl, and th e volu me is ca. 0 .01-0.02% of the total water flow. In Wanneroo, this spent regenerant (0.022 M L/ day) will be discharged into drying beds. This is also the current disposal route fo r alum sludge and once dried, the sludge goes to landfill. Pretreatment of raw water with th e MIEX® D OC Process will reduce the volume of alum sludge produ ced at Wanneroo by about 70% which means that overall there will be a significant reduction in area required fo r drying lago ons. The MIEX® DOC Process differs significantly from conventional ion exchange processes. In a conventional io n exchange column , as the ion exchange capacity is being progressively exha usted, the wa ter produced deteriorates in quality. T he leakage of undesired ions eventually reaches the point w here



WATER Make-up Resin

Regenerated Resin Regenerant (brine)

Fresh Resin


Settler Vessel



Contactor Vessel

Raw Water

Spent Regenerant

Figure 2: MIEX® DOC Process Flowchart (Wanneroo Pilot Plant)

the column has to be taken off-line and the resin regenerated (a number of columns are therefo re used to maintain a consistent water quality) . In contrast, the overall ion exchange capacity in the MIEX® DOC Process is continuously ma intained. As a co nsequence, the product water from the MIEX® DOC Process is of a consistent quality with DOC level of the treated water under control.

Wanneroo GWTP Trial Since the m id-1980s, Water Corporation of Western Australia has b een investigating tec hno logies to prevent an intermittent 'swampy' odou r occurring in Perth's treated groundwaters (O'Leary, 1998). The compound responsible fo r the odour has been identifi ed as dimet h yl trisu lphide

(DMTS) . Tec h nologies trialed have in cluded granular activated carbon (GAC) , ozone/ biological GAC, enhanced coagulation, m icrofil tracion and since 1996, the MIEX® DOC Process . The treatm ent objective for these technologi es was to reduce DOC and non-sulp hi de reduced sulphu r (NSRS) in the treated water entering the distribution system. These compounds have been identified as the precursors to DMTS forma tion in the distribution system. Raw water DOC levels entering the Wanne r oo Ground Water Treatment Plant (GWTP) range from 9 to 15 mg/ L. A 1 ML/day pilot plant was used to trial the M IEX® DOC Process for treatment of raw water at the Wan neroo GWTP (Bourke, 1999). A pilot plane of this large size was ch osen so that


12 10 MIEX & Alum Coagulation ::'.j'






Alum Coagulation (no MIEX)


2 0



Raw Water



Alum Dose (mg/L) •




Figure 3: Enhanced coagulation versus MIEX®/enhanced coagulation




engineering design parameters for a fu ll scale plant could be determined during the trial. The largest MIEX® DOC Process plant bu ilt prior to this trial was 150kL/day at Hope Valley in South Australia. The trial results showed that greater than 75% DOC and 90% NSRS remova l could be consistentl y achieved when the M IEX® DOC Process was used in conjunction with enhanced coagulation. T he THM formation potential of the water was also reduced by 85%. T hese removal rates were significantly grea ter than those achieved w ith enhan ced coagulation alo ne (Figure 3) . U sing the MIEX® DOC Process for pretreatment of raw w ater, downstream alum doses were redu ced by up to 70%, which will sign ificantly reduce th e vo lume of chemical sludge currencly generated at the Wanneroo GWTP. The MIEX® DOC Process has been chosen as the most effec tive and economical of the technologies tested. Based on the trial results , cost compari so ns w it h ozone/BGAC indicate M IEX® DOC Process capital costs will be about 60% of ozone/BGAC, if not lower. MIEX® DOC Process operating costs will also be around 60% of ozone/ BGAC (Table l). These M!EX® DOC Process operating coses take into account a reduction in alum dose and waste regenerant d isposal (approx. l50L/ML), but do no t include further cost reducti ons due to a lower lime dose and a 65-75% redu ction 111 sludge produ ced downstream.

MIEX Resin Manufacture M!EX ® resin for the Wanneroo trial and all previous trial work has been manu factu red at CS IRO's Division of Molecular Science semi-tech nical plant at Clayton, Victoria. Orica commenced construction of a commercial scale resin manufacturing faci lity 600 at its D eer Park site earlier this year. This plant is due to be 500 commissioned in mid-2000 and will supply resin for the full scale ::'.j' M IEX® DOC Process plant 400 c, 2bein g installed at Wann eroo c.. LL. GWTP . ~ 300 :c lNorth American oll IJ) Opportunities 200 a: IJ) Th ere has already been signifz ica nt interest shown in the 100 MIEX® DOC Process by North American Water Utilities and 0 consu ltants , 111 searc h of en han ced DOC removal technologies to meet the Stage 1 and proposed Stage 2 USEPA disin fection by-product Rules (DOC is a precursor to THM

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WATER formation after disinfection). While the current N H MR C (1994) Australian D rinking G ui d el ines r eco mm en d a ma x im um t r ea t e d wa t e r trihalomethane (T HM ) level of 250µg/L, U SEPA standards are much mo re stringent. The recently finalised Stage 1 D BP R ule sets a limit of S0µg/ L fo r utilities supplying over 10000 p eople , with c ompl ia n ce required by D ecemb er 2001. T he Stage 2 R ule will be set in 2002 and the T HM limit may be lowered further to 40µ g/L. The t ec hnolo gies currently considered the best available to meet th e futu re USEP A Stage 2 standards are ozone / BGAC and N anofiltration. The MIEX® DOC Process is very cost com petitive with these technologies,

The MIEX® DOC process pilot plant at the Wanneroo Ground Water Treatment Plant in Perth.

Table 1: Comparative capital and operating costs for DOC removal processes

MIEX® DOC Process Ozone/ Biological Activated Carbon

Capital Cost $M

Operating Cost cents/1000L


6.7 10.6*

6.4 10.3

39.1 62.8


*Assuming it is possible t o convert the existing sand/anthracite filters. * * 30 year Net Present Value with WACC of 8%.

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

particularly where ra w water DOC levels are high such as at Wanneroo . C urrently Saint Paul W ater Utility in Minnesota is co ndu cting a pilot plant trial to determ.ine if treated water DOC levels can be lowered using the MIEX® D OC Process. The process is being trialed as a pretreatment step prior to existing lime softenin g and coagu lation treatment and also as a polishing step after this trea tment regime . Raw w ater received at the Saint Paul WTP originates fro m the Mississippi River and has a high fraction of natural organic matter (NOM) that is not amenable to coagulation and li me softening, and currently disinfection must be carefu lly controll ed to minimise treated wate r THM levels. T he USE P A has also rece ntly included MIEX® resin testing in a laborato ry study that is evaluating the ability of technologies to meet future DBP standards. E nhanced coagulation and MI EX® resin treatment w ill be eval uated on nine differen t U S water sou rces in a 3x3 matrix test (ie . 3 different levels of raw water NO M and alkalinity) . T his study will give the USEPA first hand knowledge of the potential of the MIEX ® D O C Process to assist US water utili ties in meeting future water quality standards.

References M orran JY , BursiII DB, Drikas M & N guyen H (1996) ' A N ew T ech nique fo r the R emoval


of N atu ra l O rganic M a tte r',

Study while working

External Studies/Distance Learning Enhance career prospects Improve professional performance Certificate, Graduate Diploma & Master of Engineering Science

1-Vatertecl, ,

Proceedi11gs 27-28 May, Sydney, Aust ralia. p428 - 432. Bursill DB, H in e PT & M orran J Y (1985) 'T he E ffect of Natural Organ ics on W ate r Treatme nt P rocesses', A ustmlian 1,Jlarer &

Wa stewat er Association 111/, Co11vmtio11, Proceedi11gs 197 - 204.

F ederal

H ine PT and B ursill D B (1 987) 'Seasonal Trends of Natural Organics i n S.A . W at ers and Their E ffects on W ater T reatment',

A WR C R esearcl, . R eport No . 84/ 167, June

Specialisati ons include:

• • • •

Environmental Engineering Waste Management Water and Wastewater Treatment Project Management

1987. O'Leary B , H erbert N (1998) D evelopm ent of Water Treatme nt Processes for P e rch's Future Groundwater Sche m es. 11ti, JWSA A S PA C Regio11a/ Couference Proceedi11gs, 1- 5 Nove m ber, Sydney, Australia. p465 - 472. B ourke MF, Slunj ski M, O' Leary B , Smith P

Fo r furth er informati on and application forms, please contact: Extern al Postgraduate Studies Program, School of Civil and Environmental Engineerin g, UN SW , Sydney 205 2 Ph (02) 93 85 5080 Fax: (02 ) 93 85 6139 Emai l: m.oconnell@unsw .edu.au

(1999) Scale up of the M IEX® DOC Process for Full Scale W ate r Treat me nt P lanes. 18tl, Federal Co11ve11tio11, A ustralian

f;llater & Was tewater A ssociatio11, Proceedi11gs 11- 14 April, Adelaide, Australia. pp1 4.






Abstract Brisban e C ity Council is committed to improved nitrogen removal fro m all wastewa ter treatm ent plants under its control. Consistent nitrifi catio n has not been possible at its 54 M L/day Oxley C ree k w ast ew at e r t re atm e n t p la nt (WWTP) beca use th e necessary sludge age and m ixed liq uo r suspended solids (M L SS) co n ce ntra t io n ca n n o t b e maintain ed w ithout exceed in g th e safe solids loading on th e fi nal clari fi ers. From April 1998 to Febru ary 1999 a full-scale trial o f the ZELflocc® process w as co ndu cted fo r the Stage 3 and 4 (100,000 ep) process train at O xley C reek WWTP. T he trial was successfu l and allowed sludge age to b e approximately do ubled and nitri ficatio n to be ach ieved w ithout overloa ding the fin al clarifiers. Introduction T he Brisbane River and Moreto n Bay W ast ew ater M anage m e nt Stu dy h as identifi ed the discharge of nitroge n fro m th e Oxley C reek WWTP as o ne of the significant po int so u rces of nitrogen loa d ing in t he Brisban e R iver and M oreto n Bay system (Abal et al. , 1998) . Th e ammo nia nitrogen released from this source also co ntributes to th e dissolved oxygen sag in the middle reac hes of the Brisbane R iver. T he O xley C ree k WWTP consists of fo ur stages progressively commissioned between 1969 and 1979 . Th e plant has a current capacity of 185,000 ep and releases aro und 54 ML/ d of secondary This is a,1 11pdated versio11 of the paper 111/,ich ivas j udged as the best paper i11 the 111astewater strea 111 at th e 17th. Co11ve11tio11, A delaide, 1999.

treated effiuent into the Brisbane R iver at a po in t 46 km upstream fro m its disc harge into M oreto n Bay. T he plant was designed fo r BOD remo val o nl y and has full y aerated b ioreacto rs wi th a curren t hydrauli c retention time (HRT ) of approximately 6.5 ho urs. Th e plant achieves partial, un con trolled n itri fic ation in summer mo nths eve n at a sludge age of less than fi ve days . A blo wer capacity upgrade was underta ken in 1997 to provid e additional air capacity as part o f a pro gressive plant upgrade fo r nitrogen rem oval. H owever, sus ta in ab le n itr ifi catio n c an not b e achieved beca use the lon ger sludge age and higher M LSS concentratio n required cannot be maintained witho ut exceeding the safe soli ds loading o n th e existing clarifi ers. This is despite sludge settl eab ility improvem ents resul tin g fro m th e use of polyelectrolytes and chlorine . T he current limitatio n on nitrificatio n results from a combinati o n of po or sludge settl eability and inadequate fin al clarifier capacity. In 1997 the Queensland Government call ed fo r appli cations for research and innovatio ns grants u nder the Advanced W astewa ter Treat me n t T echn o lo gies (A W T T ) schem e w hich aims to pro mote best p racti ce wastewater treatm ent in Queensland. T o be eligible the technologies had to offer the po tential to provide cost efficiencies and/or othe r environm ental o r social benefits fo r Qu eensland co m mu nities. Z ELflocc® is a proprietary techn ology owned by Zeoli te Australia Limited. Brisbane Water had already cond ucted a cursory evaluatio n of the Z ELfl occ® tec hnology at its small activated slu dge treatm ent plant at Fairfield (10,000 ep) . Im proved sludge settleability at th is plant

du e to ZELflocc® enabled the sludge age, previo usly less than three days, to be increased to redu ce ammonia nitroge n in th e effi uent from th is hi gh rate plant. A joint appli ca tio n by Brisbane W ater and Z eolite Au stra lia Lim.iced was approved fo r AW T T grant fundi ng to carry out a more rigorous trial of the ZELflocc® process at th e Oxley C reek WWTP. Th is trial b eg an in Apr il 1998 . P reliminary res ults of t he tri al are repo rted by Barr et al. (1999) . Th e broad aim of the ZELflocc® process trial was to de mo nstrate its po tential to provide a low cost plant up grade o ptio n for nitrifi catio n and nitrogen removal. Specific aims of the tri al we re to: • imp rove settl eabili ty, m easured by sludge volu m e in d ex (SV I), for 30 m inute settling in a stirred settling cylinder • main tain adequate SVI so that th e existin g clarifi ers are not limiting the o p e rat ing M LS S co n ce n t ra t io n to achieve th e requ ired sludge age for yea rrou nd nitrifi ca tio n • in crease sludge age to ac hieve nitrificati on during the w inter mo nths (obj ecti ve less than 5 m gNH3-N/L) • exa mine a lo w cost anoxic zon e in th e existin g bio reacto r to maximise denitri ficatio n and nitrogen removal.

ZELflocc® Technology ZELflocc® is a pate nted p rocess whi ch involves the additio n o f specially prepared powdered natu ral zeolite to wastewater treatment systems such as activated sludge systems. ZELflocc® res ul ts in s ig n i fi ca ntl y im prove d se ttleabi lity (l ower SVI va lu es) of activate d slu dges wh ich can en able high er cla rifie r hydra uli c and solids




Stage I & 2: 85,000 ep Control Train Primary Clarificrs (2)

Aeration Tanks (7)

Raw Sewage

Final Effl uent RAS

Primary Clarifiers (2)

Aeration Tanks (2)


Stage 3 & 4: 100,000 ep ZELflocc® Train

Figure 1 Oxley Creek WWTP process fl owsheet

loading rates for existing activated sludge plants. H ence, a higher M LSS concentration and higher sludge age can be achieved for an existing plant. This offers the potential to upgrade ex istin g activated sludge plants for improved nitrification and ni trogen remova l without substantia l capital expenditure. O ther reported benefits ofZELtl occ® are enhanced sludge thickening and dewaterab ili ty properties o f sludges, reduced odour from sludges, removal and immobi li sa tion of heavy metals, in creased reuse potenti al of wastewater sludges and reduced metal salt dosing requirements for chemi ca l phosphorus rem.oval. ZELtlocc® builds on the earlier work carried o ut in Hungary in the la te 1980s and described by Papp (1993) and Cooksey and Lane (1997). Significa nt improve ments in settl eabi li ty were achieved at a number of other plants in a comprehensive trialling program during 1997 and commercial demonstrations are currently in progress in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Natural zeolite used in ZEUlocc® is an alumino-silicate 1n ineral known as cli nopti lolite. Th ere are extens ive deposits of natural zeolite in New South Wales and Queensland. Properties of natural zeolite include : • uniqu e m ic ro -crys talli ne stru ctu re consisting of coun tl ess channels or cavities (diam eter of cavities of about 5 Angstroms and length of cavities of 200 million km per gram) • veiy large surface area per unit weight (active inner surface area of arou nd

500 111 2 per gram) • hi gh cation exchange capacity (selective for amm onia an d heavy metals) • inert with good structural stability • non- haza rdous. W hilst these properties m ay offer considerable benefi ts in many wastewater treatment applicatio ns, the specific aim of th is trial was to demonstrate the benefits of ZELtlocc® for improved slu dge settleabili ty to allow modified operation of an existing plant to improve nitrifi cation and nitrogen removal.

Oxley Creek WWTP Process Description The O xley C reek WWTP is located in the so uthern Brisbane suburb of R ocklea. The plant cons ists of fin e sc reening to 5 111111, grit removal, primaiy sedimentation, conventional activated slu dge pro cess, WAS thickening by DAF, anaerobic digestion of sludges and dewatering by centrifuge. It consists of two entirely separate activated sludge process tra ins. Stages 1 and 2 combined have a nominal capacity of85,000 ep and consist of seven aeration ta nks built progressively as several sm all units to match th e catch ment growth during the earl y years. Stages 3 and 4 combined have two aerati on tanks and a nominal capacity of 100,000 ep . A process flowsheet of the Oxley C reek WWTP is shown in Figure 1. The plant was designed for BOD removal only and the aeration system consists of a full floor coverage of fine bubble ceramic diffusers configured in a tapered aeration pa ttern . T he aeration system in Stages 3 and 4 has some flexi-

bility in that the process air is supplied by fou r sepa rate grids of diffusers in each aeratio n tank. Both process trains are loaded in proportion to their design capacity, with Stages 1 and 2 receiving 25 ML/ d and Stages 3 and 4 receiving 29 ML/d. The ZELflocc® trial was conducted on the Stages 3 and 4 pro cess train , with the Stages 1 and 2 train being operated normally as a control. The four clari fiers of Stages 3 and 4 have a floor slope of20' or 1 in 2.7. Two clarifiers are equipped w ith conventional blade type scrapers. The other two clarifie rs are equ ipped with a single chain scraper which is dragged aro und the floor of the tank by the rotating bridge. These chain scrapers were replaced with blade scrapers during the trial. T he typical operational parameters before the ZELflocc® trial are given in Table 1.

Results The ZE Lflocc ® dosing fa c ility co nsists of a 25 tonn e capacity storage silo for the powdered ZELflocc®. A screw feeder and simple slu ny box are mounted under the silo. T he slurried ZELflocc® is dosed into the return sludge system for the Stages 3 and 4 process train. Dosing bega n on April 3 1998 bu t mec hanical difficulties with the dosing eq uipment resulted in some interruptions to dosing until m id May . Since then, dosing has essentially been constant at a rate of1.5 t/day . Improved Settleability

Th e Oxley Creek WWTP has a histoty of w idely fl uctu ating settleability. Despite th ese fl uctuations for both process trains, Figure 2 shows that there has been a sign ificant improvement in SVI for the Stages 3 and 4 process train. A comparison of SVI values from June 1998 to the end of the trial in February 1999 is given in Table 2. The data in Table 2 indicate the improvem ents in settleability for the ZE Lfl occ® p rocess t rain. Whi l st settl eability varied widely throughout the trial period , the maxim um value for ZELflocc® of 125 ml/g did not exceed the average value of 125 m L/g for the Stages 1 and 2 control train. Increased MLSS

Table 1 Operating conditions for Oxley Creek WWTP before the ZELflocc® trial Bloreactor ADWF HRT Sludge Age MLSS typical MLSS range


ML/ d hours days mg/ L mg/ L

Stages 1 and 2

Stages 3 and 4

25 6.4 4 to 7 <1300 1100 to 1500

29 6.4 5 to 8 <1500 1300 to 1800


Figure 3 shows that it was possible to increase the MLSS concentration for Stages 3 and 4 to greater than 4,000 mg/L by August 1998. Typical average MLSS before the ZELflocc® trial was 1500 mg/L. It should be noted that because the sludge age in Stages 1 and 2 cannot be increased to match that in


250 ~ -- -- ~ - - - -- - - -- -- - - - -- -- ,

V 1

ZELflocc® dosing commenced


~150 _§_


(./) 100


o- l - - -~ -- ~ - - - - - - . ---.-- - -----,----.----,...J Oec-97








Date --o-

Stage 1 & 2

..... Stage 3 & 4

Figure 2 SVI values for Stages 1 and 2 (contro l) and St ages 3 and 4 (ZELflocc®)

Stages 3 and 4 with out causin g op eratio nal problems, its valu e as a co ntrol lies in operating Stages 1 and 2 in th e same mann er as before the ZELflocc® trial began . C larifi e r solids loa ding o f grea ter than 165 kg/ m 2/ day was ach ieved for Stages 3 and 4 with o ut thi ckening failure (sludge blanket washout). Initial increases in th e MLSS con ce ntrati o n in Stages 3 and 4 resulted from acc umul a t ion of n o n - d e gra dab le ZELflocc® in th e m ixed liquor. E ven afte r an equilibrium level of ZELflocc® h ad b ee n ac hie ved in th e slud ge, impro ve me nts in settleability co ntinu ed and dec reases in sludge wasting rate the n resulted in fu rth er in creases in MLSS and sludge age values. The ML VSS t0 MLSS ratio shifted from about 80% befor e ZELflocc® to about 55% with ZELfl occ®. T h is is becau se ZELflocc® adds a signifi ca nt amou nt o f inorgani c so lids tO the MLSS. Increased Sludge Age

Before the ZELfl occ® trial the sludge age for th e Stages 3 and 4 process train was typically in th e range o f fi ve to eight days. With th e addition of ZELfl occ®, it has been possible tO significantly increase sludge age. Fro m early Ju ly 1998 until the e nd of th e trial in February 1999 th e sludge age has been maintained between 12 and 16 days . Nitrification

One of the main obj ectives of this trial was to d em o nstrate that Z E Lflo cc® wo uld permit full nitrificati on (objective < 5 mg N H3-N / L) to be ac hieved during the w inte r m onths of July an d Au gust w here th e 111.ixed liquo r te mperature is aro und 20°C. Whilst sludge age was ele vated to 12 days by July, there were p roblem s w ith dissolved oxygen control until early August.

Figure 4 presents seeded sewage T KN and e ff1u e n t a mmon ia da ta for th e ZELflocc® pro cess train fro m June 1998 to February 1999. Th e ammonia n itrogen data is daily average values from a ST! P online analyser install ed in th e m ixed liquor leaving th e aeration tanks o f Stages 3 and 4 . Th is analyser has been previou sly prove n by comparison with laboratory data. From Figure 4 it can be see n that ammon ia nitro ge n rem oval tO the obj ecti ve o f less than 5 mg/ L in winter was achi e ved for a two-wee k period in Au gust 1998. This very short pe riod o f good nitrifica tion was acco mpani ed by a significan t a m o un t of un controlled denitrifi cation and ri sing sludge in the t w o cl a rifi e rs w ith c h ain sc rap e rs . Effiu e nt nitrate nitrogen at thi s time was grea ter than 30 mg/ L. This was despite the introduc tio n o f a crude anoxic zone implem ented during Augu st by turning off the air supply to a bank of diffusers. By th e e nd of August th is mode o f ope rati on was suspe nded du e to the risk o f breac hing the plant licen ce fo r suspended solids. T he undesirable clarifier denitri fication and risin g sludge was mu ch more prevale nt in the two clarifiers w ith chain scrapers than th e two clarifiers with blade scrapers. A mi nor capital works project was instigated tO replace the chain scrape rs fo r these tw o clarifiers with blade scrape rs. From late August tO N ovemb er 1998 the plant was operated to lim it the ext e nt o f ni trifi ca ti o n and cla rifi e r

de nitrification so th at rising sludge was prevented while th e new sc raper blades were being install ed. Afte r th e comple tio n of th e clarifi e r m o difi ca ti o ns to th e Stages 3 and 4 pro cess train in No ve mb er 1998, the ZELfl occ® process train was op e rated to achie ve th e target e fflu e nt ammonia leve l of less than 5 m g/ L. From Figure 4 it can be see n th at the ave rage efflu ent ammonia w as conside rabl y less t han 5 m g/ L from N ovembe r 1998 u ntil t h e con clu sion of th e trial in Febru ary 1999. Durin g th e two-week pe riod of go od nitri fi cati on in Augu st 1998 and fro m No vemb er 1 998 to Fe bruary 1999, amm o nia rem oval to less th an 5 mg/ L was ach ieved as the influe nt TKN va ried from 30 to greate r tha n 50 m g/ L. Ope ra tin g co ndition s durin g th ese pe ri ods were HR T of 6.4 ho urs and sludge age of 12 to 16 days . Also o f inte rest from Fi gure 4 is th e cycli c pea ks in effiu e nt a mmo nia data. To e nable closer evaluation of this data a mo re detailed section o f Figure 4 is prese nted (see Fi gure 5). Th e cyc lic pea ks in e mu e nt ammo nia are related to th e op era tion o f a ce ntrifu ge use d for de wate ring th e digested sludge from th e anaerobi c di gesters. Th is centrifuge is operated continuously for approximately three days b egin nin g on T u esday o f each week. The ammo nia- nitrogen in th e centrate whi ch is returned to the plant in.l et is abo ut 800 mg/ L. T h is elevates the ammo nia nitrogen in the settl ed sewage by an avera ge o f 10 to 15 mg/L duri ng the thre e days of continuous ope ratio n o f the ce ntri fuge . T he verti cal lines in Figure 5 indi ca te the days on wh ich the ce ntrifuge bega n operating (each Tuesday) . An obvi o us effiu e nt ammo nia peak occurs o ver th e three-day period of centrate return to the plant inlet. To overcome th ese flu ctuations, optio ns unde r co nside ration for th e ultimate nitrogen re m.o val upgrade fo r the O xley Cree k WWTP include : • continu o us o pe rati o n of the ce ntrifuge to even out the return of ammo nia load over the who le week • sid e strea m trea tm ent of the centrate fo r amm.onia remo val. Nitrogen Removal - Optimisation of nitrification and denitrification


o btain

ma x i mum

nitro ge n

Table 2 Settleabi lity data summary from June 1998 to February 1999 SVI (mL/ g)

Average Maximum Minimum

Stages 1 and 2 (control)

125 200 55

Stages 3 and 4 (ZELflocc®)

60 125 25




6000 1 - - --.-----::::-::---::-:---:---------1.,,..- ZELfloc~ dosing commenced 5000


~ _[ 4000 c::

.9 nl









1000 0 +-::-=-----=~-=---~----.----,Jan-98 Feb-98 Apr-98 Jun-98 Jul-98 Date -<>- Stage 1 &2

---,--~--,---~__J Sep-98




..... Stage 3 &4

Figure 3 MLSS for St ages 1 and 2 (control) and Stages 3 and 4 (ZELflocc®)

rem oval, denitrificatio n as w ell as nitrifica ti o n has to be o pti1nised. This w ould normally in volve the provisio n o f an anoxic (un aerated) zone in the bioreactor and the inclusio n of an additi o nal mixed liquor recycle stream. The bioreac tors at Oxl ey C re ek W WTP are not provided wi th anoxic zones because the plant was designed fo r BOD r e m oval onl y . D ur i n g th e ZELflocc® trial from late August to N ovember 1998 it was necessary to operate th e plant to limit nitrifi cation and clarifi er de nitrifi catio n so that rising sludge was p revented . During th is period the plant was ope rated w ith a lo w dissolved oxygen set poin t as well as the crude anoxic zone men tio ned earlier. A fu rther obj ective of the trial was to exam ine low cost optio ns to maximise denitrificatio n and nitrogen removal. Th e crud e anoxi c zo ne crea ted by switching off the air supply to som e aerated zon es was trialled with limi ted success. The tapered aeration system for the Stages 3 and 4 process tra in limited the aeratio n zones in the bioreactor that could be made into anoxjc zo nes by switching o ff the air supply. T he degree o f d enitrifi catio n and nitrogen rem oval that can be achi eved fro m this applicatio n o f the ZELflocc® process at O xley C ree k WWTP cannot be co nfirm ed until the appropriate anoxic · bioreactor fra ctio n and mixed li quo r recycle system are provided as part of the ul timate plant upgrad e fo r nitrogen rem oval.

content in the digested sludge fro m the anaerobic digesters, produ cing a more stable biosolids product for ultim ate disp osal • there was an improvement in the cake d ryness produced by the digested sludge dewat e ring ce ntrifug e, resu lting in reduced transport costs for the disposal of the dewatered biosolids from the site. T he above benefits are yet to be rigoro usly quantifi ed. However, it is interesting to note that these o th er benefits have bee n observed in the sludge treatmen t stream for th e Oxley C reek plant even though the ZELflocc® trial was only conducted o n j ust over half the plant throughpu t. T hese other benefits have the po tential to provide a substantial cost o ffset for the supply o f Z ELflocc®.

Conclusions Trials for the ZELflocc® process at Oxley Creek WWTP Stages 3 and 4 (100,000 ep) have demonstrated that sludge settleabili ty can be su bstanti ally improved. Improvem ent in SVI was fro m between 100 m L/g and 200 mL/g

to an average of 60 mL/g. T his allowed a MLSS of greater than 4,000 mg/ L to be ap plied to the existing clarifiers that have typically not been able to receive greater th an 1,500 mg/ L. Sludge age was elevated from the typical fi ve to eight days to greater than 12 days during the trialling of Z ELflocc®. The hydraulic retention time for the bioreactor was approximately 6.5 ho urs throughout the trial period. T he target am mo nia nitrogen removal to less than 5 m g/ L was ac hieved fo r a two-week period in August 1998. At this time it becam e necessary to temporarily suspend the Z ELflocc® trial in o rder to carry ou t som e m odifications to the fi nal cla rifiers to p revent uncontrolled denitrificatio n and rising sludge from causing a breach o f the plant licence due to high suspended solids. Following the clarifi er modifi cations, am monia nitrogen of less than 5 mg/L w as ach ieved continu ously from N ovember 1998 through to the conclusion of the trial in Feb ruary 1999. Settled sewage TKN va ried fro m 30 to greater tha n 50 mg/ L durin g this period. It has been possible to show that set tl ea b ility im p ro ve m en ts us ing ZELflocc® are such that clarifie r capacity no longer li m its sludge age to the extent that full ni trifi cation cannot be achieved . Using ZE Lfl occ®, existin g pla nt structures at O xley C reek WWT P are suffic ien t for fu ll nitrificatio n . The Oxley Creek WWT P was designed for BOD remo val on ly and hence does not have anoxic zones. H ence it w ill not be possible to determine the degree of denitri fication that can be achieved until an appropriate anoxic fra cti on and m ixed liquor recycle system is included in the bio reactor as part of the ultimate upgrade o f the plant for n itrogen rem oval.

6 0 , - - - - - - - -- -- - - - - --


Other Observations Se veral o ther plant benefits w ere o bserved during the Z ELflocc® trial: • th ere was an improvem ent in th e th ickened waste activated sludge concentrati on prod uced by the DAF thickener • th ere was a reducti on in volatile solids



TKN Settled Sewage


NH3-N Mixed Liquor Stage 3&4

Figure 4 Nitrification results for Stages 3 and 4 ZELf locc® process train, June 1998 to February 1999. Scraper modifications were completed at the end of November 1998.




Process Operations Engineer in the Operations Branch of Brisbane Water, are also thanked for their co-operation and assistance with the project.

30 25 20

~ .§.. 15 z




~ !\ I I


References Abal E G, Holloway KM and Dennison WC (1998) Interim Stage 2 Scientific Report, Brisbane River and Moreton Bay Wastewater Management Study, Brisbane. Barr KG, Balthes CA and Cooksey PA (1999) A Low Capital Cost Option for Improved Nitrogen Removal. AWW A 18th Federal Convention, Adelaide. Cooksey P A and Lane C (1997) Zeoflocc Trial-Slacks Creek WPCC, Logan. AWWA 17th Federal Convention, Melbourne. Papp J (1993) Upgrading the Efficiency of Biological Sewage Treatment Using Natural Zcolitc. AWWA 15th Federal Convention, Gold Coast.


i--- - - - - - - - -

- - _k

0 27·0ct






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24-Nov 1-Dec 8-Dec 1998 NH3-N Mixed liquor Stage 3&4


'L tcJ\


22-Dec 29-Dec

Figure 5 Impact of centrate return loading on effluent ammonia concentration,

November 1998. A rigorous economic analysis is yet to be completed for the total impact of ZELflocc® on the overall wastewater treatment process. The trial work conducted to date by Brisbane Water has demonstrated the potential of this technology to permit the upgrade of existing activated sludge plants for improved capacity, performance, nitrification and nitrogen removal with a minimum of capital expenditure.

Acknowledgements This demonstration of the ZELflocc® process was largely funded through a research and innovation grant from the Advanced Wastewater Treatment Technologies subsidy scheme of the Queensland Government. Further fonding was provided by Zeolite Australia Limited and Brisbane Water. The operational staff at the Oxley Creek WWTP and Dr Elisabeth v. Miinch,

Authors Keith G Barr and Craig A Balthes arc process operations engineers in the Wastewater Treatment Section, Operations Branch, Brisbane Water, 240 Donaldson Road, Rocklea QLD 4106. Peter A Cooksey is a wastewater consultant with Zeolite Australia Limited, Suite 2.3, 320 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004.


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BIOREMEDIATION OF ATRAZINE-CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER A. Tilbury Abstract Atrazine, a triazine herbicide, is a co mmon contam inant of surface and groundwater worldwide. A signifi can t atrazine contamination plume occ urs on the Swan Coasta l Plain and the objective of this study was to investigate the potential for microbial degradation of atrazine w ith a view to its appl icati on for bioremediation. An atrazine-mi n eral ising ba cterial strain (denoted strain AT2) was successfu ll y isolated from atrazine-contami nated groundwater. It was iden tified as a Pse11do111011as sp, with a 99.66% 16S rR.NA se qu ence homology w ith Pseudo 111011as citro11ellolis. St rain A T 2 metaboli sed atrazine as its sole nitrogen sou rce at high concentrations of atrazine (500 mg/L) and unambiguously mi neralised ring-labelled f14 C]-atrazine to 1 4CO2. AT2 m ineralises atrazine via the same metabolic pathway as strain ADP, the first bacterium described that co uld mineralise atrazin e in pure culture but AT2 appears more stable in o ur laboratory and is probably better su ited fo r use in bioremediati on of the conta minated sites on th e Swan Coas t al P la i n. Pse11do111011as citro11ellolis is not pathogenic to ani mals or plants and co uld be used with confidence in a bioremediation exercise. T he strai n may have th e potential for bioremed iati o n of other c hlorina ted pesticides. Keywords: atrazine, bioremediation, pesticides, Pseudomonas sp.

Introduction Atrazine (2-chloro-4-(ethylamino)-6(isopropylamino)- 1,3,5-triazine] is the predo minant member of the system ic, broad spectrum s-triazin e herb icides. The triazi n e he rbic id es are utili sed globa lly to selecti vely control broad leaf and grassy weeds in a variety of crops and plantation forestry. Atrazine is also one of the most extensiv e ly u sed herbicides world wide. Although atrazine is agronomically and economically important, it is currently under rev i ew by th e National

Registration Authority due to its persisten ce in the en vironment and hi gh toxicity to aq uatic ecosystems. Th e main concern is that atrazine is classified as a Group C (possible human) carc inogen a nd ma y pose hea lth hazards upon dermal contact. It has a half-life in soil ranging from 1-8 years and is highly mobile with limited adsorption to soil. The mobility of atrazine coupled with its exte nsi ve appli cation has res ulted in co ntamination of su rfa ce so il a nd grou ndwater with residual levels in excess of those recommended. Th is has occurred in the P erth suburb ofDianella where h igh leve ls of atrazine (up to 2000 µg/L) have been detected in groundwater, far exceeding the guideline value of 2 µg/L set by most co untries. Various remediation strategies, such as the pump and treat method, have been investigated, however, they have proven too expensive and unsuccessful in large sca le appli cation (Appleyard , 1995). Because of the m etabolic capabil ities of microo rga ni sms, their use in the decontamination process (biorem edi ation) has attracted increasing atten tion. Pse11do111011as sp. stra in ADP, the first ba cterial strain to ncineralise atrazi ne, in pure culture, eventua lly to cyanuric acid (Figu re 1.), was imported into Western Australia for research into its potential use for the bioremediation and pennission was given to use it at the Dian ella site . However, quarantine and patent restrictions initiated a search for atrazinedegrading microorganis m s from the contaminated site.

• Iso lat e pure c ul tures of atrazinedegrading bacteria. • Identify the ind ividua l strains. • Examine the metabolic pathway of atrazine d egradation (by chemical analysis of metabolic intermediates and via genetic analysis). • Exami ne the physiology of th e strains, includi ng atrazine degradation rates and atrazine minera lisation (to CO2) rates . • Based on th e above information , consider som e of the probable requirements fo r bioremediatio n of atrazine conta minati o n of gro und wate r at D ianella.

Methods Growth Media.

Atraz ine growth medium was prepared as descri bed by Mandelba um et al., 1993. Liq uid atrazine medium con tained 1% (wt/vol) sodium citrate as the carbon source and 1.00 mg/L atraz ine as the sole nitroge n so urce. Solid atrazine medium, used for

Project objectives The objecti ves o f the project were to isolate loca l atrazine-mineralising bacteria (p re ferably pre-adapted to th e environment at Dianella) and to investigate their taxonomy, physiology and genetics so that they could be used with confiden ce in bioremediation. To achi eve the general aims, the followi n g expe rime ntal design was fo llowed: • Enric h for mi xe d pop u lations of atrazine-degrading bacteria .

Figure 1. Atrazine catabolic pathway identified in Pseudomonas sp. strain ADP



ENVIRONMENT cells precultured on solid 111.edia, yielded a pure culture of a spreadatrazine media (500 mg/L). ing bacterium which was denoted AT2. The flask was equipped When inoculated on a gel containing with a NaOH carbon 500 mg/ of atrazine, well above its dioxide trap (1 M, 1 mL) solubility of33 mg/L, so that undissolved prior to sealing. The particulates were present, extensive cultures were incubated at clearing of even the solid atrazine was 28°C and examined at 8 observed around the colonies, (Figure 2). Ide11tification. The bacterial strain AT2 hour intervals. Radioactivity of the l-lC-atrazine was a gram negative, motile, pleomorsolution and of the trapped phic rod. Transmission electron carbon dioxide was deter- microscopy confirmed a single polar mined by scintillation flagellum. (Fig 3 ) A series of biochemical tests were counting (in 10 mL conducted to phenotypically characterise Starscint, Packard and on a Figure 2. Clearing zones around colonies of strain AT2 225OCA Tricarb Packard the bacterium and the results obtained on atrazine-containing agar medium from the Liquid Scintillation suggested that the organism belongs to degradation of 500mg/L of atrazine. Analyser). All counts were the genus Pse11do111011as. Due to the culture isolation and detection of atrazinc corrected for background and quench by variability in phenotypic testing, molecdegradation, contained the same mineral an "Automatic Efficiency Control- ular analysis of the organism, through salts as the liquid medium, 100 mg/L quench curve" that had been generated 16S rRNA sequencing, confirmed that the isolate was a Pse11do111011as sp. The atrazine and 15% (wt/vol) bacteriological from quenched 14C standards. Analytical met/rods. Gas Chroma- most similar strain to AT2 (99.66%) was agar. Isolatiou of pure cultures. Water tography-Mass Spectrometry was a Ps11edo11101ias sp. that had been shown to samples from bores were inoculated with performed with a Varian 3400 CX gas utilise 3-chlorobenzoate as the sole 500 mL atrazine broth medium and chromatograph equipped with a Varian source of carbon and energy. allowed to stand at room temperature Saturn 3 mass spectrometer and a BPXS Pse11do111011as citro11cllolis was the second most similar strain, with a 99.32% 16S until the cultures were turbid due to column (12.5 m x 0.22 mm x 0.25 µm). bacterial growth, A single drop and a A ramped temperature injection (0.5 ~LL, rRNA sequence homolot,iy. Pswdomo11as scraping of the pellicle from the enrich- on column Varian 8200 autosampler) sp. strain ADP was reported to have ment cultures were inoculated by the 16 was used. The operating conditions 96. l % sequence homology with streak method onto atrazine agar employed for the analysis of atrazine Psc11do111011as citro11cllolis (Mandelbaum et medium and cells were isolated by were as follows: injector temperature, al., 1995), which indicates that there is conventional methods. 90-280°C at 100°C/min; oven tempera- significant diversity between bacterial Bacterial ide11tificatio11. A series of ture, 90-280°C at 20°C/min; mass strains AT2 and ADP, although they are biochemical tests were performed using spectrometer 220°C and transfer line members of the same genus. Members of the BBL CrystalTM/nonfermenter ID 260°C. The simultaneous analysis of the species P. citro11cffolis are not system. The extraction of DNA, as atrazine and of its non-volatile, interme- pathogenic to humans, animals or plants. Atrazi11e 111i11cralisatio11. Strain AT2 described by Sambrook et al., 1989, was diate metabolites in the growth medium, employed. Approximately 1,400 base was performed on an HPLC system metabolised atrazine as its sole nitrogen pairs of the 16S rRNA were sequenced comprising a Hewlett Packard model source at high concentrations of atrazine using nine synthetic 16S rRNA-specific j 050 equipped with a Zorbax Eclipse CS (500 mg/L) and unambiguously mineroligonucleotide primers. Each primer column (3.5 ~lm, 15 cm x 3 111111). A alised ring-labelled [ 14C]-atrazine to complements a conserved region in the multiwavelength detector operating at an 14CO2. Bacterial growth (measured by 16S rRNA of proka,yotic cells. The absorbance wavelength of 220 nm was optical density) was shown to occur sequences were read on an automated employed. The protocol for the separa- concomitantly with atrazine disappearDNA sequencing machine (Applied tion of atrazine and its degradation ance (measured by GCMS) and the Biosystems, model 373A). The final products was adopted from the work of production of CO2 (Figure 4). collated sequence was submitted through Vermeulen et al. ("1982), except that the In a liquid medium, containing the "BLAST" hyperlink in GenBank flow rate was 0.5 mL/min and the initially 25 mg/L of atrazine, the rates of (http://golgi.harvard.edu/ genbank.html. column was maintained at 35QC. atrazine degradation for strain AT2 and Plasmid isolatio11 and seq11e11ci11g. A conventional large plasmid isolation Results Isolatio11. An atrazineprocedure as described by Sambrook et al. (1989) was employed as the plasmid mineralising bacterial strain was assumed to be large. Plasmid prepa- was successfully isolated rations were amplified with the specific from atrazine-contaminated groundwater. oligonucleotide primers. Atrazi11e metabolism. Atrazine-ring- Enrichment cultures, from UL- "C (1 mg, 100 µCi at 18.8 a medium containing µCi/11111101, 98% chemically pure, 100% atrazine as the sole source radioactively pure) was obtained from of nitrogen, were obtained Sigma (St Louis, MO, USA). 100 µL of after inoculation with a 14C-atrazine stock solution (1.85 x J 0· 4 water samples collected from a bore in a plume of 11111101, 8 658 200 dpm) was added to an atrazine medium containing 25 mg/L of atrazine contamination. unlabelled atrazine. The medium was Repeated subculturing of Figure 3. Transmission electron microscopy of strain inoculated with 6x1 o:i exponential phase isolates onto atrazine solid AT2. The magnification is 20 000x. 28


ENVIRONMENT mmol atrazine

00 (A600)

0.30 0.12 0.25 0.10

Sambroo k J, Fritsch E F, Maniatis T ( 1989). Mo lecular cloning: a laboratory manual, 2nd Ed Cold Spring H arbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring H arbor, N.Y. Vermeule n N M , Aposto lides J Z, Potgicter (1982). Separatio n of atrazine and some of its degradation products by high- performance liquid ch rom atography . J. Clrromarogr. 240 :247-253.

m etabolite chat co-eluted with authe ntic hydroxyatrazine was detec ted This m etabo li te is produced by the h ydrolytic dechlorination o f atrazine, a reacti o n catalysed by th e e nzym e e ncoded by the atz A ge ne. Non-ch lorinated m etabo lites fro m atrazine are not conside red detrim e ntal to the e nviro nm ent.

Conclusions T he rates of b iodegradatio n Figure 4. Growth of b acteria l s t rain AT2 (o pt ica l of pesticides arc depende nt o n dens ity at A600, .. ), with concom ita nt degradat ion individu al site conditions and as of atrazine (mmol, â&#x20AC;˘ ), and m ine ra lisation os a trazine strai n AT2 is ind igenous to the to CO2 (m mol atrazine to CO2, â&#x20AC;˘ ) with c it ra te as the co ntam inated site, it is likely to s ource of carbo n a nd e nergy. s u rv ive any e n v ir on m en tal strain ADP we re similar alth o ugh ADP c hall e n ges e n co u nte red at t he site . fre que ntly lose the ability to degrad e Furthermore, strain A T 2 is no t patented acrazine. Th e acrazine degrad ing ph eno- a nd b ec au se it was iso late d fr om typ e (or plasmid) of stra in AT2 appea rs Australian so il, its use has no quarantine m o re stable than strain ADP. restrictions, and is available for use in biorc med iation . Stra in AT2 has sho wn Strai n AT 2 showed a positive c hem otactic respo nse to atrazine and cleared simi lar atrazi nc-m ineralisati on rates as atra zine from atrazine agar med iu m more strai n ADP and coupled with numerous rapidly than strain AD P . The positive o th e r benefi cial physiological attributes, c hc m o tactic respo nse to atraz ine b y proves to be an exc itin g prospect for fu ture b io remed ia ti o n pro ce d u r es . strain AT2 is importa nt w he n considering environm ental applications o f the Know ledge o f the growth and physioorganism . 1n th e con text of b io rc m ed ia- log ical characteristics o f strain AT2 w ill tion, the resul ts imp ly that upon de ple- enable intelli gen t design of b iorem ediation o f a local supply o f atrazinc, strain tion system s fo r atrazine-contami nated AT 2 will m o ve alon g the res ulting soils a nd groundwa ter. Many o f the pesticides co nce ntrati on gradient to areas of higher on the market are chloriatrazine co nce ntratio n . mAUJ Ge11etic a11alysis. Th e genes atz A, nated aro mati cs. Future atz B a n d atzC, th at e n co de th re e rese arc h on st rain AT2 200 enzymes that are respo nsible fo r the co uld include investigati ng m e ta bolism o f atrazine to cyan uric acid, the ran ge of c hlo rinated previously cloned and seq ue n ced in p es t ic id e s t h at ca n b e strain ADP, were also present in strain dec hl o r inat e d b y st ra i n AT2 . Molecular analysis of strain AT2 A T2 and th e ex te nt to ide nti fi ed atz A , atz B and atzC genes wh ic h t h e pes t ic ide is w ith suffi cient sequ e nce hom ologies to degraded .

Author Amanda Tilbury was an undergradua te stu de nt i n t he D e pa rtm e n t of C hemi stry, U ni v e rsity o f W es te rn A ustralia, and acknowledges her supervisors: Asso c/ Prof Em il io G hisalberti fro m th e D epa rtm e nt o f C hemistry and D r P e ter Fran zm a nn a nd Mr Bradley Patterso n fro m CS l R.O Land an d Wa te r. She is now worki ng fo r he r PhD in En v ir o n m e n tal M i c r ob iol ogy a nd C hem istry. â&#x20AC;˘ Tit is paper 1//0fl tir e I 9 98 A WWA Westenr A 11strnliafl U/lder;ernd11ates ltllater Priz e , spo fl sored by S PIRA C E flgiflecriflg Pty Ltd, ltVater a/Id Rivers Co//1111issiofl a11d Clea11al/la)' Tecltflical Services. Tire otlrer f, fl alists 111ere j ofl atlr o11 Pass111ore, of tir e Departr11e/ll of Microbiolog )' "Assessifl,(! tire potefltial fo r biolo,eiral rn flt rol of bacterial dise ases ifl aq 11 arnlt11 re " a/I d K iern A ppel/1a/ls1 of tire Departrflellt of Botafly, Of/ "Tire Efl troplricntiofl of ortlra111 To111/I Pool".


3 053


those chara cterised in strain AD P, to pro du ce D NA fra gments in a h igh stringen c y te c hniq ue s u c h as P CR. Furtherm ore, the D NA fra gm e nts for eac h gene in strain AT2 we re o f sim ilar m olecular weight to the ho mologous ge n es in strain ADP. D ue to time restrictio ns, the atzA, atz B and atzC genes were not sequenced, thus the le vel of ho mology is u nknown. Th e presence of atz A, atz B and atzC genes in AT2 su ggested th a t b ac te rial stra in A T 2 m i n e ral ises acrazin e v ia the sa m e m etabolic pathway as strain AD P . A nalysis of metabolites. The atrazine degradation pathway was con firm ed by an al ys is of th e growth m ed iu m by HPLC. Figure 5 compares the ch rom atogra m of th e growth m ed iu m after 52 h ours of cu lture with a ch ro m ato gram o f a mixtu re o f aut hentic m e tabo li tes . A




- ,...2s- -1~, - 115

Retention lime, rrin

References A pp leya r d S J ( 1995) . In ves ti gati o n o f g r o und water con tam i na ti o n by fenami p hos an d atrazin c in a residential area: source and d i s tri b uti o n o f contami nants. Cro1111d111111er Mo11itori11g R e11ie111. 17 : 11011 3 . Mandelbau m R T , Allen D , W ac k c tt L P ( 1993). Min eralizatio n o f t h e striazine ring of atrazine by stab le b ac te rial mi xed c ultures. A ppl. E11 viro 11 . Microbiol. 59: 1695-170 I. M andelbaum , R T , Allen D, Wacketc L P (1995). Isolation and ch aracterisa tion of a Pseudo111011as sp. t hat mineralizes the s-triazine herbicide at razi n e . Appl. E 1111iro11. Mirrobiol. 61 : 1-15 1- 1-157.

__J ' - 10

Figure Sa. Chromatogram of a mixture of atrazine and its metabolites. Compound

Ret ention Time (minutes)

1.483 1.762 3.053 5.073 6.482 21.503

cyanuric acid N-isopropylammelide delsopropylatrazine deethylatrazine hydroxyat razine atrazine


21 660

12.5 10 75

6.548 25

O',....J/~ 2.5







Retention time, min



22 5

Figure Sb. Chromatogram of the growth medium 52 hours after inoculation wit h s train AT2. WATER NOVEMBER/ DECEMBER 1999


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ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH Report by EA (Bob) Swinton EE R E , the E n v i r o nmen t a l Engineering R.esea rch Event is a national postgrad ua te student co n fere n ce orga nised by stude nts and sponsored by industry , go ve r n m e n t , n o n-gove rnm en t o rgan isation s an d u ni versiti es. The seco nd EER.E took place in D ecember 1998 and a 420 page book o f papers was publ ished. EER.E '99 w ill cak e place in C ascle m a in e , Vi c to ri a fro m 2 3 -26 N ove m ber 1999. Environme ntal enginee rin g is a w id e and pertine nt fie ld , and read in g through the Proceed ings I fo u nd inte rest in man y of th e 11 pape rs fro m invited natio nal and inte rnational speake rs, plus the 40 pape rs an d 20 abstrac ts of post-gradu ate resea rch ran ging fro m solar power and fu els co landfill. H owever, fo r this journ al , I have summarised only a fe w papers w hich I co nside r to be relevant co the field of water and wastewa ter. Co m ing fro m research departments, they can be regarded as the 'cutti ng edge' o f technology. O ne in vited spea ke r, Sharratt, from the Enviro nme ntal T ec hn o logy C e ntre at U ni versity of M ancheste r 1ST , spo ke o n th e need co develop cools to e valuate en viron men tal impact duri n g process d esign . T h is is n ot easy in the ea rl y stages o f d esign w he re reliable data arc lim ited, but if sustai nable developmen t is to be ach ieved , then en viron m ental d rive rs, such as externalities in waste em issions, mu st be balanced aga inst the far simpl er econo mic drivers, and this is best done wh e n creati ve options are stilJ ava ilable . H is pape r lists a number of such cools,

ra nging from H AZO P fo r accide ntal releases, co assessm ent o f waste generation and em ission facto rs. Fle mming, fro m th e Uni versity of D u isburg, and th e !WW C e ntre for Water R.esearc h , spo ke o n bio fi lm s, in w hic h it is esti mated that more than 99% of the mic ro-o rganisms on earth live. His pa pe r ranged fro m d iscussion o f th e earliest fo rms of life to th e diffusivity of o>..-yge n thro ugh a bi ofi lm , so that w hile the surfaces may be ae robic th e inner laye rs o perate anaerobicall y. Diffusivity can protect a b iofilm fro m b iocides, conversely, th e active bio fi lms in water and wastewate r treatment can survive sho c k lo ads o f toxins. His pape r is wellrefe re nccd , and ' w(h)ets the reade r's appeti te' co lea rn m ore of th e pocc ncial of the m uc h-malig ned de n ize ns o f th e wo rld o f slime. Mem brane technology features in a num be r of papers, emanating fro m Ton y Fanc's UNE SCO Ce ntre at UNSW . Fane's own invited paper is a succinc t review of current developm ents, fro m optimisation o f surface shear and determination of critical flu x, co appli cations in ' water minin g' in C anberra and South W indsor and hyb rid processes such as the membrane bi o- re ac t o r (w h e re t h e biom ass concentratio n is enhanced) . UV oxida tion is e nhanced by with fi nely divided Ti O2 cata lyst pa rticles maintained within the system by an M F me mbra ne. C hung et al reported a stu dy of th e Pall rota ting disk m ic rofilte r, w he re no t only do es flu x increase du e to the high surface shear, but also cleaning may be more m ore effective Cho e t al compared the c ritical flu xes of d ifferent me mbrane materi als fo r applica tio ns in a membrane bi o- reactor, realising that this is onl y o ne component in che selectio n process. Lee et al are commencing the study of effect of the subtl e interplay of the effects of shear during microfil tration . of flo ccu lated suspe nsio ns. Sc hafer et al stud ied the protection fro m fo uling o f a varie ty o f nanofiltration m embra nes used for wate r treatme nt. T hey fo und th at pre- coagulatio n w ith Starting them really young! The Poster papers attracted a wide audience.

FeCb prefe rentially reacts with th e more hydrophob ic components of the hu mi c ac id s w hi c h a r e r espons ibl e fo r mem bran e fo ul ing, and even though the flo es w ere partly de posited o n the me m b ran e, th e gel laye r fo rm ati o n w hic h is mainly responsible fo r fou ling was prevented . Lo et al reported that it is tech ni cally feas ib le to rem ove a hi gh mo lec ular weight dyestuff fr om a spen t dye bath by nano-fi ltrati on , thus all ow ing recycli ng o f th e sa line wate r, b ut questio n the econ o mic feasib ili ty u nless the re arc exceptional limiting circu mstances. Yang and Fane discussed the use of hydrop hobi c mi crofiltrati o n me mbranes co suppo rt an adso rbed fil m of a li q uid ion exchange extraccant co co ncentrate co pper fro m a di lute stream. Stability of the compos ite me mbrane is c urren tly the difficulty . In the fi eld o f water treatment th e re was a w ide spectrum of inte rest. A fa rsighting investiga tion into how, and perhaps w hy, the cyanobacceri u m M ae ru gin osa o nl y occasionall y produ ces t he h e pa t o x i n , was r e p o r t ed b y Kaebe rn ick and N eilan fro m th e Sch ool of Mi c robiology and Immu nity, UNS W , a partner in the C R C WQT . It has long been no ted that o ptimal gro wth conditions do no t necessarily produce high co ncentrations, and the re see ms to be a link with traces o f Fe. T heir plan is to in vestiga te the ge nes respo nsible, and so perh aps lead to management strategics. Also fro m th e C R.C WQT, Page reviewed the w o rk being done o n the characterisati o n of D O M , using DR IFT spectra, to gain insight into th e fu nctionalitites o f th e o rgan ics and thei r effect on alum coa gulati on. A very hi gh- tech approach to the proble m of rem oval of C ry p t os p oridium wa s r e po r te d b y Considine et al from CS IR.O . U sing a silica probe o f a m ere 220 nanome ter diam eter attached to a piezosca nner, they were able to map the repulsio n fo rces around th e su rface o f a single oocyst, and fo und chat in o ne region th e probe mee ts a 'squashy' boundary. Fu rthe r work is planned w ith a view to en hancing particle re moval by fi ltration . T h e w ast ewate r fi e ld attracted a sim ilar w ide range o f p roj ec ts. T he



ENVIRONMENT in vit ed speaker, T illman , from the Centre fo r Enviro nmental Assessment, Goteborg, Sweden, o utl ined life cycle assessment studies o f a very wide range of alternati ves for waste collectio n, treatme nt and disposal (relevant to th e C SIRO Urban Water Systems Proj ect). One system studied, for exa mple, in volved separate collecti o n of urine, faeces and greywa ter from each buildi ng, leading to their use, after suitable treatment, in agriculture. A paper by Loetscher and Keller of University of Queensland discussed th e validatio n of SANEX, a computerised system for examining such alternative sanitati on systems. In a case study for a township in W est Java, they compared the output of the algo rithm with th e recommendatio ns made by local officials. O ther pap ers were focussed on the mechan isms of flocculation of activated sludge. Biggs and Lant from Queensland dispersed the floes fro m a typical BN R plant by sonication into micro flocs, then measured their rates of reflocc ulation as a function of mixing intensity and the internal processes of aggregatio n and breakage. Gapes and Keller modelled the external mass transfe r rate of va rious sizes of floe , concludin g that it could dom inate over bacterial reaction rates if the floes are greater than 100 um in diameter. Guan et al fro m UNSW have developed a rapid laser scatteri ng techniqu e fo r characterising the size and 'looseness' of activated sludge floes and correlating these with the separation processes of se ttli ng, filtration , centrifu gation and thickening.

H opkin s and Lan t (Qu e ensland) validated a model for co ntrol of an intermittent B NR process, and were able to pro vide insight into the do m inant processes in each tank. Lennox, from the same group, analysed the complexities of real-time mo nitoring of such a complex process as B N R. H e suggests that simplifi ca ti o n b y ad o pting Princi pa l C omponents Analysis can be a powerful tool. Pickering, in the same grou p, stud ied the possibilities of process intensification o f biological treatment, looking at the dynami cs of increased temperature and pressure, b ut concl uding that manipulation of shear forces offers significan t potential to reduce the size of equipment. O n a practical scale, Kavanagh, again of Queensland , surveyed water and wastewater facili ties at remote to urist locations in Queensland and north ern NSW, with a view to moving to sustainablility. T he survey suggested that th ere is a need fo r integrated guidelines for the tourism industry to increase the level of sustainability. King et al measured the evapotranspi ra tio n in a pilot scale subsurface flow wetland near Brisbane, and found that even in winter, the planted beds wo uld evaporate 6% of the flo w. W ing et al fro m the Massey U niversity, N.Z. described the performance of a sequ encing batch reacto r o n the highstrength wastew ater from a piggery . Increasin g the cycle time from o ne to two days achieved complete removal of ammonia fro m an initial co ncentration of 600 mg/ L. In the industrial waste area, Willets et al fro m UNSW discussed the adva ntages and

The New Engineer: Management and Professional Responsibility In A Changing World Sharon Beder, MacMillatt Education Australia, 347 p ages, ISBN 0-73294676-X, $42.95 Th.is is an important and fascinating book. O stensibly it was w ritten as a resource for engineering students, but it is equally as interesting and useful fo r practising professionals. It discusses the Code of Ethics (1994) drafted by the Institution of Engineers, Australia, alo ng wi th th eir Environmental Principles (1992), compares them with similar codes elsewhere in the world, then illustrates the difficulties w h ic h ar e inh e re nt in re al situati o n s . Part III , The N ew Engineer and Social Responsibility, covers subjects such as value judgements, w histleblowing, engineers at risk and the role of experts. Part I is a more philosophical debate on the status and image of engi neers in modern society. The 150-year history of the development of engi neers as 'professionals' rather than exp ert tradesmen is enlightenin g in itself. Professionalism implies no t only technological expertise, but also social responsibility and eth.ical behaviour. H owever, since the maj ority of engineers are employed in large corporations and government autho rities, there is little doubt that th e public 32


diffic ul ties of thermophili c anaerobic systems. In a laborato1y case study using a synthetic dye- house wastewater, they compared a U ASB operating at 55'C with one ope rating at 35 ' C. Th e former ac hi eved 91 % rem oval of t he dye, compared to 78% fo r the conventional sys te m. T hey conclu d e th at the thermophilic anaerobic system may be more robust than previously perceived, but it needs to be tested on a real wastewater. An in t eres ti n g p ape r fro m th e Uni versity of Sydney came from Z hang et al w ho investigated the feasibility of preparing activated carbon fro m sugar milling was te (bagasse). The fi bro us mate rial proved to be su itable achieving equal o r better efficiencies than commercial activated carbons. In all, the Proceedings present many interesting ideas. They are still available fro m Andrea Schafer, at the UNESCO C e ntre for M em brane Scie n ce and Technology, University of N ew South Wa les, Sydney 2052 , A .Schae fe r@ unsw.edu .au at a cost of $25. W eb sites fo r EERE '98 http:/ /www. chem.eng.usyd .edu .au / events/ EERE98. html and EERE' 99 http: / /www.molsci. csiro .au/ enviroeng/ Contacts for EERE '99: • Su Lyn Low (s.low@chemeng.unimelb.ed u .au) M elbourne University+ 61 (03) 9344 4037 • Simone Mol (simone@rm it.edu.a u) RM IT University+ 6 1 (03) 9925 2082 • Rob Considine (rob.considine@molsci.csiro.au) C SIRO M olecular Science + 61 (03) 9545 2609

identifies engineers with controversial and environmentally damaging projects. T he stereotype of th e engineer is male, socially inept, politically naive and aligned w ith the interests of his [sic] employer but rarely regarded by the employer as ' management material'. So ho w is this stereo type to be corrected? The author quotes the IEAust review of engineering education Clu111gi11g the C11/trm (1995). Part I also discusses design philosophies and the influence of econo mics, and how the paradigm of technological advance is often overruled by other constraints. Part II illustrates this by a number of case studies. The fi rst two would be of particular interest to readers of l,1later, since they deal with the grad ual evolution of Sydney's sewerage system, the histo rical background and the climate of decision-making throughou t 100 years. Th is leads into a general discussion on environmental protection . In common with other works by the author, there is a great emphasis on bibliographies, w ith a total of some 500 references. H owever, the text is straightforward and easy to read, and is bound to stimulate discussio n in the profession about the q ualities of the 'new engi neer.' EA (Bob) Swi11 ton W ater Features Editor


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WATER LICENCES AND PROPERTY RIGHTS The legal principles for compensation in Queensland P Tan international concern over the world's environment and to domestic problems The management of Australian water resou rces is undergoing reform on a scale which have highlighted the fact that Australian water resources are under not seen since the late 19th centu1y. 2 stress. Commonwealth and state gove rnments Establishing market tradeable water have jointly form.ulated policy at a series entitlements is one of the key planks in of Council of Australian Government the COAG reforms. The concept of (COAG) meetings held during the early tradeable water rights or entitlements, and mid nineties. Establishing market operating within a market framewo rk, is tradeable w ater enti tlements is one of the generally considered to be the best way key planks in the COAG reforms. Calls to secure the maximum benefit from the for co mpensation have been made by use of the resource. 3 As a result of irrigator groups who fear that the volume COAG policy, water licences are being of water currently ava ilable to farmers converted to transferable water entitlewill be decreased when transferable water ments. At th e same time, requirements of en titlements are formulated. water fo r the environment are to be In March 1999 the Queensland ascertained so degradation can be Go vernment announced water comarrested and if water has been overallopensation principles w hi ch depend on a cated this has to be addressed. comprehens ive basin-wide Water Calls for compensation have been Allocation and Management Plan made by irrigator groups who fear that (W AMP) being completed. Debate the volume of water currently available to about comp ensation is often confused farmers will be decreased w hen transferover legal issues. This article examines able water entitlements are formulated. whether there is a legal basis for compenIn March 1999, Queensland Minister sation to be paid on conversion of water fo r Natural R esources Rod Welford licences to transferable water entitle- announced water compensation princiments and upon review of those entitle- ples. These state that conversion of water ments. It is written in the context of licences into transferable water entitleQueensland, but the principl es discussed ments will take place only after a apply to other states as well. co mprehensiv e basin-wide Water Allocati on and Man agemen t Pl an Key Words (WAMP) has been completed. Corn.pensation, conversio n, transferIf the WAMP resu lts in users having ab le water entitlements, Water title to less water than previously, no Allocation and Management Plan com pensation will be paid. The W AMP (WAMP), water licences provides for the conditions of use of transferable water entitlements to be Introduction reviewed eve1y ten years. If these condiThe management of water resources tions are reduced after the ten-year in Australia is going through reform on a review, no compensation will be paid. scale not seen since the days of Deakin in H owever, if the conditions are changed the late 19th centmy. Although the states during the life of the WAMP, compenhave legislative power over water, the sation will be paid. impetus for reform has come from the Other states have not announced a Commonwealth. Thus, Common- general compensation policy. D ebate about compensation is often wealth and state governments have jointly formulated policy at a series of confused over legal issues. This paper Council of Australian Government seeks to clarify the main areas of misun(COAG) meetings held during the early derstanding. It exam ines whether there is and mid nineties. 1 The wide-ranging raft a legal basis for compensation to be paid of recommendations reac hed at these on conve rsion of water licences to transm eetings has been a respo nse both to ferable water entitlements and upon




review of those entitlements. T he paper is written in the context of Queensland, but the principles discussed apply to other states as well.

Status of Water Licences Water licences are valu able assets, but what is their legal statu s? Are they personal rights or prop erty rights? There are no cases directly on point, but a recent Federal Court decision in a bankruptcy matter is relevant. 4 Generally, courts consider two factors in determining whether a licence is a property right: firstly, the context and legislation, and secondly, whether the licence is freely assignable. Along these lin es, decisions ha ve been taken in bankruptcy matters that taxi licences and liquor licences (both of which are widely transferable from one person to another) are cons idered property, whilst grocers' licences and commercial pilots' licences are not. When the test is applied to water li cences in the context of the Queensland water legislation we see that water licences are not recognised as property rights and the object of the water law reform is to co nvert them to prop erty rights. Further, water licences are not widely transferable. Sale of water allocation is only permitted if the licence was purchased at an auction and few of the existing pool of licences would satisfy this condition. Otherwise, water allocations may only be transferred for an initial 12-month period, subject to renewal as the chief executive deems fi t . In the face of such limited transferability, courts will not recognise water licences as property rights, but as a form of personal rights created by statute.

No General Right to Compensation There is no general right to cla im compensation when the state acquires a prop erty right of an individual. This is to be differentiated from. a person's right against the Commonwealth. It is accepted that when the Commonwealth acquires or interferes with th e property right of an individual or a state, it is requ ired to pay compensation on 'just

BUSINESS te rm s' : (sec ti o n 51 (xxx i) of th e C ommonwealth Consti tuti o n .) Th e te rm 'property' has be en inte rpreted very w idely to m ea n a ran ge of va luabl e ri gh ts in c lud in g rea l a n d pe rsonal p roperty, including rents and services, rights of way , rights of profi t or use in land of anothe r. D espite th e w id e view o f th e term 'prope rty,' the High Co urt re ce ntly de cided in Health ills11 m11ce Co111111issio11 v Peveri/15 th at if rights w hi ch have been d iminished or te rminated are ne w rights w hi ch have been created by legislati on , com p en sa tion is not p aya b le . Thi s catego1¡y o f rights wh ic h are called 'statu -

tory entitl em ents' are o fte n subj ect to valid amendme nts made under the legislation w hich c reated them. Thus any actio n w hi ch affects the rights are not a deali ng w ith pro pe rty but a valid exe rc ise of power by th e legislature . H owever, states do no t have the eq uivale nt of the 'just terms' provisio n in th eir state constitutio ns. The Quee nsland P arl iam ent (as we ll as o th er state legislatures) ca n enac t legislatio n to resum e land o r acquire prope rty on an y te rms, just o r unjust .6 N otw ithstanding th e lack of co nst itut io na l ob li gation to pay compensation , most states have legislated for compensation w here there is com p ul-

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sory taking of ' land. ' Based on the interp r e ta t ion o f th e t e r m ' la nd ' 111 Qu eensland , wa ter licen ces which are gra nted to the h o lders of land titl e are no t part of 'land. '

No Right To Compensation Since th ere is no gen e ral right to compensatio n , th e next questio n to ask is w hethe r th ere is a specific right to compe nsatio n under th e J;Vater R eso11rces A ct 1989 (Qld). Those w h o ha ve purchased w ater allocati o ns at auctions ho ld contractual rights pursuant to an agreem ent under sectio n 15 of th e Water R esources A ct. If th e re is a breach o f contra ct, th ey have rights co damages. H owever, fe w existing wate r lice nces have bee n purchased at auctions. In irrigati on distri cts most are granted under P art 9 o f t he Act. Part 9 o f th e Act is sile nt on comp ensation. T he rights unde r P art 9 are circumscribed. The c hief executive has w ide po wers to change the amo unt o f wa ter availabl e under a lice nce. Should the c hi e f executive am end or revo ke a no m.inal all ocation th ere is appeal onl y to th e Minister und er s. 237. It is likely he re that courts will interpre t the legislati ve in tent as being against providing for compe nsatio n. G e ne ral ly , oth e r licences such as groundwa ter or w ate r harvesting li cences are granted unde r Part 4 o f the Act . This part specifi cally states th at an amendm ent , vari ati o n , cance llatio n , revocati o n or susp ension o f a li cen ce under th e section does not confer the li censee a ri ght to comp ensa tion.

'Legitimate Expectation' If a li ce n ce is not renewed , the lice nsee may possibly have a basis o f ac tio n aga inst the Departm ent of N atural R esources if administrative procedu res have not been carried o ut. T he doctri ne o f ' legitimate expectatio n' o f renew al ensures that the li ce nce holder is entitled to procedural fairn ess.7 Recen tly th e doc trin e was appli ed to a case w here fishi ng permits w ere re newed under th e Fisheries Ma11age111e11t A ct 1991 (Cwth). H owever, th is doctrine do es no t support an action fo r compensation. All it does is safeguard procedural fairness-that the person affe cted should be accorded t he right to be heard and give n the chan ce to raise matte rs for consideration w hich may no t be obvious to the decision maker.

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Compensation After Review lrrigato rs are concern ed that th eir e ntitle me nts may shri nk aft er con version of curre nt lice nces to transfe rabl e w ate r entitle men ts. Under the WAMP pro cess, a revie w o f ri ghts takes place every te n WATER NOVEMB ER/D ECEMBER 1999


BUSINESS years. T he compensation princ iples announced by the Minister states that if cond itions attached to transferable water entitlements are reduced as a result of the review, no compensation will b e payable. However, if these conditions are changed during the li fe o f th e W AMP, compensation will be paid. [n this scenario, transferable water entitlements are considered property rights . There is no general right to compensatio n but because compensation is paid fo r co mpulsory acquisition of land, irrigators may argue the situation is si mil ar. However, t he analogy will probably not justify the paym ent of compensation . This is beca use the statutory regime for land may be quite easily distingu ished from the regime for water. The review process is integral to the specification of property righ ts in w ater, whereas there is no difficulty at all in specifying land. T he right to access water may possibly be modified du ri ng a review process for several reasons : the computer modelling on which the rights have bee n specified has improved; assumptions as to the requ irements of the ecosystem for water have been inaccurate; or weather patterns have changed resulting in rain fall predicti ons being wrong. T here are interesting lessons from

Victoria as to the conseq uences of any 'clawback' of water. As part of the conversion of existing water rights for the River Murray to bulk entitlements (which are resources at the wholesale level) under the Water Act 1989 (Vic), the following proposals were made by the Mu rray Wate r Enti tlement Committee. P eriodic reviews of the provision of water for the environment were contemplated. No compensation w ill be granted if bulk entitl en1ents are dim inished by extraneous fac tors such as the green house effect. Such an event is co n side red 'outside the contro l of government, and is a risk users w ill have to bear.' If b ulk entitlements are in place, and water has to be deliberately m oved from users to the environment, this will normally have to be done by buying the water. 'The cost-sharing arrangements for this, includ ing any contribution to be made by users, would need to be decided having regard to the circumstances of each case.' 8 In effect, the Commi ttee has left the question open . If the amount of water available to entitlement holders is red uced because o f a change in policy regarding the environmen t, users may have to bear some of the cost . T he Victorian stance on compensation has to be viewed in its context.

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Since 1909, perpetual 'water rights' have b een gran ted to land in irrigation schem es in Victoria . In return for a compulsory charge on each acre of land, one acre foot of water per year was granted as a 'right.' The term 'water righ t' was not given statutory definition, but the landholder was cha rged for water regardless of whether o r not it was used. Since 1995 there has been progress m ade converting existing rights to new entitlements . Conversion of existing 'wholesale' rights for statutory au thorities to bulk entitle1nents have not affected the continued existence of perpetual water rights in Victo ria. Specificati on of perpetual water rights (to in cl ude levels of security etc.) w ill take place in the near fu ture with reform of 'retail' level entitlements. Perpetual 'water righ ts' were similarly granted in Q ueensland for irrigation in irrigation areas. In con trast, Queensland 's perpetual water rights were converted in 1989 to specified quantity of water availab le (no min al alloca ti ons) h eld as licences. Licenses are for a specified duration . T he fact that reform was carried out under the Water R esources Act 1989 (Qld) away from perpetual water rights m eans there is less of a case in Queensland for compensation than in Victoria. In addition, the V icto rian experience, so far, relates to the wholesale level of specifying property righ ts in water. T he review of fishing rights in New So ut h Wales under t h e Fis h eries Management Act 1994 also has useful lessons. As part of the conversion of fis hing licences to a new fishing right, compe nsation in limited circumstances has been granted. If in the process of redefin ing an existing fishery, a new fis hing right is totally 'omitted' by later regulations, u nder s. 44 compensation is to be paid. H owever, if p rovisional new fis hing rights are issued, under s. 50 the Minister may redefine the shares in such a m an ner as the M in ister considers equitable. Under s. 52(5) holders of provisional new fis hing rights which have been redefined or redetermined are not entitled to compensation. T he lessons fro m Victoria and New South Wales are: • w ater rights have a less weak claim to compensation in Victoria because they are of a perpetual nature. Even so, users may have to bear some of the cost if the amount of water for consu mptive use is reduced because of a change in po li cy regarding the environmen t • co m pensation is not available for fishing rights in New South Wales if provisional rights are redefi ned. It is payable only if these rights are totally

omitted upon review. Cases regarding fishing rights granted under C ommonwealth legislation show that when a review process is part and parcel of the whole system of granting fishing rights and is there fore integral to the property itself, no compensation is payable upon the exercise of that review. Because th e process o f revi ew is very much integra l to the process of granting property righ ts to water in Q ueensland, it is likely to be seen to be merely an adjustment of those new rights.

Conclusion There is little legal basis for arguin g that state governmen ts should compen sate irrigators if they rece ive en titlements to a reduced volum e of water as a resu lt of water law reform. Existing water licences in Q ueensland are on ly co nsidered personal and not property rig hts. T h ere is no general legal righ t to co m pensatio n u nder the Q ueensland Constitu tio n no r is th ere reco urse to compensatio n u nder the Queensland W ater R esources Act. After the reform process, irrigators gain a secu re, well-specified entitl em ent. Given that th e rev iew process is a co nti nuatio n o f the process of defi ning t he en titlement, from a read ing of j udicia l reaso n ing in cases involving fishi ng righ ts, there is little legal justifica tio n for com pensation . T here are other consideratio ns not disc ussed in this paper. Fo r exam ple, po li cy m ak ers have re cognised th at environ mental requirem en ts for water have been ignored fo r too long.9 C urrent po licy recogn ises that water shou ld be all ocated for the environ ment. W here river systems ha ve been over-a llocated, substantial progress needs to be made to p rov id e a better balan ce in wa t er reso urce use. Further, each state should co nsider the establishment of environm enta l contingency allocations w hich are reviewable every five years. 1f Queensland is to comply with these principles regarding the environment and supply a secure transferable water entitlem en t to irrigators, some sort of compron1ise between competi ng interests must be reached . H owever, irriga tors wi U need to frame the ir arguments in social or policy term s, not on legal principles.

Notes 1. COAG Na tio11al S trat eg y for Ecologically S 11 stai11 able D evelop111 e11t, AG P S , Can b e r ra , 199 2; C OAG , Co1111111111iq11e from t/re Meeti11g of 25 Febmary 1994, Ca11berm, 1994; C OAG, Co1111111111iq11efro111 the Meeti11g of 11 April, 1995, C anberra, 1995. 2. See adoptio n of the Gene ral

Assembly of th e United Nations of the report by the World Commissio n on Envi ro nment and D evelopment, O11r Co111111011 F11t11re, O xford U ni versity Press, Oxford, 1987. 3. Report of t/re Worki11g Gro11p 011 Water Reso11rce Policy to t/re Co1111cil of A11stmlia11 Gover11111e11ts, unpu b lished paper, February 1994, par. -t.23. 4. R oy F Griffit/r v Civil Aviatio11 A11tltority (1996) 41 ALD 50. 5. (1993-94) 179 CLR 226. 6. Pye v R e11sltaw (1951) 84 C LR 58. 7. H oauclter 11 Mi11ister of State for In1 111(emtion mid Etlt11ic Affairs, (19891990) 169 CLR 648. 8. Mu r ray Wat e r Ent itl e me n t Com m ittee, Sltaril1g tlte M11rmy: proposals for defi11i11g people?s e11title111e11ts to Victoria?s water from t/re M11rmy, 1997 9 . See Report of tlte Working Gro11p 011 ltVater Reso11rce Policy to t/re Co1111cil of A11stralia11 Govem111e11ts, unpublished paper, February 1994.

water Contributions Wanted T he 11'ater journal w el com es the sub missio n o f papers eq uivalen t to 3,000-5,000 wo rds (allow in g for graphics) relating to all areas of the wa ter cycle to be p ublished in the W ater, Wastewater, En vironm en t and B usiness secti ons of the j o urnal. Yo u m ay em ail a draft copy with fi gu res and grap h ics to Features E ditor, Bo b Swint o n, at e m ail swinto nb@c031.aone. net.au Fo llow i n g h is ass e ss m e n t of suitability, hard copies with figures and grap hi cs sh o uld be m ailed to 4 Pleasa nt View C rescent, W heelers Hill, Vic 3 150. T opical stories o f up to 2,000 words may also be accepted.


Author Poh-Ling Tan is a Lecturer in the Q ueensland University of T echn ology Law Faculty, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane Qld 4001. She is currently completing a PhD in transferable property rights in water. Her email address is p.tan@qut.edu.au.

Colo ur or black & white p ho tographs an d illustra tio ns ca n be se nt eith er as transparencies o r prints, or as high res scans (300dpi) as tiff or cps files on a l 00 MB Z ip d isk.

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Facilitating Stakeholder Participation J Robinson Abstract Th is paper desc ribes the developme nt o f a decision support system for natural resou rce managem e nt in an environment which is participatory, in terms of in corporating stake holder preferences, as well as scie ntifica lly valid , in terms of data and simu lation model su pport. A multip le objective de cisio n support syste m (MODSS) develo ped to assist in the dete rmination of resource management in the Cattle Cree k Catchment, w ithin the Mareeba-Dimbulah Irrigation Area (M DI A) in Far North Queensland, is prese nted. In some parts o f the ca tchment the groundwater is very sal in e and the water table is rising. At the presen t rate of ri se, irrigated agricu lture in the area as we ll as the biodi versity downstream of the catc hment is at risk. This paper con tends that the M ODSS approach to dec isionmaking in the Cattle Creek C atchme nt has facilitated an d enco uraged the participation of stake holders in th e process of decision-making. It has identified a nun,b e r of r esou rce management options fo r the ca tchm ent which are defendabl e in term s of their acce ptance by th e stake holders as well as scientifica lly valid. Ir is proposed char th e MOD SS approach is appropriate fo r o ther catchment areas where natural resource management decision-making is con te ntious. Keywords: MODSS , natural resource management, trade-offs, sta keh olde r preferences, compromise . INTRODUCTION Th e primary objecti ves o f resource management encompass the princip les o f 38

ecologica l sustain ab le d eve lopm ent (ESD). These objectives in clude consideration to intra-generational equity as well as the preservation of biological d i vers ity . Traditi o na l eva l u a ti on techniqu es to assist in decision-maki ng, particularly wi th respect to natu ral resource manageme nt, for example cost be nefit ana lysis (CBA), do no t pay su fficient atte ntio n to providing in fo rmation to decision-makers abou t the nacure and extent of the trade-offs between the multiple objecti ves. This situation cou ld result in decisions being made which might not have th e support of the people who would be most affected. The nature of the problems to be addressed in natural resou rce m anagem ent is complex and the possible impa ct from managem ent uncertain. There is not necessarily a " right" dec ision , o nly a decision that sa tisfies th e needs of the identifi ed stakeholders. This paper describes the application and outcomes of a multiple obj ective decisio n support system (MODSS) d eveloped for a catc hment area in Far N orth Queensland. This paper first provides a description of the reso urce problem requir in g managem ent. Second, a summaty outline of the MODSS m ethodology is provided with more detai led informatio n and discussion abo ut th e involvement of the stake holders in the dec ision process. T hi rd, th e ranking of th e options are p rese nted a nd di sc usse d . Th e fi na l sec ti on makes so m e co n cl udin g co mments about the possibi lity of a compromise decisio n being identified from the informa ti on provided through t h e MODS S . In additi o n , some


comment is provided abou t the val idity of any decisions fro m the MODSS and about the apparent achieveme nts of the process.

THE PROBLEM The Cattle Creek Catchment, wh ich encompasses approximately 16, 700ha of agricultura l la nd i n the M a ree baD imbu lah Irrigation Area (MDIA) and situated withi n t he Mitchell Ri ver W atershed in Far N orth Q uee nsland, provides an appropriate case study for this paper (see Figure 1) . La nd and water resources in the catchment arc u nder in c reas in g pressu re . T he quali ty and depth of th e grou nd water in parts of the catchment is deteriorating whilst at the same time agricultu re in the catchm ent is undergoing restructuring with fa rmers redevelopin g as well as expand ing production in to c rops wh ich prom ise h igher retu rns. Sustain able develop me nt in the catchmen t, and downstream of th e catchment, is at risk unl ess current and future resource use can be managed co reduce, or at least stabi lise, the groundwater problems. W ithi n the Cattle Creek Catchme nt fa rmers are curre ntly engaged in irrigated agricu lture growing tobacco, sugar cane, a variety of horticultural crops and som e pastu re. As we ll , in areas not provided with irrigation (so me 8,000 ha), cattle production dominates. W ith the collapse of the rice industry in Queensland in 1992 and declining tobacco production, resulting from the removal of industty subs id ies and a downturn in the mark et, suga r cane has developed as a sign ificant crop in the area. Production is estimated to reach over 300,000 to nnes by l 998.

BUSINESS Potential remams fo r the area under irriga ted sugar cane to be increased to serv ice the newly established mill in th e area. Assignments to grow cane w ill not be released un less the groundwater problem in the catchment is shown to be under control. Dow nstream of the Cattle Creek Catchment and with in the MD !A there are approximately 240 irrigators, m any growing tobacco which requires irrigati on water w ith le ss th an 2 5ppm chloride. So me of these irrigators, particularly those drawing wa ter from the Walsh Ri ver (approximately 31 per cen t) are affected by the quality of the water en tering the Walsh R iver fro m Cattle Creek. It is estimated that ove r $2 million of agricultural production per an num could be at risk if the groundwat e r pr oblems in th e Cattl e Creek Catchment are not stab il ised. Since th e exte nt o f th e grou ndwater pro blems becam e apparen t, speculati o n from Downstream Irriga tors and from groups of Ca tchm ent lrrigators about respo ns ibilit y for th e p roblem has in creased. An ad lioc approach to addressing th e probl em has led to conflict between gro ups of stakeholders including irrigators, both downstream and within the catchment, as well as agency gro up s. The in creasin g co nfli ct has highlighted th e need to adequately info rm stakeho lders and to encourage their involveme nt in natural resou rce managemen t decision-making.


the U S D epartm ent of Agriculture, Tucson, Arizona, was used to CORAL SEA assist t h e proces of decisio n -making w ith respect to n a tural resou rce management in t he Cat tl e Creek Catchment (Yakowitz et al., 1992; Shaw et al., 1998). Th e MODS S process, beca use of its interactive and multidisciplin ary approach to decision-making, provides a framework for inco rporating a broad knowledge-base as well as co n s i deration to LEGEND com peting and co nfli ctD Milchel River Wa!etahed ing obj ectives. Cattle Creek Ca1ehmenl There a re tw o specific characteristics of the MODSS developed fo r the Cattl e Creek Catchm ent wh ich make it va luable in the develop m e nt o f d ec ision making processes at a catchmen t scale. Firstl y, th e g roundw a t e r Figure 1. Location of Cattle Creek Catchment in the problem in the ca tchMitchell River Watershed. ment has been investigated within a multidisc ipli n ary fram ewo rk. Seco ndl y , There are a number of steps in the management options have been identi- M ODSS pro cess whi ch are summarised fied and stak eho lder needs from resource schemati cally in Figure 2. Alth o ugh the managem ent, includin g identification of steps in the anal ysis are presented in the the evaluatio n criteria and the impor- order in wh ich they would logically tance orde r of th e criteria , have bee n occur, the process is designed to be so licited through a survey of stakeholdinteractive with stake ho lders and is likely ers (Robinson and Rose, 1997). Th ese to be cyclical with steps rev isited as are discussed below. add itio nal or more reliable information beco mes avail able.

, .................

1. Identify the problem to be addressed '--------'

2 . Specify the alternatives or options. This requi res agreement from all parties

...............····· ······

········· ·····

Information inputs f rom data Sets

3. Specify t he criteria to evaluate t he proposed options.

I /r

~ -- - -- -- --, Information inputs _,, from stakeholders

., ...


---.__ -----.._ ~

5. Assign an importance order or ranking to the criteria

Sequence of steps Data flows

4. Score t he performance of each option in relation to each criterion ~ - -- -- -

6. Evaluate the alternatives and produce a ran king of t he options

Figure 2. Schematic Presentation of t he Steps in the MODSS Process

Data and Simulation Model

D ata conce rning the current sta tu s of lan d and water reso urces and the ir management in the catc hm ent has been collected and collated by DNR (DNR, 1996). Th e exte nt o f the problem , both the impact it is currently having on development and manage ment of land and water resou rces in the catchment, as well as its possible future impact, has been investiga ted and a simulation mo del d eve lope d (B engtso n and Doh e rty, 1997) . The land and water data base and t he g round wa ter simulati o n mod el increased stakeh older acceptance that a resource problem exists in the catchment and , in additi o n, in creased the va lidity of the proposed op tions for managem ent and their eval uation. Incorporating the Preferences of the Stakeholders

A survey of stakeholders, in particu lar those on whom resource management WATER NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 1999


BUSINESS decisio ns are likely to impact directly, is a valuable part of the decision- making process. T he su rvey provides an opportunity to inform people about the natural resource problems in the catchment and the consequences of inaction and then to solicit their preferences about future ma nage m ent. By in co rpora ti ng th e p refe rences and th e needs of the com munity in the decision-mak ing process, th e fi nal outcome is likely to be more acceptable to the community than if a decision were made solely as a topdown decision. T he o utcome from a decision-making process of this nature is expected to be a compromise or satisfactory soluti on rather than one which is imposed on all landowners as the on ly solution. T able 1 provides summary informati on about th e level of support fro m survey respondents (categorised into three groups of sta keholders) towards the p roposed management options which were identified t hro ugh commun ity workshops. The results from the survey of stakeholders suggest chat all groups of stakeholders would prefer some form of resource management co be imp lemented, that is, they rejected the option to do 11othi11g. A high level of support from all groups of stakeholders was registered both fo r efficie11t irrigation (defined as the implementati on of on-farm irrigation ma nageme nt to improve water-use efficiencies and to reduce the possibility of enviro nmental impac ts) and Jam, 111a11age111e11/ ed11catio11 (defined as an active campaign to inform irrigators about the emerging problem in the catchment and to instruct them on im proved resou rce management on fa rm). The survey provided an o pportu nity both to inform stakeho lders abo ut the groundwater situati on in the ca tchm ent, and, co gauge the extent of preferences fo r the managemen t options and th e importance of the criteria to evaluate the options. T his information has been taken-up to provide a ranking of options for each stakeholder group w hich reflects their needs from resou rce management. RANKING THE OPTIONS The Trade-offs

T he M O DSS presents the evaluation of management options in a ma tri x,

Table 1. Ranking of the Level of Stakeholder Preferences for Resource Management Stakeholders Management Options

Catchment lrrlgators

Planting trees Lining water storage Manage leakage Drain and reuse water Conj unctive water use Efficient irrigat ion Retire land Water pricing Restrict irrigation expansion Rest rict water allocations Farm management education Land and water Management plans (LWMP) De-water Arriga Flats Do nothing

1* 5

Downstream lrrlgators

3* 11



7 6


2* 13 9 9 11


4 1* 8 8 8

13 2*




11 14


Community Representatives


3* 11 3* 3* 1* 8 8

12 10 2* 3* 13 14

â&#x20AC;˘ Preferred options

Source: Robinson and Rose (1997)

sh owin g the pe rfo rman ce of eac h proposed option against individual evaluation criteria. The MOD SS, facilitates a d imension less scorin g techn ique that converts measures of the performance of options (such as dollars or meters per an num) in to scores within the ra nge of 0.00 to 1.00 (Yakowitz et al. , 1992). T his information is valuable because it de monstrates the trade-offs that are imp licit when an optio n is chosen . Tab le 2 shows some of the trade-offs that would need to be considered when making a choice between fi ve of the proposed options. This information is particula rl y val uable when stakeholders rega rd themselves to be in conflict with decision-making age ncies. Table 2 indicates that, pla11ti11g trees, shown to be a preferred option for all groups of stakeholders, perfo rms well against the cost criterion, but its performance in relatio n to increasing the depth to groundwater is not as impressive. T he option which perfo rmed the best overall the criteria, fo r all groups of stakeholders, efficieitt irrigation, involves a trade-off in relatio n to the cost and it is not the best option to increase the depth to groundwater. Interestingly, the option ranked as the best for in creasing the depth of groundwater, de-watering the Arriga Flats, does not pe rform well against the o ther evaluatio n criteria . Ranking Options when the Criteria are Weighted

A logical progression from inspecting

the trade- offs is to rank the options according to the composite score, given th e importance order preferred by ind ividual stakeholder gro ups. This information is presen ted graphically for two groups of stakeholders, Catchment Irrigators and Downstream lrrigators, in Figures 3 and 4. T he ranking of the criteria for each stakeholder group is shown to the left of the graph. T he length of the bars, determined by the ranking of the criteria, shows the diffe rence between t he best and wo rst composite scores given the importance order or rank ing of the criteria by individual stakeholder grou ps. Although an option may perform well in terms of its maximum composite score, its pe rforman ce for the minimum score may be less impressive. The length of the bars is not the same fo r all options, for all stakeholder groups. For example, for efficient irrigatio11 fo r Catchment Irrigators (Figure 3) and fo r Downstrea m Irrigators (Figure 4), shows that the ranking of the cri teria by each group has a significant effect on the range o f comp osite scores and that this range can impact on the ranking of the options. Figure 3 shows the preferred ranking or impo rtance order of the criteria for the Catchment Irrigators and the resu lting performance of options. One end of the bar shows the maximum composite score for an option and the other end shows the minimum composite score. If the maxi m um composite sco re is used

Table 2 The Trade-offs: Ranking the Performance of Options against Individual Criteria Management Options Criteria

Cost to implement Downstream impacts Increase depth to groundwater


Plant trees

Line storage


5 4 4

3 5


Efficient Irrigation

3 1 2

Restrict water allocations

De-water Arrlga

2 2 3

4 5 1



\II• ( Nlllilllc.1 ( -00,

(_.,,.. c......

[ PnddloA., . [ II<_....

( -

[ OW[_,_

6,t,...,.,~~.rJ ln ;::.a:0•1

-__ -u


..... """"'.. -"""' -lffl>II•

---__ RlhU. . ., , . .



, ______ [«,:_

Uod .._

°'Figure 3













sustained increase in the leve l of c om muni ty involvement and 1,1 1,1 • u llS " com mitme nt to the [ -OooAmlaflNtS [ MCl:l management of th e [ IOC1. . '4M [tJ ~•"*-••U"'"""llr.K groundwater problems Ett-Ule [IJ in the catc hment. A """'""""-.,,. [ '4"'CIW 0no•>!I!co ([_,_ Landcare gro up , estabI$ c- ... lished in the catchment Bkllm~ ~ !ltf'Rttictl Clw 11 Rn11 t.1mhll~ during the course of the C:l=J _ Plicl1,., ~ M ODSS process, I $ increased the awareness Gl=J of irr ig ato rs to th e I flfflllt.,..EU llloft cp groundwater problems. l.aWW*~Fllti,s e;p ___ ,..1n1g,,,. ' This has resulted in a E::1:3 change 111 att itude El=l towards resource m an ageme nt and a Figure 4 noti ceable change in o n-fa r m irri ga tion Th e information available to management. There have been improvedecision-makers from the pro cess, ments in the efficiency o f irri gation particularly that relatin g to stakeholder practices in the catchment, including preferences and trade-offs, in creases the increased installation of spray irrigation transparency of the decision-making {lateral move equipment), installation of process. Transparency of the decision trickle tape systems and th e construction in creases the validity and acceptabili ty of of recycling dams. A major reason fo r the choice to all grou ps of stakeholders. this has bee n the increased awareness of An important ou tcom e from the the need for water- use efficiency develimplementation of the MODSS has been oped through the participatory approach the impact of the process on the stake- promoted in the project. holders. The use of the MODSS in the One of the advantages of adopting an Cattl e Creek study has resulted in a MODSS approach to support decision-

·--- __ h II ,

----• '

select the preferred optio n, then efficient irrigation is ranked first. On the o ther hand, if th e Maximum of th e rninimum scores is used, then preferred option is planting trees. The performance of options for the Downstream Irrigators is shown in Figure 4 to be different. A final ranking of the options fo r each group of stakeholders, shown in T abl e 3, demonstrates that there is a comp romi se ou tcome avail able to stakeholders. In brief, efficient irrigation is shown to perform the best for all gro ups of stakeholders using the maximum composite score. The fina l ranking o f options shows that although a soft option, such as p/a,rting trees, is a preferred optio n fo r stakehold ers, it does not perform w ell against the eva luatio n criteria.

CONCLUSION The MODSS used for the Cattl e Creek Catchment placed considerable emphasis on the need to draw on the preferences of the stakeholders to assist in the determinatio n of an appropriate m anagement option or options. Indeed , one of the strengths of the MODSS technique is the incorporation of stakeholder preferences within the decisionmaking process to enable a compromise solutio n to be identifi ed w hen there are a n u mber of op tions to be evaluated and competing and conflicting criteria to be considered. The involvement of stakeholders in the p rocess o f decisionmaking can diffuse a situation or prevent a situation fro m occurring w here there are conflicting opinions and requiremen ts from resource m anageme nt. Soliciting o f stakeholder preferences is used in this study as a m eans of identifying and overcoming any conflict of interest between stakeholder groups over m an agemen t of the groundwater resources in the catchmen t and to gain acceptance of the m anagem ent options to b e implem ented (Robinson et al., 1999; Robinson , 1999).






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BUSINESS making, particularly when there are a number of stakeholders to consider, is the opportunity this approach offers to identify a comprom ise solution, or at least a decision w ith regards to natural resource management w hich is regarded as acceptable to all. T he extent to w hich irrigators have c ha n ge d th e ir wa t er management practices, as a direct response to th e participatory MODSS pro cess needs to be further assessed. For the most part, it could be expec ted th at water- use effic ie ncies wo uld b e im pleme nted , regardless of th e MODSS p rocess, however, impro ved irrigatio n practices might have been implemented sooner than otherwise .

Table 3. Fin al Ranking of Management Options, Using the Maximum Composite Score, for each Stakeholder Group, 1997 Stakeholder Group

Efficient Irrigation Farm Management Education Plant Trees Land & Water Management Plans Conjunctive water use Lining Storage Drain and reuse water Water Pricing Retire Land Restrict Water Allocations Manage Leakage Restrict Irrigation Expansion De-water Arriga Flats Do Nothing

Catchment lrrlgators

Downstream lrrlgators

1* 4 5

3* 2* 14 5 9

11 10 13 12

Community Representatives




5 7

10 4 2* 12 3*

4 2* 10 4

6 7

6 6



8 9

9 8 8

11 13




â&#x20AC;˘ Ranked In nrst three.

REFERENCES Bengtson Sand Doherty J (1997) A Cro1111dwater Flow Model for t/ie Cattle Creek Catc/1me11t i11 I.lie M areeba- Din1b 11lali Irrigation Area, Department of Natural R esources, R esource Sciences Centre, Indooroopilly. Department of Natural R esources (1996) Cattle Creek Catc/i111e11t Gro undwater Update, D epart ment of N a t ural R esou r ces, Marceba. Robinso n J J and Rose K (1997) Stake/iolder Preferwces for Cronndwater 1\tfa11ageme11t in the Cattle Creek Catc/1111e11t, Department of Natural Resources, Marceba. R obinson J J, Lawrence P, Shaw R , Co glc L,

R ose K and Lait R (1999) Development and Outcomes from a Multiple Objective Decisio11 Support System for the Cattle Creek Catcl1n1ent, D epartment of Natural R esources, Resource Sciences Centre, lndooroopilly. Robinson J J (1999) Using a Multiple Objective Decisio11 Support System to Snpporl Natural Resource Manage111e11tfor Ecologically Sustai11able De11e/opme11 t, PhD Dissertatio n, Department of Eco n om ics, The Un ive r sity of Queensland, St Lucia. Shaw R J, Do herty J D, Brebbcr L J, Cogle L and Lait R ('1998) " The use of multi-objec-

tive decision making for resolution of resource use and environmental management conflicts at a catchm ent scale", in Multiple Ol!fective Decisio11 Maki11g for Lt111d Water and E1111iro11me11tal Ma11age111e11t, edited S A ELSwaify and D. S Yakowitz, C R C Press, Flo rida, pp.697-716. Yakowitz D S, Lane L J , Stone J J, H eilman P, R eddy R K, Imam B (1992) "Evaluating Land Management Effects on Water Q uality Using Multi-Obj ective Analysis within a DSS", Paper presented to the First International C o nference on Groundwater Ecology, Tampa.


Master of Engineering (Environmental) Upgrade from anywhere. Study off campus, full or part time, with Australia's distance education expert. Progress step-by-step. Graduate Diploma > Masters Deakin keeps you in touch by phone, fax and e-mail. We supply quality study materials, expert tutors, and library service to your door. The Master of Engineering (EnvironmentaH is a 12-credit-point degree by coursework. The program aims to provide advanced environment knowledge and skills to enable senior engineers to design, construct, and operate environmental engineering projects effectively, and allow accurate evaluation and implementation of environmentally sensitive programs. Deakin also offers the Graduate Diploma of Water Engineering and Management. Postgraduate applications close end of December 1999. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School of Engineering and Technology on telephone (03) 5227 2033, facsimile (03) 5227 2167 or e-mail triss@deakin.edu.au



T he research work underlying this paper was co nducted as part of projects by the Sugar R esearch Development Co rp o r a t io n (S RD C), t h e S uga r Industry R eference Panel (SIRP), the N ational Heritage Trust (NH T) and the D epartm e n t of Natural R eso urce s (DNR). The author th an ks these organisations for th eir assistance . T hanks are extended also to m e mbers of th e research team working on th e C attle C reek study, in cluding: R oger Shaw, Paul Lawre nce, Lex Cogle and Karen R ose from the D epartment of Natural R esources . In addition, the autho r ackn owledges and thanks the referees of an ea rli er draft of this paper for their co nstru ctive suggestions.

AUTHOR Dr. Jackie Robinson is a Lecturer in the D epartment of E conomi cs at the Uni versity of Queensland w ith consid erable experience in th e evaluation of public sector investment in projects o r programs des ign ed to prese r ve or e nh ance th e co nditi on of na tu ral resources. In 1995 she was fu nded by the SRD C to work w ith the DNR. to develop a decision support system for the Ca ttl e C r ee k C a t ch ment. Em a il: J. R.obinso n@economi cs.uq .edu .au

D uri11g the 18th Convention i11 Adelaide, fo ur workshops were held. Bob Ford, President ef tl1e Victorian Branch ef A WWA a11.d Execu tive J\.1a 11ager Wa ter Services Central H ig hlands Water, Ba/Iara!, Victoria, cl, aired th e l 11tegrate d C atc h/I/ en / 1\1anage111ent workshop. He has sn111111arised this transcript of the panel's disw ssion

Fede ral, Scace and Local level have fai led to give clear signals to landowners abo ut priority issues. M ost gove rnmen ts like to give a prio rity to econo mi c develo pm ent and employme nt as well as co nserva tio n and pro tectio n o f water reso urces. Du e to the in com patibility o f some of these you can ' t do all o f ch em in some water catc hme nts. U n til there is a clea r supply Chairman: • B ob Ford , Preside nt Vi ctorian Bran ch , agreeme nt o n prio rities at upper level I can ' t see th e p roblem being fi xed in the AWW A. long term . T o date we have seen man y The Panel: stakeho lders put thei r o wn interpretation o n selected governm ent statem e nts to South Australia suppo rt th eir own activities .. • P h il H az e l, Principal Adv ise r C atchm e n t C o n trol , En v ir onme nt Phil Hazel: T he Mt Lofty C atchm ent area is imp ortan t to th e State econ om y as P ro tection A utho rity. it produces abo u t $250m /year in agricul• Kathryn B ellette, General Manager O n kaparin ga Wate r an d C atc h m ent tural produc ts. Before yo u move to a M a nage m e nt Board. M e mb e r C o as t more stringent co ntrol regim e the re are a numbe r of actio ns that cou ld be taken Protectio n Board. • Dr N anc y C r omar, Lec t u r e r - including edu catio n . For exampl e, since E n viro n ment H ealth Un it, Flin de rs abo ut 1985 we have seen a tre mendous Uni v ersi t y . M e mb er P ub li c a nd c hange in agricu ltu ral pra ctices du e to E nvironm e nt H ealth Co uncil. C h air th e p rovisions of th e Soil C o nservati on Act and the Landca re m ovem ent. T he re Co nsortiu m fo r En vironm ental H ea lth . been a substantial red uction in th e has • P h il C o le, P ro g ra m M a nag e r Irrigation and C atch ment Managem e nt use o f pesticides, be tter contro l of so il Sec ti on , Sustainable R esources Group , erosion and nutrie nts. T h ere has also been a trem endo us c hange in land use Dept o f Primary Industries. prac tices. W e know the m anagem e nt of United Kingdom the riparian zo n es is cri tical in the • Dr R oge r Ford , Qual ity and R esearch management o f screa ms and we have see n Directo r, North W es t Wate r (UK). extensive fe ncing o ut of stream s resulting Chairman: Over th e past fe w yea rs we in a to tal exclusion of stock and a change ha ve seen increasing th reats to water in the way soil is cultivated . These ideas quali ty from ca tchment activities. D oes we re foreign to la nd ho ld e rs o nl y a the panel th ink that o ur regulatory decade ago . So w hile th ere are major processes have fail ed us? issues to fa ce I chin k there has been a Phil Cole: I th ink that is tru e in that we maj o r chan ge usin g som e o f the m echahave fa iled to protect our catch m e nts nisms we have availabl e to us. t hr o u g h e du ca t io n p r o g ra m s and Kathryn Be llette : So m e o f th e eco n om ic incentives. G overnments at chan ges that Phil referred to occurred

thro ugh Landcare and programs suc h as the Mc Lofty R anges Program. But in the last fe w years Catchment Boards have been put in place and are develo ping catchm en t plans in an integrated way. 1t is their charter to develop integrated managem ent tech niques and li nk these with so cial and eco nom ic incentives. Wh en th ese plans are produced they w ill li nk with th e plannin g process and the poli cies that come fro m these plans w ill be used by Local and State Governmen t in consid ering developm e nt appli catio ns. Nancy Cromar: I'd li ke to fo ll ow up on the impo rtance of the catc hm ent plans m entioned by Kathryn and say that any plans m ust also be integrated from bo th an environm ental and a publi c health aspect Kathryn Bellette: I agree. What I was describi ng was a fram ew o rk w hich gives us the potential to be able to do it properly. I th ink o n e o f the problems that o ccu rred in the past has b een that lac k of i ntegration be tween all o f the players. The re has also not bee n th e awareness at bo th a lo cal and politi ca l level o f the sign ifica nce of catchmen t m anageme nt and I think that's becom ing impo rtant now. H o wever, without so me sort of strategy in p lace the ad hoc d ec isions th a t P hi l m e nt ione d will continue to occu r. T his at least gives us a chance to show to decision m ake rs th e conseq uences of their actio ns. Until we do this w e w ill contin ue to have a whole lo t o f players co ming to th e decision makers w ith a ra nge o f dem ands but lac king th e strategy co evalu ate th e ou tcom e. Roger Ford: T he ea rl ier discussion ass umes we know w hat to do if we were allowed to do it. Our b eli ef in the UK



BUSINESS was that after a few hundred years of catchment m anagement we had the whole thing under control. Th e recent outbreaks of Cryptosporidium showed us we haven't. T he management system in UK is different to here. For example North W est Water gets about 1.Sm p eople per year in th e Lake District using its lakes as a recreation resort. The quality is extremely high and we had no concerns until t o our surpri se Cryptosporidium appeared. The lakes that we thought would be the cleanest had the greatest number of oocysts. This is one of the outcomes that made us realise that we did not know what was actually going on in our catchments. Of particular concern at present is the impact of w ildlife. We have been running an unprotected source for 100 years fo r some cities but I suspect that this will change in the next 5 years. Nancy Cromar: Could I ask you, R oger, what are the responses of the regulators to the recent crypto o utbreaks in U .K. l understa nd that th ere is a proposal for a limit of one oocyst per 10 litres with fines if the authority is found to be in breach. It appears to me that this is not based on public health grounds but has m ore to do w ith satisfying the need of legislators for some form of action. Roger Ford: That's correct, to give yo u some indication of th e cost I have just put 1.2m UK pounds in my budget just for testing and my company sees this as essential expenditure to just 1neet a public demand for better monitoring. Nancy Cromar: But at the end of the day we will have no idea of w hether of not that 's going to have any impact on improving public health . Roger Ford: I don 't think it's going to have any impact on improving public health. Chairman: One of the issues that I would like to explore is the impact of incremental development. An individual house may have a negligible impact on water quality considered in isolation but the total impact o f all of the ho uses that cou ld be permitted may create a significant pollution risk. Kathryn and Phil, are your manageme nt plans goi ng to deal w ith the problem of cum.ulative development and politically can w e convince those in power of the potential problem? Kathryn Bellette: This is one of my favourite problems. You can look at the anal ogy o f alcohol. If you have a little bit you won' t notice any difference, a bit m ore makes you happy, a bit more you m ay be tired and if you have a bit more you might die. It's all a matter of thresholds and it is the sam e with any form of growth be that a growth of houses in a


catchment or in a biological se nse. Ecosystems, if they are very healthy, can stand a lot of abuse but when the abuse hits a certain threshold that's w hen they can't take any more and function in a way that's acceptable. So I believe you have either totally protected catchments or you have catchments where people live and play but that has to be well controlled to ensure that the threshold level is not topped. I think that it has already happened here in the Mt Lofty Catchments. But in general the closer you get to that threshold the tighter your controls have to be on w hat you permit in th at catchm ent. I think we have had a death by a thousand cuts here excep t we haven't quite died and I think we can still reclaim our catc hments. It is a matter of w here we go from here. The Catchment Boards in the R anges don' t currently have the necessary powers and ha ven' t got their Ca tchment P lans recognised under the Water R esources Act wh ich allows li nkages into th e D evelopme n t Act but t hat ' s bei ng looked at. H owever we will liaise with all th e development co ntrol agencies to make sure that they are happy with what is in the catchment plan. Through that process we ca n organise a change of development plans at a local level. W e have to get the local planning authorities on side and we are go ing to do that . Although that sets policies and principles you then have to implem ent those and that's where the incentives need to be given to Local Government because oth erwise a develop ed block w ill translate in a Council's mind to increased rates. The theory's all there but the interesting thing is how will it be implem ented over the next few years. Phil Hazel: This gets back to my fi rst po int about the politics of catchments and w hat we have currently is a politically acceptable range of con trols. W e have proposed an enormous range of controls over the past 15 years but none were seen as being politically acceptable and w hat we have now is a com.promise. There is a prohibition on furth er land division. But new ho uses are O K as the politics of saying no to n ew ho uses is too diffi cu lt. Other development may o r may not be allowed and the regulatory agencies have to continually put forward the precedent argum ent that if a particular typ e of development is given approval th en it is likely that there will be a whole range of other very similar development applications that will hop e to obtain th e same approval. This problem exists all the time and we manage it by saying that is an unacceptable precedent. The catchment plans are on ly done on a local catchment by


catchment basis. If yo u are looking at a w hole water supply region then the current legislation does not provide for plans to be introduced in a holistic way and that's where it corn.es down to the politics and what the politicians w ill accept as a compromise between development and restrictions. W e have to cross that bridge yet and to be honest I can't tell what the ou tcome will be. Phil Cole: The issue of housing in the Mt Lofty Ranges ca tchments has been one that government has tried to grapple with for a long time and as others have said th e politics of hou sing m akes preventing inappropriate housing very difficult. I am aware that EPA are now becomi ng increasingly concerned that septic tanks even on large allotments may be a significant problem. H ousing is also a problem for primary industry in that it ali enates land from. primary production and there m ay be an opportunity to look differe ntly an d establish designated Primary Industry Areas which would put different controls on living in those areas. There w ill be linkages to using those san1e lands for water catchments and this may create a win-win between primary industry and water quality by encouragin g industries that have a more benign impact on water quality or encouraging m anagem ent practi ces that limit impact on water quality. For example piggeries have been moved out o f the ranges because of their high risk a lo ng tim e ago and I imagine that intensive vineyards would be a much lower risk to water quality than many other agricultural pursuits. If you allow this there are also a w hole set of useful new arguments to prevent res id ential use such as th e conflict w ith agricultural activities, so perhaps there is a set of collabo rative agendas that might drive some new thinking. Chairman: That's a concept that we have used in the Ballarat catchments. Th e Local Council as the Planning Authority agreed that protectio n of the high quality agricultural land was a major objective of their planning scheme. So when the Co uncil then attempted to support an ad hoc applicatio n for a new dwelling the water authority appealed successfu lly on the grounds that the decision to issue of a permit for a house was not consistent with the specified obj ectives of the planni ng scheme of protecting agricultural land. But we had the support of the influential agricultural landowners as th ey did not want to pay residential prices to expand their operations. We also had the support of o ur Board who were prepared to stand up and prote ct the ir catchment against strong political pressure.

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Water Journal November - December 1999  

Water Journal November - December 1999