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Volume 42 No 2 APRIL 2015


RRP $18.95


INSIDE THIS ISSUE: > Innovative Technology > Climate Change > Financing Infrastructure > Water Treatment > Stormwater Management > Integrated Water Cycle Management > Water In Mining > Desalination > Disinfection





Contents regular features From the AWA President

The Water Cycle Keeps Turning Graham Dooley


From the AWA Chief Executive


A Regulators’ Forum To Discuss Harmonisation Jonathan McKeown


My Point of View

Water Innovation: Into The Future Dr Tim Muster


Postcard 12 Industry News


Young Water Professionals


AWA News


AWA International News

32 148

interview 10 Questions: John Radinoff, Flovac

John shares his thoughts on two recent AWA overseas delegations


conference report

AWA Water Innovation Forum Report By Jerome Moulin

50 54

volume 42 no 2


The SA Climate Ready Project

64 70

Opportunity Or Bust?

Infrastructure Financing In The Water Industry Peter Hillis & Jason Fonti


A Review Of Funding Options For Irrigation Infrastructure Benefits Of Introducing Private Funding To The Irrigation Sector Geoff Croke


South Australian Water Passes The Tap Test

A Survey Comparing Four Different Water Supplies To Bottled Water Kely Newton et al.

UGL’s Upgrade To South East Water’s Boneo STP

technical papers

• General Feature Articles, Industry News, Opinion Pieces & Media Releases: Anne Lawton, Managing Editor, email: G  eneral Feature Submission Guidelines General Features should be 1,500–2,000 words and accompanied by relevant graphics, tables and images. For more details please email:

ADVERTISING Advertisements are included as an information service to readers and are reviewed before publication to ensure relevance to the water sector and the objectives of AWA. PUBLISHER Australian Water Association (AWA) Publishing, Level 6, 655 Pacific Hwy, PO Box 222, St Leonards NSW 1590; Tel: +61 2 9436 0055 or 1300 361 426, Fax: +61 2 9436 0155, Email:, Web:


COPYRIGHT Water Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without the written permission of AWA. Email:


DISCLAIMER AWA assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of fact expressed by contributors or advertisers. Mention of particular brands, products or processes does not constitute an endorsement.

case study Budget No Barrier To Innovation

T  echnical Paper Submission Guidelines Technical Papers should be 3,000–4,000 words long and accompanied by relevant graphics, tables and images. For more detailed submission guidelines please email:

• Water Business & Product News: Kirsty Muir, Sales & Advertising Manager, email:

Reliable Water Availability Forecasts For Australia New Water Information Services From BoM Narendra Tuteja

EDITORIAL BOARD Frank R Bishop (Chair); Dr Andrew Bath, Water Corporation; Michael Chapman, GHD; Dr Dharma Dharmabalan, TasWater; Wilf Finn, Norton Rose Fulbright; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rtd); Ted Gardner (rtd); Antony Gibson, Orica Watercare; Dr David Halliwell, WaterRA; Sarah Herbert, Shelston IP; Dr Lionel Ho, AWQC, SA Water; Des Lord, National Water Commission; Dr Robbert van Oorschot, GHD; John Poon, CH2M Hill; David Power, BECA Consultants; Dr Ian Prosser, Bureau of Meteorology; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO; Rodney Stewart, Griffith School of Engineering; Diane Wiesner, Jamadite Consulting.

• Technical Papers & Technical Features: Chris Davis, Technical Editor, email: AND

Use Of Decanter Centrifuge For Sludge Dewatering

Report On A Recent Project By The Goyder Institute Mark Siebentritt et al.



State-Of-The-Art Technology In Flowmeter Verification

Reduction Of Total Cost Of Ownership Christian Dousset


EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Acceptance of editorial submissions is at the discretion of the Editors and Editorial Board.

MIEX Gold Resin: Demonstration At Aireys Inlet

The Latest Generation Of Flowmeters For The Water Industry Gernot Engstler, Martin Nolte & Whitney Liu



Towards Resource Recovery

A Case Study And Technology Overview Antony Gibson & Sasa Golubovic

CREATIVE DIRECTOR – Mike Wallace Email:

PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: February, April, May, June, August, September, November and December. Please email for a copy of our 2015 Editorial Calendar.

Building On A Legacy Of Innovative Engineering

A New Way To ‘Make Poop Pay’ John Andrews & Daniel Gapes

MANAGING EDITOR – Anne Lawton Tel: 02 9467 8434 Email:


feature articles

The Mundaring Water Treatment Plant Mark Shaw

ISSN 0310-0367

TECHNICAL EDITOR – Chris Davis Email:

CrossCurrent 8

Water Business

water journal


APRIL 2015 water


From the President

THE WATER CYCLE KEEPS TURNING Graham dooley – aWa president Just as life is composed of cycles, so too is the business of water. The annual cycle of our Australian water industry reaches its pinnacle at Ozwater in May each year. Ozwater has grown considerably since its inception and now comprises three significant simultaneous events, each inter-woven with, and dependent on, the other: • The Conference, with its keynotes, refereed papers and awards, which enables the excellent work that is being done in the Australian water industry to be presented, appraised, critiqued and endorsed. • The Exhibition, with its embedded B2B environment, where companies and organisations that wish to show, tell and sell their products have the perfect platform from which to do so. • The Workshop and Seminar stream, in which key topics are presented, discussed, debated and appraised in the company of the most senior and experienced professionals our industry can muster. There is also, of course, the informal program of networking, dining, ceremonies and fellowship. As I step down after my two-year cycle as AWA President, I am grateful for the honour and support that has been accorded me by the dedicated Board Directors, Branch Presidents, myriad volunteers and hard-working staff. In the 45 years of my career, this role has been a highlight. I have greatly enjoyed working with AWA CEO, Jonathan McKeown, who brings boundless energy, skills and enthusiasm to the organisation. AWA has moved into a new era; we are strengthening the things we do well and expanding our horizons to deliver better value in the future to both our individual and corporate members. Much has been achieved and more is yet to be rolled out.

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There are two things I would like to have done during my term that I have been unable to do: • Create a greater unification among our dozen or so water industry associations. I am firmly of the view that a single unified industry umbrella with a dozen, largely self-governing topic-based or regional groups within it would deliver a better outcome for all members. Perhaps in times to come the forces of coming together will outweigh the forces of being separate. • I can’t help feeling that our natural Australian ‘nous’ will be constrained by the ever-tightening public sector budgets, irrespective of political colour. Our industry would benefit hugely from creating its own funding stream and ‘cleverness’ management regime to focus our impressively smart people and institutions on what our industry and nation can benefit from. Agriculture did this in the 1980s and I think we should do likewise. Perhaps this is a job for my retirement! Meanwhile, I’ll continue to promote the sensible and controlled introduction of large-scale investment capital into water. My career in both public and private sectors, in multiple jurisdictions and every facet of the Australian water industry, convinces me that every AWA member, and indeed every water customer, will be better served if the beneficial commercial forces in every other industry that used to be part of Government – banks, airlines, insurance, infrastructure – are also applied to the water industry. It has occurred with great success in the rural water sector, a fact that remains largely unpublicised. It needs to occur in urban water. To conclude, best wishes to incoming President Peter Moore and the newly elected Board, on which I will serve for one more year. Thank you to everyone for your friendship, fellowship and support.

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From the CeO

A REGULATORS’ FORUM TO DISCUSS HARMONISATION Jonathan mcKeown – aWa Chief executive This issue of Water Journal is our ‘bumper’ edition that will be distributed at Ozwater ’15 in Adelaide 12–14 May. This year’s event promises to be both stimulating and productive as it attracts the largest gathering of the water sector for three days of powerful networking. Inside this issue, among the myriad articles, are two stories on infrastructure financing: one written from the point of view of the urban sector; the other from the rural sector. This follows several articles in the February issue on private sector investment in the water industry. There certainly seems to be an appetite for private investment in the water sector; however, there are many regulatory barriers in place that limit further investment. The future role of private investment in water has generated much debate over the past year. AWA made it the topic of discussion at the Water Leaders Forum in Brisbane, and WSAA discussed the subject in its workshop at Ozwater last year, subsequently releasing the Frontier Economics Paper on improving economic regulation in the urban water sector. The matter was also a key focus at the AWA National Water Policy Summit in October. To further debate on this reform journey AWA is partnering with law firm Minter Ellison to develop a Discussion Paper on the key inconsistencies between the state and territory jurisdictions under the existing regulatory frameworks, and how these impact on investment. The Paper will consider economic, environmental and health regulation in both the urban and rural contexts, and present key recommendations for regulatory change for discussion by our members and stakeholders. An initial opportunity for engagement on the Paper will be at the inaugural Water Regulators’ Forum at Ozwater’15 (attendance to the Forum is free with Ozwater registration). Participants will receive an advance copy of the Paper to enable them to participate in an interactive discussion with a panel of regulatory experts, including: Cathryn Ross, Chief Executive, Ofwat (UK); Ron

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Ben David, Chairperson, Essential Services Commission (VIC); David Cunliffe, Principal Water Quality Adviser, SA Health (SA); Heath Chester, Manager, Water Regulation, ACT Government; and Katrina Groshinski, Partner, Minter Ellison. At the March meeting of the AWA Strategic Advisory Council, there was strong support for AWA to increase its work in the advocacy space. By partnering with credible expert advisory firms AWA will be able to present more evidence-based advocacy campaigns. AWA is also working with law firm Norton Rose Fulbright on a Discussion Paper about the differences in regulation of the coal seam gas (CSG) and water sectors in New South Wales and Queensland. This Paper is due for publication in June and will be presented to industry and relevant state governments. As stated in my foreword in the Water and CSG supplement that accompanies this edition, AWA does not see its role as an advocate for one industry over another, nor is it our position to justify a particular water usage in the CSG debate. Rather, as the national peak water organisation AWA is keen to present evidence-based information on the impact of CSG activity on Australia’s water resources, untainted by emotion or vested interest. With competing demand for water an ongoing challenge in Australia, it is important that we continue to have active dialogue on water issues across all industry sectors. This was a key achievement at our recent Water Innovation Forum, which assembled utilities, agribusiness, food and beverage manufacturing, and construction industries to discuss the latest water innovations. The event attracted over 300 participants and has been widely acclaimed, with exhibitors and delegates reporting practical outcomes, business introductions and commercial leads (see page 38 for a full report). Congratulations to AWA’s Innovation Advisory Group and all AWA staff for their collaborative effort in delivering a world-class conference program and exhibition.

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My Point of View

WATER INNOVATION: INTO THE FUTURE dr tim muster – senior research scientist, CsIro Dr Tim Muster is part of the Cities Program in CSIRO Land &Water Flagship. Tim most recently led CSIRO Urban Water Technologies, overseeing projects in the fields of Intelligent Water Networks and Advanced Wastewater Treatment. In 2007, Tim was the recipient of CSIRO Young Scientist John Philip Award and more recently was the recipient of a CSIRO Julius Career Award for nutrient recovery from wastewater. He leads research focused on the effective management of urban and food production waste streams for the productive recovery of water, energy and nutrients. As a research organisation with a core focus on providing national benefit, CSIRO looks to innovation to return long-term efficiencies, productivity and sustainability to all Australians. In scoping the innovation space, CSIRO invests considerable time and effort into understanding global megatrends and disseminating their likely impact on Australia.

• Great Expectations: Social expectations for individualised service and experience. The water industry is familiar with the concept of more from less, from experiences such as the strains on water demands, establishment of water licensing, through to dealing with the provision of water throughout the millennium drought via recycling schemes and desalination. These pressures will not cease and continued innovation is necessary to ensure that water sourcing takes into account climatic variations, population increase, urbanisation of catchment areas and changing

The major global trends identified through the work led by Hajkowicz et al. (2012) are: • More From Less: The earth has limited supplies of water, energy, food and mineral resources; • Going, Going... Gone? There is increased pressure on maintaining biodiversity; • The Silk Highway: Continued economic and social growth in Asia, South America and Africa; • Forever Young: Dealing with an ageing population; • Virtually Here: Increased connectivity of businesses/communities through data and service;

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Major global megatrends that have been identified by the CSIRO.


My Point of View of water depending on the seasons. Innovations in sourcing, storage, dealing with increasing variable climatic impacts, and balancing between environmental and human needs will all be needed to provide answers for these competing demands.

Community Expectations An ageing population will push developments in health, and the close relationship between the water industry and health will strengthen requirements to ensure water delivery is safe and high quality, along with increased challenges with treating wastewater containing pharmaceuticals (antimicrobials, antibiotics, steroids etc).

demographics (ageing, more affluence = less water collected, more households with less people = less efficient, greening of urban environments). Where innovation is still needed is in solutions around storage of water, cost-effective supply and water cycling. More from less also means that water needs to increasingly interact with other market segments, for example, energy, agriculture and mining. Water can be energy-intensive to produce (for example, through desalination) and to pump. Considerations around the implementation of green spaces within cities can have significant impact on heating and cooling energy demands, but potentially place strains on existing water supplies unless carefully managed. Water can also produce energy via wastewater utilisation. Wastewater is also a resource for critical nutrients such as phosphorus, which are required to ensure effective agriculture and food supply. Much innovation will stem from improving and further developing these cross-sector needs, in particular via energy-efficient treatments such as energy-efficient membranes and separation technologies, new ‘nano’-materials, nutrient removal and recovery.

Water’s Role In Biodiversity While biodiversity immediately brings to mind the fate of our native animals and plants, and impacts on the natural ecosystem, water naturally plays a role in biodiversity and we are increasingly viewing our urban environments as ecosystems – be it impacted ecosystems. Biodiversity can be influenced by both the quantity and quality of water and through the management of a variety of water sources including surface water, groundwater, stormwater and wastewater. Increased understanding of the interaction between water and biodiversity will influence and aid innovation in both rural (i.e. river basins) and urban (i.e. water-sensitive urban design) settings. The way that Australia interacts with modern Asia will have significant impacts on water demands. For instance, increased activity in the oil and gas, mining and agricultural sectors to supply energy, minerals and food to Asia, views to develop Northern Australia and associated changes in land-use and population all have influences on, and are influenced by, the availability of water. The impact of water is not just on the availability of water for these industries, but also to aid the new and expanding urban centres that will be required to enable the growth of these industries. This will be particularly important in the development of the north of Australia where there are issues around excess or lack

Changes in the dynamics of Australia’s population also create the potential impact of societal changes on the water industry. This leads into the concept of increasing expectations from the community for the services provided. These are mostly likely to come via a greater emphasis on customer relationships. For instance, the introduction of smart water meters enables benefits to be obtained for both the water utility and customer. The utility saves on labour costs for meter reading and can also offer efficiency returns through optimised operation of the supply and reticulation system, while customers can avoid bill-shock via the rapid detection of leaks and other high-use issues within a residence. Another example of greater community expectations might be the desire for individual customers to pay for on-line water quality monitoring to ensure that safe or ‘pleasing’ water is being delivered. This would be somewhat an extension from bottled water or home filtration units, but would enable innovation in the water quality monitoring space. Price expectations will always vary between being willing to pay $8,000/kL for bottled water at commercial rates versus the expectation that safe potable water from the tap is seen as a basic human right. There is continued science in the way that society interacts with water, and this will enable a greater number of innovative ways in which the industry can respond to water shortage and management issues. Social expectations will also likely scrutinise the high capital cost of water distribution systems and wastewater treatment – particularly as the water industry moves towards greater security in supply along with the costs involved. This will quite likely drive new innovations in the industry to run capital more efficiently (i.e. improved monitoring systems to ensure that water pipes replacement and maintenance is done in a cost-effective manner) and a greater understanding of the full life cycle costs. While there may be debate on the importance or reality of some of the predictions we’ve given, there is one trend that is guaranteed to continue... there will be a greater number of options for water sourcing, treatment and supply into the future. The ability of the industry to adopt innovations and achieve the desired efficiency gains is dependent on a combined effort between researchers, investors (both Government and private), suppliers and end-users. The inability of any one of these parties to commit resources will decrease Australia’s effectiveness in responding to existing and future water challenges. Dr Muster would like to acknowledge the assistance of Dr Simon Toze, Research Director of the Liveable, Sustainable and Resilient Cities Program in the CSIRO Land & Water Flagship, for his contribution to, and critique of, this article.

reference Hajkowicz SA, Cook H & Littleboy A (2012): Our Future World: Global Megatrends That Will Change The Way We Live. The 2012 Revision. CSIRO Australia.

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International Australia’s Foreign Minister of Australia, the Hon. Ms Julie Bishop, has given a strong signal that water, sanitation and hygiene remain key elements of the Government’s aid and development agenda. In a recent speech delivered to a parliamentary event marking WaterAid Australia’s 10th anniversary, Ms Bishop underlined access to safe, clean water, adequate sanitation and hygiene as critical to the Government’s efforts in addressing the needs of women and girls, particularly in the Pacific region.

Valoriza Agua, the water arm of Spanish construction group Sacyr, has appointed Australian desalination veteran Gary Crisp as its US water business development director. The company is looking to invest up to $150 million over the next five years as it seeks to build an organic water business from scratch in the United States.

Global demand for fresh water is set to outstrip supply as a result of population growth by the middle of this century if current levels of consumption continue, a study has claimed. The paper, published in the journal WIREs Water, analysed historical information on water consumption and demographics with the help of mathematical models to chart changes over time. The world’s population is expected to hit 9.6 billion by 2050 from more than the current seven billion, according to UN estimates.

National Climate change is making drought conditions in southwest and southeast Australia worse, with serious consequences for the nation’s water supplies and agriculture, a new Climate Council report reveals. The Thirsty Country: Climate Change and Drought in Australia report found climate change was driving an increase in the intensity and frequency of extremely hot days, prompting an increase in the severity of droughts. “Climate change is a major factor in the recent rainfall decline in southeast Australia,” report author Professor Will Steffen says.

The NCGRT and the International Association of Hydrogeologists are joining forces to deliver the Australian Groundwater Conference in Canberra on 3–5 November 2015. The conference will welcome a range of groundwater researchers, industry professionals and policy development specialists.

The Australian Government has released the Interim Report of the National Review of Environmental Regulation, as part of its commitment to undertake an audit of all environmental legislation and regulation at both State and Federal level. The report has been developed in conjunction with states and territories and is a snapshot of the substantial environmental regulatory reform efforts being undertaken across Australia. If you are interested in regulatory reform, sign up for the first Australian Water Regulators Forum at Ozwater’15:

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner and the Australian Energy Regulator have jointly published the 10th paper in the ACCC/AER Working Paper Series. Titled ‘International Insights for the Better Economic Regulation of Infrastructure’, the paper is based on a major study of seven key infrastructure areas (energy, telecommunications, postal services, water and wastewater, rail, airports and ports) across 17 countries.

The Government has announced a plan to bring forward legislation to cap buybacks to 1500 gigalitres, as part of the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, as promised by the Prime Minister in November 2012. Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said a legislated cap would deliver another election promise and provide additional security to farmers and irrigators throughout the Murray-Darling Basin. The National Irrigators’ Council welcomed the renewed commitment by the Government to legislate the cap, while the National Farmers’ Federation said that legislating the cap on water buybacks under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to 1500 gigalitres (GL) is of utmost importance to irrigation communities.

Senator Xenophon recently proposed a motion to establish a Senate inquiry into stormwater management in Australia, which was agreed. In coming months the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee will examine the issue of this important under-utilised resource. If you would like to assist with AWA’s submission to the Committee, please email Antonia Curcio at

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, has welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s appointment of Mr Philip Davies as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mr Truss said Mr Davies is an ideal fit for the role, bringing to the position a strong record of achievement and a wealth of experience both in Australia and overseas.

ABARES Senior Economist, Brian Moir, speaking recently as part of a panel discussion on horticulture innovation, said the industry needs to continue its focus on developing new products and new markets. The panel, chaired by David Moore from Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, also included Andrew Harty from Citrus Australia.

South Australia Legislation to establish an independent inquiry into South Australia’s water prices has passed the Upper House of State Parliament. The Liberal Party promised to establish an independent inquiry into the price of water in South Australia after the former head of ESCOSA, Paul Kerin, made allegations of price gouging by the Weatherill Government. The latest CPI data confirms that over the past 12 years, water prices have risen by 236%, despite inflation only being 41% during this time. 

Huge economic benefits along the River Murray are being realised thanks to the $240 million South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program – Irrigation Industry Improvement Program.

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CrossCurrent Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said Round One of the program has created hundreds of jobs across the region. Successful projects under Round Two will be announced towards the middle of 2015. The program is being delivered in conjunction with $25 million for regional economic development as part of the $265 million SARMS program, an Australian Government funding initiative. For more information please go to

capture lost energy and convert it into renewable green electricity. Unitywater Manager Technologies, Barry Holcroft, said the project is expected to commence generating electricity from May 2015 and is forecast to produce about 1.7GWh of energy a year.


An SA Water trial project is helping major metropolitan and regional business customers achieve significant savings. As part of the pilot project, a data logger is attached to the customer’s water meter and securely sends water usage information to a business’s individual online portal. Water and the SA River Murray Minister, Ian Hunter, said the portal uses the raw data to generate reports on water use trends and easy to understand graphs. “This information can help customers identify potential leaks or other faults in their water network, as well as periods of high water use,” he said.

Details have been announced of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s $1.5 million Water for Profit Program. This initiative aims to help Tasmanian farmers reap the full benefits of expanding irrigation schemes by making the most of the best agricultural research and development available. Confirmation of a combined $115 million investment from the Federal and State Liberal Governments and farmers to progress five-second tranche irrigation schemes has made it a significant year for Tasmanian agriculture, with irrigation transforming the landscape creating jobs and supporting regional communities.


New South Wales

Yarra Valley Water has been named winner of a national award for an innovative project in partnership with IBM, which has improved services to customers. Yarra Valley Water took out the Smart Infrastructure Project Award for its IBM Maximo Asset Management Project and SPSS Analytics Pilot.

IPART is conducting an end-of-term review of Sydney Water¹s operating licence. The primary purpose of the review is to determine whether the operating licence is fulfilling its objectives and to recommend to the Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water the terms and conditions of Sydney Water’s new operating licence. The new licence will take effect from 1 July 2015. The Public Forum is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide comment on the draft operating licence and reporting manual.

Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, has recognised World Water Day by announcing the recipients of the 2015 Healthy Waterways Community Grants, worth a total of $633,500, to 160 community groups across Melbourne. The grants support not-for-profit environmental community groups to complete works along rivers and creeks and raise awareness of the importance of healthy waterways. The community grants, administered by Melbourne Water, embody this year’s World Water Day theme, ‘Water and Sustainable Development’, which encourages thinking about the varied role water plays in our lives and how it can be managed in the future.

Queensland Mackay Regional Council, in partnership with a local software company, has developed a new website designed to help its consumers reduce their water consumption. At, property owners can view their daily water consumption, find out how much it will cost them, and set up email and SMS alerts to warn them of leaks and high consumption within days of occurring. The site uses data generated through council’s Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI). The website is PC, tablet and smartphone accessible.

Homes on the Sunshine Coast could be powered by water in the near future if a new Australian-first hydroelectric turbine project proves successful. Unitywater is working with Nextera Energy to install two micro hydro electric generators that have been developed by Nextera Energy into the water network to

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Drought-affected farmers in New South Wales can now apply for low-interest loans through the Australian Government’s Drought Recovery Concessional Loans Scheme. Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said $50 million in loan funding is available to farm businesses impacted by unprecedented drought conditions to begin rebuilding when the season breaks.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government made a pre-election promise to deliver a $117 million boost to finally secure the future of Broken Hill’s short- and long-term water supply. NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant said this once-in-a-lifetime investment into Broken Hill’s water supply would deliver a permanent, sustainable solution and help drought-proof the region.

Hunter Water will invest $15 million upgrading Dungog Waste Water Treatment Works in preparation for a forecasted 485 new homes to be built in the region over the next 25 years. Built in 1938, the Dungog Plant was managed by Dungog Shire Council until Hunter Water took ownership in 2008. The Plant has not been upgraded since construction, making it one of Australia’s oldest working treatment plants.

Two multi-million dollar long-term research projects on the Murray-Darling Basin have been awarded to the University of New England. The projects will look into the impact of environmental water on wetlands and the river system in the north of the basin,

including the Gwydir Wetlands in northeast New South Wales. Co-leader of the team assigned to the project, Associate Professor Darren Ryder, said the research would be important, as it will be able to take place over a long period.

Western Australia The WA Government has given the go-ahead to draft the Water Resources Management Bill. WA Water Minister, Mia Davies, said the new legislation would deliver the most significant change to the state’s water management framework in more than 100 years, replacing six Acts with one. “We are progressing with our water reform agenda and modernising legislation governing the management of, and access to, the state’s valuable surface and groundwater resources,” Ms Davies said.

New partnership programs between the dairy industry, the WA Government and community organisation Geographe Catchment Council (GeoCatch) will help improve the Vasse Geographe waterways by targeting nutrient loading in the catchment. WA Water Minister, Mia Davies, said the projects were an example of the Government working to implement the Vasse Geographe strategy. “There are more than 40 dairy farms in operation in the Geographe catchment and they are a valued source of our high-quality fresh milk, generate jobs and contribute millions of dollars to the local economy.”

Member News Dr Amit Chanan, State Water Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, is leaving to take on a new executive leadership role with the City of Sydney. Dr Chanan will be taking on the role of Director City Projects & Property, leading the delivery of City of Sydney’s capital works program, including several initiatives under the City’s Water Master Plan. Since the Government announcement of Water NSW last year, Dr Chanan has been leading the merger and transformation of SCA and State Water into Water NSW, which commenced operation on 1 January 2015.

Roger O’Halloran and Melissa Toifl have joined Swinburne University’s recently formed Environmental Research Group in Melbourne. The Group has been formed under Professor Enzo Palombo to provide expertise in delivering water, wastewater and environmental research and solutions, online monitoring and sensor technologies/sensor development, field and laboratory analysis, end use monitoring studies, wastewater and environmental microbiological/contamination studies. For more information please contact or

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Water and wastewater treatment expert, Hydroflux, has been appointed as the exclusive ANZ agent for the AIRPREX® Sludge Optimisation Process, which removes phosphates from BNR plants and produces a sellable struvite product. Visit the Hydroflux website or contact 1300 417 697 for more information.

© Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 ABN 11 005 357 522. Please contact the ANZ person specified above for further information. ANZ’s colour blue is a trade mark of ANZ. Item No. 90984B 03.2015 W433365



POSTCARD FROM VIETNAM From Grace Tjandraatmadja, Engineers Without Borders Greetings from Vietnam! I recently arrived in Vietnam as a volunteer working with Engineers Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity, on a project to develop housing support services and market-based approaches that will expand the affordable housing sector, incorporating access to water, sanitation and climate-resilient shelter, and reach more people in need. Vietnam often evokes images of rice paddies in the Mekong delta and idyllic Halong Bay scenery. But Vietnam is also the source of much of the clothing sold in major fashion chain stores overseas, a major agricultural exporter and the second largest coffee producer in the world (yes, that instant coffee you have in the office might be coming from here!). It has also been a large international aid recipient since the war. In just over 20 years, Vietnam has undertaken economic and societal changes that may typically take 50–100 years to occur in developed nations. The poverty rate has decreased from 60 to 20.7 per cent of the population1 – however, this percentage still equates to 19 million people, almost the population of Australia. While economic and industrial growth has been encouraging, wealth gains have been inequitable and the country faces significant challenges in many sectors. Seventy-four per cent of the 92 million people live in rural areas, where only 48 per cent have access to clean water, compared to 85 per cent access in urban areas2. The result is a complex and quite unique environment – a communist political system promoting an open market economy, rapidly growing industry and urban sectors in a mostly agrarian community (74 per cent rural population), a society of merging traditional and emerging values, and a host of challenges associated with rapid development. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) is a perfect example of the country’s ongoing transformation and challenges. The business and finance centre of Vietnam, it is a city of nine million people, the largest in the country and at the forefront of embracing the open market economy. Complex, multifaceted and dynamic, it is a mesh of eastern and western values and full of surprises. Consisting of multiple quarters, or districts, with their own characteristics, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking you are in multiple cities. It is a city of contrasts, one that fits many budgets and lifestyles. You can live and spend as if you were in a major city in Australia, by eating in trendy cafes and restaurants and being oblivious to other realities, or spend little and experience the true Asia by living on street food, paying just under a dollar for a BanhMi, the Vietnamese sandwich. On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, I was immediately greeted by 30°C heat and humidity, and the noises (buzzing and honking) and smells of the traffic (maybe nine million motorbikes?). This will be my home for the next 12 months. To paraphrase Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Oz anymore”.

Grace Tjandraatmadja is an Australian Chemical Engineer who has worked in the water industry for 15 years. Grace is now working as a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders and its partner organisation Habitat for Humanity Vietnam, both not-for-profit organisations. Look out for updates from Grace in future editions of Water Journal as the project in Vietnam unfolds. Engineers Without Borders promotes humanitarian engineering to create systemic change and allow everyone to have access to the engineering knowledge and resources required to lead a life of opportunity free from poverty (see 1

World Bank 2013, Poverty Reduction in Vietnam: Remarkable Progress, Emerging Challenges, January 24, 2013, feature/2013/01/24/poverty-reduction-in-vietnam-remarkable-progress-emerging-challenges


2004 data in the General Statistics Office of Vietnam – Living Standards Survey 2004.


Habitat for Humanity promotes “a place where everyone has a decent place to live” and focuses on the provision of affordable housing to low-income families and communities in Vietnam and around the world to help them escape the cycle of poverty. In Vietnam, Habitat supports disadvantaged families and communities in rural and peri-urban areas through microfinance, construction, WASH and disaster recovery and resilience services ( AWA and the EWB have partnered to bring you running insights from EWB Volunteers and AWA members in SE Asia. If you would like to provide a Postcard of your travels please contact Paul Smith, AWA’s Export and Market Access Manager at or +61 2 9467 8403.

AWA WATER PROGRAM IN VIETNAM AWA is commencing a water program in Vietnam focusing on strengthening financial and investment structures of Vietnam’s water sector, supporting trade and business development between Vietnam and Australian water sectors, and improving service delivery and utility capacity in the provision of drinking water. The three longer-term expected benefits are: • To raise the profile of the Australian water sector’s skills and capabilities in Vietnam and provide a platform for trade and business development between the water sectors of Australia and Vietnam. • To provide opportunities to Australian SMEs, individuals and large corporations to gain valuable experience and new business opportunities in this fast emerging market. • To improve service delivery and strengthen the financial and investment structures of Vietnam’s water sector to enable it to obtain more direct investment and/or private sector involvement. If you or your organisation are interested in getting involved in twinning or exchange placements in Vietnam, please contact Paul Smith, AWA’s Export and Market Access Manager at or +61 2 9467 8403.


Industry News



Coral trout in protected ‘green zones’ are not only bigger and more abundant than those in fished ‘blue zones’ of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, they are also better able to cope with cyclone damage, according to a long-term study published recently in Current Biology.

Bright young minds across Australia and New Zealand are working together to develop new solutions to some of the most complex challenges facing cities. Smart Seeds is an annual innovation competition for young professionals focused on solving challenges in the infrastructure industry.

Coral trout biomass has more than doubled since the 1980s in the green zones with most of the growth occurring since the 2004 rezoning. These and other changes identified by the study show that the green zones are contributing to the health of the Great Barrier Reef and that similar approaches may be beneficial for coral reefs around the world. The joint project between the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University combined a vast amount of information from underwater surveys carried out from 1983–2012 on reefs spread across approximately 150,000km2 (more than 40 per cent) of the Marine Park.

Led by one of the world’s leading engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services companies, GHD, Smart Seeds has grown from its Melbourne roots to include young professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. The competition draws together participants from a variety of private and public organisations across the water, energy and resources, transportation, property and building, and environment sectors. Supported by Engineers Australia, Bentley Systems and Innovation Interchange, Smart Seeds 2015 events are getting underway in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and New Zealand with regional supporters including Lend Lease, City of Melbourne, Metropolitan Planning Authority, Office of the Victorian Government Architect and Transport for NSW.

The Marine Park was rezoned in 2004, and marine reserves where fishing is prohibited (called ‘green zones’ because of their colour on the zoning maps), were expanded to cover about one-third of the total Park area. These zones previously made up less than five per cent of the Park.

Smart Seeds participants work in teams mentored by industry leaders to develop ideas to real-life infrastructure challenges, particularly around the topics of sustainability and liveability. The teams then present their concepts to an audience of industry representatives and a panel of judges at a showcase event in each participating region.

The study demonstrated that the Reef’s network of green zones is yielding wide-scale population increases for coral trout, the primary target species of both the commercial and recreational sectors of the hook-line fishery. It also found that reefs in green zones supported higher numbers of large, reproductively mature coral trout, even after being damaged by cyclones such as tropical cyclone Hamish, which hit the reef in 2009.  

Jeremy Stone, Group Manager Innovation at GHD, says, “Participants can look forward to learning new innovation skills that they can use to influence positive change in their workplaces. Skills like creative idea generation techniques, idea assessment, and pitching ideas to win support and progress to delivery. Supporters and audiences eagerly await fresh ideas to solve some of our trickiest infrastructure challenges.”

The findings provide compelling evidence that effective protection within green zone networks can play a critical role in conserving marine biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of targeted fish populations.

Past winning ideas include a proposal for a floating, rotating bridge to improve pedestrian connectivity in Melbourne’s Victoria Harbour and a concept for temporary ‘pop up’ shops, galleries and meeting places to breathe life into disused and vacant urban sites.

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Industry News

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC NAMES CHRIS LEONG AS CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Chris Leong has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer and member of the Executive Committee of Schneider Electric. She replaces Chris Hummel who will pursue his career outside the company. As Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Leong will be responsible for the company’s brand and marketing strategy to make Schneider Electric a best-in-class company in customer engagement. “It is with great pleasure that we name Chris Leong as Chief Marketing Officer of Schneider Electric. Chris will bring her strong experience in the development of global brands combined with her passion for delivering great customer experience to accelerate our growth ambitions,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO of Schneider Electric. Chris has a 30-year career in sales, marketing and general management roles. She joined Schneider Electric in January 2012 as Senior Vice-President in charge of Schneider Electric’s Partner Excellence Project before taking the lead of Asia-Pacific Lifespace Business in July 2012. Since 2013, she was in charge of the Digital Customer Experience Division, driving Schneider Electric’s customer experience transformation, leveraging digitisation to support business growth, customer intimacy and enterprise efficiency.


“Googong will ultimately include 5,500 to 6,200 residences, as well as supporting educational, commercial and recreational facilities. The WRP is sited at the edge of the township and will be delivered in three stages of 3,600 EP, 9,400 EP, and 18,850 EP respectively,” said Steve.

Work on Googong’s $25M Water Recycling Plant (WRP) near the ACT has now progressed 35 per cent. John Holland was awarded the contract to design, supply, install and commission the first stage of the WRP on behalf of Googong Township, which is a joint venture between CIC Australia Limited and Mirvac.

“We have been engaged to design, construct, commission and hand over the first stage of the WRP, which includes preliminary treatment (screening and grit removal), membrane bioreactor (MBR), tertiary phosphorus removal, UV light and chlorine disinfection, and management of off-specification and wet weather flows in an off-spec water tank and emergency discharge tank respectively.”

The WRP is a central part of the Integrated Water Cycle, which will collect and treat the town’s wastewater to reuse standard, reduce potable water consumption by about 62 per cent and see well over half the township’s wastewater recycled. Project Manager, Steve Merange, said water recycling to reuse standard was new to the region, with nothing else near the same standard in the area.

“Various elements of the plant have been designed to accommodate 4,700 EP, or a quarter of the plant’s ultimate capacity, while for practical reasons other elements of the plant will be delivered to meet the requirements of the plant’s ultimate design, such as chemical dosing and buildings. The plant will have a capacity to treat 1 MLD of average dry weather flow and 6 MLD of peak wet weather flow, with a future ultimate capacity of 4 MLD. “The MBR is a core process and will comprise one bioreactor and two membrane trains to reduce the influent ammonia, suspended solids, total nitrogen and total phosphorus to meet environmental discharge limits, as well as provide pathogen reduction barrier for the production of recycled water.” To date, concrete structures are well progressed with more than 1,500 cubic metres of concrete placed. All major procurement activities are complete with pipe laying, building works, process equipment installation and electrical, instrumentation and controls works commencing on site. The Googong WRP will be handed over for Queanbeyan City Council to operate from January 2016. For more information please go to

APRIL 2015 water


Industry News

RWL WATER ANNOUNCES DESALINATION STUDY AGREEMENT WITH EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT RWL Water & Orascom Construction Limited (OCL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, with the Egyptian Government to proceed with a feasibility study for building, financing and operating the first large desalination plant in Egypt for the supply of potable water. The project will include the development of an 80,000m3/d plant with a possibility to increase its capacity in the future. The Egyptian Government and RWL Water/OCL intend to enter into a water supply agreement after finalisation of the study. The MoU was signed and announced during the Global Egypt Economic Development Conference at Sham-El-Sheikh in March 2015. More than 80 world leaders and 2,000 representatives attended the conference from all major international companies. “This agreement showcases RWL Water as a global leader in water desalination and Orascom Construction’s commitment to working closely with the Egyptian government to solve Egypt’s water scarcity challenges in the private sector for industrial investments,” said Karim Nasr, RWL Water’s Managing Director in the Middle East. “We take our commitment to providing water solutions seriously. As soon as the agreement was signed, our work began and a dedicated team will be on the ground to proceed with the execution within days.” “We are excited to join forces with Orascom on this important project for the necessary increase of potable water for Egypt, which will have a positive impact on the economic development of the country. The signing of this MoU is the first step towards RWL Water’s investment in this and similar projects in the MENA region,” said Henry J Charrabé, President & CEO of RWL Water.

DESALINATION SPECIALIST NEIL PALMER JOINS TONKIN CONSULTING Neil Palmer has joined one of South Australia’s oldest and most successful infrastructure and environmental consulting organisations, Tonkin Consulting. Neil is the CEO of the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia, a role he is now fulfilling in a part-time capacity. After four years in Western Australia, Neil has returned to Adelaide to take up the role of Principal Water Engineer in Tonkin Consulting’s head office. Neil brings four decades of water industry experience working for Government and private water utilities and regulators in the scope of international development and water research. He has been a Director of the International Desalination

water APRIL 2015

Association for eight years and was recently voted No 1 in Water and Wastewater International’s survey of 25 world water industry leaders. “I have long admired Tonkin Consulting as a South Australian firm with a great reputation for integrity and technical excellence. It is a privilege to be back in SA and I’ll be looking for new opportunities to help expand the business with a focus on new desalination and water treatment technologies and international opportunities in the Asia Pacific region,” he said. Tonkin Consulting is a 100 per cent staff-owned infrastructure and environmental consulting services organisation, which started as a one-man business in suburban Adelaide and is now celebrating 60 years of business.

CLEAN THERMAL ENERGY FOR CLEAN, FRESH WATER RMIT research into an alternative water desalination and irrigation system based on clean thermal energy will be boosted thanks to a $132,000 grant from the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science, Karen Andrews, announced the successful recipients of Round Eight of the fund at RMIT. Dr Abhijit Date was awarded the $132,000 grant for his research into a sustainable and economical freshwater management system that could be used in coastal areas of India and salt-affected farming land in Australia. The system uses a special thermal water pump developed at RMIT and the University of Pune, India, which is driven by low-temperature thermal energy rather than grid electricity. “There are many poor coastal communities in India where access to fresh water is an issue, but they cannot afford to use standard power-hungry desalination and irrigation systems,” Dr Date said. “The desal and irrigation system we are developing is both cheap to run and sustainable, producing no greenhouse emissions. “Not only could this system help many coastal communities, it could also enable saline groundwater to be turned into freshwater

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Industry News and used for agricultural irrigation – helping farmers in Australia and across the world.” The system runs on clean power sources, such as solar thermal, geothermal or waste heat, and generates both freshwater and water pumping power using thermal energy at temperatures below 100°C. Researchers have built a lab-scale prototype of the thermal water pump system, with early tests showing the system can produce 1000L of freshwater from 2000L of saline feedwater with a salt concentration between 5000–15,000 grams per cubic metres. The system works by boiling a refrigerant at constant temperature and using the pressurised refrigerant vapour to power a piston and pump water out. To suck water in, the vapour is cooled down, reducing the volume, pushing the piston in the opposite direction. “The success of this project will provide a much needed alternative system that can be manufactured in Australia and provide opportunity for industry development, employment creation and export,” Dr Date said. Dr Date is a Lecturer in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at RMIT.

ACQUA FOR LIFE AND GREEN CROSS PROVIDE AID IN ARGENTINA Acqua For Life together with Green Cross International provides millions of litres of safe water each year by building wells, rainwater harvesting systems, boreholes and water pumps. The first Acqua for Life initiative in Argentina will focus on the Chubut Province of Patagonia, a region stricken with poverty and a harsh climate. A 300-metre-deep water well will be built in a community near Gastre to secure the local water supply and irrigate a greenhouse facility growing fruits and vegetables all year round. During 2015 Green Cross will also use Acqua for Life contributions to support new infrastructure developments in Africa (Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal), China and elsewhere in Latin America (Bolivia and Mexico). The campaign has been brought to new countries in three continents since 2011. Green Cross and Acqua For Life ambassador Giorgio Armani will continue to raise awareness of water poverty in developed and water-rich countries throughout 2015, while carrying out onthe-ground projects to supply deprived communities with secure, safe and sustainable water. To help spread the word about the preciousness of clean, safe water, Acqua for Life 2015 is challenging key bloggers, media and online personalities to try to live on just 10 litres of water for one full day. In most countries, people use an average of 100 litres of water every day ­but in some parts of the world having just 10 litres is a luxury. This challenge will see a number of prominent people document their experience and educate their followers about water poverty and the importance of having reliable access to clean water. The #1DayOn10Liters Challenge kicked off on World Water Day, 22nd March 2015. The challengers’ experiences can be followed via the hashtags #1DayOn10liters #Helpgivewater #Acquaforlife and on the official website

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CITY OF SYDNEY’S ENERGY EFFICIENCY MASTER PLAN A new City of Sydney master plan for energy efficiency aims to show businesses and residents how to slash greenhouse pollution and save more than $600 million in energy bills by 2030. The Plan could make Sydney one of the world’s most energy-efficient cities and provide a major contribution to achieving the City’s goal of reducing carbon pollution 70 per cent below 2006 levels by 2030. The draft Energy Efficiency Master Plan includes a comprehensive analysis of all buildings in the City of Sydney area and shows how energy use in homes and offices could be reduced by more than 30 per cent. The analysis, conducted by energy experts pitt&sherry, shows how to improve the efficiency of buildings (including the City’s own properties), commercial office space, and residential blocks and accommodation. The action would slash nearly two million tonnes of carbon emissions a year city-wide by 2030, a 33 per cent reduction from 2006 levels and nearly half of the reduction the City is committed to in Sustainable Sydney 2030. The City will send the Plan to all other Australian capital cities so that they can use it as the basis for similar plans. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the time for action on climate change is now and while many governments are doing little, the City is already delivering and demonstrating significant action. “Cities make up two per cent of the earth’s surface but they account for 80 per cent of carbon emissions, so action in cities is essential. In the face of inaction from the Federal Government, we’re calling on other Australian cities to pick up our plan and help us get on with the job of tackling climate change. “By improving energy efficiency through the actions and technologies outlined in the plan our residential and business communities can also reduce costs. The research in the plan shows building owners and their tenants just how much can be saved on power bills by reducing energy use. This would save millions of dollars and improve economic growth while significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” The plan aligns with the NSW Government’s NSW Energy Efficiency Action Plan to improve energy productivity and remove the barriers preventing people from saving energy.


Industry News Proper installation is key to getting the best performance out of a mixer, Kristensen says. “These machines need careful positioning to work properly and achieve maximum effectiveness. A poorly installed mixer may use more energy than it should, and may not deliver the flow its buyers expect. In the worst-case scenario, an incorrectly installed machine could break down.” Design of the wastewater tank itself is also important. “Since the geometry of the tank works together with the equipment to create maximum effectiveness, a good tank layout is the first step towards effective mixing. We hope the handbook will help readers understand the total context of wastewater mixing, and to have a holistic view of how the tank and the equipment work together,” Kristensen says. “We congratulate the City of Sydney for its new master plan to increase environmental performance and economic productivity in Sydney,” NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes said. “It’s great to see the City of Sydney adopting the NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy. The NSW Government spends more than $500 million per year on energy, water and waste and our new policy has resulted in less time gathering data and more time on real environmental improvements.” There are already many countries around the world harnessing the benefits of energy efficiency. The European Union has set a target for all member states to improve energy efficiency by 20 per cent by 2020, with further energy efficiency improvements tipped at 80 per cent by 2050. The energy efficiency master plan has been prepared with input from government, the building sector, energy sector and community groups to provide the City with a detailed understanding of current energy performance.The plan forms part of the City’s suite of green infrastructure plans including renewable energy, advanced waste treatment and decentralised water. The draft plan will be on exhibition until May 4. It will be available for feedback and viewing at:

GRUNDFOS PRODUCES GUIDE TO WASTEWATER MIXING Design Recommendations for Mixing, a new 65-page handbook from Grundfos, provides a comprehensive guide to wastewater mixing, with tips on how to best design mixing in wastewater systems to maximise efficiency. “We believe this handbook is unique,” says Per Krøyer Kristensen of Grundfos, who helped compile the book. “We’ve seen literature that covers the technical side of mixing, such as hydraulics and rheology theory, and then other literature that covers application issues. This book does both.” The handbook’s approach makes it useful for technically minded consultants and engineers, as well as staff and service personnel at wastewater utilities. “Grundfos is all about moving liquids,” he says. “We have the hands-on experience of working with mixers, but we have also done a lot of technical research and development, using computer simulations. In general, we feel we have strong competencies when it comes to hydraulics.”

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During 2015, Grundfos is planning to offer its customers access to an eTraining platform relating to the handbook. The handbook can be obtained in paper form by contacting any regional Grundfos office. For a pdf version, contact

AURECON APPOINTS NEW DELIVERY CENTRE MANAGER Aurecon has appointed Louise Adams to lead its operations in Adelaide and Melbourne. In this Delivery Centre Manager role, she will run one of the company’s largest Delivery Centres in Australia. Louise is currently Country Manager in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), responsible for Aurecon’s operations in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. William Cox, Managing Director, ANZ, said, “I know that Louise will make an excellent leader for our Adelaide/Melbourne Delivery Centre. She is a talented engineer and project manager with a proven track record in effective leadership, often in challenging environments. She has had an impressive international career since she joined Aurecon in 2000.” Louise has led and managed a number of projects in the Middle East and has grown Aurecon’s business during some volatile, challenging times in the UAE market. During her career, Louise has undertaken project work in multiple countries, dealing with the associated cultural and commercial challenges – she has worked in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Iran, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Guyana, North America, Pakistan, Libya, Qatar and the UAE. She was appointed to the Aurecon Group Pty Limited (AGPL) Board in June 2013 in recognition of her impressive leadership and analytical capabilities. Louise said, “While I have greatly enjoyed my years in the UAE, I am excited to be moving back to Australia to such a fascinating and challenging role. The South Australian and Victorian markets offer many opportunities for Aurecon and I look forward to working with the entire team to continue to protect and grow our market share.”

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Industry News Louise is a Project Manager and Chartered Civil Engineer with experience managing and designing works in both civil and multi-disciplinary projects in land development, as well as technical advisory for project planning. She has a background in stormwater management and flood risk assessment and mitigation, and has undertaken work in both the public and private sector as part of emergency relief efforts.

AUSTRALIAN WATER AND WASTE MANAGEMENT BRANDS UNITE SITA Australia, Degrémont Australia and Process Group have announced that they will be coming together as one organisation and one single brand. French-based parent company, SUEZ environnement, has revealed its plans to consolidate its global presence by merging all water and waste activities under the SUEZ environnement brand. The company employs more than 80,000 people worldwide and provides solutions in the drinking water, wastewater treatment and waste management fields. To lead SUEZ environnement’s activities in Australia, Eric Gernath has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of SUEZ environnement’s Australian Business Unit, after serving as Managing Director of SITA Australia for the last eight years. Eric brings significant leadership experience in the waste, water and utilities sectors worldwide. He said the group’s history goes back over 150 years and its operations in Australia have grown considerably in recent times. SUEZ environnement currently supplies seven million Australians with drinking water and diverts more than 800,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year. “We are facing the increasing scarcity of natural resources. Amid rising population growth and increasing density in our cities, our customers across the public and private sectors are looking for global and innovative solutions that meet these new challenges,” he said. “Whether it’s delivering safe, clean and reliable drinking water or integrating secondary raw materials into production chains, the new structure for the group in Australia will enable us to better respond to the changing needs of our customers. “As SUEZ environnement, we will provide seamless solutions across the water and waste sectors. We will also draw upon our extensive global expertise and knowledge to explore opportunities to bring new innovations and technology to Australia.” SUEZ environnement’s operations in Australia will become the largest within the group’s international division with almost $1.5 billion in revenues and more than 160 sites across Australia and New Zealand. The water business will continue to be managed nationally by Roch Cheroux as Executive Director – Water and Treatment Solutions. “We have been in the Australian market for more than 50 years. SITA, Degrémont and Process Group have been working with all levels of government and industry to provide smart, innovative solutions across the water and waste sectors. As SUEZ environnement, we will continue to invest in and grow our business in the Australian market,” said Eric Gernath.

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NORTH-EAST TASSIE TOWNS SET TO GET WATER UPGRADE TasWater has announced a new $10.5 million drinking water system to supply fully treated water to Ringarooma, Legerwood, Branxholm and Derby in Tasmania’s north east. Tenders for the construction of the 29 kilometre pipeline are currently being assessed and work will start in the first part of this year with fully treated water expected to flow during 2016. Sourced from the Upper Ringarooma Irrigation Scheme just south of Ringarooma, the water will be treated at a new water treatment plant. It will then be transported through new pipelines constructed mainly along existing roadways and stored in new local reservoirs in Branxholm, Derby and Ringarooma. According to TasWater’s CEO, Michael Brewster, the upgrade will provide the four townships with a safe, healthy and reliable water supply in line with national drinking water standards. “The upgrade will mean that more Tasmanian households will have access to drinking water without the need to boil their water,” Mr Brewster said. “Not only will this benefit the locals, but it will help the area develop its tourism and other industries and give businesses a boost during construction.” The upgrade of the Ringarooma Valley Water Scheme is part of TasWater’s infrastructure improvement program in 2015. TasWater is committed to spending around $110 million each year until at least 2018. Meanwhile the town of Avoca in the Fingal Valley is set to receive fully treated drinking water as a result of TasWater’s plan to build a 29km pipeline from nearby Fingal. Until now Avoca has mainly drawn its water from the South Esk River, but following the detection of cadmium and lead in excess of acceptable levels, the town supply has been subject to a Do Not Consume notice. TasWater CEO Michael Brewster said that construction is scheduled for later this year with water flowing by the end of 2016, ending the township’s Do Not Consume alert.

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international and National Keynote speakers • Cathryn ross, chief Executive, Water services regulation authority (ofwat) (UK) • thierry Mallet, Director, innovation and Business Performance, suez Environnement (France)

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Keynote Panel session - shaping a Customer Driven organisation in an engineering Dominated industry. • John ringham, sa Water

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Young Water Professionals

HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION Justin Simonis – AWA YWP National Committee President With Ozwater almost upon us again and having been President for about a year, it seems logical for me now to try to map the progress of the National Representative Committee (NRC) – not only against my own aspirations for where I wanted to see the group go but, more importantly, for where we are positioned within AWA.

The first example is indicative of the water industry; the more we can do through AWA to keep young people engaged the better - higher numbers in the industry means a larger pool of available members. The second example is the more specific challenge for AWA – to create a tie between young people and the Association.

Recent focus has been placed on membership and the development and implementation of strategic initiatives designed to increase it. In the face of waning YWP membership rates, it seems reasonable that a link be drawn between the YWP, the role of the NRC and the value proposition of this demographic within AWA.

So how is the NRC responding to ensure that young professionals feel engaged, represented and that they are being provided a value for money service offering? 2014 saw significant change within AWA. The NRC spent the year maximising the potential created by this change and navigating the “new” Association to position the NRC to deliver outcomes for the YWP. We have been actively engaging with the Association, aligning our approach with the new vision and looking at how we can add value. The NRC now has reinvigorated purpose and a new model under which to deliver initiatives.

The example of professional sporting clubs works well in this instance. Clubs place great emphasis on supporting junior fans of the game, with junior teams playing demonstration games at half-time and free memberships with paying adults being just two examples. These efforts serve two purposes. The first is a high-level driver; the contest for junior sporting fees is fierce and opportunities outside of Saturday morning’s game are a great lure to keep players engaged with the game. This is a simple numbers game. External factors aside (the success of the club, for example), the more people you can feed into the “membership funnel” the more people will ultimately become members. This is a volume increase rather than in increase in the conversion rate. The second is a more club-based driver, as the more you expose a young fan to your team, the stronger you build the tie between them and the club, and the more likely they are to continue to support you. This is designed to increase the conversion rate or membership, and build club resilience during periods when the club is in a downward ebb.

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In March the NRC met at AWA’s Head Office to develop a tangible strategy for the delivery of a number of initiatives in the year ahead. Targeted outcomes will be project-managed by NRC Champions with representatives from the State Committees in the project team. The Project Managers will in turn report to the relevant Association Sponsor. The revised modus operandi has been developed to drive accountability, greater collaboration by the NRC, the various State Committees and AWA and, ultimately, add value for the Association and the wider membership. So, have we progressed in a manner that aligns with my aspirations as President? And is the Committee positioned well within the Association moving forward? I know my answer – but what about you? Please feel free to find me at Ozwater or email me to let me know your thoughts.

Aerofloat™ (Australia) Pty Ltd PO Box 884. Caringbah, NSW, 1495 Phone + 61 (0)2 9544 1449


Aerofloat specialises in simple, affordable wastewater treatment systems using Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) principles. The Aerofloat™ technology uses a double hopper tank with a unique, patented hydraulic float removal system to funnel the waste float material from the top of the tank. Mechanical scrapers are not required. The patented system is compact, mechanically simple and a more affordable DAF solution. Aerofloat products are most commonly used for treatment of industrial wastewater and greywater. Treatment capacities range from 7 to 800 litres per minute.

Visit us as at OZWATER – # X15


AWA News

NEW TECHNICAL TRAINING COURSE: NANO-PARTICLES, NANO-COMPOSITES, MEMBRANES, THE WATER INDUSTRY AND BEYOND Nano-composites find diversified applications in many areas, including adsorption of various pollutants such as heavy metal ions and dyes from the contaminated water. They are also finding use in drug delivery to inaccessible target sites, in sunscreens, for pesticides and in the gas industry. Increasingly, however, questions are being raised about their stability in support media and their long-term impacts on humans and the environment. This technical training course features leaders in nano-composite research and application from Victoria University and CSIRO. It will introduce you to the current science of nano-composites and the arguments informing the current debate. It will be of particular use to health and environmental scientists, membrane fabricators and developers, water treatment engineers, and water and wastewater treatment managers, including those at local government level. Speakers include: • Professor Stephen Gray, Director, Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI), Victoria University; • Associate Professor Mikel Duke, Institute for Sustainability and Innovation, Victoria University; • Dr Matt Hill, Australian Research Council Future Fellow and leader of the Integrated Nanoporous Materials team, CSIRO; • Dr Marlene Cran, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Sustainability & Innovation, Victoria University; • Dr Stephen Bigger, Director, Research and Research Training, Victoria University; • Dr Jan Herrmann, National Measurement Institute (to be advised).

understand that innovation and entrepreneurship are necessities for growth, and global growth is only achievable through preserving our most important resource – water,” said Jonathan McKeown, AWA CEO. “We encourage startups through to well-established companies to get involved in our inaugural water innovation challenge. We are looking for ideas that can transfer across industries, countries and applications. No idea is too big or too small.” The winner of this prestigious event will be announced at Ozwater’15, Australia’s International Water Conference & Exhibition to be held in Adelaide in May. Prizes include: • A full-page editorial in Water Journal; • A tailored B2B program to introduce the winning innovation to potential users; • Exhibition space at the AWA Innovation Forum 2016; • Entry into the Australia Water Awards 2016; • A promotional campaign across the Australian water sector and AWA’s members. “Water is one of our most precious resources and harnessing innovation through competitions is an incredible way to address the opportunities and risks we face globally as we all work to a more sustainable future with water,” said Torsten Kolind, Co-Founder and CEO of YouNoodle. “Every day we are seeing organisations, governments and corporations turn to innovation to help answer questions and innovate within almost every industry. The Australian Water Innovation Challenge is a great example of this trend and we are proud to be a part of this unique competition.” YouNoodle ( is a data-driven startup recruitment engine and customised end-to-end platform for the creation, management, and judging of startup competitions. It has facilitated more than 400 international competitions across 100 countries, and created a global talent network of more than 50,000 startups. Entries to the Australian Water Innovation Challenge close 8 May 2015 and can be accessed by visiting: competitions/awa_water_innovation_challenge


The course will take place on Wednesday 27 May at City Flinders Street Campus, Victoria University, Melbourne. Please visit the AWA website for further information, including agenda, speaker biographies, prices and booking information.

AUSTRALIAN WATER INNOVATION CHALLENGE 2015 AWA and YouNoodle have joined forces to launch the Australian Water Innovation Challenge 2015. Open to companies worldwide, the competition challenges entrepreneurs and established companies to enter their most innovative water technology solutions spanning food and beverage manufacturing, to energy and resources sectors and more. “The Australian Water Association is looking for ideas that could potentially transform the sustainability of communities and businesses, both in Australia and around the world. AWA, and our 4,500 members,

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AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY ACT TECHNICAL LUNCH SEMINAR SERIES 2015 The ACT branch kicked off its first technical forum for the year entitled The Challenges of Being Australia’s Largest Water Owner – Insights from the CEWH. This lunch seminar provided insights into the challenges and successes of controlling the world’s largest portfolio of actively managed environmental water. David Papps provided an interesting seminar that was a must-attend event for those interested in environmental water management and the Murray-Darling Basin System. The next Technical Lunch Seminar will be held on Thursday 30 April 2015 and will address the development of the coal seam gas industry. Damian Barrett from CSIRO will be presenting. Please check the ACT branch webpage for more details. Upcoming Diary Date: Wednesday 10 June – ACT Water Matters Conference 2015. ­






On Friday 20 March, the NSW Branch held the 2015 NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner at Doltone House, Pyrmont. For the first time, the annual Heads of Water dinner was combined with the AWA NSW Branch Water Awards, which brought together over 300 industry leaders and water professionals for an evening of networking and to celebrate the achievements of water professionals. MC for the evening was Chris Russell, well-known agricultural scientist, and guest speaker was Jock Laurie, NSW Land and Water Commissioner.

On Thursday 19 March, the Queensland YWP committee held its first networking event for the year. Over 65 young water professionals gathered at the Fox Hotel in South Brisbane for an evening dedicated to learning and applying effective networking skills in the water industry. The networking part of the evening was preceded by a panel discussion on the ‘Art of Networking’. A panel of highly regarded water industry leaders shared how networking had influenced their careers and discussed networking strategies that they believed were important to advance any career. The expert panel included Mr Mark Pascoe, International WaterCentre CEO; Dr Matthew Brannock, Technical Director and Co-Founder, SaltWater; Dr Sandra Hall, Engagement and Business Development Manager of UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC); and Dr Peter Isdale AM, Managing Director, Intergyre Pty Ltd.

Stephen Wells of Aurecon presents the NSW Young Water Professional of the Year award to Gabrielle McGill of GHD. Please visit the NSW page of the AWA website for information on our NSW Award Winners and nominees. You can also find some videos about the award winners on our Youtube channel. Photos will also be available from the NSW website soon; however, meanwhile, a photo gallery can be viewed at: AWA-Heads-of-Water-Awards-Night/n-7N6GrL Thank you to our event partners UGL, Veolia and Aurecon and award sponsors Trility and NSW Public Works.

One major discussion point was the different styles of networking and the importance of building face-to-face relationships in today’s social media dominated environment, as well as distinguishing between the networks within your organisation and those within the industry. This event was a great opportunity for young water professionals to meet fellow peers from throughout the industry, including students wanting to learn more about the industry and build their professional network in a relaxed atmosphere. The event was sponsored by IWC, KBR and CH2MHILL. Earlier this year the Queensland YWP committee released a survey seeking feedback regarding the types of events industry members would like to see in order to get more from their membership. The survey closed on 8 March 2015. A total of 49 participants, comprising both AWA and non-AWA members, completed the survey. A big thank you to all of the people who participated, and congratulations to Alex Wise and Carly Waterhouse who won the two AWA vouchers for completing the survey. As one result of the survey, the Queensland YWP committee is developing a professional development (PD) workshop series. The first workshop will be held on Thursday, 28 May 2015 with the topic focused on Project Management. Keep an eye out for registration details, as registrations will be strictly limited to 35 people.

Attendees at the NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner.

Participants at the recent YWP Networking Event.

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AWA News VICTORIA YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONALS REGIONAL CONFERENCE The AWA YWP 2015 Regional Conference was hosted on the western Victorian coast, and Warrnambool turned on some fantastic weather. The theme of the event was ‘Saltwater Thinking: From Turf to Surf’ and was supported by GHD, Wannon Water and Veolia. It attracted a large and enthusiastic group of water professionals from across the state and the world, including two delegates from France, who timed their visit especially to coincide with the event. On the Friday afternoon, over 50 delegates attended the seminar, with engaging presentations exploring the innovative projects occurring within the region. To kick off the conference, Wannon Water MD Grant Green provided an overview of Wannon Water and his history in the water industry, casting back to his Board of Works days in Melbourne. It was fascinating to hear how the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority (GHCMA) has developed and progressed the Judas Carp Management Program in the Glenelg River, around 150km north-east of Warrnambool. Stephen Ryan, GHCMA Waterways Planner, wowed the crowd with his video snippets of the project – in particular the electro carp fishing and fish ‘surgeries’ required to implant the more than 130 tags in carp to track and identify hotspots along the creek. Wannon Water services a number of industries across western Victoria that generate high salinity wastewater brine streams that can be difficult to manage, particularly at inland locations. David Gutteridge, a Principal Process Engineer at GHD, spoke about the Warrnambool Brine Receival Facility, a dedicated facility for collection of the high-salinity wastewater brine streams. David highlighted the challenges of finding a suitable location close to existing infrastructure, resulting in development on a former landfill site. Upstream of this facility, industry treats the waste prior to discharge at the Warrnambool Brine Receival Facility. Leno Cavarra of Veolia Water discussed the treatment system at the new mineral separation plant at the Iluka mine in Hamilton, treating the waste brine stream before sending concentrated and reduced volumes entering the Wannon system. To close the day Peter Wilson, Branch Manager of Asset Planning at Wannon Water, took us through the innovative roofwater harvesting project, from concept to operation. The scheme now harvests water from 254 homes to augment the Warrnambool water supply, saving 37 million litres of water each year. The concept is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia and utilises the simplest of technologies to make substantial water savings for the community. This wrapped up the formal proceedings for the event, which then led to the conference dinner at the Lady Bay resort. The food, staff and company were fantastic, with Warrnambool putting on a real show for our guests. With the sun shining on Saturday morning the group set off on a walking tour of the Merri River with Jarred Obst and Stephen Ryan of the GHCMA, who explained the careful management required for the estuaries. Jarrod took us through the effects of human intervention linking to fauna and flora loss. He also explained the

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effects of flooding events in June 2014 that were the result of a king tide and storm surges with huge winds coinciding to prove catastrophic to roads, homes and other infrastructure along the coast line that stretches from Warrnambool to Portland. Following the walk, we jumped on the bus to visit Warrnambool’s Aquaculture Hatchery. Ben Pohlnor and Tom Kindred from Wannon Water took us through the process that produces millions of young goldfish per year that are then sent on to the juvenile production facility in Hamilton, and ending in the Hamilton WWTP lagoons as a final treatment step to polish the effluent. With the day now heating up we boarded the bus to Port Fairy. Paul Brown of Wannon Water met us at the Port Fairy Water Reclamation Plant, where two treatment trains are located – one for municipal waste and the other for the pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithkline (GSK). The waste from GSK is complex and highly saline. Originally it was treated by the main process, but over the past few years the site has doubled in size to manage the complex and increasing waste stream from GSK. By this stage everyone had worked up an appetite and we headed to the local Surf Club for lunch. Ebony Perrin, Environmental Services Team Leader at Moyne Shire, then met us to take us on a walking tour to explore the challenges facing the Port Fairy coastline, and the different mitigation measures that are being employed on a limited budget. Thank you to the organisers Gail Reardon, Jasmine Errey, Virginie Crouzat and Stephanie Rich, our sponsors GHD, Veolia Water and Wannon Water, and all of those who supported the event, spoke, and provided tours to the group. A special mention must also go to our local contact Robbie Frawley of Wannon Water, who ensured that the conference had that ‘local’ touch. We hope to see you all in 2016 for the next regional tour!

WESTERN AUSTRALIA New WA State Manager AWA welcomes new State Manager for Western Australia, Siobhán Jennings. Siobhán has several years’ experience in the water industry in the fields of water supply planning, stormwater infrastructure design and project management and has been a member of AWA since 2012. Her specific areas of interest are in watersensitive cities, sustainability and community engagement. She is also passionate about travel and photography. You can contact Siobhan at

FOOD 4 THOUGHT: A BREAKFAST WITH THE MINISTER Join AWA for breakfast with guest speaker the Minister for Water, Hon Mia Davies MLA, on 20 May 2015 at The Hyatt in Perth. This event has been hugely successful in recent years, attracting over 180 guests with previous speakers such as Hon. Dr Geoff Gallop, Hon. John Kobelke; Hon. Dr Graham Jacobs, Sue Murphy, Maree De Lacey and Hon Bill Marion. Registration details can be found at aspx?id=4294980109, or for any enquiries please contact Siobhán Jennings at


AWA News

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



New South Wales

New South Wales N Vitharana, N Thatcher, J Davis, J Dauney, J Bailey, D Cantlon, M Howard, O Light, A Fanning, J Canon, A Zamyadi, P Brueck, Z Ye, C Sanders, A Turner, P Fagan, C Owens, L Taylor, A Barradinhas Queensland T Heading, J Stavar, C Peille, R Butcher, C Robertson, J O’Brien, J Zhang, J Thomas, A Rousek, M Pollard, W Bona, W Harpham, A Grodynski, H Leemon, J George, T Keating, M Rowland, P Webb,

Corporate Bronze IJINUS Australasia Pty Ltd

Queensland Corporate Gold UniQuest Pty Ltd

Corporate Bronze Nuoer Chemical Australia Pty Ltd Rainstopper Australia Syngineering

G Xie, K Mills, E Kerrigan, A Wise, L Driver, L Zachau South Australia A Perez, B Maliszewski, A Henschke Victoria W Reinhardt, P Vogel, D Raeck, C Patwardhan, M Dugdale, C Teng, J Philips, R McGowan, C Almeida, A Rowan, C Fernando, R Frawley Western Australia L Kitchens, M Williams, T Johnston, E Rose


AWA EVENTS CALENDAR This list is correct at the time of printing. For up-to-date listings and booking information please check the AWA online events calendar at:

April Thu, 09 Apr 2015 Tue, 14 Apr 2015  Wed, 15 Apr 2015  Thu, 16 Apr 2015 Wed, 22 Apr 2015 Thu, 23 Apr 2015 Thu, 30 Apr 2015 

VIC YWP Workshop – Navigating Change, Melbourne, VIC NSW YWP Water Industry Careers Night 5, Wollongong, NSW Tour of Adelaide River Water Treatment Plant, Darwin, NT qldwater CQ Regional Conference and Taste Test, Rockhampton, QLD NSW Technical Forum – Providing Water to NSW, Sydney, NSW Tour of Mt Barker Council Water Infrastructure and Wetlands, SA ACT Technical Seminar 2, Canberra, ACT

Tue, 05 May 2015 Wed, 06 May 2015 Tue, 12 May 2015 - Thu, 14 May 2015 Tue, 19 May 2015 Wed, 20 May 2015 Fri, 22 May 2015 Tue, 26 May 2015  Wed, 27 May 2015 Thu, 28 May 2015

Water Quality in the Derwent Estuary: A Decade Worth of Data, Hobart, TAS QLD – Technical Event, Brisbane, QLD Ozwater’15, Adelaide, SA Demonstration of Small Scale Water Recycling, Lutana, TAS Food for Thought: A Breakfast with the Minister, Hyatt Hotel, Perth VIC Young Water Professionals Dinner 2015, Melbourne, VIC MONA Heavy Metal Project & IMAS Tour, IMAS Hobart, TAS Nano-particles, Nano-composites, Membranes, The Water Industry and Beyond, Melbourne, VIC QLD Professional Development Workshop – Project Management, Brisbane, QLD


Delivering innovative water, wastewater and reuse solutions.

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ready for the resource revolution

all SUEZ environnement companies are now one SITA Australia, DegrĂŠmont, Process Group and 40 other water and waste companies across the globe have joined forces to become SUEZ environnement. On five continents, SUEZ environnement supports towns and industries in the circular economy to maintain, optimise and secure the resources essential for our future.

Find out how to become part of the resource revolution. Visit us at Ozwater stand M02

150 50 92 7 14 800 102

The increasing scarcity of natural resources is a global challenge. Today, only 2.5% of the Earth’s water is fresh. We must ensure the world has access to high quality drinking water. Today, 10 million tonnes of waste is produced every 24 hours. We must give waste a second life. To meet this global challenge, SITA Australia, DegrÊmont, Process Group and 40 other water and waste companies across the globe have joined forces to become SUEZ environnement. With 80,000 employees across five continents, SUEZ environnement specialises in securing and recovering resources. Our 2,600 employees and contractors across Australia and New Zealand are experts in the water, waste and oil and gas sectors.

years of global experience years of experience in Australia

million people supplied with drinking water globally million people supplied with drinking water in Australia

million tonnes of waste diverted from landfill globally thousand tonnes of waste diverted from landfill in Australia

million dollars invested in R&D to protect our resources

In Adelaide, we provide water and sanitation services to 1.1 million people.

In Roosendaal, our energy recovery plant manages residual waste produced by two million people.

In Perth, we divert more than 50% of waste from landfill by turning household waste into compost.

With our partners, we operate and maintain metropolitan Adelaide’s water supply and wastewater system, including 16,000 kilometres of water networks and 12 treatment plants. Each year, 140 gigalitres of safe and reliable drinking water is supplied and 26 gigalitres of recycled water is provided for irrigation.

With a capacity of 336 thousand tonnes, the facility generates 256,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year, equivalent to the consumption of 70,000 households. It also provides heat to nearby industrial greenhouses, and an urban heating system for the city of Roosendaal in Netherlands.

Our Neerabup Advanced Resource Recovery Technology facility is one of the most advanced waste processing sites of its kind in the country. The facility processes 100 thousand tonnes of waste each year from 500,000 local residents. This waste is converted into 25 thousand tonnes of compost which is then used in agricultural rehabilitation projects.

ready for the resource revolution Seawater Desalination | Production of Drinking Water | Wastewater Purification Recycling & Resource Recovery | Waste Disposal | Waste Collection | Gas, Oil & Water Processing


AWA News


AUSTRALIAN WATER EXPERTISE ON SHOW IN INDIA In January 2015, the AWA and Austrade Exhibition presented Australian water capability at India Water Week. Geoff Gray, AWA National Manager – Industry Development, provides a summary.

The Australian Stand at India Water Week.

AWA, in partnership with Austrade, presented an exhibition of Australian water capability at India Water Week in January 2015, as part of the overall Australian Business Week in India program, which was led by the Minister for Trade, the Hon. Andrew Robb AO. The 450-strong delegation sought to understand India’s strengths and explore partnerships with local companies to develop solutions that will meet the needs of India.

urban water and the disposal of an increasing volume of wastewater, both from the urbanisation and industrialisation that are taking place.

A stream in the overall Australian Business Week in India program focused on water and wastewater issues, with 45 water sector representatives from Australia participating in the Business Week Conference and attending India Water Week from 14–16 January. A number of the Australian delegates undertook a program of meetings in Mumbai on the last day, while others visited Indian states where they have special relationships. The NSW premier Mike Baird and a delegation from New South Wales visited Maharashtra, one of India’s largest and most populous states. NSW Government has an office in Mumbai and enjoys a ‘sister state’ relationship. Representatives from South Australia meanwhile visited Rajasthan to discuss future plans for their state/state relationship.

In particular, there was considerable interest from Indian paper and pulp plants and distillers located along the Ganga River, as the Modi Government decreed that 750 businesses should have to meet zero liquid discharge requirements by March 2015, which wasa very ambitious target.

Before Australian Business Week commenced in Delhi, the Trade Minister the Hon. Andrew Robb, the NSW Premier, Mike Baird, together with a high-level Australian delegation, attended the Gujarat conference hosted by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was able to showcase his home state as a development model for all of India. During the Gujarat visit Minister Robb met with Prime Minister Modi and there was further discussion on the proposed free trade agreement between India and Australia. Both sides are keen to fast-track an agreement for signing within a year. The opening of the Indian market will offer attractive opportunities for interested parties in the Australian water sector, as many products and technologies currently face a tariff barrier of more than 30 per cent on water infrastructure items.

India Water Week Australia was the partner country at India Water Week – a relatively new water conference and exhibition organised by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The Union Minister, Uma Bharti, opened the conference and exhibition and spent time at the Australian exhibit. Australian water experts presented a range of scientific papers at the conference. The exhibition showcased a range of Australian expertise with a focus on hydrology and waste treatment. The 15 exhibitors had the opportunity to meet the many visitors who attended the exhibition and discuss business opportunities. A number of deals were signed during the exhibition, agents appointed and market research undertaken. As millions move from rural areas to the cities and into the middle class, key challenges for a developing India are adeqate supplies of

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The rejuvenation of the Ganga River, the life blood of India, is the number one water development challenge and the pet project of Prime Minister Modi. The Indian officials were keen to hear about Australia’s river basin management, water reform journey and costeffective waste treatment.

Fast-growing economy The Indian economy has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies over the last two years, with a growth rate in excess of seven per cent a year. This growth has been driven by new hightechnology industries and improved efficiencies. Delhi now has a population of 24 million, larger than Australia’s total population, and other cites are growing rapidly. It’s estimated there are now some 600 million people considered as middle class and, for the most part, the days of starvation, widespread poverty and diseases such as polio are over. While India is still a long way behind China as a world-class economy, it is rapidly catching up. One difference is that India has not relied on growth from manufactured exports but, rather, enjoys higher-paying jobs in the high-tech and service sectors. You can drive for 50kms south of Delhi and see new offices, hotels and housing complexes all along the four-lane highway. Signs advertising Google, Deloitte and Apple are common. Unfortunately this rapid development has come at a great cost to the environment. It is claimed that Delhi now has the most unhealthy air quality in the world, and I have to admit during my week there I didn’t once see the sun or clear sky. This was due in part to the fog that hangs around in winter in Delhi, mixed with toxic fumes from transport and industry.

Tackling pollution challenges All this rapid growth is straining the 100-year-old British-built Delhi sewerage system and water supply. During the wet season, stormwater flows into the system, causing major flooding of waste onto the Delhi streets. Sewage overflow is a common problem now in many Indian cities. The Ganga (the River Ganges) is the epitome of water pollution in India. More than two-thirds of the sewage generated in 118 towns located along the river basin is discharged into the river untreated. The towns collectively generate 3,636 million litres per day of sewage.



AWA News The opportunity for the Australian water sector lies more in providing waste treatment technology to the private sector firms discharging industrial waste into the river than in large-scale government projects. These organisations are required to reduce their discharge and are looking for cost-effective solutions. They have the funds to upgrade their treatment facilities and, following on from India Water Week, some executives have already visited Australia to meet with Australian suppliers.

The team of Australian water participants at Australian Business Week in India visits the AWA/Austrade stand. The Ganga and its tributaries cover a distance of 2500kms, from the Himalayas to the sea near Kolkata. The river is primarily monsoon rain-fed rather than snow-fed, so it experiences periods of very low flow levels. The river supports a population of 500 million and, apart from being a source of drinking water, it is also important revered in Indian culture and religion. Sadly, the river not only has very high levels of faecal contamination, but there is also chemical pollution from chromium, lead and mercury, which makes the water highly toxic and even carcinogenic. Many Indians consider the Ganga holy; they must bathe in it at least once in their life and aspire to be cremated along the riverbanks. The Indian Government has recently established the Ganga River Basin Management Plan (GRBMP) to control waste discharge. Considerable funds have been allocated and there are ambitious plans in place – some of which are considered to be too ambitious.

India has not always been an easy place to do business – but things are changing. The economy is growing and the private sector has a strong desire to identify appropriate world’s best technology. AWA will continue to seek out opportunities in India and pass these on to our members.

The Ganga covers a distance of 2500kms and supports a population of approximately 500 million people.


transferred to Vietnam. Rod, meanwhile, offered a well-balanced practical insight from Veolia’s experience in managing Australia’s largest PPPs, including the Sydney Desalination Plant and large-scale recycling schemes.

The gap between infrastructure needs and infrastructure funding in Vietnam is anticipated to increase, a situation that is driving the need for increased public-private partnerships (PPPs). The skills, capabilities and products of the Australian water sector are highly relevant to these issues.

AWA is now preparing for a series of workshops in Vietnam to utilise the experiences of Veolia, Frontier and others to build the capacity of the Vietnam Ministry of Finance to regulate for PPPs.

To support the Vietnam Government’s interests in greater PPPs in water, AWA in collaboration with Broadway Capital Advisory (BCA) harnessed leading Australian experts in the field to build capacity of the Vietnam Ministry of Finance during a study tour in Melbourne and Sydney in March. Rod Naylor from Veolia, and Mike Woolston from Frontier Economics, joined the tour and provided valuable insights on Australia’s water reform journey. Mike offered a rich overview of the regulations, policy drivers and pre-requisites necessary to enable PPPs in Australia, and how these lessons can be

AWA Program in Vietnam AWA is commencing a water program in Vietnam focusing on strengthening the financial and investment structures of Vietnam’s water sector, supporting trade and business development between the Vietnamese and Australian water sectors, and improving service delivery and utility capacity in the provision of drinking water. There are three long-term expected benefits: • Raising the profile of the Australian water sector’s skills and capabilities in Vietnam and providing a platform for trade and business development between the water sectors of Australia and Vietnam; • Providing opportunities to Australian SMEs, individuals and large corporations to gain valuable experience and new business opportunities in this fast emerging market; and • Improving service delivery and strengthening the financial and investment structures of Vietnam’s water sector to enable it to obtain more direct investment and/or private sector involvement. If you or your organisation are interested in getting involved in the Vietnam program please contact Paul Smith, AWA’s International Manager, at or +61 2 9467 8403.

APRIL 2015 water



AWA News

AWA HOSTS THAI DELEGATION TO AUSTRALIA Austrade and AWA are fostering closer economic cooperation and knowledge sharing between the Thai and Australian water sectors, writes Paul Smith, AWA’s Export and Market Access Manager. Bangkok is one of the world’s major metropolitan areas that have undergone rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. With an area of 1570km2 and situated approximately two metres above sea level, it has a population of about 10 million and faces many challenges in the delivery of safe, secure and sustainable water and wastewater services. Due to uncontrolled discharges of agricultural, domestic and industrial wastewaters into the Chao Phraya River and Mae Klong River, river water quality is deteriorating. The effects of global warming have also caused river flows to be unreliable, with increased flood recurrence during the wet season and harsher drought periods during the dry season. According to the Bangkok Municipal Authority, heavy pumping of groundwater has resulted in land subsidence of two to 15cm/year, as well as groundwater contamination. With the ongoing growth of Bangkok, problems of water resource management and contamination of both surface and groundwaters are likely to worsen.

Bangkok Municipality Authority mission to Sydney In support of Thailand’s ambitions to improve the management of water and wastewater, in February 2015 AWA and Austrade hosted a delegation from the Bangkok Municipality Authority (BMA) to tour water management sites in Sydney and meet with water professionals and water businesses. The BMA tour included: • Central Park Water Recycling Facility, hosted by Flow Systems and Professor Stuart White from the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF); • North Head Sewerage Treatment Facility and water recycling scheme run by Sydney Water;

A street scene during the Bangkok flood in 2014.

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Drought conditions in the Bangkok area provide a harsh contrast. • Manly Beach, for an overview of Manly Council’s Water Cycle Management Program and stormwater re-use schemes; • A residential development in Palm Beach using innovative vacuum sewerage collection systems, provided by FloVac; • NSW Public Works Manly Hydraulics Laboratory (MHL) facilities to see how the NSW Government monitors and responds to flood management and learn about the NSW Coastal and Flood Data Collection Program, managed on behalf of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) (; • Business matching at a BBQ lunch at Manly Dam; • A boat tour of Sydney Harbour (courtesy of Ecosol). The delegation also heard expert insights on each site from the NSW Department of Health, NSW Public Works’ Manly Hydraulics Laboratory, NSW Office of Water, Sydney local councils and ISF. The final day of the tour included a BBQ lunch and business matching on the banks of Manly Dam. The BBQ allowed AWA members to set up demonstration models of products and display capabilities. It included the following companies: • STAR Water Solutions: • Neuplex: • Biogill:

Participants of the BMA tour at Manly Beach.


awa News I joined aWa to increase my company’s exposure in the international market through participating in aWa’s international program. after joining the tour of the thai water delegation and participating in the business matching BBQ at manly dam I now have strong business leads into thailand. our expertise is in sensor monitoring, data acquisition and scada software. aWa has been instrumental in connecting me to the decision makers of international water projects as well as capable local partners.” – thomas man, ceo, neuplex

The BMA tour of NSW Public Works MHL. The delegation inspected the NSW Coastal and Flood Data Collection Program, including rainfall, flood, estuary, water quality, ocean tide and wave monitoring. Participants also inspected MHL’s physical modelling capabilities in MHL’s 2D wave flume, 3D directional wave basin, reservoir hydraulic modelling and irrigation metering. • Flovac Systems Australia: • SaltFree: • SAS Water Solutions Pty Ltd: • Floodlifter: • Ecosol Water Filtration systems: • Peter Ryrie Consulting: • Austrade

aWa InBound tours To raise the profile of the Australian water sector’s skills and capabilities and provide a platform for trade and business development with international water markets, AWA in partnership with Austrade will be coordinating a series of inbound tours over the next 12 months. If you would like to be involved in showcasing your innovative water management site or be involved in business matching with international delegations please contact Paul Smith, AWA’s Export and Market Access Manager, at

• NSW Trade and Investment.

Charles Coathup, International Manager of Ecosol, pitching to the BMA at Manly Dam.

The delegation enjoys some down time on Sydney Harbour at the end of the day.

APRIL 2015 water



10 Questions: John Radinoff, Flovac

Two recent AWA delegations, one to the drought-stricken US state of California, the other to India Water Week, offered Australian companies a chance to attend a range of conferences, events and trade exhibitions, showcase their products and do some valuable networking. John Radinoff of Flovac Vacuum Sewerage Systems attended both these events and shares his experiences in this interview.

ABOUT THE DELEGATIONS With California facing one of the most severe drought periods on record, in January 2015 the state’s Governor, Jerry Brown, declared a drought state of emergency. Massive capital investments were launched in major cities, with US$20 billion of works planned and an extensive water conservation program with the slogan ‘Every Drop Counts’ implemented to conserve precious supplies. There seemed no doubt that California was in the grip of a historic drought that would cost the state and the country billions of dollars. The challenges California faced in 2014 are undoubtedly similar to those faced by Australia in 2004. However, Australia has since implemented a range of reforms that have led to an increase in productivity of more than 50 per cent and water use efficiency that is among the best in the industrialised world. Water supplies have been diversified to include desalination, recycled water, stormwater, groundwater, rainwater and conservation programs, while open markets for water trading and the implementation of modern irrigation systems have benefited the agricultural sector. The mining sector is expert in the reuse of water, mine water use efficiency and securing of water supplies in remote areas. Accordingly, Australia’s reform journey – and the services and products that enabled it – constitute a valuable and highly sought after export commodity. In response to an invitation from Governor Brown, in December 2014 AWA coordinated a delegation of Australian water professionals to tour California to discuss lessons and innovative solutions. The delegation, titled ‘Dialogue on Drought Solutions’, included representatives from NICTA, Frontier Economics Pty Ltd, University of Technology Sydney/Institute for Sustainable Futures, SaltFree Desalination, GHD, Flovac, Aerofloat, STAR Water Solutions, Hydrosmart, AWMA Water Control Solutions and NSW Trade and Investment. The delegates showcased their products and services at conferences and trade exhibitions, met with government agencies and water experts during technical tours, dinner and breakfast functions, and participated in business-to-business matching. In January this year, the Australian Trade Minister the Hon. Andrew Robb led an Australian business delegation to the Australian Business Week in India program, a component of

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which was participation in India Water Week in New Delhi. AWA and Austrade hosted an exhibition at the event to showcase Australian water capability and expertise (see page 32 for more). John Radinoff, CEO of Flovac Vacuum Sewerage Systems, was a participant at both events. At India Water Week he presented to the congress on ZERO Liquid Discharge technologies and, along with local Flovac MD Shiv Mann, was on hand to receive an award. We spoke with him to get his feedback. 1. Tell us a little about Flovac Vacuum Sewerage Systems. Flovac is an engineering firm specialising in sewering difficult areas using vacuum technology. The difficulty may be due to poor ground conditions, environmental risks, or where a traditional gravity sewer is just too expensive or not an option. In recent years we’ve produced a number of products to improve the technology, including the move into wireless monitoring of the systems. Our first large residential project was sewering of Kurnell for Sydney Water in 1989 for 1,150 houses; this has since grown with more houses and industrial lots joining the system. We have now designed and installed over 100 systems in Australia and over 300 worldwide, with the average size residential project being 1,000 houses. A recent project was the replacement of Christchurch’s broken gravity sewer systems using Flovac’s vacuum technology due to its resilience in earthquake zones. We have now taken on two partners in The Netherlands and Germany, and have offices and licensees in more than 23 countries. Many of our projects now take place in Europe – in particular Poland, where there has been a tremendous need for our products. 2. You were one of the participants in the AWA delegation to the US – Dialogue on Drought Solutions. Can you tell us why this event appealed to you and what was your purpose in joining the delegation? Although Flovac is strong in Europe, the Middle East and Australia, over the next few years we want to focus on breaking into the US market and parts of Asia. The AWA delegation provided a good platform for us to start meeting people and getting an understanding of the market in California. We also felt that we could add to the drought conversation in a meaningful way. 3 What were the highlights of the trip for you? The US visit was certainly important in gaining an understanding of the structure of the water industry in California, with a distinct split between the water agencies handling just water and those handling sewage. One of the highlights for me was meeting other Australian



Flovac CEO John Radinoff speaks to an eager audience at the India Water Week Conference. companies going through the same processes and problems that we are; these contacts will be extremely important for us in the future where we can help drive opportunities for other Australian companies. 4. W  ith California recently experiencing severe drought conditions similar to those of Australia in the past decades, what expertise and technology in particular do you think Australia was able to offer to assist? I found that our experience in desalination – and especially water modelling – both financially and from a collaborative point of view was really sought after. The experiences and learnings from the Murray Darling-Basin were particularly important and relevant. Flovac was able to offer a different perspective. When the Australian water industry’s campaigns to save water were met so enthusiastically by the general public, problems then arose in the gravity sewer networks, where less water meant more blockages and odour problems. Vacuum systems resolved many of those issues. 5. W  hat technology and/or strategies, if any, do you think would be the best options for the US to adopt to weather recent and future drought situations? It was impressive to see so many senior level water authorities keen to hear what we had to say. The Australian delegation was treated royally and it is a credit to AWA and the NSW government representative that we were given such a prominent role in the discussions. I would add that by the end of the week it had rained so hard that some parts of California were experiencing flooding. I’m not saying that it was totally due to our help, but... 6. Y  ou also joined the AWA delegation to India as part of India Water Week. What is your perception of the water industry in India and the challenges it faces? India is going through a momentous shift in its attitudes to water and its resolve to fix the situation. There has been an inability to move forward over the past 20 years and, as a result, water has become a serious political issue, with pollution and water use being major aspects. This has been highlighted by the new Prime Minister Mr Modi focusing on water infrastructure, with ambitious plans to put toilets in all houses and clean the Ganges River by 2018 – an enormous task. 7. What were the highlights of India Water Week for you? India Water Week and India-Australia Business Week was a well-run event with 450 Australian businesses showing up in Delhi and other cities for a broad range of meetings and talks. With Trade Minister Robb, Premier Baird and other senior Australians we received a lot

of very positive press, which can only help Australian companies getting a foothold into a very big market. 8. What business opportunities do you think events like the California Delegation and India Water Week present for Australian companies? As in California it was good to meet other Australian companies going through the same experiences. We made a lot of good contacts at senior levels within the various Ministries and business community. We have had a number of follow-up meetings, and at the end of February I was back at the invitation of the Confederation of Indian Industries to participate in their exhibition of innovative technologies in the water field. Our company was highlighted in their magazine at the exhibition. My local Managing Director, Shiv Mann, has been given many opportunities from this follow-up, as it showed our commitment to the market. We have some great opportunities with the Indian Railways, some major projects along the Ganges and even talk of a pilot project to commence soon to sewer the major slums in Mumbai. This would be a huge opportunity and give us a chance to take part in something really important that will improve the lives of a vast number of people. We also had excellent collaborative talks with a company involved with providing clean water for communities working with the Melinda and Bill Gates foundation. 9. What did you personally and/or Flovac gain from both these experiences? Both the US and Indian missions gave me a good opportunity to learn from not only high-level people within those countries, but even more importantly from others in Australia going through the same experiences. This has created opportunities to look for projects in which a number of Australian companies could work together. I found that my Manager in India was able to help other Australian companies with market knowledge and I was able to learn from their contacts. 10. Would you consider attending similar events in future? If so, which countries/regions do you think would benefit most from Australian technology/expertise? I will participate in other delegations where the organisers can get good access to key people in the industry. We have been lucky with the knowledge that some senior-level people at AWA have in those markets. Recent delegations to Australia from Thailand and Vietnam have highlighted the good high-level contacts. My focus for now is certainly more Asia and the US, but I know that Australian companies could provide good knowledge to Brazil where they are also being challenged by water shortages. A rain dance from an Australian delegation may just be the answer.

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Conference Report

AWA Water Innovation Forum 2015 The first stand-alone AWA Water Innovation Forum was held at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney on 18 and 19 March 2015. AWA Industry Innovation Manager Jerome Moulin wrote this report on the two-day event. The purpose of the AWA Water Innovation Forum was to bring together industries – including food and beverage, dairy, meat and livestock, agriculture and built environment – to identify and discuss water and wastewater challenges and provide a platform for innovators to exhibit their products. The event drew together over 300 participants from Australia and overseas, attracted over 30 exhibitors, and received support from industry sponsors including ANZ, ARUP, NSW Trade and Investment, Qantas, University of New South Wales and Australia Meat Processor Corporation.

Day 1 The event was opened by AWA CEO Jonathan McKeown, whose opening address was followed by a welcome by Christina Tonkin (ANZ), and a plenary address from Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb. Professor Chubb took the stage to discuss the Australian Government’s innovation agenda and its recent commitment to further science and research funding.

The second session focused on the built environment and, more specifically, on water-smart buildings. The building and construction sectors face challenges in optimising the urban dimension of water services and contributing to other key areas of sustainable urban development. A range of speakers from the built environment industry – Megan Houghton (CitySmart), Lisa Currie (City of Sydney), Andrew Grant (Goldenfields Water County Council), Kaia Hodge (Sydney Water), Sonia de Almada (Green Building Council of Australia), and Daniel Lambert (ARUP) – examined new and cost-saving innovations for smart buildings and highlighted some of the future challenges faced by the sector. The third session of the day was aimed at identifying and discussing challenges faced by the food and beverage, dairy, agriculture, and meat and livestock sectors. With the ever-increasing pressure on clean water resources, the sector is seeking processes that are efficient, sustainable and cost-effective while ensuring access to a clean water supply. Industry representatives included Douglas McNicholl (Australian Meat Processor Corporation), Michael Murray (Cotton Australia), Kristen Clark (Glenbank Farms), Graham Bryant (Simplot Australia) and David Barr (Dairy Innovation Australia). This session was particularly well received as it offered the traditional water sector insights into other industry sectors where collaboration could lead to better water efficiency.

AWA Water Innovation Challenge Following these three sessions, Daniel Lambert from Arup facilitated a discussion to identify key challenges faced by the industry. The discussion provided a platform to shape AWA’s Water Innovation Challenge. Opened to companies worldwide, the first competition will challenge entrepreneurs and established companies to enter their most innovative product or solution that would lead to better engagement with customers and communities by creating an emotional connection with water. Entries will be accepted up until 8 May 2015. The winner of this prestigious event will be announced at Ozwater’15, Australia’s International Water Conference & Exhibition to be held in Adelaide in May 2015. Prizes include: • A full-page editorial in Water Journal; • A tailored B2B program to introduce their innovation to potential users; • Exhibition space at the 2016 AWA Water Innovation Forum; • A promotional campaign across the Australian water sector and AWA’s members.

Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist. The second keynote address was from Circular Economy Australia’s Candice Quatermain. Candice provided an overview of the role of innovation for business success and economic growth. Candice encouraged the audience to avoid focusing simply on problems and solutions, but to look at opportunities, interactions and partnerships. The first session of the Forum was dedicated to the topic: ‘The Role of Disruptive Innovation in Customer Engagement’. Bringing together Patrick Lane (Deloitte Consulting), Julian Gray (Smart WaterMark), Jeremy Daunay (IJINUS), and Angelica Veness (IBM Australia), the session provided an overview of some disruptive innovations, their application in the water sector, and their role in how to better engage customers.

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More information on the Water Innovation Challenge can be found at challenge

Left to right: Kristen Clark, Michael Murray, Douglas McNicholl, Graham Bryant and David Barr.


Conference Report Pitch Session To further foster the spirit of innovation, the Forum included a pitch session, where 16 technology companies introduced their product or solution to the audience and to a panel of experts, including Michael Quinn (Innovation Capital), Sylvan Browne (FB Rice), Gregory Poussardin (Accenture), Christine Cussen (Orius Pty Ltd), Amanda Chadwick (NSW Trade and Investment) and Daniel Lambert (Arup). As determined by the judges, the five best pitches were delivered by: Propeller Aerobotics, NICTA, Oxyzone, Calix and IJINUS. All five win a complimentary entry to Ozwater’15 and a display space booth at Ozwater’s Innovation Corner. Propeller Aerobotics was also awarded the People’s Choice Award, which was kindly provided by our Principal Sponsor ANZ. The day closed with an address from Gavin Hanlon from NSW Department of Primary Industries, followed by networking drinks.

Day 2 The second day of the Forum started with a session specifically focused on the financing of the innovation value chain. This session provided an overview of the public and private funding streams available to drive forward innovation and the commercialisation of new technologies. Speakers from the finance community included Stuart Anderson (Sydney Capital Partner), Nigel Hennessy (Accelerating Commercialisation) and Mark Malcolm (MM Ltd). To further demonstrate AWA’s commitment in sharing knowledge and expertise with international key players in the water arena, the Innovation Forum offered an opportunity to hear from Nirvashnee Seetal (South African Water Research Commission). Nirvashnee gave an overview of the water industry and water challenges in South Africa and presented the WADER program, which is aimed at bridging the gap between water research and the market, and ultimately delivering socio-economic benefits for South Africa. The third session was focused on water utilities’ innovative practices for a water-efficient environment. The session highlighted some key initiatives water utilities have adopted to contribute to water conservation. Speakers included Paul Plowman (Sydney Water), Rohan Ogier (South East Water), and Colin Chapman (Queensland Urban Utilities). The last session of the day provided an overview of international initiatives aiming to strengthen and accelerate the development, commercialisation and adoption of innovative water technologies. Tan Kok Tian (PUB Singapore), Simon Wilson (Veolia) and Adam Lovell (WSAA) each presented initiatives supporting the market access of new technologies.

Left to right: Geoffrey Gray, Nigel Hennessy, Mark Malcolm and Stuart Anderson.

Attendees meet and mingle in the Exhibition Hall. The afternoon of the second day was divided into two streams. The first stream, led by John O’Brien (Australian CleanTech), was a practical session providing support to innovators by reviewing pitches and offering concrete tips. Experts from the finance and marketing sectors and technology companies shared their experience with innovators and the audience. The second stream included an R&D Roundtable session. The objective of AWA’s R&D Roundtable Program was to bring together representatives from industry and research communities to discuss: 1.

Exchange of information on current R&D projects being undertaken by industry and the research community;


Exchange of information on industry R&D needs and priorities;


Potential opportunities for the adoption of new water innovation and technologies;


Dissemination and promotion of water innovation through AWA’s communication channels.

This first R&D Roundtable was led by Greg Oliver (Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence). The Roundtable was followed by a tour of Central Park, which accommodates a sustainable, state-of-the-art refined wastewater recycling system, providing a secure and environmentally friendly source of water to sustain Central Park’s spectacular vertical gardens. AWA would like to thank all sponsors, speakers, exhibitors and delegates for participating in the Forum. We hope to see you all next year for the 2016 Water Innovation Forum.

Nirvahsnee Seetal talked about the water challenges faced in South Africa and presented the WADER program.

Feature Article

Construction of the Goldfields Pipeline around 1903.

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Feature Article

BUILDING ON A LEGACY OF INNOVATIVE ENGINEERING In recognition of the originality and ingenuity of its design, the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant has received two awards from the WA Division of Engineers Australia, writes Mark Shaw, Manager – Water Technology, at GHD in Perth.


ore than 110 years ago, the construction of Mundaring Weir and the associated 580km Goldfields Pipeline formed the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme – an iconic Australian engineering feat that brought fresh water and economic development to the Kalgoorlie area of Western Australia. Not only has the scheme been placed on Australia’s National Heritage List, it has also been recognised by the American Society of Civil Engineers as an International Engineering Landmark and one of the most significant 20th century engineering projects. Over time this water supply network has been progressively upgraded and modernised, and significant investment has been made to meet the needs of today’s regional communities and lay the economic foundations for development into the next 110 years. The $300 million Mundaring Water Treatment Plant Project is the latest upgrade to benefit communities supplied by the pipeline and the first Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the West Australian water industry. The new plant treats all drinking water supplied to approximately 100,000 Water Corporation customers connected to the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme, including households, agriculture and industry. The integrated project comprises a pump

station and water treatment plant expandable from 165 million litres per day to 240 million litres per day. This project is the first greenfield filtration water treatment plant with capacity of more than 150 ML/d to be built in Australia in the last five years. It has been integrated into the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme without interruption to local or regional community supplies. The Mundaring Water Treatment Project was implemented by Helena Water, comprising TRILITY, ACCIONA Agua and Lloyds Bank (now Aberdeen Asset Management) under an agreement with the Water Corporation of Western Australia. Helena Water will now operate and maintain the plant for the next 35 years, before handing it back to the Water Corporation. Helena Water contracted to the ACCIONA and TRILITY joint venture (ATJV) the design, construction and commissioning of the facilities. ATJV undertook the design in collaboration with engineering, architecture, and environmental consultancy company GHD, and managed construction of the plant with Brookfield Multiplex, the on-site constructor. The plant has received two Engineering Excellence Awards from the WA Division of Engineers Australia in recognition of the originality and ingenuity of its design.

An aerial view of the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant in Western Australia. The plant treats drinking water for supply to approximately 100,000 Water Corporation customers.



Feature Article

Aerial shot of Pump Station C.

WATER TREATMENT INNOVATIONS One of the unique design features is that the plant can use water of variable quality from three different sources – surface water from Mundaring Weir and the Lower Helena Dam, and water from the Integrated Water Supply Scheme (IWSS), which includes groundwater and desalinated water. By being able to process raw water from different sources, the plant can reliably deliver water of required quality and volume to regional communities. The flexibility and robustness afforded by this approach sets the facility apart from other large water treatment plants around Australia and globally. The Mundaring Water Treatment Plant employs dissolved air floatation/filtration, biological activated carbon filtration andchloramination (normal mode) with an alternative process stream using ultraviolet disinfection (contingency mode). The integration of Dissolved Air Flotation/Filtration (DAFF) and Biological Activated Carbon (BAC) provides a robust and cost-effective treatment solution, enabling reduced levels of natural organic matter in the water with minimal disinfection by-products. DAFF removes most of the suspended organic solids and BAC mainly removes the dissolved organic matter. DAFF is the integration of a traditional Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) with a filtration system, resulting in a smaller footprint. In addition, the common backwashing facilities for DAFF and BAC reduced the required civil, mechanical and electrical works, which resulted in significant cost and construction schedule savings. BAC in a plant of this scale is an Australian first and provides a more cost-effective and less operator-intensive option when compared to Powder Activated Carbon. In addition, instead of lime, the plant uses sodium hydroxide and carbon dioxide for re-carbonating water, removing the necessity for a costly lime plant and sludge waste disposal. A novel system of commercial incentives has been established for the plant to achieve water quality and quantity objectives over its 35-year operating period. Deviances in water quality result in financial penalties (abatements) to the private sector partners. As a result, the instrumentation and control systems deployed on the project provide early warning of water quality tolerance infringements in order to minimise, and ideally eliminate, abatements. Water quality is monitored at five different stages of the treatment process. These measurements are also regularly verified by independent off-site laboratory analysis.


Because the plant is located in a bushfire-prone area, its design incorporates an integrated bushfire protection network.

BUSHFIRE PROTECTION INNOVATIONS The treatment plant is located high in the Mundaring Hills, in a heavily wooded area that is highly susceptible to bushfires. During bushfires, the facility has to remain operational to deliver water supplies for firefighting in local and regional communities. In the absence of any state or Australian standards, the engineering team conceived, developed and implemented a bushfire protection network from first principles, applying technology developed for the oil and gas industry. The integrated bushfire protection scheme consists of a buffer zone around the plant, a high-pressure water “oil-safe” spray curtain to protect key areas from radiant heat, and an External Water Spray System (EWSS) to protect critical buildings against ember attack. The bushfire deluge system and the EWSS use the plant’s raw water and treated water pump station residual pipework pressures to deliver high-pressure water for fire protection, without additional pressure-boosting equipment.

SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES The plant was completed in December 2013 and officially opened by the Western Australian Premier and Water Minister in March 2014. Since the plant’s commissioning, the Perth Hills and the Goldfields and Agricultural region of WA have benefited from a secure 24/7 supply of significantly improved freshwater quality, being fully compliant with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines for the first time in history. As part of the project, the Water Corporation created the Mundaring Weir precinct close to the new water treatment plant. The public site includes signs, historic sites, gardens, walks and trails that collectively tell the story of the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme, one of the world’s great engineering feats. WJ


Feature Article

TOWARDS RESOURCE RECOVERY Biosolids from wastewater treatment is an energy- and carbon-rich resource that in many cases is going completely to waste. John Andrews and Daniel Gapes from Scion discuss the need for better biosolids management and a new way to ‘make poop pay’.


he sewage that cities and towns have to deal with daily is a source of energy and nutrients that cannot be ignored. Innovative technology that reduces biosolids volume and increases resource recovery is well on its way to commercialisation in New Zealand. People poop. Lots of people produce lots of poop. Every day, Australia has to dispose of some 3,600 tonnes of biosolids produced by treating wastewater and sewage; New Zealand, with its smaller population, only has to cope with 1,100 tonnes. Australia is fortunate to have a farming industry that is willing to accept biosolids, with about two-thirds being recycled to agriculture and other uses on the land, and nearly a quarter stockpiled or sent to landfill. In contrast, the majority of municipal biosolids in New Zealand are sent to landfill, with only 30 per cent reused on the land (see Agricultural reuse or land rehabilitation attempts to recover the total nutrient value of biosolids, but it comes with a cost. For example, between 30 and 90 per cent of the total cost of treatment and beneficial reuse of biosolids occurs in the disposal phase. Transport is the largest component of this cost. Typical transport distances in Australia are 200–300 km from the point of generation (DSEWPaC, 2012), often requiring heavy vehicle movement through urban areas.

The need for better biosolids management The centenary of the commissioning of the world’s first activated sludge plant will be in 2016. Ninety-nine years ago the new technology delivered impressive improvements in public health and environmental protection. Wastewater and sludge treatment has continued to evolve, but there is still an emphasis on treatment. Opportunities exist for moving beyond wastewater treatment functions like basic sanitation to resource recovery and more. The biosolids from the wastewater treatment are an energyand carbon-rich resource that contains recoverable nitrogen and phosphorus. Extending value recovery further, biosolids could be used to source materials in the production of chemicals, bioplastics, biofuels and the recovery of trace metals (Figure 1). Bioplastics such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) have already been synthesised and extracted from treated wastewater-derived biosolids (Chua et al., 2003). Technologies for biosolids management currently in use vary in their costs, their effectiveness at reducing solids volume and biohazard, and in the extent of value recovery. Energy is often recovered through incineration or by using the biogas generated by anaerobic digestion. Incineration reduces volume but is expensive and has a negative public perception. The high moisture content of biosolids can make

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Figure 1. Increasing levels of disruption moves biosolids treatment from basic sanitation towards resource recovery (redrawn from a CH2MHILL diagram). it challenging to achieve self-sustaining combustion in an incinerator, and supplementary fuel is often required. Anaerobic digestion is a conventional and mature technology. It is relatively inexpensive but only moderately efficient in reducing hazards and biosolids volume; value recovery is also moderate. The end product (digestate) is subject to the challenges discussed above regarding land or landfill disposal. One alternative processing technology is wet oxidation. This process utilises wet combustion through the addition of the biosolids along with an oxidant (usually oxygen) into a vessel operated at elevated temperatures (180–374°C) and pressures (30–90 bar). Under these sub-critical conditions, carbon and nitrogen can be converted and retained as acetic acid and ammonia.

New technology DEVELOPED An innovative process to extract value from sewage sludge has been developed at Scion. The target of the TERAX™ process is maximum recovery of energy, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus components. The heart of the process is a biological fermentation stage combined with a hydrothermal (sub-critical wet oxidation) second stage. This hybrid configuration provides a synergy whereby the strengths of one process mitigate the weaknesses of the other. An outline of the process is shown in Figure 2. Thickened raw primary and secondary solids are fed to an anaerobic fermenter. The sewage sludge is held at 35–55°C and, over a period of four to six days, it undergoes hydrolysis, acidogenesis and acetogenesis, producing acetic acid and other short-chain organic acids. The residence time is relatively short for an anaerobic process, allowing the reactor volume to be minimised with the flow-on effect of reducing capital costs. Approximately 30% of the suspended solids are dissolved during this stage and the vast majority of the carbon is retained within the solid and liquid phases.

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Feature Article to stimulate nitrogen removal. Acetic acid can be used as a supplementary carbon feedstock in denitrification. With a high ethanol price, supplementing this carbon source with acetic acid can achieve significant operational cost savings. An alternative use for the acetic acid is to convert it to energy via methane. Acetic acid is an intermediary compound in methanogenesis and it is converted to methane more rapidly than raw wastes that first need to undergo microbial hydrolysis. Sewage sludge deconstructed to basic molecular building blocks such as acetic acid also has the potential to be used as feedstock for new industrial processes. With its high carbon content the TERAX liquor would make a suitable feedstock in the production of highvalue PHA bioplastics, for example.

Figure 2. A simplified process diagram of the hybrid TERAX technology. The second, wet oxidation stage is a continuous, oxidative hydrothermal process that is completed in one to two hours. The remaining organic suspended solids from the fermentation stage are rapidly degraded, with >95% destruction. The few solids that remain (mostly the inorganic component of the solids) are sterile and rich in phosphorus. Under the sub-critical conditions in the hydrothermal reactor, the acetic acid concentration rises as the organic matter is broken down. Approximately 50 per cent of the carbon entering the process is lost as CO2 during wet oxidation, but the remainder is retained in solution, principally as acetic acid. The biosolids transformation process is shown in Figure 3.

Nitrogen Nitrogen as ammonia can be recovered through the new process. Using an ammonia recovery unit operation the ammonia that accumulates in the reactor during the hydrothermal stage can be retrieved as an ammonium sulphate solution. There is an existing market for ammonium sulphate in agricultural applications and it can readily fit into the existing supply chains. As a liquid fertiliser of known concentration, the ammonium-sulphate solution can be applied to crops in a controlled manner. Recovered ammonium sulphate from wastewater treatment is a way to displace traditional fertiliser manufacturing routes that rely heavily on natural gas. Phosphorus Technologies to recover phosphorus are urgently needed, as fossil phosphorus resources are finite. WWTPs are a source of phosphorus that should be seen as a resource. More than 95 per cent of the phosphorus entering the TERAX process is collected in the solid (ash) phase of the TERAX process. The phosphate content of the ash (~30%) is comparable to rock phosphate used for fertiliser production. The solid product, as with the liquid product, is in a form that can easily enter existing supply chains for fertiliser manufacture and distribution.

The need for the technology

Figure 3. A simplified diagram showing the destruction of biosolids (brown) and conversion to breakdown products. Wet oxidation can be likened to burning in water. This is important as it means that, unlike incineration, biosolids do not have to be extensively dewatered before treatment to make it effective. Chemical oxidation reactions occurring in the aqueous phase produce sufficient energy to make the process autothermal. Energetic self-sufficiency means that once the process has started, no external energy inputs are required. This includes the heat requirements for the anaerobic fermentation stage.

Using recovered resources Carbon Acetic acid is the main carbon compound recovered in the Terax process. It can be used in a number of beneficial ways. Organic carbon is often the limiting substrate in biological denitrification systems. Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operators add extra carbon in the form of methanol or ethanol

The first full-scale plant incorporating the TERAX process is targeted to be commissioned in 2016 in Rotorua, New Zealand. The district as a whole contains 18 lakes (Figure 4), and the town is located on a lake that has had issues with nutrient accumulation and eutrophication. As a consequence, low consent limits for nitrogen and phosphorus are in place. Biosolids treatment and disposal costs the Rotorua District Council (RDC) approximately AU$1M per year – a large sum relative to its low population of 75,000 equivalents. Understandably, the council has been looking for a more sustainable long-term disposal option for the town’s biosolids. Rotorua’s WWTP currently generates approximately 10,000 tonnes per annum of biosolids. Using the new process to extensively break down the organic component would leave 500–1000 tonnes per annum of solid material to be recycled into fertiliser. One-third of the current operating costs at the Rotorua WWTP relate to the use of ethanol in biological nutrient removal (BNR). Significant savings could be achieved by using acetic acid from the TERAX process to substitute around 40 per cent of the WWTP’s ethanol requirements. The technology is considered to be the most cost-effective option for achieving the district council’s objectives around

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Feature article

Figure 4. The district of Rotorua contains 18 lake catchments. sustainable disposal of biosolids from the WWTP, and to comply with increasingly stringent environmental protection requirements. The business case for the Rotorua plant has been accepted and validated through a review process. Global engineering contractor, WorleyParsons, has been selected for the engineering and project management of the full-scale plant. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2016, followed by plant commissioning and operator training prior to handover (Figure 5).

Zealand government policy had a focus on reducing organic waste disposal at landfill. With this environmental driver and the Waste Minimisation levy as a funding mechanism, further development of the process was possible. The technology was trialled on a pilot scale at the Rotorua council’s WWTP in 2011, an experience that has proved immensely valuable. Having a tangible asset at a pilot plant scale meant that laboratory results could be replicated on a larger scale, and that stakeholders could see the technology working and have confidence in further scale-up. Running the process on a pilot plant scale revealed the mechanical, instrumentation and control problems that could occur during full-scale operation. While the problems were frustrating, they provided key learnings that have been carried over into the detailed design of the full-scale plant. Overall, the results from the pilot stage provided sufficient justification to proceed to the initial engineering and business case phases of building a commercialscale demonstration plant at the Rotorua WWTP. The development process has not been linear. Aspects of the technology were frequently refined by laboratory-scale work. Ensuring models and costs were up to date, and adapting to changes in regulatory environment and investment priorities over the lifecycle of the technology development, also resulted in process changes.

Figure 5. The technology development timeline.

commercialising The Technology The new technology was conceived in 2006. At the same time as improved waste management technologies for the pulp and paper industry were being investigated by researchers at Scion, conversations were taking place with municipal wastewater treatment professionals in Rotorua about the issues they faced with biosolids disposal. A combination of the two sets of needs led to a convergence of technology, research and market forces. After preliminary laboratory experiments were used to prove the technical feasibility of the work, funding was needed to improve the initial concept and develop economic models to underpin the business case for further investment. At that time, New

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The final, and perhaps most important, factor in the success of the project thus far has been the people involved. Decision makers that committed appropriate resources to mitigate risks, champions within the Rotorua council, sound project management and individuals with perseverance and passion have all contributed immensely to the progress of the process development.

beyond 2016 Future opportunities for the technology lie beyond biosolids. The high oxidation potential of hydrothermal processing can be applied to other organic waste streams. Primary industry wastes such as those from pulp and paper, dairy, meat and fruit processing, as well as municipal solid waste, are all potential resource streams in Australia and New Zealand. The TERAX process, utilising diverse waste streams and conserving society’s resources will constitute a major paradigm shift towards more sustainable treatment systems. We are looking forward to a waste-free, resource rich future. For more information please email: wJ

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Figure 6. The pilot plant.


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water APRIL 2015

Chua AS, Takabatake H, Satoh H & Mino T (2003): Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) by Activated Sludge Treating Municipal Wastewater: Effect of pH, Sludge Retention Time (SRT), and Acetate Concentration in Influent. Watter Research, 37, 15, pp 3602–3611. DSEWPaC (2012): Biosolids Snapshot. Report by PSD Pty Ltd for the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. June 2012.

The aUThors Dr Daniel Gapes (email: daniel.gapes@ is an Environmental Engineer with a background in developing innovative waste management technologies. He currently leads Scion’s environmental technology research, developing new ways to manage and derive value from organic waste. Dr John Andrews (email: john.andrews@ is an Environmental Engineer working on clean technologies for waste management. He has been with Scion for three years focusing on improving the efficiencies of anaerobic processing and hydrothermal treatments. Scion is a Crown research institute that undertakes research, science and technology development for the forestry, wood product, wood-derived materials and other biomaterial sectors. Scion’s work contributes to beneficial economic, environmental and social outcomes for New Zealand.

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Feature Article

MIEX GOLD RESIN: Demonstration at Aireys inlet A case study of the conversion of an existing MIEX water treatment plant to use MIEX Gold resin to improve treatment performance. By Antony Gibson and Sasa Golubovic from IXOM.


XOM (formerly Orica Watercare) developed a new magnetic ion exchange resin (MIEX® Gold) to provide improved performance when removing dissolved organic carbon from natural waters. The Aireys Inlet Water Treatment Plant switched to using MIEX Gold resin in April 2013. Since then, the new resin has provided improved treated water quality, while reducing salt consumption and waste generation by approximately 50 per cent. For new installations, the application of MIEX Gold can significantly reduce capital and operating costs, as well as expanding the raw water operating envelope.

TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW MIEX technology, utilising MIEX resin, was developed over an extended period stretching back to the mid-1980s. Orica Watercare and two leading Australian research organisations (CSIRO and South Australian Water Corporation) worked together to develop a unique ion exchange process for the removal of dissolved organic carbon from potable water sources. The first MIEX resin to be created and introduced to the market was the MIEX DOC resin, a high-capacity ion exchange resin with a magnetised component. The combination of this magnetic resin with a continuous ion exchange process offered water utilities a cost-effective and environmentally friendly DOC removal process, capable of achieving new standards in water quality.

• Limited removal efficiency of some difficult-to-treat waters, particularly with high-humic acid content. The development of the high-rate contactor system (as used in most new installations globally since 2007) and the EcoRegen® brine recycling system (as used by Water Corporation in Australia) had addressed the brine waste and capital cost issues. However, there was still a need for an improved resin that was better suited to waters with high humic acid content.

MIEX GOLD RESIN DEVELOPMENT MIEX Gold was developed by IXOM’s resin development team within its in-house laboratories, and further tested at pilot and full-scale production facilities. The MIEX Gold resin (patent pending) has a similar bead size and exchange capacity to MIEX DOC resin, but a larger surface area that allows more molecules to attach, with less steric or physical hindrance from other attached organic molecules. Figure 2 shows a comparison of the resin surfaces. The resin is accredited for use in drinking water systems by NSF.

MIEX technology has been successfully commercialised, with more than 60 installations globally, especially in highly coloured ground and surface waters with disinfection by-product issues. Figure 1 shows a a typical MIEX high-rate contactor process flow train.

Figure 2. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images.

Figure 1. Typical MIEX high-rate contactor process flow train. Adoption of any new technology by the water industry can take significant time, as the industry approach to process risk management can be conservative, and assets are long lived. However, there were other barriers to rapid adoption of MIEX technology, particularly pertinent to adoption in the European market. These included: • Generation of brine waste; • Relatively high cost of treatment infrastructure;

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Jar tests were conducted to compare performance of MIEX Gold resin against MIEX DOC resin on more than 50 waters from across the world. On some waters, the MIEX Gold resin showed little to no improvement. However, on other water sources, there was significant improvement. Table 1 illustrates the results of a trial done on water sourced from Ewden WTW in Yorkshire, UK (Mergen, 2013). The results showed that MIEX Gold resin could achieve significantly better DOC and UVA removal at the typical treatment rate of 600 bed volumes. However, it also showed that MIEX Gold could achieve similar performance at a treatment rate of 2,000 bed volumes as MIEX DOC could for 600 bed volumes. This has important implications, as the treatment rate is a key parameter for determining capital costs (i.e. the capacity of the regeneration infrastructure) and operating costs (salt consumption and waste generation).

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Feature Article

Table 1. Jar test results for Ewden WTW (2013). Parameter



Raw Water




Treated Water





MIEX DOC @ 2,000 BV



MIEX Gold @ 600 BV



MIEX Gold @ 2,000 BV






MIEX DOC @ 2,000 BV



MIEX Gold @ 600 BV



MIEX Gold @ 2,000 BV



DOC = dissolved organic carbon, mg/L UVA = uv absorbance measured at 254 nm, cm-1

AIREYS INLET WATER TREATMENT PLANT The Aireys Inlet Water Treatment Plant (WTP), located about 150km from Melbourne, is operated by Barwon Water and sources its raw water from the Painkalac Reservoir. The raw water contains high levels of colour and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). These factors, combined with low alkalinity and variable turbidity, make this water difficult to treat using conventional processes. The existing conventional 2.85 ML/d plant consists of alum coagulation, flash mixing, flocculation, sludge blanket clarification, filtration and chlorine disinfection. Historically, DOC removal objectives were difficult to achieve using this treatment, despite the application of high alum doses (e.g. enhanced coagulation). This resulted in high treated water chlorine demand, quick chlorine decay, low chlorine residuals and, in turn, bacterial regrowth in the distribution system. In addition, the reaction of chlorine with DOC led to the formation of elevated concentrations of disinfection by-products in the treated water.

Figure 3. Aireys Inlet high-rate contactor.

AIREYS INLET RESULTS Monthly average data is usually used to provide an indication of the MIEX system treatment performance. UV254 absorbance is used as an online surrogate for DOC, and correlates well with coagulant and chlorine demand. Figure 4 shows a comparison of raw water and MIEX-treated water UV absorbance.

A dual-stage MIEX System was installed in December 2004 to enhance the removal of DOC from the water prior to conventional treatment.

Raw water quality at Aireys Inlet can vary considerably, with DOC as high as 30 mg/L. Hence, it can be difficult to visually observe clear performance trends in the data. Table 2 shows a statistical summary of monthly performance data from January 2012–June 2014. Over this period, MIEX DOC was used for the first 15 months, and MIEX Gold for the next 15 months. There were no major mechanical or process incidents over the period.

The MIEX System was upgraded to a 2 ML/d high rate configuration in 2006 (Cumming, 2006). Barwon Water has been satisfied with the performance of the system, and the Aireys Inlet site has continued to be a good location for IXOM to trial new technological developments. Figure 3 shows the Aireys Inlet high-rate contactor.

For Aireys Inlet, the ideal long-term operation will be to run at a treatment rate of 1,000–1,200 bed volumes over summer, when product volumes are highest. A treatment rate of 800 bed volumes will be used during winter, when DOC concentrations can be


AIREYS INLET CONVERSION Jar trials conducted on Aireys Inlet raw water showed similar results to Ewden. They indicated that MIEX Gold resin would enable Barwon Water to achieve better DOC removal, while reducing salt consumption and waste generation. Barwon Water agreed to switch out the inventory of MIEX DOC resin for MIEX Gold resin after the Easter holiday period in 2013. There were some initial commissioning issues, as the Aireys Inlet WTP only operates for two to three days per week outside the summer peak periods, so plant optimisation can take longer than for many other water treatment plants. However, performance soon stabilised. After an initial period operating at a treatment rate of 600 bed volumes, the treatment rate was extended to demonstrate the benefits of MIEX Gold. After an initial operating period of six months, it was agreed to continue operating using MIEX Gold on a permanent basis.

Figure 4. Comparison of raw water and MIEX-treated water UV absorbance.

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Feature article

Table 2. Aireys Inlet treatment performance Jan 2012–Jun 2014. Resin

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We wish to acknowledge the assistance of Barwon Water in allowing us to demonstrate this new resin at its treatment plant, and the continued support of Damian McMurrich, Adam Moss and Josh Feldman.



UVA Raw Water

52 (15)

53 (15)

UVA MIEX Treated

29 (13)

30 (12)

UVA Removal (%)



Note: MIEX and EcoRegen are registered trademarks owned by Chemicals Australia Operations Pty Ltd.

Bed Volume Treatment Rate




Results shown are averages, with standard deviation data shown in parentheses. UV data shown in cm-1

higher, with the flexibility to increase further following heavy rain. By comparison, under MIEX DOC resin, the plant operated at a treatment rate of 600 bed volumes over summer, sometimes decreasing to 400 bed volumes during periods of poor raw water quality. This operating mode will decrease the regeneration costs (salt consumption, waste generation and power consumption). As regeneration capacity is limited, it also improves the ability of the plant to deal with varying raw water quality into the future.

Akkawi F, Gibson A, Golubovic S & Banks J (2014): 5 Years On – Performance Assessment of 3 MIEX® Systems in Northern England for DBP Pre-cursor Removal. Paper presented at DBP 2014: Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water Conference, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. Cumming S & Holmquist A (2006): Full Scale Magnetic Ion Exchange Process Tested by Historically High DOC Levels. Paper presented at Enviro ’06 Conference, Melbourne, Vic. Mergen M, Zhao O, Raymond M & Gibson A (2013): Enhanced DOC Removal With Novel MIEX® Resin in High SUVA Waters. Paper presented at IWA Natural Organic Matter Research Conference, Perth, WA.

THE AUTHORS Antony Gibson (email: leads the IXOM advanced water treatment business in Australia, and has global responsibility for the MIEX technology.

CONCLUSIONS The Aireys Inlet demonstration validated the benefits of MIEX Gold resin, which can provide a significant change in treatment rate, compared to existing MIEX DOC resin.

Sasa Golubovic is a Principal Process Engineer for IXOM, based in Europe and supporting MIEX installations globally.

Along with other technological advances, this improves the viability of MIEX treatment as a cost-effective process for dealing with difficult-to-treat raw waters. WJ

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Feature Article

STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY IN FLOWMETER VERIFICATION FOR THE WATER AND WASTEWATER INDUSTRY The latest generation of flowmeters offer a host of benefits to users, write Gernot Engstler, Martin Nolte and Whitney Liu.


ater and wastewater businesses globally are going to great lengths to ensure high levels of process reliability, consistent product quality and accurate delivery of water. There is also a drive for sustainability, economically and environmentally. A key to achieving these outcomes is the use of state-of-the-art measuring technologies, as the latest developments typically ensure highly stable measurements over long periods of time. It is thus common practice to inspect quality-related measuring points regularly. The most common measurement points requiring such confidence include municipal wastewater influent, potable water distribution, utility water, water recycling, desalination, commercial and industrial water customer accounts, trade waste and processes under ISO9001 systems. For such installations, periodic traceable verification of calibration is considered a must. The general requirements for account and billing water meters, as well as quality related measurement points are: • Flowmeters have to be verified at regular intervals; • Verification must be performed by a qualified third party, using an accepted inspection method based on quality standards such as ISO9001; • Evidence of test must be provided, typically in the form of a certificate or report; • These requirements also typically apply for environmental regulations such as treated wastewater discharge and raw water supply. For new flowmeter installations, meters calibrated in laboratory facilities, audited and accredited to ISO17025, are universally accepted. However, once installed, removing the meter from the pipeline to return it for periodic recalibration is neither logistically nor economically feasible. Therefore, alternatives to recalibration are required. To ensure confidence, any calibration or subsequent verification must be traceable to national or international measurement standards, providing processindependent references. A seamless document trail is required that highlights any modifications to the meter, confirms that it is tamper-proof and describes the calibration or verification protocol. For verification to serve as a viable alternative to recalibration, this document trail must be maintained, including a declaration of the total test coverage as compared to calibration. Only this will ensure a user’s confidence in the flowmeter performance.

Flowmeter Calibration Accepted means of calibrating flowmeters include the use of an audited and accredited calibration facility to ISO/IEC17025. Such laboratories use independent reference standards, traceable back to international reference values. Calibration facilities can be either

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mass-flow or volume-flow based and are engineered to operate under strictly controlled reference conditions that allow for the uniform and consistent comparison of flowmeters manufactured for all pipe diameters from two millimetres up to more than two metres. Facilities need to have sufficient pumping capacity and water storage facilities to cater for the range of meters calibrated. There must also be sufficient upstream and downstream straight run in each size meter calibrated. Such calibration facilities represent a significant financial investment – not always possible where flowmeters are installed. Therefore substantial challenges exist for the periodic recalibration of installed flowmeters, especially in larger line sizes. This is particularly the case where the pipeline in question provides uninterruptable infrastructure. The result of these challenges is the acceptance of verification solutions as an alternative to calibration or as a means to extend calibration.

Flowmeter Verification Verification can be used to take and store a snapshot of the device status. It is used to demonstrate that the flowmeter meets specific technical requirements defined by the manufacturer or customer. External and Internal Verification Today’s ISO 9001 requirements provide the impetus for the common practice of requiring an independent reference system for device inspection as part of the verification process. In practice, reliable verification of flowmeters can be conducted in two ways: firstly with the use of an external verification module whose internal references can be traced along their life cycle by re-calibrating the verification module periodically; or, secondly, by an internal verification that is based on extremely stable, traceable references installed in the meter. In this case, the ‘as manufactured’ condition of the device-internal references is captured during factory calibration and securely saved in the meter’s nonvolatile memory. This reference information

The Promag 400 Electromagnetic Flowmeter.

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Feature Article The status of verification and created data is subsequently used for documenting the results in a verification report. Modern verification modules such as the FieldCheck system from Endress+Hauser carry out the entire process automatically by controlling the flowmeter, simulating the measured values and documenting the results for further processing. Despite this level of automation, external verification remains a complex procedure that requires access to the measuring point in the field. During verification, the transmitter must be opened to input the external reference signals using a special testing adapter. Verification is carried out by a trained technician and requires approximately 30 minutes to complete. The process requires specific knowledge and relies on the assembly and maintenance of infrastructure. This is why external verification is usually implemented as a service or as part of an annual service contract.

Example of external verification.

Evolution to internal verification – the state-of-the-art technology Internal verification is based on the ability of the device to verify itself based on integrated testing, which is carried out on demand. By now, individual device manufacturers have integrated diagnostics, monitoring and verification functions in the flowmeter so that they can be used in a uniform manner for the entire installed base. During flowmeter verification, the current conditions of secondary parameters are compared with their reference values, thereby determining the device status. Typical internal systems produce a ‘pass’ or a ‘fail’ statement, depending on whether the assessment is positive or negative. The individual tests and test results are automatically recorded in the meter memory and used to compile a verification report. Reliability of internal verification methods

Example of internal verification. forms the basis for consecutive internal verifications over the lifetime of the flowmeter. Particularly for electromagnetic flowmeters, external verification methods have been accepted for many years. Up to now, confidence in a method to assure the long-term stability of an internal verification system has not been available, meaning it was always necessary to use a qualified external verification module. Now, with the recent introduction of the latest generation of electromagnetic meters, manufacturers have been able to incorporate reliable internal verification technology. External Verification External verification requires the use of a verification module. This is used as a device-independent reference system, defined under ISO9001 as separate test equipment and, therefore, it must undergo periodic traceable calibration. During the verification process, the module is connected to the flowmeter via test interfaces, and a functional test is carried out by simulating calibrated reference signals and observing the system response. The reference signals for transmitters are fed in via a simulation box and the reference signals to the sensor by means of a sensor test box. In both cases, the electronic characteristics of the system are tested. The results are compared to the limit values defined by the manufacturer. Transmitter and sensor signals are simulated automatically and independently from each other. The response from the meter under test is measured and automatically interpreted by the verification module. If they are within the manufacturer’s defined limits, algorithms in module program record a ‘’pass’’ statement.

A traceable and redundant reference, contained internally in the verification system of the device, is used to ensure the reliability of the results. In the case of an electromagnetic flowmeter, this is a voltage reference, which provides a second, independent reference value. It is important to note that integrated, internal self-monitoring systems replace the need for external test equipment, only if they are based on factory-traceable and redundant references. The reliability and independence of the testing method is ensured by traceable calibration or verification of the references at the factory and the constant monitoring of their long-term stability during the lifecycle of the device. By eliminating additional components for inspection and preventing errors during handling, internal device inspection can be proven to be more reliable than external inspection, when the entire practice is viewed as a whole. Test Coverage Questions or concerns relating to test coverage are best tackled using a specific example. A requirement for high test coverage is a consistent product design in which self-testing has been developed as an integral constituent of the device from the beginning. This concept embeds additional diagnostics tests in all electronic modules of the device. The example illustrates the test groups for an electromagnetic flowmeter. The entire signal chain from the sensor to transmitter output modules is included in the meter verification. Most of the verification tests are actually run continuously during regular meter operation; however, additional tests are added when verification on demand is selected from the flowmeter menu structure. Tests that are part of the continuous self-monitoring are used for flowmeter diagnostics. They provide an immediate diagnostic event, which allows it to react quickly and identify a device defect or an application problem.

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Feature article The on-demand verification allows for tests that briefly interrupt flow rate measurement. These additional tests increase the overall test coverage of the meter. It has been shown that the latest generation of devices that implement this concept provide a test coverage that is comparable to, or higher than, that of an external verification. The crucial factor for this is the ‘total test coverage’ (TTC), which indicates how efficient the tests are.

The verification data may be additionally transferred to asset management software for archiving and trend analysis: In addition to the verification result (pass/fail), the verification system logs the actual measured values for all tested parameters. This data can be used for tracking trends in the lifecycle of the measuring point, allowing for timely conclusions regarding the measuring point’s state of health and assisting in preventing unexpected failures.

The TTC is expressed by the following formula for random failures (calculation based on FMEDA as per IEC 61508):

λdu: Rate of dangerous failures (dangerous undetected)

The biggest advantage of verification is that it can be done without removing the device from the pipeline and, therefore, can be carried out without interrupting the process. This not only substantially reduces effort compared to calibration, but also prevents plant shutdowns.

λTOT: Rate of all theoretically possible failures


Electronics failures labelled ‘dangerous’ are those which, when they occur, would distort or interrupt the measured value output. The integrated self-monitoring of the latest generation of flowmeters generally detects more than 95% of all potential failures (TTC > 95%). This test coverage is relevant for the documentation of tests in quality-related applications. Total test coverage in the order of 95% ensures the flowmeter tested works within its specified accuracy.

The latest generation of flowmeters, incorporating state-of-the-art integrated internal self-monitoring and documented verification, offer the highest operational reliability.

• TTC = (λTOT – λdu) / λTOT

There are three main benefits that such internal systems offer: 1.

Continuous self-monitoring is used for diagnostics, in order to react quickly and target a device defect or an application problem. Since the diagnostics delivers specific messages and corrective actions to the device and its functions, quick troubleshooting is possible.


If the information identified as part of self-monitoring is exported from the device, it can be used for condition monitoring. This continuous observation of the device and process status also allows pro-active measures through early identification of trends, thereby preventing unplanned maintenance or plant shutdown.


Reliable methods of self-monitoring are based on factory traceable references and have high, proven long-term stability. Documenting verification systems makes manual data handling obsolete – it provides tamper-proof documentation and eliminates the risk of human error. Only methods fulfilling these criteria are suitable for internal verification of flowmeters and can be used to create proven documentation in the areas of quality (ISO9001) and to verify metrological requirements.

additional adVantages oF integrated VeriFiCation The results of internal verification are the same as for external verification: verification status (pass/fail) and the recorded raw data. However, since verification is now a part of the device technology, data acquisition and interpretation are also done internallly. This has the advantage of making the functionality available for all operating interfaces and system integration interfaces. The verification procedure depends on the sensor and can last anywhere from a few seconds, up to approximately 10 minutes. The true time saving, however, comes from the ease of use, since no complex interaction with the device is necessary to carry out the verification. This reduces the time for maintenance and increases plant availability. Devices with internal verification should be capable of storing multiple verification results in the transmitter. This is the case not only for the verification status (pass or fail), but also for the measured data. This has the advantage of making the data available for later documentation and makes it possible to create verification reports offline for quality documentation. Furthermore, by comparing the data of multiple consecutive verifications, trends can be detected and systematically tracked during the lifecycle of the measuring point. This allows for timely conclusions regarding the measuring point’s state of health or process-specific influences on the measurement result and assists in preventing unexpected errors. Lastly, this data allows for better maintenance planning; hence cost savings on account of higher plant availability.

In order to fulfil the prerequisites of the most widely varying applications and requirements in the lifecycle of a measuring point, all three features are needed. The modularity of the solution makes it possible to adapt the functions to the demands of the application in a targeted manner. The consistency, ensured for a wide variety of devices through uniform functionality, supports ease of use. WJ

the authors

eleCtroniC doCumentation oF VeriFiCation results Documenting verification systems makes manual data handling obsolete – they provide a tamper-proof documentation system and eliminate the risk of human error. Documenting verification systems are capable of verifying many different electrical signals, including frequency and pulses, and then automatically documenting the results in a verification report. The operator does not have to write down any results, which makes the entire process faster and reduces costs. The quality of the verification results will also improve, as there will be fewer mistakes due to human error.

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Gernot Engstler is Product Manager for Platforms at Endress+ Hauser Flowtec Product Management, Reinach, Switzerland. Martin Nolte (email: is Flow Product Manager at Endress+Hauser Australia, Sydney. Whitney Liu (email: is Industry Manager – Water and Wastewater at Endress+Hauser Australia, Sydney.


Mike Stokes Renewals and Backlog – Program Manager South East Water “The Zinfra team working on South East Water’s sewerage program on the Mornington Peninsula has been excellent. Together we are on track to successfully deliver 135km of our 230km sewerage services project to 16,500 properties in 18 months. This is one of Australia’s largest projects of this type to be completed in such an accelerated timeframe. Working with Zinfra has made delivery of this project easy. The members of the team have remained consistent for the project, making relationships effortless to manage, and they bring extensive experience with large scale, fast-moving pipeline projects to the table.”


Feature Article

Use of decanter centrifuge for sludge dewatering: Reduction of total cost of ownership Large decanters with a high power consumption are needed to treat large volumes of sludge, writes Christian Dousset from the Environment sector at Andritz, so energy efficiency is a key issue.


ost control and a growing need for renewable energies: in the renewable business, finding the best solution to meet these expectations is an ongoing challenge every plant operator today is faced with. As energy costs constantly rise, continued pressure on plant operators to introduce new technologies that reduce energy consumption – in addition to providing a quick return on investment – is an ongoing challenge to both owners and operators.

At the same time, lowering the need for flocculation, a major and constantly rising cost item, has also motivated innovation in these past few years. New developments on automation can lead to better use of each piece of equipment and contribute to the overall reduction of total cost of ownership.

Figure 1. Traditional Hydraulic Pressure arrangement.

Introduction Decanter (or centrifuge) is the most common piece of equipment (among other types of dewatering equipment) used in the world for the purpose of dewatering every type of sludge, such as municipal, industrial, recycled and so on. To treat high flow volumes, large decanters are needed, traditionally involving higher power consumption, which is a significant issue in all wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Therefore, increasing energy efficiency and reducing power consumption are the main economic and environmental challenges for plant operators.

Energy Consumption The daily concern of key users and operators of WWTPs (including those operating water and sewage treatment plants, etc.) is how they can reduce their power requirements in operation and thus reduce cost of ownership. Several measures may be taken to reach this goal: • Decreasing power loss from accelerated liquid and solid flows; • Recovering power from the liquid discharge from the centrifuge; • Directly supplying scroll drive power and reducing the size of the main motor and main variable frequency converter; and • Liquid acceleration in the distributor. To decrease power loss from accelerated liquid and solid flows, Andritz has developed a High Hydraulic Pressure (HHP) design in comparison to the traditional Hydraulic Pressure (HP) arrangement (Figures 1 and 2). Technically, the HHP bowl design reduces the radius of the liquid and solids ejection ports, thereby reducing power loss for the separation process. In this manner, the bowl diameter is unchanged, the cone angle is increased, the pond depth is increased, and the discharge radius is decreased (knowing that the hydraulic power consumption of a centrifuge is proportional to the square of the liquid discharge radius).

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Figure 2. High Hydraulic Pressure arrangement (HHP). Recovering power from the liquid discharge from the centrifuge is also a real possibility and a must to improve energy efficiency. To keep the same separation performance (cake dryness, capture rate, etc), adapted weir plate, with a specific design, achieves a drastic reduction of absorbed power for the centrifuge by the creation of liquid jets directed opposite to the rotor direction of rotation. The extra force supports the bowl rotation and thereby reduces the main drive power consumption. For many years, various drive systems (variable speed/frequency drives) were used by decanter manufacturers. But in the end, when dealing with large decanter types, direct supply scroll drive power and reduction of the size of the main motor, including the main variable frequency converter, allows a reduction in cost of ownership. The direct drive gearbox is thus driven by a secondary motor, avoiding recirculation losses in the main motor and variable frequency converters. Another significant advantage in such a configuration is the fact that the direct drive involves a lower number of pulley belts, which results in lower maintenance costs. Having control of the liquid acceleration in the distributor is also a key issue to reduce energy expenses. A feed chamber accelerator in polyurethane (PU) can ensure good and gradual acceleration of feed. The purpose of the feed chamber accelerator is to bring non-rotating sludge to rotation and distribute it evenly. This requires a high acceleration of the sludge, which may lead to a higher wear rate, a breakup of sludge flocculation (reduction of clarification rate) and a loss of energy efficiency.

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Feature Article

Figure 3. Reduction of installed power due to direct drive. Contrary to conventional wisdom, however, the accelerator with a PU liner ensures a smooth and efficient acceleration of the sludge (1–2% reduction in power consumption) and wear is distributed evenly, further improving the lifetime of the feed chamber. In terms of maintenance, the accelerator offers additional advantages as it is easily interchangeable in the field, with no need to cut the scroll. Replacement can be done through the orifice of the distributer while the machine is on site, with minimal machine downtime.

Figure 4. of the polymer consumption, the installation can suffer from a polymer sub-load/overload or polymer defect, which could lead to impacting the overall dryness of the discharge cake (or dry sludge) and capture

Andritz Separation has developed a new range of large decanters that include all these low-energy consumption features (E2). Figure 4 compares these decanters with Andritz existing standard designs.

rates and, therefore, generating additional operating costs.

Reduction of polymer consumption

polymer pump and/or the sludge pump according to the

The polymer consumption depends on the type and concentration of sludge, and represents a real expense item in WWTP applications (among other similar applications). Without having permanent control

concentration of the feeding sludge; it is then evaluated in-line,

With an automatic system of polymer dosage control like Polysave©, the machine fits automatically with the flow of the

within the limits of the sludge feed pump flows. This system aims at optimising the decanter performances and reduces operating costs.

Case study Exploitation without Polysave system

Figure 5. Exploitation without Polysave system.

Exploitation with Polysave system

Figure 6. Exploitation with Polysave system.

Conclusion of the polymer consumption study: • Monthly polymer consumption without Polysave system (average on eight months operation): 14.35Kg/TMS active material • Monthly polymer consumption with Polysave system (average on four months operation): 9.2Kg/TMS active material • Performance gain of 36% in polymer consumption with Polysave system

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Figure 7. Screen shot of Andritz CentriTune© HMI control.

Automation of processes

Australia Pacic and Asia Hands on Support and ExperƟse • • • • • • •

Process Engineering Treatment OperaƟons SCADA and InformaƟon Management Corrosion and Materials Science Water Retaining Structures Pump StaƟon Design Water Resource and Network Modelling • Capacity Development and Training • Technical and Emergancy Support

In order to avoid human intervention, machine downtimes on site with the process side will consequently generate extra costs, where automation of the system is another important aspect in reducing the total cost of ownership. Automation systems can in most cases be implemented on existing installations (brownfield sites), including new installations (greenfield sites), and allow managing all the information on a unique dewatering system, with flexible integrations in supervision of stations. Automation, among other benefits such as fewer operations staff needed on site and optimisation of operation parameters, avoids machine downtime due to preventive maintenance alarms, which provides peace of mind about machine automation and controls. The developments made on decanters (or centrifuges) over the past few years has dramatically enabled energy consumption to be reduced, optimisation of machine performance, and increased efficiency through the consumption of polymers, while the development and introduction of fully automated controls have reduced the number of staff needed on site. In solid/liquid separation, investment into research and development work has focused on meeting the requirements in various applications across a multitude of industries. For example, for decanters used in the environmental sector, efforts concentrating on reducing energy consumption have been a focal point in reducing the overall running cost and operation of the plants. In today’s global economy and competitive environment, the need to reduce cost and introduce energy-efficient and cost-effective products and processes has never been so demanding. For more information please go to WJ

The Author Christian Dousset (email: Christian.dousset@ is the Process Technology Manager for the Environment sector at Andritz Separation and a globally recognised authority on sludge and biosolids processes.

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Case Study: UGL


more out t e g o t g in ors are striv t c a r t e recently n h o t c is d n is a h t s f example o r authoritie e d t o a o t (STP). w g n e la A P iv . t s t a e n v g e o n n m e t ll in Many wage Trea e new cha e lv S o o s e o n t o s t B e ass ast Water’s E h of existing t u o S o t upgrade THE SOLUTION completed


The first step was to install extra air capacity with two new magnetic bearing blowers. These units were much more efficient, smaller and quieter compared to traditional blower technologies. UGL performed a whole-of-life cost analysis to determine the type of blower required, and while the selected technology had a higher capital cost, the pay-off was calculated to occur after the first full year of operation.


The second step was to install additional aeration equipment. The existing diffuser system had functioned very well, but it was going to be difficult to add more diffuser grids without taking the ditch off-line and cutting out some concrete baffle walls. Even lift-out grids were not easy to fit into the available space. The solution was to install four submerged aerator/mixers in the biological reactor, two into each of the ditches to cater for the peak periods. These units were easily installed into the operating plant with valuable benefits:

ack in 2007, South East Water engaged UGL to design, construct, commission and maintain a major upgrade to the Boneo STP. The main challenge for this plant is the five-week summer holiday period, with an 80% increase in load over a period of a few days, leaving no time for any adaptation of the biomass. The selected process was a modified activated sludge plant designed for maximum ammonia-nitrogen removal and some denitrification. The major upgrade was completed by UGL in 2009 and passed performance trials the following winter and summer.

Due to a higher than anticipated growth in load from new connections and future planned connections, the plant was predicted to be overloaded for the five-week summer holiday period in 2015, necessitating an investigation into plant capacity. Duplication of the plant was not warranted, as the upgraded plant and equipment could cope with the load for 11 months of the year for some time yet, so the brief was to defer large capital expenditure, deal with this short-term load and install equipment with minimal upset of the “live” plant.

The new high-efficiency blower.


• No fixing to the floor, with a flexible hose connection to the new air header;

• Readily lifted out for maintenance or storage; • A short shutdown to make electrical connections was all that was required – no messy draining of the ditch and no upset of the process. The air delivery system was kept separate from the existing header, and the control system was kept simple to supply a base load of oxygen to the process. The existing blowers and diffusers still control and manage the air demand for the process, tracking changes due to the diurnal flows into the plant. During the remainder of the year when the new aerator/mixers are not required, there is a crossconnection valve that can be opened to allow the new blowers to supply the old diffuser header. This allows South East Water to make efficiency gains with the new blowers when the plant is in normal operation.

Bubble pattern of the new submerged aerator.

The final stage of this project was to install additional emergency generation capacity and a new electrical feeder and distribution board for the increased demand. This was achieved with minimal disruption to the operating plant. The new generators, one blower and four aerators were installed and ready for trials during the 2014–15 summer period, which was a success with the plant meeting the demand of the increased load. The second blower installation and completion of the switchboard changes were finished in February 2015.

THE RESULT • The new blower technology will deliver lower operating costs for South East Water; • The works were completed with minimal disruption to the ‘live’ plant; • South East Water has deferred a major capital expansion; • The flexible design allows the operator to more effectively deal with abnormal conditions, as well as allowing the extra equipment to be reused in any future expansion or even removed and used at another plant. UGL successfully delivered the system in time for the critical summer period, allowing South East Water to manage the high but short-term increase in seasonal load, while getting the most out of the existing assets. To discuss this or other innovations, please join us for a coffee at UGL’s café in the Delegates Lounge at Ozwater’15, or contact Morris Taylor from UGL on +61 419 145 490, or email morris.

One of four new aerators installed at the Boneo STP. The aerators are not fixed to the floor, ensuring easy lift-out for maintenance or storage.



Feature Article

THE SA CLIMATE READY PROJECT Mark Siebentritt, Graham Green, Steve Charles, Guobin Fu, Seth Westra, Mark Thyer and Leon van der Linden report on a recent project completed by the Goyder Institute to ensure South Australia is a national leader in climate change adaptation planning.


limate change is anticipated to bring about significant changes to the capacity of, and the demand on, South Australia’s water resources. As future changes to these water resources are uncertain, a scenario approach using global climate models (GCMs), combined with downscaling and hydrological models, is critical in the planning required to adapt the state’s water resource management strategies to future climate conditions. A recently completed Goyder Institute project, SA Climate Ready, has developed an agreed set of downscaled climate change projections for South Australia to support proactive responses to climate change in water resource planning and management at a state and regional scale.

is 6,600km2 and encompasses suburban Adelaide and the western side of the Mount Lofty Ranges from Mallala and the Barossa to the Fleurieu Peninsula (see Figure 1). The MLR are vitally important socially, economically and ecologically to South Australia. The MLR catchments provide significant water resources and a range of stakeholders use the resource, including the general community (water for the environment and recreational activities), agriculture landholders (e.g. water for intensive horticulture), secondary industries, and potable water suppliers and consumers.

The SA Climate Ready project was designed to produce data to: • Understand the climate drivers for South Australia to provide the best available climate projections for the state; • Provide insight into possible future climate at specific locations in South Australia; • Align with the eight natural resource management (NRM) regions in South Australia so it is directly relevant to regional scale climate change adaption planning in South Australia. The data can be used to: • Enable water resource and catchment managers to assess the security of future water supplies and protect water supplies for all water users; • Anticipate changes in extreme heat and fire risk to inform planning for South Australia’s emergency, health and social services sectors. These data are complementary to national scale projections produced by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. They will also complement State Government initiatives such as the Water for Good Strategy, the State Strategic Plan, Climate Change Adaption Strategy, the Premier’s economic priorities and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to ensure South Australia has sufficient water resources for a healthy future. Projected data are available through to 2100 for a number of climate variables including rainfall, maximum and minimum temperature and evaporation, for 178 of the state’s individual rainfall stations across the eight NRM regions. This paper reports on the climate change projections for one of the NRM regions, the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges (AMLR), and then provides a case study of applying the downscaled projections to model the impact on water quality in a specific sub-catchment.

Regional Case Study: Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Region The Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges region The AMLR NRM region has the most complex landscape and greatest biodiversity of South Australia’s NRM regions. The region

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Figure 1. Map of the Mt Lofty Ranges region. Generation of downscaled climate change projections A downscaling technique and 15 GCMs were used to generate climate change projections in the region for six climate variables: daily rainfall; maximum and minimum temperatures; solar radiation; vapour pressure deficit (VPD); and areal potential evapotranspiration (APET). Projections were calibrated using observed weather data from 27 weather stations (Figure 2) in the region. While using all of the 15 GCMs for downscaling is possible, not all perform equally and thus doing so may produce unrealistically large variations or uncertainties that obscure robust regional climate change signals. Associated Goyder Institute research indicates that six of the 15 GCMs produce better simulations of the large-scale atmospheric processes important for climate variability over the

climate change


Feature article



Figure 2. Location of the 27 weather stations in the AMLR region. region, suggesting the downscaled projections using only these six ‘best’ GCMs provide more realistic inputs for impacts and adaptation assessment in the region. This paper provides a synopsis of projected changes (from a baseline period) based on downscaling using the best six GCMs, and comparing the intermediate representative concentration pathway (RCP4.5) and high representative concentration pathway (RCP8.5). Projected changes are shown for rainfall, maximum temperature and minimum temperature. Changes are summarised for 20-year future time periods, relative to a recent 20-year baseline period (1986–2005). The future 20-year periods are centred on 2030 (2020–2039), 2050 (2040– 2059), 2070 (2060–2079), and 2090 (2080–2099). Seasonal variability within projections is also described using an example of seasonal projections for the 2070 climate. Further information on methods, as well as data and outputs, is available in Charles and Fu (2014). Rainfall Changes Using the best six GCMs, declines (compared to 1986-2005 baseline period) in average annual future rainfall are projected, annually and seasonally (Figures 3a and 3b, respectively), under both intermediate (RCP4.5) and high (RCP8.5) concentration pathways. Declines are projected to be consistently more severe under a high concentration pathway (Figure 3a and 3b), yet the variability in projections (i.e. range from the average) across the six GCMs indicates the possibility of increases in some seasons, even under the high concentration pathway (Figure 3b).

Figure 3. Projected per cent change in: a) average annual rainfall; and b) average seasonal rainfall compared to the baseline period of 1986–2005. By 2030 projected rainfall declines are similar under both concentration pathways, but by the end of the century, projections have diverged, with rainfall declines projected to be more than twice as much under the high concentration pathway (Figure 3a). There is considerable overlap in the range of projections, though becoming less so by 2090. Seasonally, there is more variation in both the average and range of declines projected. Winter and summer declines by 2070, for example, are similar yet the largest declines occur in spring, with a 17 per cent and 25 per cent decline under the intermediate and high concentration pathways, respectively (Figure 3b). Furthermore, by 2070, under the intermediate concentration pathway, all seasons except for spring may at times experience wetter years than the baseline average (Figure 3b). Under a high concentration pathway, however, only summer and autumn may have wetter years (Figure 3b) and, by the end of the century, generally only summer.

APRIL 2015 water


Feature article





Figure 4. Projected change in: a) average annual maximum temperature; and b) average seasonal maximum temperature compared to the baseline period (1986–2005).

Figure 5. Projected change in: a) average annual minimum temperature; and b) average seasonal minimum temperature compared to the baseline period (1986–2005).

MaXiMuM teMpeRatuRe Changes

among seasons than years (Figures 4a and 4b). These ranges also indicate higher variation under a high concentration pathway than intermediate concentration pathway (Figure 4a and 4b), and higher variation in spring and summer than autumn and winter (Figure 4b).

Under the intermediate concentration pathway average maximum temperatures rise by 0.9°C by 2030 and 1.8°C by 2090, while the high concentration pathway projects an increase of 1.1°C by 2030 and 3.4°C by the end of the century. All projections noted are in relation to the 1986–2005 baseline period. Notably, the difference between concentration pathways changes from virtually no difference in 2030 to nearly double by 2090 (Figure 4a). Seasonally, changes in average maximum temperature increases are more variable, though the pattern of change is similar between pathways. Across all seasons, the high concentration pathway is consistently higher, by at least 1°C in 2070 (Figure 4b). Warming in the spring is projected to be an average 0.5°C warmer than any other season (0.3°C-0.5°C under intermediate concentrations; 0.5°C-0.7°C under high concentrations) (Figure 4b), consistent with this season experiencing relatively larger projected drying than the other seasons (Figure 4b). The projected ranges about the averages show little overlap between pathways and highlight more variation occurring

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MiniMuM teMpeRatuRe Changes Under the intermediate concentration pathway the rise in average minimum temperatures is 0.6°C in 2030 to 1.4°C by 2090, while the high concentration pathway projects an increase of 0.8°C by 2030 to 2.9°C by the end of the century. All projections noted are in relation to the 1986–2005 baseline period. Projections are consistently higher under the high concentration pathway, becoming more so by the end of the century when the high concentration pathway projected changes are more than double those under the intermediate concentration pathway (Figure 5a). The marked spring warming seen in the maximum temperature projections is not repeated in the minimum temperature projections, with autumn generally seeing slightly more warming than the other seasons. In 2070, for example, autumn minimum temperature increases are projected to be 0.2–0.6°C warmer than other seasons

climate change


Feature Article Sub-Catchment Case Study Impact on quantity of runoff in catchments The downscaled climate projections data were used to assess how changes in rainfall, evaporation and transpiration would affect runoff in the Onkaparinga Catchment (Figure 6). Historically the catchment and neighbouring catchments in the Mount Lofty Ranges have supplied on average about 50 per cent of Adelaide’s water supply with the remainder supplemented by pumping from the Murray River and, more recently, the Adelaide Desalination Plant.

Figure 6. Onkaparinga Catchment and Happy Valley Reservoir. under the high concentration pathway, and under the intermediate concentration pathway, are the same as summer and 0.1°C and 0.3°C warmer than spring and winter, respectively (Figure 5b). Changes in minimum temperatures are projected to be lowest in winter under both pathways (Figure 5b). Like the maximum temperature change projections, the value ranges show low overlap between pathways, with divergence and range extremes increasing over the years (Figure 5a). Ranges were also more variable among seasons than years (Figures 5a and 5b). Unlike the maximum temperature projections, the degree of variation above and below the average was more similar within each pathway, and higher variation occurred in summer and autumn than in winter or spring (Figure 5b). Regional Summary: Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Case Study

Impact on water quality Climate change could also negatively impact water quality in South Australia. As SA Water is responsible for delivering safe, sustainable and affordable water services to more than 1.5 million South Australian customers, they have invested in research to help anticipate the potential impacts of climate change on water quality (van der Linden et al., 2005). Some of the potential impacts are related to the thermal stratification of water in reservoirs and the vertical temperature gradients in the water column, which impacts the dynamics of dissolved oxygen and dissolved metals, such as iron and manganese, in reservoirs. Thermal stratification also contributes to the development of blue-green algal (cyanobacteria) blooms, which produce taste and odour compounds and also toxins. These substances are expensive to remove in conventional water filtration plants and are strongly regulated, hence they impact the cost of treating water to meet drinking water guidelines and customer satisfaction. Historically, SA Water has used water quality models to investigate the potential for management actions to impact on the quality of the water supplied to water treatment infrastructure. Examples of management actions include artificially mixing the water column (destratification) and extracting water from different heights on reservoir walls (multi-level offtake selection).

Relative frequency

Regardless of which concentration pathway is examined, the future climate of the AMLR NRM region is projected to be drier and hotter, though the extent of global action on decreasing greenhouse gas emissions will influence the rate and severity of change experienced. Decreases in rainfall are projected for all seasons, with the greatest relative decreases in spring for both intermediate and high concentration pathways. Average temperatures (maximum and minimum) are projected to increase for all seasons. Slightly larger increases in maximum temperature occur for the spring season, corresponding to its increased drying. Details of the downscaled projections for all eight NRM regions are available in Charles and Fu (2015).

A large proportion (98 per cent) of the model simulations suggested a decrease in runoff by the end of the century, however, the magnitude of the change is highly uncertain. Some projections suggest only small levels of change, while others suggest 75 per cent or greater decreases in runoff (Figure 7). Further details on the hydrological modelling are available in Westra et al. (2014), and more detailed projections for the Onkaparinga Catchment are available in Westra et al. (2015).

RCP .r45 .r85

-100 -75 -50 -25 0 25 50 Percentage change in mean flow relative to 1976-2005 baseline Figure 7. Percentage change in mean annual flow at Houlgrave Weir for all GCMs and hydrological models, for the 2071–2100 time slice. Shaded distributions represent results for different RCPs, while the solid black line represents the combined projections for both RCPs. Vertical dashed lines represent the mean percentage change corresponding to RCP 4.5 (red) and RCP 8.5 (blue).

Using SA Climate Ready data on temperature, precipitation, radiation and vapour pressure, and further downscaling approaches for wind speed and cloud cover, SA Water was able to run simulations to evaluate the direct effects of climate change on reservoir water quality. Climate projections

APRIL 2015 water


Feature article for intermediate and high emissions scenarios were considered as well as near- and long-term future periods. These results indicate that the future may hold stronger thermal stratification, resulting in conditions more suitable for cyanobacterial growth. Increases in both the median and 95th-percentiles of cyanobacterial biomass were found, concurrent with a decrease in abundance of competitor groups such as green algae and diatoms. Furthermore, a change in seasonality was implied, with greater cyanobacterial growth into autumn. This analysis considered the direct effect of climate change, while further impacts may occur via impacts on catchment processes, such as nutrient cycling and transport. These impacts will be tested using integrated modelling schemes, consisting of coupled catchment and reservoir models to evaluate the direct versus indirect impacts to water quality resulting from climate change. The data will also be used to evaluate the best operating practice to mitigate these impacts by testing the ability of artificial destralification, multi-level offtakes and catchment remediation to prevent negative impacts. This data will help to inform future investment decisions about the type and scale of water treatment infrastructure required in South Australia. wj

suMMaRy The downscaled climate projections for the eight NRM regions of SA from the Goyder Institute Climate Change project have allowed one of the most detailed modelling efforts to be conducted into water security of an Australian city. The modelling for the AMLR NRM region indicates that it is expected to be drier and hotter with projected decreases in rainfall for all seasons. Average temperatures (maximum and minimum) are projected to increase for all seasons. Slightly larger increases in maximum temperature occur for the spring season, corresponding to its increased drying. These findings have major implications for the quantity and quality of water that is collected in the reservoirs in the AMLR NRM, and will enable water resource and catchment mangers to assess the security of future water supplies and protect water supplies for all water users.

aCKnowledgeMents This work was financially supported by the Goyder Institute for Water Research, a partnership between the South Australian Government through the Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, CSIRO, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. It forms part of a larger Climate Change project that was led by Professor Simon Beecham, University of South Australia.

the authoRs Mark Siebentritt (email: mark.seibentritt@seedcs. is a Director of Seed Consulting Services, where his focus is on Climate Change Planning, Natural Resource Management (NRM) and Regional Development. In the past three years he has provided climate change planning services to the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, Eyre Peninsula, Southern Metropolitan and Eastern Metropolitan regions, and the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Graham Green (email: is a Principal Hydrogeologist in the Science Monitoring and Knowledge branch of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR). Graham has worked in the fields of groundwater science and water resource management for 12 years. He played an integral role in the Goyder Institute’s Climate Change Projections project, and from 2010 to 2014 was the manager of the

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DEWNR Science Unit’s project to identify the impacts of climate change on water resources across South Australia. Mark Thyer (email: au) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Adelaide. His research interests and experience include flood/drought risk assessment; long-term climate variability; quantifying predictive uncertainty in hydrological models; and behavourial water use modelling for integrated urban water management. Seth Westra (email: au) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Seth has close to 15 years of research and industry experience in flood hydrology, water supply modelling, seasonal forecasting and climate change impact assessments. Steve Charles (email: is a Senior Research Scientist in the CSIRO Land and Water Flagship, Perth. He is involved in research investigating the hydrological impacts of regional climate variability and change. He has 20 years of research experience applying statistical downscaling models relating local-scale rainfall to large-scale atmospheric circulation. Guobin Fu (email: is a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO Land and Water Flagship, Perth. His research interests and experiences include impacts of climate change and variability on hydrological regimes, statistical downscaling of daily rainfall from GCMs, GIS/ Statistical applications on hydrology and water resources. Leon van der Linden (email: leon.vanderlinden@ is a Senior Scientist in Source Water and Environment Research at SA Water. Leon has worked on a range of water quality issues including algal growth and natural organic matter and reservoir management, especially artificial destratification. He has used ecosystem models as tools to investigate climate change impacts in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for the past 10 years.

RefeRenCes Charles SP & Fu G (2015): Statistically Downscaled Climate Change Projections for South Australia. Goyder Institute for Water Research Technical Report Series No. 15/1, Adelaide, South Australia. van der Linden L, Daly RI & Burch MD (2015): Suitability of a Coupled Hydrodynamic Water Quality Model to Predict Changes in Water Quality from Altered Meteorological Boundary Conditions. Water (MPDI), 7, 1, pp 348–361. Westra S, Thyer M, Leonard M & Lambert M (2014): Impacts of Climate Change on Surface Water in the Onkaparinga Catchment. Final Report Volume 3: Impacts of Climate Change on Runoff. Goyder Institute for Water Research Technical Report Series No. 14/27, Adelaide, South Australia. Westra S, Thyer M, Leonard M, Kavetski D & Lambert M (2014): A Strategy for Diagnosing and Interpreting Hydrologic Non-Stationarity, Water Resources Research, 50, 6, pp 5090–5113. Westra S, Thyer M, Leonard M & Lambert M (2014): Impacts of Climate Change on Surface Water in the Onkaparinga Catchment – Volume 3: Impact of Climate Change on Runoff in the Onkaparinga Catchment, Goyder Institute for Water Research Technical Report Series No. 14-27, Adelaide, South Australia, 56pp.

PUMP & PIPING TRAINING KASA Redberg has now finalised its seminar schedule for 2015 and is accepting registrations for the following public seminars:

Pump Fundamentals

Liquid Piping Systems Fundamentals

Pressure Vessel Design to AS1210

Piping Design to AS4041 & ASME B31.3

Brisbane Perth

Brisbane Melbourne

16 & 17 June 2015 23 & 24 June 2015

13 & 14 July 2015 27 & 28 July 2015

Brisbane Perth

Brisbane Melbourne Perth

18 & 19 June 2015 25 & 26 June 2015 22 & 23 June 2015 29 & 30 June 2015 3 & 4 August 2015

For more information (including full seminar details) and to obtain registration forms, call KASA Redberg on (02) 9949 9795 or email or visit Discounts apply for early registrations, dual seminar bookings and multiple registrations from the one organisation. We can also run these seminars at your own workplace or customise them to suit your needs. In addition to our standard public seminar range, we also have other customised seminars that are run regularly at treatment plants and in offices around the country. These seminars include:

Pump Basics

This one day seminar is run for the benefit of operations and maintenance staff so that they will be better equipped to understand how the common types of pumps should be operated and maintained. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding performance curves and piping system characteristics (e.g. static head, back pressure and head losses versus flow rate) so that trouble-shooting skills can be improved.

Water/Wastewater Pumping & Piping Fundamentals

Based on a combination of our standard “Pump Fundamentals” and “Liquid Piping Systems Fundamentals”, this seminar is run over two days. The material presented is specifically related to the pumping equipment, piping, valves, instruments, ancillaries and pipeline setups found in municipal treatment plants and pump stations. Many worked example problems are presented which demonstrate the steps involved in designing pumping and piping systems. Troubleshooting tips and potential remedial measures for under-performing systems are also discussed in detail.

Mechanical Plant & Equipment

This three day seminar is best suited to those who are involved in either the design, operations or maintenance of plant and equipment specifically used for fluid centric processes. Such equipment can be found on larger treatment plants which also incorporate biogas plants. The topics covered include: liquid and gas piping systems, valves, instruments, fuel gas systems, compressed air systems, steam systems, blowers, compressors, pumps, fans, rotary feeders, motors and engines and much more.

Safety-in-Design Fundamentals For Australian Designers (e-Learning Course)

Our first online (e-learning) course has been up-and-running since March of last year. The purpose of this three hour course is to provide basic instruction and guidance on the WHS obligations of designers in Australia as well as provide recommendations on how best to fulfil these obligations thereby providing safer designs. This course and the training materials are accessed through the KASA Redberg learning management system. Login details are provided to registrants via email after their online payment (i.e. credit card or PayPal) has been processed. The process of registration, payment and receipt of login details only takes a few minutes.


Feature Article

RELIABLE WATER AVAILABILITY FORECASTS FOR AUSTRALIA The Bureau of Meteorology has been charged with compiling and delivering high-quality national water information to government, industry and the public, writes Narendra Tuteja, including timely, accurate and reliable water availability forecasts.


he Australian Government has given the national weather and climate agency – the Bureau of Meteorology – responsibility for compiling and disseminating comprehensive water information ( Under the Water Act 2007 and Water Regulations 2008, the Bureau is working with water managers across Australia to deliver high-quality national water information to government, industry and the community. A key component of the water information program is the delivery of timely, accurate and reliable water-availability forecasts across Australia at a range of time scales. Under extreme dry conditions, water managers across the rural and urban sectors face a number of challenging questions on how best to augment water supplies, which often involve significant capital investments and operational costs, and intense debates on how best to share limited water supplies (e.g. augment existing dams; build new dams or desalination plants). To address longterm water security, decision makers need to deal with significant uncertainty about future climate and demand from different sectors of the economy. In particular, the science of climate change is such that the accuracy of model predictions is limited by fundamental irreducible uncertainties. It would be unwise to rely purely on water availability projections made on the basis of climate models and prudent to favour solutions across a range of possible climate futures within some form of robust risk assessment framework. ‘Hydrologic Reference Station’ provides access to a wealth of information for 221 high-quality streamflow data series for important water supply catchments across Australia (BOM, 2013). Key site selection criteria were that the gauging station has more than 30 years of record, is regularly rated and is affected by minimal river regulation, land use change or other factors that influence the hydrological data quality (SKM, 2010). Stakeholder consultation has verified the high quality of these data series and their suitability for assessing long-term hydrological variability and trends. Streamflow can be viewed at daily, monthly, and at seasonal and annual timescales, with accompanying trend analyses and statistical summaries. The Bureau of Meteorology intends to use these sites for assessment of water availability impacts from long-term climate variability. The Hydrologic Reference Station’s dataset, as well as a range of graphic products describing long-term trends, are available from the Bureau’s website ( Many agencies and research groups from Australia and overseas are currently using these datasets for different applications related to water planning and management.

How It Works At the operational end, water managers need to optimise the available water resources and devise ways to meet demands from urban, rural and environment sectors. Water demand across large

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river basins varies in space and time and water managers need to make decisions at a range of time scales – days, weeks, months and up to a few years, depending on the broad envelope of wet and dry cycles within different hydro-climatic regions. Prognosis of water availability at the time scale of days to weeks to seasons, while not easy, is however a more tractable problem – at least in areas where there are demonstrable skills in climate predictions. At weeks to seasonal time scales, some of the questions faced by water managers are: • How much water is available in the dams and the water conductor system? • How much is the water demand and what is its spatial distribution? • How much are the water entitlements and what are the associated priorities? • How much water will be lost to evaporation? • Given the current hydrologic condition of the river basin, how much water losses can be anticipated in the water conductor system, and what is the likely spatial distribution of the losses? • How much is the likely inflow: Next week? Next month? Next season? Next year? • What is the range of uncertainty of the likely inflow and how best can this imperfect knowledge be integrated into water allocation and water delivery planning? Water managers are generally very experienced and invariably risk averse. They have devised innovative engineering methods to address issues relating to current water availability, for example water accounts, and water demand. Robust methods have also been developed for estimating evaporation and transmission losses. The key unknowns that remain a challenge for the water managers are the last two issues listed above - i.e. likely system inflows and how best to use probabilistic forecasts for operational planning. These two issues can be addressed through Extended Hydrological Prediction services.

Addressing the FORECASTING need A Seasonal Streamflow Forecasting Service has been needed in Australia for many years, and the Australian Government’s recent investment in water information is addressing this need. Skilful and reliable seasonal forecasts of streamflows are highly valuable for providing water allocation outlooks, informing water markets, planning and managing water use and managing drought. Seasonal forecasts of water availability can be made using dynamic, statistical or hybrid modelling approaches (Figure 1). The statistical approach is based on direct relationships derived from observed data and derived predictor indices (Wang et al., 2009).

climate change POAMA Global Climate Model

Rainfall, Streamflow Data


Feature article

Atmosphere, Sea Surface Monitoring Data

Rainfall Downscaling Statistical Models

Dynamic Models


Probabilistic Forecast of Streamflow Monthly and 3-Monthly Figure 1. Seasonal streamflow forecasting approaches. Many climate indicators based on atmospheric pressure and sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies have been linked to future seasonal rainfalls. Such relationships have been exploited to forecast streamflow several months or seasons ahead. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology launched a new Seasonal Streamflow Forecasting (SSF) service in December 2010 using the statistical approach (BOM, 2010). The service delivers probabilistic forecasts of streamflow volumes for the next three months at a site, or total inflows into major water supply storages. Forecasts are currently available to the public at 101 catchments in 52 river basins across Australia (Figure 2; see also a link to the educational video on seasonal streamflow forecasts: Information on the accuracy of forecasts for each month and location is provided to users by using probabilistic forecasts and historical assessments of forecast quality. In contrast, the dynamic approach for seasonal water forecasting is to run dynamic climate models to produce forecasts of rainfall and other climate variables, which are then fed into hydrological models to produce predictions of streamflow forecasts. The term ‘dynamic climate forecast’ is used to refer to the application of coupled ocean and atmosphere general circulation models for seasonal prediction purposes. We use rainfall forecasts from POAMA (Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia), in conjunction with published historical analogue downscaling methods to derive catchment scale daily rainfall forecasts (Tuteja et al., 2011). Downscaled seasonal climate forecasts, from the aforementioned models, are used as input to conceptual rainfall-runoff models, which can be of varying levels of complexity. Monthly updates of one-month and three-month forecasts at 44 locations in 27 river basins using the dynamic approach based upon POAMA are also available to registered users. Requests for registered user access to Dynamic Streamflow Forecast products can be sent to

PerForMAnCe resULTs The performance of the current statistical and new dynamic streamflow forecasts varies depending on the location and forecast period. Because the statistical and dynamic modelling approaches are complementary, merging the two forecasts means they are likely to be more accurate and reliable than the individual forecasts alone. The Bureau of Meteorology will merge the statistical and dynamic forecasts for both one-month and three-month streamflow volumes and release the upgraded forecast products to the public in 2015–2016.

Figure 2. Map of the seasonal streamflow forecast catchments across Australia. Colours at the forecast catchments show streamflow terciles of the observations during February 2015 with respect to long-term historical observations (1970–2013). Currently, seasonal streamflow forecasts are provided at 101 catchments in 52 river basins, and coverage will gradually increase depending on observation data quality, data availability in near real-time and stakeholder benefits. The Bureau of Meteorology has also developed a Short-Term Forecasting Service that delivers daily updates of seven-day streamflow forecasts. They are derived from the Bureau’s ACCESS (Australian Community Climate and Earth-System Simulator) suite of Numerical Weather Prediction model and advanced hydrologic modelling methods developed collaboratively with CSIRO (Robertson et al., 2012). This service is currently available to registered users and provides streamflow forecasts at 62 catchments and 114 forecast locations (Figure 3). These forecasts are designed to assist water managers in reservoir operation, environmental flow releases and flood management. Requests for registered user access to Short-Term Streamflow Forecast products can be sent to The development of the water availability forecast services is an ongoing challenge. It requires a cooperative approach and involves some of the following steps: a comprehensive user-needs analysis; R&D support across many areas of climate, hydrology and broader environmental sub-disciplines; robust operational modelling tools and web-based service delivery systems; communication and adoption strategy and implementation plan; service delivery; and ongoing engagement with stakeholders, while progressively enhancing the service benchmarks. No single agency can achieve this capability on its own and a cooperative partnership model is necessary to achieve successful outcomes. Future work will focus on improvements in science, modelling and service delivery systems, meeting data quality assurance and quality control challenges, expansion of service coverage across the Australian continent, communication of forecast performance and increased adoption of forecast products.

ACknowLedgeMenTs Various components of the Extended Hydrological Program are led by Mohammed Bari, Daehyok Shin and Paul Feikema. The program is supported by a passionate team of professionals who wish to make a difference in water information. The contributions of a large team of scientists from the Bureau, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Centre for Advanced Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) and the university sector in Australia are acknowledged. The work on Extended Hydrological Prediction Services is funded through the Water Information Program of the Australian Government and the program is guided

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BRANDS YOU TRUST Figure 3. Map of short-term streamflow forecast (7-day) catchments across Australia. Currently daily updates of shortterm forecasts are provided at 62 catchments and 114 forecast locations, and coverage will gradually increase depending on observation data quality, data availability in near real-time and stakeholder benefits. by Dasarath Jayasuriya, Graham Hawke and Rob Vertessy. Quan Jun Wang, David Robertson, George Kuczera, Dmitri Kavetski, Mark Thyer, Tom MacMahon, Ashish Sharma, Neville Garland and David Dreverman have provided critical support to the Bureau of Meteorology. Ongoing support and advice from water agencies responsible for water regulations, delivery and environmental planning has shaped the Extended Hydrological Prediction Services of Australia. wJ

reFerenCes Bureau of Meteorology (BoM, 2010): “Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts”,, Australian Government. Bureau of Meteorology (BoM, 2013): “Hydrologic Reference Stations”,, Australian Government. Robertson D, Ward P & Hapuarachchi P (2012): The Short-term Water Information Forecasting Tools User Manual. WIRADA Technical Report submitted to the Bureau of Meteorology. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, Australia. SKM Sinclair Knight Merz (2010): Developing Guidelines for the Selection of Streamflow Gauging Stations, Final Report, prepared for the Climate and Water Division, Bureau of Meteorology, August, 76 pp. Available from: Tuteja NK, Shin D, Laugesen R, Khan U, Shao Q, Wang E, Li M, Zheng H, Kuczera G, Kavetski D, Evin G, Thyer M, MacDonald A, Chia T & B Le (2011): Experimental Evaluation of the Dynamic Seasonal Streamflow Forecasting Approach, Technical Report, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne. dynamic_seasonal_streamflow_forecasting.pdf Wang QJ, Robertson DE & Chiew FHS (2009): A Bayesian Joint Probability Modeling Approach for Seasonal Forecasting of Streamflows at Multiple Sites. Water Resources Research, 45, W05407.

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THe AUTHor Dr Narendra Kumar Tuteja (email: n.tuteja@ is Manager of the Extended Hydrological Prediction Section at the Bureau of Meteorology in Canberra. Co-authors of this article are Mohammed Bari, Daehyok Shin and Paul Feikema who lead various sub-programs of the Extended Hydrological Prediction Section.

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Feature Article

Opportunity or Bust? Infrastructure Financing in the Water Industry Private sector involvement in the Australian water industry is not new, write Peter Hillis and Jason Fonti. The opportunity exists to ensure much needed investment in our water assets so they are sustainable in the long term.


s the driest inhabited continent on earth, with the least amount of water in its rivers, Australia has always faced challenges when it comes to managing current and future water infrastructure needs.

The rapid investment in water infrastructure between 2000 and 2010 to secure the country’s water needs following an unprecedented period of drought has diminished State and Federal willingness to invest in further large-scale water projects. As a result, the water industry has seen a scaling back of capital investment, while infrastructure investment in other sectors has been increasing. With the pressure on water utilities’ capital and revenue budgets, a new approach is needed to enable utilities to optimise outcomes from infrastructure assets to the benefit of their customers. With opportunities to invest in infrastructure driven by Government initiatives such as the Emissions Reduction Fund and Asset Recycling, water utilities should be looking to create projects that will assist them in meeting financial and service challenges. Also, Health Based Targets and a rewrite of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines are likely to drive investment in above-ground assets and utilities should be looking at alternative funding options to aid the upgrade of outdated treatment plants. There is a trail of antiquated and inefficient assets littered across the Australian water industry that would benefit from significant private capital to deliver state-of-the-art, efficient technology that will drive the cost of operations further down.

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The challenge faced by water utilities today is the need to reduce capital and revenue budgets, while also investing in above- and below-ground assets. With continued population growth, most major cities are experiencing both urban sprawl and inner urban renewal, with high densities putting additional stress on some of our oldest, most vulnerable water infrastructure. Are the utilities ready to seize this opportunity to develop schemes with the private sector to drive efficiency gains to benefit customers?

Infrastructure and Non-Infrastructure The United Kingdom’s financial regulator, OFWAT, classifies water assets as non-infrastructure. Essentially, water assets are split into two main categories: above-ground and below-ground. The official reason OFWAT gives is: “A distinction is drawn between infrastructure and non-infrastructure assets because of the way the appointed water companies manage, operate and maintain them”. By adopting a similar approach in Australia, it may be possible to facilitate better investment decision-making based on the expected life of an asset and, thus, the financing. For example, changes in water and environmental standards may drive investment in above-ground assets on a different timeframe to those that drive a more regular investment in below-ground assets. Similarly, the asset management costs and decision-making around managing the business risks associated with buried assets are so different that this distinction needs to be considered.

financing infrastructure Financing Options Financing of high capital-cost projects and the ongoing servicing of the debt associated with the borrowing required can be carried out in a number of ways. The two most common are wholly publicly funded or privately funded. However, between these two extremes are Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), which involve varying degrees of risk allocation between the participating partners. How these PPPs are set up, to what extent the initial investment is shared, and how the cost of the risk is apportioned are all keys to the success of PPPs. There are many good and bad examples of PPPs from around the world, from which valuable lessons can be learnt. Future PPPs need to be set up to ensure that the community is confident that it is not exposed to potentially crippling liabilities, and the private sector receives a sufficient return on its investment, commensurate with the risk it carries. The PPP model has not been used extensively in Australia, despite the publicity, with as little as five per cent of the AUD $1 trillion invested in infrastructure in the past 20 years being delivered through PPPs. One untapped source of capital to which Australian utilities potentially have access is the private investment available through institutional investors such as large superannuation funds. The investment from these funds tends to be through externally managed infrastructure funds rather than direct investment through debt or equity schemes such as PPPs. Many pension funds have entered the UK water sector as a relatively safe sector for investment. British Telecom Pension Scheme bought a significant stake in Thames Water in 2012, while two Canadian pension funds, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), have acquired England’s South East Water and Anglian Water. One of the key recommendations from Infrastructure Australia, in a recent Business Council of Australia report on infrastructure funding and financing, was that the Australian Government should look at the structure, regulation and taxation of retirement products and how they can be encouraged to further invest in long-term assets such as those owned by the water industry. In addition, there needs to be an understanding by the investors of the returns that can be expected and the timeframes involved. One of the major barriers to entry of the private sector is the variability in States’ and Territories’ approach to economic, environmental and public health regulation. Having a more coherent approach to regulation adds certainty and clarity to the investment decisions and makes investment more attractive. Recent deals involving UK water companies include the Japanese Corporation Sumitomo buying Sutton and East Surrey Water Group for AUD600 million, and the Hong Kong investment firm Cheung Kong Infrastructure acquiring Northumbrian Water for AUD5 billion. Thames Water has attracted the China Investment Corporation and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to take significant shareholdings in the UK’s largest water utility. This indicates that water utilities are an attractive investment opportunity for long-term investors who are driven by the need for diversification of portfolio investment, steady returns driven by a regulatory asset base, cash flow linked to gross domestic product and a hedge against inflation, all of which lower the risk of investment.

Asset Recycling Australia has been identified as a leading nation in the debate on how to finance infrastructure, and innovations such as asset recycling have caught the attention of the world. The challenge is not only in attracting the investment, but in making sure the market responds in an effective and efficient manner. This can only be done by having a flexible and pragmatic approach to policy and moving away from the dogma and ideology that often interferes with debate about longterm private investment and partnerships based on mutual benefit.


Feature Article The Australian Government’s asset recycling policy has resulted in the largest pipeline of asset recycling in Australia’s history, and will leverage close to AUD40 billion of new infrastructure investment from the States and Territories. The Government allocated AUD5 billion to establish the Asset Recycling Initiative, which provides incentives for State and Territory Governments to optimise their asset portfolios. This will play a critical role in boosting Australia’s flagging productivity growth and act as a catalyst for the development of new sectors. Asset recycling can be publicly unpopular, with concerns about the transfer of asset ownership and associated revenue streams to the private sector. However, experience has shown that private sector operators can bring significant efficiency gains, and that sensible re-investment of released capital can bring major productivity improvements. The important thing for utility owners to understand is the inherent risks associated with all types of infrastructure assets. Having a commercially-focused approach to understanding investors’ key drivers such as a stable revenue stream, managed risk profile and value creation is fundamental to making these schemes successful. Utilities must be able to work with advisors to provide insights and advice to the current shareholder base to ensure that they maximise value from any lease or sale. In the last 12 months, a number of successful transactions have taken place involving private investment in government-owned assets in Australia, for example the Queensland Motorways, Port of Newcastle and Cross City Tunnel. Funds from recycled assets would be welcome support for governments, which are facing declining taxation revenue. These funds would help them pay for the infrastructure necessary to achieve Australia’s growth and economic ambitions. There is a growing recognition that governments cannot continue to deliver new infrastructure alone. While it is arguable that fiscally they could manage to fund infrastructure, particularly with the current low cost of borrowing, their ability to procure and manage the delivery of asset creation and renewal is questionable. There are significant benefits to including the private sector in infrastructure delivery. This is common in the design and construction of infrastructure and, in some instances, in the finance and operation of assets. The private sector is well placed to raise capital and manage risk associated with operating assets, and it has an incentive to increase efficiency and ensure a return. The next phase of infrastructure investment in Australia is likely to benefit from using some form of public-private partnership (PPP) model, which will lead to innovation in all aspects of the infrastructure lifecycle, including funding sources, technology, revenue streams, ownership models, operation and maintenance.

The Challenge for Australia Australia needs to ensure that the level of investment in its water assets keeps pace with its growth and allows the upgrading of its above- and below-ground assets. Falling investment in the resources sector requires governments to act to offset the negative impact on jobs and growth. The declining capacity of governments, both State and Federal, to fund the new infrastructure required to support growth is apparent. With an abundance of mobile private capital willing to invest in water assets, Australia could see an explosion of private investment in the local water industry, bringing exciting global technical innovation that will benefit employees, shareholders and, most importantly, customers.

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The challenge for the water industry is being able to exploit this opportunity and convince its customers and stakeholders that, in order to provide the levels of service they expect, investment above and beyond that currently planned is essential in maintaining and developing a water industry that continues to be the envy of the world. The trend in global water and infrastructure private sector investment is currently in a growth phase, caused by the need for State and Federal Governments to offset revenue shortfalls. Many Local and State Governments are no longer able to shoulder the responsibilities of maintaining and upgrading their own utilities. States are coming under increasing pressure to enter into commercial arrangements for their utility assets and other infrastructure and municipal services and, with careful planning and the right advice, these investments will be beneficial in the short-, medium- and long-term.

conclusIon Never has the need been more apparent for an industry to be bold and seize the initiative to create new and exciting investment opportunities that will deliver the capital and operating efficiencies demanded by their stakeholders, while enhancing the levels of service to their customers and engaging their staff. Why? There are upcoming opportunities created by Government to attract investment from the private sector. What? The reality faced by the Australian water industry is that, in order to maintain the levels of investment required to ensure long-term management of its asset base, the level of investment needs to increase. Access to the abundance of available mobile capital from within and outside of Australia is needed to maintain and renew above- and below-ground assets. Who? Experience from around the world is that investors see water assets as a secure part of their investment portfolio and attracting investment is not the barrier. How? Developing an approach to PPPs that ensures the balance of risk and reward is shared between the asset owner and the asset investor will deliver the benefits customers and stakeholders demand and ensure what markets like best – certainty. WJ

references Financing Infrastructure: A Spectrum of Country Approaches – Sophia Chong and Emily Poole, Bulletin, September Quarter 2013. Recent Global Trends in Global Infrastructure, A Discussion Paper for Water UK, Frontier Economics, February 2013. Securing Investment in Australia’s Future, Infrastructure Funding and Financing, Business Council of Australia, November 2013.

the Authors peter Hillis (email: is a Sector Leader for water and wastewater treatment at AECOM and has more than 30 years of experience working in the UK and Australian water industries. Jason Fonti is Director of Infrastructure Advisory at AECOM and has extensive experience in procurement and due diligence, specialising in commercial and strategic advice to authorities, consortia and investors on major infrastructure transactions and service contracts.






Control Components


Feature Article

A REVIEW OF FUNDING OPTIONS FOR IRRIGATION INFRASTRUCTURE Irrigation infrastructure is important to the Australian economy by ensuring future food security and providing an export income independent of minerals. Geoff Croke from Psi Delta looks at the benefits of introducing private funding to the irrigation sector.


nfrastructure built mainly for irrigation is an important part of Australia’s total water infrastructure. Maintaining the contribution this infrastructure makes to regional economies and exports, and to future food security requires financing of new infrastructure as well as funding of modernisation and augmentation of existing infrastructure. Existing infrastructure has been funded almost entirely by governments. Future government expenditure on irrigation infrastructure may reduce as available funds are increasingly applied to other industries. Private sector funding of irrigation infrastructure will require improving the attractiveness of irrigation infrastructure as an investment class. Few irrigation infrastructure projects will be financially selfsufficient, but there are other benefits from introducing private funding to projects. These benefits include risk management in areas such as project development, construction and insulation of governments from the demands of irrigators. Further, the entrepreneurial project development and management skills that might be applied to projects could provide savings in a competitive bidding environment.

Economic importance of irrigation infrastructure

in food production will be reduced without increased production. This is particularly sofor the irrigated crops that provide much of the higher value food consumed today. Irrigation infrastructure has a long planning and development window, so needs to be a vital component of planning to accommodate future population.

Irrigation infrastructure for funding Irrigation infrastructure for funding includes dams and distribution systems, but for the purposes of this paper excludes on-farm infrastructure. Opportunities exist for financing new infrastructure and the augmentation, modernisation and renewal of existing infrastructure. The Water Infrastructure Options Paper released by the Commonwealth in 2014 reports on 63 potential projects, mostly regional and irrigation water infrastructure projects submitted by states (Australian Government Department of Agriculture, 2014). Thirty-one projects have been identified as having the potential for Commonwealth involvement, and four of them are already funded with existing Commonwealth assistance. Figure1 illustrates the unit cost (development cost per megalitre water delivered) for projects where water delivered and capital cost data are available.

With the minerals boom, Australia’s relative dependence on irrigated agricultural exports has diminished; however, it continues to be important for food security. At around $2.5 billion per annum, cotton is Australia’s largest irrigated export crop and the 25th most valuable export. Milk and other dairy products, at more than $2 billion (much of this irrigated production) is the next most important irrigated commodity export. Other irrigated commodity exports account for at least another $2 billion. By comparison, for 2014–15, Australia’s three largest exports – iron ore, coal and natural gas – provided export income of $131 billion (Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2015). However, receipts from iron ore and thermal coal have dropped as a consequence of reduced prices. Regionally, irrigated production can be much more significant. For instance, in Victoria, where much of dairy production is irrigated, dairy produce is the state’s second most valuable export after education. Further, irrigated agriculture is the principal economic activity in many regional areas (Victoria Department of Environment and Primary Industries, 2014; Australian Government Department of Education, 2014). With the anticipated doubling of Australia’s population in the next 40–50 years to 46 million, Australia’s present high self-sufficiency

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Figure 1. Unit ($/ML yield) cost for identified potential water infrastructure projects. (Source: Australian Government Dept Agriculture 2014) Only one small augmentation project is shown, but larger projects such as current plans to increase distribution capacity from the Burdekin Dam can sometimes provide both low construction cost per megalitre and scale. Future opportunities for funding exist also with irrigation infrastructure modernisation. The Commonwealth has provided more than $2 billion funding for modernisation of

financing infrastructure


Feature Article

A sweet corn crop in Queensland, Australia, with irrigation systems in distance. irrigation infrastructure in the Murray-Darling Basin under the Commonwealth-led State Priority Projects in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Much of the spending has been based on future water savings and transfer of water to the Commonwealth for environmental use. The need for infrastructure modernisation funding will continue both within and outside the Murray-Darling Basin, and the continuing challenge will be to collect water use fees that will pay for modernisation of all infrastructure, but particularly newly installed electronic and mechanical infrastructure that typically has a shorter life than older civil infrastructure.

Sources and methods of public and private funding Trends in financing infrastructure Infrastructure funding and financing is increasingly subject to international trends. A recent review by The Economist (2014) of international infrastructure financing indicated the following trends: • Banks, following the GFC and the new “Basel 3” rules, are now reducing the term of loans to less than the 20+ years preferred by infrastructure project proponents. They have also reduced the percentage of the project they will finance to, say, 70 per cent, where previously 90 per cent was acceptable. This may mean less government money available for water infrastructure projects. • Governments that already have insufficient public finances are unable to finance what is now an increased gap between project value and project borrowings. • Internationally, other long-term investors, such as insurance and pension funds, are entering these markets. Only 0.8 per cent of their assets are invested in infrastructure so they have the potential to increase their exposure to infrastructure assets. This can provide a match between their liabilities and the long-term cash flows that come from infrastructure projects. Infrastructure projects may offer higher returns than corporate or government bonds with a similar credit rating. How these trends might affect Australian irrigation infrastructure is uncertain, but pension fund investment may be prospective, except that there are not any present vehicles for this to occur and, in any case, irrigation assets need to be made more attractive to investors.

Funding options Funding for projects can be through equity or debt. Traditionally, equity was provided by governments. Apart from the Snowy Mountains scheme, most irrigation infrastructure in Australia was developed with state government agencies responsible for development including funding, usually with financial support from the Commonwealth. Few examples exist of the private sector taking responsibility for funding of projects, managing both the risk capital and the borrowings. Two recycled water irrigation projects, developed by what was then Tyco in Victoria and South Australia, are probably the only examples of privately funded projects making water available to all irrigators in a particular region. Both these projects also received significant government and local water business support. The essentials of sourcing funding can be obscured by the many financial products now available; however, the simple options are: • Paying for all or part of the assets now out of government savings or revenue; • Borrowing funds that will attract interest and will have to be repaid or refinanced; • Seeking third parties to provide their own funds (equity) and borrowed money to fund a project. In this paper the distinction is made between funding, which is ensuring money is available (debt and equity) to develop and operate a project; and financing, which is money applied to a project, such as financial institutions lending to a project. Direct government funding Many small projects – and some larger ones, such as the Menindee Lakes and the NVIRP (Northern Victoria Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project) – have been funded by State agencies and the Commonwealth. Government funding of projects in some form is inevitable, given the limited viability of most irrigation infrastructure. Environmental and jobs creation credentials of projects are important determinants of government support. Government funding is usually from Consolidated Revenue, which is financed mainly by taxes, government debt and, increasingly, asset sales.

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Feature Article Equity funding and Private Public Partnerships Around Australia there have been many small, independently funded and developed shared irrigation schemes such as weirs and local pipeline systems. Privatised irrigation businesses such as those in New South Wales (e.g. Murray Irrigation Limited) may, in time, have surplus funds available that they could apply to irrigation development. While major irrigation projects are essentially off-farm, water diversion-based farms such as Cubbie Station, a privately funded project that uses an average of around 200GL a year, are comparable to mid-sized irrigation systems. In North Queensland, there is a proposal for the private development of a project in the Gilbert River catchment. At this stage it is intended to be entirely privately financed, but some concessions may be sought from government in providing water entitlements. The project proposes $500 million of water infrastructure for an integrated project of total value around $2 billion (De Lacy, 2014). Obtaining a competitive return on equity invested limits potential private investment, given the low returns from irrigation projects and the borrowings that may require government support. The benefit of private sector funding is more in the project development, operation and entrepreneurial capability the private sector can bring to a project. The most common form of private equity funding for infrastructure projects is PPP (Public Private Partnerships), where the private sector typically takes responsibility for the overall funding of the project and for project development and operation over a franchise term. Public private partnerships (PPP) This funding structure has been applied extensively in Australia to infrastructure such as hospitals and freeways. The proponent, following a competitive bidding process, commits to build and operate infrastructure, usually transferring the infrastructure to government at the end of the franchise period. The benefit it offers is that governments can commit to building projects without the need to apply significant government funding. Further the franchisee, based on a comparator calculation, commits to building and usually operating the project at a lower cost than would a government agency. PPP projects obtain some of the revenues from user fees, but most receive government support by way of an initial contribution or continuing availability or tolling payments. While now common internationally, PPP has a mixed history in both the UK, which originated many of the models, and in Australia. The most frequent criticisms are that: PPP proponents pay higher interest rates than governments; legal and commercial costs can be high (say 5 per cent of total project cost, more for smaller projects); and that the PPP contracts lack the flexibility of projects funded and developed directly by government. The extent to which risk is actually transferred to PPP proponents has also emerged as an issue. Notwithstanding any such limitations, PPP is now often the way large infrastructure projects are funded. PPP projects vary in the extent to which revenues are underwritten by governments. For irrigation projects there might be a perception by PPP proponents that they will be exposed to irrigated commodity viability risk and to the capacity of irrigators to seek variation in contractual conditions. PPP proponents might in the circumstances seek more government revenue protection than might be available, say, for a freeway project. This reduces the risk transferred to the PPP proponent.

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The critical difference between a PPP project and typical government supported project is that normally with a PPP project the private sector proponent assumes a defined risk for the project such as in market, construction, operating revenues and costs. Projects such as those developed by Tasmanian Irrigation that are sometimes described as PPP, where irrigators buy water entitlements, are not so, because funding and the development and operations risk are not transferred to the private sector.

FINANCING OPTIONS Sources and methods of financing that will contribute to overall project funding include the following: Sale of water entitlements Irrigators contribute to overall project funding through purchase of water entitlements provided by the government funder. With the purchase of water entitlements, irrigators obtain permanent access to water as an asset that can be sold on water markets. Tasmanian Irrigation has developed, or is developing, 19 generally smaller (Midlands at 38,500ML/y and Meander at 36,000ML/y are the only two schemes of more than 10,000ML/y) projects with both State and Federal contributions. Irrigators are contributing around 40 per cent of project cost through purchase of water entitlements. The present high levels of government support of operating costs should reduce as more schemes come into operation. A major benefit of this structure is that farmers, by paying for water entitlements, are allaying concerns of governments that farmers enjoy a windfall. However, the contribution to capital cost still demands a substantial government contribution, such as grants or concessional interest rates. Superannuation funds Superannuation, with just under $2 trillion invested, offers a potential source of funding for infrastructure in Australia. However, infrastructure investment by superannuation funds is only around $50 billion. Australian superannuation funds, compared with their international counterparts, have a bias towards equities rather than infrastructure investment, fixed interest and other securities. Returns from equities in recent years have exceeded returns that might be expected from infrastructure. Superannuation funds can provide financing, but are unlikely to be funding proponents for projects. The Financial Services Council (FSC), whose members invest for mainly professionally managed superannuation funds, released a report (Ernest & Young & Financial Services Council, 2014) recommending the following actions to increase superannuation fund investment and improve accessibility of superannuation funds to infrastructure projects: • Increasing the number of suitable investment opportunities in projects and the certainty that they will proceed; • Improved and earlier consultation between states and superannuation investors to allow planning of investment; • Providing opportunities for capital recycling where states develop projects and then seek investment from superannuation funds; states use the proceeds of the financing to develop new projects; • States provide a more dependable “pipeline” of projects; • The Commonwealth provides more certainty about longer-term superannuation regulation taxation policy. Without this certainty, superannuation funds need to provide allowances for sovereign risk related to change in policy.

financing infrastructure The FSC view of the MySuper initiative is that it is likely to cause funds to favour simpler and more liquid investments, and therefore not offer prospects for high levels of infrastructure investment. Given the total funds invested in superannuation in Australia, there may be a need through regulation, or other means, to develop investment products better suited to infrastructure such as irrigation. Self-managed funds represent more than a third by value of the value of all funds and products could be developed that suit the requirements of these self-managed funds. Diminished returns from securities following the downturn of the minerals industry and any future downturn in housing, retail and financial services stocks might increase interest by pension funds in infrastructure, including irrigation infrastructure assets. Bonds


Feature Article Debt guarantees Here governments guarantee private debt for infrastructure projects. Such an arrangement might be valued by irrigation infrastructure project proponents because they can borrow at lower rates than they would for a loan fully exposed to continuing project viability. Proponents may also be able to shift more funding from equity to debt. Demand guarantees With demand guarantees governments provide demand revenue guarantees. Governments may be reluctant providers of demand guarantees, given the demand for irrigation projects that will be affected by: • Seasonally reduced water availability in any irrigation year can reduce revenues for a particular scheme – the Lower Namoi and Gwydir systems by March 2015 still had zero announced allocations for the irrigation year (NSW Office of Water, 2015);

In the US there is a long history of bond issues to finance infrastructure investments. In 2014, California approved a US$7.5 billion bond, which will be applied to a range of water projects including US$2.7 billion for water storage capacity (US Department of the Treasury, 2014). Funds are allocated on a competitive basis. Matching funds are required from local proponents for water storage capacity projects.

• Delays in take-up of water in irrigation systems such as for the 300GL Paradise Dam in Queensland, built in 2006 and with a large volume of entitlements still available;

The benefit of bonds is that funding is applied to particular capital projects, which in California is done within a comprehensive state water planning setting. Further, interest earned is often taxexempt. US infrastructure bonds are financed on the security of the balance sheet of the issuing agency rather than the project finance of a particular project. Principal is typically repaid with annual payments rather than at maturity. These bonds are widely held by individual household investors, making them in the Australian context a suitable investment for self-managed superannuation funds. There are also what is called direct pay bonds, where interest expense is subsidised by the Federal Government.

Contingent loans and betterment levies

In Australia, government borrowings are through Treasury Bonds. Bonds on issue in January 2015 were valued at $319 billion. In Australia, government bonds funds go to Consolidated Revenue and only a small part is applied to infrastructure. The recent Water Infrastructure Options paper (Australian Government Department of Agriculture, 2014) states that: “31 projects have been identified as having the potential for Commonwealth involvement. This involvement would not necessarily be in the form of financial assistance for construction”. The paper says further that infrastructure bonds are not favoured as they are seen as another form of government debt. The paper does, however, provide options for government assistance to privately funded projects. A number of ways in which governments can assist private development projects are proposed: Concessional loans Concessional loans offer projects access to the lower interest rates paid by governments, and in some circumstances can be close to zero interest. They may offer the added benefit of the government contribution being regarded as a loan rather than a taxable benefit in the hands of the project proponent. Financial viability of irrigation infrastructure projects will benefit from concessional loans, but these projects will need to compete for scarce government funds against other projects with more immediate and better-distributed political benefits such as freeways, hospitals and other urban infrastructure.

• Where irrigator viability reduces demand, such as is occurring now with rice growers in the Murrumbidgee system less able to buy allocation water.

Contingent loans assist irrigators benefiting from new irrigation infrastructure, with the loans repayable as irrigators earn additional income from the use of infrastructure. Betterment levies are applied to land, reflecting the increased value through having access to water. Part of the infrastructure funding would be collected from farmers potentially serviced by the infrastructure or committing to be customers. It is not clear how either system might be implemented, but the present and future costs of both to irrigators would appear to reduce the intensity of demand in an irrigated area, which is a main determinant of the cost of distribution systems.

Making irrigation projects attractive to investors Both Federal and State Governments have increasingly limited budgets, which necessitates sourcing funding from the private sector. Factors affecting the attractiveness of irrigation infrastructure projects to investors are discussed below, along with ideas to improve the attractiveness: Financial structures Financial structure options have been discussed above. There is a need to choose the most appropriate structure for a particular project, recognising that a structure preferred by investors could reduce project financing by 50 or 100 basis points, thus improving overall project viability. Meeting permit and approval requirements The expense, delay and risk associated with obtaining necessary permits for projects can add significantly to the private proponents’ estimated costs and make projects less attractive. This is a function that might be better carried out by governments before projects are presented to the private sector. A concern expressed many times by the mining sector during the recent minerals boom was that the regulatory structure in Australia was too complex, with the processes and delays adding to the cost of projects without achieving superior outcomes such as in environmental protection.

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Feature Article

Figure 2. Commodity prices for major Australian irrigated crops. (Source: Indexmuni, 2015 and Global Dairy Trade, 2015) Certainty of revenues

Return on investment

Water irrigation infrastructure assets competing for financing against other assets can be perceived to have a high revenue risk in several areas. Risk associated with take-up arises from the need to build assets that can service a greater demand, thus producing initial shortfalls in revenue. Further, the actual demand can fall short of the feasibility demand. This risk can be reduced by:

Returns on investment in stand-alone irrigation infrastructure investments are typically low. The major constraint is that irrigators can only afford to pay as much as the prices for the commodity they produce allow. For instance, returns from broadacre irrigated cropping per megalitre are relatively low (e.g. rice), and are higher for more intensive crops such as vegetables. Commodity indices for major irrigated crops are shown in Figure 2, indicating both the volatility in prices and the relatively small increase in prices over a 15-year period.

• Thorough market research demand assessment rather than economic analysis or other financially less rigorous demand assessment; • Staging of projects – not easy with assets like dams or through only building assets to the size of initial contracted demand. Investors are also concerned about drought and irrigated commodity risk if returns do not allow farmers to pay user fees. Continuing payment fees risks can be minimised through take or pay contracts where irrigators pay the same amount each year regardless of actual use. An associated risk is in dealing with irrigators and this risk can be reduced by individual contracts with irrigators and effective consultation. Liquidity of investment and ease of exit Investors seek flexibility in managing their portfolios and, therefore, value investments that provide ease of exit. Irrigation infrastructure financing can be made more liquid in several ways, such as providing unit trusts similar to those used with commercial property investments; or an open shareholder structure allowing shares to be owned by other than irrigators. Alternatively, some investors such as pension funds may seek investments that are longer term and match their longer-term obligations. Scale Most irrigation projects have a value of less than about $50m and, as such, are less able to bear the costs of structuring to allow external investment. The legal and commercial costs of structuring projects can be similar for a $50m or a $100m project, so for smaller projects these costs can be an unreasonable proportion of total project cost.

Given the high cost of infrastructure, achieving better returns from infrastructure projects is a subject receiving attention worldwide, such as the recent McKinsey (2013) paper on infrastructure productivity. Improved returns on funds invested in irrigation infrastructure might be achieved through actions such as: • Selecting projects that have a higher rate of return for investment, such as augmenting existing projects, e.g. by raising a dam wall or using on-farm storage to achieve a more even use of distribution systems; • Providing greater investment in project development and planning, particularly in optimising commercial arrangements to maximise revenues and planning the most effective form of project delivery; • Applying greater care in project selection – for a range of reasons some irrigation infrastructure projects turn out to be less viable than anticipated. Methodologies for selecting projects could be improved and standardised both in the economic and the financial analysis of projects. Social and environmental evaluation would also benefit from a similar standardised approach. Cost of infrastructure

On the other hand, for small, local projects, local funding could be available, such as from a syndicate of high net worth local investors who will better understand the nature of the investment.

Infrastructure costs are increasing, but commodity prices are flat. Construction costs were already limiting the scale of mining development, much of which is civil construction, well before the more recent reduction in minerals prices. Irrigation infrastructure has many of the same cost elements as mining, so has also faced steep cost increases. The Mining Council reports that the per tonne capacity cost of building a thermal coal mine almost trebled from 2007–2012 and almost doubled for iron ore (Minerals Council of Australia, 2012).

The water market and water resource for a project tend to determine the scale, but greater scale can be achieved through combining projects for the purposes of financing. Recognising how scale impacts the type of financing that might be attracted is also a consideration.

Two of the projects listed in the Water Infrastructure Options paper (Australian Government Department of Agriculture, 2014) illustrate these increases. Nathan Dam on the Dawson River in Queensland was originally priced at $120m in the late nineties (Queensland Farmers’

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financing infrastructure Federation, 1999; Department of Mines and Energy, 1999). This Dam with a similar specification is now estimated to cost $1,400m (Australian Government Department of Agriculture, 2014). The Virginia project in South Australia was built by 1999 and extended for a total cost of under $55m. A further scheme with a similar scope is now estimated to cost $170m (Australian Government Department of Agriculture, 2014) Reducing the costs of infrastructure may already be occurring with the downturn in construction activity for the mining industry. Greater continuity of projects, obtaining approvals before projects commence, rationalising the approval process, increased scale and performance specification of project outcomes, all have potential to contribute to lower project costs. Irrigation business viability Viability of irrigation water supply businesses varies enormously across Australia, although from the annual published accounts, it is difficult to make a comparative evaluation. The larger businesses vary from those that have losses of 20 per cent of revenue to those that return a dividend to governments. Most receive government subsidies to meet operating costs and renewals, and often lack cash flow to finance new development. Given the relatively small size of the industry in capital value and turnover of businesses there has been little interest in private sector financing and associated business management of the industry; however, this may offer potential for improving business viability.

CONCLUSIONS Irrigation infrastructure is important to the Australian economy by ensuring future food security and providing an export income independent of minerals. Opportunities still exist for building new dams and other infrastructure and the augmenting and renewal of existing infrastructure. However, much needs to be done to structure projects to make them suitable for investment, development and operation by the private sector. If projects are to be developed, substantial government contribution is desirable and almost inevitable, either through direct financing, eg infrastructure bonds or through other support such as interest subsidies or availability payments. Irrigator capacity to pay for water is always limited by commodity prices, which for Australia’s major irrigated commodities that are mostly exported, depend on international prices. The private sector can meet some of the funding requirements of projects, but requires returns commensurate with those in other sectors. The main benefit it offers is in applying entrepreneurship to project development and management and in shielding governments from future risk. WJ

References Australian Government Department of Agriculture (2014): Water Infrastructure Options Paper. Accessed 28 Jan 2015 at SiteCollectionDocuments/srm/water-infrastructure-ministerial-working-group/ water-infrastructure-options-paper.pdf Australian Government Department of Education (2014): Export Income to Australia from International Education Activity in 2013–14. Accessed February 1 2015 at Export%20Income%20FY2013-14.pdf Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2014): Australia’s Trade in Goods and Services 2013–14, accessed 28 Jan 2015 at De Lacy K (2014): Major Projects Forum Cairns. Presentation. The IEFD Proposal: Etheridge Integrated Agriculture Project.


Feature Article Department of Mines & Energy (1999): 48th Queensland Coal Industry Review: 1998–99. BINARYPORTLET/search/?javax.portlet.tpst=c59371e644a51ca46a5e5410866 d10a0_ws_BI&javax.portlet.prp_c59371e644a51ca46a5e5410866d10a0=actio n%3DdoComponentDisplay%26appName%3Dcompnt%26docId%3D580%2 52F4-1021836&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax. portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken Economist (2014): Infrastructure Financing – A Long and Winding Road. www. Ernest & Young & Financial Services Council (2014): Superannuation Investment in Infrastructure: Steps to Further Efficiency. au/downloads/file/ResearchReportsFile/2014_0128_EYFSCReport_ Superinvestmentininfrastructure_2014_FINAL.pdf Global Dairy Trade (2015): Historical Data, accessed 28 January 2015 at www. Indexmuni (2015): Cotton Monthly Price – Australian Dollar per Pound, accessed 28 January 2015 at &months=180&currency=aud Indexmuni (2015): Sugar Monthly Price – Australian Dollar per Pound, accessed 28 January 2015 at months=180&currency=aud McKinsey (2015): Infrastructure Productivity: How To Save $1 Trillion A Year. www. Minerals Council of Australia (2012): Opportunity at Risk: Regaining our competitive edge in minerals resources. files/presentations/mca_opportunity_at_risk_FINAL.pdf NSW Office of Water (2015): Water Allocations Summary. Accessed March 16 2015 at Water-allocations/Water-allocations-summary/water-allocations-summary/ default.aspx Queensland Farmers’ Federation (1999): Submission to Inquiry into Infrastructure and the Development of Australia’s Regional Services. SunWater (2014): SunWater Annual Report 2013-2014, Accessed February 1 2015. Annual-Report_2013-2014_web.pdf Tasmanian Irrigation (2014): 2013/14 Annual Report Tasmanian Irrigation. Accessed February 1 2015 AR%2022%20ALL%20LR%20061014.pdf US Department of the Treasury (2014): Expanding our Nation’s Infrastructure through Innovative Financing. Documents/Expanding%20our%20Nation%27s%20Infrastructure%20 through%20Innovative%20Financing.pdf Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (2014): Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance 2013–14. Accessed February 1 2015 at

The Author Geoff Croke (email: is principal of Psi Delta, a company that provides commercial advice and project management in water and environment. Geoff’s earlier career was with BHP in mining and infrastructure. With Psi Delta his infrastructure work includes modernisation, augmentation and new irrigation projects for many of Australia’s largest recent projects. He also provides national water market advice, water sourcing for mines and infrastructure, and continuing activity in integrated urban water management. Psi Delta works in eastern Australia and in China.

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Feature Article

South AustraliaN Water Passes The Tap Test In spite of significant improvements to the quality of drinking water in South Australia, there’s still a perception that the taste leaves a lot to be desired. Kelly Newton, Emma Hale, Phil Jones and Gayle Newcombe present the results of a survey to assess four different water supplies compared with bottled spring water. K Newton, E Hale, P Jones, G Newcombe


istorically, South Australia’s water has been perceived as being of poor quality despite significant statewide improvements to water treatment facilities beginning in the 1980s. Unfortunately, this misconception is not isolated to South Australian residents. In fact, all of South Australia’s potable water supplies are stringently monitored for adherence to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). Our water is safe to drink and the taste and odour has improved significantly over the past 30 years; however numerous myths still exist, including the longstanding rumour that ships will not take on water for drinking when docking in Adelaide. As a result of these perceptions, many SA Water customers in both metropolitan and rural areas drink rainwater or commercial spring water in preference to the cheaper, safe product that is available at the turn of a tap. SA Water’s challenge is to engage with our customers in a way that will lead to improved understanding of the stringent water quality and safety requirements of the product we deliver. The aim is to influence perceptions sufficiently that in the future our customers will prefer water straight from the tap than from any other source.

Old memories are hard to shake Most Australians realise that South Australia is the driest state in the driest inhabited continent in the world, but not all would be aware of the challenges this poses in terms of a safe, palatable water supply for the population. South Australia has always relied heavily on the River Murray for its water supply in both regional and metropolitan areas. The metropolitan reservoirs supplying our major water treatment plants are regularly topped up with river water, particularly during the summer months. Prior to 1989, when Stage 1 of the Happy Valley Water Treatment Plant was commissioned, most of the population of Adelaide received Happy Valley Reservoir water treated with chlorine for disinfection. Due to the high chlorine doses required to maintain safety in the distribution system, and the turbidity of the unfiltered water, many customers justifiably drank rainwater instead. Similarly, many regional areas in South Australia received disinfected river water prior to the commissioning of regional treatment plants. Treatment of river water for most of our regional customers has been phased in over the past 30 years, with the most recent plant commissioned only six years ago. It is, therefore, not surprising that many SA Water customers (and others who have visited South Australia in the past) retain a negative perception of our water quality and opt to drink water from other sources, or have a commercial point-of-use filter attached to their kitchen tap. Of course it isn’t only those consumers who have experienced the previous, less than ideal, water quality in our state that have negative perceptions. Many South Australians have grown up in a household where only rainwater was used for drinking and have naturally “inherited” the perceptions of their parents and other family members.

Meeting our source water challenges Although most of our water supplies are now treated to a high quality, the challenge of poor quality source water remains. In particular our surface waters contain relatively high concentrations of dissolved natural organic material compared with many other sources in Australia and internationally. Even after effective treatment, this organic material is present and reacts with chlorine added as a disinfectant. This results in a reduction of the disinfectant concentration in the distribution system with time, so more chlorine is required at the treatment plant to ensure safe drinking water throughout the

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water quality


Feature Article

system. Unfortunately, this results in many customers receiving water containing disinfectant concentrations higher than they would prefer. An additional water quality issue faced by all of our treatment plants sourced from the river or reservoirs is the musty/earthy tastes and odours produced by blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria. Most of South Australia enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with long hot, dry summers, which provides perfect conditions for cyanobacteria to thrive. Many of our treatment plants built before the 1990s struggle to deal with these difficult-to-remove compounds. Some of our smaller and more remote communities are reliant on groundwater supplied by bores or wells. While these potable supplies may adhere to the ADWG, sometimes the taste of the water is adversely influenced by salinity or hardness. This is a more difficult aesthetic issue to address, although SA Water is investigating cost-effective measures for improving water quality for small communities. An example is the remote town of Hawker in the Flinders Ranges, where a small desalination plant was recently commissioned.

The good news is... Since the commissioning of the Adelaide Desalination Plant in 2012, a large percentage of the population of Adelaide has been supplied with excellent quality water, requiring less chlorine, and with a taste arguably equal to many of the high-quality water supplies in Australia. In addition, research at SA Water and operational changes at treatment plants and in the distribution systems continue in an effort to address the taste and odour issues associated with cyanobacteria and chlorine in our supplies.

How can we increase customer confidence and satisfaction with our water quality? We know that misconceptions about water quality and safety are common, but how can we engage with our customers about what our organisation is doing to improve water quality and have a bit of fun along the way? In our quest to answer these questions, SA Water’s Community Relations and Customer Value and Water Quality Research teams embarked on the SA Water “Take the Tap Test” across South Australia. The test was designed to assess customers’ satisfaction with the taste of four different water supplies from around the state compared with commercially available spring water. The underlying aim was to begin the dialogue with customers about concerns they might have regarding water quality, and to share information about SA Water’s current and future efforts to improve water quality for all South Australian customers. SA Water carried out the “Take the Tap Test” in Rundle Mall (Adelaide’s central shopping area), the regional towns of Port Pirie, Mt Gambier and Berri, and at Science Alive, South Australia’s National Science Week premier event. In the coming year we have plans to reach Port Augusta, Kadina, the outer metropolitan and Eyre Peninsula communities. During the “Tap Test” customers were asked to undertake a blind taste test of five water samples and rate them on the basis of how happy they would be to accept the sample as their everyday drinking water. The tasters were asked to put their ratings into an electronic tablet using QuestionProTM survey software. Figure 1 shows the survey screen, with the statements related to each level of satisfaction. After the taste testing the results were immediately uploaded and consolidated with previous results into a graph for each sample, showing the percentage of responses in each rating category for each water. Figure 2 shows the output of the survey

Figure 1. Survey screen showing the five statements the participants could choose from to indicate their level of satisfaction with Sample 1. Additional comments were also encouraged. software, illustrating the level of satisfaction with Sample 4 after 360 people had input their ratings during Science Alive. After the blind tasting was complete and the results had been uploaded, taste testers were directed to a water quality scientist who showed them the overall results, talking about the origin of the different water samples and what components of the water may contribute to the taste or flavour of the water. These discussions took the form of an informal chat during which the tasters talked about their opinions of the different samples and whether they picked out their local water and the spring water from the others. Emphasis was placed on listening to customers’ concerns and suggestions, and discussing policies and procedures that were already in place to ensure safe drinking water to all of our customers.

What was the outcome? Over 500 people participated in the SA Water “Take the Tap Test” public campaigns held across metropolitan and regional South Australia. The samples used were representative of the water supply of metropolitan Adelaide (Happy Valley supply) and country regions supplied by the River Murray (Morgan WTP), and the Blue Lake in South Australia’s south-east (Mt Gambier). Ratings from 1–5 that were allocated to the samples by the tasters were simplified into whether the taster would be happy to drink the water every day (rating 1, 2 = no; rating 3 = maybe; rating 4,5 = yes). Consolidated results are shown in Figure 3. Only four waters are shown here; the fifth sample varied depending on the location of the “Tap Test”. As can be seen from Figure 3, both the major metropolitan Adelaide (Happy Valley) and regional (Morgan WTP) supplies consistently rated the same as, or higher than, the commercial spring water. In contrast, opinion was divided on the taste of the Mt Gambier water. This result was perhaps the most surprising, as the Blue Lake is one of our most pristine water sources and the only treatment given before distribution is disinfection with chlorine for safety. The most common comments about the Mt Gambier water appeared to relate to mouthfeel (slimey, thick,

APRIL 2015 water


Feature article

Figure 3. Percentage of participants happy (or not) to drink three regional water samples, and one commercial spring water (total respondents 550).

wHere tO frOm Here?

Figure 2. Output of the survey software, illustrating the percentage of tasters who rated Sample 4 acording to each satisfaction rating. chalky), which may be related to the higher calcium content and hardness of this water. Interestingly when customers were asked to determine which sample was commercial spring water, over 50 per cent could not tell the difference and picked the incorrect sample. The results indicate that in a blind tasting customers prefer SA Water’s main supplies and cannot generally discriminate between tap water and bottled water. There was wide media coverage across South Australia showing significant interest in this new engagement strategy and the outcomes of the “Take the Tap Test”. We estimate this interest may have resulted in a potential exposure to almost 120,000 South Australians. “Take the Tap Test” created a forum for the community to engage with SA Water not only on the topic of water quality, but also other areas of interest. It was common for participants to continue the dialogue and seek further information about SA Water’s range of services.

tHe Verdict The vast majority of customers who took part in the “Take the Tap Test” were surprised when they learned the results and were extremely interested to hear the “real story” about the history and quality of South Australia’s water supply. Almost all walked away from the event with a new appreciation of SA Water’s challenges when meeting the responsibility of providing safe drinking water to South Australians. Some common comments from participants were: “I’m very surprised” “You mean I don’t need my filter?” “I think I might try my tap water again!” “Really interesting information, thanks!!” We know all of the participants left our event with a greater insight into the quality of the water supplied by SA Water, and we hope at least some will go home and give the water straight from the tap another chance!

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SA Water will continue to roll out various engagement strategies to our customers throughout the state and the “Take the Tap Test” will play an important role. Our ultimate goal is to influence and improve our customers’ satisfaction with the taste of their tap water to the benchmark levels achieved by some other water suppliers in Australia. We will strive to achieve this by investigating innovative ideas and technologies for the improvement of water quality, while engaging in a two-way discussion about the challenges and opportunities related to water quality in South Australia both now and into the future. wJ

acknOwledgements The Authors would like to acknowledge Water Research Australia and research partners Water Corporation, Seqwater, Yarra Valley Water, University of Queensland and Griffith University for supporting this work through the project “Assessing, Understanding and Influencing Customer Perceptions of Water Quality”. We also acknowledge the enormous effort other SA Water staff have put in, particularly members of the R&IS, Community Relations, Customer Strategy Insights and Media and Communications teams.

tHe autHOrs Dr Kelly Newton (email: kelly.newton@sawater. is a Scientist, Customer Value and Water Quality Research at SA Water. Kelly has investigated the ecology of aquatic microbes for over nine years and recently made the move from the marine to the freshwater environment. Emma Hale is is the Community Programs Lead Consultant at SA Water specialising in community engagement, education and state wide events. She has six years’ experience in the water industry. Phil Jones is Manager Community Relations leading SA Water’s student education, community engagement and key stakeholder relationships. Phil has 12 years’ experience developing and implementing stakeholder and community involvement strategies. Dr Gayle Newcombe is the Manager, Customer Value & Water Quality Research, Australian Water Quality Centre, SA Water. Gayle has worked in the drinking water industry for over 25 years and holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position at the University of South Australia.

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technical papers

Innovative Technology Challenges In Implementation Of Online Monitoring Of Continuously Variable Rural Wastewater

Use of advanced online instrumentation to analyse wastewaters from two different catchment types

SC Adkins et al.


E de Wit


Climate Change Opportunities For The Water Sector Under The Emissions Reduction Fund

An overview of the steps that need to be completed to participate in the ERF

Managing Water In The Murray-Darling Basin Under A Variable And Changing Climate

I Neave et al.


RK Henderson et al.


C Lai & J Coffey


D Hamlyn-Harris et al.


T Overman et al.


G Crisp et al.


A Festger


T Munday et al.


LM Macdonald et al.


How reductions in water availability could be shared between consumptive use and the environment

Water Treatment Fluorescence: State-Of-The-Art Monitoring For Water Treatment Systems

Latest developments, challenges that have been overcome, and those yet to be addressed

Broken Hill Water Treatment Plant: A Review Of Design And Operations

An overview of performance results from the first year

Stormwater Management Urban Potable Water Harvesting

Rainwater and stormwater harvesting for potable use in an existing suburb in Melbourne

Integrated Water Cycle Management This icon means the paper has been refereed

Following The Flowpath

Embedding water cycle system thinking in the design of new urban precincts

Desalination Desalination For Industry And Resources: Australia’s Success Story For World Application

A brief history of desalination in Australia and an update on some of our major desalination plants

Disinfection The Use Of High-Wattage LPHO Lamps In Small Community Drinking Water UV Systems

Overcoming the challenges with the use of FIN technology

Water In Mining The Role Of Airborne Geophysics In Facilitating Long-Term Outback Water Solutions in SA

Regional and local scale geophysical data sets to develop a hydrogeological framework in Musgrave Province

Environmental Management Biochar And Hydrochar As Low-Cost Sorbents For Removing Contaminants From Water

Potential use of biochar and hydrochar as effective tools for management of water contaminants

Disclaimer: The papers in this section have been peer reviewed for relevance, clarity and contributing constructively to the sharing of knowledge about water. It is not intended that any conclusions drawn by authors may be used as validation of the performance of a process or product; AWA expressly refutes any suggestion that publication herein implies endorsement. Although reviewers consider the credibility of data presented, it is not possible for them to vouch for the accuracy of such data.




Hamersley Iron MSF Desalination Plant.


CHALLENGES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ONLINE MONITORING OF CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE RURAL WASTEWATER Use of advanced online instrumentation to analyse qualities of wastewaters from two different catchment types SC Adkins, CP Saint, JA Van Leeuwin

Over the past 100 years or so, the provision of sewage treatment has grown exponentially, leading to significant benefits in public health outcomes. However, during this period the nature of the sewage carried within these systems has also become highly variable due to the range of domestic, industrial and agricultural sources of effluent. This creates treatment challenges, and real-time monitoring of key quality indicators is badly needed. In a study reported here, the use of advanced ‘on-line’ instrumentation to analyse in ‘near real-time’ qualities of wastewaters from two different catchment types were investigated. The study covered a period of 13 months, from May 2013 to June 2014, to accommodate seasonal weather patterns. Managing complex instrumentation placed within an untreated sewer environment located at a remote wastewater pump station (WWPS) site, as was the case investigated, is not without its challenges. A comprehensive site sensor package was applied, which included an Oda-Logger H2S (combined gas detector and data logger), Greenspan pH and electrical conductivity sensors, in conjunction with a UV-Visible (UV-Vis) S::CAN instrument package. For flow measurement, a volumetric wet-well monitoring (VWWM) system was deployed to measure storage tank influent and also provide accurate pump control date and time stamps. While the majority of the wastewater monitoring instruments performed as expected, the operation of the S::CAN was compromised by failure of an inexpensive component on several occasions. The VWWM provided valuable data and insight into how

much infiltration from both catchments actually occurred during extreme weather events. This information became crucial to synchronising various data sets with accurate re-lift pump time stamps. Imprecise UV-Vis sensor data resulted from heavy fouling of the instrument, but longitudinal data merging from other available sensors and systems yielded informative trends and conclusively showed sources of sulfide contamination. Information acquired from this study has been of benefit to the South Australian Water Corporation (SAWC) assets and planning group, as previously the Woodside/Charleston and Army Camp/ Invabrackie independent catchment flows were unknown. Keywords: Electrical conductivity (EC), South Australian Water Corporation (SAWC), wastewater pump station (WWPS), wastewater quality parameters, UV-Visible (UV-Vis).

INTRODUCTION As a result of odour complaints and public health concerns of the South Australian Department of Public Health (SADoPH), the first Septic Tank Effluent Disposal Scheme (STEDS) in South Australia was commissioned in 1962 at Pinnaroo (SA, 2003). The State Government funded the STEDS program from 1972 to 1994 and responsibility was then passed to the Local Government Association (LGA). Around this time the STEDS schemes were renamed as Community Wastewater Management Systems (CWMS). Currently in South Australia there are 172 CWMS systems that exist within 45 South Australian Council districts (LGA (SA), 2014). While some schemes are self-managed and have no connection to South

Australian Water Corporation (SAWC) infrastructure, there are many metro, outer metro and regional WWTPs that receive discharges from CWMS connections, so SAWC has to deal with uncontrolled private and council-owned CWMS discharges. CWMS effluent has little or no pretreatment other than basic flotation and sedimentation, and the resultant clarified effluent/supernatant may stand for protracted times, degrading in private/council infrastructure before being deposited into SAWC’s network. The quantity and quality of these CWMS discharges are largely unknown, hence this research study. Septic tanks (Figure 1) may be considered as modern-day cess pits (Chatzakis et al., 2006). In South Australia, early rural septic tanks were basic primary sedimentation treatment devices, where a simple baffle arrangement allowed solids to settle, but the lighter fats, oils and greases (FOG) would rise to the surface and form a scum. The resultant clarified effluent is directed to escape into a traditional ‘soak-away’ drainage scheme, as discussed by Thomas (2000). However, unless septic systems are regularly maintained, odours and poorquality discharges may result (DoHA, 2013). Modern septic tanks are made from a variety of materials including reinforced concrete, high-density polyethylene and fibreglass composites. Older septic tanks were built from brick and, when the mortar failed, these structures allowed effluent to percolate through the tank walls. If properties serviced by these devices are located close to streams or rivers, these water resources can be adversely affected and/or contaminated (USEPA, 2012).




Technical Papers



Technical Papers Inspection access

Maintenance cover

Inspection access GROUND LEVEL

Domestic sewage inlet

Discharge to CWMS

Greasy scum


SEPTIC TANK Figure 1. Typical cross-section of a generic domestic septic tank. (Source: Sarah Adkins) At the time of the study reported here, no evidence was found that indicates research had been conducted regarding the analysis of CWMS effluent via UV-Vis techniques and integration/ modelling of WWTP volumetric flow data. At the beginning of this project, with both the effluent quality and quantity available of the South Australian Bird-inHand WWTP catchment, through SAWC, it was felt that this additional data might permit accurate catchment modelling of the Bird-in-Hand WWTP catchment. The study site is situated in the Adelaide Hills, close to the Woodside township. This wastewater catchment is part of a large rural sewer network that feeds the Bird-in-Hand WWTP. There are two sections to this system: the Lobethal scheme, a traditional sewerage catchment, independently supplies the Bird-in-Hand WWTP by means of a long rising main, via a macerator and re-lift pump station situated within the township of Lobethal. The research site is located on the second adjoining

independent wastewater feed into the Bird-in-Hand WWTP network. The associated WWPS is situated on the Woodside Army Camp perimeter at Lot One, Wewak Road, and is therefore known as Wewak WWPS. The Wewak WWPS asset is owned and operated by SAWC and, as it is in an army camp, the security of equipment was assured. The selected wastewater network comprises a large council CWMS/STEDS catchment covering both the Woodside and Charleston areas. This CWMS source is typically high in nutrients and pathogens and is pumped from the final Woodside WWPS via a private rising main to the Wewak storage and re-lift site. An untreated raw sewage supply from the commonwealth facility at Invabrackie and the Woodside Army Camp is delivered from the adjacent army camp WWPS and mixed in the Wewak tanks. The composite wastewater is then re-lifted to the Bird-in Hand WWPS. Both catchments receive significant quantities of stormwater infiltration during seasonal weather events.

Figure 2. Wewak site Con::stat controller installation. (Source: Steve Adkins private collection)


This unique catchment has certain features and inflows that are continuously variable in strength and chemical/ biological characteristics. Currently, there is no research information available regarding the additional mixing of CWMS effluent into raw sewage, and what challenges this presents to mixed-effluent treatment management and bi-sulfide production when additional uncontrolled infiltration flows are encountered.

MATERIALS AND METHODS The instrumentation package consisted of a Con::stat controller (S::CAN Messtechnik GmbH 2013a) and S::CAN Spectro::lyser (S::CAN Messtechnik GmbH 2013b) (Figures 2 and 3). This instrument measures absorbance of the UV-Vis spectrum and capabilities suggested by the supplier include surrogate measurement of total organic carbon (TOC), chemical oxygen demand (COD), COD filtered (f) in solution, bisulfide (HSˉ (aq)) and total dissolved solids (TSS). The second sensor selected, an Ammo::lyser (S::CAN Messtechnik GmbH 2013c) (Figure 3) is designed for the detection of ammonia (as NH4), potassium (K) for ammonia verification/ offset, temperature and pH. The sensors are controlled via a central S::CAN Con::stat controller, which also communicates with an external lift pump or sample delivery unit (SDU) and associated PLC controller. This allows the system to regularly sample wastewaters and deliver effluent samples directly to the sensors, allowing for real-time data acquisition (Figure 3). Additional Greenspan/Pentair Electrical Conductivity (EC) and pH

Figure 3. SDU controller, Ammo::lyser and Spectro::lyser instruments located in their respective pumped sample housings. (Source: Steve Adkins private collection)

sensors (Pentair Environmental Systems, 2013) were deployed directly into the effluent tank to provide sensor redundancy. Resultant wastewater analytical data can be correlated with volumetric flow information, supplied via an additional on-site measurement system. Volumetric wastewater flow is calculated by a customised and specific volumetric wet-well monitor (VWWM) and associated remote terminal unit (RTU). Hardware is a modified version of SAWC standard and well proven RTU, based on the LC-Spider, a compact, lowpower flexible data acquisition system, manufactured by Halytech (Halytech, 2014). This specific version is designed to allow calculation of flow rates into and out of a wet-well (or tank) without the need for additional flow meters. The VWWM was interfaced into the existing pumps, which are used to lift effluent into site storage and uplift all wastewater to the Bird-in-Hand WWTP. The necessary signals were provided via five isolated Hall Effect current detectors and an optional level transducer. Five pump switches were fitted to the pump side of all of the power control contactors and the sensor outputs terminated into IP68 rated connectors. These signals are connected into the VWWM and logged every two seconds. Data collected is used in conjunction with an internal data logger algorithm to calculate effluent volume lifted via the VWWM RTU located in the WWPS structure. The equipment was powered via a 12-volt direct current (VDC) supply and had battery backup protection, sufficient for up to five days. Currently, the SAWC-preferred sewer level measuring device is a radar sensor with a maximum depth/span of nine meters and an accuracy of ± 2 mm. However, in this particular case, effluent level information is provided via the existing wet-well pump control via a Siemens Miltonic ultrasonic sensor. Together with wet-well geometry via depth-volume and pump capacity/ depth-discharge look-up tables, the internal VWWM firmware applies a formula/algorithm. Information is then used to calculate volumetric flow rates. This is undertaken by inserting appropriate tank dimensions into the pump monitor’s parameter table, and an additional ultrasonic sensor measures the tank height to an accuracy of ± 3 mm (Siemens, 2014). The system can then accurately calculate pumped volume/flow

Figure 4. Wewak (Woodside Army Camp) Oda-Logger installation. (Source: Steve Adkins private collection) and individual speed of the five pumps. As the system is only designed for four pumps, the additional pump has to be accommodated by using two auxiliary channels to provide a fifth pump switch. Finally, a separate Oda-Logger (AppTek, 2014) gas sensor was deployed to measure hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S (g)) in the storage tanks’ head space. Sulfide may be found in solution, or under the correct conditions, released from the effluent in its gas phase, and is a major source of odour complaints (Figure 4). Sulfide is a dangerous compound; in gas form it is heavier than air, toxic and pyrophoric (USEPA, 2003). When oxidised in a wastewater environment, sulfide may react with oxygen and bio-films and become sulfuric acid (H2SO4) (Bielefeldt et al., 2009; O’Connell, McNally & Richardson, 2010; Tullmin, 2010). Under particular conditions, this acidic production may damage and corrode concrete infrastructure within months. During this study, data was downloaded from gas detectors every 30 days, as the sensor life and memory storage is compromised by a longer deployment period. Several NATA calibrated units were rotated throughout the life of this project and the data acquired was correlated with UV-Vis derived bi-sulfide data. Relationships between volumetric flow and effluent quality as determined via UV-Vis absorption technology were investigated in this research project, but specific results will be comprehensively covered in a future paper.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION As the WWPS discharge points were readily accessible, a series of analytical ‘grab’ samples were taken from the Wewak site. Once appropriately labelled, sample containers were stored in ice and, within two to three hours, submitted for analysis and processed at the Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC), SAWC. S::CAN wastewater parameter data was referenced against AWQC, NATA accredited sample analysis. Examples are shown in Tables 1 and 2. An unexpected result was the levels of fat, oil and grease (FOG) for the CWMS discharge (data not presented). Woodside’s CWMS value of twice that of the army camp was unexpected, as theoretically, if septic systems are operating correctly, the bulk of FOG should be retained within the local septic tanks and removed by pumping out in normal maintenance. Comparisons with other local CWMS infrastructures and catchments were available and, while it is understood that effluent parameters are catchmentspecific, for two similar CWMS catchments anecdotal evidence indicated that there was a considerable increase of FOG with the Woodside/Charleston area, suggesting that this CWMS system was not performing to required standards. While there is some correlation between surrogate UV-Vis values of TSS, COD (eq), salinity and pH, the S::CAN COD (feq) and Ammo::lyser




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Table 1. Reference laboratory analysis, composite tank sample taken from Wewak WWPS tank 13 September 2013. Time

TSSeq mg/l

NO3-Neq mg/l

CODeq mg/l

CODfeq mg/l

NH4-N ppm


12:22:02 PM







12:24:02 PM







12:26:02 PM







12:28:02 PM







12:30:02 PM







12:32:02 PM







12:34:02 PM







12:36:02 PM







12:38:02 PM







S::CAN Ave







AWQC Analysis


< 0.1





The discrepancies between the AWQC NATA accredited analyses data and the S::CAN instrument readings were found to be significant (Table 3). Additional calibration and analyses were then scheduled to investigate the basis of the discrepancies, but due to repeated pump equipment failures, these were not achieved.

Table 2. Reference laboratory analysis, composite tank sample taken from Wewak WWPS tank 21 February 2014. TSSeq mg/l

NO3-Neq mg/l

CODeq mg/l

CODfeq mg/l

NH4-N ppm


Temp. °C

HS- [mg/L]

10:22:01 AM









10:24:01 AM









10:26:01 AM









10:28:01 AM









10:30:01 AM









10:32:01 AM









10:34:01 AM









10:36:01 AM









10:38:01 AM









S::CAN Average









AWQC Analysis


< 0.1








Table 3. S::CAN vs. reference laboratory analysis, composite tank sample 6 June 2014, green ellipse indicates acceptable correlation, red unacceptable. TSSeq mg/l

NO3-Neq mg/l

CODeq mg/l

CODfeq mg/l

NH4-N ppm


HS- [mg/L]

9:38:01 AM








9:40:01 AM








9:42:01 AM








9:44:01 AM








9:46:01 AM








9:48:01 AM








9:50:01 AM








9:52:01 AM








9:54:01 AM








S::CAN Ave
















AWQC Analysis


Investigations verified that the lift pump had failed. The low-value readings from the instruments were of old or partial volume samples delivered to the available instruments. Subsequently, due to SDU reliability issues, a decision was made to redeploy the instruments directly into the effluent, providing a better opportunity to test the instruments’ performance as designed, and the lift pump was removed. Improved agreement between analytical results and instrument readings were obtained with sensors placed directly into the tank (Figure 5). This, however, severely impacted on the UV-Vis calibration and site verification. Due to instrument fouling/ maintenance requirements and critical hardware failures of the sample delivery pump, UV-Vis data and laboratory analytical data were deficient and are not presented here. Discussion on the study outcomes will thus focus on other instrument information and VWWM data. All VWMM historic data ìs transferred via Telstra GSM network into a data warehouse for processing offline. This raw data is loaded into Microsoft Excel software to calculate the measured flows. Due to the five pumps within the test infrastructure all having slightly different pumping rates, the algorithm of the VWWM system used to calculate the relifted effluent was challenged. Data from this remote terminal unit (RTU) was critical in calculating Woodside CWMS inflows, influent times and their duration. Modelling by a consultant (GHD) verified the calculated results from the VWWM and this flow information may also be verified via an ABB Mag-Flow meter, which is fitted into the rising main outlet where effluent is directed towards the Bird-in-Hand WWTP. Gas sensor (App-Tek, 2010) raw data is extracted from the vendor’s specific application (Shafranovich, 2005), and this information contained H2S (g) measurements and air temperature. These values were logged every two minutes, the same sample frequency as the SAWC RTU, VWWM and the S::CAN computer system. With matching data acquisition and synchronised timestamp an accurate representation of events was graphed.

Figure 5. Representation of S::CAN data during a substantial rain event of 17.2mm, including gas in headspace, Woodside influent and pump run-time data.

CONCLUSIONS This study was undertaken to determine if UV-Vis technology could be a useful tool for wastewater analyses in near real-time data acquisition through on-line monitoring. This instrumentation package also has the potential benefit of rapid reporting and, therefore, provides the ability to respond to ‘out of limits’ quality discharges of wastewater. It is recognised that UV-Vis analysis will not directly replace parameter-specific analytical procedures outlined by NATA or other agencies. Nevertheless, the use of such standard analytical methods to evaluate grab samples may provide the necessary calibration benchmarks (ALPAC, 2014). If these on-line monitoring tools are managed and calibrated correctly, they might provide reliable surrogate measures that have long-term applications within the water/wastewater industry – e.g. give an early warning of any detrimental challenges likely to be transported to the treatment plant, or assist in the identification of sources of such challenge material in the catchment. However, in this study, SDU hardware failures significantly compromised data acquisition and, hence, restricted data capture. Fortunately, other site instruments enhanced opportunities to monitor two independent flows. Accurate pump run times and measured tank levels allowed synchronisation of CWMS flows entering the storage against H2S in head space measurements. Data analysis showed

that CWMS influent is directly responsible for high levels of incoming bi-sulfide in solution, gas surges and H2S release into the headspace via turbulent influent delivery (Figures 6 and 7). Further analysis and calibration references have been inadequate to conclusively prove reliability of UV-Vis surrogate measurements. While UV-Vis analysis results were not as expected and instrument readings vs. analyses had wide margins of error, at least the system gave a continuous ‘near real-time’ catchment fingerprint. Data from the Con::stat controller gives some representation of wastewater conditions. Further work is underway to improve calibration techniques and tighten limits and specifications with instruments placed directly in the wastewater. In contrast, the bi-sulfide calibration is not fully characterised and additional study is needed to better understand the data from the UV-Vis instrumentation, and improvements to grab sample analysis to address reliability and repeatability concerns are required. In context of the study objectives and results, the following negative outcomes are presented: • UV-Vis calibration, surrogate measurement and repeatability are yet to be adequately demonstrated; TSS, NO3, COD and COD (f) have correlation to UV-Vis data, but not bi-sulfide and NH4 data; • Bi-sulfide detection is “pH at equilibrium” dependent; thus secondary sensors must be cleaned and calibrated regularly;




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Technical Papers • UV-Vis instrument management is difficult and maintenance requirement is high; • Inexpensive hardware failures significantly compromised data quality, including from UV-Vis instrumentation; • SDU pump for this particular wastewater application is not recommended; • Significant expense for AWQC analysis to calibrate the Con::stat software was not forecast. Positive outcomes include the following: • Excellent correlation of pump/tank level/influent discharge with H2S concentration in headspace; Figure 6. Oda-Log data during substantial rain event (17.2mm, 18 September 2013), including gas in headspace, Woodside influent flow duration and synchronised pumps (on–off) data time stamps.

• CWMS was conclusively shown to be the root source of H2S in solution and in headspace; • VWWM was found to be suitable for accurate tank/wet well volumetric flow monitoring and flow results obtained of benefit to the SA Water systems planning group; • The sources and presence of sulfide and the corresponding welfare, health and safety issues are better understood, but still require an adequate permanent managed solution; • Power management/electricity costs are now better understood and a full cost recovery plan is now implemented.

Figure 7. Expanded view of Oda-Log data during substantial rain event (17.2mm, 18 September 2013), including gas in headspace, Woodside influent flow duration and synchronised pump data time stamps. Red ellipse highlights gas surge ahead of wastewater slug.

In early June 2014, new stainless steel brackets were fabricated and both the Spectro::lyser and the Ammo::lyser instruments relocated into the main concrete storage tank at Wewak WWPS (Figure 8), dispensing with SDU and external instrument housings. Initial data acquired indicates better system stability and performance. During continued field trials and revised instrument deployment, all sensors have suffered less fouling, despite being placed directly into the WWPS tank. Further trials are currently being conducted to calibrate and validate UVVis data vs. laboratory analysis at Wewak and results will be reported in the future.


Figure 8. Wewak (Woodside Army Camp) Wet-Well S::CAN (submerged, centre), Ammo::lyser (suspended via SS chain) and Greenspan pH and EC instrument installation. (Source: Steve Adkins private collection)


Steve Adkins (email: Steve.Adkins@sawater. is is networks and monitoring coordinator for the SA Water corporation. Steve has over 40 years’ experience with instrumentation, remote sensing, SCADA and statistical process control.

Professor Christopher Saint (email: Christopher.Saint@ is Director of the Centre for Water Management & Reuse, University of South Australia. Associate Professor John Van Leeuwen (email: John. is a lecturer and researcher of the Centre for Water Management and Reuse, University of South Australia.

REFERENCES ALPAC (2014): Proficiency Testing Programs, Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation. Viewed 20 April 2014, App-Tek (2010): Technical Note 03-TB-0016. App-Tek (2014): OdaLog® Type L2. Viewed 3 May, Bielefeldt A, Gutierrez-Padilla MGD, Ovtchinnikov S, Silverstein J & Hernandez M (2009): Bacterial Kinetics of Sulfur Oxidizing Bacteria and their Biodeterioration Rates of Concrete Sewer Pipe Samples, Journal of Environmental Engineering, 136, 7, pp 731–738.

Chatzakis M, Lyrintzis A, Mara D & Angelakis A (2006): Sedimentation Tanks Through The Ages. IWA 1st International Symposium on Water and Wastewater Technologies in Ancient Civilizations, pp 28–30. DoHA (2013): Maintenance of Septic Tank Systems, Department for Health and Ageing (DoHA), Government of South Australia., Adelaide, South Australia. Halytech (2014): Spider LC SMS, 2014, Halytech, Sydney, Australia. O’Connell M, McNally C & Richardson MG (2010): Biochemical Attack on Concrete in Wastewater Applications: A State of the Art Review, Cement and Concrete Composites, 32, 7, pp 479–485. Pentair Environmental Systems (2013): EC 250 Electrical Conductivity Sensor, PH 1000 pH, Pentair Environmental Systems, Brisbane. pdfs/new/water-monitoring-brochures/ PH1000_pH_Sensor.pdf; au/attachments/pdfs/new/water-monitoringbrochures/EC250_Electrical_Conductivity_ Sensor_Rev02_092013.pdf. S::CAN Messtechnik GmbH (2013a): Applications Waste Water, Vienna, Austria. S::CAN Messtechnik GmbH (2013b): Spectro::lyser™ UV monitors, scan Messtechnik, GmbH, Vienna, Austria.

Viewed 2 November 2013, text.php?kat=5&id=21&langcode=. S::CAN Messtechnik GmbH (2013c): Ammo::lyser™ IV pro, scan Messtechnik GmbH, Vienna, Austria. Viewed 2 November 2013, php?kat=5&id=26&langcode=. SA (2003): Review of STEDS in South Australia, Ref No 20020449RA3G. Shafranovich Y (2005): Common Format and MIME Type for Comma Separated Values Files, 1-8, updated 2005, SolidMatrix Technologies Inc., Maryland, USA, viewed 18 May 2014, Siemens (2014): Ultrasonic Probe Sensor Information and Specifications, Siemens Technical Publications, May 2014. Thomas A (2000): The Easy Septic Guide, NSW Department of Local Government, Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia. Tullmin (2010): Microbial Effects in Concrete Effluent Pipes, Tullmin Consulting, California, USA. USEPA (2003): Toxicological Review of Hydrogen Sulfide, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC, USA. USEPA (2012): Do Your Part – Be SepticSmart! A Homeowners’Guide to Septic Systems, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, USA.


Cu NH3 NO2 NO3 PO4

Ni Cr CI2 Zn F

Fe Silica Sulphide Phenol Cyanide

Aluminium Manganese Boron Sodium




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OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE WATER SECTOR UNDER THE EMISSIONS REDUCTION FUND An overview of the steps that need to be completed to participate in the ERF and requirements that apply to wastewater treatment projects E de Wit

INTRODUCTION The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is part of the Australian Government’s Direct Action Plan for achieving the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet Australia’s emissions reduction targets. At present, the 2020 target is 5% of emissions reduction based on 2000 levels.1 The Government has allocated $2.55 billion to the ERF to be spent over four years. The ERF has been established using the framework of the previous Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), which allowed credits known as Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) to be issued for approved emissions reduction or carbon sequestration projects on the land. Under the ERF, projects no longer need to be land-based and broader sections of the economy are able to participate in the undertaking of projects that reduce emissions. These include industrial facilities and activities in the waste and water sectors. The most immediate opportunity for the water sector involves the replacement of deep open anaerobic lagoons with anaerobic digesters. Other water-specific emissions reduction activities may be able to participate in the longer term. In simple terms, under the ERF the Government will purchase the credits generated by ERF projects. The Government’s aim is to use the funding allocation to purchase the lowest cost abatement. This article provides an overview of the steps that must be completed in 1

order to participate in the ERF and outlines the particular requirements that apply to wastewater treatment projects.

THE LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK The ERF was formally implemented on 13 December 2014 through amendments to the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (Act) and Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Regulations 2011 (Regulations). The Regulations have since been supplemented by the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Rule 2015 (Rule). The ERF will be administered by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) on behalf of the Australian Government. The CER will both approve the ERF projects and purchase the credits that are issued for those projects. Although the purchasing process that the CER is able to use can be flexible, in the first instance it proposes to hold reverse price auctions as its primary mechanism for purchasing ACCUs. The first auction will take place on 15 and 16 April 2015. The four main steps to participating in the ERF are: 1.

Registration as a project proponent;


Registration of a project;


Carrying out the project, including the reporting and auditing of the project and claiming ACCUs; and


Selling the ACCUs.

STEP 1 - REGISTRATION AS A PARTICIPANT The two key steps to participating in the ERF are to apply to register as an ERF participant and to register a project.

Registration as a project proponent is open to anyone and can include individuals, corporations, statutory authorities or State or Local Government. The primary requirement for registration is satisfaction of a “fit and proper person” test. In assessing whether an applicant is a fit and proper person, the CER must have regard to whether any of the ‘specified events’ have occurred in relation to it or its executive officers, and it must not be externally administered. The list of ‘specified events’ set out in the Rule is lengthy and includes: 1.

Committing an offence under any law that relates to dishonest conduct, the conduct of a business, environment protection or work health and safety;


Breaching the Act, Regulations or Rule; and


“Any other events that the Regulator considers relevant”.

A proponent will also need to open an account in the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU). ANREU is a secure electronic system similar to an electronic bank account, into which the ACCUs are issued.

STEP 2 - REGISTRATION OF A PROJECT A project must meet all of the requirements set out in the Act before it will be able to be declared as an eligible offsets project and registered on the Emissions Reduction Fund Register. The key requirements for registration of a project are:

The current 2020 target, and future targets, are the subject of a review being undertaken by a taskforce established by the Prime Minister’s office. The Government is due to set Australia’s targets later in the year to feed into the international climate change negotiations undertaken by the UNFCCC.



Technical Papers Domestic project – It must be carried out in Australia;


Newness – The project must not have begun to be implemented2;


Methodology determination – It must be covered by a methodology determination and meet any requirements in that determination;


Regulatory additionality – The project is not required to be carried out by or under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory;3 and


Additionality – It must meet the additionality requirements (set out in further detail below); and



Project proponent – The applicant must be the project proponent, meaning the person must be responsible for carrying out the project and have the legal right to do so.


Methodology determinations are prepared by the Department of the Environment and are made by the Minister for the Environment on the advice of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee, established under the Act. All methodology determinations under the previous CFI scheme are transitioned across to the ERF and there is a current process for prioritising the development of new methodology determinations for the ERF. The methodology determination is essentially the “set of rules” for the project. It details what an eligible project looks like, where it can be conducted and how to measure the greenhouse gas abatement. Methodology determinations also explain how to collect data from a project, how to monitor and report on a project as well as what records must be kept. ADDITIONALITY REQUIREMENTS

Additionality is a standard concept in carbon offset schemes. In simple terms, it requires that in order for a project to generate credits the project owner must be undertaking an activity that is more than “business as usual”. Under the ERF, there are three tests that need to be satisfied to address the additionality requirement. These are as follows:

abatement from the excluded activity will not be taken into account or will only have a minor or trivial effect on the net abatement of the ERF project; b.

Government program – The general requirement is that the project is unlikely to be carried out under another Commonwealth, State or Territory Government program or scheme in the absence of a declaration of the project as an eligible offsets project under the ERF. However, in this instance, there is an alternative requirement currently set out in the Rules in lieu of the government program requirement. The alternative requirements are: a.

Co-location: The offsets project must not involve identified renewable energy and energy savings activities unless that excluded activity is co-located with the activity the subject of the proposed ERF project. By way of example, the excluded activities include: I.

the operation of an accredited power station within the meaning of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (Cth);4


the installation of a solar water heater or a small generation unit, within the meaning of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (Cth), in relation to which a small-scale technology certificate has been, or will be, created in accordance with that Act; and


a recognised energy-saving activity, within the meaning of subsection 127(6) of the Electricity Supply Act 1995 (NSW), in respect of which an energy savings certificate has been, or will be, created in accordance with that Act.

Each of these excluded activities can remain included in a proposed ERF project, where they are co-located with the additional activity and either the


Excluded activities: the offsets project must not include: I.

the installation of a device that heats water using solar energy but is not a solar water heater within the meaning of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (Cth); or


the installation of a small generation unit, within the meaning of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (Cth), in relation to which a small-scale technology certificate cannot be created; and

Excluded Government funding: the offsets project must not have received, or be going to receive, funding under the Commonwealth’s 20 Million Trees Program.


The Act provides examples of activities that will be both determinative and disregarded when establishing whether a project has ‘begun to be implemented’. It is important to keep these lists front of mind when considering whether or not to carry out an ERF project to ensure that the relevant implementation threshold is not crossed prior to project registration. The Act provides that a project has begun to be implemented, and will therefore fail the newness requirement, where the following types of actions occur: 1.

making a final investment decision in relation to the project;5


acquiring or leasing a tangible asset (other than land) that is for use wholly or mainly for the purposes of the project;6 and


commencing construction work for the purposes of the project.

This list is provided as examples only and, accordingly, there may be additional


Alternatively, where there are newness requirements under a relevant methodology determination in lieu of this general requirement, then it will be the requirement as stated in that methodology determination.


Alternatively, if there are any requirements expressly stated in the relevant methodology determination to be in lieu of the general regulatory requirement, then it will be the requirement as stated in that methodology determination.


Note there are exceptions to this activity, such as one which is a methane emissions avoidance project, one which uses waste coal mine gas or does not use an eligible energy source, as that term is defined in the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, to generate electricity.


This is in turn defined as having the meaning generally accepted within the corporate finance community: Section 27(4D).


Section 27(4E) notes that ‘minor assets’ should be disregarded however the term ‘minor asset’ is not defined.





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circumstances that may determine that a project has begun to be implemented. Additionally, the Act provides that the following are examples of activities that may be disregarded when identifying whether or not a project has begun to be implemented: 1.

conducting a feasibility study for the project;


planning or designing the project;


obtaining regulatory approvals for the project;


obtaining consents relating to the project;


obtaining advice relating to the project;


conducting negotiations relating to the project;


sampling to establish a baseline for the project;


an activity specified in the legislative rules; and


an activity that is ancillary or incidental to any of the above activities.


Each project will be awarded a crediting period, which determines the time period over which ACCUs can be generated from the project. For emissions reduction projects, the standard crediting period is seven years. Carbon sequestration projects have a longer crediting period of 25 years. The general rule is that a project will only receive one crediting period; however, there is the ability for the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee to evaluate whether subsequent crediting periods should be granted for particular projects.

STEP 3 – REPORTING, AUDITING AND CLAIMING ACCUS Immediately on registration of the project, a proponent may commence the project in accordance with the applicable methodology determination. Once a proponent has identified the abatement achieved by the project in a reporting period (as identified in accordance with the methodology determination), it can then submit a project report to the CER and make a claim for ACCUs.


An industrial wastewater treatment plant in evergreen forest. AUDIT REQUIREMENTS

Project reports will sometimes be required to be accompanied by an audit. Upon project registration, the project will be given an “Audit Schedule” by the CER, which sets out the number of audits and the period of time covered by each audit. The audit schedule will set out the level of assurance, frequency and scope of audits required for a project. The Rule requires projects to undertake an initial audit at the beginning of the crediting period, with a minimum of three audits (including the initial audit) required in total over crediting periods of seven years or more.

The scope of these audits will be to provide assurance over the abatement number provided in the offsets report and additional audits may be required for large projects (i.e. projects which have an annual average abatement amount of more than 250 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e)).

STEP 4 – SALE OF ACCUS With the repeal of the Carbon Pricing Mechanism, the primary purchaser of ACCUs is now the Government. As identified above, this function will be carried out by the CER. The CER, on behalf of the Commonwealth, may purchase


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Importantly, the ACCUs do not need to be in existence prior to the CER conducting one of these processes and entering into a binding contract for the sale and purchase of ACCUs. This means that a project proponent can have the certainty of a secure forward contract with the Commonwealth prior to commencing to carry out the project. Accordingly, rather than commencing to carry out the project immediately on registration, a proponent may wish to wait until it is successful at an auction. To date, the CER has stated that its preferred purchasing process will be the reverse auction method with the first auction set down for 15 and 16 April 2015. AUCTION FORMAT

The auctions will be conducted on a sealed, “pay as bid” basis. This means there will be no disclosure of the prices being submitted by other auction participants, and the price that a participant bids is the price the participant will receive at conclusion of the auction. There will be a minimum bid size of 2,000 tonnes of CO2-e per annum, however it will be possible to bid more than one project at the same time to achieve this threshold. It is only possible to bid a project into an auction once. This means the volume of ACCUs generated from a project cannot be carved up and bid in at different prices at the same auction. If a project is not successful at an auction, however, it can be bid in a later auction. PARTICIPATION IN AN AUCTION

If a project proponent wishes to sell its ACCUs to the Commonwealth through the CER’s reverse auction process, it will need to complete an auction qualification form and an auction registration form. The auction qualification form essentially involves an offer on the part of the bidder to enter into a contract with the Regulator if the bidder is successful at the auction. At this stage, the projects the bidder wishes to bid into the auction must be identified. This form must be submitted 20 business days before the date of the auction. The auction registration form involves the bidder identifying what volume it

wishes to bid into the auction and its proposed delivery schedule for that volume over the life of the contract. This form must be submitted five business days before the auction. The last stage in the process is the actual bid price itself, which must be submitted during the two-day auction window. Bids are submitted online through AusTender. CONDUCT OF THE AUCTIONS

In undertaking and administering the reverse price auctions, the CER must comply with the following principles: 1.

facilitating the purchase of carbon abatement at least cost;


maximising the amount of abatement that the Australian Government can purchase;


ensuring that administrative costs for participation are reasonable;


ensuring integrity in the process;


encouraging competition; and


providing for the fair and ethical treatment of all participants.


The Auction Guidelines provide that the CER will apply a benchmark price for each auction, which is the maximum amount the CER will pay for emissions reductions. Only bids less than the benchmark price will be considered. For the first auction only, on 15 and 16 April 2015, the CER has the discretion to publish the benchmark price ahead of the auction, however it has chosen not to do so. The CER will only purchase 80% of the volume of emissions reductions offered at each auction at prices below the benchmark price. A bid that straddles the 80% cut-off will be accepted, along with any other bids at the same price level. Successful bidders will be advised within five business days after the auction ends. PUBLIC INFORMATION

After the first auction, the CER has the discretion (although it is not required) to publish on its website information about the auction, such as the weighted average price for ACCUs purchased at that auction. The CER will also update the Emissions Reduction Fund Register on its website with details of each contract entered into, the duration of the

contract and the number of ACCUs that the Australian Government has agreed to purchase under the contract. As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, the CER must publish on its website an annual report that sets out, among other things, the total volume of abatement purchased by the Australian Government during that year and the total price paid for it. The first of these reports will be available soon after 1 July 2015. BIDDING STRATEGY

Project proponents with multiple registered projects may bid into the auction in any format. For example, a proponent may bundle up all of its projects and bid the total expected volume from these projects over the contract term into the first auction at one price. Alternatively, it could bid each project in separately at the same or different prices. The Auction Guidelines state that a participant must not disclose its bid, proposed bid or any bid-related information that could reasonably be expected to affect or be capable of affecting the integrity or outcome of an auction. Exceptions to this rule apply if the participant is seeking legal or financial advice.

THE CARBON ABATEMENT CONTRACT As stated above, if a bid at an auction is successful, on the sole basis of lowest cost, the bidder will automatically enter into a Carbon Abatement Contract (Contract) with the CER. The Contract comprises four parts: 1.

Code of Common Terms;


Commercial Terms;


Delivery Terms; and


Financial Terms.

The Code of Common Terms is non-negotiable and acceptance of these terms is a pre-requisite to auction participation. SUMMARY OF CONTRACT

The Contract commits the successful bidder to deliver an overall volume of ACCUs known as the “Agreed Quantity” to the CER. Delivery will be undertaken in accordance with the delivery schedule and payment will be received upon delivery of those ACCUs.



ACCUs through one of three stated ‘carbon abatement purchasing processes’, being a reverse auction, a tender process or ‘any other process’.


Technical Papers The term of the Contract may be:





A standard contract duration of seven years (with an ability to extend that to 10 years in some circumstances), with multiple deliveries of ACCUs over that term; A short-term contract of less than seven years with multiple deliveries over that term; or An immediate contract delivery, with a single delivery of ACCUs made within a few days of a successful auction bid.

The key aspect to note in relation to the Contract is that after the Contract has been entered it is “project agnostic”. This means that the ACCUs that the bidder is required to deliver under the Contract can come from any source – they do not need to come from the specific project(s) that have been bid into the auction.

Neither the seller nor the CER can


acts of insolvency or bankruptcy;

disclose the unit price (i.e. the price to


in the event of force majeure; or


if there is mutual agreement by both parties.


With the agreement of the CER, but not extending the term of the contract date and not changing the Agreed Quantity of ACCUs; and


Where there is a force majeure event that prevents the delivery of the Agreed Quantity by the end of the term. This change may involve a reduction of the Agreed Quantity of the ACCUs as well as a change to the timeframe for delivery. The CER must not unreasonably withhold its consent.

the CER may require the party who will

if agreed by both parties in writing.

Exposure to liquidated damages for non-delivery can arise if the seller fails to deliver more than 20% of the scheduled volume on a particular delivery date. The first 20% may be reallocated elsewhere in the delivery schedule, but any non-delivered volume over this amount would attract a damages liability, plus interest and the CER’s reasonable costs and expenses. TERMINATION


must seek the consent of the CER and

Damages will be payable by a defaulting party in relation to termination of the Contract, except in relation to termination for force majeure or by mutual agreement.


The Contract can be terminated by either party in the following circumstances:

seller wishes to disclose the unit price it

be receiving this information to comply

There are options to amend the delivery schedule in limited circumstances, such as: By delivering some or all of the ACCUs early, but within the same financial year as originally scheduled and with notice to the CER;

be paid by the CER for the ACCUs). If the

The Contract will terminate automatically upon delivery of the Agreed Quantity and payment of all outstanding sums.




as a result of non-payment or false or misleading representations;


Gum tree saplings.

with similar confidentiality arrangements. The Contract may be varied or amended Assignment of the obligations or rights under the Contract may only be done with consent from the other party.



The safeguard mechanism will apply to approximately 140 facilities with direct emissions over 100,000 tonnes CO2-e a year. Emissions baselines will be set using data already reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS). Before the safeguard mechanism starts on 1 July 2016, the Government will undertake detailed consultation with business on key policy elements such as flexible compliance arrangements and the treatment of new investments. Safeguard baselines will reflect the highest level of reported emissions for a facility over the historical period 2009–10 to 2013–14. Businesses covered by the safeguard mechanism will be required to keep their emissions below this baseline. For those businesses that exceed this baseline, they will be able to “offset” this exceedance by surrendering ACCUs to the CER.

WASTEWATER PROJECTS As identified in the introduction, certain wastewater treatment projects will be able to participate in the ERF. An exposure draft of the relevant methodology determination, the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Methodology (Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Wastewater) Determination (Methodology Determination) was released for public consultation in October 2014. The final form of the Methodology Determination is expected to be published in the near future. The Methodology Determination covers projects that reduce methane emissions generated from open anaerobic lagoons. The biogas released from these lagoons contains between 55–70% of methane and methane is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 21–25 times that of carbon dioxide. Through the installation of anaerobic digesters it is possible to minimise these methane emissions, and the methane which is collected can be captured and

The specific project activity covered by the Methodology Determination is the replacement of deep open anaerobic lagoons with anaerobic digesters. The lagoon can store domestic, commercial or industrial wastewater. To qualify, it must be an open lagoon more than two metres deep, involving anaerobic digestion of biomass or other organic material and its methane emissions must be vented into the atmosphere. Projects will need 12 months’ worth of data to provide evidence of the kinds and sources of wastewater treated in the lagoon before an application is made for project registration. The anaerobic digester must capture the biogas and combust it in a combustion device, which can be a flare, boiler or internal combustion engine. An anaerobic digester is defined in the Methodology Determination as a system consisting of one or more closed units designed to promote anaerobic digestion, a biogas collection system and any equipment associated with the transfer of biogas to a combustion device. Examples of anaerobic digesters include covered anaerobic lagoons, plugflow reactors, continuously stirred tank reactors, fixed film digesters and up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket digesters. The net abatement amount (which will equate to the volume of ACCUs generated from the project) involves deducting the reduction in emissions as a result of the activity from the baseline emissions (i.e. the emissions before the project took place). For this particular Methodology Determination, the baseline emissions are deemed to be the same amount of methane destroyed by the combustion device. The Methodology Determination sets out requirements to monitor certain parameters in accordance with NGERS requirements, industry standards and relevant standards or other requirements under the National Measurement Act 1960. The parameters include such things as the material type treated in the anaerobic digester, the volume of biogas sent to the combustion device, the fraction of the biogas that is methane and the electricity used on site.

CONCLUSION At present, the main opportunity available to the water sector is projects involving the treatment of wastewater within the parameters outlined above. However the Government, through the Department of the Environment, has indicated that it is willing to receive suggestions for further methodology development. The water sector may wish to consider whether there are other emission reduction activities that could be implemented with a view to having these activities encapsulated in a methodology determination. Other opportunities for the water sector primarily lie in the energy efficiency space. At present, the only methodology determination that has been published for this activity is the Commercial Buildings methodology, which involves increasing the NABERS rating of commercial buildings. Additional energy efficiency methodologies for industry and large emitters are expected out shortly. Water authorities with excess land holdings may also wish to consider whether there are carbon sequestration project opportunities, such as the establishment of new native vegetation plantations. To date, ICON Water Ltd (ACTEW Water), Hunter Water Corporation and Wannon Region Water Corporation are the only water businesses that have undertaken these types of projects. The ERF presents an excellent opportunity to source a revenue stream to fund or contribute to the funding of wastewater treatment projects and, in the first instance, owners or operators of deep open lagoons are encouraged to undertake a feasibility assessment of the project activity, having regard to the likely costs and income that could potentially be generated through participation in the ERF.

THE AUTHOR Elisa de Wit (email: elisa. dewit@nortonrosefulbright. com) is a partner with law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Australia in Melbourne and is leader of the Norton Rose Fulbright Australia climate change practice. Elisa has over 24 years of legal experience and has practised in three Australian jurisdictions and in the United Kingdom. Elisa is an acknowledged climate change legal expert and advises clients on policy, regulation and compliance issues.



It is intended that the ERF will include a safeguard mechanism from 1 July 2016. The safeguard mechanism will establish an emissions baseline for covered facilities and is intended to encourage businesses not to increase emissions above historical levels and ensure that emissions reductions paid for through the ERF are not offset by significant increases in emissions elsewhere in the economy.

combusted, either by flaring or through an electricity generation facility (such as happens with methane emissions from solid waste landfills).



Technical Papers

MANAGING WATER IN THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN UNDER A VARIABLE AND CHANGING CLIMATE Dealing with climate change in the 2012 Basin Plan and into the future I Neave, A McLeod, G Raisin, J Swirepik

ABSTRACT The highly variable climate of the MurrayDarling Basin (MDB) provides significant challenges for water managers. With the advent of climate change and the likelihood of even greater variability and more frequent extreme events, these challenges will be exacerbated. In 2008, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) was tasked with preparing a Basin Plan for the sustainable management of the Murray-Darling’s water resources and, in doing so, develop strategies to manage the risks of climate change. The MDBA built upon pre-existing jurisdictional approaches that manage river systems with extreme flow variability and put in place additional measures within an adaptive management framework. The suite of measures to respond to climate change fall into four broad categories; those that refine existing water management arrangements, those that buffer the system from the additional stress of climate change, those that enhance responses to climate change, and those that facilitate adaptation to climate change at a range of timescales. The recent experience with the Millennium Drought (1997–2009), in which governments put in place special water sharing arrangements to support critical human water needs, highlights a looming policy challenge about how reductions in water availability due to climate change could be shared, including between consumptive use and the environment. Considerations include how State Governments respond to reduced water availability in the development of new water resource plans, whether environmental objectives remain feasible and appropriate under climate change, and what the appropriate


balance between social, economic and environmental outcomes will be as agricultural communities undergo broader changes in socio-economic circumstances due to climate change. Keywords: Murray-Darling Basin, Basin Plan, climate variability, climate change, adaptive management, water reform.

INTRODUCTION Australia has one of the most variable climates on Earth. It is influenced by large-scale factors (e.g. El Niño-Southern Oscillation, Indian Ocean Dipole, Southern Annular Mode) that result in large seasonal, annual and decadal fluctuations in rainfall, river inflows, temperature and evaporation (CSIRO, 2012a). Understanding the significance and impact of climate change and determining responses to it within the context of this variability presents an ongoing challenge to water management agencies, including the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

There is now an overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, but many of the effects are uncertain and the timeframes unclear. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report concluded that warming of the global climate system is unequivocal and many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia (IPCC, 2013a). In Australia, there is very high confidence of a long-term trend towards higher surface air temperatures, more hot extremes and fewer cold extremes, and changed rainfall patterns, although the uncertainty in rainfall changes remains large (IPCC, 2013b). Within the area encompassing the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), average rainfall is projected to decrease with a likely increase in drought frequency and severity (BOM, 2014), while there is a high confidence in the prediction that freshwater resources will decline (IPCC, 2013b). The South Eastern Australia Climate Initiative (SEACI) concluded that a range of climate extremes in recent times reflect the inherent natural

Figure 1. Annual total inflows into the River Murray showing the long-term average, and average inflows during three extensive droughts (taken from CSIRO, 2012a).


Technical Papers

A modelling study of the effects of climate change on the hydrology of the MDB found that a median climate change scenario resulted in the average volume of the surface water resource falling by 11% by 2030, surface water use falling by 4%, and flows at the Murray Mouth falling by 24% (CSIRO, 2008). Furthermore, the relative impact of climate change on surface water use would be much greater in dry years. The project concluded that the hydrological impacts of climate change in the MDB remain very uncertain; for example, average surface water availability could reduce by as much as 34% by 2030, or increase by up to 11%. This uncertainty led the authors to recommend “far greater flexibility and adaptive capacity in water resources management in the Murray-Darling Basin” (CSIRO, 2008). Since then, many water practitioners have focused on the need to develop ways to cope with potential changes in such extremes. There are similar levels of uncertainty about the effects of a changing climate on groundwater resources. A modelling study on diffuse groundwater recharge in the MDB reported estimates ranging from a 12% decrease under the dry future climate scenario to a 32% increase in the wet future scenario (Crosbie et al., 2011). Climate change will affect more than just the quantity of water available. Various aspects of water quality (e.g. water temperature, algal blooms, dissolved oxygen levels, concentrations of salt and pollutants) are susceptible to a number of climate change drivers (Sinclair Knight Merz, 2010), which can result in significant negative impacts on the environment and consumptive use. Australia has undertaken significant reform of the management of its water resources in the last 20 years, including a cap on surface water diversions in the MDB in 1995, agreement to a nationally consistent water management framework through the 2004 National Water Initiative, passing of the Commonwealth Water Act in 2007 and establishment of the MDBA to oversee management of the Basin’s water resources. These reforms have helped to provide a platform for responding to climate

change in their responses to threats to water security and climatic extremes (e.g. Millennium Drought 1997–2009). Against this backdrop, we outline MDBA’s approach to considering climate change in developing the Basin Plan (made in 2012); in particular, relevant legal requirements, the factors that influenced MDBA’s approach, and the range of measures that were included in the Plan itself. The paper finishes by exploring one of the key policy challenges to be faced in coming years – how reductions in water availability due to climate change could be shared between consumptive use and the environment.

REQUIREMENTS TO CONSIDER CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE BASIN PLAN In 2007 the Australian Parliament passed the Water Act, establishing the MDBA to oversee water planning at a basin scale in the national interest. The key policy objective was to put water management in the Basin on a sustainable footing through the preparation and implementation of the Basin Plan (MDBA, 2012). Many of the provisions in the Basin Plan reflect the commitments made by the Commonwealth and the states to improve water management arrangements in the National Water Initiative (2004), such as returning over-allocated systems to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction and progressive removal of barriers to water trade. The Water Act required the MDBA to consider climate change in the development of the Basin Plan to give effect to the Commonwealth’s commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (to the extent it is relevant to the use and management of Basin water resources), and to develop strategies to manage the risks to the availability of water resources arising from the effects of climate change. The Climate Change Convention is general in intent, requiring parties to cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. This is to be achieved in part by developing integrated water resource plans and, to the extent it is feasible, to take climate change considerations into account in relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions. The broad nature of the Water Act’s climate change provisions provided flexibility in translating these considerations into the Basin Plan.

THE BASIN PLAN AND CLIMATE CHANGE Development of the MDBA’s response to climate change in the Basin Plan was in the context of significant uncertainties in climate science (e.g. emission trajectories, modelling of the climate system) and how climatic influences would play out in the MDB (e.g. lack of suitable down-scaled models relevant at a catchment or even Basin scale; the effects on rainfall, river inflows, streamflow and recharge; spatially variable impacts). The response also recognised that existing approaches to manage water access in a variable climate would be useful in responding to climate change. Finally, the tight timeframe to develop and implement the Basin Plan constrained the initiation of significant new work. Broadly stated, the MDBA included climate change considerations in the Basin Plan’s high-level objectives and through various provisions that are implemented within an adaptive management framework. To provide further detail on the MDBA response, we have classified the various Basin Plan provisions that are of value under a changing climate into four types of action (Figure 2). The classification is a useful way of illustrating related actions that, because of its legal construct, are found in different parts of the Basin Plan. The first of these are refinements to existing actions and arrangements. Some existing water planning and management arrangements will help deal with the effects of climate change even though they have not been developed specifically for this purpose. The Basin Plan has recognised a number of these and, where necessary, strengthened them by applying a consistent Basin-wide perspective. Water trade, for example, facilitates the movement of water available for consumption to its most productive use, a feature that is particularly useful in supporting water-critical enterprises and environmental watering capacity in dry times. The Basin Plan refines pre-existing water trade provisions by applying a set of updated trade rules consistently across the Basin, importantly ensuring restrictions on water trade are removed from 2014. Another of the key measures within this category is incorporation of the pre-existing water allocation frameworks that is based on seasonal water availability; under dry conditions, less water is made available for



variability of the climate system (illustrated in Figure 1), as well as an underlying drying trend which appears to be partly attributable to climate change (CSIRO, 2012a).


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Incorporating climate change/variability considerations in the Basin Plan

Refining Provision




Basin Plan

Description of Provision

Annual water allocations based on prevailing climatic conditions

Chapter 6

The Basin Plan continues to support and strengthen Statesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; annual allocation process. The process is responsive to climate variability and change.

Hydrological modelling covering extremes of climate

Chapter 6

Modelling to support development of SDLs used an extended climate sequence (1895-2009) and therefore captured all the dry and wet periods of that 114 year period.

Strengthening existing water trading framework

Chapter 12

The Basin Plan refines and strengthens the existing water trading framework, allowing the most productive use of scarce water in dry times.

SDLs provide additional water to support healthy ecosystems

Chapter 5 & 6

Recovery of additional water (average of 2,750 GL/year) from consumptive use for environmental purposes will help to build the resilience of water-dependent ecosystems in the face of a drying climate.

Inclusion of groundwater and interception in SDL framework

Chapter 6

The Basin Plan brings groundwater diversions and interception activities into SDLs.

Protection of planned environmental water


The Basin Plan requires States to ensure there is no net reduction in protection of planned environmental water when updated water resource plans are developed.

Identification of risks, and strategies to address those risks

s4.03(3)(g)(iii) s4.03(3)(h)(iii)

The Basin Plan identifies climate change as a risk to the condition and continued availability of water resources and provides that new knowledge about its impacts is required.

Setting an environmental objective and outcome that considers climate change

s5.03(1)(c) s5.03(2) s8.04(c) s8.07(1)&(2) s9.04(2)(a)

A Basin Plan objective is ensuring that water-dependent ecosystems are resilient to climate change (Chapter 5, 8 and 9) and an outcome is that water-dependent ecosystems have strengthened resilience to climate change (Chapter 5).

Setting a water trade outcome that considers climate change


A Basin Plan outcome is the creation of a more efficient and effective market that enables waterdependent industries to strengthen their capacity to adapt to future climate change

Annual environmental watering priorities based on prevailing climatic conditions


The annual environmental watering priorities are determined from an assessment of the amount of water likely to be available in the year in question.

Maximising the benefits of environmental watering


Environmental watering is to be undertaken in a way that incorporates strategies to deal with a variable and changing climate.

Arrangements to meet human water needs under extended dry periods

Chapter 11

The Basin Plan has identified the volume of water required to deliver and meet critical human needs on the shared River Murray system, and has arrangements to manage the risks that this cannot be provided.

Water resource plans to develop strategies to address the risk of climate change, protect groundwater systems and manage extreme dry conditions

Chapter 10

States must consider the risks of climate change and determine how to respond. States must consider what rules are required to protect the groundwater-dependent ecosystems and the productive base of groundwater. States must describe how an extreme dry period will be managed, and consider whether management should change if new science about climate change suggests a change in the chance of such events occurring.

Discrete-point adaptation


The Basin Plan must be reviewed at least every 10 years (Water Act s50) and reviews under s6.06 of the Basin Plan must be undertaken having regard to the management of climate change risks and include an up-to-date assessment of those risks. The Environmental Watering Plan and water quality and salinity targets in the Water Quality and Salinity Management Plan must be reviewed every five years (Water Act s22).

Continuous adaptation

s8.17 s8.31

The Basin-wide environmental watering strategy can be reviewed at any time and at least every five years, and the Basinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environmental watering priorities are determined annually and can be updated at any time.

Monitoring and evaluation

Schedule 12 Item 3&17

The matters for evaluation of the Basin Plan include the protection and restoration of waterdependent ecosystems and ecosystem functions, including for the purposes of strengthening their resilience in a changing climate; and the effectiveness of the water resource plan in providing a robust framework under a changing climate.

Refining existing arrangements

Buffering the system from stress

Enhancing with new arrangements

Adapting to future changes

Figure 2. Actions taken in the Basin Plan that address climate change/variability. consumptive use. An illustration of the way water allocation responds to climatic variability (including any variation arising from underlying climate change) is shown in Figure 3, with diversions in the MDB over a 30-year period averaging 10,000 GL/year but varying from 4,200 GL in a dry year to 13,000 GL in a wet year. The second group is the buffering actions. These are measures in the Basin Plan that will cushion the system from the stress associated with a drying climate. One of the most important of these is


the recovery of an average of 2,750 GL/ year of water from consumptive use (a reduction from 2009 levels of diversion of 20%) for increased environmental flows, which will help to build the resilience of water-dependent ecosystems in the face of a variable and changing climate. Of similar importance is the inclusion of groundwater and interception activities within the new sustainable diversion limit, allowing the integration of all the key forms of take within the one management framework.

Third are the enhancing actions. These are measures in the Basin Plan that explicitly address elements of climate change. One of the overarching objectives of the Basin Plan is to ensure that water-dependent ecosystems are resilient to climate change and other risks and threats, with an associated outcome of the restoration and protection of water-dependent ecosystems and ecosystem functions with strengthened resilience to a changing climate. One of the strategies to meet this objective is to improve knowledge about the impact of


Technical Papers

Figure 3. Water diversions that respond to a variable climate (based on MDBA, 2011). climate change on the water required to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits in the Basin. Groundwater considerations are addressed through local management rules to protect groundwaterdependent ecosystems, which provide mechanisms for managers to respond to the effects of climate change. These local management rules monitor explicit outcomes during the operation of a plan (e.g. groundwater levels near an important ecosystem) and, where included, mandate a response to protect such outcomes. The fourth group are the adapting actions. These are measures that allow adaptive responses to climate change at multiple timescales. Adaptation is facilitated over longer periods when the Basin Plan and its various instruments such as the Environmental Watering Plan and the Water Quality and Salinity Management Plan are reviewed and amended; there is a 10-year review interval for the Basin Plan and a five-year review interval for the other two plans. These reviews will be informed by the results of monitoring and evaluation, investigations into the impacts of climate change on water resources, and state assessments of water resource plan performance under extreme conditions. Adaptation can also occur over shorter timeframes, for example when Basin-wide environmental watering priorities are set each year, though such adaptation more specifically addresses climate variability. The various provisions came into effect with the commencement of the Basin Plan in November 2012 and are being progressively rolled out by 2019. Some

take effect through agreed programs and water management arrangements, such as the recovery of water for the environment (buffering) and the annual water allocation process (refining). The adaptation provisions, on the other hand, facilitate a response to climate change, but are not in themselves the response – generally further knowledge and understanding will be required before adaptation responses are initiated and/or implemented. The approach developed by the MDBA aligned with the Productivity Commission (2012) report on barriers to effective climate change adaptation, which concluded that governments can address barriers and support the adaptive capacity of environments and communities by using flexible policy frameworks, such as adaptive management and marketbased approaches, to respond to changing circumstances. The Productivity Commission also noted that reducing the pressures that ecosystems and habitats currently face can help to reduce the extent to which these pressures are exacerbated by climate change – which the buffering actions in the Basin Plan seek to do.

SHARING REDUCTIONS IN WATER AVAILABILITY Climate change poses one of the greatest risks to sustainable water management as pressure mounts to allocate increasingly scarce water resources to one use over another, one wetland over another, and one community over another. While implementation of the Basin Plan within an adaptive management framework will allow adjustment to the management of

The Millennium Drought experience highlights one of the most fundamentally important decisions in an anticipated drier future; how reductions in available water are shared between consumptive use and the riverine environment. Before considering this, it is important to understand that there are two types of environmental water in the Basin. ‘Held’ environmental water is water owned via an entitlement (most often by government) and used specifically for environmental benefit. It is used at the discretion of the owner and the rules around its use are the same as those that govern the use of consumptive entitlements. ‘Planned’ environmental water, on the other hand, is water outside of the consumptive pool that is committed to environmental outcomes in the Basin Plan or state water plans (e.g. water designated for general ecosystem health, baseflows in rivers, flows that are released automatically from dams as a percentage of the level of inflows into the dam, unregulated flows, water outside of agreed caps or diversions, water not taken from aquifers). CSIRO (2012b) noted that in relation to surface water, planned environmental water makes up about 75% of the environmental water in the Basin. CSIRO’s (2008) study on water availability in the MDB sets out the extent to which the various watersharing arrangements of state water plans generally protect entitlement holders from much of the anticipated impact of climate change, while planned environmental water was shown to have a greater exposure to the risk of climate change. This effect reflects the manner and purpose of the development of infrastructure and the entitlement system to deal with inter-annually variability; dams have been working as intended to smooth out fluctuations in water available for consumptive use and provide greater reliability during dry periods.



the Basin’s water resources as the effects of climate change become better understood, it is nevertheless likely that difficult decisions will have to be made. This is not unprecedented as there is already some experience dealing with variability that is outside historical precedent as a result of the recent Millennium Drought (1997– 2009). In that case, extremely low inflows in the southern MDB resulted in governments putting in place special water-sharing arrangements that prioritised use for core human consumption needs in urban and rural areas.



Technical Papers The reforms of the last decade are expected to lead to a rebalancing towards the environment in the way the impact of climate change is shared. One of these is the buffering action of recovering an additional 2,750 GL/year from consumptive use for environmental purposes, with an emphasis on a balanced portfolio of entitlement types to address different needs (e.g. high reliability entitlements to support refugia in dry times, medium and low reliability entitlements to supplement higher flows). These environmental entitlements are treated the same way as consumptive entitlements in state water plans, and so to the extent that entitlement water is favoured under climate change, this benefit also accrues to the large and growing pool of environmental entitlements. The overall size of this effect will be known upon completion of the acquisition program and depend on the mix of entitlement types recovered, noting that some types are more exposed to climate change than others. The role of states in addressing the risks of climate change, and in doing so influencing the sharing arrangements and how much planned environmental water could be affected in a drying scenario, is significant. One of the main mechanisms for this is through updated water resource plans, which will be prepared over the next five years. At a strategic level, the National Water Initiative 2004 (NWI) provides guidance to states in preparing water plans, including a requirement to consider the risks posed by climate change to the available water resource and to the allocation of water for consumptive use. The NWI also provides that entitlement holders are to bear the risks of any reduction or less reliable water allocation arising from reductions to the consumptive pool as a result of long-term changes in climate. As indicated in the enhancing actions in Figure 2, the Basin Plan has requirements in relation to future state water resource plans that are relevant to climate change. Foremost of these is a need for states to adequately consider the risks to the availability of water from the effects of climate change and, where the risk is assessed as being significant, to describe strategies to address the risk or explain why it cannot be addressed. In addition, water resource plans are required to set out how water will be managed under an extreme dry period (e.g. a drought outside the experience contained in the


114-year historical climate sequence), and in doing so must consider if water resources should be managed differently if new science at the time suggests that extreme events will become more likely. State responses to these provisions have the capacity to influence sharing arrangements in the future. Once the next round of updated state water resource plans are available (i.e., by 2019) and the location and mix of recovered environmental entitlement types is known, it will be possible through hydrological modelling to gain a clearer understanding of how the sharing arrangements have been rebalanced – and whether further government policy responses are warranted. Ongoing research in climate science and new understandings about ecosystem responses to a changing climate will inform decisions about sharing the reductions in available water. The pronouncement by Milly et al. (2008) that ‘stationarity is dead’ refers to the idea that because of anthropogenic climate change, it is no longer realistic to believe that natural systems fluctuate within an unchanging envelope of variability. While the authors’ focus was on the water cycle, the concept is likely to be equally valid for ecosystems generally. In considering an anticipated drier future it will be necessary to analyse the feasibility and appropriateness of the existing ecological objectives in the Basin Plan. For example, it may be that under a drier future, some water-dependent ecosystems cannot be preserved in their current state, regardless of how much environmental water is available. This reflects the situation that even under pre-development conditions (i.e. no dams and no consumptive use of water) a drying climate would lead to some ecosystems moving to a new state (e.g. from river red gum forest with a flood-dependent understorey to river red gum woodland with a flood-tolerant understorey). A better understanding of ecological responses to climate change will have a bearing on the water requirements of water-dependent ecosystems and consequently on how reductions in water availability due to climate change are shared between users and the environment. As with the preparation of the Basin Plan, reviews of the Plan will be done in the context of promoting the Water Act objective of using and managing

water in a way that optimises economic, social and environmental outcomes. In other words, a level of judgement will inevitably be required when it comes to sharing reductions in water availability between consumptive users and the environment. This will be complicated by the fact that, more broadly, climate change is likely to cause changes in the socio-economic circumstances of agricultural communities in the Basin; for example, global agricultural markets may change, local crop mixes may change, or specific agricultural sectors may drop below viable thresholds, while others may become viable. While changes like these can be broadly expected, they cannot be predicted with any certainty – nor can the responses of communities to them. As such, the appropriate balance between social, economic and environmental outcomes may look different under a climate change future than it does now.

CONCLUSION Water management arrangements that deal with the type of highly variable climate found in the MDB provide a solid foundation to respond to the challenge of a changing climate. The MDBA’s approach to climate change in the Basin Plan was to incorporate and refine relevant existing arrangements, provide a significant buffer through a 20% reduction in take, and complement these with a range of new arrangements that can be implemented within an adaptive management framework. While these are important steps, policy challenges remain, not the least of which is how reductions in water availability due to climate change could be shared between consumptive use and the environment. Both the MDBA and state water management agencies will play an important role in the resolution of this issue, guided by the requirements in water legislation and the National Water Initiative, and in consultation with the many groups who have a stake in a healthy, productive Murray-Darling Basin.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We wish to acknowledge the many staff of the MDBA involved in discussions on climate change, both during the development of the Basin Plan and during the preparation of this paper. Writing of the paper has benefited from input by MDBA staff members Frank Walker, Mel Ford, Brad Jackson, Peter Hyde, Peta Derham and Jacqui Russell. We also wish to acknowledge Lindsay


Technical Papers

The Authors also wish to thank an anonymous reviewer for the useful and constructive comments provided.

THE AUTHORS Dr Ian Neave (email: au) is Assistant Director in the Environmental Water Needs section of the MDBA. He has worked in environmental water policy with the Federal Government for the last 10 years and has a doctorate in forest ecology. Dr Anthony McLeod (email: is General Manager Water Resource Planning in the MDBA. He has a doctorate in water management and has worked at a senior level on water policy issues for the last 15 years. In 2014 he undertook a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Colorado Boulder. Greg Raisin (email: Greg. is Director of the Research and Knowledge section in the MDBA. He trained as an aquatic ecologist (MSc by thesis) and has over 30 years’ experience in research, research management, water management and water policy in both State and Federal Governments.

Jody Swirepik (email: Jody.Swirepik@mdba. was, at the time of writing, an Executive Director Environmental Management in the MDBA. She has a Masters degree in aquatic ecology and has spent the last 25 years working on environmental water management programs in both State and Federal Governments.

REFERENCES BOM (2014): State of the Climate 2014, Bureau of Meteorology, Canberra. CSIRO (2008): Water Availability in the MurrayDarling Basin. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project. CSIRO, Australia. CSIRO (2012a): Climate and Water Availability in South-Eastern Australia: A Synthesis of Findings from Phase 2 of the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI), CSIRO, Australia, September 2012. CSIRO (2012b): CSIRO Submission on the Proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan. CSIRO, Australia. Available at: https://mdweb. NonCampaignListSubmissions.aspx Crosbie RS, McCallum JL & Walker GR (2011): The Impact of Climate Change on Dryland Diffuse Groundwater Recharge in the MurrayDarling Basin, Waterlines Report, National Water Commission, Canberra. IPCC (2013a): Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M,

Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V &. Midgley PM (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. http:// WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf IPCC (2013b): Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Chapter 25 Australasia. final-drafts/ MDBA (2011): Review of Cap Implementation 2010–11, Report of the Independent Audit Group, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra. Available at: http://www.mdba.


White, Colin Mues, Russell James, Rhondda Dickson and members of MDBA’s Advisory Committee for Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences for reviewing the manuscript, and Andrew Boulton for providing editorial comments.

MDBA (2012): Water Act 2007 – Basin Plan 2012. Prepared by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Available at: http://www.comlaw. Milly PCD, Betancourt J, Falkenmark M, Hirsch RM, Kundzewicz ZW, Lettenmaier DP & Stouffer RJ (2008): Climate Change: Stationarity Is Dead: Whither Water Management?, Science, 319 (5863), pp 573–574. National Water Initiative (2004): Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative, Between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. Productivity Commission (2012): Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation. Report No. 59. Final Inquiry Report, Canberra. Sinclair Knight Merz (2010): Impacts to Water Quality Arising from Climate Change in the MDB. Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra. Available at: http://www.mdba. Water Act (2007): Commonwealth of Australia. Available at:

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Technical Papers


FLUORESCENCE: STATE-OF-THE-ART MONITORING FOR WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS Latest developments, the challenges that have been overcome in recent research projects, and those yet to be addressed RK Henderson, Y Shutova, A Baker, A Zamyadi, P Le-Clech, A Branch, G Newcombe, S Khan, R Stuetz

ABSTRACT Water treatment processes applied for the removal of organic matter and biological contaminants, for example coagulation and membrane filtration, have to be regularly monitored to ensure that process performance and resultant water quality is acceptable. There is a need for rapid, on-line monitoring techniques to facilitate process performance determination and real-time water quality monitoring in a number of water treatment areas. Fluorescence spectroscopy has been gaining traction within the water industry as a highly sensitive and selective water quality monitoring technique that can be used online. It has been applied for determining organic carbon concentration and character in drinking and recycled water treatment plants, monitoring of algae and cyanobacteria populations, monitoring of reverse osmosis membrane integrity, and in the identification of cross-connections in dual distribution systems, among others. This article details the latest developments in the application of fluorescence in water treatment, assessing the challenges that have been overcome in recent research projects and identifying those that still require to be addressed. The use of fluorescence in water treatment systems is moving from the laboratory to in situ, real-time monitoring systems using commercially available probes, and the optimisation of associated protocols is where current research is focused.

INTRODUCTION Water quality monitoring throughout water treatment systems is critical for effective water supply management. For example, source water quality


monitoring enables early detection of changes that may impact operating conditions, such as chemical dose, facilitating prompt corrective action, while monitoring product water ensures consistency in quality for the consumer. However, in many situations, the relevant analysis can only be performed by sampling followed by expensive analyses using sophisticated equipment in the laboratory, which can lead to delays in understanding quality issues and, consequently, customer dissatisfaction and expensive correction measures. The ideal water quality monitor would be on-line, rapid, robust and simple to use.

the data-rich EEM spectra, improving understanding of the key fluorescence spectra that were of importance in water quality monitoring. Secondly, the advancement of LED technology has led to the commercialisation of fluorescence probes at shorter and shorter wavelengths, and these now cover the mid- and long-UV spectra regions of particular relevance to the analysis of organic matter in water treatment. Most importantly, the lower current required by LEDs has led to the miniaturisation of instrumentation and a wide choice of in-situ probes is now available.

Finally, improvements in charge This article outlines the potential couple device (CCD) detectors have for fluorescence to meet these needs further increased the analysis time of in many water quality situations, a emitted fluorescence. The result of these result of three dramatic advances in the progressions has been an exponential technology over the last 15 years. Firstly, increase in the available literature since an increase in analysis speed at the turn the mid-90s (Figure 1). However, this of the millennium allowed the rapid has also meant that the status of the measurement of multiple wavelengths technology for application in water of both excitation light and emitted treatment systems has been challenging fluorescence. A boom in fluorescence to keep abreast of. analysis of water quality followed, stemming from the ability to obtain a 3D excitationemission matrix (EEM) spectrum in a matter of minutes. This necessitated the development of spectral correction and multivariate data analytical protocols, which facilitated comparison Figure 1. The rapid increase in the number of publications in between studies the area of water treatment and fluorescence monitoring as and simplification of determined via the Scopus search engine.


Technical Papers



WHAT IS FLUORESCENCE? Fluorescence is the term given to light emitted by a molecule after it has been excited by incident visible or ultraviolet light due to the absorption of a photon of energy. Fluorescence requires the presence of conjugated double bonds and the fluorescence yield, as well as the excitation-emission wavelength pairs at which fluorescence is observed, is dependent on the molecular structure. In a drinking water treatment context, such molecules can include aromatic humic and fulvic acids, tannins, indoles, lignins, hydroquinones and algal cell pigments, such as chlorophyll a and phycocyanin (Aiken, 2014). In wastewater, a wider range of fluorescent xenobiotic organic matter (OM) may be present, and the fluorescence is dominated by microbially-derived OM, including living and dead cellular material and exudates (Baker et al., 2014). Caution should be taken that comparisons of relative peak intensities may not necessarily mean that there are higher concentrations of one fluorophore versus another; this would depend on the degree of fluorescence efficiency of a particular molecule. Additionally, several fluorescence compounds can fluorescence in the same region of optical space. Similarly, a linear relationship between fluorescence intensity and concentration of a particular fluorophore cannot be assumed; the inner filter effect, i.e. the reabsorption of emitted light within the sample, can occur at high fluorophore concentrations, leading to a reduction in measured intensity. Figure 2 illustrates a 3D fluorescence EEM (excitation wavelength vs emission wavelength vs fluorescence intensity), which can be considered analogous to a contour map, where peak locations are detailed within optical space.


Figure 2. An illustration of fluorescence EEMs processed according to Murphy et al. (2010) as shown in (a); the four PARAFAC components that the EEMs were shown to comprise, as shown in (b); and how these can be related to single points on an EEM, as shown in (c) (adapted from Shutova et al., 2014).

FLUORESCENCE INTERPRETATION Generation of 3D fluorescence EEMs results in a huge amount of data that requires careful interpretation. The first stage in data processing is to standardise the data, which might include correcting for instrument bias and the inner filter effect, and transferring the data in arbitrary fluorescence units that are specific to the instrument and settings applied to a standardised unit, for example Raman or Quinine sulphate units (Murphy et al., 2010). There is now an instrument (the Horiba Aqualog) available that enables this to be done at the click of a button. Multiple peak locations, shifts of the fluorescence peak maxima optical locations and overlapping fluorophores create challenges in the interpretation of fluorescence EEM data. Options for interpretation range from the simple ‘peak picking’ technique where

particular wavelength pairs, for example at a peak maxima, are monitored, to more complex multivariate techniques such as self-organising maps (SOM), principal component analysis (PCA) and parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC). PARAFAC is one of the most used EEM data processing techniques, gaining popularity over the last decade. One of the reasons for the wide acceptance of the PARAFAC-EEM modelling among researchers is that it allows fluorescence spectra quantification, giving a significant advantage over SOM and PCA techniques (Coble et al., 2014). In PARAFAC modelling, fluorescence EEMs are mathematically split into a set of independent components (Stedmon and Bro, 2008). In an ideal case, modelled parameter concentration, emission and excitation spectra that characterise components would represent underlying fluorophores (Figure 2). This means that, while the wavelength position of fluorescence maxima in the mixture may shift depending on the relative contribution of each of the fluorophores, the wavelength positions of the fluorescence peaks representing each component in the EEM do not (Stedmon and Bro, 2008). While there has been little evidence presented that most of the components have physical meanings, the number of identified components, excitationemission positioning and intensity of components have been consistently identified and linked to changes of concentration and character of OM within datasets (Baghoth et al., 2011; Ishii and Boyer, 2012; Shutova et al., 2014). For example, humic-like components were linked to different sources of OM (e.g. terrestrial, microbial) and were shown to have dissimilar treatability during water and waste treatment (Ishii and Boyer, 2012; Shutova et al., 2014). These have been consistent not just in water treatment but in other environments (Coble et al., 2014). Hence, it is now known where in optical space to analyse for particular fluorescent OM. In view of this, bench scale machines will be increasingly relegated to technical research and in situ methods using probes focusing on the particular area of interest will be the emphasis. Research is now at the stage where PARAFAC can be useful for initial quantification of the signal – but this is not the end point, as some of the examples in the following text will demonstrate.



The aim of this article is to: a) describe the current status of fluorescence research from the perspective of water treatment; b) identify key areas where fluorescence has been shown to be useful at water treatment plants, discussing the outcomes of a number of major, collaborative research projects that have been undertaken in Australia over the last 10 years; and c) describe the current challenges/limitations of the technique in this context.


Technical Papers


(Baker et al., 2014; Hudson et al., 2008). A secondary treated EEM is shown in Figure 3b. The outcomes of the completed projects are discussed in the following sections. DRINKING WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS

One project aimed to deliver a fluorescence-based protocol for the rapid and sensitive detection and characterisation of OM at drinking water treatment plants (WTPs). To achieve this, a oneyear OM sampling program was conducted to characterise the Figure 3. Two EEMs showing: a) A fluorescence EEM OM present at five of a mixture of Suwanee River NOM standard (3 mgC/L) and 47,000 cells/mL of green algae and cyanobacteria; WTPs that were and b) a secondary treated effluent. selected to demonstrate OM variability under FLUORESCENCE different climatic conditions (subtropical APPLICATIONS to temperate), contrasting water sources The authors have been involved in (from rivers to reservoirs), and after a number of international and national treatment by a number of processes projects with a focus on fluorescence designed for OM removal. monitoring in water treatment systems, including major Australian Research Council (ARC) research projects in collaboration with the Australian water industry spanning the use of fluorescence for OM characterisation in drinking water treatment plants (ARC LP100200259), for cross-connection identification and membrane performance monitoring in recycled water systems (ARC LP0776347) and, more recently, for algae and cyanobacteria monitoring with the objective of determining powdered activated carbon and coagulant dose during bloom conditions (ARC LP130100033). The key peaks that might be observed in a reservoir that contains natural organic matter and populations of green algae and cyanobacteria are shown in Figure 3a. The relative intensities of the various overlapping peaks can be correlated with NOM concentration and character and algal populations (Chl a and phycocyanin). The degree of sewerage pollution in rivers can also be inferred by examining microbiologically derived fluorescence (Baker, 2001), which has been shown to correlate well with biological oxygen demand


It was found that OM removal at the WTPs ranged from only nominal to nearly 70%. The testing performed included fluorescence EEM analysis and other advanced and conventional OM characterisation techniques. PARAFAC analysis was applied on the extensive EEM dataset and, despite the diversity and size of the dataset, four PARAFAC components were consistently identified that characterised the majority of the OM and informed treatability (Figure 2b) (Shutova et al., 2014). These components were attributed to the following: P1) humic-like, terrestrially delivered OM; P2) humic-like, terrestrially delivered reprocesses OM (i.e. subject to photo or biological oxidation processes); P3) humic-like, terrestrially delivered OM; P4) protein-like, microbially delivered OM. Interestingly, when examining individual sites, the ratios of the fluorescence components (P1:P2 and P1:P4) showed statistically significant correlations with OM removal. Such correlations were not observed between specific UV absorbance at 254nm (SUVA) and OM removal, suggesting that fluorescence spectroscopy could

be considered a better predictor of OM treatability than the traditionally applied SUVA parameter (Shutova et al., 2014). This was shown to be consistent with research conducted by Liu et al. (2014), where the changes of the ratio of terrestrially delivered to microbially delivered components (P1:P4) upstream and downstream of a freshwater reservoir were also linked to photo-degradation of the terrestrially delivered OM fraction. The four resultant PARAFIC components were translated to four optical locations that could be monitored on-line using fluorescence (Figure 2c). WASTEWATER/RECYCLED WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS

In recycled water systems, the use of fluorescence as a technique to assess cross-connection detections in dual distribution systems (Hambly et al., 2010c; Henderson et al., 2009; Murphy et al., 2011), which is currently undertaken via either conductivity measurements or pressure testing on site, was investigated. Six recycled water treatment plant samples were examined in total, including those producing recycled water from secondary treatment effluent, secondary treated effluent with stormwater and greywater, using treatment processes varying from dual filtration/disinfection to microfiltration/ reverse osmosis membranes to a membrane bioreactor. Again, PARAFAC investigation of the samples was performed with seven major components identified (Murphy et al., 2011). These components, as well as more conventional indicators such as conductivity, were investigated for their potential for distinguishing between recycled water and drinking water in the dual distribution system using Monte Carlo Simulation. It was determined that by monitoring fluorescence intensity at an excitation wavelength of approximately 300 nm and emission wavelength at approximately 350nm (i.e. protein, tryptophan-like), it was possible to consistently differentiate between potable and recycled water either to the same extent or to a greater extent than when using conductivity (Hambly et al., 2010c; Hambly et al., 2010b; Hambly et al., 2010a). The project also applied fluorescence for integrity monitoring and fouling characterisation of membranes. Intact membranes effectively remove pathogens via size exclusion and no online monitoring technique exists to


Technical Papers measure pathogens online in real time. Accordingly, periodic challenge testing of a membrane system may be required in order to assure a membrane process is achieving the required log removal value (LRV), conventionally performed with microbiological surrogates, such as the model virus MS2 bacteriophage.

Fluorescence spectroscopy has previously been employed as a rapid and sensitive technique to assess membrane integrity using non-microbial fluorescent surrogates. The fluorescent dye rhodamine WT and fluorescently labelled microspheres were spiked into RO membrane feedwater; removal was quantified via fluorescence spectroscopy and correlated with conventional microbial surrogates, demonstrating an LRV of 4–5 with results available in minutes rather than days (Kitis et al., 2003). However, high cost of microspheres was a limitation. Conventionally MF and RO integrity is based turbidity and conductivity, respectively, as critical control points (CCP) for integrity. However, we have shown that monitoring the inherent fluorescence of in-situ OM could present interesting opportunities towards better in-membrane integrity monitoring practices. Singh (2013) found that humic-like fluorescence (at wavelength pair of approximately 390/470 nm, labelled Peak

Table 1. Identified wavelength pairs relevant to monitoring parameters at water treatment plants. Monitoring parameter

Wavelength pair(s) λex/em



Natural organic matter


Humic-like, terrestrial

ARC LP100200259


Humic-like, terrestrial, reprocessed


Humic-like, terrestrial


Protein-like, microbial


Chlorophyll a



Under investigation

Algal OM



Protein, tryptophan-like

ARC LP0776347

RO membrane integrity


Terrestrial humic-like in high nutrient and wastewater impacted environments

ARC LP0776347

Membrane fouling


Protein, tyrosine-like

ARC LP0776347


ARC LP130100033



However, microbial analysis techniques require more than 24 hours and often surrogates are not present at sufficient concentration in feed water to quantify LRV. As a result, extra expense is incurred via growth and spiking of non-indigenous microbial surrogates (Antony et al., 2011).

C) had the highest degree of rejection by RO, the smallest distribution in terms of rejection and, thus, the most stable rejection and the highest intensity, making it the most suitable peak to assess membrane integrity (Figure 4). The fluorescence was sensitive to subtle RO performance changes (Singh et al., Figure 4. Demonstration that humic-like fluorescence at approx. 390/470nm (Peak C) had the highest and most 2012) and Pype et al. stable rejection in a reverse osmosis system, where: (2013) confirmed this. Peak C – humic-like fluorescence; Peak A – humic-like At UNSW, work is in fluorescence; Peak T1&T – protein-like fluorescence. progress to assess selection and dosage, resulting in the suitability of fluorescence as a CCP higher efficiency cleans. If membrane for membrane bioreactors. As with nonsystem feed water was monitored, microbial surrogates, further research is fluorescence could be used as an early necessary in order to define correlations of warning indicator of high feed fouling in-situ fluorescence and pathogen removal. potential. As a result, operational regime of the membrane system could be Fouling results in the inevitable adjusted to mitigate fouling in a feed loss of water productivity with time. forward control manner. In order to maintain water productivity through membranes, more energy must MOVING FROM EEMS TO be applied by pumping at increased IN-SITU TECHNOLOGIES pressures, or fouling mitigation Analysis of large numbers of EEMs taken procedures such as relaxation, from multiple drinking water, wastewater backflushing and chemical cleaning must be employed. Fluorescence was shown to and recycled treatment plants have enabled key wavelength pairs to be be an effective tool for characterisation identified that are specific to particular of DOM components responsible for water quality monitoring applications fouling in membrane processes, where (Table 1). This has made it possible to fluorescence at excitation of 250 nm move from bench-scale analysis to inand emission at 300 nm was correlated situ, real-time monitoring. As part of the with hydraulic resistance (Henderson et project aiming to develop an on-line OM al., 2011). The capacity of fluorescence monitoring protocol for drinking water to identify DOM foulants could be employed to optimise cleaning chemical treatment plants, three commercially


Technical Papers


is reduced as fluorescence is measured over a wider optical space. For example, if monitoring OM, many of the probes available that monitor in the humiclike region are not sufficiently selective to distinguish between fluorescence at 380/490 nm (fresh, humic-like) and 310/390 nm (reprocessed, humic-like), which is critical as the former is more treatable than the latter. Hence, probes need to be developed that are specific to the particular PARAFAC components that have been identified.

Figure 5. Probes monitoring natural organic matter at Yarra Glen water treatment plant, Victoria (LP100200259). available fluorescence probes (Figure 5), the FDOM EXO 2 (YSI), the Cyclops 7 CDOM (Turner Designs) and the Cyclops 7 Tryptophan (Turner Designs) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; two covering the humic-like wavelength pair at 380/490 nm and one the protein-like wavelength (280/330nm) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; were deployed at two drinking water treatment plants with contrasting source water quality and different treatment techniques. Deviations in water quality were able to be identified using the probes. In recycled water treatment systems, a probe monitoring at excitation/emission wavelengths of 390/470 nm (Cyclops 7 CDOM, Turner Designs) was successfully used to monitor RO membrane integrity, while a cross-connection was correctly identified using a hand-held portable fluorometer (SMF4, STS Instruments Ltd) that measured in the protein-like region, excitation/emission wavelengths of 300/350nm (Hambly et al., 2015). Probes for algae and cyanobacteria monitoring have been available for many years; however, challenges concerning their calibration and interpretation has limited their more widespread use. The recent ARC project (LP130100033) will investigate the application of algal monitoring probes for water treatment process monitoring and optimisation.

CURRENT CHALLENGES There are a number of challenges that need to be addressed to improve on-line fluorescence monitoring. Probes that are currently available tend to have a large bandpass, which means that selectivity


Also important is the development of calibration and correction procedures for probe measurements similar to those developed for EEMs that can take account of the impact of temperature and turbidity fluctuations and the inner filter effect on fluorescence readings. Water temperature has a linear correlation with fluorescence intensity, e.g. the higher the temperature the lower the fluorescence signal. Although the temperature effect on the fluorescence is significant, the application of the temperature signal correction could be decided based on the aim of particular measurements. For example, if the aim of the fluorescence measurements was to monitor changes of OM from untreated to treated water at a particular site; the fluorescence probes signal could be used without the temperature correction. However, if the aim of the measurements was to monitor OM seasonal variability, the temperature correction of the fluorescence signal would be essential. If the fluorescence monitoring is undertaken in highly turbid water, such as freshwater streams, turbidity correction will be necessary. The relationship between attenuation of fluorescence intensity and turbidity has been shown to be non-linear and instrument specific (Downing et al., 2012). The inner filter effect is an important consideration at water treatment plants, as processes such as coagulation/ sedimentation and coagulation/ membrane filtration can have a dramatic impact on the OM concentrations. Similarly to turbidity, the relationship between attenuation of fluorescence intensity and UV absorbance is nonlinear and instrument-specific. Common solutions for IFE correction are sample dilution and mathematical correction of the collected signal based on the UV

absorbance for a range of wavelength. A standard correction procedure needs to be established for these aspects. The development of protocols that use multiple probes in combination for more advanced OM characterisation or algal species identification also requires investigation. As technology continues to advance, the short wavelength probes will become more robust and sensitive, which is critical where microbial delivered fluorescence is important, e.g. in cross-connection detection or microbial pollution in drinking water supply.

CONCLUSIONS Technological advances have led to exponential growth in the field of fluorescence monitoring in water treatment systems over the last 15 years. In collaboration with the Australian water industry, Australian researchers have taken advantage of these advances to demonstrate the potential applications of fluorescence monitoring in drinking water and recycled water systems. These include assessing the treatability of NOM in drinking water plants and establishing an on-line monitoring protocol that uses four key wavelengths: the demonstration of the key wavelength pair, 300/350 nm, to detect cross-connections; and the use of the key wavelength pair, 390/470 nm, for RO membrane integrity monitoring. Fluorescence research in this space is rapidly moving from the use of bench-scale systems and extensive data processing to in-situ, real-time monitoring systems using commercially available probes and the optimisation of the associated protocols, which is where current research is focused.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The research reported in this article was supported by Australian Research Council projects LP0776347, LP100200259 and LP130100033. This included funding from the following organisations: City West Water Ltd, Gold Coast City Council, Hunter Water, Melbourne Water Corporation, NSW Office of Water, SA Water, Seqwater, South East Water Ltd, Sydney Catchment Authority (now Water New South Wales), Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Sydney Water Corporation, Water Corporation, Water Research Australia and Yarra Glen Water Ltd. The Authors acknowledge the support of the UNSECO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology and the UNSW Water Research Centre.


Technical Papers REFERENCES

Dr Rita K Henderson (email: completed her PhD in Water Science in 2007 at Cranfield University. Since 2007 she has been employed at UNSW Australia, first as a post-doctoral Research Associate in the UNSW Water Research Centre and, from 2013, as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering. She leads the bioMASS Lab within the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology.

Aiken G (2014): Fluorescence and Dissolved Organic Matter: A Chemist’s Perspective, in Coble PG et al. (eds.). Aquatic Organic Matter Fluorescence (New York, USA: Cambridge University Press), pp 35–74.

Yulia Shutova has recently completed her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW Australia on the monitoring of organic matter using fluorescence. She is now a post-doctoral Research Associate in the School of Chemical Engineering. Andy Baker received his BSc and PhD degrees in Geographical Science from the University of Bristol, UK, in 1990 and 1993. Since 2010 he has been employed at UNSW Australia. He is Director of the Connected Waters Initiative Research Centre. Arash Zamyadi is Senior Research Associate at The University of New South Wales, Sydney. He works across the UNSW Water Research Centre and the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science. Pierre Le-Clech is Associate Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering at The University of New South Wales, Sydney. He works within the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology. Amos Branch is a PhD student in the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology at The University of New South Wales, Sydney. Gayle Newcombe is Manager for Customer Value & Water Quality Research at Australian Water Quality Centre, Adelaide, SA. Stuart Khan is Associate Professor in the School of Civil Engineering at The University of New South Wales, Sydney. He works within the UNSW Water Research Centre. Richard Stuetz is Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The University of New South Wales, Sydney. He is also Director of the UNSW Water Research Centre.

Antony A, Blackbeard J & Leslie G (2011): Removal Efficiency and Integrity Monitoring Techniques for Virus Removal by Membrane Processes. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 42, 9, pp 891–933. Baghoth SA, Sharma SK & Amy GL (2011): Tracking Natural Organic Matter (NOM) in a Drinking Water Treatment Plant Using Fluorescence Excitation-Emission Matrices and PARAFAC, Water Research, 45, 2, pp 797–809. Baker A (2001): Fluorescence Excitation – Emission Matrix Characterization of Some Sewage-Impacted Rivers, Environmental Science and Technology, 35, 5, pp 948–953. Baker A, Anderson MS, Marjo CE, Zainuddin NS, Rutlidge H, Graham PW & Henderson RK (2014): Investigation of Pollution in Rivers and Groundwater by Fluorescence, Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. Coble PG, Lead J & Baker A (Eds) (2014): Aquatic Organic Matter Fluorescence (New York, USA: Cambridge University Press). Downing BD, Pellerin BA, Bergamashi BA, Saraceno JF & Kraus TEC (2012): Seeing The Light: The effects of particles, dissolved materials, and temperature on in situ measurements of DOM fluorescence in rivers and streams, Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 10, pp 767–775. Hambly A, Henderson RK, Baker A, Stuetz RM & Khan SJ (2010a): Probabilistic Analysis of Fluorescence Signals for Monitoring Dual Reticulation Water Recycling Schemes, Water Science and Technology, 62, 9, pp 2059–2065. Hambly AC, Henderson RK, Baker A, Stuetz RM & Khan SJ (2010b): Fluorescence Monitoring for Cross-Connection Detection in Water Reuse Systems: Australian Case Studies, Water Science and Technology, 61, 1, pp 155–162. Hambly AC, Henderson RK, Storey MV, Baker A, Stuetz RM & Khan SJ (2010c): Fluorescence Monitoring at a Recycled Water Treatment Plant and Associated Dual Distribution System – Implications for Cross-Connection Detection, Water Research, 44, 18, pp 5323–5333. Hambly AC, Henderson RK, Baker A, Stuetz RM & Khan SJ Application of Portable Fluorescence Spectrophotometry for Integrity Testing of Recycled Water Dual Distribution Systems, Applied Spectroscopy, 69, 1, pp 124–29. Henderson RK, Baker A, Murphy KR, Hambly A, Stuetz RM & Khan SJ (2009): Fluorescence as a Potential Monitoring Tool for Recycled Water Systems: A Review, Water Research, 43, 4, pp 863–881. Henderson RK, Subhi N, Anthony A, Khan SJ, Murphy KR, Leslie GL, Chen V, Stuetz RM & LeClech P (2011): Evaluation of Effluent Organic

Matter Fouling in Ultrafiltration Treatment Using Advanced Organic Characterisation Techniques, Journal of Membrane Science, 382, 1–2, pp 50–59. Hudson N, Baker A, Ward D, Reynolds DM, Brunsdon C, Carliell-Marquet C & Browning S (2008): Can Fluorescence Spectrometry Be Used as a Surrogate for the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) Test in Water Quality Assessment? An Example from South West England, Science of the Total Environment, 391, 1, pp 149–158. Ishii SKL & Boyer TH (2012): Behavior of Reoccurring Parafac Components in Fluorescent Dissolved Organic Matter in Natural and Engineered Systems: A Critical Review, Environmental Science and Technology, 46, 4, pp 2006–2017. Kitis M, Lozier JC, Kim JH, Mi B & Mirinas BJ (2003): Microbial Removal and Integrity Monitoring of RO and NF Membranes’, Journal of American Water Works Association, 95, 12, pp 105–119. Murphy KR, Butler KD, Spencer RGM, Stedmon CA, Boehme JR & Aiken GR (2010): Measurement of Dissolved Organic Matter Fluorescence in Aquatic Environments: An Interlaboratory Comparison, Environmental Science and Technology, 44, 24, pp 9405– 9412. Murphy KR, Hambly A, Singh S, Henderson RK, Baker A, Stuetz RM & Khan SJ (2011): Organic Matter Fluorescence in Municipal Water Recycling Schemes: Towards a Unified PARAFAC Model, Environmental Science and Technology, 45, 7, pp 2909–2916. Pype ML, Patureau D, Wery N, Poussade Y & Gernjak W (2013): Monitoring Reverse Osmosis Performance: Conductivity Versus Fluorescence Excitation–Emission Matrix (EEM), Journal of Membrane Science, 428, 0, pp 205–211. Shutova Y, Baker A, Bridgeman J & Henderson RK (2014): Spectroscopic Characterisation of Dissolved Organic Matter Changes in Drinking Water Treatment: From PARAFAC analysis to online monitoring wavelengths’, Water Research, 54, pp 159–69. Singh S (2013): Fluorescence as an Online Tool for Monitoring Membrane Integrity, PhD Thesis. The University of New South Wales. Singh S, Henderson RK, Baker A, Stuetz RM & Khan SJ (2012): Characterisation of Reverse Osmosis Permeates From Municipal Recycled Water Systems Using Fluorescence Spectroscopy: Implications for Integrity Monitoring, Journal of Membrane Science, 421–422, 0, pp 180–189. Stedmon CA & Bro R (2008): Characterizing Dissolved Organic Matter Fluorescence With Parallel Factor Analysis: A Tutorial’, Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 6, pp 572–79.





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BROKEN HILL WATER TREATMENT PLANT: A REVIEW OF DESIGN AND OPERATIONS An overview of performance results from the first year C Lai, J Coffey

INTRODUCTION The original Broken Hill Water Treatment Plant at Mica Street was constructed in 1952 and had a nominal production capacity of 36 ML/d. It was a conventional filtration plant with a low level of automation and limited treatment capability. In 2004, in response to a prolonged drought, a 6 ML/d reverse osmosis desalination process was added to the treatment plant to address increasing salinity in the source water. However, as the drought continued, the plant was unable to respond to varying and deteriorating raw water sources. As a consequence, Country Water decided to procure a new 31.5 ML/d water treatment plant for Broken Hill in 2007 using a “Design and Construct” (D&C) delivery approach. The D&C contract for the new plant was won by a consortium consisting of Tenix Alliance and Water Treatment Australia, with GHD as their design consultant. Assisting Country Water was City Water Technology (process advisor), Provecta (SCADA specification and peer review), and URS (mechanical and structural peer review). This new water treatment plant, which has been designed with a number of state-of-the-art treatment processes, was commissioned in April 2010. This paper describes the design of the new treatment plant and its performance in its first year of operations.

RAW WATER SOURCES Water for Broken Hill is principally sourced from the Darling River at Menindee Lakes and pumped 100km to the Stephens Creek Reservoir through a 600mm above-ground pipeline. This water is supplemented by runoff from the (relatively small) catchment of Stephens Creek Reservoir, and from the reservoir at Umberumberka (principally used to meet peak summer demand). In emergencies, water can also be sourced from Imperial Lake.


Menindee Lakes is a series of natural water bodies that have been developed into regulated storages for water supply and recreation. It comprises four major lakes: Wetherell, Pamamaroo, Menindee and Cawndilla, with a combined capacity of 1,794 GL and a surface area of 460 square kilometres. In severe droughts, water quality in the Menindee Lakes can be adversely impacted. Low inflow volumes and high evaporation in the Lakes can concentrate water quality parameters such as salinity and dissolved organics to undesirable levels. High levels of dissolved organics mean the potential to generate significant disinfection by-products as well as disinfection failure at the water treatment plant as chlorine is “consumed” by the organics in the water. The long above-ground pipeline from Menindee Lakes also results in warm water that favours the growth of Naegleria Fowleri, a free-living pathogenic amoeba that causes the waterborne disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. Chlorine is introduced at the pump station at Menindee Lakes to control the growth of

Naegleria Fowleri in the pipeline, but it has the effect of generating disinfection by-products if significant dissolved organics (disinfection by-product precursors) are present in the water.

SOURCE WATER QUALITY There is a large variation in water quality from the various water sources, as shown by the average measured parameters provided in Table 1. The variations in water quality are even more pronounced when extreme values from each source are considered. Due to this variation in water quality, the raw water that the water treatment plant is required to treat can be highly variable, depending on which water sources are being used and their proportions. This is demonstrated by Table 2, where the historical ranges of raw water parameters as measured at the inlet to the water treatment plant were summarized, along with the required treated water target values. Key water quality issues that need to be addressed at the plant include: • High levels of dissolved organic carbon in the raw water at times;

Table 1. Average water quality parameters of raw water sources. Parameters Temperature


Darling River

Stephens Creek


Imperial Lake










pH Alkalinity

mg/L as CaCO3





Total Hardness

mg/L as CaCO3















Turbidity True Colour DOC






Manganese – Total






Iron – Total



















Technical Papers • Ultraviolet disinfection

Table 2. Raw water quality parameters at the water treatment plant. Parameters Temperature





6.3 5.3














mg/L as CaCO3






Total Hardness

mg/L as CaCO3


















Turbidity True Colour












≤0.02 ≤.01

Iron – Total




















• High and variable turbidity and colour; • The presence of Naegleria Fowleri in the raw water during summer; • Significant risk of Giardia and Cryptosporidium and other pathogens; • Blue-green algal blooms producing toxins, tastes and odours; • Salinity and hardness (reverse osmosis was already installed at the existing plant for partial treatment); • Disinfection by-products associated with heavy chlorination of organics; • Corrosiveness to cement lined pipes; and

• Colour staining due to presence of iron and manganese.

TREATMENT PROCESSES The treatment processes provided in the new water treatment plant are shown in Figure 1. It consists of the following processes: • Pre-chlorination • Pre-lime & permanganate • Powdered activated carbon • Enhanced coagulation • Enhanced sedimentation • Dual media filtration

• Post-lime • Post-chlorination • Fluoridation These treatment processes provide the multi-barriers required for a robust water treatment plant that would address the water quality issues identified. Table 3 shows this multi-barrier approach. One of the key targets that the new treatment plant was required to meet was a filtered water turbidity value of ≤ 0.3 NTU 95% of the time, with a maximum value of 0.5 NTU. Due to the high turbidity load that the treatment plant can experience, it would not be possible to meet the filtered water turbidity targets without a clarification step. An enhanced sedimentation process that uses tube-settlers designed with a moderate hydraulic loading rate of 4.5 m3/m2/h was included in the process to remove the vast majority of the incoming turbidity. The settled water produced by the sedimentation process was then polished by deep bed dual media filters, with a total L/d ratio (media depth/effective size) of >1200 operating at less than 10 m3/m2/h filtration rate, to meet the required turbidity targets.

Figure 1. Process flow diagram for the new water treatment plant.



DOC Manganese – Total

• Reverse osmosis (incorporating existing sidestream treatment)



ü ü



Dental Health

ü ü


ü ü

Salinity & Hardness




Iron & Manganese


Giardia & Cryptosporidium



Bacteria & Viruses

Algal Toxins

ü ü

ü ü


ü ü ü ü ü


Overall Giardia and Cryptosporidium reduction across the treatment plant is 5.5 log, provided by the enhanced sedimentation process (0.5 log), dual media filters (2.5 log), and ultraviolet disinfection (2.5 log). Disinfection requirements were 3-log inactivation for Naegleria Fowleri and 4-log inactivation for viruses. These were achieved predominately by pre and post chlorination.

DESIGN INNOVATIONS GHD implemented a number of design innovations that minimised the cost of the project, while maximising the operability of the plant. An existing upflow clarifier was converted into a pre-lime/permanganate reaction chamber and a PAC contact tank, as shown in Figure 2. The inlet zone of the upflow clarifier was modified to provide 2.5 to five minutes of contact time for prelime and permanganate dosing, while a dividing wall turned the settling zone of the upflow clarifier into a plug flow PAC contact tank. To minimise settling of the PAC within the contact tank, a pumped jet mixing system was incorporated into the base of the contact tank to promote suspension of the PAC until it exits the tank via the new outlet. In the main flocculation/ sedimentation tanks and filters (see Figure 3), good use of the natural surface contours and a compact design allowed the amount of rock excavated to be minimised, while maximising gravity flow through the processes. Advantage was also taken of




Taste & Odour

Pre-chlorination Pre-lime & permanganate Powdered activated carbon Enhanced coagulation Enhanced sedimentation Dual media filtration Ultraviolet disinfection Reverse osmosis (sidestream) Post-lime Post-chlorination Fluoridation

Naegleria Fowleri

Dissolved organics


Table 3. Multi-barriers provided at the new water treatment plant.

ü ü

the fall in the ground to lay the sludge pipes from the sedimentation tanks horizontally below the floor of the tanks to a sludge collection pit, so that the pressure for desludging is maximised while minimising the potential for blockages. Electrical cabling cost was also minimised by locating the transformer and switch-room centrally in the new plant and close to the heavy power consumers such as the ultraviolet disinfection process and the filtered water and backwash water pumps. The location of the transformer and switchroom can be seen in Figure 3, together with the building for the filtered water and backwash water pumps.

Figure 4 demonstrates the plant’s ability for removing turbidity in the treatment plant. It shows the plant’s performance while operating at around 26 ML/d (300 L/s) inflow (demands in Broken Hill were such that the plant rarely operated near its design capacity for an extended period of time). Turbidity in the raw water at the time hovered around 75 NTU with occasional peaks to around 100 NTU. This figure clearly shows that the sedimentation basins were removing the vast majority of the turbidity load producing settled water with turbidity less than 1.5 NTU. Filtered water turbidity was consistently below 0.3 NTU. Five filters were operated during this period at a filtration rate of 8.8 m3/m2/h that peaked to 11 m3/m2/h when one was being backwashed (compared with the design peak of 11.4 m3/m2/h when one filter was backwashing). Figure 5 shows the performance of Filter 2, which was typical of all the filters during this period. The initial increase seen in the filter’s water level was the result of the filter outlet valve not passing any flows until it was sufficiently opened to establish flow and gained control of the filter’s water level. This delay in establishing flow at the filter outlet valve caused it to overcompensate in order to drop the filter’s water level, and the resulting surge in flow caused the increase in filtered water turbidity seen in the beginning of the filter run. A slower ramping rate during startup or a faster valve actuation speed would avoid this initial startup surge

Figure 2. Existing upflow clarifier converted into a pre-lime/permanganate reaction chamber and a PAC contact tank.


Technical Papers

Figure 3. Site layout showing compact design for the flocculation/sedimentation tanks and filters.

Figure 6 shows the performance of the plant in an extreme turbidity event. Raw water turbidity greater than 800 NTU was recorded and remained above the designed 95 percentile turbidity limit for more than 1 day. During this period, the plant was operated conservatively at about 10 ML/d (120 L/s), with five filters operating at a filtration rate of 3.4 m3/ m2/h (the sixth filter was brought into operation during a backwash to maintain this filtration rate). As a result, the filtered water turbidity was able to be maintained below 0.3 NTU and filter runs of 24 hours were achieved despite the extreme turbidity loading.

CONCLUSIONS This paper describes the implementation of a conventional water treatment process, enhanced by modern design practices and advanced processes, to effectively treat a highly variable and difficult water source. The enhancements provided include: Figure 4. The plant’s turbidity performance during high Inflow.

• Pre-lime and permanganate for the oxidation of iron and manganese; • Powdered activated carbon for the removal of algal taste and odour, algal toxins; • Enhanced coagulation for the removal of dissolved organic matters; • Enhanced sedimentation for the effective removal of large amount of suspended solids; • Deep bed dual media filtration for efficient polishing of settled water and long filter runs; • Ultraviolet disinfection for inactivation of protozoa; and • Reverse osmosis (sidestream) for salinity and hardness reduction

Figure 5. Typical filter performance during high inflow.

A review of the plant’s operational data demonstrated that the plant is effective



in filtered water turbidity. The filter showed a text-book improvement in filtered water turbidity as the filter matures into the filtration run. This phenomenon also explains the small increase in filtered water turbidity seen after the filter was backwashed, where the filter re-establishes its matured state following the disruption caused by the backwashing. No filter to waste was provided for these filters.


Technical Papers THE AUTHORS


Calvin Lai (email: calvin. has over 20 years of experience in water treatment processes and upgrades of water treatment plants. His experience covers all areas of water treatment including coagulation, clarification, filtration, membrane processes, ozonation, GAC and PAC systems, chemical feed systems and disinfection systems. He holds a Master of Engineering Science degree from the University of New South Wales and was the Design Manager for the Broken Hill Water Treatment Plant project for GHD.

Figure 6. Turbidity performance during a high turbidity event. in meeting the required turbidity targets. A significant factor in this success was the provision of an enhanced sedimentation process, which was effective in removing the vast majority of the suspended solids in the raw water and allowed the dual-media filters to achieve the turbidity goals with long filtration runs. Down-

rating of the plant during an extreme turbidity event has shown that the filtered water quality can be maintained while maintaining adequate filtration run time. This is a viable strategy for dealing with short-term turbidity events that are often associated with rainfall and reduced water consumptions.

John Coffey (email: john. coffey@essentialwater. has worked with Country Water for over 40 years. With a background in asset maintenance and project management, he holds an electrical engineering certificate and diploma in management. He was the (client’s) project manager for the water treatment plant and is responsible for its operation as Manager Water Supply and Quality.



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Technical Papers

URBAN POTABLE WATER HARVESTING Rainwater and stormwater harvesting for potable use in an existing suburb in Melbourne D Hamlyn-Harris, K Gan, F Pamminger, M Pinan, C Harman Brown

ABSTRACT This project was initiated to fill a perceived knowledge gap regarding the potential viability of harvesting roof and/or stormwater from existing, highly urbanised catchments for direct potable use through the water supply grid.

Investigations also looked in some detail at the indirect benefits from urban water harvesting to assess whether the economic value of these benefits helped offset the costs. Water harvesting has indirect benefits by lowering demand on the regional water supply system, reducing pollutant discharge to the environment, and a lower frequency of nuisance flooding. The project highlighted that in this area, while harvesting roofwater and/ or stormwater is relatively expensive compared to the existing reticulated water supply system, there are many parameter values that can significantly change the economics at certain locations. These include catchment size (larger natural catchments provide more efficient harvesting), the availability of natural storages, and prior ownership of the land required for infrastructure by the key proponent. In this study roofwater harvesting, on-lot and collection system costs represented over half the total cost. The cost of roofwater harvesting can be reduced by up to 20% if storage and land costs can be avoided, for

development for potable use. The hypothesis is that water collected in a separate system would be of higher quality, requiring less treatment, thereby enhancing the viability of such an option. This study focused on this aspect.

For stormwater harvesting, without on-lot and collection systems, the cost could be reduced by up to 85% if favourable conditions can be found to reduce storage and land acquisition costs. With higher yield, and low storage and land costs, stormwater harvesting begins to look cost-competitive, as the unit levelised cost of water drops to between $2,500 and $4,400 per ML.

When harvesting rainwater was considered, the option of harvesting stormwater also arose. The hypothesis is that the additional cost of more complex water treatment can be offset by the improved catchment efficiency, and avoidance of the need for a separate collection system. So why not just use the one pipe system, particularly when the proximity of each pipe puts the rainwater collection network at risk of cross-contamination by stormwater? If the collected roofwater has to be treated to nearly the same extent as stormwater, then it may be simpler to use the existing drainage system to harvest the full catchment runoff.

The economic value of the indirect benefits was found to be around $2,000 per ML, which is significant, but not sufficiently large to offset the high costs. The analysis suggests that the ‘optimum’ scale for urban water harvesting in established highly urbanised catchments for potable use is around 1,500 to 2,000 lots.

INTRODUCTION Yarra Valley Water and City West Water have completed numerous studies into alternative water supplies for greenfield development that consider sourcing non-potable water from sewer mining, stormwater harvesting or roofwater harvesting. Yarra Valley Water also has a greenfield project at Kalkallo, a development area 35km north of Melbourne CBD, which will harvest stormwater from a 160-ha catchment (approximately 1 ML/day) and treat it to potable standard. The treatment plant, already constructed but not yet in service, uses an advanced treatment train incorporating activated carbon, dissolved air flotation, microfiltration and advanced oxidation. Against this background, however, there is very little information available for networked, or cluster scale, rainwater harvesting schemes in existing urban

OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was to determine if it was possible to deliver a technically and commercially viable rainwater- or stormwater-harvesting scheme for potable use in an existing suburb. The project proponent also sought to understand the unique parameters that would make a project viable, so that the study knowledge would have transferrable value to other sites.

STUDY AREAS Two study areas in established suburbs of Melbourne were selected for investigation – one in Fitzroy North and the other in Northcote. The Fitzroy North site is bound by Park St, Bennet St, Scotchmer St and St Georges Rd. Developed in the late 19th century, it is approximately 7.9 ha with a high population density (45 dwellings per ha) and lot sizes ranging from 55m2 to 440m2. Figure 1 shows a typical cluster of dwellings. The site is located within City West Water’s area of responsibility.



Short time-step water balance modelling was used to assess the potential water yield from urban harvesting, taking into account the vagaries of calculating roof catchment areas in established developments, local climate data, uncertainty regarding runoff co-efficients, and the likely capacity of key infrastructure components. The direct benefits of these schemes are the volume of water made available for local use, and the equivalent saving in water purchases not required from the grid.

example, if a natural storage site exists, such as a lake, and if land is donated. However, even with reduced costs, the unit levelised financial cost (capital and recurrent) of water remains high at roughly $27,000 to $38,000 per ML.


Technical Papers Option 2: Roofwater harvesting into household tanks followed by low-rate pumping into a central storage tank. Option 3: Roofwater and connected lot area stormwater harvesting into a high rate gravity main delivering to a central pumping station and then into a storage tank.


Option 4: All stormwater runoff, surface and piped, is collected from the catchment into a central pumping station delivering into a bio-retention filter or raingarden for preliminary treatment before flowing into a storage tank.

Figure 1. Representative high-density housing in a Fitzroy North street.

There were various sub-options within the four broad conceptual options above, based on site-specific constraints and opportunities such as the size of catchment areas, the size of household tanks, diversion points, storage location and treatment plant locations. Six of the most promising sub-options were eventually selected with characteristics as below: • Option 1a: Roofwater only, household tanks, low rate gravity collection, optimistic catchment area; • Option 2a: Roofwater only, household tanks, low rate pumped collection, optimistic catchment area; • Option 3a: Roofwater only, high rate gravity collection, optimistic catchment area; • Option 3c: Roofwater plus area drainage, high rate gravity collection, optimistic catchment area; • Option 4a: All stormwater with raingarden, optimistic allowance for impervious fraction; • Option 4c: All stormwater, no raingarden, optimistic allowance for impervious fraction.

Figure 2. These decorated timber ballards in a Northcote street reflect a community that is socially and environmentally aware. The Northcote site is bounded by Arthurton Rd, St Georges Rd, Sumner Ave, Winfred St and Merri Creek. Developed during the 1920s, it is approximately 21 ha with a moderate population density of 17 dwellings per ha, and lot sizes averaging 465m2. It is an environmentally and socially aware community (see Figure 2) and is located within Yarra Valley Water’s area of responsibility. The two sites are located approximately 1.5km apart.


HARVESTING OPTIONS For each site, four generic options were identified. In all cases, harvested water was to be treated to potable quality

The indicative process train required to achieve potable quality would be as follows (note that, apart from pre-treatment systems, the unit processes required for either roofwater or stormwater are likely to be substantially the same to ensure water of potable quality):

and then injected directly into the mains

• Trash racks/gross pollutant removal;

water supply.

• Oil and sediment trap (stormwater only);

Option 1: Roofwater harvesting into household tanks with water then draining

• Autostrainer/pre-filter;

slowly by gravity to a central pumping

• Membrane ultrafiltration (<0.1 µm) as the main filtration stage;

station delivering into a storage tank.


Technical Papers

Table 1. Basic characteristics of roofwater and stormwater catchments in each study area. Characteristic

Fitzroy North


Gross study area (ha)



Development density (Dwelling/ha)



Rainfall (mm/yr)



Roofwater catchment area (ha)



Number of houses in roofwater catchment



Household tank size (kL)



Total roof area (ha)



Total roofwater runoff (ML/yr)



Potential roofwater capture (ML/yr) Note 1



Stormwater catchment area (ha)



Percent impervious area



Stormwater catchment runoff (ML/yr)



available catchment area, the percentage of roof area that might practically be connected to the collection system and the assessed range of runoff co-efficients. A range of infrastructure capacities (tank sizes, transfer rates, diversion rates, treatment capacities) were investigated to optimise the system design. Longer time-scale water balancing was also undertaken to check Figure 3. Sample water balance output – stormwater the yield results derived harvesting from the Northcote catchment. from the representative • Advanced oxidation to remove rainfall year. The longer time-scale organics and pathogens; modelling used 14 years of one-minute data (2000–2013). It was found that • UV (up to 186 mJ/cm2 for 4 log virus the yield for the representative year inactivation based on the USEPA);

1996 was high relative to that for the 14-year average data. It was also found that the rainfall for the 2000–2013 period was drier than the long-term average. Yields from the representative year were, therefore, scaled back to provide a better estimate of long-term average yields. To illustrate the output generated, an example of the water balance results is shown in Figure 3. This shows, for the Northcote catchment, the potential stormwater harvesting yield for a range of water storage volumes and treatment plant capacities. The yellow cross indicates the ‘optimum’ yield point adopted for further assessment and pricing. An evaluation framework was developed incorporating relatively standard assessment methods such as the use of an NPV (Net Present Value) financial model consistent with the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance

• Residual chlorination (0.5–1 mg/L); • Fluoridation (if required). Basic characteristics of the roofwater and stormwater catchments adopted for the study are outlined in Table 1.

METHODOLOGY The potential water yield from the connected catchment was estimated using a 30-minute time-step water balance for the representative rainfall year (1996) in accordance with Melbourne Water’s MUSIC Guidelines (Melbourne Water, 2010). The Water Balance was undertaken using Visual Basic within an Excel spreadsheet model with catchment runoff derived from the MUSIC Model. Inputs to the model included assessments of the

Figure 4. Example of multi-criteria analysis – Northcote (Options 1, 2 & 3 roofwater; Option 4 stormwater).



Note 1: Allows for losses and the fact that not all roof areas and downpipes can be accessed for harvesting.


Technical Papers

Table 2. Summarised results for roofwater and stormwater. Parameter


Water yield (kL/lot/yr) Minimum capital cost ($ per lot)

30 to 40

45 to 90

$15,000 to $20,000

$20,000 to $25,000

Minimum O&M cost ($ per ML)

$6,000 to $10,000

$2,000 to $6,000

Minimum levelised cost ($ per ML)

$20,000 to $40,000

$12,000 to $20,000



< 0.2

< 0.3

Approximate levelised economic benefit ($ per ML) Benefit-cost ratio





$80,000 $70,000





Yield 6 (ML/yr)

$50,000 $40,000


$30,000 $20,000



Levelised Cost ($/ML)




3a 3c Option




Yield Levelised Cost

Figure 5. Yield and levelised cost in the Fitzroy North catchment of 7.9ha for a range of roofwater and stormwater harvesting options.

Yield (ML/yr)







20 15

$40,000 Levelised Cost $30,000 ($/ML)








3a 3c Option




Yield Levelised Cost

Figure 6. Yield and levelised cost in the Northcote catchment of 21ha for a range of roofwater and stormwater harvesting options. (2008) guidelines and the assessment of a range of evaluation criteria via a simplified multi-criteria approach. The quantitative evaluation criteria were: scheme yield (ML/yr), savings on variable bulk water charges ($/ML), pollutant load reduction (kg of N removed), energy use (kWh/ML), and local flood reduction (refer to further comments following). The qualitative evaluation criteria were: ease of implementation, compliance burden, community acceptance, construction impacts and economic impact.


A colour-coded approach to displaying the results of the multicriteria analysis (Figure 4) was found to be a useful communication tool for stakeholders. The image combines quantitative data (eg yield, cost and pollutant reduction) with qualitative information (eg compliance burden and community acceptance). In all cases the data was expressed on a scale of 1 (poor performance) to 5 (good performance); the qualitative information was assessed subjectively.

The indirect benefits of harvesting were investigated to understand their economic value to the community. Decentralised water supplies reduce the demand on regional systems and allow the potential to defer major infrastructure investment; this was valued in terms of a reduction in the fixed component of bulk water charges. Pollutant (TN) load reduction can be valued in terms of the avoided cost of stormwater treatment systems. Flooding benefits were evaluated using the Water Balance model to assess the significance of the harvested water volume relative to the rainfall hydrograph during an event, particularly in the more frequent intensity events. The analysis considered 60-minute rainfall for the 18% AEP (Annual Exceedance Probability)/ 5-year ARI and the 5% AEP/20-year ARI events. Rainfall and captured water volumes were compared at five-minute intervals over the 60-minute event. The small-scale results were then scaled up using each study area as the basic catchment unit. Yield was assumed to be linearly related to catchment size or number of lots. Each enlarged catchment delivers water into a common pressure collection system connected to centralised facilities, i.e. a single storage and treatment plant located at some suitable central location. The scales considered were 1x, 8x, 24x and 48x. This system design was conceptual only, and did not represent actual catchment areas. For each scaled-up option, a levelised cost ($/ML) was derived based on estimated capital and operating costs, and scheme yield. Capital costs were calculated from first principles, or derived from construction databases and recent construction experience. Annual operational and maintenance costs were calculated as a percentage of capital costs plus an estimate of the power consumption. Treatment plant and pumping stations were assumed to be replaced at the end of a 20-year life.


Technical Papers Direct benefits were valued based on the fixed and variable bulk water supply charges by Melbourne Water to water retailers ($ per ML). The forecast demand for bulk water, and Melbourne Water’s bulk charges in 2013/14, were considered to be representative for a typical year. This gives a benefit, in terms of avoided cost, of $1,655 per ML for Yarra Valley Water and $1,555 per ML for City West Water. In Victoria, additional charges apply if desalinated seawater is required; this was allowed for by assuming it would be required once every three to five years, contributing between 20% to 40% of the bulk water supplied. This results in additional costs in the range $30 to $98 per ML.

Figure 7. The stormwater benefit-cost ratios for upscaled catchments in the Fitzroy North catchment, harvesting rainwater and stormwater (the upper and lower bounds reflect the range of uncertainty in capital and operating costs, and the value of benefits arising).

The benefit-cost ratio was calculated as the present value of all benefits divided by the present value of all costs.

RESULTS The yield and levelised cost for the Fitzroy North and Northcote sites is shown in Figure 5 and Figure 6 respectively. For both these chosen areas the stormwater yield was in the order of three times larger than the rainwater yield. The levelised cost was equally inversely correlated to yield, with the cost for the largest yields being in the order of one-third of the lower yields. The lowest levelised cost that could be obtained with these options was in the order of $20,000 per ML. This was obtained in the Northcote catchment. Recognising that having a larger area reduced the cost, further work was done

Figure 8. The benefit-cost ratios for upscaled catchments in the Northcote catchment, harvesting rainwater and stormwater (the upper and lower bounds reflect the range of uncertainty in capital and operating costs, and the value of benefits arising). at both sites to determine the scale at which the lowest cost could be obtained. Not only will yield change with varying areas, so too will capital and operating costs. To capture varying capital and operating costs and benefits, a benefit cost ratio has been used. The effect of varying areas in both Fitzroy North and Northcote for Option 4c is shown in Figures 7 and Figures 8 respectively. This shows that the optimal scale for a

development with the density of Fitzroy North and Northcote is in the order of 1,500 to 2,000 lots. A summary of the range of capital and operating costs for all of the roofwater and stormwater options at both development densities studied is listed in Table 2. This shows that in the higher density development areas in an existing development, the lowest levelised cost that could be obtained was in the order of $12,000 per ML.



The total net economic value of indirect benefits was around $2,000 per ML, mainly due to deferral of major infrastructure ($400–$800 per ML of yield based on work undertaken on headworks savings due to rainwater tanks – MJA (2012)), pollutant (TN) reduction ($300–$600 per kg based on the Victorian stormwater offset charge (Alluvium, 2014)), and a subjective assessment of community willingness to pay for the scheme ($10– $20 per household). Offset against this is the assessment that local harvesting will use more energy and, therefore, produce more greenhouse gases; local harvesting is estimated to require around 800–900 kWhr/ML of water produced compared with the Melbourne average of 375 kWhr/ ML (valued at 1.18kgCO2-e per kWhr and between $8-23/t CO2-e). No value was placed on flooding reduction due to a lack of any data, eg insurance payouts, reflecting the actual costs of nuisance flooding.


Technical Papers DISCUSSION


The study shows that a substantial portion of connected catchment runoff can be effectively harvested with greater yield from stormwater harvesting than for roofwater due to the larger effective catchment area. Roofwater harvesting in existing urban areas is difficult because of the uncertain and varying nature of roof designs, roof drainage systems, external connections and system condition. It is, therefore, difficult to estimate the effective roof catchment that can be used. Stormwater pollutant reduction is essentially proportional to runoff reduction, so stormwater harvesting provides greater benefits in this regard because it removes a larger proportion of catchment runoff. Local water harvesting has the greatest impact on minor flooding events, reducing as the severity of the event increases. From an energy and greenhouse gas perspective, all options appear to be similar, with the analysis suggesting that the specific energy (kWh per ML) could be about 2.5 times the average specific energy for the Melbourne water supply system. The cost of all options is very high. Stormwater has a lower unit cost ($10,000 to $25,000 per ML) because of the higher yield compared to roofwater ($20,000 to $40,000 per ML) and the use of existing conveyance infrastructure. The value of bulk potable water supply offset (about $1600 per ML) is much lower than the cost of producing water from these schemes. For roofwater harvesting, on-lot systems and retrofitted, dedicated communal collection systems account for over half the total cost. The cost of roofwater harvesting can be reduced by up to 20% if the central storage and land cost can be removed, as could occur when a natural storage site such as a lake exists and the land is owned by the water authority. However, unit costs remain high at roughly $27,000 to $38,000 per ML. With stormwater harvesting, which does not require on-lot and retrofitted collection systems, the cost could be reduced by up to 85% if favourable conditions can be found to remove storage and land acquisition costs (more likely to be feasible in a greenfield development rather than an inner city suburb). With lower storage and land acquisition costs, and higher yield, stormwater harvesting begins to look cost competitive, with levelised costs as low as $2,500–$4,400 per ML.


The indirect economic benefits of urban water harvesting, presently valued at around $2,000 per ML, are significant, but not great enough to offset costs to the extent that any of the rainwater schemes become economically feasible. While all potable reuse options are expected to have high compliance requirements in terms of process validation, water quality verification, reporting and regulatory oversight, roofwater harvesting may have fewer obligations because it is perceived as a lower risk source. On the other hand, stormwater harvesting may be easier to implement because it uses existing draiange infrastructure within the catchments. The optimal scale for either rainwater or stormwater harvesting appears to be around 1500 to 2000 lots, beyond which there is little increase in the benefit-cost ratio. That is, there is a lack of economy of scale beyond the optimal catchment size.

CONCLUSION The study shows that while harvesting rain and stormwater from existing urban catchments is technically feasible, it is very costly, which consequently makes it unlikely to be adopted. The evaluation suggests that stormwater harvesting is preferred over rainwater harvesting because it provides a larger source of water at a lower unit cost, with less community disruption. While care needs to be taken with the estimates, the overall conclusion is that, with a larger catchment, and the availability of a natural storage and no land acquisition costs, it could be theoretically possible to develop cost-effective stormwater harvesting schemes in existing urban areas in Melbourne. Local networked roofwater harvesting schemes were not costeffective when compared with the existing centralised water supply system, because of the smaller effective catchment area (and, therefore, yield) and the high on-lot and collection system costs.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This study was made possible through funding from the Victorian State Government. Information, guidance and support was provided by Kathleen Burke from Yarra City Council, Charles Harman Brown from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Libby Hynes from Darebin City Council, Michelle Pinan from City West Water and Tony Prosser from Melbourne Water.

THE AUTHORS David Hamlyn-Harris (email: david.hamlyn-harris@ is a Director of Brisbane-based Consulting Engineering Firm, Bligh Tanner Pty Ltd. Over his 35 years in the Australian water industry he has developed a particular interest in the role of alternative decentralised water systems, such as wastewater recycling and roofwater and stormwater harvesting, in creating more sustainable urban communities. Kein Gan (email: Kein.Gan@ is the Manager of Integrated Planning at Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne. Francis Pamminger (email: Francis.Pamminger@yvw. is the Manager of Research & Innovation at Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne. Michelle Pinan (email: mpinan@citywestwater. is a Strategic Planner at City West Water, Melbourne. Charles Harman Brown (email: charles. harmanbrown@delwp.vic. is a Planning and Projects Officer in the Water and Catchments Group of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in Melbourne.

REFERENCES Alluvium (2014): General Stormwater Charge – Stormwater Offset Rate 2013, prepared for Melbourne Water, February 2014. Bligh Tanner (2014): Melbourne Urban Potable Water Harvesting (MUPWH) Project. Final Report: documents/document/yvw1005071.pdf Melbourne Water (2010): MUSIC Guidelines – Recommended Input Parameters and Modelling Approaches for MUSIC Users. MJA (2012): Assessment of Proposed Repeal of Water Saving Regulations, prepared by Marsden Jacob Associates for Queensland Competition Authority, 2012. Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance (2008): Investment Lifecycle Guidelines Business Case. files/994ec113-5514-4475-aee9-a1cc0110f662/ ILG-Business-Case-v10-web.pdf


Technical Papers

FOLLOWING THE FLOWPATH Embedding water cycle system thinking in the design of new urban precincts T Overman, R Bennett, N Sexton


The method utilised a framework covering seven key water cycle system aspects to identify development objectives and options to achieve those objectives. Viable options for each aspect were then combined to form different integrated water cycle solutions for the precinct. Consultation with stakeholders at that point highlighted that a one-size-fits-all solution would not deliver the best outcomes. The same process was used to design bespoke, multi-faceted IWCM solutions at a sub-precinct scale that were universally supported. The pilot demonstrated a practical method to engage stakeholders in a collaborative way to ensure key aspects of the water cycle can contribute to more liveable urban landscapes.

Figure 1. The Fyansford Development Precinct area. requires collaboration and cooperation across traditionally fragmented management jurisdictions towards a shared goal of more resilient urban water cycle systems that can positively enhance social liveability, reduce environmental degradation and contain long-term management costs. While theoretically desirable, there are few proven methods or tools available to help embed IWCM in the planning and design of new urban developments.

The Geelong region includes some of the fastest growing areas in Australia. A key challenge for urban planners and developers is how to design and build new urban landscapes that are more liveable for residents. Many factors influence and contribute to the liveability of a new urban area. Water, or more specifically, the water cycle system, is one of these factors.

Fyansford is a picturesque rural hamlet at the junction of the Barwon and Moorabool Rivers, just 5km west of central Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city. A significant parcel of 140ha covering a former quarry site and cement works has been rezoned as residential as part of a major transformation of the hamlet into a unique peri-urban living zone. This precinct will eventually provide approximately 1,100 lots and a range of urban land uses over the next decade (Figure 1).

Integrated Water-Cycle-Management (IWCM) is a systems-based approach to managing the different functions of the urban water cycle more holistically. It

Given the steep topography, river frontage and extensive earthworks, the developer of the land, ICD Property, was proactively seeking to ensure that


the new urban landscape would enhance the area’s liveability and environmental values. The site provided a case study to trial a new approach to integrated water cycle management at a precinct and sub-precinct scale. The project was a collaborative effort between the key stakeholders Barwon Water, ICD Property, the City of Greater Geelong, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Southern Rural Water and the Victorian Government.


The water cycle as a system is a complex concept, comprising many interconnected sub-systems or ‘aspects’. Historically we have tended to manage these aspects in isolation. Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) means managing all aspects of the water cycle in a holistic, connected way. Across the water sector efforts have been made over recent years to promote a systems approach to urban water cycle management, but there are different interpretations of what aspects should be considered within the



The rate of new urban development across Australia continues apace. A range of factors needs to be considered to ensure these areas are designed to be more liveable and resilient for residents. A key factor is the urban water cycle system. There are few methods available to help embed Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) in the design of new urban precincts. With the cooperation of a developer and relevant government agencies, a new urban development precinct in Fyansford near Geelong, Victoria, was used to test such an approach.


Technical Papers

3. Land use & public open space, roads etc 4. Stormwater infrastructure

Service Aspects

5. Drinking water 6. Sewerage 7. Alternative water

Built Aspects Natural Aspects

1. Waterways, wetlands & floodplains 2. Major drainage

Figure 2. Barwon Region IWCM Framework.


system. To date, most interpretations have focused on those aspects related to the consumptive use of water and other ‘water’ services, under the term ‘integrated water management’. The Barwon Region IWCM Network (a collaborative forum of water agency staff) recognised the need for a wider interpretation of the water cycle system and developed its own structural framework to better understand the topic. The forum adopted a management and planning perspective of the system and agreed on seven key aspects within three interlinked groups, as shown in Figure 2 (BRIWCMN, 2014): • Natural aspects – waterways, wetland and floodplains; major drainage (>1/5 ARI); • Built aspects – land use, open space and stormwater infrastructure; • Service aspects – drinking water, sewerage and alternative, fit-forpurpose water source. If considered in the right sequence and designed appropriately, these aspects can play a significant role in shaping some of the characteristics that help make a new urban development more liveable, including providing: • Water in natural waterways and lake environments for the community and biodiversity; • Urban drainage and stormwater infrastructure to prevent damage from flooding and inundation; • A natural layout for people-friendly suburbs, which enhances the value of open space for community connectivity with the environment;


• Water-sensitive designed suburbs and streetscapes to enhance community wellbeing and liveability; • Safe and reliable drinking water; • Wastewater services to protect public health, public amenity and minimise adverse impacts on the environment; • Alternative sources of fit-for-purpose water to ease pressure on drinking water supplies. IWCM requires all stakeholders to work collaboratively towards a common goal of a more resilient urban water cycle system, providing benefits for the community, the environment and the economy.

IWCM IN NEW URBAN DEVELOPMENTS The process for planning, designing and constructing new urban developments is complex and time consuming. Early consideration of the water cycle aspects can help set the tone for a more liveable landscape. Yet the sheer pace of development can mean that this holistic thinking is either absent or considered too late in the planning process, resulting in lost opportunities. There is an urgent need for planning tools to help the development industry apply IWCM in practice through a structured process.

PLANNING PROCESS The project team adopted a preferred sequence to considering each aspect to ensure urban planning is in synergy with the water cycle in the landscape and that water services are cost effective and efficient. This sequence forms the basis of a structured workshop-based planning approach first trialed in the development of the Colac IWCM Plan and included the following steps:


Develop a clear understanding of key water cycle system issues affecting the site internally and externally;


Establish clear objectives for each aspect of the urban water cycle based on broader community goals for urban living;


Identify the full range of options for meeting the objectives and develop a feasible shortlist;


Identify the combinations of options across each aspect that form IWCM solutions;


Compare alternative IWCM solutions and select a preferred solution with stakeholders.


The project team analysed the seven aspects of the urban water cycle to identify key system issues, including: • Extensive areas of degraded riparian zone, but close connections to existing open space and significant areas for stormwater storage; • Major drainage challenges posed by steep terrain and historical earthmoving with a high likelihood of standing water bodies due to terrain; • A diversity of topography allowing for a range of land use types, with some very steep slopes unsuitable for housing; • Receiving waters subject to potential stormwater impact; • Drinking water available efficiently through existing reticulated network; • Sewerage available efficiently through existing network; • Alternative water sources could be available at local and sub-precinct scale and help to manage stormwater quality and quantity.

IWCM OBJECTIVES An analysis of broader community goals for urban living helped to establish clear objectives for each aspect of the urban water cycle for the precinct (Table 1).

OPTIONS IDENTIFICATION AND SCREENING The stakeholders identified a range of options to achieve the stated objectives for the seven aspects. For each aspect, the various options (up to six) were


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Table 1. Objectives for IWCM aspects for the precinct. IWCM Aspect

Precinct Development Objective

Waterways & Flood

Minimise increases in stormwater run-off and protect the environmental values and physical characteristics of receiving waters from degradation by urban run-off

Major Drainage

Minimise damage to properties and inconvenience to residents from urban run-off and ensure that the street operates adequately during major storm events and provides for public safety

Land Use Plan & Public Open Space

Design a land use plan that contributes positively to liveability aspects by enhancing connectivity between waterways and wetlands and the urban environment

Stormwater Management

Apply water-sensitive urban design features to manage stormwater, enhance local livability and identify sustainable management requirements of such assets

Drinking Water

Provide an adequate, cost-effective supply of drinking water and reduce use of drinking water Provide a wastewater system that is adequate for the maintenance of public health and the management of effluent in an environmentally friendly manner

Alternative Water

Increase use of alternative fit-for-purpose water to replace drinking water use

Figure 3. Framework for identifying options for each water cycle aspect.

Stakeholders then assessed if any of the options posed major ‘deal breakers’, i.e. a factor or issue likely to render that option unacceptable to one or more parties. Options were screened against five deal-breaker criteria including environmental, social, economic and regulatory constraints, as well as strategic alignment. The screened options were presented as a ‘viable options matrix’ for the seven aspects, with non-viable options shaded red (Figure 4).

INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS Using this matrix, stakeholders discussed the different combinations of options across each aspect, which would work together to provide an IWCM solution. By mapping out the range of acceptable options for each aspect, stakeholders were able to identify synergies and conflicts. This is particularly important when considering options for providing alternative fit-for-purpose water to avoid duplicating supply for the same end use. The process identified four potentially viable IWCM solutions, which are represented by coloured connector lines through the options matrix (Figure 4): • Solution 1 is effectively the business as usual, or minimum IWCM innovation, combination; • Solution 2 features some innovative IWCM options including rainwater tanks, additional WSUD measures and optimised encumbered open space; • Solution 3 features strong WSUD characteristics and stormwater reuse for open space; • Solution 4 is most innovative and integrated for drainage, WSUD and on-property alternative water.


Figure 4. Viable IWCM Options Matrix (Precinct Scale).

The four whole-of-precinct scale IWCM solutions were then presented to the developer. After these discussions it became clear that a whole-of-precinct IWCM solution would not work in practice, due to the diverse nature of the site in terms of topography, intended land use and functionality of sub-precincts.




arranged on a spectrum of innovation and integration in IWCM, from least to best practice (Figure 3 ).


Technical Papers DISCUSSION


Figure 5. Fyansford IWCM sub-precincts. In reality, the developer could distinguish between nine sub-precincts across the site, each with differing development objectives and, therefore, different IWCM needs and constraints (Figure 5). Stakeholders reconsidered the overall development outcomes for each sub-precinct and revised the IWCM aspect objectives to suit. The same options identification process was utilised to specify up to three

options for relevant aspects. Only viable options were identified, avoiding the need for additional screening. After discussing costs, benefits, advantages and disadvantages, a preferred option was selected. When combined across the relevant aspects, these choices indicated a preferred integrated water cycle management solution for each sub-precinct, as illustrated in Figure 6.

Figure 6. Example of a sub-precinct IWCM solution poster.


While the concept of IWCM is generally accepted and encouraged, there are few examples to help stakeholders apply this concept in the design process. The complexity of the urban water cycle system and the diversity of urban landscapes mean that there is rarely a generic IWCM solution for a new urban development. Diversity within precincts is highly likely due to differences in topography, hydrology, intended land use functionality and desired urban form. Therefore, approaches to embedding IWCM in urban planning should be adaptable to ensure solutions are tailored to fit at an appropriate scale. This requires a level of analysis of options at a finer scale than is often undertaken. Establishing a shared vision based on liveability is a critical first step, followed by articulation of a common framework for the scope of the water cycle system under consideration. Too often IWCM debates are limited to options only related to the source of water for consumptive use, ignoring other key water cycle aspects that may have a much greater impact on urban liveability. A common framework for the


Technical Papers system helps stakeholders consider aspects in a logical sequence that promotes the right discussions at the right time. Clear objectives for each aspect helps stakeholders identify the range of options possible, as well as bringing to light potential barriers, synergies and conflicts. Arranging options on a spectrum from least to best practice provides the context necessary for an informed discussion of willingness to innovate and integrate, and areas for compromise or trade-offs. This can inform a broader discussion on potential beneficiaries and willingness to pay.

CONCLUSION Applying IWCM in practice is complex, challenging, requires close collaboration between stakeholders, and should be undertaken as early as possible in the planning and design of new urban landscapes. This project has led to the

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This project was an initiative of the Barwon Region Integrated Water Cycle Management Network. Established in 2012, the network is a formal commitment by the region’s lead agencies in urban and water planning to work cooperatively towards integrated water cycle management. Led by Barwon Water, the project was a collaborative effort between ICD Property, the City of Greater Geelong, Southern Rural Water, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and the Office of Living Victoria. The in-kind contributions from these key stakeholders were supported by direct funding through the Living Victoria Fund. Spiire Consultants provided design support for the options posters.

THE AUTHORS Tony Overman (email: Tony.Overman@ au) has been a key driver of IWCM across the G21

region and initiated the Barwon Region IWCM network, the first of its kind in Victoria. He specialises in facilitating stakeholder engagement in strategic planning, including IWCM, and is working as a specialist IWCM sub-consultant on the Leneva precinct in Wodonga. Rhys Bennett has been at the forefront of developing integrated technical solutions to complex water services challenges for new urban developments. His background across drinking water, sewerage and recycled water systems is complemented by extensive knowledge in the areas of alternative water sources, including Aquifer Storage and Recovery, Dual Pipe, Sewer Mining and Stormwater Re-use. Nicole Sexton is an experienced facilitator and change manager intent on maximising the effectiveness of multi-agency groups working towards mutually beneficial outcomes. A key driver of the 2012 Water Sensitive Cities Study Tour, Nicole coordinates the activities of the Barwon Region IWCM Network and initiated the Urban Water Cycle Planning Guide.


An effective IWCM planning process for new developments should lead the participants on a journey to develop and discuss integrated solutions for appropriate scales as opposed to options. Conventional approaches compare and contrast options across aspects, rather than multi-faceted, integrated solutions covering all relevant aspects. A solutions-based process reduces the risk of comparing apples with pears and is more likely to help engage stakeholders in seeing the whole picture and their specific role in achieving it. It also helps to clarify issues of scale and scope, and to identify which options may apply at a precinct, as compared to a sub-precinct, scale. This helps to create more definable units to estimate costs.

creation of an innovative, practical process for embedding IWCM in new urban developments at both whole-ofprecinct and sub-precinct scales. The process emphasises the importance of multi-faceted IWCM solutions for comparison, rather than options. IWCM is not an end in itself but can be an important means to help achieve more liveable urban landscapes. Understanding the role of the water cycle system in this goal and developing multi-faceted solutions to achieve clear system objectives are critical to effective application of the concept.

REFERENCES Barwon Region IWCM Network (2014): Urban Water Cycle Planning Guide.

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Technical Papers

DESALINATION FOR INDUSTRY AND RESOURCES: AUSTRALIA’S SUCCESS STORY FOR WORLD APPLICATION A brief history of desalination in Australia and an update on some of the major desalination plants associated with resources development G Crisp, K Athanasiadis, C Hertle



Water agencies, mining and resource companies, together with industry in all parts of the world, are increasingly becoming involved in desalination initiatives, including development of solutions for converting seawater and brackish water to freshwater. The accelerating implementation of many major projects has led to a greater understanding of desalination technologies and their consequent use as a water supply option. Prior to this century, desalination in Australia was simply too expensive for major applications. However, the rising costs of developing ever depleting water resources and lack of available sources at remote and arid sites, coupled with a rapidly growing demand for water supplies of varying quality for domestic, mining and industrial purposes, forced Australia to investigate desalination technologies and subsequently apply them successfully. This paper presents an update on some of Australia’s desalination plants associated with resources development. Detailed information is presented in relation to plants already constructed, including the 140 ML/d Cape Preston Desalination Plant, constructed offshore and assembled in the remote Pilbara Region of Western Australia to supply water to a magnetite mine. Plants completed and planned for the mining industry and unconventional gas industry in Australia will be presented. These are prime examples of desalination projects for resources development. All completed plants are exceeding expectations in aspects such as quantity and quality of water supplied, operating cost and specific energy use. Their durability, reliability and availability


have been exceptional and, of critical importance, their integration and transfer systems have been proven. Keywords: desalination, mining, unconventional gas, coal seam gas, seawater reverse osmosis, brackish water reverse osmosis, coal seam gas, produced formation water, project development.

INTRODUCTION In recent years, desalination has taken a prominent role in the provision of water for large mining and oil and gas operations throughout the world. Previously, some areas rich in mineral resources were difficult to exploit due to the lack of a sufficient freshwater supply. Desalination is now providing water for mining operations in remote, water-scarce regions that were once considered no-go areas. With the growth in unconventional gas developments, desalination has become the environmental saviour, ensuring the responsible management of produced formation water (PFW) and the ability to return this by-product to the environment responsibly or make it available for beneficial use.

looks back at the history of desalination in Australia, before turning its gaze forward to desalination projects for the industrial and resources sectors. THE HISTORY OF DESALINATION IN THE AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES INDUSTRY

The discovery of gold at Coolgardie in 1892, followed by a further find at Kalgoorlie in 1893, led to a mining boom from which developed the world-famous “Golden Mile”. These discoveries focused attention on Western Australia’s gold-producing potential and enticed prospectors from all parts of the world. The gold rush at Kalgoorlie saw the population soar as thousands flocked to the fields to seek their fortunes. From the start, the lack of water was a major problem. Early methods of supply were expensive, cumbersome and often unreliable, and were essentially rudimentary thermal desalination plants located at various places to cater for miners. These were very inefficient stills and folklore has it that water was of greater value than the gold being mined. In actual fact, chronic water shortages allowed owners of stills to sell water for anywhere between sixpence to a shilling per gallon in 1895 (Figure 1), which converts to between at least US$4 to US$8 per litre in 2015 terms.

Australia has a long history of desalination in the resources sector, ranging from the wood-fired stills of the Coolgardie goldfields over 100 years ago, to modern, state-of-the art, largescale seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants and brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) plants located at industrial precincts, near ports or in remote inland areas. This paper briefly Figure 1. Innes and Mill’s Condenser, Coolgardie 1895.


Technical Papers

Figure 2. Mammoth Water Condenser, Coolgardie 1896. In 1967, West Australia’s Mammoth Iron Ore project installed two 900m3/ day Weir-Westgarth multiple effect flash (MSF) units (Figure 3) at the heart of its operations at Dampier in the north-west of Western Australia (WDR, 1967). Hamersley Iron (now Rio Tinto), the company formed to develop the Mt. Tom Price hematite ore resource, built the desalting plant at the port of Dampier. The desalted water was used for domestic, dust suppression and shipping requirements, in addition to ore processing. The plant was decommissioned in the 1980s.

The number of desalting plants in Australia grew rapidly in the 1990s, with numerous small desalination plants commissioned for both mining and oil and gas-related projects. There are now more than 300 small reverse osmosis plants servicing remote mining, oil and gas, and power station sites in Australia. It is in the new millennium, however, that the planning and installation of medium to large desalination plants for industrial and mining purposes, along with municipal purposes, has been more widely adopted. Some of these installations and planned plants include: • Burrup Fertiliser GTL (Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia) mechanical vapour compression (MVC) plant, 3 x 1.5 ML/d MVC units, commissioned in 2004; • BHP Billiton (now Queensland Nickel) Yabulu Nickel Refinery BWRO plant (Townsville, Queensland), 10 ML/d, commissioned in 2005; • BHP Billiton (now First Quantum Minerals) Ravensthorpe Nickel Project multiple effect distillation (MED) plant (Ravensthorpe, Western Australia), 7.2 ML/d, commissioned in 2006; • Citic Pacific Mining Sino Iron project, Cape Preston SWRO Plant (Cape Preston – Western Australia), 140 ML/d, commissioned in 2013; • MCC Mining, Cape Lambert Desalination Plant. SWRO Plant up to 120 ML/d, definition stage, on hold;

Figure 3. Hamersley Iron MSF Desalination Plant (Courtesy Weir Westgarth).

• Grange Resources Southdown Magnetite Project, Cape Riche Desalination Plant (Cape Riche,



The most famous of all the woodfired stills, and the largest desalination plant in the world at the time, was the Mammoth Water Condenser (Figure 2), which produced 455m3/d from 546m3/d of feed water, using about 100 tonnes of firewood. The calculated specific energy consumption (SEC) of this plant is 989kWh/m3, assuming wood-burning delivers 4.5kWh of energy per kilogram of wood. The still converted brackish water to freshwater at a recovery of 83%. In contrast, a modern brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) plant would produce water at a SEC of around 1kWh/m3, a thousand-fold improvement.


Technical Papers • Windibri Water Treatment Plant (6 ML/d).

Figure 4. Cape Preston SWRO Desalination Plant (Courtesy IDE/Citic Pacific). Western Australia), SWRO plant at 35 ML/d, contracting stage, on hold. • BHP Billiton Olympic Dam Expansion, Point Lowly Desalination Plant (Point Lowly, South Australia), SWRO plant up to 280 ML/d, planned, on hold indefinitely.



Western Australia (WA) – Cape Preston seawater desalination plant for mining Citic Pacific Mining’s Sino Iron project in the Pilbara, completed in 2009, is mainland Australia’s first major magnetite mining and processing project. The project produces approximately 140 million tons of material each year and its processing plant crushes, grinds, separates, concentrates and filters up to 80 million tonnes of magnetite annually. The Cape Preston SWRO Desalination Plant (Figure 4) is a significant component of this project. A consortium led by IDE has built and commissioned a 140 ML/d plant, which supplies water to both the mine and township. This is the world’s first largescale pre-engineered modular plant. The entire plant was fabricated in 60 pre-assembled modules and tested in the production facility before being shipped to the site, erected and commissioned.

The gas extraction of 264 PJ has generated approximately 16.8 GL of Produced Formation Water (PFW) with an average salinity of 5,000, as TDS, which makes it unsuitable either for direct discharge to the environment or for beneficial reuse without further treatment. The most conservative industry studies estimate a PFW production of 100 GL/year at full development. To address this issue the CSG Industry has developed a number of leading-edge desalination plants to produce high water quality for beneficial reuse, including: • Discharge to the environment; • Aquifer injection; • Industrial water supply; • Agriculture;

The Kenya Water Treatment Plant (KWTP) is located about 35km southwest of Chinchilla and was designed and constructed by GELOR (GE Water and Laing O’Rourke). The construction commenced in 2011 and the main plant (80 ML/d) became operational in August 2013, with the brine concentrators being commissioned in January 2014 (Figure 5). The KWTP process consists of: • Aggregation ponds to allow the blending of the PFW from the wells to ensure consistent water quality for feed to the WTP; • Disc filters for pre-treatment; • Ultra filtration to remove fine suspended particles; • Ion exchange to remove hardness; • Reverse osmosis, achieving a recovery of up 91%; • Post-treatment stabilisation, including pH correction; • Brine concentration and storage providing a total recovery rate of up to 97%.

• Kenya Water Treatment Plant (92 ML/d);

The KWTP is powered by seven 3.3 MWe gas engines using CSG generated from QGC’s gas fields. The concentrated brine is temporarily stored in purpose-built brine storage ponds and the treated water is discharged via a 20km pipeline to Chinchilla weir into SunWater’s network for beneficial reuse, including irrigation for the local farming community. Small amounts of treated water from the Windibri WTP are used in industrial applications such as the Condamine Power Station and Cameby Downs coal mine.

• Northern Water Treatment Plant (100 ML/d);

The operation and maintenance of the three QGC WTPs was awarded to Veolia

• The possibility of future indirect potable use, if required. Some of the key desalinisation plants installed or currently under construction are discussed below. Queensland Gas Company (QGC) – Kenya and Northern Water Treatment Plants The Water Strategy of Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Project allows for the following Water Treatment Plants (WTPs):

Queensland – Desalination plants in the coal seam gas (CSG) industry The production of CSG in Queensland has grown rapidly in the last 15 years. During this time the annual number of CSG wells drilled increased from 10 in the early 1990s to over 1,315 in the financial year 2012–2013; achieving a gas production of 264 PJ in that year, which represents more than 70% of the state’s gas demand. According to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, the proved and probable reserves (2P) reached 37,233 PJ at 30 June 2013.


Figure 5. QGC’s Kenya Water Treatment Plant (Courtesy AWA CSG Technical Workshop).


Technical Papers

Figure 6. QGC’s Northern Water Treatment Plant (Courtesy AWA CSG Technical Workshop). Water for a period of 25 years at a value of A$800m. Current testing confirms that the treated water is fully compliant with SunWater’s licence conditions.

The NWTP process consists of: • Aggregation ponds (2,606 ML) to allow for blending of the PFW from the wells to ensure consistent water quality for feed to the WTP; • Lime softening to reduce calcium levels; • Disc filters for pre-treatment; • Ultra filtration to remove fine solids; • Weak acid cation exchange to remove scaling ions such Ca, Mg, Sr to allow higher recovery at the RO skids; • Reverse osmosis for desalination to meet discharge requirements; • Brine concentrators to further concentrate the RO reject stream, reducing the amount of brine waste; • Post-treatment stabilisation. The NWTP is powered by the grid. The concentrated brine is temporarily stored in

Origin APLNG – Eastern and Western Treatment Facilities The Australia Pacific LNG is a joint venture between Origin, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec and is currently supplying more than 40% of Queensland’s domestic gas requirements. Origin’s APLNG Water Strategy has made an allowance for the following Water Treatment Facilities (WTFs): • Eastern Water Treatment Facilities - Talinga (20 ML/d) (Figure 7) - Condabri (40 ML/d) • Western Treatment Facilities - Spring Gully (12 ML/d) - Reedy Creek (40 ML/d) The 20 ML/d Talinga WTF (expandable to 30 ML/d) is located 30km south-east of Chinchilla in Queensland. The Talinga WTF process consists of:

• A number of feed ponds to allow for blending of the PFW from the wells to ensure consistent water quality for feed to the WTF; • Coarse filtration for pre-treatment; • Micro-filtration to remove fine solids; • Weak acid cation exchange to remove scaling ions such as Ca, Mg, Sr to allow higher recovery at the RO skids; • Reverse osmosis for desalination to meet discharge requirements; • Post-treatment stabilisation. The treated CSG water is mainly discharged to the Condamine River, where it contributes to the base flows. The Condamine River is an essential resource to the local communities. The Condamine Township, located 30km downstream of the WTF, uses the river water as its principal drinking water supply. The river water is also used for agricultural irrigation and to support local industries. SANTOS – Water Treatment Facilities SANTOS GLNG is a joint venture of Santos, Petronas from Malaysia, Total from France, and Kogas from South Korea. SANTOS Water Strategy includes the following Water Treatment Plants: • Pony Hill (Fairview ROP1) WTP (6 ML/d); • Fairview ROP2 WTP (20 ML/d); • Hermitage ROP1 WTP (1.5 ML/d); • Roma ROP2 WTP (10 ML/d).



The Northern Water Treatment Plant (NWTP) is located south-west of Wandoan at Woleebee Creek in the Western Downs of Queensland and has a capacity of 100 ML/d, based on five 20 ML/d RO trains (Figure 6). The plant is also designed and constructed by GELOR (GE Water and Laing O’Rourke). We understand that the plant is in the final phases of construction with part of the infrastructure undergoing commissioning. Once commissioned, the plant will be operated and maintained by Veolia Water.

purpose-built brine storage ponds (1,800 ML) and the treated water is transported along Sunwater’s 120km Woleebee Creek to Glebe Weir pipeline for distribution to beneficial users along the pipeline route and within the Dawson Valley Water Supply Scheme and Glebe Weir section of the Dawson River. Small amounts of the treated water are used to investigate a groundwater re-injection scheme/trial. The Dawson Valley Beneficial Use Scheme is valid for 20 years for treated water release into the Woleebee Creek to Glebe Weir pipeline and authorises the use of up to 36.5 GL/y of treated water for agriculture, including stock watering, industrial and urban supply.


Technical Papers THE AUTHORS

Figure 7. Origin APLNG Talinga Water Treatment Facility.

Gary Crisp (email: g.crisp is Business Development Director – Water, at Sacyr Environment USA. He is a Civil Engineer with 35 years of experience in water engineering. He was an integral member of all Water Corporation involvement in desalination, including Perth Seawater Desalination, Southern Seawater Desalination, Burrup Fertiliser, Kwinana Water Reuse and numerous small RO projects. He is a director of the International Desalination Association.


Dr Konstantinos Athanasiadis (email: konstantinos. is Principal Process Engineer and Business Development Leader – Industrial Water and Coal Seam Gas at GHD. He has 20 years of experience in industrial water and wastewater management and was awarded the Lord Mayor’s Leaders of Innovation 2010 award for demonstrating a high degree of leadership in Product Innovation.

Figure 8. SANTOS Fairview ROP2 Water Treatment Plant. The 20 ML/d Fairview ROP2 WTP (Figure 8) was designed, built and is currently being commissioned by Veolia Water. The process treatment train consists of: • A 35 ML water pond to allow for blending of the PFW from the wells to ensure consistent water quality for feed to the WTF; • Veolia’s Actiflo system for pretreatment including algae removal if required; • Multi Media Filtration to prevent fouling in the downstream RO system; • Weak acid cation exchange to remove scaling ions such Ca, Mg, Sr to allow higher recovery at the RO skids; • Reverse osmosis (two-stage RO); • Post-treatment stabilisation. The treated water is used for dust suppression, irrigation on Leucaena crops, and discharge to the Dawson River.


CONCLUSION There has been a thousand-fold increase in the efficiency of desalination since its inception in Australia in the late 1890s. The use of reverse osmosis has made a huge difference to the costs for desalination and there continues to be efficiency improvements as membrane technology is developed. However, modern desalination plants are still quite sophisticated and expensive installations. The last decade has seen a significant growth in the use of desalination for both municipal and industrial water supply. It is important that methodical planning, design, construction, commissioning and operation occur to ensure that the resulting plant and operations do not compromise the extensive resource operations that they support. Delays and downtime not only affect the operation of the desalination plant, but have farreaching effects on profitability and, ultimately, the shareholders’ dividends.

Chris Hertle (email: is a Chemical Engineer with more than 30 years’ experience in municipal and industrial water projects involving advanced treatment for energy recovery and water recycling. Chris played a key role in helping roll out GHD’s Innovation Program in 2008 and has a passion to provide sustainable water management solutions to industrial clients. He has been involved in a number of brackish water and seawater desalination projects including coal seam gas produced water and brine management. He has a particular interest in the cost-effective recovery of commodity chemicals from CSG associated water.

REFERENCES Bosse U (2014]: Desalination Commissioning Engineer (personal communication). Crisp G, Palmer N & Swinton EA (2010): A Brief Review of Desalination in Australia in 2010. International Journal of Nuclear Desalination, 4, 1, pp 66–75. Water Desalination Report (1967): Weir-Westgarth New Australian Plant, Vol 3, Issue 14. Department of Natural Resources and Mines (2014): Queensland Coal Seam Gas Overview, January 2014. AWA CSG Technical Workshop 17 (2014): QCLNG Associated Water Treatment: Overview, Operations Outsourcing and State of Play?”. Rory Morgan, Principal Engineer – Water Operations, QGC.


Technical Papers

THE USE OF HIGH-WATTAGE LPHO LAMPS IN SMALL COMMUNITY DRINKING WATER UV SYSTEMS Overcoming the challenges with the use of FIN Technology A Festger

INTRODUCTION Delivering disinfection to the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s small communities is a continuous challenge. Storage and transport of chemical disinfectants; disinfection byproducts; taste impact from chlorine; and the lack of skilled operators can all affect decisions regarding how small communities disinfect their drinking water. This complexity can lead many communities to either default to the simplest disinfection solution (e.g. chlorine) or omit disinfection altogether. A research study commissioned by EurEau (the European Federation of National Associations of Water and Wastewater Services), for example, reported that 12% of European drinking water is not disinfected, representing water delivered to millions of people. The same report also mentioned that, while nearly all surface water treatment used some form of disinfection, 22.5% of distributed groundwater received no disinfection (van der Hoek et al., 2014).

However, the utilisation of high-wattage LPHO lamps in the relatively small closed vessel chambers used in small community applications can have several inherent challenges that must be overcome.

CHALLENGE #1: JETTING ALONG THE CHAMBER WALL DURING VALIDATION Application of UV technology in municipal drinking water disinfection requires that UV systems receive third-party bioassay validation in order to ensure

desired performance at the treatment site. Several validation protocols exist, however all globally recognised validation guidance documents, including but not limited to the USEPA Ultraviolet Disinfection Guidance Manual (UVDGM) and the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) W 294-2 Protocol, either require or recommend an elbow be installed immediately upstream of the UV system during the validation process (Figure 1). By doing this, the validation simulates worst case hydraulic conditions and ensures that the delivered dose of an installed UV system at a water treatment plant will be higher than that delivered during the validation under the same conditions. Furthermore, many LPHO lamp-based UV systems designed for small-community disinfection use multiple lamps within a chamber. As a result, chamber diameters are typically larger than the inlet pipe diameter in order to accommodate multiple lamps. This size difference necessitates the need for an expansion spool at the entrance of the chamber.

Figure 1. Typical piping configuration for a UV system to ensure worst case hydraulic conditions during third-party validation.



Similar conclusions are drawn in the United States, where approximately 95,000 of the 150,000 public water systems (PWS) supplying groundwater (serving 20 million people) deliver water without disinfection (Borchardt, 2012). Further, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) reported that 27% of groundwater wells in the United States will be subject to virus contamination at some point (USEPA, 2006). In Australia, over 500GL of groundwater are distributed yearly for various purposes, making up nearly 40% of the total water supply in some states. Groundwater is often used particularly to meet the drinking water demands of small communities and, while groundwater can be considered to be relatively free from pathogens and viruses, the abovementioned studies highlight that there is clearly an opportunity to enhance groundwater disinfection.

Since its introduction to water treatment in the early 1900s, the application of ultraviolet (UV) light for disinfection in municipal water treatment has evolved significantly. Early UV systems used low-wattage lamps, which required a large number of lamps in order to treat higher flows. However, the introduction of low-pressure highoutput (LPHO) lamps has provided higher wattage low-pressure options, effectively reducing lamp counts while maintaining relatively high electrical efficiency. Today, UV manufacturers offer LPHO lamps with wattage options as high as 1,000 watts per lamp.


Technical Papers

Figure 2. CFD-derived velocity profile of water entering a UV chamber during third-party validation without engineered flow modification. This, coupled with the previouslymentioned elbow attached to the inlet flange, results in a piping configuration in which an elbow precedes the expander before entering the UV light zone (Figure 1). This arrangement leads to hydraulic conditions where jetting occurs along the wall of the UV system. This jetting is accompanied by a zone of low velocity immediately opposite the jetting zone (Figure 2). Conversely, high water velocities occur within the jetting zone and, consequently, the water is exposed to less UV light. As a result, regions of poor dose delivery (i.e. short-circuiting) can occur within the jetting zone and areas of high dose can occur in the low velocity zone. The result is a wide dose distribution and poor overall disinfection performance.


CHALLENGE #2: HIGH-INTENSITY LIGHT ABSORBED BY CHAMBER WALL IF THE CHAMBER IS TOO SMALL Intuitively, reducing the number of lamps results in a more efficient UV system with lower maintenance requirements. However, a smaller number of highwattage LPHO lamps inherently lead to a greater challenge in ensuring an even distribution of UV-light through the water. In addition, the high intensities emitted by high-wattage LPHO lamps can lead to a scenario where a significant amount of UV light energy is absorbed by the chamber walls and wasted. Conversely, a large number of lower intensity (lower wattage) lamps distributed throughout the area of a UV chamber can more easily lead to well-distributed light with a tradeoff in the number of lamps and associated increase in maintenance cost. For these reasons, when using a smaller number of higher-wattage lamps, it is vital to ensure that correct hydraulic conditioning is maintained.


Figure 3. CFD-derived velocity profile of water entering a UV chamber during third-party validation equipped with FIN Technology.

FLOW INTEGRATION (FINâ&#x201E;˘) TECHNOLOGY In an effort to mitigate these challenges, it was important to note that a low number of high-wattage lamps could be prone to underperformance unless the flow regime through the chamber was carefully tailored. One method is to modify flow at the entrance to the chamber. For example, a cone-shaped flow modifier installed at the inlet flange of the chamber can redirect flow, reduce the jetting zone and potentially improve the dose distribution. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were carried out to compare the base case of no flow modification with the scenario of flow modification at the inlet using the coneshaped modifier. The results indicated a marginal improvement of the flow field within the UV zone. However, while this improvement was notable, further investigation revealed that an inlet cone flow modifier was unable to completely prevent the jetting effect along the bottom surface of the chamber, and left zones of both low velocity that received high UV dose and high velocity that received a low UV dose. The end result of the cone-shaped inlet flow modifier was a wide dose distribution that was not significantly improved relative to the no-flow-modifier case. CFD and UV dose simulation tools, coupled with full-scale bioassay testing, were then used to fully understand the jetting effect and the shortcomings of conventional inlet flow modification using a cone-shaped flow modification approach. It was discovered that, while a single cone-shaped baffle installed at the inlet flange improved dose delivery, multiple baffles installed throughout the UV chamber were even more effective. Using this valuable information, Flow

Integration (FIN) Technology was developed in which multiple baffles were installed along the entire flow trajectory. CFD analysis determined that FIN Technology was able to prevent jetting along the outer chamber wall and improve dose delivery. Specifically, FIN Technology modified the flow field to match the UV intensity field. As a result, any areas of high flow received a higher level of UV intensity while, conversely, areas of reduced flow received a lower level of UV intensity with the goal being a uniform dose distribution throughout the UV system. The velocity profile of a closed vessel UV system equipped with FIN Technology is shown in Figure 3. It can be clearly seen that the inlet jetting is conditioned by the baffles enhanced by FIN Technology in a way that progressively modifies the flow field to better match the intensity field. For instance, regions of higher flow velocity are concentrated closer to the UV lamps and, therefore, water in these high velocity zones receives a higher intensity UV-light. Figure 4 shows the resulting improvement in dose-distribution compared to both the base case of no flow modification and flow modification using a cone-shaped hydraulic conditioner. In particular, the dose distribution with FIN is narrower, with a decrease in the number of particles experiencing lower doses and a more consistent delivery of higher UV doses.

DOSE IMPROVEMENT WITH FIN TECHNOLOGY CFD was then used to show dose accumulation through an operating system equipped with FIN Technology. Each particle is exposed to UV light for an increasing amount of time as it moves through the chamber. The flow velocity of a particle combined with the light


Technical Papers

Figure 4. Dose distribution observed in UV systems equipped with indicated flow modification technologies. intensity is combined mathematically to provide a colorimetric accumulation of dose for each particle as it travels through the UV system. Figure 5 shows the results of this analysis. Under identical flow and UVT conditions, FIN results in a higher and more consistent UV dose for particles passing through the UV system. As a result, the average dose subjected to each particle is substantially higher with FIN Technology compared to alternative flow modification approaches (Table 1).


A properly-designed UV system using high-wattage LPHO lamps will have a larger chamber diameter to accommodate optimal sensor-to-lamp distance and to prevent absorption of UV energy by chamber walls. FIN Technology eliminated jetting and also matched areas of high UV intensity to areas of high flow velocity and areas of low UV intensity with areas of low flow velocity. The heightened performance demonstrated by UV systems equipped with FIN Technology ensures that a UV system can achieve the maximum performance when subjected to the poor hydraulic conditions inherent to thirdparty bioassay validation.


Figure 5. CFD-derived UV dose accumulation profiles in UV systems equipped with no flow modification (top), conical inlet flow modification (middle) and FIN Technology (bottom). Table 1. Resulting RED values for MS2 challenge organism in a UV chamber with no flow modification, an inlet cone flow modifier, and FIN Technology. Description of Flow Modification

MS2 RED (mJ/cm2)

No Flow Modifier


Inlet Cone Flow Modifier


FIN Technology Adam Festger (email: afestger@trojanuv. com) is the Market Manager and Regulatory Liaison for Trojan’s Drinking Water and Environmental Contaminant Treatment (ECT) Divisions. He is responsible for directing Trojan’s global activities concerning the use of UV light for drinking water disinfection and for the removal of trace contaminants from water. He holds a Master’s Degree in Hydrology and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona. He has over 15 years of experience in contaminant treatment and UV technologies and is a member of the American Water Works, International Ozone, International Ultraviolet and WateReuse Associations.


REFERENCES Borchardt MA, Spencer SK, Kieke BA, Lambertini E & Loge FJ (2012): Viruses in NonDisinfected Drinking Water from Municipal Wells and Community Incidence of Acute Gastrointestinal Illness. Environmental Health Perspectives. Vol 120, No 9, pp 1272-1279. van der Hoek JP, Bertelkamp C, Verliefde ARD & Singhal N (2014): Drinking Water Treatment Technologies in Europe: State of the Art – Challenges – Research Needs. Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology. AQUA. Vol 63, No 2, pp 124–130. US Environmental Protection Agency (2006): Occurrence and Monitoring Document for the Final Ground Water Rule (EPA Publication 815-R-06-012, disinfection/gwr/pdfs/support_gwr_ occurancemonitoring.pdf. [accessed 21 September 2014].



The objective of FIN Technology is not to obtain uniform velocity through a UV system. Rather, the objective is to match areas of high flow velocity with areas of high UV-light intensity and vice versa. Enhanced mixing resulting from the use of multiple baffles is also observed and serves to improve dose distribution. However, this mixing is an indirect byproduct of FIN Technology and is not considered to be the primary objective.

With better validation performance, UV systems equipped with FIN Technology can be installed with a low number of high-wattage lamps and, therefore, require less maintenance and operational costs. These features together help to meet the disinfection needs of small community drinking water providers economically and with minimum maintenance.


Technical Papers

THE ROLE OF AIRBORNE GEOPHYSICS IN FACILITATING LONG-TERM OUTBACK WATER SOLUTIONS TO SUPPORT MINING IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA The use of regional and local-scale geophysical data sets to develop a hydrogeological framework for the Musgrave Province T Munday, M Gilfedder, AR Taylor, T Ibrahimi, Y Ley-Cooper, K Cahill, S Smith, A Costar



Mining and energy development in South Australia’s far north is set to have significant consequences for the water resources of the region. These sectors generate significant economic value to the state and their support remains a priority for the government. The scale of the planned developments and the potential from current exploration programs facilitated by the South Australian Government’s Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) will result in an increase in infrastructure requirements, including access to water resources and Aboriginal lands for potential mine development. Increased demand for water and, in particular, groundwater, is compromised by the limited information we have about these resources. There is a recognised need to develop this knowledge so that water availability is not a limiting factor to development. The Goyder Institute’s Long-Term Outback Water Solutions (G-FLOWS) Project was established to help address this. Particular reference is made to work completed in the Musgrave Province. It illustrates the role of local scale Airborne ElectroMagnetic surveys (AEM), acquired for exploration, and regional scale airborne magnetics and terrain data in helping develop a hydrogeological conceptual model for the Province. The AEM data reveal a complex and extensive inset palaeovalley system, which contains groundwater of variable quality (2000–4500 mg/L total dissolved solids (TDS)). Examination of their location against the regional magnetics


indicates a strong litho-structural control on their orientation. If mineral resources were to be developed in the area, these groundwater systems would represent the best option for water supply. A regional scale water resource map, based on information gleaned from the geophysics, existing hydrogeological and digital elevation data, is presented that provides a framework for groundwater resource determination when/if mineral deposits were to be mined in the region.

The Goyder Institute’s (www. Facilitating Long-Term Outback Water Solutions (G-FLOWS) Project was established to help address this. One component of the project’s activity is described here, specifically that concerning the use of regional (state) and local-scale (exploration company) geophysical data sets to develop a hydrogeological framework for the Musgrave Province in the north-west of South Australia.

Keywords: Groundwater, airborne EM, magnetics, hydrogeology.

Local scale AEM data sets have been employed to develop hydrogeological conceptual models in support of a regional scale water resources assessment. The work has required the re-processing of historical AEM data sets, including those acquired by TEMPEST, HOISTEM and VTEM AEM systems. Co-incident data from several new AEM systems, including the new SkyTEM508 (a helicopter Time Domain ElectroMagnetic (TDEM) system) and the SPECTREM2000 (a fixed wing TDEM system) have also been acquired to inform options for further pre-competitive AEM data collection, supporting both mineral exploration and groundwater resource assessment in the region. In this paper, the contribution of AEM and regional magnetics in refining the conceptual hydrogeology for the Musgrave Province is discussed.

INTRODUCTION Mining and energy development in South Australia’s arid far north is set to have significant consequences for the water resources of the region. As these sectors are of significant economic value to the state, their support is a priority for the government. The scale of the planned developments and the potential from current exploration programs, facilitated in part by the South Australian Government’s Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE), will increase the demand for access to water, and in particular groundwater, which is the primary resource of this arid region. Its appropriate allocation, to meet such demands, could be problematic, given the paucity of data on the groundwater systems present. This includes information about the character and variability of aquifers; recharge rates and their sustainability; the quality of water they contain; and their relationship to groundwater-dependent ecosystems and other environmental and cultural assets.

HYDROGEOLOGY OF STUDY AREA The Musgrave Province is a region of crystalline basement consisting mainly of the amphibolite and granulite facies gneisses intruded by mafic–ultramafic dykes and granitoids, and swarms of


Technical Papers dolerite dykes. While the basement outcrops are isolated hills and ranges, much of them are covered by regolith. Surface flow across the area is limited to intense rainfall events and primarily confined to outcropping rock and to a limited number of channels that drain across adjacent flat country (Tewkesbury and Dodds, 1997). Surface flow tends to occur for a short period and over small stream sections based on the location and intensity of the rainfall event. Groundwater is present in the weathered and fractured sections of the basement, in buried palaeovalleys filled with sands, silts and clays, and in calcretes and surficial sediments consisting of alluvial, fluvial and aeolian deposits (Watts and Berens, 2011). Groundwater recharge is variable and linked to episodic rainfall events. Work by Cresswell et al. (2002) indicated that, immediately adjacent to the ranges, it is relatively high (~30 mm/yr), and lower elsewhere (1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 mm/yr). Groundwater salinity throughout the region is highly variable, ranging from 100 mg/L to >20,000 mg/L, with higher salinities observed in sediments of the palaeovalleys. The pre-Pliocene palaeovalley system, incised into Musgrave Province, is known to be present from limited exploratory drilling, and has been postulated to contain a significant groundwater resource (Dodds and Sampson, 2000). However, their geometry and extent remains largely hidden from view by a valley fill of Pliocene to Pleistocene sediments and overlying Quaternary sand dunes of the Great Victoria Desert (Lewis et al., 2010). Their evolution is postulated to be similar to that described for the palaeodrainage systems located on the margins of the Gawler Craton (see Hou et al., 2003).

A range of historical (five to 12 years) and more contemporary (<5yrs) AEM data sets exists across the Musgrave Province, data that has been acquired as part of exploration activities. These data include TDEM from TEMPEST, HOISTEM and VTEM systems. However, their distribution is varied and of limited geographical extent. These data were inverted using a 1D layered earth inversion (LEI), specifically the 1D Geoscience Australia layered earth inversion algorithm (GA-LEI), as well as the AarhusInv (formerly EM1DINV) algorithms

Figure 2. Conductivity depth interval for 70m below ground level for TEMPEST (coloured area at top) and HOISTEM (coloured areas in lower left). TDEM data sets are superimposed on a monochrome image of the 1st VD of the regional magnetics. described in detail by Brodie (2012) and Auken et al. (2005) respectively.

to delimit contemporary valleys or low points in the landscape.

Where present, the LEI inversions define a conductive palaeovalley fill, and detail a complex palaeo-drainage system. The palaeovalleys identified in the local scale AEM datasets are coincident with broad lows that characterise the contemporary landscape (Figure 1). In this case we have used a MultiResolution Valley Bottom Flatness (MrVBF) index (Gallant and Dowling 2003) on the 1sec Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) ground surface elevation data

MrVBF is a topographic index designed to identify areas of deposited material at a range of scales based on the observations that valley bottoms are low and flat relative to their surroundings and that large valley bottoms are flatter than smaller ones. The conductivity depth sections from the various AEM data sets show a complex, well-defined and relatively narrow set of valleys that contrast with those depicted in the contemporary landscape. Nonetheless,




Figure 1. Conductivity depth interval for 70m below ground level for TEMPEST (coloured area at top) and HOISTEM (coloured areas in lower left). TDEM data sets are superimposed on Terrain Flatness index (MrVBF).


Technical Papers

Figure 3. A map of regolith thickness superimposed on a DEM for the western part of the Musgrave Province. The thickness map was derived from a 1D LEI inversion of TEMPEST fixed-wing TDEM data (coloured area near top of Figure 1).

Figure 4. A perspective view (looking north) of basement topography for the eastern half of the TDEM area (coloured area near top of Figure 1).

containing brackish-saline and, therefore, conductive groundwater. Subtracting the derived “regolith thickness” data from the contemporary elevation data provides a good indication of how the landscape would have looked prior to it filling with sediment in the Pliocene to Pleistocene period (Figure 4). It reveals a complex palaeodrainage system filled with sediments beneath a sand cover. The derived surface for this part of the Musgrave Province indicates that the trunk drainage line has its headwaters in the Northern Territory. The surface also indicates a strong structural control on the development of the drainage system. The combined interpretation of the AEM and regional magnetics has contributed to the development of an updated hydrogeological conceptual model (Figure 5) and a framework for groundwater resource assessment. In this figure we can see that the palaeovalley sediments consist, in places, of loose running sands, fine quartz sands to granule conglomerates (probably developed in braided stream systems similar to that seen today), fine- to medium-grained quartz sand, silt and minor clay, coarser-grained carbonaceous and lignitic sediments. Nodular calcretes are developed in many places. Some of these units have high transmissivities.



Figure 5. Hydrogeological conceptual model developed from AEM and airborne magnetics interpretation. the results suggest that the position of the broad low valley systems is a good starting point for locating the position of the deeper portions of the older valley system.

of the palaeo-drainage system. The orientation of some of the defined valley systems follows major structures observed in the magnetics (Figure 2).

Examination of the palaeovalley system, as determined by the AEM data, against the regional magnetics (1ST Vertical Derivative (VD)) indicates that both lithology and structure exerted a significant influence on the development

Calculation of the thickness of the conductive layer in the TEMPEST data set from the GA-LEI inversion provides a good surrogate for regolith or valley fill thickness (Figure 3). This is aided by the palaeovalley sediments


An examination of historical AEM data sets over the Musgrave Province reveals a complex, extensive inset palaeovalley system, which contains groundwater of variable quality (2000–20,000 mg/L TDS). If mineral resources were to be developed in the area, these systems would represent the best option for water supply, particularly in the absence of surface water resources. A review of available and more recently acquired AEM data sets indicates that most commercially available TDEM systems would effectively map the distribution of these palaeovalleys, although some may be better at defining variability associated with the sedimentary fill than others. In the absence of a greater regional AEM coverage, the results of this study indicate that a combination of the magnetics and the MrVBF product could be used to guide where to look for groundwater resources in the palaeovalley systems that dissect the region.


Technical Papers ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The G-FLOWS Project is funded through the Goyder Institute. Andrew Fitzpatrick and Andrea Viezzoli contributed to this study and their efforts are appreciated. AEM data sets were sourced from PepinNini Minerals Ltd, and Colin Skidmore and Todd Williams are acknowledged for their help in this regard. Staff of DSD and DEWNR are also thanked for their help in the conduct of the work.

THE AUTHORS Dr Tim Munday (email: is a Senior Research Geologist and Group Leader with Minerals Resources Flagship in CSIRO. His work is concerned with the role and application of airborne electromagnetics in regolith characterisation, and the links between geophysics and geochemical and hydrogeochemical exploration approaches in defining effective exploration workflows through covered terrains. He has also been working on the use of exploration geophysical data

in securing groundwater resources for a sustainable mining industry. Mat Gilfedder is a Senior Research Scientist, and Andrew R Taylor and Stan Smith are Research Project Officers, all with CSIRO Land and Water Flagship. Tania Ibrahimi is a Research Project Officer, Yusen Ley-Cooper is a Research Scientist and Kevin Cahill is a Research Project Officer, all with CSIRO Minerals Resources Flagship. Adrian Costar is a Senior Hydrogeologist with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, South Australia.


Cresswell RG, Hostetler S, Jacobson G & Fifield LK (2002): Rapid, Episodic Recharge in the Arid North of South Australia. Proceedings of International Association of Hydrogeologists Groundwater Conference “Balancing the Groundwater Budget”, May 14–17 2002, Darwin. Dodds S & Sampson L (2000): The Sustainability of Water Resources in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands, South Australia. Department for Water Resources, PIRSA RB 2000/00027, Adelaide. Gallant JC & Dowling TI (2003): A Multiresolution Index of Valley Bottom Flatness for Mapping Depositional Areas. Water Resources Research, 39, pp 1347–1359. Hou B, Frakes LA, Alley NF & Clarke JDA (2003): Characteristics and Evolution of the Tertiary Palaeovalleys in the North-west Gawler Craton, South Australia, Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50, pp 215–230.

Auken E, Christiansen AV, Jacobsen BH, Foged N & Sørensen KI (2005): Piecewise 1D Laterally Constrained Inversion of Resistivity Data: Geophysical Prospecting, 53, pp 497–506.

Tewkesbury P & Dodds AR (1997): An Appraisal of the Water Resources of the Musgrave Block, South Australia, Dept Mines and Energy Resources Geological Survey South Australia Report Book 97/22.

Brodie RC (2012): Appendix 3 in: Roach IC ed., 2012, The Frome Airborne Electromagnetic Survey, South Australia: Implications for Energy, Minerals and Regional Geology. Geoscience Australia Record 2012/40 – DMITRE Report Book 2012/00003.

Watt EL & Berens V (2011): Non-Prescribed Groundwater Resources Assessment – Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resources Management Region. Phase 1 – Literature and Data Review, DFW Technical Report 2011/18, Government of South Australia, Department for Water, Adelaide.

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Technical Papers

BIOCHAR AND HYDROCHAR AS LOW-COST SORBENTS FOR REMOVING CONTAMINANTS FROM WATER An overview of the potential use of biochar and hydrochar as effective tools for the management of water contaminants LM Macdonald, M Williams, D Oliver, R Kookana

ABSTRACT There is increasing interest in using chars derived from the bioenergy industry for a wide range of agronomic and environmental purposes. In this overview we explore the potential application of biochar and hydro-char as low-cost sorbents for the removal of a range of contaminants, including organic chemicals, nutrients, metals and organic contaminants from water. Due to their high specific surface area, microporous nature and active surface chemistry, chars have been found to be effective in removing a range of contaminants from water and soil. It has been shown that some biochars exhibit comparable sorption capacity for organic compounds and metals to commercially available activated carbons. However, high variability in sorption has been observed, resulting from differences in the properties of chars, which result from variations in biomass used and the specific production conditions. While biochar and hydrochar have the potential to serve as low-cost sorbents, there is a need for greater mechanistic understanding of which specific char properties drive sorption of different contaminant types. This knowledge could support the development of targeted use of a range of chars for effective contaminant removal in water system management.


INTRODUCTION Although activated carbon (AC) can be used in a wide range of water industry applications, including wastewater and stormwater treatment, drinking water purification and groundwater remediation, its widespread use is restricted due to high costs (Owen and Jobling, 2012). There is, however, growing interest in the potential use of non-traditional, bioenergy derived chars


Figure 1. Potential opportunities for application of bioenergy-derived chars to address types of wastewater contamination (red), where B and H superscripts denote demonstrated sorptive potential of biochar and hydrochar respectively. Wastewater treatment processes (blue) could offer targeted potential to integrate low-cost char sorbates. as an alternative low-cost sorbent to remove a range of contaminants from water (Mohan et al., 2014). Over the past decade the use of biochars as a carbon sequestration tool and soil conditioner in agriculture has received considerable research attention (Lehmann and Joseph, 2009). As knowledge of the properties and behaviours of these chars has increased, there has been a shift in focus from agronomic and soil benefits (Sohi et al., 2010), towards applications that harness their sorptive potential for mitigating the environmental mobility and exposure to various contaminants (Beesley et al., 2011). Given that ACs have proven useful in wastewater and stormwater treatment, it follows that bioenergy chars could provide lower-cost options for water treatment. The water industry has several potential avenues to partner with the bioenergy industry, with a schematic representation provided in Figure 1. The use of biosolids as a feedstock for

bioenergy production has been reviewed (Wang et al., 2008) and continues to develop (He et al., 2013). In this article we focus on the potential use of biochar and hydrochar as tools for the management of water contaminants, providing an overview of: i) bioenergyderived chars and their properties; and ii) the potential sorption properties of these chars for removal of a range of contaminants found in the water cycle.

CHARS AND THEIR PROPERTIES Activated carbon, black carbon, biochar and hydrochar all fall into the wider continuum of charcoal-like materials. They represent carbonised biomass where the heating process has resulted in a progressive decrease in the oxygen content, and increase in the carbon content, compared to the starting biomass. Char in the natural environment is typically referred to as black carbon, while bioenergy-derived chars are defined based on the production technique and intended use.


Technical Papers

Table 1. Comparisons between biochar and activated carbon for cost, physical properties and ability to remove contaminants from solution. Parameter COST SURFACE AREA (m2/g)


Activated carbon


$US 246/tonne

$US 1500/tonne

Ahmad et al. (2014)




ORGANICS REMOVAL 2,4-D (sorption)

Wood chips, Bamboo, Corn cobs, Rice straw (350-700°C)

Various AC KF=8.5-78.8 L/kg

Kearns et al. (2014)

KF=0.31-54.6 L/kg Sulfamethoxazole (sorption)

Eucalyptus (600°C) KF=81,300-1.1x 106 L/kg


Teixido et al. (2011)


Sun et al. (2011)

Wheat straw (400°C) 17a-ethinylestradiol (sorption)

KF=29.5 L/kg Poultry litter (400°C) KF=8.3 L/kg Poultry litter

Trifluralin (reduction rate)

95% removal (120 min) Biosolid

GACc 90% removal (120 min)

Oh et al. (2011)

92% removal (120 min) Oak (400°C) Humic acid

KFb=1327 L/kg


Grass (400°C)


Kasozi et al. (2010)

KF=1555 L/kg Dinitrobenzene (sorption)

Pine needle (100-700°C)


KPd=0-110 L/kg

KP=22 L/kg

Chen et al. (2008)



(removal from water) PO42(removal from water)

Hardwood (300°C) 20-40% removal Hardwood (300°C) 19-65% removal


Ghezzehei et al. (2014)


METALS Soybean straw (400°C) Cu2+ (sorption)

KLf=2.25 L/kg


Canola straw (400°C)

KL=0.24 L/kg

Tong et al. (2011)

KL=2.05 L/kg PATHOGENS Poultry litter (350-700°C) Escherichia coli (removal from solution)

7-98.4% removal Pine chips (350-700°C)

AC (various) 25- >99% removal

98.9-99.5% removal

(removal from sand column) a

Busscher et al. (2006)

Poultry litter (350-700°C) 0-67% removal Pine chips (350-700°C)


Abit et al. (2014)

57-99.5% removal

Representative values from references cited; b Freundlich coefficient; c Granular activated carbon; d Partition coefficient; e Powdered activated carbon; f Langmuir coefficient;

A wide range of biomass types (feedstocks) can be used in thermal conversion processes. High-quality ACs are typically made from hardwood, coconut shell and lignite type materials with high pore structure. For carbon sequestration purposes, woody biomass pyrolysed at a high temperature is considered to provide a biochar with high carbon stability. Biochar from the low-temperature pyrolysis of manures is considered more suited to providing some nutrient and liming value as a soil amendment. Key parameters commonly used to characterise the degree of carbonisation and the stability of chars include the ash content, fixed carbon content, H/C and O/C ratio (indicators of the proportion of aromatic carbon). Specific surface area (SSA), porosity, cation exchange capacity (CEC), pH and redox reactivity, and surface functional groups are likely to be appropriate considerations for use of chars as sorbents, while acid neutral capacity and nutrient content (N, P, K, and micronutrients) are important in the context of soil conditioners. While all chars have some general characteristics in common, the physical and chemical structures that determine their behaviour in the environment vary depending on the feedstock used and the temperature and type of thermal conversion. In general, increasing production temperature increases the aryl-C content, hydrophobicity, interlayer



Salmonella typhimurium

Abit et al. (2014);

As with AC, biochar is produced from dry pyrolysis, but the thermal conversion process is tuned towards energy production. The higher temperatures used for AC production result in a low recovery of solid char. At lower pyrolysis temperature, biochar, volatile matter (bio-oil) and gases can be produced in approximately equal proportions. Hydrochars are produced from a wet, high-pressure heating process (hydrothermal carbonisation) resulting in relatively high yields of energy-dense char (45–70%). Other bioenergy processes, representing the extreme ends of thermal conversion, are gasification (600–900oC) and dry torrefaction (200–300oC). The resulting chars are not discussed here, since gasification has a very low char yield and torrefaction represents a preprocessing phase aimed at improving energy density and handling properties before further thermal conversion for energy production.


Technical Papers spacing and surface area of chars; however, non-linear relationships are commonly reported (see Kambo and Dutta, 2015). Apart from temperature, biochars and hydrochars differ in their characteristics due to distinct chemical reactions operating in the hydrothermal carbonisation process. Kambo and Dutta (2015) summarise that biocharcarbon is arranged in graphite-like layers and is dominated by aromatic surface chemistry, while hydrochars have spherically shaped carbonaceous nanoparticles, with a predominance of alkyl-C moieties and greater functional group diversity. Biochars tend to have greater surface area, porosity and stability (lower H/C and O/C ratios) compared to hydrochars, which are friable (easily ground) and have lower ash, alkali and alkaline earth metal contents (Kambo and Dutta, 2015). Hydrochars are expected to have a lower long-term stability compared to biochars, which may have consequences for how these chars are used in the environment. The contrasting properties are likely to mean that bio- and hydro- chars have quite different functional uses. The variability in char behaviour presents some challenges, however it also provides an opportunity to develop targeted use of specific chars for specific purposes (Novak et al., 2014). In order to understand and develop the potential use of char products in water management it is important to understand how chars interact with a range of contaminants and which stage(s) of management/treatment may provide the greatest opportunity to address these specific issues.


REMOVAL OF CONTAMINANTS From the discussed literature, Table 1 provides a comparison of the ability of biochar and AC to remove contaminants from solution. Most research is of an experimental nature, using simplified systems rather than incorporating the full complexity of co-contamination in water. Nevertheless, the work helps to identify where the greatest potential may lie for the use of bioenergy type chars in water management. ORGANIC CONTAMINANTS

The sorptive capacity of black carbon for organic compounds is widely recognised and demonstrates extremely effective


sorption of hydrophobic contaminants, including PAHs, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins and polybrominated diphenylethers (Koelmans et al., 2006; Kookana, 2010). In the case of these hydrophobic organic contaminants, sorption is likely to be mediated by electron interactions between the hydrophobic biochar surfaces within the micropore structures and the hydrophobic sorbate (Cornelissen et al., 2005; Teixido et al., 2011). In a similar manner to black carbon and AC, biochars have been shown to have affinity for organic contaminants. Kearns et al. (2014) demonstrated that some biochars had a comparable sorption potential for the herbicide 2,4-D (Figure 2). In this work, the most effective biochar sorbents were produced at high temperatures (600â&#x20AC;&#x201C;700°C) and had high specific surface areas (>400 m/g). The work was carefully targeted using a model herbicide with high solubility making effective removal from water difficult, and biochars derived from locally available biomass and simple technology. The sorption potential of biochar for a range of emerging contaminants (e.g. sulfonamide antibiotics used for humans and animals) has recently been demonstrated. Sulfonamides are similar to 2,4-D, in that they are highly hydrophilic and mobile in the environment, with a low affinity for the solid phase. A high temperature (600oC) Eucalyptus biochar proved to be highly effective in the sorption of a sulfonamide, demonstrating a significantly greater sorption capacity (approximately four orders of magnitude) compared to that previously reported for this compound (Teixido et al., 2011, Table 1). Similar work, with a NaOH-activated pine chip biochar, demonstrated the extent of sorption of two sulfonamides to be comparable with a powdered AC (Jung et al., 2013). The high temperatures involved in activation contribute in part to the high cost of ACs. If low costabsorbents are to be developed from bioenergy sources, the potential to incorporate an activation process may be limited. Although many studies report a strong correlation between sorption and surface area or pore volume (often from higher temperature production), the presence of surface functional groups is also critical in binding organic compounds.

Figure 2. Sorption of 2,4-D from water against surface area (SA) of biochars and activated carbons (reproduced from Kearns et al., 2014, with permission from Elsevier). Y axis represents the 2,4D adsorption capacities of the materials on a log scale. It has been suggested that the greater diversity in functional groups contributes to a higher reported sorption capacity of a wide spectrum of polar and non-polar contaminants in hydrochar compared to biochar (Sun et al., 2011, Table 1). Despite the greater aromatic carbon content and pore volume of a biochar (400oC poultry litter), in this work, the hydrochar (250oC, poultry litter) performed better in the sorption of two EDCs (bisphenol A; 17a-ethinylestradiol). In contrast, the extent of PAH sorption by the same bio- and hydro- chars was comparable. Besides having a high sorption capacity for organic compounds, biochars can also act as catalysts promoting the reduction of organic compounds such as nitro-aromatic pesticides and explosives, resulting in rapid removal half-lives (Oh et al., 2011, Table 1). These catalytic behaviours may be restricted to organic contaminants with specific functional groups (such as nitro-aromatics), but may offer potential where water is contaminated by munition sites, dyes and pesticides. Biochars are also effective in adsorbing natural organic matter, such as humic acids (Pignatello et al., 2006; Kasozi et al., 2010). However, the relatively large size of natural organic matter may limit its migration into the fine pore structure of many biochars and limit the maximum sorption capacity (Pignatello et al., 2006). This is a critical consideration in the treatment of high DOC waters. NUTRIENTS

Commonly discussed management approaches for the capture and retention of nutrients include the integration of sedimentation ponds or buffer strips


Technical Papers into the landscape (see review by Cherry et al., 2008) as well as more novel approaches such as the use of polyacrylamide in soils to minimise agricultural runoff (Oliver and Kookana, 2006). In a similar manner, low-cost char-based sorbents could potentially be integrated into water management approaches to reduce mobility of nutrients in the environment. There has been relatively little work specifically directed at removal of nutrients from water; however, research in agricultural soils demonstrates some relevant findings relating to the interactions between chars and nutrients. In addition to any direct agronomic benefits to plant growth, greater retention of nutrients also suggests potential environmental benefits through reduced leaching to water systems. Biochar-amended soil column studies and field-scale studies have both shown that addition of char can reduce the leaching of a variety of nutrients, including nitrogen (Angst et al., 2013; Major et al. 2012; Knowles et al., 2011) and phosphorus (Bakshi et al., 2014; Schnell et al., 2012). Some research looking at a wider range of minerals has demonstrated both decreases (P, Mg, and Si) and increases (K, Mg, Zn, Ca and total N) in leachate composition from biochar-amended soils (Laird et al., 2010). The effects of biochar on nutrient leaching from soil has been shown to be transient; for example Troy et al. (2014) demonstrates an effective reduction in N leaching for 12 weeks before increasing again, which may reflect a saturation in active surfaces, chemical aging effects, or development of a masking biofilm.

Biochars can clearly act as a sink and a source of nutrients, and can modify

In one experimental study specifically geared to assess the potential to capture nutrients from dairy wastewater, biochar was demonstrated to adsorb ammonium (20-43%) and phosphate (19-65%), with the authors proposing that the nutrient-enhanced biochar could be applied to soil as a fertiliser (Ghezzehei et al., 2014, Table 1). The re-use of nutrient-loaded biochars is widely discussed (Hyland and Sarmah, 2014) but would need to consider the coexistence of other contaminants as it is likely to be difficult to target the sorption of only beneficial nutrients. While the co-sorption of inorganic or organic contaminants may be beneficial to water management, the environmental impact of off-site transport for re-use in another context would need careful evaluation and risk assessment. METALS AND METALLOIDS

In reviewing the literature Mohan et al. (2014) provide an excellent overview of the adsorption capacities of a wide range of biochars and noted their potential for use in the removal of a range of metals and metalloids (e.g. Pb2+, Cd2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Cr6+ and As3+). However, the work

commercial AC (Mohan et al., 2007). The same study demonstrated that arsenic was not effectively removed at the studied pH and that biochars with low SSA were less effective than the oak-wood biochar (SSA = 25.4 m2/g). The effective immobilisation of copper by a range of crop residue biochars has also been demonstrated over an acidic pH range, with high phosphate contents of the chars suggested to result in complexation reactions (Tong et al., 2011, Table 1). There are fewer studies available to assess the potential of hydrochars in metal sorption; however, a recent comparative study in soil concluded that biochars had greater potential for immobilisation of metals compared to hydrochar (Wagner and Kaupenjohann, 2014). Clearly a better understanding of why biochars adsorb metals would be valuable. Mohan et al. 2014 also discuss emerging work incorporating magnetic nano-particles into engineered chars, as demonstrated for arsenic (Zhang et al., 2013a). Applicable to more than just metal remediation, magnetic separation techniques allow the isolation of the contaminant-loaded sorbent but may introduce significant costs in production.



The results from both soil column and field leaching studies are generally inconsistent, reflecting a poor mechanistic understanding of how biochar may affect the complexities of nutrient reactions within different soil matrices. Chen et al. (2013) highlighted the importance of considering pH changes, demonstrating enhanced N retention under a neutral-alkali range (pH 7-8), and increased volatilisation losses in acidic systems amended with biochar. Typically biochars are alkaline in nature with changes to substrate pH playing an important role in understanding any alteration to the mobility and fate of nutrients (and metals).

nutrient mobility through changing soil pH. However, the mechanisms of how they interact to immobilise or mobilise various nutrients are still debated. In general, the electrochemical charge of charcoal-like material is expected to Figure 3. Variability of adsorption capacities of different offer relatively biochars or Cd2+ from aqueous solutions. Reproduced from Mohan et al., 2014), with permission from Elsevier. low anion exchange also highlights that sorption capacities capacity (Mukherjee et al., 2011) unless tend to vary widely with, for example, produced at low temperature (Mishra and the Cd2+ sorption capacity reported in Patel, 2009). However, other proposed the literature varying between 0.34 and mechanisms including electrostatic and 118.4 mg/g (Figure 3; Mohan et al., 2014). non-electrostatic interactions (MroenoSpecific examples demonstrate that Castilla, 2004), capillary action within cadmium adsorption across a broad the micro-porous structure (Major et pH range was 70% as effective, and al., 2009), and redox reactivity (KlĂźpfel lead adsorption as effective, when et al., 2014) may be involved. comparing an oak-wood biochar to a


Technical Papers PATHOGENS

It has been demonstrated that char interacts with microorganisms through altering the physical (pore space, gas/water flow etc.) and chemical (pH, nutrient availability etc.) microenvironment, resulting in altered community structure and function (Lehmann et al., 2011). The porous nature of the stable carbon structure provides a micro-habitat that may support a microbial community quite distinct from the wider soil or water environment. Interest in the interactions between biochar and pathogens is only recent. Work documents interactions with common pathogens that could provide benefit to the water industry. Mohanty et al. (2014) demonstrated increased efficacy (threefold) in the retention and immobilisation of Escherichia coli in stormwater systems, proposing that biochars with low volatile matter and polarity were most effective. Improved retention of E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium was reported in sand columns amended with a high temperature (700oC) biochar (Abit et al., 2014, Table 1). The proposed modes of action are still debated and may include altered bacterial attachment, decreased survival, and sensitivity to volatile organic compounds contained on fresh nutrient supply in solution. Given these reports, the incorporation of char into biofilters designed to reduce biological contamination before discharge or further water treatment warrants further attention. The sorption of organic carbon by chars needs to be considered, as this may provide a localised and readily available substrate that may have either beneficial or detrimental interactions with the wider microbial community associated with filters. A reduction in either the biological or organic load could allow for greater efficiency in water disinfection since this would help with UV, ozonation, microfiltration and chlorination.


KNOWLEDGE GAPS Numerous studies have shown that bioenergy chars can be effective sorbents for a range of contaminants; however, the literature also demonstrates inconsistent results and often a lack of mechanistic understanding of the interactions between the contaminant and char. The understanding of how organic contaminants interact with chars seems most advanced, with strong sorption demonstrated for a range of hydrophilic contaminants, and the diversity in hydrochar performance highlighted as a potential advantage.


However, the dominant mode of action associated with sorption of many other contaminants is not well understood; making it difficult to predict the outcome of char-based management options on overall water quality in the complex realworld situation. Therefore, there are a number of development areas that need to be fully explored in order to assess the feasibility of using such materials as costeffective sorbents, including: Availability of bioenergy chars: The availability of biomass can be a major constraint in producing cost-effective chars, and may differ on the basis of local industry distributions. Without dedicated bioenergy crops, the use of waste biomasses (e.g. green waste, sewage sludge, coconut coir) as feedstocks may offer potential if a clean and ongoing source is available. At present, a number of uncertainties, and locally specific logistical challenges, exist in the development of a bioenergy industry and, therefore, in the reliable supply of char. Optimisation of chars for sorption: The thermal conversion conditions required for production of effective char sorbents are likely to differ from those more suited to organic use. Pyrolysis temperatures above 500°C appear to be suited to increasing carbon stability and high surface area to maximise sorption potential. Hydrochars, produced at lower temperatures from wet feedstock types, may offer greater diversity in surface functional groups suited to sorption of a wide range of organic contaminants. Pre-treatments or modifications: There are various treatments (acid/alkali, steam) and engineering (magnetisation, nanoparticle incorporation) options that may enhance sorption capacity. Activated and engineered chars are likely to offer superior sorptive capacity but may challenge cost-effective production. The application context: Most research to date has examined only the equilibrium aspects of contaminant sorption of biochars and similar materials. Experimental systems tend to test the sorption of high concentrations of target compounds under static (batch) conditions. There is a critical requirement for research to incorporate more realistic aspects of the water system. An effective char would ideally demonstrate rapid kinetics of sorption from a flowing solution, which may well contain multiple contaminants. Pilot-scale testing within

bio-filters, sedimentation or coagulation ponds is currently lacking. Life-cycle assessment: Full environmental and economic assessment of char-based approaches to water management is required. The ultimate fate of contaminant-loaded biochar has been given relatively little attention to date. While nutrient-laden biochars could perhaps be gainfully used in soil, the same may not be true for contaminant-laden biochars. The fate of contaminants on biochar, especially their release behaviour or degradation, must be considered.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank Joanne Vanderzalm and Saeed Torkzaban for useful comments on this paper.

THE AUTHORS Lynne Macdonald (email: lynne.macdonald@csiro. au) is a Research Scientist in CSIRO’s Agriculture Flagship. She recently led Australia’s second National Biochar Initiative funded under the Australian Government’s Biochar Capability Building Program. Mike Williams is an Environmental Chemist in the Environmental Contaminants Mitigation and Technologies research program of CSIRO’s Land and Water Flagship. He has experience in assessing the fate of organic contaminants (especially pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting chemicals) in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems Danni Oliver is currently the Research Manager at the Goyder Institute for Water Research. She is an Environmental Chemist with approximately 20 years of experience on the fate and behaviour of metal and organic contaminants. Dr Rai Kookana is a Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader in the Environmental Contaminants Mitigation and Technologies research program of CSIRO’s Land and Water Flagship. He is an environmental chemist with some 25 years of experience on the fate and behaviour of organic contaminants in the environment.


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Selected Endocrine Disrupting Compounds And Pharmaceuticals On Activated Biochars. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 263, pp 702–710.


water Business

WATER BUSINESS MONADELPHOUS WATER INFRASTRUCTURE EXPANDS IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND Leading Australian engineering company Monadelphous has expanded its water infrastructure capability with the acquisition of Water Infrastructure Group. Monadelphous General Manager – Infrastructure, David Mutch, said that the acquisition was an important part of the growth strategy for Monadelphous. “We see this as an exciting opportunity to extend our water services to more customers with our expanded presence throughout Australia and New Zealand. The services include specialist expertise and products for the growing water and wastewater sectors. Our existing customers will also benefit from WI Group’s award-winning water design solutions and technology,” David said. Monadelphous Senior Manager Growth and Strategy, Peter Everist, said that moving forward existing municipal, utility and private sector customers will benefit from Monadelphous’s industry-leading project management and construction services for large-scale infrastructure projects. “Monadelphous has an enviable track record for safety, sustainability and research and development in delivering complex infrastructure projects. This is a win-win from every perspective and I’m very excited about the opportunities we have to deliver outstanding water infrastructure solutions for our clients, the community and the environment.” For more information please visit

A WI Group facility in Maleny, Queensland.

water APRIL 2015


minimise floor sedimentation and biological build-up on internal surface.

After 20 years of providing water circulation solutions for large water reservoirs, WEARS recognised that current disinfection methods fail to effectively provide consistency in water quality and set about developing a new purpose-designed service reservoir system. The Resmix Vital™ is a revolutionary water quality maintenance and monitoring system designed to achieve standard levels of disinfection throughout municipal water storage reservoirs.

David Swan, from Swan Environmental Project Management, evaluated the initial system testing results from the UK and said in comparing the water that was mixed, and comparing the chlorine residuals in the mixed tank compared to the unmixed tank at the same time, there was an increase in chlorine residual of between 10% and 45%.

Following extensive testing in the UK the product has now been launched and installed in reservoirs in the UK, Middle East, the US and Australia. The Resmix Vital™ floats on the water’s surface, using a proprietary impeller system to move 75 litres per second downwards with minimal energy usage. The automated chlorination system continuously monitors water quality and adds a calculated amount of disinfectant. This system eliminates water stratification, temperature variation and dead zones inside the reservoir, allowing the disinfectant to reach the entire volume of stored water, and provides the user telemetric data collection allowing for accurate and compliant reporting. WEARS’ Managing Director, Stephen Elliot, said water is essential for our community and it’s what has driven WEARS to research and create the Resmix Vital™.

“This is particularly relevant where the clear water pumps at the WTP pumps directly into the reticulation; those living on these rising mains sometimes suffer from high chlorine levels. If the desired chlorine level is, say, 0.5PPM at the service reservoirs, and this level can be achieved by mixing and dosing at the service reservoir, then the dosing level at the WTP can be reduced from, say, 0.7PPM also to 0.5PPM for example, a further reduction in chlorination costs and a safer water supply will result,” he said. Service reservoirs are the last point for monitoring, dosing and mixing disinfectant levels before the water goes to tap. If proposed revisions to have a uniform disinfectant level at tap are legislated as part of the Australia Drinking Water Management Plan, then the service reservoir is where this needs to take place. The system allows chlorine consumption to be reduced but

“The Resmix Vital™ is recognised as a cutting edge, best-practice solution for service reservoirs, Stephen said. “We set out to deliver the first ‘off-the-shelf’ system that can be installed and operational within hours, is energy efficient, low maintenance and with a 20-year plus operational lifespan.” Initial product testing carried out in the UK by e3k was to conduct a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of the system. A number of simulations were created and testing concluded that the Resmix Vital™ can reduce the impact of chlorine residual reductions by as much as 45%, eliminate stratification and reduce surface temperature, remove dead zones in the reservoir and

Reservoir mixing for South West Water (UK)* * The Total Viable Count (TVC) gives a quantitative idea about the presence of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and mould in a sample. The TVC counts for the mixed tank shows a significant reduction in the presence of microorganisms compared with the unmixed tank, which indicates that the residual chlorine is able to be used more effectively as a result of the mixing – Tank 1 with the Resmix Vital™ installed and Tank 2 without; these tanks are interconnected with the same treated inflow and connected on the outflow. Tank 2 was treated as the control and was not mixed.


water Business chlorine residual to be maintained, providing water for the community that meets the requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines at a much lower cost. The Resmix Vital™ utilises WEARS’ highly efficient Source Water Management System that has been used in large-scale projects and other ResMix water management systems. “Minimising power usage and maximising flow output were the primary design considerations to ensure the most costeffective pumping solution for this size of reservoir,” said Mr Elliot. “Rather than circulate water from the reservoir bottom to its surface, the Resmix Vital™ uses world-leading source water management technology to circulate water downwards. As the system floats on the surface, water is drawn in through the unit, and then pumped down so the whole reservoir is circulated from one location.” Using less than 0.5kW/hr, the total unit including the chlorination system costs around $3.50 per day to run. Resmix Vital™ can efficiently address common issues that are related to water as it is stored in municipal service reservoirs including:

• Dead zones in the reservoir and issues associated with aged water; • Disinfection decay rate and the need for post-treatment dosing; • Inconsistencies in dosing, mixing and dispersion of disinfectant within the reservoir; • Floor sedimentation and biological buildup on internal surfaces and structures within the reservoir; and • Stratification and reduction of surface temperatures resulting in evaporation and roof structure corrosion. The Resmix Vital™ system was engineered as an off-the-shelf, compact and easy to install solution and is delivered in a compact folded-down configuration in order to easily fit through the inspection hatch found on the roofs of most of these structures. Once inside the tank, the self-supporting unit can be quickly extended into its operational configuration and floated to its chosen position, secured, and connected to the power supply and control equipment. The Resmix Vital™ system is fully functioned and can be SCADA connected

Installation of Resmix Vital™ in Cowra. so it can easily be monitored and evaluated from a desktop or from a local control box located at the reservoir site. The unit can be automated and coupled to a proprietary dosing system, which maximises the distribution of any dosed chemicals. This has significant benefits for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of this form of chemical dosing whenever required. For information please contact WEARS on +61 7 5423 2770.

Visit us at OZWATER stand F03

TOGETHER WE DELIVER. Monadelphous Water Infrastructure – delivering multidisciplinary engineering services to Australian and New Zealand markets. PERTH | ADELAIDE | SYDNEY | BRISBANE AUCKLAND | CHRISTCHURCH

APRIL 2015 water


Water Business A NEW INSIGHT INTO WATER TREATMENT In critical water analysis and waterquality monitoring environments, the ability to rapidly detect, identify and quantify nuisance algae or problem particulate matter in real-time is essential in providing high levels of customer satisfaction. A rare influx of nutrients into Standley Lake, Westminster, Colorado, triggered a surprise algae bloom that quickly affected the taste and odour of the city’s drinking water. Thriving on nutrient-rich water, the Stephanodiscus algae population soared then quickly plummeted. However, the metabolites generated from the algae’s demise sped through the treatment process before testing procedures could detect their presence. Several nearby cities using the same water supply also experienced similar conditions that affected their drinking water quality. City staff had been detecting and identifying nuisance algae by counting cells and using an inverted microscope to examine 1-mL settled-water samples. The manual process required as much as several days for a sample to settle before analysis could be performed, and generated data weren’t available for months. The traditional microscopes and slides method is time consuming, has the potential for missing target algal cells and an inability to efficiently test large samples for minute populations. The delay hindered the city’s efforts to find and treat algae before it could bloom and threaten water quality. In Massachusetts, at Wachusett Reservoir, an algal bloom caused a barrage of angry complaints to the Water Resources Authority. Their monitoring process was tedious, time-consuming, labour–intensive and depended heavily on the skill and experience of the person doing the test. Other challenges were that the bloom could occur between the sample rounds and the

fact that not all algae inhabiting the reservoir posed a threat that warrants treatment. The bloom was treated successfully with copper sulfate; however, customers’ confidence in their drinking water had been shaken. With industry-leading image quality combined with automated statistical pattern recognition software, the FlowCam imaging particle analysis system is an important tool for detecting, identifying, and quantifying algae or problem particulate matter in water treatment process. FlowCAM greatly reduces the time it would take to perform the same analyses using manual microscopy, while yielding higher statistical significance to the data due to higher throughput. Measurements can take place more frequently, with less manual hours, ensuring closer monitoring with cost savings. FlowCAM measures and stores over 40 unique parameters for every particle imaged, giving it the ability to automatically differentiate and enumerate many different algal types using powerful image recognition techniques. And since every particle image is stored, the quantified FlowCAM results are easily verified qualitatively by interactively viewing the images. In Pueblo, at Colo Reservoir, there was an imminent threat of invasive mussels, which multiply so rapidly they can destroy lake ecology, compromise water treatment infrastructure, and contribute to nuisance growth. Ideally, mussels should be detected at the larval veliger stage before they can become entrenched. FlowCAM is equally effective for detecting, counting and identifying zooplankton, invasive mussel veligers and various particulates in a single water sample processed at the same time. FlowCAM offers cross-polarising filters that reveal particles and microorganisms that exhibit birefringence such as sugars, starches, fibres and mussel veligers.

In addition, FlowCAM can be used by water and wastewater professionals who deal with other water quality issues on a daily basis. For example, when the hatch of a water storage tank at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) blew off, protocols were triggered that included draining and refilling the tank and then performing a series of tests including coliform, colour, odour and turbidity before the tank could be returned to service. As test samples were run through the FlowCAM, very small, geometrically shaped particles were found that were suspected to be concrete sediments suspended in the new batch of water. This information led to the discovery that the tank had been improperly filled from a neighbouring water tank rather than from the distribution system. FlowCAM will be featured by Kenelec Scientific at Stand Z11 at Ozwater. For more information please contact 1300 73 22 33 or visit

COLORADO WWTP REDUCES ANNUAL OPERATING EXPENSES BY ALMOST $300,000 In 2003, Littleton/Englewood was managing all of its plant data with a manual process. Technicians at five different locations would fill data into paper reports that were compiled into a larger reporting spreadsheet. Those larger sheets were then compiled by analysts and entered into a database through custom-developed Excel sheets. The process resulted in inconsistent and inaccurate data that couldn’t be graphed for analysis over time. Automated data collection was limited to lab‐generated data, and did not include operations or field data such as flow indications or pump status. As a result, during the ’90s, LEWWTP averaged two permit violations per year. The manual system didn’t help troubleshoot the causes of the violations or provide information to help prevent them.

Samples from the Danube River.

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A collaborative team consisting of the database analyst, process specialist, IT Department, technology consultant, and SCADA, LIMS and business service

administrators selected Hach WIMSTM to manage the data flow. Information is transferred from the SCADA system, portable solutions in the field, and LIMS, and is stored in a central database designed specifically for water and wastewater facilities. The simple-to-use dashboard allows a single user to quickly access information whenever it is needed. LEWWTP purchased WIMS because it provides a single location for all their data and consistency across the operation. Fast, automated data capture eliminated data inaccuracies and alleviated the critical time drain of the manual process.

151 Sulzer – water Business Pumping Excellence for Water Applications

Using WIMS, Littleton/Englewood can quickly check the accuracy of their data by pulling up correlation information to compare data relationships. This allows the user to determine the impact of one process over another. The incoming data check can also help recognise data points that are outside of the specified limits. During a plant expansion project it was discovered that erroneous flow data was inflating the flow rate. Hach WIMS data helped identify the problem and save significantly on construction cost. The entire process took only 30 minutes compared to two to three days using the old process. WIMS quickly reduced data entry time among several employees by 32 hours a week, allowing LEWWTP to refocus those employees on more strategic initiatives. A plant expansion to increase flow capacity and denitrification generated 10 times more data. WIMS’ automated data entry made it possible to gather and analyse the additional data without increasing resources. In a power optimisation project, LEWWTP found tweaking the pumps on the nitrifying trickle filters and turning one pump off reduced the plant area electrical pull from 10,500 kW h (kilowatt hour) to 8500 kW h in that section of the plant, saving approximately 2,000 kW h per day – a saving of $52,000 per annum – while maintaining the same level of treatment. Littleton/Englewood now includes a denitrification process in its plant that uses methanol. The plant had been using 900 gallons of methanol a day. By montoring the results with WIMS, they found the plant could operate on only 500 gallons a day with the same output results, providing $176,000 in annual savings. For a large wastewater treatment plant like LEWWTP, dischargemonitoring reports (DMRs) are vital. With WIMS, the task of generating the reports was reduced from two to three days to about 30 minutes. Operators can spend just a few minutes looking over the numbers, and if any concerns arise, they can immediately dive into the WIMS audit trail. Hach WIMS provided LEWWTP with the ability to greatly improve operations while saving time, energy and money: • Zero permit violations; • ~240 hours freed from data capture and reporting activities; • Energy savings: $122,000/year; • Methanol savings: $176,000/year; • Data entry savings: At least 32 hours/week; • Tighter construction specifications saves ”over‐building” costs; • Refocused time spend from data entry to strategic analysis to improve operations and costs.

Visit us at booth #K34 at Ozwater ‘15. As a world leading manufacturer of high efficiency water transport and booster pumps, Sulzer is meeting the demands of the water and wastewater Industries’ most critical pumping applications. Our pumps are designed and optimized to provide high-efficiency operation over an extended period of time. Our state-of-the-art solutions include: • SMD, the latest generation of axially split double suction pump designed for raw and clean water applications. • MBN-RO, a ring section, multistage pump specifically designed for high pressure, high efficiency application in SWRO Plants with train capacities up to 20,000 m3/day. • MSD-RO, a multistage, axially split casing, single suction pump developed for high pressure pumping applications on SWRO Plants with train capacity from 20,000 m3/day onwards. • AHLSTAR A range type A long and close coupled end suction single stage centrifugal pumps are used for demanding industrial applications to ensure process reliability, high efficiency and low operating costs. • The XFP series of submersible pumps, with IE3 Premium Efficiency motors from 1.8 to 400 kW and excellent resistance to blockage with the Contrablock impeller design, is the ideal solution for both Municipal and Industrial wastewater applications. Sulzer Pumps (ANZ) Pty Ltd Phone +61 (0)3 8581 3750

APRIL 2015 water

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Water Business OSMOFLO TECHNOLOGY HELPS RELIEVE DESALINATION REJECT WATER DISPOSAL PROBLEMS The effective and safe disposal of salt-laden reject water from desalination plants is a key issue for plant owners and operators, particularly in the face of increasingly stringent, penalty-backed environmental regulations in Australia and overseas relating to disposal. Lined evaporation ponds followed by the removal of residues to secure landfills are the traditional method; however, such ponds are expensive to build, maintain and operate and can be adversely affected by severe climatic conditions such as seasonal tropical rains. So the advent of technology that can reduce the volume of waste concentrate from the reverse osmosis process is a highly significant step.

NUFLOW COMPLETES FIRST PIPE REHABILITATION PROJECT IN INDIA Nuflow Technologies in Australia has completed the first application of its Redline technology in India with new Licensee ITC Hotels. The pipe rehabilitation technology is utilised to line and protect pressure pipes from corroding and developing pinhole leaks. Once the problem has been identified, pipes are blasted with a garnet to prepare them for the rehabilitation process. From existing access points, shots of Redline are moved through the entire pipe system, utilising high-pressure air. The end result is a Redline barrier preventing leaks and pipe corrosion.

The only alternative to Redline was to remove the existing pipes and replace them, which would have caused significant damage to walls and floor coverings. In addition, rooms could not be occupied during a re-pipe, a significant revenue loss to the hotel. The first application of Redline in India was nearly 1.5km epoxy installed in the 40mm down to 15mm galvanised hot and cold potable water lines, creating a thin barrier between the pipe and the water flowing through it.

Australian-headquartered desalination company, Osmoflo, has come up with a process that can do just that and has completed several successful trials on desalination concentrate. The company’s patented Brine Squeezer technology concentrates the reject water from a reverse osmosis water treatment plant using special membranes that can operate at a recovery level of 95% or more, significantly reducing the volume of brine that needs to be disposed of.

The first job completed by ITC Hotels, one of the largest hotel chains in India with over 90 hotels, was the ITC Mughal, Agra. Hebbagilu Vinayaka, General Manager – Technical & EHS of ITC Hotels, said corroded water supply pipes have been a problem.
The ITC Mughal, a 233-room luxury hotel built in the 1980s near the Taj Mahal, experienced a lot of corrosion in the galvanised water supply pipes causing discoloration to the water.

For more information please visit www.

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Iplex Pipelines Aust Pty Ltd


Utilising a high-pressure circuit, the Brine Squeezer operates at or above the scaling threshold of sparingly soluble salts and concentrates the feedwater up to a level of 100,000 Total Dissolves Salts (TDS) mg/L.

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Osmoflo began developing this technology in response to special needs of the Queensland coal seam gas industry, which displaces vast quantities of water during the production process.

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Mono Pumps

A unique stand-alone system, the Brine Squeezer can be easily retrofitted to almost any existing RO system, has a small footprint and is energy efficient.


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eWater 43 Evoqua Water Technologies

“This is a very innovative system and it might be the best technology that we have developed since the company was formed 24 year ago,” commented Managing Director Marc Fabig.

Franklin Electric

Osmoflo has pilot plants readily available and is seeking both strategic partners and pilot locations throughout Australia and global markets.

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SPEL Environmental SUEZ environnement


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Water Journal April 2015  
Water Journal April 2015  

This issue is jam-packed with technical papers, features and news articles on a wide range of topical issues including Innovation In Water,...