Water Journal November 2004

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Volume 31 No 7 November 2004 Journal of the Australia n W ater Association

Editorial Board F R Bishop, Chairman B N Anderson, G Finke, G Finlayson, GA Holder, B Labza, M Muntisov, P Nadebaum, J D Parker, F Roddick, G Ryan, S Gray, A Gibson, I' Mosse ', Wnter is a refereed journal. This symbol indicares rhar a paper has been refereed.



Grasping the Opportunities; Exciting Times; Our Point of View


The Water Education Network; We All Use Water; H20 in 2020

lnscrucrions for aurhors can be found on page 3 of rhis journal. Submissions accepted ar: www.awa.asn.au/publicarions/


Managing Editor


Peter Stirling


Technical Editor

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Details of courses, classes and other upcoming water events WaterAid Australia; 2004 International & National Thiess Riverprize; Industry news


EA (Bob) Swinton 23 Blaxland Road Wenrworch Falls, NSW 2782 Email: bswinton@bigpond.ner.au


IWA's 4th World Water Congress and Exhibition


Clare Porter Communications Manager Tel +6129413 1288 Fax: (02) 94 13 1047 Email: cporrer@awa.asn.au



BIOSOLIDS IN USA: PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE Results of a survey of practitioners. M Scharp, S Frank

Water Production


Hallmark Editions PO Box 84, Hampton, Vic 3188 Level I, 99 Bay Street, Brighton, Vic 3186 Tel (03) 9530 8900 Fax (03) 9530 89 I I Email: hallmark@halledir.com.au Graphic design: Mitzi Mann

THE WOOLONDOON BIOSOLIDS PROCESSING FACILITY: A PUBLIC EDUCATION CASE STUDY Valuable lessons in managing community relations. C Bicknell , D Fl anagan, L Rawli nso n


·, COMPLETING THE NUTRIENT LOOP - BIOSOLIDS AT SOUTH WEST WATER Significant cultural change is needed. L Sraley

News Editor

Water Advertising


NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MEMBRANE TREATMENT PROCESSES. PART l - DESALINATION Identifying areas to watch over the coming years. H R Tarr


GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR MEMBRANES Reporting on some practical problems in the UK. C Shorr

is published eighr rimes a year in the months of February, March, May, June, Augusr, September, November and December.



Australian Water Association


WATER TREATMENT BY NANOFILTRATION WITH POLYMER MEMBRANES: A STUDENT PROJECT Results of a first semester literature review. G de Wir, J Joesrer, Y Wu, E New

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Water (ISSN 0310 - 0367)

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President Rod Lehmann

Chief Executive Officer



Chris D avis Australian Warer Association (AWA) assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of facrs expressed by conrriburors or adverrisers. Editorials do nor necessarily represent official AWA policy. Adverrisemenrs are included as an information service co readers and are reviewed before publication ro ensure relevance ro the warer environment and objectives of A\YIA. All material in Water is copyright and should nor be reproduced wholly or in part without wrirren permission.

•, PRESSURE REDUCTION SAVES WATER ON THE GOLD COAST Pressure and leak management is most cost effective for water saving. A Clark, M Gerrard


TOXIC BLUE-GREEN ALGAE: COMING SOON TO A NEIGHBOURHOOD NEAR YOU? A pragmatic review of prevention and control. G Newcombe, M Burch


ESCHERICHIA COLI BLOOMS IN AUSTRALIAN LAKES A research project: Requesting help for collection of further samples. J Lirrlefield-Wyer


·, WHAT IMPEDES WATER MARKETS? Workshops have identified a number of impediments. H Bjornlun d


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OUR COVER: Membrane technology seems to be advancing almost month by month, due to the combined efforts ofchemists and engineers, with more and more plants being installed. Our cover shows the submerged low pressure membranes (CMF-S) installed by Memcor which, in combination with Ozone/BAC, have been providing Bendigo, Victoria, with excellent quality water (see page 48). Photo courtesy of Memcor Australia.

from the president

GRASPING THE OPPORTUNITIES Ozwater in Queensland again T hose with lo ng memories and che good fortune co attend Ozwacer 93, which was held on the Gold Coast, might remember the night we visited Movie World . On that occasion several of our AWWA (as it was then called) members had the opportu nity to be Superman and were dressed up fu ll costume then videoed flying across the sky. I have co admit chat I was one of che Supermen and I do have a video as evidence; it was one of the high points of my career, you could say. The point of chat piece of trivia is chat Ozwater is recu rning co Queensland next year. This time around che event will be much larger and takes place at che Convention Centre in Brisbane on 8-1 1 May with a specialise Conference on Water Quality preceding icon 5-7 May, in Townsville. T he program for Ozwacer in Brisbane will be different co previous Co nventions and it will be important co be there for the Su nday activities. T he official opening will be held on Sunday night and the opening address will be by Tammy Van Wisse, who swam all the way down rhe Mu rray River. T his will be most apt, as the theme of the Conventio n is Watershed. I feel we are, indeed, ac a watershed

interested in tropical water quality issues; attendance ar rhe specialist pre-conference in Townsvi lle will be a must. National Water Initiative By the time chis issue of Water hirs rhe streets rhe fede ral election will be histo ry. Whichever shade of government is in power, I look forward co speedy implementation of che N ational Water Initiative. Although ic's still a high level document, I hope its strong principles will be adopted by che Australian Govern ment and all che jurisd ictions. There is no doubt that Australia is at the forefront of world chinking on water reform and sustainable water management, but the transition from thinking about it co implementation is the real

I feel we are, indeed, at a watershed in Australia's water reform - we do need strong and inspired leadership in water and we do have the opportunity to take advantage of community and government interest in water to initiate change. in Australia's water reform - we do need strong and inspired leadership in water and we do have the oppo rtunity co take advantage of community and govern ment interest in water co ini tiate change. For chose

2 NOVEM BER 2004


challenge, hence the need for strong and inspired leadership. Water in the Territory AWA's Northern T erritory Branch held its 2004 Conference Water in the Bush Mark II in September. le was

well attended, with 60 delegates, and I was able co attend coo. The themes of papers presented included both water resource and flooding as well as the more rrad irional AWA areas of water/wastewater. This made for an interesti ng mix and emphasised the reality of the northern cli mate's challenges. From my perspective the papers on water supply for indigenous communities really highlighted some of the difficulties in providing adequate services co remote and transient comm unities. Naom i Rae em phasised char indigenous knowledge is oral in nature and different co scientific/ engineering knowledge, requ iri ng different methods for engaging the commu nities and negotiating solutions. David Janmaat spoke about the delivery of water and watershed infrastructure as pare of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy. He described the methods used for prioritising works and gave examples of some of the di ffic ulties in implementation. Overall it was encouraging co see the reemergence of AWA in NT and the healthy attendance at che conference. With the considerable problems in providing adequate water and wastewater services to remote communities Australia-wide, it might be an appropriate time for AWA to organise a national workshop to discuss some of che common issues facing such communmes. Reform ready I have spoken about governance issues previously but things have progressed substantially since my earl ier reports. AWA's Board has agreed to changes which will be put to the AGM in Sydney on 26 November. In oucline, a Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) made up of Branch Presidents, plus one ocher representative fro m each branch, and individual representatives from WSAA and

IWA Australia, will select a Board of nine members. This will make for a smaller, more focused Board, not connected directly to branches (at present, each branch nomi nates a Board mem ber). T he SAC will also play a new, key role in strategic planning fo r AWA, to ensure coherence between national and branch plans. I am really pleased chat this in itiative has come so fa r and so fas t, and I com mend it to all AWA members fo r support at th e AGM; either in person or by proxy. Provided all goes to plan, the new scruccure, com piece with a new Board and SAC, will be in place at the Ozwacer Convention next May. Nomi nations for Board members will be invited nationally in December 2004. Networking is the key One fi nal comment relates co a recent experience I had attending another industry association to which I belong. It was painfully obvious to me how easy ic is to gee out of che networking loop through being too busy to fi nd time co attend meetings and ocher activities. Networking and information sharing is one of che key strengths of AWA and everyone benefits by your attendance ac our fu nctions, so I hope to see you at the next meeting.

Rod Lehmann

water FUTURE MAJOR FEATURES DECEMBER - Simulation ~nd Modelling

FEBRUARY - Trench less Techn ology, Coasta l CRC, Water Efficiency

MARCH ¡ Su sta i nability, Wastewater Treotment, Odour Control

conferences In summing up, the speaker highlighted the need for the !WA membership to engage politically if it was to make further progress in water management.

World Health Organization Special Session A special session on water, sanitation and health was offered by the WHO. The session began by highlighti ng che extent of che very real disease burden preventable by water and sanitation interventions. Of the estimated 2. 1 mi ll ion deaths per year from diarrhoeal disease, mostly among infants, reductio ns in mortality races of around 65% were co nsidered achievable through water and sanitation interventions along with 26% reductions in morbidity rates. Other water-related annual disease incidences were identified including an estimated I mill ion malarial deaths, 200 mill ion schisrosomiasis cases (reducible by an estimated 77% through san itation interventions) and many cases of crachoma. Preventing disease were described as being highly cost effective fo r a nation state. For example, che coses of the most recent cholera pandemic in Latin America was considered ro have been around ten-fold

higher than the cost of its prevention. Negative feedback loops and linkages between disease burdens and poverty were highlighted with coses accruing ro the health , education and general working population secro rs. For example, a study fou nd that an estimated 100 mill ion working days could be recovered annually th rough water and . . . . sannanon 111tervent1ons 111 India. Sanitation was generally considered a higher priority than water supply in terms of urgency as a greater proportion of the world's population was served by the latter, half now having piped water supply access. However, che question of just how big a benefit any particular intervention would create, and which interventions were the highest priority, was still very difficult ro answer. T here were so me very real challenges noted in predicting che health gains likely to be attributable ro water and sanitation interventions. Many speakers bemoaned the relatively poor study designs and inadequate reporti ng of what scud ies were avai lable. The hyper variable underlying rates of diarrhoeal disease within populations, typically ranging by around ten-fold by month, season and year, made

the epidemiological assessment of the benefits of interventions extremely difficult ro measure. The need fo r the use of contemporaneo us controls was strongly promoted, although this was rarely do ne. The importance of random assignment and realistic cluster designs combined with adequate sample size was highlighted. A number of past mistakes were described that had undermined confidence in some water and sanitatio n investm ents. Examples included: • the implementation of tubewells in Bangladesh, so me of which now draw unsafe levels of arsenic; • the supply of wells that fail shortly after installation; the supply of 200 l water srorage jars in Vier Nam which was thought ro lead to a detectable increase in Dengue and DH F; • a particular type of UNICEF jar chat produced 92% of malarial mosquito larvae in some areas; and the installation of hundreds of microdams in Ethiopia leading co an estimated sevenfold increase in Malaria. To avoid such mistakes in che fu tu re, che importance of applying Health Impact



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Assessment (HlA) to future projects was highlighted. It was noted that large projects often now require the more fami liar EIA (Enviro nmental Impact Assessment) but that HIA was relatively new. Furthermore, what HIAs as th ere were tended ro be high-income region studies; such studies are required in lower income regions roo. H IA was described as qualified guessing in most cases, albeit informed by prior knowledge and not equivalen t to QRA (quantitative risk assess menc). As a final note, the importance of interventions being culturally acceptable was illustrated. Examples were given of interventions that had failed to be adopted by communities because, although cheap and theoretically effective, they were somewhat undignified. In response, it was fo und chat people were prepared ro pay more for more dignified solu tions that ulrimarely showed more success. Overall, a very successful event, and even with the hours of Aying and the odd stomach upset, all delegates who wrote chis report fou nd the international aspects an interesting and motivating experience.



NOVEMBER 2004 19

biosolids in agriculture

ENGAGING THE PUBLIC IN BIOSOLIDS MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS A Gale Abstract The Victorian Biosolids Communication Group has drafted a communications strategy to address community perceptions of beneficial use of biosolids. An Australiawide coordinated approach to public engagement is essential.

Introduction The biggest issue facing the Australian water industry is nor the science of biosolids, it is public perceptions and how the industry manages these perceptions. By way of example, the USA had been "cruising" comfortably fo r a decade or more based on US EPA's Parr 503 (40 CFR Parr 503), which was promulgated in 1993. Over the last five years, and particularly the last rwo, there has been a shift in public acceptance of land appl ication of biosolids, rhe roles governing its application and the credibility of US EPA with respect to biosolids management. T he big shift in chinking has moved from long term impacts of heavy metals to immediate concerns with public health issues. There currenrly are some 40-50 separate legal and/or public challenges to land application of biosolids across the USA. There are also some very well coordinated, educated and briefed proponents objecting to land application of biosolids on a very wide scale, including Dr. David Lewis, a forme r US EPA employee who has made national newspaper front page with his alarmist articles expressing concern with land based biosolids applications, Cornell University's Faculty of Waste Management and the Sierra Club The messages they are giving may be extreme at rimes but they cause community concern which, in rum, is making life very difficulr for rhe water industry. They are in the enviable position of not having to have a high degree of scientific justification for their claims and chis only increases the pressure on rhe water industry to be able to subscantiare char their claims are nor correct. Consequenrly, public perceptions are swinging more and more against rhe current land application practices. These public perceptions are resulring in a flurry of activity within the USA water industry, with many research projects being

20 NOVEMBER 2004


undertaken to better define rhe science of the processes and the characterisation of biosolids. They are driving the industry cowards having to produce the highest quality biosolids regardless of rhe application. Local and scare authorities (bur particularly local authorities) with lirrle qualifications for determi ning what is appropriate are placing significant restrictions and/or bans on land application of biosolids. The potential outcome for the USA water industry is bill ions of dollars of extra expenditure on biosolids management that has nor been justified. However, the

Australian approach and established the ourline of a mechanism to make it happen. Unfortunately, chis mechanism has nor been fu lly developed due ro a number of factors, including an operating platform , fi nance and pri oritisation of volunteers' time. Within Victoria, where rhe author is best qualified to co mment, the Regulator, Department of Susrainabiliry and Environment (DSE) and the water industry recognised the need for a coordinated biosolids management strategy for rhe whole Scare. A Working Group was established in early 200 1 with the following objectives:

Public engagement must be done in a coordinated and professional manner to ensure that the water industry has appropriate biosolids management systems for land application. challenge is to be able co substantiate chis before pol itical and ocher events have taken over and the matters are out of the hands of the water industry. If a similar direction eventuates in Australia then there is the potential for hundreds of millions of dollars to have to be spent by the Australian water industry. T hus, rhe issue of making sure public engagement is done in a coordinated and professional manner is essential to ensure the water industry has appropriate biosolids management systems char nor only satisfy environmental and public health requirements but also satisfy public perception requirements.

Current Position with Public Engagement in Australia A simplistic overview is char we continue to operate as we have since Europeans first inhabited Australia, i. e each Seate and Territory rakes its own approach, operates unilaterally and occasionally is drawn to discuss approaches with ocher members of the Federation more by accident than design. Continuation of chis approach is frau ght with danger. Fragmented attempts have been made to get a coordinated approach across Australia to public engagement on biosolids. Indeed, a workshop at the Biosolids Specialty Conference in Sydney in 2002 resolved an

• To develop a strategy framework for biosolids management in Victoria; • To ensure char water authorities participate co-operatively in the development of rhe framework, including assessment of quantities, eval uation of options and implementation of actions; • To incorporate a process for addressing community issues and needs related to the management of biosolids. The outcome was a joint strategy enticled

Moving Towards Sustainable Biosolids Management -A Cooperative Venture (Department of Natural Resources & Environment, et al, 2003). O ne of the proposed actions from rhe strategy related to community consultation. Action 5 scares "Develop a framework for commun ity consultatio n / awareness of biosolids management programs". The strategy acknowledges char: "a comprehensive, coordinated community consulcarion/education program, based on scienrific principles, is an essential component from strategy inception. The success of such a program requires involvement by all levels of stakeholders, including the Victorian government, regulatory authori ties and UWSPs (water authorities). However, individual UWSPs (water authorities) will need to engage in the more detailed community consultation/education for discrete beneficial use programs."

A Biosolids Communications Working Group was establ ished in lace 2003 with the goal of developing a communications framework and toolkit for the sustainable use of biosolids (includi ng a recommended strategic approach) for water auth orities ro adopt. The outcomes from chis working group are discussed lacer.

Why Do We Need Public Engagement? T he water ind ustry needs co have a coordinated public engagement process because if we don't we will lose the high moral ground co chose who have fears and misconceptions of rhe product we are dealing with. Public engagement begins with members of rhe water industry believing in biosolids and its value rather than preaching on something char we do not believe in. So education must begin "at home". By way of example, che author was most surprised when at a workshop of biosolids practi tioners, he handed around a sample of highly stable, dry biosolids and suggested chat people run their hands through the produce. le was amazing, and revealing, co see how few were prepared co do so.

Table 1. Cost Comparisons T2 versus Tl Biosolids. Biosolids Quality



1.8M x $60 = $108M 0.3M x $250 = $75M 70,000 x $150- $1 l M/yr

1.8M x $500 = $900 0.3M x $500 = $150M 70,000 x $500 = $35M/yr

Component Stockpile Lagoons Annual Production

If we do not believe, then how can we possibly expect che general public co believe? The financial impacts on rhe water industry (and ul cimarely the co mmunity) of, say, being forced by public perceptions co produce highest quality biosolids (in Victoria Tl, Cl , in rhe USA A Class or "Exceptional Quality") are enormous. Consider rhe following simplistic exam pie for rhe whole of Victoria, forgetting any co mplications from high metals content: • Stockpiled Biosolids - 1.8M dry tonnes (dr) • Sludge in Lagoons - 0.3M dr • Fresh (annual) Production - 70,000 de/year Order of magnitude coses (amortised capital and operating) fo r different degrees of scabilisacion and drying are:

• Carting and spreading stockpiled biosol ids (within 80km) - $60/dc • Solar drying, ca rting and spreading lagoon biosolids - $250/dr • Drying, carting and sp reading fresh production - $150/dc • Pellerisacion (lime creacmenc, heat drying) carting and spreading - $500/ dc le shou ld be noted chat the higher degree of treatment with pellecisation improves bacteriological "public heal ch" quality and appearance - it does not remove the metals. Thus chis additional treatment will only affect the 'T' component (the treatment component), the 'C' component (the chemical component) wi ll nor change. Table 1 compares costs of the further process ing from T 1 ro T2 grade. ln rough terms, rhe add itional cost ro the Vicrori an community ro have all biosolids of


Ten Cate Nicolon

geotubes • effective high volume containment • efficient dewatering & volume reduction • on-site dewatering • no special epuipment required

Most municipal sewage treatment plants become inefficient because their digesters and lagoons become filled with sewage sludge past safe operating levels. Traditional methods of removing the sludge require the use of heavy equipment for dewatering before it can be THE SOLUTION is large Geotubes into which the sludge can be pumped directly from the digesters and lagoons. The permeable removed from site for disposal in a landfill. geotextile outer layer allows sludge to be efficiently dewatered For application details contact ... while containing the fine-grain solids of the sludge. CRS Industrial Water Treatment Systems P/L P-02 9899 7811 F-02 9899 7336 crs@wat ertreatment.net.au

~~ 33/9 Hoyle Ave, Castle Hill ~ W W NSW 2154 Australia




NOVEMBER 2004 21

Table 2. Communications Strategy. Audience

Key Message/s


Authority Staff & Contractors

To raise awareness of the benefits and issues regarding recycling of biosolids

Communication Tool/s

The 5 key messages above plus • Regulations and quality controls are in place to ensure that biosolids ore fit for purpose.

eg. Intranet, staff newsletter, information sessions, Q&As for Customer Contact Centre

Community - process plant

To raise awareness of the benefits and issues regarding recycling of biasolids (in local area) To communicate the recycling of biosolids (in local area) and detail i ts proposed end use.

The 5 key messages above plus • Details of the preferred option(s) in this community. • Commun ity input and ownership required.

Community Engagement Strategy needed. Resulting tools may include Community Reference Group, Community Meeting, direct mail, internet.

Community - point of end use

To raise awareness of the benefits and issues regording recycling of biosolids (in local area) To communicate the recycling of biosolids (in local area) and detail its proposed end use.

The 5 key messages above plus • Details of the preferred option(s) in this community. • Community input and ownership required.

Community Engagement Strategy needed - Community Reference Group, Community Meeting, direct mail

Stakeholders/regulators - local government

To engage stakeholders in an open consultation process To ra ise awareness of the benefits and issues regard ing biosolids recycling (in loca l area) To communicate the recycling of biosolids (in local area) and detail i ts proposed end use.

• Details of the preferred option(s) in this community. • Community input and ownership sought • Regulations and quality controls are in place to ensure that biosolids are lit for purpose.

Face-to-face meetings, media articles

Stakeholders/regulators - state government (DHS, DSE, EPA)

To engage stakeholders in an open consultation process (in the early stages of the proiect) to determine issues, concerns and attitudes To raise awareness of the benefits and issues regarding biosolids recycling.

• Details of the preferred option(s) in this community. • Community input and ownership sought. • Regulations and quality controls are in place to ensure that biosolids are lit for purpose.


Stokeholders/regulators - local MP & apposition

To engage stakeholders in an open consultation process (in the early stages of the proiect) to determine issues, concerns and attitudes To raise awareness of the benefits and issues regarding biosolids recycling (i n local area) To communicate the recycling of biosolids (i n local area) and detail its proposed end use .

The 5 key messages above plus • Details of the preferred option(s) in this community. • Community input and ownership sought.


Potential Recycling Markets (eg farmers)

To engage potential recycling markets in an open consultation process To raise awareness of the benefits and issues regarding biosolids recycling (in specific market areas).

Plus the 5 key messages above • Technical information regarding the quality of product and appropriate applications. • Demonstrate the benefi ts of recycled biosolids (economic and environmental benefits).

Articles, one-on-one meetings, briefings, demonstrations sites and trial sites

• Details of the preferred option(s) in this community. • Community input and ownership sought.

highest quality cou ld in the order of $90 0M to handle its stockpiled and lagooned biosolids. T he additional ongoing cost is about $25M/yr. Based on a total of abo ut two million customers throughout Victoria this amounts to a one off payment of $450 per custo mer and ongo ing costs of $ 12$15 per year. Is th is expenditure really in the best interests of the community?




Proposed Victorian Approach to Public Engagement The Victorian Biosolids Communications Working Group is developing a commu nications strategy and toolkit for the sustainable use of biosolids, based on the following key objectives:]. Research, const ruct and post a Biosolids section on the VicWater website;

2. Prepare media releases/articles for circulation to the water industry via relevant publications in Victoria and nationally; 3. Brief major stakeholders, including government departments, V icWater and relevant State government Ministers; 4. Develop a plan recommend ing further action by VicWater, EPA and DSE; 5. Encourage a national water industry association to undertake a biosolids user

United KG Water Projects Pty Ltd 28 Clayton Road Clayton VIC 3168 +61 (0)3 9239 4100 www.unitedgroup.com.au

-. LNITED l{G A United Group Limited Company

Table 3. Commun ications Program. Deliverer

Target Audience(s)

Minister/politicians/regulators/Water Industry/Authorities

Politicians, broad community, Councils

Stage of Project

Message to Give

Pre pro ject (ongoing)


Pre pro ject (ongoing)

Agricultural Benefits & Examples

Primarily Water Industry w ith " support" Primary producers, produce industry associations, local media from regulators, Authorities to cover local audiences

Pro ject Development

Need for investment in sustainable biosoli ds management in this region (using above messages focussed on the particular region)

Regional community in the service Individual Authority (use the most credible person with a communications area, Councils, target majo r customers and enlist them ability) ("gatekeepers"), local media

Options Evaluation (pre site and process selection)

• We want a sustainable solution • Best solution may involve trials and demonstration sites • Best soluti on will involve compliance with national standard safeg uards • This is an opportunity that can lead to new business activity • Not interested in a quick fix, we want the right fix, and that will take time • Investigating establishment of community monito ring group • Describe the evaluation/decision making process and opportuni ties to contribute

Indiv idual Authority with support from regulators (possibly need independent "expert" if in house knowledge and credibility is lim ited)

As above

Process selection (if have this stage is required)

• Cho ice is narrowed to a set of solutions • W ill test these solutio ns via trial · reference to working examples

• Authori ty

To all above

Preferred System

• Have susta inable model • Developing end use clients • Locality of processing site(s) • Commencing consultation with site owners and immedi ate neighbours • Rolling out full report of evaluations to date for interested party information

• Authority • Regulator to endorse model • Gatekeepers to endorse

Potential end users (who we want to be our gatekeepers), immediate affected neighbours and adjacent community(s), Councils

• End user support

• Authority

Potential end users (who we want

Site Chosen

5 key


• Reg ulator ta endorse model • Specific site(s) identified and TBL • Gatekeepers to endorse assessed • Special expenditure proposed to comply with regulatory requirements • Recognition of immediate neighbour uncertainties • Planning approval process • Site operatio ns & management controls along with quality contro l

plus politicians (particularly local ones), local environmental groups and si milar stakeholders

to be our gatekeepers) , immediate affected neighbours and adjacent communi ty(s), Councils

Establishment of Process and Applications Site(s)

• Implementation of safeguards • Commenci ng end user trials


End users, neighbours

Ongoing Fully Developed Operations

• Satisfying TBL outcomes identifi ed previously

• Authority • Regulator (confirmation al

All of the above

• Meeti ng reg ulatory requirements • Satisfying user and neighbour expectations

compliance) • End Users (value from the product)

• Reporti ng on beneficial outcomes (eg. Improved land performance)

focused consultation program co ensure

Communications Strategy

che viability o f produces through che

The C ommunications Strategy is based on the principle chat each water authority

sup ply chain. A toolkit which will eventually be posted on VicWacer's website is being prepared and includes items such as face sheers, Q &A's, case studies communications framework, links co recommended websites, panel of experts and possible spokespersons for the water industry.




should manage its own public engagement process, as the drivers for each authority and local factors will vary from authority co authority. However, an industry-wide template, with common supporting materials, will provide guidelines co ensure consistency of approach and consistency of messages from che water industry.

Components of the strategy are: • objectives; • research and evaluation; • target audiences; • key messages; • SWOT analysis; • communications mix; • timing and key spokespersons.

Objectives • T o engage che community in an open consul ration process (from the early stages

of rhe project) to determine issues, co ncerns and attitudes; • To raise awareness of rhe benefits and issues regarding biosolids recycling; • To co mmunicate the recycl ing of biosolids and derail its proposed end use. Research and Evaluation Commun ity attitude and perceptions regarding biosolids recycling need to be benchmarked in rhe water aurhority's local area as early as possible, as well as developing an ongoing monitoring program to track any shi fts in perception and to determi ne any emerging issues as recycling progresses. This may consist of adding a range of questions to existing customer satisfaction monitors, or undertaking foc us groups in the affected areas. Target Audiences There is a wide range of ind ividuals and groups from local to national that need different messages. The primary ones are:• Scaff and contractors; • Community - surrounding area and rhe nea rest urban community (a t both the process plant and at the point of use); • Stakeholders and regulators, including Local and Scare Government (OH S, DSE, EPA), Local MPs (and opposition members); • Potential Recycling Markers (eg farmers). The secondary target audience is th e water ind ustry itself. Key Messages All stakeholders need co be given consistent, positive messages char put biosolids and their management into perspective. T he five key messages developed by the Working Group are:1. T he biosolids ma nagement program will enabl e your Water Authority ro use rhe valuable resource of bioso lids in a sustainable way that is acceptable ro the com munity; 2. Biosolids and recycled water are the two products of the sewage treatment process. Beneficial recycling of biosolids is desirable and achievable;

3. Biosolids are a nutrient rich ferti liser and soil conditioner suitable for agricul tu re, forestry and land rehabilitation; 4. Retu rning bioso lids ro the environment is essential co complete a narural nutrient cycle; 5. Regulations and quali ty co ntrols are in place co ensure char biosolids are fir for purpose. SWOT Analysis Consideration of the Srrengrhs, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) fo r an individual Authority and specific appl icarion should be undertaken initially, as pa rt of the developm ent and implementation of a biosolids co mmunication program. Communications Mix The co mm unications mix (ie range of communications cools) will depend on the audiences relevant ro a particular water authority's application . Table 2 derai ls so me suggested aud iences and related objectives, messages and communication cools, wh ich fo rms rhe basis for individual authority acri vities. Timing and Key Spokespeople Tn undertaking com munications, rhe fo llowing need co be taken into account: • We need "unaligned experts" co del iver che messages. Closely committed water authori ty offi cers are nor appropriate nor sufficiently cred ibl e. • When do we first engage rhe key people and organisations - is it right up front or part way along/ le is definitely roo late when rhe proposal has "hie the fan ". • We need various levels of rhe water industry co be delivering messages co different audiences (eg. rhe Australian water industry should be co nsulting with food and other industry associations rather then individual water au th orities doing chis) Table 3 outli nes a possible program and spokesperson(s) .

Wider Application of Communications Strategy T he communications model bei ng developed by che Victorian water industry

should be directly applicable throughout Australia. No doubt ocher Scares will be going through or may have already gone through, similar processes. There is the opportunity (and the need) for Australiawide coordination. If the Victorian model wo rks as a catalyse for chis coo rdination, then the whole water industry, and thus t he Australian public, will have benefited.

Conclusions I. Publ ic engagement is rhe highest priori ty for th e Australian water industry for sustai nable, appropriate biosolids management, and is of higher priority then technical issues. 2. An Australia-wide coo rdi nated approach ro public engagement is essential. 3. Develop ment of appropriate supporting materials, including key messages, Q &A's, Facts Sheers, co mmunication programs and the use of appropri ate spokespersons will assist in getting a consistent message ro all stakeholders.

Notes The Victorian Biosolids Co mmun ications Working Gro up compri ses Allen Gale (Goulbu rn Valley Water) - Chair, Janice Darr (Barwon Water), Russell Worland (South West Water), Carolyn Sta nford (Caliban Water), Kerrie Grenfell (Yarra Valley Water), John Hussey/Caroline Hegan (South East Water) and Sam Costello/Hamish Reid (EPA).

References Victorian D eparrrnenr of Natural Resources a nd Environment, EPA Victoria, Victorian Water Ind ustry Association, "Moving Towards Sustainable Biosolids M anagement - A Cooperative V e ntu re" 2002.

The Author Allen Gale is Direcror T echnical Services, Goulburn Valley Water, Phone: (03) 5832 0445, Email alleng@gvwarer. vie.gov.au

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BIOSOLIDS IN USA: PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE M Scharp, S Frank Introduction In Southern California a Grand Jury recencly released a 16-page report enticled,

Does Anyone Want Orange County Sanitation District's 230,000 Tons of Biosolids? The purpose of the scudy was co review OCSD's existing b iosolids management programs and long-range plans in light of recent developments to determine if modifications are warranted. T he scudy also considered opportunities co enhance public accep tance of existing programs, which could extend the timeline fo r evencual conversion to more-viable options and postpone the inevitable expenditure of funds to develop alternatives for biosolids recycling. Despite OCSD's extensive and exemplary public outreach and involvement actions and the Orange County Grand Jury's apparent understanding of OCSD's environmentally responsible actions to manage its biosolids, the grand jury recommended that OCSD phase out Class B biosolids land application except in remote areas, thus requiring them to adopt the expensive Class A processes.

Public Perception a Problem The report was much more even-handed than most media reports about biosolids. Most med ia reports attempt co focus o n the scariest, least understood, most disgusting face ts of b iosolids and land application that the reporter can find. They are frequen tly aided in these efforts by opponents of biosolids and lean heavily on unverified charges and claims by anti-biosolids activists. Comments and rebuttals by biosolids professionals are usually buried deep in the story, long after most readers have become bored and moved on to something more interesting. The OCSD decision will undoubtedly be portrayed by anti-b iosolids groups as proof that the practice is unsound. G iven the huge potential for misunderstanding biosolids, the authors of this paper conducted a survey. It was deployed at the Water Environment Federation 's (WEF) annual biosolids conference in February 2004 and attempted co correlate various facto rs such as class of biosolids, size of project, and d istance to site with certain community outreach activities and the relative success of the project or activity.

26 NOVEMBER 2004


The survey drew 60 responses. The percen rage of responses was skewed somewhat by rhe survey's design, which asked respondents co fill out one survey for each p roject they manage. Thus a large POTW with, for example, three biosolids disposal streams, and utilising a professional manager, would have filled out three surveys.

The Findings In li ne with our expectations, almost two out of th ree managers of biosolids projects (65%) said it is now harder to begin a new biosolids project than it was five years ago. However, an overwhelming 87% of respondents said rheir projects are successful. Only 6% of projects were said to be unsuccessful. And an amazing 7% of responders did not seem co know whether their projects are successful or not.

people managing biosolids projects and the degree to which such arguments make logical sense co biosolids proponents. Just over four in 10 (43%) respondents said they had attended a workshop or seminar in which risk communication was a main topic, but only 2 1% co uld name a major author in the risk commun ication field. In a similar ve in, only a q uarter (27%) said they are aware of the major recommendations that flowed out of the Powell-Tate communication plan char WEF deployed a decade ago, co develop, implement and operate successful biosolids recycl ing programs. A similarly small number (25%) said they are conducti ng public outreach specifically aimed at "gatekeepers" as defined in th e Powell-Tate plan. "Gatekeepers, " as described in the Powell-Tate plan, are simply people in a knowledge-based or locality-based

A US survey found that most practitioners expend too little effort acquiring communication skills. A quarter (25%) of the biosolids projects was reported as being Class A, with 73% saying their biosolids are C lass B. One respondent did not seem to know. Ninetythree percent of the projects are reported as being land applicatio n projects, with 60% usi ng contractors. Composting projects accounted for the remaining 7%.

community who are looked to as though t leaders. Thus, reaching gatekeepers would be an important communication strategy. In response to another communi cationrelated question, only 18% of respondents said they have a copy of WEF's Survival

Given the high level of project success but the difficulty attached to launching a new project, one might have expected a high level of public outreach. Not so. Fifty-rwo percent of biosolids project managers said the party running their project (whether generator or contractor) did not conduct any public outreach that was required by regulations near the application site, and fewe r than half (47%) did not conduct any public outreach that was not required by regulations. An equal percentage (47%) are not conducting any ongoi ng public outreach near the site, and the project managers of 12% of the projects do not know whether any public o utreach is being conducted. Looking at another aspect of outreach use of science-based arguments - 70 % of managers of biosolids projects said rhey have attempted co use science-based arguments to help them make their case for biosolids, and half (50%) of those respondents said they believe using rhe science-based arguments helped. These numbers seem reasonable given the technical background of most

a number of useful recommendations and suggestions. Another major communicationrelated cool that is beginning to be used in the biosolids arena is involving the public in biosolids decisions. Just about a th ird (35%) of respondents said they or the party running their project had consciously attempted to involve members of the pu blic as advisors or stakeholders.

Guide: Public Communications for Water Professionals, published in 2002, containing

Operators Dominate Forty-five per cent of the respondents reported that they are treatment plant operators. Only 12% of the respondents said they are engineers, and 25 per cent said their professional preparation was in life sciences. Five per cent said they are equipment operators, and 8% did not respond. The authors estimate some 5,000 mechanical plants across the US generate biosolids on a regular basis. The remaining approximately 11,000 plants are lagoon operations that remove biosolids infrequencly. This survey's finding that 47%

of the managers of biosolids projects are treatment plane operators is probably low. If the authors' unsystematic observations are any guide, the largest number of biosolids projects are managed by treatment facility operators and executed by co ntractors. However, the greatest volume of biosolids is generated by a relatively small number of large POTWs that have full time (or nearly fu ll rime) biosolids managers who are better prepared professionally for char task and who spend more time on biosolids management than the typical operator of a small facili ty. Large POTWs also employ contractors to haul and land apply their biosolids bur - anecdotally - appea r to pay little attention to what happens after the biosolids leave their facility.

Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) and WEF with advice provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency, has helped the biosolids industry by developing the EMS (Environmental Management System) for Biosolids. The driving purpose behind EMS is to make biosolids more publicly acceptable by making sure generators are doing the best possible job. However, only 64 generators, abom I% of the mechanical treatment plants, in the entire Uni ted States (out of approxi mately 16,000 Publicly Owned T reatment Works), were registered with the National Biosolids partnership as having an EMS in place, and only three have been th ird-party certified.

Conclusion What can be concluded from the survey? First, biosolids projects in the United Scates are moscly successful - overwhel mingly successful, if the survey numbers are truly representative. Second, biosolids managers chink by almost a 2:1 ratio char it is harder to begin a new site now than it was several years ago. T he data also seem to say chat most projects are successful with little or no public outreach, though the authors hope chat does not become the take-away message of chis paper. T he danger to che industry lies with che relatively few projects chat get stopped dead in their cracks as a result of negative media coverage or public omrage chat leads to a

Controversy Draws Media Attention O ne thing that causes many in the industry to lose sleep at night is the relati vely small (bu t often well publicised) number of projects char do nor go smoothly. Many of these projects run into a buzz saw of public opposition. Some project reviews draw crying, hysterical mothers of children they claim will be or have been sickened by biosolids shoming their undying opposition to biosolids projects at coun ty supervisors at public meetings whil e the medi a shoot photos, roll videotape, and report on the huge public controversy. Most media love controversy more than li fe itself because it sells papers and draws viewers. They rarely understand (or care about) the technical iss ue, but they do understand the horserace: the conflict and the drama of a contested project. Most politicians hate controversy - particularly over a lictle-underscood, highly technical issue such as biosolids - because it might drive voters away. When the project proponent is from fa r away and represents a big city, and the public seems opposed co the project, it is much easier fo r local politicians to say NO. The imagination does not have to stretch much to see how the authors of the O range County grand jury came up with Does Anyone Want Orange County Sanitation District's 230,000 Tons of Biosolids? as the title of their report. T he industry's problem, however, is chat not doing anything co shore up one's position when things are going well means not making any deposits in the "bank of goodwill. " When a future withdrawal fro m the goodwill bank is needed, there is no sum on deposit there from which to make a withdrawal.

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NOVEMBER 2004 27

biosolids in agriculture governmental body disapproving a site appl ication or, worse still , shutting down a project that had been operating successfu lly until there was an oucc1y against it. A project that is stopped dead draws opponents like blood in the water draws sharks. I t is then held up by opponents as proof that whatever was stopped - composting, land application or whatever - was bad and should be banned whenever it is proposed. It seems clear that the industry places little value o n communication, whether required or n ot. Not only is outreach not widely conducted (whether requ ired or not), bu t m ost practitioners appear to expend litrle effort to acquire communication skills that could help them secure public supp ort for new projects. In face, an attitude of "The con tractor's truck wenr our the gate; I paid him; it's nor my problem " seems to prevail. T he data also seem co indicate a huge need within the industry to get operators on board to help chem u nderstand chat the success of biosolids proj ects in the future is as much their problem as is m eeting their N PDES permit lim its, and they do need co participate. In ad dition , science-based arguments seem to make a d ifference, and




the people in che industry are in the best position to m ake chem (a point che PowellTate study made) . A furth er conclusion is chat size matters. It appears that, similar to confined animal feeding operations (feedlots), most people do not care about sm all operations or the manure from "hobby farm" operations. It is when large amounts of manure are generated at large operatio ns that people seem to b eco me excited. T his situatio n also appears to hold for biosolids operations. "Smalltown, USA" does not appear to have many issues in managing its rwo truckloads o f biosolids a year, but "Big C ity," with its 20 or 30 truckloads a day, has no trouble attracting controversy. With but 60 responses, only about l % of the industry was represented. One p ercent is far too small a number from which to d raw rock-solid co nclusions, so any subsequent effo rt would need to assure a much larger response and the survey should be redesigned so che demographics of che responder are not misrepresented by responders who have more than o ne project or disposal scream. Al l problems aside, the survey did provide some valuable insights, and the

authors hope their colleagues in the industry will pay heed to them.

The Authors Mike Scharp (scharpm@aol.com) is the Director of Program D evelopmen t fo r Parker Ag Services in Limon , Colorado. H e was the Keynote Speaker fo r the A WA first Biosolids Specialty Confere nce in 2002. His work has earned his company a 1999 EPA Public Education Award and in 2001 an Environmental Achievement Award for the New York City land appl ication program chat he developed in Co lorado . Steve Frank (sfrank@mw rd.dst.co.us) is the pu blic information officer for the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, the largest wastewater treatment orga nisation in the R ocky Mounta in W est, and is the immediate Pase President of the Rocky M ountain Water E nvironment Associatio n. He has 30 years' experience in the co mmunication fi eld, including seines as a public affairs officer in the U.S. Navy and th e aerospace industry. Parker Ag Services and the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District shared a tie for first place fo r the U S EPA's 2004 Exemplary Biosolids M anagement Award competition in the large operational projects category.


Table 1. Air-D ried Biosolids Microbiological Data (May 2003) - Origin:

Biosolids use is now well established in many Australian scares, with some beneficial use programs approaching 15 years of operation. Over this rime there have been relatively few instances of adverse public reaction to biosolids recycling. The benefits to che wastewater industry include reduced costs and increased flexibil ity fo r biosolids management. This situation may be the result of public education backed by a research program, however it may also be due to a lack of public awareness of the existence of biosolid s recycling. An 'our of sight, out of mind' approach does nor encourage rhe development of a unified and coordinated program for gaining community sup port. It can also lead to negative p ublic sentiment and possible belief char the activity is harmful, should adverse reporrs emerge through readily accessible alternative sources such as the med ia or the worldwide web.

Warrnambool STP, South W est Water Auth ority.

During 2003, Barwon Water and Ripley Bioproducrs were join tly involved in a projecr near Geelong, Victoria, which provided first hand experience of how well organised public opposition can affecr biosolids recycling. A biosolids processing operation was proposed for 'Woolondoo n', a large privately owned agriculmral property, with the intent to air-d ry and compost biosolids from all Barwon Water sewage treatment planes over a three-year period. Processed biosolids would be used for agriculmral purposes on nearby broadacre farm ing properties. Strong support from many farmers was countered by public opposition from surrounding residents and landowners. This resulted in prolonged negotiation and ultimately incervencion by the Victorian government ro move the project to an alternative location.

Microbiological Parameter


Number of Samples

Tl /Grode A Criteria

I 54 <100 MPN/g 0 E. coli (MPN/g) <100 I Not Detected 54 <1/ 509° Solmonello/50 g 6 I <1000 54 <1000 MPN/9 Faecal Coliforms (MPN/g) 6 I Not Detected 53 <1 PFU/ 49 Ascaris sp. (PFU/4 g) 98% compliance* Not Detected 48/53 samples <1 PFU/4gb Taenio sp. (PFU/4 g) 52/53 samples <1.0 1/53 samples 1.0 a. Tl criteria {Vic EPA, 2004). b. Stabilisation Grade A criteria (NSW EPA, 1991) ¡ no specified criteria in Vic EPA guidelines. *Note: NSW Guidelines do not specify minimum percentile compliance limits. Vic EPA guidelines specify 90th percentile limits for T2 biosolids.

Peninsula in the ease to Colac in che west, and from Meredith and Cressy in the north to Apollo Bay on Victoria's south-west coast. Barwon Water operates nine water

treatment facil ity for che City of Greater Geelong. The facil ity provides advanced treatment of effluent before recycling or ocean outfall discharge.

Experience has provided a number of valuable lessons in managing community relations. reclamation plants (WRPs), including com pace plants at Black Rock, Apollo Bay, Lorne, Anglesea and Co lac and lagoo n based systems at Porrarlington, Winchelsea, Bannockburn and Aireys Inlet. Black Rock Water Reclamatio n Plane is the major

In 2002 Barwon Water sough t tenders to manage its biosolids for a three-year period. T his was an interim program, intended to meet shore-term biosolids management needs while a more permanent sol ution was being implemented. Ripley Bioproduccs was

T h is paper identifi es key lessons from che Woolondoon experience for similar projects and biosolids managers.

Background Barwon Water provides world standard water and sewerage services to 250,00 0 permanent residents over 8,100 sq uare kilometres. Its region of responsibility stretches from Liccle River and the Bellarine

30 NOVEMBER 2004 water

Meets Tl / Grode A Criteria?

Picture 1. Air-dried biosolids applied to land near Woolondoon.

selected to process, transport and beneficially use biosolids produced by Barwon Water. Ripley Bioproducrs is a partnership between LY. Rawlinson & Associates and Australian Poll ution Engineering. The proposed treatment process was an air-drying operation, a process which is commonly used to stabilise biosolids, particularly in the lagoon-based treatment plants prevalent in Victoria. Annual production is approximately 50,000 m3 of dewatered biosolids. T he majority of the biosolids are from the Black Rock sewage treatment plant. The Proposal

Ripley Bioproducts proposed to locate rhe biosolids processing site on a 1320 hectare sheep and cropping property called 'Woolondoon', located about hal f an hour north of Geelong, Victoria. Processed biosolids were to be used in surrounding broadacre cropping. Compared to orher sites co nsidered, the sire offered significant advantages for the air-drying of biosolids, including low rainfall, regular wi nds, a largely rural setting with broadacre cropping interspersed with rural residential and large buffer distances to neighbours (> 1.8 km). Processing site infras tructure was to occupy 9.5 hectares of the property and included a clay-based processing pad, runoff collection ponds and runoff reuse area. T rucks were to bri ng the biosolids into the sire six days per week from Barwon Water treatment plants, with air-drying of 500 111 3 per day. Air-drying of biosolids is a lowtechnology process in which fres hly dewatered biosolids at approximately 15% solids are spread to a depth of 50 cm and regularly turned to allow wind and solar radiation to reduce water content. Once the target solids content is reached (abou t 65 %), the biosolids are stockpiled fo r resting and beneficial use. T esting of air-dried biosolids has indicated char the process can meet Victorian microbiological req uirements fo r T reatment G rade I biosolids. Table 1 and Table 2 summarise microbiological analysis of biosolids air-dried to ar least 70% solids from dewarered cake of approximately 15% solids. Dewarered cake was sourced from rwo different treatment plants using inrermittenrly decanted extended aeration. T he Victorian guidelines do not provide specific T l criteria for some microbiological parameters and in rhese cases, criteria fro m the NSW biosolids guidelines (NSW EPA, 1997) for Stabilisation Grade A have been included fo r comparative pu rposes.

Table 2. Air-Dried Biosolids Microbiological Data (May 2004) - O rigin: Black Rock STP, Barwon W ater. Microbiological Parameter E. coli (MPN/ g) Salmonella/ 25 g Enteric viruses/ 4g Ascaris sp. (ova/ 4 g) Taenia sp. (ova/ 4 g)


Number of Samples

Tl / Grade A Criteria

Meets Tl / Grade A Criteria?

<100 Not Detected <l <l <l

16 12 8 6 6

<100 MPN/ g0 < l / 50g0 <lPFU/ 100 g0 <l PFU/ 4gb <l PFU/ 4gb


a. Tl criteria {Vic EPA, 2004). b. Stabilisation Grade A criteria (NSW EPA, 1997) · no specified criteria in Vic EPA guidelines. As a development undertaken in Victoria, the processing site required works approval from rhe Vi ctorian EPA and a planning permit from rhe local council. To support the application for these approvals, a detailed assessment of the proposed fac ility was undertaken. The assessment incl uded a comprehensive review of environmental issues such as potential impacts on surface water and groundwater, dust, odou r, greenhouse gas emiss ions and health. T his review demonstrated char the processing site would nor result in significant environmental impacts.

Community Consultation

Biosolids guidelines developed by environmental regulators are documents essentially addressing techni cal aspects of biosolids application with relatively lirrle emphasis on publ ic education and community liaison. While communi ty consul ration is an essential pare of the regulatory approval process, rhe methodology fo r such co nsultation is lefr up to producers and end users. Although this provides Aexibiliry to suit local conditions, the lack of a clearly identifiable national strategy and in fo rmation resources can

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hamper individual efforts to increase acceptance. The draft Victorian b iosolids guidelines offer the following general advice on comm unity liaison: " Biosolids suppliers and users should establish pathways and procedures for continual and open [liaison]wich che community. The extent of liaison should reflect che site circumstances (ie. proximity co sensitive land uses, level of com munity interest, etc). Key effective comm unity liaison measures are: • education of likely affected parties (ie. neighbours, biosolids users); • ready exchange of info rmation; and • a reliable complaint response system. " (Vic E PA, 2004) T he Victorian gui del ines incorporate elements o f the NSW and (draft) National guidelines. T h e National guidelines make the fo llowing reference to comm unity liaison:

"A high degree of public acceptance is essential for biosolids projects. There is a significant level of goodwill by che

Picture 2. Public field day at Woolondoon. community cowards the concept of beneficial use of biosolids provided procedures for managing che risks [are] in place. However, co retain chis acceptance, communities should be

kept well informed of che use of biosolids in their local areas. le may also be prudent co undertake comm unity information/ education programs co assist in promoting biosolids use." and:


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32 NOVEMBER 2004



"There is a h igh level of goodwill cowards che concept of beneficial use provided procedures for managing the risks are in place, the procedures are transparent and the community is well informed. Community issues chat may need co be addressed in some circumstances include nuisance issues, such as odour, dust, vehicle movements and public access." For the Woolondoon p roject, commu nity consultation began as soon as the location of the processing facility was determined. Consultation included the follow ing b road range of measures: • Home visits to properties adjoining Woolondoon. • Field trip to Black Rock treatment plant, Woolondoon and a nearby property where land application of biosolids was u nderway. An o utline of the p roposal was provided at chis forum. • Subsequent open day at Woolondoon to provide information on air-drying a nd to address major concerns, especially odo ur and transmission of pathogens by dust and vectors. • Register of concerns and comments kept. • Several mail -outs to neighbours and oth er stakeholders with information abou t biosolids, answers to common q uestions and concerns and thanks for attending field days and open days.

• Med ia releases and public notices about the project and public meetings in local newspapers. • Briefings p rovided ro local politicians, coun cillors, govern ment agen cies and environ ment groups. • H olding two public meet ings and attending ocher public meeti ngs ro d iscuss the p roposal.

The Opposition The initial reaction to the proposed facility can be su mmarised in to the fo llowing general groups: 1) Opposed tO the prop osal: Generally this group incl uded immed iate neigh bours of W oo lond oo n, mainly rural residential o r hobby fa rmers, wirh so me exceptio ns. The main issues o f concern char chis grou p exp ressed were:

• H osti ng a series o f meetings of a fa rmer interest group.

• Odou r

• H osting a series o f meetings with the main opponents ro the project.

• Co ntaminatio n of ra nk water

• Field trip to W estern NSW to visit fa rms on the Syd ney Water biosolids reuse program. D espi te these effons, the W oolondoo n proposal was unsuccessful , even though the proj ect was able to successfull y co n tinue at an alternat ive site. T he relocation of the p rocessing sire fro m W oolondoon was not u lt imately because of a scientific case aga inst rhe propo sed site but because the n egative message was more successfu l than the pos itive messages p rovided .


• H ealth (main ly through bioaerosols) • Property values • Perceived lack of consultatio n. 2) U ndecided about the proposal: This group included some neigh bours, govern ment and no n-go vernmen t agencies and so me broad acre fa rmers. The main issue iden tified by this group was a need for greater information about biosolids. 3) In favour of the proposal: T he mai n supporters o f the project were nearby broad-acre fa rmers, in effect the majori ty landowners o f the d istrict, who saw char

biosolid s could provide a m uch needed boost to the d istrict's agricultu ral productivity. T he emergen ce o f and co nti nued public oppositio n to the project was influenced by many factors incl uding: • Lack o f u nderstanding of b iosolids and mispercept ion of risks. • Perceived lack of consul tation. • U nderlying local facrors, such as co n cern about the effect o n property values and lifestyle. • Lack of access to reliable positive information o n biosolids. • Ease o f access to negative info rmatio n on b iosolids. • A view by p rotesters char rhe p roject could be undertaken on alternative govern men t-managed land. During rhe co mm un ity co nsultation process, as more information was provided through fie ld days, mail outs and meetin gs, the groups crystall ised into two main groups: those opposed to the project and those in favou r. T he opponents adopted a nu mber of method s to stop the p roject including media releases linking conce rn

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abo ut the processing site with co ncern about land application of biosolids in general. The safety of crops grown using biosolids was questioned and food manufacturers and grain growers were contacted. Another major issue raised about land application was the impact of dust and bioaerosols on residences with the adequacy of the buffer distances recommended in the guidelines questioned. Bioaerosols were li nked to concerns about effects o n public health. Application during windy conditions was seen as contributing to the potential for health impacts. As well as usi ng the med ia to disseminate information , the op ponents developed a website. The website co ntained negative articles and links to other online information (e.g. "Toxic Sl udge is Good For Yo u"). An excerpt from the website is shown below: "There are a large number o f issues which concern us. There are specific issues related co the details of the proposed plane. There are also b roader issues relating to the use of biosolids on food crops. Australia is on [the] verge of a large scale reuse program. Guidelines for biosolids are currenrly under construction. There are gu idelines presenr in Vi ctoria and draft national guidelines for biosolids under review. Sewage sludge is already spread on farms and we are concerned that ch is met hod is unrested , unsafe, unsavoury and not the most sustainable solution to our sewage waste problems. "

(HCDEG, 2003)

Discussion and Conclusions Even though the proposal for the processing site at Woolondoon itself was unsuccessful, an alternative processing site was fo und and the project was able to go ahead. Alo ng the way the experience provided a number of val uable lessons for Ba1won Water and Ripley Bioproducts in managing community relations many of which are relevant to other biosolids managers.

1) The advantage gained in providing information to targeted parties at the earliest opportunity. Whi le every effort was made to provide infor mation to the gro ups most likely to be affected , a common perception throughout the process was that consultation began too late. While it is unlikely that this perception can ever be completely overcome, it can be mi tigated. Our experience was that the greatest posi rive impacts resulted from personal visits to people with concerns. Public meetings, open days and field days, whilst providing an opportunity for issues and concerns to

34 NOVEMBER 2004



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Picture 3. Anti-biosolids media release.

be raised, were difficult forums in which to add ress concerns and reassure op ponents. 2) A greater understanding of what drives public opposition. T o a large extent che opposition to the project was based on the perceived risks of a generally unpalatable subject (biosolids), rather than the measured scientific risks. Managing perceptions is as important a part of gaining community acceptance as t he technical aspects of a project. 3) Remember the definition of 'community'. When faced with vocal op position it is easy to focus on catering to their concerns and co countering opposing argu ments. The danger is chat in doing so we forget the section of the community that is less vocal but no less representative of the community (and perhaps even more so). In areas such as that around Woolond oon, farmers can be an important ally to promote positive messages about the benefits of biosolids application. The key is to identify, target and encourage these groups to become equally as vocal in promoting the benefits of biosolids. Formation of a small consultative group representing all key parties, including supportive public, is recommended. 4) Education. Be proactive in delivering authoritative positive messages thro ugh the media. The stories that receive the most publicity will always be the controversial ones in which the worst case scenario is

put and sometimes distorted. To councer this, as many good news items as possible are needed promot ing the benefits of biosolids. 5) Focus the argument. Where possible, identify exactly what the real concerns are so that they can be addressed as quickly as possib le. It is m uch easier to respond to a defined list of concerns than to respond to a constantly changing list of peripheral issues. Identification of key opponents' issues and provision of responses should be completed as soon as possible. 6) Encourage best management practices. One of the positive aspects of encountering strong opposition and scrutiny of biosolids management is that this can encourage better management practices. Meetings of farmers and others interested biosolids users were held by Barwon Water and Ripley Bioprod ucts to d iscuss ways in which the future of biosolids application in the Balliang dist rict could be secured. A number of new best management practices were developed, some of which were adopted by the EPA and incorporated into the biosolids guidelines. For example, concern raised about application during windy days resul ted in a clear definition of suitable and unsuitable win d cond itions. 7) The need for a unified and cohesive national approach to biosolids. For many stakeholders, particularly farmers, experience shows chat the existence of

gu ideli nes endorsed by the stare regulato ry agency (usuall y EPA) provides suffi cient ass urance rhar bioso lids appli cation is a safe practice. In so me insta nces however, such as the Woolo ndoon project, the role of the EPA in the approvals process can create the percepti on char in formatio n from the EPA is nor impartial. To counter rhis , information is also requi red from other so urces which can be see n to be indepen dent as well as relevant to Austra lian situation s. For this project stakeholders were directed to a d iverse ra nge of sources, incl uding bi oso lids managers and users in other states, the CSIRO na tional biosolids research program, previous end users and overseas agencies. Relevan t in formation was also summa rised and sent in fact sheets. T he potential consequences of not having a unified approach to biosolids are significa nt. As well as impacts in the local area, public opposition to the Woolondoon project (and other si milar projects) has the potential for more wide ranging effects. In this case opponents directed the attention of food companies and buyers of

agricultural products to the land application of biosolids. The potential flow-on effects of these actions extend to all agricultural producers who have used or are currently using biosolids and by extension to the wider wastewater industry. T here is a need fo r a strong and clear policy which is consistent across all scares, backed by comprehensive and relevant information resources. [n our opinion, it is the collective responsibili ty of the water industry to provide a clear policy direction for biosolids use and promote positive messages to rhe communi ty. In the United Stares this role is provided by rhe National Biosolids Partnership, which as well as providing rhe message, also provides links to useful information via its website. A similar system, operati ng in Australia would go a long way towards ensuring a sustainable future for the beneficial use of biosolids.

Acknowledgement The authors wo uld like to thank the Sou th West Water Authori ty fo r maki ng its biosolids data ava ilable.

The Authors

Carl Bicknell is Executive Manager Water Systems wich Barwon Water. Email carlb@barwonwarer.vic.gov.au. Lisa Rawlinson is a Director and Dominic Flanagan is an environmental scientist wich L Y. Rawli nson & Associates P/ L, a parcner in Ripley Bioproducrs P/L. LY. Rawlinso n & Associates specialises in the management and land application of biosolids and ocher organic wastes. Email: lrawlinson@lvra.com.au & dflanagan@lvra.com. au References ARMCANZ/ANZECC/NHMRC. 2004 .

(Draft) Guidelines far Sewerage Systems Sludge (Biosolids) Management H ovells C reek and District Environment Group. 2003. W har is All the Fuss Abou t~ [online] . Available from: htt p://www.hovellscreek.com/ [Accessed 7 April 2004]. Vic EPA. 2004. Guidelines far Environmental

Management. Biosolids land Application: Victorian Environment Protection Authority, Southbank, Victoria.

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NOVEMBER 2004 35

COMPLETING THE NUTRIENT LOOP BIOSOLIDS AT SOUTH WEST WATER L Staley Waste Water Solutions Action Group, provid ing a ready-made opposition group. It was also che rime of local government elections.

Abstract Over the past 6 1/ 2 years, South West Water attempted five different approaches to dealing wich che sludge produced from its Warrnambool STP before gaining community acceptance of a treatment fac ility at Camperdown. T he treatment process and sire of the option fi nally chosen were influenced by their availability and cost, however stakeholder acceptance and environmental concerns had also become primary criteria.


Introduction This paper presents a cimeline case study of che p rocess South West Water undertook to achieve production o f biosolids for agricultural application. T he key findi ng of che study is char che major hurd le is community acceptance and char achieving chat acceptance requires fundame ntal cultural change within water authorities away from the traditional p rimacy of technical solutions and towards demonstrating che benefits of biosolids production for the entire community.

General Extont of Region

Other Towns

Aural Water Supply {Potable) Rural S1,1pply (Non-potable) Water Pipelines







L• kes and Rivers •O


Figure 1. South West Water Regional Map.

South West Water is one of fifteen Victorian urban water authorities chat provide reticulated water and wastewater services to non-met ropolitan domestic, commercial, and industrial customers. These auchoricies are che prod uct of cwo major rounds of amalgamation from around 400 authorities in the 1980s when they were reduced to 135 and a further round in che 1990s to che cu rrent n umber. Figu re 1 is a map of the area covered by South West Water and the location of services provid ed. Warrnambool is che major city for che region with a population exceeding 30,000. Much of the coascline comprises part of the G reat Ocean Road. The major industries in the region are dairy fa rming and dairy produces, grain, sheep and beef farming, abattoirs, food processing, and tourism.


Non-Potable Urban Supply


36 NOVEMBER 2004

Urban Water Supply Urban Water & Wastewater

First Steps and Train Wrecks Koroit Sludge Treatment Plant The Warrnambool plane produces sludge, wh ich can either be stockpiled or further created through a variety of processes co become graded biosolids. In M arch 1998 South West Water announced it had

Opposition co the Koroit sludge treatment plane combined with an organics recycling plane was immediate, vociferous and sustained with not less than 36 newspaper articles and letters critical o f che proposal in 3 1/ 2 months. The p roposal was withdrawn on the 1st J uly 1998, 103 days after the public first heard about ic. South West Water had undertaken traditional consultation before lodging the application with Moyne Shire, bur chis was with che existing councillors, a majority of whom sup ported it. The Koroit councillor lost his seat in the election largely d ue to chis issue. The majority of che new council was opposed to the plant going ahead so South West Water would no longer receive the planning permission necessary.

Because of the failure to proceed with Koroit, South West Water began transporting the Warrnambool wastewater treatment plane's sludge co Melbourne's Western Treatment Plane at Werribee, where Melbourne Water agreed co stockpile it until a permanent solution was arranged.

Mortlake Biosolids Storage Facility By October 1999, South West Water had identified a preferred site for a permanent local storage facil ity. After the public outcry

Significant cultural change has been required in any water authority to adapt to changing community values. applied to Moyne Shire Council co build a sludge treatment plan t 5km outside Koroic co replace the previous landfill and composting system in Warrnambool which was due co end in June 1998. Concurrent wich, but u nrelated co, the plans co build the sludge treatment plant, was a p roposal co sewer Koroic. This had resulced in the formation of the Koroit

at Koroic, this time South West Water sec up a consultative reference group, including che councillor who won her seat on the back of leading che Koroic opposition, and the local Mord ake councillors. The first public men tion of the proposed storage faciliry was 12th October 1999 in The Warrnambool Standard. In hindsight, the omens were nor promising. T he appearance

refereed paper

of the article was because of a tip-off to the newspaper about South West Water's application to che council, rather chan a pro-active piece originating from Souch West Water. Mortlake councillor, and member of the reference group, Ms Brenda Hampson, was quoted (T he Warrnambool Standard 12th October 1999, p5) as saying she would fight the proposal if the community wanted her to. Two days later, Cr Hampson had decided the commun ity was against it and so was she. In a vox pop series, The Warrnambool Standard. could fi nd only one supporter of the proposal in Mortlake, Mr Morris Clarke, the town's major employer and manufacturer of exported pies. Unlike Koroit, where opposition came from residents organising themselves, in Mortlake the opposition was led by Cr H ampson who then got the entire Moyne council to oppose it. However, the result was the same with South West Water an nouncing on 17th December 1999 chat the project was suspended. Meanwhile Warrnambool's sludge was still being transported to Werribee.

Kia-Ora Biosolids Trial Farm In early December 1999, as che decision to noc proceed with Mo rtlake was being taken, South West Water purchased a 500hectare property called Kia Ora ac Winslow to use as a trial of biosolids application to agriculcure as fertiliser. The initial plan was to store Warrnambool's sludge there as well, however this was abandoned due to similar sores of opposition as had been seen at Koroic and Mortlake. South West Water held Kia-Ora for three years, over which time they pu rsued a community consulcacion strategy centred arou nd a consultative committee that met regularly. Although Kia-Ora was superseded by the purchase of Camperdown and no trials actually cook place, the consultative process ac Kia-Ora can be seen as the turning point within South West Water. From chis experience, the authority learned not only the mechanics of effective consultation but, more importantly, began the internal cultural change necessary co seriously address people's legitimate concerns. Warrnambool Deskin Trial By December 2000, South West Water was spending an estimated $10,000 a week transporting the Warrnambool sludge to Werribee plus the actual srorage costs once it got there. "The high cost of trans pore along wich che knowledge that this was only a temporary arrangement [saw] che authori ty move into the field of biosolids reuse and reduction trials" (Evans 2002).

refereed paper

As a way ro reduce biosolids volumes and therefore transport and storage costs, a crial of a us drying bed was undertaken. However after extensive trialling it was concluded that Warrnambool's weather was noc suitable for che system. (Evans 2002).

Completing the Nutrient Loop On 29th April 2000, Bonlac P/L announced it would close its Camperdown dairy products facrory. Bonlac was a major employer in the town and che closure of che facrory was described as a "big blow for Cam perdown " ( The Warrnambool Standard. 29 April 2000). Souch West Water bought the adjoining industrial wastewater treatment plant and announced a major upgrade of th e plant. Unlike Koroic and Mortlake, Camperdown already had the wastewater treatment plant and the closure of the Bonlac factory meant the purchase of che plane by So uth West Water was seen as a real positive for the future use of the facrory.

Agricultural Application Trials The Camperdown wastewater treatmenc plant came along with 60,000 ronnes of industrial sludge, the equivalent of four

Figure 2. Mr J Thornton and Mr R Worla nd in Mr Thornton's canola field. years of Warrnambool biosolids. By February 200 1, the decision had been taken ro drain the five treatment lagoo ns and stockpile the resulting sludge for use as a natural fertiliser. The Camperdoum Chronicle of 2nd February 200 l covered the story of the draining and upgrade of the lagoons. By this time, signs of the communications strategy were becoming visible. Key messages were "using ... biosolids fo r sustainable agricultural applications," "help to ensure a sustainable fu ture for local industry," "best practice standards," "plans for full sustainability" and, "support investment growth and

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biosolids in agriculture employment in our region for the long term based on environmental best practice". Significantly, the difference between biosolids and industrial sludge was becoming blurred. On 7th February 2001 , the Warrnambool Standard ran a similar piece on the Camperdown fac ility with the key message being that farmers would benefit fro m the free distribution of the processed sludge. As part of their consul tative process, South West Water took a trailer load of the dried industrial sludge to the Camperdown saleyards so farmers could see, smell and feel for themselves what it was and register their interest in obtain ing it free when it became available lacer in the year. The Warrnambool Standard described it as "sludge at obso lete plant now a treat for farm soil", very different to the negative headlines at the time of Koroic and Mortlake. Over thirty farmers made expressions of interest, with the volume required exceeding the 4,000 cubic metres of material processed from the initial 60,000 tonnes of sludge. The picw re (F igure 2) appeared in The Warrnambool Standard. on 30 October 2002 under the headline "Solid origins fo r liquid gold field of dreams." By chis time, cwo fa rmers had been selected to receive the material from the Bonlac plant and had sown crops onto the paddocks where ic had been app li ed. T esting of che crop had begun. Ac chis point, che only component of the biosolids being applied to che trial appl ications was derived from the industrial sludge that South West Water had inherited when it bought the Bonlac facility. No new industrial or human waste was included. However, che difference was bei ng blu rred, with che newspaper reporting "as recently as 1996 all so lids were dum ped d irectly into che ocean at Warrnambool, but now their soil condi tioning properties are being put to a more worthwhile cause." The End of Discharge of Wastewater into Lake Colongulac W ith the lagoons at Camperdown now empty, Souch West Water was able to upgrade the facili cy to cake industrial wastewater from ocher sources. Until May 2001 , Camperdown's sewage was discharged uncreated into Lake Colongulac. In addition to eliminating che discharge, the process would create biosolids for agriculwral application on an ongoi ng basis. The messages coming from South West Water about biosolids had changed completely from Koroit, where it was a case

38 NOVEMBER 2004


human waste would begin over Summer 2002 as South West Water had received a licence to do so fro m the EPA in June 200 1. T he use of Camperdown as a site for process ing Warrnambool's waste appeared in both The Warrnambool Standard and The Camperdown Chronicle, they generated no public opposition.

Figure 3. Turni ng biosolids with a mechanica l aerator.

of applying to council to build a plane as the first step. There was no public co mment at chat rime from South West Water about what is the use of biosolids. Whereas, by May 2001 all the key messages were about the end use of biosolids in agriculwre and the saving of the environment by processing chem in this manner. A Novel Process

From Ju ly 2001 , the Camperdown facility started accepting activated sl udge from Warrnambool for trials of a process to create an ongoing supply of bioso lids. T o allow these trials to proceed, the authority needed a licence from the EPA. The process South West Water uses is lagoon based with a mechanical windrow device to aerate the biosolids.(Figure 3) . (Darvodelsky, Hu f, Moritz, 2003). T his is outside the approved processes in the EPA's draft guidelines and is therefore regarded by chem as a novel process (EPA 2002). This meant chat the process had to undergo a verification process co demonstrate significant log reductions in a range of potential pathogens. The EPA approved the trials in June 200 I. South West Water's Deputy Chai rman, Mrs. Thornton said, "Simplicity and naturalness were drivers. You could eat your lunch at the biosolids plant, you can't smell a thing. " T his suggests that South West Water, while cognisant of the large cost of alternatives (e.g. $10 million to install a pH based lime stabilisation plant), were as interested in fi nding a solution chat fitted within their environment and chat was not in itself a major user of energy or produced obnoxious odours. The End of Transport to Werribee Transport of the Warrnambool activated sludge to Werribee had ended in July 200 1 and chat all chat material was now being deposited at Camperdown but it was not being used in the appl ication trials. In early October 200 1, the end of transport to Werribee and the move to Camperdown was publ icly announced. It was also announced that trials of processing of

Announcement of Permanent Biosolids Site On 5th March 2003, South West Water an nounced Camperdown as the permanent site for processing of the regio n's biosolids. Before che publ ic announcement, the board of South West Water implemented another round of public inform ation and consultation. The reaction, in co mparison to Koroic or Morclake, could not have been more different and suggests the ongoing communicatio ns and consultation strategy is paying dividends. When che story finally appeared in The Warrnambool Standard, che now fam iliar themes of "sustainable reuse," "a valuable soil conditioner," "pathogen free and high in nutrients," were incl uded . The paper also carried a positive editorial and a further sto ry quoti ng local Camperdown leaders supporting che project. According to Mr. Worland, this addi tional story was not pare of the water authority's media strategy and arose from The Warrnambool Standard looking for opposition, similar to what it had fo und in Koroic and Morclake, but not finding any. The years of false starts, bad press and com munity anger had been curned around, with the Camperdown community welco ming what one of chose interviewed saw as "an ecologically friendly way of producing a type of fertiliser or soil conditioner, I thi nk potentially it's a gold 1nine."

Following che public announcement, South West Water distributed to every customer a newsletter explaining the nutrient loop and the treatment of biosolids.

Conclusion and a Way Forward South West Water's biosolids journey has moved from uncreated ocean outfall co 100% reuse of the major source of che region's biosolids in 6 1/ 2 years using a low energy, in novative process. Four and a half of those years were consumed with false scares, community opposition and a perceived lack of strategic direction as co the desired result. It was only with the end of transport to Werribee and the internal commitment to develop a sustainable process at Camperdown chat So uth West Water can be regarded as deploying a coherent, long-term strategy for the

refereed paper

creacmenc of che sludge from ics Warrnambool plant. This is perhaps unsu rprisi ng, as the water authorities, created in 1994 and an amalgam of muni cipal an d regional water supply bod ies, started from a position of engineering departments, for whom community relations were removed to the elected councillors and subsequently appoi nted boards. Over the past ten years, significant cultural change has been req uired in any water autho ri ty to adapt to changi ng political and community val ues regarding the use of water, wastewater, and more recently sol ids. In addition to the achievement of implementing a sustainable biosol ids reuse scheme, the growi ng realisation withi n the organisation chat old models of consultation were no longer su fficient must rank as a key ou tcome of che process. The cultural change evidenced by South West Water's comm unications strategy is a product of management and board leadershi p. Following the resul t at Koro ic, South West Water had engaged a communications consultant to assist them. Accordi ng to the Chief Executi ve Russel Worland, "what he d id was make management defi ne what we really wanted, for example the nutrient loop is a very persuasive icon." Within small commun ities, such as those throughout much of South West Water's regio n, such leadership is in so me respects easier than dealing with the complexity of large urban areas. H owever, in ocher respects it is more immediate, and more confronting. As the Deputy Chairman , Mrs. Thornton said, "I live near these people, I meet them in the supermarket." Unlike, for example, the leadership of Melbourne Water, the board and management of South West Water face very personal cescs of their decisions by their neighbours and associates. With hindsight, it is easy to suggest that more open, and deeper consultation, could have helped South West Water arrive at their current position earl ier. However, the board and management did not have that luxury when dealing with the problem of what to so with the sludge from the Warrnambool plant. In addition to real fears about loss of amenity, particularly from odour, most people in any communi ty do not wane their town or suburb to be the location of a plant treating human excrement, especially other people's excrement. For South West Water to convince the Camperdown com muni ty ro accept such material and ro accept it from Warmambool is a significant achievement. It is not clear that further consultation, for

refereed paper

example asking the Camperdown community before they started trucking the sludge there from Warrnamboo l, would have ever been acceptable. Yet, by concentrating on the benefits of applying the inherited industrial sludge to agricultural land, So ucl1 West Water was able to move the foc us to che product, away from the sludge actually bei ng produced at the Warrnambool wastewater treatmenr plant. Summer 2004 saw the processing of the first material from the Warrnambool plant at Camperdown, th ere are sciII significant hurdles in terms of distribution ro local landholders, and refinements to che treatment process co be overcome before distribution of the biosolids can occur in summer 2005.

Acknowledgements I thank Mr Russell Worland, Chief Executive Officer of South West Water, Mrs Marie Thornton, Deputy Chairman of South West Water and, Mr Greg Creek, Environm ent Protection Officer with the Victorian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) .

The Author Louise Staley is currently studying for her P hD ac the University of Melbourne in the Centre for Public Policy. An ea rly draft of chis paper was origi nally presented as part of a Masters in Public Policy at Flinders University, Halstead, Caramut, Vic 3274, (03) 5599 8233, email: l.staley@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au

References D arvodelsky P, Hu f J, Morirx H (2003) Biosolids Management: A Simple T echnical Solurion. Water 30, June 2003. EPA Victoria. 2002. Guidelines for

Environmental Management Sustainable Reuse of Biosolids - land Application. EPA, Consulration Drafr. Evans, A. 2002. Biosolid Reducrion and the Deskin Quick Dry Filrer Bed. In 65th

Annual Water Industry Engineers and Operators Conference held in Geelong 4 - 5 September 2002, by rhe Association of Water lndusrry Engineers and Operators, 68-75. Melbourne: The Association of Water lndusrry Engineers and Operators. South West Water. 2003. South West Water Newsletter. Soucl1 West W arer, M arch 2003.

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NOVEMBER 2004 39

NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MEMBRANE TREATMENT PROCESSES: PART 1 - DESALINATION R Tarr softening to facilitate further treatment stages, etc. T he membrane treat ment industry is In general, pilot testing of a proposed undergoing rapid changes and should be performed, design d evelopments, including the emergence particularly for large plants o r when and refin ement of new membranes and treating potentially d ifficult water. T his associated p roducts, novel membrane is especially so when con templating the treatment plant design and operating use o f a novel o r complex process techn iques, minimisation of capital and design. T he cost of a pilot trial is operating costs, and reduction in waste minimal compared with the total cost p roduction. Exciting new fields of of a large plant, and compared to the research are being pursued, and major cost of fixing the plant sho uld Figure 1. Assortment of spira l wou nd thin fi lm advances in memb rane treatment preventable p roblems emerge. To composite (TFC) RO elements (Koch Membrane should be realised over the next decade. highl igh t this, the p retreatment San Diego, USA). Systems, These papers provide an overview o f problems at the US$ 1 10M Tampa Bay advancements in the membrane Desalination Plant in Florida, have led treated water, or major p rocess problems, treatment fie ld, including key areas of to a 12-month plant shu tdown. A $29M increases. develop ment ro watch over the coming con tract has recen tly been awarded to repair memb rane Various design tech niques and years. It does not delve in to the minutiae the plane faults and return it to service configurations can be considered d uring the of technological advancements, but rather (using precoat MF pretreatment - cartridge of an RO plan t. Each design stage provides a summary of the broad trends in fi lters coated with diatomaceous earth). combination and sequence will produce the industry and key developments being d ifferent results. Some common tech niques made in various branches of memb rane The Cost of Desalination to consider are: rreannem. W hile RO desal ination costs keep fa lli ng • Permeate splitting - drawing high quality Part 1 of this paper looks at the fie ld of as tech nology improves, conventional water permeate from the feed end o f the tube for RO based desalination. Part 2, to be treatment technology costs remain relatively p roduct water, .and low quality permeate published later, will cover advanced stable. Figure 2 indicates the fall ing wholefrom the opposite end for additional wastewater treatment and re-use. of-life cost of desalinated water over the last treatment. decade. (Note that the Singapore N EWater • Treatment of part flows - as in permeate Background plam water cost is shown to provid e a splitting, but also includes bypassing a I n 2003 the author was awarded a comparison between desalination and ROportion of a permeate stream from a Fellowship from the Winston Churchill based wastewater treatment.) su bsequent stage to achieve a req uired Memorial Trust of Australia to undertake a T he price reduction of RO desalination quality in the combined flow. project focusing on recent developments in is d ue to small imp rovements in many membrane-based desalination and advanced A overview of advancements in the membrane wastewater treatment.


T he p roject took in visits to treatment plants, membrane man ufacturi ng faci lities, research centres, the I nternatio nal Desalination Association 200 3 World Congress and workshops, with rime spent in the USA, Bahamas, Canada, England, UAE and Singapore. These papers are the culmination of the Fellowship.

Desalination Techniques There are many ways to design an RO train for a desalination task. T hese choices can make a marked difference to the bottom line of a project. Too conservative and money will be thrown away; too aggressive and the potential fo r substandard

40 NOVEMBE R 2004 water

treatment field, including key areas of development to watch over the coming years. • Combinations of different treatment stages - a SWRO array, fo llowed by a BWRO array for mating the SWRO permeate; ion exchange systems fo r permeate polish ing for ultra-pure product water, or ion-specific resin for softening, boron removal, etc. • Water conditioning - p H adj ustment to reduce scaling or precipitation, or to increase rejection of specific ions; degasification fo r CO2 removal; water

areas, ranging from membrane performance and energy reduction through to cheaper power and financing costs.

Pretreatment Systems To customise a popular phrase, RO is all about pretreatment, pretreatment, pretreatmen t. The majority of problems experienced in the R O train can be related back to pretreatment inadequacies. RO p retreatmen t has h istorically been performed using conventional processes.

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Clearly such prerrearmenc can produce suitable feedwacer fo r RO. For instance, che I00ML/d Pc Lisas SWRO plane in T rinidad and T obago is influenced by che Oronoco River, with T DS ranging from 15 - 35g/L and turbidity from 1 - 225NTU throughout the year. Yee in the first year of operation, the SDI of che conventionally pretreated RO feedwacer never exceeded 4.0ii_ Generally these systems will experience few problems. However, system disturbances or rapid feed water quality changes can quickly lead co unsatisfactory RO feedwarer. W hilst MF / UF remains more expensive than conventional pretrearmenc, their benefits are now bei ng realised, and the price differe nce co ntinues co narrow. To obtain a snapshot of the relative perfo rmance of conventional versus membrane prerrearmenc, the autho r reviewed the papers presented at the 2003 IDA World Congress pertaining co pretreatment systems char included pretreated water quality results. T hese included nine conventional and twelve membrane (one MF and eleven UF) systems. Many were head-co-head pilot trials, while ochers were stand-alone results. All except one were seawater systems. T he results showed char membrane pretreatment systems produced RO feedwarer with an average SDI of 1.87, compared with 3.36 for co nventional systems. T he average maximum SDI was 2.43 for membrane against 4.13 for conventional, with the absolute maximum SDI for any ind ividual system 3.9 and 5.5 respectively. Turbidity data was nor presented in all studies, however from chose published the average for membrane treatment was 0.08 NT U compared with 0. 17 NT U for conventional. The MF/UF SDI never exceeded che RO membrane limit of 5, whereas several conventional systems did exceed chis value. In spice of the tendency cowards UF in these trials, long-cerm testi ng at Water Factory 2 1 in O range County, California, has found no appreciable difference in the performance of an RO train followi ng either MF or UF pretreatment. Some potential benefits of membrane pretreatment over conventional include:iii • Improved pretreated water quality resulring in improved RO operation; • Fewer membrane cleanings (lower cleaning chemical costs); • Lower pressure drops from fouling (lower energy coses); • Longer membrane life due co improved pretreated water quality (lower membrane replacement costs);

42 NOVEMBER 2004


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1998 1996 1997 Dhekia 20,000kUd Larnaca Bahamas 10,000kUd 54,000kUd


2000 2000 Tampa 2000 2000 Trinidad Ashkelon Singapore 94,625kUd 113,636kUd 330,000kUd 136,000kUd

Figure 2. Evol ution of Actua l Life Cycle Cost of Desal inated W ater. i • Increased flux races due to higher quality pretreatment (lower capital investment bur with a subsequent trade-off with energy consumption); • Smaller plane footp rint size (reduced capital investment); • Lower overall chemical and sludge handling coses than co nventional technologies.

2004, so the new sta ndard should soon be announced. Koch Membrane Systems have jumped the gun and recently co mmercial ised their 'MegaMagnum': an 18 inch diameter spiral wound membrane (the largest element in Figure l; rest rig shown in Figure 3) These contain 2600 fc 2 of membrane surface area (compared ro 365 440 ft 2 for 8 x 40 inch membranes), and RO Element Size up co five elements can be placed in series in a single rube. Once plane capacity exceeds 500kL/d, 8 Among the benefits claimed by the inch RO/NF elements are typically used. manufacturer are the fo llowing poi nts: Th is means chat rhe economies of larger elements cop out at very small plane sizes. • N umber of elements reduced by a facto r Currently, the US Bureau of Reclamation of seven; is running a project co establish a large • Number of rubes reduced by a factor of diameter RO and NF membrane industry five; standard. Mose RO membrane • Number of O-rings reduced (decreasing manufacturers are involved, plus industry the risk of O-ring failu re); consultants. le is a scared goal char "by • Larger trains can be used (reduci ng the establishing a standard char has been agreed cost of instrumentation and valves); upon by several membrane element • Footprint reduced up co 50% (reduced suppliers, the end users will be able co civil coses); realise rhe maximum economic benefits of • Materials savings of up co 15%. the larger diameter elements ch rough use of Pilot studies have shown char the competitive bidding in their projects." The MegaMagnum operates at the same fl ux project is scheduled for completion in lace and pressure, and produces the same water quality at the same fou ling rate, as 8 inch elemencsiv_ I A new brine seal, 'skis' moulded in rhe element end place, and a cable and winch removal device ensure friction is minimised and char loading and unloading can be done from the same end of the rube, eliminating the need for room at both ends. Ac 120kg, lifti ng and manoeuvrability becomes a major issue. Larger inscallacions can employ a specially Figure 3. Pilot rig for l 8 11 RO element (Scottsdale designed lifting and loading/unloading Water Campus, Arizona, USA).



device, however slings and hoists, or ocher improvised solutions, could be used fo r smaller installations.

Energy Consumption Even with energy recovery devices (ERD's) power consumption in an RO plant comprises around 50% of rhe coral life costs, including amortisation. There have been incremental improvements in many areas, both hardware and operational , including opti mising rhe process design, imp roved prcrrearm cnr systems, reduced feed pressures due to reduced losses from membrane fo uling and scaling, improved cleani ng techniques, higher efficiency pumps and ERD's. Whil e many of these are co uched on in these articles, rhe field is coo broad to be deal t with adequately in chis fo rmat

Energy Recovery T he efficiency of ERD's has been gradually increasing, and new high efficiency ERD 's have recently entered rhe market. T he Pel ton Wh eel impulse turb ine comprises around 80% of rhe energy recovery marker, and operates at effi ciencies in the mid- co high 80% range. However, rhe recently marketed Pressure Exchanger (PX) and Dual W ork Exchanger Energy Recovery (DWEER) ERD 's, both have efficiencies in rhc range of 90-95%. While rhe PX and DWEER recovery efficiency is high, rhe PX has direct, albeit brief, brine co feed conracr, allowing some salinity co pass back co the feed. These uni rs can only pressurise a portion of the feed flow, and require an inl ine booster pump co increase the fi nal pressure co rhe required feed pressure, plus a separate pum p fo r the remainder of the feed flow. As recent marker enrranrs, and with small capacities per unit, their capital coses are currently higher. f:ull flow units such as Pelcon Wheels, impulse w rbines and turbochargers have higher capacities, bur efficiencies in rhe 70s and 80s. T heir challenge is co improve efficiency to main rain marker position as the PX and DWEER capacities increase and prices fall. A fu ll assessment of rhe energy recovery devices has fo und rhar, for perm ea re flows of 0.3 and 1.0 ML/d, rhe PX provides rhe lowest co ral energy consumption, bu t at 6.0 ML/d, it is narrowly beaten by the DWEERv. Fo r larger capacity planes, rhe lower efficiency Pelco n Wheels or w rbochargers remain rhe preferred ERD's, however Israel's 326ML/d Ashkelon Desalination Plant selected DWEER ERD's. On larger insrallarions, mul tiple ERD's can be used for different applications. When feed pressure changes significantly (such as from high salinity or temperature fl ucruarions, or membrane ageing), not all brine energy may be required. T he excess can be d iverted to small ERD's for additi onal recovery for use elsewhere. T he net energy saving of such a system can be in rhe order of 10%. A more complex hybrid pum p and ERD is currently in development. Known as VARI-RO, an electric motor drive is augmented by a direct drive engine (OD E) . T he electric drive is a positive displacement piston pump, and rhe DOE is an external combustion, thermal energy conversion uni t char can utilise either waste heat or use natural gas as irs fuel (particularly useful when energy costs are high). T he unit also inco rporates an ERD, thus eliminating rhe need fo r multiple units. Ar an early srage of development and resting, the VARI-RO has been assessed on rhe basis of a 25ML/d SWRO plant. While rhe unit wo uld cost around 54% more rhan a conventional dri ve and ERD , it offers energy cost savings of 12% per annum vi .

Hybrid Desalination Plants Since a power plane can only generate a lim ited amount of excess heat, its capacity fo r thermal desalination is limited. If chis is nor sufficient to meet requirements, RO can be used to increase total capacity. Such plants with borh thermal and RO desalination are referred co as 'hybrid' planes. T he major benefits of hybrid planes include common intake and outfall srrucw rcs with associated environmental licensing, warmer feed water by creating discharged cooling water, close proximity co rhe power source,

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cheaper electricity, and dilution of the reject scream with cooling water discharge. RO trains can be operated at off-peak times to cake advantage of cheaper power and help even out the load on che power plane, o r shut down when water consump tion falls.

higher top brine temperatures without calcium sulphate scaling. Following 50 days of testing, there was no sign of scale or sludge d eposition on the hear exchanger surfaces.

As an example, the Fujairah Water & Power Project consists of 284ML/d of thermally desalinated water (MSF) and l 70.5ML/d of SWRO. Ir is estimated chat rhe use of thermal cooling water as RO feed can increase flux by arou nd 22%, thus reducing the number of RO trains requiredvii. By generating over one third of the desalinated potable water using RO, the intake and outfall volumes are reduced by 25% and 3 0% respectively (along with lower hardware and pumping coses), and availability is improved since the RO plane can be run even if rhe power plane (and therefore MSF plane) is offline.

Boron can cause reproductive problems in humans, and damage co planes and crops. R eduction of boron co an appropriate level is now a necessary expense and complication in SWRO. Guid elines recommend a level < 0.5 mg/L, whereas boron levels in seawater can range from 3.5 - 7.0 mg/L.

NF Applications In Desalination Many rests are being conducted into potential roles for NF in desalination. An ini tial NF stage can reduce seawater salinity from 40g/L to around 30g/L of mainly monovalent ions. In addition co removing multivalen t ions, the N F stage decreases the osmotic pressure at the SWRO stage, and the likelihood of precipitating sparingly soluble sales.viii Adham et a/ix reported o n pilot testing of a two-stage NF pilot plane at Lo ng Beach, Los Angeles. le was concluded chat N F had the potential to achieve potable water following che second stage (reducing che TDS from 37,480 mg/L co 3247mg/L in Stage 1, and 21 8mg/L in Stage 2) . Recovery of 45% is comparable with SWRO. Some significant operational issues were nor addressed, bur further testi ng is in progress. Ar Pore Hueneme, California, rhe performance, operability and costeffectiveness of RO, NF and eleccrodialysis reversal (EDR) trains of equal capacity creating brackish bore water (average T D S of 1000mg/L) were compared over several years. RO was found to have the lowest O&M coses (US$0.162 / kgal), narrowly followed by NF (US$0. l 67 I kgal) then EDR (US$0 .223 I kgal). Noc only did RO have rhe highest recovery (at 85%), the high quali ty permeate allowed the blending of an additional 40 % o f raw water. In comparison, 20% blend was possible using N F, and O&M coses were similar! NF has been trialled to augment pretreatment on thermal desalination planes. Al Hamza et af•i performed pilot testing on an integrated NF/MSF process. The NF removed more than 99% of sulphate ions, 86% of calcium ions and 30 % of TDS. The improved feedwacer allowed the system co operate at

44 NOVEMBER 2004


Boron Removal From Seawater

The form of boron in water is strongly pH dependent. Ar pH < 8 - 8.5, boron is predominancly boric acid, a small molecule with no charge chat can diffuse through che membrane like water. As pH increases, boric acid dissociates and fo rms borates, electrically charged ions chat are more successfull y rejected. By pH 9.5, this is rhe dominant species. Ac pH of 7 - 8, boron rejection by SWRO membranes is 82% - 92%, and around 45% - 75% in BWRO membranes. By increasing pH co 9.5, SWRO rejection climbs coward 97%, and 84% - 88% for BWRO. Ac pH 11 , these rise to 99% 99.5% and 98 - 99% respectively. Boron rejection is also rem peracure dependent, with boron passage increasing by 5.5% for every 1°C. xii Boron removal can be achieved in several ways: by pH adjustment of rhe fe ed to increase rejection, through dual stage RO, or by the use of boron-selective ion exchange resins to post-treat RO permeate. T he Ashkelon Desalination Plane design optimisation investigated several boron removal cechniquesxiii_ Boch weak acid catio n and boron selective io n exchange res in op tions were evaluated, but the most economical process was fo und to be as follows: 1st stage - SWRO (a portion of high quality permeate collected from the feed side of the cube fo r produce); 2nd stage - remaining SWRO permeate pH is elevated p rior to BWRO (che permeate has low boron concentration, and is suitable for p roduce); 3 rd stage - BWRO softening of 2 nd stage brine, at low pH (supp resses su bsequent CaCO3 and magnesium hydroxide scaling); 4th stage - BWRO creacmenr of 3rd scage permeate (suitable fo r produce). Estimates o f the cost o f SWRO with boron removal are in the order of US$0.40 0.50/kL for boron levels of 0.6 - l.0mg/L, and US$0 .47 - 0.60/kL for 0.3 - 0.5mg/L, based on typical energy recovery efficien cies, energy costs and interest races.Xiii

Concentrate Disposal Concentrate disposal is the Achilles heel of reverse osmosis. D isposal of concentrate muse not harm surface water ecosystem or endanger public health, and muse comply with government regulations. Generally, SWRO brine disposal is back co the ocean. Done correccly, no ad verse ecological consequences should arise. T he real disposal p roblems arise with inland RO. While zero liquid discharge is che ideal for most plane owners, the economics and logistics of such systems mean chat they are rarely implemented. Further, even with coral dewacering, the final produce has no easily realisable economic value. T here are several different concentrate disposal options used. The main options, and their relative prevalence, include: viii • Surface water discharge (45%) • D ischarge to sewer (42%) • Deep well injection (9 %) • Evaporation ponds (2%) • Spray irrigation (2%) So me alternative or complementary concentrate treatment techniques available or being researched include: • Freezing - cakes advantage o f the effect of salinity on the freezing point of water, to produce a relatively pure ice and more co ncentrated unfrozen portion; • Mechanical evaporation - using mechanical energy to accelerate evaporation and reduce brine volume; • Sodium hypochlori re generatio n - using concentrate co replace NaCl is sodium h ypochlorice generation (can be performed on site, although bromace concentration prevents its use in potable applications) ; • Recovery of valuable constituents - sales, bromine, magnesium and ocher constituents can be separated from the concentrate using a variety of techniques; • Biological degradation - red ucing the concentration certain contaminants (eg nitrates) chat can impinge on discharge licensing. Even optio ns such as injection into disused oil wells are being investigated. U nforcunacely none yet offer a comprehensive solution. Each adds considerably co operating coses and, excep t for sodium hypochlorice generation and constituent recovery, no valuable byproducts are p roduced and the concentrated waste still requires eventual disposal.

Part 2 Pare 2 of chis paper will investigate che field of advanced wastewater treatment

using membrane treatment, new fields of research for RO membrane development, fouling and scaling, a novel cleaning technique, emerging contaminants in our wastewater chat can find their way into the drinking water supply, and a 'Road map' to the future for the membrane treatment industry.

Acknowledgements This project would nor have been poss ible without the generous suppo rt of the Winston Churchill Memorial T rust, who fully funded the project. The Trust encourages fellowship applications from any member of society, and historically looks favourably on water-related projects. I encourage any member with a worthwhile project to apply fo r a Churchill Fellowship. Details can be obtained from www.churchill crusr.com.au, or by contacting the author.

The Author Richard Tarr is rhe director of Richard Tarr Consulting, Torquay, Victoria. Email richardrarr@darafast.ner.au

i. Tonner, J., Uriticled, Desalination & Water Reuse, Desalination Sources Directory, 2003, p.4 ii. Irwin, K.J. & T hompson, J.D., "First Year Operation of26.25MIGD (119,000 M3/Day) Point Lisas Desalination P lane", IDA World Congress on Desalinat ion and Water Reuse, Bahamas, 2003. iii. Henthorne, L. and Quigley, R., "Evaluation Of MF, VF, And Conventional Pretreatment For Seawater RO Applications", IDA World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, Bahamas, 2003. iv. Von Gottberg, A., "Introducing the World's Largest RO Element", The Internat ional Desalination & Water Reuse Quarterly, Volume 14, pp. 22 - 26, 2004. v. Moch , l. Jr & Harris, C. , "What Seawater Energy Recovery System Should I Use? - A Modern Comparative Study", IDA World Congress, Bahrain, 2002. vi. Childs, W.D. & Dabiri, A.E., "VARI-RO Direct Drive Engine Study". Desalination Research and Development Program Report #33, 1998. vii. Jong, K. P., In, S.S. & Jong, M.H .. , "Application Of H ybrid Technology To The Largest Desalination Plane, Fujairah, UAE", IDA World Congress on Desalinarion and Water Reuse, Bahamas, 2003.

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viii. Moch, I. Jr & Saad, M.A., "Membrane Desalinat ion T echnologies In Practice", training workshop notes. ix. Adham, S.S., C heng, R.C. , Vuong, D.X. & Wanier, K.L., "Evaluation Of A DualStaged Nanofiltrat ion Process For Seawater Desalination", IDA World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, Bahamas, 2003 x. Reynolds, T.K. & Eranio, R., "Comparison Of RO, NF And EDR After Three Years At The PHWA Brackish Water Reclamation D emonstration Facility", 2002. xi. Al-Hamza, A.A.R.R., AI-Rubaian, A.F. , AlShail, K.A.A., Al-Sulami, S.A., Ayumantakath, M.F., Ba-Mardouf, K.H., H amed, 0.A. & H assan, A.M., "Operat ional Performance Of An Integrated NF/MSF Desalination Pilot Plant", IDA World Congress on Desalinarion and Water Reuse, Bahamas, 2003. xii. Busch, M., De Witre, J.P., Jons, S., Mickels, W.E. & Redondo, ).A., "Boron Removal In Sea Water Desalinat ion", IDA World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, Bahamas, 2003. xiii. Faigon, M. & Liberman, B.. , "Pressure Center And Boron Removal In Ashkelon Desalination Plane", IDA World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, Bahamas, 2003.


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Oxidation was a possibility, Over 50 enthusiasts came rogerher in London in July co share although there was no evidence of experiences of membrane plane chis; scaling and biological fou ling operation in water treatmen t. The were believed to be important bu t event was devised by C IWEM's no firm conclusions had been Water Supply and Quality Panel, reached so far. Electron microscopy recognising the recent growth in was proposed to examine the fouling application of chis technology co layer more closely, and rhe use of public supplies. Tom Hall of WRc hydrochloric acid rather than sec the scene, referring co the sulphuric for scale removal was regulatory requirements and sugges ted. The problem was not guidance in respect of experienced at two ocher membrane Cryptosporidium which had led co the plants also creating hard water but installation of membrane 'barriers' at using polyethersulphone hollow 50 sires, the largest treating 160 fibres, in the op posite configuration Reverse osmosis plant, Essex and Suffolk Water Co. Ml/d. A similar number of sites use (feedwater to inside) compared with nanofiltrarion membranes principally H o mesford. Chlorine-resistant Andrew McAlinden presented d etails of for colour removal from small supplies. PVDF membranes are being rrialed, Three Valleys' Clay Lane plant, rhe largest Six speakers each from a different UK allowing the use of h ypochlorire co control ultrafiltration installation in the world water undertaking then described their biofouling and using acid wash in every 160 Ml/d for reduction of cry~to treating membrane plants, with emphasis on their clean to minimise carbonate scale. nsk. A management system in Microsoft experience of cleaning regimes, flux and lJlrrafiltrarion membranes had been Access is used to track the daily history and membrane life; and in the case of installed at three Yorkshire Water sites from location of the 1630 membrane modules, Cryptosporidium applications, of integrity 1 to 90 Ml/d. Rosie Smith's presentation each of which is marked with a barcode. testing and repairs. focused on the largest, a crypro barrier Various cools have been developed on site Andy Hingston of South West Water application at Keldgare, where integrity to facilitate handling and resting of reported on 3 crypro barrier plants. He resting is done by spiking rhe feed with modules at the rare of 600 a month. Over stressed recording and trending of transpowdered activated carbon and counting 200 repair sites are identified monthly and membrane pressures (TMP) as an the number of up to 1 micron particles in over 50 glued repair pins overall, or no !nvaluable diagnostic cool, operationally rhe product (Spiked Integrity Monitoring more than 10 at one time, are allowed important fo r indicating the effectiveness of ~IM). The plant shuts down automatically before an element is discarded. Andrew backwashing and cleaning. TMP can be 1f rhe log removal is less than 4. Advantages noted chat prolonged flushing of new used co trigger washing although modules of such a test include resting on-line, membranes was required to remove the are usually washed after set times. This is avoiding the loss of production inherent in p rotective glycerine in which they were analogous to sand filter headloss and in off-line pressure and vacuum retention shipped. In this location the wastewater techniques. H owever it is nor consistent with DWI guidance and needs further Membrane treatment is simple in concept but far from confidence-building evidence related to crypro risk. Log removal of particles was simple in practice, as fouling and failure of the trended and showed the effectiveness of membranes have to be understood and managed, to repairs bur also an increased rare of fall-off of log removal in rhe repaired membranes. maintain the quantity and quality of the treated water. Scanning electron microscopy showed chat the fibres were punctured by small holes could be d ischarged to sewer, but p reboth situations it is essential that the and the cause was eventually fou nd co be delivery flu shing by the sup plier migh t be upstream and downstream pressures or wires from p re-membrane basket strainers preferable. heads are measured at the appropriate which had disintegrated. All three works are Severn Trent's Greg Knight reported a points so chat they are truly representative now operated without strainers. su bstantially higher than expected rare of of the blocking of the membrane or media. Scottish Water had more rhan 40 'Fyne fibre failure at the 50 Ml/d Homesford Daily pressure d ecay tests are used to check Process' plants in service - rhe first since plant, treating a hard groundwater. The integrity and elements are submerged to 1992 - and 10 more under way, to treat polypropylene fibres had d emonstrably lost locate ruptures by bubble testing. small coloured surface water supplies using mechanical strength, and a number of a tubular membrane system allowing hypothetical causes had been investigated This report was fi rst published in the UK Water cleaning of the inner surface with foam with the full co operation of rhe suppliers. and E11viro11me11t Magazine. balls. Edward Irvine reported that treated

46 NOVEMBER 2004 water

Ultrafiltration system (Yorkshire Water Services).

water quality is excellent and the membranes have not yet needed replacing. There were no effi uen r disposal problems as SEPA was satisfied char no harm arose fro m discharge to local watercourses Northumbrian Water's Grant Gardiner shared the lessons learnt from their 6 membrane plants at smal l remote sites. For instance, if the actual cost of callours to the new planes had been included in the assessment of alternatives, so me of these supplies might have been mained out. Design had bee n based on available historical spot samples which may not have detected the worst raw water qual ity. Continuous monitoring of turbidity would have nor only given chis information bur also rhe length of poor quali ty events. The system could chen have been designed wirh strategic raw and/or treated water storage to reduce the load on rhe treatmen t plant. Experience had shown the need fo r more frequent chemical washing than envisaged. Additional pre-treatment straini ng and filtration stages with dury and standby units had been retrofitted, the choice being restricted by the space available. Grant also emphasised the importance of operato r training from an early stage, supported by realistic operational guidelines Delegates then broke into fo ur discussion groups focus ing on different topics, nearly half opting for ' Fouling and cleaning'. T his group reported that fou ling was generally greater than anticipated, and may vary between sites with apparently similar raw water quality. Effective cleaning regimes need to be established by trial and error and flexible systems are needed co cover a range of evenrualiries. 'Autopsy' of fouling materials may someti mes be required bur an

analysis of all elements was considered of limited use. The 'Integrity testing' group reported char a particle counting approach is co be used in Scotland for NF planes. In England, DWI have accepted log removal data fo r risk assessments and are assessing rhe reliability of the SIM rest. A small group discussing 'Monitoring and co ntrol' agreed rhar operators should be trained to be flexib le in their ma nagement of rhe plane, wi thin a system of constraints to protect the membranes. Diagnostic tools such as pressure monitors should be provided and rhe management system shou ld be designed to use their output. The operability of a plane varies with size, raring and the provision of spares. The 'Fibre breakage, repairs and membrane life' group agreed that breakages in practice are much higher rhan predicted. The use of colour-coded repair pins was suggested to show the failures related to different seasons or events. Ir was reported char DWI wane consideration of how membrane deterioration can be detected before breakage. T his event, efficiently managed by Aqua Enviro Technology Transfer, provided valuable opportunities to membrane

Scanning Electron Microscope photo of membrane puncture (Norit/Yorkshire Water Services).

operators to benefit from each ochers' experience. The suppliers and regulators attending must also have come away with a better understanding of the challenges faced by users, which shou ld help everyone to fi nd ways to reduce the gap between expectation and reality in the future exploitation of chis indispensable tech nology.

The Reporter Chris Short is a water quality co nsultant ar http:// users. rinyonl ine.co.u k/ chrisshort/ Consult.hem

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NOVEMBER 2004 47

BENDIGO'S MULTI-BARRIER APPROACH MEETS CHALLENGING WATER QUALITY STANDARDS M Thompson, R Mueller Introduction The challenge co provide quality water co Central Victoria, Australia began in 1851 when Margaret Kennedy discovered gold in Bendigo Creek. T he resulting gold rush fl ooded the region with hopeful m iners lead ing co the fo rmation of towns overnight. Waterways played a crucial role in supplying the communities that grew amidst each major gold strike. From the beginning, water supply and quality was critical co the long-term fut ure of this inland region. Bendigo would wait another 140 years before receiving fu lly treated, wo rld-class water as part of Coliban Water's AQUA project (a 25-year BOOT, buildown-operate-transfer contract). T he project was delivered by Veolia Water Australia who used key su b-co ntracrors Walter Constructions, Memcor (Microfi ltration) and Trailigaz (Ozone) . The Aqua Project operations commenced on the 1 June 200 2 and is operated by General Water Australia a wholly owned subsidiary of Veolia Water Australia

Stringent Water Quality Requirements Narrow Technology Options T he Bendigo Water Treatment Plant (WTP), a 126 million litre per day (126 ML/day) plant, uses a multi-barrier approach combi ning microfiltration, ozonation and biological activated carbon (BAC) ro meet some of the most demand ing fin ished water quality stand ards in the world. T he plant, lo cated in Central Victoria, is faced with a very challenging raw water supply. Originating from an open catchment, the raw water supply flows to storage reservo irs then along 70 km of aqueducts to the supply reservoir. As there is limited control of raw water quality, the Coliban Water Authority incorporated performance measures fo r all possible water conditions. The water treatment challenge can be summarised as: • 4-log reduction fo r Cryptosporidium

48 NOVEMBER 2004 water

O verall view of the compact plant.

• Reliable o rganics removal (algal toxins, colour and taste and odour compounds) • No commercial contractual relief due to unforeseen changes in raw water quality The specification for the treated water was adapted from US and EU d rinking water standards and was designed co meet existing and fu ture drinking water regulations . Coliban can impose penalties for excursions from any of the 30 specifications including caste and odour, colour, iron , radon, and 4-log reduction for Cryptosporidium. Table 1 shows the treatment specifications. A multi-barrier approach was selected fo r the water treatment system. By integrating multiple treatment units, the treatment system reduces the probability that a contaminant will reach the potable water supply. Plus, when membrane fi ltration; an absolute physical barrier co pathogens, is part of the multiple barrier process, it helps safeguard against sudden changes in feedwater q uality that could potentially affect the fi nished water quality. Pilot testing demo nstrated the membrane system could filter high and variable turbidities, and without additional chemicals or

operator intervention, co ntin ue co produce consistent high q uality fi ltrate. Testing of the Memcor membrane technology began in 1998 and was scaled u p co a full simulation (pilot verifi cation plant) of the co mplete process in October 1999. T he simulation continued up to and beyond the commissioning of the fu ll-scale plane in early 2002. W hen compared to conventional filtration, the selection of the Memcor CMF-S technology was estimated to reduce operational costs by 10 - 15% and resulted in roughly a 20% reduction in capital coses by reducing the footp rint of the water treatment plant.

The Multi-Barrier Design Raw water is fed to the plant by both gravity and pump systems. Entering the Bendigo WT P, the water is fi rst screened then passed into the chemical mixing tanks. The fi rst chemical pre-treatment is lime and carbon d ioxide dosing co control alkalinity and corrosion. The water is then dosed with a coagulant, aluminium chlorohydrate (ACH) and rapidly mixed co adsorb colour. Then, the water proceeds co the Memcor microfiltration.

The CMF-S plane consists of eight cells (6 ducy cells, 2 stand-by cells), each containing 576 submerged membrane modules. Water enters ar rhe bottom of rhe cell and is drawn through the po rous membranes by suction provided by a filtrate pump. The cells are backwashed incermirtencly with a robust, air/liquid backwash process, combining an air scour along the membrane fibres with an air scour / liquid backflow ro achieve complete detachment of solids from che membrane surface. Periodi c chemical cleaning is performed when the maximum cransmembrane pressure (TMP) is reached. Memcor has developed a Pressure Decay Test (PDT) capable of validating membrane integrity co better than 99.99% removal of particles (4 LRV) . Ac the Bendigo WTP, membrane performance is monitored with on-line turbidity meters and particle counters, along with a daily Pressure Decay T est (PDT) co validate membrane integrity. T he filtrate from the CMF-S process is then pumped to che ozone/BAC system. Ozone is generated on sire using liquid oxygen and applied to the microfilcered water via a static mixer. T he ozonaced water flows co an ozone concaccor chat allows 5 minutes of detention time at max imum plane Aow. The addition of ozone aces as an oxidant, disinfecting and destroying algal roxins and breaking down the complex organic material ro simpler forms for che downstream biological treatment. T he biologically activated carbon (BAC) filcration reduces the organic carbo n level in the water, eliminating caste and odour compounds resulting in high quality drinking water. W ater from che BAC filtration stage is dosed with chlorine and then ammonia to provide a long lasting residual disinfectant and to help minimise disinfection byproducts. Meanwhile, washwacer from the CMF-S Cells and BAC filcers is combined in che washwacer collection tank. The wastewater is pumped from che collection tank co a sludge thickener, where coagulant is added as the chickening agent. Thickener supernatant is recycled co the raw water inlet, while che solids scream is directed co sludge drying beds fo r dewarering and drying. Returning the supernatant increases the WTP recovery co greater than 99%.

Plant Meets Water Quality Standards Since commencing the operations phase in June 2002, the Veolia Water Australia ream have achieved and maintained certification co AS/NZ ISO 480 1:2001,

Table 1. Treated Water Quality Targets Parameter

Taste & Odour at Delivery Point Colour ct the Treatment Plant Turbidity at Delivery Poi nt Turbidity at Each Filter change in 10 minutes Particles in each Filter Crypto/Giardio across each filte r Primary Disinfection Distribution Cl2 residual THMFP at Treatment Plant HAA5 FP at Treatment Plant Alkal inity at Treotment Plant lnorgonics at Treatment Plant Caliban Water Manganese at Treatment Plant Arsenic at Treotment Plant Iron at Treotment Plant Fluoride at Treotment Plant Alumin ium at Treatment Plant Total Coliforms at delivery points E. coli at delivery points pH at delivery point Organics (includes herbicides & pesticides) Rodionuclides


Measurement Frequency

Pass Percentile

Flavour profile analysis



<5 HU



<l.0 NTU <0.1 NTU or <0.2NTU Continuous <20 counts/ ml

Twice weekly


95% Continuous


>4 log removal by PDT 1 log inactivation of Giordio Target set by Caliban Water

Dai ly Conti nuous Conti nuous

95% 95% 100%







Target set by Caliban Water



Schedule set by Quarterly


O. lmg/L 0.007mg/L 0.2mg/L

Monthly Monthly Monthly

100% 100% 100%

0.7 - 1.2 mg/L

Doi ly


<0. lmg/L



Zero Zero 6.5 - 8.5 Schedule set by Colibon Water Schedule set by Caliban Water

Twice Weekly Twice Weekly Continuous Annual

100 % 100 % 95% 100%



Table 2. Aqua Pro ject Water Treatment Plant Process Summary. Unit Process


pH/alkalinity adjustment

Control alkalinity and pH for oxidation and coagulation, reduce reticulated water's corrosivity Coagulation Adsorption of colour Membrane Filtration Removal of particles and pathogens including Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giordia cysts Oxidation, disinfecFon, destruction of algal toxi ns Ozonotion Removal of taste and odour compounds, removal of algal toxins, BAC Filtration reduction of disinfection by-products formation, reduction of assimilable organic carbon, removal of pesticides Chloraminotion Provide residual disinfection to ensure inactivation of micro-organisms throughout distribution system Fluoride for dental health Fluoridation Treated water pH adjustment Increase pH to target range to minimise corrosion Woshwoter Treatment CMF-S and BAC filter backwash combined treated via a sludge thickener. Supernatant is returned to the head of the plant Sludge from the woshwater is dried prior to disposal Sludge Drying Beds


NOVEMBER 2004 49

AS/NZ ISO 1400 I : 1996 and AS/ N Z ISO 9 00 1:2000. The Aqua facilities have been p roducing high-quality d rinking water fo r approximately 1 10,000 residents. By u niting a unique combi natio n of microfiltration, ozonat ion and biological activated carbon (BAC) to treat a variable and difficult raw water supply, che Bendigo WTP has successfully met so me of most stringent water quality standards in the wo rld. The Bendigo Water Treatmen t Plane offers a high level of security fo r che removal or inactivation of pathogens. There are three main stages where this occurs through che plane. T he Memcor CMF-S system is req uired to provid e greater than 4 log removal of pathogens and is typ ically greater than 4.3. Downstream of the micro fil cracion, the ozone dosing and contact time is required to provide a furth er 1 log inactivation. The ozone dose and contact time were designed nor only for disinfectio n, but also for o rganics oxidatio n and the destruction of algal toxins, which require higher doses and con tact rime. T he lase stage o f pathogen inactivat ion is provid ed by the chlorimination of the created water in che storage and distribution systems. T he specification requires the Bendigo WTP to achieve greater chan 5 lo g removal/inact ivatio n of pathogens bur in reali ty is achieving levels well in excess of 5 log. Figure 1 shows the most recent operating data from June 2002 to April 2004 from Bendigo. le illustrates the ability of the Bendigo plant co achieve a Log Rejection Value (LRV) of ac lease 4.3. This equates co over 99.99% rejectio n of pathogens. Key parameters have been fin e-tuned as operational experience of the system has been gained. T he quality of the water at the distribution points and th rough the plant have been well above requirements. T he most interesting of these can be summarised as follows:

----- ------------......._______ _ BAC filters with clear water storage in background.



The Bendigo WT P is successfully meeting some of the most challenging fi nished water quality standards in the world. This project has d emonstrated the suitability of integrating membrane filtration as pare of a mu ltiple barrier process in a large water treatment plant. Some of the advantages are:

T his article was ad opted from a Field Report that appeared in the American Water Works Journal ]A WWA, Sept 200 4 Issue. The Authors would like co thank Co liban W ater and Veolia Water Australia for their help in preparing che article.

The Authors Mark Thompson is CMF & CMF-S

• Ease of operation and low maintenance requirement; • Ability to validate memb rane in tegrity for Giardia and Gyptosporidium removal with a Pressure D ecay Tes t;

Product Manager fo r Memcor Australia located in W indsor, NSW (email: mark.thompson@memco r.com.au). M ark was the process d esign engineer and commissioning manager for the Bendigo C M F-S plane. Richard Mueller is the O peratio ns M anager for General W ater Australia (Veolia W ater Australia) in the Bendigo Region .

• Reduced organic load on the ozone and BAC systems by combining coagulation with membranes upstream. T he continuous multiple barrier app roach p rovides the residents of Bendigo with a safe, aesthetically pleasing and reliable water supply.

6- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,

• M embrane integrity is maintained at lease

0.3 log above the required 4 log • C M F-S filtrate turbid ity has been consisten tly low at< 0.1 N T U, averaging 0.02 NTU • T rue colour removal by ozone and BAC filters has been high, and fu rther enhanced by the ad d ition of a small amount of coagulant upstream of the M emcor CMF-S system • Taste and od our removal has met all Caliban Water's requirements • THM and H M 5 levels have been very low at 20-4 0 and 10-20 ppb respectively (compared to the required 80 p pb and 60 p p b respectively)

50 NOVEMBER 2004


01-----------------------------___J Jul-02 -

Oct-02 Cell 1


Deo-02 Cell 2


Cell 3



Cell 4


Aug-03 Cell 5


Nov-03 Cell 6


Jan-04 Cell 7


Apr-04 Cell 8

Figure 1. Operational Integrity data from Bendigo WTP from July 2002 to April 2004.

WATER TREATMENT BY NANOFILTRATION WITH POLYMER MEMBRANES: A STUDENT PROJECT G de Wit, J Joester, Y Wu, E New The Sydney University Talented Students Program provides challenges for first year students with high potential. Small teams supervised by a third year student are given projects. The theme for 2004 was Water. The following paper is one team 's effort. Note, it was done straight after High School. The calibre of the work bodes well for the future!

- Chris Davis Abstract To determine whether a membrane ftlcracion system is viable, several aspects muse be considered. This article reviews the current literature on the sulfonaced polyphenylene oxide (S PPO) coating chat can be used in nano ftlcracio n (NF) membranes. While ineffective for desalination the SPPO mem brane has several advantageous properties chat make it suitable for applications such as softening water, even seawater, for industrial use and removing organic contaminants or, conversely, concentrating chem for use.

T he membrane BQ0 I has an asymmetric structu re comprising a chi n, even coating of SPPO over a plastic (polysulfone) support. (Figure l ). The properties of each layer and choice of materials are outlined below. Polyphenylene oxide (PPO) is used as a starring material fo r the SPPO coating as ir has good chemical and physical stability and is able to fo rm a film. le has a high molecular weight (on average 3x l 05g/mol) which has been shown to minimise pore depth resulting in a chin selective layer (Hamad et al., 2001). For optimal performance the selective layer should be very chin , as permeability

Introduction Membrane technology is a growing field with many applications in water treatment. T here is a variety of commercially available membranes, differing in relation to the size of particles excluded. In general, membrane ftlcracion processes capable of rejecting smaller particles require more energy than processes chat are not as ftne. Na noft lcration is a process lying berv,een reverse osmosis, which can remove all ions co make potable water, and ulcrafilcracion, used to remove large organic molecules. Nano ftl cracion membranes reject multivalent ions bur allow permeation by monovalent ions. Al though nanoftl cracion cannot remove com mon sale (NaCl) ions from solution, it does remove particles with higher cha rge such as the divalent ions chat cause water hardness (mostly Ca2+, calciu m, and Mg2 •, magnesiu m). The nanoftlcracion membrane can also remove larger organic molecules. In chis paper we review th e relevant literature on sulfonared poly(2,6-dimerhyl- J ,4-phenyleneoxide) (SPPO) used as the selective layer in rhe nanofil rration membrane BQ0J (produced by GE Osmonics) and investigate its potential for water co nservation in Australia.

Structure and Properties of BQ0 l An effective ftl rracion membrane m use have the followi ng properties: a high flow race (permeability) of water, an ability co reject specific solute particles (selecriviry) and good mechanical strength. Membranes are often composed of rwo or more different layers of materials. Th is composite structure allows different layers to be assigned the roles of separating feed components and provid ing mechanical strength and a high permeability. Polymers with optimal properties for each role can be selected independently. Composite membranes also have a lower cost than membranes consisting entirely of a single high performance material, as less than 1 gram of coating polymer is required for every square metre of membrane surface (Pin nau and Freeman, 2000).


NOVEMBER 2004 51

decreases with increasing film thickness (Bowen and Mohammad, 1998). By itself, PPO has a moderate permeability and low selectivity. The properties of PPO can be improved by chemical substitutions (Xu et al., 200 2). T o overcome che hydrophobic nature of PPO, which reduces permeability, the membrane material is sulfonaced, making the surface hydrophilic. Increasing the hydrophilic nature of a membrane has also been shown to reduce membrane fouling The sulfonic acid functional group is able to fo rm hydrogen bonds with water, resulting in a greater tendency for water absorption. In addition, sulfonac ion significantly increases the rejection of charged particles. PPO also possesses a high glass transition temperature (Xu et al., 2002) and is tolerant to a wide pH range (Noel et al., 2003). These characteristics enable PPO to retain its desired form within a wide range of operating conditions. SPPO is resistant to many feed chemicals, including high levels of chlorine. Thus it has an advantage over traditional polyamide nanofilcracion membranes chat are degraded by small concentrations of chlorine. A polysulfone support is used as it has a pore size chat is small enough to retain the SPPO coating (Pinnau and Freeman, 2000), yet its resistance to water permeability is minimal (Hamad et al., 2001).




Skin layer with holes

Even thin film

Courtesy Pmnau et al. 2000

Figure 1. (a) Classification of membranes in terms of structure. (b) Diagram of an asymmetric membrane.

feed sc,Ulon In

Figure 2. Membrane modules: (a) Tubular, (b) Hollow fibre and (c) Spiral wound (Courtesy Dow Company). effective pore radius

effective pore radius

effective pore radius

Figure 3. The SPPO molecules pack more densely in salt solutions of higher concentration (shown from left to right) causing a change in effective pore radius.

Membrane Module There are three categories of industrial NF units: tubular, hollow fibre, and spiral wound. (Figure 2). The BQO l membrane is constructed as a spiral wound unit, comprising layers of porous spacer and NF membrane sandwiched together and sealed around the edges. Spiral wound membranes are cheap to manufacture, are relatively economical to run and provide a high surface area to volume ratio. Build up of impurities in membrane pores, resulting in a reduced permeate flow rate, is a problem in all filtration systems. Spiral wound units incorporate crossflow filtration mechanisms, wherein the water flows along rather than perpendicular to che membrane, which reduces the extent of pore clogging. However backwashing is still necessary and should be performed with deionised water.

Dynamic Permeability In experiments by Noel et al. (Noel et al., 2003) the permeability of the membrane was higher in salt solution than in both pure water and uncharged polyethylene glycol solution. Noel et al. suggest chat the

52 NOVEMBER 2004


ionic species in the salt solution interact with the SPPO polymer, inducing an increase in pore size. The increase in water flux is accompanied by a higher permeability of monovalent ion such as sodium chloride. (Figure 3) . Experiments have also been performed which indicate chat the changed pore size may also be controlled or counteracted by the application of an electric field across the membrane.

Conclusion The BQO 1 membrane has versatile applications. It is particularly useful for removing multivalent ions and charged organic molecules where the presence of monovalent ions such as sodium and chloride is not problematic. A possible application of the BQO l membrane is the softening of seawater, allowing it to be used in place of fresh water as an industrial coolant. Other applications include the removal of paints or dyes, bacteria, and ocher large particles from water, and conversely, the concentration of solutions when the residue is the useful portion. The dynamic permeability of the membrane has

potential due to the ability to adj ust to different solutio ns in conjunction with the application of an electric field.

The Authors The authors are all first year students.

References A. Wahab, M., Hilal, N. and Seman, M. N. A. (2003) Desalination, 158, 73-78. Birkson, B. (1994) US. Bowen, R. W. and Mohammad, W. A. (1998) AlChEJournal, 44, 1799- 1812. GE General Electric. Hamad, A., Chowdhury, G. and Matsuura, T. (2001) J Memb. Sci., 191, 7 1-83 . Nod, I. M., Lebrun, R. and Bouchard, C. R. (2000) Desalination, 129, 125-136. Noel, I. M., Lebrun, R. and Bouchard, C. R. (2003) Desalination, 155, 229-242. Noel, I. M., Lebrun, R. and Bouchard, C. R. (2003) Desalination, 155, 243-254. Pinnau, I. and Freeman, B. D. (2000) Membrane Formation and Modification, Oxford University Press. Xu, T., Yang, W. and He, B. (2002) Chinese Journal ofPolymer Science, 20, 53-57. Yaroshchuk, A. E. (2002) Desalination, 149, 423-428.

PRESSURE REDUCTION SAVES WATER ON THE GOLD COAST A Clark, M Gerrard Abstract A pressure reduction scheme was trialled on a zone in Burleigh Waters in rhe Gold Coast, Q ueensland, and achieved a 22% saving in water consump tion over rhe firs t six months.

Introduction Water losses from the distribution network have long been a fearure of operations man agement, even in Countries with well-developed infrastrucrure and good opera ri ng practices. In Australia, the average fig ure for system water losses is 9.6% of Figure l . The Burleig h Waters Pressure and Leakage the total bulk water supplied M anagement tria l area. (WSAA Facts 2001 ). As our water resources co me under T he maximum pressure was reduced increased pressure, reducing losses from rh e agai n in October 2003 to 520 kPa. A flow distribution network has been identified as modulated pressure controller (supplied by a relative low cost demand management Accurate Detection) was commissioned in alternative. December 2003. T he pressure co ntroller Wide Bay Water provi ded Gold Coast was adjusted throughout December 2003 City Cou ncil with the Engineering and January 2004 to maximise water expertise to implement Pressure and savings without causing a noticeable Leakage Management Strategy for the Gold Coast. T he key to this strategy is to redesign the water reticulation network into Demand Management Zones (DM Zs), proactively detecting and repairing water leaks and red ucing netwo rk water pressures.

Pressure and leakage management is more cost effective than other options for increased water supply. To prove the viability of this strategy Gold Coast Ciry Council created their first DMZ at Burleigh Waters (an area co ntaining 3,877 properties).

Findings The trial commenced in September 2003 with leak detection, water main repairs and the commi ssioning of a PRV. The first pressure red uction step was to reduce the total pressure from the existing maximum pressure of 700 kPa to 650 kPa.

refereed paper

interruption to customers. T h e pressure controller airers the network pressure based on customer demand. For example, during the morni ng and afternoon peaks, the controller increases the pressure to meet demand. During the day and at nighttime when demand is low, th e controller reduces the pressure. Table 2 lists the chronology of press ure changes that occurred during rhe trial period. Ar the srarr of rhe rrial (September 2003) the average daily consumption was 2798 KL/day. Ar the end of the tri al period (February 2004), rhe average daily co nsumption had decreased ro 2190 KL/day. This represents a reduction in average daily consumption into the trial area of approximately 22%. When these water savings are ex trapolated across the entire City, the Pressure and Leakage Management Strategy has rhe potential ro achieve water savings of approximately 26 ML/day. This is approximately double the

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NOVEMBER 2004 53

water Table 2. Chronology of pressure changes at the Burleigh Waters trial. Date

August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 December 2003


Pressure (kPa) (measured at 33 Grebe PII

Prior to the Pressure and Leokage Management Trial PRV installed (Fixed Outlet Pressure)

Range 700-520 650 maximum

PRV Adjusted (Fixed Outlet Pressure) Flow Controller installed which adjusts pressure according to demand Fino! Flow Controller Pressure Adjustments

520 maximum Maximum 550 Minimum 340 Maximum 550 Minimum 280

January 2004

9.00 - - - - - - - . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --- - - - , - --, - - . - --, ----, MNF3.771.\ec




., 7.00 0

~ 600 ~ . U: 5.00 E

.~ 4.00

!¡,. 3.00 o 2.00


F l c e d =t ONOI


0.00 ' - - - " - - . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Figure 3. PRV with a Flow Modulated PRV Controller manufactured by Palmer Environmental.

Figure 2. Flow Data showing Minimum Night Flows.

Table 3. Water supply options for the Gold Coast. Water Source

Total Cost

Total Daily Water Production or Saving (ML/ da )

Wivenhoe Pipeline *


New Dam - Hinze 3 *

$ l 00,000,000.00 $6,500,000.00

85 33

Leakage and Pressure Control Desalination * Total Rebate Scheme (to date) # Shower Rose Rebate ($10/unit) "

$900,000.00 $3,000,000.00 $250,000.00

26 N/ A 0.4 0.04

N/ A $52 1,220.00 $7,770.00


$3,000,000.00 $1 ,400,000.00 $200,000.00

* - Based on Gold Coast Waterfuture Discussion Starter, Draft Report, April 2004 and include capital costs only # - Excludes results for $200 washing machine rebate. Accurate to Feb 29, 2004 "' - Assumes savings of 18kl/unit/ann. Accurate lo Feb 29, 2004 Water Consumption Trends

300..--.-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ 280


260 240

iI :


,!! 160 140 120

100 +-~--~~~~~--- --~~~~~--~~- ~~~..,..........,

~~!f~f!!!!f!f!J!::::::111![{~!!!!!!!! I-

Consullljltlon 2002


Consumption 2003

Consumption 2000

Figure 4. Water consumption trends for entire network.

54 NOVEMBER 2004



water savings estimated in the W BW strategy. Figure 4 illustrates the water co nsump tion trends for the whole city remained fairly constant during our trial period , Sep tember 2 003 and January 2004. This confirms that the saving from our trial is not due co an overall decrease in water consumption. O n a total daily water saving and $/ML/d ay basis, T able 3 illustrates the cost effi ciency of Pressure and Leakage Management when compared co the alternative water source options. As a res ult of the trial, the revised cost to implement pressure and leakage management th roughout the Gold Coast has increased co approx. $6.5M. In addition co the reduced water co nsumption into the trial area, there was a no ticeable decrease in water main and water service breaks. The observed decrease in water service breaks was approximately 80% . T he observed decrease in water main breaks was ap proximately 90 %. T he reduction in water service and main breaks d ecreases the n umber of water interruptions and therefore results in an improved level of service co customers. Figure 5 illustrates the measured changes in water main and water service breaks during the trial period.

refereed paper

water Conclusion In June 2003 Wide Bay Water (WBW) p resented a Pressure and Leakage M anagement Strategy fo r the Gold Coast.

60 ,D ,. - -Breaks ----"""""-----------------------, Main

• Service Breaks

The basis of th e Pressure and Leakage Management Strategy is to:


• Redesign the water reticulatio n network into 155 D emand Management Zones


• Proactively detect water leaks • Reducing overall network water p ressures A pressure m anagement trial began in Bu rleigh Waters in September 200 3 . Over 6 months, the average daily water consumption in to the trial area reduced by approximately 22%. When extrapolated across the entire C ity, the Pressu re and Leakage Management Strategy has the potential to achieve water savings of app roximately 26 ML/day. During the trial, water main breaks and water service breaks reduced by 80% and 90% resp ectively. T his significan tly reduced the number of water interruptio ns to customers, improving GCW's level of custo mer service.



0 N 0



N 0 ..!, 0


N 0

> 0


N 0



M 0

M 0

M 0

., :::;"' -, "' C:

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9 ~


90, ::,


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Figure 5. Impact of pressure changes o n number of water main and water service breaks. The total esti mated cost to implement che constructio n phase of che Pressu re and Leakage Management Project is $6.5M.

The Authors Andrew Clark is National Business Development Manager for Accurate Detection Pty Led. With over three years

In July 2004 Triwater Australia Pty Ltd was formed - by a partial management buyout from Simon Engineering (Australia) Pty Ltd and a merger with Aeroflo Pty Ltd of SA. The Triwater team has a track record of building 550 wastewater treatment and reuse projects over the past 22 years producing a high quality treated effluent (including N&P removal) for: • sewer mining applications - e.g. golf courses • communities up to 10,000 persons • mine sites • tourist resorts • mobile home villages • industries producing high strength BOD1 wastes Triwater is a small team of specialist professionals focusing solely on wastewater treat ment with 3 decades of experience, albeit trading under different names, such as AAT and Tubemakers Water, but with a particular emphasis on 3 virtues: • Value • Innovation and • Service

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Design and construction of sewage and industrial wastewater treatment projects using the Hybrid BNR process


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NOVEMBER 2004 55

TOXIC BLUE-GREEN ALGAE: COMING SOON TO A NEIGHBOURHOOD NEAR YOU? G Newcombe, M Burch Introduction Blue-green algae are one of the oldest forms of life still thri ving on earth . I n fact, they are nor algae at all, bur a type of photosynthetic bacteria (cyanobacteria), reliant on su nlight for energy. As rhe warm summer months approach, increasing water temperature and decreasing rhe flow or depth of water so urces, cyanobacreria can form b looms of sign ificant concern to water u tilities . Why are blue-green algae so successful in invading drinking water sources?

Cyanobacteria prefer warm water with reasonable nutrient loading. Combin e this with stable weather, which usually means low wi nd and turbulence, and conditions are ideal for cyanobacteria to grow. Reservoirs, small water storage ponds, and slow-flow ing rivers are ideal breedin g grounds. H owever, some species of cyanobacteria also thrive in cold co nditio ns, and have been found under ice in Antarctica lakes, so water utilities in cooler climates should not be complacent. So me blue-green algae conta in small pockets of air, or gas vacuoles, which allow them to t ravel up and down within the water column and encounter favourab le conditions of nutrients and sunligh t. As the sunlight h its the water surface, the cyanobacteria photosythesise to form carbohyd rates, which make rhe cells denser, so they slowly si nk towards the bottom of the water body, wh ich is higher in nutrients. As the cells assimilate the nutrients, they convert their carbohydrates to cell material and again become lighter, rising toward the su rface (Figure 1) . Why are blue-green algal blooms an issue for water suppliers?

There are m ore than 150 different types (genera) of cyanobacteria and literally thousands o f species, some of which are

Rcprinrcd from Opjlow, Vol. 29, No. 5 (May 2003), by permission. Copyright Š 2003, American Warer Works Association.

56 NOVEMBER 2004


(D 6am







Figure 1. A stylised typical daily cycle of buoyan cy-d riven vertical migration of cyanobacteria under calm water conditions.

toxic (Table 1). The know n toxin prod ucers will produce toxins around 50 percent of the rime. So, if cyanobacreria are present in your water su pply, there is a reasonable chance rhar algal toxins are also presen t. Clearly the presence of algal toxins in any water supply should be co nsidered a major problem fo r the uti lity using that sou rce for drinking water. How do we know if we have a problem?

Cyanobacteria are a natural feature of most water bodies and, under favou rable conditio ns, fo rm noticeable blooms. T hese blooms som etim es collect in sh allow areas of water bodies as thick, green or brown scu m. When such a scum app ears in your

monitoring p rogram for at least a year to help assess the risk of algal toxins in your water supply. What can we do about potentially toxic cyanobacteria in our water supply? Source water management strategies

A range of strategies can be applied to min imise the risk of severe contaminatio n of your water source with algal toxins. Copper based algicides can be used to control algal bloo ms in some circumstances. They can be effective, al th ough there are impo rtant local environmen tal restrictions and practical limitations to cons ider. The effectiveness of copper-algicid e treatment is

A readable and useful synopsis of management strategies for blue-green algae. water supply, you probably have a cyanobacteria p roblem. However, not all toxic cyanobacreria form noticeable scums. The easiest, quickest way to determine if you have a p roblem is to regularly count and identify algal cells. Maintain this

controlled by water q uality factors such as pH, alkalinity, and dissolved organic carbon. Physical facto rs, particularly thermal strat ification in the reservoir, affect the d istribu tion of copper after application and contact with the algae .

water Cyanobacreria are relatively sensitive to copper. Copper is a broad-spectrum aquatic biocide, which can have significant adverse environmental effects. Local environ mental regulations may determine the conditions under which algicides can be used. Algicides should be applied at the early stages of bloom development, when cell numbers are low. Algicides will disrupt healthy cyanobacterial cells, leading to the release of toxins and taste and odour compounds. If the cell numbers are low, dissolved toxins wi ll disperse and be diluted rhroughour rhe water body. A wirhholding peri od may be requ ired after algicide trearment ro allow roxins in the reservoir ro dilute, disperse, and degrade. Another tool is desrrari ficarion of the water source. Mix ing strategies aimed at desrrarificatio n have proven successful in so me cases; success will depend on a co mbination of the type of mixer or aeraror used (and how much energy it puts out) and on the depth and clarity (o r light penetration) of the lake. Generally, mi xing is not very helpful in reducing growth of buoyant cyanobacteria in shallow lakes (< 15 - 20 meters fo r clear water) and works best in deeper lakes where cells are carried down, out of the light, fo r extended pe riods. Even then, algae might nor be eliminated completely, but their growth may slow to more manageable numbers. T he conditions under which destratification is successful have not been stud ied extensively, bur we know rhar it can work well for control of Microcystis, and not as well for smaller, less buoyant cell types, such as Cylindrospemopsis.

Table l

Toxins Microcystins

Cyanobacteria responsible 1

Toxic effects

Anabaena spp, Microcystis, Planktothrix, Nostoc, Hapalosiphon, Anabaenopsis

Liver Damage Tumour promotion in animal studies



Liver Damage

Cyli ndrospermopsis, Aphanizomenon, Planktothrix (Osci llatoria), Umezakia

Cytotoxic Liver, kidney and other organ damage, tumour promotion, possible carcinogen

Saxitoxi ns

Anabaena, Aphanizomenon, Lyngbya, Cylindrospermopsis

Nerve damage, acute effects, respiratory failure


Anabaena, Aphanizomenon, Planktothrix

Nerve damage, acute effects, respiratory fa ilure

Cyli ndrospermopsins

1. This /isl is not exhaustive and new toxic species are being discovered fairly regularly. Treatment options for dissolved toxins The most important question for water utilities treating water containing algal toxins is "What level of the toxi n is safe to consume?" Jn other words, what concentration should we ai m for in the treated water? In terms of treatment options for dissolved toxi ns, the most likely metaboli tes of concern are microcystins, saxiroxins, and cylindrospermopsin. The World H ealth Organization has issued a guideline value of l pg/L fo r only one: microcystin LR. WHO co nsiders this concentration safe ro drink co ntin uously over a li feti me without adverse effects. In Australia, we have a guideline value of 1.3 pg/I of total mi crocysrins, exp ressed as mi crocystin LR (mLR) roxiciry equivalents, and measured by high performa nce liquid chromarography. Microcystins More than 60 known variants of the microcystin toxins exist; microcysri n LR (mLR) has the two amino acids, leucine (L)

Treatment options for removal of cyanobacterial cells


The primary aim of treatment of affected water should be removal of the cyanobacteria with the minimum of disruption and damage ro the cells, as damage to the cells will result in the release of more toxin into the water. In the case of Microcystis, con ventional coagulation and fil tration will remove rhe majoriry of the toxin, which is mainly bound within the cells (up to 95%). All treatments, such as preoxidarion, that could resu lt in damage to the cells should be avoided. Vi rtually all cyanobacreriaJ cells should be removed with efficient coagulation, floccu larion, and fil tration. When the risk of toxins in the cells is high, sludge and fil ter backwash water should be isolated from the rest ,rif the plant until the cells die, and the toxins degrade naturally, which may rake several we.eks.

Figure 2. A filament of Anabaena circinalis. This is often neurotoxic , producing saxitoxins in Australia.

and arginine (R), in rhe variable positions. The variations among the 60 microcystin roxins result in slightly di ffe rent chemical properties, and, co nseq uently, their effective removal by physica l processes, such as adso rption, and oxidation by chlori ne varies. Assu ming optimised cell removal as the first treatment barrier for these roxins, suffi cient removal of moderate levels of most microcysrins can be achieved with about 20 mg/L of an appropriate powdered acti vated carbon (PAC) fo r a con tact ti m e of 45 mi n or more (Table 2) and effective chlorination at the end of the treatment process. However, if microcystin LA- a variant as toxic as mLR- is present, then PAC will not sufficiently remove the roxin, and the risk is increased as chlorination becomes th e primary barrier in conventio nal treatment process. Chlorine is an effective treatment fo r microcysrins in most waters, given sufficient dose and co ntact time, although, similar to adsorption, mLA is more difficult ro remove by chlorination than mLR (see Table 2). A two-stage barrier is preferable for toxin rem oval. Mon iroring of microcysrins at rim es of high cyanobacteria numbers will provide valuable infor mation regarding this risk. More adva nced treatment, such as ozone combined with granular activated carbon (GAC) or nanofil tration, will minimise the risk of microcystin roxi ns reachi ng the distribution system . Saxitoxins The most roxic variants of sax iroxins are effectively removed by a dose of around 20 mg/L of an appropriate good quality PAC. However, chlorine, when used under normal circumstances, is relatively ineffective in inactivating saxiroxins, so a conventional plant would offer only one barrier (PAC) . Perhaps most effective for a two-stage reduction in the concentration of these roxins is the combination of ozone and GAC.


N OVEMBER 2004 57

water Table 2 PAC0


Biological filtration'



Microcystins (other than mLA)

yes, wood-based, chem icolly-octivoted

no 1-3 months only


yes residual of 0.3 mgL·1 for 5 minutes0

yes residual of >0.5 mgL·1 for 30 minutes0





yes, as above

yes, a higher dose may be necessary

Cylindrospermopsi n

yes, cool based, steam activated

not sure yetb


yes, as above

yes, as above


yes, coal/ coconut based, steam activated

yes, coal/coconut based, steam activated



pH adjustment to > 8 requ ired0

dependent on wafer quality, b. more research required, c. for cylindrospermopsin and microcystins results indicate great potential for this treotmenl, of present too liffle is known regarding necessary operational conditions. a. doses are

Cylindrospermopsin A significant proportion cylindrospermopsin toxin can be extracellular, so removal of intact cells is only the initial step. Fortunately, like most microcystins, cylindrospermopsin can be controlled by the double barrier of PAC (15-20 mg/L for at least 45 min) and chlorine. The combination of ozone and GAC would also provide an excellent barrier fo r this toxin. Table 2 gives a summary of the suggested treatment processes for these toxins.

the adsorption places on the carbon surface. Optimise ozone and chlorine doses. In a bloom situation, the DOC concen tration can vary significantly, so it is particu larly important to maintain a consistent residual of chlorine or ozon e - at lease 5 min fo r ozone and 30 min fo r chlorine.

on activated carbon adsorption , keep in mind char, of the most common microcysrin toxins, m icrocysrin RR and YR are easily removed by PAC (or GAC), m LR is also fairly well removed bur LA is hardly removed at all. An analysis providing only microcystin LR equivalen ts will nor give you the most important information.

Although more research is required to determine appropriate CT values for ozone and chlorine in a range of waters, if the act ion plan above is followed, it is u nlikely char any consumer will be faced with algal toxins at their cap.

• Always ask the laboratories to give you both the dissolved toxin and the toxin concentration contained within rhe cells (intracellular toxin) when your raw water is analysed. In general, if a toxin analysis is requested, you will receive the total toxin concentration. This can be quire high and present an unrealistic picture of rh e stare of your water source. Remember, if most of rhe toxin is with in the cells, it can be removed by co nventional coagularion/floccularion/sedimentation and filtration processes. This also applies to taste-and-odour analysis, if the problem is caused by cyanobacreria.

Treatment Action Plan When toxic algae are present in the inl et to the water treatment plane, several important measures muse be taken to minimise rhe chance of toxins reaching the consumer.

Cease all pre-oxidation. Chlorine and ozone applied at low doses, or beneath the d emand of the water, could rupture the cells and release more toxins into the water.

Traps for New Players A couple important points are often overlooked by concerned uri li ries commencing monitoring programs for algal toxins. • When having samples analysed for microcystin toxins, request a scan of as many variants as possible. If you are relying

For More Information The National Health and Medical Research Council has produced a series of face sheers with useful information that can help utilities decide what action, if any, should be taken in the face of elevated cyanobacrerial numbers. T he fact sheets also provide more information on guideline values and alert levels for dissolved toxins. The fact sheers can be accessed at h rep:// www.health.gov.au/ nhmrc/publications/ pdf/eh l 9_200 l.pdf

Optimise coagulation. The more healthy, intact cells that are removed by coagulation, the lower the concentration of toxin further alo ng the treatment train Isolate sludge and backwash water from the plant. In sludge in particular, cells become stressed very q uickly and release dissolved toxin, sometimes at very high concen tratio ns. Optimise the application ofPAC. If you know which toxins are present, choose a carbon accordingly (Table 2). A d ose of 20 mgL for a contact time of at least 45 min should reduce the toxin concent ration considerably.

Don 't rely on GA C alone. For some more common toxins, GAC has a relatively short life fo r satisfactory removal because the dissolved o rganic carbon (DOC) , which is always presen t in the water, can cake up




The Authors Gayle Newcombe and Mike Burch are senior research scientists for the Australian Water Quality Centre, a partner in the C RC for Water Quality and Treatment, PMB 3, Salisbury, South Australia 51 0 ~ Figure 3. A bloom of toxic Nodularia spumigena in Lake Alexandrina, South Australia.


Australia. gayle.newcombe@sawater.com.au, o mike.burch@sawater. com.au



ESCHERICHIA COLI BLOOMS IN AUSTRALIAN LAKES J Littlefield-Wyer Abstract This article is a synopsis of a paper soon to be published on Escherichia coli strains responsible fo r bloom events in two Australian Lakes (Power et al, 2004). T his report is the first of its ki nd to suggest that strains of E.coli are capable of prolonged survival in the exremal environment, without a vertebrate hose. Bloom events are a typical occurrence over the summer months.

Introduction Escherichia coli is a member of the family Enterobacteriaceae and inhab its the lower gastro- inrestinal tract of vertebrates, predominantly mammals (Gordon & Cowling, 2003). The ubiquity of E.coli in humans and other mammals has led to its use as an indicator of the degree of faecal contam ination of water bodies. The appropriateness of coli fo rm species such as E.coli as water qual ity indi cators has been questioned in recent years, as a growing number of studies have demonstrated that it can persist fo r considerable periods in the external environment (Fuj ioka et al., 1999; Solo-Gabrielle eta!. , 1995; Topp eta!. , 2003) with no evidence of faecal contamination (Ash bolt et al., 1995; Gordon et al., 2001). The persistence of E.coli in the environment suggests that some strains may be capable of replicating outside of their an imal host. If col iform bacteria are capable of cell division in the external environment, then coliform counts are not proportional to the amount of faecal material entering the system (Barnes & Gordon, 2004).

Figure 1. Phenotypic appearance of Klebsiella pneumoniae (top left), Escherichia coli (top right) and the three bloom strains (bottom).


A research project: the help of readers for sample collection is requested. Coliform blooms are a common occurrence in many water bodies across Australia during the summer months. Over the past 30 years Lake Burragorang, J~"dney's major water supply reservoir and Lakt, Burley Griffin, a recreational lake in Canbk ra, have experienced such blooms. A recent co/hborative study involving

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NOVEMBER 2004 59

technical note researchers at The Australian National University and Macquarie University has characterised the bacteria responsible for these coliform blooms and the results of chis study provided strong evidence fo r the existence of E.coli strains capable of a 'freeliving' lifestyle. T his article summarises the results of the Power et al. (2004) scudy, describes future research plans and requests the help of co lleagues in furthering the aims of our scudy.

Blooms of E.coli A bloom event is said co have occurred when coliform cell densities exceeded 104 cells per 100 ml. Coliforms were isolated from multiple bloo m events occurri ng in Lake Burley Griffin from 2002 co 2004 and in Lake Burragorang duri ng Feb ruary 2003. Phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of these bloom strains indicated chat for any bloom event, one of three strains were responsible for che elevated counts and rhe same strain was isolated in large numbers across the enti re water body. Genotypic evidence, including nucleotide sequence data of two chromosomal genes, indicated chat the bloom strains are E.coli, desp ite their having atypical phenocypic characteristics compared co E.coli isolated from vertebrate faeces. The most unusual characteristic of these strains is their mucoid colony morphology (Fig. l ). T his mucoid appearance is a resu lt of bloom strains possessing a cype l capsule (Whi tfield & Roberrs, 1999). The genes responsible for chis capsule in E.coli are thought co have originated from another member of the Enterobacceriaceae chat typically exhibits a mucoid phenotype, Klebsiella pneumoniae (Whitfield & Roberts, 1999). Screening of over 400 E.coli strains isolated from vertebrates, soil, water and sediment revealed that less then 10% of E.coli strains have the type 1 capsule genes. More detailed genotypic characterisation of the bloom strains and strains isolated from soil, water and sediments revealed that the bloom strains are present in Lake Burley Griffi n and Lake Burragorang at rimes when blooms are not occurring, as well as being present in ocher water bodies in rhe Canberra and Sydney regio ns. Comparisons of the bloom stra ins with vertebrate faecal isolates possessing rhe type 1 capsule fo und no match, indicating chat the bloom strains are unlikely co occur in vertebrates. Screeni ng for the presence of th irty traits thought co enable E.coli co cause intestinal and excra-incesrinal disease assessed the potential pathogenicity status of the bloom strains. The absence of all of

these traits suggests ch at these bloom strains pose little risk co human healch.

Survival E.coli is a genetically diverse species and the repeated isolatio n of che bloom strains at different times and from different geographic regions is highly unusual. Nor are che bloom strains detected in vertebrates. Thus it appears chat these bloom strains are capable of persisting in che external environment for extended periods in rhe absence of faecal inputs. The enhanced survival of these strains is thought co be partly a consequence of their mucoid phenotype, as this protects cells from environmental stresses such as heat shock, UV radiation, predation, and may enhance their ability co form bio fil ms (Weiner et al., 1995) . The dynamics of a bloom event indicates chat these bloom strains are capable of cell division in the external environment. During a bloom event in Lake Burley Griffin, cell numbers can increase from undetectable levels co greater than 104 cells per 100 ml in less than a week. T o achieve these densities solely as a consequence of faecal inputs would require the weekly faecal production of every Canberra resident co directly enter the lake. By contrast, co achieve these numbers through cell division alone wo uld on ly require a modest thirteen rounds of division over one week. le appears chat these bloom strains are capable of persisting in the absence of a vertebrate hose population and therefore exhibit a free-living lifes tyle.

Indicator Organisms? The existence of strains of coliform bacteria, such as E.coli, chat are capable of a free-living existence has significan t implication both for the use of coliforms as indicators of water quality, as well as che use of these species in programs designed co trace the sources of faecal contamination (Gordon , 2001; Field eta!., 2003; Barnes & Gordon, 2004). Our research co dare has lead co further questions. For example, what abiocic or biotic factors trigger rhese strains co cause a bloom? We have identified one trait, the type 1 capsule, chat may enable these strains co be free-living, do these strains have ocher traits chat enhance their persistence and replication in the external environment? l e is important co determine the geographic distribution of the bloom strains chat we have identified and co discover if there are ocher strains capable of causing bloom events. I am a PhD candidate at rhe Australian National University fu nded by rhe National Capital Authority and the broad aim of my research is co address some of these questio ns. If

readers of this article were in a position to help me it would be much appreciated. My contact details are: Jane Littlefield-Wyer, School of Botany & Zoology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200. Email: Jane.Wyer@anu.edu.au. Pho ne: (02) 6125 3007, Fax: (02) 6125 5573.

References Ashbolr, N. J., M. R. Dorsch, P. T . Cox, and B. Banens. 1995. Blooming E. coli, whar do rhey mean? , p. 78-85 . In D. Kay and C. Fricker (ed.), Coli.forms and E. coli problem or solution. T he Royal Sociery of Chemistry, Cambridge, U.K. Barnes, B., and D. Gordon, M. 2004. Coliform dynamics and the implicarions for source tracki ng. Environmental Microbiology. 6 (5) : 501-509. Field, K. G., E. C. Chern, L. K. Dick, J. Fuhrman, J. Griffirh, P.A. Holden, M. G. LaMonragne, J. Le, B. Olson, M. T . Simonich. 2003. A compararive study of culrure-independenr library-independent genorypic methods of fecal source rracking. Journal of Water and Health. 1(4): 18 1-194. Fujioka, R. , C. Sian-Denton, M. Bo rja, J. Castro, and K. Morphew. 1999. Soil: the environmental source of Escherichia coli and enterococci in G uam's streams. j ournal of Applied Microbiology Symposium Supplemenr. 85:83S-89S. Gordon, D. M. 2001. Geographical structu re and hosr specificiry in bacteria and rhe implicarions for tracing the source of coliform contaminarion . Microbiology. 147:1079-1085. Gordon, D. M. , S. Bauer, J. R. Johnson. 2002. The genetic strucrure of Escherichia coli popularions in primary and seconda,y habirats. Microbiology. 148: I 5 I 3-1522. Gordon, D. M., and A. Cowling. 2003. T he d istribution and generic strucrure of Escherichia coli in Australian vertebrates: Hosr and geographic effects. Microbiology 149:3575-3586. Power, M. L., J. Lirrlefield-Wyer, D. M. Gordon, D. A. Veal, M. B. Slade. 2004. Phenorypic and geno rypic characrerisarion of encapsulated Escherichia coli isolared from blooms in rwo Ausrralian lakes. Environmental Microbiology (In press) Solo-Gabrielle, H. M. , M. A. Wolfert, T. R. Desmarias, and C. J. Palmer. 2000. Sources of Escherichia coli in a coasral subtropical environmenr. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 66:230-237. Topp, E., M. Welsh, Y. Tien, A. Dang, G. Lazarovits, K. Conn, and H. Zhu. 2003 . Strain-dependent variabiliry in growrh and survival of Escherichia coli in agricultural soi l. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 44:303-308 . Weiner, R., S. Langille, and E. Q uinrero. 1995 . Srrucrure, fun crion and immunochemisrry of bacrerial exopolysaccharides. journal of Industrial Microbiology 15:339-346. ~ Whirfield, C., and I. S. Roberrs. 1999. / Structure, assembly and regularion of expression of capsules in Escherichi~li. Molecular Microbiology 31 : 1307-1 I

60 NOVEMBER 2004 water


WHAT IMPEDES WATER MARKETS? H Bjornlund Introduction Most water resources within the MurrayDarl ing Basin are now fully committed, and the ex craccion for consumptive uses is effectively capped, and will inevitably be furth er reduced. T herefo re, ch e only way of providing water for new uses is through a real location of ex isting resources. Similarly, the only way of increasing rhe economic output from che capped resource is co reallocate water from inefficient low value users co efficient high value users. T he water marker is che instrument relied on co facilitate these processes, and fu ll-cost recovery prices are one of the drivers of che process, encouragi ng or forci ng the inefficient low value users co make the necessa ry farm adjustments, or stop irrigating. As che combined fo rces of che Cap, increased demand for water for enviro nmental purposes, a prolonged drought, and che initial success of water markers have red uced irrigacors' seaso nal access co water chis reallocation process has become imperative. The importance of a smooth reallocation process has been furth er emphasised as water allocation policies have shifted che risk management burden associated with Auccuacing seaso nal al locations from water authorities to indi vidual irrigacors. These developments have placed increased demand on water marker mechanisms co operate quicker and wich greater cercaincy. Boch rhe entitlement and allocation markers (permanent and temporary markers) provide irrigacors with an important tool to manage the increased

important co understand what impedes the operations of water markets. T his paper will discuss market impediments based on three workshops with stakeholders and 32 focus groups with irrigators in South Australia, Victoria and NSW (Bjornlund 2004a).

Uncertainty of Future Supply Uncertainty wirh respect to rhe fu cure level of seasonal supply came rh rough very strongly as the main impediment to trade in entitlements. The impact of rhe Cap, perceived or real, and che unresolved issues of environmental needs have generated chis uncertainty. The Snowy River debate has caused great unease, as has the MurrayDarling Basi n's 'Living Murray' initiative (MDBMC, 2002). That these developments happen to coincide with one of rhe longest and most severe droughts on record, have worsened the impact, and in many instances confused che relationship between cause and effect. As a result, grear uncerta inty exists about fucure allocation levels. Irrigators therefore raise rhe question ' Why would you buy entitlements if you don't know what you gee?'. If you pay $ 1,000/ML today, you don 't know what you will receive in years to come. Conversely, if you pay $80/ML today in che allocation marker, you will recei ve one ML, and with che Exchanges in place, yo u will receive ir instantly. T he only way this problem can be resolved is by the creation of certainty, which wi ll require the co mpletion of rhe 'Livi ng Murray' process and rhe production of water management plans (different name in each state) throughout the basin as well as the

Workshops and focus groups wi,h 1rngators, water brokers and other stakeholders in the irrigation industry have identified a number of impediments to the operation of water markets. supply uncertainty and faci litate a continued reallocation of water both within and between seasons. T he use of che allocation market has grown explosively during the last six to seven years, a process which has been significantly enhanced by the emergence of water exchanges in NSW an4 Victoria (Bjornlund, 2003a). The use of ei\\tirlemenr markers has also grown but at mu~ h lower volumes. If maxim um benefits are co be gained from trade, it is

completion of the National Water Initiati ve (CoAG, 2004). T his concern is associated with a general distrust of governments, politicians and their motives for policy making. There was a lot of talk about consta ntly 'shiftin g goal posts' , and rhe term 'coral fear' of what politicians might do was used. The belief was char the inAuence of the environmental movements in the big cities ' is growing every year' and that 'the objective of policy

makers therefore is to trade off city votes fo r country votes'. frrigators also expressed rhe need co ' keep some water up you r sleeves' rather than sel ling it 'jusr in case', and char ic was better nor to sell seasonal allocations, because 'yo u never know', when rhe govern ment wi ll come and rake rhe water back, with rhe argument char 'since yo u have sold it, you obviously don't need it''

Physical Constraints Channel capacity was mentioned as an important imped iment. In some districts trade into a channel will nor be allowed, unless rhe additional demand created by the trade can be supplied, without affecting the supply reliability of ex isting irrigarors. Many irrigarors, who rely on purchases of allocations, are concerned char their channel might beco me over committed because of other farme rs buying enriclemencs, with rhe result char rhey may not be able to gee their seaso nal purchases delivered in rhe fucu re. This problem could be overcome by the introduction of separate supply ca pacity enticlements; ch is would allow irrigarors co buy these enciclemenrs, and thereby secure access co supply. Further, if supply entitlements were designed to incl ude the period during which supply can cake place, it would be possible co buy water for delivery by constrai ned channels during off-peak periods relying on on-farm storage (Bjornlund , 20046).

Limitation on Trade out of Irrigation Districts Withi n all three Scares so me types of limitations on trade our of districts exist. T he systems used vary from scare co scare. Trade of enticlements our of Murray Irrigation Limited (MIL) is nor permitted if trade reduces che coral entitlement co below che 1995 vol ume. Western Murray Irrigation (WM I) generally does not allow trade of enti tlements our of che district. If land is caken our of irrigation fo r urban subdivision, transfers are allowed subject co che payment of exit fees. This fee is amorcisacion based, and sec at a level co cover rhe furure running costs of che area, for which che sell er wo uld have been respo nsible (MDBC, 2000) . Seasonal trade is also restricted our of most irrigation districts and defined in the annual Water Allocation Plan.


NOVEMBER 2004 61

business W ithin the Cen tral Irrigation T rust (CIT), there is a rwo percent cap. T his resrricrio n on trade effectively prevents trade of entitlements ou t of most of rhe districts. Additional ou tward trade can o nly cake place if subsri rured by inward trade. T he argument both withi n the MIL and CIT is char the eco nomic development potential sho uld be retained within the d istrict, and that substantial export of entitlement our of a district will leave rhe rest of the irrigacors co pay a larger burden of the delivery and maintenance costs and will result in a gen eral reduction in economic activity, jobs and services within the area. I r is further argued rhar su bstan tial invesrmenrs have been made in d eveloping and improving infrastructure and that rh is in frastructure is yet co reach irs full porenrial. WMI also argues chat they wane the development potential retained because the present uncertainty associated with crown leases and aboriginal issues, prevalen t in western NSW, impedes development. They expect that developmen t will p ick u p, once these issu es have been seeded. W ithin the GMID, a diffe rent app roach has been taken w ith a two percent per annum cap on trade our of districts. That is, no more rhan two percent of the coral encidemenc at che beginning of the year can be traded out d uring the year. The argumen t here is co prevent water fro m trading out at too rap id a pace, allowing both communities and rhe autho rity rime to adjust. For many years chis rule h ad little impact; it was first in voked in 1998/99 when trade ou r of T orrumbarry reached two percenr in February, which delayed trade o ut until July 1999 (DNRE, 20 01). H owever, during the drought of 2002/03 three of the districts w ithin rhe GMID reach ed the rwo per cenr limit and already in Occober 2004 four districts had reached rhar limit fo r 2003/0 4. In che focus groups these rules had strong su pport.

Issues of Culture and Tradition Past surveys o f irrigators ind icate chat farmers are not cocally conrenc with markets as the only means of allocating water (Symes et al., 19 99 ; Bjornlund, 2002a; T isdell and Ward, 2003). Tisdell and Ward fo und that irrigation commun ities stro ngly d isagree wirh rh e idea rhar 'water enrirlemencs will no longer be an in h erent asset in farmin g', and strongly support the authorities' righ t 'co intervene in the market if trade has the potential to impact on third parries, rhe economic viability of local cowns and communities, environmenral fl ow objectives, and when the n egotiated conditions of trade or resulting d istribution fro m trade is seen as unjust or unfa ir' (p. 28).




Table 1. Farm businesses, wh ich ha~e not participated in water trad ing. % of farm businesses


Pyram id Hill/Boort (Victoria)


Torrumbarry System (Victoria)


Murray irriga tion limited (NSW)


Private diverters Murray Region (NSW)


Private Diverters River Murray SA (Riverland)


Private Diverters River Murray SA (lower Murray)


Central Irrigation Trust, SA


Based an an analysis of waler entitlement registers and water trading registers for the respective areas as of 30 June 200 1.

Table 2. Trading activity on the temporary market 1995/ 96 to 2000/ 0 l - M IL. % of farm businesses

1995/ 96



Not trading

23 .4



1996/ 97









38. 8







2000/0 1

37 .1







T h e workshop in Vicco ria placed some emphasis on cultural issues. Participants argued char traditionally irrigators do nor see themselves as water traders bur as farmers, and will therefore only consider growing a crop. It would be against their culrnre and traditio n co sell the water co gain an income, rather than grow a crop. The focus group participants were ambivalent on che issue; with irrigacors expressing very strong concerns abou t the potential community impacts of water trad ing out of d istricts and the impact of non -irrigacors speculating in water (wh ich T isdell and Ward also fou nd). T hey also expressed views li ke ' trade should o nly be allowed w ithin district at prices chat irrigacors can afford', 'che poorer will get poorer and the rich will gee richer; generally poorer farmers can't afford co purchase water so they fa ll even further behind', and 'th ere should be a moracoriu m on trading in permanent entitlement co give people time to reassess and review che imp act chat tradi ng has had'. Irrigacors wanr co p rotect their com m unities against the vagaries of the free marker but are also astutely aware chat they n eed more open and flexible markets co h elp ch em manage increased risk and u ncertainty. Th ere are therefore signs chat irrigators are increasingly creating water as just another commodity in rhe allocation market, while they remain reluccanr co sell water in rhe entid emenr market (Bjornlund 20 03a,b).

Analyses of rhe water enrirlemenc and water tradi ng registers suggest chat market participation is q uite h igh in NSW and V iccoria (cable 1), with o nly I 0 -12% of farm businesses within rhe Pyramid HillBoore area and M IL never having participated in any kind of water trading. T able 2 reflects the increase in trade participation in any given year within rhe MIL and shows a doubling of the participation race since 1997/98. D uring the lase fi ve seasons more than two thirds of all farm businesses were active in the allocation marker. T he participation race in SA and in the Murray supplied part of the GMID is m uch lower; ch is reflects a higher level of reliab ility of water supply. T hese figu res ind icate chat markets h ave been fai rly widely adopted by irrigacors; however, in asking irrigacors what they chink ab out the market in general it was in dicated rhac about 30% of buyers in ch e temporary market d uring 1998/99 within both che GMID and M IL, and 30 % of irrigators within the GMI D who have never traded, are against water markets, because they activate un used water, and thereby reduce seasonal allocations (Bjornlund, 20026).

Lack of More Flexible and Secure Property Rights Consistent Across Jurisdictions


Present property right structures anefthe lack of secure registers of water enri.>Ji men rs were mentioned in all th ree stacesfa:s

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business important impediments ro rhe fur ther adopt ion of water markers. In SA, water and land rights have been fo rmally separated for q uire some rime, while in NSW and Queensland the separation is part of rhe new Water Act 2000. V icto ria so fa r has not raken any steps to implement th is separation , bu r is presently considering such a m ove (D SE, 200 3) . Discussions at the Victorian worksho p as well as in focus groups in all three stares were lively with respect to th is issue; p roponents of rhe separatio n were vocal, while others repo rted signi ficant oppositio n ro such a move. T he perceived benefits of this separation would be more fl ex ible instruments such as lo ngterm leases and leaseback arrangements. Both these lease for ms would provid e irrigators wh o rely on the allocation markers with much more security of price and su pply. Leaseback wi ll enable irrigators to sell their entitlem ents to fi nance rhe necessary farm adjustments, and consequently to be in a position to develop their properties, while ar rhe same rime retaining rhe long-term control of the seasonal allocatio ns. Separating rhe interest in land and water as well as unbu ndling the interest in water into its components would also ease rhe in trod uction of m ore sophisticated d erivatives of water entitlements and allocations such as furu res, options and conditional leases, which will allow more fl exible and pred ictable trad ing to take place outside period s of severe water sh ortage. T his would take the pressure of future drought period s by allowing farmers to make mutually profitable long-term arrangements about how they are going to hand le futu re d roughts, d u ring periods of normal supply, when heads are cool and m inds are more logical. Buyers can m ake more rational decisions and can 'shop around ', whilst sellers will nor be caugh t up in the 'greed-of-the-moment' during periods of drought and frantic buying. In other markers it has been proven that secondary products have become the dominati ng marker, and char these products have significantly changed demand pattern and thereby increased overall efficiency (ACIL 2003). A final impediment to trade, generated by pol icy d ifferen ces between stares, was id entified between NSW and Victoria. In NSW the ability to carry unused water over to rhe next season is an nounced late in the season . Victoria does nor have such a provision. There is therefore a potential fo r NSW irrigators to buy cheap water in Victoria toward the end of the season, when remaining unused allocations have little or no value. T o prevent this, the Victorian

refereed paper

Government has p laced a ban o n trade in to NSW, fro m the time when NSW ann ounces their carry over ab ility.

Financial Institutions Financial instirutions have traditio nally required irrigators to co ntrol the necessary water entitlements as a cond ition for approving fundin g for developmen ts. T h is in essen ce has been an impediment to the use of the allocation marker as a vehicle for new developments, and as a driver of the entitlement m arker. Ir was reported at the SA workshop that financial insrirmions have become more will ing to waive this requirement. T he d evelopment of long-term leases as well as leaseback arrangemen rs would p rotect both the financial institutions and rhe developers in this p rocess. Along the sam e lines Gou lburn-Mu rray W ater has mad e it possible fo r d evelopers to obtai n security of channel capacity fo r their total water need, while they develop their p roperty, and whi le they purchase the necessary volume of entitlement (DNRE, 20 0 1a). Th is again reduces the risk fo r both developers and finan cial institutio ns during the developm ent process .

Administrative Issues Ad ministrati ve issues as impedi ments co the use of entitlement markets ca me through very strongly in the workshops and focus grou ps in all three stares. Th is reflects rhe review of the I nrersrare Permanent Water Tradi ng Pilot Program (Young et al., 2000), an d rhe survey work of Tisdell an d Ward (2003), and Bjornlund and McKay (199 9, 2001 ). The issues are the time it takes, rh e costs involved and the uncertain ty of the o utcome of the process. In Victoria th e main issue is the need to advertise (28 days), in SA it is the need to produce an I rrigatio n and Drainage Management Plan , and fo r in terstate trade it is the 35 days th at applications h ave to spend in the mail. W it hin all jurisdictions a chronic sho rtage of staff within the relevant departments was referred to as a major cause of the ti me delay. Bjornl und and M cKay (2001 ) showed that irrigarors' perceptions of the administrative processes in the allocation m arker in NSW and Victoria have beco m e more and more favou rable over rime. On the other hand irrigato rs using the

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business entitlement market concin ued to rate the process as being equally difficult. These factors have been an impediment co the adoption of the entitlement market and a driver of the allocatio n market. Within the GMID, interviews of irrigacors originally used che entitlement market, but subsequencly had used the allocation market, found che fo llowing co be important reasons for chis change: (i) 39% said chat 'ic is coo difficult co buy enti tlements'; (ii) 32% said chat 'che transfer cost of buying enciclemencs is coo high'; and (iii) 50% said chat 'with the Exchange in place it is so easy' co b uy allocations. Among che sellers, 59% referred co the ease of using the exchange, while 9% referred co th e d ifficulty of the transfer process when selli ng enciclements. Obviously it is predominancly che buyers who are suffering from che admin istrative problems. T he second area of concern, with respect co administrative iss ues is related co the lack of transparency in che marker. This issue was particularly d iscussed in the SA workshop, reflecting che face chat there is no Exchange operating in chat state, and therefore no public access co information about supply and demand. With che operations of the Exchan ges in Victoria and NSW, transparency in che market is very good.

Tax Implications Tax laws could be hypoth esised co have a significant influence o n which market buyers and sellers use. T he purchase of an allocation is an operatio nal cost and therefore tax deductible, whi le sales are annual income co be offset against cost. Since most sellers have relatively low farm incomes (Bjo rnlund, 2002a), tax is not a major con cern. On the ocher hand, p u rchases of entitlements cannot be deducted o r depreciated in tax, and sales might attract capital gains cax (DNRE, 200 1) . Quite a large proportion of market participants are aware of this face: 14% of the buyers of allocations in NSW and 16% in GMID during 1998/99, said chat cax benefits were an important reason for using char market, wh ile 40 % of che buyers of enticlements w ithin che GMI D who subsequencly u sed che allo cation market co sell water, gave tax benefits as an important reason for this decision. However, estimations of tax implications of water tradin g in both entitlement and allocation markers suggests that most irrigacors should be largely indifferent co which marker th ey use from a tax perspective (Box 1).

64 NOVEMBER 2004 water

Box 1. Comparison o f permanent and temporary pr ices. Assumptions: • An allocation price of $80/Ml and an entitlement price of $800/Ml 1; • a marg ina l tax rate of 40% for buyers and 17% for sellers; • a cost of money of 8%; • a cost of water supply of $20/Ml pa; and, • a sales water entitlement set at the expected long-term average of 60% for buyers, and a maximum of 30% of sellers (set by regulation). For sellers: 1. income from trade $80/ Ml, less delivery cost $20/Ml, yielding a net income of $60/Ml; 2. after tax net income $60 less 17% = $49.80/Ml; 3. however, when comparing with the price of an entitlement, we have to consider that the alternative of selling 1 Ml of entitlement is to sell 1.3Ml of allocation, increasing the comparable annual alter tax net income to $64.74/Ml; 4. capitalised at 8% yields a capital value of $809 /Ml; therefore, 5. given a water market price of $800/Ml, most sellers should be indifferent to which market they use. For buyers: 1. cost of water $80/ Ml, since the seller pays delivery cost, this constitutes the full annual cost; 2. ofter tox net cost $80/Ml less 40% = $48/Ml; 3. to compare with the entitlement market, we have to consider that a buyer will have to buy on average 1.6 Ml of allocation per year to replace 1 Ml of entitlement, raising the comparable annual cost to 1.6 x $48 or $76.80/Ml; 4. capitalising this price at 8% yields a comparable capital cost of $960/Ml; 5. when comparing this price to the permanent market price of $800, we have to consider that by buying 1 Ml of entitlement, the buyer has to pay the delivery cost of $20/Ml or an alter tax cost of $12/Ml in perpetuity. Capitalising this after tax delivery cost at 8% produces a capital cost of $150/Ml. Adding this to the entitlement price of $800/Ml produces a comparable entitlement price of $950/ Ml; therefore, 6. under this scenario most buyers should be indifferent ta which market they use.

1. These prices reflect market conditions during the 1998/2000 seasons and hove been used os prices since hos increased significantly and ollocotion prices hos fluctuated significantly due to the long drought. These prices ore therefore not likely to re flect long term trends (Bjornlund and Rossini, 2004/.

Adjustment Pressure Many irrigacors cann ot afford the capital outlay associated with buyi ng en ti clements, because their available capital is tied up in other fa rm adjustments such as expanding their property, changing production and improving irrigation and drainage infrastructure. They therefore depend on the allocatio n marker (Bjornlund, 20026). T hese irrigacors would b en efi t from longerterm leases as well as leaseback arrangemen ts, in order co assist ch em in the adjustment process by providing longterm supply and price certainty. Refl ectin g chis, 62% of the buyers of allocations within the GMID during 1998/99 said chat an important or very important reason fo r using th e allocation market was chat even though they needed the water every year, they co uld not afford co buy it, and 33% of the entitlement buyers, who had used the allocation market for subsequent purchases, said chat they d id chis, because they could not afford ro buy more entitlements. Likewise, there is a large group of irrigators who have given up developi ng their property co be financially

viable in the long term, but do not want to sell their enti tlemen ts and give up che farming lifestyle and leave the community. T hey use the allocation market to either buy enough water co keep their fa rm businesses running or to sell all or most of their water co generate a househ old income co mbined with off-farm wo rk (Bjornlund, 2002a).

Conclusions This paper has discussed impediments co the operations of water markets, in particular the marker for long term enciclements, based on workshops with irrigacors, water brokers and ocher stakeh olders in the irrigation industry, and fo cus groups with irrigarors. N ine categories of market impediments were identified: 1) uncertainty about fu ture supply, 2) physical constraints, 3) limitations on trade our of irrigation areas, 4) issues of culture and tradition, 5) lack of more flexi b le and secu re property rights co nsistent across jurisdictions, 6) financial institutions, 7) admin istrative issues, 8) tax implications and 9) adj ustment p ressures.

refereeu paper

business T he major impediments to trade as such are uncertainty of supply, phys ical constraints, administrative issues and limitations of trade out of areas. Important impediments to the use of enticlement markers relative ro allocation markers are ad ministrative issues, uncertainty of supply, tax implications and adjustment pressures. Th e major impediments to che future evolution and expansion of rhe use of water markers are the lack of more flexible and secure interest in water and greater consistency of the defi ni tio n of these interests across jurisdictions. lrrigators have been hesitant to adopt water markers beca use of culture and rradi rion , and many have therefore been reluctant users of water markers in response to increasing adjustment pressures, brought to bear on irrigation communities by rhe new generation of water pol icies.

The Author Henning Bjornlund is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Internacional Business, Uni versity of South Australia, specialising in aspects of water trading. Email: henni ng.bjorn lund@un isa.ed. au

References ACIL T asman (2003): Water Trading in Australia - Current and Prospective Products. Canberra: ACIL Tasman. Bjorn lund, H . (2004a) : \\'later markets, Water rights and the Environment - V(/hat the Irrigation Community Tells Us, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Industry Parm er Report written as part of t he ARC SP IRT project D raft Final Report Section 3. (A copy can be o btained by e-mailing the author at he nning.bjo rnlund@unisa.edu.au) .

Water Advertising To reach the decision-malcers in the water field, you should consider advertising in Water Journal, the official journal of Australian Water Association. For information on advertising rates, please contact Brian Rault at Hallmarlc Editions. Tel (03J 9530 8900 or email brault@halledit.com.au

Bjornlund , H . (20046): Where to from here?- A framework for the next generation ofwater market policies. Industry Pa rmer Report written as part of the ARC SP! RT project Draft Final Report Section 4 . (A copy can be obtained by e-mailing the author at henning. bjo rnl und@u n isa.ed u.a u). Bjornlund, H. and Rossini, P. (2004) : Factors Influencing Prices Paid in t he Markee for Temporary Water. Pacific Rim Property }ouma/( 10)4, in print. Bjo rnlund, H . (2003a): Efficient water marke t mecha nisms to cope with water scarcity. Water Resources D evelopment 19(4), 553-568. Bjornlund, H (20036) : Farmer Participation in markets for temporary and pe rmanent water in southeastern Auscralia. Agricultuml Water Management63(1), 57-76. Bjornlund, H. (2002a): The socio-economic scructure of irriga tio n commun ities - warer m arkets a nd the structural adjustment process. }011rnal of Rum/ Society 12(2), I 23147. Bjorn lund, I--1. (20026): The Adoption, Perception a nd Im pact of the New Water Policy Parad igm with in Two Australia n

States. Proceedings from the Conference ' lrrigation Water Policies: Mic ro and Macro Consideration ' . Agadir, Morocco, J une. Available at URL http://www. world bank.agad irco 11 ference.com. Bjornlund, H (2000): T o Regulate or to Mar ke t - Striking the Balance for Sustainable Wat er Use. Proceedings from the joint conference: Water and the law, Adelaide, O ctober, 7- 14 Bjornlund, I--1 . a nd Mc Kay, J. (I 999): Water Markers: Buyers a nd Sellers Perception. Water 26(2), 41-45 . Bjorn lund, I--1 and McKay (200 I) : Operational Aspect of W ater Markets. Proceedings from the 3rd Australasian Natuml Resources law and Policy Conference, Adelaide, Ma rch, 5059 . CoAG (2004): Communique 25 June 2004 . Available at URL lmp://www.pm.gov.au DNRE, Departme nt of Namral Resources and Environme nt (2001 ): The Value of Water: A Guide to Water Tmding in Victoria. Melbourne: DNRE. DSE, Department of Sustainabili ty and Environ ment (2003): Securing Our Water Future - Green Paper for Discussion. Melbourne: DSE. MDBC, Murray D arling Basin C omm issio n (2000): Future lnfi·ast mcture Maintenance: (in water origin/donor areas) - Addressing Concern About Tmding. Discussion Paper for Permanent lnterstate Wate r Trading Worksho p in Albury, Decembe r. C anberra: MDBC. MDBMC, Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Counc il (2002): The living Mu rmy, Canberra: MDBMC. Syrne, G .J ., B.E. Nancarrow and J .A. McCreddin (1999): D efining the compone nts of fa irness in the allocation of water ro enviro nmental and huma n uses. }011rnal of Environmental Management 57, 5 1-70. Tisdell , J. and J. Ward (2003): Attitudes Towards Water Markets: An Aust ralian Case Study. Society and Nat1tral Reso1trces 16, 6 175 .


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For further information, visit www.grundfos.com. Contact William Wong, (08) 84614611.

SOLE DISTRIBUTOR FOR HAIGH EQUIPMENT Proj ect Pum ps is the sole distributor for Haigh sewage, screening and conditio ning equipment. The macerators and conditioning equ ipment range from small domestic units up to large 200 mm units with fl ows from 2 I/sec up to 110 I/sec for large sewage treatment plants.

Haigh Pipeliners at North Head STP The Haigh Pipeliners and Conditioners p roduces a consistent, controlled fine particle size. They have one mechanical seal char is not in contact with che product being created , and one curter assembly, with a wear compensating cutter mechanism which maintains a constant fo rce against the shearplace. T he back-pullout design leaves pipework undisturbed. The Haigh pipeliners and conditioners do nor requi re costly control gear. Haigh produces are widely acknowledged for their quality and reliability, and for che past 35 years they have been successfully working throughout Australia at majo r sewage treatment p lanes in cities and country areas. They are also operating in tourist facil ities, industrial complexes, schools, shopping centres, private homes, caravan parks, marinas, ships, waste t reatment facilities, abattoirs and mining fac ilities.

Contact Ben Frazier (02) 9709 6684 or visit www.projectpumps.com.au

VEOLIA LAUNCHES NEW MEMBRANE REACTOR Veolia Water Systems has released onto the Australian and New Zealand market its innovative biological membrane process. Biosep™ is based on the very efficient and reliable membrane bioreactor (MB R) technology. Biosep has some real attractions for the Australian market where water sho rtage is part of daily life and careful water management is critical.

SANITARY SEWER MODELLING AND DESIGN SOFTWARE Adopted by thousands of municipalities and consulting firms around the world, Haestad Methods SewerCAD by Bentley Systems is an advanced design, analysis, and planning tool for sanitary sewer modelling and management. For more information about SewerCAD, see the inside front cover of Water Journal, visit our website at www.haestad.com/tryit and enter code 6265, or e-mail us at australia@haestad.com. 66 NOVEMBER 2004