Water Journal May 2009

Page 1

Volume 36 No 3

MAY 2009


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Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Volume 36 No 3 May 2009





From the AWA Chief Executive

Taking the Initiative

T Mollenkopf


P Gilding


My Point of View Crosscurrent

Exporting $5 Billion of Australian Water Expertise - see page 14



R Knee 12

Industry News


AWA News


Events Calendar


Conference Report


Ozwater '09 Report


FEATURE REPORT National Performance Report 2007-08 Summary Findings 48 National Water Commission Bushfires and Drinking Water Quality

52 Extracted from Health Stream, March 2009, with permission from Water Quality Research Australia (WORA)

Drinking Water Risk Management - the Auditor Certification Scheme 54 Brian Labza, Department of Human SeJVices Victoria

AWA CONTACT DETAILS Australian Water Association ABN 78 096 035 773 Level 6, 655 Pacific Hwy, PO Box 222, St Leonards NSW 1590 Tel: +61 2 9436 0055 Fax: +61 2 9436 0155 Email: info@awa.asn.au Web: www.awa.asn.au

CSIRO Joins Water Footprint Network - see page 16

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.'

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

PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: February, March, May, June, August, September, November and December.

• Water Business and Product News Brian Raul!, National Sales and Advertising Manager, Hallmark Editions - brian.rault@halledit.com.au

EDITORIAL BOARD Chair: Frank RBishop; Dr Bruce Anderson, ENSR Australia; Dr Terry Anderson, Consultant SEWL; Greg Finlayson, GHD; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rid); Anthony Gibson, Ecowise; Dr Brian Labza, Vic Health; John Poon, CH2M Hill; David Power, BEGA Consultants; Professor Felicity Roddick, RMIT University; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO; Robbert van Oorschot, GHD; and Bob Swinton, Technical Editor.

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 Raul!, National Sales and Advertising Manager, Hallmark Editions - brian.rault@halledit.com.au Tel: +61 3 8534 5014

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


EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Water Journal welcomes editorial submissions for technical and topical articles, news, opinion pieces, business

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

Dr Jim Gill launching Water Australia at the opening ceremony of Ozwater '09. See page 14 for more on Water Australia.


MAY 2009 1


Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant - see page 67

Volume 36 No 3 May 2009


Membrane Bioreactors In China - see page 80



Factors Affecting NDMA Formation In Treated Drinking Water

The formation of NOMA is a complex reaction

[I] NDMA -

J Morran, N Slyman, G Newcombe


GNewcombe, J Morran, NSlyman


K Davies


L Molloy


R Huehmer, J Poon


H Liang, P Makris


S Fane, J Patterson


A Bennett, W Peirson


An Update on Issues

The formation, occurrence, guidelines and mitigation strategies

Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant: Water Quality The Interim Water Quality Report Just released DESALINATION & MEMBRANES

Variations in Seawater Salinity and Temperature Salinity and temperature greatly affect the feed pressure and recovery of RO membranes

[iJ Offshore Seawater Desalination Units of 50 MUd are already in operation

Membrane Bioreactors In China A case study of an upgrade using MBRs CLIMATE CHANGE

[ii Urban Water Planning in the Face of Climate Change From managing risks to managing with uncertainties WATER SUPPLY

[ii Fill In The Dams? To provide more reliable water supplies and increase flow to downstream catchments WATER BUSINESS

New Products and Business Information. Features: sludge drying & biosolids; instrumentation technology Advertisers' Index 2 MAY 2009




my point of view

The Great Disruption Paul Gilding

Paul Gilding is an Australian writer and activist for action on climate change and sustainability. His advisory work has taken him to over 30 countries and he has worked with the CEOs of many Australian and global companies. He has received various awards and recognition for his work including from the World Economic Forum in Davos. www.paulgilding.com If we don't understand the problem, then we won't choose the right solution. The so-called "financial crisis" is not, repeat not, a problem of cred it or sub-prime mortgages or complex financial products. They are all just symptoms of the problem. Climate change likewise is not a problem but a symptom. We have a system-design problem so we need to redesign the system. The good news is we can do this, but we're going to have to do it really , really fast, so starting soon wou ld be good. We have designed a system so complex and interconnected that is it full of extraordinary risks that no-one can even understand, let alone manage. We sit here comfortable that this is a credit problem or a COO problem, or a governance problem. So we think when we resupply credit or reg ulate the New York cowboys better, then all will be well and we' ll get back to growing the economy. I have one response for people who believe this. Tell 'em they're dreaming. Where we are now, as I forecast in my "Great Disruption" letter in July 2008, is a new state that is not just a year or two long. We're going to be here for while now while we work out how to do things very differently and also deal with the cascading consequences of our last 100 years of behaviour. The global economy is a system, a complex interconnected, real time set of processes and relationships that thrives when it's growing . The problem is this: we are now operating that system right up against the limits of its capacity to function. These limits are set by two broad challenges: Ecological Limits and System Complexity. When you hit the limits of any system, the system stops growing , increases in complexity or breaks down to a simpler form . First let's look at the System Complexity problem. The oil market is a simple system. It is one commodity with a reasonably simple market, relative to, say, the global financial markets overall. Yet our smartest people can't even forecast the price and get it wrong by a factor of 3 to 4 on a regu lar basis. So the idea that we can manage the global economy and financial markets to an acceptable level of risk is, as I said, "dreamin'." The solution is to make this a self-managing system, which requires us to redesign it. More local, more resilient and more human. The second system limit is set in science - Ecological Limits. Think about the maths. We currently have a series of ecological strains and stresses that threaten the system 's capacity to support humanity. (This is not opinion, this is science). Let's call that the "Very Big Problem" (VBP). VB P is our current economic system with its ecological impacts racing out of control. Our plan is to take VBP and increase population by 50% making it VBP x 1.5 and then we plan to increase per capita 4 MAY 2009


income by around 300% by 2050. So our "plan" is to have VBP x 1.5 x 3. In case your maths isn't so good, that = Complete Catastrophe, also sometimes referred to as civilisation's col lapse. The good news is that it is not going to happen! Why not? Well first of all, physics and biology define physical limits and their behaviour won't change. So we'll have no choice but to change. Secondly we are very clever when we put our minds to it. So we can change very fast and that's a good thing. How do we need to change and how fast? Let's go back to our maths problem - the one we need to change the outcome of. Very Big Problem x 1.5 x 3 = Collapse. To avoid collapse, only three things can change:

1. "Very Big Problem",

2. "Population Growth" or

3. Per capita income growth. Population is a tough one, in the time frame available. Short of mass sterilisation or global catastrophe, the population is going to increase by roughly that amount by 2050. I don't propose either of those two solutions. Per capita income not increasing is definitely an option. However, that's the one we're trying now and it doesn't seem be a very popular solution. So we may do that, but it wouldn't be very smart of us to plan to do that. That only leaves us one option we can deliberately pursue. That is we address Very Big Problem - the ecological impact of the current economic model. Here I will end with a statement of the opportunity. Never in history has there been an economic opportunity to compare to this one. In Australia or the USA for example, we need to effectively eliminate (>90%) the net CO 2 emissions of the economy, and do so within 20-30 years. (This is the maths of a global reduction of even 50% because our starting point is so high.) We need to act on this and we need to act now, because if we don't our economy will suffer. As President Obama recently argued "The choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy - the choice we face is between prosperity and decline." So to achieve this transformation, we're going to redesign everything and don't think coal to gas or Fords to Priuses. Think the end of the growth in material consumption and elimination of CO 2 . It doesn't get any bigger, or better, than this. If you think it isn't going to happen, then think about the alternative. VBP x 4.5 = bye bye. That is not a good plan.




Murray inflows between January and March were the lowest in 117 years and the outlook for the next three months is also looking bleak, according to the Drought Update issued by the Murray Darling Basin Authority. The combination of low storage levels, low river flows and high water temperatures contributed to outbreaks of blue-green algae stretching almost 800 kms in the Murray during the period.

The non-profit International Water Aid Organization (IWAO) from Heidelberg (Germany) continued its fight against the spread of cholera in Zimbabwe with a load of one million chlorine tablets being delivered to Harare for the treatment of drinking water.

The federal government earmarked $1.3 million to improve groundwater management, under the National Water Commission 's National Ground water Action Plan. Conducted by the CSIRO, the project will develop two recharge reckoner tools and associated manuals that will enable water managers to improve their water balance models.

The purchase of Toorale station by the New South Wales and Federal governments last September has resulted in an extra 11.4 billion litres of water flowing down the Darling River, according to the Federal Minister for Climate Change and Water.

Water Australia, an initiative dedicated to growing Australia's water business globally, was launched at the Ozwater '09 opening ceremony. Water Australia promises 'proven water management for a changing world' with the goal of developing a $5 billion export industry for water goods and services by 2015. See page 14 for more.

$1 million fund ing has been flagged by the federal government to assist in establishing the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust. The Trust will honour Peter' s legacy by building water science knowledge and skills in Australia, promoting informed exchange and debate on national water issues, and contributing to improved environmental water management.

The first release of Commonwealth water for the environment started at wetlands in South Austral ia. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is set to deliver 4.445 gigalitres (GL) of environmental water at important icon sites along the Murray in New South Wales, Victoria and South Austral ia from mid-April to maximise the benefits of autumn conditions.


California's State Water Resources Cont rol Board adopted a statewide "Recycled Water Policy" in February to establish uniform requirements for the use of recycled water and to increase the use of recycled water from municipal wastewater sources.

The International Institute for Environment and Development reported that hundreds of millions of dollars have been wast ed on rural water projects in Africa as thousands of bore holes have fallen into disrepair as donors, governments and NGOs that have built infrastructure have ignored the need to maintain it.

Experts at the World Water Forum in Istanbul argued that public and private institutions should make bigger and more strategic investments in water beyond simply delivering water services by investing in vital water projects to stimulate growth, generate jobs and yield high returns against relatively low risk.

The US public water systems need $334.8 billion of capital investment over the next 20 years, according to results of a new Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The survey, conducted every four years, reports conditions as of 2007.

Fresh research from Britain shows Antarctica is getting bigger as the ice around it increases. Scientists with the British Antarctic Survey say that the ozone hole is in many ways holding back the effects of greenhouse gas increases in the Antarctic.

The World Bank launched two new funds with expected financing of $55 bil lion over the next three years to try and ensure that infrastructure projects in developing countries do not dry up in the financial crisis.

NZWWA has changed its trading name to Water New Zealand. More irrigators in the Murray-Darling Basin can apply for the Small Block lrrigators Exit Grant Package under revised guidelines announced by Minister for Climate Change and Wat er. Under these revisions, the Small Block lrrigators Exit Grant Package has been extended to irrigators with farms between 15 and 40 hectares.

The average price of temporary water in the southern Murray-Darling Basin for February was $280 per megalitre. Both the January and February monthly wat er price averages have been recorded at $280 per ML.

6 MAY 2009 water

Australian Capital Territory ., The ACT Government has announced its approval of the Murrumbidgee to Googong Water Transfer as a key component of the ACT's water security plan. The pipeline, along with the plan to buy water from Tantangara Reservoir, is in addition to the Government's previous decision to enlarge the Cotter Dam. ACTEW wi ll be required to produce carbon offsets to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from construction and operations.

crosscurrent Queensland

Northern Territory

The OLD Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated ten mines that have had potentially toxic water spi lls flow offsite. Of greatest concern is the Lady Annie mine, north-west of Mount Isa, where two waterways contaminated with heavy metals did not meet the Australian Water Quality Guidelines for stock watering.

The Senate Committee was told tens of thousands of litres of contaminated water has leaked into Kakadu National Park every day from a tailings dam at the Ranger Uranium Mine.

An oil spill along Queensland's south-east coast led to Moreton Island, Bribie Island and southern parts of the Sunshine Coast being declared disaster areas.

Several South-East Queensland council areas including Brisbane City, Ipswich and Logan said goodbye to their existing high-level restrictions after heavy rainfall lifted the region's main storage dams above 50 per cent. The Queensland Water Commission announced the move to new medium-level water restrictions, from Target 170 to Target 200.

Some Indigenous leaders in Queensland threatened to cease contact with the Queensland Government and t o barricade Cape York unless the Wild Rivers legislation is overturned. The Chairman of the Cape York Land Council has argued that the legislation - which opponents say locks up large areas of Cape York - took indigenous rights in Queensland back a century.


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The Northern Territory Government released a discussion paper as the first step in developing a Living Rivers Strategy. The discussion paper for community and stakeholder feedback will also involve commun ity forums, with the Living Rivers Strategy expected to be released by the end of 2009. Submissions are invited until 30 June 2009. http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/water/livingrivers/

The Reeves Report into the financial position of the Northern Territory's Power and Water Corporation recommended a 60% increase in water and sewerage charges over the next 3 fi nancial years, in line with increases seen interstate. Treasurer Delia Lawrie says the Government will not be passing on the full recommendation, although new charges from July 1 will see the weekly bill for average large residential customers increase $5 for water and an additional $1 for sewerage.

New South Wales NSW Department of Wat er and Energy's Water for Life Program in collaboration with several organisation has released a plan titled 'Water Education for greater Sydney 2008-2012' to assist delivery of quality education projects that build the capacity of the people to play an informed and active role in working towards a sustainable water future.

Plans for the proposed Tillegra dam moved forward with the release of a concept design for the $406 million project. An accompanying report provides a framework for the dam's construction and details how it would meet dam safety requirements has been presented to the Dam Safety Committee by Hunter Wat er, along with the geotechnical report and independent peer review. The dam was originally budgeted at $300 million.


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MAY 2009 water

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The Shannon Creek dam that wil l supply water to Coffs Harbour and the Clarence Valley has been completed, with the Dam being filled with wat er pumped from the Nymboida River and from rain falling in the catchment. The dam will officially open later this year.

The 2008 progress report on the Metropolitan Water Plan tracking Sydney's performance in terms of its water supply and use was released.

Fluoridation of the water supply in Ballina on the northern New South Wales coast is back on the agenda after a special meeting of Ballina Shire Council was called to debate the issue and consider a rescission motion.


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crosscurrent Industry News Professional services company GHD has been chosen to provide engineering services for the US$300 million Carlsbad desalination Project in the US. The plant wi ll provide about 190 ML of high quality drinking water per day. Construction on the facility, which is being developed by Poseidon Resources, will begin in 2009 and the plant is expected to be operational by in 2011.

to Melbourne to lead AWT's Australian process engineering team . KIERAN SCOTT has joined AWT's Melbourne office as a Senior Process Engineer. TROY THOMPSON has joined AWT as Manager of Monitoring Services, also based in Melbourne. AWT can be contacted on (02) 9648 0600 (Sydney) and (03) 9419 3077 (Melbourne).

Clearmake Managing Director, DAVID LUMB, has been invited to represent Queensland on the Reserve Bank Small Business Finance Advisory Panel.

GOLDER ASSOCIATES was recognised with two more wins in the Beaton Consulting/BRW Client Choice Awards. Golder was named Best Australian Consulting Engineering Firm (Revenue $50M to $200M), and Best West Australian Professional Services Firm. Golder is the first company to reach the milestone of 10 wins since the awards began in 2005.

McCONNELL DOWELL South East Asia has been awarded the Downtown Line 2 Contract 916 by the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA), valued at approximately S$340 million.

Western Corridor Recycled Water Pty Ltd has been brought together with SureSmart Water (the Gold Coast desalination plant) to create WATERSECU RE, a sustainable water business providing new sources of water for the South East Queensland Water Grid.

Connell Wagner (Pty) Ltd, African (Pty) Ltd, and Ninham Shand (Pty) Ltd have merged to form a new multi-disciplinary global group. The newly created group, called AURECON will provide professional technical services on large scale integrated infrastructure projects to clients across Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific. The group will be headquartered in Singapore and employ over 6,700 people across 87 offices in 28 countries.

Greg Chalmers, Stephen Morris and Soyn Punyadasa have started a new consu ltancy cal led CMP CONSULTING GROUP 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. Tel (03) 9545 1987. smorris@cpmgroup.com.au

Member News

AQUAPHEMERA Two reports from Frontier Economics for the National Water Commission Review of urban water entitlements in Australia and Urban water markets, December 2008, show some improved understanding of the issues facing urban water (with my comments in italics): • Tradeable water entitlements for urban end users are likely to offer limited benefit due to prohibitively high transaction costs (the same goes for smart meters); • Pursue security of access includ ing that for third parties an d rural-urban water trade (what an extraordinarily painful process this currently is!); • Ensure there are no artificial policy and regulatory barriers to utilisation of water from all sources (massive problem when some sources are subsidised e.g. rainwater tanks and effluent reuse, which aren't compared on a triple bottom line footing as other sources are required to be) ; • The Crown's legal rights to sewage, recycled water and stormwater are less clear than for surface and groundwater, assigning these rights to the Crown may act as a disincentive to innovation. Then many of the same old recommendations: Need reforms to water planning - accountability and transparency (was there any justification for additional infrastructure before this current drought?), pricing (does the community want more price rises?), markets (while water is under priced, competitors won't enter markets), institutional roles and responsibilities and regulation (are regulators transparent and accountable?); Risk-based approaches to regulation of water sources to protect human health and the environment should be progressed (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines are already risked-based); Uncontrol led urban groundwater extraction needs to be addressed (water licenses?);

WARREN TRAVES, who has spent 20 years in the water industry with responsibilities in project management, including the Western Corridor Water Recycling Project has been appointed to head GHD's global water business. Warren.traves@ghd.com.au

AWT has announced a number of recent senior appointments to its Australian business. !AN CHASE has taken up the role of Managing Director, Australia. RICHARD BRICE a Senior Process Engineer with AWT New Zealand has relocated

12 MAY 2009 water

Establishment of an independent procurement entity and/or water grid manager; Scarcity based prici ng barely gets mentioned (but is fundamental to enable competition and allocative efficiency) yet lack of competition is seen as a major impediment to efficiency; Ring fencing (as is done with electricity) of the contest able (retail) and monopoly (distribution) components of the wat er supply chain are supported. - Ross Knee

industry news Exporting $5 billion of Australian Water Expertise Among the highlights of the Ozwater '09 opening ceremony was the launch of an initiative to showcase Aust ralia's expertise in innovative water management practices. Water Australia will position Australia as the world's top of mind water-smart country, according to inaugural Chairman Dr Jim Gill AO.


,,, ..•,,,,, •


Dr Gill , the internationally respected former CEO of WA's Water Corporation and recipient of last year 's IWA Grand Award, said the new organisation's main role wi ll be to provide a framework to drive industry growth nationally and globally. "Given the worldwide focus on water and the environment, the timing is ideal to bring Austral ia's water industry players together. " Water Australia's promise is 'proven water management for a changing world' and our goal is to develop a $5 billion export industry for water goods and services by 2015," said Dr Gill.

Th e group will operate under the umbrella of the Australian Water Association and will boost global export opportunities by building upon existing international successes of key Australian compani es, nurturing emerg ing firms, enlisting the active support of National and State Governments and coordinating inbound and outbound trade missions. Tom Mollenkopf, Chief Executive of the AWA said, "Australian companies have the experience to play the lead

GHD Bolsters US Presence International professional services company, GHD, has boosted its presence in the USA wit h four strategic mergers that build on its core water and wastewater services business. The companies that have merged with GHD are Stearns & Wheler based on the east coast (and ranked 17th in the top

Dr Jim Gill launches Water Australia during the Ozwater '09 opening ceremony.

roles in projects at home and abroad. Water Australia could position the water industry as twice the size of successful export industries such as wi ne or dairy." This sentiment is echoed by Dr Gill. "Many Australians don't realise how advanced we are in water management. We lead the world in adapting to rapidly drying climate. We have expertise in the application of major sea water desalination, recycling and precision irrigation, and our models for governance and industry structure w in approval from many parts of the world . "Successful business means doing more of what you are good at, and there is nothing Australians are better at than managing our finite wat er resource."

USA wast ewater treatment compan ies by Engineering News Record}, Rosewater Engineering in Seattle, Washington, the Arizona En gineering Company from Flagstaff in Arizona, and CSA Engin eeri ng from Phoenix, also in Arizo na. Combined this will bring GHD's presence in the USA to more than 375 people.

Tenix Alliance Signs ActewAGL Partnership Tenix All iance signed a contract with multi-utility ActewAGL on 15 April to provide capital and maintenance works for ACTEW's water and wastewater assets using a Program Alliance delivery model. Under the alliance, ActewAGL and Tenix Alliance wi ll together deliver a significant part of ACTEW's capital works program with Tenix Alliance initially providing remedial work in the electrical, mechanical and instrumentation areas.

Representatives from Tenix Alliance and ActewAGL.

14 MAY 2009 water

"Tenix Alliance is looking forward to contributing to the building and upkeep of the Australian Capital Territory's water and wastewater infrastructure," said Robert Salteri, Ten ix Alliance Executive Director.

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industry news CSIRO Joins Water Footprint Network Australia's national scientific research agency, CSIRO, has joined a global network of organisations as part of the Water Footprint Network. The Network seeks to advance the concept of 'water footprinting' as a means of understanding and addressing the negative impacts on freshwater systems of the production and consumption of goods and services. As a Network partner, CSIRO has conducted a range of water footprint case studies on various products - including food products - and has been active in developing water footprint calculation methods. CSIRO Principal Scientist, Dr Brad Ridoutt, says standardised and internationally agreed methods for product water footprinting are urgently needed. "CSIRO will work toward agreed methods that will enable companies t o start using water footprinting with confidence for reporting, priority setting and decision making," Dr Ridoutt says.

"Even companies situated where water is abundant may be exposed to the impacts of water scarcity through their supply chains," Dr Kuiper says.

Water Footprint Network Executive Director, Derk Kuiper, says measuring the water footprint of food products is a key development in addressing critical global water and food security issues.

" In order to adapt to increased climate variability and the pending world water crisis, companies need to understand these risks and develop appropriate management and growth strategies."


World Water Day Challenge The WaterAid Challenge - to use only 30 litres of water per person on World Water Day, 22 March - was launched by Tony Kelly, Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water and Chairman of WaterAid Australia, which took place in the Melbourne Exhibition Centre during Ozwater '09. Tony highlighted the plight of a billion people around the world w ho don't have access to clean water and sanitation, the building blocks that lead to dignity and that allows people to break out of the poverty cycle. "Clean water is essential for life, but over a billion people do not have it. Many (mostly) women and children in rural areas in developing countries spend hours each day walki ng kilometres to collect water from unprotected sources such as open wells, muddy dugouts or streams. In urban areas they collect it from polluted waterways or pay high prices to buy it from vendors who obtain it from dubious sources. The wat er is often dirty and unsafe, leading to disease and death , but they have no alternative," said Mr Kelly.

Natalie Hunter from Channel TEN's Totally Wild with Elijah and Max at the WaterAid World Water Day Challenge launch during Ozwater '09.

16 MAY 2009 water

Natalie Hunter from Channel TEN 's "Totally Wi ld" was at the launch and shared ways in which she was going to use on ly 30 litres of water on World Wat er Day, Sunday 22 March.

regular features

industry news SA Program to Retain Water Skills SA Train ing and Further Education Minister, Michael O' Brien last month announced a new program aimed at keeping 40 mature age workers in the state's water industry. The $198,800 South Australia Works Water Industry Partnership Program is a joint State Government and industry initiative, which will help to retain and re- skill these workers as qualified trainers, mentors and workplace assessors. 40 existing or recently retired workers working in the industry in SA will be chosen for the program to receive training , wh ile VET enterprises and the water industry will be encouraged to consider t hem as trainers, mentors or workplace assessors within their organisations.

$200 Million for Stormwater Capture The Federal Government is calli ng for proposals for stormwater harvesting and reuse projects for use on parks, ovals and golf courses, as well as for other appropriat e uses. Under the new $200 million initiative, grants or refundable tax offsets will be available for up to 50 per cent of eligible capital costs for st ormwater harvesting and reuse projects that ease the demand on drinking wat er supplies. The minimum

The 14 month project will be managed by the Electrotechnology & Water Skills Board SA. Board Chair, Mr Larry Moore says the development of qualified trai ners, mentors and workplace assessors is essential to ensure that the necessary skill sets required both for the present, and the future, are made available to this critically important sector.

Interested in Water Industry Capacity Development programs? Visit www.awa.asn.au/ wicd or contact Fiona MacKenzie, AWA Industry Programs Coordinator, for information on fmackenzie@awa.asn.au

project size is $4 million and whi lst there is no maximum project size, funding is capped at $20 million per project. In addition, successful projects are req uired to source 100 per cent of their energy needs from renewable sources or fully offset the carbon impact of the project's operations. The first call for proposals closes on 30 June 2009, with a second round closing on 11 December 2009. The guidelines are available from www.environment.gov.au/water or by calling 1800 218 478.

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awa news EVENTS CALENDAR This list 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 MAY



Tue, 12 May 2009

Working With Biosolids, Melbourne VIC

Wed, 13 May 2009

Mini Ozwater #2, Perth WA

Wed, 13 May 2009

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

Wed, 13 May 2009

OLD Monthly Technical Meeting , Brisbane OLD

Wed, 13 May 2009 Thu, 14 May 2009

Project Management for Water Infrastructure, Sydney NSW

Wed, 20 May 2009

NSW Awards Night, Sydney NSW Australia

Wed, 20 May 2009

Environmental Series, Canberra ACT

Th u, 21 May 2009

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

Wed, 27 May 2009

Water To Wine - Wine Tasting, Canberra ACT

Thu, 04 Jun 2009

YWP Volunteering in Water: Overseas and At Home, Melbourne VIC

Wed, 10 Jun 2009

YWP Industry Breakfast, Adelaide SA

Wed, 10 Jun 2009

YWP - Mentoring Breakfast, Sydney NSW

Wed, 10 Jun 2009

OLD Branch Committee Meeting, Brisbane OLD

Thu, 11 Jun 2009

Murray Darli ng Basin Projects and Happenings - An Update, Melbourne VIC

Fri, 12 Jun 2009

NT YWP Social Even,t Darwin NT

Sat, 13 Jun 2009 Wed, 17 Jun 2009

2009 AWWA Annual Conference, San Diego United States of America

Sun, 14 Jun 2009 Wed, 17 Jun 2009

IWA Instrumental Control and Automation, Cairns OLD

Mon, 15 Jun 2009

SA Branch Committee Meeting, Adelaide SA

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 Thu, 18 Jun 2009

WIOA Operator's Conference, Brisbane OLD

Wed, 17 Jun 2009

OLD Monthly Technical Meeting, Brisbane OLD

Thu, 18 Jun 2009

TasWater 09, Hobart TAS

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 Fri , 26 Jun 2009

Singapore International Water Week 2009, Singapore

Tue, 30 Jun 2009

Young Water Professional Event, Canberra ACT

Wed, 01 Jul 2009

OLD Branch Committee Meeting, Brisbane OLD

Fri, 10 Jul 2009

Trivia Night - Water and More, Melbourne VIC

Mon, 20 Jul 2009

Regional Tour To Victoria and Tasmania, Launceston TAS

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 Fri, 31 Jul 2009

Regional Tour To Victoria and Tasmania, Victoria VIC

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 Wed, 22 Jul 2009

Future Models for Energy and Water Management, Brisbane OLD

Tue, 21 Jul 2009 Wed, 22 Jul 2009

Australian Water Industry Essentials, Melbourne VIC

Wed, 22 Jul 2009

NT Branch Committee Meeting, Darwin NT

Wed, 22 Jul 2009

Annual Members Night / Technical Meeting, Adelaide SA

Fri, 24 Jul 2009

OLD Annual Gala Dinner, Brisbane OLD

Mon, 27 Jul 2009

SA Branch Committee Meeting, Adelaide SA

Wed, 29 Jul 2009

SA Branch Committee Meeting, Adelaide SA

Th u, 30 Jul 2009

NSW Members Meeting, Sydney NSW

Thu, 30 Jul 2009

Technical Seminar, Canberra ACT

22 MAY 2009 w ater

Do you Know students between the age of

14 -19 who have a




passion for water?

The Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize provides an amazing opportunity for students to be recognised for a research project and WIN amazing prizes! The Australian SJWP is a national water science competition for high school students aged between 14-19. Organised by the AWA, the competition provides an opportunity for students to research innovative solutions to local and global water challenges. Projects should aim to improve the quality of life through improvement of water quality, water resources management, water protection and water and wastewater treatment.

Get national recognition and win great prizes: • An expense paid trip to AWA's Ozwater Conference and Exhibition in Brisbane during March 2010 for 3 finalists. • An expense paid trip to Stockholm for the national winner to compete in the international SJWP, and participate in a week long cultural exchange program. • A free flight for the students' teacher to attend the SJWP in Stockholm.


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awa news Water Education

industry and an interest in water education and careers. The Austral ian SJWP is open to all high school students nationally and aims to support young students in water conservation, water protection and water resources management. The competition provides an opportunity for Australian students between the ages of 14-19 to showcase innovative solutions to both local and global water issues.

Patricia Dames - AWA Community Education Coordinator It's been a busy couple of months with Ozwater '09 and the presentat ion of our two national student awards. It is great to see the q uality and diversity of award entries continually increasing, wh ich was reflected in the difficulty our judges had in choosing the winners this year. See the article on page 30 for inform ation on all the 2009 award win ners. With over 1600 members, the Water Education Network (WEN) is continuing to prove the need for a coordinated approach to water education. The focus for the first part of the year has been network meetings, providing an opportunity for members to interact and share ideas and information. It has been great to meet more members of the network and hear about some of the work that's happening in the water education sector.

Thanks to sponsorship from ITT Water and Wastewater and Gold Coast Water, there are some fantastic prizes on offer including both national and international recognition with the top three finalists attending AWA's Ozwater '10, and the Australian winner attending the international competition in Stockholm, Sweden to represent Australia and participate in a week long cultural exchange program. Entries close 10 December 2009. For further information visit our website at www.awa.asn.au/awards/sjwp. Sponsored by: ~ 1 1 oci... 1101 'I ~



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Water Education Network (WEN) M eetings Network meetings provide the ideal opportunity for people involved in and interested in water education to network with other water education professionals. The meetings provide an opportunity to find out more about projects happening within your area, share ideas and make valuable contacts and networks in areas relating to your work. Two Water Education Network meetings were held during March in Perth and Melbou rne. A big thank you to Perth Zoo in WA and Melbourne Water in Victoria for hosting these meetings. Minutes from these meetings are available on the WEN pages on the AWA website - www.awa.asn.au/wen.

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There are currently opportunities available nationwide to host future meetings in other States and territories during 2009. If you are interested in hosting a meeting, please contact Patricia at pdames@awa.asn.au.

2010 Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize Now Open The AWA's Australian St ockholm Junior Water Prize (Australian SJWP) provides a platform t o raise the profi le of the water

2009 National Water Week 18-24 October 2009 - start thinking about your event!s now! National Water Week aims to increase awareness of, and participat ion in, the critical need to protect and conserve water resources and habitats. It is the only event in Australia that provides a national focus for the achievement of improved water management, awareness and conservation. Keep your eye on the National Water Week website and the next issue of Water for information. www.nationalwaterweek.org.au

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awa news Specialist Networks Update

Laura Evanson, AWA National Specialist Networks Coordinator The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed this issue of the Water Journal has much reporti ng on the multi-faceted successes of this year's Ozwater conference. Personally, this was my second Ozwater and my fourth major AWA conference, and it's always interesting and exciting to see the results of the various ideas formulated by my colleagues and the volunteers who make up the organising committee.

A Specialist Network 'Meet & Greet' session held at Ozwater '09.

Gatherings of this size are also opportunities to link up with those of your peers that you only see once in a blue moon, or indeed have on ly communicated with via phone or email. Point in case is the Specialist Networks. As their entire raison d 'etre is to unite those worki ng in the same field who are spread out around the count ry, it's not often that they get to meet face to face. Over the last few years, we've tried a number of ways to make the most of t he opportunities these large-scale events present. With the Specialist Networks all having appointed full committees last year, many of them chose to use the time to meet their fellow members for the first time and firm up some of their activity plans, whereas others sought to engage directly with network members and anyone else int erested in fi nding out more. The AWA booth at the exhibition served as a meeting point for several of the networks: WASH, Source Management (Liquid Trade Waste), Efficiency, Law and Policy, Climate Change, Sustainability Practitioners, and Catchment Management. The casual approach to these gatherings allowed those passing to stop for a chat and discuss some of their views on what the networks should be doing. Many useful connections were established and even resulted in several new potential committee members.

20-25 September 09 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

As Ozwater is now an annual event, it wi ll give those network members able to attend increased opportunities to get together with their peers. If you have any thoughts about how the networks could best utilise the opportunities available at future events like Ozwater, please feel free to contact me at networks@awa.asn.au

26 MAY 2009 water

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Liquid Gold, Water in the Goulburn Valley AWA Victorian Young Water Professionals Regional Conference An enthusiastic group of young professionals recently attended the fourth annual AWA Young Water Professionals Regional Conference, in Shepparton, Northern Victoria. The event was sponsored by Goulburn Valley Water, Goulburn-Murray Water, Goulburn Broken CMA and Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project (NVIRP), and was timed to coincide with the Institute of Water Administrators reg ional conference, also in Shepparton. The conference themes included water conservation, catchment and drought management and regional water issues, including the Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project. Several facets of the water sector were represented by those who attended including consulting firms, water authorities, CSIRO , research organisations and the Bureau of Meteorology. There was also a good mix of delegates, both local, as well as those who travelled from Melbourne, which made for some interesting debate on the pros and cons of working in the city versus the country. I'm not sure what the final outcome was! The conference kicked off on Friday evening with the conference dinner and a range of interesting techn ical presentations. Bill O'Kane of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority presented some colourful analogies on the challenges associated with public consultation regarding the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan. Julie Murrell from the Future Flow All iance, provided delegates with excellent insight

Automated channel control in action.

into the opportunities, both professionally and personally, of life and work in a regional area. Andrew Shields (Goulburn-Murray Water) spoke on the intricacies and challenges of forecasting and establishing water allocations during a drought.

conference report The evening concluded with the presentation of the AWA Victorian Young Water Professional of t he Year award, wh ich was presented by Grant Jones of GHD (the award sponsor). Finalists for the award included Melissa Toifl of CSIRO, Elizabeth Haeusler of GHD, Tanya Elliott of Sinclair Knight Merz and Nick Gartner of MWH. The award was presented to Nick Gartner of MWH for his outstanding contribution and achievements as a Young Water Professional. Following the evening's formal ities, a number of delegates chose to continue their networking endeavours by commandeering the tour bus to enjoy the Shepparton nightlife, while others enjoyed a late-night dip in the pool fo llowing the 40-degree heat earlier in the day. Saturday's activities kicked off with a breakfast seminar and presentation by Peter Walsh , Alliance Manager of the Future Flow Alliance. Peter's presentation, which included his favourite graph indicating perfect performance of the newly installed Total Channel Control t echnology, was followed by a hosted technical tour of irrigation assets upgraded as part of the Foodbowl Modernisation Program. These included the East Goulburn Main off-take, channel lining renewals and metering upgrades. This tour provided an excellent opportunity for metropolitan delegates to understand the scale of works being undertaken in the Goulburn Valley, and to gain an appreciation for the challenges facing their regional colleagues. Th e technical tour was followed by a BBQ lunch alongside the very dry Lake Victoria, before an afternoon wine-tasting session and cellar tour of Tahbilk winery, en route back to Melbourne. Thanks to the AWA YWP comm ittee for organising the reg ional conference and to all those who contributed to the

28 MAY 2009 water

event including the presenters, Peter Walsh for Saturday's technical tour, and all those who attended. This was the fourth annual Vict orian YWP regional conference, and its success is testament to the importance the YWP network plays in facilitating networking and building contacts between metropolitan and regional you ng water professionals.

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ozwater '09

2009 AWA Awards Several of the water industry's leading lights were recognised for their outstanding achievements at the Ozwater '09 Gala Dinner at the Palladium Ballroom at the Crown. Alexandra Bennett from the University of New South Wales won top honours in the National AWA Undergraduate Water Prize. Before winning the award, Bennett and other Undergraduate Prize finalists had to prove themselves before industry representatives at an AWA Ozwater conference session. Presenting their research papers and fielding questions from the audience, all finalists proved to be worthy award candidates. Bennett's project assessed the feasibility of replacing small farm dams with ground water dams (GWD). GWDs are constructed by filling farm dams with gravel or sand, with water stored in the soil pore space. She found that evaporation was significantly reduced in larger, deeper GWDs; GWDs recharged faster and depletion was smaller. GWDs were also more feasible in arid as opposed to semi arid areas, and setup costs could be offset by reduced evaporation. Undergraduate Prize finalists included Samantha Dawson from the Australian National University, Ali Barrett-Lennard from the University of Western Australia, and Liam Harnett, Jason Nicolson and Rebecca Tennant from the University of Adelaide.

Undergraduate Water Prize winner Alexandra Bennett (far left), with finalists Ali Barrett-Lennard, Rebecca Tennant, Samantha Dawson, Jason Nicolson and Liam Harnett.

The inaugural National AWA Young Water Professional of the Year Award went to Sarah Jewell from SA Water. Sarah commenced her career with SA Water, where she became familiar with water treatment and supply issues and emerging desalination technology. She is now in the consulting field , developing new technical skills as a water engineer, and frequently experiences firsthand some of the political and environmental issues facing

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the Murray Darling Basin. She has also recently commenced a PhD in Coastal Engineering, investigating improvements to the way in which the Murray Mouth is dredged to maintain tidal flows into the Coorong. The 2009 Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize was awarded to sixteen year old Storm Holwill from Tasmania, who took out the top honours for her project, 'In the Name of Freshwater'. She had investigated the capacity of marine environments to cultivate the microalgae Duna/iel/a tertiolecta to ~ sequester at mospheric and industrial carbon dioxide and produce plant bio-mass for biofuel production without the use of freshwater.

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Speaking before she won the award, Holwill said currently in Australia biofuels are made from corn and canola oil, which uses land and irrigation. However, by using algae instead of corn and canola oil and growing it in a marine environment negates the need for freshwater. It also contributes to the development of alternative fuels and the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Dr Kerry Schott took out t he 2009 Chris Davis Award. Schott has been the Managing Director

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ozwater '09 Prior to her commencement as Managing Director of Sydney Water, Dr Kerry Schott was Deputy Secretary of New South Wales Treasury. Before t his, she spent 15 years as an investment banker, worki ng in the infrastructure area as well as an economic policy adviser at the Reserve Bank of Australia and for the Commonwealth Government.

Sarah Jewell, the inaugural national AWA Young Water Professional of the Year Award winner.

Other awards bestowed at t he Ozwater '09 Gala Dinner include t he Nancy Millis Award , which went to Anne Howe, Chief Executive of t he SA Wat er Corporation. Anne has been passionate about progressing females in the industry through workplace policies that have em bedded improved equity, diversity and gender programs and increased the number of women in leadership roles in SA Water. She is also comm itted to promoting water careers and is a strong supporter and mentor for young professionals bot h withi n her organisation and in t he industry. The 2009 winner of t he Water Environment Merit Award was Gold

Dr Kerry Schott took out the 2009 Chris Davis Award.

of Sydney Water since 2006. Before taking on this role, she also served as a non-executive Director of the Sydney Water Board from 1997-2001 , and has led Sydney Water through a critical period where urban growth was competi ng with constrained water resources.

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Storm Holwill, winner of the 2009 Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

water MAY 2009 31

member of the AWA for more than two decades, and served for many years on the NSW Branch Committee, taking on various roles including those of Branch Secretary and Branch President. Hope also served several years on the Federal Board and Executive of the AWA. He was particularly influential as Director of Business and Conferences, helping to steer AWA's growth in the conference arena and build Ozwater's reputation as the pre-eminent trade show for the industry.

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Hope was awarded AWA Life Membership for his selfless and substantial effort in numerous areas of the organisation's operations, and for giving advice, assistance and energy over the years to countless other volunteers.

Anne Howe, Chief Executive of the SA Water Corporation.

Coast Water for their Gold Coast Waterfuture Strategy 2006-2056. Adopted by Gold Coast City Council in December 2005, the strategy sets a new benchmark in innovative water planning. The strategy is one of the first long-term water supply strategies to be developed in Australia, underpinned by diversity, adaptability and sustainability and embracing the goal of constant environmental improvement.

The 2009 Michael Flynn Award sponsored by Ecowise Environmental for Best Poster during Ozwater'09 was awarded to Michelle Collins-Roe for her poster on "Rainwater Tank Models: Do they represent the average Rainwater Tank?" The 2009 Michael Flynn Award sponsored by Ecowise Environmental for Best Platform Presentation during Ozwater'09 was awarded to Jim Morran for his presentation on "Factors Affecting NOMA Formation".

Three years on, the GCWF Strategy is achieving its aspirations and objectives. The strategy's implementation in the real and dynamic world has ensured that the aspirations become reality and that water resources are conserved.

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An AWA Life Membership was awarded at the President's Dinner held earlier in the Ozwater '09 program to David Hope, who was recognised as an outstanding advocate for the AWA and for the broader water industry. He has worked over many years to help build the Association's profile and competence at both branch and national levels. Hope is a Civil Engineer with extensive experience in t he water industry including substantial roles in senior management with Sydney Water and, more recently, with a successful consulting business. He has been a

David Barnes, Immediate Past President of the AWA presents Richard Went of Gold Coast Water with the Water Environment Merit Award (WEMA}.


ozwater '09

The Evolving Water Utility Workshop The Evolving Water Utility interactive workshop brought together senior representatives of the water industry from US and Australia in a relaxed conversation on the changing nature of utilities and how utilities are evolving and responding to change. It was part of the Ozwat er '09 pre-conference activities held on Sunday 15 March. Jointly organised by the AWA and the International Council of the American Wat er Works Association (AWWA), The Evolving Water Utility provided a unique forum for highly experienced wat er professionals to share insights on current and emerging issues in utility management and experiences in adapting to demands for continual improvement and higher performance. Based upon the AWWA publication of the same name, the workshop was a tangible expression of international collaboration between the AWA and AWWA International Committee, through gathering senior representatives from the water industry of both countries and providing a forum to share insights and stimulate discussion. The AWWA International Committee also held its quarterly meeting in Melbourne and was represented by a delegation t o OzWater, including Keynote speakers. Tom Mollenkopf, Chief Executive of AWA is a member of the AWWA International Council Executive. The tone of the workshop was a discussion amongst peers and there was great rapport between the Australian and US presenters, valuable contributions from highly experienced

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presenters and the engaging participation from the audience of over 40. Despite differences in the experiences of both countries, common themes emerged such as the benefit of time dedicated to strategic planning, the necessity for continual assessment of all aspects of the business, and the search for new models of capital delivery.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS Stormwater Harvesting & Reuse Projects A special call for Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse projects has recently been made under the $1 billion National Urban Water and Desalination Plan. $200 million has been made available to support stormwater harvesting projects that will reduce the demand on potable water supplies. This special call forms part of the Government's $1 2.9 billion Water for the Future plan to secure the long-term water supplies of all Australians.

Who is eligible to apply? The Government is looking to work with state, territory and local governments, public water utilities and pr ivate companies. How much project funding is availabl e? Project funding is capped at 50 per cent of eligible capital costs. The minim um project size is $4 million (eligible for f unding of $2 million), w ith funding capped at $20 million per project.

When are proposals due? Two funding rounds will be held, w ith the first round closing on 30 June 2009 and the second round closing on 11 December 2009. To f ind out if you are eligible to apply, visit http:// www.environment.gov.au/ water/programs/urban/ stormwater-harvesting.html and download a copy of the guidelines. If you require further information email stormwaterfunding@environment.gov.au ; or telephone 1800 218 478.


MAY 2009


The bipartisan approach was reflected in the presentations, with each country taking turns in providing their perspectives on key issues. The workshop was moderated the John Batten, Chair, International Council, AWWA & Vice President, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc and Tom Mollenkopf, Chief Executive, Australian Water Association. Presenters were Rob Renner, Executive Director, Water Research Foundation (formerly AwwaRF); Dr David Barnes, President AWA & Principal Consultant, Sinclair Knight Merz; Nilaksh Kothari, General Manager, Manitowoc Public Utilities; Peter Quinn , Managing Director, Goulburn Valley Water; Maureen Stapleton, General Manager, San Diego County Water Authority; Paul Freeman, General Manager, Asset Management, Sydney Water Corporation; Wally Bishop, General Manager, Contra Costa Water District; and Sue Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Water Corporation WA.

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ozwater '09

Have 2g0 Water Festival Mary Connelly-Gale Water exponents from around Victoria and further afield, came together for the Water Festival at Melbourne's Queensbridge Square on Sunday 15th March. The water festival was a commun ity-based precursor to Ozwater '09 promoting a better understanding of our most precious resource. Braving Sunday's wind and rain, the festival provided a family friendly event where the commun ity could learn about key water issues through a range of interactive and fun displays. Former Geelong AFL star and media personality Billy Brownless was on hand as the resident roving water reporter. Brown less is no stranger to managing water resources. He worked part-time in the early nineties for Barwon Water while playing for the Geelong Cats. He says the general community needs to develop a better understanding of water resources and sources of water. "Some people just turn on the tap and think 'well there is the water'. The general person on ly sees it as a farmers' problem," he adds. Highlighting that water shortages are a global problem, Billy Brownless spoke with scientist and explorer Tim Jarvis. Ti m explained how the melting ice caps were impacting on freshwater supplies globally from his fi rst hand experience on a number of trips to the north and south poles. To compliment this the Department of Sustainability and Environment had a display on climate change and the impacts on the water indust ry. Sustainability Victoria was also at the water festival providing information on selecting and purchasing the most energy efficient white goods, saving money on lighting, providing information on the solar hot water rebate. City West Water and Savewater took the water sustainability message to people's backdoor. They provided waterwise gardening tips mulching advice, showing that mulching can reduce evaporation from the soil by up to 70%. There were also tips on saving water in the home. The various displays on alternate water sources were big ticket items. Barwon Water was on hand t o inform the

36 MAY 2009 water

Media personality Billy Brownless speaks with environmental scientist and adventurer Tim Jarvis.

community about the Anglesea borefield. Barwon will be tapping into groundwater and expects to provide 20 million litres of water a day, wh ich will be used in 35,000 homes per day in the Greater Geelong region. Gippsland Water was highlighting it new its new wastewater treatment and recycling facility - the Gippsland Water Factory. Festival key sponsor Osmoflo had a desalination demonstration plant on display, which demonstrates to the community how reverse osmosis syst ems turn sea water into potable drinking water. Also on hand to discuss the environmental impacts of desalination was David Luketina from Water Corporation of WA. Melbourne Water focused on river health and stormwater. On display was The Baan Model, which is an interactive model of an urban catchment. A simulated rainstorm demonstrates how stormwater flows into waterways and bays, how stormwater pollution can occur, and a range of practical ways to avoid and reduce stormwater pollution and protect our waterways and bays.

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The other display was the Waterwatch trailer. This display showcases live macro-invertebrates (water bugs) that live in local waterways. An experienced Waterways Education Officer was on hand to help participants identify the bugs and inform the com munity about the importance of healthy waterways. To rou nd off the urban water industry, Goulburn Valley Water had a range of interact ive activities to help the comm unity to understand how t he regional wat er corporations treat river/channel water before it is delivered to homes as potable drinking water. They also showed the wastewater treatment process and recycling. A water festival would not be complete without a display on ru ral water. NVIRP (Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project) and Goulburn Murray Water are undertaking the biggest irrigation modernisation project in Australia. The first stage of the project is expected to secure long-term savings up to 225 gigalitres. The water savings will be shared between the irrigators, the environment and Melbourne via the Sugarloaf Pipeline.

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ozwater '09

Ozwater '09 - Challenges and Solutions

Our biggest conference yet, as the Australian Water Industry grows in response to the increasing demands on what seems to be ever decreasing water resources in the populated south . An overall report is best summed up as a transcript of Allen Gale's final words, as Chair of the Ozwater '09 Organising Committee. He said every Chair says "wasn 't it just great" and he was no different, but the feedback he was getting corroborated his own impressions. "We started on the Sunday with a community Water Festival, which was successful in a number of ways, perhaps the best that, being outdoors, it broke Melbourne's drought. We also ran Sunday Workshops which were well attended and debated. "A major feature of this conference was the number of keynote speakers, twelve in all, which meant that some had to be separated into two streams, but all were stimulating and thought-provoking, particularly the opening address by Tim Jarvis, explorer and environmental scientist, who set out our major challenges for the future. "There were more than 200 papers in nine parallel streams; the majority were of high quality, but even those of lesser quality had been peer-reviewed and were useful. We tried an innovation with the Poster papers by having them available in electronic form, enabling ready sorting into particular interests, and running some mini-presentations. "The social events were well attended and set the scene for networking, a major function of any conference. The flow of conversation at the Conference Dinner was only interrupted by rapt attention to the Master of Ceremonies. (being St Patrick's Day, he had to be Irish, but he harvested his jokes from the dinner guests) ". All in all, Allen said that the success of the conference was due to the whole-hearted participation of the various members of the Ozwater '09 Organising Committee.

40 MAv 2009 water

The primary emphasis of the platform presentations was policy, strategy and integrated water management, very appropriate to present-day challenges of reduced water resources, increasing population of our cities and coastal developments against a background of global warming and climate shift. Approximately two thirds of the platform sessions were devoted to these aspects. This was highlighted in the choice of keynote speakers, and this report endeavours to summarise all twelve .

Keynotes The Challenge of the Future

The opening plenary keynote was by Tim Jarvis, an environmental scientist with URS but also an explorer who has been to the Antarctic three times and to the North Pole three times. He was fresh from attending the Copenhagen Conference of 2500 climate change scientists, but concentrated his address on a polar perspective. For example, he had recently tried to walk from Russia to the North Pole, which, since the Arctic is a sea, involves walking on the ice, with a calculated load of food and fuel. But the ice is melting, and moving south, sometimes faster than he could walk. In the last 10-15 years there has been no ice off the Siberian islands, and it seems that the temperature rise is steeper there than anywhere else, and permafrost is beginning to thaw. If sea-ice melts, there will be no effect on sea levels, but the danger is the melting of the Greenland ice-cap, where the glaciers are slipping off quite rapidly. If it all melted, sea levels world-wide would rise by 7 metres. (

If the Antarctic ice cap (some 2 km thick) all melted, the sea would rise by 70 m, which would change the map of the world considerably, not to mention the effect on the coastal cities. Happily, the eastern sheet is stable, but the western glaciers are slipping. In 2002 , a 3000 km 2 portion of the ice shelf broke

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ozwater '09 exponential population and economic growth and our present reliance on fossil fuels leading inexorably to climate change. He emphasised that recent measurements back up Jarvis' predictions ... the world is heating up faster than previously estimated. We have reached the wall, where our economic syst em has collided with the physical and biological limits of what the Earth can provide. (Father Greed meets Mother Nature). For a whi le we will continue to convince ourselves that it is only a crisis of credit, but in the longer term it is far more serious. It is "The Great Disruption". Yet he was optimistic! He maintained that humanity has shown itself to be extraordinarily resilient, and we already have most of the t ools. We know how to cope with the problems of CO2 , we know that 'stuff' isn't happiness. Some people are already creating a sustainable future. So his message to the CEOs of the world's largest companies has been that they can change their businesses, and so can we. It is happening on our watch, and it's our future. Following Paul's philosophical address, Ben Furmage, General Manager Strategic Planning, outlined how Melbourne Water was approaching the need for change. As the drought continues in SE Australia, he has heard people saying they look forward to retu rning to normal, but who knows what is 'normal' any more? Ozwater '09 Committee Chair Allen Gale at the conference opening.

off and headed northward, and a similar break off is occurring right now. The other mountains of the world harbour about 100,000 glaciers of varying size and nearly all have been in retreat since 1970. Mount Kenya used to have 18. There are now only two. The consensus is that a combination of glacier melt and thermal expansion is raising sea levels at the rate of 3 cm a year ... that is a mere 35 years for a metre rise .

He said "we can not afford to wait it out. Nor can we just concentrate on our immediate issues, challenging though they may be. We must plan ahead for a time of high uncertainty. So we at Melbourne Water started a review of the Strategic Framework in mid 2008 and asked for contributions from our staff. We got more than 500.

An unexpected impact of such a rise is that coastal groundwater wi ll become increasingly saline. Earlier melting of Himalayan snow is changing the pattern of flow of Asian rivers. One third of summer flows had relied on delayed snow-melt, now the pattern is shifting to floods in spring, followed by low flows. Th e most immediate effects on Austral ia stem from changes in the thermal circulation patterns of the oceans. The resultant rainfall shifts are coupled with the generation of cyclones and tropical st orms. In that respect, our coast from Coffs Harbour to Coolangatta is the most at risk since intensity and duration will increase. He ended on a serious note. Even if the world managed to reduce the concentration of GHG in the upper atmosphere, all these effects wi ll contin ue for decades. The message is that adaptation strat egies are essential, but risk-based decisions require quality data. Finally, he foreshadowed that wat er stress is going t o affect geo-politics. One stream of plenary keynote addresses addressed this challenge. On the morning following Tim's dire prophecies, Paul Gilding took the platform. He was more upbeat, even though he not only agreed with Jarvis but was even more damning about the environmental crisis. For the past 35 years Paul has been studying and advising business on the likely future of the global economy under the dual pressure of

42 MAY 2009 water

Tim Jarvis

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ozwater '09 "We addressed cl imate change mitigation ... achieving emission reduction even if it costs, (and we are winning: since 2000 we have reduced them by 48%). But as population rises we are faced with increasing demand for energy so we are intensifying our search for renewable energy sources ... wind, water pressure, algae, biosolids. "We addressed adaptation, and we ran workshops to capture practical large and small scale responses. We have found that the process of developing imaginative scenarios is a powerful tool. "We have measured our 'Organisational Culture Index', and found we are reducing adversarial and passive behaviours in favour of constructive behaviour. "To summarise, Melbourne Water maintains a commitment to sustainability, employs robust planning processes, and has developed organisational cu ltures that promote resilience and innovation." Paul Brown, the Executive Vice-President of Camp Dresser and McKee, USA, concentrated on the nexus between wat er and energy. In USA, hydroelectric power provides 6% of the nation's demand, whi le water and wastewater utilities utilise some 2%. That said, the utilities must do their best to reduce their demand, not only by focusing on efficiency but endeavouring to generate more energy in-house, for example by mini-hydro plants, and co-digestion of other organic wastes with sewage sl udge.

Utilisation of the thermal capacity of water streams is another example. The cooling of a 10 MW computer centre can provide heat to serve 700 homes in Switzerland, and the water can be recycled. (Ed: Sweden uses heat pumps to extract heat from warm sewage to provide district heating). The trend to decentralisation provides opportunities for such innovative thinking. He congratulated Melbourne Water on its work with the Institute for Sustainable Futures in developing a long-term strategy for sewage, including the recovery of phosphorus and nitrogen. He concl uded that these design challenges require new tools and collaboration between many disciplines. The theme was conti nued under the heading "Managing with Less" and Professor Mike Young, Adelaide, concentrated on the crisis in the Murray Darling. Currently the river is bankrupt. There is a 'basic maintenance allowance' which cannot be touched and only the volume above that can be shared between users (including urban demands) and the riverine environment. So he asked, can we be clever?. For the environment, pick and choose, and close down a proportion of the wetlands, bil labongs, floodways, more or less permanently. Even levee off half the Barmah Forest so that the rest survives. Rely on the judgement of local environmental managers and allow them to 'bank' unused water from year to year so as to arrange a local periodic flood. Deal with salinity by better management,e.g. send slugs down the river in non-irrigation periods. Lower the level of the river at the locks to release more groundwater. In other words, start to manage the river on the basis of a permanent reduced flow, not as we have done so far, based on a 50-year 'wet period '. In a scenario remarkably similar to what is occurring in southern Australia, Maureen Stapleton, General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, said they were the first Californian agency to adopt drought-related plans and ordinances. The parlous state of the State reservoir was dramatically illustrated by her photos of a hundred or so

44 MAY 2009 water

Paul Gilding

houseboats, spread out over hectares in 2005, with the reservoir at 99% capacity, but huddled together in a 28% capacity reservoir in November 2008. Diversification is the key. Demand management programs have yielded, for example 600,000 ultra-lowflush toilets, 600,000 water saving shower heads, 62,000 front loading wash ing machines and other measures. Recycled water is now used for landscape, golf courses, recreation and an indirect potable reuse project. Ag riculture is being made more efficient and the water saved transferred to the city by huge lined canals, the local dam level raised, and a new dam built. In 1991 they relied on the Californian Stat e Water Project and the Colorado for 95% of supply. They now have 29% from local and transfer sources, and will have a portfolio of 71 % of 'new' sources by 2020. But the cost will rise. Kerry Schott, Sydney Water, explained why diversification was essential and with Sydney's rising population desalination was a necessary insurance policy, even if, because of the huge variabi lity in rainfall, there may be some years in which the plant is shut down, or run at low volume. Theo Schmitz spoke more philosophically on the challenge facing the Netherlands. Their water supply comes primarily from the Rhine and they are fighti ng for better upstream regulation of its quality. They rely on storage in the sand dunes but have discovered a sweetwater aquifer which runs beneath the North Sea. After hundreds of years of reclaiming land below sea-level, global warming, with the forecast of rising sea levels will impose a further challenge. Peter Binney is now Director of Sustainable Planning for Black & Veatch, USA, but from 2002 to 2008 he was Director of Aurora Water, serving the rapidly growing city in arid Colorado, and he pointed out the parallels with Australian cities.

The South Platte River relies on snow melt from the Rockies but the 'prior water rights' were historically claimed by the

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ozwater '09 Desalination by reverse osmosis is being widely adopted, but there will soon be a WRF Report about a dozen different alternat ive technologies which are being studied. UV advanced oxidation is effective, but all technologies use more energy and, with emission reduction schemes, energy will become more expensive and price volatile. A WRF Report explores energy demand for various wat er treatment syst ems, and another gives a risk-benefit t able for eight energy reduction options, e.g. off-peak pumping may reduce electricity costs but not overall demand and requires more pumping capacity. Capital needs are increasing for new inst allations but also for maintenance and replacement of ageing assets in a time of financial and also engineering shortages, as addressed by a WRF Report on Improving Capital Efficiency. The politics of drinking water supply in USA is very complicated with pressure from media, the public and the regulators, so it is vital for utilities to develop the communication and legislative skills to deal with elected officials. Thus new technology, including information technology, is not the only answer. Planning for the future must envisage unexpected challenges, from drought to flooding. But we need a paradigm shift from the conventional linear system to more sustainable strategies.

Rob Renner

irrigators, with no regard for the environment. They use 7090% of the wat er but provide only 1.5% of GDP . As in the MOB their infrastructure was built in a wet period, 1900-1950, and the water is over allocated and is forecast to reduce. Yet the urban population of Aurora is scheduled to grow from 300,000 to 500,000 by 2030. Their answer is Indirect Potable Reuse. With a budget of USO 750, they are taking in river water some 15 miles downstream where secondary treated effluent constitutes 20-80% of the flow, treating it by bank filtration, then 60-day aquifer recharge and recovery, before pumping it back to an advanced water purification plant using lime coagulation, UV oxidation, GAC and disinfection. They do not use RO because of brine disposal problems but salinity is controlled by blending with fresh mountain water. The plant is due to come on line in 2009. He stressed the vital necessity for community engagement to ensure acceptance of the recycle, and fi nally stated that a water authority is not just a utility, it is an essential part of life. Robert Renner is the Executive Director of the Water Research Foundation, the simpler name for the old AWWARF, and in his address he quoted a number of recent WRF reports which bear on the challenges and possible solutions.

In 2006 a Strategic Assessment of the Future of Water Utilities identified ten trends. His address dealt only with population, energy supply and costs, finance constraints, and politics. Population is not only increasing but shifting both geographically and demographically (in America the population of water poor areas is increasing more rapidly than elsewhere). In a situation where more water is needed from a reducing source, can new technologies help?

46 MAY 2009 water

Professor Kim , of the Gwangju 1ST, Korea, concentrated on the prospects for desalination and recycling to solve water scarcity. He reviewed the current state of seawater desalination throughout the world, and the balance between thermal and membrane processes, w ith work proceeding on the latter for improving energy consumption, fouling and plant size. Hybrid systems, such as SEAHero, are being developed which optimise energy usage.

Water reuse is also growing, and he noted that Korea and Australia were simi lar with 7-8% in operation. Since 2001 his Institute had been at the forefront of overseeing the application of suitable technologies for the various grades of reuse. For industrial and domestic reuse, safety is paramount, with the focus nowadays on micropollutants. Health assessment not just for single compounds but for synergistic effects wi ll be essential. Peter Ward of SA Water concentrated not on technology but on people. The water industry has an ageing workforce, with tenure much longer than in general population. To plan for the future SAWater is building up t he 20-30 year olds but still holding the 55-65 year olds. To mine knowledge before it is lost means one-on-one mentoring - expensive but vital.

But we have one advantage, water supply is 'flavour of the month' and we can tap into sustainability, environment, social issues, not to mention the fragil ity of the corporate sector. SA Water has done one other single thing to improve their image, they have consolidated three sections into one superb office building, which is six-star green. The resu lt: 76% are highly engaged, 85% satisfied with OHS, and t his year they have had, instead of 250 applicants from universities, a total of 450. The remainder of the conference presentations, some 200 papers, is captured on the Ozwater '09 USB memory stick, and will provide, not only information but inspiration for years to come. Copies of the Ozwater '09 Conference Proceedings will be available for purchase from AWA from June 2009.

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ozwater '09

Water Leader's Forum 2009 The Wat er Leaders Forum 2009 set a difficult target by attempting to cover three of the most significant issues facing the water sector. One hundred invited guests attended the session and luncheon that was sponsored by GHD and facilitated by Nick Apostolidis. The first issue addressed was t he topic of water allocation. The session was led by Allen Gale (Goulburn Valley Water) and Maureen Stapleton (San Diego County Water Authority), during which speakers observed that while we are talking about trad ing water between different consumptive uses, the US has implemented an 'economic impact fee' to cover some of t he structural adjustment costs Sue Murphy (Water Corp) and Kate Vino! (Veolia Water) during the Ozwater '09 Water Leaders' Forum. associated with moving water out of some economic areas. Another issue "You lose them in their teens!" The example was of her raised was the buying out of irrigation ent itlements. In each daughter, who responded to t he new three minute shower timer scenario, the social impacts need to be considered. with, "That's cool! You can time how long to leave the Another commentator observed t hat t he current policies cond itioner in!" against using recycled water for potable purposes will have to Kate Vinet from Veolia Water highlighted one of complex change in the future. There also needs to be a move to system's more unexpected consequences - requi ring (and recognisi ng high q uality recycled water discharged to rivers as acq uiring) a broader range of t echnical professionals, with a being a beneficial use. new range and breath of skil ls. Subsequently, the water sector The second topic looked at managing complex systems. Sue will require a workforce that is more complex and more difficult Murphy shared insights from the Water Corporation's transition to manage. More complex systems also result in c h anges to to a more complex system - moving from one water supply to contractual arrangements, and increased communication multiple sources. She also shared some of the impacts of challenges. introducing desalination into Western Australia, w hich comes at The final session was dedicated to ways in wh ich the wat er real costs. Demand management programs are essential lest sect or will adapt to a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. we end up with a situation where only the rich will be able to Green power wil l have limitations for t he indust ry, but both afford water. And whilst having moved to a more complex speakers, Patrick Crittenden (GHD) and Phil Woods (Sydney system, Water Corporation is still committed to exploring new Water) spoke passionately about red ucing carbon emissions water sources, such as including recycled water for aquifer and pointed out that currently a number of Austral ian utilities recharge and smaller groundwater options that have yet to be are already doing better than the 5 per cent reduction explored. emissions requi red of industry. Sue also spoke about the importance of community ed ucation and demand management, with the warning that


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water MAY 2009 4 7

feature article

National Water Utilities Performance Report 2007-08 Courtesy of the National Water Commission Summary of Key Findings: Urban Water Utilities The 2007-08 urban report includes information from 82 water utilities who supply approximately 16.8 million Australians with their urban water services. It contains extended analysis for three key indicators: residential water supplied, recycled water, and capital expenditure.

The amount of recycled water supplied varies significantly across utilities. Some did not recycle at all, while several others recycled all sewage collected. In general, higher levels of recycling occur where the recycled water is predominantly used for low-value irrigationtype purposes rather than high-value residential uses.

Residential Water Supplied Per Property

Capital Expenditure

Across Australia, the average annual residential water supplied per property for 2007-08 was 21 1 kilolitres compared to 240 kilolitres the previous year. This represents a12% decrease in water use across Australian households.

In response to a drying climate coupled with population growth, utilities have embarked on an unprecedented capital expenditure program which will continue for years to come.

The impact of water conservation strategies - including restrictions - resulted in a 21 % decrease in residential water supplied over a 6-year period from 2002-03 to 2007-08, despite a 9% increase in the number of connected properties in the same period. If the 2002-03 average residential water supplied of 227 kilolitres had remained in place in 2007-08, reporting utilities would have had to supply an additional 378 gigalitres of water. This is close to the total water supplied to Melbourne.

Capital expenditure has almost doubled over the past five years as the prolonged drought in many metropolitan areas has driven investment in new water supply infrastructure. Reflecting this, the report shows large increases in capital expenditure across utilities, up from $3.2 billion in 2006-07 to $4.5 billion in 2007-08: a 41 % increase. This figure excludes some major capital projects that are not being funded by water utilities. Climate change challenges have also changed the investment focus towards infrastructure solutions that are less dependent on rai nfall, such as desalination and recycled water. 5,000


4,500 1.200 4,000










1.000 200

1 500






2007- 08

Figure 4.2.2 - Volume of residential water supplied (GL) All utilities that have reported data from 2002-03 to 2007-08

Figure 10.3.1 - Total capital expenditure 2002-03 to 2007-08 For all utilities

Recycled Water

Typical Residential Bill

Recycled water is becoming an increasingly important water source around Australia due t o the reduction in average rainfall and the increasing acceptance of recycled water as a viable and safe alternative to traditionally sourced water.

Urban water prices have risen steadily, in part to pay for new water infrastructure and also to offset reduced revenue due to conservation measures (including restrictions).

The volume of recycled water supplied increased by 23% from 2005-06 to 2006-07, with rise of 6% from 2006-07 to 2007-08. 250.000


The average typical residential bi ll for water and sewerage services supplied by utilities increased across all utility size groupings in 2007-08: up by 3.8% for utilities with 100,000+ properties, up by 3.3% for utilities between 50,000 and 100,000 properties, up by 3.9% for utilities with 20,000 and 50,000 properties, and by 3.8% for those with 10,000 and 20,000 properties.


150,000 100.000

100,000+ connected properties



•Sine• 2 005 ·0 6

2008-07 5'n~ 2006-07


•s.-ce 2007-08

Figure 4.4.1 - Recycled water supplied (ML) All utilities that have reported data from 2005-06 to 2007-08

48 MAY 2009 water

50,000 to 100.000 connected properties 20,000 to 50,000 connected properties 10.000 10 20.000 connected properties

658 Ipswich Water

Goulbum Valley Waler 686

904 Coifs Harbour 1,028


Byron 1,051

51 2 Lower Murray Water 547 Bellina




feature articles

urn non-revenue ater into profit

feature article ACTEW had the highest real increase at 11 % , whilst Yarra Valley Water's typical residential annual bill decreased by 7% due to a fall in water consumption, despite prices increasing by 1.6%.

Dividend and Dividend Payout Ratio This indicator reports the dividend payable by a utility for the reporting year, and the dividend payout ratio (that is, dividend payable divided by net profit after tax, NPAT). It gives an indication of the level of funds returned to the government/shareholder, or conversely, retained by the utility for re-investment in the business.

Water Losses Although water losses have remained largely consistent over the past year, the Australian urban water industry has substantially reduced the water loss from leakage over the last six years.

Dividends across the entire urban water sector in 2007-08 totalled $1.15 billion, c ompared to $1.11 billion in 2006-07 (although some utilities reported for the first time in 2007-08).

From 2005-06 to 2007-08, the major urban utilities serving over 100,000 connected properties have collectively reduced real losses (litres/service connection/ day) by approximately 20%.

Table 10.9.2 For uhhtios with 100 000• connecled properl.los

20,000 to 50,000 connected properties 10,000 to 20,000 connected pro perties


City West Water

Gold Coast Water Hunter Water SA Water - Corporation


CaimsWater 223


P&W -Darwln

Lower Murray Weter




P&W - Alice Springs


Westernport Water



Energy and water are the essential elements vital to society. Guaranteeing continuity and quality of supply requires ingenuity and robust planning. Future energy and water managers will increasingly use mathematical and statistical models to quickly and efficiently examine their needs and options.

This event will help you evaluate your options and identify: • the models available • who is using them • how to use them and their underlying assumptions. If your business is energy or water you need to know what's out there.

31,570 1.077 25.227 16,142 60,281 33,800 230,937 48,640 193,000 376,896 36,427


.......11on United NalJ<>N Educldona!, Sdentifk: and

Cultural Organlzallon

34,055 0 26,325 21.500 81,323 34,600 186,054 24,100 190,000 381.612 8,400

100 12 29 39

100 0 29 91

100 0

46 95 80 73 75 95

59 95 31 42 74 97




93 45 105 73 93

Speakers include: • Shahbaz Khan (UNESCO, Paris) • Elliot Tonkes (Energy Edge Pty Ltd) • Graham Weir (IRL NZ) • Ian Rose (ROAM Consulting) • Mukand SBabel (Asian Institute of Technology) • David Swift (ESIPC)

MISI 1s funded by the Australian Government Oepanment or Educatioo. lllljlloymenl ilfld W01kplace lleidllOOS


32,686 0 18,348 25,21 1 78,693 35,100 214,093 17,802 140,000 388,998 22,021

• Michael O'Sullivan (University of Auckland)

See www.amsi.org.au/energy.php for info Er registration


F21 01v1dend payout rntto l'M

Dividends across all utilities with 100,000+ connected properties (inc ludes additional utilities to above table) totalled almost $1 billion in 2007-08, a small (3%) increase on 200607. In general, individual dividend payout ratios either stayed similar to 2006-07 or increased, reflecting similar dividends but decreasing net profits.

Gosford 75



ACTEW Barwon Water Brisbane Water

South East Wator Sydney Water Water Corpora tion - Perth Yarra Valley Wa ter

100,000+ connected properties


F20 D1v1dond IS000s)


Brisbane Water's real losses have fal len sharply over the past two years , from 141 litres per service connection per day in 2005-06, to 107 in 2006-07, and down to 75 in 2007 08.

50,000 to 100,000 connectod properties




feature article Water Supply Interruptions The majority of utilities recorded a longer duration of unplanned interruptions in 2007-08 compared to 2006-07, with only Hunter Water and Barwon Water recording shorter durations.

Key results

Net Greenhouse Emissions From the report it appears there is significant variation across utilities' reported net greenhouse gas emissions. Meaningful comparison of these resu lts is difficult as a number of variables impact on emissions levels: the source of water, gravity versus pumped networks, geographic conditions, the incidence of large customers and industry within a customer base, the prevailing greenhouse policy in the jurisdiction, and the method of calculation. Furthermore, many utilities have only been reporting this indicator for the last few years (since the National Performance Report began), so it is difficult to extrapolate emerging trends. Tablo 8 1 1 - Ovcrvrnw of results - E12 Total ncl greenhouse gas omissions (net tonnes CO2¡ equivalents) (per 1,000 properties)

100 ,000+ connected properties





20,000 to 50,000 connected properties

927 4,696

251 WC - Mandurah


SA Waler - Whyolla


10 Calms Water

Glppsland Water

50,000 to 100,000 connected properties

10,000 lo 20,000 connected

Clty West Water

SA Water - Adelaide


total revenue associated with the provision of rural water services. Where t he recurrent costs of reporting exceed this threshold, rural water service providers are not required to report; however, they are encouraged to do so in the interests of industry transparency.

205 Queanbeyan



National Performance Report 2007-08: Rural Water Providers

Capital expenditure increased 45% since last year -from $241 million to $350 million, with much of this rise d u e to construction of the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline (capital expenditure for this project was $215 million in 2007 -08). The average volu me of unaccounted water per kilometre of distribution system decreased by 5% - down from 34.8 megalitres to 33.1 megalit res/km. Drought , efficiency gains and operational changes contrib uted to this outcom e. Delivery volumes decreased by 36% across all rural providers due to ongoing dry climatic conditions-from 5510 gigalitres last season to 3540 gigalitres delivered this year. Water service providers in New South Wales and Victoria were hit hardest, experiencing a decrease of 51 % on volumes delivered last season. The performance of different ru ral water service providers is determined by different geographical, cl imatic, production and soil characteristics. These inherent differences make it very difficult to compare rural water service providers. Over time, the report wi ll enable agencies to track their own performance and t o compare themselves against th e performance of others against trend data. It wi ll also enable stakeholders and the community to see how well the sector is performing.

Summary of key findings

The National Performance Report 2007-08: rural water service providers is the second annual report outlining the performance of the rural water sector. Based on a nationally agreed performance framework this report presents a consistent and informative overview of the essential services delivered by rural water utilities and operators. The data underpinning this report has been collected and collated from thirteen rural water service providers located in five jurisdictions. The threshold for including a rural water service provider is that the additional recurrent costs incurred by that organisation in relation to data collection , reporting and required audits (on a proposed three yearly cycle) are less than 1 % of the

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water MAY 2009 51

feature article

Bushfires and Drinking Water Quality Extracted from Health Stream, March 2009, with permission from Water Quality Research Australia (WQRA) In February this year several rural townships in the state of Victoria were devastated by major bushfires, resulting in 173 fatalities and the destruction of over 2,000 homes. It is estimated that over 300,000 hectares of land in the state have been burnt in 110 separate fires since the beginning of the year. About 2% of the Upper Yarra and numerous smaller catchments serving Melbourne have been affected but not the major Thomson catchment. Melbourne Water relies on 'pristine catchments' and has developed a fire strategy, both pro-active and reactive, wh ich wi ll be the subject of a paper in a later issue of Water. Some press reports on potential water quality impacts have been rather alarmist in nature; describing water from fireaffect ed catchments as "toxic " and suggesting it will remain unfit to drink for perhaps as long as ten years. These statements are not supported by scientific evidence or the experience of other Australian cities affected by catchment fires in recent years. This article summarises the evidence on these issues.

Health Risks from Fire Retardants The fire retardants used in fighting bushfires in Australia fall into two main categories: • Short term fire retardants - a mixture of detergents and wetting agents • Long term fire retardants - composed of fertiliser-like chemicals (ammoni um phosphate and ammonium sulphate) which affect the thermal degradation and/or combustion properties of flammable materials. The solution will usually contain a thickening agent and red iron oxide. Toxicity assessments for both categories of fire retardants in high exposure groups such as fi refighters, aircrews and ground personnel has shown no long term risks to human health Fire retardant chemicals may enter drinking water sources through overspray or run-off. The potential for direct public health impacts is negligible, as the components are of low toxicity to humans and the dilution effect w ill generally be large. The ammonium and phosphat e components may stimulate the growth of algae and cyanobacteria in reservoirs, which may have to be controlled t o protect public health.

Impacts of Bushfires on Drinking Water Quality In intense fires, surface growth and litter are completely destroyed, exposing the ground to increased erosion from rai n and wind, which may resu lt in large quantities of sediment and ash entering water courses and reservoirs. However the impacts of individ ual fire events are highly variable. While an influx of sediment and nutrients can have a deleterious effect on river and reservoi r ecosystems, such as turbidity, colour, and algal blooms, there are no direct effects on human health. In some instances iron and manganese concentrations may be elevated. Suspended solids may also lead to elevated chlorine demand in water supplies, and this may make it difficult to achieve adequate disinfection in some circumstances, perhaps necessitating a boi l water alert.

52 MAY 2009 water

Sydney During December 2001 and January 2002 several bushfires occurred in Sydney catchments, burning an area of over 120,000 hectares, including one-third of the protected areas. Subsequent rainfall events resulted in erosion of exposed areas and inflow of sediment to the reservoirs. Research conducted by Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA), CSIRO and university col laborators showed that the timing and intensity of rainfall events was the major determinant of sediment and nutrient inflow. Turbidity levels in streams peaked with each rainfall event but soon reduced to background levels. The overall impact was minimal due to the large size of the storages and long residence time that allowed pollutants to settle out.

Canberra In January 2003 severe bushfires burnt out most of the catchment in the Cotter river system including 98% of the Corin and Bendora sections. Heavy rains occurred two months after the fire, leading to significant deterioration of raw water quality with significant increases in tu rbidity, colour, total phosphorus, iron and manganese at the Bendora dam offtake. An alternative source was used. Phosphorus levels rapidly returned to normal within a few months, however levels of the other parameters fluctuated over the following two years, increasing during wet weather and generally declining to pre-fire levels during dry periods. There was an increase in algal growth during the summer of the fire and for two subsequent summers, although this may have been partially due to rising water temperatures (due to continui ng drought). Wh ile it was initially predicted that water quality in the Bendora dam might take five to ten years to recover, normal ranges had returned within 26 months and limited use of the water was possible nine months after the fire.

Impact on Water Yield The impacts of bushfires on long t erm water yield are another area of concern to water utilities, but significant regional differences exist. An initial increase in runoff after a fire has been reported from fire-affected Sydney and Canberra catchments, followed by about two years of depressed yields before a retu rn to normal conditions. However previous fires in Victoria reportedly caused a much more prolonged depression in water yield.

Rainwater tanks Households using rainwater tanks have been advised that roofs and guttering should be cleaned and first flush rainfall discarded. Rooftops may also be contaminated with ash from copperchrome-arsenate treated timber from burnt fences, decking and outbuildings. Contamination from fire retardant chemicals, although not toxic, may adversely affect the taste of the water. The possibility of contamination by organic compounds was studied by Spinks (Jnl Water and Health, 2006). Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and benzo(a)pyrene were below the detection limit of 1 micro g/L, and total PAHs below the detection limit of 8 micro g/L. Arsenic levels in the majority of tanks were below the detection limit (0.001 mg/L) but one tank had an arsenic concentration equal to the Australian Drinking Water Guideline value (0.007 mg/L). Although limited , these results suggest that contami nation of this nature is unlikely.

feature articles

feature article

Drinking Water Risk Management the Auditor Certification Scheme Brian Labza, Department of Human Services Victoria The Department of Human Services (Victoria), in its role as regulator of the quality of drinking water supplied in that state, engaged the international personnel and training certification body, RABQSA International, to develop a Drinking Water Quality Management System Aud itor Certification Scheme. This Australia-wide scheme, launched in April 2007, fills an essential role in training requirements of professionals servicing the water industry. It is the first such scheme worldwide. As such, it has attracted considerable interest from international agencies active in the field of drinking wat er quality risk management. This article explains how this auditor certification scheme has evolved in the two years since being developed. The article is an abridged version of a paper presented at Ozwater 09 in Melbourne.

Risk Management Frameworks Increasingly, water suppliers in Australia employ catchment-totap risk management plans as the cornerstone of strategies to ensure the safety and quality of the drinking water they supply to the public. This approach is endorsed by Australian water industry guideline documents such as the "Australian Drinking Water Guidelines" [NHMRC, 2004] and a range of World Health Organization publications (in the World Health organization documents they are referred to as water safety plans). To be assured that these plans are developed and implemented effectively, audits must be incorporated into the regulatory and management process. Some key questions arise: • Who is suitably skilled to do such audits? • How should potential auditors be assessed? • Who can provide the training for individuals to the expert level expected of auditors? and • What kind of things would such audits reveal about the management and quality of drinking water in Australia? In the stat e of Victoria, Aust ralia, water businesses involved in the delivery of drin king water are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 (the Act) and the Safe Dri nking Water Regulations 2005. The Act requires water suppliers to prepare, implement and review risk management plans for their supplies of drinking water and regulated water and for water storage managers to prepare, implement and review risk management plans for their supp ly water to water suppliers. The Act and Regulations, taken together, set out the mandatory content of risk management plans.

Training Scheme Development Implementation of this key aspect of the Victorian legislation required the existence of a suitable training and accreditation process for auditors. The Department found , when this was first examined in 2005, that there were no suitable pre-existing auditor certification schemes for drinking water risk management plans. At the same time, the Water Services Association of Austral ia, the peak body of the Australian urban water industry, needed to assess the appropriateness of auditors using its audit tool Australia-wide. Both parties concluded that there was no point having two parallel auditor certification schemes operati ng in a small market such as Australia, nor was there any benefit in developing a scheme customised for the regulatory framework of any individual jurisdiction. Consequently, a certification scheme for Drinking WaterQuality Management System Auditors was developed through a collaborative process involving the Department of Human Services, the Water Services Association of Australia, the Victorian Water Industry Association and RABQSA International, a JAS-ANZ accredited personnel and training certification body with offices in Sydney. The scheme is designed to assist drinking water service providers and regulators in selecting auditors and to provide certification and business opportunities to individuals who wish t o pursue this avenue of business. One of the attractions of the scheme is that , once established, it is independently managed by RABQSA International. The scheme is not tied to individual state-based legislative req uirements. The key competencies for auditors are based on ISO 19011 -2002 and chapters 2 and 3 of the "Australian Drinking Water Guidelines" [NHMRC, 2004]. The Department chairs a scheme committee which oversees the development and policy attributes of the scheme.

Scheme Details Certification as an auditor requires the demonstration of knowledge competency, covering both conducting audits and knowledge of drinking water quality risk management, appropriate educational qualifications, relevant work experience, suitable personal attributes and demonstration of skill competency, through conduct of an audit on a drinking water supplier.

The Act also requires that a water supplier or water storage manager have their risk management plan audited. The auditors must be approved by the Department.

The scheme certifies individuals as either auditors or lead auditors, under the scope of drinking water quality risk management processes. The difference between auditor and lead auditor certification is that the latter also requires demonstrated com petence in leading management system audit teams. The required competence in auditing and knowledge of drinking water quality risk management is the same in both cases.

This is one of the most important philosophical aspects of this regu latory framework, as it directly assesses, under audit, the risk management activities and capabilities of the water business, rather than the day to day quality of the drinking water supplied .

Essential pre-requisites are a degree or diploma in engineering, science or medicine recognised in Australia, w ith at least seven years accumulated work experience in two of the following three areas:

54 MAY 2009 water

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feature article • Water industry, either working in the industry or consulting to it; • Experience in establishing, reviewing or running quality management systems; • Experience in auditing quality management systems. Quality management systems may include QMS, EMS, Risk Management or HACCP based systems. One of the essential competencies is knowledge of drinking water systems and risk management practices as they apply to drinking water systems in Australia. This involves demonstrated understanding of the Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality set out in chapters 2 and 3 of the "Australian Drinking Water Guidelines" . To do this, candidates must sit a 2.5 hour short question style written exam run by RMIT University. There have been six sittings in total, between May 2007 and early 2009, with fifty candidates in total being assessed. The next exam is scheduled for Brisbane in August 2009. Certification applies to individuals anywhere in Australia, rather than corporations, with specific components reassessable after two and four years . The results for individual competency units are valid for three years. This means that, in general, candidate auditors can go through the certification process at their own pace. Prior knowledge and experience can be considered in the process. As at the end of 2008, the scheme has certified eleven auditors in Australia, including five lead auditors. A further eight candidates are progressing towards certification.

Regulatory Audits in Victoria Overall, the audits conducted in Victoria in 2008 found that fifteen of the 25 water businesses in Victoria were compliant with the requirements of the Act. As far as the first year of the regulatory audit process was concerned, this was regarded as a very pleasing resu lt, from a regu lator's perspective. It demonstrated that the audits were pitched at a level that matched current industry best practice, yet identified some realistic yet challenging stretch targets for water suppliers that were not yet at that best practice standard of operation. It is hoped that the audit process will help promote water quality improvements and drive culture change towards the proactive approach to risk management embodied in the Framework in the "Australian Drinking Water Guidelines". Involvement of operators in developing and implementing risk management plans was seen to be a key feature in successful transition to the new approach. A summary of the pre-1 July 2008 audit findings is presented in the Department of Human Services' An nual Water Quality Report for 2007/08, tabled in Parliament in Victoria in Apri l 2009, as well as annual water quality reports of the individual water businesses. The remaining audit results wi ll be discussed in detail in the 2008/09 annual water quality reports.

To increase the number of certified auditors in Australia, opportunities exist for the development and application of short courses by certified training providers that are tailored to water industry needs on documentation and auditing for drinking water quality risk management plans. There is likely to be increased demand for auditors in NSW and Queensland, as a result of regulatory developments on those states that mandate the use and audit of drinking water quality risk management plans, after 2009 and 2011 respectively. Other jurisdictions in Australia are also examining the use of such auditors. This means that the scheme must adapt to meet the needs of states adopting it. The way that the scheme is marketed t o candidate auditors and regulatory agencies outside Victoria also needs to evolve with changing circumstances. Significant and exciting growth opportunities are also likely to lie in the future need for certified auditors of risk management plans for: • Validation of recycled water and/or drinking water treatment processes, prior to commissioning; and • Auditing of recycled water schemes that supply water for non-potable purposes, either to residential, agricultural, municipal, or industrial uses. The current scheme has the potential to provide a structure within wh ich skill sets for these new scopes can be assessed and, ultimately, certified. The scheme committee is already examining these challenges. It is anticipated that the scheme will be revised later in 2009. For those interested in this scheme, its operation, or the traini ng or risk management issues it is seeking to examine, please do not hesitate to contact the author or the Drinking Water Regulatory Section of the Department of Human Services, Victoria, as below. Interested readers from Queensland should also note the forthcom ing exam, to be held in Brisbane on 3 August 2009. Details are available from the Department.

Further Information Department of Human Services (Victoria)

Ph: 1300 761 874 Fax: 1300 768 87 4 Email: dwru@dhs.vic.gov.au www.health.vic.gov.au/environment/water/drinking.htm Drinking Water QMS Auditor Certification Scheme

RABQSA International Ph: (02) 4728 4600 Fax: (02) 4731 6466 Email: info@rabqsa.com

Discussion - Future Challenges

Web site www. rabqsa.com/cb_wsa.html

The experience in runni ng the scheme for the past two years has identified some challenges. These challenges revolve around streamlining the certification process for candidate auditors, enabling simpler communication between candidates and water businesses, increasing the number of certified auditors in Australia and emphasising the importance of documentation in risk management plans.


56 MAY 2009 water

NATIONAL water quality management strategy. [Australian Government, Canberra]: National Health and Medical Research Council and Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, 2004. ("Australian Drinking Water Guidelines"; no. 6). (NHMRC 2004]. Web site: www .nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/eh 19syn. htm

feature articles

GJ refereed

water quality


FACTORS AFFECTING NDMA FORMATION IN TREATED DRINKING WATER J Morran, N Slyman, G Newcombe Abstract Chloramination can result in production of the compound N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) as a by-product. NOMA is known to produce cancer in animal studies, and is classified as a probable human carcinogen (Group 2A) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, 1978). A study of the NOMA formation potential (NOMAFP) at five treatment plants using conventional coagulation and filtration found NOMAFP was generally higher after treatment. This suggests NOMA precursors are added during the treatment process, or compounds that may hinder the formation are removed and/or that the conditions (e.g. pH) after treatment are more conducive to NOMA formation. There was significant variation in NOMAFP in raw and treated waters with no clear correlation to conventional water quality or operational parameters. Laboratory studies identified factors that strongly influence NOMA levels such as the dose of polyOAOMAC used, pH, detention time, sludge supernatant return and order of addition of ammonia and chlorine. However, at the full scale none of these factors alone appeared to be controlling the NOMA levels in the distribution system. The formation of NOMA is a complex reaction impacted by a range of water chemistry conditions, and as result the effect of each of the factors mentioned above cannot be predicted at full scale. In order to identify the

water Future Features JUNE - Pumping & pipelines, industrial waste AUGUST - Disinfection, asset failures, project delivery SEPTEMBER ¡ Wastewater treatment, SCADA, consultation NOVEMBER ¡ Odour, disinfection

Michael Flynn Award sponsored by Ecowise Environmental - BEST PRESENTATION The Michael Flynn Award sponsored by Ecowise Environmental is presented at each Ozwater for the Best Poster presentation and Best Platform Presentation during the conference and exhibition and aims to encourage a high level of contribution from poster and paper presenters. Presentations are judged on their relevance to the conference themes, technical content, innovation and uniqueness, audience connection and engagement, and relevance to the water industry. The 2009 Michael Flynn Award sponsored by Ecowise Environmental for Best Platform Presentation was awarded to Jim Morran for his presentation on Factors Affecting NOMA Formation. (The Award for Best Poster was awarded to Michelle Collins-Roe on Rainwater Tank Models. Her paper will be published in our June issue).

61~ 1-' IA

The 2009 Michael Flynn Award is sponsored by:

controlling factors each parameter must be varied individually, and the impact measured through NOMA levels in the distribution system. A further study is planned in a full scale plant trial of factors influencing NOMAFP.

Introduction Formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) during water treatment was first reported in the early 1990s (Jobb et al., 1992). More recent work has confirmed that dimethylamine reacts with monochloramine to form NOMA via an intermediate (Choi and Valentine, 2002). NOMA can also be formed from the reaction of dimethylamine, dichloramine and dissolved oxygen (Schreiber and Mitch, 2006). However, dimethylamine does not appear to be the sole, or even major, precursor of NOMA in chloraminated systems and other nitrogen-containing compounds must therefore be involved (Gerecke and Sedlak, 2003). NOMA formation is pH dependent and at pH 8.5 may be 2 - 5 times higher than that at pH 6.5; NOMA formation is slow and is still increasing after 20 days when a chloramine residual is maintained (Mitch et a/., 2003a). Hence NOMA concentrations would be expected to increase with longer detention time in water distribution systems.

Ecowise Environmental

Cationic flocculant polymers such as poly diallyldimethylammonium chloride (polyOAOMAC) can also contribute precursors wh ich form NOMA on chloramination (Wilczak et al., 2003). Anion exchange resins used for removal of nitrite can also contribute NOMA to drinking water but chlorination/ chloram ination is not involved (Najm and Trussell, 2001). Several papers have reported concentrations in US (e.g. COHS, 2002; Barrett et al., 2003; Valentine et al., 2005) and Canadian (Andrews and Taguchi, 2000; Charrois et al. , 2004) drinking water supplies. Conventional treatment, without cationic polymer flocculants such as polyOAOMAC, followed by ch loramination leads, in most cases, to the formation of low levels of NOMA (<10 ng/L). However, occasionally higher levels are formed which suggests that, at times, precursor levels can be unusually high. A concentration of 180 ng/L has been reported from one system but this appears an exception; more typically concentrations of 20 - 40 ng/L might be considered high. When cationic polymer flocculants are used, these may

The formation of NDMA is a complex reaction. water MAY 2009 57


water quality contribute the major proportion of the NOMA formed. No Australian drinking water guidelines for NOMA have yet been set. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently promulgated a guideline of 100 ng/L. The Australian National Recycling Guidelines for Augmenting Drinking Water Supplies stipulate a value of 10 ng/ L. Not all chloraminated systems produce NOMA, but in South Australia several supplies drawn from the River Murray, which employ conventional treatment followed by chloramination for disinfection, have shown evidence of NOMA formation during a year-long monitoring program. The results indicated that NOMA formation is different for each River Murray location. This may be due to variation in water quality and/or detention times. Formation may also involve the coagulant aid, polyDADMAC , which is used to varying degrees in River Murray water filtration plants. The results also indicate that there may be a seasonal variation in NOMA formation. This could be due to the seasonal variations in water use leading to changes in detentions times, variations in water quality leading to changes in treatment practices, or other, unknown, factors. Some preliminary laboratory work on the NOMA formation potential (NDMAFP) of River Murray water, pre- and posttreatment, has also been carried out at the various treatment plants. The formation potential test involves ch loramination of water samples with high levels of monochloramine under controlled conditions of pH, monochloramine dose, reaction time and temperature. The test indicates the potential of waters to form NOMA, and is a relative measure of NOMA precursors. These results agree well with the monitoring results indicating that some supplies have a greater potential to form NOMA. The most interesting feature of the NDMAFP results is that the formation potential is generally higher after treatment. This suggests that precursors to NOMA formation are added during the treatment process, that compounds that may hinder the formation are removed and/or that the conditions (e.g. pH) after treatment are more conducive to NOMA formation. Most plants use polyDADMAC during the coagulation/ flocculation phase of treatment and it is known that this polymer can contribute to NOMA formation, especially if filter backwash water or sludge supernatant is recycled to the head of the plant. Thus NOMA levels formed in these supplies may

58 MAY 2009 water


refereed pape r

300 250

Water Raw Filtered Supernatant

200 -;-...J

Cl C:

< :E



~ 100

50 0

Water Treatment Plants




200 -;-...J Cl C:

< ::E C






Water Treatment Plants

Figure 1. NDMAFP of raw, filtered and sludge lagoon supernatant water samples from five River Murray plants and Myponga Reservoir, Samples taken in a) April and b) June. depend on a range of operating conditions in t he plants at the time samples were collected. Th is paper describes the variation in both natural NOMA precursor levels found in the raw water and the formation potential of the water after treatment for several of the River Murray treatment plants, and identifies a number of operational parameters that may affect the formation of NOMA at the full scale.

Experimental Water samples Experiments were conducted with raw, filtered and drying lagoon sludge supernatant water drawn from plants along the River Murray. All plants employ conventional treatment with flocculation, coagulation, sedimentation and filtration. For ease of data interpretation the locations were designated site A, B, C, D and E with site A furthest upstream and site E furthest downstream. Myponga

Reservoir was chosen as a control as it is an isolated catchment with no input from the River Murray. Samples were collected in April, June and July 2008 and stored at 4°C until processed. Total dissolved solids (TDS), boron, bromide, total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), and conductivity measurements were determined according to methods of the Australian Water Quality Centre, Bolivar, SA. True colour was measured with a UV1201 spectrophotometer (Shimadzu) by comparing sample absorbance with the absorbance of a platinum/cobalt standard of 50 Hazen units (HU) at 456 nm (50 mm path length). The UV absorbance was measured with a UVNIS 918 spectrophotometer (GBC Scientific) at 254 nm using 1 cm quartz cell. The concentration of dissolved organic carbon was measured with a laboratory total organic carbon analyser (SIEVERS 900). Prior to analysis, samples were filtered though 0.45 ¾m cellulose nitrate membrane filters.

technical features

water quality

~ r e f e r ee d p a per

NOMA formation potential Ammonium chloride was dissolved in Milli-Q® and p H adjusted to 8.5 with sodi um hydroxide solution. While stirring vigorously, sodi um hypochlorite was added slowly at CI/ N weight rat io 4:1. The solution was stored in amber glass bottles at 4°C. Monochloramine concentrat ion was determined using (DPD-FAS) t itration. Borate buffer of 0.5 M was prepared with sodium tetraborate decahydrate and boric acid for pH value of 8.5. 20 m l of 0.5 M borate buffer and 100 ml 10 mM monochloramine (equivalent of 60 mg/l ) were added to 880 ml of the test water sample. After 7 days reaction at room temperature, the pH and monochloramine resid ual was recorded and samples ext racted for NOMA analysis by GCMS.

Results and Discussion

Table 1. Raw water quality. Date


The general trend was for NDMAFP to increase downstream but there was no clear correlation between any one raw wat er paramet er and NDMAFP except for












0. 055





Myponga June 2008

Boron mg/L







<0.04 <0.04

















































11 .1







27 240





<0.04 O.Q74

Table 2. Operational data. Alum mg/L

polyDADMAC mg/L

Supernatant %


























April 2008

June 2008

























a weak correlation (R2 = 0.60) to total dissolved salts (TDS). It is possible t his reflects increased inputs of NOMA precursors as the river proceeds downstream; however, it is not possi ble to d raw firm conclusions regardi ng this trend from o ne data set. Myponga raw water showed relatively high NDMAFP values compared with the majority of t he

River Murray samples. There was no correlation between NDMAFP and any general measure of organic carbon by either dissolved organic carbon (DOC) or UV absorbance (UVabs). Preliminary work suggested an increase in NDMAFP d uring conventional coagulation/filtrat ion treatment. In the


a Raw

• Settled


a Fltered

a Settled


o Settled - lab fi ltered


B Filtered - plant fi ltered




C 250





~ 200






Bromide mg/L



TDS mg/L


• Raw




450 ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ 400



plant samples

Water quality data show an increase in total dissolved salts (TDS) and brom ide down the river, reflecting the increased salinity. Boron was used as a surrogate parameter for detecting any intrusion of waste water, which can contai n high levels of NOMA precursors. The highest levels were detected at sites D and E.

UVabs 254nm


NOMA formation potential testing of Sampling of raw and filtered water and sludge lagoon supernatant for NDMAFP testing was undertaken in April and June 2008. The results are shown in Figure 1. Water q uality analysis data and plant operational data for these samples are reported in Tables 1 and 2 respectively.

DOC mg/L


z 30

150 100 - 1 - -- - ----1







Water Treame nt Plant

Figure 2. NDMAFP at sites B and E July 2008.

0 Plant C

Figure 3. NDMAFP at site C July 2008.

water MAY 2009 59

~ refereed paper

water quality 10 ~ - - - - - - 60



70 - , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,

-+- Control 0.1 mg/\. polyOADMAC

60 -

...... o.5 mg/\. polyOADMAC

40 + - - - - - - - - - -~

,:! 50

- - - - - -- - - ,

1~+-- - ---------,,,_-- - - - ---=-------1 20

!--- - - --,AC-~~~:::::~'.:::::~_ _j



~ Z

40 30 20 10

0 +---~-----~--~--~---.. 0. 1 ~ aeetlon Tlm •


2 polyOADMAC mg/L

j day1)

Figure 4. Impact of polyDADMAC in plant B filtered water on NDMAFP.

Figure 5. Impact of polyDADMAC concentration on NDMAFP (plant B raw water) .

current study filtered water, prior to disinfection, was sampled at the same time as raw water and was also analysed for NOMAFP. In the majority of samples from the River Murray plants there was an increase in NOMAFP after treatment while the Myponga samples showed little difference in NOMAFP. The Myponga plant uses a OAFF process with high alum dosing and no polyOAOMAC dosing whereas the other plants employ sedimentation and lower doses of alum with corresponding higher doses of polyOAOMAC. However, there was no correlation betw een c oagulant doses and NOMAFP. The high result for Plant E raw water in June is inconsistent with the other data and suggests a possible sampling, experimental or analytical error.

trends in NOMAFP increase during treatment, no specific factors controlling NOMA formation could readily be isolated or co nfirmed. Laboratory simulation of some aspects of the treatment process was carried out to attempt to identify the extent of the cont ributions by specific factors.

Another source of NOMA precursors is the supernatant from the sludge drying lagoons that at certai n t imes is returned to the head of the p lant. The backwash water and sludge entering the lagoons is typically treated with polyOAOMAC to improve sedimentation and the returned supernatant could contain high levels as a result. Comparison of t he amount of supernatant being returned at the t ime of sampl ing {Table 2) shows no correlation wit h NOMAFP. However, the potential for the supernatant increasing the NOMAFP in the feed water is clear from the results displayed in Figure 1, with high levels measured at p lants B and E. No polymer is added to the sludge at Myponga. Specific sites were selected for further investigation of NOMAFP changes throughout the treatment process. In the results shown in Figure 2 the NOMAFP changes through the treatment train show different trends for the two plants. For plant B each step of the treatment process reduces the NOMAFP while plant E shows evidenc e of NOMA precursors arising due to sand filtration. Whether this is due to NOMA precursor material arising from the filter or some inhibitory factors being removed or an as yet unidentified factor involving the filter is not clear. The outcome of testing throughout the treatment t rain at plant C is reported in Figure 3 where on th is occasion coagulation increased the NOMAFP of the raw water. A sample of settled water was also filtered in the laboratory through Whatman No.1 paper to simulate plant filtration. The laboratory simulation showed little change in NOMAFP after filtration whereas the plant sand filtration caused a significant increase in NOMAFP. This reflects t he earlier observations that the filters are contributing to NOMAFP thus the filtration st age cou ld be a factor in generating increased NOMAFP in the treated water.

PolyOAOMAC is a known NOMA precursor and when employed as a primary coagulant or coagulant aid overdosing may result in polymer carry-over into t he treated water, adding to the NOMAFP of the water. Plant B filtered water was spiked with 0.1 or 0.5 mg/L polyOAOMAC and NOMA formation was fol lowed over 14 days. The results (Figure 4) indicate low doses around 0.1 mg/L of polymer do not increase the NOMAFP however once the level is increased to 0.5 there is a large increase. The impact of polyOAOMAC was initially assessed at low doses wh ich are typical of polymer use as a coag ulant aid. Additional tests were undertaken at higher doses to reflect those in use at the River Murray plants at the time of sampling {Table 2). Raw water from plant B was spiked with polyOAOMAC and after settling, samples were analysed for NOMAFP after 7 days reaction with resu lts reported in Figure 4. The raw water NOMAFP level was 20 ng/L, in the same range as previous results. NOMAFP levels increased significantly at polyOAOMAC doses of 1 mg/Lor greater. Table 2 indicates doses of 2.4 - 2.8 mg/L in use which from the results below (Figure 4) could result in a large increase in NOMAFP in t he treated water. There was no correlat ion between NOMAFP and ployOAOMAC doses observed in the full scale data, probably due to t he relatively low differences between the doses used at the plants, and the additional impact of ot her water quality and operational factors. Another pot ential source of NOMAFP input is supernatant from the sludge drying lagoons which is returned to the head of the plant. The amount of supernatant in the feed water can be as much as 10 - 15 % of the total flow. Raw water from plant E with/without 10% supernatant was tested for NOMAFP after

50 _, 40 C, C

~ 30 0

z 20 10

Specific sources of NDMAFP While the broad approach taken in the fi rst part of this study, which looked at the whole of the treatment process, did identify 60 MAY 2009


Raw - E

Raw +s/n-E

Raw - B

Raw +s/n-B

Figure 6. Impact of supernatant on NDMAFP.

technical features

water quality

[ ] refere e d paper

coagulation. As a further comparison two coagulation dosing strategies were used; the first employing plant E conditions of 20 mg/ L alum plus 2.4 mg/ L polyDADMAC (Raw- E) and t he second employing plant B conditio ns of 25 mg/ L alu m plus 0.3 mg/ L polyDADMAC (RawB). In both instanc es t he addition 10% supernatant res ulted in an increase of NDMAFP of < 10 ng/ L, a smaller increase t han would have been expected for the addit ion of the supernatant. This result also illustrates t he complexity of NOMA format ion chemistry and the difficulties associated with the prediction of NOMA formation in different systems.

Conclusion This study of six water treatment p lants, five with River Murray water as source water, has led to t he follow ing conclusions: • There was a sig nificant variation in NDMAFP in the raw waters with no clear correlation to conventional water quality parameters or operating conditions. • A weak correlation between NDMAFP and sali nity was evident however th is was more likely a result of t he salinity increase reflecting additional inputs into the river as it proceeded downstream • NDMAFP levels varied considerably through the conventional f locculat ion/coagulation/ filtration t reatment process both between plants fed with similar water and within t he same plant at d ifferent times. • There was no obvious relationship between polyDA DMAC doses and NDMAFP • The filters appeared to be a sou rce of NDMAFP but again t here was

considerable variation observed between and within each plant. • Polymers used to enhance sludge thickening could contri bute to NDMAFP t hrough the practice of recycling supernatant from sludge drying lagoons however the increase in NDMAFP observed was much lower than expected from NDMAFP measurement of the neat supernatants. The formation of NOMA is a complex reaction impacted by a range of water chemistry conditions, and as result t he effect of each of the factors mentioned above cannot be predicted at full scale. In order to identify t he controlling factors each parameter must be varied individually, and t he impact measured through NOMA levels in the distribution system. A further study is planned in a fu ll scale plant t rial of factors influencing NDMAFP.

Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank: • United Water, United Utilities and SA Water Morgan WTP person nel for their assistance in this project

References Andrews, S. A. and Taguchi, V. Y. (2000). NOMA - Canadian issues. Proc. AWWA Water Oual. Technol. Conf., Salt Lake City, Utah, CD ROM . Barrett, S., Hwang, C., Guo, Y., Andrews, S. A. and Valentine, R. (2003). Occurrence of NOMA in drinking water: A N orth American survey, 2001 - 200 2. Proc. AWWA Ann. Conf., Anaheim, California, CD ROM CDHS (2002). Studies on the occurrence of NOMA in drinking water. California Department of Health Services. www.dhs.ca.gov/ps/ddwem/chemicals/ NDMNstudies.htm. Charrois, J. W. A., Arend, M. W. Froese, K. L. and Hrudey S. E. (2004). Detecting Nnitrosamines in drinking water at nanogram per liter levels using ammonia positive chemical ionization . Environ. Sci. Technol., 38: 4835-4841. Choi, J. H. and Valentine, R. L. (2002). Formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) from reaction of monochloramine: a new disinfection by-product. Water Res. , 36: 817-824

• Todd Lowe and Edith Kozl ik from t he Water Treatment Unit, AWQC, for their assistance wit h analysis and sample collection

Gerecke, A. C. and Sedlak, D. L . (2003). Precursors of N-nitrosodimethylamine in natural waters. Environ. Sci. Technol., 37 : 1331-1336.

The Authors

IARC (1978), Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans. Vol. 17. Some N-nitroso Compounds. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer, pp. 125-175.

Jim Morran is Senior Research Scientist in Water Treat ment, Najwa Slyman is a Research Officer and Dr Gayle Newcombe is Research Leader of the Appl ied Chem istry, Australian Water

ADDENDA TO HAYWARDS BAY PAPER A paper titled 'Haywards Bay Const ructed Wetlands' was published in the March issue of t he Water J ournal. This paper overviewed the features of project t hat led to it receiving a Nat ional Award for Excellence in Surface Water and/or Groundwater at t he 2008 Stormwater Industry Awards held in Brisbane in November 2008. The successful formulation and imp lementation of the project was a result of the efforts of a number of current and former staff of Cardno Forbes Rigby over a number of years. These included: Chris McEvoy, Dr

Quality Centre. Corresponding author Jim.Morran@sawater.com.au

Stephen Short, Mark Favetta, Anthony Barthelmess, Steve Roso, Mathew Carden, Toni Stevens and Dr Nagindar Singh amongst others. For interested readers further details o n technical aspects of the project can be obtained from a paper on the project that will be presented by Paul Nichols, Dr St ephen Short and Mark Favetta at the AWA co-sponsored 6th International Water Sensitive Urban Design Conference held in Perth from 5 May to 9 May 2009.

P Nichols

Jobb, D. B., Hunsinger, R. B., Meresz, 0. and Taguchi, V. Y. (1992). A study of the occurrence and inhibition of formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) in the Ohsweken water supply. Proc. AWWA Water Qual. Technol. Conf., Toronto, Ontario: 103-132. Mitch, W. A., Gerecke, A. C. and Sedlak, D. L. (2003a). A N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) precursor analysis for chlorination of water and wastewater. Water Res., 37: 3733-3741. Najm, I. and Trussell, R.R. (2001). NOMA formation in water and wastewater. J. Am. Water Works Assoc. , 93(2): 92-99 Schreiber, I. M. and Mitch, W. A. (2006). Nitrosamine formation pathway revisited: The importance of chloramine speciation and dissolved oxygen. Environ. Sci. Technol., 40: 6007-6014 Valentine, R. L., Choi, J., Chen, Z., Barret, S.E. Hwang, C., Guo, Y., Wehner, M., Fitzsimmons, S., Andrews, S. A. , Werker, A. G. , Brubacher, C. and Kohut, K. (2005), Factors Affecting the Formation of NOMA in Water and Occurrence, AwwaRF, WERF, Denver, Colorado.

water MAY 2009 61

water quality


refereed paper

NDMA - AN UPDATE ON ISSUES G Newcombe, J Morran, N Slyman Abstract A previous article published in Water in 2006 described the health effects, formation, occurrence, removal, analytical techniques and existing guidelines for the relatively-recently identified disinfection by-product n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) (Nicholson 2006). In the current issue of Water, the winner of the Michael Flynn award for best paper at this year's Ozwater Conference is published. It is entitled "Factors affecting NDMA formation in treated drinking water" (Morran et al., 2009), and describes the identification of operational parameters that may be controlling the production of NDMA in several South Australian distribution systems. This article is an introduction to the Michael Flynn award win ning paper, and gives an update of the information on NDMA that has come to light since the previous review article (Nicholson 2006). Here we once again introduce the compound, and answer some questions members of the water industry in Australia might have regarding the formation, occurrence, existing and proposed guidelines and mitigation strategies that wat er utilities may consider for their drinking water or wastewater treatment plants.

Introduction N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) is a nitrogen -contain ing organic compound that has known carcinogenic properties (IARC, 1978). As a by-product of a range of industrial processes and a degradation product of dimethylhydrazine, an additive to rocket fuel, it has been a health concern for several industries (WHO, 2008). NDMA can also be formed in sewage treatment facilities from organic amine compounds in the presence of nitrat es and nitrites (ATSDR, 1989). However, it has only c ome to the attention of the international water industry since it was recognised as a by -product of disinfection of wastewater and drinking water (Jobb et al., 1992). It has also been identified as a c ontaminant

The formation, occurrence, guidelines and mitigation strategies. 62 MAY 2009 water

Table 1. Risk levels, notification levels and response levels for 8 nitrosamines, Californian Department of Public Health website, (http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/drinkingwater/Pages/NotificationLevels.aspx). 10-6 Risk Level (ng/L)

Notification Level (ng/L)

Response Level (ng/L)

N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA)




N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)




N-Nitrosodi-n-propylamine (NDPA)





N-Nitrosodi-n-butylamine (NDBA)


N-Nitrosomethylethylamine (NMEA)


N-Nitrosomorpholine (NM0R)


N-Nitrosopiperidine (NPIP)


N-Nitrosopyrrolidine (NYPR)


in water treated with ion exchange resins, even in the absence of a disinfectant (Kemper et al., 2009). Although most interest has focussed on NDMA, there is a range of nitrosamines that are formed through similar mechanisms, most of which are also considered probable human carcinogens, with several identified as potentially more potent carcinogens than NDMA. Table 1 shows eight of the most commonly occurring nitrosamines and the concentration of the compound that, given a lifetime of consumption, would resu lt in one additional cancer in a population of 1 million people (Californian Department of Human Health data, http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/ drinkingwater/Pages/Notificationlevels. aspx). It is possible that in future these nitrosamines will also be identified as important drinking water contaminant s, with "total nitrosamines" being the regu lated or guideline parameter, as total trihalomethanes are considered today.

How do nitrosamines contaminate drinking water? There are two pathways for NDMA or other nitrosamines to contaminate drinking wat er:

1. They may be present in the source water and not removed during treatment 2. They may be added or formed during the drinking water treatment process As mentioned in the introduction , nitrosamines can be formed in wastewater by biological and chemical reactions, and so may enter the water source upstream from a drinking water treatment plant intake. Similarly NDMA

can reach the water source through runoff from agriculture, as some pesticides are contaminated by the compound, or through industrial waste disposal to wat er ways. Historically, NDMA has been used in rubber formu lations, as a fire retardant, antioxidant, additive for lubricants and softener of copolymers (WHO 2008). During treatment NDMA may be introduced into drinking water from tertiary amine anion exchange resins contaminated with the compound . However, generally nitrosamines are formed by the reaction of chloramines with organic nitrogen compounds , particularly those containing amine groups, present in water and wastewater. An important precursor of NOMA is thought to be dimethylamine (OMA) (Choi and Valentine, 2002; Schreiber and Mitch 2006a). Other precursors that have been identified include the herbicide diuron and natural organic material containing nitrogen functional groups (Chen and Young 2008; Gerecke and Sedlak 2003). As OMA is known to be formed during wastewater treatment processes, NOMA in drinking water has been associated with input from wastewater treatment plants upstream of the source (Schreiber and Mitch 2006b). A number of researchers have identified cationic water treatment polymers as significant precursors to these OBPs, with polyOAOMAC being the most widely used and therefore an important precursor in water treatment (Wilczak et al. , 2003). This effect has been attributed to the formation of OMA during degradation of these polymers (Park et al. , 2009). Some researchers maintain that the species of chloramine that is most important in the

technical features

formation of NOMA is dichloramine (Schreiber and Mitch 2006a), therefore the pH and the order of addition of chlorine and ammonia are important parameters (Portillo et al., 2008). Nitrosamines can also be formed in chlorinated waters and wastewater where the ammonia levels are high enough to produce dichloramine. NOMA has also been shown to be formed on ozonation of water containing OMA (Andrzejewskia et al., 2008). Another factor that is very important in controlling the level of NOMA in the distribution system is the reaction time between the precursor compounds and the disinfectant. Many studies have shown a continuous slow increase in the concentration of NOMA with time in the presence of a monochloramine residual (Charrois et al., 2004; Mitch et al., 2003). As a result it can be expected that NOMA concentrations will be higher the further the samples are taken in the distribution syst em, and will be higher at a particular sampling point if the detention time has increased, for example in winter during low flows. Two operational parameters that have been shown to affect NOMA formation are pH and order of addition of ammonia and chlorine. Several studies have shown that the maximum NOMA concentration can be expected in the pH range 6 to 8 (Mitch and Sedlak 2002). Above and below this range the formation decreases dramatically. This could be due to the combined effect of pH on dichloramine speciation and reactivity of the amine groups on the precursor materials. The results of the research undertaken on the effect of the order of addition of chlorine and ammonia have not been entirely in agreement (Portillo et al., 2008; Schreiber and Mitch 2005; Pehlivanog lu-Mantas and Sedlak 2006). However, the majority of the work suggests that the application of chlori ne prior to ammonia reduces NOMA formation significantly. Although the individual factors that can influence the production of these DBPs have been identified and studied extensively, the impact of individual parameters, and the synergy between them is not well understood at the fu ll scale. Probably the main reason for this is the extremely low concentrations that are of concern for these potent carcinogens. Very small changes in the operational parameters or precursor concentrations could have a significant effect on the concentration of nitrosamines. For example cationic polymers, known precursors of NOMA, are dosed in milligram levels while NOMA is measured in nanograms per litre, essentially one millionth of the concentration in terms of weight.

What are the typical values found in drinking and recycled water? NOMA is by far the most extensively studied of the nitrosamines to date, and most of the published data reflects this. In the UK the Drinking Water Inspectorate recently initiated a survey of 43 drinking water supplies with the aim of identifying the extent of any issues with NOMA. Less than 10% of the samples contai ned NOMA, and the levels were less than 10 ng/L (http://www .dwi.gov. uk/research). Other, more extensive surveys have been undertaken in Japan, Canada and the USA, with very few samples showing levels higher than 10 ng/ L. Occasional samples in a range of published surveys show elevated levels of between 50 and 160 ng/ L (Swaim et al., 2008; Zhao et al. , 2008; Charrois et al. , 2004). NOMA was found in some ch lorinated samples,


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water quality but in general levels were higher after chloramination. Overall, published data from around the world indicates levels are seldom higher than 10 ng/L in chloraminated water supplies. In one of the few published studies on levels of other nitrosamines, Zhou et al., 2006) analysed samples within a distribution system of a treatment plant using chloram ination and UV for disinfection. Of the nine nitrosamines analysed the four detected were NDMA, N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPyr), N-nitrosopiperidine (NPip), and N-nitrosodiphenylamine (NDPhA). The levels increased with increasing distance from the plant, with the highest concentrations of NDMA and NPip found to be 108 and 117 ng/L respectively. In Australia there is limited data regarding NDMA in drinking and recycled waters. The South Australian Water Corporation is the on ly water authority in Australia that has a routine monitoring program for NDMA in chloraminated systems. Over the past three years four distribution systems have been monitored on a monthly basis. While generally very low levels have been


re f e re e d p a p e r

Recycl ing (AGWR Phase 2, 2008) includes a guideline of 10 ng/L for NDMA, using methods similar to WHO, but with a risk of one additional cancer in a population of 1,000,000. This value is only applicable to recycled water destined for augmentation of drinking wat er supplies.

found, it is clear that the levels in the distribution system vary considerably with time, indicating a seasonal influence. As a result, it is important that survey or monitoring protocols include multiple sampling at various times of the year. In the systems studied the maximum NDMA concentration found was 54 ng/L.

What guideline values are we expected to achieve? The current Australian Drinking Water Guidelines do not have a value for NDMA, although the reference group responsible for disinfection by-products in the roll ing review of the Guidelines is currently developing a potential Australian value. The World Health Organisation has a guideline value for NDMA of 100 ng/L in drinking water. This was derived using animal toxicity data, various conversion factors, including average individual daily consumption of water and weig ht, and is based on the probability of one additional cancer case in a population of 100,000. There are no plans at present to develop a guideline for the other nitrosamines. Interestingly, the Austral ian Guidelines for Water

New Zealand's Drinking Water Standards document, published in 2005 and revised in 2008, does not have a maximum acceptable value (MAV) for NDMA. Similarly Japan's wat er quality standards do not include NDMA or other nitrosamines. The European Union is yet to set a standard for NDMA in the Water Framework Directive. The European Commission is currently preparing a revised framework based on the WHO principle of water safety plans and is considering a value of 100 ng/L with a target value of 10. Similarly, the USAEPA does not have a current st andard for NDMA, but the most recent draft of the candidate contaminants list (CCL3) contains several nitrosamines, including NDMA, (N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), N-n itroso-d i-n-propylamine (N DPA),

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GJ refe reed paper N-Nitrosodiphenylamine and Nnitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR)) (http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW/ cc1/ccl3. html#chemical). In 2006 the Department of Health (CDPH) in the stat e of California request ed a public health goal value (PHG) for NOMA from the Californian Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. The PHG was set at 3 ng/ L and the Department of Health then developed a series of responses expected of water authorities based on the concentrations of three of the nitrosamines. These are given in Table 1. When chemicals are found at concentrations greater than their notification levels, certain req uirements and recommendations apply. The response level is the concentration at which the CDPH recommends removal of a drinking water source from service. The response level concentrations correspond to a 1o-4 risk level. It is interesting that the value considered 1 in 1,000,000 risk level for NOMA is different from that used by WHO and in the AGWR Phase 2. In late 2008 the United Kingdom Drinking Wat er Inspectorate issued guidance information about NOMA to water service suppliers in England and Wales on their website (http://www.dwi.gov.uk/guidance/index. shtm). Similar to the Californian Department of Health, they suggest a tiered approach to management of NOMA in drinking wat er involving actions to be undertaken at various NOMA concentrations:

water quality (Schmidt et al. , 2006; Swaim et al. , 2008; Lee et al., 2005). However, in most cases these compounds will be formed during disinfection and in the distribution system, so it is beneficial to apply operational strategies in t he treatment process that will minimise the formation . Based on published information some general strategies can be applied with the result dependent on the specific water quality and processes used at each individual treatment plant. Some of the strategies that are suggested by current research to reduce nitrosamine formation include: • Sludge supernatant return minimised • Application of activated carbon at some point in the process prior t o disinfection to reduce any chemical contaminants from wastewater and industrial or agricultural run-off that could c ontribute t o the precursor levels • Polymer dose and type should be optimised to minimise formation. Where possible, the polymer dose c ould be reduced , with compensation by inorganic coagu lants to ensure appropriate water quality • Maximum removal of potential precursors by optimisation of organics removal by coagulation • pH adjustment to a range that minimises NOMA formation • chlorine addition prior to ammonia during disinfection.

1. NOMA > 1 ng/ L - inform local health professionals, continue monitoring, identify mitigation strategies

Of course any or all of these strategies should on ly be applied if there is no consequent compromising of water quality.

All Weather

Corrosion Resistant

2. NOMA >10 ng/ L - implement strategies to reduce concentrations to < 10 ng/ L

WQRA project on NOMA and othe r nitrosamines in drinking and recycled water

Replaceable Refrigeration

3. NOMA >200 ng/L - consult with health professionals and reduce consumer exposure within days

Temperature Logging

NOMA and other nitrosamines are a relatively new issue for the Australian water industry, and one of the major barriers to the assessment of the importance of the issue is the lack of reliable data from a range of water and wastewater treatment plants. The research organisation Water Quality Research Australia, together with the Australian Water Quality Centre in Adelaide and the Water Quality Research Centre, Curtin University, Perth, is in the process of developing two projects aimed at assessing the occurrence of a range of nitrosamines in Australian water supplies, and identifying the parameters that are the most important for formation of these compou nds. The ultimate aim of

Digital 1/0 for Alarms

No guideline value for NOMA has been issued by the Canadian government; however a technical guidance document is in preparation. The province of Ontario has an interim standard for NOMA of 9 ng/L.

How do we minimise the occurrence of NDMA and other nitrosamines in recycled and drinking water? Many studies have focussed on the removal of NOMA after it has formed. Processes that have been shown t o be effective include advanced oxidation, ultraviolet light and slow sand filtration

• Time or Flow Pacing •

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water quality the project is to work w ith the Australian water industry to m inimise the formation of nitrosamines. If you are interested in more information o n t hese projects p lease contact Gayle Newcombe at gayle.newcombe@sawater.com.au

Conclusions The nitrosamines are a group of organic, nitrogen-containing compounds, most of wh ich cause cancer in laboratory an imals and are thus considered probable human carcinogens. Recently they have become of concern to water authorities as they have been identified in a range of drinking waters and recycled waters worldwide. T he format ion o f the nitrosamine group of contaminants is influenced by a complex range of physical and chemical parameters and the probable precursors of the compounds can be found in natural source waters, as well as those impacted by industrial, agricultural and sewage treatment efflu ents. Many of these impacted waters are now being viewed as alternative water sources and it is likely that, as more of these waters containing elevated precursor levels are employed in drinking water product ion, the occurrence of nitrosamines w il l become more widespread and techniques for minimising the formation, as well as removing t he compounds will become crucial for their utilisation.

The Author

Gayle Newcombe is Research Leader of the Applied Chemistry, Australian Water Quality Centre. Contact: gayle.newcombe@sawater.com.au. Jim Morran is Senior Research Scientist in Water Treatment and Najwa Slyman is a Research Officer, both also at the Aust ralian Water Quality Centre.

References AGWR Phase 2 (2008) Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Managing Health and Environmental Risks (Phase 2) Augmentation of Drinking Water Supplies. Andrzejewskia P, Kasprzyk-Horderna B and Nawrockia J (2008) Nnitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) formation during ozonation of dimethylaminecontaining waters. Water Research 42, 863 - 870. Asami M, Oya Mand Kosaka K (2009) A nationwide survey of NOMA in raw and drinking water in Japan. Science of the Total Environment 407(11 ), 3540-3545.

66 MAY 2009 water

refereed paper

ATSDR (1989) Toxicological profile for Nnitrosodimethylamine. Prepared by the Syracuse Research Corporation in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, DC, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 119 pp.

Pehlivanoglu-Mantas E and Sedlak DL (2006) The fate of wastewater-derived NOMA precursors in the aquatic environment. Water Research 40, 1287 1293.

Charrois JWA, Arend MW, Froese KL and Hrudey SE (2004) Detecting Nnitrosamines in drinking water at nanogram per liter levels using ammonia positive chemical ionization. Environ. Sci. Technol., 38(18):48354841.

Portillo M, Kinser K, Cassanova R, Lehman S, Jacangelo J (2008) Impact of sequential and preformed chloramine dosing on NOMA formation in repurified wastewater, Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Cincinnati, CD ROM.

Chen Wand Young T (2008) NOMA Formation during chlorination and chloramination of aqueous diuron solutions Environ. Sci. Technol., 42, 1072-1077.

Schreiber IM and Mitch WA (2005) Influence of the order of reagent addition on NOMA formation during chloramination. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39, 381 1-3818.

Choi JH and Valentine RL (2002) Formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) from reaction of monochloramine: a new disinfection byproduct. Water Res., 36, 817-824

Schreiber IM and Mitch WA (2006a) Nitrosamine formation pathway revisited , the importance of dichloramine and dissolved oxygen . Environ. Sci. Technol., 40, 6007-6014.

Gerecke AC and Sedlak DL (2003) Precursors of N- nitrosodimethylamine in natural waters. Environ. Sci. Technol. 37(7), 1331-1336.

Schreiber IM, and Mitch WA (2006b) Occurrence and fate of nitrosamines and nitrosamine precursors in wastewaterimpacted surface waters using boron as a conservative tracer Environ. Sci. Technol., 40 (10), 3203-3210.

IARC (1978) Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans. Vol. 17. Some N-nitroso Compounds. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer, pp. 125-175. Jobb DB, Hunsinger RB, Meresz O and Taguchi VY (1992). A study of the occurrence and inhibition of formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) in the Ohsweken water supply. Proc. AWWA Water Qua/. Technol. Cont., Toronto, Ontario: 103-132. Kemper J, Westerhoff P, Dotson A and Mitch W (2009) Nitrosamine, dimethylnitramine, and chloropicrin formation during strong base anionexchange treatment Environ. Sci. Technol. 43 (2), 466-472. Lee C, Choi Wand Yoon Y (2005) UV photolytic mechanism of nnitrosodimethylamine in water: roles of dissolved oxygen and solution pH. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39, 9702-9709. Mitch WA, Gerecke AC and Sedlak DL (2003). A N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) precursor analysis for chlorination of water and wastewater. Water Res ., 37, 3733-3741. Mitch and Sedlak DL (2002) Formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) from dimethylamine during chlorination. Environ. Sci. Technol. , 36, 588-595. Morran J, Slyman N and Newcombe G (2009) Factors affecting NOMA formation in treated drinking water. Water, (in press) Park S, Wei S, Mizaikoff B, Taylor AE, Favero C and Huang C-H (2009) Degradation of amine-based water

treatment polymers during chloramination as n-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) precursors. Environ. Sci. Technol., 43 (5), 1360-1366.

Schmidt C, Sacher F and Brauch H-J (2006) Strategies for minimising formation of NOMA and other nitrosamines during disinfection of drinking water. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Philidelphia, CD ROM. WHO (2008), N-Nitrosodimethylamine in Drinking-water, Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland (http://www. who .int/water _sanitation_health/gdwqrevision/ndma/ en/) Wilczak A, Assadi-Rad A, Lai HH, Hoover LL, Smith JF, Berger R, Rodigari F, Beland JW, Lazzelle LJ, Kinicannon EG, Baker H, and Heaney CT (2003) Formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NOMA) in chloraminated water coagulated with DADMAC cationic polymer. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 95(9), 94-107. Zhao Y, Boyd JM, Woodbeck M, Andrews R, Qin F, Hrudey SE and Li X-F (2008) Formation of n-nitrosamines from eleven disinfection treatments of seven different surface waters. Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (13), 4857-4862. Zhao Y, Boyd J, Hrudey SE and Li X-F (2006) Characterization of new nitrosamines in drinking water using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Environ. Sci. Technol. , 40 (24), 7636-7641.

technical features

water quality

BUNDAMBA ADVANCED WATER TREATMENT PLANT: WATER QUALITY K Davies Abstract The quality of purified recycled water produced by the Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant, part of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project in South East Queensland, has been confirmed by more than 8000 laboratory tests undertaken during one of the world's most rigorous water quality monitori ng programs.

Introduction After more than two and a half years, construction of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project - Australia's largest recycled water initiative and the largest water undertaking since the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme - was completed late last year. With the capacity to produce up to 232 megalitres of water a day, the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest in the world. It provides purified recycled water - a climate- and rainfall-resil ient source of pure water - to th ree power stations located in South East Queensland. In future, the Project will supply water to industry and , potentially, agricultural users, and shou ld the region's drinking water supplies fall below 40 per cent, to the Wivenhoe Dam. The project was conceived after South East Queensland endured its worst drought in 100 years from 2001 to 2008 - which saw dam levels falling to below 17 per cent, or just 17 months of water supply.

The Western Corridor Recycled Water Project is now owned by a Queensland Government statutory authority known as WaterSecure, which also owns the Gold Coast Desalination Plant. WaterSecure provides a safe and sustainable source of pure water for South East Queensland, and has the capacity to produce up to 365 megalitres of pure water each day. This is enough water for more than 1.8 million South East Queenslanders under existing Target 200 water restrictions.

health. The Project also provides significant environmental benefits by removing up to 50 per cent of nutrients that would previously have been released to waterways feeding environmentally sensitive Moreton Bay.

Island Advanced Water Treatment Plants, as these are still undergoing comm issioning and validation activities.

More than 8000 t ests undertaken in seven months during 2008 have demonstrat ed that the purified recycled water is meeting the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

The Interim Water Quality Report testing covered more than 400 parameters, making it one of the most comprehensive water quality monitoring programs ever undertaken in the world. Testing parameters included inorganic compounds, organic compou nds, disinfection by-products, hormones, herbicides and pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. The testing program was developed in accordance with the risk-based approach outlined in the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling. The testing methods used are able to detect chemicals present at nanograms per litre, or parts per trillion , which is equivalent to one drop in 20 Olympic swimming pools.

The Interim Water Quality Report does not include the Luggage Point or Gibson

The testing demonstrated that no exceedances of water quality standards

Water Quality The Bundamba Advanced Wat er Treatment Plant has now completed its comm issioning and validation tests and has performed consistently within expectations, as demonstrated in the Interim Water Quality Report (2009). This report is available at www.watersecure.com.au

The Project includes a network of more than 200 ki lometres of large-diameter underground pipes, three advanced water treatment plants, nine storage tanks and 12 pumping stations (Figure 1). The three advanced water treatment plants, located at Luggage Point, Gibson Island and Bundamba, are central to the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project's successful operation. The plants use world-class, multi-barrier treatment technologies, which provide the most stringent safeguards t o public

The Interim Water Quality Report just released.

Figure 1. Western Corridor Recycled Water Project route map.

water MAY 2009 67

water quality

Tarong Power Station

Barrier 6 Blending of purified recycled water into Wivenhoe Dam

occurred after the Bundamba Ad vanced Water Treatment Plant had been commissioned and operating normally. Contrary to concerns expressed in tabloid media, no hormones or viruses were detected at any stage of the testing. Testing outcomes have been endorsed by an independent advisory panel chaired by Professor Paul Greenfield AO, comprising global experts in the fields of eco-toxicology, environmental scienc e, public health, environmental microbiology, limnology and advanced water treatment. The panel stated the microfiltration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation barriers in the Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant were effective in controlling water quality hazards and reliably producing purified recycled water conformi ng to guidelines prescribed by Queensland Health and of a standard suitable for release into Wivenhoe Dam. In future, water quality testing will also provide a valuable source of knowledge to improve risk assessment and planning for other advanced water treatment plants. At this stage, the similar advanced water treatment plants at Luggage Point and Gibson Island are undergoing commissioning , validation and verification processes to ensure they are operating according to design specifications and consistently producing water that complies with water quality standards. WaterSecure is confident they will soon replicate Bundamba Advanced Water Treatme nt Plant's success. The Interim Water Quality Report vindicates the rigour of quality control processes undertaken at Bundamba. It also demonstrates the project is complyi ng with a range of other water quality safeguards. Water quality is further guaranteed by the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 - the legislation that protects public health. Al l water produced by the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project must meet strict water quality and health standards outlined within this new regulatory framework. Testing results will next be assessed by the Office of the Water Supply Regulator, as part of the Recycled Water Management Plan that is due to be completed by the Project later this year. It will: • identify the hazards and hazardous events that may affect the quality of purified recycled water • assess the risks posed by these hazards • demonstrate how the risks are proposed to be managed. A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is integral to this Recycled Water Management Plan. The Recycled Water Management Plan must be approved before purified recycled water can be added to the Wivenhoe Dam.

68 MAY 2009 water


Advanced w ater treatme nt plants: Bundamba, Luggage Point and Gibson Island


Barrier 2 Wastewater treatment plants - Oxley, Goodna, Bundamba, Wacol, Luggage Point and Gibson Island

Figure 2. Seven step barrier process.

Producing Purified Recycled Water The safety of South East Queensland 's water supply system is guaranteed by a comprehensive seven barrier process, including: 1) source control; 2) wastewater treatment plants; 3) microfiltration; 4) reverse osmosis; 5) advanced oxidation; 6) blending of purified recycled water into Wivenhoe Dam and 7) water treatment plants (Figure 2). The Western Corridor Recycled Water Project provides barriers 3, 4 and 5 of the seven step process. The Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant was the first such facility to be commissioned in Australia and has already provided more than 15 billion litres of purified recycled water to Swanbank and Tarong power stations. Following conventional biological treatment in the wastewater treatment plants the secondary treated wastewat er is further purified by coagu lation and flocculation, microfiltration, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation with UV and hydrogen peroxide, and stabi li sation with lime and carbon dioxide. These processes are illustrated and discussed below.

Coagulation/settling Suspended solids and soluble phosphorus are removed by two trains that have two flocculation stages and a plate settler. Each floccu lation basin provides a detention time of about 12 minutes at a peak flow rate of 150 MUd. Ferric chloride is used as coag ulant. Pre-disinfection occurs during flocculation, to prevent biofouling on microfi ltration and reverse osmosis membranes. Ammonia sulfate and sodium hypochlorite are also added, and react instantaneously to form chloramine. In the plate settler, phosphate precipitates are settled and removed as sludge. Each plate settler unit consists of eight plate pack rows and each row has three plate packs. The hydraulic loading is 0.60 m/h.

technical features

water quality I H2O2 ! [ Lime l l

& CO2

Bundamba WWTP


~ -~· r ~I "'~'; lJ;~""1 I

., ,_,.

~----"-~ -

Coagulation/ Flocculat,on




.........,.. ~

Stage 1A


-+ Stage 1B


Diagram 3. Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant treatment processes. Note: Phosphorus in Bundamba WWTP wastewater is removed to insignificant levels before it enters BAWTP, so did not req uire coagulation/flocculation during Stage 1A.

Micro-straining Two (duty/standby) 500 µm duplex self-c leaning basket strainers from Am iad Filtration remove t he majority of particulate matter and protect the downstream ult ra-filtrat ion membranes. Strainers are backwashed on a pre- set differential pressure.

Microfiltration Microfiltration is used as a pretreatment step to protect the reverse osmosis membranes. There are five microfiltration units, with each unit having a capacity of 8.8 MUday. The microfiltration membrane is manufactured by Siemens/Memcor. The average net flux for these units is 30.78 litres per square meter per hour. Real t ime monitoring procedures include pressure decay tests to determ ine integrity of t he microfiltration units and t urbidity testi ng of the filtrate to ensure particle removal.

Reverse osmosis The reverse osmosis process produces a high-q uality permeate. The RO membranes are 18 inch Koch MegaMagnum manufactured by Koch Membrane Systems, each weighing in at 113 kil ograms. The MegaMagn um spiral elements comprise over 90 leaf units. The 89mm core t ube serves as a centre backbone that the leaf units are wrapped around, and is also t he exit point for reverse osmosis permeate. Wat er pressure is around 450 psi within these membranes.

Real t ime monitoring procedures include conductivity testi ng on permeate to ensure removal of salts, and monitoring of the level of total organic carbon in t he permeate to ensure removal of organic compounds.

Pre-treatment~ ----''--Su..:.p_ernatant Gravity Thickener

! Denltrificatlon !-



~\ Gpo Brine

-~ I,.::c.....:Nitrification I

! sludge / Centrifuge -!ROCl I Dewatered ~ f sludge Truck



North Power Stations


Bundamba Advanced Wat er Treatm ent Plant is the world's largest commercial application of large diameter RO membranes. The RO process consists of f ive parallel treatment trains. Each train contai ns 13 pressure vessels, and each press u re vessel contains five memb rane elements. Permeate is produced at about an 85 per cent recovery rate. Conductivity of feed wat er is significantly different to permeate. Feedwater conduct ivity is 1200 to 1400 µs/cm and permeat e conductivity is about 50 µs/cm.

Pre-treatment Sludge


Stage 1A -

~-I~~n~ I-


Diagram 4. Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant waste treatment process schematic. UV advanced oxidation

UV advanced oxidation removes any remaining compounds from the permeate. Prior to entering t he UV unit, permeate is dosed with hydrogen peroxide. The UV unit consists of two trains, each containing two UV reactors with 72 high-intensity amalgam UV lamps, providing UV intensity in the range of 12- 15 mW/cm2 . The units are manufactured by Trojan Technologies. Real ti me monitoring procedu res include monitoring of the power ratio to ensure the UV system is providing sufficient treatment, and monitoring of t he hydrogen peroxide dose rate. Stabilisation and post-treatment Lime and carbon dioxide are added to the UV t reated permeate before it enters the fin ished water storage tank.

Waste Treatment Processes The Western Corridor Recycled Water Project's advanced water treatment plants are the first in the world to further treat byprod ucts of the water purification process to improve t he health of local waterways. The waste treatment process schematic is presented in Diagram 4.

Gravity thickener The gravity thickener, manufactured by Outotec Pty Ltd, receives settled sl udge from the pre-treatment basin. It adds polymers before send ing thickened sludge to a holding tank.


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wat er MAY 2009 69

water quality parallel and the third in series. Polyethylene discs within these basins provide surface area for bacteria to grow, and bacteria is fed with compressed air fed from the bottom of the basin. Ammon ia concentrations are monitored at the basin inlet and outlet.

Denitrification Denitrification converts nitrate to nitrogen gas. The denitrification unit includes four basins with sand filters. Methanol is injected to provide nutrients that allow denitrifying bacteria to grow. The concentration of nitrate at the inlet and outlet of the unit is monitored.

Centrifuge Two centrifuges, manufactured by Alfa Laval, produce dewatered sludge cake that is trucked off-site. At its current production rate, Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant is disposing an average of 14 tonnes of sl udge a day. At f ull capacity, this wou ld increase t o about 25 tonnes a day. Remaining centrate is pumped to a holding basin, mixed with reverse osmosis concentrate, and then sent to the nitrification and denitrification units for further treatment. Centrate is finally released to Brisbane River.

Nitrification The centrifuge centrate is combined with reverse osmosis concentrate and further treated by nitrification and denitrification units before being released into the Brisbane River. The nitrification system has three basins - the fi rst two in

MELBOURNE Peter Everist 03 9863 3535 peverist@wigroup.com.au

70 MAY 2009 water

SYDNEY Hugh McGinley 02 8904 7504 hmcginley@wigroup .com.au

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

As a result of the coagulation/settling and the nitrification and denitrification processes, total phosphorus and total nitrogen levels are reduced by about 50 per cent. In future, there is potential to remove up to 90 per cent of phosphorus. Phosphorus discharge limits agreed with the Environmental Protection Agency are 7mg/ L at Bundamba's release point to the Brisbane River. These limits are in line with the targets set by Healthy Waterways. This level of nitrogen and phosphorus reduction is not necessary to produce purified recycled water it is done solely for the environmental benefits it provides for local waterways , since it reduces the amount which would normally be discharged by the conventional biological treatment plants.

Conclusion The Western Corridor Recycled Water Project and the Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant's high performance have been validated by the Interim Water Quality

BRISBANE Graeme Anderson 07 3866 7860 ganderson@wigroup.com.au


Water Infrastructure GROUP A Tyco International Company

technical features

water quality Report, which outlines results of more t han 8,000 tests undertaken during a seven month period at t he Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant. The Interim Water Quality Report has been endorsed by an independent panel of international experts, w ho have confirmed t he quality of purified recycled water and endorsed its quality as being clean enough to add to the Wiven hoe Dam. Advanced water treat ment plants at Luggage Point and Gibson Island are presently undergoing com missioning and validation activities, and further drought contingency works to increase the capacity of Project pipeline's are almost complete. WaterSecure has already provided more t han 15 billion litres of water to power stations and is ready to provide purified recycled water to Wivenhoe Dam when requested by the Queensland Government. The benefits to t he community and the environ ment are significant and ongoing . The Project has been recognised w ith 11 international and national awards, including the 2008 'Water Project of the Year' at the Global Water Awards and t he 2008 ' Internat ional Project of t he Year' from t he Construction Management Association of America. It has also received a "Grand Honou r Award ' at t he Internat ional Water Association's Project Innovation Awards, and the 'Environ ment Award' from the Engineers Australia Engineering Excellence Awards.

The Author Keith Davies is CEO of WaterSecure and Western Corridor Recycled Wat er Pty Ltd , responsible for overseeing projects with $3.7 billion of assets. He was Tarong Energy's

Interim CEO, and prior to t hat was t he General Manager of Marketing and Trading. Previously he was a Director in Energy and Utilities with PricewaterhouseCoopers (Melbourne).

Note The content within th is paper that explains the tec hnical process used at Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant is based on a presentation provided for the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009 by Hua Jiang, Scott Freeman and Jonathan Bates (Black & Veatc h).

References and Further Reading Materials Jiang, H., Freeman, S & Bates, J. (2009) Innovative strategies alleviate water stress in South East Queensland, Australia, American Society of Civil Engineers, World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Kansas City, MO, USA O'Toole, G. , Bates, J., Dagwell, R. & Hattie, G (2008) The Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant: Design, construction and startup, Australian Water Association Water Journal (July 2008) Roux, A. , Pirrone, M., Bowen, B. & Walker, T (2008) Water quality monitoring and risk management, Australian Water Association Water Journal (July 2008) Traves, W. & Davies, K. (2008) The Western Corridor Recycled Water Project: overview and update, Australian Water Association Water Journal (July 2008) Western Corridor Recycled Water Pty Ltd (2009), Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant Interim Water Quality Report.

Available www.watersecure.com.au

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water MAY 2009 71

desalination & membranes


Table 1. Baseline Seawater Salinity.

This article discusses the salinity of seawater and then examines the variations in salinity and temperature globally. Finally, it presents a discussion on salinity and temperature data from selected desalination sites around Austral ia.







Chlorine, Cl Sodium, Na Magnesium, Mg Sulphur, S Calcium, Ca Potassium, K Bromine, Br Carbon, C Nitrogen, N Strontium, Sr Oxygen, 0 Boron, B Silicon, Si Fluorine, F Argon, Ar Lithium, Li Rubidium , Rb Phosphorus, P Iodine, I Barium, Ba Molybdenium, Mo Arsenic, As Uranium, U Vanadium, V Titanium, Ti Zinc, Zn Nickel, Ni

19,500 10,770 1,290 905 412 380 67 28 11 .5

Aluminium, Al Cesium, Cs Chromium, Cr Antimony, Sb Krypton, Kr Selenium, Se Neon, Ne Manganese, Mn Cadmium, Cd Copper, Cu Tungsten, W Iron, Fe Xenon, Xe Zirconium, Zr Bismuth, Bi Niobium, Nb Thallium, Tl Thorium, Th Hafnium, Hf Helium, He Beryllium, Be Germanium, Ge Gold, Au Rhenium, Re Cobalt, Co Lanthanum, La Neodymium, Nd

0.0004 0.0004 0.0003 0.00024 0.0002 0.0002 0.0001 2 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001 0.000055 0.00005 0.00003 0.00002 0.00001 0.00001 0.00001 7 X 10·6 6.8 X 10·6 5.6 X 10·6 5 X 10· 6

Lead, Pb Silver, Ag Tantalum, Ta Gallium, Ga Yttrium, Y Mercury, Hg Cerium, Ce Dysprosium, Dy Erbium, Er Ytterbium, Yb Gadolinium, Gd Praseodymium, Pr Scandium, Sc Tin, Sn Holmium, Ho Lutetium, Lu Thulium, Tm Indium, In Treblum, Tb Palladium, Pd Samarium, Sm Tellurium, Te Europium, Eu Radium, Ra Protactinium, Pa Radon, Rn

2 X 10·6 2 X 10·6 2 X 10·6 2 X 10·6 1.3 X 10· 6 1 X 10·6 1 X 10·6 9 X 10·7 8 X 10·7 8 X 10·7 7 X 10·7 6 X 10·7 6 X 10·7 6 X 10·7 2 X 10·7 2 X 10· 7 2 X 10·7 1 X 10·7 1 X 10·7 5 X 10· 8 5 X 10·8 1 X 10· 8 1 X 10·8 7 X 10·11 5 X 10·11 6 X 10-16

Introduction When designing seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plants, it is critical to first understand water quality criteria like salinity and tem perature. These two elements significantly affect the feed pressure and recovery of the reverse osmosis (RO) membranes, and as a result they are key water quality parameters collected during any preliminary analysis. Around Australia, deep ocean salinity and temperatu re variations are within normal ranges, and conform to basic oceanographic dynamics. As expected, temperatures are higher to the north. However, for practical reasons, seawater for desalination plants is sourced from intakes along coastal environments. Coastal oceanography is markedly different from deep ocean conditions. Bathymetry, tidal forces, current s, climate and fresh water inflows significant ly affect seawater q uality along any coast.

8 6 4.4

2 1.3 0.43 0.18 0.12 0.06 0.06 0.02 0.01 0.0037 0.0032 0.0025 0.001 0.0005 0.00048

4 X 10·6 4 X 10·6

3 X 10·6 3 X 10·6 3 X 10· 6

Source: Bearman G., Ocean chemistry and deep-sea sediments, Pergamon: Sydney, 1989.

Salinity Salintty al the sea surface !annual mean) (Levitus)

Though common ly known as salinity, the proper technical term for the saltiness of the ocean is halinity. Th is term is derived from the most abundant anion of dissolved elements, the halide chloride. In the water industry, salinity is commonly reported in mg/L or ppm. Oceanographers use the convention of part per thousand (ppt).

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.... ..

Modern oceans are 550 million years old, and long ago achieved a balanced


Salinity and temperature greatly affect the feed pressure and recovery of RO membranes. 72 MAY 2009 water

• • • 1111111 1111111111111 .... n.,


u .,

:u .,

u ,o

31, 0

Figure 1. Global Salinity Variation. Source: NASA Aquarius Project.

tecnnical features

desalination & membranes


Sea-surface temperature [ C) 0







Figure 3. Global Surface Seawater Temperature Variation. 13()E






Figure 2. South Australian Salinity Variation. Source: Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

dist ri bution of tot al dissolved solids. This near const ancy of the ratios of major constituents of sea water enables scientists to measure a single principal element and project ratios, with corrections made for temperature and pressure, and calculate the other components in the water, thereby determining its salinity. This explains why most seawater q uality tests simply measure ch loride as a proxy for salinity overall. Lesser constituents are generally not tested, though boron is occasionally an exception. Salinity is measured according to the Practical Salinity Scale. This is a ratio of the conduct ivity of a sea water sample to a

standard KCL solution containi ng 32.4356 g KCL in 1 kg of solution at 1 atmosph ere and 15°C. The KCI solution is measured at the same temperature and pressure as the sample generating a Practical Salinity Unit (PSU) in analysing samples; labs generally follow ASTM D 4195-88. "Average" salinity has been derived and defined by the baseline data collected by William Dittmer during the Challenger expedition from 1873 to 1877 (transiting the Bass Straits in 1874). Well chronicled , it remains on record as one of the greatest oceanographic expeditions in history, spanning fou r years and 68,890 nautical miles (127,584 km). Dittmar showed that chloride, sodium, magnesium, sulfate, calcium and potassium make up 99 per cent of the dissolved solids in seawater. His 77 seawater samples displayed no significant


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Figure 4. Australian Summer Seawater Temperature Variation. global difference in the relative composition of seawater. These samples have therefore come to represent the benchmarks in discussions of seawater composition. Subsequent analysis by multiple oceanographic studies has repeatedly validat ed this analysis. Baseline seawater salinity is presented in Table 1.

Global Salinity Variation Globally, ocean salinity varies slightly from 3.2 to 4.0% (32,000 to 40,000 ppm) (Figure 1). Low salinity is typically found in cold seas, particularly in the summers with seasonal ic e melt. High salinity is more commonly found in ocean "deserts", distinct global bands that coincide with continental deserts. Generally, high evaporation rate occurs in these areas, with cool dry air descending and then rising in areas with little rainfall. Confined water bodies in hot dry climates with little freshwater flow also show high salinity levels (e.g. Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Mediterranean, where salinities of up to 41 ,000 ppm are found). Consequently, we find a maximum salinity of around - 36,000 at about latitudes 20°N and 20°s. Salinity decreases to - 35,000 at the equator, where rainfall overcomes evaporative forces. A minimum salinity of - 31,000 is noted at 60°N, whereas the lowest salinities in the southern hemisphere are encountered at 60 °S at a level of - 33,000. A typical plot of a local salinity variation is given in Figure 2 taken from the excellent real-time and weekly loops of salinity, temperature and currents at sea level which are available at BOM's website: http://bom.gov.au/ oceanography/forecasts. It is important

74 MAY 2009 water






Figure 5. South Australian Seawater Temperature Variation.

to note that generally salinity increases closer to shore, due to evaporation of the shallow, warmer seawater. However, seasonal influx of freshwater from local sources can alter this. Clearly, the salinity of fresh water is lower than that of seawater, but the constituents of fresh water are also notably different. Sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) constitute just over 85% of the tds in seawater but <16% of the salt content of river water. Fresh water contains higher levels of calcium (Ca) than chloride (Cl), but the oceans are 46 times higher in chloride than calcium. Also, silica (Si) is a significant constituent of river water but not seawater. In the case of these two ions, the role of marine organisms plays a major part in their uptake for exoskeleton formation. Both silica and calcium precipitate out read ily as well.

Seawater Temperature Worldwide The temperature of the world's oceans is highly variable over the surface of the seawat er. It ranges from less than 0°c (32°F) near the poles to more t han 29°C (84°F) in the tropics (Figures 3, 4 and 5). Seawater temperature is a function of sunlight and decreases with depth. The upper mixed layer varies in depth up to 200 metres. Its temperature is primarily a function of climat e. The second layer is the main thermocline which begins just below the surface, to a depth of 1000 metres. Deep bottom water, which accounts for 80% of all ocean water, has a constant temperature in the range of minus 2 to plus 5 degrees Celsius. Seawater temperature measurements are reported as Sea Surface Temperature, which refers to a

Perth Seawater Desalination Plant Intake 300

39,500 00



38 ,500,00

20 0


! !


38 ,000.00






E ~

0 ,-

· 37,500.00

,oo 37,000.00



l -TDS

5.0 36,500.00


Figure 6. Perth Salinity and Temperature Variations over two years.

technical features

desalination & membranes


,e 1s Northern


(Author's Note: Data for the Melbourne Wonthaggi Plant was not available for review due to active bid tendering and contract negotiation).

"§ 16


E 14

Seasonal Variation


12 10

Mid Gulf




• +

Jan Feb Mar

+ Apr + May

+ Jun • Jul + Aug • Sop • Oct • Nov • Doc

Figure 7. Hydrodynamic modelling of temperature and salinity in the northern, mid and lower regions of the Gulf of St Vincent. Source: Proposed Adelaide Desalination Plant EIS, Chapter 7 Marine Environment. November 2008.

temperature measured at a depth of one metre.

Temperature Variations around Australia Like surface temperatures, seawater temperatures change with seasons. Air temperature and solar radiation are the t wo stro ngest factors. Coastal factors such as bathymetry, tides, wind direction, and shoreline also have considerable impact. For example the temperature ranges for Binningup show an appropriate winter seasonal tro ugh with temperatures dropping 9°C from its summer high . The Perth Kwinana Plant shows similar behaviour and the correspond ing behaviour of salinity (Figure 6). Brisbane's Gold Coast plant is designed for an 11°C variation from 17 to 28°C. Kurnell 's data set shows some of the coldest waters ranging from 12. 7 to 22.6°C.

Seasonal fresh water flows can also play a factor. Data from the Binningup, the southern Western Australia site was collected at th ree locations in a north south transect. The northern data site is proximal to the Harvey Diversion Drainage and consistently shows lower salinity correlating the wet weather events, in some cases reaching as low as 30,000 tds. However, data collected from Syd ney's Kurnell Plant shows almost no correlation between wet weather events and salinity. Generally, the Kurnell site's salinity is confined to a very narrow band reflecting its open wat er location. However, salinity data at the site has varied from 31,957 to 38,871 tds. Similarly, Brisbane's Gold Coast site has an intake located over a kilometre from shore because of the active surf. The engineering design is for salinity levels to vary widely from 34,000 to 39,000 tds. The Port Stanvac, South Australia site (Figure 7) is an excellent example of both temperature and salinity variation resulting from seasonal changes in a confined body of water. Gulf St Vincent is a large semi-enclosed embayment that extends approximately 170km from the head to Kangaroo Island in the south, and is connected to the Southern Ocean via two entrances; it is regarded as an inverse estuary. The waters are generally shallow, with a mean depth of 21 metres and a maximum depth of approximately 40m in the southern central area. Port Stanvac sits withi n this southern central area on the eastern side of Gulf St Vincent, approximately 30km south of Adelaide. The Port Stanvac project has performed hydrodynamic modelling of the Gulf of St Vincent. Temperature changes vary with seasons as expected, and the effect of evaporation in a confined wat er body is well demonstrated there. With minimal fresh water inflows during summer months, plus increased solar radiation , the confined water body shows increases in salinity in the northern reaches of the Gulf. Around Port Stanvac, salinity remains fairly constant around 37,000 ppm from August to February, with a balance between evaporation rates and water inflows in the summer. From February to May, however, salinity increases by 1,000 ppm due to

How much gold is in the oceans? The concentration of gold in seawater is 0.04 x 10-6, or about 176 grams per cubic kilometre of seawater. With an approximate global volume of 1 .37 billion cubic kilometres (1.37 x 109) there is an estimated 241.9 tons of gold floating in the oceans. The Gold Coast Plant will treat 167,000 cubic metres of water per day, or 0.000167 cubic kilom etres or 0.029392 grams of gold passing through the plant daily. At t he time of writing this article, gold was selling for AUD$47.26. Installation of an additional ion exchange or solvent extraction system would yie ld a mere 1 .38 cents of additional revenue per day to the plant.

evaporation and mixing with t he northern gulf's saltier waters. From May to August salinity decreases as it mixes with waters from the western reac h es of t he Gulf. The Whylla Project proposed for the northern end of Spencer Gulf shows great extremes in both salinity and temperature. Winter lows are 12°c an d 31,000 tds with the summer h ighs reaching 24°C and 41,000 tds.

Conclusion Australian ranges for temperature and salinity are modest com pared to global numbers. However, it is not possible t o develop any standard operating conditions or parameters. Coastal effects, regional freshwater flows, bathymetry, tides and seasonal t emperatures all create unique conditions in coastal marine environments. Site specific analysis, data col lection and pilot plant operation for at least one full year is necessary before full plant design can occur.

The Author

Lawrence Molloy (lawrence.molloy@ tcga.com.au) is an engineer w ith TCGA, an Australian water engineering firm. A member of the International Desalination Association, he received a Masters in Science from Stanford University in Water Resources Engineering and is a Certified Australian Engineer.

water MA Y 2009 75


desalination & membranes

refereed paper



The use of ship- or barge-based desalination has recently been touted as a sustainable tool for meeting water supply needs in coastal regions. Generically described as Seawater Conversion Vessel (SCV), they provide a number of advantages over landbased facilities, including expedited permitting and installation schedules. Currently, several SCVs of up to 50 MUd capacity have been launched, with more in the planning process. A number of companies are actively developing SCVs in North America, Europe, Middle East and Australia.

Introduction During the past three decades, seawater desalination has been increasingly used to augment existing water resources, or in some regions such as the Middle East, to provide a substantial portion of regional water needs. Desalination trends since 1980 have seen total installed capacity increase from less than 10,000 MUd to greater than 80,000 MUd (Figure 1). Recently, there has been increasing interest in the concept of ship-, platform- or barge-based desalination facilities to meet water supply needs. Fundamentally, a mobile vessel desalination facility is a seagoing ship or barge that houses a self-contained seawater desalination plant. These facilities are frequently referred to as a Seawater Conversion Vessel (SCV), Seawater Desalination Vessel (SDV), or an Offshore Seawater Desalination Production Facility (OSDPF). The term SCV is used in this review to refer to any barge or ship-based seawater desalination system. Offshore desalination is not a new concept - naval vessels have utilised desalination for the production of potable water for centuries. Nor is the use of dedicated desalination barges particularly novel - the United States of America naval base in Garcia Diego utilised a desalination barge for water supp ly as early as the 1970s. It is the scale of offshore desalination being proposed which is new and novel. Several systems are currently in operation in the Middle East and India - the largest system currently in operation is capable of producing over 50 MUd of potable water from seawater.



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1995 2000 Year




Figure 1. Anticipated Growth in Desalination. desalination barge at the Garcia Diego Naval Base in 1973, other small barges in the Caribbean and Middle East have operated for approximately a decade.

Modern Implementation of Offshore Desalination It is only recently that large-scale, fit-for-purpose desalination vessels have been constructed. Table 1 summarises companies currently involved in the development of SCVs. In India, a 1 MUday desalination barge was successfully commissioned off the coast of Chennai during April 2007. The plant uses Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) rather than reverse osmosis to desalinate seawater. Offshore desalination concepts are being aggressively pursued by a number of corporations to fulfill water scarcity in a number of markets, including India, Cyprus, Australia and the Middle East. In 2008, Middle East based International Barges Company for Water Desalination (IBCWD), launched two barge-mounted SWRO systems - each capable of producing 26 MUd - to provide drinking water to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Each selfcontained barge measures 100 m long, 27 m wide and has a

History of Offshore Desalination '2DIO

Historical references to desalination on a vessel exist from ancient times (Aristotle) to the Middle Ages e.g. de Lery described distilling salt water for use during his expedition (Figure 2). Numerous other entries exist in the historical records, including Pedro Fernandez de Quiros' journey during which he was the first westerner to discover Australia. By the mid-19th century desalination on naval vessels was well known - with the beginning of the "Age of Steam" shipboard desalination became wide-spread . Even the concept of a vessel with the specific purpose of desalinating water has existed for over 30 years. As well as the





Aristotle desaibes seawater distillation French Explorer Jean de Lery reports successful dislillation of seawater during voyage to Brazil Pedro Fernandez de Quiros discovers Auslralia and reports use of a copper still for production of waler Chapman reports use of seawaler s1ill during North Sea voyege James Cook uses seawater stills while circumnavigating the world

Report on the Method for Obtairing FrBshwster from Sslt Wst"'

Thomas Jefferson publishes t791AO

1013•• -

Desai barge used at Garcia Diego


Chennai, India constructs 1,000 m3/d barge mounted desal plant


Russia launches nuclear powered barge mounted system U massol, Cyprus construcis 20,000 m'ld

Units of 50 ML/dare

barge mounted desal plant

already in operation.

Figure 2. Brief History of Offshore Desalination.

76 MAY 2009 water



DesMlnaforr Barge nt Garcia Diogo clrcn 1973 produces drirlcing wattJr for base

technical features

~ refereed paper

desalination & membranes

Table 1. Companies Pursuing Ship- or Barge-based Desalination Facilities. Company




Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), India

One Barge

3.785 MUd

In operation




Nuclear powered Barge

International Barges Company for Water Desalination (IBCWD), Saudi Arabi

Two Barges

50 MUd

Seadov, Australia


20-50 MUd


Nirosoft (Israel)


20 MUd

In construction

Water Standard/USA


50 MUd

In construction

DXV Water Technologies/USA

Submerged Facility

draught of 1.6 m, and possesses sufficient fuel and supplies for up to 45 days of operation without a delivery. Featuring immersed ultrafiltration pretreatment, the two- pass seawater reverse osmosis plant utilises energy recovery turbines to minimise energy requirements. Additional design details are contained in Table 2. Capital costs for both barges were estimated at $108 million - resulting in a quoted water sales cost of $2.27 / m3 for a 3 year contract. Meanwhile, Russia has embarked on a nuclear desalination project using dual bargemounted KLT-40 marine reactors (each 150 MWt) and RO technology to produce potable water. It is esti mated that t he faci lity will be capable of supplying up to 80,000 cubic metres of fresh water daily at a cost of about a dollar per cubic met re. Water Standard Company (WSC) of the United States, has purchased t he H20cean Cristina , a 48,000 tonne dry weight bulk carrier, for conversion to an SDV - and has placed orders for long-lead t ime eq uipment including desalination equipment from Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies North America. Designed to produce 50 MUd, the H20cean Cristina will feature a novel intake st ructure, Norit Seaguard ultrafiltration pretreatment, ERi energy recovery devices, SWRO and a diffuser based concentrate disposal system. With launch expected in 2009, a fleet of sister ships is anticipated . Researchers have developed two prototype submarine RO systems that are touted as consuming less power than surface facil ities. DXV Water Technologies, a California based company, has developed a system that uses membrane elements tethered above t he sea floor. The system is designed to operate at low f lux (2 to 4-lmh) and low recovery (2 per cent) thereby red ucing energy requ irements. A pilot unit has been

Table 2. Major Design Criteria for IBCWD Desalination Barges. Category


Total Capacity

53 MUd

Date Commissioned

May 2008

Product Recovery


Feedwater TDS

45,000 mg/L

Feedwater Temperature

22 - 35• c

Product Water TDS

30 mg/L (prior to remineralisation)

In construction In operation

Demonstration scale in operation tested in freshwater and seawater and plans are in place to build a 1.90 MUd demonstration plant. European researchers developed a similar unit and plan to investigate the co nstruction of a large-scale facility. Israel 's Nirosoft has been contracted to supply a 20 MUd mobile potable water desalination plant. The plant wi ll be located in the Moni area west of Limassol, and w ill be operated until a permanent plant wi ll be completed in Episkopi Bay. The plant will be built on a Build-Own-Operate-Removal (BOOR) basis. Following a 3-year operations period, the plant will be dismantled and removed from the Moni site. The plant will featu re Dow microfiltration pretreatment and SWRO. Remineralisation of the SWRO permeate wi ll be achieved using calcite filters. Whi le t his facility is being constructed on land it may be readily adapted for bargemounted operat ion. Australia based SEADOV is proposing the use of a shipbased system using renewable energy (wind or current). Currently, t here have been no announced plans to launch a SCV utilising t his technology.

Advantages of Offshore Desalination The different platform for desalination provides opportunities to capitalise upon advantages of SCV. Advantages associated wit h the implementat ion of offshore desalination include: • Red uced pretreatment requirements due to higher q uality water withdrawn deeper t han conventional open water intakes of terrestrial based desalination faci lities • Reduced impacts of concentrate stratification due to greater mixing in deeper water t han typical with conventio nal open water int akes of terrestrial based desalination fac ilities • Pot ential ly subject to jurisdiction of fewer regulatory entities, depending on distance offshore • Shorter project schedule due to shorter perm itting time and construction in dry-dock • Reduced marine environmental impact, in terms of impingement and entrainment and concentrate toxicity • Mobility to respond to emergency water shortage crises or assist in weather-keeping

RO process description

2 pass

Number of Trains

24 + 8

• Preservation of shoreline land resources for other purposes

Operating Pressure

67 bar



• M inimal aesthetic impacts from when compared to landbased desalination

Seawater Intake

Direct Intake




Lime/CO 2

Concentrate Disposal


Disadvantages of Offshore Desalination While there are a number of notable advantages, locating a large desalination vessel on a ship or barge has a number of disadvantages that should be considered .


MAY 2009 11

desalination & membranes


refereed paper

Figure 4. Chennai Barge Mounted Desalination System (1 ML/d).

Figure 3. IBCWD Barge-mounted desalination system. • Uncertain regu lations & planning approvals for SCVs and shore-based facilities • Transport of water to shore requires floating or submerged pipeline construction • Energy supply to the vessel/platform requ ired in form of cable or fuel (in the case of ship-board generation capabilities) • Vessel must be designed for good sea-keeping under many different cond itions or with appropriate mooring structures. During storm events, production may be interrupted as the SCV takes evasive manoeuvres • Initial capital outlay may be greater to construct vessel and associated faci lities (detailed project specific analysis is required)

including 'green' power utilising wind, wave and tidal energy, as proposed by Australia's Seadov, nuclear power (as currently installed in Russia using KLT-40 marine reactors) and hydrocarbon technology utilising diesel and gas turbine engine. As compared to a shore-based faci lity, an offshore desalination facility must be able to take deliveries of consumable fuels, providing an increased risk of spills during transfer operations. Concerns about sustainability, energy costs, GHG emissions drive the ultimate selection of energy sources, which may include the use of: • Electrical Grid • Offshore Fossil Fuel Terminals • Nuclear • Renewab le Energy - Solar -Wind -Wave -Tidal

• Operations crew wi ll need to be housed on board w ith required support facil ities • Increased land-based storage requirements to accommodate the potential for relocation during inclement weather • Added complexity to transport fuel, operating personnel, and treatment chemicals from shore-based fac ilities to the SCV. While the disadvantages may not be of significant consequence, a detailed analysis is required on a project by project basis.

- Marine current - OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion)

Strict Environmental Regulations Drive Development The implementation of shore-based desalination in populous or environmentally sensitive areas is becoming more challenging due to environmental regulations. Offshore desalination facilities have several advantages, including:

Power Systems a Key to Sustainability

• Abil ity to moor in deep wat er away from environmentally sensitive near shore areas.

In order to provide autonomous operations, sufficient power generating capability is required on a SCV to operate the desalination process. A variety of different power systems for the desalination process have been proposed by developers,

• Use of deep seawater as feedwater results in reduced pretreatment requirements and consequently better SWRO performance, therefore possessing lower greenhouse gas (GHG) contributions. With the current costs of constructing large scale intake and outfalls in Australia, frequently utilising tunnelling technology in recent projects, offshore desalination in a SCV may very well represent an economically viable solution to water shortages

Emergency Water Supplies Following the Asian Tsunami of 2006, there was an outpouring of support, which included the donation of

78 MAY 2009 water

t cnn ca

ea ures

• •

:::.-env1roaer 1ndustr1es

WATER STANDARD's H20cean Cristina prior to retrofit into a Seawater Desalination Vessel (SDV). desalination systems to several communities. Due to the challenges of rebuilding, several of these desalination syst ems were not inst alled until 2008. Such delay in respond ing to natural disasters, where incidence of waterborne disease increases substantially, has unacceptable consequences in terms of human lives. With an active fleet of self-contained mobile desalination faci lities stationed around the globe, a safe and rel iable water supply can be established to coastal regions in days following disaster - staving off a public health disaster and providing a symbol of hope for affected populations.

Conclusions The use of ship- or barge-based desalination is increasingly being utilised as a total water management tool for utilities suffering from water scarcity. Currently, several SCVs of up to 50 MUd capacity have been launched, with more in the planning process. A number of companies are actively developing SCVs in North America, Europe, Middle East and Australia. With the widen ing of the Panama Canal , increasingly larger ships are being constructed , resulting in decommissioning of a number of large vessels. It is anticipated that SCVs with capacities of up to 300 MUd may be introduced in the near future, using re-purposed ships. On-board desalination is commonplace today; one author has an RO unit on his sailboat. What is different is the scale being proposed today for export of such water.

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The Authors

Robert Huehmer is a Principal Technologist with CH2M HILL focusi ng on membrane desalination tech nologies. He is c urrently CH2M Hill's Desalination Global Technology Leader. Email: robert.huehmer@ch2m.com

John Poon is a Principal Technologist with CH2M HILL Australia. He is currently CH2M Hill 's regional leader for desalination in Australia. Email : John.Poon@ch2m .com.au.

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desalination & membranes


wastewater treatment plant there is a 36-hole golf course which needs about 2 MUd of water for irrigation and water landscapes (Figure 1). The balance of water is provided to local fruit growers at no cost.

There are numerous membrane bioreactors operating in the region of great er Beijing, the majority installed by a Chinese company using membranes manufactured in China. A 3MUd SBR was upgraded to a 6MUd WWTP to purify domestic sewage to irrigation standard for an adjacent golf course. The quality of the effluent was intensively studied for two years through 2006 to 2007 and shows that COD, BOD5 , ammonia and bacterial content meet the standard for wastewater reuse.

Introduction It is widely known that northern China is water-stressed. Beijing is even worse for it has only a quarter of the national average of run-off per capita. Since 2001, Beijing City has locally enforced the "City Water-Saving Regulation", which requires wastewater recycling for all commercial buildings with an area of 20,000 m 2 or more, such as hotels, office towers, parks, shopping centres, etc and new developments or residential gardens with building areas of 23,000 m2 or above. Recently, the city government has officially encouraged the upgrade of municipal waste water treatment plants to comply with the reuse standard. Membrane bio-reactor (MBR) technology has been widely used in Beijing city since 2003 because of its high-grade effluent quality and relative safety for water reuse purposes. The City of Beijing has currently built about 800 installations, among which at least six cases are of a treatment capacity more than 10 MUd. About 80% of the MBR projects in China are designed, installed and operat ed by Beijing Origin Water Technology Ltd. An example wh ich has been intensively studied is summarised below.

Irrigation Reuse The Yanxi Wastewater Treatment Plant (YWWTP) is located in Northern Beijing, about 60 km away from the Olympic

A case study of an upgrade using MBRs. so

MAY 2009


The climate is conti nental semi-humid type and is warm and wet in summer and cold with some snow in w inter.

Project Background

Figure 1. View of golf course. Greens. A 20 km sewer pipeline system collects domestic wastewater from houses, hotels, commercial restaurants in the town and several vil lages and about half of the wastewater comes from a technology university of normally 20,000 students. Nearly 1 km away from the




YWWTP was built in 1995 as an SBR system with treatment capacity of 3 MUd. Wastewater is screened by a 5-mm bar screen and stored in a 960 kl balance tank. The SBR treatment plant consisted of three independent bioreactor compartments. Each independent compartment was modified and changed to an A2/O-MB R system ,



Disinfection. ---+-


Sludge tank Sludge tank



Emuent 10 Golf





Figure 2. Treatment process of A2/0 MBR system AFTER modification. Table 1. The influent to YWWTP and requirement for CLASS A effluent. Item 2 3



B0D5 CODcr Suspended Solids

Influent Quality

Class A Discharge





::::10 :::,50 ::::10



NHt-N Total N






6 7

Total P



::::15 :::,0.5







4 5

6-9 ::::30°

Table 2. A2/0-MBR System Design Information. Items


Designed Parameters



6.0 MUd

Anaerobic tank retention



Anoxic Tank Retention



Aerobic tank retention (Oxic zone)



Membrane filtration tank retention



Average MLSS



% kgBOD / kgMLSS ¡ d


Total active sludge return rate Sludge Loading


technical features

desalination & membranes







.i:, ~



7 m N





'! '!"' "' ::E 00

::E 6 m






0. ::E"' <(

,..:, N

N'I ....












. ..


















0 0 > .,a. 2 0 ~ > 0 Cl 0 z z r!. ,.:. a, ...."' J, ....






-5 -10 -15 -20

Figure 4. Membrane TMP Dynamics under a constant flow rate of 84 kl/d. MLSS: 6000-12000mg/L. system was modified to an A2/O-M BR system, with anaerobic and anoxic process before aeration and membrane filtration (Figures 2, 3). The HAT was reduced to 9 hours thus increasing treatment capacity from 1 to 2 MUd in a single compartment. A 0.8 mm fine screen was added before biological treatment. A sludge return of 200% of the inflow was returned back to anaerobic and anoxic compartment. The effluent is pumped into the golf course irrigation system.

Figure 3. The modified tank for A2/0-MBR process from a single MBR tank. increasing capacity from 1 MUd to 2 MUd and improving the effluent quality from Class B t o Class A for reuse purposes.

M odification to the MBR Process Each compartment of the original SBR system was a single tank sized 6 x 25 x Sm, run as 2 hr aeration, 2 hr sedimentation and 1 hr discharge. Total HRT was 18 hr.

Design Parameters Table 1 summarises the average influent quality and the Chinese National Limits for Class A water.

The upgraded syst em was modified based on the old concrete tanks. In order to meet the Class A req uirement, the

BEIJING OLYMPIC WATER PARK Beijing Municipality has built a large forest park along the banks of Chaobai River where the 2008 Olympic aquatic sports competitions were staged. The park, t he largest in the capital of China, was completed in October 2007 by t he Beijing Water Authority. Well over 800,000 trees were planted. The park is now 38 km long, and laid out along t he segment of Shunyi, a northeast district of Beijing, which covers an area of 3,666 hectares. The enormous scale of the Water Park is shown in the photo. The park is divided into wetland and ecological, wild life, sports and recreational areas. To provide water suitable for contact recreation, the water drawn from the local Chaobai River is purified in a 100 MU d plant, built and operated by Beijing Origin Water wh ich also provides water for domestic consumption and irrigation.

Beijing Water Park. suspended solids, as well as bacteria, protozoa and viruses. The anoxic step is also effective in removing nutrients such as total nitrogen and total phosphorus (>80% reduction). Once disinfected with ozone, the permeate water is safely discharged into t he Olympic Water Park and to the local potable water distribution system.

The design of the treatment process incorporates a nutrient removal process to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen, as well as a sludge handling facil ity. The MBR plant performance, as illustrated in the table below, provides a highly effective system for producing high quality effluent, resulting in the lower BOD (>85% reduction), ammonia (>95% red uction), Parameter Date

1-Apr-08 8-Apr-08 15-Apr-08 22-Apr-08 29-Apr-08 6-May-08 13-May-08 20-May-08 27-May-08 Average

COD (mg/L)


TP (mg/L)

NH3-N (mg/L)









41.54 43.17 43.26 41.98 44.08 39.85 49.73 48.08 47.99 44.41

4.58 5.87 3.27 2.89 3.54 3.03 4.75 3.85 3.96 3.97

21.34 22.48 23.08 19.98 20.03 22.78 21 .73 22.14 29.68 22.58

1.97 2.94 1.75 1.53 3.07 2.41 4.89 1.55 2.67 2.53

1.35 1.08 1.68 1.73 1.54 1.29 1.68 1.37 1.21 1.44

0.43 0.37 0.24 0.39 0.27 0.16 0.32 0.26 0.16 0.29

11.73 13.24 15.82 12.39 12.44 10.78 14.09 18.07 10.87 13.27

0.73 0.86 0.94 0.75 0.79 0.37 0.10 0.73 0.28 0.62


MAY 2009 81




Effl uent BODS (mg/L)

300.00 250.00 200.00 150.00 100.00

-- -------- ------·

50.00 0.00

Figure 5. Effluent and influent 80D5 in the MBR. -



Effluent CODcr(mg/L)

600 00 500.00

When you are comparing the process of granular media filtration pre-treatment with other filtration processes consider the following: • Granular Media Filtration Pre-treatment is a tried and tested process with a 25 year track record. Many desalination plants worldwide including the largest desalination plants in the world use the process.


+ - - - - - - - - - - - --.,---- -- -


oes ...~ - - .-.- - - - ·... · - - - ~....


Figure 6. Effluent and influent CODcr in the MBR. - - INFLUENTNH3-N(mg/LJ


Ernuont N ti 3-N(mg/LJ


• As a proven process, Granular Media Filtration Pre-treatment delivers outstanding resu lts. Highly reliable and effective, the process can guarantee that the required water quality is attained and maintained with varying influent water quality. • Granular Media Filtration Pre-treatment does not reduce its performance over time. It retains its shape, size and filtration characteristics over the long-term, and requires no routine integrity testing. • Low on maintenance, the Granular Media Filtration Pre-treatment process requires no on-going chemical cleaning, no replacement of hollow fibres, no pre-treatment or strainer protection. • Cost-competitive, Granular Media Filtration Pre-treatments such as James Cumming & Sons' C&S Brand Australian Filter Coal are manufactured in Australia, rather than overseas. • The coa l used in C&S Brand Australian Filter Coal is "green" and 100% environmentally friendly. A natural product, the coal is not burned and therefore does not emit any pollution. At James Cumming & Sons we've been supplying Australian industry with coal and carbon products for 100 years. Our C&S Brand Austral ian Filter Coal was developed specifically for water filtration applications. Tested and proven, it has an enviable track record and a range of benefits that remain unmatched. To find out more about Granular Media Filtration Pre-treatment or C&S Brand Australian Filter Coal call James Cumming & Sons on (02) 9748 2309 or email jamescumming@jamescumming.com.au

www.ja mescu m ming.com.au

35.00 30.00

25.00 20.00 15.00 10.00 5.00 0 . 00

s!' ,?' ,ft> .~ / ,?' ~ ~ Jf' ~ d'~ rt',$> ?' ..,""<' ·l" -,:-.?:-'" ......"' ...~ ..,...,,, -,:'>"' ......,, -.;4' ~ - ...~ -? ...~'"

Figure 7. Effluent and influent NHa-N in the MBR system. Table 2 lists the operating parameters of this unit. There are a total of 12 membrane units installed in three separate compartments. Each compartment has four membrane units, each producing 2 MUd. The PVDF hollow fibre membrane is manufactured locally by Beijing Origin Water. The average design operation flux for this membrane is 25 Um2/hr. The membrane unit is operated in a cycle of 7 minutes on and 2 minutes off. Aeration is continuously blowing. The chemical cleaning cycle is operated when the TMP exceeds 30 kPa or once a week, using 1,000mg/L of sodium hypochlorite. Sludge is discharged when the MLSS concentration in the membrane tank exceeds 12,000mg/L.

Performance Monitoring was conducted on one of the compartments from January 2006 to January 2007. Turbidity, negative pressure, MLSS, dissolved oxygen, pH, outflow, inflow and COD were monitored in real time, while BOD 5 , ammonium, TP, TN were tested every two weeks and Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Enterococci were sampled and tested every month during this monitoring period.


technical features

desalination & membranes - INFLUENTTN(mg/L)

--Effluent TN(mg/L)

80.00 70.00 SO.OD


40.00 30.00


0.8 0.6 0.4



• E. Coli lfcu/ml)




I II II II I II 1141H~II II I II I 1111111111111 1111111111

"' .;.,








,?"' .,}'"' /><o ,?"' p<o ,?"' ,?"' s:,"' s:,<o s:,<o s:,<o ,?" ,.,. !<'" ~,. ~ ~,., ,-> :,,<> 1<-"'"- ~._q p<::' ~ o 9<t' "" -...:...,:....;...,:~ -...:'\=-.,: ...;--.:.....; .....;"-:

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... 0

6 n

6 a,

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~ 6 --.,


Figure 9. E. Coli results.

Figure 8. Total nitrogen in influent and effluent. Membrane Flux & TMP


In the first six months of o peration, the TMP rapid ly increased initially and then stabilised after t he second month. CIP was applied once per week and the high chlorine concentration (1,000 mg/ L) was sufficient to eliminate membrane fouling and maintain a steady flux rate (Figure 4).

Ammon ia removal is constant regardless of the influent quality.

Effluent Quality

BOD The influent BOD5 levels averaged 180 mg/L, and the effluent BOD 5 level was below the desired specification of 10 mg/L (Figure 5).

COD Effluent levels of COD were continuously below t he desired limit of 50 mg/L.

Total Nitrogen

Effluent Total N shows good removal rate, wh ich is occurring in the anaerobic-anoxic-MBR process. Changes in influent ammonia concentration and tot al nitrogen did not ch ange t he effluent total nitrogen (Figure 8). Removal of E. Coli

At no time during t he testing period did any samples taken exceed the national st andard requirement (<3 fcu/ml). In China, a membrane is considered a safeguard barrier for bacteria and viruses, and considered a crucial step for water reuse (Fig ure 9).

Continued over page

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~ r e f e reed paper

climate change

URBAN WATER PLANNING IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE S Fane, J Patterson Abstract Climate change is already influencing decisions in the urban water sector. However, the risks that climate change pose to the sector and how best to manage these risks remain topics of much discussion.

Introduction This paper initially considers how the uncertainties associated with cli mate change might be translated into risks for water service providers and the community. It then considers the methods available for characterising climate change uncertai nty and incorporating these potential impacts into yield estimations and demand forecasts. Given the difficulties involved in resolving the risks and associated uncertainties, several potential responses from water service providers and governments are considered. The paper concludes by highlighting a number of key questions raised by the available responses.

Risk is formally characterised by a hazard with an attached likelihood of outcome. In relation to cl imate change and urban water supply however it is clear that for many 'risks' the probabilities of occurrence are in many regions currently unknowable. In this paper we therefore use the term 'risk' more broadly to refer to possible negative impacts and potential implications of cl imate chang e from the perspective of a water service provider and the comm unity in general. The likelihoods of these impacts may or may not be readily estimated. The paper draws on material currently being developed through a National Water Commission fund ing project on 'Integrated resource planning for urban water' (for more information see www.urbanwat erirp.net.au).

Hydrological impacts of climate cha nge Climate change is predicted to affect climatic and hydro logical variables which could have substantial implications for urban water supply-demand planning. It

Continued from previous page


The Authors

The MBR system has high buffering capacity to influent water quality changes and has high removal rates for CODcr, BOD5, NH 3 -N and total N. The study shows that an On and Off outflow model and periodic GIP system are efficient for reducing membrane fouli ng and keeping a steady transmembrane pressure. The control of mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) in MBR systems is important for membrane operation. The results show that membrane fi ltration can be kept in a MLSS range from 4.0-1 2 g/L.

Acknowledgement We acknowledge the great assistance from Mr Wen Jianping from Beijing Origin Water, and Mr Yan Jianzhou from the Chinese Academy of Science.

8 4 MAY 2009 water

Hui Liang is the Vice President and Director of Engineering with Beijing Origin Wat er Co. Ltd. Beijing, China.

Peter Makris is the technical manager with AJ Lucas based in Melbourne, Australia. Beijing Origin Water and AJ Lucas have a collaborative agreement where technology sharing, design, construction and commercial knowhow are being transferred between the two parties.

is generally thought that in addition to changes in average rainfall amounts, rainfall variabil ity will also rise, increasing the likelihood of climate extremes such as droughts and floods. However hydrological variables are comp lex and inter-linked and it is not fully clear how other effects such as in creased evaporation due to risin g temperatures and also 'catchment drying' wi ll impact on run-off. It is also conceivabl e that in some situations increased rai nfall intensity during st orm events cou ld contri bute to great er runoff fractions entering reservoirs during these events. Whether such increases wou ld be offset by rising temperatures reducing the amount of water that is converted into inflow is not clear. Secondary impacts could also result such as reduced surfac e water quality result ing from lower streamflows (Standish-Lee, Loboschefsky & Lecina 2006), and pressures on ecological flows in times of water scarcity (IWA 2008). The impacts of climate change will be different across different regions in Australia. For example, regions such as southern Victoria and south-west Western Australia are predicted to experience a decline in winter and spring rainfall under climate change and there there is a possible d rying trend on the Queensland east coast (Bureau of Meteorology 2007), whereas the eastern seaboard of New South Wales may experience only slight rainfall reduction or no change (OWE 2008). Therefore the impacts on supply-demand planning will vary from location to location. Due to the complex nature of the climate system, cl imate change cou ld lead to non-stationarity or structural shifts in climatic and hydrological patterns in some locations. Both in Perth (Water Corporation 2005) and Melbourne (DSE 2007) decreased inflows to storages have been observed in recent years (relative to historical averages)

From managing risks to managing with uncertainties.

technical features


climate change

refereed paper

Table 1. Potential negative impacts of climate change uncertainty, and implications for water service providers and the community. Possible negative impacts

Implications for water service provider (WSP) and community

Direct supply system impacts (Level of Service failure)

Reduced yields from surface water storages (dams and reservoirs) or riverdrawn supply systems (due to decreased streamflows) Decreased reliability of water supplies & increased frequency of restrictions

Emergence of supply-demand tensions, which could result in WSPs not meeting Level of Service objectives

Increased customer total or seasonal demand (e.g. outdoor water use, evaporative cooling) Damage to coastal groundwater supplies impacted by seawater intrusion due to rising sea levels Failure of a particular supply source due to prolonged low inflows

Could lead eventually to total or partial supply system failure

Institutional and financial impacts

Over-investment in large supply augmentations resulting from planning for 'worst-case' scenarios

Significantly increased cost of water services provision

Changed water access licence conditions Increased competition for water resources Increased pipe breaks due to soil moisture change

Potential loss of previously available supply Increased cost for water or loss of previously available supply

Decreased revenue due to decrease in water demand or volume supplied due to restrictions Energy price increases due to emissions trading under a Carbon Pollution reduction Scheme

An increase in non revenue water loss Financial pressure on WSP Exposure to higher energy prices as a result of carbon emissions charges being passed through energy tariffs

Community perceptions and expectations

Community expectation that system reliabilities should have been maintained

Some customers have reportedly perceived continued restrictions un der extended drought periods as a failure by the WSPs Movement of people or industry from areas of perceived or actual water shortages Community distress at significantly increased cost of water services. Loss of trust in WSP

Loss of trust in ability of WSP to provide a continuing water service Community perception that WSP has over-reacted to climate change uncertainties causing unnecessary costs for customers and damage to the environment Expectation that WSP must mitigate all climate impacts of any proposed supply Community expectation means that WSP will need to ensure new sources and infrastructure are 'carbon neutral' Perception that the WSP should be aiming to act sustainably in all their WSPs are expected by their communities to act responsibly with regard to operations in the context of climate change sustainability issues. This is complicated by the interlinkage of water, energy and climate change issues which have been interpreted as representing the onset of a climatic 'step change' in these regions. This implies a sudden rather than gradual structural shift in climate variables, particularly rainfall.

Uncertainties in the predicted impacts of climate change A number of key uncertainties exist in the predictions of climate change impacts. These include: • uncertai nties introduced through the choice of cl imate model and emissions scenarios, • uncertainties introduced in the climate models transformation of predicted warming into rainfall and evaporation predictions, and • uncertainties introduced when transforming the rainfall and evaporation predictions into runoff and yield forecasts. • uncertainties about the validity of modelled predictions where a shift in climate is perceived to have occurred,

Climate change may also affect demand forecasting, particularly for seasonal end uses such as irrigation and cool ing. These uncertainties consequently generate risks for water service providers and the community related to supplydemand plan ning.

Current responses to climate change in water supply-demand planning How climate change risks have been treated in supply-demand planning varies between cities across Australia. In 2007 a working group of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) identified a number of characteristics that distinguish between approaches including: • reliance or rejection of the past 100 years as the best indicator of future streamflows, • extent to which, and way that climate change modelling and predictions were incorporated into estimates of future runoff,

• levels of service objectives (with its implied restrictions regime), • willingness to consider all options (including inter basin transfers, potable reuse etc), • degree of reliance on deman d management to achieve reductions in consumption, • degree of integration of 'oth er' urban water sources (i.e. stormwater and groundwater), • extent to which explicit and specific contingency measures to be triggered in the event of extreme and/ or continued drought conditions have been identified and communicated to the population. Some example of these differences include the following: • supply-demand planning in Perth is based on incurring a total sprinkler ban no more than once in 200 years compared to much higher frequencies in other jurisdictions; • Melbourne and Sydney based their supply strategies on achieving

water MAY 2009 as

~ refe r eed paper

climate change significant reduction in per capita demand unlike elsewhere; and

Assessing the Impacts

• Sydney and Brisbane have dealt with drought and climate change uncertainties through publicly announcing contingency measures and trigger points for new supplies. Reviewed in December 2008, it is evident that most utilities in Australia's major urban centres are responding cautiously to the water supply risks posed by climate change. Consequently, many have decided on significant new supply-side augmentations and the Australian water industry has beg un investing $30 bi llion over the next 5-10 years into developing new water supplies for major urban centres (WSAA 2008).

What are the Risks? Climate change and relat ed uncertainties could produce a range of possible negative impacts. These negative impacts generate risks for water service providers and the comm unity. The principal risk is that a water service provider is no longer able to meet their requi red level of service objectives, which describe the targeted frequency duration and severity of water restrictions that can be expected from a given supply system (Erlanger & Neal 2005). However there are also other types of risks associated with climate change including financial and institutional impacts, and potential for negative commu nity perceptions and unmet expectations. Some of the most prominent of these possible impact s and the implications that are implied for water service providers and the comm unity are summarised in Table 1.

Given the possible negative impacts and risks implied above, the next step wou ld be to attempt to estimate the likelihoods of these outcomes. Many of these risks wil l hinge around the supply-demand balance and therefore techniques for assessing climate change impacts on the supply-demand balance wi ll be critically important for managing climate change uncertainty. A range of methods have been (and continue to be) developed to incorporate climate change predictions int o supply and demand forecasts. While these approaches can attempt to resolve some of the uncertainties, many still remain. This section will give a brief overview of approaches to assessing the impacts of climate change on supply and demand forecasting, and highlight the key areas of uncertainty inherent within these approaches.

Supply side The t wo main approaches for assessing the impacts of climate change on urban water supp ly are (1) using climate models, or (2) adopting different types of hypothetical scenarios either related to future c limates, future rainfall , or future yield (Ashbolt & Maheepala 2008).

Climate models Climate models attempt to predict the climatic effects_of c limate change, and transform predictions of future climate data into rainfal l predictions, and subsequently transform the future rainfall data into predictions of runoff and yield . Climate models are typically General Circulation Models (GCMs) which model global climate at a scale of several hundred square ki lometres, although this data can be 9ownscaled regional ly

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86 MAY 2009


technical features


climate change

refereed paper

using different downscaling techniques to achieve grid resolutions of around 10-20 km. A climate modelling approach provides the most comprehensive and physically-based approach to understanding the impacts of cl imate change on water resources. However this approach is data and timeintensive, both in terms of generating and incorporating the cl imate and hydrological data into water supply-demand planning. A variety of GCMs and downscaling models exist, and therefore there are questions around which models and com binations of models to use, and what may constitute 'bestpractice' in this area. A second uncertainly arises from predicting future greenhouse emissions. No one knows the level of greenhouse gases (CO2 and ozone) and other influencing factors (e.g. aerosols) that wi ll be present at a given time in the future. These levels will be determined by the level of global mitigation and the climate system's responses. For these reasons, multiple emission scenarios from many models are commonly used to provide an uncertainty range in terms of rainfall and temperature changes. In some regions these ranges however diverge between increasing and decreasing runoff. In others the models converge on a prediction of decrease.

Hypothetical scenarios Hypothetical scenarios assume various plausible trajectories of futu re climate or hydrological variables to examine the sensitivity and relative hydrological impact of different possible future climat es, com monly in the absence of GCM-generated downscaled climate data. Hypothetical scenarios cou ld take



the form of data sourced from larger scale GCMs, extrapolations of historical trends, relationships between global and local climate, or expert judgment. Some utilities have incorporated climate change impacts directly as a hypothetical scenario at the yield forecasti ng stage. In these cases yields are reduced, or de-rated from the historical record by making a stepwise or linear adjustment to the baseline yield forecast (i.e. the yield forecast according to the historical record). The bases for these hypothetical scenarios are observed possible 'step changes' in streamflow records, and/or expert judgement about the possible trajectory of yield into the future in a reg ion. However in these regions there remai ns substantial uncertai nties about whether or not recent patterns of rainfall and runoff do indeed represent climatic non-stationarity or step changes, and what the implications are for future patterns of rainfall and runoff.

Worst case scenarios Another critical issue for supply-demand planning is how to select and use a worst case scenario. This is, by definition, a low probability event, which traditionally has been defined by an annual exceedance probability based on the historical record. However under climate change uncertainty, the nature of extreme events could be very different as the climate data could be affected by non-stationarity. Therefore selecting worst-case scenarios under c limate change uncertainty is much more difficult, and there is no clear consensus within the water indust ry on how to decide on, and use, worst-case scenarios in supply-demand planning in the context of cl imate change uncertainty. This is a key issue as different approaches



~ ~



TOLL FREE 1300 363 163


climate change

~ refereed paper

to using worst-case scenarios have played a key role in driving current responses to climate change uncertainty in different parts of Australia.

Demand side Climate change could affect future demand although the magnitude of any change wil l depend on many interconnected factors also affecting demand (see Figure 1). An end use based approach should be taken to best understand the impacts by understanding how climate change might affect water use behaviour in certain components of the overall urban water demand picture. For example, in the residential sector two key areas of possible increase in demand are outdoor water consumption and evaporative air conditioner use. These end uses are both strongly seasonal in nature, and therefore the sensitivity of future demand to climate change will be significantly influenced by the seasonality of demand in the region. Impacts on demand are likely to vary between different locations (e.g. impacts in inland regions will differ to impacts in coastal reg ions), and may depend on a combination of climatic variables including humidity, rainfall and evaporation.

Responding to Uncertainty In the face of climate change uncertainty there are a number of different types of responses from water service providers and governments. The type of response taken varies with regional context and is based on differing perspectives on the risks identified in Table 1, and judgments about potential likelihoods of occurrence. One approach that has been evident is to attempt to 'plan for certainty'. In a number of jurisdictions significant supply augmentations have been initiated based on hypothetical 'worst-case' scenarios that that use repeated drought sequences projected indefinitely into the future. To attempt to avoid further rainfall-related uncertainty, climate-independent supplies have mostly been favoured (potable and non-potable reuse, desalination). Such an approach has in most cases been a response to a perceived climatic structural shift. This approach implies a focus on avoiding the direct supply system risks. It does however open up financial risks associated with over-investment in large supply augmentations and comm unity expectation risks in relation to mitigation of climate impacts and perception that the water service provider has over-reacted to climate change uncertainties. A second approach that is also evident in some jurisdictions is to 'plan for uncertainty'. This involves planning for an emerging scenario that includes a 'worst-case' but without building for it up front until certain defined trigger points are met. This approach implies the application of a form of adaptive management and requires careful planning in terms of lead times and preparatory works. For example it wi ll take so many months to build a desalination plant but on ly once it has been preapproved, predesigned and the site for it has been prepared. Such an approach has a focus on contingency measures including readiness options. Readiness options provide a level of flexibility in terms of timing and potentially also scale of implementation. In a similar way to water restrictions , readiness options are characterised by trigger points based on existing system capacities (White et al 2008). Real options analysis is also possible (Borison and Hamm, 2008). This is a risk analysis based approach that incorporates flexibility in decisions and accounting for new information to characterise uncertainty over time.

88 MAY 2009 water

max day temp

evaporation /

Residential lot size


Industrial reuse

*Price of water *Restrictions *Income •socio-cultural factors

Figure 1. Factors that influence urban water demand (adapted from White et al. 2003). With such an approach there is still a focus on avoiding direct supply risks but tempered by consideration of financial risks associated with over-investment. Because it is complex and involves contingency plans and trigger points, this approach is still open to risks around community expectations related to the perception that system reliabilities shou ld have been maintained, and could lead to possible loss of trust in the water service provider's ability to continue providing water services. If readiness measures are triggered th is could result in the perception that the wat er service provider has overreacted to cl imate change risks in relation to mitigation of climate impacts. A third potential approach is to try to 'build for resilience' with the broad goal of creating a water sensitive city as described by Wong, Brown & Deletic (2008). This is an approach that wou ld encourage the development of an urban water system that is resilient to climate and other changes through having a wide range of public and privately owned sources of supply at varying scales, ranging from household rain tanks or greywater systems, to local reuse, to centralised supplies. To take such an approach requires a long period of adjustment and is therefore not focused on short term supply risks. Such an approach would also be open to community expectation risks in relation the perception that system reliabilities should have been maintained and possible loss of trust in the water providers' ability to continue providing water services. As a resilient system requires some level of redundancy such an approach is not immune to the various risks associated with over-investment. Furthermore, localised supply sources will also still have energy issues that will require mitigation. To the authors, considering alternative responses raises four questions.1) How can the potential for climatic 'step changes' that are outside the boundaries of know variability and predicted changes in the climate be accounted for in modelling and planning? 2) What are the best methods, such as real options analysis, for managing withi n climate change uncertainty over time? 3) To what extent should an emphasis be placed on building 'resilience' into the urban water system to climate and other changes? and 4) How can water service providers and governments respond to the challenges of climate change to supply-demand planning whi le also mitigating greenhouse gas though their selection of options?

technical features

climate change

~ refereed paper

Conclusions Climate change poses major risks to urban water supplies and the associated uncertainties are a significant challenge to water plan ners .

A full assessment of the risks posed by c limate change is currently difficult in many regions. Whi le methods have been and are being developed to incorporate climate c hange into supply and demand forecasts, much residual uncertainty remains. The problem of responding t o cl imate c hange in su pply-demand planning therefore shifts from managing risks to managing with the uncertainties.

IWA 2008, Perspective - Scoping Paper on Risks From a Drying Climate, International Water Association , Drying Climate Task Group.

Forecasting and Demand Management: Research Needs Review and Recommendations, Occasional Paper No.9 '.

PMSEIC 2007 , Water for our cities: building resilience in a climate of uncertainty, Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.

White, S., Fane, S. , Guirco, D. & Turner, A. 2008, 'Decision making in an uncertain environment: economics of water beyond supply and demand ', in C. Zografos & R. Howarth (eds), Deliberative Ecological Economics.

Standish-Lee, P. , Loboschefsky, E. & Lecina, K. 2006, 'Half full or half empty? Either way it's time to plan', Journal American Water Works Association, vol. 98, no. 6, pp. 76-+. Water Corporation 2005, Integrated Water Supply Scheme Source Development Plan 2005: Planning Horizon 2005-2050, Perth. White, S., Robinson, J., Cordell, D.J., Jha, M. & Milne, G. 2003, Urban Water Demand

Wong, T., Brow n, R. & Deletic, A. 2008, 'Water management in a water sensitive city', Water, vol. 35, no. 7. WSAA 2008, WSAA Report Card 2007/2008 Performance of the Australian Urban Water Industry and projections for the future, Water Services Association of Australia.

Acknowledgments The authors would like to acknowledge the National Water Commission for funding the 'Integrated resource planning for urban water' project as part of t he Raising National Water Standards prog ram.

The Authors

Dr Simon Fane (Simon.Fane@ uts.edu.au) is a Research Director and James Patterson is Research Consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University o f Tech nology, Sydney, NSW.

References Ashbolt, S.C. & Maheepala, S. 2008, 'Assessing the impact of climate change on urban water systems: Overview of methods', paper from Water Down Under, Adelaide, Australia. Borison, A. & Hamm, G. 2008, Real options and urban water resource planning in Australia, WSAA Occasional Paper No. 20. Bureau of Meteorology 2007, Climate change in Australia: regional impacts and adaptation I managing the risk for Australia, Commonwealth of Australia. DSE 2007 , Our water our future, Victorian Department of Sustainability and the Environment, Melbourne. DWE 2008, Future climate and runoff projections (-2030) for New South Wales an d the Australian Capital Territory, NSW Department of Water and Energy, Sydney. Erlanger, P. & Neal, B. 2005, 'Framework for urban water resource planning', Water Services Association of Australia, vol. Occasional Paper No. 14, p. 32.


MAY 2009 89

water supply

~ refereed pape r

FILL IN THE DAMS? A Bennett, W Peirson Abstract Small dams in inland Australia are key farm infrastructure and are essential for the economic survival of rural business during sustained drought. However, harsh arid c limatic conditions result in annual evaporation losses greater than annual water usage. The purpose of this study is to investigat e the feasibility of replacing small farm dams with groundwater dams, constructed by filling the farm dams with gravel or sand. Water is then stored in the soil pore space, where evaporation decreases as a function of water depth below the surface of the soil, until at a depth of 0.9m, evaporation is negligible. Although storage volume is reduced, this method may be an efficient alternative to the current unavoidable evaporation losses from open surface waters. The study outlined below concludes that the application of groundwater dams would be beneficial in arid areas, particularly for larger farm dams.

Introduction Prolonged periods of drought in arid and semi-arid regions are severely affecting commun ities who regularly suffer from water scarcity. Due to the current issues associated with drought and increasingly low surface water storage levels across the nation, Australia is looking for more sustainable methods of stori ng and conserving water in these regions. Th is not a new problem. Weeks stated almost 25 years ago, "considering the importance of evaporation in the water balance of reservoirs, it is surprising that so few detailed research projects have studied the problem" (Weeks, 1983, quoted in Watts, 2005). The development of Australia is limited by its water resources and our limited understanding of how to manage them in a sustainable manner. Internationally, groundwater dams are used t o dam small ephemeral rivers and streams in order to intentionally cause sedimentation. Water is then stored in the soil pore space, where evaporation decreases as a function of water depth below the surface of the soil. At a depth of approximately 0.9m (Wipp linger 1958), evaporation becomes negligible.

90 MAY 2009 water

Undergraduate Water Prize The Undergraduate Water Prize recognises outstanding undergraduate students who have based their final year project on a water related topic and aims to reward students for excellence in the field of water studies and research. Winners of the Branch Undergraduate Water Prize present their papers as part of the Ozwater Conference program to com pete for the national title. Candidat es are assessed by a panel of relevant industry and academic experts on the following criteria: • Relevance of the project to the water industry • Quality of techn ical content • Innovation and originality The winner of the 2009 National Undergraduate Wat er Prize is Alexandra Bennett at the University of New South Wales (now at Hyder Consulting) for her project Fill in the Dams? The other national finalists included: . • Samantha Dawson from the Australian National University with her project Institutional Complications Surrounding the Barmah Choke • Ali Barrett-Lennard from the University of Western Australia for her project Surface Water Ponding on Low-Lying Valley Floors in South- West Western Australia: Interactions with Groundwater and it's Role in Secondary Dry/and Salinity. • Liam Harnett, Jason Nicolson and Rebecca Tennant from the University of Adelaide, with their project on the Optimum Design of Sustainable Water Supply Systems. For more information about the Undergraduate Water Prize visit our website at www.awa.asn.au/awards/uwp Groundwater dams could potentially be used in Australia to red uce the risks associated with crop failure and livestock starvation, malnutrition and death during long drought periods by providing emergency supplies during intense drought. This contribution considers whether groundwater dams may be a practical and efficient way of storing water in arid and semi-arid climates of inland Australia. As a preliminary investigation of potential Australian application, the concept of fill ing in existing farm dams with coarse granular sediments is considered. Such a change wi ll inevitably incur greater initial set up costs which may be offset by economic benefit of the amount of water saved from evaporation.

To provide more reliable water supplies and increase flow to downstream catchments.

A primary cost wi ll be fill ing in the dam with an appropriate material with high specific yield. Multitudes of small farm dams exist in arid inland Australi a and Manning (1987) states t hat "small reservoirs have proportionately higher evaporation losses" (than large reservoirs]. Research by the National Prog ram for Sustainable Irrigation (NPSI, 2005) shows that depending on surface area and depth , "40 per cent of stored water in farm dams can be lost through evaporation". Any alternative storage scheme must be more reliable in terms of both the net supply vol ume of the storage and suitable quality (White, 1960; Van Haveren, 2004, Nissen-Petersen, 2006). Alternative preventative measures to reduce evaporation losses in Australia involve the use of chemical films, covers , sun shades and tree barriers (NPSI, 2005; Manning, 1987) and there are significant and multiple difficulties in their application to small farm dams in arid and semi-arid Australia.

technical features

water supply

~ refereed paper

Groundwater Dams A conventional groundwater dam "obstructs the flow of groundwater and stores water below the ground surface" (Nilsson , 1988; VSF-Belgium, 2006). This term refers to both sand storage dams and subsurface dams. A subsurface dam "is constructed below ground level and arrests the f low in a natural aquifer, whereas a sand storage dam impounds water in sediments caused to accumulate by the dam itself" thereby creating an artificial aquifer (N il sson, 1988). A convent ional sand storage dam is shown in Figure 1. Water is extracted from both types of groundwater dams via a well and pump system or by gravity flow through a pipe at the base of the dam. In ord er to construct a sand storage dam in a river bed, t he dam wal l must be built up from t he dry river bed in stages, each no more t han th irty centimetres high (Nissen-Petersen, 2006). The river flows and coarse grained materials such as sand and gravel are deposited behind the dam wall during flood events (Ward and Robinson , 2000). These small incremental wall heights, documented in the const ruction of sand storage dams in Kenya, Namibia and India allow suspended silty materials to wash out and pass by, promoting preferential retention of the coarser sediments of higher yield (Wipplinger, 1958; Argarwal et al, 1991 ), since silty materials will reduce the permeability, specific yield and rate of recharge of the dam (Ni lsson, 1988).

Modelling of Conventional and Groundwater Dam Performance During this investigat ion, the performance of conventional and groundwater dams was inv est igated for six sites in western New South Wales using available data in conjunction with a simple rainfal l-runoff model of storage. Rainfall runoff from t he upstream catchment (Vrunoff) is assumed to be the sole inflow to t he storages. Outflows are farm demand (D), evaporation (E), seepage losses and any dam overflow of

Figure 1. Conventional Sand Storage Dam (Borst 2006). excess capacity (Vovertlow). It has been assumed that any losses due to seepage are negligible and t he material used is a uniform coarse grained sand which is always saturated below t he water level in the dam. As daily records were the most suitable data, a daily t ime step has been used in the model. The equat ion for the volume of stored water V on day i is: V/i! = V 1;-1J + V,unoff~! - D - E/i! - Vovertlow (1)

It should be noted t hat t he surface area of each farm dam is on average 0.5 per cent of the area of t he catchment and so the direct rainfall onto the storage was considered negligible. If the direct rainfal l on t he storage was included the effect would be as if t he annual evaporation has reduced by the annual rainfall. A spreadsheet model was created for the purpose of comparing the avail able vol ume of water in the farm dam and the same sized groundwater dam on a daily time step over the period of available rainfall and evaporation data.

Rainfall and Evaporation Data Approximately forty years of daily rainfall and pan evaporation data was available at the six sites selected. The sites and the duration of their recorded observations are summarised in Table 1 and mean values are summarised in Figure 2. In the context of much longer c limatic records in eastern Aust ralia, it is to be noted t hat the period 1967 to date is regarded as a period of above average rainfall (Rancic and Acworth , 2008).

Table 1. Site Details. Site

Mildura Cobar Menindee Wagga Wagga Bathurst Canberra

Record Length (years)

39 39 27 39 33 39



31 /12/2006 01 /01 /1967 20/07/2007 01 /01 /1969 25/02/1968 to 31 /12/1985 & then 01 /01 /1996 to 31/12/2006 01 /12/1966 31 /12/2006 31 /12/2006 01 /12/1972 31 /12/2006 01 /01 /1967

Evaporation from groundwater storages depends on the water level below the surface, which also has a correlation with grain size and material permeability, which both affect evaporation. Nilsson (1988) presents a st udy by Hellwig (1973) in Namibia where t he average daily evaporation was calc ulated against the depth of the water table below the sand surface for three different soil mixtures: fine, medium and coarse grained sands. Hellwig's results show t hat evaporation decreases with increasing grain size when the water table is below the surface level of the dam. When the water table is at the surface it appears t hat grain size has no effect on the rate of evaporation. It can also be seen that as the water table decreases below the surface, the rate of evaporat ion decreases for all grain sizes, but most significantly for coarse grained soils. During t his investigation, it has been assumed that evaporation rate decreases linearly from the pan evaporation value at the surface to zero once the water surface is deeper t han 0.9m from the surface.

Farm Dam Characteristics Using Neal et a/. (2001 ) supplemented with an aerial photographic survey of farm dams for each site using imagery available from Google Earth (2007), representative farm dam sizes of 1ML, 3.5ML and 9ML at each site were determined. In each case , the storage was assumed to be a t runc ated pyramid with base areas determined from the aerial photography and side slopes of 1V:1.5H. Total st orage depth was determined from t he correspondi ng volume.

Groundwater Dam Sediment It was assumed that any infill sediment material was used to fill the dam with moderate compaction due to dump placement during construction. A uniform


MAY 2009 91

water supply


porosity of 39 per cent and a specific yield of 27 per cent, typical of a coarse sand (Todd, 1980), has been assumed.

Runoff For the arid and semi-arid regions of Aust ralia, flow records for small catchments are virtually non-existent, consequently, we must estimate the probable runoff that the dam will receive (Nelson, 1997). Runoff as a proportion of rainfall depends on the catchment characteristics such as vegetation, land use, climate, catchment size, topography and the local geology. The size of representative catchments in each location was determined from the aerial photographic survey. A total of 10 dams were selected in the vicinity of each location of the study and their dimensions recorded and the surrou nding terrain noted to obtain an approximate val ue of the catchment area. The volume of runoff has been calculated by the Rational Method using a daily time step. A runoff coefficient of 0.17 was selected from Table 5.5 in Ward and Trimble (2003) as appropriate for these cond itions. Whilst this estimation of the runoff coefficient is less than ideal, little can be done about the vast lack of information in ungauged catchments. It is however noted that any future work regarding this study justifies the use of a more sophisticated runoff model.

Demand Calculation Demand is best calculated from survey. Patterson (1985, cited by Gould et al., 1999) found from a survey of rural domestic water use reliant on rai nwater supplies in New South Wales that an average daily water demand was between 126 to 165 litres/person/day and a maximum of 350Uperson/day was recorded. Detailed analysis of household size and stock populations were impossible during this investigation. Consequently, it was assumed that the daily demand from the farm dams were constant flows of 2.7m 3/day, 8.6m3 /day and 18.6m3/ day based on information from Neal et al. {2001) according to the reservoir capacity. We are assuming that small farm dams are not used for crop irrigation . Therefore demand has been assumed to be approximately constant all year round, however a sensitivity analysis of the model with respect to the demands and runoff is recommended for incorporation in any future investigation.

92 MAY 2009 water


refereed paper


2.0 -



1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 Midura




Wagga Wagga


Site D Average annual rainfall (m) • Average annual evaporation (m)

Figure 2. Summary of Average Annual Rainfall and Evaporation at Each Site (Bennett, 2007).


E - 2.0 C:


~ 1.5 0

~ 1.0


0,5 0.0 Midura




Wagga Wagga



a Farm Dam o

Groundwater Dam- case 1 •Groundwater Dam- case 2 o Groundwater Dam - case 3

Figure 3. Summary of Annual Evaporation From Conventional and Groundwater Dams (Bennett, 2007).

Results For each model scenario, inflow and outflow volumes and mean storage water levels were calculated on a daily basis over a period of record of approximately 40 years. Mean annual evaporation for the th ree different sized dams at the six locations modelled is shown in Figure 3. A representative set of results for the case of a 9ML dam at Mildura is given in Table 2 and shown in Figure 4. It can be seen that the average annual volume of water available in the farm dam over the 40 years of data is 65 per cent of maximum capacity. Results for the corresponding groundwater dam appear to be somewhat in the range expect ed with the average annual available volume calculated as 87 per cent of the available volu me. A closer look at this figure (as shown in Table 2) reveals this to be equal to 24 per cent of the total dam volume (i.e. 61 per cent of the porosity). Figure 4

illustrates the vol ume change in the groundwater dam as a proportion of the total volume as being more variable than in the comparable farm dam. This is because there is less net total volume available for water storage in a groundwater dam of the same size and the demand remains the same. However, it can also be observed that in spite of the smaller net storage volume in the groundwater dam (39 per cent of the conventional structure), the storage maximises efficiency, w ith significantly less water lost to evaporation, it becomes more reliable. The diversion of runoff from the downstream receiving waters is significantly reduced for a groundwater dam. By implication , any increase in groundwater dam capacity will support higher farm demand with lower net diversion of flow from the downstream catchments. The number of days of zero capacity is considerably less at on ly 90

Table 2. Summary of Results for 9ML Dam (Case 3) at Mildura. Ave annual rainfall (m) Farm Dam



Ave annual Ave annual available Volume evaporation (m) volume (ML) runoff (ML)

2.216 0.426

5.89 2.1 2

95 274

No. days of failure (vol < demand)

144 90

technical features


water supply

refereed paper

storage volume over time

Date I-Farm Dam i Available storage volume over time



f~bt?iNE~ffr!m't"fflff!t't~fflM!l ~ I i ~ ~ § ~ ~ ~ i i ~ ~ ~ ~ ! i i i I i I I i i ~ ~ i i , i I i ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ §~


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§§§§§§§§§~ §§§§§~ §~ §§§

§ § § § § §

Date !- - Groundwater Dam


Daily Evaporation

.§ 1§





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1--Farm Dam - - Groundwater Dam





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Figure 4. Results for Case 3 at Mildura (Bennett, 2007). days over 39 years compared to 144 days of failure for the farm dam. Recharge occurs much faster and depletion slower in the groundwater dam as small runoff events are prot ected from evaporation during dry periods. Higher water quality can be maintained in groundwat er dams wh ich is of particular advantage in regions prone to high sedimentation and in fire prone zones where ash contamination leaves the wat er in small farm dams unfit for livestock consumption. From a construction feasibility point of view, if all basic requirements such as appropriate material and req uired plant are available locally, then construction is believed to be straightforward. Construction time wil l be largely based on the time required for bulk earthworks, which depends on the volume of the dam and the haulage distance of mat erials. If constructed on an appropriate site, and built properly, it is generally concluded that groundwater dams will be successful as they have been in other parts of the world (Nilsson, 1988). The addition of sediment to the dam storage may compromise geotechnical considerations wh ich may requ ire additional earth mass. Regarding economic feasibility, if material is readi ly available at little or no

cost, then the main cost of this exercise is attributed to the hire of construction equipment plus well and pump purchase and installation costs, or the costs of a gravity draining pipe from which water can freely flow. Economic feasibility will also be relat ive to the available storage volume and water saved from evaporation. Design life is expected to be largely dependant on clogging due to finer silts from runoff and the way in which these will infiltrate the groundwater storage.

Conclusions and Recommendations Whilst these results must be regarded as preliminary, the use of groundwater dams has significant potential t o substantially reduce evaporation from farm dams in arid and semi-arid Australia. Th is has the potential t o produce two desirable outcomes for agricultural management in inland Australia: 1. provide more reliable water supplies; and , 2. red uce runoff diversion from downstream catchments. However, this investigation has used lit erature data values to assess the effectiveness of groundwater dams

including sediment specific yield, catchment runoff coefficients and evaporation rates in shallow groundwaters. Further desktop investigation of groundwater dam potential using more sophisticated seasonal demand models may be justified. Nonetheless, field trials wi ll be necessary to demonstrate the potential of these structures under Australian conditions. A further possibility is to consider the use of groundwater dams underlying more conventional storages. Th is may have the desirable characteristic of maintaining a large active st orage volume yet also providing water supply protection during times of extreme drought. The study concludes that the application of groundwater dams wou ld be beneficial in arid areas of Australia for larger, deeper storages, however not much benefit is seen in their application in semi-arid regions. Groundwater dams reduce evaporation losses and appear to be an effective storage solution but more detailed sim ulations over longer climatic periods as well as field trials shou ld be undertaken before they are implemented in Australia.


MAY 2009 93

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The Authors Alexandra Bennett was a student at the University of New South Wales, School of Civil and Envi ronmental Eng ineering, and complet ed her undergraduate Honours thesis under t he supervisio n of Dr Bill Peirson in 2007. She is now at Hyder Consultin g, Sydney. Email alexandra.bennett@hyderconsulting.com

Refere nces Argarwal, A. and S. Narain (1991 ). Dying Wisdom; Rise fall and potential of India's traditional water harvesting system . New Delhi, India, Centre for Science and Environment. Bennett, A.S. (2007). Fill in the Dams? University of New South Wales. Undergraduate Thesis (Civil Engineering). BoM (2007). Climate Data Online, Bureau of Meteorology. Viewed on 17/07/2007, at http://www.bom.gov.au. Requested data received 23/0712007.

Borst, L. (2006). Hydrology of Sand Storage Dams, A case study in the Kii ndu catchment, Kitui District, Kenya, University of Amsterdam. Master Thesis Hydrogeology. Goog leEarth (2007). Google Earth, Data viewed between 10/08/2007 and 20/08/2007, Google Earth. Gould, J. and E. Nissen-Petersen (1999). Rainwater Catchment Systems for Domestic Supply; design, construction and implementation. London, England, Intermediate Technology

Publications Ltd. Manning, J. C. (1987). Applied principles of hydrology. Columbus, Merrill Pub. Co.

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MetAccess (2007). MetAccess Horizon Agriculture Electronic Data. Viewed 15/09/2007 at http://www.hzn.com.au/metaccess.php. Data received on CD 25/09/2007. Neal, 8 ., R. J. Nathan, et al. (2001}. "Identifying the Separate Impact of Farm Dams and Land Use Changes on Catchment Yield." Australian Journal of Water Resources 5(2): 12. Nelson, K. D. (1997). Design and construction of small earth dams. Melbourne, lnkata Press. Nilsson, A. (1988). Groundwater Dams for Small-scale Water supply. London, Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd. Nissen-Petersen, E. (2006). Water from Dry River Beds. Nairobi, ASAL Consultants Ltd for the Danish International Development Agency.

NORMACONNECT速FGR offers following benefits: , Easy and quick installation saves time which makes it a very cost-effective alternative > Space and weight saving , Re-usable , Weld-free connections , Stainless Steel connections assist noise & vibration absorption , Pipe sizes from 27mm to 2170mm , No pipe end treatment required , Meets international standards like Lloyds Register + Det Norske Veritas , No precise pipe gap necessary , Angular deflection and misalignment possible

NPSI (2005). Fact Sheet - Controlling evaporation losses from farm dams, National Program for Sustainable Irrigation: 2. Rancic, A. and Acworth , I., 2008, "The relationship between the 1947 shift in climate and the expansion of dryland salinity on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range in NSW", in proceedings of the 2nd International Salinity Forum, Adelaide Todd, D. K. (1980). Groundwater Hydrology, John Wiley & Sons. Van Haveren, 8. P. (2004). Dependable Water Supplies from Valley Alluvium in Arid Regions . D. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Colorado, U.S.A. , Kluwer Academic Publishers: 259-266. VSF-Belgium (2006). Subsurface dams: a simple, safe and affordable technology for pastoralists. Kenya, Veterinaires Sans Frontieres: 51. Ward, A. D. and S. W. Trimble (2003). Environmental hydrology. Boca Raton, FL, Lewis Publishers. Ward, R. C. and M. Robinson (2000}. Principles of hydrology. London, McGraw-Hill. Watts, P. J. (2005). Scoping Study - Reduction of evaporation from farm dams, National Program for Sustainable Irrigation: 79. White, G. E. (1960). Science and the future of arid lands, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Norma Pacific Pty Ltd. Phone +61 3 9761 4416 Fax +61 3 9761 4030 Email sales.au@normagroup.com Web www.normagroup.com MADE INGERMANY

Wipplinger, 0. (1958). The storage of water in sand: an investigation of the properties of natural and artificial sand reservoirs and of methods of developing such reservoirs. Windhoek, South West Africa Administration, Water Affairs Branch.

technical features

PUMPED UP ON THE WEB EPG Pumps has launched its new website - www.epgpumps.com.au. The website is product-focused and combi nes searchability with a range of product data including performance cu rves and technical specifications, enabling users to make informed decisions about their pumping requirements . The comprehensive website showcases the complete range of pumps available from EPG Pumps including WSP, Tsu rumi, Cat Pumps, Polychem, EOne, Pacer Pumps, lndeng, Toyo, Edur, JS Maskinfabrik, Harben and Aquaplus. For all products there is an extensive range of product data available including features, applications, performance curves, technical specifications and dimensions.

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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 Rau l! at brian.rault@halledit.com.au or Tel (03) 8534


AWA wishes to advise readers that Water Business information is supplied by third part i es an d as such, AWA is not responsible for the accuracy, or otherwise, of the information submitted.







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l- ~.Ji ,i' - • =~ -- ·-- --- ! The website has been optimised to ensure that users can find the information they need in a fast and intuitive way. Users can locate products based on the pump type, brand or applicable industry. There is also a search function available on every page to help users locate product data fast and efficiently.

The site also provides a great range of pump tools including equations, useful conversions and a glossary of terms . These are valuable and relevant tools which ensure that users can access a range of information for their needs. EPG Pumps is a dedicated pump business specialising in the distribution and service of internationally recogn ised brands. Commencing in 1949 as Pacific Pump Company, EPG Pumps is now one of Australia's largest national pump distributors. In addition to representing leading pump manufacturers, EPG Pumps is able to design and install pumping systems, while also providing customers with service capabil ities. To contact EPG Pumps please visit www.epgpumps.com.au or ca/11800 351


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. 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 its 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 syst em. The link-seal system is then installed between the new sleeve and the pipe creating a water-tight penetration (can be oil resistant if needed). This new system can accommodate pipes up to 1600mm in diameter. For details call Projex on 02 8336 1666 or mail@projex.com.au

FIGHTING FLOODS WITH WATER Mobile water-filled flood barriers from Europe with hundreds of deployments are now available in Australia and New Zealand through the exclusive Sydneybased distributor, Fire Fighting Technologies International Pty Ltd (www.ffti.com.au). The Beaver® eliminates the need for traditional sandbagging which is time consuming and labour intensive. Research by the US Army Corps


COMPREHENSIVE AND EASY TO USE WATER DISTRIBUTION MODELLING sonwARE ~ ~~~!~~y WaterGEMS 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. WaterGEMS can be run in ArcGIS, AutoCAD, MicroStation or as a stand-alone application. For more information, see the inside front cover of the May issue of Water Journal, visit www.bentley.com/AWA, e-mail s ales.haestad@bentley.com, or call +61 (0)3 9699 8699.

water MAY 2009 95

new products & services Engineers shows that it takes 10 men 7 hours to fill 1500 sandbags to make a 1m high & 10m long wall. Supported by a HYTRANS1 4000Umin pump, a 1m high & 1Om long Beaver twin-element can be ready in less than 15 minutes. With the predicted effects of climate change so evident in our world today, the arrival of the Beaver in Australia is timely. Erratic weather patterns, flash flooding and more severe storms, such as those experienced in south-east Queensland in November 2008, are increasing and the outcomes can be devastating for individuals and communities.

The key element is a pressure exchanger which transfers the energy of the concentrated brine directly to the raw seawater without the need for mechanical conversion. An electronic control system records all operating modes of the higher-level reverse osmosis (RO) system and adjusts pump and pressure exchange control as required. It ensures that the water column in the pressure exchanger vessels is accelerated and decelerated so gently that switching the rotating valve of the pressu re exchanger does not cause pulsations.

to National Water Commission research released at the NWC National Water Industry Skills Forum (March 2008).

To help fi ll this gap, the International WaterCentre's (IWC) postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters in Integrated Water Management are now being delivered via part-time/distance mode. Unlike most water courses, the IWC's program takes an integrated, whole-ofwater cycle approach using case studies, projects and field trips. Current student, Fl orent Vetillart, says, "I chose this course because of its holistic approach to water issues, including environmental, social and economic factors. " The course teaches technical and social/managerial aspects of water management, allowing students to specialise in an area of t heir choice during the final semester.

The 'SalTec' pressure exchanger helps to cut costs in the Maltese RO desalination plant.

The Beaver Flood Barrier consists of two flexible PVC tubes laid side by side, permanently joined to form a twin element with high static stability. Elements are available in different lengths and heights. Initially inflated with air, twin-elements can be pre-deployed awaiting confirmation of desired positions. When in desired positions, they are then filled with water. Beaver elements can also be stacked. This allows the user to standardise on a small or medium size product and yet have the flexibility to cater for deeper or deepening flood waters if required. "A broad spectrum of Australian users, from State Emergency Services to local governments, from construction companies to flood-prone industrial sites, even private land-holders, can benefit from the flood barriers" said Nicolas Souchaud, FFT Sales and Marketing Manager. For further information, please contact FFT on 02 9253 4990 or info@ffti.com.au

PRESSURE EXCHANGER CUTS DESALINATION COSTS IN MALTA In early July 2008, an isobaric energy recovery system developed by KSB started operation in the Pembroke seawater desalination plant on Malta. Consisting of two SalTec DT250 systems operating in parallel, the system uses hydraulic power transmission to red uce energy costs compared with conventional solutions, such as turbines, for example.

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KSB also supplied the high-pressure pump employed to generate the pressure required for the reverse osmosis process and the booster pump used to compensate for the pressure losses in the pressure exchanger circuit. All components were designed to ensure that the production costs for a cubic metre of desalinated water are lower than those of other systems. KSB is the first manufacturer t o supply this type of all-inone package for the RO process. The Pembroke plant produces more than 40,000 cu bic metres of desalinated water per day and is therefore an important drinking water supplier, both for 400,000 inhabitants and for more than one million tourists who visit Malta every year. By using state-of-the-art pumps and pressure exchanger technology, the plant operator uses around 35% less energy. Since as early as Aug ust 2003, a SalTec pilot system has been operating in Frankenthal, Germany, and a further system in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, since mid-May 2004. For further information, contact 03 9314 0611, email: buddhika.ariyagama@ ksbajax.com.au, website: www.ksb.com.au

DISTANCE LEARNING FOR AUSTRALIAN WATER PROFESSIONALS A severe shortage of qualified Australian water professionals is looming, according

Included in the course cost are field trips to Western Australia and Stradbroke Island, $1,000 for professional development and up to $1 ,000 for third semester project support. Fee help and tax incentives are also available from the federal government. The Masters program comprises three full- or six part-time semesters. Hosted by The University of Queensland in Brisbane, the courses use expert practitioners from the International WaterCentre's Australian university partners - Queensland, Griffith, Monash and Western Australia. For more information, see our ad on IWC scholarships to study Master of Integrated Water Management on page 27. Email info@watercentre.org, www.watercentre.org

NEW CFO FOR S IEMENS LTD Siemens Ltd (Australia and New Zealand) has appointed a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Pacific Cluster, Bernd Haetzel. Mr Haetzel succeeds Jeff Connoll ly, who has taken up an assignment in Beijing as CFO and Senior Vice President for Siemens operations in China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan after 6½ years with Siemens Ltd. Albert Goller, Chairman and Managing Director, said that Mr Haetzel brought extensive knowledge and experience, gained during his 18 year tenure with the organisation to date. "Bernd has a wealth of experience in different parts of the business such as former Automation and Drives, Healthcare and most recently as CFO of the Fire Safety and Security business of the Building Technology

water business

new products & services division of Siemens Industry in Switzerland. He has also worked in various parts of the Siemens world in Germany, the USA and Switzerland."

Bernd Haetzel succeeds Jeff Connolly as Chief Financial Officer for Siemens Ltd (Australia and New Zealand).

For more information, please contact Siemens in Australia on 137 222 and in New Zealand on +64 9 580 5500 or visit www.siemens.com.au

SY DNEY WATER OUTLINES NEW MODELLING SYSTEM Ozwat er is Australia's leading conference and exhibition for the water industry. Now organised annually by the Australian Wat er Association (AWA), Ozwater 09 (March 16-18th) in Melbourne brought together hundreds of experts from across the Australian water industry to debat e and explore the pressing topics of t oday. In his presentation, Fernando Gamboa from Sydney Water gave conference delegates an insight into the development of the company's new Water modelling System that is based around lnfoWorks WS. Titled "Pushing water to new heights", Fernando clearly demonstrated the value of integrating business applications and processes with advanced hydraulic modelling software.

Beyond the conference, the Ozwater exhibition again proved a major attraction for attendees. The continuous stream of visitors to Wallingford Software's stand kept the Wall ingford Software st aff busy throughout the three days of the event. "It was a successful and busy event for us", says Paul Banfield, Sales Director for Wallingford Software. "Our tremendous growth since the last Ozwater event meant that many people made considerable effort t o come and see us from across Australia and New Zealand." Two topics of conversation dominated discussions on the Wall ingford stand. The first was Hunter Water (http://www.hunterwater.com.au/) , the major water and wastewater supplier in the Hunter region of New South Wales. Just days before Ozwater, Hunter Water became the latest customer of Wall ingford Software in Australia with the purchase of several licenses of lnfoWorks WS for water supply. The second was the recent announcement of lnfoWorks RS Free Edition (http://www. wallingfordsoftware.

com/ news/fullarticle.asp?id=862); a free 250-node edition of Wallingford Software's highly regarded modelling software for river catchments. lnfoWorks RS Free Edition provides the ideal introduction to river modelling for small flood risk assessments, localised flood mapping updates and refinements, assessing bridge afflux, small flood defence and river engineering design, catchment flood and surface water resource management plans, receiving water impact studies and river restoration design. The free software includes all the core 1D modelling fu nctionality of the full version of lnfoWorks RS but is limited to building and ru nning individual model networks of up to 250 nodes. Contact www. wal/ingfordsoftware. com

CITY EXPANDS WATER SUPPLY WITHOUT DEPLOY ING ADDITIONAL WATER SOURCES USING BENTLEY'S WATERGEMS Fair Oaks Ranch is a city in south central Texas, just north of San Antonio. Like most Texan cities, water is always a concern. So in late 2007 when negotiations with the region's only available water supplier broke down, Fair Oaks Ranch was in a real bind. The city had not on ly been negotiating for enough additional water to fulfi ll commitments to two major subdivisions, it had also been in discussions for the maintenance of current water rates for its existing 8,500 customers. With additional water from the only source now out of the question, Fair Oaks Ranch had to fi nd a way to keep both pledges and do it fast - the city's promised delivery date was just six months away. Fair Oaks Ranch

.. :::9env1roaer industries

wat er MAY 2009 97

new products & services approached M&S Engineering Ltd., a 65person Texas consulting firm, to analyse the situation and provide a solution. The time frame was minimal and the scope was broad. M&S Engineering first determined the three major objectives: • Analyse existing infrastructure and water sources to see if the proposed subdivisions could be supplied without an adverse effect on current city residents • Based on this analysis, generate a list of options for consideration • Evaluate combinations of the options, taking into account factors like cost, feasibi lity, constructabi lity, and time to complete Each objective faced additional complicating factors. To analyse the existing infrastructure, for example, meant that M&S Engineering would need a schematic of the entire water system, which did not exist. The system had been built piecemeal over a 30-year period by various developers and no single plan or comprehensive CAD drawing had ever been completed. The city did have a SCADA in place, but it was of no use for calibrating a model. In fact, as in many smaller water agencies, most of the relevant system knowledge resided between the ears of expert operators, and that knowledge had to be captured.


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Variation of the calculated level of one of the city's tanks over time, in WaterGEMS.

Generating options was also complex. In addition to expected difficulties, the larger of the two proposed developments is 50 feet higher than the greatest hydraulic grade in the city so the list of options had to contend with the possible need for additional well s and/or an elevated water tank. The alignments of any new transmission lines would have to be considered, and the city would have to make an intel ligent and economically sound choice between hydropneumatic tanks - whic h come with additional energy and maintenance costs - or large static tanks. And last but not least, M&S Engineering wo uld have to attach costs and benefits to each option and come up

98 MAY 2009 water

with a phased capital improvement plan that met immediate needs and prepared the city for future development. "There were a myriad of major chal lenges, and the aggressive time frame forced us to rely heavily on automation and timesaving capabi lities," explained M&S Engineering Project Manager Daniel Konstanski. "M&S Engineering was able to meet what appeared to be an unmanageable project schedule almost exclusively due to WaterCAD." Preparation of the system model was a good example of the time-saving ability of WaterCAD. Because there were no existing electronic drawings, M&S Engineering engineers built a system schematic from scratch working from multiple sets of developer drawings assembled over 30 years. "This presented a major problem. We would have to draw everything by hand and then draw it by hand again to enter it into the modelling software," contin ued Konstanski. "Fortunately, Bentley support staff and instructors guided us on how to use the extracting capabilities of WaterCAD to take the drawings we made and create a working water model automatically. This saved us hours of repeat work."

progress through the options without having to create different water models for each potential solution." As a resu lt, M&S Engineering was able to provide the city with a cost-effective solution and was also able to sketch out a four-phase capital improvement program that wi ll not only create a fu lly interconnected and much more efficient water system, but position Fair Oaks Ranch as a more pervasive wat er provider to the region. www.bentley.com/AWA

KEEPING THE WATER FLOWING Trai ning remote communities to manage their own water infrastructure throws up many unique challenges say training experts Simmond s & Bristow. In early 2007, the government published a review of the Community Housing and Infrastructure Program (CHIP); a program implemented in the 1960s to improve the living standards of remote indigenous communities. The review, Living in the Sunburnt Country, was critical of the success of CHIP, concluding that it contributed "to the policy confusion, complex administration and poor outcomes and accountability of government funded housing, infrastructure and municipal services."

But the model needed substantial refinement and calibration based on actual operations data, and this data did not exist in digital form - M&S Engineering would have to figure out how to extract it from Fair Oak Ranch's expert personnel. This was done by physically sitting down M&S Engineering experts and city operators at computers running the model. Small changes were made to the model and then analysed, and by doing this repeatedly, accurate solutions were arrived at iteratively.

To address these problems, the Australian Government introduced the Austral ian Remote Indigenous Accommodation Program (ARIA) in 2008, and has since pledged to improve regional infrastructure and services through improved service provision and expanded opportunities for education and training.

"WaterCAD was an invaluable tool for facilitating coordination through its simple yet detailed outputs and multiple visualisation options," said Konstanski, "Graphic displays, tables, and graphs were essential in facil itating communication between the different parties and allowing them to cooperatively achieve an outstanding result."

The traini ng team at Simmonds & Bristow has been out in the field for almost a decade, working with remote commun ities and teaching them to manage their own water and wastewater systems, and has witnessed first-hand some of the problems faced by these communities when it comes to maintaining their infrastructure.

With an accurate model in place, M&S Engineering could turn its attention to evaluation of different options. Konstanski added, "We were able to quickly but thoroughly evaluate a large number of options and then compare the different results through output and report functions. Through the use of linked scenarios, each with different small changes, we were able to quickly

"Many communities we visit are so remote that they have to be self-sufficient when it comes to maintaining their water syst ems" says S&B's trai ning manager Paul Creegan. "Whereas people in Brisbane or Sydney jump on the phone and call a 24hr plumber when their water supply breaks down, many of the communities we work with just don't have that option."


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new products & services NEW OPTIONS FOR TERTIARY WASTEWATER TREATMENT EPCO Australia has recently expanded its represented product range to augment their tertiary treatment options - the Enviro Disc Filter to give a class A quality (Queensland Water Reuse Guidelines) and the Novasep Ultrafiltration system to provide the higher class A+ water. Simmonds & Bristow delivers training to the water industry throughout Australia.

Coupled with the issue of maintaining drinking water and sewage systems in geographically isolat ed locat ions, comes the added challenge of working with equipment that is often based around old technology, and managed without any formal t raining or structured procedu res. Mr Creegan said "Before we begin any train ing program we conduct a needs analysis, in order to better understand t he communities we' ll be worki ng with , and to recognise the limitations of their infrastructure. "This is why the services we offer are so different from the training offered by mainstream classroom-based training institutions," Mr Creegan says. Paul Creegan and his team have recent ly spent time working in Far North Queensland where t hey have been responsible for training all the water treatment plant operators on the 18 islands of the Torres Strait Island Regional Council. In these geographically isolated locations, a lack of formal educat ion often means that written English skills are limited, and reliable communication networks are inadequate, making an online approach to learning impractical. For this reason the S&B team has taken a very hands- on approach.

The Ashbrooke Simon Hartley EnviroDisc Filter is a fixed-disk design t hat reduces operating costs and delivers high quality filtrate in minimum space - an ideal sol ution for a plant upgrade where space is limited. For new plants, t he Enviro-Disc system is easily incorporat ed into a concrete or steel package plant design. The Enviro- Disc Filter is an approved California Title 22 machine engineered as a continuous operat ing system allowing clean ing and sampling without filter shutdown. The filter cloth is capable of solids capture down to 10 micron . Th is system is ideally suited for tertiary fi ltration; water reuse; process streams; surface water treatment; and municipal and industrial applications. The Novasep Organic Membrane Plate & Frame Type Ultrafiltration (UF) System incorporating 'IRIS' ultrafiltration membranes, provides high performance, rel iability, longevity and a low operating cost. The most cost effective organic membrane for demanding applications, this modular design is readily adaptable to different production requirements and ideally suited to wastewater treatment applications.

"Alt hough we follow a nationally recognised curriculum (such as the recently updated Cert II and Ill in Water Operations) our programs have been developed to use a very practical approach; using lots of photos, equipment samples and fieldwork, " Mr Creegan says. "We even have a 24-hour helpdesk, so t hat operators can co ntact us with questions and problems whenever they arise, " Mr Creegan adds. "We don't just close the classroom door and walk away when a course finishes; we make sure we're always there to back up t he lessons we've taught." For more information tel 07 3710 9100 or visit www.simmondsbristow.com.au

The Novasep MBR unit has a smaller foot print than similar capacity systems but is easily expandable due to its modular construction. It is not immersed in a tank and the permeat e f low from each membrane p late is easily visi ble which means that maintenance is safe and simple.


MAY 2009 99

new products & services Enviroaer on (03) 9399 9913 or email info@enviroaer.com

Botany Bay, Kyeemagh, Tempe, St Peters, Alexandria and Erskinevi lle.


The reverse osmosis building is cu rrently the largest of its kind under construction in the southern hemisphere and the second largest in the world. The plant is expected to be up and running in the summer of 2009/10.

Advanced manufacturing practices at

AWMA Pty Ltd have seen hydrost atic

Novasep has over 30 years experience with membrane technology and can provide a solution for most applications.EPCO Australia provides equipment solutions for each stage of the wastewater treatment process for new or refurbished treatment plants. For further information contact Grant Cobbin (07) 3279 3276, email: grantc@epco.com.au, web: www.epco.com.au

testing included in the supply agreement for the Sydney Desalination Plant. A tot al of 72 water control penstocks and stopboards are currently being custom designed, manufactured and installed by the regional Victorian-based company. The testing capabi lities recently established at AWMA provide clients with reduced asset risk. At present, AWMA is testing seawater inlet penstocks for up to 18m head pressure in off seating cond itions for the desalination project.

STAINLESS STEEL BAND SCREENS Enviroaer is a provider of mechanical equipment and engineering solutions for municipal and industrial water and wastewater applications. Together with Hydro-Dyne Engineering, the company is offering the next generation of HydroDyne Stainless Steel band screens. The full range on Hydro-Dyne band screens includes the Triden™, HydroFlo™ and Wiese-Flo™ designs. The versatile Triden screen is offered in Low Flow, Original, Heavy Duty and Super Duty models, providing through flow design and large solid removal. The Hydro-Flo and Wiese-Flo centre flow designs offer very high capture rates and low headless and are excellent for sensitive process protection. Applications for the Hydro-Dyne range of St ainless Steel band screens include: • Membrane protection • Municipal inlet works • Desalination plants • Energy plants • Refineries and processing plants Hydro-Dyne En gineering provides products manufactured in AISI 304, 316, or specialty stainless steel. Screen elements are offered with perforated panels, laced links or woven wire mesh with openings from 1 mm to 75 mm, handling flows from < 10 Us to > 350 MUd. For further information on custom screens or process equipment contact

100 MAY 2009 water

For more information about AWMA, tel 1800 664 852, www.awma.au.com

IRRIGATORS TO GET NEW WATER SOURCE A new $7.5 million private irrigation scheme is delivering 30 megalitres per day supply of water from the Poatina Power Station reregulation pond to 19 farms. The pipeline extends 17 km to the Macquarie River. It was funded by the Macquarie Settlement Pipeline Partnership and delivered in partnership with Hydro Tasmania, and Tyco compan ies, Water Dynamics and Water Infrastructure Group. Hyd ro Tasmania has a pipeline incorporated in the scheme for the first 5 km terminating at Lake River t o supply additional irrigators on the Lake River system.

Due to the natu re of the desalination plant, the design specifications of Blue Water (a joint venture of John Holland and Veolia Water) were extremely demanding. The penstocks and stopboards are required to withstand high head pressure capacity in off seating cond itions, continuous exposure to unfiltered and waste backwash seawater as well as daily exposure to super chlorination. The penstocks are approximately 3m x 4m and manufactured from Super Duplex Stainless Steel, due to its corrosive resistance and 100 year life expectancy. All gates manufactured for this project comply with st ri ngent 'continuous welding' specifications for Super Duplex Stainless Steel. The project, worth $1.9 billion, is currently Australia's single largest water infrastructure project. The wi nd powered plant can supply up to 250 million litres of water a day - which is up to 15% of Sydney's wat er needs. The plant will draw seawat er from the Tasman Sea off the coast at Kurnell. Through the reverse osmosis process, freshwater will be extract ed from seawater before it is further treated and connected with Sydney 's water supply at Erskineville. The pipeline wil l be laid in Kurnell,

The pipeline was launched in April this year by Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett who said that the project was a great achievement for hard working farmers and local contractors.

Left to right: John Gillan, Water Infrastructure Group Project Manager; Vern Costelow, Water Dynamics Business Development Manager; Jeremy Cox, Water Dynamics Tasmanian Manager; Vince Hawksworth, CEO Hydro Tasmania.

"I am convinced Tasmanian agribusiness will lead an economic recovery in this state and entrench it for the future . Strategic investments in irrigation are vital if Tasmania's potential is to be realised as a major food bowl for the nation," Mr Bartlett said. Robert Bayles, Chairman of the Macquarie Settlement Pipeline (MSP) Partnership, said that the irri gation scheme was an ambitious project that had been successful ly delivered as a result of a cooperative partnership between public and private businesses.

new products & services For more information visit www.waterdynamics.com or www.wigroup.com. au.


Water Dynamics in conjunction with the MSP Group, developed the concept for the irrigation scheme at their Longford office in Tasmania. This involved the format ion of an off icial entity that sits under the Elizabeth Macquarie Irrigation Trust. A steering com mittee was formed and Water Dynamics worked th rough a number of designs to fi nally arrive at an economic solution.

Jeremy Cox, Manager of Water Dynam ics Tasmania, said that optim ising the pipeline design to suit different scenarios for the volume of water requ ired and the needs of t he end users was an interesting challenge. "After 13 months of planning, design and consultation it was a great day when the final project scope was reached and we cou ld complete permits and approvals, commence procurement and get construction underway," Jeremy explained.

In response to the devastati ng fires that ravaged Victoria in early February, MWH offered pro bono consu ltancy assistance to its most severely affected wat er authority clients to the north of Melbourne and in the Gippsland reg ion. The services included water infrastructure asset assessment, structural co ndition assessment , emergency wat er supply augmentation and water supply catch ment protection. From this initial offer, MWH w as commissioned by Melbourne Water to undertake a high priority water quality monitoring and cat chment remediat ion study fo r the badly burnt water supply cat ch ments of Tarago, Maroondah and O'Shannassy reservoirs, as well as a number of smaller catc hments, to mitigat e adverse imp act on water quality from fire-related sediment , nutrient and pathogen pollution. MWH reviewed c urrent inflow monitoring procedures and methods t o prepare a program and schedu le of instream water quality monitoring, which provided Melbourne Water with recommended water quality monitoring methods, parameters, frequencies, locations and costs to mitigate the risk of water supply contamination over the coming two years of catchment recovery. Additionally MWH reviewed and recommended remediation measures for fire-affected catchment areas. Further information, visit www.mwhglobal.com


Commercial and project management services were provided by Tyco lnternational's Water Infrastructure Group. The project was delivered on budget to provide water at a very economical rate in comparison to many other schemes. Both t he Macquarie Settlement and Lake River pipelines wi ll be op erated by the Settlement Pipeline Partnership.

As part of it s commitment to improving the sustainability of the Maleny and hinterland comm unity, local community group, Lak e Baroon Catchment Care Group (LBCCG), has joined forces w ith the Sunshine Coast Regio nal Council (SCRC) and global engineering and en vironmental consulting firm MWH to design and implement rehabilitation works that will return a drain to a natural stream environment. The project is also being supported by the region's bulk water supplier Seqwater through its sponsorship of the LBCC G.

The project will restore natural habitats, reduce localised flooding, improve water quality w ithin Obi Obi Creek and ultimately Lake Baroon. Willow Lane, 300 metres from the t own centre, has an open drain that flows into Obi Obi Creek and is cu rrently experiencing si lting problems and poor water quality. If left untreated , could result in lasti ng impacts on downstream waterways.

To protect against the continued decline in t he stream 's condition , MWH has volunteered its services to LBCCG to develop a Waterways Management Plan that identifies the strategies required to rectify these problems, and a program for implementation. These strategies include building a sediment trap, re-instating natural stream feat ures and re-vegetating the area. MWH's experience and leadership in water, wastewater and environmental management has been recognised international ly and makes it the perfect partner for the LBCCG in achieving their commitment. LBCCG's Catchment Coordinator Mark Amos, believes MWH's involvement wi ll go a long way to ensuring Maleny and the hinterland's future environmental sustainability. Mr Amos said it was particularly beneficial to have a firm of MWH's experience backing this initiative. "The LBCCG was formed with an objective to improve the water quality throughout the Obi Obi Creek catchment by implementing on-ground works, and providing education and training in

water MAY 2009 101

new products & services improved land management practices in the Maleny and hinterland community," he said .

industry and now th is extensive knowledge and experience in ultrafiltration and microfiltration membrane technology is being used to provide chemical free

MWH Sunshine Coast Regional Office Manager, Robert Stringfellow, is looking forward to the opportunity to provide support to the local community. "MWH's efforts are focused on the world's most challenging environmental issues. We did not hesitate to make our water and environmental management expertise available to t he LBCCG and SCRC. Our involvement in this commun ity project is a great way of demonstrating our fi rm's purpose of building a better world, and of our commitment to this region," Mr Stringfellow said.

EnviroSEP p late packs are fabricated in flat stainless steel sheet configured to maximise coalescing of oil droplets. The plate pack is constructed never to warp, or corrode, ensuring optimum performance for the life of the unit.

environmentally sustainable and cost effective solution for seawater pretreatment."

The Plan is set to be launched on the May 31 and the Maleny comm unity is invited to get involved, with a market day to be held in the Town Centre in support of the project.

"The Seacell is suitable for use in submerged water treatment systems, while Seablock is used for pressurised water t reatment facilities. Both technologies provide the vital cond itioning of the seawater prior to t he desalination process.

Businesses and community members interested in getting further involved with the project should contact Suzanne Connor on 07 3510 7527 or visit www.mwhglobal.com

SEPARATING OIL AND WATER An Australian environmental technology proven in thousands of installations worldwide is designed to provide optimum quality and performance in separating oi l and water in stormwater treatment and industrial wastewat er applications. The Austral ian-designed and manufactured AJM® EnviroSEP™ oilwater separators from AJM-EWT are employed in diverse industrial applications including electrical substations, transmission stations, fuels storage bunds, tank farms, refueling bays, mine sites, power stations, service stations, depots, petroleum terminals and refineries. EnviroSEP™ units - available in capacities from 1 KUhr to 100KUhr - are designed to remove all free oil from contaminated streams to comply with the most stringent of discharge requ irements, says AJM-Eimco Water Technologies Sales Manager - Industrial, Mathew Pugh. Th e first stage of the two-stage plate pack is designed to remove gross slugs of oil followed by the secondary polishing stage that removes any remaini ng droplets. This ensures that the treated water is free of all traces of free visible oil, said Mr Pugh.

102 MAY 2009


Tony Handakas, Executive Manager, Siemens Water Technologies, explained the technology behind the low pressure Seacell™ and Seablock™ membrane systems. "The Seacell™ and Seablock™ systems are the latest innovations to come from our world-leadi ng research and manufacturing faci lity here in Australia, and they have been developed specifically to meet the emerging need for large-scale seawater desalination plants in our region that require both an

All EnviroSEP units are designed with an internal oil tank which removes the need for unsig htly drums or other containers to collect the removed oil. The package control systems will alert when the integrated oil tank is f ull; because the units can treat neat oil flows for short periods this acts as a major spill protection feature wh ich, in the event of a major spillage, automatically stops the feed to the unit within a matter of minutes. Mr Pugh said "The EnviroSEP unit and all of its components are designed and manufactured in Australia and are manufactured in durable stai nless steel, with different grades avai lable to suit more corrosive applications." Applications include mine sites and power stations, and petrochemical industries.

For further information, please contact John Koumoukelis, National Sales Manager - Industrial/Municipal, EWTI AJM Environmental services Pty Ltd, 02 9542 2366, fax 02 9542 2433, john. koumoukelis@glv.com

GREENER ALTERNATIVE FOR SEAWATER DESALINATION Siemens Memcor membranes have long dominated the water reuse

"A ground-breaking advancement with the Seacell and Seablock membranes is that they require no coagulants or chem icals for active filtration of the seawater and use high permeabil ity membranes. This results in less energy use than alternative membrane systems. "All of these design features ultimately result in a lower carbon footprint for the large desalination plants being construct ed globally ." Rhett Butler, Siemens Business Development Manager, Water Tech nologies, said the physical design of the membranes was also extremely innovative. "The design of t he Seacell and Seablock membranes is based on a modular, plug-and-play concept that makes them both time and cost effective to install," he said. "The individual units comprise large arrays that can be connected together to achieve a filtration system of variable capacity. A single modular unit can treat 50 megalitres of seawater per day - the equ ivalent of approximately 25 Olympicsized swimming pools."

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



sludge drying & biosolids NEW MODULAR HEAT EXCHANGER Teralba Industries Pty continues to provide heat transfer solutions with t he newly released, high-flow Dimpleflo Modubloc Heat Exchanger for processing large vol umes, up to 200 tonnes, of product per hour and is capable of handling pressures of up t o 580 psi/40 Bar.

under licence from United States based Paul Mueller Co. Expansion of the range to include all stainless steel components provides industry and manufact urers throughout Australia and New Zealand with the option of hygienic, maint enancefree heat exchangers.

This all new 'Dimplef lo' Modubloc design uses a bolt-together system to join tubes enabling endless opt ions by adding or reconfiguring the heat exchanger to meet any changed or increased application in the future. High efficiency energy recovery from sewerage sl udge, hot slurried or fouling product s is achieved through the ' Dimpleflo' Modubloc.

This new design builds on the attributes of Dimplef lo heat exchangers that combine a free-draining, compact configurat ion with extremely high heat transfer coefficients in an overal l package that has proven to be virtually maintenance free. The new Modubloc is available in most grades of stainless steel, Duplex alloys and t itanium to satisfy highly corrosive and ab rasives applications, and environments. These heat exchangers are capable of almost any applications and can process flu ids with up to 85% solids. For further information please contact: Teralba Industries, phone: 02 4626 5000, email: sales@teralba.com, www.teralba.com

STAINLESS STEEL PLATE HEAT EXCHANGERS The complete range of Mueller AccuTherm Plate Heat Exchangers are made in Australia by Teralba Industries Pty

Australian-made stainless steel Mueller Accu-Therm Plate Heat Exchangers are also available with a fu ll range of fitt ings and connection including BSM, BSP, Triclove, Table Flange, ANSI Flange and Camlock. Plate materials include 316 SS and t itanium to provide corrosion resistance. Please contact Teralba Industries, tel 02 4626 5000, email: sales@teralba.com, www.teralba.com


All stainless steel construction eliminates t he requirement for chemical laden epoxy coatings or spray painting which is essential where t raditional mild steel frames are used. Advantages over The 'Dimpleflo' Modubloc is an all stainless steel tube-i n-tube heat exchanger making it hygenic and suitable for corrosive environments. Due to its tig ht involute configuration, t he 'Dimpleflo ' Modubloc provides t he ultimat e in high efficiency heat transfer of slurries in a compact, cost-effective design.

traditional powder coated frames include aesthetics, elimination of painting and a sanitary finish with high corrosion resistance.

Magytec International Pty Ltd has established a new office/warehouse in t he northern Sydney suburb of Hornsby. Director Ian Bane said that "Our new warehouse enables us to better support our Sernagiotto belt press customers with spare parts and service. Particularly for filter belts, which are normally long lead items, we are able to offer shorter delivery times for our standard belt widths."

Our no-waste approach to waste. SA Water is proof th at every little bi t counts. With a reputation for leading Australia in wastewater treatment, our unique secondary system is no exception. It starts with three treatmen t plants and 100,000 mega litres of wastewater. In 2007-08 we used about 27% as recyc led water - but we don 't stop there . Since the introd uction of our bio-solids reuse program in 1999 we have di sposed of all our annual production for use by farmers and growers of perennial horticultura l crops. Special drying lagoon s turn it into 25,000 ton nes of dry biosolid, offered free to our famers and growers. It helps condition soil and maintain nutrients that encourage plant growth. Far from little, it's why SA Water is now a leader in water utility technology and internationally recognised for innovation.

-ii'. Government of ~ SA'"' .f. South Australia ~ VValer

WWW.sawater.com.au -:.;;e-./

sludge drying & biosolids Other critical items, such as belt tracking control valves, are also held in stock. As specialists in sludge dewatering, Magytec offers tuning and training for existing belt press or gravity table systems. "It is our experience that many older plants are run ning well below their capability, and can be easily and economically upgraded. For a relatively minor expenditure for tun ing and training, significant improvements are often possible. Whilst we offer Siemens Sernagiotto equipment, we can also improve systems incorporating other brands of existing equipment."

combined anaerobic and aerobic technologies, we will be able to deliver optimal water quality combined with generation of alternative green energy", says Boudelle's Director of Operations, Mr Ponthieu. The CEO of Global Water Engineering, Jean Pierre Ombregt, says GWE's technology will assist Bonduelle in further meeting its strict goals to preserve natural resources by controlling energy and water consumption. "We are very pleased to be working for Bonduelle, one of the top world players in vegetable processing," he said. Mr Bambridge says that, in Australasia, green energy generation from wastewater treatment does not always get as much attention as the more traditional renewables, such as solar and wind. "In fact there lies a huge, often hidden, potential in using wastewater as a source of renewable energy. Global Water Engineering (GWE) encourages businesses with organic content in their wastewater and wast e streams to investigate the anaerobic potential for their specific case. The technolog ies involved are highly applicable to Australia and New Zealand," he says.

For more information, contact Ian H Bane on 0418 212 070 or 02 9482 1511, email: mail@magytec.com, www.magytec.com

CLEAN WATER AND GREEN ENERGY SOLUTIONS Anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment technology, represented in Australasia by CST Wastewater Solutions, has been selected for installation by one of the world's leading vegetable processing organisations. Bonduelle has awarded Global Water Engineering (GWE) a contract for a combined anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment plant to serve two of its production facilities in Hungary. The plant will also include conversion of the existing boiler to dual fuel for biogas reuse, says CST Wastewater Solutions Managing Director Michael Bambridge. Mr Bambridge's company represents GWE, which has its technology installed at more than 200 plants worldwide with clients including CocaCola, Pepsi, Carlsberg, Heineken, SAS Miller and Lion Nathan.

CST Wastewater Solutions is a member of the Global Water and Energy Alliance, a group of select companies around the world committed to providing solutions in wat er and wastewater treatment for the recovery of green energy and water. Contact Michael Bambridge, CST Wastewater Solutions, 02 9417 3611, www.cstwastewater.com

SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S WASTE IS NOT WASTED SA Water is a leader in wastewater sludge (biosolids) management and reuse and is continually looking for more opportunities to reuse the waste material produced through the treatment process. Since SA Water started a bio-solids reuse program in 1999, the corporation has been able to dispose all of its annual production for use by farmers and growers of perennial horticultural crops.

• Input • Sludge • Methane D CO2 IC Effluent

The reuse program offered to farmers includes all biosolids produced by both metropolitan regional SA Water wastewater treatment plants where these are suitable for land application for broad acre farming.




Bonduelle is a leading player in the vegetable processing market with a presence in more than 80 countries. Its main processes are vegetable canning, frozen foods and fresh processed vegetables. The production facilities in Hungary are used for canning of corn and peas.

Reuse of wastewater sludge in South Australia is governed by the Environment Protection Authority's "SA Biosolids Guidelines". These guidelines allow for the biosolids to be used on non-irrigated food crops, provided certain stabilisation and contaminant grades are met and the application is done according to calculated sustainable rates. In accordance with these guidelines, SA Water offers the biosolids at Bolivar WWTP free of charge to farmers and growers of perennial horticultural crops. The beneficial effects of biosolids are an increase in soil fertility and plant growth as

Protection and preservation of the environment are crucial elements in Boudelle's business model. "By choosing GWE's

Siemens - - - - -...


• Belt Presses • Gravity Drainage Decks • Rotary Screen Thickeners

10 4 MAY 2009


MAGYTEC lntemadonal

Continued over page

• Sludge Dewatering Ply. Ltd.

Technology • System Optimisation • Belt Press Service

• Aeration Equipment

www.magvtec.com mail@magvtec.com 02 9482 1511 11/45 Leighton Place Hornsby NSW 2077


instrumentation technology MONITORING REEF SURVIVAL Like a patient at risk of a heart attack, the Great Barrier Reef is being hooked up to a high-tech monitoring system. The Great Barrier Reef Ocean Observing System (otherwise known as GBROOS), wi ll monitor conditions crucial to the reef's survival and provide an early warn ing from its biggest th reat - global warmi ng. GBROOS is a network of observir;ig systems t hat will provide real-time measurements over much of the reef's 2000 km length. The project is also part of a national program to st udy oceans around Australia, the Integrated Marine Observing System. See www.imos.org.au for more details.

Stations, University of Melbourne and the CSIRO. GBROOS wi ll consist of sensor networks on offshore reefs between Cooktown and Gladstone where automatic weather stations are already deployed. With the first data to be available by mid- 2009, it is planned that installation of t he seven reef-based sensor networks will be completed at t hese locations by the end of 2009. At each location, sensors will monitor water temperature, salinity and the intrusion of nutrients from ocean upwelling.

Approximately thirty Campbell Scientific CR1000 data loggers and RF411 spread spectrum radio modules are used within the sensor networks to measure and transmit data between sites. The high accuracy sensors measure temperature, conductivity & pressure w hile an inductive modem is used by the CR1000 data logger to interrogate the various underwater sensors at each site. Campbell RF411 spread spectrum radio modems are used to transmit data from each CR1000 back to the network hub. To transmit data from each network hub back to the land-based research stations, the GBROOS network wi ll use a blend of communication technologies including high-frequency coastal radar, experimental over- the-horizon microwave tech nology and the 3G mobile phone network.

For more information visit www.campbellsci.com.au. (Photos courtesy or Australian Institute of Marine Science).

FIVE WAYS TO GET THE BEST SERVICE FROM YOUR LAB Townsville's Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) will lead the project as part of a consortium, which also includes James Cook University, Great Barrier Reef Island Research

Continued from previous page they are a soil conditioner due to the high carbon content and they contain nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur. They also contain trace elements such as copper and zinc. The sustainable use and benefits of biosolids in broad acre crops has been extensively proven in the National Biosolids Research Program conducted by the CSIRO over a number of years. Growth in biosolids demand by farmers has mainly been in growing broad acre crops such as wheat and canola. Farmers are responsible for carting and spreading the biosolids onto their land. SA Water assists by obtaining the necessary EPA endorsement to apply biosolids onto specific land and preparing the biosolids to a suitable size for spreading using conventional equipment. Adelaide has three major wastewater treatment plants which are located at

106 MAY 2009 water

Brisbane-based laboratory Simmonds & Bristow handle routine water monitoring programs for hundreds of government and industry clients throughout Australia. The company believes that there are five ways to get the most out of your lab.

Bolivar, Christies Beach and Glenelg. A ll of these plants use the activated sludge treatment process with enhanced nitrogen removal, which assists in making the biosolids available for use by the state's farmers. As part of the treatment process, primary sludge and waste activated sludge are sent to anaerobic digesters for stabilisation. The digested sludge from Bolivar WWTP is dewatered in large drying lagoons as well as by centrifuges. The dry biosol ids from Christies Beach WWTP is trucked to Bolivar for stockpiling while the digested sludge from Glenelg is pumped to drying lagoons at Bolivar. The sludge removed from the drying lagoons is further stabilised by stockpiling for up to three years. The product from the centrifuges is further stabi lised and dried by using the agitated air drying (AAD) process using windrow turners.


1. Know the importance of your Chain of Custody Filling out Chain of Custody forms may be a painful chore, but these little documents are vital to the correct testing and certification of your samples. Not only are they legal documents w hich can be referred to in t he event of future legislative challenges, they are also the only way in which your samples are tracked from source to certification. A correct COC w ill ensure samples are tested within the correct timeframe and according to your exact specifications. Busy laboratories receive hundreds of samples each day, and those with correct COC's can be entered straight

water business

int o a lab's sample-management database, after which , testing can begin immediately. Samples with incorrect or incomplete COC's will require follow-up from the lab, causi ng delays to you r sched ule even before testing has begun. How can your laboratory help with your COC? Some labs will provide pre-printed Chain of Cust ody forms with mandatory fields pre-filled. Th is will save you time and effort in the field and help to ensure you r forms are correctly filled. 2. Speak to your lab!

Talk t o your lab about you r testing, and find out whether there is a preferred day for your samples to arrive. Few labs work on a Sunday, so if you are sending in BOD or bacteriological samples, for example, which take multiple days to analyse, your lab may advise you to submit your samples early in the week to ensure a quicker turnaround. You should also ensure that your samples arrive at the lab ASAP after sampling. Samples degenerate over time and late testing can lead to resu lts bias. Be aware that there are strict guidelines governing the holding times of different samples; for example some bacteriological samples must be received by the lab within a day of sampling (check your state's legislation for exact time-limits). 3. Follow the correct procedure for sampling

Be sure to check with the lab that you are following the correct sampling procedures and using the correct type and size of bottles for your testing. Be aware that certai n tests require sam pling to be carried out in specific bottles. Also be aware that a single sample may be subjected to multiple tests. If you 've provided insufficient testing material, or incorrect bottle-types, your lab may be unable to complet e your requi red testing, leading to costly delays. Laboratories are obliged to comment on your lab certificates if there have been inconsistencies in the sampling process. How can your laboratory help with your samplin g? Many labs wil l provide sampling instructions and sampling kit s for your relevant tests. You lab will also advise you on the correct bottle-type and sample quantities for your needs. If you are unsure, ask! 4. Be aware of batch fees

Most laboratories charge batch fees ($25-$30) per group of samples, and have minimum invoice charges of between $75$150 (or more!). Don't let this catch you out, and whenever possible send your samples in larger batch sizes in order to minimise extra costs. If you frequently test small batch sizes, shop around for a lab that offers lower batch fees and lower minimum invoice charges to reduce your costs. 5. Be aware of your lab's full service inventory

Some laboratories provide multiple services; for example Simmonds & Bristow provides engineering, environmental and training services in addition to chemical and microbiological laboratories. Companies will offer significant discounts to large account holders, so sourcing a supplier who can provide multiple services will increase your bargaining power and lower your expenses. For more in formation contact 07 3710 9100, www.simmondsbristow.com.au

instrumentation technology protection and understanding of local and regional water resources. In so many areas moving towards a more environmentally sustainable way of livi ng comes at a cost. On the contrary soil moisture measurement is the key to a cost-cutting 'green ' shift. Irrigation optimisation through soil moisture monitoring can result in reduced resource and energy costs and in turn a more profitable operation. This not only promotes a more efficient and sustainable use of resou rces but is equally attractive as a cost saving measure.

Gold Coast Water is responsible for the management of the water and wastewater assets of the City of the Gold Coast. Treated recyc led water is released at the Gold Coast Seaway, a man-made channel co nnecting the Broadwater Estuary with the Pacific Ocean, on an outgoing tide in order for the plume to be dispersed before the tide changes and re-enters the Broadwater estuary. Rapid population growth over the past decade has placed increasing demands on the receiving waters for the release of the city's excess recycled water. To manage this growing demand, an investigation of the capacity of the Broadwater to assimilate a greater volume of recycled water over a longer release period was undertaken by DHI in 2007.

The Sam 4 System""''7 1-++- ,~,..~""' lippjng bu<;ket

raln gauge

H~dra Probe soil sensors

Irrigation of crops represents 90% of the water used worldwide. Monitoring the soil moisture in the root zone of crops will optimise irrigation. The benefits of optimising irrigation scheduling with soil moisture sensors includes increasing crop yields, better quality crops , saving water, protecting local water resources from runoff, saving on energy costs, saving on fertiliser costs and increasing farm profitability. There are many thousands of golf courses and sports playing fields and race tracks that are regularly irrigated. Just as in any other type of crop production, over irrigation wil l waste water, energy, fertiliser and will generate run off that will negatively affect the surrounding environment. Soil moisture sensors are an excellent tool to help optimise irrigation of sports turf. The Stevens Hydra Probe Soil Sensor is described as one of the most advanced soil sensor commercially available. Turnkey systems are also available with the SAM 4 System. For more information, please see the Environmental Systems & Service Soil Moisture Measurement advertisement in this

issue (page 78). More information can be obtained via www.esands.com

GOLD COAST SEAWAY SMARTRELEASE PROJECT DHI Australia has been commissioned by Gold Coast Water to undertake an optimisation study for the release of recycled water from the Coombabah Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP} to the Gold Coast Seaway.

11 o MAY 2009 water

As an outcome of the Broadwater Assimilative Capacity Study, the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency granted Gold Coast Water's application for an extension of the existing licence from 10.5 hours per day to 13.3 hours per day from the Coombabah WWTP. The Seaway SmartRelease Project is designed to optimise the release of the recycled water from the city' s main WWTP, Coombabah, in order to minimise the impact to the estuarine water quality and maximise the cost efficiency of pumping. In order to achieve this, an optimisation study that involves water quality monitoring, numerical modelling and a web-based operational decision support system is underway. An intensive monitoring cam paign wi ll provide information on water levels, cu rrents , winds, waves, nutrients and bacterial levels with in the Broadwater. The monitoring campaign includes three Acoustic Doppler Current Meters (ADCPs) deployed for two months measuring ve locity distributions within the Seaway. Three separate field monitoring days will involve measurements of TN, TP, caffeine, faecal coliforms and enterococci as well as CTD casts and boat-mounted ADCP transects. A tide gauge at the Seaway will provide real time water levels and the wave rider buoy and

instrumentation technology weather stations will provide wave and wind information. These data wil l then be used to calibrate and verify numerical models using the MIKE by OHi suite of software. The hydrodynamic, advection-dispersion and spectral wave models of MIKE 21 /3 FM wil l be used to model the mixing processes and simulat e the extent of the recycled water plume on release at the Seaway. The Decision Support System will then collect continually measured data such as water levels, interact with the WWTP SCADA system, run the numerical models and provide the optimal time window to release the req uired amount of recycled water from the WWTP within the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency licence specifications. Contact OHi Wa ter & Environment, 07 5564 0916, qld@dhigroup.com, www.dhigroup.com. au

LOCATION INTELLIGENCE APPROACH TO WATER MANAGEMENT As demand for wat er increases and the climate changes, water companies, regulatory bodies, reg ional water authorities and local government agencies need to capitalise on available technology and solutions to guarantee water supply now and into the future , and to improve efficiencies of existing resources.

and ensure effective water trading are becoming more prevalent as organisations look to add more rigour and analysis to assist with their decisionmaking processes.

Location intelligence combines Geographic Information Systems (GIS), business systems, visualisation and decision making from all aspects of the business to provide a co hesive view of the situation. With 80 percent of all information stored by organisations containing a location element, whether it be an address, a pipeline route or customer information , analysing information from a location perspective is a logical step. Water providers can use location intelligence to manage monitoring

stations to track water flow in rivers and identify where the water is being diverted to irrigation channels, track assets and monitor their conditions, enabling more informed decisions to be made for maintenance and renewal, plan and design irrigation channels depending on natural water flows, automate field forces response to incidents and enable access to data anywhere in the field. Using a locat ion intelligence approach, scientists and the water ind ustry can gain a better understanding of the environment, where assets are and how they interact to bring water into cities and ultimately homes and industry. Using location intelligence to analyse, manage, visualise and distribute dat a provides organisations with the key elements to support decision-making processes. With this approach, organisations can be assured that the right decisions can be made to improve efficiencies of exist ing water resources, ensuring an effective supply of water now and into the future. Find out more about the ESRI Australia location intelligence approach. Visit www.esriaustralia.com.au/water_ management.

The lack of water in Austral ia has been, and w ill always be, a constant issue for the government, water companies and the general population due to the limitat ions of the natural environment. With 85 per cent of Australians (more than 17 million people) living in major cities, achieving t he goal of sustainable water management remai ns the major challenge for the foreseeable future. As the demands on our natural resources outstrip supply, those involved in the water industry are increasingly looking to new solutions to ensure the sustainable use of our diminishing resources. With so much of a water utility or regional water authority's business information containing a location reference, it is a natural progression that location intelligence is being utilised by many in the water industry for its capabilities to link together information from many systems. Using innovative technologies to implement strategies to reduce demand, increase efficiency, reuse wastewater

water MAY 2009


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