Water Journal March 2009

Page 1

Volume 36 No 2

MARCH 2009


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Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Volume 36 No 2 March 2009

contents REGULAR FEATURES From the AWA President

D Barnes


T Mollenkopf


J Sturdy


Interesting Times for Water

From the AWA Chief Executive Sensitive About Water My Point of View Crosscurrent



R Knee 14

Industry News


AWA News


Events Calendar


Wanted: Water Innovators - see page 18

FEATURE REPORTS Catchment Management National Specialist Network Seminar Roadshow


Water Quality Research Australia Limited (WQRA) - Part 2 36 D Halliwell, J Dawe, A Gackle, M Akeroyd Restoring Fire Ravaged Land in California with Biosolids 39 MJ McFarland, RB Brobst, GKester Tackling Stormwater Constructively WA CONTACT DETAILS stralian Water Association ABN 78 096 035 773 vel 6, 655 Pacific Hwy, PO Box 222, St Leonards NSW 1590 I: +61 2 9436 0055 Fax: +61 2 9436 0155 ~ Email: info@awa.asn.au Web: www.awa.asn.au DISCLAIMER Australian Water Association assumes no responsibility for opinion or statements of facts expressed by contributors or advertisers. COPYRIGHT AWA Water Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission of the AWA. To seek permission to reproduce Water Journal materials, send your request to media@awa.asn.au WATER JOURNAL MISSION STATEMENT 'To provide a journal that interests and informs on water matters, Australian and international, covering technological, environmental, economic and social aspects, and to provide a repository of useful refereed papers. ' PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: February, March, May, June, August, September, November and December. EDITORIAL BOARD Chair: Frank R Bishop; Dr Bruce Anderson, ENSR Australia; Dr Terry Anderson, Consultant SEWL; Greg Finlayson, GHD; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rtd); Anthony Gibson, Ecowise; Dr Brian Labza, Vic Health; Professor Felicity Roddick, AMIT University; Mike Muntisov, GHD; David Power, BEGA Consultants; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO; and Bob Swinton, Technical Editor. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Water Journal welcomes editorial submissions for technical and topical articles, news, opinion pieces, business


Catchment Management Seminar - see page 31

information and letters to the editor. Acceptance of editorial submissions is at the discretion of the editor and editorial board. • Technical Papers and Features Bob Swinton, Technical Editor, Water Journal- bswinton@bigpond.net.au AND journal@awa.asn.au Papers 3,000-4,000 words and graphics; or topical articles of up to 2,000 words relating to all areas of the water cycle and water business. Submissions are tabled at monthly editorial board meetings and where appropriate are assigned referees. Referee comments will be forwarded to the principal author for further action. Authors should be mindful that Water Journal is published in a 3 column 'magazine' format rather than the full-page format of Word documents. Graphics should be set up so that they will still be clearly legible when reduced to two-column size (about 12cm wide}. Tables and figures need to be numbered with the appropriate reference in the text e.g. see Figure 1, not just placed in the text with a (see below) reference as they may end up anywhere on the page when typeset. • Industry News, Opinion pieces and Media Releases Edie Nyers, Editor, Water Journal - journal@awa.asn.au • Water Business and Product News Brian Raul!, National Sales and Advertising Manager, Hallmark Editions - brian.rault@halledit.com.au

ADVERTISING Advertisements are included as an information service to readers and are reviewed before publication to ensure relevance to the water sector and objectives of the AWA. Brian Rault, National Sales and Advertising Manager, Hallmark Editions - brian.rault@halledit.com.au Tel: +61 3 8534 5014 AWA BOOKSHOP Copies of Water Journal, including back issues, are available from the AWA Bookshop for $12.50 plus postage and handling. Email: bookshop@awa.asn.au


PUBLISHER Hallmark Editions, PO Box 84, Hampton, Vic 3188 Tel: 61 3 8534 5000 Fax: 61 3 9530 8911 Email: hallmark.editions@halledit.com.au

OUR COVER Sydney' s desalination plant is well underway. The product delivery line commences with an HOD drive under t he seag rass beds at Kurnell, then twin pipes across Botany Bay laid by this huge lay barge imported from Malaysia. Dredges wi ll precede the barge and the pipe sections wi ll be welded on board and lowered into the trench, which will be back-filled by following dredges (see page 63). Photograph courtesy of Sydney Water.


MARCH 2009 1


Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Haywards Bay Constructed Wetlands - see page 54

Volume 36 No 2 March 2009


More Sustainable Seawater Desalination - see page 74


[ii Managed Aquifer Recharge with Secondary Treated Wastewater Highlights and challenges of using infiltration galleries

S Toze, EBekele


E Shaver


P Nichols, D Laing, B C Phillips


A Genn


Reported by E A (Bob) Swinton


M Hoang, B Soito, C Haskard, O Barron, S Gray, G Leslie


J Poon


M Newland, 8 Gibbs, M Gelman



Successful Stormwater Management The institutional framework for effective programs is lagging

[ii Haywards Bay Constructed Wetlands Best practice surface water and groundwater management in an urbanising catchment

[i] Banking on Stormwater Considering all available options can help drive the stormwater industry forward DESALINATION & MEMBRANES

Membranes and Desalination Specialty Conference Ill

[ii Desalination Plants: An Australia Survey By 2013 desalination will supply1734 MUd potable and 461 MUd industrial

[ii More Sustainable Seawater Desalination A 21st century challenge

[I] Further Experience with MBR and RO Membrane Technologies Translation of fundamental biological design approaches to MBRs WATER BUSINESS

New Products and Business Information


Advertisers' Index


2 MARCH 2009 water

my point of view

Where Are My Staff When I Need Them? John Sturdy John Sturdy BEng (Hons), MBA, M.Eng Science, (MAWA, FIEA, AIMM) is the Melbourne-based General Manager of ETM Search and Selection. He started as a civil engineer in private industry and the Melbourne Board of Works, then overseas and national with consu lting firms. He entered the recruiting sector over a decade ago with Morgan & Banks. He is on the advisory board to the Monash University Civil Engineering department and undertaking PhD research at La Trobe University. In 2008, Monash University named him a Distinguished Alumnus. Organisations have always assessed their strategic and operational staffing needs and generated actions to ensure they can effectively operate now and into the future.

• The due process and governance issues

Managers have had the responsibility to drive the process based on short, medium and long term executive decisions and directions. This has become extremely difficult to manage as future employees are becoming harder to locate and source.

• How to locat e and source potential candidates.

• The variety of business drivers and

All of these are dependent on experience and a dedicated focus to achieve a cost effective and efficient outcome.

On the surface in 2009 it may appear to be getting easier as media headlines reg ularly feature gloom and doom stories highlighting job losses, corporate restructuring, cutbacks and business failure.

A number of organisations have developed strong in-house knowledge and capabi lity whi lst others have languished behind . Others have formed strategic alliances with external providers both large and small. There are varying so lutions for all participants.

It is worth noting that leading economic forecasters have predicted a blow-out in unemployment rates to around 6% by the end of the November. This was the same level that existed in 2000 (approx 6.1 %).

Today, unlike other recessionary periods in hist ory, there is a chronic shortag e of qualified professionals across most areas of endeavour (e.g. engineers, technicians, tradesman, etc.)

However at the same time, governments at a local, state and federal level are spending considerable time, effort and money to orchestrate programs and strategies to stimulate economic activity. The world's leading economic nations are common in their approach - build and create infrastructure to stimulate the economy by increasing jobs to provide a legacy and platform for future generations to prosper.

There is a sustained structural imbalance between demand and supply i.e. for over a generation, Australia as a nation has not been producing sufficient numbers of qualified engineers to meet t he growing need and to replace the numbers leaving.

In Australia, the water industry had already identified key initiatives and projects to meet strategic and operational needs now and into the future. The impact of drought and demographic changes has been pivotal in the forecast and planned activity. Capital works programs are at record levels in all states and territories.

The Australian population is ageing, indicating potential workforce planning issues as the knowledge cohort approaches retirement.

To appreciate the magnitude of the current situation the forecast national capital works program is conservatively at least fou r times the level of the program delivered in 2000.

Across Australia the demand for professionals to support these initiatives and programs is strong and robust. Vacancies are common across both the public and private sector. Based on my experience, it was not easy recruiting for the public and private water sector in 2000. Considerable time, effort and skill were required to identify and source suitable potential employees from all markets to align with the proscribed needs of the water sector. To achieve positive outcomes in 2009 still requires a depth of knowledge and understanding of: • The sector locally, nationally and internationally • The type, range, level and variety of roles

Summits have been held to discuss and plan solutions without positive change.

The water sector is further affected like most other sectors by a reduci ng talent pool as many professionals change organisations and industries never to return. New entrants to the industry are limited. As an advisory member of Monash University Civil Engineering department I am aware there are head count limits on enrolments across all tertiary institutions. Education providers have resource limits based on their facil ities and staff numbers. The total number of VCE students to enter the necessary tertiary courses is also limited due to demographic trends in student numbers. Unfortunately the drop-off rates from courses such as engineering is extremely high in Australia adding to the shortage. To look for an international solution is hard because these trends are global, making it d ifficult to source international professionals on a large scale. The competition is fierce.

• The breadth of technical capabil ity and innovation under consideration

These factors make it hard for organisations to develop effective talent management strategies across all disciplines and professions.

• The various organisational structures and cultures at a rural and metropolitan location

A number of potential organisational problems can be minimised by dramatically red ucing turn over through:

6 MARCH 2009 water

my point of view • Development of an aligned corporate and employee based retention strategy • Development of a staff management and performance strategy • Assessment and development of a positive employment brand • Development alumni programs

• Formal recruitment and candidate sourcing trai ning. With these in hand success is st ill not guaranteed. At times organisational hiring managers have demonstrated a limited understanding of the resource market, due to the limited and/or casual need to source new employees. In this case it can be a difficult task and may take excessive time and effort for minimal or no return. Failed recruitment assignments are repeated for similar outcomes. The magnitude of temp/contract resources charge out rates and aligned permanent salaries are all related and determined by market demand and candidate supply. Unfortunately at all levels the commencement salary of a newly hired employee is driven by similar market forces. These t end to be outside the internal remu neration benchmarks for long term employees in the same role. The challenges to meet the immediate and forecast resource needs for the sector are many and can be categories as follows:


IJi1 I

AWA -<


eustrelien water 8S90Cl8tion

Policy makers within government at all levels will need to act decisively t o raise the enrolment thresholds for pivotal professions such as engineers to meet the future needs whilst ensuring that those that are currently participating are given sufficient support and guidance to complete their course. Appropriate fu nding for technical education and research must be provided to support the industry demands. • Industry

• On-boarding programs


• Government

Water Altociltlon

National Committee Australia

Organisations within the sector must collaborate and unite to encourage students of all disciplines to experience work within the sector. Career advisors at secondary and tertiary level need to be educated and informed through well developed programs and information sessions to ensure graduates and the like are fully informed leading to better career decisions. Other sectors have taken up the challenge and introduced or pilot ed work experience programs across the long vacation in a structured manner and developed graduate programs. • People

The sector requi res professionals with the knowledge, capability, passion, experience, commitment, and structural support to facilitate and manage the associated workforce planning issues. Currently there is a chron ic shortage of such talent. In conclusion, history has shown that the sector has met the chal lenges in the past and only time will reveal whether the programs and initiatives raised can be achieved to ensure the sector can maintain and enhance its valued position with in the community.

Registration Opens May 2009 Look for you r copy of the registration brochure in the May edition of Water


Sponsorship and Exhibition Opportunities Sponsorship and Exhibition opportunities are available. Check the conference website for further details


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8 MARCH 2009 water

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Western Australia •

Tasmania's Water Minister has released a new guide to help urban planners work out if public assets are at risk from rising sea levels. The coastal risk management plan will allow planners to quantify how important assets are to an area, and what risk there is of damage to them. www.dpiw.tas.gov.au

Victoria Melbourne Water announced that 15 billion litres of Melbourne's drinking water were moved away from bushfire areas to other reservoirs as a precaution. The longer term effects on the two catchments most affected - Maroondah and O'Shannassy - w ill depend upon several factors including rainfall intensity and level of damage to vegetation. According to Melbourne Water, the bushfires have highlighted a key strength of Melbourne's water supply system - the ability to protect supply by spreading water across nine different reservoirs - and supplies to customers remain unaffected.

Goulburn Valley Water prepared for potential water quality problems from rai nfall runoff after the recent bushfires. A number of catchments in the region have extensive fire damage, and Goulburn Val ley Water announced that they will stop diverting water to systems with off stream storages prior, during and after a rainfall event, to ensure that runoff does not enter the water supply. For other systems, a number of different approaches will be implemented depending on the size and treatment facilities for each system. In an extreme case tankering of drinking water may be required.

New scientific modelling is one of the tools that were used to develop the draft Swan Canning Water Quality Improvement Plan. The plan describes the system as under enormous pressure, and only able to handle half the nitrogen and phosphorous it takes in annually. The plan is available for public comment until 19 April 2009. The draft plan includes efficient fertiliser use, encouraging people to connect to deep sewerage, artificial wetlands and living streams as some of the proposed actions. www.swanrivertrust.wa.gov.au

WA's Water Corporation released its draft plan to address the challenge of providing sustainable water services to 2060. Water Forever: Directions for Our Water Future proposed a portfolio of over 700 billion litres of water demand and supply options. The proposed that over the next 20 years, West Australians become 15 per cent more water efficient, recycle up to 30 per cent of all wastewater in the metropolitan area and develop up to 100 billion litres of new water sources. www.watercorporation.com .au



A report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) warned that the world is moving towards 'water bankruptcy' as demand outstrips supply. It predicted that in under 20 years, the world could lose the equivalent of the entire grain crops of India and US. It noted that water has been consistently under-priced in many regions, and has been wasted and over-used. According to the report, water requirements for energy were also expected to soar, impacting on the amount of water available for agriculture. www.weforu m.org

Yarra Valley Water has been working with the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the Department of Human Services (OHS) in communities affected by the February bushfires to maintain reliable, safe drinking water. Where appropriate, resources such as bottled water, water tankers and equipment to communities and other authorities were supplied.

The US Center for Biological Diversity announced the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to review how ocean acidification - which results from the ocean's absorption of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - should be addressed under the federal Clean Water Act. The Center wanted stricter pH standards for ocean water quality.

Gippsland Water provided up to 20,000 litres of free potable water per property to fire-affected residents who have lost water from their private water tanks as a result of the recent fires. The offer was available to residents who had no alternate source of water supply and lost their water tank, or used all their source of water, fighting fires or protecting their homes. www.gippswater.com .au

The European Commission sent Italy a final written warning for not complying with EU legislation on urban wastewater treatment. Some 299 towns and cities were listed as not having waste water treatment up to EU standard. Discharges of untreated urban waste water are the most significant source of pollution in coastal and inland waters, and Italy may be brought before the European Court of Justice.

ADELAIDE Owen Jayne 08 8348 1687 ojayne@wlgroup.com.au

12 MARCH 2009 water

BRISBANE Graeme Anderson 07 3866 7860

02 8904 7504

ganderson@wigroup .com.au


SYDNEY Hugh McGinley


Water Infrastructure AT,-oolnttl<M1ionel Compeny GROUP


Science and Technical


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said two creeks in north-west Queensland may be contami nated with heavy metals. The Mount Isa City Council stated that it is worki ng with the EPA to monitor an overflow of contaminated water from a local mine, which had a major impact on the Inca and Saga creeks. The EPA said staff have reported dead fish and that people and stock should avoid the creeks.

Up to one fifth of rainwater tanks could have lead levels above drinking water guidelines, according to recent research from the Griffith University. While previous studies showed that lead levels in city rainwater tanks across Australia could exceed drinking water guidelines, this was the largest study of its kind t o investigate the reasons, with the main sources of lead most likely to be your rooftop, rather than the atmosphere.

Preliminary research confirmed that fish and crabs in existing protected green zones in Moreton Bay are both bigger and more abundant than those outside the zones. CSIRO Wealth from Oceans National Research Fl agship scientists, in collaboration with EPA Queensland, nearly completed the first stage of a three year research program to evaluate the effectiveness of the expanded green zones soon to come into effect in the Moreton Bay Marine Park. www.csiro.au/news

A variety of man-made Chemicals including pesticides, fire retardants, fragrances, detergent degradates and caffeine were found in the streams and wastewaters that discharge into Lake Champlain, Vermont USA. Although the concentrations were low, the significance of such a mixture in the environment is unknown . How these chemicals affect fish and human health at the levels found is not well understood and an area of ongoing research .

Member News Her Excellency Ms Quentin BryceAC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia kind ly accepted the position of Patron of the Austral ian Water Association.

Toray Membrane USA Inc has announced the appointment of Emilio Gabbrielli as Vice President of Business Development. Mr Gabbrielli has over thirty years of water desalination and reuse experience. He will be concentrating on Australia and Latin America. Gabbrielli.emilio@toraymem.com.

Mitch Laginestra, Principal Engineer with GHD, specialising in water/wastewater treatment and Odour Control, relocated from Sydney to GHD's Adelaide office. Mitch.laginestra@ghd.com.au

based in Melbourne. The company is currently undertaking the planning, design and construction management of water, sewer, recycled water, and treatment plant projects for Victorian Water Authorities and industry. smorris@cmpgroup.com.au

Engineering and environmental professional services firm URS Australia appointed Saul Martinez as Manager, Hunter Region Operations. Saul joined URS Australia's Hunter Valley operations after working in the firm's Brisbane Office for the past five years, and had worked for a leading civil engineering consultancy in the UK as well as the Brisbane City Council, prior t o this.

Marina Ilic, formerly of Bilfinger Berger Services, joined CH2M HILL in Sydney as a Commercial Manager for their growing Design and Construction business. Milina.ilic@ch2m.com.au

AQUAPHEMERA We have received a timely publication by Dr Malcolm Gill Underpinnings of fire management for biodiversity conservation in reserves. Fire and adaptive management, for the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE). Dr Gill had a long and distinguished career in CSIRO as a fire ecologist. He aims to stimulate thought and action by improving understanding of the critical processes so that through adaptive management, we can achieve effective conservation of Australia's unique and fire-prone biodiversity (in chapter 1). The conflict between access tracks for fire fighting and the consequential impacts on water quality and biodiversity conservation (in chapter 2). Prescribed burning and its efficacy in relation to its success in fuel red uction, fire spread, and ease of fire control (in chapter 3). Grazing as a fire management tool is not necessarily as effective as expected (in chapter 4). The theory of between fire intervals and the need for some randomness (in chapter 5). The most suited fire intervals for conservation and the need for a fire-free period (in chapter 6). The effectiveness of spatial variation in prescribed fires creating patchiness depends on fire and fuel natures (in chapter 7). Unfortunately the horrific and tragic Victorian fires last month, like the 2003 fires in Canberra, bring out the calls for more controlled burns. The evidence suggests that they are an important part of the total fire management strategy but are not the panacea. Dr Gill advocates monitoring, understanding of systems and local knowledge, if we are to manage with limited resources in the face of changing climates, human and ecosystem demands. He strikes an excellent balance between the often conflicting requirements on our catchments, as does the WA Department of Conservation and Land Management in identifying critical fire intervals for flora and fauna; fire suppression limits and prescribed burning practices. Melbourne Water and DSE, with still the best post-fire water yield analysis, have a similar approach in managing Melbourne water catchments.

Greg Chalmers, Stephen Morris and Soyun Punyadasa started a new consultancy called CMP Consulting Group, 14 MARCH 2009


- Ross Knee


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industry news Wanted: Water Innovators Got a great new watery gizmo? Doing fascinating research? Questacon want to tell people al l about it. Questacon - The National Science & Technology Centre, with the support of the National Water Commission, is developing two hands-on, interactive exhibitions on water. Visitors to the exhibitions will discover a suite of fun and exciting exhibits and get to play a wide range of roles, from catchment manager, to farmer, to urban planner. Questacon wi ll also ru n a travelling ed ucation program for high school students featuring stories of Australian innovation in t he water industry. Questacon wants to featu re the latest research and inventions to showcase future directions and encourage students into water industry careers. If you think you can help or want to know more, please contact Em Blarney at eblamey@questacon.edu.au

Water miniQ with Maxine Mcque.

Education is Key

The plan will set t he priority object ives and strategies to maximise the contribution of education as one of the central strategies to secure Sydney's water supplies. The plan has been developed for those working in water management, education or sustainability and also provides a commitment to training , resources and support.

Water is a high priority for the people of greater Sydney, according to Water for Life. Research shows that around half of all Sydney residents think that water is one of the most important issues facing people living in o ur region today. This presents a unique opportunity for local government, non government organisations, the NSW Government and the community to work together t oward a sustainable water future. The NSW government's Water for Life Program, in collaboration w ith several organ isations including Sydney Water , has released a plan titled 'Water Education for greater Sydney 2008-2012' .

The Water Education Plan has been collaboratively developed by representatives from local government, non government organisations and the NSW Government as an initiative of the NSW Government's Water for Life Education Program . Its development has been based on the priorities and needs of stakeholders, the community and the environment. The Plan also cont rib utes to the priority actions identified in Learning for Sustainability, the NSW Environmental Education Plan.

WaterAid in Timor-Leste WaterAid Australia's recent program in Liquica, Timor-Leste, has been helping to provide shared community taps. This project will save thousands of hours in water collection time and wi ll allow for a protected water source, providing safe, clean water to 28. As with all of WaterAid's programs, all fami li es will gain access to hygienic toilets, which will drastically reduce easily preventable diseases and allow all residents an improved sense of dignity. The crucial third aspect of the program is hygiene education, which helps commu nities understand safe hygiene practices and the links between water, sanitation and incidence of diseases. "A pit latrine was built with technical support from WaterAid and we are very happy to use it so we won't need to go for open defecation again; now a new water system is built, we will be very happy. It saves a lot of time collecting water. I have more time to clean the house, cook and look after my little sisters. I would also have more time to help my father in the garden". Arsenia, Timor-Leste (name has been changed to comply with ACFID Code of Conduct).

18 MARCH 2009 water

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industry news Peter Cullen Trust Announced The federal government has announced $1 million in funding to help establish the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust. The Trust will honour Cullen's legacy by building water science knowledge and ski lls in Australia, promoting informed exchange and debate on national water issues, and contributing to imported environmental water management The Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust may support early career researchers and people who can "speak for the rivers" with clarity and credibility and may also support proposals to build capacity in science and science policy linkages.

Carbon Pollution Rising, Despite Slowing Economy Key indicators of carbon pollution show that Australia's emissions cont inued to rise as the economy slowed in the last quarter of 2008, according to the latest research from the Climate Institute.

Carbon pollution from commercial and residential electricity and fuel use increased in the December quarter by 800,000 tonnes, while economic activity slid backwards by 0.5 per cent. The pollution rise of 800,000 tonnes is equivalent to the emissions from 80,000 households or 185,000 cars. The lnstitute's says the figures show Australia cannot be complacent about the need to reduce carbon emissions.

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awa new members New Members AWA welcomes the following new members since the most recent issue of Water Journal:

OLD Utility Gold Water Secure

Dandenong South VIC 3164 Telephone: 03-9791-5999 Fax: 03-9791 -5733

VIC: S.Hanley, J.Gourley, J.Nolan, T.Pelly, C.Barton, G.Kopke, C.Hayes, S.Khalil, R.Nagarajah, Y K.Sun, B.Tucker, N.Whithers, F.Rizzotto, $.Fahrner, N U.Din, B.Floyd, G.Green, J E.Khor, T. Mueller, L.Nurhalim, M.Trickey

ACT: C.Kish, B.Green

WA: K.Annan, D.Agnew, P.Bingham, $.Brand, C.Hopkins, P.Mallon, S.Goedeke, J.Hanna, A.Lin, H. McGettigan

NSW: C.Thompson, D.Sabin, P.Morgan, C.Fuller, P.Sheridan, M.Bavaro, D.Clarke,

A.O'Neill, R.Bryce, C.Henderson, P.Little,

Overseas: A.Burr, C.Evans, K.Bilz

Corporate Silver

M.Maltman, L.Nenci, $.Barber, D.Berry, G.Borneman, S.Fareilly, J.Karsten, M.Patterson, G.Warne, H K.Shon, H.Mesrobian, R.Wisniewski-Jakuba

ACT: L.Brunner

Executive People

NT: A.Pye, K.Beirne

GPO Box2756 Brisbane OLD 4000 Telephone: 07-3211-0888

OLD: T.Badyk, A.Batchelor, T.Bauld, B.Bluhe,

Level 2, 95 North Quay Brisbane QLD 4000 Telephone: 07-3015-9776

Corporate Bronze Dowdens Pumping Sales & Service (Mackay) Ply Ltd PO Box 474 Mackay OLD 4740 Telephone: 07-4969-4949 Fax: 07-4969-4900

VIC Corporate Silver Kaeser Compressors Australia Ply Ltd Locked Bag 1406

F.Campbell-Barr, M.Dalley, P.De Launay, T.Foote, S.Gibbs, I.Gilbert, C.Gripton, M.Hapsara, D.Hayman, M.Herrmann, K.Howell, J.Hurley, S.Jones, A.Jordan, K.King, J.Lansky, B.Lawrence, S.Lee, S.Mackay, C.McKenzie, D.McLean, P.Mogg, C. Molenda, K.O'Brien, U.Saha, S.Siwka, S.Stain, P.Veivers, C.Wainwright, S.Waite, J.Wong, C.Andrews, A.Binks, T.Riddell, C.Arthy, P.Lun, S.Andriany, S.Chalmers, L.Cranitch, M.Krome, R.Smith

SA: S.Boath, R.Cheroux, V.Kambala, M.Akeroyd, A.Gackle, D.Halliwell, R.Nadin, B.Maguire

TAS: $.Laroche, L.Utting

NSW: R.Mazahreh, J.Murdoch, D.Graham, R.Ratz, J.Tangtrakarn

OLD: A.Jewell SA: J.Lyons

VIC: T.King, E.Geibel, L.Bradford, $.Weitnauer, J.Karanicolas, A.Goode, N.Bourgeot, P.Cavallo, L.Konopcik, L.Sissons, J.Toh WA: E.Murray, M.Andrich, $.Jamieson, T.Lynn

If you think some new activity would enhance the membership package please contact us on our national local call number 1300 361 426 or submit your suggestion via email to membership@awa.asn.au.

awa news YWP Update

The Victorian Young Water Professionals 2009 Regional Event in the Goulburn Valley in February was a great success. Coming up in Melbourne on Thursday 2 April, YWPs will explore a Hot Issue: Th e Different Technologies Exposed. Get in early for the Victorian YWP An nual Dinner on Friday 8 May. YWPs in Western Australia are busy organising a Speed Networking Event for next month, with big plans to tour the Desalination and Tyco Water Factory a bit later in the year.

Erin Cini AWA YWP National Committee President

Submission of outline papers for the 5th IWA Young Water Professionals Conference 2010 close on 27 September 2009. For more information about what is happening in the YWP Network email me at ywp_president@awa.asn.au or contact your local Committee.

Young Water Professionals make significant contributions to the water industry and many show exceptional leadership and achievement at early stages of their careers. In 2008 the YWP Specialist Network started formally recognising the outstanding achievements of YWPs through the YWP Award Program.

NSW ywp_nsw@awa.asn.au

Congratulations to the YWP State Award Wi nners for 2008/09:

SA ywp_sa@awa.asn.au

• Hayley White - ACT • Ellen Hird - NSW • Sandra Hall - QLD

ACT ywp_act@awa.asn.au

NT ywp_nt@awa.asn.au OLD ywp_qld@awa.asn.au

VIC ywp_vic@awa.asn.au WA ywp_wa@awa.asn.au In Tasmania and want to get YWP activities going? Contact ywp_president@awa.asn.au

• Sarah Jewell - SA • Nick Gartner - VIC • Karina Congdon - WA All of these State winners are nominees for the 2009 National YWP Award, which at the time of writing was about to be announced at Ozwater '09, expect to see a fu ll profile of the winner in the April edition of Water. The NSW YWPs have hosted their first event for 2009, a Trivia Night held on 12 February. Over 60 attendees scratched their heads wondering what a group of tigers cou ld possibly be called ... and $150 was raised for WaterAid. Back by popular demand , "Untangling NSW Water" is being hosted by Bovis Lend Lease on 25 March. The ACT Branch is holding the Water Matters Conference in Canberra on Tuesday 31 March, a great opportunity for YWPs to understand what is happening in the industry. The next ACT YWP Seminar will be held on Tuesday 21 April. For those YWPs in NT, mark Friday 24 April in your diaries, a YWP Networking Event is being held in Darwin. Contact ywp_nt@awa.asn.au for more details. YWPs in QLD showed off skills t o beat the Queen of Hearts at their croquet day on 21 March. Meanwhile a Forum and Technical Evening is being organised by the QLD YWPs to help everyone in QLD unravel the 'Emissions Trad ing Scheme and the Water Industry'. In SA, our long serving YWP National Representative Committee (NRC) representative Sarah Jewell is stepping down to focus on her PhD, a huge thank you to Sarah for all of her hard work in particular in coordinating the YWP Newsletter. Welcome to Victor Cantone who will represent YWPs SA on the NRC.

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awa news EVENTS CALENDAR This events calendar is correct at the time of printing. Please check the AWA online events calendar for up-to-date listings and booking information at www.awa.asn.au/events




26 MARCH 2009 water

31 Mar 2009

Water Matters, Canberra ACT

31 Mar 2009

Monthly Tech Meeting: Biosolids, Hobart TAS

01 Apr 2009

OLD Branch Committee Meeting, Brisbane OLD

01 Apr 2009

NSW YWP Committee Meeting , Sydney NSW

02 Apr 2009

Technical Meeting - Riding the Wave of Water, Darwin NT

02 Apr 2009

YWP Hot Issues: The Different Technologies Exposed, Melbourne VIC

07 Apr 2009

Looking At Recycled Water, Melbourne VIC

08 Apr 2009

OLD Monthly Technical Meeting , Brisbane OLD

15 Apr 2009

NSW Branch Committee Meeting, Sydney NSW

21 Apr2009

Young Water Professional Evening, Canberra ACT

24 Apr 2009

YWP Social I Networking Event, Darwin NT

28 Apr 2009

Monthly Tech Meeting: Career Development - Working Overseas, Hobart T AS

29 Apr-01 May

6th South Pacific Stormwater Conference 09, Auckland New Zealand

02 May 2009

YWP - Hunter Region Winery Tour, Sydney NSW

04 May 2009

SA Branch Committee Meeting, Adelaide SA

05-08 May 2009

WSUD09: Towards Water Sensitive Cities & Citizens, Perth WA

06 May 2009

NT Branch Committee Meeting, Darwin NT

06 May 2009

NSW YWP Committee Meeting, Sydney NSW

08 May 2009

YP's Annual Dinner, Melbourne VIC

12 May 2009

Working With Biosolids, Melbourne VIC

13 May 2009

Technical Meeting - The Changing State of the Lower Lakes, Adelaide SA

13 May 2009

OLD Monthly Technical Meeting, Brisbane OLD

13-14 May 2009

Project Management for Water Infrastructure, Sydney NSW

20 May 2009

Environmental Series, Canberra ACT

20 May 2009

NSW Awards Night, Sydney NSW

21 May 2009

Technical Meeting - Matt Kendall, National Water Commission, Darwin NT

27 May 2009

NSW Branch Committee Meeting, Sydney NSW

27 May 2009

Water To Wine - Wine Tasting , Canberra ACT

28 May 2009

TasWater 09, Hobart TAS



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awa news Book Review Water Regulation: The Laws of Australia Juliet Lucy BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), and PhD (Syd) ISBN: 9780455 226248, Softcover; 254 Pages; Price: $129.00

Thompson Reuters has provided the water industry with a valuable legal reference work at a reasonable price by publishing Dr Juliet Lucy's Water Regulation: The Laws of Australia. Dr Lucy is a Solicitor in the Crown Solicitor's Office of New South Wales and an Honorary Research Adviser at the University of Queensland. In this work, Dr Lucy has undertaken a task of daunting proportions. The book aims to bridge the gap between the volume of water law which has been produced in the last decade and the resources available to help legal practitioners and lay people alike to find their way through the regulatory maze that has been created across the nation. The material published in Water Regulation: The Laws of Australia is part of a much larger work, an encyclopaedia of The Laws of Australia. A commentary on water law was first included in the Encyclopaedia in 1995 and that commentary has now been updated by Dr Lucy to include developments to 1 September 2008. Of the thirty-six Titles wh ich make up the Encyclopaedia, Dr Lucy's book reproduces one of 13 Subtitles of Title 14. Water Regulation: The Laws of Australia is Subtitle 14.9. Numbered paragraphs in the text provide information on legal principles

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28 MARCH 2009 water

which form the basis of water regulation for each of the States and Territories in Australia. References to legislation and leading case law relating to the legal principles are given in footnotes to the numbered paragraphs. Dr Lucy addresses the entry of the Commonwealth into the regulatory fray, in particular through the introduction of the Water Act 2007 (Cth) and the Intergovernmental Agreement on Murray-Darling Basin Reform. The substance of the book is set out in eight parts covering four broad themes. The first three sections deal with the contextual, constitutional and institutional framework which supports water regulation in Australia. Two sections set out detailed provisions in the various jurisdictions relating to access to, and management of, water resources - who has the right to the control, use and flow of water and how those rights are exercised. The creation and regulation of rights to access and use water under the licensing provisions of the legislation, and the preservation and exercise of certain special individual and community rights to water, are covered in two sections. Finally, the book explores the ways in wh ich water rights may be infringed, and what remedies might be available for an infringement. The mechanisms by which transparency of process and accountability of resource managers can be guaranteed are also explored. A User's Guide at the front of the book ensures effective navigation of the text and intelligent use of the Table of Contents for the book and the Table of Contents for the commentary. There is also a comprehensive Index at the end of the publication. However, it is somewhat disheartening to be told at the outset that the work actually cross-references to the content of other Subtitles of the Encyclopaedia in an endeavour to guide us to 'related areas of law in the entire encyclopaedic work.' Unfortunately, access to the entire encyclopaedic work is not included in the purchase price of the book. Water Regulation: The Laws of Australia is not holiday reading for everyone, nor is it an easy reference guide for all users. The 'soft law' developing in relation to the water industry, the guidelines, policy statements and plans which are becoming increasingly persuasive in the management and use of the 'new' water resources through the processes of desalination and recycling, is not dealt with. Nor is the book a quick 'how to' guide to navigate the intricate approvals processes in place to regulate activities in the water sector in each Australian jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, the book is a must as a reference for members of the legal profession and would be a valuable addition to corporate libraries in the water sector. It could be very useful for those working in and about the water industry. Sadly its sales may be limited by the fact that it is already available for those who have access to the complete Encyclopaedia, either in hard copy or on-line. In addition, Dr Lucy does not have the field entirely to herself. Halsbury's Laws of Australia published by Butterworths includes in its Title 440 a not dissimilar discourse on water law, again as part of an encyclopaedic whole, although not as a discrete publication. Water Regulation: The Laws of Australia stands alone as a valuable contribution to the evolving legal literature relating to the complex mechanisms of water regulation in Australia.


Wendy Ambler BSc (Hons), LLB, LLM PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law University of Wollongong

regular features

awa news Book Review The World's Water 2008-2009. The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources. Peter Gleick with Heather Cooley, Michael J Cohen, Mari Morikawa, Jason Morrison and Meena Palaniappan. Island Press, London. ISBN 978-1-59726-505-8 Available AWA Bookshop: RRP $69.95 This biennial report contains an extraordinary amount of information on freshwater resources, access to drinking water and sanitation and progress towards meeting Millenium Development Goals and the excellent section on China and its water problems. Chapter listings are as follows: • Peak Water (with a comparison with the term 'peak oi l'} • Business reporting on water • Water management in a changing climate • Millennium Development Goals: charting progress and the way forward • China and water • Urban water use efficiencies: lessons from US cities. followed by Water Briefs (small sections) on the Tampa Bay Desalination Plant, the Salton Sea, the Th ree Gorges Project on the Yangtze River China, a chronology of conflicts over water from 3000BC to 2007. Two sections of the book drew the particular attention of this reviewer. Gleick's concept of " peak ecological water" - for a

Papers Due 3 April 2009 Paper Notification 29 May 2009 Early Bird Registration 26 June 2009

water catchment, exceeding the point of water use that causes serious or irreversible ecological damage - offers a more sustainable approach to water management than trying to avoid "running out" of water. As he says "water provides many services: not only does it sustain human life and commercial and industrial activity, but it is also fundamental for the sustenance for animals, plants, habitats, and environmentally dependent livelihoods." Gleick provides a series of graphs which show that peak ecological water occurs at the point where ecological disruptions exceed the value and benefits to be gained from new supply projects. He goes on to argue that unlike the stimulus to identify and develop alternative energy sources capable of providing comparable benefits to oil - itself a finite resource - the limits on water are real and more problematic because water is fundamental for life, the supply is limited by factors beyond human control and there are no substitutes. In relation to China, Gleick provides a litany of critical problems besetting China's planners. They range from the sheer lack of lack of good quality water to meet the requirements of a huge population to the impacts of nature (massive floods and prolonged droughts) to groundwater overdraft, barely controlled industrial pollution, growing reg ional conflicts within China over water and the increasing risks to supplies as climate change results in a decline in waters from snow melt, shrinking wetlands and increasing evaporation. Th is is a really interesting and thought provoking book for everyone who is interested in global sustainability, human survival in partnership with nature and water.


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30 MARCH 2009


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feature article

CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT NATIONAL SPECIALIST NETWORK SEMINAR ROADSHOW The ongoing dry conditions in Australia have heightened an awareness of the criticality of water for healthy rivers, product ive farming and horticulture, recreation, and water supply. For many of Australia's water supply systems, surface water is collected f rom multiple land use catchments. People live, work and recreate on our waterways and dams. From a water supply perspective, it is vital that water suppliers understand and manage all risks to water quality, including those in the catchment. But how much catchment management is enough? What are the tools available to underst and the economics of catchment management, both to the water supplier and to the landholder? What is the catchment management legislative framework in Australia? How does it vary from st ate- to- state and how should it be implemented given a drier wat er future? These are key questions facing the water industry, and were the main focus of a seminar roadshow ru n by AWA's Catchm ent Management Specialist Network from 3-6 February 2009. Catchment management professionals came together for a series of seminars which travelled to four locations around the country - Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Ad elaide. Each of the seminars capitalised on the visit to Australia of two internationally renowned speakers, as well as presentations from a selection of local experts and decision makers in each location about issues relevant to that part of the country. Having this combination of presentations provided an opportunity for each event to be unique and highly relevant to the audience of Water Supply Planners, Natural Resource Management Professionals, Statutory and Strategic Planners, Environmental Health Professionals, Environmental Regulators and Policy makers, in each location.

Keynote Presentations Dr Lucy Emerton has degrees in social anthropology and development economics. She has been working as an environmental economist for the last 20 years in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australasia and Lat in America, focusing particularly on the val uation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, innovative financing mechanisms, economic tools for conservation management, and the environmental economics of large infrastructure development. Dr Emerton gave an informative presentat ion on the use of economic tools to value ecosystem services and

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water MARCH 2009


feature article contribute to improved cat chment management decision making. She pointed out that the traditional asset management systems have failed to value (and manage) the ecosystem services that underlie our water supply systems. She gave numerous examples of how many under-developed nations, particularly in Central America, are actively considering the value of natural systems in decision making processes. Other examples also exist across Asia, Europe, the US and Australia. In many cases investments in nat ural capital have had incredibly short payback periods and assisted in the reduction of capital works costs for water t reatment and other community infrastructure. While it is probably fai r to say there is a general appreciation amongst water quality professionals of the 'economic valuation' approach, the concluding message from Lucy's presentation was that 'valuation is not an end in itself': how do we shift decision-making, and make a change from contin uing to cond uct 'business as usual' if business as usual is failing to achieve our objectives? This is a point that is the subject of an ongoing collaborative research effort involving Lucy, the University of South Australia's School of Business and SA Water - the 'Catchments As Business Assets' project, t he fi rst phase of which is due for completion mid-year. Dr Greg Sturbaum is a Director of CH Diagnostic in Colorado, w hich is one of the leading water quality laboratories servicing the West Coast of the USA focusing on detection and identification of protozoa and algae. Greg has degrees in Microbiology and Pathobiology and has carried out projects on the identification of Cyclospora cayetanensis in water and waste water in Lima, Peru and specialises in the detection of low numbers of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in environmental waters. He has participated in two AWWA Research Foundation projects as well as EPA specialty projects all focusi ng on the detection of parasites in water and wastewater effluent using microscopic and PCR techniques. He is currently on a six-month sabbatical in Australia with Ecowise Environmental.

Dr Sturbaum gave a summary of the application of the Long Term 2 (L T2) Surface Water Treatment Rule and its implications for US potable water suppliers. The purpose of the LT2 rule is to reduce disease incidence associated w ith Cryptosporidium

and other disease-causing microorganisms in drinking water. The ru le supplements existing regulations by targeting additional Cryptosporidium treatment requirements to higher risk systems. Greg provided a very useful insight into some of the issues faced by water quality managers when dealing with multiuse surface water catchments, the impacts of a lack of Catchment Management in the US, and the drawbacks of the more regulatory approach.

Melbourne Melbourne was the first stop on the roadshow and proved to be the largest event with over 80 delegates in attendance from a wide cross-section of the Victorian Water Industry. The day was opened by Paul Pretto from Melbourne Water who spoke to the audience about Melbourne Water's approach to Risks and Opportunities in Catchment Management, including some particularly timely comments on the impacts of bushfires. The keynote presentations from Lucy and Greg provided an excellent basis for the rest of the day's speakers, who were: • Dr Ian Rutherfurd, from Victoria's Department of Sustainability and Environment, provided his views on the challenges posed to water quality by unrestricted cattle access to waterways , and laid down the gauntlet to the Victorian water industry to put forward its views on how it wo uld like to work with DSE to manage this issue • Mr Geoff Hocking, CEO of the West Gippsland CMA, provided his perspective on the roles and challenges faced by CMAs in the current policy environment • Mr Robert Franklin, from Western Water, provided details of a court case that Western Water fought, and won, regarding inappropriate development in a drinking water catchment, wh ich will hopefully be able to be used as a precedent to reject other applications for inappropriate development in drinking water catchment areas.

The Catchment Management Specialist Network committee decided to take this opportunity to publicly recognise the longterm and ongoing commitment to the cause of catchment protection for the benefit of drinking water quality, of Mr Robert Ford. Bob is well known to many in the industry and especially to those in attendance at this event. He recently retired from Central Highlands Water but conti nues his involvement in this field. Bob was presented with an achievement award by Rob Considine of Melbourne Water.

Sydney The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) was the setting for the next leg of the tour. Over 40 delegates from around NSW gathered to hear from the keynotes and local guests including John Williams, Commissioner with the Natural Resources Commission, who kicked off proceedings by providing an overview of what we're trying to achieve and what we were there to discuss.

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Dr Lucy Emerton speaking at the seminar.

32 MARCH 2009 water

Michael Bullen, CEO of the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) gave a clear statement of what the SCA priorities, in terms of catchment management, are going to be over the next few years. It was great to have a clear direction from the SCA on this issue as they are one of the biggest and well known catchment management authorities in the country. Bryce Wilde , Program Manager at the National Resources Commission provided a summary of the first Catchment Management action plan audit report. His presentati on highlighted some of the significant progress which has been

feature articles

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feature article double. Focused investment in the degraded sub-catchments has significant potential to reduce these poor water quality events and reduce total annual treatment costs, whilst providing significant additional ecosystem services. The challenge is how to maintain productive catchments and share the costs of management equitably across the com munity. Nina Saxton presented an overview of the Healthy Waterway Partnership program in SEQ. This multi-faceted program inc ludes not only physical assessment of catchment condition and water quality, but a range of social and economic parameters to generate a 'whole of community' picture of water quality and its upstream drivers and downstream implications.


Bob Ford (left) receives his award from Rob Considine.

made by CMAs in the area of catchment management, whilst also showing that there is sti ll some way to go. Dr Dan Deere of Water Futures talked about the impact of recreational access on catchment management. A report on this project wi ll be published by the Water Services Association (WSAA) imminently. Check the WSAA website for more details (www.wsaa.asn.au).

Brisbane Th e Brisbane seminar was attended by a variety of water professionals, scientists and managers. Of the 50 pl us people in attendance, most were from South East Qld, but people travelled from as far afield as Gladstone and Townsvil le. Proceedings were opened by Chris Pipe-Martin representing event sponsors Ecowise Environmental. Chris gave an introduction of the day's program and its significance in the role of sharing information on water quality and catchment management. Sean Hoobin of the Queensland Water Commission provided an overview of the key SEQ 's water supply catchments. A key purpose of the SEQ Regional Plan 's is to protect the catc hments' water quality values whilst allowing sustainable land use and development. A key targ et of the Plan is to identify catch ment risks and develop action plans by 201 1. Additional Sub-Regional (Total Water Cycle) Plans will be prepared on key development fronts where focused development pressures will place additional strain on water quality values. A state-wide review of how development assessments are conducted in water supply cat chments wi ll also have w ide reaching implications. Dr Peter Schneider, Manager of Land and Wat er Quality, SEQ Water, spoke on the current state of SEQ Water's catchments and the resulting impacts on raw water quality and treatment costs. Peter referred to our historical reliance on water treatment processes as the "leaving everything till the last minute barrier ... Eventually someone's going to drop the ball". SEQ Water is committed to maintaining productive catchments with management focused on understanding the catchments and storages and water quality monitoring, and target ing catchment management effort on key risk areas. Peter demonstrated how operating costs of water treatment per ML can increase 10 fold fo llowing rainfall events. 2-3 such events per year can cause the annual cost of treatment to

34 MARCH 2009 water

The new SA Water House in Victoria Square hosted over 30 people at the first AWA Catchment Management National Specialist Network event to be held in Adelaide. Approaching half of the attendees were SA Water staff members, representing business units including the Australian Wat er Quality Centre, Environmental Management Group (inc luding the Catchment Management team), Water Quality & Integrated Management , and Land Management (Land & Natural Assets) - all unsurprisingly and very appropriately, since SA Water is by far the main supplier of potable quality water in South Australia. Importantly, attendees also included representatives from key regu latory bodies: the SA EPA and several regional Natural Resources Management Boards (SA's equivalent of CMAs), and research institutions includ ing the CSIRO and University of Adelaide. Professor Don Bursill , AWA SA Branch President, opened the day with a typically rousing presentation which introduced the genesis of catchment management efforts in SA, its evolution through the era of the CRC for Wat er Quality and Treatment, and formal adoption of catchment management by SA Water as the first 'barrier' in the management of drinking water quality through roll-out of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (NHMRC, 2004). A brief panel session before lunch ('Catchment Management - when is enough enough?') generated some frank discussion on several related issues, including the national trend reflected at the state leve l - to focus on security of water supply, sometimes to the exclusion of wat er quality considerations; management of septic tanks on private property and the intersect of multiple agencies with often over-lapping interest in and responsibility for this issue, and a more in-depth exploration of the 'carrot' versus 'stick' approach to regulation and compliance in catchment management generally as raised by Lucy and Greg's presentations. This and related questions - e.g. sequencing of incentives (carrots) and the introduction of 'duty-of-care' provisions (sticks) - are of enormous relevance to the management of source waters in SA, particularly since the introduction of the Natural Resources Management Act (2004, which established the NRM Boards) and is the subject of much current research and debate at both the policy and operational levels. The pre-lunch session ended with a penetrating question from the floor, directed at Professor Bursill regarding the relative safety of water collected from a smaller catchment the roof. Professor Bursill hastened to explain that at his property along the Murray he has made a surprising ly

feature articles

feature article significant investment in post-collection treatment, reemphasising the need for multiple barriers in drinking water systems. Three local experts presented at the afternoon session, under the broad banner of 'the intersect of catchment management, natural resources management and development and land use planning'. The theme is topical for SA, which is currently undertaking significant reforms to its development planning system. Dr Chris Lease from the South Australian Department of Health kicked off the afternoon session with a presentation on 'Health Impact Assessment ' (HIA). The Department of Health is the main regulatory body for drinking water quality under the SA Food Act 2001. Many of us are fam iliar with the concept of Environmental Impact Assessment, and in add ition to undertaking HIAs on individual Development Plan Amendments and Development Applications, the Department has adopted the 'Health in all Policies' approach, introduced to SA in 2007 by SA 'Thinker in Residence' and Population Health expert, Professor Ilona Kiekbusch .

The key message from Chris is that the Department of Health is seeking to take a less draconian/more cooperative approach than it has perhaps tended to take (or at least have been perceived to take!) in the past. The Department is now embarking on a concerted effort to engage instead at the strategic level of the development planning system, and provid e a series of robust 'decision-support' tools for developers and planners to ensure balanced public health outcomes. Watch th is space! Marcus Rolfe, a practicing planner and Director of URPS, began with an entertaining parable of evil development planners, saintly public health officers and ambiguous lawyers, before describing in some depth a significant case of commercial plantation forestry development in a drinking water catchment on Kangaroo Island to illustrate the sometimes com peting policy directions and interpretat ion that planners working 'in the field' deal with on a day-to-day basis (check out the September 2008 edition of 'SA Planner'). Marcus' presentation ended in mild controversy, which prompted the response: 'Development planners don't know what they don't know'. It cou ld be argued that therein lies the ru b in translating good policy into good development planning decisions. Brett Bryan (CSIRO Sustainable Landscapes) described the collaborative project he has undertaken in the Myponga catchment.

Had time allowed on the day, each and every presentation would likely have generated full and lively yet constructive debate. The SA AWA Branch looks forward to creating opportunities to 'continue the conversation ' with both the presenters and the attendees.

Community of Practice (CoP) for Environmental Water Managers AWA's National Specialist Network Coordinator, Laura Evanson, delivered a presentation on this new project being undertaken by AWA, on behalf of the National Water Commission.

• Encourage information exchange • Foster collective learning • Enhance the professional standing of members • Promote involvement and ownership • Be a self-organising support mechanism for EWMs. This is not an exhaustive list, as it wi ll be up to members of the CoP to design a comm unity that suits their particular needs and over which they have ownership. The CoP is intended to encourage EWMs in their role by providing knowledge, building capacity and linking members with each other in a col laborative and supportive way. There will be two key phases to this project. The first will be a workshop to be held on 25-26 May 2009. The objective of this workshop wi ll be to: • Explain CoP Objectives and Context • Prompt EWMs to design a CoP that suits their needs (Goals; Responsibi lities; Functions; Systems) All EWMs are invited to attend this event. Fundamentally, the workshop will provide an opportunity for EWMs to have input t o the design of the CoP so that it suits their needs. The second phase of the project is on-going facilitation of the CoP. Th is will be provided by AWA, working with all members of the CoP. This active faci litation period will last for 18 months, after which it is hoped that the CoP will become self-sustaining. If so, the CoP wi ll become one of the range of Specialist Networks supported by the AWA. Membership of the CoP is open t o all those practitioners who have responsibil ities for environmental water management, whether those practitioners are volunteers working within Catchment Management Committees and the like, or whether they work in major institutions, such as the Sydney Catchment Authority. This is a national initiative. Members are invited from all States and Territories. Neither the NWC or AWA has a comprehensive list of EWMs. Self-nomination is therefore encouraged. If you would like to enquire about your eligibility or to selfnominate, please contact AWA's Industry Programs Manager, Andrew Speers at aspeers@awa.asn.au

Conclusion In total, over 200 people attended the seminars, which was a pleasing outcome for this Specialist Network's first event. The feedback given by those who attended has given the network committee some food for thought as to the kind of activities members are wanting, and these suggestions are being actively incorporated in plans for the future. The committee wishes to thank the state sponsors Melbourne Water, Sydney Catchment Authority, Ecowise Environmental and SA Water - for their generous support of the seminars.

The intent of the project is to create a self-sustaining virtual community of environmental water managers. The CoP will:

Presentations from the seminars are available online to delegates, and will be available to interested parties at a later date. Visit the Catchment Management pages on AWA's website for more information www.awa.as n.au/networks/catchment

• Facilitate collaborative problem-solving

AWA Catchment Management Specialist Network Committee

water MARCH 2009 35

feature article - water quality research australia

WATER QUALITY RESEARCH AUSTRALIA LIMITED (WQRA) - PART 2 David Halliwell, Jodieann Dawe, Angela Gackle, Michele Akeroyd In the first part of this article we covered the formation of WQRA following the conclusion of the CRC for Water Quality and Treatment in June 2008. In this issue we continue with the development of WQRA's research programs for the Australian water industry.

. - ·,, ~--.

Research Objectives


There are two overarching outcomes that the water industry and its stakeholders seek in the delivery of WQRA's Research Program. These are:

( ~ )· CRC for Water Quality and Trcat111cn1

• To have an improved and rational understanding of current and emerging issues in relation to public health risk. Research wi ll close critical knowledge gaps and provide the evidence to support and inform the development of public health policy and management plans.

WQRA has a three-tier model for project funding, including Core Research funded projects, Special Interest projects and Project Specific funding. Core Research funded projects do not requi re external funding and are expected to be of significant benefit to the national water industry. Special Interest projects are of relevance to a large number of WQ RA members (but not necessarily a majority) and Project Specific funded projects benefit a relatively small number of members. Additional industry/external co-funding is expect ed for Special Interest and Project Specific funded projects.

• To be able to better identify appropriate intervention strategies to address these risks. This wi ll include the development of targeted management and monitoring systems to support public health outcomes.

WQRA Research Portfolio Establishment Process - The blueprint

The process to develop a suite of core research projects within the WQRA research portfolio is shown in Figure 1. It has been designed to ensure that WQRA Members are consulted and, through a voting process, have the opportunity to determine the direction of research. Project concepts were developed by WQRA Research Members, focussing on

The key research portfolio areas for WQRA are: • Drinking water quality • Recycled water and other supplies • Wastewater systems


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WQRA Research Portfolio

Figure 1. WQRA Research Portfolio Establishment Process.

36 MARCH 2009 water

feature articles

feature article - water quality research australia addressing the WORA Industry Priority Issues that were identified during workshops held in October and November 2008. Seventy four project concepts were considered by WORA members and after two rounds of voting, a suite of short-listed concepts were selected to be developed further into full project proposals.

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WQRA Project Portfolio Summary Of the 74 project concepts submitted for consideration by the Members at the November 2008 AGM, 25 were voted by WORA members to proceed to full proposal development, with a further 5 requiring additional development th rough projectspecific workshops. Figure 2 provides a snapshot of the distribution of WORA short-listed project concepts against the WORA priority research issues to provide an overview of the research portfolio from WORA's first funding round. It is anticipat ed that the majority of new projects will com mence during 2009, pending full proposal development, appropriate peer review and WORA board approval. Whi le the majority of the foundation research portfolio is being determined, research is still being undertaken on issues crucial to the Australian Industry. To ensure a smooth transition from the CRC WOT to WORA and to minimise the hiatus in research outputs, a small number of significant projects with external funding were approved by the interim WORA Board in early 2008. These project s, coupled with existing projects, wh ich were initiated but not completed during the term of the CRC WOT, form the basis of the cu rrent research programs in Drinking Water, Rural and Regional Supplies and Wastewater/Recycled water. In addition, WORA is overseeing the publication of the final reports of residual CRC projects that are still being produced. These reports can be accessed via the CRC website as they become available (www. waterq uality .crc.org .au).

Drinking Water Program There are currently five projects underway in the Dri nking Water program, in addition to a small number of concluding CRC projects. The 'Guidelines and Best Practice Documentation - Wat er Supply in Remote Indigenous Communities' project, being conducted by the Centre for Appropriate Technology, is

Top Priority Industry Research Themes/Issues • Microbiological (Public Health) • Chemicals (Public Health) • Cyanobacterial (Reservoirs) • Membrane and Treatment Technology • Chemical Contaminants • Wast e Stream Disposal and Reuse • Fit for Purpose • Risk Assessment • Disinfection • Rural and Regional • Distri bution • Alternative Supplies • Source Prot ection • Energy • Measurement

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Figure 2. Financial Distribution of Project Concepts. developing a suit e of water management resources that are easy to understand and wi ll assist service providers and remote Indigenous commun ities to identify the most suitable water supply systems for their community. The project is trialling good practice documentation in four remote commun ities, one each in New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia. This project is funded by the National Water Commission, Raising National Water St andards Program and is due to be com pleted in late 2009. The Water Research Foundation (WRF, formerly AwwaRF) is fund ing three WORA projects led by the AWOC, including: • 'Alternative and Innovative Methods for Source Water Management of Algae and Cyanobacteria' will evaluate a range of techniq ues to control algae and cyanobacteria that have potential for application in drinking water reservoirs . The study will look at a range of commercial products and some other techniques that are available in the US and Australia but have differing degrees of accept ance and testing within the water industry. Most of these options have not been rigorously evaluated. • ' Evaluation of Integrated Membranes for tastes and odours and algal toxin control' is a comprehensive study that will fill existing knowledge gaps in the application of a range of treatment technologies for the removal of cell-bound and dissolved cyanobacterial metabolites. • 'Met hods for Measuring Toxins in Finished Waters' investigates a range of biological methods that may be suitable for detecting toxins in finished drinking water. The methods tested will be screening assays capable of detecting the effects of a range of toxins that are known to potentially contaminate source waters or that might be introduced deliberately into the drinking water stream . A key objective will be to define methods for quenching ch lorine in finished water as this is known to interfere with current toxicity screening met hods. The last major Drinking Water Program project, 'Optimal water quality to minimise distribution system problems', funded by the CRC/WQRA, wi ll determine the extent of treatment necessary for minimal water q uality deterioration (improved microbiological and chemical water quality with minimal aesthetic impact) after passage through the distribution system.

water MARCH 2009 37

feature article - water quality research australia Wastewater and Recycled Water Programs There are currently three large projects underway in WQRA's Wastewater and Recycled Water Programs, in addition to a number of concluding CRC projects. The 'Quantification of pathogen removal in activated sludge' project funded by the Victorian Smart Water Fund aims to develop methods to provide the technical basis for the development of an acceptable approach for validati ng pathogen log reductions across activated sludge processes using cost-effective microbial indicators. Ultimately, this project aims to make water recycli ng easier and cheaper, which will result in greater water reuse. This project is led by Water Futures Pty Ltd. Two projects are fu nded by the National Water Commission (NWC) , Raising National Water Standards Program: • 'A national approach to the health risk assessment, risk commun ication and management of chemical hazards from recycled water' project, comprising a consortium of funders and researchers with Griffith University (Old) as the lead agency. This project uses in vitro toxicity test s to measure the biological activity in recycled water extract s to assess the effectiveness of treatment technologies and to inform risk assessment of recycled water for potable reuse. The project will provide a sound scientific basis upon which comm unity and government concerns regarding environmental and human health can be addressed. The methods developed and validated will have direct application in the planning and management of water, including regu lation of priority substances and waters. • The 'Development of an ecotoxicity toolbox to evaluate water quality for recycling ' project wi ll assess the suitability of an ecotoxicity toolbox approach to characterise water intended for recycling. Testing will be conduct ed for endocrine disruptors, mutagens/genotoxicants, cytotoxicity and phytotoxicity. The outcomes of th is project will include the establishment of methods and approaches for ecotoxicity testing and will make a significant contribution towards the National Guidelines for Water Recycling - Phase 2. The Department of Water (WA) is the lead agency for this project.

Building Capacity for the Water Industry Education and Training The CRC Education and Training Program was highly successful in extending the research effort and providing graduat es with the relevant skills and experience for employment in the water industry. WQ RA is continuing this Program by supporting and training undergraduates via annual summer scholarships and postgraduates by fund ing as many PhD or Masters Scholarships as the budget allows.

38 MARCH 2009 water

WQRA has established the Nancy Millis Scholarship to honour her outstanding commitment to the industry, including her 13 years as Chairman of the CRC WOT. Professor M illis is a microbiologist of international repute who has made enormous contri butions in agriculture, environmental protection, medicine and engineering. Available to PhD candidat es, this award provides the student with a generous top-up scholarship and operating budget. For further det ails, refer to the WQRA website (www .wqra.com.au). The Education Program has an excellent track record in attracting high quality students across a wide range of targeted disciplines to investigat e research topics of val ue to the industry. At the completion of their research programs, which may be directly industry-linked or of a strat egic nature, graduates are industry-ready professionals with direct exposure to industry issues, and enhanced problem-solving skills. Furthermore, the Program will provide a mechanism by which WQRA can leverage the in-kind expertise of a wide range of research providers for the relatively small investment of postgraduate scholarships and consumables/minor equipment. WQRA supported the Education Program's summer scholarship program for 2007-8 and 2008-09, including an intake of postgraduat e students in 2008, and thus maintained continu ity of the research program and collaboration developed over the life of the CRC .

WQRA - Future Directions In the short term WQRA wi ll be refi ning its Research Strategy and strengthening its networks in the national and international research communities. One clear imperative for WQRA is to locate and secure additional funding to expand the pool available for prior ity and project specific research. WQRA will be engaging with relevant funding organisations to leverage WQRA funds for appropriate research programs, seeking opportunities to attract new members, and put together expert research teams to t ackle current and future problems in water quality. The Organisation's role is to faci litate highly relevant research, and work with reg ulators and others to ensure Australia's standards in drinking water supply continue to improve, despite looming challenges. This strategy will be careful ly developed to ensure that WQRA maintains its relevance and focus on achieving research outcomes that address the public good. If you would like to remain up to date with WQRA activities, including receiving our regular monthly newsletter, further information can be obtained from www.wqra.com.au

feature articles

feature article

RESTORING FIRE RAVAGED LAND IN CALIFORNIA WITH BIOSOLIDS M J McFarland, R B Brobst, G Kester Authors' Note This paper introduces trials underway in Southern California, USA, to utilise bioso/ids compost on fire ravaged land there, based on the successful research which was conducted in Colorado in 1996, as noted in this paper. This paper is intended to offer a possible option for successful mitigation of adverse affects from the Victorian fires, much as we hope to do for California.

Introduction We are proposing an extensive trial in southern California, USA, to utilise biosolids compost on fire ravaged land, based on successful experience in central Colorado, USA some years previously (Meyer et al., 2001; Meyer et al., 2004) and recent field work, where surface application of biosolids compost was found to improve vegetat ive productivity when applied to land that had been severely burned. Recent results confirmed that, while the average vegetative yield on control plots was 94.2 ki lograms per hectare (dry weight), the vegetative yield on test plots amended with biosolid s ranged from 146. 7 to 7 43.8 kilograms per hectare (McFarland et al., 2007a; McFarland et al., 2007b). Furthermore, vegetation grown in biosolids amended soi ls did not succumb to drought stress and remained "green" well into t he summer and fall growing seasons. These data indicate that biosolids land application not only increases the vegetative density but increases the vegetative moisture content. We outline below our research program to systematically est ablish best management practices (BMPs) governing

the use of biosolids compost and selective seeding of native species to restore the ecological f unctions of fire ravaged landscapes. Similar efforts might be usefu l in Australia as a consequence of the recent extensive fire activity and devastation t here so despite the difference in the endemic vegetative species, we suggest that partnering for shared understanding and commu nication would be beneficial.

The Challenge Because of the recent increases in the frequency and severity of wildfires, vast swathes of California landscape now suffer extensive water quality impairment, increased risk of flooding and landslides, sparse native veget ation and invasive plant proliferation. Followi ng the huge conflagration in 2007,a series of wildfires in November 2008, known as the Freeway Complex Fire ravaged over 30,000 acres of land in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties in southern California and caused severe damage to property as well as state parks. Governor Schwarzenegger declared this impacted area an emergency and on November 28th, 2008, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board passed an emergency resol ution to facilitate the use of compost to minimise water quality impacts, provide erosion control and improve slope stability on t hese landscapes.

The Landscape Southern California landscapes serve a number of vital ecological functions including providing: 1) forage for w ildlife and livestock production, 2) habitat for nat ive flora and fauna, 3) wat ersheds for

meeting drinking water and agricultural needs and 4) sequestration for atmospheric CO2 . However, because of the increased frequency and severity of wildfires, many California landscapes are severely degraded. Wildfire-induced defoliation of native vegetation together w ith the destruction of soil structure has led to: 1) increased soil erosion, 2) impairment of water quality, 3) proliferation of invasive plants, 4) loss of vegetative biodiversity and 5) decreased rec urrence interval for w ildfires. Chaparral, w hich is t he dominant habitat found in the hills and mountains of southern Californ ia, is classified as a shrub-land consisting of densely growing and drought resistant vegetation. When fi re recurrence intervals drop below 10 to 15 years, many chaparral plant species are elim inated and the landscape vegetation is replaced by invasive plant vegetation. The impacts of invasive species o n southern California landscapes are evidenced by increased fire int ensity as shown in Figure 1. Today, almost all grasses in the California chaparral landscape are invasive and include such species as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), wi ld oats (Avena spp.), bromes (Bromus spp.) and ryegrasses (Lolium spp.). The presence of invasive vegetation creates an abnormal situation that increases both t he frequency and t he severity of wildfires. Invasive weeds are opportunistic plants that not only out-compete native vegetat ion for scarce resources (e.g. nutrients, water) but seed and dry-out early in the spring providing an abundant f uel source for summer/fall w ildfires. Moreover, even after chaparral wildfires have been extinguished, invasive plant species typically re-establish themselves rapidly further suppressing the recovery of native vegetation.

Biosolids Compost Application: Previous Experience

Figure 1. Fire Ravaged Southern California Landscapes - Orange County, California.

After a severe or prolonged wi ldfire, the loss of plant nutrients and t he destabilisation of the soil structure can inhibit vegetative growth resu lting in increased soil erosion and su bsequent deterioration of surface water quality.

water MARCH 2009 39

feature article Historical monitoring of fire impacted areas has demonstrated that the greater the extent of soil heating, the higher the rate of nutrient and soil organic matter loss resulting in a lower recovery rate of vegetation. Soil heating tends to facilitate the volati lisation of nutrients (particularly ammonia through the accelerated mineralisation of organic nitrogen). High temperature wildfi res are effective in not only accelerating nutrient removal but can adversely impact the water holding capacity, soil porosity and moisture infiltration rate of terrestrial ecosystems. During an intense wildfire event, vaporised soil organic matter will move deeper into the soil profile and condense in the cooler underlying soil layers. At the depth at which organic matter condensation occurs, a water repellent or hydrophobic layer will be established that further reduces moisture infiltration. Under these circumstances, even a mild rainstorm event can potentially cause significant moisture runoff, soil erosion and surface water quality impairment. Land reclamation field work conducted on the Buffalo Creek, Colorado, wildfi re site in 1996 demonstrated that biosolids application on slopes ranging from 15 to 50% was capable of: 1) protecting runoff water quality, 2) decreasing soil erosion and 3) increasing biodiversity (Figure 2) (Meyer et al., 2001; Meyer et al., 2004). In 1997 biosolids applied at one time rates of O (control) up to 80 metric tons per hectare were tilled (disked) on the wildfire burn site, which was then followed by reseeding with a mixture of native grasses. Plant biomass was found to increase by as much as 222 grams per square metre (dry mass basis) after the first year, 202 grams per square metre in the second year, 100 grams per square metre in year three and 76 grams per square metre in year four (Meyer et al. , 2004). The decrease may have been due to nitrogen utilisation, but was more likely due t o a deepening drought. Moreover, the seeded native grasses were found to account for more than 90% of the total vegetation produced while invasive species decreased with application of compost.

Californian Study Methodology To evaluate the effectiveness of land applying biosolids compost to restore the ecological fu nctions of fire ravaged landscapes, field plots located on recently burned areas in Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino Counties in California will be established. Class A biosolids compost will be applied to each site at 0, 1 and 3 times the estimated

40 MARCH 2009 water

Figure 2. Photographs of the 1996 Buffalo Creek, Colorado Wildfire. (a) Ground View of Wildfire Impacting Understory and Tree Canopy: (b) Effect of Biosolids Compost Use (control on left and highest application rate on right) in Restoring Fire Impacted Land in Buffalo Creek, Colorado. annual agronomic rate, based on evaluation of the background soil nutrient conditions, biosolids nitrogen content and the nitrogen requirement of the native vegetation. Biosolids compost will be surface applied without incorporation (i.e., til ling) to represent a worst case scenario. Following application, half of the control and treatment plots will receive reseeding of native grass species. To mimic real landscape restoration activities, none of the field test plots will be irrigated. Our subsequent monitoring methodology, for both physico-chemical and biological parameters, has been thoroughly developed, and is available in detail for interested readers (US EPA (2009). It extends to sampling soils to one metre in depth for regulated biosolids pollutants and during storm events, grab samples of storm water runoff will be collected for analysis. Preliminary estimates of the net accumulation of soil carbon will be utilised to gauge the feasibility of utilising biosolids compost to enhance mitigation of global climate change through reclamation of fire ravaged landscapes.

Conclusion To mitigate the potential human health and environmental risks associated with fire ravaged landscapes as well as to improve their ecological function, the California Association of Sanitation Agencies in conjunction with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board and a number of partner Southern California wastewater agencies and compost producers plan to investigate the effectiveness of biosolids compost to rest ore the ecological functions of selected field test sites located withi n fire impacted zone. Results from this research effort wi ll be used to establish BMPs for the application of biosolids products in reclaiming fire ravaged land.

If successful, the field demonstration results wi ll support a significant diversification in the potential uses, markets and demand for biosolids with the potential to offset increasing wastewater treatment costs.

The Authors Dr Michael M cFarland is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State University, Logan, Utah , USA, farlandm@msn.com; Robert B Brobst PE is the US Environmental Protection Agency Reg ion 8 Biosolids Coordinator; Denver, Colorado, USA, Brobst.bob@epa.gov ; and Greg Kester is Biosolids Program Manager with the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, Sacramento, California, USA, gkester@casaweb.org.

References McFarland, M. J., Vasquez, I. R. , Vutran, M. , Schmitz, M., Brobst, R. B. and L. Greenhalgh (2007) "Rangeland Restoration Using Biosolids Land Application" WaterPractice Vol. 1 No. 4 pp. 1-12 McFarland, M. J., Vutran, M., Vasquez, I. R., Schmitz, M. and R. B. Brobst (2007) "Land Application of Biosolids to Restore Disturbed Western Rangelands" Biocycle Vol. 48, No. 9 pp. 34-39 Meyer, V. F., Redente, E. F., Barbarick, K. A., Brobst, R. B., Paschke, M.W. and A. L. Miller (2004) "Plant and Soil Responses to Biosolids Application following Forest Fire" Journal of Environmental Quality vol. 33 pp. 873-881 Meyer, V. F., Redente, E. F., Barbarick, K. A. and R. B. Brobst (2001) "Biosolids Applications Affect Runoff Water Quality following Forest Fire" Journal of Environmental Quality vol. 30 pp. 15281532 US Environmental Protection Agency (2009) "Sustainable Use of Biosolids Compost to Restore Ecological Services and Protect Water Quality on Fire-Ravaged California Landscapes" Proposal to EPA Region 9 EPAR9-WST7-09-002

feature articles

feature article

TACKLING STORMWATER CONSTRUCTIVELY Clearwater is a leading capacity building program in sustainable urban water management for local government, industry professionals and the broader water sector in Victoria. The Clearwater program aims to develop the skills and knowledge of local government and industry professionals in sustainable urban water management, by facilitating awareness and adoption of best practice. The program provides information for public benefit, not for commercial gain, and believes that together we have the potential to transform and create sustainable urban environments. Clearwater was established in 2002 as part of the Victorian Stormwater Action Program. Initially, the Environmental Protection Agency Victoria provided funding and Clearwater was administered through the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Stormwater Industry Association. Due to Clearwater's proven effectiveness at building capacity and creating change, Melbourne Water commenced funding the program in 2006 and Clearwater is now based at the Melbourne Water offices in East Melbourne. In October 2008, a new team was formed and are all motivated to take the program forward to an exciting year in 2009 and beyond. Clearwater continues to be viewed as the best of its kind in Australia and this could not be achieved without the support of Melbourne Water and the founding partners. The program takes an integrated approach to facilitating change to achieve sust ainable urban water management by combining government vision and policy with practical trai ning, free advisory services and website resourcing.


supporting you In sustainable urban water management

maintenance of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) assets. This is clearly an important subject for WSUD practitioners as the session was booked out with 140 registrations from cou ncil and industry. This seminar reached a largely new audience with a high representation of maintenance staff. Five people from local councils and design consultancies gave presentations on t he effective establishment and maintenance of water sensitive design projects. A major focus for many organisations has been the creation and maintenance of raingardens. Some key issues highlighted during the day were the importance of budgeting for maintenance, careful design and project management at the onset of the project, and effective negotiation between all parties responsible for design and maintenance. Feedback from the day demonstrated that this was an excellent opportunity for practitioners to network and share experiences. Attendees told us they would like to hear more about maintenance of stormwater harvest and reuse asset s in the future so if we hold a subsequent maintenance

Clearwater is a key agent in the transfer of "cutting edge" information through t he delivery of training courses, seminars, events and tours. In 2009 Clearwater will run 40 sessions for an estimated 740 people from government, commercial and education sectors. The program has developed three new core training modules for delivery in 2009 and has reviewed current modules to ensure the information is current. Clearwater will also continue to deliver innovative events that facilitate peer to peer networking and learning. In February 2009, in collaboration with Melbourne Water, Clearwater held its largest ever Hot Topics forum at the MCG. Clearwater delivered a peer-to-peer learning event about

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Enjoy the

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Hot Topics in the future we will be looking for presenters who are willing t o talk on this subject. Clearwater is committed to the continual improvement of our training courses, events and tours. We review the content and delivery of our courses through a combi nation of participant feedback, Clearwater training delivery review, and expert review of technical course content. The Clearwater website is an integral source of information for the industry. The Online Resource Library includes recent case studies, technical guidelines, training manuals, fact sheets and world leading research papers to ensure that information is easily accessible and freely available in the one place. In addition, events, train ing sessions and conferences are listed on www.clearwater.asn.au. For further information about Clearwater and the Clearwaters' training sessions email info@clearwater.asn.au or phone (03) 9235 5335. Alternatively, you access our training and events on our website: www.clearwater.asn.au.

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Clearwater and the City of Kingston are ru nning a series a half day tours of raingardens in Kingston. The City of Kingston is recognised as an industry leader in retrofitting water sensitive urban design (WSUD) into council projects. The tour will be led by Alan West, Engineering Design Team Leader who has driven the introduction of rain gardens and other WSUD initiatives over the past 8 years. The day includes visits to key sites where challenges and successes of each project will be discussed. The tour is followed by an opportunity for discussion and networking. 'The tour provided our group with valuable learning's on construction, design , and maintenance of raingardens and other water sensitive urban design systems. It generated some great discussion about what we can implement in our own council ', said Caroline Chandler, Senior Sustainable Environment Officer for the City of Port Phillip.

feature articles



refereed paper

MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE WITH SECONDARY TREATED WASTEWATER S Toze, E Bekele Abstract A three-year research project was established in Perth in 2005 to investigate the potential application of Manage Aquifer Recharge (MAR) in urban environments. The project used infiltration galleries to recharge secondary treated wastewater to a shallow unconfined sand-limestone aquifer. The results indicated that this quality of water could be successfully recharged to aquifers with minimal impacts from clogging as long as the design of the galleries used appropriate materials. Monitoring of the recharged water showed that most remaining chemical and biological contaminants were removed from the water during passage through the unsaturated zone and the aquifer. Associated research on risk assessment showed that the experimental infiltration gallery site in its current form and operation does not produce water that meets the Australian Guidelines for Recycled Water for the risk from some viral pathogens, thus stressing the need to know the risks and how to deal with t hem before designing and establishing a MAR system in urban environments. Social research within the project has shown that community involvement and trust in MAR schemes and the operators is very important for the success of MAR.

Introduction Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is a method of storing a source of water, such as recycled water or urban stormwater underground in aquifers under controlled conditions. The ability to use MAR in urban environments can have a huge advantage for assisting the recycling of water where there is a The success of the research undertaken in this project has led to the project being awarded the "2008 Western Australian Water Awards: Water Recycling Commercial Project category" and the Australian Water Association WA branch "2008 WA Water Research Merit Award".

Installing the distribution chamber.

suitable aquifer and a need for water recycling. MAR has the advantages in urban environments of being a potentially cheap storage option that has little requirement for land space; preventing the need for open water bodies with associated aesthetic and mosquito control issues; and a documented potential to improve the quality of the recharged water (Dillon and Toze 2005). To investigate the applicability of managed aquifer recharge to urban areas of the South Western Australia, a threeyear study "Determining Requirements for Managed Aquifer Recharge in Western Australia" (2005 to 2008) was conducted by a partnership of CSIRO Land and Water, Water Corporation, Curtin University, University of Western Australia and the Chemistry Centre for The Water Foundation of Western Austral ia to address the knowledge gaps relating to Managed Aquifer Recharge. The project harnessed skills and

Highlights and challenges of using infiltration galleries.

individ uals from across a breadth of disciplines. Four main components were developed by the project partners to address these issues: 1. Identification of water quality changes and operational and maintenance requirements for two MAR pilot sites located in coastal aquifers of the Perth coastal plain , Western Australia; 2. Fate and transport of trace organic chemicals of concern applied in column

water Future Features MAY - Ozwater 09 report, membranes/desalination, climate change JUNE • Pumping & pipelines, industrial waste AUGUST · Disinfection, asset failures, project delivery SEPTEMBER · Wastewater treatment, SCADA, consultation

water MARCH 2009 43


~ refereed paper

experiments that were designed to reproduce key features and conditions at the MAR field sites;


3. Identification of commun ity attitudes to risk for different fit-for-purpose uses for MAR and resolving differences in risk perceptions between professionals and the community for different water recycling scenarios



4. Human health risk assessment due to micro-organ isms and chemicals of concern detected in recycle water for managed aquifer recharge. This paper focuses on the first objective involving the MAR pilot site at the Floreat Infiltration Gallery site and the monitoring of infiltration and observed water quality changes. A final report for the Premier's Water Foundation, detailing the complete outcomes of all the research within the project (listed above) will be published later in 2009.

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Managed Aquifer Recharge Site The primary research site for the project was based at the CSIRO Centre for Environment and Life Sciences centre in Floreat, Perth in an experimental sheep paddock. The MAR system used infiltration galleries to recharge secondary treated wastewater from the Subiaco Wastewater Treatment plant to the superficial aq uifer. The site is locat ed on the southwest part of the Gnangara Groundwater Mound, approximately 40 km from a natural mound in the water table that supplies groundwater to a large portion of the Perth metropolitan area. The recharge site is relatively flat with an

average surface elevation of approximately 13m Australian Height Datum (AHO). The regional groundwater flow direction is from the northeast to the southwest. Groundwater flow was enhanced by pumping from an extraction bore that produced an average hydraulic head grad ient of 0.2%. According to the Department of Water records for surrounding bores, the historical maximum height of the water tab le in the superficial aquifer at the study site is approximately 5.5m AHD and the water table elevation at the end of summer is typically 3m AHD (Department of Water; Perth


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Discharge chamber where treated effluent enters infiltration gallery









Figure 2. Map view of the Floreat site showing the monitoring bores, recovery bore, and the two infiltration galleries. 44 MARCH 2009 water

The unconfined (superficial) aquifer at the recharge site consists of the Spearwood Dune syst em with mediumgrained, siliceous sand grading into finegrained sand, overlying a core of aeolianite, known as the Tamala limestone (Bettenay et al., 1960; Playford et al., 1976). The top surface elevation of the carbonate cemented sand of the Tamala limestone varies due to the extent of weathering , but generally extends below a depth of 7.4m at the recharge site. The Spearwood sands at the site are yellow from the presence of hydrated iron oxide.





Groundwater Atlas, 2004). During the three-year period of the investigation, drier conditions prevailed and the water table elevation was generally between 2 and 3m AHD. Below the infiltration galleries, the seasonal variation in the depth to the water table was between 9.9 and 11 m and toward the extraction bore the depth of the water table varied between 10.5m and 11m below ground.

According to a regional study of the superficial aquifer, the hydraulic cond uctivity of the aquifer varies from 10 to 50 mid (Davidson, 1995) and the analysis of cores from the Floreat site revealed a similar range with greater variability in the Tamala limestone due to varying amounts of carbonat e cement (Rummler et al. , 2005). An average hydraulic conductivity of 100 m/d for the Tamala Limestone was derived from a pump t est conducted at the site (Bekele et al., 2006).

technical features



refereed paper

Floroat Infiltration Gallorlos

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Figure 3. The history of cumulative effluent inflow to the infiltration galleries. The west gallery was originally gravel-filled. It was replaced with an Atlantis system, similar to the east gallery, in August 2007.

Design and Construction of the Infiltration Galleries The infiltration galleries are covered trenches with dimensions 25 m x 1 m x 0.5 m (L x W x H). The initial installation of the galleries was 1 m below ground and capped by 0.5 m of sand (Figure 1). One of the galleries consisted of 10 mm graded and washed gravel with a slotted PVC pipe down the centre of the trench. The second gallery was constructed using the Atlantis Leach System®. The

Atlantis Leach System consists of a modular series of lightweight polypropylene crates. The two different designs were used to compare cost versus recharge efficiency to determine the optimal design. Treated wastewater was piped to the infiltration galleries from the nearby Subiaco Wastewater Treatment Plant. The wastewater was collected from a discharge weir, post clarifiers, and polished by an Amiad Filtration System®

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before being pumped to the infiltration galleries. The Amiad® system consists of a 200 micron stainless steel filter and a dual bed (anthracite and fine sand) filter and was used to remove excess suspended solids and smooth spikes of contaminants in the treated wastewater. Upon reaching the infiltration galleries, the treated wastewater was separated into two equal streams flowing into each gallery. For each gallery, the wastewater entered a subsurface concrete chamber, which was connected to pipes delivering the water into the galleries (Figure 1). The chambers were used to distribute the wastewater evenly to both sides of the gallery and a reservoir was used to control flow should clogging occur. A float valve switch connected to the pump control panel could cease flow to either gallery should clogging cause a significant decrease in infiltration rate. Under normal operating conditions, each gallery received 25 kl of wastewater per day. The recharged wastewater was recovered from the aquifer by continually pumping from an extraction bore located 50 m hydraulically down-gradient (Figure 2). A forced-gradient setting was established by pumping at five times the infiltration rate (i.e. 50 kl day·1 infiltration rate and 250 kl day·1 recovery rate). The forced gradient was used to achieve a residence time of the wastewater in the highly transmissive aquifer that fitted with the three-year project time frame. Movement of the recharge water through the aquifer and corresponding water quality changes were monitored through a series of monitoring wells established at different depths in the aquifer between the galleries and the recovery well. Background bores were also established up-gradient of the galleries to monitoring the quality of the native groundwater at the site (Figure 2). A series of shallow wells and suction cup lysimeters were installed beneath the west gallery to monitor movement of the wastewater through the unsaturated zone.

Monitoring Clogging and Recharge Performance

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Figure 4. Average, maximum and minimum concentrations of total nitrogen in water samples collected at different locations, including 3 background bores, relative to the infiltration galleries between July 2006 and August 2007. The guideline for irrigation is 5 mg L·1 (red line). The blue dashed line is the trend from the previous year for comparison. The number of samples collected at each location is indicated above the range line connecting the minimum and maximum concentrations.

With the galleries receiving a continuous combined volume of 50 kilol itres per day for most of the project's duration, approximately 36.7 megalitres of treated effluent were infiltrated via the two infiltration galleries since the commencement of the infiltration galleries at Floreat in early October 2005. On several occasions, maintenance problems related to the supply of wastewater to the site interrupted effluent

water MARCH 2009 45

GJ refereed



inflow to the galleries for short periods of time. Flow rates were increased to the west gallery during the final two months of the study, ending on the 23-December 2008 (Figure 3). The cumulative volumes of effluent inflow to the galleries were computed from the inflow rates recorded every four minutes using an Eco-graph recorder on the control skid, which controlled pumping and water flow to the galleries. During the first 13 months of operation, both galleries recharged the same volume of wastewater with no sign of any decrease in infiltration rates. From about November 2006, a decline in infiltration rates for the gravel gallery, principally due to clogging within the gravel matrix, was observed until the infiltration rate declined to a level where the management system began automatically shutting down the delivery of wastewater to the galleries. The clearing of roots from the gravel gallery was effective and the rate of inflow to the gravel gallery conti nued until early August 2007 whereupon inflow to both galleries was stopped to install equipment for monitoring flow through the unsaturated zone. This also provided an opportunity to replace the gravel gallery with Atlantis crates similar to the east gallery. A series of tracer experiments using bromide and the fluorescent tracer, uranine, mixed with groundwater was conducted from Aug ust to October 2007 to investigate travel times and heterogeneity in the unsaturated zone, thus effluent inflow to the galleries was turned off during this period (Figure 3). The results reveal an average travel time through the unsaturated zone of 104 hours (approximately 4 days) .

Groundwater Quality Changes from MAR The infiltration gallery system was monitored for chemical and biological changes to the wastewater during recharge and transport through the aquifer to the recovery well. Samples were taken from selected monitoring bores and the infiltration galleries on more than 83 separate occasions over the time of the research project. A number of other more specific sampling events for specific analytes have also been undertaken. This intensive monitoring showed that the majority of inorganic and organic chemicals were either removed or reduced during managed aquifer recharge. The exception was nitrogen (predominantly in the form of nitrate) as

46 MARCH 2009 water

Borehole sampling.

the groundwater system used for the study is aerobic and there was insufficient carbon in the recharged water to drive the redox of the groundwater to nitrate-reducing conditions (Figure 4). Research is conti nuin g to investigate additional intervention measures to remove nitrate, including pre-treatment of the wastewater prior to recharge and the addition of extra soluble, bioavailable carbon within the MAR system to assist with removal of excess nitrate. The other compounds that showed little or no removal, included the diazepam group (notably Temazepam and Carbamazepine). These compounds are well known for their resistance to degradation in aerobic water environments. The loss of these compounds under anaerobic cond itions, using the same system as the removal of nitrate, is still being investigated . The low concentrations of these compou nds in the wastewater entering the infiltration gallery system also means that there is minimal or no real health risk from these compounds. No other trace organics, for example, hormones or other pharmaceuticals were detected in the recovered water despite being present in the wastewater recharged to the infiltration galleries. While enteric viruses and the virus surrogates coliphage were detected in the wastewater entering the infiltration galleries and were detected on several occasions in the groundwater withi n one metre of the infiltration galleries, no viruses, co liphage or bacterial pathogens were detected from sampling the monitoring we lls located at distances greater than 5m from the galleries. Under

normal conditions, no indicator bacteria such as faecal coliforms or enterococci were detected in the groundwater greater than this distance. During very heavy rain events, however, coliforms and enterococci were detected in a majority of the monitoring we lls. This is a reflection of the site of the infiltration galleries on an experimental sheep paddock at the CSIRO laboratories, demonstrating the potential of surface contamination of shallow unconfined aquifers under such conditions.

Other Associated Research within Experimental Program Other linked research undertaken in this program included a study of the factors driving the loss of microbial pathogens and trace organic co mpounds, the health risks associated with water recovered from managed aquifer recharge schemes, and the social acceptability of water recycling using managed aquifer recharge. The experiments studying the factors involved in the degradation or persistence of trace organics during managed aquifer recharge are being studied using large, laboratory based col umns containing aquifer material recovered from different aquifers on the Perth coastal plain. The determination of pathogen survival in the Managed Aqu ifer Recharge system has been undertaken in-situ at the Infiltration Gallery site. The experiments for the survival of the trace organic compounds are still underway and a report on the determination of pathogen survival will be available soon (Toze et al. 2009).

technical features


~ refereed paper

A preliminary health risk assessment using the outcomes of the pathogen survival studies has shown that the Floreat experimental Infiltration Gallery site does not sufficiently reduce the risk of exposure from enteric viruses (based on exposure to spray irrigat ion of ovals and green open spaces). The risk assessment has shown that approximately four times the residence time is needed t han can be achieved by the current residence time in t he aquifer at t his experimental site. To alleviate the risk from enteric viruses, the recovery well would need to be located f urther down gradient (approx. another 100 m) to increase t he residence time of the recharged water in the aquifer. This finding has demonstrated the importance of determining the risks associated with a p lanned MAR scheme using recycled water; st udying t he influence of t he MAR scheme on t hese risks and then designing the MAR scheme to manage the risks, or plan additional treatment barriers to control the risk shou ld the MAR scheme be unable to reduce t he risk. This approach is the basis for the MAR section of the Phase 2 of the Australian Water Recycling Guidelines (due for release in late 2009). The experiments associated with assessing t he social acceptability of MAR undertook a series of social experiments testing people's attitudes and behaviour to recycled water, MAR and prod ucts irrigat ed with recycled water. The resu lts from t hese experiments were used to develop an attitudinal model to predict t he drivers linked to social acceptance of MAR and recycled water. The outcomes from the social research c onfirm ed previous work in water recycl ing research in that the closer the personal contact , the less acceptable the use (Po et al. 2005). Both trust and emotions were shown to be involved in people's decisions to accept or reject the reuse situations, but health risks were found t o be not significant in these decisions. Knowledge was fou nd to not be a factor in people's decisions t o use or reject recycled water or purchase products irrigated with recycled water. Anyone considering using communication and education as t he main feat ure of a program to obtain commun ity acceptance of a recycling scheme should take note of t his finding. The provision of comprehensive and open information, however, is a factor in engendering t rust, thus the role of knowledge should not be totally discount ed. When comparisons were made between MAR for uses such

as indirect potable reuse and the horticultural irrigation schemes it was found that t he communities consider the different uses to be similar. That is, "nature" in t he form of t he aquifer, was considered to act as a filter.

Conclusions and Future Applications of MAR in Urban Environments

Dr Elise Bekele is a Senior Research Scientist at Wembley, WA.

The research project has demonstrated t hat managed aquifer recharge can be successfully used in urban environments with adequate planning and control of aquifer resid ence t imes to allow improvements in water quality to occu r. Infiltration Galleries are a valid form of managed aquifer recharge in these environments as long as there is a suitable aquifer and source of water. Wat er quality improvements were observed but it is important to determine the risks associated with any planned MAR scheme, to st udy the impact of MAR on these risk and then design and establ ish the MAR scheme. The commu nity also accepts the use of managed aquifer recharge to assist the recycl ing of water as the use of t he aquifer is viewed as "naturalising" the water. This acceptance is still reliant on the need to be open and engage with the community on any planned MAR scheme to maintain a level of trust.



Perth Groundwater Atlas, Second Edition, 2004, Perth:Department of Environment, 165p.

The research detailed in t his paper was funded by the Western Australian Government through the Water Foundat ion, t he Water Corporation, WA and the CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Program. The results presented represent a collaborat ive effort between research participants from CSIRO, Water Corporation, Chemistry Centre WA, Curtin University, University of Western Australia.

The Authors Both authors are with CSIRO Land and Water.

Bekele, E. Toze, S., Rummler, Hanna, J., Blair, P., and Turner, N. 2006. Improvements in wastewater quality from soil and aquifer passage using infiltration galleries: case study in Western Australia. Proceedings: International Symposium on Management of Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR), 10-16 June 2005, Berlin: 663668. Bettenay, E., McArthur, W.M. , and F.J. Kingston (1960). Soil associations of the Swan Coastal Plain, W.A. Soils and Land Uses Series No. 35, C.S.I.R.O., Perth, 24 pp. Davidson WA (1995) Hydro9eology and groundwater resources of the Perth Region, Western Australia. Geological Survey of Western Australia, Bulletin 142. p. 54. Dillon P, and Toze S. (2005) Water quality improvements during aquifer storage and recovery. AWWA Research Foundation, Colorado.

Playford , P.E. , Cockbain, A.E. , and G.H. Low (1976). Geology of the Perth Basin Western Australia. Geological Survey of Western Australia, Bulletin 124, 311 pp. Po, M., Nancarrow, B.E., Leviston, Z., Porter, N.B. , Syme, G.J. , and Kaercher, J.D. (2005) Predicting community behaviour in relation to wastewater reuse. Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship CSIRO. Rummler, J., Bekele, E., and Toze, S. (2005). Preliminary Hydrogeo/ogical Characterisation for Proposed Covered Infiltration Galleries at CS/RO Laboratory, Floreat, Western Australia. Client Report

for Water Corporation, Western Australia. Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship CSIRO: Canberra.

Dr Simon Toze (email Simon.Toze@csiro.au) is a Principal Research Scientist at the Queensland Biosciences Precinct, Brisbane.

Toze, S, Sidhu, J., Shackleton, M. and Hodgers, L. (2009). Fate of microbial pathogens in Perth groundwater during Managed Aquifer Recharge. Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship CSIRO (In Preparation).

water MARCH 2009 47


SUCCESSFUL STORMWATER MANAGEMENT E Shaver Abstract This article is an edit ed version of Earl's keynote address to the Stormwater Industry Association's conference in Brisbane, November, 2008. It summarises his strong views on the implementation of WSUD to protect the down-stream environment, covering not the technology but the vital political and institutional processes.

Introduction Implementing a stormwater management program is not difficult. Allocati ng staff and some resources along with basic regulatory requirements is a common recipe for implementation. But implementing a 'successful' stormwater management program is another matter entirely. There are a number of elements that must exist if a program is to be successful and lacking any of these elements is like a chain having a weak link. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link and program success is compromised if any of these elements is missing or weak. Figure 1 shows this point clearly.

Colours that water isn't supposed to be. • The pain of politics, and • Measuring success.

Program goals There has to be a clear understanding and acceptance of why a stormwater management program is being implemented. Problem definition is the first step in developing program element s

and criteria. Examples of problem definition include the following: • Nutrient management to red uce anoxic conditions downstream, • Sediment management to protect aquatic resources from becoming smothered, • Metals management to prevent increasing toxic levels of bottom sediments, and • Flow management to protect stream channe l physical structure or to prevent inc reased flooding problems downstream.

Wh ile the figure shows a number of program elements that are essential to program success, this discussion wi ll focus on several of them to discuss in more detail. Those elements are the following: • Establishing your goals for implementing a stormwater management program,

The impetus of the US Clean Water Act was at least partially based on a river (Cuyahoga River) that caught fire in 1969 . The river caught fire due to industrial chemical pollution and the primary focus of the Clean Water Act for the first decade was reducing industrial pollution.

EtfectJvo Program lmplomon1a1km Can bo Conaldarod u a Chain. Tho chain ta only

as strong as lta woakost link

• Understanding what you are getting into, • Evolution has t o occur (conventional approach versus WSUD),

Chesapeake Bay Program in the US has focused on nutrients as the primary cause of aquatic system decline. Phosphorus was selected as a keystone contaminant and stormwater management practices have been developed to reduce phosphorus delivery downstream.

• Taking action,

The institutional framework for effective programs is lagging. 48 MARCH 2009 water

Figure 1. Essential program elements that need to be linked.

Based on review of estuarine sediments, th e Auckland Region

technical features

stormwater The effects of urbanisation on the macroinvertebrate community; numbers denote Pond sites. 120 100 ~











0 0











0 0








Implementing a program without an understanding what problems you need to address, or solely because a national, state or regional authority requires it, will not be successful unless it is recognised that it addresses a local issue.









% Impervious Cover

in New Zealand focused initially on sediment removal and more recently has gravitated to removal of metals to prot ect downstream aquatic resources. You have to have a clear understanding of what problems you want to solve by implementing a program. Then you have to communicate that understanding to politicians, management and the general public so they can understand why program implementation is important.


0 0




Christchurch stream - removal of concrete channel and re-establishment of a natural stream.










• Ponds (n •8) o No ponds (n • 33)

The effects of urbanisation on sensitive species or macroinvertebrates; numbers denote Pond sites.

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Understand what you are getting into 0

So many programs start with an initial burst of enthusiasm without understanding that program implementation is not a short term issue. As long as land use change occurs and population increases, program implementation is important. Program implementation requires the following elements: • An institutional framework, • A reliable, adequate funding source, • Adequate resources, and • Effective leadership. Having 'sunset' type legislation presents a problem in terms of program development, implementation and evolution. Legislation having sunset clauses is very common in Australia and does significantly impact on program implementation. Too often st aff has to spend time attempting to get new funding approved or the program ceases to function. Stormwater management has to be considered as being integral to overall site development processes and not just an 'add-on'. It is a long-t erm program as much as any other element of the development process. The issue of fu nding is of particular concern as fu nding for stormwater programs is often considered as being negotiable in times when budget cuts or new programs are being considered. A stable funding mechanism that is somewhat divorced from the annual political process is essential to ensure long-term program function. There are some lessons that can be learned from considering international literature related to stormwater program funding (Landcare Research, 2005). • Funding systems adopted in individual jurisdictions in North America and Europe are highly context specific.








% Impervious Cover •

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aubdhtslonl hlYtng IIO "°'"1Wlter pondt N


Figure 2. Effects of Urbanisation on Macroinvertebrate Communities with and Without Stormwater Ponds. • Common elements, however, include concern over increasing urbanisation , declining environmental health, increasing resistance to non-specific taxes and rates , and to public debt. Consistent trends are towards recognising the private benefits of services, differentiating between specific services and implementing target use-based charges. • There is considerable international experience in the detailed design and implementation of impervious area charg ing syst ems. The advantage of impervious area charging systems are that they are assessed based on the contribution of runoff from different land uses. The fee can be a monthly or annual fee and is separate from the annual budgetary process that impacts on so many programs. Unless a stable long-term funding approach is implemented, program implementation wi ll always have ups and downs depending on the political climate at any one time.

Evolution has to Occur Most of us live in a fairly sterile environment, where the landscape is dominated by buildings, streets, footpaths and other impervious surfaces. We are, for the most part, disconnected from nature. Only by preserving something of the natural environment can we retain a sense of place, an identity with the land, and have a d istinctive sense of being part of our environment.

water MARCH 2009 49


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benefits on a catchment-wide basis. Figure 3 shows a catchment plan that was affirmed in Environment Court for the given catchment. In fact, if environmental values are a priority then a WSUD approach t o catchment development provides a much greater level of protection for important values as land use is considered as an integral element of overall design.

3. Performance of WSUD is unknown - There are numerous studies that have documented peak flow reduction and total runoff volume reduction. 4. WSUD is about implementation of biofiltration and water tanks only - WSUD is a philosophy that encompasses a variety of elements including: • Clustering of development,


• Reducing overall site and catchment imperviousness, • Use of biofiltration practices,

Figure 3. WSUD Catchment Approach in Aucklan.d The author was involved in a study in the US where stream macroinvertebrates were sampled downstream of developments having no stormwater management and sampling downstream of developments having stormwater management. The purpose of the study was to determine whether conventional stormwater management practices would protect downstream receiving systems. Figure 2 (Maxted and Shaver, 1997 shows the results of that study and those resu lts indicated that conventional stormwater management ponds did not protect downstream aquatic organisms in streams. Water quality treatment was provided and would provide some benefit to downstream estuaries but the streams were not protected, most probably due to the increased number and intensity of storm runoff as a result of increased impervious surfaces. There was much more water running off of the land more frequently than occurred in the predevelopment condition due to increased imperviousness and more efficient conveyance systems. Peak flow control alone cou ld not protect stream physical structure. This resu lt convinced the author that another approach to site development had to be considered if downstream aquatic organisms were a priority. Reducing the volumes of stormwater runoff and the frequency of runoff would reduce t he amount of work being done on stream channel boundaries and red uce adverse impacts. Reducing the vol ume of stormwater runoff is one of the central tenets of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD).

• Revegetation, • Incorporation of natural site features into overall site or catchment design, • Water reuse, and • Maximising open space in the urban context.

5. WSUD is only appropriate on greenfields sites - While easier to implement, WSUD can be used on any site. WS UD is being implemented globally. Actual practices and uses are very similar from location to location around the world but some terminology may be different. In the US it is called Low Impact Design (LID) or Conservation Design . In England WSUD is called Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and in New Zealand it is also cal led Low Impact Design. While there are considerable benefits to implementation of WSUD there are some real impediments. Those impediments can include: • Institutional barriers - Existing codes of practice may prevent implementation and there may be a lack of willingness by local governments t o accept WSUD. • Time frame costs for developers for the consent or permit process. • Lack of willing ness by developers to change. • Lack of leadership. • Poor construction and ignorance of long-term operation . • Lack of wil lingness by all of us to change.

WSUD is an emerging approach, which represents a significant change from historical stormwater management approaches. WSUD provides a design approach to site and catc hment development that protects and incorporates natural site features into the stormwater management plan. There are a number of misconceptions to WSUD that are increasingly being refuted as more and more projects provide case studies.

1. WSUD costs more - data from international studies indicat es that initial construction costs can be greater but infrastructure costs are generally less and there are overall project savings.

2. WSUD is an innovative practice - There are numerous studies where WSUD has been implemented successfully at a site level basis and on a catchment-wide basis. It is generally accepted as being a valid approach to providing stormwater

50 MARCH 2009 water

Motorway swale - using vegetation for stormwater treatment rather than a traditional reticulation system.

technical features

stormwater 12


.,"' V,



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• 50



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Figure 4. Stream macroinvertbrate community versus catchment imperviousness.

• Recent fires have shown that development in bush areas may be hazardous. How do we protect environmental values and allow development to occur in those areas.

Taking Action One problem with addressing stormwater related issues is that we, as a society, tend not to act. We react. We don't anticipat e a problem, especially when the answer is not what we want to hear. There are numerous case studies around the world that have documented wat er quantity and water quality problems but we tend to address these problems in a minimalist manner. In a number of instances there is good international data that documents a problem but we can't act on that problem unless it can clearly be documented that locally the same issue exists. An example of this is consideration of stream biology with increasing levels of

imperviousness. There is data from the US, Austral ia and New Zealand that increasing levels of imperviousness have adverse impacts on stream biology. Figure 4 is the result of one study in the Auckland Region (Allibone, 2001) that is mirrored by a similar study in the US If stream ecology is important we have to consider levels of imperviousness in a catchment regardless of where we are. Requiring local studies is often an excuse t o delay an uncomfortable land use decision. The Chesapeake Bay Program is about people. The Bay catchment has a maximum carrying capacity and it cannot be healthy if there are no limits on land use. The easy decision is implementing stormwater management programs that do not consider ultimate land use, but that approach cannot achieve program goals. If environmental protection is considered important, limiting development in certain areas may be the only way that program goals can be achieved.

Use with any pipe Installs without de-watering No calibration needed High accuracy with 4 pulsed velocity beams See actual flow profile

-I Talbot Park - public housing intensification with biofiltration for water quality treatment and traffic calming.

John Morris Scientific Service plus Solutions

stormwater In terms of taking action, we have to aim higher than we do. Too often we operate by using minimums as standards. Very seldom do people try to exceed the minimum standard. This approach has to change. In the Auckland Region development has t o provide stormwater management that removes 75% of incoming TSS. 99% of applicants proposing development either only meet the 75% or argue that meeting it is an unrealistic requirement. Almost never does someone say that they can do better than 75%. All we tend to do is reduce the rate of environmental decline. We are not developing land in a sustainable manner. When taking action there are some questions that have to be asked. 1. Are environmental concerns a luxury? 2. Do measures to solve environmental problems mean greater costs? 3. If we don't solve environmental problems, do we save money? The answer to these questions wou ld seem obvious. In caring for the health of our surroundings, just as our bodies, it is less expensive to prevent problems than to solve them once they have occurred. Societies either thrive or decline depending on how they respond to their situation. The environment is what

sustains society and a declining environment will result in a declining quality of life.

The Pain of Politics Stormwater management programs exist because of political commitment. Political commitment represents the recognition that a problem exists and lays out a framework for how to address it. Politicians seldom act: they react. Political commitment generally comes from having to address a clear problem, such as a river catching fire, a bay that is in serious decline, and so forth. In response to a clear problem, political commitment is relatively straight forward to obtain. Political commitment is only part of the equation and it is the easiest part. What happens after that initial creation is where problems and program success are really determined. The hard part is to keep program implementation runni ng effectively to accomplish objectives. Politicians, rightfully, feel that they have addressed the issue and move on to other priorities. The initial optimism that created the program dies off and the program becomes part of the 'bureaucracy'

Effect of Organisational Restructuring on Implementation Case 1. The stormwater program had a high profile and was recognised as being pro-active. It had political support to protect a valuable resource. Two primary agencies in two cities were responsible and worked t ogether adequately. However, the agencies were merged into one agency and those employees in the other city had to physically relocate. 25% of the staff resigned rather than be relocated . Result: low morale and loss of experience. The program has since become very political, with poor leadership, and key people and program champions have left. Years later it has not completely recovered.

Case 2. After a number of years of program growth and evolution a new agency leadership determined that an organisational restructuring would benefit agency performance. In addition to other programs the existing stormwater program was split into three categories (planning, nonregulat ory, regulatory) Resu lt: Existing programs were split up. Staff morale crashed, with over 80% stormwater staff turnover in 12 months {the most marketable people). Over the broader science and engineering categories approximately 1000 man-years of experience were lost. A si lo mentality with reduced communication between elements has resulted.

Case 3. The program was set up in cooperation with other agencies and industry. It was low key, but steady and was left alone by the politicians. Individuals responsible for the program's initiation and implementation have moved up withi n the organisation and their leadership roles have continued program support. Over twenty years it is still active and recently actually closed down a major project at a USAF base for pollution, and won the case for clean-up.


MARCH 2009


The author has spent 36 years working for local, regional and state government and there are some statements that can be made about government implementation of stormwater management programs. 1. People make programs. They are the key element and champions in a programs success or failure. This is seldom recognised in a government environment. 2. All of the programs the author was involved in had significant political support to address a recognised problem. 3. Organisational structure and leadership are absolutely critical to a program's function and success. A program can function with poor leadership or a poor organisational structure but having both will prevent a program 's successful function. 4. The higher a program's profile the greater the potential for political interference. 5. When reorganisations occur, the best staff tend to leave and hiring new staff takes years to re-establish lost expertise. 6. For the most part, the general public is unaware of the impact that government restructuring has on program implementation. The attached Box summarises three different case studies, illustrating the impact of organisational change. It is the author's belief that government structures should be determined by scientific analysis as much as any other field of endeavo ur. Trials can reveal which structures work or do not work well or even worse. Trials should he held to determine effectiveness. Science cannot tell us what societies' aims should be but once we decide on a given direction, science can provide the best way to achieve the aims. We should be indignant when political appointees or politicians implement untested or failed organisational structures.

How to Measure Success The goal of a stormwater management program is not to exist as of right, it is to solve a problem or to prevent a problem from occurring. As a result it is necessary to measure success. Public and political support can be maintained if the program is providing value for money. The measures of success have to be placed in a context that the average person can understand and be

technical features

stormwater communicated to everyone who is interested in program success. There are a number of ways that success can be measured that ranges from basic information gathered to quantifying progress. These approaches are listed from the most basic to detailed quantification. • How many stormwater consents or permits have been issued. • How long it takes to review a consent or permit. • How many complaints are handled. • How many inspections are accomplished. • Review of completed evaluation forms from interested parties. • How many capital projects have been completed. • How many stormwater management practices have been installed. • What is the area covered by those practices.

Too often we are plagued by poor implementation , lack of land use control , lack of political will and support and ineffective baseline controls. If our goal is to have catchment based approaches, ecological restoration or protection, sustainable development and achievable outcomes we have to find a way to get from the present reality to achieve our goals for the future. We need to realise that there is no one else that we can turn to solve our problems and we need to learn to live within our means. A hundred years ago we all lived on farms. Our environment was the valley that our fami ly lived in. We did not understand the impacts that we were having downstream. Now we understand the impacts that we have on the environment and our quality of life and failure to act is on our heads.

The Author

• What amount of po llutants has been captured • What maintenance activities have been done. • Aquatic response to development is either unaffected or improved • Flooding problems have been reduced • Chemical monitoring of receiving environments or stormwater management practices to show trends or level of performance. • Stream flow monitoring. • Sediment monitoring in estuaries and harbours. Program evolution relies, to a large extent, on measuring success. We can't improve our efforts if we don't know how well we are doing. In a similar fashion future program support will depend on demonstrating that the money is well spent.

Concluding Comments

Earl Shaver has BS and MS degrees in Agricultural and Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland. He has had the unique opportunity to initiate and implement stormwater management programs in two states in the US. In 1997 he migrated to New Zealand to work with the Auckland Regional Council where he assisted in the evolution of their stormwater management program for over 9 years. He currently is director of a consu ltancy, Aqua Terra International Ltd, and resides in Auckland New Zealand. Email: earl.s@xtra.co.nz.

References Allibone, R., Horrox, J ., Parkyn, S., Stream Categorisation and lnstream Objectives for Auckland's Urban Streams, prepared

by NIWA for the ARC, 2001.

Some good thi ngs are happening and progress is being made but that doesn't mean that we are doing an effective job of protecting aquatic resources and maintaining our quality of life.

Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd. , An

I feel that the technical knowledge of preventive and mitigative approaches is fairly well known but the institutional framework for effective program implementation is lagging.

Maxted , J. and Shaver, E., The Use of

Overview of Stormwater Funding Options for the Auckland Region,

Contract Report No.: LC0506/012, prepared for the Auckland Regional Council, August 2005. Retention Basins to Mitigate Stormwater Impacts on Aquatic Life, Effects of Watershed Development & Management on Aquatic Ecosystems, (edited by Larry

Roesner, ASCE, New York, 1997.

storm water

~ refe reed paper

HAYWARDS BAY CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS P Nichols, D Laing, B C Phillips Abstract Four hectares of wet lands were incorporated into the overall urban design of Wollongong's newest subu rb, Haywards Bay, w hich comprises 400 homes and a commercial precinct overlooking Lake lllawarra The wetlands were designed to drain freely into the groundwater table. This unconventional interaction between surface and g roundwater was designed to increase the supply of freshwater to the endangered saltmarsh community on the foreshore of Lake lllawarra. During the design, nitrogen migration mod elling and possible bio- accumulation of toxic sediments was conducted and suitable measures incorporated. Detailed water quality and biological monitoring programs are to be conducted over a significantly longer term than conventional monitoring.

Introduction Haywards Bay is o ne of Wollongong's newest suburbs and w ill provide a mixture of over 400 residential lots and a commercial precinct including s ubstantial active and passive recreat ion areas. It is located on the foreshore of Lake lllawarra (Figure 1), and enjoys views of t he Lake as well as t he Escarpment. Development of this urban subdivision commenced wit h t he use of coal washery discard, a waste product from local col lieries, as engineering fill to raise the site above flood level. The development at the Hayward Bay site commenced in late 1994, and approximately 60% of the residential phase of t he project has been completed. The actual construct ion of t he wetlands was commenced in October 2007 and completed by early April 2008 (see Figure 2), although the design and baseli ne water quality monitoring st ages had been in place for a number of years prior to t hese dates.

Figure 1. Haywards Bay Constructed Wetlands. The water quality monitoring scheme will continue for up to 15 years after 80% of the subdivision has been completed.

Performance Objectives

• Accommodating a significant Aborig inal midden on t he site.

The performance objectives for stormwater management at Haywards Bay include:

• Managing possible adverse impacts from Acid Sulphate Soils (ASS) and Potential Acid Sulphate Soils (PASS) .

• Creating wetlands to function as a robust stormwater management measure for the new resid ential development.

Design Concepts and Innovations

• Managing flooding risk withi n the development. • Managing the potential flux of nitrogen-based pollutants from the coal wash fill on land adjoining Lake lllawarra, which is a nitrogen-limited ecosystem and highly sensitive to even smal l increases in nitrogen loads. • Minimising impacts on the highly sensitive coastal saltmarsh ecosystem, listed as an endangered ecological

Best practice surface This project won a National Award for Exce l lence in Surface Water and/or Groundwater Management at the 2008 Stormwater Industry Awards held in Brisbane in November 2008.

54 MARCH 2009 w ater

community (EEC), which is dependent o n local groundwater.

water and groundwater management in an urbanising catchment.

The key statistics for the Haywards Bay wetlands are summarised in Table 1. The main design concepts and innovations introduced into the Haywards Bay wetland construct ion are as follows: • Use of sophisticated t heoretical simulations of stormwater movements at the site on both temporal and spatial scales in t he design stages of the project to yield a wet land design with optimal performance conditions that are ideally suited for stormwater treatment at Haywards Bay. • Recognition that the surrou nding environment, bot h terrestrial and aquatic, is very sensitive to changes in both grou nd and surface water q uality and quantities and that close assessment of the total water cyc le is

technical features



refereed paper

critical ly important to managing potential adverse environmental impacts. • Compensating for loss of the main groundwater recharge zone, due to the engineered coal wash emplacement, by use of the wetlands to replicate the natural groundwater flow regime. • Nitrogen migration modelling to predict impacts on Lake lllawarra and to confirm the long-term sustainability of the scheme. • Inclusion of alternating shallow-flow and deep-flow zones in the wetlands as safeguards for further treatment of nitrogen-containing species under aerobic/anaerobic conditions prior to their ultimate discharge into Lake lllawarra. • Engineering design of the wetlands to ensure the long-term health of the near by saltmarsh ecosystem. • Assessment of possible bioaccumulation of toxic sediments. • Use of a combi nation of detailed water quality and biological monitori ng schemes over a longer term than conventional monitoring periods to confirm predicted environmental performance for the wetlands. • Incorporation and the implementation of an Acid Sulfate Soil Management Plan during the design and the construction phases of the wetlands to ensure that the wetlands did not lie over the areas containing maximum acid sulfate soil and potential acid sulfate soil concentrations and that disturbances to these areas were minimal.

Figure 2. The Haywards Bay Wetlands Nearing Completion (April 2008).

Water Cycle Management In order that ru noff from the Haywards Bay development does not comprom ise the water quality of Lake lllawarra a number of treatment measures were incorporated into the wetlands and the overall water cycle infrastructure at Haywards Bay. These measures included: • The layout of the wetlands which consists of two ponds (see Figure 1), linked by a pool and riffle subsurface flow zone. The long and narrow shapes of the ponds provide a long flow path to maximise hydraul ic residence time for poll utant removal. • Specific design of the wetlands for high level nitrogen removal th rough the use of alternating deep water zones and subsurface flow zones, which create both aerobic and anaerobic conditions and encourage.

Figure 3. Use of Crushed Recycled Concrete to Neutralise Acidic Stormwater.

mineralisation of organic nitrogen, nitrification and denitrification. • Placement of crushed recycled concrete in the subsurface flow zone to neutralise acidic flows resulti ng from the acid sulfate soils and potential acid sulfate soils and maintain a pH at or above neutral (7.0) (see Figure 3). • Planting veget ation in the macrophyte zone in bands perpendicular to the flow path to maximise pollutant upt ake. Stormwater runoff from the Haywards Bay development is first treated by Gross Pollutant Traps (GPTs) before discharging to vegetated swales and drainage channels. Further treatment occurs withi n these vegetated drainage channels and by passage through reed filter beds prior to entry to the main wetlands. Runoff enters a deeper inlet pond where sett lement of coarse to medium sized particles occurs. It then moves through the subsurface flow zone where pH buffering and enhanced nitrogen removal occurs. Flow then enters the macrophyte zone which encourages the settling and fi ltration of finer particles and the uptake of pollutants by aquatic vegetation. Treated water from the wetlands discharges t o a natural vegetated flowpath where further treatment and polishing occurs, prior to discharge directly to Lake lllawarra away from the poorly flushed Haywards Bay. The locations of ASS and PASS in the area were taken into consideration in the positioning of the wetlands. Testing revealed that topsoil layers generally did not exceed ASSMAC trigger values, however the sand layers mostly exceed these values and the estuarine mud/clay layers underlying the aquifer and the

water MARCH 2009 55


storm water finished bed of the wetland were strongly PASS. Due to these constraints an ASS Management Plan was developed and implemented during construction to ensure PASS layers were not disturbed and that the wetlands were positioned to avoid the areas with the highest levels of ASS and PASS. (Forbes Rigby, 2006a). Wollongong City Council imposed a stringent wat er quality monitoring program on the site to ensure the local environment is not adversely impacted by the development. It req uires quarterly monitoring of surface and groundwater sites, with long term monitoring of the observation bores for up to 15 years once 80% of the subdivision has been completed. Monitoring commenced in March 1998. Current water quality monitoring parameters are listed as follows together with their common abbreviations (McEvoy et al, 2007). Total Phenols and Total Sulfide (Tot al S) were removed from the parameter list as they were consistent ly under guideline levels. • pH • Electrical Conductivity (EC) • Major cations i. e. Sodium (Na), Potassium (K). Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) • Major anions i.e. Chloride (Cl) and Sulfate (SO 4) • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN = organic nitrogen plus ammonia nitrogen) • Total Oxidised Nitrogen (TON , also referred to as NOx-N = nitrate & nitrite nitrogen forms) • Filterab le Iron (Fe) • Boron (B) • Arsenic (As) • Al • Zn • Pb • Cu • Total P & Reactive P Many of these parameters were required by Wollongong City Council, however several parameters were proposed by Cardno Forbes Rigby in order to rigorously evaluate surface and groundwat er quality effects of the coal wash development platform, and any potential impacts (McEvoy et al, 2007). On a quarterly basis, water levels in all observation bores are recorded and then purged of at least 3 well volumes prior to sampling. All observation bores and

56 MARCH 2009 water

refereed paper

Table 1 Key Statistics for the Hawyards Bay Wetlands 4 ha 1.3 m

Surface Area Maximum depth Depth of pool and riffle zone


Design Flow

569 MUyear

Minimum cover over highest PASS layer

0.5 m

Number of wetland plants

Approx 50, 000 plants (1 4 species)

Construction cost


Landscaping costs


surface water bodies are subsequently sampled the same day. Sampling was consistently conducted in accord with the protocols laid down in NSW EPA 1995 Guidelines for Solid Waste Landfills. It is noted that all samples collected for nitrogen species such as TKN, NOx-N and filterable trace elements arsenic (As), iron (Fe), aluminium (Al), and zi nc (Zn) were filtered through an industrystandard USEPA-approved 0.45 µm filter membrane cartridge (Waterra FHT Groundwater Filter) to remove any possible cont ribution fro m particulates especially parti cu late-associated organic nitrogen deriving from coal wash fines, si lts etc. After carefully assessing the fi ndings of 32 sampling campaigns conducted between March 1998 and January 2007, McEvoy et al, 200 7 concl uded that the principal aqueous contaminants of interest that leach from the coal wash fill material are: • Soluble (filterable) Fe (i.e. in the ferrous and/or organically complexed ferric forms). • Filterable organic nitrogen (Org-N). • Ammonia form nitrogen (NHT N) and nitrate/nitrite form nitrogen (NOx-N). • Trace q uantities of aluminium (Al), arsenic (As) and zi nc (Zn). The other parameters routinely analysed have been consistently below the relevant guideline trigger values. Water quality monitoring conducted in recent years has confirmed that the levels of nutrients, toxic heavy metals entering and leaving the wetlands are below the ANZECC trigger values recom mended for national water quality. Findings of the 39th quarterly sampling campaign conducted by Cardno Forbes Rigby in November 2008 also indicated no evidence of adverse ecotoxicological impacts from t he Haywards Bay development on any surface water bodies immediately adjacent t o the

development, or on Lake lllawarra from groundwater or surface water flow. Flood modelling (2D modelling) was conducted for the site, which is locat ed on the Macquarie Rivulet floodplain. The increased flood risk due to cli mate change was also considered. Floor levels of housing at Haywards Bay were raised from earlier proposals and are now set with a freeboard of 700 mm over the current estimated 100 year ARI flood level, thus incorporating an additional factor of safety to reflect c limate change impacts. The wetlands do not interfere with natural flooding patterns, and have sufficient capacity to treat increased flows during minor floods from the local catchment. The entire system was designed so that flood velocities are not fast enough to cause damage to t he wetlands when there is a major flood in Macquarie Rivulet. Although the wetlands are primarily a stormwat er treatment device, they contribut e also to water c onservation and re-use at Haywards Bay by providi ng a construction-phase water supp ly during land development and bu il ding. Water from the ponds is used for dust suppression and for land scape irrigation purposes, forgoin g the need to access mains water.

Sustainable Groundwater Management Haywards Bay is fringed by high co nservation value coast al saltmarsh vegetation, an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Ac t 1995. Careful management and treatment of groundwater was imperative. The local aquifer drains across the wet lands and into Lake lllawarra and is a key factor affecting the long-term health of aquatic and terrestrial vegetation on the lake foreshore. There was also potential for nitrogen-rich runoff from the coalwash emplacement to have a det rimental affect on Lake lllawarra. Regulatory authorities were further

technical features


~ refereed paper

concerned that bioaccumulation of toxic sediments could potentially occur within the wetlands over time and leach into the groundwater. To prevent nitrogen-enriched water and/or bio-accumulated toxic sediments from the wetland leaching into the groundwater and hence into Lake lllawarra the regulatory authorities initially suggested t hat the wetlands be lined with a com pacted clay layer. Further assessment and subsequent advice from saltmarsh ecologist Prof Neil Saintilan established that the installation of a liner on the base of the wetland would cut off the groundwater supply on wh ich the saltmarsh is dependent. It was also established t hat the levels of nitrogen present in runoff from the coalwash base were unlikely to have any significant detrimental effects on the local saltmarsh commu nity. Installation of a costly and unnecessary liner was therefore able to be avoided. An assessment of wetlands installed in an adjacent subdivision was undertaken to determine the possible bioaccumulation of toxic sediments in t he 15 years since construction. The assessment showed minimal sediment deposition had occurred (Forbes Rigby, 2006b). Testing was undertaken for metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's), organochlorine (OC) and organophosphate pesticides (OP), total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH's) and nitrogen parameters, wh ich were compared to national (ANZECC/ARMCANZ, 2000) interim sediment quality guidelines (ISQGs). The test results indicated no contaminants in the sediments sampled exceeded the ISQGHigh guideline, and most were below the ISQG -Low guideline, and hence would be consid ered to be low in terms of their risk as a toxicant. This further increased confidence in the exp ected perform ance of the Haywards Bay wetlands, which has a significantly larger capacit y and also features a higher level of stormwater pre-

treatment by rainwater tanks, CDS units and vegetated swales. Groundwater is allowed to flow freely through the wetlands from the proposed Haywards Bay development towards Lake lllawarra. Groundwater flow is perpendicular to the surface water flow in the wetlands to maximise pollutant uptake. The wetland is also deeper than usual designs to allow the underlying aq uifer to recharge and to ensure the survival of the local saltmarsh. In recognition of the local authorities' concerns in relation to groundwater quality a contingency measure was also put in place within the wetland system, in the form of a crushed concrete subsurface filter bed. In times of high flow, stormwater filters through subsurface filter beds, which further treat the stormwater before it enters the wetlands and is allowed to flow into the aquifer.

Environmental Management and Ecosystem Conservation Sustainability is a central focus of the Haywards Bay development wh ich led to two-thirds of the overall site being dedicated to the Lake lllawarra Authority as parkland. This parkland will operate as an effective carbon sink in perpetuity, reducing the impact of the development on t he natural environment. This in effect offsets the potential greenhouse gas emissions associated with the Haywards

Bay development and the activities of its residents. The ecological footprint of all new housing constructed at Haywards Bay is further reduced by conformance with the NSW Government's BASIX guidelines that promote energy and water-efficient housing designs. Given the proximity of the development to Lake lllawarra and the environmental sensitivity of the surrounding area, the project has been also subject to a stringent program of environmental monitoring in accordance with sitespecific EPA licence conditions. This includes the monthly monitoring of dust associated with placement of coal wash. Monitoring over a period of 10 years confirms no evidence for adverse ecotoxicological impact from the emplaced coal wash on the local surface water body ecosystems or on Lake lllawarra. Under Council's approval conditions, the adjacent saltmarsh is required t o be monitored at three yearly intervals. Initial survey results show that the condition of the saltmarsh is improving significantly, since cattle have been excluded from the floodplain (Cardno Ecology Laboratory, 2008). This baseline assessment was comprehensive and identified all flora and fauna present in and around the saltmarsh community. A comprehensive ongoing monitoring protocol was also established for the wetlands located immediately adjacent to the Haywards Bay development. This monitoring uses

4/8 Leighton Place PO BOX 240 Hornsby NSW 2077

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water MARCH 2009 5 7

storm water multiple transects and two cont rol areas, to facilitate strong statistical comparisons of changes in the composition and extent of the saltmarsh community in relation to the development. The const ructed wetlands have also provided habitat for numerous species from local species of frogs, to migrat ory birds which have been recorded to use the area. As the vegetation within the wetlands continues to become established the habitat value of the wetlands and its contribution t o the surrounding environment will continue to increase.

Conclusions The design of the Haywards Bay wetlands was governed by the recognitio n that the surrounding terrestrial and aquatic environments are very sensitive to changes in ground and surface water quality and quantities. The treatment of elevated nutrient levels in runoff and in particular nitrogen was the main criteria for t he wetlands design. The wetlands were also designed to drain freely into the groundwater table to

~ ref e r eed paper

increase supply of freshwater to t he endangered saltmarsh community on the foreshore of Lake lllawarra. Detailed water quality monitoring of the site commenced in March 1998 and continues today. Additional biological monitoring programs were also designed, and are being conducted over a significantly longer period t han conventional monitoring to confi rm t he environmental performance for the wetlands. It is concluded t hat the Haywards Bay Wetlands and its long term water quality monitoring and biological monitoring represent current best practice for surface water and groundwater management in an urbanising catchment.

The Authors

Paul Nichols (email: paul.nichols@ cardno.com.au) is a Director of Cardno Forbes Rigby with 30 years of experience in urban infrastructure development, environmental engineering, and flood modelling & assessment in Australia, the Middle East and South East Asia. In the past 10 years, Paul has specialised in projects located in environmentally sensitive areas requiring sustainabl e land development initiat ives.

Acknowledgments The permission of the Winten Property Group and Babcock and Brown Residential Land Partners to outline the award wi nning features of t he Hayward s Bay wetlands is gratefully acknowledged . The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and are not necessari ly those of the developers.

Specify and use Link-SealÂŽ seals to seal pipe penetration

David Laing (emai l: david.laing@ cardno.com.au) is a Director of Cardno Forbes Rigby with over 17 years experience in both local government and consulting and has qualifications in natural resources, planning and environmental law. He has a particular interest in integrated land use planning and regulatory reform. Dr Brett C Phillips is Cardno's Australasian Discipline Leader for Water Engineering. He is a co-author of the Australian Runoff Quality Guidelines released by Engineers Australia in 2006 and has served on the Engineers Australia National Committee on Water Engineering since 1988.

References Cardno Forbes Rigby (2006a). "Acid Sulphate Soil Management Plan. Haywards Bay Estate Wetland Construction". Report Reference: 97027-19, Report No. 4, Prepared for the Winten Property Group. Cardno Forbes Rigby (2006b). Macquarie Shores Retention Pond Sediment Quality Monitoring Campaign", Report Reference: 97027-19, Report No. 3, Prepared for Winten No. 9 Ply Ltd. Slide the assembly into the space between the pipe and wall opening


When the bolts are tightened, Link-Seal modular seals expand to create a gas and water tight seal. Available in Australia and New Zealand

Projex Group Pty Limited Telephone: 02 8336 1666, Facsimile: 02 8336 1670 www.projex.com.au, email: mail@projex.com.au

58 MARCH 2009 water

Cardno Ecology Laboratory (2008) Haywards Bay Estate Saltmarsh Survey, November 2008. McEvoy, C., Short, S., Nichols, P. and Burgess, B. (2007). "Medium term surface and groundwater quality trends around a coalwash based development site". In "Water Quality in the lllawarra- South Coast Region of New South Wales", Proceedings of a Symposium held at the University of Wollongong 7-8 June 2007". (Eds. R.J. Morrison, M.A. O'Donnel and S. Quin). University of Wollongong.

¡ echnical features


~ refereed paper

BANKING ON STORMWATER A Genn Overflow to River

Abstract In t he search for solutions to su bstantial stormw ater treatment and irrigation water supply challenges for the Riverstone Crossing development on the Gold Coast, the Gilbert & Sutherland design team realised they hadn 't yet scratched t he surface. After considering numerous o ptions, a stormwater harvesting system featuring Humes' RainVault t echnology, was designed to suit the particu lar opportun ities and constraints exhibited by the site.

Introduction 'Riverst one Crossing' is a residential com munity located on 152 hectares of land adjacent to the Coomera River at Upper Coomera, w ithin the city of Gold Coast in south-east Queensland. When complete, t he project w ill yield some 650 residential allotments and approximately 60 hectares of private and public open space. The d evelopment featu res an interesting mix of t itle arrangements - it's a commu nity titled project but the road network is to be Counci l-owned and maintained. The open space areas and community centre within the development are to be owned and operat ed by the community under a community management scheme. The large open space areas between the development and the Coomera River w ill ultimately be t ransferred to Council. The northern and western portions of the site are quite hilly and are separated from the relatively f lat eastern area by an ephem eral watercourse. In 2005 Gilbert & Sutherland Pty Ltd prepared a conceptual stormwater management plan for the whole estate, incorporating a variety of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) features. The proposed stormwater management system initially included rain water storage tanks on each lot, bioretention swales in the roads (where grades were suitable) and a dozen or so smal l bioretention basins dotted along either side of t he ephemeral watercourse, close Humes Water Solutions and Gilbert & Sutherland were awarded the National Stormwater Industry Association 's 2008 Awar d for Excellence fo r Storm water Harvesting and Reuse.

Overflow to River Irrigation of communal areas

High flow bypass

Irrigation of playing fie lds & surrounds


Diversion Chamber

Leakage to groundwater GPT

-..:.:;.-.路.路路路=" Pump



Groundwater level Inflow from groundwater

Irrigation Tank RainVault

Pump Balance Tank

Figure 1. A schematic diagram of the Riverstone Crossing stormwater harvesting system featuring Humes RainVault technology. to t he existing inflow points. The rationale for the large number of bioretention basins was that it would be desirable to collect and treat runoff as close as possible to the source and the landscaping could be made to look more natural. However, early on in t he conceptual design and development approval process, Gold Coast City Council made it clear t hat to m inimise its eventual maintenance burden in relation to a substantial portion of the residential area, no more than four basins could be used. Another major considerat ion was water supply. South East Queensland was in the midst of drought and official water restrictions were escalating. Both Council and the proponent were keen to minimise demand on town water supplies by identifying an alternate source of water for irrigat ing open space areas including proposed sports fields associated w ith the development. The restrictions on the number of bioretention basins t hat cou ld be used and t he need for an irrigation supply prompted a substantial reconsideration of the stormwater management approach for some 19.8 hectares of residential development.

Alternatives Considered The 19.8 hectare site features a g rade of about 5% and was ideally suited for the installation of WSUD devices. In addition, installation of rainwater tanks had become mandatory for all new dw el lings, so all options considered would include tanks. The other feature that is common to all of t he alternatives is that

bioretention swales were included as a design element in the roads . At Council 's request , the first option considered involved the installation of a dual reticulation scheme (purple pipes). However the site was simply too far away from t he existing recycled water supply network and was unlikely to be con nected in the foreseeable future. Further, the stormwater quality objectives for t he development wou ld still have to be achieved by installing a ful l WSUD treatment train. The second opt ion considered was whether sufficient water to irrigate the playing fields could be extracted from g roundwater wells or pumped from the Coomera River. However due to Statewide and local restrictions limiting wat er use, ext raction of water from watercourses and bores, it was going to be difficult to obtain t he necessary licence to draw water from either of t hese sources. Again, this option wasn 't going to help with water quality, so a full WSUD treatment train would stil l be needed. Considering Council's limit on the number of bioretention basins, t he t hird option focussed on how the development could employ parts of the WSUD treatment train to provide a source of water.

Considering all available options can help drive the stormwater industry forward. water MARCH 2009 59

storm water Harvesting stormwater for irrigation purposes seemed like a good idea, but it presented a number of problems. For example, where would the water be stored? A dam seemed the obvious choice, but it would consume valuable land. Also, the solution needed to consider water quality treatment requirements to captu re runoff from frequent, small storms. This meant that there had to be storage capacity available. The water storage issue could be solved by installing a large storage tank under a park, but the second issue of water quality treatment and available c apacity for small events remained unresolved. Given that the playing fields are located on the Coomera River flood plain it was surmised that there may be sand or gravel lenses (aquifers) in the area that interact with the nearby river. This possibility was investigated by drilling a number of test bores and assessing permeability by rising head tests and pump tests. The investigations confirmed aquifers were present at relatively shallow depths. This meant the site conditions cou ld provide a solution to the second problem of managing stormwater quality. In addition to the irrigation supply storage tank already proposed, the team investigated the option of putting a "balance tan k" under the playing fields. Water could be pumped to the balance tank from the irrigation tank. However, to maintain spare capacity for frequent, small events, the balance tank would not be sealed, thus allowing excess water to escape and to recharge local ground water. This design element had an added advantage in that groundwater could also flow back into the balance tank, thereby maintaining a reliable irrigation source for dry times . Figure 1 provides a schematic flow diagram of the proposal. Whilst the dual tank stormwater harvesting system was investigated and found to be feasible, it still had to be demonstrated that it was a superior option t o the 'conventional ' solution centred on a bioretention basin. A bioretention basin had been proposed as part of the treatment train for this area, however a number of design difficulties remained. For example: • There was insufficient grade to provide a free draining outlet for the subsurface drainage system. • The bunds containing the basin had to be above the 20 year ARI flood level. These issues could have been resolved by raising the height of the subject area by about 1.0m th rough filling.

60 MARCH 2009 water

~ refereed paper

Mortons Urban Solutions compared the stormwater harvesting option to the alternatives discussed above and found it to be the most efficient from the developer's point of view . Compared to the 'conventional ' solutions, the stormwater harvesting option: • Maximised the area of developable land. • Rendered sufficient stormwater quality treatment to meet the water quality objectives specified by Council. • Provided an alternative source of irrigation water for the sports fields. • Minimised the development costs. The next steps were to design and document the system and seek approval from the relevant authorities.

Treatment Train Takes Shape One of the objectives of this system was to achieve pollutant reductions similar to the previously proposed bioretention basin, which it would replace. Runoff from the area would be captured and initially treated in bioretention swales located within the road reserves. After passing through the bioretention swale filter, the runoff would be captured by the perforated subsoil drainage system and conveyed by the stormwater drainage system to a high flow diversion chamber. There flows greater than 0.30m3/ sec would be directed to the point of discharge. A gross pollutant trap would be provided at the irrigation tank inlet to treat the low flows and ensure that suspended solids and litter do not enter the tank. The vol ume of runoff from the catchment entering the tank was calculated using a daily time-step MUSIC model. Th e MUSIC modelling indicated that an extraction rate of 200KUday would achieve the desired pollutant removal objectives. This extraction rate would occur on ly when sufficient water is available in the t ank. As a consequence, the average annual yield from the tank would approximate 21 ML. The tank's size and performance have been assessed using spreadsheet models that calculat e: • the amount of runoff • the amount of rainfall captured • the amount of water pumped to the balance tank • the amount of water to be drawn from the tank for irrigation and • the tank overflow. Average values were calculated using daily time- step rainfall data over the same

12 year period (from 1971 to 1982) as had been used in the MUSIC modelling.

Irrigation Tank Statistics Based on the yield described above, the water balance modelling indicated that the minimum size of the irrigation tank would be 1.0ML. This tank is intended to be empty most of the time, ready to co llect stormwater but should have sufficient capacity to collect and store water for local irrigation purposes. Of the total capacity of the 1.0ML tank, a volume of 200KL would be reserved to provide a source of irrigation water for an area of approximately 8,000m2 (comprising entry features and local communal parks). This allocation is estimated t o provide an average of 2.3ML per year or 82% of the total irrigation demand for these areas, which varies from 1.9 to 3.8ML per year for wet and dry years respectively. Because of the different duty cycles required, separat e pumps would be inst alled for the irrigation system and for transferring water to the balance tank. The analyses indicated that the irrigation tank wou ld contain less than 50KL of water 68% of the time and would contain more than 950KL less than 9% of the time. It would collect approximately 21.1 ML of the annual stormwater runoff (112.4ML) while the balance (81 %) would overflow to the outlet.

Balance Tank Statistics This tank system has been designed to provide sufficient water to irrigate 3.2 hectares of public playing fields, located separately from the 8,000m 2 of entry features and open space areas that are watered by the irrigation tank. Based on an assessment of the soils on the playing fields, the amount of water to be applied was estimated to be 10.8mm every three days. To achieve the desired interaction with the ground water, the tank has been designed such that half of its volume would be below the ground water level. This would allow excess stormwater pumped from the irrigation tank to infiltrate to the ground water when the tank is more than half full. Conversely ground water would be able to flow into the tank when it is less than half full. Rising head tests were performed in three ground water monitoring bores that were installed for the purpose along the line of the subsurface t ank. The results of the permeability tests ranged from 2.26m/day t o 8.5m/day, confirming the presence of highly permeable sands and gravels.

technical features

The recommended irrigation rate of 10.8mm every 3 days was increased to allow for 25% application losses (i.e. to 13.6mm). The resultant irrigation rat e was then used as input to a water balance model that included: • Inflows pumped from the Irrigation Tank at a rate of 200KL per day. • Inflows from or outflows to groundwater calculated using the minimum observed permeability of 2.0m/ day. • Irrigation usage adjusted in proportion to pan evaporation rates to allow for antecedent rainfall and variation due to seasonal demand. • Tan k overflows during continued wet weather. The model was subjected to a sensitivity analysis to assess the eff ect of a range of input parameter values on the size of the tank required and the irrigation water supply reliability. Based on the resu lts of this assessment, the minimum tank size was found to be 1.0ML. A tank of this size would provide 100% of the water (16. ?M L per year) requ ired to irrigate the playing fields. Demand is expected to range from 14.1 to 18.5ML per year for wet and dry years respectively. The water level in the tank would generally stabilise at the groundwater level, which is the 'half fu ll' level. The volume stored in the tank when half fu ll (500KL) is sufficient to provide the 435KL requ ired to irrigate the 3.2ha playing fields surface to a depth of 13.6mm during December, when the demand is greatest. It is estimated that the average volume of stormwater lost to groundwater would be approximately 18.5MUyear and the average amount of inflow from ground water would be approximately 14.0MUyear. This means that there wou ld be no long-term drawdown from the groundwater. Given the high permeability of the soils, it is estimated that the tank cou ld recharge to the half full level from ground water within 24 hours. The water balance also indicated that additional park areas cou ld be watered before there would be a net drawdown of ground water. Assuming the park areas are landscaped with endemic native plants that are relatively drought resistant and the soils are suitably mulched, the amount of irrigation cou ld be reduced to weekly applications of 10mm. On this basis, up to 2.0ha of additional landscaping cou ld be irrigated whi le still achieving a no net drawdown of the groundwater.

Time to Build Having decided on the configuration required, Mortons Urban Solutio ns had to decide on the most cost-effective way to construct the system. The most challenging design issue for the irrigation tank was that the invert would be some 7.0m below the final ground surface. The tank system therefore had to be capable of supporting the backfill loads. A number of alternatives were investigated, but the Humes RainVault was found to be the most cost effective. The balance tank needed to be constructed in the highly permeable materials near the watercourse , therefore the number one construction challenge for this tank was the presence of aquifers that produced a large inflow into the excavat ion. This issue was successfully managed by sump pumps. Again a tank comprised of circu lar pipes was found to be the most cost effective. The end units of the Humes RainVau lt system were used but the pipe joints were not sealed to permit the required interaction with the groundwater.

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storm water Total cost of the syst em was est imated at approximately $2,000,000.

Operation and Maintenance The RainVault irrigation tank and the associated pumps are within a park area that is under the control of the Community Management Scheme body corporate. The operating costs are expected to include: • Electricity charges for running the pumps to t ransfer water to the balance tank. • Electricity charges for runni ng the pumps to irrigate local parks. • Regular inspect ion and clean ing of t he gross pollutant t rap. • Regular inspection of the RainVault. • Regular inspection and maintenance of the irrigation system including checking the operat ion of the pumps, replacement of sprin kler heads and reprogramming the controller, if required. These estimated annual costs are expected to decrease as the catchment becomes built out and revegetated (reducing sediment loads). The cost estimates are: Year 1 - $20,000 for quarterly inspection & cleanouts. Year 2 - $10,000 for half yearly inspection & cleanouts. Year 3 - $5,000 for annual inspection & cleanouts. The average annual pumping costs are estimated to be between $600 and

$1 ,700 depending on rainfall and pumping demands. Pu mping costs in an average year are estimated at $910. The costs associated with operating the balance tank were d iscussed with Officers from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water. In this instance they concluded that an extraction licence would not be requi red because it was demonstrated that no net drawdown of groundwater would occur and no extraction from t he Coomera River was proposed. The balance tank is within a Councilowned and operated open space area. Irrigation of the public playing fields would be undertaken using pumps and infrastructure that will ultimately be owned and operated by Counci l. It is expected that a computercontrolled system that measures soil moisture content or antecedent rai nfall would be em ployed to ensure that irrigation takes place: • 'after hours'; and • not during rainfall or when the rainfall d uring the preceding 3 days is greater than the irrigation demand. Th e operating costs are expected to include:

refe reed paper

reprogramm ing t he controller, if required. Estimated costs are $10,000 for annual inspections and maintenance and $650 to $950 per an num (averaging $850 per an num) for pumping.

A Solution Right Under Our Feet Riverstone Crossing's stormwater harvesting system, featuri ng Humes' RainVau lt tech nology, was designed to suit the particular opportunities and constraints exhibited by the site. It has also been designed to satisfy a particular set of objectives. Whil e t he system would require substantial tail oring to make it applicable to other sites, it nonetheless demonstrates two points: • Firstly, considering and invest igating innovative solut ions can result in substantive benefits, both in terms of yield and the environment. • Secondly, the process of investigating the alternatives necessitates a consideration of the relative merits of all available options. This is a positive force for change that can help drive the stormwater industry forward.

The Design Team T he design team put together to meet the challenges comprised:

• Electricity charges for running the pumps to irrigate the playing fields.

• Stockland Development - Client

• Regu lar inspection of the balance tank.

• Mortons Urban Solutions - Civil Engineers

• Regu lar inspection and maintenance of the irrigation system including checking the operation of the pumps, replacement of sprinkler heads and

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62 MARCH 2009 water


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Allan Genn is the Principal Engineer at the Robina head office of specialist soil and water consultants Gilbert & Sutherland Pty Ltd on Queensland's Gold Coast. Allan has 35 years of knowledge, skill and industry experience in addressing stormwater challenges. Email: genn.ag@groupgs.com

technical features

desalination & membranes


Reported by EA (Bob) Swinton 145 delegates were welcomed by Tom Mollenkopf, AWA CEO and, chaired by Neil Palmer of Osmoflo, the platinum sponsor, they were addressed by Dr Masaru Kurihara, Chairman of the AsiaPacific Desalin ation Associatio n, the regional chapter of the International Desalination Association. Delegates welcomed to the event came from Japan, Singapore, Pakistan, India, China, Korea, USA, UK, France and New Zealand. General comments: Papers presented ranged from reports on operating plants to advances in research, such as the formation of specialised surface film by plasma deposition. This conference concentrated on membranes and membrane applications of which desalination, low pressure membranes and membrane bio-reactors were key topic areas. There is no doubt that desalination is the t opic of current interest and the papers reflected the billions of dollars that Australians are now spending on city-scale desalination, so that for the first time we can feature on the global trend (Figure 1) at around the 1,000 mark .

Keynote Speakers David Furukawa , a past-president of the IDA, now principal of Separation Consultants Inc., focused on recent developments in low-pressure membranes, i.e. micro, ultra and nano filtration. Research up to the 1980s had concentrated on the holy grail of salt removal but it was the commercial development of cross-flow microfiltration by UNSW and Memcor which opened up a completely new field. As a response to cryptosporidium outbreaks municipal authorities have begun to take-up membrane filtration, and now, for pretreatment in SWRO, conventional coagulation/sand filtration is being replaced by ultrafiltration. Add to that the development of membrane bio-reactors and the field has grown to be as big as RO and there is currently more R&D in progress than for desalting, with the big compan ies acquiring grass-roots



RO (Rewl'M ~ S I


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3000 2000 1000

Figure 1. Global contracted capacity by technology (extracted from Emilio Gabrielli's paper). innovations to remain competitive. David's presentation reviews some of these novel developments, mostly incorporating nano-technology. One example is ZeoTips which was developed by Lloyd and Funk, of University of Texas-Austin and is now part of the To ray portfolio. It comprises nano-sized particles of zeolite immersed in a polymer membrane. The TIPS acronym derives from a system of gradually cooling a polymer solution to the point where it goes cloudy due to phase separation into polymer nanodroplets which are then solidified into a nano-structure at room tem perature. A team at Kentucky is functionalising the surface of the pores of a microfiltration membrane, with groups ranging from OH, NH2, COOH , SO3H, so that specific rejections, or, for example, adsorptions of enzymes, can be envisaged, leading to a wide spectrum of industrial applications. Nano-particles embedded in polyamide fi lms are the research area for Dr E. Hoek at UCLA, now licensed to NanoH2O, and the incorporation of carbon nano-tubes is being studied at a number of universities.

The actual function of nano-tubes is still unclear, and it seems that t he structure of water is being modified by t he nanowall. Mr Furukawa closed by stating that futu re R&D wi ll result in the commercialisation of new low p ressure membranes with significantly im proved characteristics. Graham Pearce, Membrane Consultancy Associates, UK. s pecialises in advice, both commercial and technical, on UF/MF. Membran es were taken up for drinking water filtr ation in the 1990s but only since 2002 have they been used for pretreatment prior to SWRO. Capex is higher than for conventional media filtration but the better quality allows the RO to be driven harder and chemical cleaning costs are reduced. To date there are some 30 significant plants in operation, and about 30% of current projects specify membranes, with lower environmental impact than coagulation and media filters.

He made the point that a single RO membrane can provide good vi rus removal, but an operational module cannot be so guaranteed. However, UF

water MARCH 2009 63

desalination & membranes modules are specifically designed for 100% integrity for drinking water quality. When UF is used for pre-treatment the RO membrane is protected from biofouling, particu larly if t here is direct feed without an intermediate storage tank . UF can be used at higher p H which allows better boron reject ion in the RO system and CI02 has been fou nd to be an effective disinfectant. Kerry Schott, Managing Director of Sydney Water, disclaimed any technological expertise; her presentation reviewed the contractual, environmental and political background to the Sydney Desalination project. The final decision by Sydney Water to proceed with desalination came when the dams were down to no more t han 2 year's supply, and allowed for a two-and a half year construction period. Although the dams have since started to re-fill, our rising population means that would have been no more than six years' grace.

Figure 2 illustrates t he unusual contractual arrangements w hich have been negotiated. The decision to construct a pi lot plant demonstrated that the intake seawater was of such good quality that only a single stage conventional dual media fi lter with coag ulant was necessary. This resulted in so me sizeable savings on costs. At t his stage, the main RO plant is currently 60% com plete. DWEER energy recovery units are being installed. The intake and outfal l tunnels are also complete; the jack-up barge is current ly drilling down to allow installation of the intake and diffuser systems. Problems have been encountered in moving the barge due to rough seas reflecting from the cliff. The product delivery pipeline goes from Kurnel l to Erskineville where it connects with the main water d ist ribut ion tunnel. The pipeline on land is an 1800mm pipe, which is laid in trenches


Renewable energy genarat,on

John Holand . Veol•


Renewable Power Ventures Pty Ltd

contract RECs

Sydney Desalination Plant Pty Ltd

Energy supply

Water supply contract 1 ~~~;; SydneyW1ter·BovtsL~Lease. 14-_ __.i

Water Delivery Alliance P.ICComefl Dowell KBR ERM •

Wooey Parsons


(BaDCock &. Blown wind P a rtners)

BBP Energy Markets Pty Ltd (Babeock & Brown Power)

Sydney Water

Sydney Water Retail Supply Contracts

Figure 2. Sydney Water Desalination contracts. or mounded in open spaces, suspended on piles next to Alexandria canal and microtunnelled under roads, rivers and rail crossings. Across Botany Bay the pipel ine is initially an 1800mm pipe microtunnelled under t he seag rass beds off Silver Beach (Kurnell) around 800m long. From here the pipe bifu rcates into two 1400mm diamet er pipes, which are laid in t renches using a lay barge. The ru n across the Bay is the first time such technology is to be used in Australia. A huge Lay Barge was imported from Malaysia on a lift ship (since it was too dangerous to tow it across t he ocean). Twin pipes wi ll be used, since a single pipe would have been too difficult to handle. Dredges will precede the barge and the pipe sections will be welded on board and lowered into the trench, which wi ll be back-filled by following dredges (Figures 3 & 4). Energy will be purchased from the Bungendore Wind Farm, which should be operating by August 2009. Operational

Rules have been established by optimisation of water avai lability versus OPEX. A simulation based on the last 28 years envisages t hat when the dams rise to 70% capacity the plant may be t urned down, but if so, it could be off for , say, four years until t he dams fall to dangerous levels . It is not possible to forecast rainfall so t his will be a judgement call at t he time. Veolia, the operat or, is well aware of this possibility, and although skilled staff would be stood down, it shou ld be noted that the Sydney plant is only one of a large number of Veol ia plants world- wide. The energy contract incorporates six month 's notice of a shutdown , and t he excess Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) would then go on the world market, with t he possibil ity of either profit or loss. SOP is contracted to purchase a certain number of RECs even when t he plant is in shut down mode. Throughout t he project envi ronmental considerations have been paramount, both with regard to site selection, intake and outfall design and t he route for the


Figure 3. Diagram of the lay barge operation. 64 MARCH 2009 water

technical features

desalination & membranes delivery pipeline (In a later presentation Steve Roddy went into the details). The Technical Program

The technical presentations covered a wide range. Manh Hoang of CSIRO presented a survey of operating plants in Australia (publ ished in this issue) and Emilio Gabrielli ran through a history of desalination, rangi ng from a depiction on Ancient Greek vases of a simple evaporator (wood-fired, on a wooden galley!) to the huge 'Condensers' operated at Coolgardie in 1890, wh ich completely ransacked any burnable wood for miles around before the longdistance pipeline was built. As shown in Figure 1, MED and MSF were developed in the 1960s but RO took over from the 1980s, except for the fuel-rich Middle East. (The first large RO plant in Australia was built by Permutit for water recycle in the Bayswater Power St ation, NSW). John Poon's discussion on the sustainability of SWRO is published in this issue.

Various presentations covered data including the first year's operation of the Bundamba AWT, the Luggage Point pi lot plant and the recent pilot plant for Adelaide. (The S A Water Quality Centre have been assessing the risk of brominated DBPs when the SWRO product is blended with Adelaide's normal supply, prior t o chlorination). The feasibility of reducing reticulation pump power by operating small decentralised plants for industrial use was discussed by Randy Mueller, CH2M Hill. Borja Bianco of Energy Recovery Inc. reviewed the development of energy recovery devices from the simple Pelton Wheel, direct-coupled to the shaft of the high pressure pump, to the modern positive displacement devices. The DWEER and KSB devices use a floati ng piston to separate the incoming seawater from the reject brine, the ERi device relies on sheer speed to reduce the 'leakage' of salt. All devices have about the same efficiency, some 97%.

(Prior to the conference ERi ran a workshop demonstrating, amongst other matters, their simulator which enables an operator to assess the effects of altering the RO percentage yield and other parameters on overall efficiency). Key Wee Ong of Singapore's PUB outlined their current R & D program. Pilot plants have demonstrated that MBA prior to RO can produce better quality NEWater at a lower cost. They have a strong program on membrane distillation,

Figure 4. The lay barge ready for its journey across Botany Bay.

with a 0.1 MLd pilot operating at a refinery, using waste heat. Their SWRO program includes a twostage RO project operating on a tidal estuary, with variable salinity. (Graeme Pearce noted that the Beckton plant in London has a similar estuarine intake and bank storage is to be used to optimise the amount of relatively fresh water at low tide). Tony Fane, who now works at Singapore's Centre for Membrane Science and Technology, gave a very thorough review of a whole range of novel monitoring processes being developed for LP and HP membrane processes, which are essential for on-line control and optimisation. Their own developments include an integrity monitor for MF/UF systems to ensure pathogen removal , because turbidimeters and particle counting are relatively insensitive. A mini-membrane monitor runs on a by-pass and differential TMP is measured. In the pilot plant, after a pinhole had been made in the plant membrane, the alarm responded in 20-30 minutes. The system has been trialled in all the Singapore plants with success. The onset of foul ing is signaled by a 'smart cap' which in effect monitors the different TMP of the central fibres of a bundle, w hich are less easily scoured, and sends an alarm some hours before the whole bundle becomes completely fou led. Jonathan Clement of Black and Veatch, in his excellent review of the potential of ceramic membranes, reported on the trials in Singapore for NEWater. Instead of Advanced Oxidation

following the MF/ RO system, ozone is dosed directly into the feed to a ceram ic UF (w hich is completely resistant to oxidisers). In the subsequent RO the TMP build-up was reduced by a factor of four. Another paper on advanced (waste) water treatment came from Jim Lozier describing the Oxnard, California, project for groundwater injection and other uses. The MF system is linked directly to the RO so that there is no potential for biofouling to develop in intermediat e storage. One of the issues with the Western Corridor Project in SE Queensland has been the discharge of the RO concentrate, and Carl os Vargas, of Veolia, described the nitrification, clarification and denitrification system wh ich is used to enable the effluent to be discharged into the streams flowing to Moreton Bay. A paper from t he CH2M Hill team, presented by Kenneth Moore, suggested that short-chain recalcitrant nitrogen was going to have zero effect on receiving waters, since it had already resisted the 'trained' bacteria of the activated sludge process, so should not be included in the discharge limits. Other papers from Queensland , Melbourne, Canberra and Singapore also concentrat ed on the nutrient issue. The proposed AWT plant for Canberra wil l be the first 'inland' plant to cope with the discharge of RO concentrate and the proposal outlined by Dennis Baker is for further membrane concentration, then evaporation to the stage of solid salt. Applications of membrane bio-reactors are steadily increasing. Mark Newland

water MARCH 2009 65

desalination & membranes reviewed Tenix's experience with a dozen plants in the past five years . Michael Walkowiak outlined the current status of the Gippsland Water Project, which should come on-line later this year, where two separate MBRs deal with domestic and paper mill effluents. Ronald Vant Oever explained Norit's external pressurised membrane system which incorporates a surge backwash before the scouring cycle to remove hair and other detritus from the base of the bundle. A very detailed presentation came from Takahiro Uemara who described Toray's work with fine bubble scourers and operation to control the effect of excess aerat ion on the activated sludge processes. The firm also claims to be the biggest supplier of membranes in the world, and has been chosen recently for the 200 MLd SWRO plant at Hammas, Algeria. The company is being very active in fundamental research using SEM, TEM, and Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy to investigate the action of membranes, both on the surface and in the pores. For SWRO they have concentrated on improving boron rejection, achieving less than 0.5 mg/I even with high flux. In the field of wastewat er recovery, they have developed a membrane which resists organic and bio-fouling, used in the largest wastewater recovery plant in the world, the 320 MLd plant in Kuwait. It was chosen for Brisbane's Luggage Point AWT.

They are certainly not the only organisation involved in research and Jim Jensen of Parsons Brinckerhof outlined some of the cutting edge developments which are taki ng place. He discussed Membrane Distillation, Forward Osmosis and capacitive desalination, and the 1 MLd prototype SWRO at Long Beach, CA where twostage nanofiltration can produce 500 mg/L water and promises to use less energy. Thin Film nano-composite membranes are the most likely to take off commercially, and work is being done both at UCLA and CSIRO, but a time frame of over 5 years is likely. Hybrid protein-polymer biomimetic membranes have the potential to be 100 times more permeable than current RO membranes with near perfect solute rejection. The ultimate would be to mimic biological membranes which pump the salt ions rather than the wat er, as in kidneys and mangroves. At South Australian Water, Mike Dixon is producing an ultra-thin active

66 MARCH 2009 water

nano-film over a substrate using plasma polymerisation. Fouling Fouling, both inorganic and bio-fouling is the weak link in membrane treatment, and manufacturers are doing their best to ensure effective scouring. However, fundamental research still needs to be done to characterise the actual components of bio-fouling to guide such developments. Felicity Roddick, of RMIT, presented some results on membrane filtration of waters contai ning blue-green 'algae', both the algal cell matt er, living and lysed, and the extracellular polysaccharide type chemicals. When the membranes were backwashed, it was found that although the latter were the main reason for rapid fou ling, the algal matter was more difficult to remove. At UNSW, Pierre Le Clech is doing similar work on MBR membranes. After operation of an MBR for six months, the bio-polymer fouling agents could be separated into a cake layer, pore blocking material and adsorbed chemicals, and individual characterisation is taking place. Membrane Distillation As noted above, Singapore has already beg un operation of a 0.1 MLd pilot plant, and work on both the specialised membranes and the chemical engineering is in progress at both CSIRO and Victoria University. We look forward to further reports in the future for this promising technology. The Closing Plenary In the closing session the expert panel agreed that the industry was unlikely to replicate the quantum step in energy efficiency resulting from the development of the high efficiency energy recovery devices. There is a theoretical energy demand due to the osmotic pressure, which for Australian seawater concentrations is around 1.6 kWh/ ML of product. It is already feasible to run an actual SWRO plant at 2.2 kWh under conditions which balance capex and opex, so even if better membranes are developed, a practical limit might be only 10% lower. The energy needed to pump the product water from sea-level to the reticulation level was often a very significant component of the energy budget. Technical improvements will , however, result in membranes with better salt rejection, even specifically tailored for

better boron and bromide rejection and resistance to fouling, (both si lt and organics). Lower membrane capex will allow optimisation at lower pressures and lower recovery so that fou ling (and cleaning) would be minimised, and energy demand reduced to even closer to the theoretical minimum. The panel noted that during the conference a number of presentations had reviewed such developments in membranes. For example, ceramic 'membranes' were already on the market and are used in Japan for nanofiltration of river water. They are expensive, but so were polymer membranes ten years ago . Since they can cope with high pressures and are resistant to chemicals they are very suitable for some industrial applications. Modification of polymer membrane surfaces, even of the membrane 'pores' was an active field of research, as demonstrated in a number of papers. Membrane Distillat ion is under steady development and once a good membrane has been manufactured, it is a possible contender, particularly for small applications since it could be much more robust than RO. Forward Osmosis is tempting, but so far no suitable 'draw solution' has been discovered from which the product water can be extracted and the solution recycled without undue energy requirements. Also, the membrane needs to be supported in a different manner than the porous substrate beneath an RO membrane but if and when the 'draw solution' challenge has been met, membrane manufacturers will start development. With regard to manufacture the large modules being developed may offer the possibility of standardised fittings so that in the future a membrane module could be replaced in situ by a more modern one (even from a different manufacturer) but that is still some time off. (Note that one of the original SWRO installations at a Bahamas resort is still operating with the same membranes after 17 years). Not all the presentations could be covered in this report, but both papers and Power Point slides are available on the CD, which can be purchased from AWA for $95 including postage. Email bookshop@awa.asn.au.

technical features


he j

L m


desalination & membranes

~ refereed paper

DESALINATION PLANTS: AN AUSTRALIA SURVEY M Hoang, B Bolto, C Haskard, 0 Barron, S Gray, G Leslie Abstract A survey of 46 desalination plants in Australia that have capacities greater then 1 0 kUd was carried out during 2008. Operating plants have a total output of 294MUd, while the outputs for plants under construction amount to 976MUd, and for proposed plants 925 MUd. About half of the current plants are located in Western Australia, but by the year 2013 plants wil l be more evenly distributed across the States. The volumes of feed sources to be utilised are 86% seawater, 1.2% brackish water and 12% industrial effluent. The water recoveries vary from 20-42% for a seawater feed to usually 61-95% for brackish and low salinity feed waters. The total current desalted water usage is dominat ed by potable supplies (153 MUd) and 141 MUd is used for industrial purposes. By the year 2013 the desalinated water supply will rise to 1734 MUd for potable and 461 MUd for indust rial use. The product water cost per kl is mostly in the range of less than $1.25 for potable water and $1.25-$2.00 for indust rial water. Of the total water consumption in Australia of 51.5 GUd in 2004-05, the amount of desalted water in 2008 is 0.294 GUd, or 0.57% of that t otal. Th is wi ll to rise to 4.3% in the year 2013. Waste disposal of the reject salt solution to various environments includes most of it t o the sea, although more plants of smaller output use evaporating basins or send the waste to a sewer. Ground infiltration is another option used in some localities. In reverse osmosis process, membrane fouling remains a problem in that it shortens membrane life and increases the cost of the desalination process. Pretreatment of the feed is required to minimise fou ling. Conventional clarification is commonly used, but microfiltration (MF) or ultrafiltration (U F) with membranes is also employed. The average energy consumption is 33. 7 kWh/kl for sea water RO, 0.7-1 kWh/kl for brackish water and 1.2 kWh/kl for industrial effluent. The total cu rrent power used is 30.1 MW, or 722

MWh/d. By the year 2013 the total power required for the increased desalination capacity in the country wi ll be 277MW. The existing trend t owards desalted supplies for municipal and industrial purposes is likely to contin ue, as cl imate change effects become more pronounced across the southern part of the Australian continent and the prospect of runn ing out of water becomes more evident. Wat er reclamation, most notably by industry, wi ll be essential.

Introduction Desalination in Australia has been the subject of a number of reviews over t he last thirty years (Herbert and Moffatt, 1970; Soito, 1974, 1984; Kemeny, 1976; Smith and Swinton, 1988; Crisp and Swinton, 2008). Much general literature prevails on the topic, with a search on the internet yieldi ng more than half a million entries. The long history of desalting in Australia ranges from the wood-fired stills of the Coolgardie goldfields over 100 years ago, t o distillation in the North West, solar ponds at Goober Pedy and electrodialysis for the first plant at Yulara. Initially, the pressing need for more widespread desalination in Australia was the provision of potable water from the sea or from brackish groundwater for arid, remote communities that were important locations because of mining, defence, communications transport or tourism activities. The plants installed ranged from multistage flash distillation, vapour compression distillation, electrodialysis and reverse osmosis (RO) . The various desalting processes uti lised have been reviewed in detail (URS Australia, 2002; UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology, 2008). In a survey of 23 plants covered in the most det ailed survey, average cost s in 1986 Australian dollars varied from $3 to $4/kl for brackish water and $5 to

By 2013 desalination will supply1734 ML/d potable and 461 ML/d industrial.

$10/ kl for seawater (Smith and Swinton, 1988). The scene has now changed dramatically, with marked climate change effects prominent especially on the west coast of the continent, so that desalination for municipal and industrial purposes is paramount. There is a resurgence of interest in seawater as a water resource that is independent of climate variations. There is also an increased emphasis on desalination as part of water reclamation, as reuse is often limited by the increased salinity in some coastal sewage effluents and in cooling tower circuits for industry. The other major change of direction has been the shift to membrane technolog ies, with a preponderance of installed plants, plants under construction and proposed plants now making use of RO.

Economics of desalination As the number of installed plants world wide has increased , to more than 15,000 in 125 countries (Service, 2006), there has been a decrease in the price of desalinat ed water obtained by RO over the years, from US$1.92 per kl at Catalina Island, California in 1990 t o a low point of US$0.4 7 at Tuas, Singapore in 2003, but then risi ng again to US$1.10 at Chennai, India in 2005, as seen from a survey of 20 plants over that period (Adham, 2007). The fu ll details are given in Table 1. Comparisons can be misleading, as many factors influence the product water price such as plant size, feed water characteristics, the recovery rate , pretreatment requirements and membrane life. The main reason for the recent upward trend has been the rise in the cost of construction and of power. The breakdown of production costs for a 100 MUd seawater RO plant is shown in Figure 1 (Adham, 2007). Between 1980 and 2000 the amount of energy needed for seawater desalination was halved because of improvements in pumps and other equipment, and has been further halved with new energy recovery systems that regain 97% of the energy used (Service, 2006). In the Ashkelon and Tuas plant s this has helped

water MARCH 2009 67

desalination & membranes

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Table 1. RO desalination water price in the year of bid (Adham, 2007).

Membrane replacement,





Catalina Island, California



Santa Barbara, California



Monterey, California








Dhekelia, Cyprus



Larnaca, Cyprus






Tampa, Florida



Ashkelon 1, Israel



Ashkelon 1, Israel



Tuas, Singapore






Tampa, remedied



Cap Djinet, Algeria



El Hamma, Israel



Douaouda, Algeria



Shoaiba, Saudi Arabia



Perth, Western Australia



Chennai, India


In Operation






in achieving a cost of US $0.47-0.51/kl, the lowest costs recorded. Prices are anticipated to be even lower if membranes can be developed that are less prone to fouling or the pre-treatment processes are improved (e.g. with low cost MF/UF), can operate at lower pressures, achieve higher rejection of contaminants and require less pre-treatment of feedwater. All these aspects of desalination are the focus of much research, so it is anticipated that lower prices will be achieved in the future.

Construction, 52%

Figure 1. Costs of water production, 100 ML/d seawater desalination plant (Adham, 2007).

Under Construction Proposed



Figure 2. Desalination plant status and design capacity (ML/d). NT, 1.3

Results of Australian Survey I

Relevant water agencies were contacted and forwarded a survey form that requested details of desalination plants of greater than 10 kUd capacity. Further details and a sample of the questionnaire appear in the comprehensive report (CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country, 2008). The capacity of present and proposed plants (to 2013) and those under construction are shown in Figure 2. The total volume of desalted water involved is 2195 MUd, significantly higher than the current plant capacity of 294 MUd . Many of the plants under construction and proposed are seawater desalination plants for our major cities, and are of large scale to supplement water supplies and meet expected water demand under increasingly variable cl imatic cond itions. The current desalination capacity in locations throughout Austral ia, on a State by State basis, is presented in Figure 3. To date, most of the capacity is located in Western Australia. However, this trend wi ll change as the large seawater plants in the Eastern States are commissioned, and the total desalination capacity in Australia increases dramatically. The recovery rates are dependent on the total dissolved solids (TDS) in the feed. The recoveries are generally up to 42% for a seawater feed and up to 95% for brackish and low salinity recycled wastewaters, but lower recoveries may be obtained by small scale plants in some localities. For low recovery systems on the small scale, the additional cost of pre-

68 MARCH 2009 water

I :


.. .

WA, 176.68


Figure 3. Desalination capacity in the different States, in ML/d in 2008. treating the feedwater is offset by lower operating pressures and reduced maintenance needs. Figure 4 shows the total plant installations by start up year to the year 2013. The capacity of new plants peaks in 2010 and 2011 . The cum ulative design capacity and number of plants/year over this period is also shown. The number of new plants per annum peaked in 2006.

Raw Water Intake The proportion of water sources uti lised as feed is 86% seawater, 1.2% brackish water and 12% effluent, as shown in Figure 5.

technical features

~ refe reed paper

desalination & membranes Seawater

2500 . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - , 50 ~ Capacity


-;; 2000


--0- Cumulati-.e

-+E- No.


~ 1500


of new plants

- 40



of new plants

--0- Cumulati-.e

30 ~ .,,

no. of plants

·.:; .,,


25 C:


u "Cl



20 ci




C: Cl






~ ~ ~


~ ~ § N

8N 8 N

§ N

88§ 888 N






~ N

0 N

5 N

Start up Yea r

Figure 4. Cumulative design capacity and number of plants. 1200



c ·20. l!

.. ·::








0 I'-


l.n Operation

Under Construction

Proposed Plant s tatus

Figure 5. Waters sources used. 200


I a Total Designed Capacity (MUday) I

--;; 180 CV


• No. of plants



~ 140





ii: 6









-~ 120

(3 "5:C:

The quality of seawater is a special challenge because of high turbidity and algal spikes, and salinity variations that are continuously occurring (Adham et al. , 2006). Scaling, deposition of colloidal matter, adsorption of organic compounds and biofouling can emerge as issues also. Pretreatment to attend to these items is quite critical, as fouling will drastically reduce membrane productivity (Bolto et al., 2008). Systematic studies of seawater fouling of RO membranes is lacking, compared to fouling in membrane treatment of surface and ground waters (Kumar et al., 2006). Despite the high salinity, there is an abundance of biotic life. The growth and anchoring of microorganisms are a prominent source of fouling (Ning, 1999). The moderate temperatures and nutrient levels in feed waters can support an explosive growth of microorganisms at times. Numerous species of bacteria, algae, fungi, and other marine microorganisms grow in a favourable environment. The type, concentration and growth potential of the biological species are determined by the temperature, sunlight, pH, dissolved oxygen content and the presence of organic and inorganic nutrient s (Saad,



60 40






I < 500





> 1000

Feed Water Hardness (ppm)

Figure 6. Hardness of groundwater feeds (18 responses).

Feed Water Quality The feed wat er salinity varied from 32,000 to 38,500 mg/L for seawat er and

Groundwater is used extensively throughout Australia for irrigation, stock wateri ng and t o supply water for industrial and domestic use. The salinity level can vary from below 500 mg/ L to above 14,000 mg/L, and depending on the Stat e, the sustainable yield of water of salinity above 500 mg/L can range from 9 to 90% of the total available, with a national average of 60% (Murray-Darling Basin Commission, 2005). The salinity is due to the presence of elevated levels of different soluble salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calci um sulphates and bicarbonates. High hardness and si lica may promote scaling, wh ich is usually managed by the use of a silica-specific organic antiscalant (Swain, 2003), although runni ng at low recoveries can minimise problems (Barber, 2005). The hardness and silica content of the various feed waters are given in Figure 6 and Figure 7, with responses coming from 18 and 21 respectively of the 46 plants canvassed.

from 500 to 14,000 mg/L for brackish and other sources such as the local supply from surface water.

Sewage effluent Mixed with seawater, sewage effluent can markedly reduce the salinity, thus lowering the osmotic pressure to be overcome by RO to levels resembl ing those of brackish groundwater, resulting in significant energy savings. There are increased needs for pretreatment of the mixture to eliminate the

water MARCH 2009 69

~ refereed paper

desalination & membranes higher fouling potential, particularly from exocellular polymers, and for eliminating organic compounds of public health concern that may be present in the effluent and which may pass through RO membranes. The added salt can lower the level of active microbes, and can destabilise to some extent the dispersion of organics because of charge shielding by the higher level of ions, which can cause some coagulation.

:::i ~ 140 ~ ·c:; 120


This is essential in any RO application to remove turbidity and dissolved organic matter and so reduce the fouling potential of the feed water. It can be the most critical item in the whole system. It is especially important in seawater desalination because of marine flora and algal blooms and the high turbidity spikes resulting from phytoplankton in seawater. The quality of raw seawater is exceedingly variable, because of geophysical conditions such as currents, evaporation rates and weather. It can be affected by the local envi ronment such as storm water runoff or pollution in general, notably from hydrocarbons in some areas, which can lead to increased sedimentation or extra loads of nutrients, pathogens, pollutants or salinity (EI-Azizi and Omran, 2002). An RO system can be seriously affected by inadequate pretreatment (Siverns, 2006; Fritzmann et al., 2007), which can give rise to:





~ "C



CJ Total Designed Capacity (MUday)


• No. of plants


... 0







z 4

60 40



6 ii:


(.) "C

J!l C



20 0

0 < 10



> 50

Feed Water Silica (mg/L)

Figure 7. Silica content (mg/L) of groundwater feeds (21 responses). 200 ~ - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ 16 -




CJ Designed Capacity (MUday)


• No. of Plants


· 12

!, 140 ~


10 J!lC:

·c:; 120 [ 8 100

















• 0 -l---'--'-......- + --'---'-......- ---"==--+--'---'---'-- ~-'--'---'-- + 0


Com.entional filtration

Coagulation + com.entional filtration

Com.entional + membrane filtration

DAFF + membrane filtration

Membrane filtration

Pre-treatment options

• rapid membrane fouling • excessive clean ing requirements


Figure 8. Pre-treatment methods used (32 responses).

• lower recovery rates • higher operating pressure • shorter membrane life • lower quality product water. The pre-treatment of the raw feed waters encountered in the present survey are summarised in Figure 8, w here DAFF refers to dissolved air flotation and filtration. Most plants utilise conventional methods, with low pressure membrane processes making some inroad (12 of 31 plants).

180 ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - . 14

j :;j

o Designed Capacity (Ml/day)


• No. of Plants









! '-'









pH adjustment


Antisca1anl + pH adjustment

Ant ioxidant

Antiscalant + Ion exchange Antioxidant


Pre-trea tme nt Chem lea ls uaod

The chemicals used in pre-treatment are shown in Figure 9. Because of high levels of hardness and si lica often encountered with ground waters, and indeed the poor quality of most feed waters, t here is a considerable need for anti-sealants and inorganic coagulants.

Post-treatment The product water produced by desalination is low in dissolved solids and lacks hardness and alkalinity. The

70 MARCH 2009 water

Figure 9. Chemicals used in pre-treatment for softening and scaling control (30 responses). presence of soluble gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the RO product water results in a low pH. Consequently, the water is unstable and aggressive towards cementious pipe and structures. In most applications t he pH is raised through the addition of sodium hydroxide, while the hardness and alkali nity are restored

through the addition of lime. Following post treatment the RO product water can be safely stored and reticulated in cement-lined pipe and concrete reservoirs. Disinfection is essential to prevent excessive slime growth in the reticulation system. The post-treatment methods used are summarised in Figure

technical features


desalination & membranes

refereed paper

10, and the disinfection methods for the product water in Figure 11.

Discharge of Salt Concentrate Brine disposal to various environments is given in Figure 12, which summarises data from 29 responses received from the 46 plants canvassed. Most of the facilities surveyed discharge residuals via ocean outfalls, although the smaller plants inland plants discharge residuals to the sewer or evaporating basins. Ground infiltration is also used for brine disposal at some inland plant s. An interesting development is in situ RO within boreholes, with the reject salt concentrate being pumped down to a lower level that is sealed off from the input side (Barber, 2005).

400 ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- ";; 350





10 ~

"'a. 8






~ 100







0 ~




pH adjustment + disinfection

pH adjustment



Figure 10. Post-treatment methods used (30 responses).



On the global scene, other energy sources include solar (Thomson and Infield, 2002) or wind power (Forstmeier et al., 2007) to provide the electrical power necessary to produce high pressures. In some instances, direct mechanical energy has been used to


::J 300 ~

180 -;; {l 160 ::i ~ 140

The osmotic pressure for seawater of salinity 35,000 mg/l is 2800 kPa, versus 140 kPa for brackish water of salinity 1600 mg/l (Hydration Technologies, 2003). This means that for seawater RO a significantly higher pressure must be applied to produce transfer of water through the semi-permeable membrane. Consequently energy requirements are high at 12 kWh/kl if there is no energy recovery, and 4 kWh/ kl if there is energy recovery (Cabassud and Wirth, 2003). With these improvements and new lowpressure membranes, plus other comm ercially available advances, a record low of 1.58 kWh/kl has been claimed (Service, 2006). Membrane life is considerably shortened when very high pressures are used. An energy recovery system is in place for 9 plants (287 MUd from seawater, 1.2 MUd from brackish water) and is not used for 14 plants (37 MUd f rom brackish water, effluent and mains water sources).


• No. of Plants


Since the yield of desalted water from seawater of concentration 35,000 mg/l is -40%, the reject brine will have a concentration of 58,450 mg/l, somewhat less than double the feed concentration.

The survey data show that the average energy consumption is 3-3.7 kWh/kl for sea water RO, 0. 7-1 kWh/kl for brackish water and 1.2 kWh/kl for industrial effluent. The power currently required is 30.1 MW, which translates to 722 MWh/d.


Io Designed Capacity (MUday)


"'a. 8



Designed Capacity (MUday)j

• No. of Plants






"' 6 ii:



alC 80




~ ~ 0




60 40







0 None


Chemical + UV



Pre-treatment Disinfection method

Figure 11 . Disinfection methods used (22 responses). 12







ll C

200 6


"' 1i: 0 0





50 0

0 Evaporation basin





Disposal options

Figure 12. Disposal options used (29 responses) pump the feedwater through the RO process. In India, a pair of oxen or a camel have been used for direct production of high pressures without going through the intermediate electricity generation stage. This was trial led on small RO syst ems treating brackish water

in remote locations (Path et al. , 2008). Wind power with direct conversion to mechanical energy is also under study in the Netherlands (Meijer, 2008). Wave energy is another possible direct mechanical energy source (WaterTech, 2008).


MARCH 2009 71

desalination & membranes

~ refereed paper

required will be 277 MW at a cost of $243M/year, working on the 2008 price of power. The existing trend towards desalted supplies for municipal and industrial purposes is likely to continue, as climate change effects become more pronounced across the major part of the Australian continent and the prospect of run ning out of water becomes more evident. Water reclamation, most notably by industry, wil l be essential.

1800 -,-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ---,- 30 1600


o Total

Designed Capacity (MUday)

+ No. of Plants


~ 1400








~ ·.:; ~



J!l C









e: 0










- - --'--'----'-- - Current Potable

Current Industrial

The authors are indebted to the respondents who took the time and trouble to submit data for this survey. They would also like to thank Dana Emery, Derrick Ng and Zongli Xie for assistance in correlating the survey data.

• - - --'-~-'-- 4 0

Potable by 2013

Industrial by 2013


Figure 13. Breakdown of potable and industrial use of desalted water

References Desalted Water Users and Costs Of the total potable and industrial water consumption in Australia of 51.5 GUd in 2004-05 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007), the amount of desalted water in 2008 was 0.294 GUd, or 0.57% of that total. It is expected to rise to 4.3% in the year 2013. Currently, the total design capacity for desalted water usage is 153 MUd for potable supplies and 141 MUd for industrial purposes. By the year 2013 these figures will increase to 1734 MUd for potable and 461 MUd for industrial supplies, as shown in Figure 13. The product water cost per kl is mostly in the range of less than $1 .25 for potable water and $1.25-$2.00 for industrial water. The higher cost for industrial water can probably be attributed to the lower plant capacity and lack of economy of scale. In addition, the cost of supply to industrial customers is generally higher as a resu lt of the shorter capital recovery period for industrial projects compared with municipal projects. Poor quality feed water and the need for more extensive pre-treatment

can also have an impact on desalination costs.

Adham, S. (2007). Desalination. Proc. Membrane Specialty Conf. II, Australian Water Assoc., Paper 12.

Outlook to 2013

Adham , S., Burbano, A., Chui, K.-P. and Kumar, M. (2006). Development of a reverse osmosis/nanofiltration knowledge base. Report to California Energy Commission, Pasadena, p. 145.

Figure 14 shows that by the year 2013 the preponderance of plants in Western Australia wil l be diminished compared with the situation in 2008 (Figure 3). This arises for the great need for enhanced municipal supplies in the Eastern States. The proportion for the Northern Territory remains essentially unchanged. The distribution of plants by size is illustrated in Figure 15.

Figure 14. Desalination capacity in the different States in ML/d, as proposed for 2013. 72 MARCH 2009 water


Barber, C. (2005). Water desalination. Aust. Patent Application AU2005/000052. See http://www.desaln8.com Soito, B. A. (1974). Desalination and water treatment. Progress in Australian Hydrology 1965-74, ed. D. N. Body,

By the year 2013 the water usage breakdown will be 1734 MUd potable and 461 MUd industrial. The total power



Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007). Water accounts. http://www. water. gov .au/ WaterUse/Austral ianBureauofStatisticsWa terAccounts/ index.aspx? Menu= Level1 _5_


Mt. Keith

Capacity < , • MUday

Capacity In between 14' and 100 ML/day

Capacity > 1 00 MUday


• •


• SA

Coobef Pedy




Figure 15. Australian desalination sites, outlook to the year 2013.

technical features


refereed pape r

Australian National Committee for UNESCO, Canberra, 1974, pp. 71-76. Soito, B. A. (1984). The development of desalination in Australia. Desalination, 50, 103-114. Soito, B. A., Tran, T. and Hoang, M . (2008). Pretreatments for seawater reverse osmosis. Water, 35(2). 105-110. Cabassud , C. and Wirth , D. (2003). Membrane distillation for water desalination: how to choose an appropriate membrane. Desalination 157, 307-314. Crisp, G. and Swinton, E. A. (2008). Desalination in Australia: A review. Water, 35(2), 94-98. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country (2008). S urvey of desalination in Australia. CSIRO, Canberra. http://www.csiro.au/ org/ HealthyCountry .html EI-Azizi, I. M. and Omran, A. A. M. (2002). Design criteria of 10,000 m 3/ d SWRO desalination plant of Tajoura, Libya. Desalination 153, 273-279. Forstmeier, M., Mannerheim , F. , D'Amato, F., Shah, M., Liu, Y., Baldea, M. and Stella, A. (2007). Feasib ility study on windpowered desalination. Desalination 203, 463-470. Fritzmann, C., Lowenberg, J. , Wintgens, T. and Melin, T. (2007). State- of-the-art of reverse osmosis desalination. Desalination 216, 1-76. Herbert, L. S. and Moffatt, D. H. (1970). Desalination - A survey of Australian plants. Research Project No. 68/6, Australian Water Resources Council, Department of National Development, Canberra.

desalination & membranes Siverns , S. , (2006). Using ultrafiltration as a pre-treatment before RO. Ultrapure Water, 23(3), 36-39. Smith, B. R. and Swinton, E. A. (1988). Desalination costs in Australia: A survey of operat ing plants. Australian Water Resources Council Water Management Series No. 10, Department of Primary Industry, Canberra. Swain , N. W. (2003). Operational experience w ith BWRO membrane fouling with high silica groundwater. Proc. IMSTEC, Sydney. www .membrane. unsw .edu .au/ imstec03/c o ntent/papers/WWT/imstec016.pdf Thomson, M. and Infield , D. (2002). A photovoltaic-powered revers-osmosis system w ithout batteries. Desalination 153, 1-8.

Murray- Darling Basin Commission (2005). Groundwater Resources. www.mdbc.gov.au/ subs/eResouce_book/ chapter2/ p3.htm Ning , R. (1999). Process chemistry relevant to the Gulf. Desalination 123, 157-163. Path , N., Gosh, P. F., Daga, S. L., Shah, V. J . and Pat el , S. N. (2008). Animal powered mechanical device for water desalination. US Patent 7,387 ,728. Saad, M . A. (1992). Biofouling prevention in RO polymeric membrane systems. Desalination 88, 85-105. Service, R. F. (2006). Desalination freshens up. Science 313 (26 Aug), 1088-1 090.

csiro.au) is Leader of Advan ced Water Treatment and Dr


Brian Bolto (email: brian.bolto@csiro.au) is a Sen ior Scientist at CSIRO Mat erials Scien ce and Engineering, P rivate Bag 33 , Clayton South , Vic 3 169; Dr Carolyn Haskard (email: carolyn.haskard @csiro.au) is B usiness Development Manag er, CSIRO Wat er for a Healthy Country National Research Fla gship, PMB 2 , Glen O sm ond , SA 5064; Dr Olga Barron (em ail: olg a. barron@csiro .au) is a

desalination: A review, Waterlines Occasional Paper, No 9, National Water Commission , Canberra.

Land and Water, Private B ag 5, Wem b ley, WA 69 13; Prof Stephen Gary

URS Australia (2002). Introduction to Desalination Technologies in Australia. Report for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry-Australia. www.affa.gov.au/ content/publications.cfm WaterTech (2008). Proposed seawater-tobottled-water plan opposed. http://www.watertechonline.com/news. asp? N_I D=71809

Princi pal Researc h Sc ientist at CSIRO

(em ail: Stephen.Gray@vu.edu.au) is Director of Inst itut e of Sustai nability and Innovation, Victoria U niversity, PO Box 14428, Melbourne, Vic 80 0 1; and

Assoc Prof Greg Leslie (emai l: g. leslie@ unsw.edu.au) is Deputy Dire ctor, UN ESCO Centre for Mem brane Science and Tec hno logy, Un iversity of NSW, Syd ney, NSW 2052.


Kemeny, L. G. (1976). Desalination in Australia. Desalination 18, 32 1-344.

Meijer, R. E. T. (2008). TU Delft tests windmill for seawater desalination. www. tu delft.nI/ live/ pagina.jsp? id=afl 18618 3-e60f-4d2e-b0e5-dcac3423fcd5 &lang= en

Dr Manh Hoang (email: manh.hoang@

UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology (2008). Emerging trends in

Hydration Technologies (2003). Osmotic water purification devices. Osmotic White Paper, www.HydrationTech.com, Hydration Technologies Inc. , Albany, Oregon.

Kumar, M., Adham, S. and Pearce, W. R. (2006). Investigation of seawater reverse osmosis fouling and its relationship to pre-treatment type. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40, 2037-2044.

The Authors

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MARCH 2009 73

desalination & membranes


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MORE SUSTAINABLE SEAWATER DESALINATION J Poon Abstract Sound, open and robust debate about the planning and implementation of largescale seawater desalination plants in Australia is somewhat clouded by political rhetoric, cliched phrases, myths and "seize the momentum" media headlining. In justifying the decision to go with large-scale seawater desalination projects, leaders and planners have used superior cost, pub lic acceptance and safety, climate/rainfall independent water resource, acceptable environmental impact, fast delivery and proven technology to subst antiate their case. However this has resulted in the discounting, or deferring, of other options. The key aim of the paper will be to bring to the surface the underlying challenges and opportunities facing large-scale seawater desalination plants in the hope of raising awareness and fostering genuine, informed and transparent debate in the planning and implement ation of future seawater desalination projects.

Introduction Climate change scenarios for all Australia's major cities foreshadow a reduction in run-off to their reservoirs, wh ich, together with a shortage of suitable sites for any future dams, means that traditional water resources are virtually stretched to the limit. Water supply planning requires bold and imaginative thinking about the future needs and circumstances faced by a growing population, ongoing economy development and ever decreasing availability of these trad itional surface water resources. Seawater desalination is currently and wi ll continue to be a viable water resources option together w ith other alternative water supplies in a broad and diversified water supply system. Predominantly seawater reverse osmosis will be used (SWRO). But can water planners ensure that seawat er

A 21st century challenge. 74 MARCH 2009 water

1000 900 800 700 600 MLD 500 400 300 200 100 0

Perth 2 Cape Preston Melbourne

Gold Coast


~ - - -- - Sydney




2009 2010 Year




Source: Current end Future Australian SeSW"ater Desallnatlon Plants, IDA News, May/June 2006

Figure 1. Summary of Planned and Operational Seawater Desalination Plants in Australia. desalination fits harmoniously and adds to, rather than takes away from, other options such as water conservation, and alternative water resources. In response to this, and since the successful implementation of SWRO for Perth in 2006, all major urban centres in Australia have either built, are constructing or plan in the short term to have large-scale seawater desalination or water recycling facilities. Figure 1 shows the extraordinary seawat er desalination boom being experienced in Australia. At the same time, major recycling projects are in progress, notably the South East Queensland West ern Corridor Project, which aims to replace power station water usage but also the potential for indirect potable re-use (IPR). Other recycling projects aim at irrigation, industrial usage and dual reticulation for new residential developments, but not IPR. Any recycl ing project which involves advanced water treatment can be expensive, but req uires less energy than

SWRO. Indirect potable re-use implies pumping the treated water up to mix into the main supply reservoirs, an extra energy requirement, but a recent report (Law, 2008) notes that Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) requires merely pumping into the city network, as with SWRO. Table 1 summarises estimates of the relative energy usage and water costs. Other options such as stormwater collection , storage and use are being investigated with a few projects already in operation usually involving aquifer storage and recovery (ASR). Conservation, or water usage efficiency, has been the major option used by the authorities over the past years, and has been successful in flattening the demand curve, but it is likely that there wi ll be diminishing returns in the future.

Discussion The rapid development and adoption of seawater desalination raises a number of key sustainability challenges and opportunities for discussion in this paper. The key sustainability chal lenges and

Table 1. Typical energy requirements for seawater desalination and water recycling using RO. Supply Option

Conveyance km (mi)

Water Cost $/m3 ($/kgal)

Energy Usage kWh/m 3 (kWh/kgal)


100 (62)

0.91 {3.44)

1.9 (7.2)


20 (12)

0.99 (3.75)

4.3 (16.3)


20 (12)

0.56 (2.12)

1.5 (5.7)

Source: I Law, AWA Water, December 2008

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opportunities seen by this author are summarised and discussed as follows: • What is sustainability and how do we know we are being sustainable? • Planning drivers for seawater desalination plants in Australia

Current & Future Water Supply Options • Existing Catchments & Yarra River • Class A Recycled Water - Dual Pipe Residential, C rops, Industry, etc. • Altona Industrial Recycled Water Scheme???

• Infrastructure needs

• Goulburn River Diversion -- Sugarloaf lnterconnector (70 GL)

• Site issues

• Seawater Desalination Plant (150 GL) • Eastern Treatment Plant Tertiary Filtration Plant -- Class A Recycled Wa

• Constraints and competition for materials, construction capacity and skills • Seawater temperature • Advancements in pretreatment and RO technology • Greenhouse gases and carbon offsetting • Energy and cl imate independence • Financial Crunch

What is Sustainability? Sustainability can mean many things depending on your point of view and circumstances. Thus for the purposes of this discussion we have defined sustainability by breaking it down into a set of focussed criteria that can be easily discussed and analysed. • Water quality - The protection of public health and the producing water that is fit for its intended use is the primary concern for a water supplier • Productivity and efficiency - A water supply alternative that can produce water at the required productivity using the least amount of inputs for energy, chemical and human resources is more likely to be sustainable in the long term. • Residuals - The management of residuals such as reverse osmosis concentrate (ROG) and chemical sludges from the pretreatment syst em require careful evaluation from the early planning stages to design to operations. • Cost of ownership - The affordability of SWRO plants has improved significantly over the past two decades, but large amounts of capital are still required. • Robustness & reliability - To withstand exp ected operating conditions and variations, • Footprint - SWRO plants are industrial by nature and the siting of such facilities in remote coastal locations can lead to opposition with locals and action groups. • Stakeholder acceptance - ranging from environmental concerns to NIMBY and increased prices.









Figure 2. Potential water supply options for Melbourne. • Expertise - A SWRO plant requires the support of well trained workforce.

Planning drivers for a seawater desalination plant The need for a secure and sustainable water future for all major cities has become apparent in recent years. Perth was the first major city in Australia to recognise and act on the significant drying out of the climate that has been observed since the mid-1970's. Average annual streamflows in to Perth 's dams and storage has decreased from an average of 338 GUyear during 1911 to 1974 to low of 81 .8 GUyear in the five years from 2001 to 2006. The length and duration of the dry period experienced from the mid1970's has taken many water planners by surprise and raises questions about the assumptions and basis for calculating safe yields from water catchments, and the continued reliance and dependence on traditional surface water systems. The first large-scale SWRO plant for urban use in Australia was constructed for Perth to secure a sustainable and climate independent source of water to meet the needs of a developing and growing urban centre. The second initiative was in the rapidly developing area of South East Queensland, where a prolonged drought led to the decision to build a SWRO plant on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, together with Australia's largest advanced water recycling system, and installation of local dual reticulation schemes. The city of Sydney, also with a rapidly expanding population, also faced water

shortage, despite excellent demand management measures and the decision was made in 2007 t o secure its water supply by building a SWRO plant. The next two SWRO plants are planned for Melbourne and Adelaide . In 2005 there were no large-scale SWRO plants for drinking water in Australia, by 201 1 the installed capacity of large-scale SWRO should exceed 1,200 MLD or about 410 GUyear. The recently released Environmental Effects Statement for the proposed Wonthaggi Desalination Plant (Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2008) states that Victoria has struggled with rainfall significantly below the long-term average for more than a decade. In 2006, streamflows into Melbourne's major harvesting reservoirs were the lowest in almost 100 years. Streamflows in the past year have been consistent with the trend observed in the preceding decade, resu lting in storage reserves red uced from almost ful l capacity in 1996 t o below 30% in June 2008. Figure 2 demonstrates a possible longterm planning scenario, prepared by the author, involving alternative water supply options for Melbourne. From here it is clear that alternative and diversified water supply options could play a greater role over the next one to two decades. Nonetheless, the decision has been made to proceed with a very large SWRO plant, sited some 80 km away from the city.

water MARCH 2009 75

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desalination & membranes Infrastructure All seawater desalination plants require support infrastructure which can be major projects in themselves. • Power supply and transmission - No large-scale Australian plants have yet been designed to be self-supporting for energy, so the availability of adequate grid connection is essential. • Water transmission and distribution Pumping desalinated water from the c oast uphill to a city is a reversal of traditional civil engineering and will involve the planning and implementation of major works in harmony with existing water supply infrastructure. • Intakes and outfalls - A 500 MLD SWRO plant would require at least 1,000 MLD of intake works and 500 MLD of outfall works both of which are major undertakings. The impact of the brine returned to the ocean has been thoroughly studied and diffuser design has already been proved to be more than adequate to prevent deleterious consequences . The same can be said for intakes. • Chemicals and residuals management: Current pretreatment systems use chemical coagulants such as ferric chloride. The generat ion of coagulant sl udges can be in the order of 10,000's of tonnes per year, which in Australian conditions cannot be discharged to the sea, so must be disposed to landfill. • Transportation - SWRO plants are industrial facilities and require transportation for operations and maintenance staff, chemical deliveries and movement of residuals to landfill. This can impact on neighbouring 'seachange' residents.

Value of construction work done, Chain volume measures - Trend estimates -

lola l b, 11:1 11¥,


lot.Jl o ~ ,irt,

Sm 1B:XlO

1fnXJ 14CXXl


1:.lJOO 1CXXJO a:xxJ fnX) 4CXX)

Jun Jun Jun Jun Jun :.lJOO :xxi2 2004 :;ms 2XlB

Figure 3. Australian Bureau of Statistics, construction work in Australia as of June 2008. industrial factors. Unless long-term provisions are made, the siting of future large SWRO plants wil l become more problematic for planners and governments going into the future.

Constraints on Construction Capacity and Human Resources Figure 3 shows how construction work in Australia has experienced enormous and sustained growth for the eight year period from June 2000, resulting in difficulties in securing the resources required for delivery major infrastructure projects. This is exemplified in the shortages of the necessary human resources, as shown in Figure 4, which highlights the talent/skills shortages faced by Australia. Interestingly, the top talent/skills shortages are for engineers and tradespeople. The call to build our skills capacity for a climate changed future could not be any stronger. As shown in Figure 1, the year 2011 will be a beach head for seawater desalination in Australia. The desalination projects for Perth 2, Melbourne and

Site Issues The sustainability of a seawater desalination project, from a constructability and operabi lity point of view, boils down to how easily and quickly a project can be built, and what is the optimum balance between construction and long-term operation costs. The fast-track deadlines set by politics have resu lted in innovative and creative ways to compress design, construction, commissioning and testing timeframes, and reduce footprints. However, future large-scale SWRO plants, in addition to those being planned, wi ll need to find suitable and acceptable sites not unduly constrained by environmental, residential or even

76 MARCH 2009 water

Top 10 Talent Shortages 1n Australia 1. Skilod Trad99 electriciMs. boiler maker , wek:ler~) . ENJineera 3. a:es presentalNes 4. Accounting & finance staff 5. l..aboorers

6. Management/Executive 7. DrNers 8 . Machinist/

Mochlne Q,eratDf 9. Technicians 10. Socroloneo / PA's / Office Support Rolee

Top 10 Talent Shortages in New Zealand



~ t /Executive (Manogem«1VCorpore1e) 4. Techniciona

5. Accoootng & finonce staff 6. Lobou= 7. Skilled Tradee (p,imaril,' Printeralinisheio, not"'8rs (llooring) and unspecified skilled tradeo) 8. Machinist/ Machine Operator 9. IT staff - Software DeYeb~s

10. Production Operators

Source: Confronting the Talent Crunch 2007, Manpower Inc.

Figure 4. Top 10 talent/skills shortages in Australia and New Zealand.

Adelaide are all expected to come on line around about the same time. Not only human resources but supply of plant and equipment wil l be under stress and planners and governments in Australia can only end up in a bidding match to secure resources from an increasingly limited pool. Rather than seeing this constraint on construction capacity and human resources in the negative, it can also be seen as an opportunity to build capacity for the future and invest in the resources required by Australia to adapt itself to climate change, particularly if the current down-turn in the mining boom allows some re-deployment of resources to the water industry.

Seawater Temperature The majority of the world's seawater desalination plants, whether RO or thermal, in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, reside in a warm band of water, over 25°C. Figure 5 gives a view of the sea surface temperatures around Austral ia which along the southern coast are significantly cooler. Interest ingly, for the first time we are going to see one of the largest seawater desalinat ion plants in the world at 39th parallel, the coldest water ever designed for in a seawater desalination plant of this size. Water temperatures have a substantial impact on the performance and costs of SWRO in terms of energy use and final water quality. In general terms, higher water temperatures result in lower operating pressures an d therefore energy use, but a decrease in the removal of boron, bromide and total dissolved solids. On the other hand , lower water t emperatures can mean higher operating pressures and energy use, but improved performance for boron , bromide and total dissolved solids removal.

Advances in Pretreatment Alternatives and RO Technology Conventional pretreatment technologies of coagulation/ flocculation and granular media fi ltration are now been challenged by the membrane pretreatment systems of microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) with benefits ranging from : • Reduction or elimination of the need to use chemical coagulants • Reduction in the amounts of coagulant sludges requiring management and disposal

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• Improvement in the traffic volumes for chemical delivery and landfill journeys • Cost and schedule savings by reduction in the amount of complex civil and concrete structural works Since the development of modern RO membranes in the 1960's, RO tech nology has experienced rapid advances that have resulted in substantial benefits in energy use, constructability, operability and costs. The research and development of new and improved RO membranes contin ues with designers coming up with innovative designs and research moving to the frontiers of nanotechnology and molecular sciences.

Greenhouse Gases and Carbon Offsetting There is probably no more controversial area of SWRO in Australia than energy use. Sadly, perceptions and public relations dominate this discuss in Australia. However, in Aust ralia, planners and governments have the ability to carbon offset their greenhouse gases emissions and therefore directly address this controversial aspect of seawater

Figure 5. Monthly annual sea surface temperatures for Australia in September 2006. desalination projects. In what was a world fi rst, the Perth Water Corporation elect ed to purchase equivalent power from a wind farm and it is expected that other seawat er desalination plants in Australia will use renewable energy.

The magnitude of this sust ainability challenge cannot and should not be ignored. To demonstrate this, Figure 6 summarises t he results of an Environment Effects Statement for the proposed 150 GUyear seawater

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desalination & membranes desalination plant for Melbourne. The expected energy use wi ll be about double the current energy use for drinking water collection, treatment and distribution, as well as collection, treatment, disposal and recycle of wastewater for the entire city of Melbourne. Australia has already made excellent progress in this area to reduce and offset carbon emissions; it is nothing short of world-leading. But we should not overlook the chal lenge to meet the expectations of future generations and continue our leadership in reducing carbon emissions.

Energy and Climate Independence Desalination plants need a reliable and dependable power source in order to function correctly. To put it simply: Without energy there is no water. Th us, the reliance on rainfall has been traded for greater reliance on energy. To be truly climate or rainfall independent , the primary energy source for a seawater desalination plant should come from sources that do not require any form of surface water. Obviously, hydroelectricity would not be a sensible or reasonable use of this resource. Wind and solar energy are not going to be viable to directly power a seawater desalination plant unless in future we can find a way to store energy during the periods of surplus and release this energy during times of need. Unless renewable energy can be thorough ly harnessed, there will be contin ued reliance on fuel-fired power plants which mostly require freshwater for cooling. In Victoria where brown-coal fuel is predominately used, the cooli ng water needed by a 150 GUyear SWRO plant would only be about 1.5 GU year compared to the 150 GUyear of freshwater produced. Therefore the use of surface water for cooling is insignificant compared t o the output.

Financial Crunch The global financial crunch has been a wake up call for those seeking global credit to debit fund major infrastructure projects in Australia. Critics of semi - or full privatisation of public infrastructure schemes may point to the recent failures of road tolling schemes in New South Wales or the more recent problems with the Melbourne public transport system as why privatisation is not value for money for the public. Our large investments in major desalination projects should result in

78 MARCH 2009 water

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Total GHGs Emissions 1,200,000 - , - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - , 1,000,000 800,000

GHGs (CO2 e q, tonnes)

600,000 400,000 200,000

Melbourne Water

150 GUyr SWRO Plant at W onthaggi

Source: Sustainability Report 2006/07, Melbourne Water. Victorian Desalination Project Environment Effects Statement 2008, Vol. 1, Chap. 8

Figure 6. Greenhouse emissions for the proposed Melbourne seawater desalination plant. ongoing financial commitment for this generation and future ones. On one side the capital investment by governments is welcomed, but on the other hand we may be putting too much effort into one area and forgetting to diversify our portfolio of alternatives. The real strength of seawater desalination lies in that it is more sellable to the public and customers than recycled water. A controversial topic for seawater desalination plants has been the issue of what happens if it rains again and surface wat er supplies return to the previous normality, even if only for a year or two. Existing surface water resources would be used in preference to seawater desalination because of the energy savings. However, the owners of SWRO plants would have to be recompensed for such non-use, and the skilled workforce retained . Not only could there be a financial disincentive for not using the water from a SWRO plant, there are numerous technical drawbacks as well. Designs of seawater desalination plants deal with the usual issues with temporary power supply interruptions, but planned intermittent operations also need to be accounted for. This may involve the design and sizing of multi ple RO trains such that individual RO trains can be temporarily turned off for short periods of time so as to balance supply and demand loads. However, there is a limit t o how much turndown you can build into a plant because of cost and operational complexity reasons. Typically, when RO membranes are not used for more than about seven to 10 days, the RO systems needs to be preserved to protect the RO membranes from biological foul ing and degradation. The key limitations are the cost for the

labour and chemicals, lost production and revenue, and ultimately the recommissioning of t he RO system and management of disposal of the preservation chemicals. Shutting a SWRO plant down for a year or so is more than just a simple flick of the off switch.

Conclusion Some key sustainability challenges and opportunities for desalination have been outlined in this paper. Energy use and greenhouse gases emissions will continue to one of the most controversial issues for seawat er desalination and will require the desalination industry, planners and governments to tackle it head on in order t o secure a sustainable future and universal st akeholder ac ceptance. Australia has been nothing short of world-leading in the sustainable development of seawater desalination, but there is still more room to improve, change and innovate so that this generation can tell future generation we did our utmost best to prepare the way for a cl imate changed , carbon and water constrained world.

The Author

John Poon is a Principal Technologist with CH2M HILL Australia. He has been at the forefront of developments in water recycling in Singapore and Australia, and is currently CH2M Hill's regional leader for desalination in Australia. Email: John.Poon@ch2m.com.au.

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FURTHER EXPERIENCE WITH MBR AND RO MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGIES M Newland, B Gibbs, M Gelman Abstract Membrane Bioreactor (M BR) technology has been applied in the water industry for over ten years, although most activity has occurred with in the past five years. The technology is a rapidly developing field and the learnings of designers, operators and membrane suppliers are now coming from real-world, practical operating experience. The combination of MBR and Reverse Osmosis (RO) tech nologies also appears to be gaining favour, driven by ever expanding requirements for higher quality reclaimed water and improving relative cost factors . This paper describes a representative selection of projects Tenix Alliance has undertaken in recent years

Introduction The first Tenix Al liance MBR project, at Victor Harbor (SA) in 2004/2005, utilised the Kubota flat sheet membrane system. Since then the Koch - Puron hollow fibre membrane system has been utilised for four plants in the Bega Valley (NSW), the townships of Cobargo, Wolumla, Candela and Kalaru, for three industrial treatment plants and for several plants presently under design and construction. Operating experience with the systems has now extended t o over three years and provides a basis for assessing the important factors in process design , equipment and membrane selection.

Process Design Our process design for biological nutrient removal (BNR) in a MBR is based on a combination of continuous and intermittent aeration plant concepts. Intermittent aeration processing removes the requirement for high internal mixed

Translation of fundamental biological design approaches

to MBRs.

liquor recycle flows to be able to achieve efficient nitrogen removal. In particular, the design approach considers the membrane filtration system to be integral to the performance of the BNR process as, by their nature, membrane systems introduce process requirements and changes (e.g. recircu lation, oxygenation) in ways that are quite different from traditional secondary clarifiers for solidsliquid separation. Hence it is necessary to (a) minimise, and (b) account for these impacts of the membrane operation in the overall design. Another focus of the biological design is on biomass characteristics, particularly the nature of the biological floes. Whi lst it can be considered that sludge settleability is not the mandatory requirement in an MBR as it is for a conventional activated sludge plant, mixed liquor filterability is a key biologically-influenced characteristic for the MBR process. Ten ix Alliance has historically incorporated a bioselector zone in both our continuous and intermittent activated sludge plant designs (including examples where existing plants have been retrofitt ed or upgraded) and we continue to utilise this technique in the MBR design to provide for intra-cellular carbon absorption and to generate a well flocculating , better filtering biomass. We also favour wherever possible axial flow propeller pumps in lieu of centrifugal pumps in order to minimise floe damage. It is difficult to demonstrate that this improves filterability as there are many other related variables, however, we have adopted this principle wherever possible as, intuitively, it is considered most likely to be of benefit to membrane performance. Aeration. From a practical operational viewpoint, assuming an appropriate biological design has been adopted, then in our experience the ability to reliably air scour, de-sludge and chemically clean the MBR membranes is the most critical aspect of a MBA inst allation. Our key

MBA membrane process selection criteria are thus considered to be as follows: • the lowest possible air-scour aeration requirements and the flexibil ity to turndown or turn off the aeration, thereby avoiding BNR process over-aeration during low flow periods. This is important for BNR process performance with regard to good nitrogen and phosphorus removal. • low overall power consumption (when considering the combined aeration, recycle and permeate removal systems) • automated and targeted in situ cleaning and the ability to "clean-ondemand" if requi red. Confidence that cleani ng can be undertaken quickly and effectively. • the ability to robustly handle screened sewage suspended solids, particularly hair, cotton waste and other fibrous materials that pass through even the finest of screens and have a tendency t o re-agglomerate and matt together within the activated sludge bioreactors and hence physically foul membrane systems. • the ability to recover from slu dge accumulation caused, for example, by an extended power failure. Membrane over-design. The reader may note that membrane flux rate is not specifically listed above, even though the specific flux rate (Um2 h) that the membranes are expected to sustain, particularly during high flow conditions for sewage treatment plants, is a key design parameter. Several intrinsic factors influence this flux rate (e.g. MLSS concentration, wastewater temperature, residual COD in industrial waste) and the individual membrane suppliers have guidelines as to what they believe can be achieved (and guaranteed) with their own membrane systems. Not surprisingly, there is competition within the industry for membrane suppliers to claim high flux rat es and hence lowest installed area

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Photo 1. Victor Harbor MBR plant.

and cost but we sense in the recent past a general rationalisation of such claims, perhaps reinforced by further actual operating experiences around the world. For projects of a small to moderate size (say 3-5 MUday), the capital cost of MBR membranes in 2009 is typically in the range 5-8% of the total project cost. The incremental cost of providing additional membrane area is therefore not particularly significant to the overall project capital cost. Additional membrane area does provide a very significant benefit to the long-term operating flexibi lity of the facility.

Examples of Tenix Alliance MBR Facilities Victor Harbor WWTP. 3.4 ML/d Commissioned 2005 The Victor Harbor WWTP in South Australia was commissioned in September 2005 with 7,860 m 2 of Kubota flat sheet membranes installed as the EK400 (double deck) units, with six units in each of the four membrane tanks. The installed membrane area is designed for average dry weather flows (ADWF) up to 3.4 MUday, with an additional 3,840 m2 (a further twelve EK400 units) to be added to take the ultimate plant capacity to 5.2 MUday. Prevailing average dry weather flows over the past three years have averaged 2.2 - 2.4 MUday, with peaks above 3 MUday during summer holiday periods. The plant does not have an especially high, or a long duration, wet weather peaking factor to contend with. The plant process design is one of a dual bioreactor, intermittent (sequentially shared) aeration process with a continuous pumped recirculation of mixed liquor from the membrane tanks back to the bioreactors. Permeate is withdrawn under a 0.3 - 1 .1 m membrane differential gravity head. The membrane modules are aerated continuously on this plant.

Photo 2. Victor Harbor MBR plant.

< 0.05 mg/L, however d ifficulties have been experienced with the longer-term performance of the flat sheet membranes with regard to accumulation of fibrous materials within the modules, and the resulting reduced efficacy of the air scouring and the chemical cleaning.

Bega Valley Shire, New South Wales, 180 kL/d 2006-7 Four identical MBR plants were comm issioned in Bega Val ley in 2006 and 2007 in conjunction with new low pressure sewerage systems in the townships. The design capacity of each plant is for an ADWF of 180 kUday, with wet weather flows t o 300 kUday. These plants are of a very simple process design, consisting of a bioselector, a single bioreactor and dual membrane tanks (Figure 1). The bioreactor is aerated intermittently, with the air input approximating the prevailing load conditions. The cycling of air on - air off time in the bioreactor over a 30 - 60 minute interval can in a sense be considered analogous to the travel time of mixed liquor around an oxidation ditch , with the biomass alternatively experiencing gradations of aerobic and anoxic conditions. Configuration settings are available in the plant control systems that enable the aeration times and the target dissolved oxygen profile within the aeration time to be adjusted. We view this as an advantage of the interm ittent aeration approach as adjustments to the anoxic/aerobic fraction can be made in time, via simple setpoint changes,

Process performance has met the project requirements, including 50%ile TN < 5 mg/ Land the particularly stringent TP


Sing!• Tank, Intermittently Aerated Bloreactor

TrNted Effluent


Figure 1. Process Flowsheet Bega Valley Shire MBR's.

80 MARCH 2009 water

Photo 3. 180 kl/d Cobargo MBR plant.

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rather than being "locked in" by the physical t ank volumes as per other treatment plant designs. It has been found that the tourist nature of the townships and the low pressure sewerage systems installed (that largely preclude infiltration) have resu lted in highly variable week-toweek influent loads and wastewater concentrations also exceeding design expectations by a considerable margin (e.g. Cobargo STP, Table 1, design BOD 250 mg/L, TN 60 mg/ L). Nevertheless plant process and membrane performance have been demonstrated and recent performance resu lts from the Cobargo plant (treating close to design load) are shown in Table 2 (note: the reported phosphorus concentrations are achieved without chemical addition). Frequent power outages on the plants and difficulties with the operation of membrane aeration valves caused some difficulties in achieving reliable membrane operation on the plants initially, but performance over the past 12-18 months has been trouble-free and t he plant operators are justifiably proud of the performance of their faci lities.

Camden Haven STP, 3.6 ML/d - design 2008, construction 2009 The existing trickli ng filter sewage treatment plant at Camden Haven, near Port MacQuarie, New South Wales is being upgraded with a new inlet works and a twobasin MBR. The plant will have an ultimate flow capacity of ADWF 3.6 MUday with the membrane fi ltration system designed to be upgraded in three stages. Flows above 3 x ADWF are directed t o a storm detention pond. The initial stage is designed for an ADWF throug hput of 2.1 MU day, Stage 2 for an increase to 2. 7 MUday and Stage 3 for 3.6 MUday. The civil works are designed and being constructed for the ultimate capacity. The bioreactor design for this plant is founded on a standard contin uous flowsheet configuration for nitrification and denitrification. The system is designed such that the bioreactors can be operated independently of one another in a traditional contin uous inflow/continuous aeration mode with the requisite anoxic mass fraction provided in the anoxic zone, however the process is also augmented by incorporat ion of a bioselector zone and with considerable aeration flexibility. Cycling of air on/air off times in the bioreactor aerobic zones is provided to achieve enhanced nitrogen removal, particularly at less than design loads. Recirculation of mixed liquor from the aerobic zone to the bioselectors and the anoxic zones (via the separate membrane filtration tanks) is at a design rate of 4:1 at all times, including during peak dry weather inflow periods.


Screened Sewag~







Membranes -


T Recycle

Continuous inflow, intermittent ae-ation


Figure 2. Fairfield WRF Process Flowsheet.

Table 1. Cobargo STP Influent Characteristics. Parameter







May 2008 June 2008 July 2008

510 390 340 240 500

1100 820 820 670

420 260 250

56 79 68

71 90

12 15

310 400 680


83 90 88 73

13 14 12 11

Aug 2008 Nov 2008 Dec 2008


550 990

68 53

Table 2. Cobargo STP Effluent Quality Results. Parameter

Date 3.9.08 11.9.08







<2 <2 <2 <2 <2 <2


3.3 5.4 2.2 3 1.8 1.3 3.5 2.6 0.78 2.3 0.56 2.6 2.8 0.24 3.0 2.4 0.47 0.14

4 6.1 2.8 3.5 2.8 2.4

2.8 3.2 4.1 1.5 4.1 3.3 1.6 1.2

0.07 2.6 1.3 2.2 3.3 0.41 0.48 0.24 0.14 0.32 1.3





24.10.08 29.10.08 5.11.08 13.1 1.08 19.1 1.08 27.1 1.08 3.12.08 11 .12.08 17.12.08 22.1 2.08 30.12.08

<2 <2 <2 <2 <2 <2 <2 <2 <2 <2 <2

<2 <2 <2 <2 <2


<2 <2 <2

0.04 0.04 0.04 0.06 0.07 0.1 0.02 0.03 0.01 0.65 1.8 0.12 0.71 0.82 0.32 0.11 0.69 0.77





17.9.08 25.9.08 1.10.08 9.10.08 15.10.08

<2 <2 <2 <2 <2




3.3 1.5 4.2

0.13 0.10 0.12 0.12 0.06 0.59 0.36 0.77

Effluent quality requirements are for (90% ile) TN < 10 mg/ L, TP< 1 mg/ L.

Fairfield WRF 3.0ML/ d design 2008, construction 2009 The Fairfield STP in Brisbane is currently a combinati on of primary sedimentation and a non-nitrifying, short sludge age activated sludge plant located on an inner city site with restricted available area. Designed for an ultimate average dry weather flow capacity of 3.0 MUday the upgraded Fairfield Water Recycling Facility (WRF) wi ll consist of two parallel bioreactors associated with fo ur independent membrane filtration tanks (Figure 2). Flows up to 9 MUday will be treated in the MBR with any higher wet weather flows permitted to be bypassed after screening and grit removal. Class A quality treated effluent wil l be utilised for irrigation of local playing fields and a golf course . In this design the membrane filtration tanks are integral with the overall bioreactor structure and the bioreactor is designed to provide some in-basin flow balancing capacity for flexibility of operation during diurnal peak periods and wet weather. The remaining process design fundamentals are very simi lar to those described above for the Camden Haven plant, with the addition of an anaerobic zone in the Fairfield STP design to enhance biological phosphorus removal from the relatively low COD: N influent sewage. Effluent quality requirements are for (50%ile) TN < 5 mg/ L, TP < 1 mg/L.

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It is anticipated that construction and commissioning of the Fairfield WRF wil l be completed by mid-2010.

Membrane Bioreactor - Reverse Osmosis (MBR - RO) Facilities An extension of the increasing acceptance of MBR technology in the water industry is to combine and integrate MBR and RO technologies for water reclamation. In recent times RO has been applied to some water reclamation schemes (e.g. the Kwinana Water Reclamation Plant, the Brisbane Western Corridor scheme), but only after traditional secondary/tertiary wastewater treatment and micro-filtration or ultra-filtration pretreatment prior to RO. In essence the MBR process produces water of equal quality to that achieved through the combination of activated sludge biological treatment, clarification, tertiary sand filtration and/or micro-filtration or ultra-filtration, and potentially does so more cost effectively.

Photo 4. Joe White Maltings MBR-RO, Perth.

There are multiple factors that might be expected to drive the adoption of this combination of technologies for industrial wastewater treatment and reuse applications and, significantly, for domestic wastewater treatment and reclamation. These drivers include: • the significant escalation in raw materials and construction costs experienced in recent years mean that a MBR can now be constructed to provide higher quality water for no more than the cost of a conventional plant, and existing plant upgrades can be particularly cost-effective • MBA membrane costs continue to decline as competition intensifies and economies of scale in manufacture are realised • improvements in MBR membrane systems have reduced the operating costs to be on par with that of a conventional biological treatment/ultra-filtration system combinations • the tighter water quality requirements for water reclamation projects that are increasingly being aimed at higher end-use options • an MBR can produce water with very low phosphate concentrations, as demonstrated at Victor Harbor WWTP, by taking advantage of some chemical dosing, natural biological floccu lation within the activated sludge and filtration. This eliminates a requisite, but difficult, phosphate reduction pretreatment step in a water reclamation process where inorganic scaling of RO membranes is of concern. Tenix Alliance commissioned a MBR-RO system in early 2006 at Joe White Maltings in Perth, and further facilities are presently in design and construction. Elsewhere, the Gippsland Water Factory project in Victoria (yet to be commissioned) has adopted a similar process design for treatment and recycling of a combination of industrial and domestic wastewater and the MBR-RO concept is being considered following large scale pilot trials for expansion of the NEWater project in Singapore. In all RO applications the performance of the system is critically dependent on the quality of water presented to the membranes, particularly with regard to the potential for inorganic scaling, biofouling and organic fouling. Although RO is an established technology, the vast majority of RO experience has been with what might be regarded as "clean" waters (i.e. sea water or brackish groundwater desalination). Application of RO to the reclamation of biologically treated effluent is likely to throw up significantly greater challenges in the areas of biofouling and organic fouling of the membranes due to the residual nutrients, low molecular weight organics

82 MARCH 2009 water

Photo 5. Joe White Mailings MBR-RO, Perth.

and contaminants of biological origin (e.g. cellular byproducts, extra-cellular polysaccharide substances) present in treated effluent. In our view the industry has still to gain further operating experience to confirm the appropriate design bases and operating methodology for MF/UF on reclaimed effluent as opposed to "clean" water, and there is danger in assuming that what has worked for water will work for wastewater. The relative effectiveness of MF, UF and MBR membranes for pretreatment of biologically treated wast ewater prior to RO is also to be confirmed .

Joe White Maltings Perth. 1.4 ML/d 2006 This plant has been described by Gibbs and Newland in Proceedings Membrane Specialty Conference II, Melbourne 2123 February 2007. The biological treatment and membrane filtration system at this plant has performed exceptionally well since commissioning in February 2006, however a number of difficult issues have had to be overcome with operation of the RO system. Critically, the RO system has suffered from silica fouling withi n the membrane elements at high permeate recovery rates. This problem has been partly controlled by changing to pre-dosing of a specific anti-silica anti-sealant and partly by monitoring feed conductivity (having correlated conductivity with silica concentrat ion) and adjusting recovery rates if required . In this regard a survey of wastewater from other JWM maltings plants around Austral ia has shown considerable variation in silica concentrations, from < 10 mg/L SiO 2 in Ballarat to over 60 mg/L SiO2 in Brisbane. At the Perth plant the underlying wastewater silica concentration has been measured at between 30 and

technical features


refere e d paper

desalination & membranes

50 mg/L SiO2 • It is believed that these varying concentrations across the co unt ry arise partly from the concentration of silica in the water supply t o each plant, as a result of the barley feedstoc k used in the d ifferent locations and, most importantly, the degree of barley pre-cleaning (dust removal) in place at each facility. Fu rther research is continuing with JWM t o understand these differences so as to optimise RO recovery. The MBR treated maltings wastewater has consist ently recorded <2 mg/ L BOD in analyses, however it does contai n some residual nutrients (N < 3 mg/ L, P < 1 mg/L), 150 - 200 mg/ L of COD and some colour (believed to be of a t annin origin). Despite the high resid ual COD concentration, organic fouling of MBR membranes has not been found to be an issue but operating experience has been that continuous chloramine dosing, together with a routine caustic cleaning regime and occasional doses of biocide is req uired to mitigat e biofouling, and possibly organic fouling, in the RO membranes. Chloramine dose rates are significantly higher than for 'clean waters" and must be applied without interruption to prevent bio-fouling of the pre-filter cartridges and the RO elements. The original reverse osmosis membranes have recently been replaced after 2.5 years operation during wh ich time they were subjected to particularly aggressive cleaning to remove silica scale and biofouling. Not surprisingly, reduced specific permeability and increased salt passage had occurred.

Joe White Maltings, Ballarat - 0.3 ML/d construction 2008, commissioning February 2009.

A second malting wastewater treat ment and reclamation plant has been undertaken at the Joe White Malti ngs Ballarat facility. This project is fundamentally simil ar t o the Perth project, but designed for a lower flow of 300 kUday. Two 500 m2 Puron membrane modules are installed on this plant and a package RO system has been provided by Amiad/ Nirosoft.

Manildra MBR-RO -6 ML/d design 2008, construction 2009

Figure 3. Manildra Group MBR-RO, Nowra.

the MBR and MBR-RO plants undertaken by Tenix Alliance. Operating experience gained over more than three years with MBR membrane systems has generally been posit ive and confirmed the translation of some fundamental biological design approaches from convent ional systems to MB R's. Our experiences have also led us to establish key equipment and membrane select ion criteria for these systems. Robustness in regard to handling solids, efficiently and effectively air scouring and effectively chemical cleaning are most important. As the technology continues to be widely adopted further learnings will undoubtedly occur in an industry wide sense and t he systems will further evolve. We might also anticipate that MBR in combination with RO wi ll also become more widely adopted in preference to the activat ed sludge/ UF/ RO flowsheet. As higher quality water reclamation schemes are pursued t he fundamental charact eristics of treated effluent w ith respect t o the potential for organic fouling and biofouling of membrane syst ems is a key area for the industry to b etter understand .


A 6 M U day Bulk Volume Fermenter (BVF)/ MBR/ RO water reclamation plant is presently under construction at the Manildra Group's bioethanol production factory in Nowra, NSW. The MBR/ RO process wi ll allow Manildra to rec laim up t o 4.5 MUday of treated water. Pre-treatment of the high strength raw wastewater (COD approximately 8,000 mg/L) is achieved in the anaerobic BVF process (designed by ADI Inc). An MBR plant follows, provid ing an aerated activated sludge bioreactor (with bioselector) and membrane filt ration for further BOD, TSS, nitrogen and phosphorus reduction. The MBR membranes (Puron) are arranged in 1,500 m2 modules and the plant has capacity for a total of 18,000 m 2 of membrane area divided into four trains (Figure 3). Membrane filtrat ion is fol lowed by RO treatment where a reduction in TDS from approximately 1,000 mg/ L to less than 100 mg/ L is t argeted at a 75% recovery rate. The reverse osmosis facility utilises Koch MegaMagnum, 18" RO elements housed in two parallel skids, in a t wo x one array design with six MegaMagnum pressure vessels per skid.

Conclusion Th is paper has attempted to summarise some of the key design aspects adopted for a representative cross-section of

Mark Newland is Principal Process Design Engineer with Tenix Alliance and has over 20 years practical biological wast ewater treatment plant design and commissioning experience. He leads the process engineering, technical innovation an d commissioning team within Tenix All iance. Phone: (08) 9270 1502, email: mark.newland@tenix.com Dr Brent Gibbs is a Process Engineer with 5 years experience since gaining a PhD from Murdoch University related to nitrogen removal from wastewater. He has been involved in the design and commissioning of the t reatment plants discussed in this paper, as well as others. Michael Gelman is a Senior Water Process Engineer w ith Tenix Alliance and has partic ular expertise in design and commissioning of conventional and membrane water filtration processes.

water MARCH 2009 83



Odour Control Systems (OCS) has marked its 20th anniversary recently with a celebration at its Islington head office. It all started with a chance meeting on a plane. Company founder Jeff Rayfield sat next to Ecolo CEO Cal Sager on a US domestic flight. The two got talking about opportunities in Australia and soon after Odour Control Systems Australia was born.

Over the past 20 years Odour Control Systems has grown and evolved significantly. The initial focus was on


McBerns, have helped OCS become a market leader in odour control in Australia.

Water Business aims to keep readers alert to business news and new product releases within the water sector. Media releases should be emailed to Brian Rault at brian.rault@halledit.com.au or Tel (03) 8534 5014.

Since the death of founder Jeff Rayfield in 2003, OCS has been guided by General Manager Tony Ryan who has 35 years experience in the industry. With Tony's experience and a great team, OCS is looking forward to the next 20 years.

AWA wishes to advise readers that Water Business information is supplied by third parties and as such, AWA is not responsible for the accuracy, or otherwise, of the information submitted.

Tel 02 4961 6185, email: bron@odours.com.au, www.odours.com.au

odour control for the commercial industry using Ecolo products and th is activity is still going strongly. Odour Control Systems Australia began servicing the wastewater industry about ten years ago. This has grown to be a major area of business for OCS. Constant improvement of products and services, as well as partnerships with compan ies such as

Odours a

LAUNCH OF AMBIENT GAS ANALYSERS SERIES Ecotech released its newest product range - the Serinus gas analyser series. They are the culmination of over 30 years experience in the design, manufacture and marketing of ambient air quality monitoring instrumentation. Utilising a new modular layout, and the extensive use of standardised, low wattage, cost effective components, the Serinus is a benchmark product in the environmental monitoring industry. "The Serinus series includes: • Seri nus 10 for Ozone (0 3) • Serinus 30 for Carbon Monoxide (CO) • Serinus 40 for Oxides of Nitrogen (NO, NO2, NOx) • Serinus 50 for Sulfur Dioxide (SO 2). The Serinus series is 'user friendly' for operators and service technicians alike and incorporates a number of innovations to reduce workload, including routine maintenance. Key features that make the new product easier to use and maintain include:

Services include Investigation and monitoring Design, manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance of odour control facilities

To solve your odour problems today

Call the experts!


• A "Quick Menu" which allows operators to perform common functions on a single screen (including cal ibration routines) • New rack-mount design and instrument layout allowing commonality of spares, easier maintenance and reduced instrument weight • Use of improved tubing and fittings reducing likelihood of leaks, improving system integrity • New optional "dual fi lter" can reduce scheduled maintenance visits by up to 50% • New removable USB flash memory stores 8 years or 1 minute data along with all event logs and parameters.

84 MARCH 2009 water

water business

new products & services Ecotech General Manger, Nicholas Dal Sasso, said that the "Serinus series is the first analyser produced by Ecotech to deliver performance at reduced cost. We have successfully been able to reduce our production costs whilst maintaining our high engineering and quality standards. We were not prepared to comprom ise on quality, but we needed to offer our customers some significant cost savings. " To find out more view Ecotech's dedicated website at: www.serinus-gas-analyzer.com, email: enquiries@ecotech.com.au or call: 03 9730 7800.

BENTLEY'S STORMWATER MODELLING SOFTWARE HELPS MOTORSPORTS COMPLEX The New Jersey Motorsports Park will be a three-phase multi-faceted complex with a 4.01 mile raceway as its focal point. Phase I, which is essentially about creating a motorsports resort, will have design features and characteristics similar to those of the legendary Virgi nia International Raceway that opened in southern Virgi nia in 1957.

Low Impact Development (LID) tech niques for pre-treatment of stormwater runoff prior to it reachi ng the basins. Since there is no curbing proposed for the project, impervious areas are disconnected from storm sewers, allowing filtration and removal of pollutants by surface vegetation. Dedicated/ deed restricted filter strips of vegetation along the proposed track ensure that these areas will remain as vegetated areas. The project has received all municipal, county and stat e approvals. A portion of the property is presently owned by the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) as part of Millville Airport (also known as America's First Defense Airport). Sale of this property to New Jersey Motorsports Park requ ires Federal Aviation Adm inistration (FAA) approval in the form of a Land Release. FAA regulations require that all stormwater management basins be designed so as not to attract waterfowl and to drain completely within 48 hours. The biggest challenge was the proper sizi ng of the six infiltration basins without impacting the race track. In addition, in order t o be able to construct what will be

one of the longest road courses in the United States, it will be necessary to pipe a large drainage ditch which traverses nearly the entire width of prop erty. The drainage ditch conveys 108 acres of runoff from the airport and necessitated 1,760 linear feet of 84" culvert. Bentley products were chosen for the design of this project because of the products' ability to perform iterations of a multitude of calculations with greater ease and speed than competit ors' software: • StormCAD was utilised to size approximately 16,000 linear feet of storm pipe • The design of six infiltration basins was performed using Pond Pack • HEC-RAS and FlowMaster were utilised to design an 84 " culvert to pipe an existing drainage ditch . The most significant impact came fro m the use of PondPack. The physical challenges of the site were complicated by the need to satisfy a myriad of sometimes confl icting requirements. The project's stormwater design needed to satisfy the stringent stormwater regulations set by the New Jersey

Engineering of Phase I of the project is complete. Phase I encompasses 507 acres, and will requi re the movement of approximately 400,000 cubic yards of mat erial as part of the creation of six infiltration basins. Stormwater management facilities have been designed and approved by NJDEP in accordance with the Stormwater Management Rule (N.J.A.C. 7:8), fol lowing guidelines outlined in the New Jersey Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) manual. In addition to the basins, the project employs the use of non-structural stormwater management measures, also known as

water MARCH 2009 85

new products & services Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Due to the close proximity to the Millville Airport the project also needed to meet the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The NJDEP and FAA requirements presented an interesting challenge. To meet the groundwater recharge requirement of NJDEP, stormwater needs to remain on site and slowly percolate into the ground. On the contrary the FAA's requirement for stormwater basins is that they must completely drain within 48 hours to deter water fowl from congregating. Detailed infiltration calculations were required for the project to demonstrate that the requirements of both regulatory agencies were met. PondPack enabled these calculations to be performed with ease and efficiency. Rebecca L. Koze, Project Engineer at Paulus, Sokolowski, & Sartor, LLC, explained: "Throughout the design process I found the Bentley software to be an enormous asset. In particular the ease with which PondPack enabled the infiltration calculations of the six stormwater basins to be preformed is far superior to all the other programs I have used. St ormCAD was utilised in the design of approximately 16,000 linear feet of storm-pipe. The biggest benefit of using StormCAD for st orm pipe calculations is the ease with which revisions can be made. Throughout the design process, revisions to the overall project layout were made. By performing the required storm pipe design revisions in StormCAD, a significant amount of time was saved. The program enables the tracking and updating of design information. The coordi nation between calculation, plan view drawings and profiles is unmatched."

FlowMaster was then utilised to calculate the culvert size required prior to modelling the ditch in its existing and proposed conditions in HEC-RAS. It was estimated that project costs for Phase I will be $40 million and at completion of Phase Ill wi ll exceed $100 million. At its completion, the New Jersey Motorsports Park wi ll be a powerful magnet and catalyst for smart growth t hroughout the Millville and Cumberland Country region. For more information, see the inside front cover of the March issue of Water Journal, visit www.bentley.com/AWA, email sales.haestad@bentley.com, or call (03) 9699 8699.

LAUNCH ON NEW ANALYSERS AT OZWATER Ozwater 09 was the occasion for the official product launch of ABB's Aztec 600 iron, aluminum and manganese analysers. The Aztec 600 has been designed specifically for measurement in ground waters, surface waters and potable waters, offering reliable, accurate, online analysis of iron up to 5 ppm. Designed w ith the operator in mind, the analyser provides all the advanced features that water treatment plants require, but is simple to install, operate and maintain. All the sample and chemical fluid handling for measurement, mixing and d isposal is controlled precisely by the patented Aztec fluid handling system that cleans the measuring cell with every movement. The Aztec 600 analysers are also simple to maintain. The piston and optical sensor use air to mix the sample and reagents, eliminating the cost and maintenance associated with mechanical or electrical stirring systems. The inherent product design and autocalibrating features means that maintenance is just required annually, compared to every three months with some units.

more than reliable and accurate measuring values with speed, simplicity and ease of use at every stage of the product's lifecycle. WaterMaster provides the flexibility to solve the most demanding water applications, providing greater operational and financial benefits. ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance wh ile lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people. Contact: www.abbaustralia.com.au

STORMWATER HARVESTING Across Australia, stormwater harvesting is rapidly gaining acceptance as a valid water supply option. In south-east Queensland alone there are at least 20 projects in various stages of implementation, in all types of developments from greenfield residential to industrial estates and schools. Stormwater harvesting is widely regarded as a key component of the National Wat er Commission's vision for Water Sensitive Cities due to the inherent linkages it draws between traditionally separate parts of the urban water cycle. It has recently gained momentum through the announcement of a further $200 million investment in stormwater harvesting as part of the Australian Government's financial stimulus package. Singapore is leading the way in t erms of centralised stormwater harvesting schemes through the ambitious Marina Barrage project, which collect s runoff from downt own Singapore; embracing the 'city as water supply catchment' philosophy to deliver potable water by coupling stormwater harvesting with its reverse osmosis NEWater technology. The Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse (Draft for Public Comment (Phase 2) (see links below) provides the scientific basis for implementing decisions about stormwater harvesting and reuse in a safe and sustainable manner.

A major aspect of the project design consisted of the piping of an existing drainage ditch; 1,760 linear feet of 84" culvert pipe was designed to accommodate the runoff from approximately 195 acres. PondPack was again utilised to calculate the runoff volume to the ditch.

86 MARCH 2009 water

ABB's new WaterMaster range of flowmeters were also displayed to delegates at Ozwater. These meters set a new standard for water, wastewater, sewage and effluent flow measurement and management. WaterMaster delivers

Following on from a strong body of work undertaken on this topic by Monash University's Institute for Sustainable Water Resources, the former CRC for Catchment Hydrology, and the NSW Stormwater Trust (see links below), stakeholders in SEQ identified a need for the development of local design guidelines to guide practitioners through

water business

new products & services the planning and design process for stormwater harvesting schemes. The Water by Design Program of the South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership has engaged Bligh Tanner Consulting Engineers to develop this guideline. Bligh Tanner has been developing Brisbane's high profile Southbank stormwater harvesting scheme known as SHARC (Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Centre) which wi ll irrigate the site's lush subtropical gardens and provide amenity to Brisbane's residents and visitors. The guideline contains guidance on planning, pre-treatment, storage and post-treatment, as well as a set of case studies demonstrating site specific applications of the general design approach. The consultation draft of this document is available from www.waterbydesign.com.au.

To accompany the draft guideline, Water by Design has developed a oneday traini ng course on stormwater harvesting, which was initially offered in Brisbane in early March and will be offered in Perth in May as part of the WSUD'09/ Hydropolis conference and later in the year as part of t he International RiverSymposium/ Reuse '09 conference.

• The $1 .2 billion Southern Regional Water Pipeline (SRWP) Alliance project in south-east Queensland comprises the design, supply, construction and commissioning of a regional infrastructure pipeline with reservoirs , pump stations and river crossings. The SRWP All iance has received several awards for the project, including the National Infrastructure Award for Contractor Excellence in 2007. • In New South Wales, Abigroup is constructing a water reclamation plant and associated works as part of the $150 million Coffs Infrastructure All iance project. In Canberra, Abigroup is delivering a dam, pipeline and a spillway as part of the $300 million Bulk Water All iance. • Abigroup has been named, alongside McConnell Dowell and Acciona Ag ua, as the preferred bidder for the Adelaide desalination plant. The team wil l design and construct a 50 gigalitre/year plant which will initially

provide up to 25% of Adelaide's annual water supply. Further information: Corporate Communications, Abigroup Limited, Ph (02) 9499 0999, Fax (02) 9499 3822, Email: abimail@abigroup.com.au

FAST HYDROGEN LEAK DETECTION IN WATER PIPES Water leakage takes a significant percentage of the total drinking water drawn from our water supply. Maintaining the pipe network and repairing leaks is a major task given the enormous length of our networks. John Morris Scientific has released Adixen Sensistor's new 9012 XRS Hyd rogen Leak Detector which is ideal for leak detection on live as well as empty water pipes. The 9012 XRS will detect any leak rang ing from major leaks wh ich are visible to the naked eye to leaks that are so small you need a high performance microscope to see.

l\camtek '{.:chnology

.('ty Ltd

Further details are available from www.waterbydesign.com.au

HUNTER WATER TREATMENT PROGRAM Abigroup with CH2MHILL has been named preferred contractor for a $200 million program of works with the Hunter Water Corporation. As part of the Hunter Water Treatment Program Alliance (HWTPA), Abigroup looks set to upgrade 12 existing sewerage treatment plants and a pipeline project in the Newcastle region.


B.L Camtek Technology Ply. Lid. a leading Australlan engineering company committed lo the development and Implementation of a~vated-carbon filters. This f,eld is limitless In its applicallons. Some areas covered lnciude large-scale removal of noxious gases, punficallon of chemicallycontaminated water. air punflcallon fOf use In reactions. the filtration of gases frOfn reaction vessels and sewage plants The unique systems and equipment that have been designed end developed by the company. (and are continuing to be designed), are effedJve, efficient. and environmentally friendly.

"Coming on the back of last week's announcement as preferred tenderer for the $1.374 billion Adelaide desalination plant, we are looking forward to further demonstrating Abigroup's water experience in the Hunter," said Abigroup's Managing Director, David Jurd. The scope of works for the Hunter program includes the design, construction and commissioning of the plants and pipeline as well as providing operator train ing. It is anticipated that work wi ll begin in April 2009. Abigroup is currently undertaking several major water projects across Australia. These include:

Two-stage Caustic Scrubber, followed by Activated Carbon Adsorber Capac,ty Is 12 600 hires/sec This application Is for odour control at sewage treatment plant

B.L. Camte k Ply Ltd ABN 15 077 155 152 PO Box 486, Campbelltown, NSW 2567, Australia Unit 1/2 Bellingham Street, Narellan, NSW 2567, Australia

Tel: +61 (0)2 4648 4633 Fax: +91 (0)2 4648 4677 Email: walburg @camtak.com.au www.camtak.com.au

water MARCH 2009 87

new products & services

The inherent characteristics of hydrogen enable fast, precise and safe leak location and qualification. Hydrogen leak detection is done with an extremely safe, non-flammable and food-additivecertified 5% hydrogen in 95% nitrogen gas mix. Because hydrogen is transported so quickly to the leaks and dissipat es much faster than other tracer gases it allows substantially faster results . The 9012XRS is extremely portable weighing only 2.5 kg, it is easy to use and features visual as well as audible leak signals. The 9012XRS is wat erproof making it ideal for outdoor use and can be charged on the road via 12V charger.The wide range of accessories includes ground probes, surface probes and probe wheeling carts. The standard hand probe is perfect for exposed pipes or indoor use. For further information on the 9012 XRS and other Sensistor products please contact Tobias Schappeler at John Morris Scientific on (02) 9496 4200 or email info@johnmorris.com.au, www.johnmorris.com.au

most ecologically and environmentally friendly solution for water transportation according to "Piping Systems Embodied Energy Analysis", being the quant ity of energy req uired by all of the activities associated with a production process, including the relative proportions consumed in all activities upstream to the acquisition of natural resou rces and the share of energy used in making equipment and other supporting functions i.e. direct energy plus indirect energy.

The radio operates inside an IP65 (NEMA4) enclosure. Power supply can be VACNDC or direct from a solar panel. Battery charger and regulator are built in. A unique test mode assists the user in range testing and antenna alignment for optimum performance. COMMZED-485 suits many remote control applications in the water and agriculture industry.

The superb product quality with this manufacturing system means that the product range can be wider than ever, up to 630mm. The O-PVC production line will be commissioned at the Micron Pipeline site during 2009.

For more information please contact Confab at 03 9842 7711, email info@conlab.com.au www.confab.com.au

For sales enquires contact 1300 Promains, sa/es@promains.com.au and appointed distributors.



Founded by Ronald Heavey, Micron Pipelines commenced manufacturing in 2008 utilising the latest European technology in PVC Pipelines, O-PVC, from Molecor in Spain for rigid PVC pipe systems.

South Australia Premier Mike Rann and Minister for Water Security Karlene Maywald tasted the first glass of desalinated water from the Adelaide Desalination Pilot Plant in February this year. For the past six months, the pilot plant has been testing reverse osmosis and pre-treatment technology required for the main 50-gigalitre Adelaide Desalination Plant.

Micron Pipelines Pty Ltd was formed to establish a rigid (lead -free) PVC pipelines production faci lity in a greenfield site in Smeaton Grange in NSW. The new and efficient equipment guarantees a high quality and innovative pipe product focusing on PVC piping for transport solutions in infrastructure, irrigation, waste conservation, plumbing, telecommunications and electrical ducting.


COMMZED-485 is a long range 900MHz encrypted w ireless link. It combines RS485 or RS232 Peer-To-Peer data communications with full duplex remote control digital 1/0 where installation of cables is difficult and wireless link is the only solution.

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Molecor TECH, is the only company in the world specialising in molecular orientation issues. Molecor developed an in-batch system to manufacture O-PVC pipes, able to work in-line with an extruder absorbing the output of the extruder, creating a very efficient and stable process. It is a fully dry system with no water involved in the process, and is able to work in-line and in-batch with a conventional extrusion line. PVC-O pipes offer a greater hydraulic capacity, minimum loss of pressure, and significant reduction in wal l thickness, which means transportation and installation savings. PVC-O pipes are the

From left to right: Rob Nadin - WI Group Project Manager, Karlene Maywald - SA Minister for Water Security, Milind Kumar - SA Water Manger Major Projects, Gerry Moore - WI Group Business Development Manager, Michael Wagnitz - WI Group Commissioning Engineer.

Water Infrastructure Group delivered the $10 million pilot plant in August 2008 and wil l operate the plant and supervise testing to Apri l 2009. The pi lot plant is located at Port Stanvac. Water Infrastructure Group provided design, construction, management, comm issioning and operating services for the pilot plant, which includes both conventional and membrane technology. For more information contact: lericson@wigroup.com.au

new products & services MODELLING TOOLS FOR MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE Lack of good quality water and the impacts of groundwater over pumping have become a major problem in certain regions of the world including Australia. One part of the solution is artificial recharge of groundwater or 'managed aquifer recharge.' However, several issues can arise when managed aquifer recharge schemes are implemented. These include water quality changes, clogging , density effects, hydrological impacts, environmental impacts and more. If wastewater is used for recharge , then these issues become larger. Wastewater can contain many different species and solutes. Several geochemical and chemical reactions may occur during infiltration, both in the unsaturat ed zone where oxygen is present to a certain degree, and in the groundwat er system. It is important to describe the development of the subsurface water quality in order to maintain the aquifer system as a natural filter and cleani ng reactor. Subsurface hydrogeological conditions wi ll change during recharge of water. The recharge area should preferably be located in an area with a deep vadoze zone in order to filtrate the water and let geochemical reactions run as long as possible. The water content in the unsaturat ed zone wil l change during infiltration and probably be saturated in at least the central part of the infiltration area.

The groundwater table and thereby the flow cond itions in the area will also be affect ed. A local water divide may occur below the infiltration area and the groundwat er flow will be altered. Interaction with surface water resources and groundwater dependant ecosystems can also occur. Development of a wel l field for pumping water from the groundwat er storage wil l again alter the flow cond itions considerably. A typical feasibi lity study for a managed aquifer recharge scheme involves physical tests in the lab and f ield, and numerical model development and application. Numerical models are

valuable tools for examining the myriad of issues and their interaction. DHI is experienced in these types of investigations and develops the world leading numerical models, FEFLOW and MIKE SHE, which have been applied for this purpose in Australia, Sweden , Holland , Belgium, Germany, Spain and other parts of the globe. These models combine state-of-the-art numerical methods for simulating flow and reactive solute transport. Typically the models take into account: • Recharge from deep-well injection, basin infiltratio n or sprink ler infiltration • Flow and reactive solute transport in the unsaturated zone •Groundwater flow coupled to unsaturated zone flow and reactive solute transport • Groundwater flow and reactive solute transport in one or more aquifers • Pumping wells from different aquifers If you are considering a managed aquifer recharge project, contact Dr Matthias Patsch at OHi on mpa@dhigroup.com or 02 9213 5700.

INNOVATI ONS IN WATER SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION MODELLING lnfoWorks WS from Wal lingford Software updates continue to add new tools and features to ext end the range of its applications in integrating asset and business planning with water supply and distribution network modelling. This ongoing development ensures that lnfoWorks addresses evolving commercial and legislative requirements worldwide. In particular, Wallingford Software has ensured that lnfoWorks provides a smooth interface with the asset management systems that are becoming increasingly important in network management. "A decade ago, models were built by hand and therefore tended to be skeletonised to address only a single question," explains Wallingford Software, Inc Senior Vice President Dr Sasa Tomic. It was too time-consuming to build a model that could represent the entire system. This has changed with the introduction of GIS and asset management platforms, such as Wallingford Software's own solution, lnfoNet. "lnfoWorks has been designed to make the most of the extensive asset information that an organisation holds." The data can be used to build all-main models that provide an accurate

water MARCH 2009 8 9

new products & services representation of the entire system and used in lnfoWorks in advanced applications such as unidirectional fl ushing, capacity checking , fire flow simulation, criticality analysis and water quality modelling. lnfoWorks models with 100,000 or more pipes are becoming increasingly common, and present no obstacle either in simulation speed or in managing the vast amount of information.

the solutions and expertise of Krohne for over 20 years. Sidem must be able to measure the water volumes produced with the units in their desalination plants with a high degree of accuracy. In fact, the amount of potable water provided on a daily basis is huge.

lnfoWorks allows seamless exchange of data and results with GIS and other third party applications, such as CAD or Google Earth. "Dat a management is particularly important when dealing with today's large, complex models," he says. In particular, lnfoWorks provides a multiuser environment, so that many users can work on the same model without dat a duplication or conflicting changes, he explains. Model building and clean-up are automated, which provides further advantages especially when dealing with exceptionally large models. lnfoWorks includes many features designed to check the model and avoid laborintensive manual processes. Accurate analysis of existing wat er supply networks is becoming increasingly important as much infrastructure is nearing the end of its life, he says. lnfoWorks is ideally placed for analysis to check for issues such as excessive pressures that could generate bursts. It can be used to work out contingency plans to manage maintenance, emergencies and replacements. lnfoWorks WS is increasingly being called on to help with operational decisions, enabling operators to test the consequences of their decisions. It can be used to deal with emergencies and for training new operators to become familiar with more everyday decisions. Contact: www.wallingfordsoftware.com

MEASURING DESALINATION VOLUMES Sidem, now a subsidiary of Veolia Wat er Solutions & Technologies, has relied on

90 MARCH 2009 water

This order has great symbolic significance, recogn ising Krohne for the quality of its calibrating services as well as for its more than 50 years of experience and expertise. Established in 1921, Krohne is a familyowned business employing 2,510 people around the world with representatives on all continents. The company headquarters are at Duisburg in Germany, www.krohne.com

The wealth of information from the more advanced modelling is also enabling the models to become integrated into corporate systems. "A model has become a decision support tool," says Dr Tomic. The expansive list of lnfoWorks WS case studies includes its key role at the core of Sydney Water's new Water Modelling System in Austral ia and its use t o create huge models of hundreds of thousands of pipes serving Miami-Dade in the USA and Shanghai in China.

water industry: 4 electromagnetic flowmeters with 3000 mm diameter.


Sidem desalination plant, Marafiq - Saudi Arabia.

For example, the 27 units in the Marafiq plant in Saudi Arabia desalinate 800,000 m3 water per day. It is thus easy to understand that any error in measurement, no matter how small, inevitably leads t o considerable financial losses for the plant operator, making it a top priority that the volume of water be measured with extreme accuracy.

Mixquip, a division of Teralba Industries Fluid Process equipment has released a new Mixquip Top Entry Agitator that incorporat es IP66 drive assembly and all stainless steel construction to meet the increased demand of industrial mixing and blending equipment.

Sidem 's most recent enquiry involves measuring the flow rate of sea water into the desalination plants in Ras Laffan in Qatar: it is a form idable enquiry, involving the measurement of pipelines with a 3000 mm diameter and a measuring accuracy of less than or equal to 0.3% of the measured value. In order to guarantee this measuring performance on a permanent basis, two flowmeters with 3000 mm diameter must be installed in series. The difference between the two measurements may never exceed 0.2%. This often requires the cali bration of two electromagnetic flowmeters in series. Kroh ne was the on ly one up to this challenge, thanks to its calibration facility, which is the world's most precise. The Kroh ne Flowmeter production plant in the Netherlands features 12 calibration rigs for calibrating measuring devices with diameters ranging from 2.5 mm to 3000 mm and allowing for outputs of up to 30,000 m 3/h. To ensure compliance with international standards, these rigs have received RvA certification (equivalent to the German DKD or French Cofrac) and guarantee a measuring accuracy of 99.987%. On 29 October 2008, Sidem placed an extraordinary order with Krohne, the scope of which is unprecedented in the

This new Australian made top entry agitator provides fu ll wash down capability. It lends itself to all blending and mixing applications across a broad spectrum of industries including mining, wastewater sewerage processing, pulp and paper, automotive, marine and chemical. This new increased corrosion resist ance design retains the feat ures that have made Mixquip the preferred band for agitation mixing equipment throughout Australia: • Over 30 years experience in the design and construction of agitators and mixers • Proven modular designs • Continuous innovation in impellor design lending to ultra high efficiency while achieving

water business

new products & services • Sanitary and durable configuration • Precision balance componentry including shafts and impellors For further information please contact Brent Ovenden, 02 4626 5000, email: mixquip@tera/ba.com, www.teralba.com

DEMATEC BOOSTS ITS WATER POWER Demat ec Power Automation and Robotics has moved quickly to consol idate its position as one of Australia's leading electrical systems integrat ion firms by snapping up the respected water team from OSI (Ottaway System Integration). OSI went into voluntary liquidation but the specialist team has been hired by Demat ec's CEO David Hart. "While this is a difficult time for industry and certainly bad for the team at OSI to learn that the company had to fold, we recognised that this was an opportunity for Dematec to bring in experienced and respected people," said Hart. "We are contin ually evolving as a company and finding skilled staff is always difficult, especially in the fastgrowing water and water treatment industry so we were more than pleased to invit e the former OSI team to boost our water capabi lity."

Dematec's CEO David Hart

The team of Keith Taylor, Marc Lyell, Jeff Campbell and Brenton Lange will bring to Dematec considerable experience and a network of contacts which will help strengthen Dematec's ties with the Australian wat er industry. Major clients o f OSI included United Utilities,

SA Water, Oxiana Prominent Hill and Holden. The team will bring valuable skills and experience in the supply of turn- key water processing for the mining industry and remote commu nities where harsh conditions caused by excessive heat and dust challenge regular plant and equipment. Demat ec Power Automation and Robotics is a privately owned Adelaidebased company founded by Group Managing Director Mark Stevens, providing power, control, automation and robotic solutions for a wide range of applications across many industries which include automotive, manufacturing, agriculture, R&D and defence. For further information, please contact: David Hart 08 8374 7600 or 0419 520 730.

NEW PENSTOCK RANGE RELEASED A new range of penstocks, the DLF range, has been released by AWMA. The custom-designed range has been designed for Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) applications. The gate is beneficial for a number of treatment processes within a plant by allowing flow over the top of the penstock. The range is designed as a vertical overshot penstock (downwards opening) with a decant/weir function, suitable for 100% open waterway. Design advances have been made with this range, including the use of dual spindles and unique UHMWPE guides and EDPM/PVC wiper seals, wh ich allows for a more defined movement with significantly red uced maintenance and whole-of-life costs. The need for STP upgrades is increasing and the DLF penstock design ensures a robust and accurate means of regulating and controlling system flows. The DLF range can be manufactured from aluminium, 316 or Super Duplex stainless steel and has the option of manual, powered or pneumatic actuation.

For more information, please contact AWMA on 1800 664 852 or visit www.awma.au.com

NEW ON-LINE TURBIDIMETER The HF MicroTOL On-Line Turbidimeter has been specifically designed to meet regulations of the EPA and ISO 7027. Features include fast and easy cal ibration, verification in seconds, low maintenance, fail safe design wh ich ensures your instrument is always reading accurately, bubble rejection system, optional automatic contin uous ultrasonic optical cleaning system, and a data acquisition software system that allows logging and data storage for multiple turbidimeters. Action Instrumentation & Control has exclusive Australian distribution agreements with HF Scientific and Arjay Engineering and exclusive distribution of the range of EDAC electronics products within Queensland and Northern Territory. Leading edge microelectronic technology combi ned with 30 years of optical measurement expertise has allowed HF Scientific to become the leader in regu latory reporting turbidimeters. Fields of operation include mining, food , petrochemical, agrochemical, water


COMPREHENSIVE AND EASY TO USE WATER MODELLING SOFTWARE ~ ~~D..!.~~y Bentley WaterGEMS , for water distribution modelling, comes equipped with everything engineers need in a flexible multi -platform environment, from fire flow and water quality simulations, to criticality and energy cost analysis, to flushing and water loss analysis. For more information, see the inside front cover of the March issue of Water Journal, visit www.bentley.com/A WA, e-mail sales.haestad@bentley.com, or call +61 (0)3 9699 8699.

water MARCH 2009 9 1

new products & services and sewage treatment, environmental, electricity generation, general industry and commercial enterprises.

USA to be delivered to the site midMarch 2009.


For further information on this product or any of our on-line or process instruments please contact Ph: 07 3395 5936, website www.actioninstruments. com.au, email sales@ actioninstruments. com.au

DESAL COLLABORATION Australian company H2O Rx, was awarded the supply of Sydney's desalination plant's chemical injection assemblies by the builders and operators, Bluewater Joint Venture (BWJV), in August 2008. Sydney's desalination plant is currently the largest under construction in Australia with substantial engineering challenges required to treat seawater on this scale. Some of the challenges include the compatibility of materials with seawater, the treatment chemicals, the pressures, the size of the injection assemblies plus occupational health and safety of the operators.

H2O Rx's chemical injection assemblies manufactured by Saf-T-Flo are state-of-the-art technology not only in design and materials but also manufacture. Using Saf-T-Lock mechanisms to increase the safety of operators, the highest quality materials to ensure chem ical compatibility and pressures of up to 1500 PSI, and stringent QA manufacturing processes to meet a plant's design life, the injection assemblies are unique for the international water industry and world class. For more information, please visit www.h2orx.com or email info@h2orx.com

SEALING AROUND A PIPE PENETRATION /N SITU To date it has been almost impossible to seal a pipe penetration that is already in place, unless there is sufficient annular space around the pipe to fit a link-seal mechanical seal system.

In collaboration with BWJV's design engineers, H2O Rx 's inhouse engineers and the American manufacturer Saf-TFlo, H2O Rx customised the chemical injection assemblies to meet these engineering challenges and the needs of Sydney's desalination plant.

To meet tight project timelines, H2O Rx and Saf-T-Flo worked closely with BWJV to streamline the design, sourcing of exotic materials, and manufacturing processes whilst adhering to stringent QA manufacturing processes. The chem ical injection assemblies are now complete, packed and en route from

92 MARCH 2009 water

For details call Projex on 02 8336 1666 or mail@projex.com.au

Eimco Water Technologies' (EWT) recent acquisition of AJM Environmental Services has provided additional expertise and experience to enable EWT to better provide water t reatment systems for purifying and recycli ng process waters and effluents. These are based on combinations of its key technologies - screening, flotation, clarification, anaerobic and aerobic biological treatment, membrane fi ltration and all aspects of sludge processing technology. AJM has been one of Austral ia's leading providers of wastewater and water reuse technolog ies for more than a decade - specialising in the design, manufacture and construction of water, wastewater and sludge dewatering plants for the industrial, municipal, oil and gas, and energy industries. EWT is a global organisation - with more than 2,000 staff employed in corporate, design and manufacturing offices located in all corners of the globe. In Australia - EWT has more than 60 highly experienced staff and provides comprehensive sales, engineering and service support from offices conveniently located in capital cities in Australia and New Zealand. For further information, please contact John Koumoukelis, National Sales Manager, Eimco Water Technologies, 02 9542 2366, email john.koumoukelis@ glv.com, www.glv.com


As most existing pipe-through-wall or bund situations do not have enough annular space around the pipe there has not been a workable solution other than unreliable mastic systems. Projex has introduced the UGA external wall sleeve to solve this problem. The sleeve is bolted to the outside of the wall around the in situ pipe - leaving enough annular space to fit the link-seal system. The link-seal system is then installed between the new sleeve and the pipe creating a water-tight penetration (can be oi l resistant if needed). This new system can accommodate pipes up to 1600mm in diameter.

Since Plasson introduced the innovative new C-Valve control valves in 2005, it has gained widespread acceptance by Australian water companies and is now used by companies including Sydney Water, Yarra Valley Water, Brisbane Water, Wide Bay Water for their pressure and network management applications. Plasson has also succeeded with introducing the valve into other countries around the world, in particular the UK water industry. The report below conducted by the respected engineering consulting company Atkins looks at the benefits of using the new valve design compared to traditional cast iron globe valves for pressure and leakage management in water supply. The study finds that the C-Valve has provided a Continued over page


r business

uv disinfection NON-CONTACT UV DISINFECTION UV disinfection is increasing in popularity for water disinfection, due to its ability to easily inactive protozoan pathogens resistant to ch lorine and chloram ines, as well as avoid disinfection byproducts and issues with chemical disinfectants. Following the outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Milwaukee in 1993, reg ulatory authorities created a removal requirement for Cryptosporidium. Chlorination is very poor at inactivating Cryptosporidium, creating an opportunity for a technology that could inactive protozoa and viruses, circumvent disinfection byproducts and is economically feasible . The one technology that met all three criteria is ultraviolet disinfection. The effectiveness of chlorination is easy to measure by chlorine residual. However, drin ki ng water standards

require UV systems to demonstrate that the UV reactor can deliver the required 'dose' to receive a credit for Cryptosporidium, Giardia and/ or virus inactivation. This is done with significant val idation test work. Orica Watercare completed validation testing with the Australian Water Quality Centre and Dr Dan Deere in 2007 in accordance with the NWRI and US EPA 2006 Guidelines. We have subsequently installed validated systems, based on this test work. Orica's Watercare UV Technology passes treatment flow through proprietary Activated Fluoropolymer (AFPTM 840) UV transparent polymer flow tubes. Banks of UV lamps are placed outside the flow tube. This way the UV light irradiates the flow tube from outside the flow path. An assembly of AFP™840 tubes allows the outer casing of UV lamps to reflect Germicidal 254nm wavelength UV light back into the treatment flow.

Continued from previous page

concluded the switch to C-Valves had saved the SESW as much as $44,524.

significant reduction in leakage and burst rates since it started being used by Sutton and East Surrey Water in 2004.

The assessment was carried out by comparing the performance of DMAs within SESW's network where a conventional type PRV has been replaced by a C-Valve PRV. This covered flow, pressure and burst data. For more information on this study contact Plasson www.plasson.com.au


The C-Valve range of pressure management products is the resu lt of five years of research into developing a new fluid control system. The results are: • A h igh flow rate achieved with low pressure losses

Engineers and maintenance teams seeking to minimise machinery size and process space without sacrifici ng performance can now turn to the Burkert Type 6240 Solenoid Valve. This solenoid valve is extremely compact with relatively high flow characteristics making it versatile for universal application.

A significant issue with UV systems is the high level of operation and maintenance required. Orica Watercare's system has simplified the technology. Our design has no need for quartz sleeves or immersing the UV lamps in flow. Traditional UV systems have quartz sleeves, which are susceptible to fractures. If a sleeve fractures while in service, the hot UV lamps can be exposed to cooler water. The rapid surface temperature change can result in lamp breakage and subsequent potential mercury release into the water column. The Orica Watercare UV system does not have quartz sleeves. Our technology has a complete separation of the fluid and lamps, which minimises the risk of fl uid mercury or glass contamination. The UV systems are available in a full range of configurations; pressurised, in-pipe, in-channel , with/without advanced oxidation . The lamp banks can be staged to allow variable dose

The Type 6240 Solenoid Valve is a high performance unit suitable for liquid , gas and steam processes. The valve delivers flow up to 0.6m3 per hour with media ranging -40° to + 180°C and to 40 bar, covering most standard application conditions. The Type 6240 Solenoid Valve reaches 0.6m 3 per hour flow with the \1.1 " BSP version measuring just 32mm x 67mm x 45mm. The valve opens with zero pressure differential and although an assisted type solenoid valve, has been engineered with the performance characteristics of a direct acting unit. "Compact size, robust life cycle and capacity to handle most processes make this solenoid valve an off-the-shelf 'spec-and-forget' alternative," said Bi.irkert's Chris Hoey.

• Quick response times for valve actuation.

The Type 6240 Solenoid Valve is available in brass or stainless steel, with a variety of seal materials based on media. All internal parts are made of high quality stainless steel, brass or engineered thermoplastics.

These advantages offer improved operational control and performance which enable water companies to achieve improved leakage performance, reduced burst rates and reduced valve maintenance. The financial benefits of this were calculated and the study

For more information, contact Burkert Australia: 1300 888 868, sales.au@burkert.com or find more at www.burkert.com.au. Burkert NZ: 0800 BURKERT (287 537), sales.nz@burkert.com or more at www.burkert.co. nz.

• Accurate and stable regulation for a wide range of pressures and flow rates

water MARCH 2009 93

uv disinfection rates, depending on your design req uirements. It is a simple plug and play system, with monitoring and control provided through a local LCD screen and webbased interface. Control is simple and web capabilities allow remote monitoring, control and fault diagnosis of UV intensity, UV reactor t emperature, system run hours, alarm conditions and system flow rate. Hydraulically, AFPTM 840 syst ems operate on a pipe flow principle. This makes the hydraulic calculations simple and accurate. Water flowing through the AFPTM 840 tubes demonstrates true pl ug flow . This results in the complete and uniform exposure of all the effluent/water passing through the tube. Traditional quartz sleeve UV lamp unit in a contact channel system suffer from differential flow profiles and resulting UV dose variations. Please contact Bob Arnold for further information 08 8337 0079 or uvta@uvta.com. au.

UV APPROVAL FOR WASTEWATER REUSE OPENS DOORS TO LOCAL APPLICATIONS Advanced UV technology represented in Austral ia by CST Wastewater Solutions has become the first in the world to gain formal approval for wastewater reuse applications. Berson's lnline+ medium pressure closed vessel UV systems underwent extensive third party testing by Carollo Engineers in the USA before being formally approved for postfiltration and reverse osmosis applicat ions by the California Department of Public Health. The systems are now validated for wastewater reuse applications in accordance with AwwaR F/NWRI guidelines, which are internationally respected and some of the toughest in the world, says CST Wastewater Solutions Managing Director, Michael Bambridge. They are also the only ones offering guidelines on sewage treatment, which is a key factor in Australia.


leading manufacturer of UV lamps for water + wastewater ultraviolet disinfection systems. low pressure - high output - amalgam medium pressure - electronic controls replacement lamps + custom-design OEM service for domestic + industrial UV disinfection systems + municipal treatment plants. Heraeus - specialists 1n Ultraviolet + Infrared Technologies V,ctona 03 9874 7455

94 MARCH 2009 water

NSW 02 4294 4682

www heraeus-arnba corn au

"The validation is very significant for Australia because the US has led the way in wastewater reuse for decades. The issues they have been addressing there - with large areas of western and southern USA experiencing chronic water shortages - are the types of issues we are now experiencing here." "This validation opens the door to a greatly expanded use of UV tech nology in wastewater reuse applications as more and more large-scale reuse projects are considered in water-poor regions of the world, such as Australia, China and Southern Europe."

One of Goulburn Mulwaree Council's successful water conservation initiatives involves the selection of Berson medium pressure ultraviolet (UV) disinfection for its effluent irrigation scheme, which has conserved potable water, achieved high water discharge quality and resulted in savings of several hundred thousand dollars in civil works associated with the scheme. Pictures show the lagoon involved in this project, and the technology employed there.

Potential applications for wastewater reuse are extremely wide-ranging and include any instance where water is needed for non -pot able use. The most popular and widespread use is for agricultural irrigation and for other irrigation applications such as golf courses, parks, fount ains and lawns. Reclaimed wastewater is also used for groundwater recharge applications such as aquifer storage and recovery or preventing saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers. The most common method of wastewater disinfection for reuse has long been chlorination. Despite ch lorine's impressive track record, concerns regarding disinfection


byproducts (DBPs) and, more recently, disinfection performance with respect to pathogen inactivation, are driving the conversion from ch lorine disinfect ion to other disinfect ion met hods such as UV, which does not produce any significant DBPs. Closed vessel UV syst ems are easy to install wit hin existing pipework, so there is minimal d isruption to plant operation. Day-to-day operation is simp le and maintenance is minor. The only regular requirement is changing the UV lamps and wiper rings once a year, a straightforward operation t hat can be carried out by onsite personnel. Berson is exclusively represented in Austral ia by CST Wastewater Solutions (www.cstechnology.com.au), former ly Contra Shear Technology.

For further information, please contact Michael Bambridge, Managing Director, CST Wastewater Solutions, 02 94 17 3611 email: info@cstechnology.com.au, www.cstwastewater.com

CST Wastewater Solutions ..,,berson

...._. UV-techniek

Specialists in Inlet Works Supply • Complete Range of Fine Screens

• 360° Pista Vortex System

SHOWCASED AT OZWATER New water tec hnology innovations from Siemens were showc ased at th is year's Ozwater Conference at the Melbourne Exhib ition and Convention Centre. Rhett Butler, Chairman of t he SkyJuice Foundation and a specialist water technologies consultant to Siemens, presented a paper about Siemens Memcor low pressure membranes for chemical free wat er treatment and their application in the SkyHydrant portable fi ltration systems now used in disaster rel ief worldwide. Tony Handakas, Siemens Executive Manager, Water Technologies, said t hat t he products shown at Ozwater included the CS Submerged Membrane Syst ems, and the company's most recent development in chemical free fi ltration of seawater for desalination - the Seacell™ membrane system. Others included the VR40 Vertical UV Disinfection System for small and medium-sized community drinking water systems, as wel l as the Forty-X disc filter for water reuse applications, and t he Siemens Sensor Systems for Totally Integrated Automation water treat ment solutions that ens ure optimal management and sustainable use of water.

Combined Inlet

Pis/a 360°

Tertiary Treatment • Microfilters to 5 micron • Berson Ultraviolet Disinfection

For more information, please contact Siemens in Australia on 131 773 and in New Zealand on +64 9 580 5500 or visit www.siemens.com. au

Water Advertising To reach the decision-makers 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 Hallmark Editions, Tel (03) 8534 5000

• WAM Lime Handling • Sludge Dewatering • Clarifiers

• High Rate Anaerobic Treatment • Package Plants

CST Wastewater Solutions www.cstwastewater.com info@cstechno logy.com.au Tel: (02) 94 17 3611 Fax: (02) 94 17 0097

or email brian.rault@halledit.com.au

water MARCH 2009 95

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lnfoWorks - proven hydrau lic modelling software from Wallingford Software: leadi ng the world in providing sma rter so lutions fo r the water industry. With the industry's largest software deve lopment team complemented by Wallingford Software's highly renowned technical services staff, users are assured of continuous product development and support.

lnfoWorks: the world's leading family of hydraulic modelling software

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Info Works CS for Collection Systems

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Wallingford Software Ltd. Wa llingford Software Pty Ltd, Level 20 Darling Pa rk Tower 2, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW2000 Telephon e: 02 9006 1603 Email: sales@wa lli ngfordsoftware.com

Wallingford Software

www.wallingfordsoftware.com lnfoWorks is a registered trademark or Wa llingford Softwa re Limited