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The Industry's Most Widely Used Water Modelling Software

Major water network operators like Brisbane City Council, ActewAGL Water Division, SA Water; and Barwon Water all rely on Bentley products every day.

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Jo,mal of the Austral;, " Wate, Association

ISSN 0310-0367

Volume 36 No 6 September 2009


Latest products to receive the Smart Approved WaterMark . see page 18

From the AWA President Celebrating Excellence From the AWA Chief Executive Desai or Not Desai; Is that the Question? My Point of View Crosscurrent Aquaphemera Industry News AWA News Events Calendar Conference Reports

P Robinson


T Mollenkopf 5 R Madew 6 10 R Knee 14 18

23 32 34

FEATURE REPORTS 'Toilets for All', Stockholm Water Prize Recipient Dr Bindeshwar Pathak s~~


The Water Research Laboratory Celebrates 50 Years


WL Peirson

Milestone for Kwinana · see page 21

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: Web: 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 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- AND 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-

PU BLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: • Water Business and Product News Brian Rault, National Sales and February, March, May, June, August, September, November and December. Advertising Manager, Hallmark Editions_ EDITORIAL BOARD Chair: Frank R Bishop; Dr Bruce Anderson, AECOM; Dr Terry Anderson, Consultant ADVERTISING Advertisements are included as an information service to SEWL; Michael Chapman, GHD; Robert Ford, central Highlands water (rtd}; Anthony readers and are reviewed before publication to ensure relevance to the water Gibson, Ecowise; Dr Brian Labza, Vic Health; Dr Robbert van oorschot, GHD; John sector and objectives of the AWA. Brian Rault, National Sales and Advertising Poon, CH2M Hill; David Power, BEGA Consultants; Professor Felicity Roddick, Manager, Hallmark Editions - Tel: +61 3 8534 5014 RMIT University; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO; and EA (Bob} AWA BOOKSHOP Copies of Water Journal, including back issues, are Swinton, Technical Editor. available from the AWA Bookshop for $12.50 plus postage and handling.


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welcomes editorial submissions for technical and topical articles, news, opinion pieces, business

PUBLISHER Hallmark Editions, PO Box 84, Hampton, Vic 3188 Tel: 61 3 8534 5000 Fax: 61 3 9530 8911 Email:


OUR COVER Data acquisition has come a long way since wireless sensor networks were first developed. A joint Seqwater - CSIRO project on Lake Wivenhoe, Brisbane's major supply, is co ntinuously monitoring the water quality at 45 sites. As well as the array of floating sensors, a solarpowered 16 ft catamaran can be deployed over the Lake via a secure internet site. It is equipped with sensors which can be moved through the water column whilst the vehicle is in mot ion. See page 74. Photo: Navid Nourani-Vatani.

water SEPTEMBER 2009 1

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Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Planning for Advanced Tertiary Treatment: Melbourne's ETP - see page 46

Volume 36 No 6 September 2009


Continuous Monitoring of Reservoir Water Quality: The Wivenhoe Project - see page 74


[I] Planning for Advanced Tertiary Treatment: Melbourne's ETP C McAulitfe, J Mieog, C Williams, J Currie


GHook, T Carpenter, N Hatala, B Munn, K George, R Copithorn


J F Colton, C Laidlaw


A Badalyan, M Holmes, CW K Chow, DVitanage


M Dunbabin, J Udy, A Grinham, M Bruenig


DA George, PL Tan, CL Baldwin, J Mackenzie, I White


RWillis, RA Stewart, K Panuwatwanich, B Capati, D Giurco


J Lane, EGardner


Pilot testing of process trains for high quality product

Upgrades at the Metropolitan Syracuse WWTP, New York - Part 1 Ammonia Removal Pilot testing to full-scale operation SCADA

[I] Coagulant Control Using Online UV-Vis Monitoring Provides rapid capability to optimise removal of NOM

[i] Free Chlorine Analysers: A User's Selection Guide Identifying the most appropriate monitor for a specific application

Continuous Monitoring of Reservoir Water Quality: The Wivenhoe Project Piloting the Integrated Wireless Sensor Network COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

[I] Improving Groundwater Planning by Needs Analysis Stakeholder support for the development of practical interactive tools

[ii Gold Coast Domestic Water End Use Study The average winter consumption was 157 Upc/d ONSITE SYSTEMS

[I] Life Cycle Assessment of Water Cycle Alternatives Comparing a novel peri-urban development with conventional systems WATER BUSINESS

New Products and Business Information. Feature: Wastewater Treatment Advertisers' Index 2 SEPTEMBER 2009 water



my point of view

The Worth of Water in Green Building Romilly Madew is the Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). An experienced property advocate, Romil/y was previously Executive Director of the ACT Division of the Property Council of Australia. "We never know the worth of water 'til the well is dry", goes the old adage. For Australians , who live on the world 's driest inhabited continent, it's alarming to acknowledge that we have the fourth highest per capita consumption, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), after the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

resources. In 2003, we released the Green Star environmental rating system for buildings, which evaluates the green attributes of building projects based on nine categories, including energy efficiency, indoor environment quality, resource conservation and, of course, water management.

While this is primarily driven by the agriculture sector, the commercial sector is also a significant water user, accounting for almost half of the non-agricultural water consumption.

Green Star rating tools are currently available or in development for a variety of sectors, including commercial offices (design, construction and interior fitouts), retail centres, schools and universities, healthcare facilities, multi-unit residential dwellings, industrial fac ilities and public buildings.

Considering the current persistent drought conditions and catchment storage infrastructure capacity limitations, integrating water saving measures into new buildings is a critical part of Australia's future growth.

We now have more than 170 Green Star rated buildings in Australia which demonstrate that sustainable building practices are not only good for the environment, but for a company's bottom line too.

The Green Building Council of Australia believes it's time that buildings were seen as producers rather than just consumers of

A US recent report, from McGraw-Hill Construction, has found that 85 per cent of America's construction industry believes that water efficiency will be an extremely important aspect of a green building by 2013. Significantly, respondents said that on average, applying water-efficient designs and products led to 15 per cent less water use, 10-11 per cent less energy use, and an 11 -12 per cent reduction in operating costs.

AWA Sustaining the Rivers & ReseNoirs 17-18 November 2009, Canberra This 2-day conference w ill look at how management of rivers and storages might be improved to capture the benefits offered by storages, without the negatives of environmental damage, species loss and evaporative loss. Research on river health, environment al flow regimes, fish-ways, fish-ladders and the impacts of floods and fires on river catchments are among the issues to be discussed. Attendees fro m a broad range of disciplines, including asset managers, government officers, catchment and river basin managers and water quality scientists from Australia and New Zealand are expected to attend. For further details on the AWA Sustaining the Rivers and Reservoirs Specialty Conference, visit Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are available.

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Around 11 per cent of mains water is used in offices and other commercial buildings for drinking water and kitchen use, fire sprinkler testing, toilet flushing, showering, garden watering and cooling. With only a small percent age of these uses requiring potable water, 90-95 per cent of this water could be saved if non-potable water sources were available. Large office buildings can consume between 15,000 and 50,000 kilolitres of fresh potable water per year. At Workplace6, however, the first building in NSW to achieve a 6 Star - Green Star Office Design rating, and only the second to gain a 6 Star - Green Star As Built rating , a blackwater recycling system means the property uses just 10 per cent of the potable water of a typical building of comparable size. Workplace6 was developed by GPT Group in conjunction with Citta Property, and was officially opened in July this year. The 18,000 square metre building features 40 solar panels on the roof to provide the building's hot water, as well as a trigeneration plant to heat, cool and power the property. Instead of using cooling towers to reject heat from the building, water from Sydney Harbour is sucked into the basement to help cool the building, saving about 4.8 million litres of water annually. A black water treatment plant with sewer min ing capabilities is located on the site and processes the building's wastewater into clean grey water for flushing toilets and site irrigation. As a first for Australia, it also supplies irrigation water to the two neighbouring parks. The system has the capacity to produce

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my point of view 45,000 litres of fresh water per day. What's more, if the building is not producing enough wastewater, the system will draw on the public sewer and convert this waste into usable water.

The Bond University Mirvac School of Sustainable Development, for inst ance, features a 'Living Laboratory' which encourage people to engage with the building itself and understand how it achieves high levels of sustainability.

Smart water saving measures are not limited to commercial office spaces. Water efficient systems helped Mirvac achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating - Shopping Centre PILOT for the Orion Springfield Town Centre in Queensland.

Bond University's world leading facility achieved a 6 Star Green Star - Education PILOT certified rating for its sustainable features and cutting-edge design. A comprehensive water recycli ng system means that the entire water requirement for landscape irrigation is sourced from rainwater and recycled greywater. The potable water consumption in the building has also been red uced by using water efficient fixtures and fittings, as well as rainwater and recycled water. Water met ers monitor water usage and are linked to the Building Management Syst em to provide a leak detection system.

Orion Springfield is considered a pioneer of world's best practice in environmental design for a retail centre, with its Green Star rating representing world leadership. The project was the first in Australia to achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating for a retail centre. Orion Springfield was designed to use approximately half the energy of a similar-sized shopping centre and stores around 2,500 kilolitres of rainwater each year via 780,000 litre rainwater tanks. Innovative air conditioning systems recycle an additional 10,000 ki lolitres of water a year. All landscape watering , bin wash downs, toilet and urinal flushing, as well as cooling tower make-up and water feature top-ups are supplied from 100 per cent recycled water. The result is a 62 per cent reduction in potable water consumption compared to business as usual design. Part of the GBCA's role is to expand industry knowledge about Green Star and green building practices in general. Many Green Star buildings are delivering hands-on education opportunities and provide a daily lesson in the importance of environmental sustainability to Austral ia's future.

The permanent education centre features a digital building management system wh ich links into the numerous energy and water meters and displays live and historical data on a range of environmental factors such as water and energy consumpt ion and energy generation. The Living Laboratory enables students, teachers and other visitors to not only learn about the building's water saving features, but also take those lessons away with them to apply them in their own homes. Through education, we hope more Australians wil l take practical steps to preserve the precious water resources in our own backyards. And through green building, we will continue to provide practical solutions to ensure that the well never runs dry.

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Week 2009 is hosted by the Australian Water Association in conju nction with the National Water Commission.


Bilateral agreements for Environmental Assessments are now in place between the Commonwealth and all Australian states and territories. The agreements aim to cut out duplication and provide a more efficient way of ensuring environmental protection processes are upheld. Approval for developments impacting on matters of national environmental significance remains with the Minister for Environment, Heritage & the Arts.

A new Global Access Partners report titled Urban Water: A Vision for National Progress suggests that establishing a more competitive urban water market will better ensure the sustai nable supply of water to cities. The report is available at www pdf

The National Water Commission released a report investigating the impact of changing wat er availability on the electricity sector in Australia. The report warns that water consumption would soar further if carbon capture and storage methods were built into coal-fired power stations.

The new-look National Water Week 2009 website was launched. This year's theme - Securing Our Water Future provides a platform for organisations involved in the water sector to exchange knowledge and ideas with the broader community during the week 18-24 October. National Water


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More than 100 new projects w ill share in $20 million to improve the collection, management and sharing of water information, under th e ro und three of the Modernisation and Extension of Hydrologic Monitoring Systems Program administered by the Bureau of Meteorology. Th e funding will support projects t o modernise and extend water information networks and systems in both urban and rural areas.

The latest Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) Report Card detailing the Australian urban water industry's performance 2008-09 was released. The Report Card outlines the $30 billion investment in a portfolio of new wat er sources which commenced in 2006 and will conc lude in 2013, and has shown that water consumption in residential Australia dropped by 12 per cent over the previous financial year.

Recommendations to guide the future management of the internationally significant Macquarie Marshes wetland system were released for public comment. The Draft Macquarie Marshes Adaptive Envi ronmental Management Plan outlines actions required to halt the decline, and restore resil ience to the Macquarie Marshes.

A Productivity Commission study into alternative market mechanisms that the Australian Government could use to diversify its purchase of water entitlements in the MurrayDarling Basin was announced. The Commission was asked to examine how the Government could use alternative marketbased mechanisms to diversify its water purchase program in the Murray-Darling Basin, which currently uses an open tender process as the principal way of purchasing water entitlements to restore environmental flows.

Nominations continue to be sought for AWA's National Water Awards. The Awards recognise the comm itment, innovation and excellence of both individuals and organisations working within the Australian water sector. A copy of the 2010 brochure outlining the awards is available for download from the AWA website. Entries close 30 November 2009.

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Farms, businesses and parks across Coffs Harbour now have access to a network of recycled water pipes w ith the official opening of the Coffs Harbour Water Reclamation Plant. The Plant was the final major element in a city-wide strategy to improve sewerage services and provide recycled water for non-drinking purposes.

Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils resolved to move forward with the formation of the Central Coast Water Corporation.

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crosscurrent Water users fighting the auction of 1,200 megalitres saved from Central, Warrego and Surat groundwater sou rces of the Great Artesian Basin were given a guarant ee by the Department of Water and Energy that the sale will be a one-off. The auction mobilised a cross-border act ion group to fight the auction. According t o the Minister for Water, the $870,000 raised by t he sale t o Local Government and the tourism and agricultural industries wi ll go back into capping and piping more properties.

A meeting between t he Lithgow City Council and Lithgow Medical Council saw test results released that showed that the town's water supply met the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines in every parameter t est ed. Concerns about potential elevated nickel levels had been raised by the group of doctors, with fears that toxic waste was seeping into the town's water supply.

An additional 70,000 megalitres of water was earmarked to be traded out of the Murrumbidge Valley after a relaxation of the State Government's temporary embargo on the annual trade of water announced on 1 July.

Australian Cuttlefish in the world, while the Western King Prawn also uses the area for breeding.

South Australian irrigators were able to access 100 per cent of their approved carry-over water, an improvement from initial allocat ion of 60 per cent.

More than 20 environment groups joined forces in South Australia in a bid to reform local and federal water policies. The Water Act ion Coalition aims to secure SA's water supply and wi ll campaign in key seats ahead of next year's State election.

Preliminary works on the $400 million project to connect Adelaide's northern and southern water supply networks was approved by t he State Government. Adelaide's water dist ribution system, which is split at the River Torrens into a northern and southern system, does not currently have t he capabi lity for large volume intra-system transfer .

State Water is set to make changes to its billing process for temporary water transfers to non-irrigators and users in other jurisdictions to ensure costs are recovered efficiently.

SA Water received a $132,000 grant to upgrade the Adelaide reservoir data monitoring systems. The funding is part of the second round of t he Australian Government's Modernisation and Extension of Hydrologic Monitoring Systems Program to expand t he amount of water information available to Australia's public.




• The QLD Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy welcomed an agreement by South East Queensland Mayors on a new composition for water dist ribution and retai l entities in the region. The proposed framework will establish three combined dist ribution/retail entities.

Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett turned the first sod on Meander Dam's Rubicon Pipeline. The 11 km pipeline is one of four being constructed in the State and is an important part of the Tasmanian Government's aggressive irrigation agenda that aims to deliver around $400 million worth of water investment to regional communities across Tasmania.

Measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef from nutrient discharges were enhanced with the opening of the largest reg ional wastewater reuse scheme of its type in Australia. The Mackay Wastewater Recyc ling Project wil l recycle the majority of Mackay's wastewat er, preventing 250 tonnes of nutrients from entering the ocean every year.

The Tasmanian Government announced it wi ll pay all concession subsidies under its new water and sewerage reforms. The State Premier confirmed the government will fully fund the concession of $ 130 for eligible customers.

Work began on the $348 million Wyaralong Dam Project, South East Queensland's first new dam in 20 years.


South Australia The SA Government released its draft plan to restore t he Coorong and lakes at the Murray mouth to health. Its proposals include diverting fresh water from the south-east into the Coorong and pumping hyper-saline water into t he sea. A fi nali sed plan will be presented to the Commonwealth Government, which has committed $200 million to the plan.

A South Australian parliamentary committee unanimously recommended t hat the desalination plant proposed by BHP Billiton on the upper Spencer Gulf be built at another location. The Gulf hosts the only known mass breeding site of Giant

12 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

A regulatory change giving Melbourne the rights to water from Victoria's north via the North-South pipeline was voted down by the state's Opposit ion parties. According to the State Government, the water is only a smal l portion of what will be saved by irrigation upgrades; however the Victorian Nationals argued that the savings are not enough to justify taking water away from drought-ravaged northern Victoria.

More t han $580 million is being invested in major water projects in Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula, including projects totalling around $355 million from an alliance between Barwon Water, John Holland and GH D to deliver; while a consortium of KBR , John Holland and MWH has been awarded the contract to design and construct the $90 million Northern Water Plant in Corio.

crosscurrent The Victorian Government announced their partnership of Enviro 2010 - Australia's premier national assembly of the environment and sustainability industry to be held in Melbourne in July. Enviro 2010 is a joint vent ure between the Waste Management Association of Australia and the Australian Water Association.

Western Australia Heavy rainfal l in Perth, coupled with a two-month sprinkler ban , saw dam levels rise to 41 per cent capacity.

Melbourne Water celebrated the 25t h anniversary of the connection of the Thomson Dam to Melbourne's water supply system.

Security of supply to irrigators, industry and the public, and protection for existing environmental val ues are reportedly the key outcomes of the Upper Collie Water Allocation Plan released by WA's Department of Water.

The Federal Government will provide $10 million in fund ing for a new water treatment plant in Geelong. The $38 million Black Rock Water Treatment Plant wi ll produce Class A recycled water for thi rd pipe schemes in the growth corridor of Armstrong Creek and the Torquay area.

Residents of Busselton are better protected from flooding following the complet ion of the third and fin al compensating retention basin of the State Government's Busselton Flood Protection Project. Construction of the third basin began in 2006 and was com pleted in May 2009.

Central Highlands Wat er successfully defended an objection to a dwelling being erected in a drinking wat er catchment. One of CHW's grounds of objection was that the proposed dwelling would be inconsistent with the requirements of the Farming Zone. VCAT in its decision took the view that CHW can rely on a range of policy reasons that aim to limit the density of dwellings even if these reasons are not based on water quality. (Ryan v Moorabool SC & Anor [2009] VCAT 1474 - 29 July 2009).

The Western Australia Government granted the Economic Regu lation Authority (ERA) a one-month extension to issue its final report on the south-west's water tariffs.

Industry News


• SINCLAIR KNIGHT MERZ (SKM) announced its partnership with World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD), an international




~ MONASH University



crosscurrent outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. Coordinated by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA), more than 70,000 people in 70 countries monitored water quality at approximately 5,000 sites last year. • CREATIVE WATER TECHNOLOGY won lnnovic's International Next Big Thing Award 2009. Inventor Stephen Shelly conceived the idea of Creative Water Technology w hich can clean waste water with contaminant levels of

• A joint office of infrastructure consultancies MWH and PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF (PB) was unveiled in Parramatta. The new office was initiated to strengthen the PB/MWH partnership and allow the two companies to provide an improved service to a broad range of Western Sydney clients.


AQUAPHEMERA Two contrasting reports were released in July/August: • WSAA's Meeting Australia's water challenges - case studies in commercial and industrial water savings ( ews/ Pages/Occasiona1Paper23 .aspx) • Allen Consulting Urban Water A vision and road map for national progress (www. ister/kel ly/2009/mr20090804 .html). The WSAA report is a list of practical examples outlining what has been implemented by various organisations across Australia to address urban water shortages, showing that the commercial and industrial sectors are doing their part in water conservation and efficiency. A report compiled by practitioners in the industry that provides valuable knowledge of successful projects. The Allen report, on the other hand, purports to be based on discussions of water industry and policy experts who are un-named. It recommends: • component costing of water utilities to enable better benchmarking across utilities, more effective regulation, and to identify where re-structuring may be beneficial; • removing unnecessary constraints to competition including third party access, and urban-rural trade; • allowing tradeable entitlements to large users and retailers; and • best practice integrated water resources and grid planning. The same tired old doctrine that competition will solve the problems, without providing any evidence of how it wi ll actually achieve it. The reality being that third party access is already here, but is rarely used because it is uneconomic to do so, with Regulators providing such low returns on wat er investments. Similarly for rural-urban water trade; the cost of transferring the actual water is mostly prohibitive and very contentious with communities. Alternative water sources such as rainwater tanks, greywater systems, etc, are all significantly more expensive. Urban water trade and smart meters are interesting concepts, but very expensive to implement for undetermined benefits. That is not to say that these are not worthwhile ideals, but rather than another theoretical report, how about some business cases outlini ng the costs and benefits in economic, social and environmental terms across the whole community. - Ross Knee

14 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

more than 300,000ppm. Traditionally waste contaminated at that extent would otherwise have to be stored or chemically treated at ten times the cost.

the joining of the two companies. The combined company will continue to provide customer support and development from its current operations in United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Malaysia.

• The SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND HEALTHY WATERWAYS PARTNERSHIP won the 2009 Banksia Environmental Award for Water, in recognition of their protection and improvement of the waterways of South East Queensland . http://www. healthywaterways. org/Home .aspx

• GOLDER ASSOCIATES and Austral Bricks were recognised for their commitment to sustainable development by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI), taki ng out a 2009 Strzelecki Award in the category for Large Earth Resource Operation.

• With partners CARDNO and PB, TENIX ALLIANCE will work with Logan City Council's water business to deliver t he three to five-year program of works including the planning, design, construction and commissioning of water, wastewater and recycled water infrastructure in Logan City.

• SIEMENS and BIOPOWER SYSTEMS signed a Memorandum of Understanding to evaluate and develop joint opportunities for ocean power conversion.

Member News • Water Futures, a specialist water quality consulting company, appointed DR THERESE FLAPPER as coDirector. Therese brings experience in wastewater and recycled water, complimenting the team's strengths in drinking water and catchment management. MARIA ERIKSSON-SCOTT also joined the team as Environmental Consultant.

• The National lrrigators' Council (NIC) announced the appointment of DANNY O'BRIEN as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mr O'Brien has an extensive background in media, communications and government and has most recently held the position of Communications Manager at t he Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

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crosscurrent • Sinclair Kn ight Merz (SKM) announced the appointment of CAM ILLE MCGREGOR as Stat e Manager, South Australia. Prior to the appointment Camille led SKM's large Sustainable Syst ems group within the Wat er and Environment business unit. • ALLEN GALE resigned from his General Management role at Goulburn Valley Water and will be heading off t o the USA on his next adventure. Allen has been an outstanding supporter of, and contributor to, AWA over many years, including his role as a former AWA Federal President and more recently, as Chair of the extremely successful Ozwater '09 in Melbourne. His list of accomplishments is too long to list here! We wish him all the best on his travels. • Goulburn Val ley Water announced the appointment of BRUCE HAMMOND as its new General Manager - Technical Services. Bruce has been with the Corporation since 1996 and for the last eight years has held the position of Manager Planning and Project Development. Bruce has over 25 years experience in the Victorian water industry. • Comdain Infrastructure announced the appointment of it s new CEO, RUSSELL ZIMM ERMAN. Comdain Infrastructure is t he largest business in the Comdain Group, which was recently restructured to ali gn t he governance and management team with the strategic direction of the business. Russell has considerable expertise in the infrastructure sector.

• KIM FALSTER commenced a management consu lting business called KAF Tech Solutions, specialising in the water industry. Kim's previous roles include General Manager Operations at Osmoflo, Manager Capital Projects at SA Water and General Manager Water Engineering Technologies, where he won the SA Small Manufacturer of t he Year Award in 2001. • GREG WILSON was appointed Secretary of the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment. Mr. Wi lson comes to the role with a wealth of experience at t he highest levels of the Victorian public service. • MICK BOURKE was appointed t he new Chief Executive Officer of CFA (Country Fire Authority, Victoria), after seven years as Chairman and CEO of EPA Victoria. Mr Bourke wi ll take up his position with CFA in early September. • DAMIAN NIXEY joined the AWA in the role of Online Information Systems. Damian brings ext ensive online content management, social media marketing and experience using a variety of publishing methods and media. • GAIL REARDON joined the AWA as Victorian Branch Manager. Until recently Gail held the position of Executive Officer with Disability Professionals Victoria. She brings significant experience in events management and association management, where she has successfully undertaken the planning, organisation and delivery of conferences, think tanks, networki ng and social events for members.

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• Koch Membrane Systems, a division of Koch Australia Pty Ltd. Unit 1, 696 High Street, Kew, Victoria 3101 Tel : +61 -3-9819-7033 Email: info@kochmembrane .com Mega Magnum is a registered trademark of Koch Membrane Systems, Inc. in Australia and other countries. PURON is a trademark of Koch Membrane Systems GmbH and is registered in Germany and other countries.

industry news A Simple Solution to a Trickling Problem Everyone has seen a toi let cistern that never fi nishes after it fl ushes, which is often caused by the seal not closing properly. But now a device has been awarded the Smart Approved WaterMark for fixing the problem . "The FixAFlush is an innovative DIY solution to a problem in many toi lets. Our Independent Expert Panel was impressed by its simplicity and its ease of installation," said the CEO of the Smart WaterMark, Julian Gray. "For an outlay of less than $10 the FixAFlush cou ld not only save thousands of litres of water, but cou ld pay for itself many times over with savings on a water bill," added Julian. The FixAFlush is one of 10 products to receive the Smart Approved WaterMark in the latest assessments, bringing the tot al to over 180 domestic and commercial products and services that have been approved by the scheme. The three final ist s for the 2009 Smart Approved WaterMark Product of the Year award have also been announced. The finalists are: • Every Drop Shower Saver from Flux Research Pty Ltd. A simple paddle that pauses the flow from the shower without turning the taps off and on again. After soaping, shaving, shampooing and conditioning, a push of the paddle resumes the water flow without the need to readjust temperature and pressure. • The Salt Slayer from Asia Pacific Market Development Pty Ltd. It is a portable 12V pressure washer with self-contained reservoir for water-efficient boat washdowns. The low flow pump uses around 15 litres in 10 minutes - significantly less water than other pressure washers.

The Every Drop Shower Saver is a simple paddle that pauses the flow from the shower without turning the taps on and off.

prevents a watering system from operating until the soil has become drier than a pre-set level. This avoids over watering and water waste. It is designed for domestic and light commercial use and won best new product at the 2008 Irrigation Australia Expo. The products are judged on innovation, market ability, sustainability and good design. The winner of Product of the Year will be announced at the Build Green Expo in Melbourne on Friday 16 October. For more information about the Mark visit

• lrritrol Soil Moisture Sensor from Toro Australia Pty Ltd. The lrritrol 101SMS Soil Moisture Sensor determines soil moisture content. Once con nected to a controller, the sensor

Emerald Boasts Water Sensitive Urban Design The $500,000 Nobelius Heritage Park water sensitive urban design project has been officially opened . The project included the installation of landscaped works such as sediment pits, swales and rain-gardens along Wattle Creek's existing drainage to reduce contaminants from entering the Yarra River catchment.

The upgraded drainage system came about as a partnership between Melbourne Water and Cardinia Shire Council, and provides an example of how simple landscaping techniques can be used to protect and improve the quality of stormwater ent ering catchments. These landscaped works helped filter pollutants and reduce soil erosion and flooding before the 'cleaned' stormwater drains into Emerald Park Lakes. The project took two years to complete.

Next Big Thing in Water Victorian inventor St ephen Shelley was a finalist and Green/Environmental Winner in the 2009 INNOVIC's International Next Big Th ing Award™ for his Creative Water Technology, a 'water cleaning' system.

water and recovered contaminants may be suitable for sale or reuse within the industry.

The technology enables highly contam inated (prescribed) waste water to be cleaned . Prescribed waste disposal costs are high and climbing, Creative Wat er Technology enables industries to reduce and control their waste disposal to a small fraction of their current costs. As an additional benefit, clean

The technology has successfully completed 18 months of field trials at various industrial facilities including an Australian Al uminum Smelter, and has been externally validated by multinational engineering consu ltants and the Australian Sustainable Industries Research Centre.

18 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

The t echnology has already garnered export interest from China, India, Africa, the United States and the M iddle East.




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industry news Nanoparticle Research Recognised

development of new technologies, materials and products, but balancing those developments with the need to

CSIRO scientist Dr Amanda Barnard was awarded the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Australian Environmental Research Award for her work on predicting the stability of nanoparticles in air and water.

minimise the environmental impacts is paramount," Dr Barnard says. Using supercomputer simulations, Dr Barnard's research focuses on enabling scientists to understand how these tiny artificial pieces of matter interact with natural ecosystems.

The award recognised Dr Barnard's ground-breaking work on developing computer models designed to predict the stability of nanoparticles in different environments. "Nanoparticle research presents exciting opportunities for the

According to the Awards' judging panel, Dr Barnard has developed an A computer model of an icosahedral shape, often observed in nanoparticles but not at the macroscale. Amanda Barnard, CSIRO.

important new approach to modelling the growing array of nano-materials and their interactions with the environment.

Water Recycling Centre for Brisbane Western Corridor Recycled Water Pty Ltd will host a new National Centre of Excellence in water recycling in Brisbane, after con firmation that it will receive $20 million in funding from the federal government. The centre wi ll bring together parties from around Australia with an interest in developing and commercialising breakthrough water recycling technologies, and finding solutions to water issues in a collabor ative and pioneering environment.

Water Cycle Atlas

Western Corridor Recycled Water Pty Ltd is wholly owned by the Queensland Government and was responsible for delivering the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project by December 2008. Keith Davies, CEO of state authority WaterSecure, said the expertise of the Centre's partners and connections with national and international academia, industry and technological providers wi ll ensure that Australia is recognised as an international leader in water recycling research. The centre is expect ed to start work later this year.

include an extra 11 .2mm of evaporation across the country and the final result is a loss of 2.8mm.

Academ ics from the ANU have crunched numbers from 39 rainfall m odels run by organisations such as CSIRO and its equivalents in France, Canada, Germany, Japan, the US and Britain to show all their predictions for rainfall individually and averaged. The resulting Atlas of the Global Water Cycle is available for free from the ANU E-Press website http://epress.anu.ed citation .htm I

The Australian averages hide wider predicted regional variations. According t o some predictions, by 2099 the Top End will be receiving 50-100mm more rain than the 1970-1999 average; wh ile Victoria, and most of South Australia and Western Australia, wi ll receive up to 50mm a year less than now.

According to the research, by 2099 Australia's nationwide rainfall w ill have increased by an average of 8.4mm. But

All 39 models predict more rai nfall across the globe, over land and sea.

Milestone for Kwinana Perth's seawater desalination plant at Kwinana reached a major milestone with more than 100 billion litres of water reaching customers' taps from the plant since its commissioning in early 2007. Water Corporation Chief Executive Sue Murphy said that Australia's first major desalination plant had well and truly lived up to expectations and will play a major role into the future by consistently supplying about 17 per cent of the drinking water used by three quarters of the Western Australian community. The plant was built by a consortia led by the Frenchbased international desalination company, Degremont and is operated by Degremont and the Corporation. Along with the water production milestone, the operations and maintenance team has also celebrated more than 1290 days without a lost time injury since late November 2006.

water SEPTEMBER 2009 21

industry news $3.5 Billion Contract Awarded The AquaSure Consortium, comprising Suez Environnement, Degremont, Thiess and Mac quarie Capital Group, has been awarded the contract to build Victoria's $3.5 billion desalination plant. AquaSure will begin construction in October, which wil l include the plant at Wonthaggi, the 86-kilometre transfer pipeline to connect to Melbourne's existing network, the underground power source and renewable energy projects including the development of the Oaklands Hill 63MW wind farm near Glenthompson. The plant aims t o secure water supply to Melbourne and wi ll secure around 1700 direct jobs and as many as 3050 indirect jobs.

the plant's energy use, minimising the impact on the local environment, and delivering benefits to the local community such as a new broadband fibre optic cable. Other local projects to be delivered with the desalination plant include $12 million in road upgrades, many of which are underway and development of a housing strategy for workers coming to the region.

A number of additional features have been guaranteed by AquaSure to ensure Victoria's desalination plant is not only Australia's biggest, but Australia's most advanced. These include a commitment to renewable energy projects to offset

Highest-Ever Winter WaterTemperatures Tasmania's east coast recorded its highest-ever winter water temperatures of more than 13°C - up to 1.5°C above normal - due to a strengthening of an ocean current originating north of Australia. Satellites have given oceanographers an insight into a remarkable phenomenon - a significant extension of the Leeuwin Current curling around the southern tip of Tasmania and reachi ng as far north as St Helens. Remote sensing specialists at CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship have been observing the current using satellite data, and ocean measurements made near Maria Island on Tasmania's east coast. According to researchers, it's important to monitor changes in the ocean, as they can have consequences for marine ecosystems, fisheries, aquaculture, coastal communities and more. The St Helens-based Chief Executive of the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Association, Rodney Treloggen, said he was not aware of any reports of Indian Ocean species but he said fishers were concerned at what he described as a "bad year" for the industry in the south-east and east coast. NOAA polar orbiting satellites obtain the data generating sea surface temperature images. This is a composite 15-day image showing the extension of the Leeuwin Current around Tasmania.

"We know the warmer wat ers have an impact but we're not sure how much," Mr Treloggen said.

Climate Changing FasterThan Expected A new report has found that climate change is happening faster than earlier thought and the risks are more serious. Prepared by Professor Will Steffen, Executive Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute, 'Climate change 2009: Faster change and more serious risks' draws on the science of climate change since the Int ergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 Fourth Assessment Report. The report focuses on rapidly changing areas of science of importance to Australia - such as the contribution of melting

22 SEPTEMBER 2009 wat er

ice to sea level rise, acidification of the oceans, and changing water availability. Critical risks for Australia include sea-level rise, possible severe recurring droughts, the drying trends in major parts of Australia, and the likely increase in extreme weather events like heatwaves, floods and bushfires. Key findings of t he report include the urgent need for effective reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; and that once t hresholds in ice sheet and carbon cycle dynamics are crossed, such processes cannot be stopped or reversed by human intervention.

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

NSW Corporate Silver Poly Pipe 379 Awaba Road, Toronto NSW 2283 Telephone: 02 4959 1087 Orange City Council PO Box 35, Orange NSW 2800 Telephone: 02 6393 8253 OLD Corporate Silver Alliance Water Solutions 7 Pike Street, Kunda Park OLD 4556 Telephone: 1300 729 389 Corporate Bronze Pure Water Systems PO Box 685, Burleigh Heads OLD 4220 Telephone: 07 5576 6966 Minol Australia Pty Ltd PO Box 1656 Milton BC, Bowen Hills OLD 4064 Telephone: 1300 135 566 VIC Corporate Bronze Desai Systems Pty Ltd 12 Weir Street, Glen Iris VIC 3146 Telephone: 03 9832 2111 Clearwater - Melbourne Water PO Box 4342, East Melbourne VIC3001 Telephone: 03 9235 7040

WA Unidata Pty Ltd 40 Ladner Street 6163, O'Connor WA Telephone: 08-9331-8600 Overseas Hyosung Ebara Co Ltd 450 Gongdeok-Dong, Mapo-Gn Seoul, Korea Telephone: 82 2 707 6963

ACT: I. Colson NSW: R. Horninge, J. Ng, A. Arakel, A. Groth, S. Chapman, F. Chong, M. Coates, S. Nayak, F. Czyzewski, P. O'Donoghue, K. Tracy, R. Phillips, S. Neal, B. Sweeting, C. Bueta, L. Dacanay, M. Ward, N. Dupress, S. Savic, S. Nash, M. Mackintosh, S. Fidge, J. Pincock, G. Crisp, P. Jackson, P. Ostaszkiewicz, R. Trapp, W. Shaw, A. Taylor, P. Sparrow, D. Mcsorley, J. Beecher, J. Weatherley, L. Cahill, T. Hewson, T. Mills, M. Judd, C. Greedy, I. Nobre, J. Stewart, J. Caristo, N. Duggan, J. Kambie, K. Rachid, M. Brady, R. Flynn NT: K. Carter, N. Riethmuller SA: J. Vanderzalm VIC: N. Baud, K. Brown, S. Hayes, P. Chan, M. Cho, H. Campbell, T. Salim, M. Lynch, N. Boyd, M. Prentice, A. Large, J. Frith, F. Edmonds WA: S. McNeil, G. Street, L. Last, A. Botfield, N. Kunwer, C. De Lacy, G. Blacklock, M. Ismail Overseas: D. Corneby, G. Bonquin

Steel Pipe Fabrications (AS1579 / AS1554) Cement Lined Pipes (AS1281) Australi~ Surface Treatment Standard (AS2312)

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ecur1ng y ney s water supply for the future! Pipe Lining & Coating Pty Ltd fabricated and supplied this critical tie-in fitting for the Sydney Desalination Project. This Bifurcation spool provides the underwater connection for the dual 1400NB Submarine Pipeline's to the 1800NB Land Pipeline 800 meters offshore at Silver Beach, Kurnell.


They join on-going Committee members: • Andrew Chapman, South East Water (Previous Past President) • Robert Considine, Melbourne Water • Chris Corr, GHD (President) • Anna Kell iher, RMCG • David Mawer, Gippsland Water • Muth u Muthukaruppan, City West Water • Don Williams, Office of Water (Vice President) Congratulations duly elected office bearers: Chris Corr (President), Don Williams (Vice-President), Therese O'Brien (Treasurer) and Elizabeth Haeusler from GHD who has been elected as the YWP President (Vic).

(L-R) Kate Miles - NSW YWP Chair, Cheryl Marvell - NSW Branch President, Katherine Marshall, Peter Chrystie, David Hope, Tony Cartwright, Sharmila Lakshmanaa, Paul Hackney, Despina Hasapis (Branch Manager), Jaques Ostrowski, Dianne Thomas, Andrew Kasmarik, Ian Chase and Grant Leslie.

The NSW Branch recently held elections and the new committee is as follows: • Branch President - Cheryl Marvell, Sydney Water • Vice President - Dr Paul Hackney, Parramatta City Council - Katherine Marshall, CH2MHILL • Treasurer - Andrew Kable Committee Members

Out-going Victorian Committee members were formally thanked at the recent Vic Branch 47th Annual Dinner (pictured from left): Victoria Leavold, YWP President (Vic), Chris Povey (President), Philip Everest, Dharma Dharmabalan.

• Andrew Kasmarik, Sydney Water • David Hope, Private Consultant

New Tasmanian Branch President announced

• Ian Chase, AWT Australia

Following the recent committee nominations, the Branch committee met last week t o elect the Tasmanian Branch President. Daryl Polzin, Southern Water, was unanimously elected as President for a two year term. Aniela Grun, NRM South, remains on the committee as the Immediate Past President. The newly elected Branch Treasurer is Kevin Bourne, GHD.

• Dianne Thomas, Beca Pty Ltd • Peter Chrystie • Sharmila Lakshmanaa, Sydney Water • Tim Summers, SKM • Tony Cartwright, Sydney Water • Liz Fl oyd, Bayside Personnel, NSW YWP Representative • Paul Freeman, Sydney Water

Victorian Branch The Victorian Chapter received a record 20 nominations (for 9 positions) for the 2009-10 Committee. We are delighted to announce that the following were elected: • Pat Arundel!, Abigroup Water

The 2009 Committee 2009-2010 is: • Kevin Bourne*, GHD Pty Ltd • Mike Burdon*, Glenorchy City Council

• Robin Cooper*, Bureau of Meteorology • Damian Devlin, Southern Wat er (formally HCC) • Ed Gruber*, GHD Pty Ltd • Aniela Grun, NRM South

• Karen Campisano, Melbourne Water (re-elected)

• Alan Humphreys, Workplace Standards Tasmania, Department of Justice

• James Curri e, Black & Veatch

• Gary Ingram, Bi olytix Water Australia Pty Ltd

• Bruce Hammond, Goulburn Valley Water

• Catherine Nunn , Southern Water (formally GCC)

• Therese O'Brien, Beca (re-elected, Treasurer)

• Daryl Polzin, Southern Water (formal ly CCC)

• Glenn Rodrigues, MWH Australia

• Andrew Saggers, Vinidex

• Alan Shea, Western Water

• Terry Walker, Ecowise Environmental

• Peta Maddy, Sinclair Knight Merz (re-elected)

• Mathew Willis*, Department of Pri mary Industry and Water

• Henry Mallia, AECOM Australia Pty Ltd

24 SEPTEMBER 2009 water


new members to the committee

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In 2007, AWA st aged a two day Master Class of Desalination with a focus on planning, design, construction and basic operations. This was at a time when Australia was only just embarking on the adoption of seawater desalination as a safe and reliable option to boost urban water supplies. Since then, the Tugun plant at the Gold Coast has been completed. Sydney Water's Kurnell Desalination Plant w ill open at the end of this year. Adelaide is fast tracking a 100GL per year plant. Perth has a second plant planned for Billingup and now going through the approvals process. And Melbourne will boost its water supply with a massive plant at Wonthagg i. These developments herald the need for trained staff engineers able to operate and manage these plants - and tech nicians and operators to assist them. Both levels of staff, including those familiar with conventional drinking water plants, need to be trained in the peculiarities of a desalination plant. Th is is equally true for the large seawater plants as for the remotely located, inland plant s which have their own unique set of req uirements. This course is specifically designed to provide training for operations and maintenance. This latest Master Class will be three days in length and include new components - a site visit to the Kurnell plant and time spent in the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Sciences at the University of NSW. This will give attendees the chance to see not only a new plant in operation and view a DVD of the startup and commissioning phases, but also see what is involved in doing a membrane autopsy, identifying membrane foulants and observing clean ing procedure. Formal class work will be delivered by Nikolay Voutchkov, the hands-on desalination specialist engineer who provided such useful and detailed material for the DBOOT class in 2007. The theoretical aspects of the teaching wi ll be in the hands of Professor Tony Fane. Tony has the unique ability to make difficult concepts understandable, as well as possessing endless patience in explaining them. Other speakers wi ll include Brett Miller from t he University of NSW who will talk about operations and maintenance of the outfall structures. Catherine Port and Steve Roddy from Sydney Water will also talk about the journey they are undergoing with the Kurnell plant during its commissioning phase. The Class is likely to fill quickly so if you are interest ed in attending, we encourage you to visit the website at to download the Program and to register.

NATIONAL AWARDS PROGRAM NOMINATIONS FOR 2010 AWARDS NOW OPEN AWA's National Water Awards acknowledge the best that the water sector has to offer, and celebrate the innovation, courage, leadership and outstanding achievements by water sector individuals and organisations which are demonstrated on a daily basis. Nominations are now open for the following awards: • AWA Honorary Life Membership • AWA Exceptional Service Award • AWA Water Professional of the Year Award • AWA Water Industry Woman of the Year Award • AWA Young Water Professional of the Year Award • AWA Infrastructure Project Innovation Award • AWA Program Innovation Award • Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize • National Undergraduate Water Prize Nominations close 30 November 2009 For more information visit our website

Member Service Awards AWA Honorary Life Membership Given to honour AWA members who, through long and distinguished service, have made a major cont ribution to the Association and to the profile of the water industry.

AWA Award for Exceptional Service (Given in honour of George Goffin) Awarded to an individual member of AWA in recog nition of their exceptional service to the Association. The achievement may include a technical contribution or sustained administrative, organisational or leadership activity.

Innovation and Excellence Awards AWA Water Professional of the Year Award (Given in honour of Chris Davis) To honour individuals who have displayed a sustained passion and continued commitment to the water industry, and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and influence in the water sector.

AWA Young Water Professional of the Year Award This award recognises professionals under the age of 35, who are either water sector practitioners or from research/academia. Awardees wil l have had outstanding career achievement to date and the potential to play a large and influential role in the water industry in the future. Awarded to an outstanding young water professional w ho has demonstrat ed a commitment to the water sector.

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26 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

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awa news AWA Female Water Professional of the Year Award (Given in honour of Nancy Millis) To provide recognition of significant projects, products, initiat ives, achievements and/ or services of females within the water industry.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award To provide recogn ition of significant and innovative infrastructure projects and initiatives within the water industry.

Program Innovation Award (Given in honour of Peter Hughes) To provide recognition of significant and innovative environmental or sustainability programs with in the water industry.

Student Awards Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize An annual water science competition for senior high school students focusing on projects aimed at improving the quality of life through improvement of water quality, water resources management, water protection and wat er and wastewater treatment. This award aims to increase interest in water-related issues and research, and t o raise awareness and knowledge of global wat er challenges.

Undergraduate Water Prize This award aims to encourage and reward students for excellence in the field of water studies and research, and provides a forum for students to display their academic excellence and research findings to futu re employees, clients and t he water industry.

AUSTRALIANTEEN COMPETES IN INTERNATIONAL STOCKHOLM JUNIOR WATER PRIZE FINALE Winner of the 2009 Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Tasmanian high school student Storm Holwill, represented Australia in the world's leading secondary schools water science competition in Sweden last month. The annual Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition brings together the world's brightest young scientists to compete for the acclaimed prize, held as part of 2009 World Water Week. This year 's competition saw a record 3,500 submitted projects from over 30 countries.

Ms Holwill was taken to Sweden with a representative from the AWA to compete in the international finals. A year 11 student from Marist Regional College in Burnie, Tasmania, was selected for her project "In the Name of Freshwater", an investigation into the capacity of marine environments to produce plant bio-fuel without the use of fresh water.


Accordi ng to judges from the AWA, Ms Holwill demonstrated high levels of sophisticated problem solving in her project, addressing the global problems of freshwater scarcity, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and of diminishing fossil fuel levels. The judging process in Sweden included competing projects on display at the World Water Week exhibition hall, and an extensive interview by a committee of international water experts. The international Prize was presented to Ms Geren Bun;:ak Dag of Turkey last night during a ceremony held in the Stockholm International Fairs and Conference Centre. The prize was presented by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the Patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Ms Dag received the award for developing an innovative method for generating energy through piezoelectric pulses from falling rain drops. "Many young people are concerned about climate change, but few wi ll take action to identify a solution, " noted the Stockholm Junior Water Prize Jury in its citation. "Reducing CO 2 emissions by developing alternative environment-friendly, renewable energy sources is a specific response to this global problem. This year's win ner had a spark of genius in developing a high tech solution that used PVDF, a smart material with piezoelectric properties, to transfer the kinetic energy of raindrops into electrical energy. " Congratulations to Ms Holwi ll, whose project was very highly regarded by judges, and who did an excellent job of representing young Australians at the event. Entries are now open for the 2010 Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Teachers and secondary students are encouraged to visit for more details on how to enter.


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awa news

Community of Practice for Environmental Water Managers Launched In late July an important event was held in Melbourne for environmental water managers nationwide. Environmental water managers are those people responsible for determining environmental water allocations for rivers and groundwater syst ems and the event was a workshop to establish a Community of Practice encouraging and supporting them in their work. Environmental water managers help to advance the National Water Initiative through their activities, as well as fulfilling local or state objectives. The 2007 biennial review of progress under the NWI concluded, however, that environmental water managers had frequently not been fu lly established or resourced, and that t oo often they lacked clear ident ity, authority and sufficient financ ial and technical capacity to carry out their responsibilities effectively. For this reason, the National Water Commission engaged AWA t o develop a Community of Practice for environment al water managers. As a community can't be imposed, it must be generated by those who cons ider themselves part of it, t he workshop was held to explain the concept more thoroughly and elicit input from pot ential members as to the components that wou ld be of most benefit to them. The event was held over two days. The first included presentations from the CEO of the National Water Commission, Ken Matt hews, AO, who provided the context for the NWC's interest in the creation of a Community of Practice for Environmental Water Managers; Mr David Downie, General Manager, Office of Water, DSE, Victoria who spoke about the practice of environmental water management in his state, and Andrew Speers, Industry Programs Manager at AWA who spoke about the philosophy and practice of a Community of Pract ice. This was fol lowed by a series of case stu dies intended to highlight some of the

Members of the Community of Practice for Environmental Water Managers, Melbourne.

challenges faced by environmental water managers in various jurisdictions. These case studies were expanded upon later in breakout sessions which , in part, were intended t o see how a Community of Practice coul d benefit practitioners in dealing with some of the issues they faced. The second day of the workshop was given over to determining which tools, systems and approaches would be of greatest benefit to members of the community. Among the ideas recommended were regional meetings allowing face-toface contact among members, on-line forums , a website that enables pr ivate and public discussions to occ ur and to enable documents to be shared and critiqued, webinars and similar approaches. Toward the end of the second day those present were asked by show of hand to decide wh ether the Community was worth establishing or whether its value t o environmental water managers was limited. There was overwhelming support for it s establishment. If you are interested in learning more, visit the website at Wh ile a kick-off workshop has already been held, there is no barrier to new members joining the Community. Furthermore, for obvious budget ary reasons, many institutions sent just one representative to the workshop whereas they may employ or work with a number of environmental wat er managers. One of the key points stressed at the workshop was that the Community of Practice is about individuals, not institutions; even if one person was representing an institution at the workshop, all those with environmental management responsibilities can join.

Greg Claydon (Dept of Environment and Resource Management, Old), Jody Swirepik (Murray Darling Basin Authority) and Deb Nias (Murray Wetlands Working Group) during a Panel session at the CoP Workshop, Melbourne.

28 SEPTEMBER 2009 w ater

The Community of Practice for environment al water managers has now been formally launched. It will provide a model for other similar communities and, it is hoped , wil l significantly advance the pract ice of environmental wat er management across the count ry.

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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 SEPTEMBER



21-25 Sep 2009

IWA Reuse 09, Brisbane QLD

23-25 Sep 2009

NZWWA's 51st Annual Conference and Expo, Rotorua, New Zealand

24-25 Sep 2009

Australian Water Industry Essentials, Melbourne VIC

Wed, 30 Sep 2009

TAS Monthly Tech Meeting: Talking Trade Waste, Hobart TAS

Wed, 30 Sep 2009

YWP - Water Seminar Series 2, Sydney NSW

Wed, 7 Oct 2009

NT Branch Committee Meeting, Darwin NT

Wed, 7 Oct 2009

QLD Branch Committee Meeting, Brisbane QLD

Wed, 7 Oct 2009

SA Branch Committee Meeting, Adelaide SA

10-14 Oct 2009

WEFTEC.09 - 82nd Annual Technical Exhibition & Conference, Orlando USA

Mon, 12 Oct 2009

SA Branch Committee Meeting, Adelaide SA

13-14 Oct 2009

Sustainability Implementation: Actions and Tools for Change, Adelaide SA

Tue, 13 Oct 2009

Debate on the Lake/ Environmental Series, Canberra ACT

Wed, 14 Oct 2009

Queensland Branch Awards Dinner 2009, Brisbane OLD

Thu , 15 Oct 2009

Through the Pipes - A Guided Tour of Hobart Rivulet, Hobart TAS

Thu, 15 Oct 2009

Change Agent Training , Adelaide SA

18-22 Oct 2009

ASPIRE 2009, Taipei, Taiwan

Mon, 19 Oct 2009

YWP BBQ by the Lake, Canberra ACT

19-21 Oct 2009

12th NSW Engineers-Operators / Regional Conference, Port Macquarie NSW

Tue, 20 Oct 2009

YWP - Research and Innovation in Water, Melbourne VIC

Wed, 21 Oct 2009

SA Technical Meeting, Adelaide SA

Fri, 23 Oct 2009

Victorian Water Catchment Area - Guided Walking Tour, Melbourne VIC

Fri, 23 Oct 2009

Water in the Bush, Darwin NT

25-28 Oct 2009

IWA Efficient 2009, Sydney NSW

Wed, 28 Oct 2009

YWP - Water Seminar Series 3, Sydney NSW

Wed, 4 Nov 2009

OLD Branch Committee Meeting, Brisbane OLD

Mon, 9 Nov 2009

SA Branch Committee Meeting, Adelaide SA

Fri, 13 Nov 2009

Water & Wine - Technical Meeting / Annual Meeting, Darwin NT

13-15 Nov 2009

2009 Regional Conference, Brisbane OLD

Mon, 16 Nov 2009

2009 WaterAid Golf Tournament, Canberra ACT

17-18 Nov 2009

Sustaining the Rivers and Reservoirs , Canberra ACT

17-18 Nov 2009

Sustainability Implementation: Actions and Tools for Change, Melbourne VIC

Thu, 19 Nov 2009

Change Agent Training, Melbourne VIC

Sat, 21 Nov 2009

SA Branch Annual Awards (inc Hodgson Award), Adelaide SA

Tue, 24 Nov 2009

ACT Technical Seminar Series, Canberra ACT

Thu , 26 Nov 2009

Gala(h) Dinner & Debate in '09, Hobart TAS

Fri , 27 Nov 2009

WA Branch Awards Gala Dinner, Perth WA

Fri , 27 Nov 2009

NSW Christmas Party, Sydney NSW

Mon, 30 Nov 2009

SA Branch Committee Meeting / Dinner, Adelaide SA

32 SEPTEMBER 2009 water



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conference reports TASWATER 09: WHERETHE WATERS MEET

lead to any controversial questions, which wou ld suggest that the majority of the audience was in agreement with the proposed restructure.

18th June 2009

The second invited speaker, Chris Davis, from Sydney's University of Technology and previous AWA CEO, presented a paper "The Australian Path to Water Sustainability". This paper outlined the reform context of the National Water Initiative and imminent funding incentives, including recent urban water planning principles from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The paper examined recent trends in institutional arrangements, contracting out and technical solutions and then considered how sustainability principles can be applied to water management.

Hobart, Tas

A record number of delegates attended the TasWater 09: Where the Waters Meet conference and exhibition held in Hobart. The conference included 11 diverse speakers, a 13 site exhibition hall and over 100 delegates. TasWater09, now in its second year, is structured t o compliment its big brother Ozwater, by focusing primarily on local Tasmanian water issues, although general (non Tasmanian specific) water issues were also included on the program . Delegates came from all Tasman ian regions and included several interstate guests with Tasmania Water industry interest s. The conference included 4 invited speakers and we opened the conference with Geoff Willis, Chairman, Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Corporations. Geoff's presentation outlined the recent reforms in Tasmania's water and sewerage sector, involving the establishment of three regional water and sewerage businesses - Ben Lomond Wat er (Northern Tasmania), Southern Water (Southern Tasmania) and Cradle Mountain Wat er (North-West Tasmania). The restructure includes a fourth business unit to provide common services to the 3 new regional water and sewerage businesses. There was considerable Tasmanian media interest (and controversy) over the establishment of the new water and sewerage businesses before they officially commenced operation on 1 July 2009. Geoff's polished presentation did not

At the Tasmanian ALP State Conference in Hobart on 26 July 2009, Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett brought Labor's food bowl vision a step closer to real ity. "In order to achieve our strategy to make Tasmania the food bowl of the nation today, I commit to a bold new goal - we will deliver more than 210,000 additional megalitres of water per annum for irrigation by 2014." The conference's 3rd invited speaker, Greg Stanford from the Tasmanian Irrigation Development Board outlined the various irrigation schemes currently proposed in Tasmania in his presentation "Facilitating Sustainable Agricultural Development" . Greg's presentation made it clear that all proposed irrigation projects will need to demonstrate financial and environmental sustainability before they wi ll achieve final approval. The Tasmanian Irrigation Development Board will soon be advertising various tenders and work packages for nearly $300 million worth of water-related projects in Tasmania. The recent Victorian Bushfires inspired an invite to Tony Sparks, Ecowise Environmental to make a presentation on cat chment management in a bushfire zone. Tony presented a paper "Cotter Catchment Fire Recovery Mapping" which was based on a study of the recovery of the ACT's Cotter Catchment area following the 2003 Canberra bushfires. The conference included a further 7 submitted papers which all provoked audience input during question ti me. A key goal of the TasWater conference is to provide AWA members and non-members with an opportunity to network with Tasmania Water Industry professionals. This goal was easily achieved in 2009 as ample opportunity was provided to network in great surroundings, overlooking the Derwent River bathed in sunshine with evidence of snow on Mount Wellington. How can other states compete with the Tasmanian Water Industry? The Tasmanian Branch Committee would like to thank the sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, delegates and visitors for supporting this great water industry event. The Committee hope to see all delegat es back again next year for TasWater2010 and invite all interested parties to view conference papers on the AWA website. A selection of papers presented at the 18 June 09 TasWater 09 conference are available on the AWA website at: http://www. papers covering the following conference streams: • Managing in Times of Change

Ph: 02 4626 5000 34 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

• Sustainable Water Management • Solutions for a Changing Climate • Risks and Responses. The papers cover a diverse range of issues and are likely t o be of interest to most water professionals.

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June 2009, Cairns

ICA2009 was an outstanding event with wonderful enthusiasm from all involved. The conference hosted 144 delegates from over 20 different countries, presenting in 3 plenary sessions, 56 orals, 15 short orals, 62 posters and 2 workshops. The international ICA community is very strong and whi le a third of the delegates were from Australia, for many this was their first interaction with the international group. The conference began by reacquainting friends, old and new, at a tropical poolside cocktail party in the heart of Cairns. Bruce Gardner, from the Cairns Regional Council, and chai rman of the local organising committee Prof Zhiguo Yuan , kicked off the technical program, followed by the inaugural Marinus Nelson Lecture delivered by Henrik Thomsen of KrUger in Denmark. The other keynotes were inspiring with a presentation on the future of water quality sensors by Stefan Winkler of Vienna University of Technology in Austria, and a look at the need for pathogen risk management by David Roser from the University of New South Wales in Australia. While a very broad range of topics was presented, including method development and full-scale case studies, the program showed that 60% of the papers are focused on wastewater treatment with the rest divided between sewer systems, drinking water and natural water bodies. The workshops focused on full-scale experiences and data quality assurance. Both opened the paths for further discussion and many are looking forward to the next open debate on these topics. Rounding off the technical program were the technical tours. The first was to the newly upgraded Marlin Coast Wastewat er Treatment Plant, which is a part of the $188 million Cleaner Seas Alliance project. This tour was quite a showcase for our international guests showing the stat e-of-the-art treatment and control processes put in place. The second tour explored the treatment facilities on Green Island, an excellent example of small-scale systems, and a nice place for a snorkel. The technical program was complemented by varied social activities. From the tropical welcome reception to the You ng Water Professionals Brewery Night and fi nishing off with the magical Dreamtime Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony. This was a wonderful way to close the conference with Australian bush tucker, Aborigi nal performance artists and great music. The ICA2009 local organising committee had two awards, one for the Best Presentation by a Young Water Professional (YWP) and by popular vote the Best Poster Prize. The YWP award was presented to Ms Liu Ye, Beijing University of Technology, China, with highly commended awards going to Mr Colum Kearney, Sydney Water, Australia, Dr Oriol Gutierrez, The University of Queensland, Australia, and Mr Markus Gresch, Eawag , Switzerland.

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The poster prize was hotly contested with the award going to Bill Capati and the Gold Coast Water Team with runner up to Dr Christoph Ort, The University of Queensland. The IWA Specialist group for ICA had one last award for the night. In recognition for an outstanding lifetime contribution to the field the committee honoured Prof Gustaf Olsson. Gust af received a standing ovation with few dry eyes as his contribution and inspirational story was revealed.

water SEPTEMBER 2009 35

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'Toilets for All', Stockholm Water Prize Recipient Dr Bindeshwar Pathak Sahana Singh BP: In India, at public places, toilets built by municipal corporations were symbols of hell on earth; people avoided using the stinking public toilets and urinals. When I started my work in Patna, the Municipal Corporation asked whether I would be able to maintain a public toilet on "pay and use" basis. It was willing to give land and finance for the construction of the toilets and bathrooms but not for maintenance. I agreed and a toilet complex of 46 seats, 28 baths and 10 urinals was constructed. The idea of a toilet functioning on pay-and-use basis was met with skepticism by many.

Sanitation innovator and social reformer Dr Bindeshwar Pathak was awarded the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize. The founder of Sulabh Sanitation Movement in India, Dr Pathak is renowned for his wideranging work in the sanitation field, with accomplishments spanning the fields of sanitation technology, social enterprise, and healthcare education for millions of people. The following interview with Dr Pathak is repri nted with permission from Asian Water Magazine, July-Aug 2009, Vol 25, No.6 (

AW: Would you like to tell us about your growing-up years, the turning-points in your life and the people who inspired you?

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and H.R.H. Prince Carl Philip of Sweden courtesy of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

BP: I was born into an orthodox Brahmin family in the dusty Indian village of Rampur in Bihar. Despite the rich cultural heritage of the place, untouchability and social discrimination were prevalent. Living in the village for 18 years, I had t o defecate in the open as no house in my village had the facility of a toilet. My mother, grandmother and all other women living in the house used to go at the crack of dawn for defecation in the open - well before sunrise. It is because of such ci rcumstances that women suffer the most. Since they are forced t o go before sunrise or after sunset, this leads to many cases of criminal assault and snake bites being reported. I studied in four schools but none had a toilet faci lity. This discouraged girls to go to these schools.

In a neighbouring village, though, we knew that a landlord had installed a toilet faci lity in his house. It was a bucket type and cleaned manually by an untouchable scavenger. While living in the village itself, I became acquainted with sanitationrelated problems such as open- defecation, manual cleaning of human excreta called human scavenging and social discrimination. Little did I realise that one day I would be involved in solving these problems. Today, untouchability is legally banned in India but is often practiced in some form . At a you ng age, I got inspired to work to fulfi ll the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi. An appropriate, affordable technology was needed which could dispense w ith the requirement of manual cleaning of human excreta. I developed the technology of "twinpit pour-flush toilet". Soon, I founded the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation. I applied for a grant of US$1 ,500. During that period I was advised not to take the grant but to make the organisation self-reliant. Meanwhile, the government did not sanction the grant. This provided a real impetus for the growth of Sulabh. Had it become dependent on the government and other grants it wou ld not have been as successful as it is today.

AW: Could you explain the business model of Sulabh? Who pays for the construction and maintenance of the public toilets? What is the payback period? Are the toilets financially se/fsustaining?

36 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

But, surprisingly when the toilet complex was opened for use, on the very first day, 500 people used the toilets and baths and paid 10 paise per use. The total collection on the first day was rough ly Rs. 50 (about US$1 ). The idea caught on and became successful. Public toilets were built in large numbers in different towns and cities of Bihar. Seeing the success of the program in Bihar, it was recommended that on the same pattern, public toilets should be built and maintained all over the country. Now a new system has been introduced where business houses invest their money for the construction of toi lets on land given by the concerned local bodies. Most of them are maintained on "pay and use" basis as also on income derived from advertisements displayed on the walls of the public toilets.

In some cases, a government body gives loan for the construction of toilets with a recovery period of 10-15 years. Out of 7,500 toi lets we have built, about 4,500 are not financially viable and are sustained for maintenance, from the income of 3,000 which generate surplus. Sulabh so far has bui lt 1.2 million toi lets in individual houses and public toilets in 7,500 places; wh ich are used by about 10 million people everyday.

AW: Despite the successes of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement, India is not going to meet the sanitation target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). If you had your way, what more would you do to help India achieve the sanitation MDG by 2015? BP: I am optimistic that India is on-track to meet the sanitation target of the MDGs. As compared t o other parts of the world, it has the best sanitation options. In the rural areas of India, 54.3 million individual household toilets, 857,000 school toilets and 16,134 sanitation complexes have already been built, covering 56.57% of the rural population with the help of central and state governments. In urban areas the sanitation coverage is 67%.

In India, it is also encouraging to note that steps are being taken to promote on-site sanitation technologies. Advertisements on television, radio, newspapers are also creating awareness. The incentives and the prizes given to individuals and institutions to meet the MDGs further boost the efforts.

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feature article But, I agree with you that a lot has to be done. It will be desirable to have programs based on the whole-village approach (rather than just below-poverty-line approach). If I had my way, to speed up the work I would first ask the nationalised banks t o give loans for toilet construction in the manner they give for other projects. Secondly, there is need to train unemployed youths and masons to build toilet s. Sanitation is a mission but we have not created missionaries. We need to launch a Toilets for All movement.

AW: How supportive has the Indian government been towards Sulabh's activities? BP: Sulabh has been working for the last 40 years in close collaboration with the government. We believe that NGOs should not confront the government; rather they should work in tandem so that the social programs are implemented. By and large, in India, the governments, both at central and stat e levels as also municipal bodies have supported Sulabh. Earlier, support came more because the government was anxious to improve sanitation but there was hardly any NGO, which was willing to come forward. There was no one else who possessed or even thought about a technology wh ich would help solve the toilet-related sanitation problems. But, as it often happens, the governments did not real ly allow Sulabh a free hand. This is not surprising since it was in a commanding position with respect to land and finance. It was in a position to impose its conditions like setting the quantum of user fee that Sulabh could charge. But, there was an ideal combination of desire of the government and

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A Sulabh public toilet linked with biogas plant.

willingness of Sulabh in the matter of implementing toiletrelated sanitation programs. When it comes to social service, governments are often conservative. Perhaps, they have their own compu lsions regarding social objectives. The government also made mistakes such as separating t he construction and maintenance parts of the program. It became a classic case of work being implemented on the basis of divided responsibility. Fly-bynight contractors entered the field and the program suffered. It was the same story in t he matter of preparation of estimates, wh ich were usually unrealistic and did not keep pace with changing economic conditions and market forces. It must be said to the cred it of Sulabh that it has always remained apolitical. Yet, it has never adopted an attitude of hostility or of confrontation with the government. Its endeavour has always been to work in close cooperation with the government so that its functioning remains smooth.

AW: Why do you think it has taken so long to change the mindset about open-defecation in India (and South Asia)? In China, the world's most populous country, there are much lesser numbers of people who practice open defecation. BP: Long ago, open defecation prevailed everywhere in the world. In India, the practice received social and religious sanction. However, it was required to not defecate near human habitation, but to go to a distance, dig a small pit and put some grass and leaves in it. After defecation, it was required to cover the excreta by putting some more grass and leaves over it and then fill the pit with soil. Therefore, in India, no house had a toilet although during the Mauryan period, Chanakya, the Prime Minister had suggested that houses should have a toilet and bath. Religious sanction to the contrary overrode such suggestions and the practice of defecation in the open has continued for well over 4,000 years. Therefore, it wil l take time for Indians to overcome these ageold practices. Coming to changes in lifestyle, earlier, women in the villages would wake up early to defecate, but now they have become late risers and are reluctant to go outside. The demand for toilets in the houses is therefore increasing. These days the girls do not wish to marry a boy whose house does not have a toilet. It can be said that the culture of having a toilet inside a house is developing. But it will take some more time for it to be fully established. I have been to China many times. In 1987, when I went there and visited some of the villages, I found that they had no

38 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

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feature article toilets. A small tank worked as a collection chamber. People defecated in buckets and then carried the buckets to in the tank. Excreta of pigs and chicken was also conveyed through a drain into the tank. After a month they churned the contents in the tank and put it in the field to work as fertiliser. Although they did not go outside to defecate, the practice mentioned was not hygienic. Culturally, the Chinese are not averse to handling human excreta manually but the Indians, leave aside physical handling of excreta, do not even wish to talk about toilet matters. It is said that in China, a mother-in-law is fortunate if her daughterin-law wakes up in the morning, collects the human excreta and goes to spread it on the field (to serve as fertiliser). In India, it would be unthinkable. This points to the sanitational culture difference between the people of the two countries. Evidently the number of people defecating in the open in India outnumbers that in China.

In a septic tank, the gas pipe is provided for intake and exit of the gases to keep the bacteria alive to decompose the human excreta. The release of gases adds to global warming. On the other hand, the Sulabh process is anaerobic and gases are absorbed in the soil. This does not contribute to global warming. In the septic tank, it requires at least 10 litres of water per flush whi le in Sulabh technology, the requirement is of only 1.5 litre water per flush. This is enormously water-saving.

Thirdly, a septic tank requ ires to be cleaned after two or three years and sullage needs to be kept at another place again for two years for further decomposition. In the Sulabh technology, there are two pits with one being put to use at a time and the other being kept as standby. When the first one is filled , switch-over can be made to the other one A model of a Sulabh flush compost toilet. and after two years when the second pit is full , the first pit can be emptied out. The contents can be used as bio-fertilisers. They contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potash. All that is AW: Would you like to tell us about Sulabh's activities outside requi red is diversion of waste after three to four years from first India? drain to the second drain. BP: The Sulabh initiatives have been adopted throughout India As far as the issue of water contamination is concerned, it - in more than 25 states. Besides this, we have set up and are depends upon the velocity of the water in a particular soil maintaining one public toilet in Bhutan and public toilets-cumcondition. While the effluent from a septic t ank is potent with bath facilities in Kabul, Afghanistan . We have also provided pathogenic bacteria, the effluent from pits of Sulabh toilets training in Sulabh technologies to professionals from Ethiopia, gets totally filtered in the soil, much before it reaches any water Mozambique, Uganda, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Kenya, source and the manure produced is totally free of all kinds of Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania, Cote d' lvorie, pathogens. Mali, Rwanda and Bangladesh. People from more than 100 Everyone knows that if water is contaminated , there will be countries already have visited Sulabh Centre for Sanitation and water-borne diseases such as diarrhea and hepatitis. But no Social change. case of water-borne diseases has been reported where toilets We plan to provide five public toilets linked with biogas have been built with Sulabh design so far. On the other hand, plants and effluent treatment technology, 500 Sulabh toilets in we hear of diseases caused by contamination of water pipes individual houses and in 100 schools in 50 countries to by leaking sewers. Even so, we follow guidelines regarding the promote sanitation. Since I have not patented my technology, distance to be maintained between toilets and the sources of any organisation can adopt it free of charge. This should help water supply. A unique feature of the Sulabh toi let design is other countries to achieve the MDG on sanitation. that it has on-site sanitation facility. Human excreta gets Sulabh has also prepared a Sulabh Encyclopaedia of converted into manure without any changes due to bacteria or Sanitation under my guidance. Further, to make the sanitation application of any energy. sector more lucrative, technical, and professional I have As regards the urine separating model, it is at an infant stage initiated the setting up of a University of Sanitation. and is designed to increase global warming. Secondly, it does Overcoming sanitation problems in a heterogeneous society in not fulfi ll the conditions of a sanitary latrine as per WHO the context of socio-economic and cultural aspects is guidelines. Moreover, the system cannot be free from stink challenging. We have published literature on the Sulabh completely. It is for these reasons that in the last 20 years, sanitation technology in 24 Indian languages and four foreign hardly 300 toilets of the design have come up so far. There are languages. cultural constraints in adopting this model in countries like AW: Do you think the twin-pit pour-flush system promoted by India. Therefore, in my opinion more research requires to be Sulabh is the best model for toilets for the poor in developing done on this technology. countries? What are your views about the urine-separating AW: Would you like to share your thoughts on how you plan to models which separate urine instead of allowing it to be use the prize money? contaminated by pathogens from faeces, and thus enable BP: I shall spend the money on further research and fertilisers to be produced? development of twin-pit pour-flush toi lets, biogas generation BP: The twin-pit pour-flush toilet developed by me is an and on the rehabilitation of untouchable scavengers who still alternative to the septic tank system and can be adopted by require our efforts to be brought into the mainstream of the rich and the poor alike. In the rural areas, this is the only society. technology which is affordable, user friendly and ecologically sustainable.

40 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

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The Water Research Laboratory Celebrates 50 Years W L Peirson Fifty years ago, the New South Wales State Government invited the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to establish the Water Research Laboratory (WRL) at Manly Vale in Sydney to foster direct collaboration between government and water research investigators. The UNSW Civil Engineering degree course (commenced 1948) has always included the distinguishing features of a humanities component and a particular emphasis on water engineering (hydraulics, hydrology, water supply and waste-water disposal). School laboratory space was insufficient to cater for the scope of water engineering studies at UNSW so, early in 1954, the University Council approved the establishment of WRL to interact directly with the government laboratories already at Manly Vale. The decommissioning of the Manly reservoir had provided a unique opportunity for large-scale hydraulics research with specialised pumped off-take pipelines permitting flows in excess of 18,000 litres per minute. WRL was in fu ll operation by the end of 1958 and officially opened by the St ate Governor, Sir Eric Woodward on 2nd July 1959. Since that time, WRL has continued to provide expert water engineering advice, undertake fundamental water research, conduct undergraduate and postgraduate courses and offer special short-course traini ng for industry and government. The specific focus of WRL activity has continued to be Civil and Environmental Engineering Hydraulics; Coastal Engineering; Groundwater and Estuarine Engineering. Since inception, WRL has employed an unusual funding model. Base-level University funding for academic teach ing and research activities has been significantly enhanced by fees earned by a team of highly-trained professional engineers undertaking high-level consu ltancies and research investigations for industry and government. The six key elements to this long term success of WRL continue to be: 1. A critical mass of UNSW academic staff and research associates committed to f undamental water research on the contemporary problems of the Australian water engineering industry

Carcoar Dam scale model to assess bed scour: Ray Nelson and Peter Dind, 1968.

2. A strong team of highly-trained professional engineers undertaking applied research under contract to industry and government 3. Strong interaction between theoretical and practical problem solving: spawning new research engineering training and practical material for undergraduate and postgraduate engineering teaching 4. The unique suite of sophisticated and large-scale water research facilities developed by the staff with t he financial support of industry partners 5. A global perspective on water engineering built on international collaborative relationships and the unique Water Reference Library collection, and 6. Strong cooperative relationships between all staff and students, nurtured at all levels of the organisation. Investigations for government and industry commenced at WRL in 1957 with a flood model study commissioned by the Launceston Flood Protection Authority as well as physical model and analytical studies for the Electricity Commission of New South Wales. WRL completed 15 projects for the Commission and a similar number of projects for other government organisations and industry within its first four years of existence. The extent of this project activity was not foreseen in the initial planning of WRL but reflected the growing need of government and industry for st rat egic and detailed expert water engineering advice. Consequently, the WRL f acilities rapidly developed during the period 1960 to 1972 including a sprinkler irrigation laboratory, funded by the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission; a second laboratory/off ice/lecture facility supported by a Universities Commission grant; an extension to the main building for the Water Reference Library and a third laboratory, funded by Unisearch (the industrial consu lting arm of UNSW).

Martin Anderson sampling groundwater, Maules Creek, NSW 2006.

42 SEPTEMBER 2009 wat er

Since inception, WRL has undertaken in the vicinity of 2000 industrial projects with a commercial val ue of over $2M per annum. Approximately 40 technical reports are issued by WRL

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feature article staff per year. Project advice provided by WR L was awarded quality certified status in 1994 and in 2007 this was upgraded to a quality management system.

and comm unity, particularly in the field of coastal engineering. Recent UNSW and School establishment of a Water Research Centre and a Connected Waters Initiative (investigating ground and surface water connections) has WRL playing a major role in both of these activities. The Connected Waters Initiative is a major host of the recently-announced National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training. WRL is also co-host of a major node of the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network. Major innovative, significant and exciting research programs are set to continue at WRL.

The national context and the changing nature of industry's needs have required academic staff to maintain a diverse range of research priorities and programs. Particularly in the early years at WRL, no prior research had been undertaken in the Australian context and academic staff were requ ired to reassess international approaches and carve out new methods suitable for the unique character of the Austral ian Darwin Harbour 2008 Darwin Harbour: modelling water continent. Professor David Wilki nson quality and sediment, 2008. played a major ro le in the Acknowledgments establishment of one of the first The support of UNSW, its Faculty of Engineering and the environmental engineering degrees in Australia in the early School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and many 1990s. Doug Foster is widely regarded as the grandfather of industry and government partners is gratefully acknowledged. coastal engineering in Austral ia. Professors Ian Wood and This document was prepared with the assistance of Mrs Anna David Wi lkinson developed many of the ocean outfall design Blacka and Mrs Wendy Thomason-Harper as wel l as present techniques used in practice today. Dr. Colin Dudgeon made and former staff of WRL. Prof H R Vallentine D T Howell, Dr major contributions in the modelling and non-Darcy flow of B S Jenkins and Dr C R Dudgeon provided key information groundwater. Associate Professor Ron Cox was recently regarding the early history of WRL. awarded Engineering Australia's prestigious Sir John Holland Award for Civil Engineer of the Year 2008 in recognition of his Bill Peirson is the current Director of the Water Research long standing and contin uing contribution to the profession Laboratory.

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ICP-MS performance has been steadily improving since the technique was developed over 20 years ago. However. some of the weaknesses that were identified in the very earliest commercial instruments can still cause analytical problems today.

These developments allow the 7700x to address the main practical limitations of most modern ICP-MS instruments, which are: 1) Limited tolerance to high matrix samples - around 0.2% total dissolved solids (TDS) is considered the maximum • The noox with HMI handles much higher matrix levels(% TDS), which previously required dilution or analysis by ICP-OES 2) Only 8 orders ana lytical range, from sub-ppt to 1O's ppm • The 7700x has an unparalleled 9 orders dynamic range, from sub-ppt to >500 ppm, in a single acquisition 3) Complex matrices give errors due to polyatomic interferences • ORS3 in He mode provides effective removal of polyatomic interferences, without the complexity and uncertainty associated with reactive cell gases

Agilent has been leading the development of ICP-MS since the early days of the technique. and our most recent innovations have resulted in the extraordinary new Agi lent 7700 Series (Figure 1). Replacing the 7500 Series, the most widely used ICP-MS ever, the 7700 Series finally delivers the performance that ICP-MS has always promised. Key technology and performance of the new 7700x includes: • New, fast frequency-matching RF generator, which will tolerate highly volatile organic solvents • High Matrix Introduction (HMI) capability as standard • Redesigned ion lens that delivers higher sensitivity and lower backg round • 3rd generation Octopole Reaction System (ORS 3) , providing dramatically improved performance in helium (He) collision mode • Nine orders dynamic range detector- from DL to >500 ppm • New Agilent MassHunter software with Excel 2007. for comprehensive data analysis and reporting functions • 30% smaller than the 7500 Series, and weighing only 115 kg (253 lbs)

The 7700x opens a new chapter in the story of ICP-MS, providing more accurate data across a wider range of analyte concentrations and sample matrix types, while simplifying method development and routine operation. At the same time, the 7700x retains the performance and flexibi lity required for advanced research applications. For more information on the 7700 Series ICP-MS visit the Agilent Technologies web site at: / chem / icpms or you can call our Agilent Australia office at 1800-802 402.

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Figure 1. Agilent 7700x ICP-MS in detail

© Agilent Technologies. Inc.. 2009 July 142009 5990-4302EN



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wastewater treatment

refereed paper

PLANNING FOR ADVANCED TERTIARY TREATMENT: MELBOURNE'S ETP C McAuliffe, J Mieog, C Williams, J Currie Abstract Following 12 months of int ensive trials work, and analysis, Melbourne Water has determined the preferred approach for the upgrade of Melbourne's 330 MUd Eastern Treatment Plant. A process train consisting of Ozone, Biological Media Filtration, UV and Chlorine disinfection is expected to address both the impacts on the receiving marine environment and produce high quality recycled water suitable for a broad range of non -potable uses. The insights gained through the trials process have allowed the adoption of an innovative approach and reinforced the value of pi lot testing to inform process selection and design development.

Introduction Climate change, new treatment t echnology and a desire to reduce impacts on the natural environment are reshaping how we deal with sewage. Improving treatment levels facilitates the progressive shift away from waste disposal to more sustainable utilisation of the potential resource . In October 2006 the Victorian Government announced that the upgrade of Melbourne Water's Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP) from the current secondary treatment standard to produce a 'Class A' effluent, would be completed in 2012, as confirmed in "Our Water, Our Future The Next Stage of the Government's Water Plan, June 2007". ETP is the second largest secondary treatment plant in Australia (behind Western Treatment Plant) and the largest activated sludge plant, treating about 41 % of Melbourne's sewage or approximately 330 MUd. Peak wet weather flows can reach up to up to 1700 MUd, and the plant is designed with large buffering storage between the

Pilot testing of process trains for high quality product. 46 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

secondary treatment area and outfall pumping station (OPS), meaning the production capacity of any tertiary treatment plant can be designed to match the OPS, at around 700 MUd. As one of the largest tertiary plants in the world, it is essential that Melbourne Water selects the most advantageous and cost effective solution to achieve the project requirements. The upgrade to tertiary treatment is primarily driven by environmental improvement in the vicinity of the treated effluent discharge point at Boags Rocks, but also fits with the broad strategic direction for increasing the use of high quality recycled water for non-potable purposes. Boags Rocks is located on the Southern Mornington Peninsula and is adjacent to Gunnamatta and St Andrews beaches. The discharge is below the low water mark approximately 30-40 metres from the shoreline. An extensive program of consu ltation, environmental monitoring and scientific investigations has been carried out to inform an assessment of the impacts associated with the discharge from ETP. This investment in understanding has underpinned the current ammonia reduction upgrade to the secondary treatment process, and now forms the basis for the next round of improvements. A range of marine ecology and aesthetic/amenity impacts has been recorded in the receiving environment. Augmentation of the current secondary treatment to reduce ammonia toxicity and nitrogen levels has been implemented to improve ecological outcomes. Existing aeration tanks have been converted to incorporate anoxic zones at the head of each pass in the step feed configuration. This work, along with the construction of additional tanks due for completion later this year, facil itates an annual median effluent ammonia level of <5 mg/L. This paper discusses the addition of various forms of tertiary or advanced tertiary treatment steps at ETP to further

reduce marine impacts and meet commun ity expectations for sustainable wastewater management. Higher levels of treatment facilitate additional flow and load diversion from the marine environment through increased recycling, and the development of a diversified portfolio of fit-for-purpose water resources.

Treatment Objectives Colour Reduction - Effluent colour impacts on both discharge plume visibility and customer acc eptance of recycled water products. Conventional filtration can address the contribution of particulate matter to effluent apparent colour but has no impact on dissolved colour (known as true colour) unless significant coagu lant is utilised. Additional forms of advanced treatment beyond conventional tertiary filtration are required t o reduce true colour. Solids Reduction - This is required to address discharge pl ume visibil ity, and reduce the particulate organic carbon food source for the exotic spionid worm Bocardia probosidea which has colonised the rocky platforms around Boags Rocks, and ensure effective downstream disinfection. Litter Removal - To eliminat e all visible debris from the treated effluent. Foam Reduction - Foam contributes to both the visual and odour impacts at the discharge point. Fat, Oil and Grease (Fat Ball) Reduction - Small fatball s have on occasions been found on the beaches adjacent to the discharge point and are believed to be caused by agglomeration in t he seawater of small oil and grease particles. Odour Reduction - An odour similar to secondary effluent and often showing musty/ earthy characteristics is often detected at the discharge point. Ammonia Reduction - Further reduction of ammonia and constraint of peak levels has additional ecotoxicity benefits, and facilitates the use of more efficient free

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wastewater treatment chlori ne disinfection for the production of recycled water. Pathogen Reduction - This offers benefits to both the receiving environment through further reducing any public health risks associated with recreational use of the receiving waters, and is also the primary requirement for production of recycled water for applications where there are potentially no barriers between the water and direct human contact. The specific log reduction requirements are determined by the particular pathogen class and the intended end use of the treated water.

A 12 month Tertiary Technology Trial has been undertaken which investigated the feasibility of implementing a range of candidate technologies for improving the quality of the treated effluent. The results from the trials have allowed Melbourne Water to make informed decisions as to the preferred method of upgrading ETP.

Tertiary Treatment Train Concepts Conventional tertiary filtration and disinfection process trains are able to address certain aspects of t he impact of

discharge on the receiving environment and produce high quality fit-for-purpose recycled water. Moving from the existing 'Class C' secondary effluent quality to produce 'Class A', requires some form of filtration to remove particulate material (suspended solids) and potentially some pathogens, coupled with additional downstream disinfection processes. Conventional tertiary filtration will address receiving marine environment impacts associated with litter, fat balls, suspended solids, and activated sludge plant foam. However, it will not address residual ammonia or the dissolved components responsible for colour, or residual foam and odour risks and hence does not address all aspects of plume visibility, aesthetic amenity, and recycled water customer preferences. The conventional tertiary filtration processes applicable at the large scale of ETP are either granular media filtration (GMF - dual media with anthracite and sand layers) or microfiltration (MF) or ultrafiltration (UF) membranes. Each of these can reduce suspended solids to the requisite levels, but they differ in pathogen removal performance in the


refereed paper

order of GMF <MF< UF. This relative performance has a significant impact on the levels of pathogen reduction which must be provided by downstream Ultraviolet (UV) and chloramination disinfection. While ETP is currently being upgraded for improved ammonia reduction, some residual ammonia will remain in the secondary effluent (typically 2-5 mg/I), and therefore chlorine would be in the form of chloramine, as has historically been the case at ETP. Chloramine offers a persistent residual but is not as strong a disinfectant as free chlorine. This increases reliance on the UV disinfection step to provide the balance of treatment to meet the total pathogen reduction targets. The conventional tertiary process trains which were taken forward for trialling include: • Dual-media GMF + UV + Chloramination • MF + UV + Chloramination • UF + UV+ Chloramination

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technical features




Ten Cate Nicolon

~ refe reed p a per

wastewater treatment

• Ozone-BAG + UV + Free Chlorine • Ozone-BAG + UF + Free Chlorine • Ozone-BAG + Free Chlorine The specific inclusion and duty of UV disinfection was uncertain in some ci rcumstances as it depended on the overall pathogen reduction requirements and the degree of pathogen reduction provided by the other treatment st eps in the process train.

Figure 1. The Tertiary Trials Plant at Melbourne's ETP.

Adva nced Tertiary Treatment Concepts There is a range of advanced treatment processes available for use in tertiary wastewat er applications, although not all are suitable for use at the scale of ETP. An assessment resulted in selection of Ozone-Biological Activated Carbon (BAC) treatment for inclusion in the trials. The key factors were: • A colour 'destruction' process with no waste stream. Ozone oxidation can provide a high degree of dissolved colour reduction. When this effect is coupled with BMF to reduce the contribution of particulate matter to colour, a treated wat er can be produced which approaches drinking water colour and turbidity levels. • Significant pathogen removal, predominantly through a ki ll/inactivation step by ozone and some physical removal by the filtratio n. • Does not require significant chemical addition. • Prod uction of treated water with very low ammonia levels through nitrification in the filters, benefiting the marine environment and downstream chlorine disinfection. • High degree of effluent odour reduction through a combination of ozone oxidation and biodegradation. • Provides an effective barrier for residual microcontaminants such as endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, personal care prod ucts, etc. Although this is not an immediate effluent quality requirement, it provides a good platform for any future high-end reuse applications. • Enables the use of alternative and more efficient forms of downstream membrane filtration, UV, and chlorine disinfect ion processes and increases their effectiveness. Wh ile the advanced treatment process could in theory be 'plugged-in' to one of the conventional tertiary process trains, a signif icant finding from the trials was that, in addition to addressing the above parameters, the Ozone-BAG also provides major contributions t o all of the other treatment objectives. It offers the greatest overall benefits when designed and utilised in conjunction with dedicated process trains which take advantage of the synergies between individual process steps. Initial desktop studies suggested that Ozone-BAG treatment may benefit from some degree of pre-filtration so as to mitigate peak solids loads, and to make it more analogous to drinking water applications from where the majority of industry experience stems. In addition to dual media filtration (as for conventional tertiary), the additional high-rate filtration processes of coarse anthracite mono media and cloth media filtration were considered as pre-filters for Ozone-BAG . The advanced tertiary treatment processes which were taken forward for trialling, both with and without pre-filtration may be summarised as follows:

50 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

As com pared to the conventional tertiary membrane processes where secondary effluent is fed directly t o the membrane, the level of pre-treatment provided by OzoneBAC enables significantly higher flux rat es and potentially lower cost membrane products to be used. The various permutations and combinations of technologies, including pre-filters, meant that in effect there were many potential treatment trains at the beginning of 2008 and in 12 months Melbourne Water needed t o determine the preferred process train for implementation at full-scale.

Tertiary Technology Trials Design, construction and commissioning of the Tertiary Trials Plant (TTP) was completed over the course of 2007, and a formal 12 month trial s program commenced in February 2008. The TTP has operated beyond the initial 12 mont h trials for the purpose of supporting det ailed design development of the selected process train and operational optimisation. The scale of the operation is shown in Figure 1. Whi le desktop assessments of treatment options can be undertaken based on industry experience and professional judgement, each application is unique and experience developed elsewhere is not necessarily directly translatable to new applications. It follows that there is a real risk that desktop treat ment designs could incur inefficient expenditure on an overly conservative design, or delays to retrofit an under-designed plant, or include incorrect selection of process t echnologies. Considering the scale of the proposed upgrade at ETP, these issues are very significant, and invest igat ive work such as the trials was required to adequately address such risks and develop a robust basis for decision-making processes. In order to maximise the opportunity to scale-up the trials data for fu ll-scale plant considerations, the scale and configuration of the pilot plant s were carefully considered. The membrane units were sized to be representative of commercially available fu ll-scale modules, and were equipped with control systems to enable (semi-automatic) continuous operation including routine cleaning regimes. The media filt ers were of sufficient diameter to eliminat e wall effects, and were equipped with level and filtration rate controls, filter-to-waste systems, and automatic air and washwat er systems. The ozone system was based on oxygen feed to produce ozone gas at 10wt% concentration, and had to be large enough to provide ozonat ed water across a range of doses at flows suitable for the downst ream process units. Each of the primary process trains was designed with a nominal average flow capacity of 100-1 50 kUd . Although comprising numerous different process train s, the total flow

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wastewater treatment 2° Effluent <5 NTU

2° Effluent 20 NTU




Spiked 2° Effluent

Spiked 2° Effiuent

<2 NTU 15PtCo

50 NTU 110 PtCo

140 NTU 110 PtCo

refe reed paper

Figure 2. Relative secondary effluent and advanced tertiary treated water qualities. capacity of the trials faci lity is comparable to a wastewater treatment plant for a small country town. The formal 12 month trials were conducted in accordance with an experimental program which was designed to generate the information required to achieve confidence in project recommendations. The ETP trials are amongst the most comprehensive pilot tests of their kind, and the approach may be considered world leading. Some 40,000 laboratory analyses have been undertaken to date, in conjunction with extensive on line monitoring data. A summary of the key findings from the trials is discussed below.

Trials Findings It should be noted that these findings are specific to ETP effluent and may not be applicable to other treatment plants. It is recommended that pilot testing be undertaken on each specific effluent prior to deciding on a treatment process for any tertiary treatment upgrade.

Dual media filtration Dual media filtration achieved good solids removal and was able to produce low treated water turbidity (<2 NTU under most conditions). Without feed water coagulation the direct pathogen reduction of this conventional filtration step was limited and, therefore, the pathogen reduction requirements wou ld need to be met primarily by downstream disinfection processes. Removal of dissolved components (such as ammonia or colour) of the effluent was minimal.

Mono media & cloth media filtration (pre-filtration for Ozone-BAC) The mono media filter achieved good solids removal and filtered water turbid ity of <2 NTU under most conditions. Due to the coarser media it offered higher hydraulic loading rates (and hence reduced filter area) relative to dual media, however, elevated feed water solids loads were not sufficiently attenuated to justify it's use as an effective pre-treatment step for downstream Ozone-BAG treatment. In addition, the achievable peak solids loading rates and associated filter run times were lower than expected. The performance of cloth media filtration was found to be comparable to that of mono media filtration in terms of good solids removal and filtered water turbidity of <2 NTU under most conditions. However, it also did not perform well with elevated feed water solids loads leading to filtered water solids of up to 10 NTU, and raised similar concerns as to its effectiveness for this particular application . For both of these coarse filtration processes, the filtered water quality was impacted by the particle size distribution in the secondary effluent feedwater.

52 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

2° Effluent 50 NTU 110 PtCo

2° Effluent <5 NTU 110 PtCo

Ozone-BMF <2 NTU 15 PtCo

Figure 3. An alternative view of three of the five samples presented above. Membrane filtration Both MF and UF membrane systems were successfu lly trialled and found to be capable of producing very low filtered water turbidity (general ly < 0.1 NTU and always <0.2 NTU) under all conditions. Satisfactory hydraulic performance, in terms of flux and recovery, could be achieved using fairly standard membrane clean ing regimes and without evidence of problematic irrecoverable fouling. The hydraulic performance of MF membrane filtration was slightly better than UF, however, in the absence of feedwater coagulation the pathogen reduction capability (particularly virus) of UF was higher, leading to UF being the preferred membrane filtration technology. This reduces the pathogen load on downstream disinfection processes.

Ozone-BAC treatment The viabil ity of ozone treatment is directly related to the ozone dose required to achieve the treatment objectives. The trials demonstrated that these objectives could be met using a feasible ozone dose. The requ ired ozone dose was generally driven by the colour reduction objectives, with the ability to meet the other treatment objectives being assessed based on this dose. The media filtration step employed downstream of ozone normally uses granular activated carbon media. Pre-treatment by ozone results in the formation of a fixed-film biomass on the activated carbon and therefore it is referred to as biological activated carbon (BAC). The use of activated carbon is able to offer extensive sites for biomass development, and the concept originates from its use in drinking water applications. An alternative to the granular activated carbon is anthracite filtration media, which does not have the same pore structure or surface adsorption properties. Anthracite was also trialled and was found to offer comparable treatment performance to activated carbon while pot entially offering some advantages at full-scale. A final choice between these two media will require additional detailed work. In recognition of this the generic term biological media filtration (BMF) is used henceforth. While some very minor differences in BMF behaviour could be observed when fed pre-filtered water, a key finding from the trials was that Ozone-BMF treatment did not require a prefiltration step. This allows for a simpler process train and avoids inter-stage pumping. This find ing alone from the trials plant has effectively paid for the trials several times over.

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Figure 4. Solids removal during stress test (hours of test run along x-axis). Ozone-BMF treatment was found to provide both colour reduction and UV transmittance (UVT) improvement by reducing the contribution of both soluble compounds and particulate matter in the water to these parameters. Low colour could be produced with this process step, with a reduction from 90 t o 15 Pt-Co on a median basis using readily achievable ozone doses. Peak colour levels of 140 could be reduced to around 20 using feasible ozone doses for full scale application. In addition, a substantial increase in UVT from 40% to more than 60% UVT was seen on a median basis, providing significant benefits to the effectiveness of any downstream UV disinfection process. The impact of advanced tertiary treatment on secondary effluent of varyi ng quality is graphically demonstrated in Figures 2 and 3, including descriptions of the respective samples. In Figure 2, t he first sample on the left is a secondary effluent sample with a typical turbidity of <5 NTU and a True Colour of 110 Pt-Co (equivalent to the 85th percentile true colour levels in the cu rrent secondary effluent). The second sample from the left is a secondary effluent sample with a turbid ity approximating the 95-99th percentile. The thi rd sample from the left is Ozone-BMF t reated water quality with a turbidity of <2 NTU turbidity and a True Colour of 15 Pt-Co. This is representative of the expected typical treated water quality from advanced tertiary treatment, as shown more graphically in Figure 3. The two samples on the right are secondary effluent samples that were spiked with additional solids for the purpose of stress tests at the TTP and are not representative of typical secondary effluent quality, but are able to be treated by Ozone-BMF to the level shown in the middle sample. Ozone is a widely used disinfectant in water and wastewater and was found to provide significant pathogen reduction across each of the protozoa, vi rus and bacteria pathogen groups. This f inding is important as it red uces the pathogen reduction requirements for downstream disinfection processes. BMF solids removal and treated water turbidity performance was comparable to dual media filtration (typically around 1NTU and <2 NTU 95th percentile), which would meet the filtration-related treatment requirements for the project. 90+% removal of solids and turbidity was demonstrated during stress testing with high feedwater solids

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54 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

concentrations. Higher solids loading rates and longer fi lter run times were achieved relative to dual media filtration. Considering that comparable media bed configu rations and filtration rates were used, this improvement in filtration performance is expected to be due to ozone microflocculation effects. The ability of the filtration process to limit peaks in effluent solids which might otherwise contribute to sporadic pl ume visibility problems at the discharge point is graphically demonstrated in Figure 4, where solids "stress testing" was performed at the TTP. The blue line indicates the feed solids concentration, which was maintained at around 40 mg/L for some 50 hours. The red and green lines are the product water solids concentrations from two different BMF configurations. The filters were operat ed at their peak hydraulic loading rate throughout and the resulting solids loading rate represented >99th percentile loading conditions. Despite this extreme stress test the BMF produced effluent suspended solids of <5 mg/L. Continuous monitoring of turbidity through these tests also confirmed excellent removal. Ozone-BMF treatment was also found to provide robust biological nitrification and produce very low treated water ammonia concentrations (typically <0.5 mg/ L ammonia-N). Peak flow and loading tests (including spiking tests with additional ammonia) have confirmed around 5 mg/L removal capacity, and additional work at the TTP is being undertaken t o further extend this range for incorporation int o final designs. As well as removing the foam formi ng organisms originating from the activat ed sludge process, Ozone-BMF treatment addresses the residual risk of foam formation from other causes such as traces of surfactants (both synthetic and biological in origin) which may not be removed by conventional tertiary filtration . Samples from the TTP were tested for foam formation and stability. Th e Ozone-BMF treated samples demonstrated t he lowest foaming potential of the effluent samples test ed with results directly comparable to tap water. The relative foam risk associated with the various effluent qualities can be represented as follows Advanced tertiary << tertiary < typical secondary << secondary effluent containi ng filamentous bacteria. Odour reduction by a number of the treatment processes was also investigated. Only Ozone-BMF treatment demonstrated significant odour reduction and/or odour character improvement. Ozone-BMF treatment significantly reduced measured odour potential levels by 60-70% on average. In addition to this effect, the hedonic tone (degree of ' pleasantness') and the odour character descriptors were also significantly improved. Conventional tertiary treatment removes particulate oil and grease that may give rise to fatballs on the beach near the discharge point. In addition to this filtration effect, advanced tertiary treatment employs oxidation and biodegradation to more completely address the potential precursors to fatball formation. The peak oil and grease levels in the treated water, which are most likely to give rise to observable fat balls, are able to be red uced by at least 90% to less than 2mg/L

technical features

~ refereed pape r

which is below t he level of detection for oil and grease analysis. Ozone-BMF t reatment process was found to be very suitable for the ETP application with many benefits observed well beyond those considered during desktop invest igations.

Treatment Options Assessment The t rials have shown t hat while conventional dual media filtration would meet t he basic filtrat ion-specific requirements for the project (physical removal of particulat e matter, litter , and fat balls), the pathogen red uction requirements would be met primarily by downstream disinfection processes when o perated without sig nificant feed wat er coagulation or preozonation. The high colour in ETP effluent and associated low UVT, in combinat ion w ith changed regulatory guidelines for recycled water and pathogen reduction via UV disinfection, reduces the feasibility of UV as a primary disinfectant (d ue to technical, power consumpt ion, and cost considerations) unless t he colour is first reduced by ozonation. These facto rs eliminate t he potential cost advantage of the convent ional Dual Media Filt rat ion + UV + Chloraminat ion process train, and it does not provide the add itional environmental benefits associated with removal of dissolved components (such as ammon ia or colour) that advanced tertiary treat ment offers. Membrane fi ltration is a technically feasible technology for use on ETP secondary effluent, with standard cleaning regimes proving su itable for addressing sol ids d riven foul ing issues. Of the membrane types, UF proved more suitable than MF d ue to the g reater pat hogen reduction, thus red ucing reliance on downst ream disinfection. Chlorine d isinfection for t hese options would st ill be in the form of combined chlorine as ammonia will be present downst ream of conventional tertiary treatment options. A key finding from the trials was that Ozone-BMF treatment d id not require a pre-filtration step in order to provide t he required water quality, and this significantly improved t he simplicity and feasibility of t he advanced tertiary t reatment o ptions. Rather t han being an add-on to conventional tertiary t reat ment, it instead becomes t he foundation of the preferred treat ment process to address marine impact s and prod uce recycled water. The key feature of t he advanced tertiary treatment proc ess trains is that t hey take advantage of synerg ies between ind ividual process steps. For example, Ozone-BMF treat ment increases UVT and removes ammonia thereby reducing t he size of downstream UV disinfect ion and enabling highly effective free ch lorine disinfect ion. Ozone-BMF treat ment also has a major impact on t he efficiency of membrane filtration when used downstream. The additional benefits for the marine environment offered by the advanced tertiary process trains were found to be significant. The red uction in colour, odour fatballs and foaming potential thereby prov iding improvement to the key aesthetic parameters, as well as additional ammonia reduct ion and a barrier to potential toxicants are attractive feat ures, both for receiving waters and faci litating customer acceptance and uptake in recycled water applications. Based on t hese factors t he short-listed options were: 1. Ozone-BMF + UF + Free chlorine

wastewater treatment 2. Ozone-BMF + UV + Free chlorine Bot h of t hese advanced tertiary t reatment process trains are able to produce high quality fit-for-purpose 'Class A' recycled wat er, and offer largely the same degree of benefits fo r t he marine environment. The first option produces consistently high q uality treated water quality, however the lifecycle cost penalty of providing and maintaining the UF membrane filtration step is considerable, and outweighs any marginal benefits it may offer, given likely end uses of t he product water in the short-medium term. Taking into consideration t he findings from the trials and using a Trip le Bottom Line assessment to consider all of the issues facing the ETP upgrade, the preferred treat ment t rain is Ozone-Biological Media Filtration with UV and Chlorine Disinfection. The concept design for t he preferred option is 'futureproof' as it allows for easy augmentation to include UF membrane filtrat ion should it be req uired.

Conclusions Following 12 months of intensive t rials work, and analysis, Melbo urne Water has determined the preferred approach for the upgrade of ETP. The process t rain consist ing of Ozone, Biolog ical Media Filtration, UV and Chlorine d isinfection is expected to address t he impacts t hat the current t reated effluent discharge is having on t he marine environment and produce high q uality recycled water suitable for a broad range of non-potable uses. The insights gained through the t rials process have allowed t he adoption of an innovative approach and reinforced the value of pilot testing to inform process selection and design development. Wh ilst the selection of t he process train for the fu ll scale plant is now complete, ongoing work at the trials plant is su pporting t he design refinement process, and this will likely cont inue for the next 12 to 18 months. The findings from the t rials reported in t his article are specific to Melbourne Wat er 's Eastern Treatment Plant and any organisation considering tertiary treatment options would be advised to undertake treatment plant specific testing to ensure selection of the best treatment technology and a sound design basis for the application in q uestion.

The Authors

Clare McAuliffe and John Mieog are both Senior Process Engineers wit hin Melbourne Water's Treatment & Recycling Planning Team (both pictured), and Chris Williams is the Manager of Treatment & Recycling Planning. Clare, John and Chris have been Melbourne Water's leaders for the planning phase of the ETP Tertiary Upgrade Project. Email: Clare.McAuliffe@melbournewat James Currie is t he Project Manager for the Black & Veatch/ KBR team that contributed to the work described in t he paper. He leads Black & Veatch's Water Business in Victoria. Email:

water SEPTEMBER 2009 55

wastewater treatment

UPGRADES AT THE METROPOLITAN SYRACUSE WWTP, NEW YORK Part 1 Ammonia Removal G Hook, T Carpenter, N Hatala, B Munn, K George, R Copithorn Abstract The County of Onondaga, New York, was required to upgrade the performance of their Syracuse Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant to reduce pollution in Onondaga Lake. Two papers cover pilot plant trials , design of fu ll-scale plant, construction, commissioning and lessons learnt for both ammonia oxidation and phosphorus removal (precipitation and fi ltration). Part 1 deals with nitrificat ion to oxidise ammonia (but with no deliberate denitrification) to achieve less t han 1.2 mg/L NH 3 in summer, and 2.4 mg/L NH 3 in winter with sewage temperatures as low as 8°C. Part 2 deals with the high efficiency precipitation and filtrat ion to achieve a stringent limit of 0.02 mg/L P, since phosphorus had been determined as the critical factor in the lake ecology. Because space was severely limited, conventional processes could not be inst alled. Therefore, high-rate processes were considered. Pi lot comparisons were performed on two Biolog ical Aerated Filters (BAFs).

Introduction Onondaga Lake, located in Central New York State within t he City of Syracuse limits, had t he dubious distinct ion of being one of the most polluted lakes in the US. In 1998, Onondaga County signed an amended Consent Judgment

water Future Features NOVEMBER - Odour, desalination DECEMBER - Trenchless technology, groundwater, rainwater tanks FEBRUARY 2010 - Recycli ng , reuse, water effic iency, energy efficiency, clim ate change impacts 56 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

Table 1. Mandated Discharge Limits. Stage I mass load

Stage II (mg/ I)

Stage Ill (mg/I)

Jul 1-Sept 30

4000 kg/d



Oct 1-Jun 30

6000 kg/d



Existing limit

May 2004

Dec 2012

Parameter Ammonia (NH 3)

Deadline Phosphorus (TP) Deadline

180 kg/d



Existing limit

April 2006

Dec 2012

(ACJ) with the State requiring $380 million worth of projects to increase the level of t reatment at the 84mgd, (320 MUd) Metropo litan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant (Metro Plant), as well as to add ress CSOs. The most sig nificant of the ACJ projects was the addition of ammonia and phosphorus removal facilities at the Metro Plant. With a total const ruction cost of approximately $130 million, these fac ilities were focused on achieving some of the strictest nutrient discharge limits in t he country in accordance w ith the t imetable presented in Table 1. The project had to confront several chal lenging design constraints inc luding: • The exist ing s ite was t ightly c onstrained w ith littl e available space • Poor soil conditions requiring the instal lation of all structures and pipi ng o n pi le supports • Peak wet-weather flows were very high (greater than 900 MUd ), i.e. > 3X,ADWF but sustai ned (3-5 days) • Influent wastewater temperatures in the winter were low • An aggressive t imetable was mandated by the consent judgment. The efforts t o upgrade for nitrification and phosphorus removal proceeded simu ltaneously but w ill be d iscussed separately. Th is project was completed by Environmental Engineering Associates, a partnersh ip of Stearns and

Pilot testing to full-scale operation.

Wheler/ GHD, Blasland, Buck & Lee and O'Bri en & Gere.

Existing Wastewater Treatment Plant The Metropolitan Syracuse Sewage Treatment Plant (Metro) is a 320 MUd (84mgd) facility providing only marginal seasonal nitrification and phospho rus removal using chemical precipitation to a level of approximately 1 mg/L TP (see Figure 1). Treated effluent is discharged to Onondaga Lake. Wast ewater treatment consists of raw sewage screening and grit removal, primary settling, activated sludge with fine bubble aeration, secondary c larification, effluent d isinfection by chlorination, and tertiary settling. For phosphorus removal, iron salts are added to the secondary t reatment syst em. Hydraulic capacity through secondary and tertiary treatment systems is provided for treatment of wastewater flows up to 450 MUd. Incremental flows in excess of 450 MUd receive t reatment consisting of raw sewage screening and grit removal, primary settling, and effluent chlorination. Primary waste-act ivated and t ertiary sludges are combined, gravity thickened, anaerobically digested, and dewatered on belt filters. Dewatered sludges are f urther t reated under a contract operations program by the N-VIRO soil process prior to beneficial reuse. Storm events during both t he wet seaso n and d ry season can produce peak flows in excess of 9_ 0 0 MUd. Flow to secondary treat ment faciliti es is limit ed to the maximum of 450 MUd. However,

technical features

International Protective Coatings, working together with the Griffith City Council, used the PolibridÂŽ system to successfully refurbish the failed epoxy coated inlet channels of the Griffith Sewage Treatment Plant. Application carried out by Mattioli Bros.


wastewater treatment the duration of the peak causes adverse impacts on operations. Dry weather peaks are generally short-term (3 to 5 hours) and do not adversely impact performance, as solids washed out of the aeration tanks are captured in the secondary clarifiers. However, during the wet season, storm events are often accompanied by snowmelt, which can cause peak flows to be sustained for 3 to 5 days. During these sustained peak flow events, solids carryover occurs degrading the quality of secondary effluent. CBOD 5 and TSS concentrations in the secondary effluent can reach 50 mg/ L and 80 mg/ L, respectively. Wastewater temperature has a well-documented impact on nitrification rate. At the Metro plant, temperatures vary from a low of 8°C to a high of 23°C. Low temperatures are the result of snowmelt and can occur anytime from January through March and often occur in combination with sustained high flow conditions. During critical cold weather conditions (8°C), the nitrification process technology must be capable of producing effluent ammonia concentrations of 2.4 mg/L NH 3 . The other critical temperature condition at Metro occurs during those transitional periods of the seasonal permit. Seasonal limits requiring 1.2 mg/L NH 3 begin on June 1st, when temperatures of about 15°C are experienced.

Ammonia Removal Evaluation of alternatives Extensive studies and evaluation of ammonia removal alternatives were performed, including those alternatives shown below: • Conventional Activated Sludge • Integrated Fixed Film Activated Sludge (IFAS) • Biological Aerated Filters (BAF) • Partial diversion to an alternate wastewater treatment plant • Reconstruct treatment capacity at an abandoned wastewater treatment plant • Deep water discharge

Figure 1. Syracuse Metro WWTP, ca 2000, showing the space constraints. • Discharge to Seneca River (thereby bypassing Onondaga Lake). The evaluation of available technologies recommended biological aerated filters (BAF) for Stage II and Ill ammonia removal. One of the biggest advantages of the BAF technology is the small footpri nt required based on the relatively higher allowable wastewater loading rates. Considering the premium for land at the Metro site, this was a large factor towards the selection of BAFs. Description of pilot plant Two systems for ammonia removal were piloted for the BAF technology: the US Filter Kruger Biostyr and the lnfilco Degremont (IOI) BIOFOR. Each pilot unit consist ed of 0.9 m diameter (0.66 m2 ) columns. Non-chlorinated secondary effluent from the Metro facility was used for the tests. Adjustment of the secondary effluent characteristics was necessary to simulate design wastewater flow and load conditions under seasonally varying plant performance (Metro nitrifies during summer months). To account for varying effluent characteristics, an influent blend tank was provided to allow the addition of ammonium chloride, CBOD (fruit juice), and mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS). The pilot plant also had provisions to add soda ash to replace alkalinity lost from nitrification in the exist ing plant during the summer. A chi ller was also provided to adjust the temperature of t he wastewater feed to create critical temperature conditions. A description of the two types of BAF units follows. BIOFOR

Specialised solutions for all your wastewater treatment needs

58 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

The BIOFOR unit operates in an upflow mode. The media consists of expanded shale. Secondary effluent is pumped through the fine screen into a plenum at the bottom of the unit where the flow is distributed upwards through nozzles through the filter media. Nitrified effluent overflows a weir at the t op of the filter and is collected in a clearwell for use as backwash

technical features

wastewater treatment • Impact on short-term hydraulic peaks as a result of combined sewer system during warm weather conditions. • Periodic stressing of the biofilters resulting from high secondary effluent suspended solids. • Sustained hydraulic peaks (as long as 5 days) that occur in combination with low wastewater temperatures resulting from stormwater runoff f rom snowmelt and peak infiltration. Results of these additional tests concluded that: • Increased high solids loading did not significantly affect ammonia removal.

Figure 2. Aerial View of Site, 2008. The new facility is sited at centre top of Figure 1 in the utility yard and small buildings.

• Both pilot units exhibited poor TSS removals. TSS removal efficiency through the BIOFOR unit averaged 30 per cent while the Biostyr unit averaged 22 per cent.

water. The BIOFOR unit is backwashed in an upflow direction. The unit is first partially drained then the media is scoured with air, followed by a hydraulic backwash using wat er from the clearwell. Backwashi ng occurred automatically based on filter run time.

Full Scale Project


The Biostyr unit also operates as an upflow filter, with the major difference being that the Biostyr media floats. The media consists of 3.5-mm polystyrene beads and is contained in the filter by a top plate equipped with nozzles to evenly distribute the flow across the filter cross sectional area. Nitrified effluent overflows a weir (an open pipe on the pilot unit) and is collected in a clearwell for use in backwashing. The Biostyr unit is backwashed in a downward direction. During backwash, the backwash drain valve at the bottom of the unit is opened to allow water from the clearwell t o flow downward through the nozzles in the top plate through the polystyrene media. Backwash scour air is introduced through the air diffusers located at the bottom of the unit. Complete mixing of the media takes place during backwashing. Pilot test results

The biofilters were operated under near constant influent ammonia concentrations (18 mg/ Las NH 3) and critical temperature (13°C to 15°C summer and 8°C winter) to determine the hydraulic loading rate at which complete nitrification (effluent ammonia below 1.2 mg/Las NH 3 during summer and 2.4 mg/Las NH 3 in winter) could be achieved using 70 per cent of the media depth. Results of this testing concluded that: • Under warm weather conditions the BIOFOR unit could be designed at a hydraulic loading rate of 217m 3/d/m 2 and the Biostyr unit at a rate of 188 m3/d/m 2 . • On a volumetric loading basis both units met performance goals at a loading rate of approximately 1120 kg/m 3/d. • Under cold weather conditions the hydraulic loading capacity of the biofilters decreased to 141 m3/d/m 2 and 117 m 3/d/m2 for BIOFOR and Biostyr, respectively. • Under cold weather conditions, the equivalent volumetric loading for both units was approximately 640 kg/m 3/d. Once the hydraulic capacity of the units was established under constant ammonia feed concentration and constant temperature, other variables were introduced to simulate fullscale operating conditions based on historical performance of the Metro plant, including:

60 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

BAF design requirements

An evaluated bid approach, which considered both capital and operating costs, was used to select the BAF technology for the final upgrade. As a result , the Biostyr BAF was selected. Design criteria for the system is presented below.

Biostyr BAF Ammonia Removal System Design Criteria Filter Cells - 18 (including 2 standby) Dimensions

• 17.4 m x 8.5 m x 7 .9 m deep Filter Media (3.6 mm polystyrene bead} • 544m 3/cell @ 3.35 m deep Hydraulic Loading

• Average An nual 318 MUd (84.2 mgd) 135 m3/d/m 2 • Max Month 416 MUd (11 0 mgd} 176 m3 /d/m 2 • Peak Hourly 4 78 MUd (126.3 mgd) 205 m3 /d/m 2 Ammonia Loading Rate

• Average - 640 kg/m 3 • Max Month - 768 kg/m3 A PLC based control system is used to automatically rotate filter cells in and out of service in order to maintain a consistent hydraulic and ammonia loading to the filter in service. The PLC controller performs calculations, based on real-time measurements of influent flow rate and ammonia concentration, and selects the number of filter cells required to be in service to match pre-determined set-points for the desired filtration velocity and ammonia load in the cells.

Construction As explained previously, an evaluated bid process resu lted in the selection of the Biostyr BAF system. Comprehensive construction documents, incorporating 11 contracts (including the two US Filter contracts one for ammonia and one for phosphorus removal} were prepared in approximately one year's time, to meet the ACJ milestone date for design completion of April 1, 2001. Bid documents were prepared for a site preparation contract first, since the 3.2-acre site adjacent to the Metro Plant selected for the new facilities

technical features

wastewater treatment lnffu.nt NHJ-N V 1 Effluent NHJ-N !t.lll'tl.lp 10 May he

Olom.u A cclln~tfon Pflrlod (5 WH k• J


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Four prime contracts totalling about $57M were t hen awarded to build the new facil ities. Th e ACJ required that construction of the BAF facil ities be completed by November 1, 2003 with a subsequent effluent compliance date o f May 4, 2004 achieving the Stage II Ammonia limit.

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$9M pile installation contract was awarded. Due to the poor subsurface conditions at the lakefront, approximat e ly 1200 steel H piles were installed to an average depth of 275 feet.

Facilities to be constructed included a new 320 MUd average and 480 MUd peak secondary effluent pu m ping st ation (SEPS), an 18 cell Biostyr BAF system, 4 train/unit Actiflo system (for phosphorus removal), a UV disinfection system, a final effluent Parshall Flume, a chemical storage/ feed building and a three story Plant Operations Centre (see Figure 2) .


Start Up and Operation JAN · 29th HT/AL OPERATION BEGHS

BAF system (ammonia removal)

Figure 3. BAF Performance Testing. was a former manufactured gas plant (MGP) site. The property was undergoing a remedial investigation/ feasibi lity study (RI/ FS), therefore the site preparation, which included excavation and removal of impacted soils, as well as ground water depression and treatment was performed as an interim remedial measure (IRM) approved by the NYSDEC. A ground water treatment facil ity was constructed as part of a $4.6M dewatering contract. Next, to expedite the construction, while the ammonia and phosphorus facilities were being designed, a

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mixing and aeration system s

Initial operation of the BAF System commenced on January 29, 2004 for the purpose of developing and acclimating the nitrifying biomass in advanc e of the May 1st deadline for complyi ng with the St age II wi nter effluent ammonia limit of mg/I. Initially, only a portion of the total secondary effluent flow was directed to the BAF system in order to maintain a relatively low ammonia load. As the biomass developed and effectively removed ammonia, the infl uent flow was increased in steps until the full flow was being processed through the system. Despite having t o start up the biological treatment system in

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wastewater treatment Metropolltlan Syracuse WWTP Effluent Ammonia

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Figure 5. Metropolitan Syracuse WWTP Effluent Ammonia. BAF INFLUENT NHl•N Vs EFFLUENT NHJ (JAt~ · DEC 200")

Figure 4. BAF 2004 Ammonia Effluent Data. the dead of wi nter with low wastewater temperatures, the nitrifying biomass developed and acclimated steadily, and the BAF System was able to achieve compliance with the more stringent Stage Il l effluent ammonia limit of 2.4 mg/I by the May 1st deadline. Resu lts are shown in the Figure 3. The results of the winter and summer performance tests are shown in Figure 4. They demonstrate that the BAF system consistently removed ammonia to below the Stage Ill summer effluent limit of 1 .2 mg/I. The effluent ammonia data for the three-year period beg inning April 2004 (Figure 5), demonstrates consistent performance of the BAF system . The four occasions where the

limits were exceeded each relate to a specific problem w ith the mechanical elements of the new BAF system. The problems were not related to the process directly, but more to faulty seals, valves or sluice gates. The system showed excellent recovery from an upset condition where faulty link seals caused flooding of the BAF gallery and a shutdown of t he BAF process.

Lessons Learned There are several feat ures of the new BAF system that Onondaga County has either modified or intends to mod ify and w hich relate to providing a higher level of flexi bility and control. They include provisions for: • Mechanical gates instead of stop logs t o control BAF cell effluent.


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62 SEPTEMBER 2009 water


• Means to isolate portions of the system. • Two rather than only one bac kwash discharge pipe. • Li nkseal instead of flanged wall cast ings. • Midge fly/spider control. • Backwash volume equalisation to avoid downstream impact of period ical ly "burping" nitrifiers to aeration syst em. • High temperat ure seat material for air valves.

Conclusion Since completion of t he BAFs and HRFS systems (phosphorus removal) to meet the Stage II permit limits, t he water quality in Onondaga Lake has improved dramatically.

The Authors Gerald Hook, Tim Carpenter, Nick Hatala, Bruce Munn and Kelvin George are all Professional Engineers (PE) with Stearns & Wheler/G HD. Gerard (Jerry) Hook was the engineer in charge of the project. Rhodes (Rip) Copithorn, P.E. is t he Business Group Manager Wastewat er for Stearns & Wheler/G HD. Email:

technical features

~ refereed paper



profile or "spectra" from which other parameters can be derived, such as a DOC equivalent (DOC 8q),


New Zealand has many

20 mountainous, forest-covered water supply catchments. The water from these Recent developments in catchments is typically low in instrument technology have particulates with a moderate resulted in the availability of UV-VIS spectrophotometers to high natural organic matter capable of online (NOM) content. The water measurement, giving the quality can change very Jun Jul Aug Oct Nov Dec user real time UV-VIS rapidly following rainfall Figure 1. Solids compensated UV absorbance at 254nm (A254 ) for plant spectral data. This paper events. These water quality inlet water. 1st June 2008 to 31st November 2008. details the use of online UV"events" present a challenge VIS spectroscopy at a water to conventional water to correlate with the apparent molecular treatment plant in New Zealand. treatment processes. Recent advances in weig ht (AMW) of aquatic NOM, (Croue et instrumentation have enabled water Water Treatment Plant Details al. , 2000; Uyguner and Bekbolet, 2005; UV-VIS suppli ers to install Allpike et al., 2005]. As the AMW of NOM The Wainuiomata water treatment plant is spectrophotometers for continuous online increases, the SUVA254 value tends to a 60MUd conventional dissolved air water quality monitoring. These increase. A higher SUVA254 value flotation (DAF) and filtration plant, treating instruments can be used to measure the suggests that the NOM present is more water from three river systems located in quantity of NOM and infer changes in the hydrophobic in nature and therefore more a heavily forested, mountainous characteristics of NOM during water likely to influence and be removed by catchment. The chemical dosing regime quality events. This knowledge can be coagulation and subsequent solids is carbon dioxide and hydrated lime (for used to optimise conventional treatment separation [Edzwald and Tobiason, 1999; alkalinity and flocculation pH control), plants for NOM removal in the most cost et al., 2006]. Sharp polyaluminium ch loride (PAC) coagulant, effective manner, without a deleterious polyelectrolyte, post-filtration hydrated effect on particulat e removal. UV-VIS spectrophotometers measure lime and chlorine gas. the absorbance across a range of


In the water industry measurement of UV absorbance at a single wavelength of 254nm is a widely accepted surrogate for natural organic matter (NOM). However, in order to characterise NOM, additional measurements need to be made. Measuring the dissolved organic carbon content (DOC) enables the specific UV absorbance, or SUVA254 , of the water to be calculated. SUVA25 4 has been shown

wavelengths (e.g. 200-750nm) and are reported to improve the robustness and accuracy of measurement when compared to single wavelength measurement [Chow et al. , 2007]. Measurement across multiple wavelengths provides an absorption

Provides rapid capability to optimise removal of NOM.

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PVDF body

Three junction types: ceramic, PTFE and open junction

Built-in potential matching pin

Four different glass types incl. HF for samples with fluoride

3/4" NPT external thread on both ends for easy install

Two 35mm path length s::can spectro::lysers™ were installed in early 2006, one on the plant inlet and one on the combined filtered water. A number of parameters are calculated within the instrument's pc-based controller using the absorbance spectra. These parameters are communicated to plant SCADA by serial link for the purpose of data trendi ng and predictive (feed forward) coagulant dose control. Th e calculated parameters




water SEPTEMBER 2009 63


scada along with additional SCADA data are presented in thi s paper.


One of the main parameters used for plant inlet water quality monitoring, trendi ng and alarming is absorbance at 254nm (A254). This parameter provides a surrogate for the total amount of NOM present in the water. A 6 month plot of t he plant inlet A 254 is shown in Figure 1. Each spike in A 254 is a result of a rainfall event in the catchment, it is immediately apparent that these events are both frequent and short in duration. Supporting water quality data for this period is presented in Table 1.

~ 350 g



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selected. The plant was operating at a relatively constant flow for the period. Plant inlet water quality parameters for this period are show n in Fig ure 2. Figure 2A shows the A254 and turbidity . It can be seen that water quality started to deteriorate rapidly from approximately 5pm on the 1st November, with the peak of the event occurring at approx 2am on the 2nd November. This data shows that there was an increase in both particulate matter and NOM during the event. A second smaller peak of turbidity occurred at approximately 3pm on the 3rd November without any increase in A 254 . The SUVA254 was calculated using the DOCeq parameter and this data is shown in Figure 2B. The SUVA254 increases from a relatively constant 1.9 prior to the event up to 4.2mg·1 Lm· 1 at the peak of the event suggest ing a shift in t he characteristics of







Units mgL·1 as CaC03





Turbidity (Hach 1720E)




Hazen m·1 mg·1Lm·1








Note 1 - SUVA254 is calculated using DOCeq which is derived from a source specific calibration relationship.

Table 2. UV-VIS spectra parameters at Points 1 and 2 from Figure 2A. Point 1 "Normal"

Point 2 "Peak"


SUVA254 (mg· 1Lm·1) SUVA280 (mg·1Lm·1) A2sofA355







Uyguner and Bekbolet, 2005; Wang and Hsieh, 2001




Korshin et al., 1997




Korshin et at., 1997

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Korshin et al., 1997



Korshin et at., 1997

Absorbance Slope Index



Korshin et at., 2009

64 SEPTEMBER 2009 water


0 30 2/11

311 1


Figure 2. Plant inlet water parameters - 1st November 2008 to 4th November 2008. (A) Solids compensated UV absorbance at 254nm and Turbidity, (B) SUVA2s4 and A2s4'A202·

pH (online)



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Table 1. Inlet water quality data 1st June 2008 to 31st November 2008.

A254 SUVA254 - Note 1

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The event selected for analysis occurred on the 1st-4th November 2008. There had been four significant rainfal l events in the catc hment in the month of October, preceding the water quality event

True Colour (Lab)




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Source Water Quality Monitoring During a Water Quality Event

Alkalinity (Lab)



In order to provide more detailed information on changes that can occur in the characteristics of NOM , and the effect t hat these changes have on treatment, a si ngle, t hree day event has been selected from this dataset. It should be noted that changes can also occur between events due to short term (e.g. length of dry spell prior to event) and long term (e.g. seasonal) influences.


LswA254 o50 A2:WA202

' ::~

Source Water Quality Monitoring Results

refereed paper

the NOM during the event. The sudden increase in SUVA 254 suggests t hat the rainfall in the catchment has caused the release of more hydrophobic organic matter such as fulvic and humic acids within the catchment. Also shown in Figure 2B is the absorbance ratio A25 /A202, wh ich correlates wel l with SUVA 254 (R 2 =0.90). The A25 / A202 shows more variation than the SUVA254 , particularly at t he start of the water quality event. It should be noted that whilst A25 /A 202 is reported to be a reasonable surrogate for hydrophobic acids [Korhsin et al., 1997, Her et al. , 2008] it is prone to interference from inorganics such as nitrate and bromide w hich absorb light at wavelengths <250nm. The values of SUVA254 , A25/ A202 and a range of additional surrogate NOM characterisation parameters calculated from the UV-VIS spectra for a point in t ime before the start of the event (Po int 1 on Figure 2A) and at the peak of the event (Point 2 on Figure 2A) are presented in Table 2.

Plant Performance During a Water Quality Event The effect of the rapid changes in source water q uality on coagulant dosing and treated water quality are shown in Figure 3. Figure 3A shows the change in the ratio of inlet DOCeq to the coagulant dose as controlled by the predictive dose control fu nction and illust rates t hat during the event the coagulant demand increases per unit DOCeq· The quality of the combined filtered water is shown in Figure 3B, expressed as A 254 and turbidity. This data shows that despite the rapid deterioration in inlet water quality the filtered water turbidity remained below 0.1NTU. There was an increase in filtered water A254 from 0.6 to 1.4 m· 1 associated with the peak of the event (allowing for a time lag through the plant). The percentage removals of A 254 and DOC 8q are plotted in Figure 3C showing

technical features

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~ refereed paper





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The free available chlorine (FAC) is monitored online at both 3 minutes and 30 minutes contact time. Whilst this does not g ive a complete measurement of chlorine demand the differential between the two analysers provides a useful monitoring tool. The differential between t hese two analysers is shown in Figure 30. There is a small increase in demand associated with the peak of the event but generally the chlorine demand remained very low suggesting that the NOM component that creates chorine demand has been successfu lly removed by coagulation and subsequent solids separation.

Source Water Treatability One of the main reasons researchers have developed surrogate NOM characterisation parameters, such as SUVA254 is to provide water treatment professionals with an indication of how "treatable" a source water is and in particular how amenable t he NOM will be to removal by coagulation and subsequent solids separation. The percentage of removal of A 254 during the water quality event has been plotted against SUVA254 in Figure 4 in order to assess how effective the parameter is at indicating " treatability". A 254 removal was chosen in preference to

66 SEPTEMBER 2009 water







SWA,.. (mg ' Lm 1)


001 2/11



Figure 3. Plant coagulant dose and treated water parameters 1st November 2008 to 4th November 2008. (A) Inlet DOCeq: coagulant dose (expressed as mgL· 1 as Al 3+) ratio. (B) Combined filtered water A254 and Turbidity. (C) Percentage A254 and DOCeq removal (note time lag added to match plant retention time) (D) 30 minute free available chlorine demand based on differential between monitors sampling at 3 and 30 minutes. an increase in A 254 removal from 83% to 95% and in increase in DOCeq removal from 35% to 65% during the event.


Supply Manager for Greater Wel lington Water (Email: ch ris. laid low@gw. govt. nz) .

! 005



Chris Laidlow is the Water

0 00

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Figure 4. Per cent removal A254 as a function of inlet water SUVA254, 1st November 2008 to 4th November 2008.

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DOCeq since it is a direct measurement rather than a derivation. The data shows that SUVA254 has a good correlation with A254 removal (R2 =0.8). Increases in SUVA254 results in an increase in A25 4 removal as would be expected if the NOM is becoming more hydrophobic during the water quality event.

Conclusions Online UV-VIS spectroscopy has proven to be a robust and reliable monitoring tool w hich provides continuous information about the quantity of NOM present in source waters. It also enables the user to infer the characteristics of the NOM present and to be able to use this information for advanced process control. This is important for plants with dynamic source waters as it provides the capability for water suppliers to optimise their treatment to maximise the removal of NOM in the most cost effective manner without a deleterious effect on particulate removal.

Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank staff and management at Greater Wellington Water, in particular the operators at the Wainuiomata WTP.

The Authors Jason Colton is a Principal Process Engineer w ith h2ope (Email:

Allpike, B.P., Heitz, A., Joli, C.A. Kagi, R.I., Abbt-Braun, G., Frimmel, F.H., Brinkmann, T., Her, N., MY, g.,(2005). Size exclusion chromoatography to characterise DOC removal in drinking water treatment. Environ. Sci and Technology. 39 (7) 2334-2342. Croue,J.P., Korshin, G.V., Leenheer, J., Benjamin, M.M. (2000). Characterisation of natural organic matter in drinking water. AWWA. Chow, C., Dexter, R., Sutherland-Stacy, L., Fitzgerald , F., Fabris, R. , Drikas, M., Holmes, M., Kaeding , U. (2007). UV Spectrometry in drinking water quality management. AWA Water Journal 34(4) 63-66. Edzwald, J.K. and Tobaison, J.E (1999). Enhanced coagulation: USA requirements in a broader view. Wat Sci and Technology, 27(11), 21-35. Her, N., Amy, G., Sohn,J.,vonGuten,U. (2008). UV absorbance ratio index with size exclusion chromatography (URI-SEC) as an NOM property indicator. J. Water Supply Research Technology - AQUA 57 (1 ), 35-44. Korshin, G.V., Li, C.W., Benjamen M.M. (1997). Monitoring the properties of natural organic matter through UV spectroscopy: A consistent theory. Wat. Res. 31(7) 1787· 1795. Korshin, G., Chow, C.W.K., Fabris, R., Drikas, M. (2009). Absorbance spectroscopy-based examination of effects of coagulation on the reactivity of fractions of natural organic matter with varying apparent molecular weights. Wat Res doi:1016/j.watres.2008.12.041. Sharp, E.L., Parson, S.A., Jefferson, B. (2006). Coagulation of NOM: linking character to treatment. Wat Sci and Technology 53(7): 67-76. Uyguner, C.S and Bekbolet, M. (2005). Implementation of spectroscopic parameters for practical monitoring on natural organic matter. Desalination 176 47· 55. Wang, G.S. and Hsieh,S.T. (2001). Monitoring natural organic matter in water with scanning spectrophotometer. Environment International 26 205-212.

technical features

~ refere ed paper


FREE CHLORINE ANALYSERS: A USER'S SELECTION GUIDE A Badalyan, M Holmes, C W K Chow, D Vitanage Abstract Selecting new instrumentation for integration into water quality monitoring programs is fraught with uncertai nties and potential pitfalls. An evaluation methodology for assisting water managers and operators to make the correct choice of an on line free chlorine (FC) analyser based on key performance parameters is presented. Eight amperometric and one colorimetric online FC monitors were evaluated against 15 metrological parameters (response, delay, rise and fall times, linearity, limit of quantification , day-to-day repeatabil ity, the effect of interferences , etc.) according to the procedure outlined in the two standards: ISO Standards 8466-1 (1990) and 15839 (2003). The test results were compared with the analysers ' technical characteristics supplied by their manufacturers. In general, colorimetric systems performed better than amperometric systems, with the latter experiencing significant interference from the pH of water which was not adjusted during t ests. Al l analysers performed with in manufacturers' claimed limits for some metrological parameters, whereas for other parameters their performance was not adequate. It is strongly encouraged t o perform evaluation tests under conditions similar to those in the field before purchasing a monitor.

Introduction The unique features found in many water distribution systems (WDS) in Australia make the management of ch lorine residuals challenging to system managers. Chlorine demand can be high as a resu lt of elevated concentrations of natural organic matter (NOM), and wat er temperatures, and water age can be considerable in long water distribution pipelines. Many systems in remote areas have restricted access for instrument maintenance. Therefore, online disinfectant residual analysers play an important role in the supply of safe and aesthetically pleasing drinking water. An "ideal" online disinfectant analyser should be accurate; it should be reliable requiring minimal operator attention; it should be robust and able to perform in a range of water quality and environmental conditions; it should be able to communicate output and cond ition assessment including fau lts; it should have low water consumption and chemical use; and, it should be cost effective. The application is also an important factor. Online monitors give early warning of process fai lure or potential contamination in the distribution system, help in identifying disinfectant demand, and optimise booster disinfection and asset renewal , but do not need fast response times, unlike control loop applications which must respond quickly to changes in disinfectant demand. Making the correct choice for an online residual disinfectant monitor is, therefore, a serious task, since it involves many

Identifying the most appropriate monitor for a specific application.

Monitor Selection Functionality • measured p11rumeter • measuring range

Communication • remote monitoring • local monitori ng M aintena nc e • chemicals and ports • lobour

Performance • • • • • •

reJpons e lime accur:tey linearity covarioncc lim it of dctet'lion lim it of quantificnlion • drift • rcpe:itability

Ins tallation /OHS • site ac.cess

• po"er s upply • feed "ater • sa mple disposal

• hou.sing

• cost

• memory effect

• lns l'a llation

• interference

• servicing

Figure 1. Monitor selection process components. interrelated features/ components (see Figure 1). These can be categorised in several groups: functionality, performance, installation/occupational health and safety (OHS), comm unication, maintenance, expenses. The monitor should be accurate and reliable, should have low interference of wat er quality on measuring data, and should be able to deliver output data in a format convenient not only for reading, but for data transmission to a central computer or integration into a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system as well. Along with the above techn ical features, the monitor shou ld be inexpensive for purchase and installation, i.e. the cost of ownership shou ld be low - this includes ease of calibration and servicing, and long time periods of operation without recalibration and replacement of chemical reagents, membranes and other components associated with the monitor's normal operation. Manufacturers always claim outstanding performance of their analysers. However, in reality, it is often the case that experimental cond itions during factory trials differ (sometimes significantly) from those during their application at the customer's site. Therefore, the choice of a monitor should be based on a careful analysis of performance characteristics in the operational conditions.

Experimental In order to carry out a comparative analysis of on line resid ual disinfect ant monitors, we followed recommendations outlined in the two ISO Standards (International Standard ISO 8466-1 1990; International Standard ISO 15839 2003). Several colorimetric and amperometric online disinfectant residual monitors were used in the present evaluation trials: FC (6), total chlorine (TC)/monochloramine (MCA) (3) and combined FC/TC/ MCA (3) monitors. Therefore, FC measurements were delivered by 9 online monitors, and TC/ MCA - by 6 monitors (see Figure 2). Water with different disinfectant concentrations was prepared in two tanks , T-1 and T-2 , whereas chlorine- and ammonia-free water was placed in the third tank, T-3. These water samples were pumped, via pump P, through the analysers, A-1 to A-9 , which were connected in parallel in-line

water SEPTEMBER 2009




refereed paper

with a re-circulating system. This configuration ensured that all analysers were supplied with the same water quality. A control valve was used to regulate water flowrate according to the reading of a rotameter, Fl. Throughout the experiments mains water never entered the system directly. Outputs from all analysers, a temperature module (80TK FLUKE), Tl, and pH meter (online pH Prominent Dulcometer), Al, were connected to a data logger unit (PROLOGGER manufactured by UNIDATA) and via an RS-232 interface to a personal computer, PC. The data acquisition software Magpie2 (Measurement Engineering Austral ia Pty Ltd.) was used to program the data logger unit and to interface the analysers' readings in real time on the computer screen during trials. The experimental procedure for all monitors was carried out according to International Standard ISO 15839 (2003). Analyser feed water was periodically monitored using laboratory methods and the results compared with instrument readings. FC, MCA, dichloramine (DCA) and TC concentrations in potable water were determined by titration (American Public Health Associat ion et al. 1998) . TC was determined as the sum of the FC and MCA/DCA concentrations. When no FC is present, TC concentration should be equal to that of MCA. Disinfectant residual concentration was closely controlled to achieve the required concentration in the feed water. Tap water containing a FC concentration of approximately 0.4 mg/ L was used t o prepare a blank solution by filling a t ank and allowing it to stand overnight, with zero FC confirmed the following day. Values of water ambient t emperature, pH and an outlet flowrate were recorded daily. No significant fluctuations were observed during these trials for ambient and sample temperature or for outlet flowrate. In order to detect any changes in source water quality, concentrations of water quality parameters such as pH, CaCO3 , conductivity, bromide, calcium, chloride, fluoride, magnesium, etc. were determined weekly.

Analyser Performance Characteristics Experimental data obtai ned from the trials were used for the evaluation of analyser performance characteristics according to International Standard ISO 15839 (2003). Response, delay, rise and fall times were determined by allowing the analysers to achieve stable readings in response to a feed water disinfection residual concentration equivalent to 20% of measuring span. Rapid adjustment of valve position delivered feed water with a disinfectant residual concentration equivalent to 80% of maximum. Once analyser readings were stable, valves were rapidly reset to feed water with a disinfectant residual concentration equivalent to 20% of the measuring range and the data logger recorded analyser responses to the change in feed concentration. Monitors possessing quick response performance are well suited for control of dosing systems. Slower response monitors may be suitable on ly for residual monitoring. Linearity indicates how closely monitor readings match the results of laboratory calibration tests performed on calibrating solutions. The test for linearity can be determined by "graphical representation of the calibration data with the calculated regression line" (International Standard ISO 8466-1 1990). Data obtained from these experiments were subjected to linear regression tests with the mean-least squares approximation used to find the best fit of the linear equation t o the experimental data. The criterion for the best fit is the value of t he Spearman regression coefficient (R2). The closer this

68 SEPTEMBER 2009 water








Wasta Wator supply

Figure 2. Schematic of experimental set-up. coefficient is to unity, the closer the data points are arranged in relation to the ideal straight line. Covariance, or the coeffi cient of variation (CO\/) is defined as the "ratio of the standard deviation of the online sensor/analysing equipment to the mean of the working range of the equipment" (International Standard ISO 15839 2003). The GOV value is often used to compare the variation of different analysers. The GOV combines the value for the R2 and the slope of the linearity test in one parameter, expressed in per cent variation of the analyser measuring range. Limit of detection (LOO) is the lowest value of a measured parameter that can be distinguished from the background noise in the absence of that parameter. However, distinguishing a result does not mean it can be measured, since one is still not certain what the value is. Limit of quantification (LOQ) is the "lowest concentration of determinand that can be measured with an acceptable level of accuracy and precision, and is equal to 10 times the standard deviation" (International Standard ISO 15839 2003). This characteristic req uires measurements of very low disinfectant residual concentration solutions within the accuracy and precision claimed by the manufacturer for each analyser. Day-to-day repeatability (OORep) is defined as precision under day-to-day repeatability conditions. DDRep conditions are "conditions where independent test results are obtained with the same method on identical test items in the same laboratory by the same operator using the same equipment and reagents over several days" (International Standard ISO 15839 2003). DDRep is reported for 35% and 65% of the monitor's worki ng range. Interferences such as temperature, pH, conductivity, iron concentration etc. of water can have significant influence on the analyser read ings. The quality of an analyser's performance is determined not only by how accurately it responds t o

technical features

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variations of disinfectant residual concentration in water, but by how insensitive and robust its readings are to interferences. The respon se of a monitor's readings should be unchanged within its experimental uncertainty. Not all analysers perform well in t his regard. Some may be very sensitive to interferences. For that reason, analysers can develop an " undesired output signal caused b y a property(ies)/substance(s) other than the one being measured" (Internat ional Standard ISO 15839 2003), which is called interference. In t his trial, the effect of changes in pH from 5 to 10 pH, electrolytic conductivity, temperature, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and concentrations of iron and manganese on each monitor's output, expressed in percentage of its span, was investigated.

Making the Correct Choice of an Analyser: An Example

refe reed p a per

Table 1. Manufacturers technical characteristics of free chlorine analysers. Parameter

Analyser A-1

Analyser A-2



0-5 mg/L

0-5 mg/L

0.035 mg/L as Cl2 or ±5%, whichever is greater

0.05 mg/L as Cl 2 or ±6% of full scale, whichever is greater

Not available

0.02 mg/L as Cl 2 or ±3% of full scale, whichever is greater


0.005 mg/L as Cl2 or ±5%, whichever is greater

Not available


Not available

0.01 mg/L as Cl 2 or ± 1% of full scale, whichever is greater

Measuring range Accuracy Repeatability

Minimum detection limit

0.035 mg/L

Not available


Not available

3% of full scale

< 1.5% per month 90% < 2 minutes/99% < 5 min

Not available

Drift Response time

Not available

Conductivity range pH range Output signal

90% change < 5 min > 10 µS/cm up to 2500 µSiem

4 to 8

4 to 10

4-20 mA

4-20 mA

monitors' performance parameters are presented in Table 1, others are discussed below.

range, and the best outcome would be if the measuring range of a monitor could be re-adjusted, say from 0-5 to 0-2 mg!L of FC, thus increasing the sensitivity of the monitor in the lower FC concentration range so that the same model of monitor would be equally suitable for both measuring the high FC concentrations directly after the dosing system and at the end of the WDS with very low FC concentrations.

Most water utilities do not undertake the comprehensive testing procedure presented in t his paper before As t he first step, a buyer should purchasing a disinfectant residual consider the measuring range of an monitor. Many rely on the technical analyser and en su re that it covers the informat ion supplied by t he instrument expected disinfectant residual manufacturers . Often, techn ical concentration range in their WDS. documentation produced by Accordi ng to t he information about the manufacturers use met rolog ical measuring range suppl ied by the two charact eristics that may be q uite manufactures, either analyser can be Exposure to FC concentrations greater different from those presented in the ISO chosen for analytical purposes. than the upper measuring range may Standards used in this paper. The Summary: some degree of caution should cause an analyser to take a long time to conditions used to det ermine return to normal operation (recovery). be exercised when making a choice of a performance characteristics may also This behaviour is described by the key monitor based solely upon manufacturer differ from one manufact urer to another, performance parameter called "memory technical specifications of the measuring t hus making a correct choice even more effect" which deals w ith difficult. In our d iscussion such measuring parameter below we will compare the Table 2. Summary of selected free chlorine analyser key overshooting. In the worst manufacturers' claimed performance characteristics determined in this trial. case scenario, an analyser analytical performance of may even require two monitors, disregarding Parameter Unit Analyser recalibration. The "memory issues such as sampling A-1 A-2 effect" is calculated as the requirements, maintenance, Colorimetric Amperometric difference between mean Measuring Technique operator training, cost values of six FC associated with pu rchase 128.8/124.4 41.5/47.2 +/- Response Time s concentrat ion and maintenance of a Linearity - R2 0.9554 0.6794 measurements by a monitor, which are out of the 28 7 cov % laboratory standard method scope of t he present paper. mg/L 0.02 LOO 0.06 and by an analyser. If this Information from two value is greater than LDC for 0.05 LOQ mg/L 0.19 arbitrarily chosen an analyser, then t he Repeatability, 20% test solution mg/L 0.02 0.03 manufacturers of free monitor is said to have 0.02 Repeatability, 80% test solution mg/L 0.04 chlorine monitors, monitors A-1 (colorimetric) and A-2 (amperometric), is presented in Table 1. This allows comparison to be made with performance indicator parameters determined using ISO methodology as presented in Table 2 . Althoug h not all the

70 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

DDRep, 35% test solution




"memory effect".

DDRep, 65% test solution




LDC, 20% test solution




LDC, 80% test solution







Memory Effect




pH Interference




Conductivity Interference





Summary: neither of the aforementioned two manufacturers supplied information about this key performance parameter. However, according to our evaluation program, both monitors will not show

technical features



refereed paper

"memory effect" when exposed to FC concentrations exceeding their measuring range. Almost all manufacturers include values of accuracy in their technical documentation. This value may be expressed as a percentage of full scale or of a value of the measured parameter, or as a concentration in mg/L. The lower the absolute value of accuracy, the higher the accuracy of data are delivered by a monitor. Again , it very important to understand what monitor's accuracy in the technical specification real ly means, and what manufacturers claim, since these may be different. As an example, monitor A-1 in Table 1 purports to be more accurate than monitor A-2, but this difference is operationally negligible. However, it is not clear if the accuracy of ±5% refers to a full scale or to the reading of the monitor. We can only assume that the accuracies of monitors A-1 and A-2 are determined as a percentage of the full scale of the monitor. Addit ionally, the accuracy is also given as 0.035 and 0.05 mg/Las FC, for A-1 and A-2, respectively. However it is implied that such good accuracy can be achieved with 0-0.6 and 0-0.8 mg/L fu ll scale, which is very unlikely, since these monitors can adjust their measuring range for 0-2 mg/L giving accuracy of ± 0.1 0 mg/L (±5% of full scale) and± 0.12 mg/ L (±6% of full scale), respectively. This is a very good example of how ambiguity in reporting technical specification data creates difficulties when assessing a monitor's performance and/or choosing the most appropriate monitor. Values of GOV (see Table 2) can also be regarded as experimental uncertainties in the readings of onl ine monitors. These are closely related to accuracy. For monitors A-1 and A-2, COVs were determined as 7 and 28% , respectively. So, both monitors fai led to comply with the claimed accuracy as per Table 1. However, if one considers linearity, which is related t o accuracy, then even without data processing it is evident that the A-1 monitor performed much better than A-2 monitor (see Figure 3) when tested in the laboratory environment. Processing of the linearity data resulted in the R2 -value for A-1 monitor being close to unity. Summary: failure to meet claimed performance, however, is not necessarily disadvantageous, but rather that the monitor demonstrated different performance in the local testing conditions. Accuracy should always be considered with linearity for a monitor.



1 i a

't 1.5




a .2

e §






,: .2




ti ~

+ 11trat1tt11135%filltllhitlM -+- A-1 a t 35% test solutloa + A-2 at 35% ,.., solution -0-Titrallon at 65~~ ftst ~olutlon -<>A· I !lt 65% test solution -0- A·l at 65'1/• test solu tion

2.00 1.60

1.20 0.80 0.40




o.o o.o

0.00 1.0 1.5 Frtt Chlorln~ Con ctntrntlon (1'1tnulon ), ntg/L 0.5








Figure 3. Linearity for the A-1 and A-2 monitors.

Figure 4. DDRep for 35 and 65% test solutions.

Although data in Table 1 referring to response times were different for the manufacturer's claim (90 and 95% change) and in our testing program (20 and 80% change) , by experimental data interpolation we get very similar numbers.

(0.03 mg/ L) and 1 .0% (0.02 mg/L) for monitor A-2 , respectively. According to Table 1, these values should be less than or equal to 5 and 3%, respectively, if they are to agree with manufacturers specifications. Therefore, only monitor A1 performed within the claimed value of precision. However, if the manufacturer were more precise in identifying this performance characteristic (it may be "Repeatability using 20 and 80% test solution"), then both monitors would have demonstrated excellent compliance with the repeatability values claimed by the manufacturers.

Summary: according to our testing program, the A-2 monitor has quicker response to FC concentration variations, however, according to the manufacturers' information, the response time for A-1 monitor is quicker. Precision is regarded as a standard deviation of measurements. In other words, it is a measure of the proximity of results t o each other produced by several measurements of the same parameter under constant measuring conditions. In Table 1, both manufacturers referred to the same parameter, but gave them different names: repeatability and precision. Repeatability is determined as precision under repeatability conditions "conditions where independent test results are obt ained with the same method on identical test items in the same laboratory by the same operator using the same equipment withi n short intervals of time" (International Standard ISO 5725-1 1994). In our testing program, either "Repeatability using 20 and 80 % test solutions" or "OORep using 35 and 65 % test solutions " could be applied to this term. As follows from Table 2 and Figure 4, monitors A-1 and A-2 demonstrated the following val ues of these parameters as "OORep as determined using 35 and 65% test solutions" : 3.5% (0.07 mg/ L) and 4.5% (0.09 mg/ L) for monitor A-1, and 11.5% (0.23 mg/ L) and 23.0% (0.46 mg/ L) for monitor A-2 , respectively. Values demonstrated as "OORep as determined using 20 and 80% test solutions" were equivalent to 1.0% (0.02 mg/L) and 2.0% (0.04 mg/L) for monitor A-1 , and 1.5%

Summary: the reliance only on precision is not correct, since repeatability and precision should always be considered together with accuracy, as it is not particularly useful to have an analyser that is highly precise if the result is consistently incorrect (inaccurate). Sensitivity and minimum detection limit (MOL) have the same meanings in the view of these two manufacturers, which is essentially correct. The sensitivity of an instrument is its "ability to distinguish a true analytical signal from a background noise" (Guenther et al. 1996). Therefore, LOO, sensitivity and MOL are interchangeable, but note, however, that these three parameters should not be used instead of LOO. According to the data presented in Table 2, monitor A-1 did not perform well since its LOO (0.06 mg/ L) is less than its MOL from Table 4 (0.035 mg/ L). At the same time, monitor A-2 (L00=0.02 mg/ L) was able to perform within the claimed sensitivity of 1 % of full scale (which corresponds to 0.05 mg/L). Overall, monitor A-2 is more sensitive than monitor A-1, which fol lows from their techn ical specifications in Table 1. Summary: if a monitor is to be used for very low FC conc entration measurements, for example, at the end of

water SEPTEMBER 2009




• A•I

- _ __.



..... __,_



i ~ ·!:.; o.s O



... o.o

I 0

t 200





Electrolyti c Conductivity, µSiem

Figure 5. Results for electrolytic conductivity interference tests (titration data 1.00:t0.03 mg/L). the WDS, then these parameters (LOO and MDL) are ve,y important, and one should favour the one with a lower LOO or MDL value. These two manufacturers use two different names for the same technical specification, in th is case, stability and drift. In our testing program, Sh TD was determined within the percentage of the measuring range over a 24 hour period on the same calibration solution under stable conditions. It is not clear from Table 1, what time periods have been used by the respective instrument manufacturers to determine the values reported for stability and drift. Our results for Sh TD fall within the manufacturers' claimed ranges for stability and drift, however for monitor A-1, our results were obtained over a 24 hour period, whereas t he manufacturer unusually reports in percentage drift per month making comparison difficult.

Summa,y: this should be taken into account when scheduling monitor calibration, for example, if a monitor is located in remote areas of the WDS with difficult access for calibration, then the choice should be the one with smaller drift. As a result of interference (variations of water electrolytic cond uctivity, pH, iron and manganese concentrations), readings of a monitor in field conditions may vary even when the disinfectant residual remains constant. Therefore, it is very important for manufacturers to give t he range of t hese int erfering parameters for which t he data delivered by monitors fall within manufacturer's claimed accuracy. According to Table 1, only one manufacturer (A-2) performed such tests for both electrolytic conductivity and pH, whereas another (A-1) did not indicate t he range of possible electrolytic conductivity variations. We exposed monitors A-1 and A-2 to various ranges

72 SEPTEMBER 2009 wat er

of electrolytic conductivity (286, 572 and 819 µS/cm), which are with in the range indicated by the manufacturer for A-2, and observed relatively minimal changes in the monitors' readings, 4.1 and 4.8% of the measuring range (see Figure 5), respectively, which agree with their accuracy data from Table 1. In t he case of pH interference tests (see Figure 6), analyser A-2 performed poorly when subject ed to feed water with pH values between 5 and 1O inclusive, although its manufact urer claimed that t he monitor delivers FC data with 6% accuracy when water pH lies between 4 and 10.

Summa,y: if the drinking water electrolytic conductivity is known (or expected) to change within limits shown in Table 1, then either monitor can be chosen; however, one can favour monitor A-1 over A-2 when the pH of water is changed during monitor operation. Very often there is a need to remotely access a disinfectant residual monitor's field data either via radio or mobile phone modems, or a satellite. For this reason, these monitors should deliver an output signal proportional to disinfectant residual concentration in a format allowing integration into a SCADA or telemetry system. The current standard method of commun ication used by most analysers employs a 4-20 mA output signal as provided by monitors A-1 and A-2.

Summa,y: either monitor can be chosen for integration into a SCADA or telemet,y system for remote data access. The above analysis and discussion is summarised in Table 3, which can be used as a footprint/flowchart for decision making about t he most appropriate disinfectant residual online monitor. For example, the utility has to choose between the two monitors to decide which will perform better in the following condit ions: • monitor will be used for residual disinfectant monitoring; • monitor will be placed in close vicinity to a disinfectant dosing tank; • FC concentration in drinking water never exceeds 4.5 mg/L; • pH of water is stable around 7 within ± 0.2; and • electrolytic conductivity may vary around 800 µSiem. If we have only the manufacturer's information given in Table 3, then the selection process could be as follows . Both monitors have the same free

refereed paper







:: 2






0 5







Figure 6. Results for pH interference tests (titration data 1.00:t0.04 mg/L). chlorine measuring range, therefore, either monitor would be suitable for monitoring (this is indicated by the word "Equal" in Table 3). Monitor A-1, according to its manufacturer, is more accurate than A-2, however, we may regard this difference as negligible, and concl ude that the choice is "Equal". Since the first manufacturer does not supply values of repeatability, sensitivity and stability/drift, then we assume that respective testing was not performed by the manufacturer, and the "1st " choice is monitor A-2. However, with regard to these non-reported parameters, one should contact the manufacturer in order to get more information. Response time for the A-1 monitor is shorter, therefore, the prime choice would be A-1 (however, since the monitor is not used in the process control loop, but for free chlorine monitoring only, then monitor A-2 may also be chosen). The effect of changing drinking water elect rolytic conductivity was t ested only by t he second manufact urer. Since electrolytic conductivity may reach reasonably high values of around 800 µSiem, monitor A-2 is the preferred choice. In t he case of pH interference and output signal we have "Equal" choices. Overall, for the field conditions outlined above, monitor A-2 may perform better, when relying on manufacturer's information only. Comparative performance of A -1 and A-2 monitors in the present evaluation study is summarised in the last two columns in Table 3. In this case, the first choice is monitor A-1. This example shows the importance of testing a proposed monitor under conditions similar to those under which it will be used before purchasing.

Conclusions When evaluating t he choice of the most appropriate on line monitor, the operational performance of online free

ecnn1cal tea ures


~ refereed paper

Table 3. Disinfectant residual online monitor selection chart (parameters in italics refer to our testing program). Parameler Measuring range. mg/I.

Accuracy (COV), "

According to Trial Testing

According lo Manulacturer














0.05 mg/Lor







No data

3% of lull range



No data

0.01 mg/L


Equal Repeatability (DDRep/,



Sensft,v,ty/MDL (LOO),










Response Time (+I· Response Time), sec

Output Signal (4-20 mA)

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland.





90% <2 mlns

90% <5 mlns



99% < s min




precision) of measurement method s and results. Part 1: General principles and definitions. The International Organization for

Standardization, Geneva. International Standard ISO 8466-1. 1990 Water quality - Calibration














No data

10·2500 µSiem

Yes Equal


Guenther, F. R., Dorko, W. D., Miller, W.R. & Rhoderick, G. C. 1996


lnterlerence) pH Range (pH lntertemnce/. "

American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association & Water Pollution Control Federation. 1998 Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. American Public Health Association, Washington D.C.


No data

1st Conductivity Range (conductivity


The NIST traceable reference material program for gas standards.

1st Stablllty/Dntt (ShTD/, "

Adjunct Associate Professor, SA Water Centre for Water Management and Reuse, University of South Australia. Dammika Vitanage is t he Science and Technology Program Manager (Treatment and Infrastructure), Sydney Water Corporation and was the Program Leader, Dist ribution, CRC for Water Quality and Treatment.










, _Yes





ch lorine monitors in simulated field cond itions, where this monitor is intended to be used, is a very important st ep. Sometimes, a manufacturer mistakenly supplies a val ue of one met rological performance characteristic, whereas in reality t his parameter has a different meaning. To avoid the ambiguity in interpretation of laboratory testing results, the operator should strictly follow procedures outlined in respective standards (such as the ISO Standards 15839:2003 and 8466-1 :1990 used in the present study). The monitor evaluation and selection protocol outlined in t his paper was successful in the identification of the most appropriate residual disinfectant monitor for a specific applicat ion. More importantly though , the princi ples app lied are sound for any on line instrumentat ion and will resu lt in better and more confident decision making in inst rument selection.

International Standard ISO 5725-1 . 1994 Accuracy (trueness and

and evaluation of analytical methods and estimation of performance characteristics. Part 1: Statistical evaluation of the linear calibration function. The International Organization for

Standardization, Geneva. International Standard ISO 15839. 2003 Water quality - Online sensors/analysing equipment for water - Specifications and performance tests. The International Organization for

Standardization, Geneva

Acknowledgment The authors wish to thank CRC for Wat er Quality and Treatment, Fiona Fitzgerald and Joach im Buff. The Authors

Dr Alexander Badalyan works as research assistant at the Sansom Inst itute (University of South Australia). He has a Bachelor Degree in Instrumentation and Process Control, and a PhD in Thermal Properties of Liquid and Gases. His research interests are broad but include development of computerbased systems for real-time process monitoring and control in research and industrial applications. Mike Holmes is a Research Scientist at United Water International. Dr Christopher W K Chow - correspond ing author (emai l: Chris.Chow@sawater. is a Senior Research Chemist, Wat er Treat ment Unit, Australian Water Quality Cent re and

water SEPTEMBER 2009 73


CONTINUOUS MONITORING OF RESERVOIR WATER QUALITY: THE WIVENHOE PROJECT M Dunbabin, J Udy, A Grinham, M Bruenig Abstract The Lake Wiven hoe Integrated Wireless Sensor Network is conc eptually similar to traditional SCADA monitoring and control approaches. However, it is applied in an open syst em using wireless devices to monitor processes that affect water q uality at both a high spatial and temporal frequency. This monitoring assists scientists to better understand drivers of key processes that influence water quality and provide the operators with an early warning system if below standard water enters the reservoir. Both of these aspects improve the safety and efficient delivery of drinking water to the end users.

Introduction The fresh water system that delivers water to treatment plants is a dynamic process comprising catchment areas, aquifers, rivers , lakes and more recent ly new sources such as recycled water. Wi reless sensor networks offer a tool for integrated monitoring of all aspects of the water system, thus providing water resource managers with the information they need to ensure high -quality drinking water. The Lake Wivenhoe Integrated Wireless Sensor Network project was developed jointly by Seqwater, CSIRO and the University of Queensland as a proof of concept to evaluate the tec hnology and its application in an operational environment and as an early warni ng tool. Seqwater is the single treated and bulk water provider for South East Queensland, managing 24 dams, 53 weirs and 46 Water Treatment Plants. It was established as part of the State's Water reform agenda and brought together the expertise and water assets from around 15 local government and state entities. The organisation has a strong knowledgebased focus to its operations with the CSIRO partnership one of a number of key joint research ventures being undertaken to better understand and manage t he region's major drinking

74 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

Monitoring methods


Prome sampler


E11ent sa mpler

e e

Sampling sites


Potential ri sks ".~


. . . Farming acllvltles ~ Urban centre s



Septic systems


sewage di scharges


Recycled water

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __;;.c._....;::::::...._ _ _ _...1 0-" Landllll

Figure 1. Conceptual diagram of the integrated catchment monitoring and control systems.

water storages and its surrounding catchments. The wireless sensor network will be linked t o a hydrodynamic and ecological model to provide real- time feed back and water quality predictions to reservoir managers and treatment plant operators at different locations in the supply network. The key elements developed and implemented include the humanmachine/network interfaces, supervisory systems and wireless communication infrastructure. The typical Remote Terminal Units used in industrial proc ess control have been replaced with reconfigurable sensor nodes and robotic monitoring systems.

Processes Affecting Water Quality Water quality in the reservoir is influenced by the quality of inflows and changes that occur to the water during storage (e.g. reduction in dissolved oxygen, algal blooms). Understanding the spatial and t emporal variation in water quality, through an integrated catchment and reservoir monitoring program, provides managers with two advantages: 1. In the short term real-time feedback t o the reservoir and treatment plant

Piloting the Integrated Wireless Sensor Network.

operators can be used in the same manner as a SCADA systems and be used to modify the operational strategy (change the height of raw water off-take, modify treatment processes or in extreme instances modify the quantity of water being treated from a particular reservoi r). 2. The high resolution environmental data can also be applied in a longer term (months to years) to enhance the understanding of environmental factors that influence water quality in a storage and improve the accuracy of predictive models (both hydrodynamic and ecological). This improved modelling capacity has the pot ential t o improve management practises in storages to minimise future water quality incidents (e.g. high t urbidity, low dissolved oxygen, algal blooms).

Integrated Real-Time Wireless Monitoring Solutions Wireless sensor networks enable a paradigm shift in how data from the natural world can be captured, viewed and processed. These networks consist of large numbers of low cost nodes with application-specific sensors, tiny microprocessors, radio commu nication and thei r own power source (typical ly small solar cells and rechargeable batteries). One or more gateways relay the information to a database, typically using secure channels through the internet. The nodes automatically form a

technical features

scada meshed (ad -hoc) network on deployment and continuously assess and modify, if necessary, the most reliable route to ensure information flow. As a result, data can travel (be routed} through any combination of nodes to one of the gateways resulting in significant robustness to severe environmental conditions, hardware failure and vandalism. These real-time networks can provide both high temporal and spatial granularity of measurements as well as backchannels for remote actuation of the nodes, both fixed and mobile. The continuous monitoring of these networks enables early detection of events and val idation of modelling and prediction against the incoming data. The high spatial density generally allows for a more accurate understanding of the measured environment and processes. Often the pot ential higher costs of dense spatial sampling can be counterbalanced or even over compensated by the ability to monitor simple physical phenomena, e.g. temperature, that provide indirect understanding of the underlying observed processes.

Figure 2. The Lake Wivenhoe integrated Sensor Network hardware. (left) A floating node, and (right) the autonomous boat.


Historically, the technical challenges associated with sensor networks has resulted in small-scale deployments with simple data collection and limited life-span. The network described here is a leap forward technically and operationally in utilising a sensor network system for large- scale water quality monitoring and system control.

Lake Wivenhoe Wireless Sensor Network The pilot deployment of an integrated wat er quality monitoring network was on Lake Wiven hoe. Located west of Brisbane , Queensland (27.3941 °S 152.608°E}, it has a capacity of over 1.16 ML of drinking water as well as a further 1.45 ML of flood mit igation for the Lower Brisbane catchment. An initial wireless sensor network consisting of 45 waterbased nodes and 8 land-based nodes was installed in November 2008. Each solar powered water node (see Figure 2 (left)) consists of the low-power Fleck™, a custom environmental sensor interface board, temperature sensor string, and a navigation warn ing light. Each node sends sensor and network health data every one minute. There are three land-based gateway nodes (information sink nodes with 3G connection to the data centre) , with 5 relay nodes scattered throughout the storage to improve meshed communications. These relay nodes have either wind sensors or Vaisala weather stations attached to complement datasets collected on the water. The communication range of each node is up to 1.5 km, however to improve communication overlap and redundancy they were initially spaced at 500 m intervals. Figure 3 shows a screen capture of the internet interface indicating the locations and status of each node on Lake Wivenhoe and the size of the network relative t o Brisbane city. To enhance spatial monitoring a solar powered robotic boat was developed as a mobile sensor platform (see Figure 2 (right)). This 16 ft catamaran can be remotely or autonomously controlled via the secure internet site with mission and sensor data relayed via the land and water sensor nodes. An onboard profiling arm allows a range of water quality sensors to be moved throughout the water colum n as the vehicle moves. Further onboard sensors include laser scanners, vision and acoustic systems for obstacle avoidance and mapping. The boat has also been deployed to estimate the rate of greenhouse gas emissions, a future area of interest for reservoir managers.

Figure 3. Screen capture of the operator interface zoomed out to illustrate the network size relative to Brisbane city (circled in red) . The dots represent node locations and the colour their current status.

Information Flow and Security The information flow architecture for Lake Wivenhoe allows secure real-time access to data and the in-field hardware by the operators and modellers (see Figure 4). By virtue of the adhoc wireless sensor network on the lake, each sensor node is able to relay its data to one of three gateway nodes located at the ends and middle of the storage. Each gateway node has a continuous secure 3G connection to the Queensland Centre for Advanced Tech nologies (QCAT) where the information is routed into an Oracle database located at the CSIRO Sydney Data Centre. This data can be accessed by authorised operators and modellers via a secure website. Authorised operators also have the ability to send

Figure 4. Information flow between the Lake Wivenhoe network and operations and modelling personnel.

water SEPTEMBER 2009 75


.. - ............ = ·:~ :::::

-::-......... ...... ::;.._



:::... ,..

--· ..

Figure 5. Tools for data access and remote network control. (left) A screen capture of web interface showing status and current reads of a water node, and (right) an internet enabled mobile phone allowing operators to access data in the field and control the robotic boat.

remote procedural cal ls to the gateway nodes to request specific information from a particular water node, or even remotely operate the robotic boat or upload missions for the boat to undertake. At this point dat a communication between the nodes uses proprietary protocols that provide a level of data integrity and security. Th is is achieved in similar ways as done in the Internet, using public keys and encryption. Both hardware and software solutions for encryption with key sizes up to 2048 bits are available for the Fleck™ platform. Future sensor networks wi ll provide these inbuilt security services, allowing for confidentiality, authenticity and integrity.

Data Access and System Control A suite of tools have been developed to allow operators (both in and out of the field) and modelling staff to access current and historical data as wel l as control fu nctions of the fixed and mobile networks. The primary interface is a secure internet site which allows the user to assess sensor node information which can be displayed graphically or exported to file (see Figure 5 (left)). For field operations personnel, an application was developed for internet-enabled mobile phones allowing them to view live and historical data as well as plan and execute missions with the robotic boat via a Virtual Private Network (see Figure 5 (right)). For real -time monitori ng and control, the database providing the current and historical data can be accessed directly through the same interfaces as used by the graphical user interface. This allows for easy extension of the deployed system to an integrated autonomous monitoring system that only alerts human operators if events of significance are being detected. The relevant standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) help to unify the information access by describing interfaces to sensors and measurements over the internet. This becomes increasingly important as multiple sensor networks are being utilised and as information is shared between multiple interest groups, e.g. operators and researchers. The next step in simplifying applications with input from multiple sensor networks is increasing the level of abstraction of managing and querying networks. Research efforts in this field focus on improvements of t he current suite of standards and specifications through participation in the OGC working group for Sensor Web Enablement and the

76 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

· ·

Surface 45m


14 --'-r----.----~--~-----_..!:....---==::;:,J

Figure 6. Example of temperature data captured in real-time from a sensor node on Lake Wivenhoe.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Incubator Group for Semantic Sensor Networks.

Operational Benefit s of Sensor Network Observation and Control Aside from the inherent benefits of greater spatial and temporal monitoring of environmental processes and infrastructure with sensor networks, there are many operational benefits as well. The nature of this ad-hoc network and the common hardware framework allows seamless expansion and integration of other nodes into the system without a single line of recoding. Even at the database end a new sensor is simply added with entry of its unique identification number, its geo-referenced location and selecting the onboard sensors and controllable characteristics. This feat ure is currently being taken advantage of in new deployments in the Wivenhoe catchment where selected land use practices are being monitored. At the field operations level, the re-configurabil ity and inbuilt redundancy of the sensor network provides tolerance to changing environmental and hardware co nditions without having to leave the office. The ability to get live updates from the sensor nodes also allows early detection of hardware failures or conditions which requi re operator intervention such as damaged solar panels or faulty onboard sensors. Operators also have the ability to request services from the fixed and mobile sensor nodes such as changing sampling regimes or directing robotic nodes to places of interest for data collection or inspection.

Beyond Centralised Systems - In-Network Anomaly Detection and Adaptive Sampling The Lake Wivenhoe wireless monitoring and control network is currently primarily operat ed as a centralised system - that is remot ely by a single group of operators. However, the hardware is capable of supporting decentralised and distributed monitoring and control. Key features being developed for other deployments which could be applied in water infrastructure and quality management are new robust techniques for unsupervised and cooperatively supervised monitoring and control of fixed and mobile sensor nodes. Algorithms are also being developed to allow the sensor nodes themselves to learn natural trends and identify events

technical features

outside of these trends. Known as in-network anomaly detection, th is can allow real-time identification and early warn ing of significant events. These can either notify operations staff via SMS or email, or the network itself can reconfigure its sampling regime and request resources from field staff or robotic vehicles to capture or confirm the anomaly. They can also evaluate the networks health and request operator intervention such as maintenance of nodes or other significant infrastructu re.

Closing the Loop to Ensure Delivery of Quality Water The pi lot deployment of the integrated water quality monitoring network has allowed monitoring of the storage at a resolution never previously possible using traditional technologies. Together with the data access tools and the ability to task a mobile platform to collect additional information at arbitrary locations with alternate sensors will allow researchers to validate predictive models of the system. The current expansion of the monitoring system with the addition of 70 sensor nodes into the surroundi ng catchment area will provide quantitative data to underst and effects of land use management, e.g. soil moisture, micro-climate or cattle locations through position tracking sensors. This data will help to optimise utilisation of the catchment areas without impacting water quality. To further assess and track the overall health of the catchment and storage ecosystem, recogn ition and classification systems wi ll be utilised to collect information about the biodiversity of birds, frogs and mammals as well as fish and plankton. The Lake Wiven hoe Integrated Sensor Network has set a benchmark in large-scale distributed wireless monitoring of water storages and catchments. The contin ual stream of information is assisting scientists and operators to understand the processes that influence water quality and to maintain and improve the safe and efficient delivery of drinking water to end users.




Acknowledgments This project was funded in part by Seqwater and the CSIRO Transformational Capability Platform on Sensors and Sensor Networks . Special thanks to staff from the University of Queensland's Centre for Water Studies for their assistance and guidance during network deployment.


Dr Matthew Dunbabin, email: matthew.dunbabin@ is a Senior Research Scientist at the CSIRO ICT Centre , Kenmore, Qld. A/Prof James Udy is Principal Scientist at Seqwater, Brisbane. Dr Alistair Grinham is Research Fellow at the Centre for Water Studies, University of Queensland. Dr Michael Bruenig is Research Director at the CSIRO ICT Centre.


Rockwell Automation

Integration Partner Program





•• 1 flL.Ul'V1


~PHORE a CSE-Global Group Compan y

~ refereed paper

community consultation

IMPROVING GROUNDWATER PLANNING BY NEEDS ANALYSIS DA George, P L Tan, C L Baldwin, J Mackenzie, I White Abstract The Condamine River and associated groundwater system in Queensland is experiencing pressure on its wat er resourc es. Over twenty groundwater users and managers were int erviewed to establish their opinions and needs about groundwater planning. Such a thorough stakeholder analysis completed prior to water planning can usefully inform and improve processes. The most important finding from this research was identifying stakeholder support for the development of practical tools that target the priority issues of over-allocation and climat e variability and change. Tools recommended as a result of this research include groundwater conceptualisation through visualisation and animation, systems to improve water use efficiency, climate variability matrices, and socialeconomic assessment incorporated in decision support frameworks to assist in trade-offs.

Introduction The Condamine River and alluvial system is in the upper reaches of the Australian Murray-Darling Basin. Irrigated water from streamflow, overland flow and groundwat er is critically important for the area's high value food and fibre production (Wylie 2007). Direct agricultural production comprised approximately 23% of the Gross Regional Product of $1.6 billion in the Dalby Regional Local Government Area in 2007/08 (Lawrence 2008). Sustainable management of water resources is vital for the immediate catchment and downstream users. Diminishing performance of bores and declining water quality are already evident at various places th roughout the catchment and threat en c ontinued viabi lity of irrigation. Expansion from industrial users such as mining, combined with existing historical users from irrigation, urban , and stock and domestic users are exerting pressure on the groundwater resources. While a Water Resource Plan covering surface water was completed in 2004, an amendment to include groundwater is yet to start. This article relates only to

78 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

informing planning of groundwater, and not surface water in the catchment. At the time of writing (viz. June 2009), Dalby has not had its June-May, 5-year moving average annual rainfall of 669 mm exceeded since June 2000 (Source: Rainman StreamFlow). Future development pressure along with climate variability and expected climate change wi ll exacerbate the demand and supply pressures on regional water resources (CSIRO 2008; Evans 2007; Selby 2007; Wolfendon and Evans 2004). Water planning that addresses these issues are challenges for both the community users and agencies (Kelly and Merrick 2007; Preston et al. 2007). This paper reports on a segment of a larger research program that places an emphasis on a participatory actionoriented approach, whereby the research plan is refi ned from feedback and joint discussions during implementation (Zuber-Skerritt 1993; Cohen and Manion 1994).

Method A survey was distributed to a purposive sample (Czaja and Blair, 1996) of 33 industry, agricultural and natural resource managers and others who rely on water in their immediate operations and had some familiarity with water planning. Over twenty complete responses were received . The survey assessed needs and opinions with respect to the preferred content, process and format of tools to be developed and communicated for water allocation planning processes, and to identify relevant support materials that could be trialled as part of a Water Planning Tools research project. The survey had five sections comprising (a) general information about the respondent; (b) articulating activities and operations affected by water planning; (c) identifying relevance of and competencies in key water planning issues; (d) participants' current use of water planning

Stakeholder support for the development of practical interactive tools.

tools and resources; and (e) participants' commu nication preferences and thoughts about education and water planning in the future . Response formats included ratings of agreement, ranking and written comments. A weighted score system was used to obtain an overall ranking that would be meaningful on questions that had multiple answers and ratings (Webster 1995).

Key issues Respondents were asked to rank 15 issues for effective groundwater planning in order of importance. The list was developed from pre-survey discussion w ith participant s and from the literature (Elix 2008; Hamstead et al. 2008; Murphy 2008) and included, for example, overallocation, water quality decline, fi nancial compensation and treating groups fairly. A space was provided for responde nts to give reasons for the ranking.

'Gap' analysis Gaps in knowledge and understanding of the water problem and water planning were drawn from different sections of the survey and illustrated knowledge needs of the various stakeholder groups.

'Barriers and enablers' for water planning Respondents ranked the most important barriers to overcome in water planning processes. A list was provided of five issues prominent in the literature (Hamstead et al. 2008): (a) ignored or under-valued contribution; (b) perceived pre-determined outcome; (c) lack of skills to positively contribute; {d) lack of financial compensation for time and for water; and (e) lack of time to deal with agencies; pl us an 'other' option. A space was available for suggesting ways to overcome the barriers.

Results General information on survey respondents Major water resource stakeholder groups in the Condamine Alluvial case study area were identified as irrigators, mining and power generators, agribusiness,

technical features


community consultation

refereed paper

commun ity and environmental, indigenous groups, community leaders and state and local agency staff (consistent with CSIRO 2008; Murphy 2008; Hamstead et al. 2008). Stakeholders from each of the groups were approached for interview and t he response rates present ed in Table 1.

Table 1. Stakeholder group response data. Stakeholder group

Surveys distributed (per cent of total)

Responses received (per cent of total)

Government agency staff

4 (12.1%)

4 (17.4%)

Community groups

5 (15.2%)

5 (21.7%)

Financial sector

3 (9.1 %)

3 (13.0%)


6 (24.2%)

6 (26.1%)

Perceptions of the water problem

Community leaders

A summary of the main water challenges, the perceived causes, and possible solutions as identified by the survey respondents is presented in Table 2.


4 (12.1%) 4 (12.1%)

1 (4.3%)

Agri & other business

4 (12.1%)

1 (4.3%)


2 (6.1%)

1 (4.3%)


1 (3.0%)




All respondent s reported overal location of w ater from t he aquifer or declining bore performance as a primary concern and some reported a decline in water quality. There was reasonable consensus that increasing demand on the groundwater was to b lame, with some adding the contributing effect of low rainfall. The greatest diversity of opinion came from responses on how to resolve t he problem . Nominated solutions included increasing regulation , better monitoring, reducing allocations or buying back over-allocated licences. Several suggested a combination of ways may be necessary.

Key issues to be addressed in groundwater planning Participants ranked the key issues t hey wanted to see addressed (Table 3). The top priority was over-allocation, fol lowed by sustainability. M easu ring what comes into the system via rai nfall, overland flow, and aquifer recharge were valuable. However, even more im portant was the need to measure w hat is taken out of t he system, not only through evaporation and d ischarge but also extraction from irrigators, stock and domestic, towns and ind ust ry - that is the who le system. Ongoing monitoring was considered critical and not optional.

Total Climatic variabi lity rated highly among the issues to address in groundwater planning. Many expressed their concern about t he c urrent extended dry period im pacting on water availability, water recharge and evaporation rates. Cl imate change was linked to c limate variability but seen as less important because climate variability was being addressed now, whereas c limate change was t o be addressed at some point in t he future. Groundwater use efficiency was the next level of concern. Some users believed t hey took great pains to make su re extracted water was used in the most efficient way possible but this was not evidently valued t he same by ot hers w ithin t he same industry and those in other industries. Communicat ion disquiet was raised through reports that th ere has been little opportunity to come toget her and discuss the issues. Within and across the respective stakeholder groups, consequently, it is unclear w hether t here is a shared understanding of groundwater, the extent of the problem and the potential ways to resolve t he issue.

2 (8.7%)

Financial compensation was seen as a way to help some irrigator stakeholders to " ... adjust out..." of the industry. Final concerns were fairness, metering and q uestioning the impact of any future development on those w ho have " ... a prior investment. .. "

SWOT analysis Many stakeholders reported that having a consu ltative process itself was a strength of water planning. Written comments included: "an absolute necessity"; bringing "the whole community to an acceptable consensus"; providing " ... opportunities to improve the efficiencies of use and improve scientific knowledge of groundwater processes"; and com municating " better knowledge of legislat ively enforceable policies and practices". The major weaknesses identified were the " pain" of the planning process; w ith comments about inadequate funding t o achieve the outcome; lack of compensation and appeal; 'adequacy' of the science; and , equity between groups. Major opportunities were seen as improved allocat ion of t he water resource; better information; improving

Table 2. Perceptions of what constitutes the water problem, causes and solutions (n=23) Water problem

Perceived cause of water problem

Possible solution or way to improve situation

Declining water tables

Lack of government investment in good science, & over-allocation caused by government giving out too much water

Regulatory approach or incentives from government to assisV encourage agricultural users to improve water use.

Lack of information on local groundwater flow regimes and poor quality (of the water and information) on the groundwater resource

Improved methods of monitoring groundwater quality (metering) and investigations to understand the fl ow regime and effects of recharge/climate on quality - 3D graphic showing aquifer behaviour with rainfall, streamflow, recharge and extraction.

a) No rain; b) increased domestic use; c) increased commercial use

Adequate system to gauge availability now and in the future to appropriately ration water thus providing a level of certainty to stakeholders

Over allocation of groundwater; and reduced water allocation and uncertainty of ongoing allocations

Drought plus poor management (individually and collectively)

Reduce/buy-back allocations; make subsidies available to assist users to use water more efficiently (i.e. laterals) More controls on usage



community consultation


refereed paper

Table 3. Ranking in order of importance, the key issues to address in water planning (n=23) Rank

Issue Over-allocation

Consequence of over allocation/ overuse

2 3


Extraction cannot continue - some bores unviable

Climate variability

Prolonged drought has exacerbated the situation, what climatic conditions could be expected over the next 10 years, how we plan for this into the future; huge issue - impacts on variability of flows

4 5

Water-use efficiencies

Phase out water hungry crops e.g. cotton

Water quantity decline

Some bores are non-performing or reduced performance; Noticeable over many years


Water quality decline

Quality decline already happening and impacting on soils and crops; Critical for irrigators to have good water quality; Needs monitoring - no problem yet



Everyone has to understand the problem and solutions; Also essential between different government agencies

8 9

Climate change

Potential significant long term issue that reduces water availability

Financial compensation

An equitable way to adjust

Treating groups fairly

We don't want water wars

10 11 12 13 14 15


Water metering

Essential in order to manage

Future development & access

There is no more potential water, therefore protect the prior investment (trading potential)

Water pricing

(This is a) separate issue, not (a) good management tool

Declining terms-of-trade

This is a farm management issue


Community and farm viability considering use reduction targets - social and economic considerations will be pivotal in determining trade-offs

th e efficiency of system s; the opportun ity to trial and benefit from new ideas (e.g . different solution s for d ifferent places); securing entitlements for t he future; maki ng trade-offs through t he formal process; and, moving the system towards (more) sustainab le management. The biggest threats and constraints included the inability to maintai n effective channels of communicat ion with clear objectives and boundaries in public forums; that the aquifer may fail wh il e working through th e process; cl imate change may override plans; and that t he highest bidder for the water commodity (e.g. m ines) may get preferential treatment by being able to pay more than the farmer/domestic user. There were comm ents ab out decisions o n water allocati ons (and sometimes also 'no decisions'). made either without a sound scientific underst andi ng or incorrect base knowledge, or alt ernatively, decision makers select ively ignoring sound science altogether; lack of a national approach and lack of political wil l nat ionally; and, lack of prioritisat ion of ecological assets based on best available informat ion.

Barriers to participation Barriers to participation indicate where to focus efforts to improve the planni ng process (Table 4). The highest ran ked barriers were considered to b e ignored or under-valued contribution, equally with a perceived predetermined outcome, t hen fo llowed by a lack of time availab le to deal w ith people and agencies. Fi nal reasons

80 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

inc luded lack of s ki lls to contribute and lack of compensat ion for time and water.

Enablers to participation Stake holders sug gested ways to overcome th e barriers to parti cipation in water planning (Table 5). Overcoming t he perception of 'being ignored' or an undervalued contribution may be achieved th rough frequent wel l-facilitated group meetings involving al l stakeholders and communicat ing more w idely the resu lts and/or progress obtained in t hese meetings. Assuri ng a transparent process wou ld assist in overcoming the problem of a perceived pre-determined outcome, t hough partici pants, as part of t his t ransparen cy, should be made aware th at the final decision-making rests with th e M inist er, and that t he community en gagement process simply feeds into that decision. Effective administrative procedures, such as providing ad vance notice of meetings wou ld go some way to help stakeholders deal with time issues.


development of practical tools that target the priority issues of over-allocation, clim ate variability and change, and transparent decision -making, such as sub-catchment planning based on sound groundwater monitoring ; gro undwater conceptualisation through visualisation and animation, improvin g water use efficiencies, c limate change m atrices, and t ransparent mechanisms for involvement in trade-offs.

Over-allocation/water quantity Over-allocat ion and sustainability were the key issues identified by respondents. Although water plan ning occu rs at a regional scale, participants typically operated from a personally rele vant scale of reference, and discussed on ly t he farmlevel or local scale (unless t here was an issu e of an upstream user impacting det rimental ly on a downst ream user). With some bores now unviable, th e plan ning process needs to address which bores should be withdrawn in the immediat e term, and what criteria should be used for excluding sites.

The most important finding from this research was identifying support for the

Some suggested that planning in [smaller] su b-cat ch m ents was more appropriate than regionalscale plann ing. T his highlights Table 4. The major barriers to participation in water (including groundwater) planning (n=23). t hat planning activity needs to translate meani ngf ully to al l users Importance Barrier so that decisions are made from both t he regional and local Ignored or under-valued contribution perspectives. This would also Perceived pre-determined outcome enable looking at the system as 2 Lack of time available to deal with people and agencies a whole - the river, t he aquifers, Lack of skills to positively contribute 3 agricu lt ure and natural resource 4 Lack of financial compensation for time and for water lost management across al l users Other e.g. greed, selfishness 5 and ind ustries .

technical features

~ refereed paper

community consultation

Table 5. Suggested ways to overcome the major barriers to participation in water planning (n=23). Barrier

Ways to overcome barrier

Ignored or under-valued contribution

Ensure public meetings are held and engagement is encouraged from all levels of the community. Where comments are received, (ensure) adequate responses are provided; communication and consultation - small working groups of stakeholders; involve people and give them opportunities; More consultation between interested parties; Consult and keep consulting; Ignorance is not a good enough excuse. Use consultants and organisations to get assistance, support and a voice; Big players often have the loudest voice; engage all stakeholders in planning. Ensure engagement is open and transparent. Ensure all decisions are justified and open for public consideration; communication of meetings and decisions regarding water planning process; open communication as much as possible. Single contact person from government departments assigned to groundwater areas is needed; increase government resources in planning.

Perceived pre-determined outcome Lack of time available to deal with people and agencies Lack of skills to positively contribute

Lack of financial compensation for time and for water lost Other e.g. greed, selfishness

Smaller groups for forums; Provide guidance to contributors in terms of where their comments / advice are most needed and provide guidance in terms of content, direction of content etc.; most users of water do not understand hydrogeology and water planning. Target this group to areas of expertise i.e. Water use efficiencies (WUE); (all) can contribute something. Lack of financial compensation should not stop people from trying; If it's in their interest, people will find time (and anyway, who would pay?). Many people have only self-interest - even tending to ignore stated facts. The noisy ones often lobby politicians who will cave in and defer decisions; Greed combined with not wanting regulation; good facilitation.

Overall there was general consensus that " ... if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it ... " Measuring what comes into the system via rainfall, overland f low, and aquifer recharge are valuable. However, even more important was the need to measure what is taken out of the system, not only through evaporat ion and discharge but also extraction from irrigators, stock and

domestic, towns and industry - that is the whole system.

Demonstration of aquifer health and connectivity though 3D imagery Participants identified that the river and aquifer con nectivity cou ld be better demonstrated by a 3-D geological p roperty of the hydrogeology of the catchment. A 3-D time lapse of the

decline of t he alluvial aquifer would be an important commu nication tool because it shows where water is in retreat and where the water table is in advance (dryland salinity outbreaks). This wou ld also describe recharge and discharge zones along the rivers and streams - thus showing the connectivity between surface and groundwater, groundwater and groundwater.

• Top-mounted compressor is located away from standing water and corrosive gases typically found at floor level. • Compressor heat directed away from sampler reducing heat load and extending service life.

• Insulated lid protects the controller, pump and pump tubing from the elements. • Thermal microprocessor control system automatically keeps temperatures accurate. • Heated controller compartment keeps the sampler performing from -40°C to 49°C.

water SEPTEMBER 2009


community consultation Water use efficiencies Some users believed they made efforts to ensure their performance was as efficient as possible. They measured water use, not only to create profit, but in an effort of stewardship to sustainably manage the water. They opposed others' sloppy water practices as "wasting water or not using it as efficiently as possible." In other words, if a crop c an be grown using pivot irrigation and total water use of say 30ML, but furrow irrigation of a similar area and yield of crop consumes say 100 ML, why should this inefficient practice be permitted? This raises a corresponding issue of the cost and returns on water infrast ructure. In a similar vein, is food more valuable than other crops such as cotton, and should there be a priority and hierarchy of who should be able to access and use water for what are deemed " ... more important purposes?" Are market forces alone able to dictate what happens and should the plann ing process absolve itself of such ethical questions? These questions are beyond the scope of this paper but require further debate and resolution.

Climate variability and change The connection between the climate and wat er availability, water recharge, water use and water demand is clear. The chronic and severe nature of the current extended dry period has reinforced participants' desire to have better knowledge and information about future climate variability and change and how these would impact on groundwater resources. Our findings demonstrate a need to incorporate such information to help develop more successful water plans.

Other issues of importance Water quality is an underlying issue of disquiet having implications for the environment and sustainability. Poor water quality used for irrigation contaminates the soil with undesirable salts that consequently limit future crop type and yield (CB WC 2001 ). Having opportunities to communicate and resolve these issues were seen as critically important by participants. Withi n the scope of a changing water environment now and into the futu re, many foresaw the need for individuals and industries to adjust, with assistance of some financial support. Respondents also desired a process which would enable them to share knowledge and perspectives with each other, be updated with scientific knowledge, and have dialogue about

82 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

options and implications on a meaningful basis. These findings illustrate that there is sufficient concern from researchers who have studied the area and from stakeholders who have seen first-hand the decline of the groundwater, for immediate action to incorporate appropriate tools to inform water planning processes. For two reasons the survey did not address indigenous interests and values. First, despite the team's attempts, it is difficult to identify the appropriate indigenous trad itional owners and communities. Secondly, the survey is not an appropriate mechanism to engage with this important group. This area of our work is ongoing.

Conclusion Findings from interviews and stakeholder surveys indicate key issues to address in the water allocation planning process and potential tools that could be trialled. Such a thorough stakeholder analysis completed prior to water planning can usefully inform and improve processes. An immediate reduction to sustainable groundwater extraction levels is required for aquifer health. There is evident conflict about water planning and water planning needs both among and within stakeholder groups. The NWI provides that socioeconomic analysis, community input and the information from best available science are pre-requisites for the settling of tradeoffs between competing interests. A recent review of water planning identified that socio-economic assessment tools incorporated into decision support systems require further development and application but cou ld assist with consensus about trade-offs (Baldwin et al. 2009). Enhanced understanding of the groundwater system and intercon nectivity with surface water could be addressed through an up-to-date and transparent time and space 3D animation of the aquifer that reflect s changes due to rainfall and extraction. Avai lability of this information on a web site would help to communicate status of the aquifer, conceptualise the dilemmas confronting sustai nable use of the aquifer amongst users, and promote understanding of how best to regulate groundwater extraction. Improved processes are needed to increase adoption of up-to date water use efficiency techniques either on-farm, in town or in industry. This demands urgent water metering for all users with in-built rewards to encourage adoption of sustainable practices and penalties for


refereed paper

non-adoption. Workshops, other proven commu nication techniques and financial modelling advice could enhance uptake of new technology. Current dry periods have exacerbated the situation of over-allocation and there is a need to plan for changing climatic conditions expected over the next 10 years and beyond. Looking at the impacts and adaptation strategies that deal with climate change through a 'cl imate change matrix' that systemically deals with the complex issues of water, climate and people would bring home the need for, and identify options for cautious best practice management. The feasibility of future development and access of other industries to the aquifers are questionable given the current underst anding of the groundwater system and the imminent threat of collapse. Therefore any plan should establish guidelines for the protection of prior investment and a moratorium on any development requiring further access to groundwater (particularly townshi ps, periurban areas, mining and industry) until there is adequate scientific knowledge. Consultative processes to develop and refine guidelines and criteria for new developments would contribute to resolving potential future conflicts over time. This research has provided insights about practical interactive tools that cou ld assist in addressing priority issues of over-allocation. Recommended tools include groundwater visualisation and animation, water use efficiency adoption, and climate variability and change matrices along with com munity engagement, social-economic and decision-making support tools to bring together and assist with transparent assessment and trade-offs on a regional level.

Acknowledgments This study is part of the Water Planning Tools Project funded by the National Water Commission to support the implementation of the National Water Initiative. For more information on the project, see . The cooperation from the participants interviewed in this study and Qld DERM is appreciated .

The Authors Associate Professor PohLing Tan (emai l p.tan@griffith. is leader of the Water Planning Tools team at the Law School, Griffith University. """"- -..-

technical features

Dr David A George was responsible for coordinating th is particular project. He is currently Sen ior Natural Resources Management Specialist at The World Bank Wash ington, D.C., emai l: dgeorge@worldbank .org The Water Planning Tools team also comprises Dr John Mackenzie, Ian White, Dr Carla Mooney, Dr James Whelan and Adjunct Professor Kath Bowmer at Griffith University; Dr Claudia Baldwin at the University o f the Sunshine Coast; with Dr Sue Jackson and Dr Marg Ayre from CSIRO.

References Baldwin C, O'Keefe V, and Hamstead M (2009). Reclaiming the Balance: Social and Economic Assessment - Lessons Learned after 10 Years of Water Reforms in Australia. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 16 (2):70-83. Cohen , L. and Manion, L. (1994). Research methods in Education (4th ed.). Routledge, London. pp. 414. CB WC (Condamine-Balonne Water Committee). (2001). CondamineBalonne Water Quality Management Plan, Technical Report. DNRM, Oct 2001. CSIRO. (2008). Water availability in the Condamine-Balonne. A report to the Australian Government from the CS/RO Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project. Czaja, R. and Blair, J. (1996). Designing Surveys: A guide to decisions and procedures. Pine Forge Press, SAGE Publications Inc. London. Elix, J. (2008). Collaborative Water Planning: Context and Practice, Literature Review (Volume 2). Griffith University and CSIRO, Brisbane. Evans, R. (2007). The impact of groundwater use on Australia's rivers. Land and Water Australia, Canberra. Hamstead, M., Baldwin, C. and O'Keefe, V. (2008). Water allocation planning in Australia - current practices and lessons learned. National Water Commission, Canberra. Kelly, B. and Merrick, N. (2007). Groundwater knowledge and gaps in the Condamine Alliance area. NCGM Report 2006/ 9d. National Centre for Groundwater Management, University of Technology, Sydney. Lawrence, R. (2008). Dalby Economic & Demographic Profile 2008. Lawrence Consulting: Toowoomba. http://www.dalbyrc.qld. 008.pdf (Accessed July 2009). Murphy, G. (2008). Management of Groundwater - Condamine River and Tributary Alluvium: Information Paper for Groundwater licensees and users (Central Condamine River Alluvium). Groundwater Assessment and Planning Group, Water Services, South West Region, Department of Natural Resources and Water, Brisbane.

Leading the world in the modernisation of Irrigation Infrastructure Rubicon is leading the world in the modernisation of irrigation systems. Total Channel ControlfJ technology has set a new International benchmark of 90 % distribution efficiency. The FlumeGate'" is the cornerstone of TCCfJ and provides accurate flow measurement and control. Rubicon has worked with the University of Melbourne for over 10 years pioneering innovative approaches to water delivery technology. Rubicon is Motorola's Distribution Partner, offering MOSCAD and ACE RTU solutions for management and control of Water and Wastewater for urban and rural Utilities. • • • • •

SCADAConnect'" FlumeGate'" SlipGate'" SolarDrive'" Total Channel ControlfJ (TCC)fJ • FarmConnect'" • Australian Premier Distributor for Motorola MOSCAD and ACE .

Preston A.A., Lawson P. and Darbas T. (2007). Landholder practices, attitudes, constraints and opportunities for change in the Condamine Alliance region. Condamine Alliance and Department of Natural Resources and Water, Toowoomba. Sel by, D. (2007). As the heating happens: Education for sustainable development or education for sustainable contraction? International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2 (3/4), 249-267. Webster, A. L. (Ed.). (1995). Applied statistics for business and economics (2nd edition). Irwin, Chicago. pp.1 047.

_...,-_ ~


Wolfendon, J. and Evans, M. (2004). Water futures for the Condamine Catchment: Stage 1. Centre for Ecological Economics and Water Policy Research , Armidale, NSW.


Wylie, P. (2007). Income loss from a cutback in water a/locations in the Condamine Groundwater area. Horizon Rural Management, Dalby. .au

Zuber-Skerritt, 0. (1993) . Improving learning and teaching through act ion learning and action research. Higher Education Research and Development, 12, 45-58.

Rubicon Systems Australia Pty Ltd


1 Cato Street Hawthorn East VIC 3123 Australia 3elephone +6139832 3000

1A Wheeler St reet Shepparton VIC 3630 Austral ia Telephone +61 3 5820 8800 www.

~ refereed paper

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GOLD COAST DOMESTIC WATER END USE STUDY R Willis, RA Stewart, K Panuwatwanich, B Capati, D Giurco Abstract This paper presents the preliminary findings of the Gold Coast Watersaver End Use Project which was conducted in winter 2008, for 151 homes on the Gold Coast, Australia. Specifically, the paper includes a break down of water end use consumption data, compares this with results of previous national studies, and explores the degree of influence of household socioeconomic regions on end use. Two highly variable water end use distributions, namely shower and irrigation, were examined in detail, cl ustered and are discussed herein. The paper concludes with a brief description of the greater ongoing research program.


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In addition, it has been acknowledged that community attitudes and behaviours can also influence the effectiveness of water savings resulting from water demand management strategies (CorralVerdugo et a/., 2002). In the USA, Mayer and DeOreo (1999) explored certain relationships between water consumption and demographic variables at the end use level. Their research suggested that demographic variables such as fami ly size and age distribution, wealth or income, ownership status, and household attitudes towards using and conserving water, influence household water consumption (Mayer and DeOreo, 1999; Kenney et al., 2008; Turner et a/., 2005;

In Australia, two major end use studies have been undertaken in Perth (Loh and Coghlan, 2003) and in Melbourne (Roberts, 2005). Internationally, several studies have been conducted in the United States of America (Mayer and DeOreo, 1999; Mayer et a/., 2004) and

Following a long-standing drought, many regions in south east Queensland are experiencing strict water restrictions and have seen the introduction of a portfolio of other demand management and supply initiatives to ensure the provision


recently in New Zealand (Heinrich, 2007). However, the end use models determined by these studies differ depending on a range of factors including the year conducted , climate, restriction regime, yard size, water using devices or fixtures and the household makeup (Roberts, 2005).

of a secure water supply. Residential water consumption is often dependent on the fixtures or device stock within a house, household makeup (e.g. family structure, household income), region location and psychosocial influences. A study of end use water consumption aids water planners and users to identify where and when water is used in a household hence assisting to drive proactive reductions in consumption (Loh and Coghlan, 2003).

Recycled Water Online

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A:. Watctr End Use Model

B: Demand Mgmt Intervention

C: Attitudinal & Perception Survey D: Diurnal Pattern Projecl E: Shower Monitor Project

Figure 1. Gold Coast Watersaver End Use Project Schedule. 84 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

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[ ] refereed paper

Taverner Research, 2005). However, in Australia, minimal research has been undertaken on investigat ing end use water consumption with relation to demographic variables within monitored homes.

The Gold Coast Watersaver End Use Study There are no end use water consumption models currently available for South East Queensland. This region has a subtropical climate and has recently experienced severe drought conditions which forced both State and Local Governments to develop numerous strategies to reduce water usage. Griffith University and Gold Coast Water have collaborated under an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant to conduct an investigation of end use water consumption in t he Gold Coast area. Other primary objectives of the research are to examine the effectiveness of dual reticu lation and education as potable water saving mechanisms. The research will result in datasets of end use water consumption, demographic information and attitudinal data, diurnal patterns for potable and recycled supplies, and data on the effective potable water savings attr ibuted to dual reticulation and dev eloped education initiatives. As stated by Kenney et al. (2008, pp. 196), the co llection and integration of such datasets especially 'household level consumption data with demographic data about the people and house' , rarely occurs. Figure 1 presents the schedu le and key deliverables for the Gold Coast Watersaver End Use research project. Th is paper only reports fi ndings from the pre- intervention phase of the study, which includes the winter 2008 end use data recorded before the supply of recycled water to Pimpama Coomera.

Research Method The selected dual-reticulated region was segregated into three socioeconomic categories to assist in obtaining a reliable overview of the population. A singlereticu lated region was selected for comparison. The date of estate development of the single-reticulated region was similar to that of the dualreticulated region (i.e. 5-10 years) to ensure higher efficiency fixtures were present in bot h regions and leakage within households was comparable. Data was collected in winter 2008 during which time there were no water restrictions in place due to t he Gold Coast's primary water source, the Hinze

community consultation End use analysis process in brief The reed switch on traditional volumetric water meters is modified to collect a high resolution record of water use (i.e. from the traditional 2 to 72 pulses per litre or 0.014 litres per pulse) which can then be disaggregated into individual water use events using a flow trace analysis software tool (e.g. Trace WizardC). The high resolution water measurement information from the meter is then captured by attached high data capacity loggers (i.e. 2 million readings) recording information at a pre-set time intervals (e.g. 10 seconds). Time scaled flow recording information is then collected in-situ through infrared cables or wirelessly through a mobile phone network. Once a representative sample of data is col lected the flow trace analysis software tool is applied to disaggregate flow traces into a list of component events assigned to a specific end use appliance or fixture (e.g. shower, toilet, wash ing machine, etc). Stock and behaviour surveys are typically utilised to help the analyst develop templates which encapsulate the appliance properties of end use events and ensure accurate end use categorisation. Once trace analysis is completed and confirmed, a database registry of all end use events occurring during the sampled period is established and subsequently utilised for water planning and management research as demonstrated herein. Readers shou ld refer to the Residential End Use Measurement Guidebook for further information (Giurco et al. , 2008). Dam, being greater than 95% capacity. In total , 151 houses were monitored which included 38 single reticulated and 113 dual reticulated households. No recycled water (Class A+ is Queensland's highest quality for recycled water, not intended for drinking purposes) was being supplied as the Pimpama recycled water treatment plant had not yet been commissioned. Moreover, no awareness campaign had been launched to encourage the uptake of recycled water in the dual reticulated region. Thus, the two datasets were treated as one sample for the purpose of this present study (Willis et al. , 2009). Once recycled water is commissioned (3rd quarter of 2009), it is expected that a clear distinction will be present between single and dual reticulated households, predomi nately due to higher irrigation use withi n the latter sample. The Future Work section details consideration of this change. Participants were recruited through a multi-staged process of letters and door knocking. Selection of participants was based on criteria which included: household ownership status (renting/owni ng); household makeup; willingness to be invol ved in research for two years; acceptance of multiple water consumption monitoring periods and surveys with potential interventions and; involvement in a water fixture/ appliance stock audit. It should also be noted that historical household volumetric readings were analysed for the consenting sample to ensure that they were representative of the region and the broader Gold Coast. Upon recruitment completion , existing standard residential water meters were replaced with high resolution water meters and data loggers to enable obtainment of end use water consumption data. The modified Actaris

CTS-5 water meters pulse at a rate of 72 cou nts per litre of water consumed, t his equat es to an individual record ing every 0.014L of water use. Aegis DataCell DCZ21020 dat a loggers were connected to water meters to record water consumption. Data loggers were set to record information every ten seconds over a two week period wh ich resulted in fourteen days of end use data for each household. Figure 2 demonstrates t he equipment configuration and BOX 1 outlines the water end use trace analysis process. Basic su rveys focusing primari ly on demographic information were distributed to sample households. Surveys were conducted to solicit household demographic information, including: (1) household address and region ; (2) resident numbers, gender, age, employment, weekly income, education status and relationship of people within the house; and (3) household ownership status. This paper focuses on analysing the relationship between water consumption patterns within the following socioeconomic regions of the Gold Coast: (a) Cassia Park: low socioeconomic group; (b) Mudgeeraba: low to middle socioeconomic group; (c) Crystal Creek: middle socioeconomic group; and (d) Coomera Waters: middle to high socioeconomic group. The water end use information for the listed socioeconomic groups was clustered to enable comparative analysis to determine whether relationships between demographic groupings and water consumption exist.

Results and Discussion Water end use on the Gold Coast The break down of water end use consumption, on a per capita basis, for

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Leak (Tota~ 2.1 1% ~rigation (Total)


aothes washer 30.0 19%

Total= 157.2Upcld 17%

Figure 3. Average Gold Coast Daily Per Capita Consumption (L/pc/d): Combined Sample (n=151).

Figure 2. Data Loggers and Collection.

t he sampled households in the Gold Coast (n=151) is presented in Figure 3. The average consumption for sampled Gold Coast household s is 157 .2 litres per capita per day (Upc/day). The highest en d use is showering with each person cons uming almost 50 litres of water a day equating to 33% of t otal use. Clothes washing fol lows equating for 19% of total consumption or 30Upc/ d. Tap use, toilet flushing and irrigation account for end use percentages of 17%, 13% and 12%, respectively. Bath use, dishwashing and leaks make up a small component of water end use with percentages ranging from 1% to 4%.

End use comparison with previous studies Table 1 shows a comparative summary of Australian and Pacific end use studies

including the Gold Coast results. Table 1 demonstrates that total consumption and certain end use percentages vary between regions. Gold Coast consumption is the lowest recorded consumption of all studies being 157.2Upc/d. The general t rend is a reduction in total water consumption over time (i.e. 2003 to 2008). This red uction is probably due to t he mounting intensity of water restrictions and increasingly frequent exposure to information on sustainable water consumption. This paradigm shift of societal water values has influenced water consumption, though elasticity will t ighten in the future. Irrigation end use percentages and volume vary significantly between each study. Perth recorded th e highest irrigation volumes of up to 54% or

180Upc/d . Auckland recorded the lowest irrigation consu mpti on due to winter data collection, followed by the Gold Coast. Gold Coast irrigation is low as data was recorded during a w inter with unseasonably hi gh rainfall; recording and analysis of summer data will assist in verifying this deduction. Evidently, irrigation vo lumes play a key role in altering end use percentages. Generally, leakage makes up a very small component of water end use. Melbourne recorded the highest leakage factor of 6% (15.9L/pc/d), whilst leakage at the Gold Coast only made up 1% (1.4L/pc/d) . This shou ld be due to the fact that monitored Gold Coast hou sehold s were all constructed in the last five years, whereas Melbourne's ho usin g stock is much older.

Table 1. Comparison between National and Pacific Water End Use Consumption Studies. Present study

Previous studies Perth (2003)

Clothes washer Shower Tap Dishwasher Bathtub Toilet (total) Irrigation (total) Leak (total) Other Total Consumption

Melbourne (2005)

Auckland (2007)

Gold Coast (2008)


Per cent


Per cent


Per cent


42.0 51.0 24.0

13% 15% 7%


19% 22% 12% 1% 2% 13%

39.9 44.9 22.7 2.1 5.5 31.3 13.9

24% 27% 14% 1% 3% 19%

30.0 49.7


40.4 49.1 27.0 2.7 3.2




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57.4t 15.9 0.0 226.2

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7.0 0.8


Per cent


8% 4%

27.0 2.2 6.5 21.1 18.6 2.1

33% 17% 1% 4% 13% 12% 1%

0% 100%

0.0 157.2

0% 100%

fNote: Irrigation volume per person calculated from provided volumes per household and end use break downs.

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450.00 400.00

Queensland Water Commission Target Ranges (140,170,200 and 230 U pc/d)

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Household ID

Figure 4. Household Daily Per Capita Consumption: Activity Break Down.

End use comparison: percentage or volume? On first inspection of Table 1, with the exception of Perth (due to high irrigation volumes), the percentage break down for end uses appear relatively similar for clothes washing , tap use, dishwashers and toilets whilst variation of end use percentages are evident for showers, irrigation and leakage. Recorded shower consumption was the highest in the Gold Coast (2008) at 33% and the lowest in Perth (2003) at 15%. However, on closer insp ection, shower volumetric consumption was relatively equal being 51.0Upc/d in Perth and 49.?Upc/d in the Gold Coast. This raises contention of simply using percentage figures for comparison. The variabil ity between volumetric and percentage consumption observed for showers is repeat ed for clothes washing which, makes up 13 to 19% of end use in Perth, Melbourne and the Gold Coast. On closer examination, the actual volume of consumption for clothes washing is quite varied. A similar trend exists for toilet flushing with end use percentages being rel atively comparable ranging between 10 to 14% of end use but when comparing volumetric rates, the Perth study recorded 33Upc/d and the Gold Coast study found toi let consumption at 21.1 U pc/d. Agai n this reinforces the concept that volumetric consumption should be utilised as a basis of comparison rather than end use percentages. The key contributor to the red uction in volumes evident in the more recent Gold Coast study would be the installation of modern efficient toi lets and washing

machines, largely driven by recently ceased State and local government rebate schemes for efficient fixtures and appliances. As a final note, tap and dishwasher percentages and volumetric consumption were relatively comparable across the studies.

End use comparison for individual households Figure 4 demonstrates the end use water consumption break down for each of the measured 151 households. It also illustrates the proportion of sampled households within each of the Queensland Water Commission (QWC) restriction reg ime categories, upon which the Gold Coast Local Government Area must conform (i.e. Target 140: Extreme Level; Target 170: High Level; Target 200: Medium Level; and Target 230: Permanent Water Conservation Measures). While there were no restrictions during data collection on the Gold Coast, Figure 4 demonstrates that almost half of the research population (46%) consumed less than 140.0Upc/d. Water consu mption is highly varied between individual households with the highest per capita use equating to 390.0Upc/ d whilst the lowest use was as little as 38.4Upc/d. The subst antial difference between the highest and lowest per capita consumption volumes demonstrat es t hat a range of water users are present in the research sample. Considerable variation between individual end use is also demonstrated in Figure 4. The variation in clothes washer use between individual households seen in

Figure 4 is largely d ue to the d iversity of clothes washi ng machines within homes, as established through stock surveys. The water volume consumed by a single load of clothes washing can vary from 42Uwash to 176Uwash (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008b) this obviously has a significant impact on resulting consumption. Water use for bathtubs appears to be minimal and scattered across the sample. Generally, baths were taken in houses with young children whereas older children and adults typical ly showered . Toilet and tap consumption varies and does not seem to be dependent on other end uses. Dishwasher use varies between individual households, as it is highly dependent on residential behaviours. No visible reduction in tap use is present in households that have dishwashers although this is a trend to investigate further. Figure 4 illustrates that the more discretionary shower and irrigation end uses can be core contributors to t he total consumption level of households. The water use patterns of these two activities are further explored in Figures 5 and 6, respectively. Figure 5 shows that 13% of households consumed 30% of the total water utilised for showering. This highlighted sub-sample (13%) constitutes a non-linear shower use pattern as opposed to the remaining research population (87%) which shows a relatively linear rate of change in co nsumption. The distribution of shower use, as illustrated in the Figure 5 insert, demonstrates that half of the population used less than 40Upc/ d of wat er for showering which is equivalent to a 5

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-----------------------;:===================================-,Daily Per Capita Distribution: Shower

'i , - - - - - - - - - - - - . 45% . . - - - -4""0""Yo


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13% of homes use 30% of total shower water

;'. 35% 30%


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~ 10%



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Figure 5. Household Daily Per Capita Consumption: Shower Only. minute shower at 8Umin. For the remaining categories, 37% of households use between 41 to 80Upc/d w ith the high user group (13%) consuming more than 80Upc/d in the shower. Figure 6 demonstrates that 24% of the sampled households contribute to an exponential rate of change in water consumption for irrigation. This represents a group of high users consuming 80% of the total irrigation water of the entire sample, with the maximum consumption level as high as 225.9Upc/d . In addition, the per capita distribution presented in the inset of Figure 6 shows that the majority of households (76%) used less than 20Upc/ d of water for irrigation.


165.8Upc/d with Crystal Creek residents (middle socioeconomic region) following consuming 156.2Upc/d. Water consumption of Mudgeeraba residents (low to middle socioeconomic region) was 155.6Upc/d whi le Cassia Park residents (lower socioeconomic region) consumed the least being 152.2Upc/d. While these differences are not significant, they support previous research.

End use comparison: households from different socioeconomic regions For the purpose of this study, four socioeconomic regions were selected and compared , namely: (a) low (Cassia Park: n=42); (b) low to middle (Mudgeeraba: n=36); (c) middle (Crystal Creek: n=38); and (d) middle to high (Coomera Waters: n=35). Figure 7 displays the end use values for these four socioeconomic regions. Previous studies have suggested that high volume water consumers are wealthier, older and live in new and larger homes (Kim et al. , 2007; Kenney et al. , 2008). Residents in Coomera Waters (higher socioeconomic region) were the largest consumers per capita, using

The volume of water used for clothes washing is lowest in Coomera Waters and Mudgeeraba being 28.5Upc/ d and 27.3Upc/d respectively. Cassia Park recorded the highest clothes washing consumption at 32.2Upc/d whilst Crystal Creek residents consumed 31.4Upc/d for c lothes washing. It is suggested that

r---------------------;:================::;-, Maximum= 225.9Upc/d Dally Per Capita Distribution: Irrigation





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;: 60%

u ~ 50%

150.00 24% of homes use 80% of total i rrigation water





24% of homes use 80% of total irrigation water


~ 20%

ai 10%








Upc/d 50.00

Household ID

Figure 6. Household Daily Per Capita Consumption: Irrigation Only. 88 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

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households with higher income levels are more likely to purchase higher efficiency washing machines hence the differences in consumption.

180.0 · 160.0 140.0 120.0

:!:! CJ



• 155.6




Leak (Total) • Irrigation (Total) • Toilet (Total) • Bathtub


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Crystal Creek

Coomera Waters





• Irrigation (Total)



21 . 1

27.8 22. 1

Leak (Total)

• Toilet (Total)




• Bathtub





• Dishwasher




2.6 26.5




a Shower





• Clothes Washer






Figure 7. Average Daily Per Capita Water Consumption: Socioeconomic Regions.

Shower consumption seems to oppose this trend, although not significantly. The lower socioeconomic regions (Cassia Park and Mudgeeraba) showed higher consumption. This trend may be attributed to lower efficiency of shower roses or variations in shower behaviour. The trend of lower shower consumption volumes with more efficient devices has previously been established (Mayer et a/. , 2004). Irrigation usage is notably lower in Cassia Park with only 12.1Upc/d being consumed compared with 14.5Upc/ d in Mudgeeraba, 21.1 U pc/d in Crystal Creek, and 27.BUpc/d in Coomera Waters. This could be att ri buted to the fact that lower socioeconomic groups tend to have smaller lot and garden sizes and minimal ownership of pools. Finally, there is no significant difference in bath and toilet consumption among the four suburbs, suggesting no relationship between this particular water use activity and the change in socioeconomic regions.

community consultation Conclusion This paper presented initial findings from the Gold Coast Watersaver End Use Study based on data collected in wint er 2008. It was established t hat end use water consumption v aries significantly between individual households and noticeably betw een socioeconomic regions. The data demonstrates the lowest recorded end use wat er consumption per person in comparison to previous national and pacific end use studies. Future data collection periods o ver summer aim to capture increased c onsumption attributed to seasonal use. Overall , the data prov ided confirmation that high socioeconomic regions consume more w ater per capita than lower socioeconomic regions. Details of ongoing and planned research activities are briefly discussed below.

The impact of a range of education or awareness demand management interventions will also be tested. One such intervention program includes the evaluation of an alarmi ng visual d isplay monitor device o n shower event durations, flow rates and vol umes, thus providing quantitative evidence on the influence of this init iative on shower water conservation behaviours. Other programs w il l involve the provision of detailed end use information to users and the effect this has on consumption.

90 SEPTEMBER 2009 water


The above stated components of the end use st udy wil l culminate in t he development of a comprehensive domestic end use model for the Gold Coast as well as evidence th at supports, or otherwise, t he effect of water demand management measures, principally dual reticulation and awareness/ education programs, for conserving precious potable water supplies.

Giurco, D. Garrard, N. McFallan , S. Nalbantoglu , M. Inman, M. Thornton, N. White, S. (2008) Residential End Use Measurement Guidebook: A Guide to Study Design, Sampling and Technology, Prepared by UTS and CSIRO for the Victorian Smart Water Fund.

For further information on the Gold Coast Watersaver End Use Study please visit either: engineering-information-technology/ centre-infrastructure-engineeringmanagementlgold-coast-watersaverend-use-project or http://www. goldcoastwater. t_gcw.asp?PID= 7591

Inman, D. & Jeffrey, P. (2006) A review of residential water conservation tool performance and influences on implementation effectiveness. Urban Water Journal, 3:3, 127 - 143.

The Authors

Future Work Figure 1 detailed the numerous components of t he Gold Coast Wat ersaver End Use Study to be undertaken over the coming year. Recycled wat er (C lass A+ is Queensland's highest quality for recycled water, not intended for drinking purposes) w ill be supplied t o the Pimpama Coomera reg ion in 2009 . Summer end use data collection will be com pleted to ascertain the end use uptake of recycled water. This data wi ll assist in verifying end use assumptions made in t he planning phases of the Pimpama Coomera development. Moreover, a world first dual reticulation end use model incl uding diurnal patterns in both the potable and recycled water supply pipelines will be completed. Variation in diurnal patterns between single and dual (i.e. recycled water also supplied) reticu lated homes will also be explored. This data wi ll provide a comprehensive understanding of water consumption at a given time providing greater understanding on the individual end uses affecting peak loads.

GJ refereed

Rachelle Willis is PhD candidate at Griffith University and a Research and Planning Engineer with Gold Coast Water.

Rodney A Stewart (r. stewart@ griffit is Deputy Director of the Centre for Infrastruct ure Engineering and Management located at Griffith University, Queensland and Kriengsak Panuwatwanich is a Lecturer. Bill Capati is the Manager of Infrastructure Plann ing at Gold Coast Water. Damien Giurco is a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS), Sydney.

References Commonwealth of Australia (2008a) Living with Drought. online article, available at .au/c limate/drought/ livedrought.shtml Accessed 14/03/08. Bureau of Meteorology. Commonwealth of Australia (2008b) Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme: Product Search (Clothes Washing Machine). Available online: public/, accessed 14/12/08. Corral-Verdugo, Bechtel, R. & Fraijo-Sing, B. (2002) Environmental beliefs and water conservation: An empirical study. Environmental Psychology, 23, pp 247-257.

Heinrich, M. (2007) Water End Use and Efficiency Project (WEEP) - Final Report. BRANZ Study Report 159. Judgeford, New Zealand, Branz.

Kenney, D. , Goemans, C., Klein, R., Lowrey, J. & Reidy, K. (2008) Residential water demand management: lessons from Aurora, Colorado. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 192 - 207. Kim, S. H., Choi, S. H., Koo, J. K. , Choi, S. I. & Hyun, I. H. (2007) Trend analysis of domestic water consumption depending upon social, cultural, economic parameters. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, Vol 7, No 5-6, pp. 61 -68. Loh, M. & Coghlan, P. (2003) Domestic Water Use Study. Perth, Water Corporation. Mayer, P., DeOreo, W., Towler, E., Martien, L. & Lewis, D. (2004) Tampa Water Department residential water conservation study: The im pacts of high efficiency plumbing fixture retrofits in single-family homes. Tampa, Aquacraft, Inc Water Engineering and Management. Mayer, P. W. & DeOreo, W. B. (1999) Residential End Uses of Water. Boulder, CO, Aquacraft, Inc. Water Engineering and Management. Roberts, P. (2005) Yarra Valley Water 2004 Residential End Use Measurement Study. Melbourne, Yarra Valley Water. Taverner Research (2005) Survey of Household Water Attitudes . Surry Hills, NSW, Taverner Research. Turner, A., White, S., Beatty, K. & Gregory, A. (2005) Results of the largest residential demand management program in Australia. Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney. Sydney Water Corporation, Level 16, 115-123 Bathurst Street, Sydney, NSW Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) (2002) MRWA WSA 03 Dual Water Supply Systems: Version 1. 1. WSAA, Melbourne Retail Water Agencies Edition of the Water Supply Code of Australia. Willis, R., Stewart , R., Chen, L. & Rutherford, L. (2009) Water end use consumption analysis into Gold Coast dual reticulated households: Pilot.: OzWater'09, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, March 16-18, 2009. Melbourne.

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LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF WATER CYCLE ALTERNATIVES J Lane, E Gardner Abstract Life-cycle assessment (LCA) was used to consider the environmental and resource use implications of a largely self contained water supply and wastewater management design for a peri-urban development. The results were compared with a more typical water cycle that might otherwise have been implemented on the same sit e. The results demonstrate the large potential for environmental benefits using the nontraditional approach. Operational issues dominate t he life-cycle impacts associated with either option, which highlights the importance of assumptions about decentralised water cycle performance to analysis of water cycle alternatives. The results highlight t hat energy use of rainwater t ank systems, fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from small scale wastewat er treatment plants, and nutrient export from land applied effluent systems, are key issues that will need further consideration. They also suggest some design directions that should provide improved environmental performance, such as: water efficient households with energy efficient rainwater tan k systems; cluster scale wastewater treatment with a well managed effluent reuse system ; and the incorporation of a sustainable sink for t he wastewater volume and nutrients p roduced. These principles may also be relevant for urban developments at higher residential densities, depending on the wastewater treatment alternatives available.

Introduction Thi s paper forms part of a broader study using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to critique decentralised water cycle options. This follows similar work undertaken in other Australian urban centres, such as that by Hallman et al (2 003) and Grant and Opray (2005). The foc us here is on those environmental issues related to water cycle planning that are receiving the most attention at the moment: water use, nutrient emissions, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Two alternative scenarios are considered: the water c ycle configuration for a business-as-usual (BAU) peri-urban development on the Gold Coast; and the water cycle being implemented at "The Ecovillage at Currumbin" , a 147 lot development at the southern end of the Gold Coast. Median rainfall in the Currumbin area is - 1500mm/yr, predominantly in summer. The site in question is 110ha and would normally have been broken into lots greater than 4000m 2 in size, however the Ecovillage achieves a similar overall population density but with the majority of blocks being less than 1500m2 . Approximately 80% of the Ecovillage site is commu nal land t hat includes large areas for food growing. The water cycle design adopted at the Ecovillage aims to be essentially self contained, and is rad ical ly different to the system that would likely have resulted under BAU cond itions.

Method Study boundary The basis for comparison (the functional unit of the LCA study) is defined as the provision of water and wastewater services to a community of 14 7 lots (all primary residences) on the site of the Currumbin Ecovillage, for a period of 50 years. The construction and operations phases of t he infrastructure life-cycle are included, but the disposal phase has been excluded as most equivalent studies find that it makes on ly a minor contribution to the impacts of water cycle infrastructure (e.g. Gaterell et al 2005, Machado et al 2007). Our system boundary includes the wat er and wastewat er infrastructure and flows involved in each scenario (see Figure 1 and Figure 2), but excludes any infrastructure associated with stormwater treatment and wat er use (e.g. heating, wash ing, terraforming of the irrigation areas). The results reported here also

Comparing a novel peri-urban development with conventional systems.

exclude any offset s that might be associated with beneficial reuse of biosolids or recycled wastewater on agricultural land. Material and energy flows associat ed with the materials, fuel & electricity inputs to the model were taken from the Australian inventory database in the Simapro modelling software (Simapro 2007). Other key model inputs are described further in the following sections.

Impacts included For water use, the indicator used here is the total Freshwater Extraction from surface or underground water sources, which is taken to be a surrogate for the potential risk to any dependent aquatic ecosystems. While noting the potential for onsite rainwater capture to provide a net ecological benefit to the local streams (see Walsh et al 2005), for simplicity we have treated rainwater interception by urban tanks as environmentally neutral - onsite rainwater captu re is therefore excluded from the metric used here. Measures of Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus flows into waterways are used to consider nutrient emissions, rather than the more common LCA impact category of total Eutrophication Potential, as the disaggregated approach is more informative for a preliminary exploration of nutrient flows across the life cycle. Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) is the chosen metric for energy consumption, as this provides a basis for comparison of a range of energy flows at different stages of the life-cycle. Greenhouse Gas Emissions are measured across the life-cycle, and expressed as CO2 equivalents using the 100yr equivalency factors proposed by the IPCC (2006).

Business-as-usual wate r cycle Figure 1 illustrates the business-as-usual (BAU) peri -urban water cycle for the Gold Coast, utilising reticulated mains water supply and onsite sewage treatment and disposal.

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onsite systems We have assumed that the BAU houses wou ld each have a 5kl rainwater tank (the minimum size required for new Gold Coast housing) to supply toilet, laundry and all outdoor uses - with 50% of the houses using a mains water trickle topup system, and the other 50% using a backup system that bypasses the tank altogether. All other internal demands are fed directly from the potable water mains. The BAU development is taken to have no need for irrigation of communal areas. We have assumed that mains wat er is sourced from a local dam and water treatment plant, since this is the historical norm for the Gold Coast. The future mains supply will be somewhat different, with the commissioning of the Gold Coast desalination plant and the South East Queensland (SEQ) Water Grid.

(over the long term) would be discharged to the nearby creek at times when the buffer storages are fu ll.

Water Dam

Treatment Plant reticulallon network

Lot boundary :

Aerobic sewage treatment

Septic Tank

:.. ... .. .......... ........... ..... .. .

---, ·----


Irrigation area

.. .......... .. ..... .. ........ ..


~ Council STP

Figure 1. Business-as-usual (BAU) water cycle. as well as irrigation of the extensive comm unity spaces and food cropping areas); and rainwater tanks (for all other internal household uses) sized to provide 99% of long term demand. Occasional shortfalls in tank water supplies will be met by trucking in potable water from external sources. Tank water for potable uses is not treated other than by basic fi ltration.

In line with a general trend away from septic trench disposal systems in SEQ (Beal et al 2003), we have assumed that a mix of sand filters and mechanically aerated systems would be adopted, each with a septic tank for primary treatment. The treated effluent would be dispersed onsite in a dedicat ed irrigation area, with sludge trucked to the nearest municipal wastewater treatment plant.

Sewage from the 109 households in the "lowlands" wi ll be reticulated to a single site treatment plant that reticulates Class A+ water back to the development, using large storages (- 1.3ML in total) to buffer supply-demand imbalances. In line with the plant's environmental licence, we have assumed that 2% of the wastewater

Ecovillage Water Cycle Figure 2 illustrates the Ecovillage water cycle, which conforms to none of the planning norms for a Gold Coast periurban development. Water supplies to the Ecovillage are recycled wastewater (for toilet and household outdoor demands,

Water Treatment Plant



: • •••••·• • ·· · ·· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · • · • ·••• • •• • •• • •••••••••• • •••• I .. . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. .. .. . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,,

: : L',;tboundary -38 /ots

.., : .



Lotboundary -109 /ots :

,--:- .&....~-· .





.... ... ... .... .... .

' ''

,-- -

sludge I I


~ - _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ T"" _ _





_l ___


2• treatment

················· · · ·· ·· · ·········· · ····· · · · ············· · ··t···· · ·· · ···· · ·· Wet weather storage

Council STP

Figure 2. The Ecovillage water cycle.

92 SEPTEMBER 2009 w ater

nd Sltcbou "ry

The remaining 38 lot s in the " highlands" are not connected to this clustered wastewater system, and will use 'Advanced Secondary' (as per the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code) household scale onsite systems plus a mix of best practice approaches tailored to minimise surface runoff from each site. We have assumed a 50/50 mix of high and low energy, fully aerobic, systems. Because of their close proximity to a creek, the treatment systems on five of these lots will also be required to meet low effluent nutrient concentration targets. Assumptions on mains water and wastewater sl udges are as per the BAU scenario.

Results & Discussion Water demand The residential water use values used for the t wo scenarios are listed in Table 1. For the BAU scenario, household demand was based on the target residential averages for South East Queensland as set out in the Draft SEQ Water Supply Strategy (Queensland Water Commission 2008). The portion of demand met by rainwater tanks follows the Queensland Development Code part MP4.2 assumption that tanks installed in new detached residences will deliver an effective yield of 70kl per year. Internal demands and tank reliabi lity for the Ecovillage scenario were based on the development's water cycle designs (Bligh-Tanner 2005 and 2006), while the external demands were assumed to equal those for the BAU scenario. Given the high degree of selfsufficiency for the Ecovillage houses, Figure 3 shows the demand for environ mental water under the Ecovi llage scenario to be orders-of-magnitude lower than for the BAU scenario. Of particular int erest is the result that nearly half of the mains water used in the BAU scenario flows through the trickle topup system into the rainwater tanks. While this has no bearing on the amount of mains water used, it does have ramifications for the energy balance of the water cycle. Figure 3 also highlights that, while it is direct household use that dominates the water footprint under the BAU scenario, this is not the case for the Ecovillage

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Freshwater Extraction

Table 1. Household water balances for each scenario.


1000 800

Demand (internal + external) [Ud/hh]

Rainwater supply [Ud/hh]


220 455

Ecovillage (lowlands) Ecovillage (highlands)


460 575


600 10

Mains supply [Ud/hh]

Recycled wastewater supply [L/d/hh]


238 0 0

5 383


*based on 2.5 people/household

400 0

meet the concentrations (1Omg/ L TN & 5mg/ L TP) specified for 'Advanced Secondary plus Nutrient Removal ' under the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code.

200 0


Figure 3. Total Freshwater Extraction (excluding rainwater tank capture) across the life-cycle (50 yrs) . scenario where the water supply has largely been disconnected from the damsourced mains.

Nutrient discharges Modelling of nutrient discharge associated with water cycle operat ions included both the direct flows (via surface runoff and leaching) from the onsite effluent reuse into t he local creeks , and any discharges associated w ith reprocessing of t he wastewater s ludges. See Table 2 for an overview of key paramet ers. We have followed t he approach of Neumann et al (2004) for estimating t he flow of nutri ents in surface ru noff from household-scale wastewater irrigat ion areas, basi ng ou r assumptions for effluent nutrient loads, runoff frequency, and runoff nutrient delivery (to waterways) on their results. For the 5 household-scale systems at the Ecovillage that req uire advanced nutrient removal , we assumed t he effluent would

For t he Ecovillage c luster-scale wastewater system, our est imate of surface runoff was informed by t he MEDLI modelling of Bligh-Tanner (2005), while the effluent concentrations were assumed t o meet the plant's environmental licence for nitrogen (15mg/L} and phosphorus (1Omg/ L). The delivery ratio of 1.0 for the cluster- scale system assumes that effluent runoff from irrigation occurs during periods of prolonged rainfall. We used the nitrogen f lux calculated by Gardner (2005) to estimat e the leaching pathway for the BAU wastewater irrigation syst ems in t he " lowlands" , and assumed t hat all this nitrogen wou ld t ransfer to t he local creek via the al luvial aquifer. For t he Ecovillage irrigation system in the "lowlands", MEDLI modelling (Bligh-Tanner 2005) indicates that leaching will be negligible because of the wel l managed irrigation regi me controlled by soi l water def ic it. The lower leaching estimates for the "highlands" ref lect the reduced aquifer connectivity in t hat area. Figure 4 suggests t hat t he potential for flows of nitrogen and phosphorus to waterways is much

lower for t he Ecovillage scenario. It also indicates t hat t he primary life-cycle sou rce of these flows is t hose discharges directly related to the wastewater nutrient balance. Only one indirect source of nitrogen emission across the life-cycle is notable, that being NOX emissions from coal-fired power generation used to meet t he elect ricity needs of the wat er cycle although t hese results are based on European modelling parameters whose relevance to Australian conditions is uncertai n. No significant indirect pathways for phosphorus flows were identified . Figure 5 compares t he direct discharges for the three different types of wastewater systems used across the two

Phosphorus Discharges (t-P)

Nitrogen Discharges (t-N)



1.2 30 0.8 20









.. . .

other sources


directl from wastewater o rations

Figure 4. Life cycle (50 yrs) nutrient discharge to waterways.

Table 2. Nutrient balance parameters for the wastewater system.


Ecovillage cluster scale Treatment level

Teriiary + disinfection

Location Surface runoff days


Effluent N Effluent P Fraction of surface runoff that reaches waterway

[g/hh/d] [g/hh/d]

N Leaching rate




Ecovillage household scale

BAU household scale




Secondary+ nutrient removal

Low lands





7 4.1 2.8

43 20 4.0

43 2.2 1.1

43 20 4.0

20 4.0


0.4 1.0

1.0 0

0.75 4.33

0.75 1.0




water SEPTEMBER 2009 93

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onsite systems Nitrogen discharges (kg-N/hh)




Cumu lative Energy

Phosphorus discharges (kg-P/hh)

Cumulative Energy Demand (GJ/hh)





l O: R







30 20

EV cluster



EV cluster




Leachin Surface runoff


Figure 5. Nutrient discharge to waterways (50 yrs) from site operations for the cluster scale and household (HH) scale wastewater systems of the Ecovillage (EV) and BAU scenarios. scen arios, showi ng that t he relatively low effluent nutrient levels and tight irrigation control of the c lust er-scale system could potentially deliver resu lts that are significantly better than for the BAU approach. The results are clearly dominated by our assumptions on nutrient export associated with land applicat ion wastewat er systems. However these estimates are highly uncertain, and the nutrient export issue wou ld warrant more detailed consideration if informing the water cycle decision making process.

Energy use Data for the main operational energy demands of the different water cycle components are summarised in Table 3. Tan k pumping data for the Ecovillage scenario is an average of our measurements at 9 houses at that site. The corresponding value for t he BAU scenario reflects our latest analysis of houses at the Silva Park development (see Beal et al 2008 for project details} which have minimal efficiency measures,


Figure 6. Cumulative Energy Demand across the life-cycle (50 yrs).

Figure 7. Cumulative Energy Demand (50 yrs) for each WWT alternative (includes effluent disposal).

and pumping heads more typical of the housing stock in a BAU peri-urban development.

for the household-scale syst ems of either scenario.

The distribution of Cumulative Energy Demand across the life-cycle for each of the scenarios is summarised in Figure 6, showi ng a significant overall reduction associated with the Ecovillage scenario. While not trivial , the total embedded energy ("other energy demand") for each scenario is smaller than the difference in operat ional energy use between t hem. The embedded energy contribution would be even less significant if resource recovery had been included in the lifecycle modelling. This indicates that efforts to reduce life-cycle energy consumption should primarily be focussed on operational energy savings. Figure 7 compares the different wastewat er treatment systems used across the two scenarios, showing that the per-household energy burden of the cluster-scale system is much lower t han

Figure 8 shows a similar comparison for the water supply alternatives, highlighting that rai nwater tanks have disproportionately high energy use when compared with the alternative of mains supply. Despite this, Figure 6 shows that the total operational energy burden for t he BAU water supply (largely from mains water) is larger than for t he Ecovillage (predominantly tank water) scenario. There are two key design assumptions t hat explain t his result. Firstly, as identified in Table 3, the Ecovillage development building codes are assumed to deliver a more energyefficient rainwater pumping system than in the BAU houses. Secondly, the actual tank t hroughput for t he BAU houses is quite similar to that for t he Ecovi llage houses, due to much higher household water consumption plus t he large

Table 3. Operational energy use assumptions. BAU



Tank pumping energy




Operational data

Mains water energy (dam sourced)




Gold Coast City Council




Distance to nearest mains reservoir

Cluster WWT energy (treatment & reticulation)




Design forecasts (Bligh-Tanner pers comms, 2008)

Household WWT energy



1.2 (Secondary

Trucking of water

treatment only)


7.5 (Secondary +


nutrient removal) Trucking of sludge STP processing of sludge

94 SEPTEMBER 2009 water




Distance to nearest STP




Gold Coast City Council

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Cumulative Energy Deman d (GJ/hh)

GHG emissions (kt-CO2e)

500 ~ - - - - - - ~ 400


300 6

200 4

100 2


Ecovillage Ecol'illago


Other incl. manufacture of materials


Direct emissions - Dam

ther ener i demand-

€•1@0/•i,61 5i§Mi1M·

Figure 8. Cumulative Energy Demand (50 yrs) for each Water Supply alternative rainwater tanks, mains supply & recycled wastewater (RWW). amount of mains water topup being routed t hrough the tank (as reflected in Fig ure 3). U n der the conditions modelled here, where a large amou nt o f tank backup water is required, a trickle topup system incurs a significant energy penalty.

GHG emissions T he greenhouse gas flows calculated for t his paper include t hose associated wit h t he generation/manufact ure and use of electricity, materials, chemicals and fuel; methane (C H 4 ) emissions as a resu lt of carbon inflow s to dams; and direct em issions (C H4 and N2 O) associated with the wastewater cycle. Table 4 outlines the key assumptions on these direct greenhouse gas emissions used for this m odelling. The factors related to wastewater treatment were taken from Foley et al (2008), while the dam methane em ission factor reflects the best available S EQ monitoring data from Gri nham (pers comms, 2008). Fig ure 9 shows that the Ecovillage scenario delivers a reduction in overall greenhouse gas generation, largely associated with the reduced operational energy use. Direct methane (CH 4) and


Direct emissions - WWT

Figure 9. total GHG emissions across the life-cycle (50 yrs). nitrous oxide (N20) emissions from t he wastewater cycle make a sig nificant contribution t o the results for both scenarios, while t he contribution of dam methane emissions is much smaller. As a result , the wastewat er cycle makes a much larger contribution t o the tot al greenhouse gas burden for both scenarios than does water supply - see Figure 10. Figure 11 shows that, on a perhousehold basis, the Ecovil lage cluster and BAU household-scale wastewater systems have very sim ilar levels of d irect greenhouse gas em issions. This suggest s t hat t he scale o f wastewater treatment plant has little impact on the results. The much lower direct emissions for the Ecovi llage household-scale systems reflect ou r design assumption of no anaerobic processi ng, suggest ing th at the type of treatment is more important than the scale.

Autopsy and system diagnosis for reverse osmosis and microporous membranes We specialise in water technology that assists membrane treatment plant operators in diagnosin g and assessing the effect iveness of thei r reverse osmos is, nanofiltration and microfiltration membranes.

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Discussion and Conclusions Across each of t he environmental issues considered in this paper (wat er extraction, nutrient discharge, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions), the innovative water cycle design used at t he 147 lot 'Ecovillage at Currumbin ' has the potential to significant ly red uce the life-

Table 4. Emission factors for direct greenhouse gas emissions. CH 4 from WWT N20 from WWT N20 from effluent discharged to soil N20 from effluent discharged to watercourse N20 from biosolids disposed to agriculture CH4 from dams

0.25 0.016 0.013 0.004 0.016 0.034

(g-CH4 l g-anaerobic COD removal) (g-N 20 /g-N removal) (g-N 20 /g-N applied) (g-N 20 /g-N applied) (g-N 20 /g-N applied) (g-CH4 /m2/d)

membrane futures Phone: +6 1 (0)7 3 272 4 555 Email : Web: me m bra



onsite systems

~ refereed paper

GHG emissions (t·C02e/hh)

GHG emissions (t·C02e/hh)

40 30 20

10 water supply ••.•.•...


Eco\illage cluster

Eco\illage h'hold

BAU h'hold

Other (incl. manufacture of materials) incl. manufacture of materials

Direct emissions - WWT Direct emissions - Dam Direct emissions - WWT

Figure 10. GHG Emissions (50 yrs) per household - water supply vs. wastewater. cycle impacts associated with a more conventional approach. The operational phase of the life-cycle dominates each of the impact categories that we considered. Low water usage, large rai nwater tanks, and no connection to the mains supply allow the Ecovillage water cycle to nearly eliminate its contrib ution to the extraction of water from river systems. Despite frequently raised concerns about the energy use of rainwater tan ks, our results show that a household supplied solely by a t ank with an effi cient delivery system can have a lower total energy burden than a combination of low-energy dam water supplemented by a small but inefficient rainwater system . The cluster scale wastewater design used for the majority of Ec ovillage houses is t he main point of difference between the wast ewater systems of the t wo scenarios. The design features that deliver its benefits suggest advantages of scale: the delivery of relatively high quality effluent at a relatively low energy cost; the use of demand-driven irrigation of large onsite areas; and the incorporation of a large storage to buffer treated effluent supply-demand imbalances. However when it comes to direct greenhouse gas emissions, the results suggest that the level of fug itive emissions are more a function of treatment process type than plant size - at least for t he small scale systems considered here. Whilst not trivial , the overall contribution of energy and greenhouse gas emissions 'embedded' in the physical infrastructure is small compared to the pot ential reductions that are possible by optimising the operational parameters of

Figure 11. GHG Emissions (50 yrs) per household - by wastewater system. the water cyc le. However operat ional energy is not a suitable proxy for greenhouse gas emissions of water cyc le scenarios, since there are significant levels of fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from the wastewat er system. Dam methane emissions make only a small contri buti on to the resu lts in this study. For both scenarios considered here, the wastewater component of the water cycle has a much higher greenhouse gas footprint than does the water supply component. If the system boundary of this study were extended to include offsets for any beneficial reuse of wastewater and sludge for food production, the difference between the two scenarios wou ld likely be greater than t hat shown here. Sludge flows are unlikely to offer a point of d ifference between the two scenarios. However the cl uster-scale wastewater system employed at t he Ecovillage, with its Class A+ effluent distributed over large areas of onsite communal land, greatly increases the opportu nity for beneficial wastewater reuse when compared with the business-as-usual scenario. Including more energy intensive mains wat er supplies (such as desalination), as are planned for the region, would also increase the relative advantage of the Ecovillage water cycle design. Our comparison of the Ecovillage water cycle vs. a business-as-usual design at the 'minimum standard' end of the spectrum suggests some design principles that can reduce the environmental burden of peri-urban water cycle systems. These are: design codes that enforce low household water use and energy efficient rainwater tank systems; a cluster scale wastewater treatment system that harnesses advantages of scale in terms of

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~ re f ereed paper

energy use and effluent management; and the incorporation of a si nk for the wastewater volume and nutrients produced. Since the construction and materials inventories make o nly a minor contri bution to the environmental impacts of either scenario, these principles may also be relevant for water cycles applied at higher residential densities.

Acknowledgments For their guidance and the provision of data, the authors would like t o thank Chris Walton & staff of Landmatters P/ L and The Ecovi llage at Currumbin, Blig h-Tanner P/L, Sustainable Solution s Internationa l P/ L, Gold Coast Water and Yarra Valley Water; along with Barry H ood, Tim Grant, Jeff Foley and David de Haas.

The Authors

Joe Lane is a Research Engineer Uoe.lane@d in the Water Cycle Sciences research group o f the Department of Environment and Resource Management, Q ueensland.

onsite systems Proceedings of Enviro 08, 5-7 May 2008, Melbourne. Bligh Tanner Pty Ltd 2005. The Ecovillage at Currumbin - Draft Site Based Management Plan (Water and Wastewater). Brisbane, Qld. Bligh Tanner Pty Ltd 2006. The Ecovillage at Currumbin- Highlands Development (Stage 1A & 6) - Water Supply and Wastewater Management Report. Brisbane, Old. Bligh Tanner Pty Ltd 2008. pers comms. Foley, J. , Lant, P. 2008. Fugitive Emissions from Wastewater Systems. Research Report to Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), December 2007, published Feb. 2008. Gardner, T. 2005. Are on-site systems environmentally sustainable? Can monitoring provide the answer? Proceedings of On-site '05, September 2005, Amidale. Gaterell, M .A., Griffin, P., Lester, J.N. 2005 . Evaluation of environmental burdens associated with sewage treatment processes using life cycle assessment techniques. Environmental Technology, 26(3), 231-249. Grant. T., Opray. L., 2005. LCA report for sustainabilit y of alternative water and sewerage servicing options. 22nd September, 2005. Grinham, A. 2008. pers comms Hallmann, M., Grant, T. , Alsop, N. 2003. Life cycle assessment and life cycle costing of water tanks as a supplement to mains water supply, Yarra Valley Water 2003.

the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program on Climate Change. www. Machado, A.P., Urbano, A.G., Janknecht, P. , Salas, J.J., Nogueira, R. 2007. Life cycle assessment of wastewater treatment options for small and decentralized communities. Water Science and Technology 56(3), pp 15-22. Neumann, L., Gardner, T., Claridge, J., Vieritz, A., Baisden, J. , Beal, C. , Beavers, P. , Christiansen , C., (2004). Initial Mass Balance Assessment of Non-Sewered Areas (Task 4). Audit of Non-Sewered Areas in South-East Queensland. 31 October, 2004. Prepared for Moreton Bay Waterways & Catchments Partnership. Queensland Development Code part MP 4.2 - Water Savings Targets. Accessed at current-parts.html Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code. Accessed at http://www.dip. Queensland Water Commission 2008b. Water for today, water for tomorrow South East Queensland Water Strategy Draft, QWC, Brisbane, Old. SimaproÂŽ 2007. Simapro Software v.7 .1.0. PRe Consultants, The Netherlands. http://www Walsh, C.J., Fletcher, T.D., Ladson , A.A. 2005. Stream restoration in urban catchments through redesigning stormwater systems: Looking to the catchment to save the stream. Journal North American Benthological Society, 2005, 24(3):690-705

IPCC 2006. IPCC Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories. Prepared by

Ted Gardner is t he P ri ncipal Scientist of t he Water Cycle Sciences team, and Adj unct Professor at QUT in the school of Urban Development, Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering.

References Beal, G.D., Gardner, T. , Christiansen, C., Beavers, P. 2003. A review of onsite wastewater management practices / knowledge in SEQ local governments. Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Brisbane, Qld. Beal , G.D., Hood, B. , Gardner, T. , Christiansen, C., Lane, J. 2008. Energy and water metabolism of a sustainable subdivision in South East Old: the little toe of the urban ecological footprint?.

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wastewater treatment QUALITY WASTEWATER TREATMENT FOR RESIDENTIAL Wherever there is no main sewer, generally in rural or remote areas, t here is a need for an alternative system to deal with residential human waste. There are many companies offering an individual residential wastewater treatment system, with dozens of systems appearing on the state approved lists (including septic tanks, aerated wastewater treatment system and sand filters). A new entrant into the Australasian market is Orenco Systems lncorporated's AdvanTex®, which whilst new to Australia, is proven with over 20,000 systems installed across North America, New Zealand and parts of Europe since its launch in 2000.

It would be easy to think the market is saturated. However, lnnoflow Tech nologies (Australasian agent for Orenco Systems Incorporated) Business Development Manager, Dion Tucker, begs to differ. "There are plenty of options out there, but there are also plenty of failing systems. You only have to talk to your local Environmental Health Officer to real ise the ext ent of the problem. Systems are failing and the quality of treated effluent being returned to the ground or worse, the waterways, is far from ideal." The AdvanTex® is a recirculating textile packed bed filter, using an attached growth technology. Packed bed filters, such as Orenco's AdvanTex® (AX20) Treatment System use centrifugal pumps that run a few minutes an hour to periodically pump effluent (clarified wastewater) to a bed of treatment media. The AdvanTex system uses hanging sheets of synthetic textile as the media. Microorganisms living on the media digest the organic matter in the effluent, providing treatment. Because aerobic (oxygen-using) organisms are responsible for most of the treatment, the media must have an adequat e supply of oxygen from the air. The AdvanTex® Treatment System takes in air through a vent. Normal air movements provide the circulation, so

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the system requires only enough electricity to run the pump intermittently.

The system offers the home owner an assurance of a quality treated effluent (Biochemical Oxygen Demand <10mg/litre and Total Suspended Solids <10mg/litre) being retu rned to the groundwater or to be used for garden irrigation via sub surface drip or shallow drain, along with approximately 65% removal of nitrogen (up to 75% in Denitrification Mode). The mainly passive process offers other advantages which include no noise, low power usage, no smell, fewer maintenance visits, infrequent pumpouts (8-12 years), and a small footprint. The system is lightweight so ideal for difficult to access sites (buoyancy countermeasures can be taken in high groundwater areas), and is aesthetically pleasing given it is predominately inst alled completely below ground, with green access lids all that are visible. The system comes standard with an installed irrigation kit, which is also monitored as part of the regular service regime. Options for tertiary treatment can be added where a higher class of effluent is required in sensitive areas. Unlike many other systems which use ch lorine or a UV system in the line that pumps to irrigation, lnnoflow and Orenco have developed an approach using a gravityflow UV bulb for chemical-free, consistent -contact disinfection. There is also an option to include an around-the-clock remote telemetry monitoring system, supervised by lnnoflow or their local approved service provider. The AX20 has undertaken rigorous testing to the revised AS/NZ1546:2008 standard and is curre ntly approved in NSW and Queensland, with Western Australia and Victoria to follow shortly. The AdvanTex® is more than a product though, as Orenco has developed a unique management program which, as Australasian agent, lnnoflow is bound to follow. "The program is fantastic, and includes identifying and training authorised installers and service providers, and educating regu lators, authorities, developers and consultants in

how and why to design wit h AdvanTex®. We start off with a set of tools and training aids to assist all parties who will work with us as partners and we will not sell a system without a 3 year minimum service contract, which given fewer service visits, 3 year warranty and, an easy maintenance reg ime, is not onerous on the wallet". lnnoflow and Orenco are also known for their small community and commercial wastewater systems including the 110-lot world ecovillage of the year for 2008, The Ecovillage at Currumbin, on Queensland's Gold Coast, Jacks Point, Queenstown, NZ, and the Emirates Resort, Wolgan Valley, NSW. The Ecovillage is situated on a 110 hectare site at Currumbin in the Gold Coast and houses 144 eco-homes in a variety of residential configurations together with community facilities including a small village centre and a school. The Ecovillage incorporat es a wide range of sustainability features including autonomy in water, wastewater and energy. The Orenco Textile Filter followed by micro-filtration has been operating successfully at Currumbin for almost two years now and the combination of the two technologies was a world first. The sewage treatment and recycled water plant at the Ecovillage is designed to treat 60,000 Uday of sewage from the village. There are six major processes primary treatment tanks, secondary treatment using the textile filters, total odour neutralisation using activated carbon filters, tertiary fi ltration using conti nuous micro filtration and disinfection using UV irrad iation and residual disinfection using chlorine. For more information contact lnnoflow Australia Pty Ltd,,

TREATMENT FACILITY RECLAIMS WATER RESOURCES The growing area of Okaloosa County was in critical need for increased wastewater treatment capacity. The county's Garniers treatment plant was more than 30 years old, treated only 6.5 million gallons of water per day, and was close to a school and residential area. Okaloosa County t eamed with CDM to design and build a new, state-of-the-art wastewat er treatment faci lity. The Arbennie Pritchett wat er reclamation facility wi ll serve a population of 181 ,000 in the Florida panhandle,

wastewater treatment treating 10 million gallons of wastewater per day to stringent Florida Department of Environmental Protection standards. The $49.3 million facility wi ll support resource conservation and economic development in this vibrant coastal community, including the military and civilian personnel at the Eglin Air Force Base.

and structures. The program called for alternative, design-build delivery to meet an aggressive schedule. Final design had to be completed within 5.5 months of notice to proceed. To meet this short time frame, the team needed to be able to quickly visualise the facility to agree on the form and function of the elements early in the design process.

Using an innovative approach of leveraging downstream data for operations, it wi ll feature biological nu trient removal and ultraviolet d isinfection that will discharge effluent to rapid infiltration basins, allowi ng this valuable water resource to be reused via groundwater recharge.

A suite of Bentley software including AutoPLANT and STAAD.Pro enabled COM to maximise staff skill sets and interact in a collaborative design environment to build the virtual facility. The project incorporated intelligent 4D design by integrat ing a living database into the 3D facility models, providing a lasting platform for efficient operations and maintenance. The 3D/4D approach allowed for the 3D models and intelligent dat a to continue through the fu ll lifecycle of the facility. ProjectWise helped COM manage more than 5,000 documents and provide the latest information to team members.

The facility was designed using intelligent 3D across all d isciplines architectural, civil, electrical, HVAC, instrumentat ion, plumbing, process, and st ructural - for more than 20 buildings

The COM project design team consisted of a core group of 42 designers, engineers, and support staff with contributions from more than 100 COM staff overall located in more than 18

These rugged PRONAL flex ible pr oducts are engineere d by the sa me company that prod uced the enormously strong inflata ble bags used t o lift sect ions of the liner Titanic fro m nearly four km deep in t he Atla ntic. Available in stock, application-specific an d customised shapes they include:






• Kevlar-rei nforced lift cushions to delicately and saf ely raise loads of up to 65 to ns each • Inflatable pipe st oppers for both low and high press ure testi ng, maintena nce and emerge ncy applications (45-1500mm dia stock, 3000mm+ customised ) • Flat and 3D seals used as OEM and replacement parts for sea ling, pressing, gripping, handling and isolating.

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offices. The firm met the aggressive design schedule, allowing construction to proceed on time by expediting the staff learning curve, providing superior design content, and achieving a col laborative environment with up-to-date, accurate, and real -time visual content throughout the design process.

COM was able to maximise staff skill sets and interact in a collaborative design environment to build a virtual facility. Client meetings were much more productive, focusing on reviewing 3D models in lieu of 2D drawings. By commenting directly on the 3D models in real time, the owner provided valuable input , ensuring that expectations as well as the project schedule and budget were met. The cl ient could quickly visualise the facility and agree on the form and function of the elements early in the design process.

wastewater treatment Typically, this type of col laboration would take weeks, if not months, due to delays in communication, iterative processes, and conflicting priorities. The virtual approach saved significant time and resources. In addition, having all parties involved eliminated any faulty assumptions, since recaps of all decisions were restated for agreement. Process and instrumentation engineers collaborated on single-source intelligent P&IDs, leveraging data downstream in the detail design model. "Bentley's products and services are built on providing 3D design and the associated 4D in a managed environment, which allowed us to deliver on the simple principle of providing our clients with a superior and more costeffective project solution by utilising state-of-the-art technology in int elligent plant design," explained William Nelson, vice president of project technology development at CDM. The software leveraged all intelligent component data withi n the central project database, such as on-demand custom valve schedules, instrumentation, equipment reports, and datasheets. Datasheets were easily populated from internal sources and vendors and then synchronised to the central database to repopulate Auto PLANT P&ID, maintaining consistent and current drawings and information. Custom datasheets, exploiting extended data capabilities in AutoPLANT, supported efficient procurement. Beginning at the conceptual stage, the int egrated 3D model and collaborative environment paid dividends. Among them were a 17 per cent reduction in manhours for about 300 design drawings; a 30 per cent compression in the design schedule by using a collaborative rather than an iterative approach; minimised construction conflicts with quality deliverables; red uced re-engineering and redesign; and more effective team and client reviews. Contact:

SPIRAC DEWATERED SLUDGE HANDLING PRODUCTS Spirac Pty Ltd is part of the Spirac Group of companies with offices located in Australia, Europe, UK and the USA with over 30 years experience in the wastewater industry. Spirac provides complete design solutions for inlet works and sludge handling, specialising in the design and supplt of materials handling systems incorporating shaftless screw conveyors, screening, classifying,

106 SEPTEMBER 2009 water

compacting and dewatering, and storage silos. Spirac dewatered sl udge handling products include receival hoppers, conveyors of any angle and inclination from horizontal to vertical, cylindrical and rectangular silos with live-bottom and have now been expanded to include sliding frame outloading systems.

Dewatered sludge and tankered sludge can be brought in from a variety of places. Spirac receival hoppers accept the sl udge and deliver it to the silo conveyor feed system via a live bottom. In dewatered sludge drying facilities where most of the materials are brought in from other external plants, the size of the receival hoppers is designed for multiple truck discharge in order to reduce truck waiting time. With Spirac silo feed conveyors, space saving and compact installation is guaranteed by utilising a combi nation of horizontal, incline and vertical conveyors to deliver dewat ered sludge to the silo. Using a series combination of horizontal feeders and vertical conveyors, material is transported to the top of the silo. For rectangular si los, SPIRAC feed conveyors incorporate a spreader conveyor on top of the silo to facilitate the spreading of material evenly withi n the si lo. Spirac silo and storage systems including rectangular silos with shaftless screw live bottom conveyors, rectangular and cylindrical silos with flat bottom incorporating a sliding frame outloading system provide a reliable and efficient material storage and outloading system. The counter rotating shaftless screws in the live bottom provides an arc-breaking effect by preventing materials from hanging up in the silo. For flat bottom rectangular silos, the reciprocating rectangu lar sliding frame at the bottom moves the material into the outloading conveyor. In the case of cylindrical silos with flat bottom, the reciprocating action is by an elliptical sliding frame. The sliding frames are made of solid special steel bars.

The reciprocating action of the sliding frame is actuated by hydraulic cylinder or cylinders located outside the silo and powered by a hydraulic unit. Sealing between the silo wall and the hydraulic cylinder outside the silo is achieved using a gland packed stuffing box. The hydraulic cyli nder and power pack comes complete with its control unit. Multiple outloading conveyors are provided depending on the size of t he flat bottom silo. Spirac rectangular and cylindrical flat bottom si los with sliding frames are increasingly becoming popular for sl udge storage and Spirac is currently supplying a number of sliding frames outloading systems for the European market. The standard sizes for a cylindrical si lo is up to 10 metres in height by 7 metres in diameter and rectangular silos are up to 12 metres long in lengt h and unlimited width. Non-standard sizes are designed t o suit particular installations. The Spirac silo storage and outloading systems have low operating cost and are virtually maintenance free. The modular designs provide flexibi lity in capacity increase from 20 m 3 to 500 m 3 and reduce installation t ime. The flat bottom si los and the sliding frame outloading designs vi rtually eliminate dead space from the silo vol ume. Spirac's head office is located in Bibra Lake, Perth, and is currently supplying equipment and systems Australia wide and exporting to New Zealand, South East and East Asia and the Middle East. In Singapore alone, Spirac has supplied 4 separate installations in the past with over 10 kilometres of conveyors and live bottoms in tot al conveying length. Spirac Pty Ltd provides a reliable after sales support for all equipment supplied ensuring that cust omer satisfact ion is guaranteed. Visit for more information on Spirac shaftless screw conveying systems, screenings and classifying, compacting and dewatering, silos and storage equipment.

water business

wastewater treatment NEXT GENERATION OF BAND SCREENS Enviroaer, a leading provider of mechanical equipment and engineering solutions for municipal and industrial water and wastewater applications, has joined with Hydro-Dyne Engineering to offer the next generation of custom designed stainless steel band screens. The full range on Hydro-Dyne band screens include the Triden, Hydro-Flo 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 captu re rates and low headloss for sensitive process protection.

Applications for the Hydro-Dyne range of stainless steel band screens include: • Membrane protection • Municipal inlet works • Desalination plants • Energy plants • Refineries and processing plants Hydro-Dyne Engineering provides products with superior functionality and reliability due to custom fabrication and a variety of options, accessories and services. All of the equipment is 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 U s to > 350 MUd.

Enviroaer offers high quality screening and processing equipment to municipal and industrial water and wastewater markets, from concept to detailed design, installation, commissioning and servicing. For further information on custom screens or process equipment contact Enviroaer on (03) 9399 9913 or email

UPGRADED PLANT PROVIDES BENEFITS It is often the case in high population growth areas that residential developments encroach on existing wastewater treatment plants. Many of these plants have been in operation for over 20 years and utilise outdated technology. Increased inflows to the plant due to the increase in population growth can lead to problems such as high odour emissions which have a negative impact on the surrounding communities. Such was the case with the Murrumba Downs Wastewater Treatment plant situated in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area, one of the highest population growth areas in South East Queensland. Originally constructed in 1972, the plant consisted of coarse screening, extended aeration, final clarification and chlorination. Subsequent upgrades to the original plant added primary clarification and digestion. The plant is now undergoing a major upgrade and augmentation in order to increase plant capacity, provide recycled water to industrial users, improve discharge qualities to nearby waterways and decrease odour emissions from the plant.

The upgrade wi ll increase the plant's treatment capacity from 18 MUday to 30.8 MUday, it will provide 4 million litres of recycled water daily to the adjacent Amcor Petrie mill and when completed, the new plant will comply with current EPA regulations that limit nitrogen to 3mg/L and phosphorus to 1mg/ L discharging into the North Pine River and ultimately, Moreton Bay. Part of this plant upgrade was the two 39 metre full bridge peripheral drive clarifies supplied by Epco Australia.

To improve operational efficiency, the council chose to cover the outlet launder to minimise the growth of algae in the launder and between launder and scum baffle. The EPCO designed covers feature GRP construction mounted on heavy duty 316SS hinges with locks to prevent wind damage. In addition to reducing housekeeping costs involved in regular launder cleaning, the covers make launder brooms and spray systems redundant. For more information contact Grant Cobbin 07 3279 3276, email:

FIVE ELEMENTS TO A SUCCESSFUL STP The engineers at Simmonds & Bristow in Brisbane have designed, commissioned and operated a variety of treatment plants throughout Australia and overseas,


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wastewater treatment including municipal water treatment plants, sewerage treatment plants, trade waste and industrial treatment plants, ultrafiltration plants and pool treatment plants.

Their experience allows them to have a realistic understanding of problems affecting STPs, and enables them to recommend solutions that are practical, robust, cost effective and long-lasting. Simmond & Bristow's Manager of Engineering Services, Philippe de Greslan recommends the following five elements to assist small domestic treatment plants (operating for between 500 to 1000 equivalent persons) which have a nutrients removal process to ensure they are performing efficiently. • Sludge: The amount of sludge in an STP should be regularly checked as this gives an indication of the STP's operating situation. Most STPs have an activated sludge process in place, and the sludge waste is in many instances insufficient. The sludge concentration (mixed liquor) can be analysed. This amount should remain between 3 and 5 g/L to ensure the efficient operation of process. • Process: To maintain a sust ainable balance of nutrient removal bacteria, the STP needs to have both sequences with oxygen (aerobic) and without oxygen (or anoxic). The aeration equipment should be monitored to ensure a suitable time ratio between these sequences. The use of the switchboard is a good way to monitor the time ratios. Throughout the day, the aerobic period should represent 2A of the time and the anoxic 1A. • Flow: It's vitally important to ensure an STP is operating within its designated design capacity. A good way to do this is to measure the daily flow that comes into an STP. To do this, sites can measure the performance of the pumping station (number of pumping hours) to calculate the pumped flow, or with a flow met er. Sites can then compare what has been measured on site with the design hydraulic capacity for the STP (kl per day). 108 SEPTEMBER 2009


• Load: It is also important to check the STP's biological load against the design capacity. Operators need to ensure there is adequate BOD (pollution) so that the biological load is operating efficiently. This can be measured over a 24 hour period with a composite sample of raw sewage which can then be sent off for analysis. In combination with the previous flow measurements, it will give a good indication of the organic load entering the STP that can be associated with overload troubleshooti ng. • People: Finally, the STP's operators need to be comprehensively trained and have a t horough understanding of what they're doing and why they're doing it. Some important elements to consider are reg ularly checking the performance of equipment, having correct procedures in place for cleaning, servicing and maintenance, and ensuring log books are kept up-todate. These five elements will assist small domestic STPs to ensure they are operating efficiently, and withi n safe environmental levels. For more information or to organise an audit of your STP, contact Simmonds & Bristow on 07 3710 9100 or visit

CHRISTIES BEACH CATCHMENT STUDY lnfoWorks CS is being used to enable simulation of complex residential and commercial flows into the wastewater network serving Christies Beach wastewater catchment. Christies Beach is situated on the coast of South Australia around 15km south of the capit al city of Adelaide. The 105km 2 catchment is one of the three major metropolitan wastewater catchments in South Australia, the others being Bolivar and Glenelg. South Australian Water Corporation (SA Water) has initiated a project that represents the next step in developing its model expertise, based around Wallingford Software's lnfoWorks CS modelling platform. SA Water experienced considerable success in building models by importing data from its GIS system, but wanted to determine the best way to include pump stations, and wet and dry weather inflows within the model.

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SA Water req uired typical dry weather flow characteristics (diurnal pattern, typical daily loading rate per connection) and typical wet weather rainfall responses observed in sewers (percentage runoff contributing to inflow and infiltration characteristics). SA Water was interested in determining the flow characteristics for developments of varying age. Because the catchment was relatively new, SA Water wanted to confirm that there were no major groundwater infiltration issues, as had been assumed. SA Water has also undertaken an extensive "data cleansing" exercise on its GIS system to ensure that data is suitable to be directly imported for use in network modelling. The original network model of the Christies Beach area was built by SA Water to exclude all of the pump stations, which meant that the model comprised around 70 unconnected subnetworks. GHD was engaged initially to establish how the pump stations operated, then to carry out dry and wet weather calibrations, historical verification and undertake long-term time series analysis in preference to design storm analysis. The all-pipe model comprises around 1100km of pipes and 28,600 nodes across a 105km 2 catchment area. The system has no emergency relief structures. So far, 64 pump stations within t he network have been modelled some are extremely large trunk pump stations with inflows and pump capacities in excess of 400 1/s, controlled by variable speed drives which pose interesting modelling challenges.

Next steps GHD is currently undertaking wet weather flow calibrations, and is developing runoff parameters for this catchment. Because specific nonresidential areas have been monitored, an accurate understanding of t heir likely wet weather parameters including the

wastewater treatment percentage runoff and whether the catchment has a fast or slow response time or no response at all, can be developed. Permanent rain gauges were installed in the catchment area approximately six years ago by the Bureau of Meteorology and this data, obtained at half-hourly intervals, will be used to verify any wet weather spills that occur from the network following the calibration process. A long-term time series analysis using a significant number of years of rainfall data will be undertaken to determine the spill overflows, using the lnfoWorks CS statist ics template to analyse the spi ll locations and frequency of overflows from manholes.

This article is based on a presentation to the Wallingford Software User Conference in Australia by Leonie Elder, SA Water Corporation Senior Engineer, Systems Modelling, Planning and Infrastructure Division, and Bradley Rudsits, GHD Wastewater and Recycling Group, Senior Project Engineer. For more information, tel: 02 9006 1603 Email: sales@wa/lingfordsoftware. com,

MODELLING WASTEWATER EFFICIENTLY Operational and capital investment cost savings can be achieved when a planning or design engineer is able to easily test and compare the range of options for their system. Pump cycling , system bottlenecks, flow into the treatment plant, and other operational processes can be optimised by selection of the appropriate options.


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WEST includes the most recent mathematical models for simulating processes with individual temperature variation in activated sludge tanks as well as models for membrane bio reactor (MBR), sequenced batch reactor (SBR), biofilters, sand filters, settling tanks, fermentation reactors (ADM1) and sludge dewatering. An online modelling component is available with WEST as part of integrated plant automation.

For further information, contact DH/ at 1300 6555 92 or

HIGH PERFORMANCE MIXING TECHNOLOGY Over many years one of Australia's largest activated sludge WWTP' s was experiencing difficulties in mixing the anoxic zones for a nitrogen removal process. The installation was using conventional submersible mixer technology similar to that used in most WWTPs. At the t ime, this was seen as the best solution to maintain a homogenous zone at an acceptable power density. From startup, the water authority had ongoing concerns that the conventional submersible high speed mixers were not providing consistently homogenous mixing and were also incurring high maintenance costs as a consequence of frequent failure. A decision was made to trial an alternative Hyperboloid mixing technology called the Invent HyperClassic Mixer to evaluate if this new technology could provide a long term solution to the problem.

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1'-" - - - - - ~3 The Scenario Manager, built into the water and wastewater modelling software - Mike Urban - enables planning engineers to find the best solution among many options. Future development scenarios and design options can be quickly built around the base model with nested parent and child scenarios. The Scenario Manager captures the differences among the scenarios, rather than saving each scenario as a separate copy, thus saving storage and computational space. All scenarios or a selection of scenarios can be simulated in a batch run to produce multiple results for comparison. Further chi ld scenarios can be easily tested within this framework for fine t uning the final selection of preferred options.

Carbon, Fume Silica and more, without the dust storm and without the associated heavy lifting with our Hydro De Wetter.



Mike Urban features fully dynamic integration with ESRI ArcGIS for powerful data management of all your geocoded model input data such as assets, catchments, property cadastre, topog raphy and population loadings. The Mouse, SWMMS and Mikenet engines are available for modelling wastewater, stormwater and water supply networks. Furthermore, 20 overland flow can be included in the M ike Urban model. Wastewater treatment plant design and operation optimisation is simple with the cost calc ulator included in WEST. The cost calculator can determine the cost of almost any aspect of wastewater treatment plant operation , including energy consumption, sludge handling and chemical dosing. WEST can be used to identify and remove bottlenec ks, as well as analyse robustness and risk of control strategies.


SEPTEMBER 2009 1 09

wastewater treatment -




Table 1 No. MLSS tests

Average MLSS deviation Installed power density No. test points >10% deviation


Submersible Mixer





2.6 W/m 3

-7 W/m3



Those inexperienced with hydrophobic materials will be frustrated by the fact that they simply don't dissolve into liquid easily at all. Even worse, those that do mix, can foam and froth leading to overflow spillage which can be extremely hazardous.

The Alternative Technology

The Invent mixing systems are based on a hyperboloid agitation body rotating at low speed. This configuration at low speed with low power input delivers high efficiency mixing. The shape of the Hyperboloid Mixer is based on extensive fluid mechanic modelling. The unique design achieves a flow profile which follows the mixer surface, thus minimising fluid separation and the resulting energy losses. The transport ribs mounted on the mixer body cause the fluid medium to run off in a radial and tangential direction ensuring full circulation of the tank contents including corners.


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The duration of the trial was over an 8 week period, and in this time the two systems were subjected to extensive MLSS testing which included general operation and re-suspension characteristics. The Results

The Invent HyperClassic mixers also demonstrated complete re-suspension of solids after 24 hour stoppage within 2 hours. No solid depositions were found (see Table 1). The mixer energy input is predominantly at the tank floor, the resulting high bottom velocities give the hyperboloid mixer excellent suspension properties in combination with low power requirements. Disruption of the water surface is also prevented avoiding any additional air input which would interfere with denitrification or during biological phosphate removal processes in anaerobic zones. Similarly, there is no generation of aerosols or odour stripping. The hyperboloid mixer is constructed of three main components: the drive unit, including the mounting plate, the shaft, and the hyperboloid mixer body. As the WWTP had a number of identical anoxic zones, a side by side evaluation of mixing technologies was undertaken under full operating conditions. The trial was conducted with the two conventional mixers being replaced with a single INVENT hyperbolic mixer. Extensive MLSS performance tests were run to confirm the ability of the new mixers to deliver ± 10% variance in average solids concentration. 110 SEPTEMBER 2009


However, there are a few issues when it comes to this material. First, it doesn't like to mix into water. Second , it generally comes in 1 tonne Bulker bags which are known to have strap breakages, consequently presenting a serious OH&S risk.

Powder activated carbon is such a product. Just ask the workers who are exposed to it. They'll quickly tell you how unpleasant it is to work with. Being a powder, it easily floats in the air when disturbed, and as such, presents serious OH&S risks to these workers. After research and testing, JS Melbourne Controls has developed the Hydro De Wetter which is specifically designed to overcome these issues and provide a totally thorough mix. John Melbourne said, "Difficult to mix products like powder and granular activated carbon, fume silica, coal dust, cocao, milk powder, tannin and iodine create huge problems for industry as they simply do not like to mix into liquid, so we decided to design a product using our patented hydro-shear principle.

The trial clearly demonstrated the superior mixing ability of the Invent HyperClassic Mixer, and in so gave the water authorities assurance of homogenous mixing within the zone required. Moreover, since the testing was conducted in August 2008, the Invent Hyper Classic mixer demonstrated an uninterrupted service record with an operating power consumption 40% that of the traditional submersible mixers. An additional advantage of the Invent HyperClassic mixer is that it has no service components below water line. This has meant that the plant operators have been able to inspect the equipment without the need to hoist them out of the sludge, avoiding contact with the biological effluent and hence reducing health and safety risks. Contact: Invent Pacific, Tel: 02 6365 0702,

MIXING POWDER ACTIVATED CARBON The water industry in most parts of Australia widely uses Powder Activated Carbon (PAC) for water filtration.

Thorough mixing of powder activated carbon, without the dust storm and without the heavy lifting.

In addition, when many of these products are mixed using traditional paddle methods, they allow powder flotation into the air creating an extremely hazardous environment for workers who may then inhale t hese tiny particles. Our Hydro De Wetter does not because the mixing is all done in pipe". With its distinct OH&S advantages, the capability to provide a total mix, and without the need for emulsifiable concentrates, t he Hydro De Wetter has


wastewater treatment already gained huge interest from industry and is available for both industrial and food applications. For more information 03 9761 0811, email:,

EFFECTIVE PRETREATMENT FOR RO SYSTEMS Reusing treated wastewater for beneficial purposes, such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes, t oi let flushing, or groundwater basin replenishment, is growing in response to environmental and economic concerns. One of the key factors involved in recycling wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent for another use is the need to red uce total dissolved solids (TDS). This is often done by using a reverse osmosis (RO) system, which relies on pressure differential to force a solution (in this case, water) through a membrane that retai ns the solute on one side and allows the pure solvent to pass to the other side. While extremely effective on biologically treated wastewater, RO systems need to be coupled with an effective pretreatment system to avoid common issues that can result in system failure, including plugging, fouling, and scaling. One of the most effective pretreatment options for wastewater ap plications is membrane bioreactor (M BA) technology, in which a membrane process like ultrafiltration (UF) or microfiltration is combi ned with a suspended growth bioreactor. M BR provides high quality feed water to the RO, minimises footprint and t he cost of civil works, and red uces treatment plant downtime and operating costs. Koch Membrane Systems' Puron<!!> submerged MBR technology has successfully been used as the pretreatment option for challenging industrial and municipal water reuse RO systems, and can help make water recycling technologies more costeffective. Pretreatment methods are critical when designing RO systems. For example, RO membranes used for most water reuse ap plications contain a brine spacer, typically made of low density polyethylene mesh netting. If there is a high level of suspended solids in the feed water, this brine spacer can become plugged. Another issue is the high levels of organics contained in many biologically treated wast ewaters, which are rejected

by the RO membrane and progressively concentrated as the water flows across the membranes. This concentration of organics can foul the membrane, especially towards the RO system outlet. Biofouling can also occur, because the organics in wastewater make an excellent food source for microorganisms. Also, some treated wastewaters contain high levels of bacteria, so biogrowth may occur quickly even if RO feed water is disinfected. Finally, calcium phosphat e scaling can cause problems with RO systems operating on some wastewaters. The scaling can be mitigated by operating at lower water recovery, usi ng acid or other antiscalant to minimise scaling , or modifying the operating conditions of the WWTP to reduce the amount of phosphate in the RO feed. These plugging, fouli ng, and scaling issues mean that the RO system needs to be operated at higher pressures, leading to increased power consumption, increased chemical costs for cleaning, and a shorter membrane life. How can these challenges be minimised and overall water reuse system lifecycle costs red uced? Effective pretreatment of the feedwater before it flows through the RO system is the answer, provided that the pretreatment steps are chosen carefully to ensure that the RO system can work as intended.

Lime-softening has been somewhat more successful in protecting the RO membranes, but this increases operating costs and does not totally prevent fouling. Many of today 's water reuse systems use an ultrafiltration (UF) pretreatment step to remove suspended solids. These systems typically use hollow fibre UF membranes which do an excellent job of providing water with low suspended solids to feed the RO system. However, the UF system is an extra treatment step, req uiring additional footprint, and adding to operating costs. The UF syst em may also be susceptible to upsets from a conventional WWTP, which can further increase its operating costs.

Membrane Bioreactor as RO Pretreatment With an MBR, the UF membranes are submerged in the activated sludge to combine the biological step and the solidliquid separation into a single process. The membrane acts as a barrier, wh ich improves the effluent quality. The MBA eliminates the secondary clarifier and does not rely on gravity for liquid-solids separation and so allows the activated sludge to operate with a higher mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentration.

Pretreatment Options There are many pretreatment options, and the best for a particular process depends on power, chemical, labour and land costs, wastewater source, and the existing wastewater treatment system. The conventional effluent pretreatment scheme might be primary treatment, biological treatment and, the most crucial part of the process, solids-liquid separation using secondary clarification. The conventional sedimentation process often doesn't remove enough bacteria and suspended solids, so sand filtration may be added to improve the solidsliquid separation and provide higher quality water to feed the RO system. Using ferric chloride along with the sand filtration may enhance solids and organics removal. However, upsets in the secondary clarifier can lead to effluent with higher levels of TSS and BOD, causing plugging of the brine spacer with suspended solids and organic fouli ng. Also, power consumption for RO systems with this type of pretreatment tends to be high, and membrane life is often quite short.


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Figure 1. Membrane bundle. The increased MLSS concentration reduces bioreactor tank volume, saving footprint and capital construction costs. Overall , the MBR process reduces footprint significantly compared to the combination of conventional activated sludge followed by sand filtration or ultrafiltration . The footprint savings due to the wastewater treatment plant alone can be as much as 50 per cent, along with additional footprint savings from eliminating other filtration steps.

water SEPTEMBER 2009 11 1

wastewater treatment costs, and selected an RO system to

Using MBR technology also simplifies the overall treatment t rain , minimising the number of unit operations.

produce water with the low salt and

Puron MBR Technology

The firm installed a PU RON submerged

nitrogen content required for its process. hollow fibre MBR as the pretreatment

Koch Membrane Systems' Puron submerged hollow fi bre UF module offers robust, c ost effective solutions for RO pretreatment. The patented membrane module contains hollow fibres, thf' lower ends of which are fixed in a header. The upper ends are individually sealed and are free to move laterally, as shown in Figure 1. The Puron module is submerged in the mixed liquor. All solids and particulates remain on the outside of the fibres while permeate flows in an outside-in pattern by means of a vacuum that evacuates permeate through the inside of the hol low fibre.

step prior to the RO, and the system has been operating successfully since 2005. Another example is an Australian maltproducing company that sought to reduce its use of fresh wat er by recyc ling its wastewater. Puron MBR technology was selected as t he pretreatment step for the RO system, since it pro.vided the best quality water to feed t he RO while

Figure 2. PURON® UF Module for MBR. Puron MBR has been used successfully as the pretreatment st ep for a number of challenging industrial wastewat er systems. For example, a Belgian firm that manufactures chemicals for film processing and printing uses large amounts of fresh water for cleaning and production. The fi rm began reusing its wastewater to reduce its fresh wat er

The free moving fibres, combined with central air scour aeration, ensure stable fi ltration duri ng plant operation, long membrane life, and lower operating costs due to red uced need for energy, cleaning and maintenance.

minimising overall operating costs. The MegaM agnum® RO system recovers the MBR effluent as product water for reuse. The system has been runni ng since 2006. In fact , the RO permeate q uality is equal to or better than the local potable wat er supply. For more information, visit



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