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Volume 38 No 5 AUGUST 2011 RRP $16.95 inc. GST




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Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Volume 38 No 5 August 2011

contents REGULAR FEATURES From the AWA President Land of Doubts and Flooding Rains

Lucia Cade


Tom Mollenkopf


WaterAUSTRALIA Update Unlocking the Potential of the Industry Les Targ


From the AWA Chief Executive

Qui Cherche, Trouve

My Point of View Five Reasons for Catchment Management Letter to the Editor

The Cape Reinga Upgrade in New Zealand has won an environmental excellence award. See page 22.

Learning to Live with Nature

Robert Considine 10 Steve Posselt 12



Industry News


AWA News


Alliances in the Water Sector Alliance contracting has had a major impact in the water industry, with many successful projects. However, new policy regulation by state treasuries will present not insignificant challenges. David Hand


Alliancing Association of Australasia: Focusing on Productivity and People Improved relationship skills gained in early alliance projects inspired water and other industry practitioners to form a centre of excellence: the Alliancing Association of Australasia. Frances Walker


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

DISCLAIMER Australian Water Association assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of fact expressed by contributors or advertisers.

COPYRIGHT AWA Water Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission of the AWA. To seek permission to reproduce Water Journal materials, send your request to

WATER JOURNAL MISSION STATEMENT ‘To provide a journal that interests and informs on water matters, Australian and international, covering technological, environmental, economic and social aspects, and to provide a repository of useful refereed papers.’ PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: March, April, May, July, August, September, November and December.

EDITORIAL BOARD Chair: Frank R Bishop; Dr Bruce Anderson, AECOM; Dr Terry Anderson, Consultant SEWL; Michael Chapman, GHD; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rtd); Anthony Gibson, Ecowise; Dr Brian Labza, Vic Health; Dr Robbert van Oorschot, GHD; John Poon, CH2M Hill; David Power, BECA Consultants; Professor Felicity Roddick, RMIT University; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO; and E A (Bob) Swinton, Technical Editor.

EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Water Journal welcomes editorial submissions for technical and topical articles, news, opinion pieces, business information and letters to the editor. Acceptance of editorial submissions is at the discretion of the editor and editorial board. • Technical Papers and Technical Features Bob Swinton, Technical Editor, Water Journal – AND

Photo: Water CorPoration


Perth Desalination Plant has a 25-year O&M alliance between WA Water Corporation and Degrémont. See page 50.

Papers 3,000–4,000 words and graphics; or topical articles of up to 2,000 words relating to all areas of the water cycle and water business. Submissions are tabled at monthly editorial board meetings and where appropriate are assigned referees. Referee comments will be forwarded to the principal author for further action. Authors should be mindful that Water Journal is published in a three-column ‘magazine’ format rather than the fullpage format of Word documents. Graphics should be set up so that they will still be clearly legible when reduced to two-column size (about 12cm wide). Tables and figures should be numbered with the appropriate reference in the text (eg, see Figure 1), not just placed in the text with a position reference (eg, see below), as they may end up anywhere on the page when typeset. • General Feature Articles, Industry News, Opinion Pieces and Media Releases Anne Lawton, Managing Editor, Water Journal – • Water Business and Product News Lynne Bartlett, National Relationship Manager, AWA –

UPCOMING TOPICS SePTeMBeR – Wastewater Treatment; On-Site & Small Systems; International Developments. NOVeMBeR – Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions; Demand Management; Odour Management; IDA World Congress. DeceMBeR – Desalination – IDA Conference Report; Water Treatment; Water Reclamation.

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 the AWA. Contact Lynne Bartlett, National Relationship Manager, AWA – Tel: +61 2 9467 8408 or 0428 261 496.

PUBLISHED BY Australian Water Association (AWA) Publications, 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:

OUR COVER Stage 3 of the Hinze Dam Alliance, an alliance comprising Seqwater, Sinclair Knight Merz, Thiess Pty Ltd and URS. See our feature on alliance contracting in the Australian water sector on page 50. Photograph courtesy of the Hinze Dam Alliance.


AUGUST 2011 1


Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367


The Pimpana Wastewater and Recycled Water Treatment Plant on Queensland’s Gold Coast. See page 86.


Volume 38 No 5 August 2011

Design of a cascade Dropshaft for Rosedale, New Zealand – submerged steps at design flow of 6m3. See page 80.


GOVERNANCE Ensuring Water Quality and Security in Regional Towns

Presented presented at

A review of institutional reform requirements

K Miles et al.


G Landers & P Chapman


A Davison


J Button


R Wilson et al.


L Toombes & S Coleman


M Wilson


P Gehrke et al.


Recycled Water: Managing the Risks in Sydney Water Development of a consistent framework across a wide variety of uses Enterprise Risk Management Risk appetite and risk tolerance: how robust are yours? Water Recycling Schemes An overview of the legal requirements in Victoria, NSW, SA, Queensland and WA HYDRAULICS Water Hammer Modelling For Desalinated Water Delivery

Presented presented at

Up to 550ML/d to be injected into existing reticulated mains warranted hydraulic investigations Design of a cascade Dropshaft for Rosedale, NZ

Presented at presented

Energy dissipation and de-aeration accomplished by a cascade of pre-cast concrete modules WATER TREATMENT The Cause of Low UV Transmissivity After Media Filtration

Presented at presented

A systematic desktop- and site-based investigation at Pimpana RWTP RIVER HEALTH Carp Control Improves the Health of Aquatic Ecosystems

Presented at presented

Increase in native fish biomass three times greater than biomass of carp removed WATER BUSINESS New Products and Business Information Advertisers’ Index



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from the president

A Land of Doubts and Flooding Rains Lucia Cade – AWA President Over the last six months we have seen an unprecedented level of review and reporting of many aspects of the water sector: urban, regional and rural. This scrutiny reflects the importance policy makers and governments place on good water management for our economic, social and environmental success. It also reflects the community discomfort with the massive spend in water supply solutions and the doubts about the solutions selected after the natural supply increased, in eastern Australia at least, with the flooding rains that started, seemingly, just as soon as practical completion was reached on many of the investments. So there is a strong sense that while good progress has been made in some aspects, we are not there yet. In April the Productivity Commission released the draft report from its Inquiry into Australia’s Urban Water Sector, examining the case for further reform of the sector to achieve better resource allocation and service efficiency. The Australian Water Association (AWA) participated in round-table discussions, and in June submitted a comprehensive response to the recommendations proposed in the draft report. Also in April, the National Water Commission released its report, Urban Water in Australia – Future Directions. This report examines the institutional and policy settings in the urban water sector in the context of the water shortage crisis faced in eastern Australia and the range of rapidly implemented, now questioned, solutions. It further questions what reshaping is required to improve current and future performance, and comes to some well-balanced conclusions and recommendations. AWA’s position, in reviewing and responding to all these inquiries and participating in discussions as draft reports and recommendations are developed, is that there is indeed more work to be done. While we are strongly supportive of future reform, we also believe it must be firmly aimed at achieving well-defined objectives that also consider environmental and public health science, as well as consumer preferences, choices and willingness to pay. In general, we are advocating for: • Efficient resource allocation and full cost recovery – and, if the latter needs to be balanced for affordability, that any subsidies are transparent and explicit; • The removal of policy impediments to supply augmentation planning options;

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• An agreed target level of water supply security to inform long-term planning that reflects the variability of natural resource availability; • Regulations that are evaluated on a cost-benefit basis and in the context of a broad range of options for achieving the desired outcome; • Independent and best practice governance arrangements that provide a good commercial oversight to utility operations and promote responsibility for achieving agreed objectives. There is also a change in the societal role of the modern water utility. It is increasingly drawn into integrated water management in a regional and urban planning context. AWA provided input earlier this year to the Federal Government’s discussion paper, Our Cities – Building a Productive, Sustainable and Liveable Future. We promoted the role of integrated water management in creating liveable and sustainable cities. From a rural perspective, The House of Representatives Standing Committee of Regional Australia held an “Inquiry into the impact of the Guide of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan”, ably led by Tony Windsor MP. This precedes the re-release of the Basin Plan by the MDBA, which is due to be released in the next few months. We look forward to an outcome that reflects all the best elements of total water cycle management, good overall objectives and a framework that allows local best-practice solutions to identify the options to improve environmental flows, irrigation efficiency and support the longevity and prosperity of regional communities. If you go the News and Advocacy section of our website you will find copies of all our submissions. On a different note, at the June board meeting we approved the coming financial year’s budget and business plan. It will be another busy 12 months full of events, seminars, conferences, master classes, networking, knowledge sharing and awards. Have a look at the Programs and Networks and Training and Development sections of the website for an impressive overview of what is planned – and start thinking about how you can participate. I hope you enjoy the features, news and technical articles in this issue of Water Journal and finish reading it better informed and better connected.

regular features

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from the chief executive

Qui Cherche, Trouve Tom Mollenkopf, AWA Chief Executive Recently I attended my daughter’s graduation ceremony. It was a wonderful celebration of youth; of transitioning from learning to doing; of hope and enthusiasm; of challenging thinking and a new generation of aspirations and ideas. Since it was a workday, I should also add that I was quick to see the relevance to AWA! There was much that resonated with me. First, I still marvel at the enthusiasm and talent of new graduates coming into the water sector. AWA has for many years been a strong supporter of young water professionals and, at a time when there remain so many challenges in water, but potentially declining public and political visibility, we must remain committed to attracting and supporting the best and the brightest into our sector. Second, I see graduation ceremonies as a critical step in acknowledging and encouraging learning and achievement. Our own AWA National Awards program does precisely this. We are often so consumed with the work of the day that we forget to stop and congratulate the outstanding efforts of individuals and organisations in Australia’s water sector. At Ozwater this year we were proud to take a moment to acknowledge some truly outstanding achievements – students, experienced practitioners, innovations and more. I hope that the Awards will continue to receive the sector’s support and, most importantly, many nominations for next year. Third, the graduation ceremony also reinforced my confidence in an important strategy that we are pursuing at AWA – that of expanding our training and professional development offering. For the past two years, I have chaired the Water Industry Skills Taskforce.

6 AUGUST 2011 water

This has been an important forum for identifying the industry’s key skills and training needs, and for helping to shape responses. It has helped to drive some of our initiatives such as the H2Oz Careers in Water campaign and industry mentoring, and is now focused on the critical area of operator training and accreditation. AWA sees that it has a central role in assisting industry to access reliable, high quality and relevant training, and our recently recruited National Manager, Water Sector Training, Petra Kelly, is currently pursuing some exciting proposals that will help to fill this space. We will also be seeking to enhance our professional development offering, as well as partnering with other organisations to give the sector access to a comprehensive range of educational, training and development opportunities. Finally, the motto of La Trobe University (from which my daughter graduated) is Qui Cherche Trouve. I was surprised that my elementary secondary school French should have stayed with me and I was able to translate this to “Who seeks shall find”. It seemed to me that this was particularly relevant for the students and researchers among us. It also reminded me, however, of the Monash University (my own Alma Mater) motto, Ancora Impara. I didn’t study Latin, but I recall that this translates as “I am still learning”. These two mottos seem to me to round out our role nicely; if AWA can enable water professional to continue to inquire and to learn, I believe we will be serving our members well.

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wateraustralia update

Unlocking the Potential of the Water Industry Les Targ – CEO, waterAUSTRALIA Shortly after being appointed CEO of waterAUSTRALIA and starting to develop the waterAUSTRALIA Strategic Plan, I searched high and low for vital statistics related to the water industry. I wanted to know how many companies the industry constituted, how many people it employed, what its annual turnover was and what capabilities the industry had. After all, without this information it is difficult, if not impossible, to understand and promote the industry. I asked around and conducted searches, but could not lay my hands on the information I needed. A couple of industry leaders even went as far as to tell me that there really was no clearly identifiable entity called “the water industry”. The Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) encountered the same problem when establishing its Water Supplier Advocate Program under Mr Bob Herbert AM. DIISR then went on to fund a survey, which waterAUSTRALIA has been heavily involved in. At the time of publication we will have finalised the resulting report, which will be officially released soon. I don’t want to go into the report’s findings here, but the survey held one additional benefit for the companies that responded – their capability information was stored on the Gateway system operated by Industry Capability Network (ICN). This is a webaccessible database of capabilities listed by company and is specially designed to accommodate online enquiries from potential customers and collaborators. The survey attracted a healthy response rate and provided a great deal of information about the industry – which is, as one might imagine, a significant one. We now have much better capability information around which to develop the waterAUSTRALIA brand, and also have a better understanding of the priorities being pursued by, and the challenges facing, the industry as a whole. This helps us to develop the most relevant programs and initiatives.

Pushing New Technology The survey will confirm what is already well known – the industry includes a large number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – many of them micro. There are some promising technologies held by these SMEs, but they face substantial challenges to achieve sales. At last month’s Clean Technology Conference and Expo 2011 held in Boston, an expert panel reportedly observed that, while new technologies continue to be developed for water treatment and purification, they all struggle to achieve market success. The major issue relates to the conservative approach of potential customers – especially the utilities, which, quite understandably, don’t wish to take risks with public safety and

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security of water supply. However, this conservatism means that it is extremely problematic for new technology to establish itself through a reference site – which, in turn, makes sales nearly impossible. In this environment, it is also difficult to attract venture capital. Some new technologies do succeed, albeit more slowly than its investors originally counted on. Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO), for example, had to start somewhere. That Australia’s urban utilities have embraced the technology so extensively simply reflects the fact that it was already proven elsewhere.

Crisis as a Catalyst Some other governments and overseas utilities have at times taken on infant technology before it could be regarded by Australian standards as proven. Crisis, whether environmental or financial, may well have been a catalyst in some situations where new technologies have been adopted; it tends to skew the cost/risk/benefit equation. I have seen estimates of the amount of money Australia collectively spends on research and development within the water sector. The numbers are significant, and befitting of a dynamic and innovative industry. However, among many of the SMEs I have spoken to, it appears to be a matter of ‘technology push’ rather than ‘market pull’. There are also examples of good ideas at the component level, but which are incompatible within the context of the systems and procedures ingrained into the DNA of their potential customers. I am sure this is not unique to Australia and occurs all around the world. However, “Build it and they will come” does not apply to water technologies, it seems. Venture capitalists I spoke with in San Jose earlier this year made this very point in explaining why they do not invest heavily in water technologies. Australia would do well to continue to encourage innovation and new technologies, especially those that reduce energy needs and costs and help us use water more efficiently. However, there is a need to bridge the divide between some of the industry’s R&D effort and the procurement plans and requirements of the intended customers. Can we do more in Australia to encourage the adoption of new technology without compromising public safety? I see this as being one of the keys to unlocking the latent potential of the SME sector of our water industry. There are some projects and initiatives in place seeking to do just this. The challenge forms the basis of a major body of work that waterAUSTRALIA and the Water Supplier Advocate are engaged in. I will report on progress from time to time – but no-one should expect overnight results.

regular features

my point of view

Five Reasons for Catchment Management Robert Considine, Manager, Strategy and Improvement, Network and Drinking Water Quality at Melbourne Water Rob has worked in catchment management since he joined the water industry after completing his PhD in 2001, and is passionate about protecting Melbourne’s open catchments from inappropriate development. I understand that the Australian water sector is facing a significant squeeze over the coming decades, with serious climatic uncertainty and pressures on water prices. There is a risk that as we aim to do more with less, we may lose sight of the forest for the trees. Land use activities and development on land within open, potable water supply catchments has the potential to contaminate drinking water supplies. Catchment management is the active involvement in policy-making, planning, management and use of public and private land to protect and improve the quality and quantity of water in waterways and water bodies. I believe that catchment management is not only an obligation, but an opportunity for innovation for intelligent water corporations over the coming decades.

Risk Assessment In most states water suppliers are required by legislation, and are certainly under a legal duty, to understand and manage risks to the quality of the water they supply. Influencing legal, policy, strategy and land management settings in water supply catchments enables water suppliers to understand the risks to drinking water quality that exist in water catchment areas. In most states, catchment management stakeholders, such as catchment management authorities (CMAs) and Landcare Groups, must measure the benefit of land management projects on the environment – and in doing so they capture valuable information about the ‘state of the environment’. In addition, the on-ground knowledge of CMAs, Landcare co-ordinators and extension officers can highlight existing problem areas, with the potential to lessen the reliance on extensive water quality monitoring programs. By tapping into existing knowledge, the water utility can avoid having to go and get the knowledge itself.

Understanding catchment management arrangements allows you to demonstrate the extent of source water protection in your catchments and to demonstrate that you have understood reasonably foreseeable risks and (together with stakeholders) implemented a reasonable response to the risks.

Innovation = Capital Savings Managing catchments provides water corporations with options beyond water treatment to manage risks to drinking water quality. For example, by funding the Neerim and District Landcare Group to carry out works to undertake nutrient management to the tune of $300k pa, Melbourne Water has avoided around $20 million in capital savings associated with the new Tarago Water Treatment Plant.

Synergies and Efficiencies I believe that being an active catchment manager allows water corporations to identify synergies and efficiencies with other environmental managers. This may result in substantial savings to the public sector as a whole, through implementation of catchment management programs that benefit both the environmental value of streams and habitats, and reduce key contaminants of concern for water corporations.

Corporate Social Responsibility Finally, it is incumbent on all water corporations to play their part in their communities. Corporate social responsibility compels water corporations to take a leadership role in projects that (a) benefit the community; and (b) benefit the environment.

Best Practice A guiding principle of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines is to protect source water to the maximum degree practicable. This duty will likely be applied to your water corporation if: you have foreseen there is a risk due to your water catchments; you have failed to reasonably protect your source water to the maximum degree practical; and a waterborne disease occurs as a result of your failure.

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Tarago Reservoir in Victoria.

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my point of view Overcoming the Principal Barrier: Complexity Most Australian states have adopted legislation, policies, guidelines and codes that provide a framework for the management of land use and development risks to water quality.1 The Australian state parliaments have been prolific in the development of legislative frameworks that impact catchment management. Victoria is a case in point, where there are eight separate Acts2 that need to be utilised. The complex legislative framework can be a significant barrier to effective catchment management, as officers of water corporations and even government agencies can overlook critical provisions that need to be taken into account. There are also many different best-practice guidelines to be taken into account3, but few of them provide specialist advice regarding the management of potable water catchments. However, the approach in Victoria has been unsupportive of water corporations seeking to implement generic guidelines as part of their catchment management programs. The concern is that while generic guidelines promote good farming practices, they do not establish the measures and practices that are necessary specifically within Special Water Supply Catchments to minimise risk to water quality.4 More is required. What is needed, in my opinion, is a management approach targeting specific potable water catchments. The result is that water corporations seeking to benefit from catchment management must understand the legislative instruments in their jurisdiction and prepare catchment management plans that link land management practice with the management of drinking water quality risks. This necessarily involves an investment in the internal capability of the organisation and establishing relationships with government agencies, local government, industry associations and landholders. The statutory regime in which water corporations operate can throw up administrative barriers beyond the scope of their management. For example, there is a lack of clear policy guidance in Victoria on how planning authorities should weigh up competing objectives such as protecting water quality and protecting economic output from agricultural productivity. This has the potential to drive inconsistent decision-making and have the overall effect of weakening the ability of water corporations to effectively manage water catchments.

The result is that in order to be able to manage catchments, water corporations may need to advocate the formation of policy working groups with representation from planning authorities, water authorities, local government and farmers to review policy options and determine the best approach to the future controls over the Special Water Supply Catchments. Such an approach has recently been advocated in Victoria5, but we are yet to see the results.

Conclusion Catchment management is not only an obligation, but an opportunity for innovation, for intelligent water corporations over the coming decades that has the potential to carve millions of dollars of capital upgrades for water treatment, as has already been realised at Melbourne Water. In order to harness the long-term benefits, water corporations must invest in the internal capability of the organisation and establish relationships with government agencies, local government, industry associations and landholders. My view is that further work to ensure clear catchment management policy at state and national levels may be required, which may drive water corporations into the advocacy space. 1 Map_.aspx 2 Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 (Vic); Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic); Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (Vic); Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic); Water Act 1989 (Vic); Local Government Act 1993 (Vic); Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 (Vic). 3 For example, Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2004, National Health and Medical Research Council; Protect our Waters, Protect our Health: A guide for landholders on managing land in drinking water catchments 2010, Department of Health (Vic); Planning Permit Applications in Open, Potable Water Supply Catchment Areas 2009, Department of Planning and Community Development (Vic); Guidelines for Environmental Management: Code of Practice – Onsite Wastewater Management (Septic Tank Code of Practice), Environment Protection Authority (EPA, Vic); Land Capability Assessment for Onsite Domestic Wastewater Management (EPA, Vic); Guidelines for Aerated On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems (EPA, Vic); Code of Practice for Small Wastewater Treatment Plants (EPA, Vic); Code of Practice for Timber Production 2007, Department of Sustainability and Environment; Sustainable Carrying Capacity Monitoring Tools 2005, Department of Primary Industries (DPI, Vic); Property Snapshot 9 ‘Soil Testing for Paddocks’, (DPI, Vic); Chemical Use in Victoria – What I Can and Can’t Do (DPI, Vic); Management of Dairy Effluent 2008, Dairy Gains Victorian Guidelines; Current Recommended Practice, A Directory for Broadacre Dryland Agriculture s 5 & 15 2004, Murray Darling Commission.

Cathie McRobert, Darrel Brewin & Robin Saunders: Baw Baw Planning Scheme Amendment 2009, p 76. 4

Cathie McRobert, Darrel Brewin & Robin Saunders: Baw Baw Planning Scheme Amendment 2009, p 7. 5

Winneke Water Treatment Plant treats about 20% of Melbourne’s water supply.


AUGUST 2011 11

letter to the editor

Learning to Live with Nature Congratulations to the editors for publishing the opinion pieces, Much Ado About Dams (Water Journal, March 2011, page 14). I rise to their challenge to comment and, with luck, others will too. My favourite subject back in 1974 was dam design. I became an engineer after watching flood mitigation works on the Clarence River in the 1960s. But over the years my ideas have changed drastically. Think about a river. It runs even when it is not raining because the water is coming out of the surrounding sponge – the land. It is this “sponge” concept that we have lost. Time of concentration has been reduced sometimes by an order of magnitude. We understand the system as a drain, not a sponge. The sponge absorbs water from rain, from floods and from the rivers themselves. This sponge nurtures the river. When it comes to a drought, our vegetation has learned to survive until the rains come again. Too often regulators of our rivers quote “sustainable yields”. They use their “models” – which are really drainage calculations – and have no concept of the river system in its totality, or even of the value of the production of the river. In the name of agriculture we decimate fisheries by draining swamps and making farms. For urban water we sacrifice productivity, without even knowing it, by flooding productive land for dams far away from the city, thus interrupting the processes that nurture the river and the sea. Travelling around the nation, both in a professional capacity and with my kayak for leisure, I find it is the fishermen who understand the most about our river systems. They might not be right all the time, but they appreciate the value and complexities of the river systems, especially the swamps. For example, who would have thought that king prawns tagged in the Newcastle swamps in the 1960s would turn up as far north as Fraser Island? We drain the swamps and then we blame the fisherman at Ballina for the decimated fleet –

but is it really the fisherman’s fault? Or that a small barrage on the Mary River would devastate fishing in the Great Sandy Strait? Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t... I overheard a group of ordinary retirees in the Strait discussing when the fishing “went off”. Having established the year in the early 1980s, they then asked the question: “What happened at about that time?” The only change to the environment they were able to identify was the barrage built at Maryborough on the Mary River. By themselves these examples may not mean much, but they do indicate that the issue of water, and its role, is not as simple as we would like to believe. Plenty of times you will hear that we are just going to “take the peak off” floods, so that will be OK. But what about the species living in salt water that only breed when it becomes fresh? What about the species they eat, and the species that eat them? Who considered this, and factored it into the costbenefit analysis of any proposed infrastructure “improvement”? Indeed, was there even a decent cost-benefit analysis undertaken when things like dams were announced? The 2011 Brisbane floods were lower in most areas than the floods of 1974, and yet the damage bill was much greater. Why? Because we were not smart enough to adjust to living within the environment. We thought we were too clever. Basic as it seems, we did not adapt to being prepared for a flood. We must learn to live with nature, allow it to do its work and harness its energy with a holistic understanding. Yet much of our industry appears hostile to such thoughts. Is such hostility based on arrogance? I believe so, but that is probably a whole other field of study. What I am certain about is that sometimes we are not half as clever as we think we are. Steve Posselt, Managing Director, Kayak4earth Pty Ltd, Riverview, QLD

HAVE YOUR SAY If you’d like to comment on Steve’s letter, the dams debate which appeared in our March edition, or any other issues covered by Water Journal, please write to: Letters to the Editor, Water Journal, AWA, PO Box 222, St Leonards, NSW 1590 or email:

The Gordon River Dam in south-west Tasmania.

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regular features

Promains FP


International International RiverFoundation (IRF) has announced the finalists of the 2011 Thiess International Riverprize, with the Yarra River in Victoria being included as one of the three finalists.

Scientists have been using small variations in the Earth’s gravity to identify trouble spots around the globe where people are making unsustainable demands on groundwater.

Like the Three Gorges Dam development, China’s A$58 billion South-North Water Diversion Project is increasingly mired in concerns about its cost, environmental impact and performance. The project would see 2250 gigalitres of water each year diverted from the Yangtze to the north China plain and its 440 million people.

An almost $1,000,000 grant has been awarded to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The grant, intended to help conserve and recover Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and given through the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) Competitive Program, will help boost populations of 35 mussel species, eight of which are endangered or threatened, in the Ohio Valley region.

The 2012 IWA Asia Pacific and East Asia Regional Project Innovation Awards are now open for submissions. These regional competitions will culminate at the Global Project Innovation Awards Ceremony at the 2012 IWA World Water Congress in Korea. Nominations can be made in the following categories: applied research projects; planning projects; design projects; operations/management; small projects; and marketing and communications.


If you are a water utility involved in water recycling projects or in the procurement or operation of water recycling schemes, the NatVal Project team would like your feedback on a proposed National Validation Framework for Water Recycling. A background paper and questionnaire to gather the input of water recycling proponents and water utilities on the proposed framework has been developed. Please email: palenque.blair@ for a copy.

National Water Commissioner Laurie Arthur has released a new report, Strengthening Australia’s Water Markets, and has called on governments to continue to work on opening up access to trading and improving market performance. Mr Arthur said, “Australia’s water trade is a centrepiece of national water reform and has become a multi-billion dollar market since the first reported trades in the 1980s.”

CSIRO scientists have developed powerful modelling techniques to help understand the full impact of flooding that occurs when dams collapse. The research has been helping China’s disaster management authorities better understand the full impact of the catastrophic flooding that would occur if one of China’s, and the world’s, biggest dams collapsed. The work could also be applied in Australia to help plan for extreme weather events.

Federal Water Minister Tony Burke has appointed Chloe Munro as Chair of the National Water Commission until 30 June 2012, and Rob Freeman as a National Water Commissioner. Dr Rhondda Dickson has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

The Australian Academy of Science has endorsed a public campaign urging Australians to “respect the science”. The push by the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS) follows reports of personal attacks and threats against climate scientists.

Shadow Minister Barnaby Joyce has accused Independent MP Tony Windsor of misleading Murray-Darling Basin residents on water buybacks. According to Shadow Minister Barnaby, the Government is not in any way “minimising” water buybacks.

Parliamentary Secretary Don Farrell has invited applications for funding under the third round of Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Grants. These grants will help more Australian communities to harvest, treat and reuse stormwater.

The Prime Minister has outlined how the Government is moving to support irrigators. Ms Gillard told Parliament that the Government has already taken action on a number of the recommendations in the report, Inquiry into the Impact of the Guide to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, to address irrigators’ concerns.

Water engineer Dr Shishutosh Barua of Victoria University has developed a way to predict droughts six months before they begin. The tool he developed measures several water and climatic variables to assess dryness in an area and then uses past circumstances to predict future drought conditions.

Mr Bob Herbert has been reappointed as Water Supplier Advocate. This reappointment will see Mr Herbert continue to work with peak water industry development body waterAUSTRALIA to market Australian companies overseas.

A new collaborative group, the Australian Water Research and Development Coalition (AWRDC), has been set up to bring together key players within the Australian water community who undertake the role of research and development knowledge

14 AUGUST 2011 water

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Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on the Government to alter the powers of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to include water licences.

South Australia Residents in Adelaide’s south will now use high-quality recycled water in and around their properties following the completion of the $62.6 million Southern Urban Reuse Project. The project has the capacity to provide up to 1.6 billion litres of recycled water each year to about 8000 new homes in the southern suburbs of Adelaide.

The MDBA said trades of water allocations from above to below the Barmah Choke will be allowed in the 2011–12 water year.

Victoria An extension of the rainwater tank grant scheme for bushfire-affected households has been announced. The scheme provides grants of up to $1000 for residents to purchase and install rainwater tanks as they rebuild homes destroyed in the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

Residents of Victoria’s Basin are encouraged to nominate for membership of Victoria’s Basin Plan Advisory Group. The advisory group will help ensure that Victoria’s response to the plan genuinely reflects the interests and concerns of affected Basin communities.

The Government-owned metropolitan Melbourne water businesses, City West Water, South East Water, Yarra Valley Water and Melbourne Water, are kicking off an extensive community engagement effort to support the development of a Water Supply & Demand Strategy and obtain feedback on a rethink of water restrictions and permanent water-saving rules.

Western Australia The WA Goldfields Water Supply Scheme has been added to the National Heritage List. When work began at the end of the 19th century, the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme was regarded as the largest engineering undertaking of its kind in the world.


New high-tech infrastructure is being installed across the southeast of South Australia to better monitor the region’s groundwater resources. The Department for Water has received a $111,500 grant from the Bureau of Meteorology to install 13 water level data loggers and deepen up to 34 groundwater monitoring wells.

The Gillard Government has signed off on $78 million for a major new project to improve the health of the Murray River, with works to begin this winter. Federal Water and Environment Minister, Tony Burke, and South Australia’s Water and Environment Minister, Paul Caica, have outlined $86.7 million for a new project to improve the river’s health and resilience of its wetlands and floodplains from the Victorian border to Wellington.

South Australian Minister for the River Murray, Paul Caica, has welcomed the findings of a high-level science review into the Murray-Darling Basin Authority Guide to the proposed Basin Plan. The review, by the Goyder Institute for Water Research, examined the implications of three environmental water recovery scenarios proposed by the MDBA.

South Australia and Victoria have settled the constitutional challenge to Victoria’s water trading rules. The states have reached an agreement that gives South Australia the right to purchase water from Victoria to meet any potential shortfall in critical human needs supply, and that Victoria will provide South Australia with permanent rights to store water in upstream storages such as the Hume and Dartmouth dams.

New South Wales

Sandgate MP, Vicky Darling, has been endorsed by Caucus as Queensland’s Environment Minister, filling the Cabinet position left vacant by Kate Jones.

Comdain Infrastructure has been awarded a contract by State Water Corporation to oversee the planning and installation of water meters in two concurrent projects – the NSW Metering Scheme Murray Pilot Project and Murrumbidgee Metering Project – which will see up to 1,200 new water meters installed in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys.

KBR has been selected to execute engineering design services for three coal seam gas (CSG) pipelines designed to carry CSG from gasfields in central Queensland to an export facility on Curtis Island. The project will be executed for the McConnell Dowell/CCC joint venture (MCJV) on behalf of clients Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) and Asia Pacific LNG (APLNG).

Flood recovery grants of up to $15,000 are now available to eligible primary producers and small businesses in the southeast of NSW and parts of the Central West. The grants cover costs of damage to farm buildings, pastures and crops, trading stock, purchase of fodder, disposal of dead livestock, fencing, equipment and plant and infrastructure, including damage to property access and internal roads.

16 AUGUST 2011 water

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crosscurrent Sydney Water is spending $30 million at Quakers Hill Water Recycling Plant to improve the health of Breakfast and Eastern Creeks. The investment will increase the plant’s capacity to disinfect and store stormwater and treated sewage during periods of high rainfall, which would otherwise spill into local waterways. When the work is complete, the plant will be able to treat, store and disinfect 2,200 litres of water a second.

Basin communities can now follow salinity levels in a key section of the Murray River on the internet after new technology has been developed by the NSW Office of Water. Pontoon-mounted monitoring devices relay salinity information in ‘real time’ for the stretch of the River Murray between Colignan and Curlwaa.

NSW Office of Water and Sydney Water Corporation have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding. The MoU provides the foundation for a cooperative relationship within the context of each organisation’s statutory responsibilities.

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Simon Birmingham has said potential water savings appear to have been lost due to the PM’s failure to progress works at Menindee Lakes in NSW.

Australian Capital Territory ActewAGL House is hosting a preview of the paintings, photographs and video footage that have been inspired by the Cotter Dam enlargement – the project, the people and the land. The collection of works completed to date covers various phases of the Cotter Dam enlargement. A larger exhibition will be held in 2012 to celebrate completion of Canberra’s new dam.

Member News The former Chairman of Shell Australia, Mr Russell Caplan, has been appointed to chair Australia’s leading contamination research organisation. The Co-operative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) was recently renewed by the Commonwealth Government for a period of nine years.

Matthew Sellar has advanced his career in the water loss sector by joining Gutermann Pty Ltd to head their regional operations in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Many readers may know Matthew from Accurate Detection or EDS. Please see for more information.

Professor Chris Saint has been appointed as the new Director of the Centre for Water Management and Reuse (CWMR) at the University of South Australia (UniSA). Chris took up his new position in July.

18 AUGUST 2011 water

Adam Lovell has been appointed as Executive Director of the Water Services Association Australia (WSAA). Lovell has been acting in the position of Executive Director since March and was previously the WSAA Manager, Science and Sustainability. Before being employed at WSAA he worked at Sydney Water for 11 years.

Veolia Water has appointed Sven Béraud-Sudreau as its new Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, following the retirement of Mr Peter McVean. Mr BéraudSudreau, who started in July, has 20 years’ experience in the international water industry and established Veolia Water’s first operating contract in Australia between 1995 and 1997. His most recent role was as Veolia Water’s Operations Director for the Île-de-France Region. Peter McVean will remain involved with the business in an advisory role at the Asia-Pacific level.

AQuApheMerA Former AWA Chief Executive, Chris Davis, released the National Water Commission’s (NWC) report Review of Urban Water Quality Regulation in Australia in May, noting their urban water includes water from sewer mining, water recycling, stormwater harvesting, greywater reuse and managed aquifer recharge, along with the historically conventional potable sources. These more diversified water sources, along with recent advances in science and technology, present new challenges in fully appreciating longer-term risks and costs, and some existing regulation stifling innovation, according to the NWC. The report outlines three possible directions for reform: 1. To bolster current arrangements by improving resourcing of existing national bodies to maintain the National Water Quality Management Strategy guidelines; improved validation processes of treatment processes and exposure barriers; incentives for jurisdictions to implement national guidelines more consistently; and formalising the National Recycled Water Regulators Forum to facilitate cross-jurisdictional coordination. 2. To achieve greater cross-jurisdictional coordination by establishing a national risk management framework; a human and environmental health regulators panels supported by a new national body; and a scientific advisory committee; with the states and territories agreeing to implement the new framework and local councils playing a reduced role. 3. The establishment of a national water quality regulator. The NWC supports the second direction and, understandably, reported little industry support for the third direction. The report acknowledges that existing arrangements have served us well; drinking water safety remains high and there are close and cooperative relations between public health officials and water service providers. Therefore, calling for improved regulation of urban water quality through three reform options seems a bit dramatic. However, continuous improvement of existing systems is, of course, always worth pursuing, and the options and reports presented by the NWC provide worthwhile information for consideration by the water industry. – Ross Knee

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industry news 2011 Irrigation Australia Conference Program Irrigation Australia Limited (IAL) has finalised its program for urban irrigation professionals attending its 2011 conference and exhibition to be held in Launceston, Tasmania from 22–25 August. The program offers a mix of keynote presentations, workshops, optional field trips to the Meander Valley and Coal Valley, and numerous networking opportunities. The conference will host keynote speakers including Bryan Green, Deputy Premier of Tasmania, and John Lord, Chairman of the State Government’s Irrigation Development Board. Also speaking will be James Cameron, Chief Executive Officer of the National Water Commission, Peter McGlone, Director of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, and Tunbridge farmer, Richard Gardner. Delegates will be able to attend a variety of workshops aimed at sharing news about the latest trends and technology in irrigation, including; Implementing Irrigated Public Open Space Programs (IPOS) (urban irrigation) and The Value of Water and Metering Standards (rural irrigation). The learnings from Commonwealth funding programs will be used in two other workshops: Converting Funding into Outcomes will outline key strategies for successful irrigation infrastructure projects; and When to Use Drip Irrigation in Modernisation Projects will make a case for the use of drip systems. Newly appointed CEO of Irrigation Australia, Ian Atkinson, encouraged professionals involved in the industry to attend the conference. “This once-a-year event is a great opportunity to hear about the new technologies and practices under development from those involved, as well as meet and exchange ideas with industry peers.” For more information and to register for the event, please visit:

IDA Names Recipient of 2011 Fellowship Award The International Desalination Association (IDA) has announced that Hiren D Raval has been named the recipient of its 2011 IDA Fellowship Award. A scientist at the Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute, in Bhavnagar in the Indian state of Gujarat, Mr Raval will undergo an attachment with the Bureau of Reclamation in Hiren D Raval the US, the 2011 host agency for the IDA Fellowship Program.

Teng Chye, First Vice President of the International Desalination Association and Chairman of its Foundation Committee. Imad Makhzoumi, President of IDA, said, “We are grateful to the Bureau of Reclamation and all our previous host agencies for their support of this important program. The IDA Fellowship creates opportunities to expand learning and collaboration, thus fostering continued growth of the desalination and water reuse industry. It also fulfills IDA’s mission by encouraging research, promoting and exchanging communication, disseminating information, and supporting education in the field of desalination and water sciences.” Mr Raval’s responsibilities at the Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute include conducting reverse osmosis (RO) and ultra-filtration membrane research and development with a focus to developing low-energy intensive membrane processes. He has been involved in developing the technology of making thin film composite (TFC) membrane for RO and effluent management of the total process. He was also instrumental in developing a process to increase TFC RO membrane permeability. He is a member of the Indian Desalination Association, the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers and IDA. For additional information about the IDA Fellowship Program, please visit

New Report Claims Carbon Tax Will Cripple the Australian Coal Industry According to the Institute of Public Affairs the Federal Government’s carbon tax will cripple Australia’s coal industry, forcing jobs offshore and closing many existing coal mines. A report released by ACIL-Tasman claimed that the carbon tax will cost the Australian industry over $18 billion dollars within the first nine years. “This is yet another warning to the government that it needs to reconsider its proposed carbon tax,” said IPA Director of the North Australia Project, Hugh Tobin. The ACIL-Tasman report assessed the introduction of a carbon price at $20 dollars per tonne. Based on this estimate, the report predicts that over 4000 jobs are at risk within the first three years of a carbon tax being introduced. In addition, the model states that up to 18 existing mines would be forced to close within nine years, and up to 37 per cent of employment relating to new mining developments is also at risk. The report comes just weeks after internationally renowned journal The Economist warned that Australia faces growing competition within the commodities market.

The Bureau of Reclamation is a US Government agency within the Department of Interior and has been a leader in advanced water treatment for over 50 years. Established in 1902, it is the largest wholesaler of water in the US today. “Mr Raval’s experience and dedication to the desalination industry exemplify the high standard that the IDA Fellowship program represents. We are confident that his attachment with the Bureau of Reclamation will result in outstanding opportunities to gain new insights and share information that will benefit the desalination industry globally,” said Mr Khoo

20 AUGUST 2011 water

The carbon tax may force coal mines to close, says a recent report.

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industry news “Australia’s ability to compete is at risk. The cost of moving minerals around the world is dramatically decreasing. We need to put in place policies that make Australia an attractive destination for investment now and in the future,” says Mr Tobin. “What Australia needs are innovative policies to stimulate the economy, not ones that undermine it. Much of the nation’s mineral wealth lies in the North, which is why we are advocating for a Northern Special Economic Zone to be established with low taxes and streamlined regulation, necessary to take full advantage of the Australia’s natural resources.”

Call for Land and Environment Court in Victoria A recent $23 million settlement between a group of Cranbourne home owners, the City of Casey and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sparked calls for a dedicated Land and Environment Court in Victoria. National law firm Slater & Gordon, which represented property owners in the Cranbourne class action, has written to Attorney General Robert Clark outlining the need for a new court. Slater & Gordon litigation lawyer, Manisha Blencowe, said her clients in the Cranbourne class action were victims of a system that had not been able to adequately oversee planning and land management in Victoria. “The establishment of a Land and Environment Court would help to avoid a repeat of the Brookland Greens estate case which has had grave ramifications for Victorians not only because of the immediate risk that it posed to those living there, but because of the compensation costs and lengthy legal dispute that has followed,” Ms Blencowe said. “It is clear that as the appetite for land in Victoria increases there will also be increased risks associated with development on sites that are not appropriate for development and on sites that have not undergone enough planning and environmental controls before development.”

The Cape Reinga Upgrade at the tip of New Zealand’s North Island. sacred Maori site and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations attracting 150,000 people each year. The project involved sealing and widening the final 19 kilometres of State Highway One, building ecologically sensitive visitor facilities, car parking and information sites along the route and a purpose-built nursery that provided 300,000 plants grown from seeds collected in the area. AECOM project manager Terry Buckley said their extensive services included investigative geotechnical engineering, environmentally sustainable design, roading, construction management, and stormwater and civil design that respected the area’s rare and unique plants and animals. “We also restored the cape to its natural state as much as possible by clearing growth, old buildings, roads and carparks and then re-contouring the land, laying new soil and replanting thousands of trees,” Mr Buckley said. The project was the first of its kind in New Zealand, where training and work experience for local people was a condition of the construction contract, resulting in an apprenticeship scheme with external training programs that attracted 14 people.

Ms Blencowe said the new court could be modelled on similar courts in New South Wales and Queensland, providing a more appropriate forum for substantial planning and environment disputes than Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), which currently hears all planning disputes.

AECOM Highway Project Wins NZ Environmental Excellence Award A highway upgrade project led by professional technical services consultancy AECOM, which transformed a lighthouse at the end of a dusty road into one of New Zealand’s most spectacular sites has been honoured for environmental excellence. The NZ$19m Healing Te Rerenga Wairua – Cape Reinga Upgrade at the tip of the North Island has won the 2011 Arthur Mead Environment and Sustainability Award in the large projects category. The prestigious Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand award honours the project’s significant contribution to the preservation, conservation and improvement of the environment. AECOM, in partnership with the New Zealand Transport Agency and Department of Conservation, upgraded the road and roadside leading to Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga), a

22 AUGUST 2011 water

The area is one of the country’s most popular tourist spots.

Water is Top Issue in US Survey Black & Veatch has released the results of its fifth annual Strategic Directions in the Electric Utility Industry survey in which more than 700 US utility leaders took part. Among the main findings in this year’s results, participants believe that energy and commodity prices will rise significantly in the next five years – and water has become the top environmental and business issue.

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industry news “More than 70 per cent of survey participants agreed or strongly agreed that energy and commodity prices would rise significantly in the next five years, signifying tremendous capital investment needs across the nation’s electric utility system,” said Rodger Smith, President of Black & Veatch’s management consulting business. “Additionally, there is a growing awareness of the nexus of water and energy issue within the industry. For the first time, water supply has become the top environmental concern among survey participants and water management was rated as the business issue that could have the greatest impact on the utility industry.” Additional survey highlights include: • Lack of national energy policy impedes investment in new technology. When asked in the survey what factors most motivate the industry to invest in new technology, the two highest rated responses where “Regulatory Requirements” and “Government Incentives”, respectively. • Smart Grid programs are hamstrung by “lack of customer interest and knowledge”. Survey participants rate customer engagement as the greatest impediment to implementing Smart Grid programs in their areas. • Coal will remain an important part of the US energy mix. More than 77 per cent of respondents – virtually the same percentage as last year’s survey results – believe that when fiscal realities are considered, coal remains key in the US energy portfolio. • Nuclear fuel disposal and storage is one of the top environmental concerns among survey participants after the earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Carbon Storage Project Trials Begin at CO2CRC Otway Project A series of research trials into the geological storage of carbon dioxide, part of the low-emission technology carbon capture and storage (CCS), have begun at the CO2CRC Otway Project in Victoria. The experiments, led by the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC), are part of the $10 million second stage of the project, which is focused on saline formations, geological structures with the potential to permanently store hundreds of years’ worth of carbon dioxide emissions. An international research team has been assembled by the Centre, and includes researchers from leading Australian research organisations, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA), Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), Canada’s Simon Fraser University and New Zealand’s GNS Science. The team will use a new 1565-metre well at the site to undertake a complex series of extractions and injections of carbon dioxide and water over the next two months, evaluating storage capacity and security. A 28-metre instrument array, installed 1400 metres underground in the same well into which the carbon dioxide is injected, will measure pressure, temperature and tracer gas concentrations, while a ‘U-tube’ system will allow the team

• Natural gas “leapfrogs” nuclear and wind as the top “environmentally friendly” technology among all survey participants. However, utility respondents still prefer nuclear. This is first time natural gas has taken the top spot in this category, indicating gas as an economical and environmentally attractive bridge toward a lower carbon future – particularly since survey participants believe shale gas will be available at a reasonable price for the next 20 years.

to chemically analyse samples of water and dissolved gas

• Approximately 20 per cent of survey respondents are planning energy storage projects, indicating this technology is moving into more mainstream segments. This also correlates with other survey responses where participants believe energy storage will have an important role within their systems beyond the next five years.

on monitoring, verification and regulation of CCS.

• Survey participants are optimistic that electric vehicles will account for approximately eight per cent of their annual energy load by 2025. Participants estimate electric vehicles will account for one per cent of their annual energy load by as early as next year. Nationwide, one per cent of annual energy load equates to approximately 5300 megawatts of baseload (nuclear, coal, biomass, geothermal or hydro) capacity – the energy equivalent to power more than five million homes.

commercial CCS projects that will make it easier to evaluate

direct from the reservoir, at pressures equivalent to 1400 metres underground. “The Otway Project has been demonstrating safe storage of carbon dioxide in a depleted gas reservoir since 2008,” says CO2CRC Chief Executive Dr Peter Cook, “and the successful first stage provided a great deal of highly useful information

“This second stage involves research aimed at tackling some of the key outstanding research questions regarding storage capacity and security in types of rocks found in many parts of the world. It will enable CO2CRC to produce practical tools for a potential reservoir.”

• The US is at risk of losing its global competitive position in utility technology. Specifically, respondents believe US solar, nuclear and wind industries are at some risk of losing their competitive positions. More than 80 per cent of respondents believe China is the greatest threat to the United States’ overall energy competitiveness. The full survey and analysis is available to view online at:

24 AUGUST 2011 water

The CO2CRC Otway Project in Victoria.

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industry news New Appointment at Parsons Brinckerhoff Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia-Pacific has appointed Brian Ashcroft as the Section Executive for Environmental Assessment, Planning and Stakeholder Engagement to drive growth in these sectors. Australia-Pacific Business Group Director for Sustainable Communities and Water, Dr David Adams, said Mr Ashcroft has more than 30 years’ experience in management and project delivery.

Brian Ashcroft

“This experience includes senior roles in China, Hong Kong, England and Australia. As one example, he oversaw the expansion of an international planning and design consultancy into Hong Kong and built its China operations to 800 people,” said Dr Adams. Mr Ashcroft said he sees many opportunities in the Australia-Pacific region. “I am looking forward to working in collaboration with Parsons Brinckerhoff’s clients to deliver the projects vital for the continued growth of this region,” said Mr Ashcroft. Prior to joining Parsons Brinckerhoff, Mr Ashcroft was the Chairman of Atkins China Limited and the Regional Director Asia-Pacific for BMT Group. His qualifications include a Master of Environmental Science from Griffith University and a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) from Australian National University.

How California Coped with the Drought The Pacific Institute has just completed a nine-month assessment of data from California’s agricultural, energy and environmental sectors to evaluate the consequences of the state’s recent three-year drought. The report, Impacts of the California Drought from 2007–2009, concluded that the drought had complicated and serious impacts that have been poorly understood and reported. Some of the impacts were expected, while others were surprising. Among the critical findings: • Contrary to much of the media reporting, California’s agricultural community proved flexible and resilient, generating agricultural revenues in 2007, 2008, and 2009 that were the highest on record. The sector coped with reduced water availability with strategies like expanded reliance on local groundwater, temporary water transfers, fallowing, and shifting cropping patterns and types. Agricultural impacts were not equally distributed, however. Data from individual drought-impacted counties and irrigation districts detail highly varied effects among, and even within, counties. These differences reflect the uneven distribution of water in California. For instance, priority contractors received 100 per cent of their supply of Central Valley Project water throughout the drought, while other users received between 10 per cent and 50 per cent. • Agriculture-related occupations remained a stable portion of total jobs available in areas directly impacted by water supply restrictions. Farm job losses that did occur were largely unrelated to water constraints. Rather, widespread job losses over the drought period were more severe in non-agricultural sectors, such as sales and construction. The Great Valley Center reports that in the Central Valley, there was a two per cent gain in agriculture-related jobs from 2003–2009, but a 44 per cent reduction in construction-related jobs over that same time.

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Agriculture proved surprisingly resilient during the drought. • Energy costs to consumers rose during the drought. California hydropower production declined significantly during the drought years as water flows dropped, with both economic and environmental costs. Much of this lost hydropower was made up with the purchase and combustion of natural gas, costing California rate payers $1.7 billion and producing an additional 13 million tons of carbon dioxide (approximately a 10 per cent increase in average annual CO2 emissions from California power plants), along with substantial quantities of other pollutants. • Harmful impacts to California ecosystems increased. Unlike the agricultural sector, ecosystems have fewer coping strategies to maintain health and productivity. Fisheries, water availability, river flow timing, water volumes and quality were all affected by the drought. In addition, many of the state’s environmental flows went unmet during the drought period, affecting aquatic ecosystems and decreasing protections for endangered species in the form of maintained freshwater flows in rivers and streams. The salinity in the Bay Delta in 2008 was the highest on record since 1992, impacting water quality and affecting waterfowl and wildlife refuge and fisheries habitat. • The report found that although many coping strategies applied in California provide short-term relief, they would not provide water security in the face of a longer or more severe drought. Quick fixes to short-term water supply reductions employed during the drought, if continued, could prove disastrous for the future of sustainable freshwater supply and those dependent on this supply. For example, the average groundwater depletion rate in the San Joaquin Valley doubled during the 2006–2010 time period; Westlands Water District groundwater pumping was 19 times greater in 2009 than in

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AUGUST 2011 27

industry news 2006. Some of the adverse impacts of groundwater mining are already apparent in this region. • To prepare for future droughts, the report recommends putting in place new drought management strategies capable of addressing the risks of longer and more severe water shortfalls, such as improving water efficiency, enhancing groundwater recharge, establishing longer-term water transfer programs and systems for monitoring and evaluating those transfers, restoring critical ecosystem flows and habitat, planting drought-resistant crops, adjusting grazing schedules and intensity, improving soil moisture management, expanding energy conservation and efficiency programs, and diversifying the state’s energy portfolio with a focus on renewable energy sources. The full report, which includes recommendations for improving drought planning and management, an executive summary, and short video, is available free at: www.pacinst. org/reports/california_drought_impacts/

Savewater Alliance to Host 2011 Prime Minister’s Water Wise Award The Savewater! Alliance will manage and host the 2011 Prime Minister’s Water Wise Award as part of its Savewater! Awards program, on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. The Prime Minister’s Water Wise Award recognises water efficiency excellence by commercial and industrial water users in Australia. “We are honoured to administer the nomination and judging process for the Prime Minister’s Water Wise Award alongside our own awards program, and encourage entries from across Australia,” said Mr Nigel Finney, CEO of Savewater. The Prime Minister’s Water Wise Award specifically recognises water saving commitment within the commercial and industrial sectors, which typically accounts for between 15 and 20 per cent of all water used in Australia.

Industry Commits to Phosphate-free Laundry Detergents From 2014, Australians will no longer be able to buy laundry detergents that contain phosphates. All major companies in the Australian detergent industry have now implemented or agreed to phase out phosphates in household laundry detergents. The final companies to commit to the phase-out were PZ Cussons Australia and Colgate-Palmolive. “America banned phosphates from household laundry detergents in the mid-90s because of the impacts that phosphate had on their waterways,” said Do Something! Founder Jon Dee, a long time campaigner against phosphates in laundry detergents. “It’s great to see the local detergent industry stepping up to the plate to voluntarily ban them here too.” From a greenhouse emissions perspective, it’s estimated that the switch to phosphate-free laundry detergent could be equivalent to taking 33,000 cars off the road.

Nubian Water Systems Names Barry Porter as New CEO Australian-owned sustainable water solutions provider, Nubian, is pleased to announce the appointment of Barry Porter to the role of CEO. Barry comes to Nubian with a wealth of leadership experience, having defined and led successful performance transformations across industry sectors including financial and professional services, FMCG, retail and Barry Porter technology companies. He is tasked with raising the company’s profile in the water sustainability solutions arena focusing on Nubian’s technology and delivery to capture market share.

The Savewater! Awards is now in its ninth year of operation. The Savewater! Awards® has eight categories open for entries, including Australian Achiever; Business; Community Groups; Educational Institutions; Government; Photographic Award; Product Innovations; and Water Utilities. Entries for the 2011 Prime Minister’s Water Wise Award and the Savewater! Awards close on 8 August, 2011. Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony to be held in Melbourne in November. To enter, please visit:

Nestlé wins the Stockholm Industry Water Award Nestlé has been named the winner of the Stockholm Industry Water Award for its leadership and performance to improve water management in its internal operations and throughout its supply chain. The Award Committee also acknowledged Nestlé’s work to improve the water management of its suppliers, which includes over 25 million people in its entire value chain.

Chairman of Nubian, Gary Zamel, said, “We are delighted to have Barry on board. He is a highly regarded executive with global management and sales experience. Barry will be responsible for cementing our strong footprint in Australia and expanding our global presence, where we are already delivering solutions to the Middle East and are about to enter the North American market.”

Nestlé employs 1000 agronomists and water experts who work directly with farmers to help them reduce their water requirements, increase crop yields and minimise pollution. In 2009–2010, Nestlé provided expert training and technical support for 300,000 farmers and the company continues to collaborate with other food industry leaders to establish best practice and guidelines for sustainable water use at a farm level.

Barry was previously Executive Director of Client Services in Australia and New Zealand for Hudson Recruitment and was Managing Director of private consulting group Quantum Shift.

The honorary award will be presented to P. BrabeckLetmathe, chairman of Nestlé SA, at a ceremony on 24 August during 2011 World Water Week in Stockholm.

28 AUGUST 2011 water

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industry news

KBR has been awarded a five-year project management and procurement (PMP) contract by SA Water to jointly manage the delivery of the metropolitan capital works program for Adelaide, South Australia. KBR will provide project planning, project management, procurement and construction management for projects ranging from $500,000 to $11 million dollars for the water utility. Under the PMP, SA Water and KBR will work closely together to deliver the best value for the capital works program. KBR has completed many projects for SA Water, including multiple improvements to the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant. “Having played a key role in delivering many large water infrastructure projects in South Australia for more than 15 years, KBR is proud to continue our long-standing relationship with SA Water,” said Colin Elliott, President, KBR Infrastructure & Minerals. “We will bring together our local expertise in the water market sector, and experience from similar programs of works elsewhere in the world to deliver these services.”

30 AUGUST 2011 water

US and Russian Scientists Win Global Energy Prize Dr Arthur H Rosenfeld of the US and Dr Philipp Rutberg of Russia have been presented with the 2011 Global Energy Prize, which rewards innovation and solutions in global energy research and its concurrent environmental challenges. The prize was given to the scientists by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in an official ceremony which took place as part of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. The prize (approximately US$1.17m), will be equally shared between the two Laureates. Dr Rosenfeld was awarded for his contribution to the development of the energy efficiency sector, while Dr Rutberg was recognised for developing plasma technology which can be used to create energy from waste materials. Dr Rosenfeld, 84, is a UC Berkeley physicist who served on the California Energy Commission for 10 years, and is most well-known for his groundbreaking work in energy efficiency. Motivated by the 1973 oil crisis, he switched his career focus from experimental nuclear and particle physics to energy efficiency. He proposed rigorous energy efficiency standards for new homes, businesses and

Photo: UC Berkeley DePartment of PhysiCs

KBR Awarded Contract by SA Water

Dr Arthur Rosenfeld

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Biogas Delivers Green Success


Dedicated to providing environmentally sustainable technologies, Aquatec-Maxcon, in an Australian first, has successfully integrated a Capstone MicroTurbine combined heat & power (CHP) generator operating on anaerobically produced biogas at Western Water’s Melton Recycled Water Treatment Plant. This enhanced renewable energy solution takes advantage of the overall high efficiency (approx. 90%) of the Capstone CHP technology. The Melton Plant will ultimately be a net exporter of power to the grid.


Western Water’s commitment to sustainability through reduction of waste discharges and improved greenhouse gas emissions, is being realised by the incorporation of the Capstone CHP technology.


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industry news Acqua for Life Challenge Raises Over 43 Million Litres of Drinking Water

industrial buildings in California, and helped develop ways to meet these, together with colleagues at the Center for Building Science which he founded at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His technological innovations include energy-saving

The Acqua for Life Challenge, a collaboration between Green Cross International and fashion group Giorgio Armani, has raised over 43 million litres of water in support of Green Cross International’s Smart Water for Green Schools project in Ghana.

compact fluorescent light bulbs and reflective roof-coatings which reduce air-conditioning costs. Dr Philipp Rutberg is a Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Director of the Institute for Electrophysics and Photo: Global EnErGy PrizE

Electric Power in St Petersburg. Throughout his career he has worked to develop high-power plasma technologies which can convert waste materials into synthetic fuels, with minimal harmful emissions. Using this technology, a town of around

Dr Philipp Rutberg

30,000 people could supply all its heating needs and a portion of its electricity needs using domestic waste as a power source.

New Managing Director for South East Water South East Water has announced Kevin Hutchings Director, effective from 1 July, 2011. Mr Hutchings, who has been South East Water’s Acting Chief Executive Office since February, has been with the company since its inception in 1995 and brings a wealth of water, sewerage and infrastructure senior the role of Managing Director.

From 1 March to 31 May, 2011, every bottle of Acqua di Gio and Acqua di Gioia, two of Giorgio Armani’s fragrances, sold generated a donation of 100 litres of drinking water. A code on each carton allowed people to double their donation by creating their own Acqua for Life community on the Facebook Acqua for Life fan page. Then, each new member of their community generated a new donation of 10 litres of water, and each “like” and/or “comments” within the community, 1 litre. The outcome surpassed the goal of raising 40 million litres of safe drinking water for communities in Ghana. This allows the project to be expanded to 16 communities. The Acqua for Life Challenge 2011 has already benefited 10 communities, all located in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The six other communities are located in the Volta Region. A total of approximately 27,000 people living in 16 communities will then have access to safe drinking water. Out of those 27,000 people, approximately 3,500 will be children who will enjoy a safe water supply while at school. This will increase the children’s school attendance. In addition, 200 professors will benefit from the installations. At the end of the project’s implementation about 110 community members – predominantly women, masons and mechanics – will be trained to maintain and refurbish the systems, ensuring their optimal and sustainable utilisation.

as its new Managing

management expertise to

“The results of the Acqua for Life Challenge are a great step forward to ensure that more people have access to safe drinking water and thereby also ensuring children are able to continue with their education,” said Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International.

Kevin Hutchings

South East Water’s Chairman, Doug Shirrefs, said Mr

Green Cross International is a non-profit and nongovernmental organisation working in 30 countries to address challenges of security, poverty and environmental degradation through a combination of high-level advocacy and local projects. For more information, please visit:

Hutchings is well placed to address the challenges and opportunities facing the Melbourne water industry. “Kevin was the outstanding candidate among a very highquality group of contenders. His strong background in leading large-scale water and sewerage projects, as well as his business acumen and passion for innovation, will guide the organisation through the challenges posed by climate change and population growth,” said Mr Shirrefs. “Kevin will also focus on strengthening relationships with industry stakeholders and the broader community to ensure a collaborative and holistic approach to shaping our future water solutions.” Mr Hutchings spear-headed the creation of a new service delivery model for South East Water’s operations and maintenance program, by establishing ‘us’ – Utility Services, an alliance between South East Water, Thiess Services and Siemens, a first in the Australian water industry.

32 AUGUST 2011 water

In countries such as Ghana access to clean, safe drinking water helps ensure continued education for children.

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AUGUST 2011 33

industry news Health Groups Join Call for Healthy Murray-Darling The national coalition of health groups, the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), has joined with other groups in calling for the restoration of environmental flows to the Murray-Darling to restore health to the failing river system. “We recognise that the health of the population ultimately depends on a healthy ecosystem. We cannot continue to degrade our ecosystems and expect no adverse consequences for human health and wellbeing,” CAHA Convenor Fiona Armstrong said. Together with other non-government organisations and charities, CAHA is part of the campaign, Voices for the MurrayDarling, which is calling for the development of a plan for the Murray-Darling Basin to revive the wetlands and rivers, with environmental flows based on credible science. “We acknowledge there will be changes in the use of the water. Communities must be assisted to adapt to sustainable water use, and a process undertaken to support the establishment of secure economic futures for affected communities. But we cannot continue to delay in developing these solutions, and we must move away from the rhetoric that the restoration of environmental flows is damaging. The health of the community (and the economy) is entirely dependent on the ecosystem, not the other way round,” said Ms Armstrong. “The long term health of the Murray-Darling has important implications for human health. This must be considered in the development of a sustainable national plan for water use.”

Calculate Your Carbon Footprint Families will be able to measure the impact of simple lifestyle changes on their carbon footprint through a new online tool launched at RMIT University recently. The Australian Greenhouse Calculator is a free program to help households compare the impact of making lifestyle changes and/or investing in energy-efficient products – cutting both their greenhouse gas emissions and living costs. Project leader, RMIT Adjunct Professor Alan Pears, said the AGC aimed to empower households by offering accurate and relevant information to help them see how their activities contributed to their carbon footprint. “Australian households generate at least one-fifth of Australia’s greenhouse gases – over 18 tonnes per household each year,” Adjunct Professor Pears said. “The Australian Greenhouse Calculator shows families how they can live more sustainably and offset the increasing cost of carbon and energy, helping them make lifestyle changes that are good for both the environment and their wallets.”

For more information about Voices for the Murray-Darling please visit:

Australian native, the Murray turtle. Healthy ecosystems are vital for healthy human and animal populations alike.

34 AUGUST 2011 water

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industry news The AGC is an Environment Protection Authority tool developed by RMIT’s Centre for Design, through a project managed by Education Services Australia. It covers 11 lifestyle categories – transport, air travel, heating and cooling, hot water, clothes dryer, lighting, refrigeration, cooking, other appliances, food and shopping and waste. View the Australian Greenhouse Calculator at: www.

Water Control Solutions

KBR Announces Executive Appointment KBR has announced the appointment of Mark Gobbie to Vice President, Water and Facilities, where he will be responsible for managing and growing each of these global businesses. Mr Gobbie previously had other vice presidential and senior management roles within KBR and has wide-ranging experience, particularly in the water sector. “Mark has been an instrumental part of the leadership of the Infrastructure & Minerals business unit,” said Colin Elliott, President, KBR Infrastructure & Minerals. “I am confident that in his new positions, he will continue to drive the expansion of our global footprint in both sectors.” KBR has recently won significant contracts in each sector, including design for part of a 15.2 mile pipeline for the Tarrant Regional Water District in Texas, US, a five-year contract to provide project management and procurement services for SA Water, and the three-year contract as engineering project manager for the Clipsal V8 car race event in Adelaide. For more information, please visit:

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awa news Young Water Professionals (YWP)

Amanda Hazell – AWA YWP National Committee President In the four-and-a-half years I have been working in the water industry I have noticed that there tends to be two types of young professionals in the industry – those who are totally enthralled with the company they are working for and those who are not quite sure if the organisation they started their career with is quite right for them. Many of the latter group will simply look for a new position that suits them better, but for others the prospect of leaving a stable position so early in their career is a little daunting. Increasingly the water industry is moving towards alternative models for developing and operating new water and wastewater infrastructure. This month’s Water Journal highlights that alliances are one of the most common ways that these sorts of projects are being delivered. Working in an alliance provides the perfect opportunity for unsure (and perhaps indecisive) young professionals to experience working for a different organisation, without leaving the safety of their stable job.

Learning Opportunities I have worked in an alliance for the past two-and-a-half years. My time in this particular partnership has taught me a lot about the two organisations involved, what it takes to make a successful alliance, and what I want out of my career in the water industry. As a graduate new to the industry I definitely fit into the first category of young professional in that I absolutely love the organisation I work for. However, while working within a different organisation I have learnt along the way that every company, including my own, has many things that they can do better. This is the area in which I see the biggest value for a young professional working in an alliance, taking on board the things that alliance partners do better and implementing these in their own organisations. Alliances best function when communication between all the parties in the alliance is open and honest. The opportunity to work in an alliance where this sort of cooperation exists is something I have found invaluable. It has changed the way I interact with people in my own organisation, as well as in the rest of the water industry. While there can be challenges in working within an alliance, I would definitely recommend it as a good career option. For those who don’t have many options but to work in an alliance (due to the nature of your organisation’s business), it pays to make sure that you learn as much from your partners as possible and ensure positive aspects are implemented in any alliance you work in.

36 AUGUST 2011 water

Opening the Lines of Communication Communication is a topic we have discussed frequently among the YWP National Representative Council (NRC) recently. For the past three years we have had a Facebook group for AWA YWPs. Recently we have updated this to a Facebook page to make it easier to promote the network ( youngwaterprofessionals). It will have information about upcoming events, reports and photos from around the country. We will also be using it to promote national initiatives that may be of interest. Hopefully you will all “Like” the page so that your Facebook networks can find out a bit more about our specialist network.

Movement at the Station Due to committee elections in a number of states, as well as a few people moving, there are a number of NRC representatives I’d like to thank and say farewell to. Will Blanford (SA) and Kate Miles (NSW) will both be leaving the NRC as a result of elections. Katrina Annan (WA) is moving to Victoria so will no longer be representing WA. Paul Freeman and Lucia Cade, who have been our board representatives on the NRC, are both stepping down from their roles. On behalf of the NRC I’d like to thank all of these representatives for their contribution and advice. To fulfil the vacant roles we welcome Tom Swanson (SA), Jaques Ostrowski (NSW) and Ina Kristiana, who is representing IWAA. Helen Stratton, John Howard and Jodieann Dawe have all joined the committee to represent the board and we look forward to working with them. A new WA representative will be appointed after the WA elections. If you have any interesting topics you would like the YWP network to discuss in this column please let me know via email (, as I am always open to ideas.

The YWP Facebook page will help promote events and initiatives.

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Photo by The Wimmera Mail-Times

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For more information visit 1300 844 657 AUGUST 2011 37

awa news – member profile My Brilliant Career Captain Ken Nelson (1921–) ED BSc CEng EurIng FIEAust FGS MICE MInstRE

In the late 1940s, Victoria was undertaking large-scale irrigation and water supply schemes, building new dams and enlarging some of the existing ones. At the time there was a shortage of construction engineers, so Chairman of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (Victorian Water Commission), Ronald East (later Sir Ronald), recruited graduate engineers from British universities. One of these was Ken Nelson, who tells here the story of his rewarding career as an engineer and his contributions to the water industry. I was born in 1921 in a small coal-mining town in South Wales, where my father was a mining engineer. Later, in 1941, I commenced a civil engineering course at Cardiff University. It was a dramatic year for Britain in World War II. At the beginning of the year, Germany was at the peak of its power. Late in 1940 Hitler had decided to bomb Britain into submission. Cardiff was a particularly attractive target because it had numerous large docks unloading vast quantities of arms and food from across the Atlantic. Throughout the blitz years (1941–1944), every night teams of 40 to 50 students and staff, including professors, undertook firefighting duties extinguishing incendiary bombs at the university, which caused injuries and even one death. By the end of the war, the air raids had killed 60,595 British people. Meanwhile, the students attended lectures and studies as well as they could. At the end of my first year I was awarded the Page Prize in Engineering. I enlisted in the Royal Air Force initially, but later was commissioned into the army. I served three years in the Far East – two years in Burma during the war and another year in Singapore after the war, where the Chinese nicknamed me Lin Fatt Kwai (‘curly-headed devil’). I was in the Siege of Imphal, surrounded for four months by 100,000 Japanese troops and wholly reliant on supplies dropped from the air. We were on half-rations and I lost 13kg during the siege. In fact, during the Battle of Imphal, tens of thousands of British and Japanese soldiers died. During this period I applied my electrical engineering knowledge and skills in a signals unit and, when there was a shortage of distilled water for batteries, designed and created a distiller. It was made out of a 44-gallon petrol drum of water heated by a makeshift fire. We collected the evaporated water using copper tubing, which ended up in another drum of cold water to condense the water, which was then collected in a small pan. It was so successful that I was commissioned to make more on the same design for surrounding signal units. On retirement, I was granted the military title of Captain.

A New Life in Australia I returned to engineering studies in Cardiff in 1947, only to find numerous student friends had been killed. At the end of my course, Professor W Norman Thomas (CBE) recommended me for an engineering position in the Victorian Water Commission in Australia. On arriving in Australia in March 1950, I became the graduate assistant of the Chairman, Ronald East.

38 AUGUST 2011 water

At this stage the commission was engaged on a largescale developmental scheme in the state, consisting of numerous irrigation and water supply projects. In my first year I was employed on the Cairn Curran Project, near Maldon (Castlemaine). The storage capacity of the dam was 150,000 megalitres impounded by embankments of compacted earthfill, paved with stone on the water face. I was involved in supervising the foundation excavation and spillway work. In October 1950 I was transferred to the Central Gippsland Irrigation Project at Heyfield. Three months later, there was an emergency. In the middle of the irrigation season, a six-foot triple-tube concrete siphon collapsed in the only supply channel from Glenmaggie Dam to the irrigation area. The 23-year-old siphon had been undermined. I was one of the engineers who worked for 14 days in three shifts, working around the clock, to create a temporary siphon. After spending six months on the Tarago River Diversion Project – responsible for all the operations at one tunnel heading (3m by 3m cross-section and 3.2km long), under the direction of the Tunnelling Superintendent – I returned to the Central Gippsland Project. With my extra experience, I became responsible for all construction on the new supply channel from the Glenmaggie Dam to the new irrigation areas and for the water supply of Heyfield, which included constructing a new service basin and two new pumping stations.

River Catchment Proposal During the late 1950s, the commission considered creating new river catchment authorities, similar to the river boards in Britain. In November 1955, I took 12 months leave of absence to study these boards and, in the following February, was appointed an engineer with the Glamorgan River Board (Wales), responsible to the Chief Engineer, Mr W E Wright, for research and the river gauging section. When I returned to the Victorian commission, the proposed River Catchment Authorities bill was being debated in the Victorian Parliament. I attended these debates with Ronald East. The proposal failed because of strong opposition to methods planned for financing the schemes. I had hoped to become an engineer for one of the proposed catchment authorities but, instead, continued to be responsible for advising existing river improvement trusts, municipal authorities and public bodies on river improvement schemes. In 1959 I was appointed Executive Engineer and Technical Secretary to the Water Loss Committee and was responsible for investigations into methods of improving water distribution and the efficiencies in irrigation systems. Later, in mid-1966, I became the Engineer-in-Charge of the Farm Water Supply Branch of the Soil Conservation Authority of Victoria. In the late 1960s many state governments became concerned by environmentalists’ objections to large-scale irrigation and water supply schemes. As a result, the commission ceased largescale irrigation schemes (including large dams). In Victoria no new public irrigation schemes were undertaken after 1970. This resulted in an increase in demand for small private farm water supply services, particularly in the building of small earth dams. For three months in late 1980, I was a consultant to the Institute of Hydrology in Wallingford (Oxford), advising on procedures for setting up an agricultural hydrological consultancy.

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awa news PIPE JOINING SOLUTIONS Making a Mark in Writing After retiring from government employment in 1983, I worked as a consultant and technical writer. It is in the field of technical writing that I have made my most important contribution to Australian water engineering, writing five books and over 50 technical papers. I co-authored my first book with my mining-engineer father, Archibald Nelson. The Dictionary of Applied Geology, Mining and Civil Engineering was published in the UK by George Newnes in 1967. It was 421 pages long and one reviewer described it as ‘the first dictionary to cover the broad field of applied geology’. In 1968 Elsevier (Amsterdam) produced an edition for distribution in Europe and the US, under the title Concise Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Applied Geology, Mining and Civil Engineering. Later it was translated into Portuguese.

The solution for: X X X X

angular deflection axial misalignment gaps between pipe ends differing pipe materials

The second book, which I and my father co-authored – though his contribution was limited to the earlier work on it and he died four years before it was published – was another specialised dictionary: the Dictionary of Water and Water Engineering published by Butterworth in 1973. In 1979 Lothian Publishing Company, Melbourne, published my book Water Resources, which was written for Australian secondary-school pupils and their teachers. It covered various aspects of water development in this country. My fourth book arose from interesting circumstances. In 1985, the Water Research Foundation of Australia (WRFA) became disturbed by a report stating that Australians were spending about $50 million on the construction of small farm dams, of which 25 per cent failed. By this time I had been working on small farm dams for 20 years and had produced many technical papers on the subject, which prompted the WRFA to give me a grant of $2000 to produce a book on small farm dams for farmers. Design and Construction of Small Earth Dams was first published late in 1985, with reprints in 1991 and 1996, and a second edition in 1997. A third edition, with corrections, has just been published as an eBook (and a limited run of bound copies) by Engineers Media and distributed by EA Books here in Australia. Although primarily intended for Australians, over the years the book attracted considerable interest overseas, with the previous publisher distributing copies to Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Holland, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UK, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe. ITDG Publishing, the publishing arm of Intermediate Technology Development Group, published my fifth and final book, the completely revised and updated Dictionary of Water Engineering, which was published in 2005. ITDG’s mission is to improve the skills of people in developing countries by disseminating practical information – and water is an essential need of all peoples. In recent years, a marked advance in the development of water science and technology had resulted in the need to update the earlier 1973 water dictionary. The new version has double the original number of diagrams, which helps readers understand definitions of terms better.


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The 2005 Dictionary of Water Engineering was reviewed in Water Journal (September 2005) by Frank Bishop, who noted its ‘greater emphasis on the needs of poorer communities and environmental sustainability’, the 4000 entries, and useful crossreferencing for all kinds of practitioners and disciplines involved with water resources, technology and supply. After 60 years of experience in Australia I’m ‘still flowing’, and 90 years old this year.

Phone: +61 3 9728 3973 Email: water

AUGUST 2011 39

awa news

A Day in the Life… AWA’s Operations Specialist Network was established in 2007 with the aim of raising the profile of Operations in the water industry, giving it an Australia-wide voice. The network includes people working in all areas of water industry operations, from catchments and dams through to treatment processes – water, wastewater, recycled water, desalination, industrial water – and their associated transport systems, in both public and privately run businesses.

Duncan Griffin, Manager Water Operations – Remote Operations, Darwin.

Over the last few years, the network has engaged with members through dedicated streams and workshops at Ozwater’07, Enviro ’08, Ozwater’09, and Ozwater’11, and in 2010 launched the inaugural National Operations Conference in Sydney. Plans are now in place for the 2nd National Operations Conference to be held in Darwin in September 2012. The network provides meaningful networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities for all members and is run by a committee with strong national representation. The committee is made up of a dedicated group of AWA members who give their time to work on developing activities to benefit the broader membership of the network. To give you an insight into the varied work of our committee, in this issue we profile Duncan Griffin, Manager Water Operations – Remote Operations with Power and Water in Darwin.

Describe a typical day in your life Get coffee (to counteract lack of sleep from little kids). Walk around with Service Coordinators and Community Liaison Officers in the Darwin office to gather info on issues occurring overnight with outages/ESOs/contractors/projects/access/ weather/wildlife etc. Deal with issues that are physically possible to deal with. Go through the Darwin Daily Schedule Call from the community ESOs to check on other issues on the ground. Check against asset telemetry where possible. Call on Service Coordinators out bush to check on their progress. By now someone has probably organised a meeting for me to attend! Check with Katherine Coordinators on issues in the Katherine Schedule Call as well as contractor and project issues. Check and approve invoices for various maintenance works and projects. Have heart attack at escalating piracy in the Arafura Sea. Do the rounds with Water Quality, Water Planning and Infrastructure people to discuss current projects. Consult Alice Springs and Tenant Creek Water Ops Manager for updates. Haven’t had a meeting for a while, so am probably missing one at the moment! Try to address environmental and safety concerns raised in convoluted OHS database. Ask for more money again to fix infrastructure. Make it to another meeting. This may or may not be the one I was invited to. Organise trip out bush to inspect assets next week. Check that Air Charter Company was not the one that had two planes crash last month. Go home. Take calls from Coordinators and ESOs on various dramas unfolding. Check asset telemetry. Sleep.

How did you get into Operations for Power and Water? I have worked in several engineering fields – mining (Operations & Design), oilfields (Wireline) and civil (Dredging & Residential Land Development). A move to town was mooted by my wife following years of fly-in/fly-out rosters. I started work with PowerWater Corporation (PWC) as an Infrastructure Engineer for Remote Operations (RO). I then progressed to Water and Sewerage Operations Management RO, supervising the supply of water and sewer services to the NT’s remote communities. How would you describe your job to others? My job involves the management of the daily delivery of water and sewer services to remote communities and outstations in the NT, and of the assets and people that make these services possible. Assets typically range from water source (borefield) through water rising mains, treatment, storage, distribution, sewer collection, sewer pump stations and sewer rising mains, waste stabilisation ponds and spray dispersion. People include PWC Service Coordinators in major centres who, in turn, supervise contract Essential Service Operators (ESOs) in the communities. ESOs undertake daily inspections of PWC assets and communicate with the Service Coordinators to undertake minor repairs and cyclic maintenance through the use of panel contractors. My duties include managing service delivery issues and complaints, asset management (breakdown, cyclic maintenance and minor new works programs), through to the development of long-term planning objectives. This is performed in conjunction with Infrastructure Development, Water Quality and Water Planning teams in PWC. I also have input into local government and Indigenous employment program schemes through my Community Liaison officers.

40 AUGUST 2011 water

An elevated tank assembly at Warruwi, Goulburn Island.

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awa news Best Water Journal Paper Award

What are some of the strangest things you’ve encountered in your daily routine?

Professor Leigh Ackland (lead author) has been awarded the 2011 Best Water Paper (previously referred to as the Guy Parker Award). The paper, ‘Assessing Health Risk of Reclaimed Water Using Human Cell Culture’ was published in the December 2010 issue. Professor Ackland is Deputy Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne. Co-authors were Dr Agnes Michalczyk, Research Fellow at the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, David Freestone, PhD student at the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, and Professor Frank Stagnitti, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at the University of Ballarat in Victoria.

That depends on your definition of strange! Typical things we encounter include crocs in the sewer ponds; camels in the bore compounds; pigs/buffalo/crocs guarding ‘their’ bore from access; detailed reports from contractors on the latest item of clothing (size, pattern, lace and probable owner) blocking our pump/pipework; and being able to reassemble an HZ Toyota Landcruiser ute from the contents of a sewer pump station. What is the biggest challenge facing Operations in NT? Remoteness – and that term may be used to describe communication, transport, availability of workforce, visibility of situations on the ground, ruggedness of assets, as well as disadvantage of people due to isolation. And politics – facing up to the hard truths of working in remote communities.

The paper looks at the key issues and challenges of reclaimed water reuse and analyses the effects of three batches of reclaimed water on human colonic cells. The award is given in honour of CD (Guy) Parker, chemist and bacteriologist, and one of the founders of AWA, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2012.

So what keeps you excited about what you do? The challenge. Visiting remote communities and talking with the people who live there to find simple, practical solutions to problems. Introducing new technologies to improve the way we manage assets and provide services. And the positive impact you can have on many people by providing a service that most in Australia take for granted. The Operations Specialist Network has recently published its Action Plan for 2010–2012 – a guide to their objectives and the activities planned to meet them. The Action Plan can be downloaded at:

u rg.a o . k e e www.nationalwaterw

NWW Ambassadors Wanted The Australian Water Association (AWA) is inviting members to become National Water Week Ambassadors. This initiative aims to raise community awareness and improve understanding of water issues in Australia and globally. As a National Water Week Ambassador you will have an opportunity to visit schools and community groups in your local area and present on the topic of ‘Healthy Catchments, Healthy Communities’ during National Water Week. This is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness and educate communities across Australia about some key water issues.

As an Ambassador you will: • • • •

Connect with your community. Raise awareness about water issues. Build your engagement skills. Inspire students to work in the field of water.

To support Ambassadors and to reduce the time commitment of taking part in this initiative, a selection of presentations and guidance notes have been prepared that can be used when visiting schools and community groups.

If you are interested in becoming a National Water Week Ambassador, please visit Managed by

water AUGUST 2011 41 Follow us on •

Participate in the National Water Skills Audit NOW! The National Water Skills Audit assesses the water industry’s current skill needs and skill requirements into the future. The Audit contains water-specific questions regarding key workforce indicators such as HRIS data, training insights and workforce forecasting. The survey should be populated by human resource personnel, water division managers or corporate managers. Only one survey per organisation is required.

Why should you participate in the Audit? It will allow you to:

• Compare your organisation’s performance biennially

• Benchmark your organisation against similar ones

• Inform your organisation’s HR, training strategy and projects.

It will help the industry to:

National Water Skills Audit

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• Review and plan large-scale skills projects

• Effectively allocate resources according to need and importance to provide the greatest industry benefit

• Determine skills gaps in the industry

• Provide evidence to support proposals for further Government and stakeholder investment.

Information from the Audit will be statistically analysed and presented in a publicly available report. Individual enterprise information will be anonymous and will not be provided to any external parties.

Want further information? Please contact Jacilyn O’Grady by phone on (02) 9467 8429 or email:

42 AUGUST 2011 water

awa news Specialist Networks Get In On the Action Since their inception in 2006, AWA’s Specialist Networks have strived to unite members working in the same field across Australia. Over the years, the way they operate has become a little more structured, while still aiming to maintain their member-driven roots. In 2008, a formal biannual call for committee members was introduced, with record numbers of members putting their name forward to be on one of the [then] 14 committees. In order to better communicate their intentions, the committees developed a series of Action Plans that outlined their scope, their objectives, and the activities they intended to coordinate over a two-year period to reach those objectives. Over the last few years, the achievements of the various networks have been many and varied, from organising largescale national conferences, to developing specialist training and best practice manuals. In the last 12 months the networks have continued to move forward and build on their successes. Here are just a few of the areas in which AWA Specialist Networks have worked recently:

Knowledge Building & Networking • Four Specialist Networks ran national conferences, reaching hundreds of water professionals; • The Water Quality Monitoring & Analysis (WQMA), and Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Communities (WASH) Specialist Networks ran national roadshows, covering four cities in Australia; • Training courses were run, covering subjects such as: Change Agents, Membranes & Desalination, Water Recycling and Water Infrastructure; • Our Young Water Professionals (YWP) were involved in the organisation of the IWA International YWP Conference in Sydney; • The Water Education Network (WEN) has developed a program to provide Professional Development for Sustainability Educators.

Influencing • Members have been involved in developing the Water Sector Sustainability Framework; • Catchment Management members helped formulate the National Institutional Framework for Catchment Management; • The development of an international standard in Asset Management has been influenced by the opinions of Asset Management Network members. Each of the 15 Specialist Networks has now published its 2010–2012 Action Plan, and these are available on the AWA website at: AWA’s newest Specialist Network, Environmental Water Managers, has recently been launched and will shortly be developing its own Action Plan and calling for additional committee members. For more information go to: www.

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AUGUST 2011 43

awa news Water Leaders Forum: Extreme Climate Variability is the New Normal

perspective on the changes in political and regulatory climates, climate change and social climates, resulting in an integrated perspective of the water future in Australia.

According to water leaders from across the country and overseas, Australia must prepare for a climate that is increasingly variable and uncertain. The water leaders, including CEOs of some of Australia’s largest water utilities, consulting and engineering firms, met at Ozwater’11 in Adelaide in May to discuss how the sector can best respond to the demands of a dynamic climate.

Eelko van Der Vaart, WA YWP President, and Amanda Hazell, National YWP President, opened proceedings highlighting the numerous benefits of the association’s membership.

Tom Mollenkopf, CEO of the Australian Water Association (AWA), said: “There is an expectation that communities must ‘get through the drought’ and that heavy rainfall will follow a dry period. However, we must accept that our climate is increasingly uncertain. We must, therefore, take a sensible approach and plan and invest in water supply options to secure our water supplies for the future. “There is a risk that with high rainfall and healthy dam levels in many states, water supply will no longer be considered an issue for many people. There is also a temptation to pull back funding from areas such as research, capital investment and maintenance.” But, he added, activity in these critical areas cannot be turned on and off like a light switch. “Our water needs, for communities, agriculture and the environment – are long-term needs and require long lead times and sound planning. A failure to continue to build resilience and security now will leave a sad legacy. If we lose skilled people because projects are uncertain or shelved, we may not recover.”

WA Branch News Water Future Forum: Water in Changing Climates – Young Water Professional Perspectives (Reported by AWA WA YWP) AWA Western Australian Branch and its Young Water Professional (YWP) committee hosted the inaugural Water Future Forum, on 26 May. The half-day conference was held in the Perth Convention Centre, where 70 delegates heard from keynote speaker and award winner of the National Young Water Professional of the Year, Josh Byrne, followed by three different, yet interconnected streams of our water industry. Presenters shared a young

Josh Byrne demonstrated how it is possible to have a green and functional garden in Perth’s harsh and dry weather, while maintaining a low demand on treated drinking water. Josh covered the potential water reuse applications and showcased a tangible real-life example of sustainability in action, the Grove Project – jointly funded Library and Community Centre for the Town of Cottesloe, Shire of Peppermint Grove and Town of Mosman Park. Chris Pepperell, a chemical engineer and greenhouse gas consultant from Melbourne, highlighted the water industry reporting guidelines for the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (NGERS). Chris introduced NGERS in relation to the future carbon pricing regime, the guidelines’ definition for water treatment facility and also discussed the NGERS reporting requirements. Michael Voros, a lawyer working with legal and strategic issues for the evolving Australian and global new ‘green’ economy, presented on Australia’s progression to carbon pricing in the political arena. Michael explored the current political scene and its key players’ drivers in the carbon price debate. Katrina Annan, winner of the 2006 Undergraduate Water Prize, presented an informative and entertaining summary of the significant weather events we, in WA, experienced during the 2010–2011 La Niña season. The tropical cyclones, floods and tornados that considerably changed the scenario in the north-west of WA kept the Bureau’s staff on their toes. Katrina advised that the outlook for the 2011 winter rainfall will be drier than average for the south-west of WA (and ensured everyone understood that the extremely dry 2010 winter was not to be taken as an average year reference). Graham Currie, Engineers Australia Young Professional Engineer of the Year 2010, presented the Aqwest Bunbury Water Board plan to maintain its customer services during a major natural event or disaster. Graham started his presentation by highlighting recent global and Australian events such as the earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan, the Brisbane floods

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awa news and the Victorian bushfires. Graham then ran the audience through the extensive preparation that Aqwest is undertaking to ensure business continuity in case of a major disruption. Elise Paskett, the Water Corporation’s project manager for the Margaret River Water Smart Project – winner of the 2010 AWA Program Innovation Award – explained the Corporation’s initiatives in water efficiency that are helping to address the water supply pressures in Western Australia’s drying climate, which is combined with rapid population growth. Elise took us through the journey of changing the way we use water in a vibrant, highly informative and comprehensive presentation. Matt Walsh, a founding director of Engineers Without Borders Australia, is currently working to help build worldclass sustainable cities. Matt presented, with great humour, the concepts that today’s planners and engineers are facing to ensure the future of our cities. Matt presented several case studies, such as the Grocon Pixel Building and Council House 2 in Melbourne – both with design that incorporates rainwater harvesting, on-site black and greywater treatment and other innovative features.

2011 WA Water Award Nominations Open The 2011 AWA WA Water Awards, presented by the Department of Water and the Water Corporation, are now open to individuals and organisations that have shown innovation, leadership and achievement across a range of water industry activities. The categories are: • Conservation and Efficiency • Water Innovation • Water Recycling • Water Resource Management • Waterwise Business • Waterwise Council • Waterwise School • Waterwise Specialist • Program Innovation

• Infrastructure Innovation • Water Professional • Young Water Professional. Nominations close on Friday, 2 September, 2011 and winners will be announced at a gala dinner on Friday, 25 November, 2011. Winners will automatically be entered into the 2011 AWA National Award category. For more information, or to submit a nomination, visit the Australia Water Awards website at:

Tasmania Branch News Taswater’11 Tasmania’s Annual Conference, Taswater’11, was an opportunity to reflect on the challenges of water and sewerage reform, explore the latest scientific studies of freshwater flows and floods in our catchments, and learn about new initiatives in stormwater management. The new water authorities are investigating the feasibility of a long list of upgrades to sewerage treatment plants to meet emission standards, while also grappling with the pressure to keep prices down. What will the community be willing to pay to protect delicate estuarine ecosystems? Which of the many small rural towns in Tasmania should receive water and sewerage supplies? How will cross-subsidies be removed? Can infrastucture investment be strategic without a state-wide infrastructure plan? Speakers, Ben Goodsir (DPIPWE), Lance Stapleton (Southern Water), David Dettrick (SKM) and Greg Waters (Engineers Australia) gave the delegates some insight as to how these issues are being considered from different agencies. When the keynote speaker was grounded in Canberra by the Chilean ash cloud, some improvisation was required. Andrew Speers, AWA National Policy Manager, provided an impromptu briefing on the National Productivity Commission Report on Urban Water that set the scene for a panel session. A panel was

Delivering innovative water, wastewater and reuse solutions.


AUGUST 2011 45

awa news convened to discuss the key reform issues, for example, how should the revenue from the water and sewerage sector be spent? What proportions should flow back to government as a dividend or be reinvested in infrastructure? If the sector is to focus on service delivery, rather than profit, what would be best model to drive efficient delivery – a not-for-profit or business model? Panellists Phil Gee (Pitt & Sherry), Michael Black (Deloitte) and Mike Graver (GHD), were ably facilitated by Andrew Speers. In the last session we were briefed on the new Tasmanian Stormwater Strategy, that provides excellent guidance for Local Government and the pending new framework for planning schemes, by John Crispijn (Derwent Estuary Program). His colleague John Devries has recently started working with the building industry to reduce a very diffuse source of pollution – sediment from building sites around Hobart. Peter Diprose (Humes) kindly stepped in for another speaker stranded on the big island, to show us the latest techniques in stormwater treatment. Other key issues raised included the capacity of infrastructure to endure storms or climate change and the poor information available about stormwater assets.

ACT Branch News Water Matters ACT Branch held its annual Water Matters conference in June. The event commenced with the inaugural Regional Operations Workshop, which has been established to provide a focal point for networking between Councils in the Capital

Region and south-east New South Wales. The next day saw the main technical conference, with the theme “Droughts and Flooding Rains” aimed at ensuring the water industry maintains its focus on sustainable solutions for the future, without forgetting the inevitable droughts and floods that characterise Australia. The event was well attended and promises to continue growing, particularly with the high quality presentations given by experts from ACTEW, ActewAGL, AECOM, Australian National University, Bureau of Meteorology, and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities. Please note, too, that the ACT Industry and Student Awards are now open. Contact for more information.

Queensland Branch News Qld Water Industry Awards 2011 Congratulations to the following winners of the Queensland Water Industry Awards 2011: • Operator of the Year Award – Robin Cherry (Unitywater); • Infrastructure Project Innovation Award – Logan Water Alliance; • Program Innovation Award – Unitywater; • Water Industry Woman of the Year Award – Tracey Wohlsen (Unitywater); • Young Water Professional of the Year Award – Kelly O’Halloran (Allconnex); • Water Professional of the Year Award – Ian Cameron (Logan Water Alliance).

Sulzer Pumps – Essential for the Production of Drinking Water

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Steel Pipe Fabrications awa news Cement Lined Pipes Surface Treatment Standardsmark Certified to AS1579-2001 Licence No. SMK 02349

Pipe Lining & Coating Pty Ltd has enjoyed another successful year at the AWA Ozwater’11 in Adelaide. Our new product FUSIONKOTE was on display and enthusiastically received by our visiting customers. FUSIONKOTE is a Fusion Bonded Medium Density Polyethylene Coating. This new FBMDPE coating will allow Pipe Lining & Coating to deliver a product that is equivalent to any existing FBMDPE coating system, thereby removing the single supply option and giving our water industry customers an alternative supply source from a 100% Australian owned company.

Pipe Lining & Coating Pty Ltd 53 Gardiner Street, Rutherford NSW 2320 Phone: +61 2 4932 3889 Fax: +61 2 4932 3898




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Inside September Water Journal: Wastewater Treatment • On-site & Small Systems • International Developments Water Business will focus on: Wastewater Treatment (Sludge Management, Biosolids, Anaerobic Digestion, Consulting Services, Equipment, Industrial Reuse, Nutrient Removal, On-site/Decentralised Systems, Operations & Maintenance)

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AUGUST 2011 47

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

NEW CORPORATE MEMBERS NSW Corporate Bronze Parchem Construction Supplies P/L Hydroscience Consulting Pty Ltd Corporate Silver Jiang Su Lantian Purification Equipment Co Ltd

QLD Corporate Bronze Aqua Wise

VIC Corporate Bronze North East Catchment Management Authority


NEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS ACT R. Ajaj, C. Browne, D. Robertson, M. Hopf NSW P. Neall, A. Dickinson, K. Zhou, K. Dewis, E. Afuang, C. Hitchcock, S. Fagan, P. Hain, G. Azar, J. StaddonSmith, J. Kieswetter, A. McFadden, G. O’Toole, M. Yeoh, T. Watkins, D. Maher, C. Thomas, L. O’Sullivan, J. Scerri, A. Fraser, D. Carrasco, G. Attenborough, I. Chowdhury, J. Varghese, J. Friedman, N. McKinney, L. Rathod, A. Allan, A. Montgomery, K. Withers, E. Holfter, G. Sharma NT N. Fries QLD Z. Cventanoski, P. Scott, I. Mawn, B. Fraser, P. Sodhi, D. Russell, S. Erriah, R. Garcia, J. Kunde, S. Schroeder, R. Spalding, B. Audet, T. How Lim SA N. Job, A. Millar, R. Tanner, R. Mclean, W. Archer, C. Haskard TAS S. Wright, J. Boocock


VIC M. Jempson, J. Kay, B. Rendall, P. Yeates, C. Jayasena, L. Welsh, S. Graham, R. Appathurai, M. Kelly, I. Kholodov, A. Derwent, V. Biernaux

Corporate Silver Cadagua – Spain

WA M. Sanchez, D. Murphy, J. Roz, C. Vigus, M. Vojtisek, B. Allpike, M. Stenhouse, I. van de Ploeg

Corporate Silver Tecnicas Reunidas Australia Pty Ltd

Overseas E. Blanco, J. Horswell, K. Seng Pang, T. Fook Chia, H. Wah, N. Robert, G. Eugene, A. Samad Saifuddin, S. Daud, J. Chin Fong, K. Hong Ng, R. Skea


YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONALS ACT D. Cirulis NSW L. Taylor, S. Hajibabania QLD L. Castro, M. Stevens SA S. Poroushani VIC B. Kennedy, N. O’Luanaigh, L. Jones, Y. Siriwardene, A. Chan, M. Currell, L. Walpole WA A. Wyber, N. Shishkina, C. Matasci Overseas M. Savage

If you think a new activity would enhance the AWA membership package please contact us on our national local call number 1300 361 426 or submit your suggestion via email to

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



Thu, 11 Aug 2011

49th VIC Branch Annual Dinner, Melbourne, VIC

Sun, 14 Aug 2011

Water to Wine Gumboot Tour, Canberra, ACT

Tue, 16 Aug 2011

NSW YWP Mentoring Breakfast, Sydney, NSW

Thu, 18 Aug 2011

WA Technical Event, Perth, WA

Mon, 22 Aug – Tue, 23 Aug 2011

AWA Catchment Management Conference, Melbourne, VIC

Tue, 23 Aug 2011

TAS Technical Seminar, South Tasmania, TAS

Wed, 24 Aug 2011

TAS Technical Seminar, North Tasmania, TAS

Wed, 24 Aug 2011

NT Technical Meeting, Darwin, NT

Thu, 01 Sep 2011

ACT Water Leaders Dinner, Canberra, ACT

Sun, 04 Sep – Fri, 09 Sep 2011

IDA World Congress 2011, Perth, WA

Wed, 07 Sep 2011

WA Branch Annual Members Meeting & Meet the Board Cocktail Party, Perth, WA

Thu, 08 Sep – Fri, 09 Sep 2011

AWA NQ Regional Conference 2011, Mackay, QLD

Wed, 14 Sep 2011

QLD Technical Meeting, Brisbane, QLD

Wed, 14 Sep 2011

SA Technical Meeting, Adelaide, SA

Thu, 15 Sep 2011

VIC YWP PD Seminar – Working with People Workshop, Melbourne, VIC

Tue, 20 Sep 2011

VIC Technical Breakfast – Pricing, regulation, water markets & trading, Melbourne, VIC

Wed, 21 Sep 2011

SA YWP Technical Tour, Adelaide, SA

Thu, 22 Sep 2011

Galah Dinner & Debate, Wrest Point, Hobart, TAS

Tue, 27 Sep 2011

TAS Technical Meeting, South Tasmania, TAS

Wed, 28 Sep 2011

ACT Student Awards Presentation Evening, Canberra, ACT

Wed, 12 Oct 2011

QLD Technical Meeting, Brisbane, QLD

Sun, 16 Oct – Sat, 22 Oct 2011

WA National Water Week Seminar: Recycling with GWRT Site Visit, Perth, WA

Mon, 17 Oct 2011

IWM Summit, Melbourne, VIC

Mon, 17 Oct 2011

VIC Branch 2011 Awards, Melbourne, VIC

Wed, 19 Oct 2011

Special Event – Water Reform Panel Discussion, Brisbane, QLD

Thu, 20 Oct 2011

ACT Branch BBQ, Black Mountain, ACT

Fri, 21 Oct 2011

Water In the Bush, Darwin, NT

Mon, 24 Oct – Wed, 26 Oct 2011

14th NSW Engineers-Operators and Regional Conference, Byron Bay, NSW

Tue, 25 Oct 2011

SA Technical Meeting, Adelaide, SA

Tue, 25 Oct 2011

TAS Technical Meeting, South Tasmania, TAS

48 AUGUST 2011 water

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IDA World Congress

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See the latest products and services in desalination in the World Congress Exhibition

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AUGUST 2011 49

Desalination – sustainable solutions for a thirsty planet

feature article

Alliances in the Water Sector Alliance contracting has had a major impact in the water industry, delivering value for money in infrastructure projects, capital programs and services, and contributing to enhanced relationships with the private sector. However, new policy regulation by state treasuries could mean significant challenges to alliancing. David Hand, an Associate with Maddocks, addresses the issue. Alliancing emerged in response to dissatisfaction with long, complex and costly disputes, which were associated with other forms of contracting. During the 1980s and 1990s, the construction industry was rife with such disputes. This led to aggressive, adversarial and compliance-focused approaches to contracting with disastrous impacts on project delivery. Industry participants sought new and innovative procurement methods, including alliancing, which radically altered traditional risk allocation. Since then, alliancing has transformed the water sector. It is now widely seen as delivering value for money in complex infrastructure projects, capital programs and the provision of long-term services. This article considers the impact of alliance contracting in the water sector, describes alliancing and when it is appropriate, and briefly studies a few recent water alliances. It concludes by arguing that the new Practitioner’s Guide to Alliance Contracting has significantly reduced the hallmarks of alliances – collaboration and innovation – and placed an undue burden on state departments and agencies.

The Impact of Alliancing in the Water Sector Alliancing has had a profound impact on Australian infrastructure delivery, particularly in the past few years, and has experienced significant growth (see Figure 1).

Alliances/Sector Building,






Oil & Gas, 6% Mining, Water,









Figure 2. Alliancing Association of Australasia (AAA) and RMIT University, Report on Project Alliancing Activities in Australia – Overview & Performance Survey – 1998 to 2008, March 2009. In the period between 1996 and 2008, 217 alliance projects had been undertaken, with a total economic investment of approximately $65 billion. Such expenditure far exceeds other delivery models, particularly Public-Private Partnerships, which in the period between 2000 and 2006 comprised 39 projects with an investment value of $16.6 billion. In the water sector, alliances are typically utilised by semiautonomous statutory corporations, for example, Melbourne Water Corporation, Sydney Water Corporation, WA Water Corporation, SA Water Corporation, WaterSecure, LinkWater, SunWater, Queensland Water Infrastructure, South East Water, Barwon Water, Gippsland Water and Murrumbidgee Irrigation. Anecdotally, alliances have significantly contributed to an internal transformation in these organisations, enhancing relationships with the private sector, assisting in knowledge transfer and retention, changing the delivery approach and accelerating a culture revolution.

What is Alliance Contracting?

Figure 1. Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria, In Pursuit of Additional Value, at 2008–2009, October 2009. Interestingly, this graph shows that alliancing in the private sector has been relatively static when compared to the exponential growth in the public sector. While the reasons for this are unclear, it is likely to be as a result of the ‘bankability’ issues associated with alliancing, including the lack of guaranteed contract price or completion dates, ‘traditional’ protections such as liquidated damages and performance guarantees, and a ‘deep pocket’ sponsor (because of the limited nature of project financing deals). Over $32 billion has been spent on alliances in recent years, representing 29% of the total infrastructure across Australia. Of this, 38% is attributable to alliances in the water sector (see Figure 2).

50 AUGUST 2011 water

Alliance contracting is a form of procurement where an owner and commercial participants (designer/s, constructor/s and key supplier/s) enter into one agreement for the delivery of a project/program. Under an alliance, the participants’ objectives are aligned to maximise performance, proactively manage risk, reduce time and cost and achieve outstanding performance through innovative solutions. An alliance is typically characterised by: • Collective Assumption of All Risk: All participants jointly assume and manage each and every risk relevant to the success of the project/program; • No Dispute: A ‘no fault, no blame’ regime, which requires the alliance leadership team to ensure all tension is resolved within the alliance and excludes the ability of the participants to sue each other, except in the case of a wilful default; • Target Outturn Cost (TOC): All participants develop a ‘project/ program proposal’, which specifies the target outturn cost to be achieved during the delivery phase;

feature articles

feature article • A 3-limb Compensation Framework: A compensation framework that provides for: ^ Direct cost reimbursement on an ‘open book’ and transparent basis; ^ A fee to contribute to the participants’ profit and corporate overhead; and Photo: Water CorPoration

^ A gainshare/painshare (or risk/reward) regime where the rewards of outstanding performance and risk of poor performance are shared equitably among all participants; and • Good Faith: All participants are required to act in good faith, with integrity, and make unanimous ‘best-for-project’ decisions.

Perth Desalination Plant.

Alliances are likely to deliver enhanced value for money where a traditional risk strategy is not appropriate. For example, alliancing may be suitable where there is one or more of the following characteristics:

There are various forms of alliances, including: • Project Alliances: Suitable for the construction or design and construction of a single project, for example, Melbourne Water’s Sugarloaf Pipeline;

• There are complex and unpredictable risks, which, if transferred to the private sector using traditional delivery methods, would be cost prohibitive;

• Program Alliances: Suitable for bundled projects where the specific number, scope, definition and budgets of the projects are unknown, for example, Sydney Water’s Watermains Works Program;

• The scope and output specifications cannot be clearly defined upfront;

• Services Alliances: Suitable for the long-term provision of services where the owner wishes to ‘in-source’ external expertise, for example, WA Water Corporation’s Operations and Maintenance Alliance for the Perth Desalination Plant; and

• There is a compressed delivery program that requires flexibility in approach to incorporate economic, political or stakeholder considerations; • There is a requirement for flexibility in approach or a high likelihood of scope changes; or

• Sub-alliances: These are subordinate to an alliance and an alternative to a sub-contract, sub-consultancy agreement or a supply agreement. Sub-alliances are appropriate where the circumstances dictate that an alliance methodology should be used rather than traditional methods of procurement, for example, Melbourne Water’s Frankston Drainage Improvement Project.

• There is emerging technology or innovation that must be captured and explored.

Water Sector Alliances There are a number of water sector alliances that are current or recently completed. These include:

Photo: Melbourne Water

• Sugarloaf Pipeline: A 70km pipeline linking the Goulburn River near Yea to the Sugarloaf Reservoir in Melbourne’s north-east at a cost of $625 million. This project was successfully delivered using an alliance involving Melbourne Water, John Holland, GHD and SKM, under budget and ahead of schedule. The structure of the alliance allowed early involvement from the private sector to determine the preferred route over the Great Dividing Range and utilised the alliance’s flexibility to incorporate a mini-hydro plant into the scope of the project.

Sugarloaf Pipeline under construction.

• Melbourne Water’s Capital Program: A $750+million program over five years, consisting of three alliances – Water Resources Alliance, Waterways Alliance and Pipelines Alliance. The bundling of projects in the alliances promotes efficiencies of scale and allows for continuous improvement over the longer term. The alignment of the participants’ objectives with organisational strategic goals is also key to the success of Melbourne Water’s diverse capital program.


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feature article Recent Developments and Challenges Despite the evident success over the past decade, alliance contracting faces a number of significant challenges, principal among which is stifling policy regulation by the respective state treasuries. Recently, representatives from the Treasury Departments in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and the Commonwealth formed an Inter-jurisdictional committee to effectively address the emerging opportunities and issues in alliance contracting. The Inter-jurisdictional committee has developed new policies, guidelines and training programs for alliance contracting. The new Practitioner’s Guide to Alliance Contracting, among other things, mandates a selection process which involves two consortia developing a target outturn cost in accordance with an ‘Alliance Development Agreement’. The ‘dual TOC’ or ‘competitive TOC’ process is mandatory unless an exemption is granted in the business case.

Eastern Treatment Plant Upgrade. • Eastern Treatment Plant Upgrade: A $418 million upgrade of the plant to incorporate an ‘advanced tertiary’ treatment stage which uses ozone and biological media filtration coupled with UV and chlorine disinfection. An alliance was recently established between Melbourne Water, Black & Veatch, KBR, Baulderstone and UGL with the aim of upgrading the plant to provide Class A recycled water. The alliance will provide Melbourne Water with the ability to explore innovative designs associated with the emerging technology in a tight timeframe with numerous complex stakeholder issues. • Sydney Water’s Watermains Works Program: A $1 billion program over four years to replace aged and damaged water pipes and valves across a 20,824km network of water mains. The program is being delivered as an alliance between Sydney Water, Bovis Lend Lease, CLM Excavations and Veolia Water. The alliance’s flexibility allows Sydney Water to prioritise and re-prioritise projects in its capital program. • Perth Desalination O&M Alliance: A 25-year services alliance to manage and operate the desalination plant. The alliance commenced in May 2005 between WA Water Corporation and Degrémont. The alliance provides WA Water Corporation with the flexibility to establish an O&M budget on a rolling annual basis and has been key to attracting best-in-class resources. • Murrumbidgee Infrastructure Modernisation Program: A $400 million bundle of projects aimed at modernising and upgrading of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation infrastructure network with potential water savings of 60GL a year. An alliance was recently established between Murrumbidgee Irrigation and John Holland. The alliance will provide Murrumbidgee Irrigation with a high degree of flexibility in delivery in response to changing customer, stakeholders and political demands.

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Photo: Melbourne Water

This dual TOC process substantially departs from the commonly accepted best practice of using a single TOC with competitively bid elements and dual commercial workshops. Treasury’s mandate now means increased complexity in alliances, increased procurement and tendering costs, an extended procurement period, resource drain (on the already over-extended public sector) and increased cost of alliance insurance. It also means increased alliance disputation reducing the freedom to innovate and collaborate. For example, the new Model Project Alliance Agreement: • Apportions risks, such a failure of subcontractors and failure to achieve milestones, contrary to the principle of ‘collective assumption of all risks’; and • Contains substantial exceptions to the ability to sue, putting at risk the robustness of a ‘no dispute’ regime. Ultimately, any perceived saving in mandating the dual TOC process may be outweighed by the increased process cost to the state and the increased corporate overhead component in participants’ bids necessary to comply with the dual TOC process. This must be carefully documented and reported to assess Treasury’s aim of achieving efficient market engagement. The challenge is now with the state departments and agencies, which must carefully consider a range of additional factors to determine whether an alliance delivery strategy provides the state with the best ‘value for money’. David Hand (email: david.hand@maddocks. is Associate – Construction & Major Projects at Maddocks law firm in Melbourne. He is a Transactional Projects Lawyer with qualifications in both engineering and law, and has extensive experience in infrastructure and major projects with a particular focus on water, construction, engineering, transport, energy and mining. David has acted for many of the key players in these industries including government departments and agencies, principals, banks, contractors, subcontractors and consultants. His primary expertise is advising on procurement strategies, project documentation, commercial negotiations and project implementation. He is a member of the Alliancing Association of Australasia, Building Dispute Practitioners Society and Society of Construction Law.

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Alliancing Association of Australasia: Focusing On Productivity And People Better productivity and improved relationship skills gained on early alliance projects inspired water and other infrastructure industry practitioners to establish a centre of excellence dedicated to developing collaborative contracting capability. The Alliancing Association of Australasia (AAA) was established in 2006 to leverage learnings and achievements from alliance projects and programs that had successfully delivered complex infrastructure projects. AAA Co-founder and Managing Director, Alain Mignot, says water sector industry participants were the first to adopt collaborative contracting and have played a lead role in developing the model in Australia and New Zealand. “Many in the water industry have been part of successful project and program alliances undertaken Alain Mignot, MD, since the first alliance in Australia, Alliancing Association Sydney Water’s Northside Storage of Australasia. Tunnel Alliance in 1998,” Mr Mignot says. “The project’s successful use of a collaborative approach paved the way for more than 320 subsequent alliancing engagements in the region to date. It led to the establishment of the AAA as a not-for-profit centre of excellence focused on catalysing cross-sharing of experience. “Sharing of collaborative practice has in turn evolved delivery methods for infrastructure assets which have a high level of complexity, such as brownfield expansion or upgrade of water treatment plants and strained or ageing networks. Recent examples include South East Water’s ‘us’ – Utility Services alliance in Victoria, Sydney Water’s Priority Sewerage Program, Metrowater’s Clear Harbour Alliance in New Zealand and Melbourne Water’s Water Resources Alliance.”

Productive Solution

procurement, too. As a result, the water industry is now better equipped with capabilities and resources to address the new water management and recovery challenges to scale water supply to demographic changes or help drought-proof our communities. This has certainly enhanced productivity in the water sector.” AAA members comprise leading public infrastructure agencies, constructors and designers who know the business and industry value of collaboration and want to make sure collaborative practices remain aligned with stakeholder needs. “AAA is a collective investment in the future of the whole industry and that’s why they are part of this initiative. The association’s programs and initiatives leverage the collaborative experiences to continue enhancing productivity and uplifting the level of relational skills across all industries,” says Mr Mignot. Key AAA initiatives include: • Public Infrastructure Agencies Forum (PIAF); • Alliance Manager Forum (AMF); • Industry Forums: Quarterly discussion sessions around current practices; • Annual Convention: 18–19 October, 2011, in Brisbane; • Team of Excellence Award Program: Rewarding exceptional performance from Alliance teams and creating role models for others to emulate.

Typically, alliance projects involve many unknowns and a wider set of requirements beyond the usual time/cost/fitness-forpurpose. A collaborative project environment is often the only way to productively tackle the ‘messy’ and ‘wicked’ problems typical of ambiguous projects, where objectives may be clear but scope and implementation is uncertain.

AAA project committees comprise senior representatives of clients and industry who contribute to industry development, independent of any direct commercial interests. Current studies include:

“The intellectual capability of a range of specialists is pooled to enable the creative synergies which solve complex problems faster than possible in traditional contracting, providing best value solutions that encompass benefits wider than monetary outcomes,” says Mr Mignot.

• Professional Excellence in Alliance Management: A joint project by AAA, RMIT and Victoria University to identify typical profiles of skills, experience and behaviours demonstrated by top Alliance Managers to help develop people into this challenging role;

“We saw this on emergency drought response projects, where fast but adaptive response is paramount to community recovery. This was made possible by clients, contractors, designers and specialists sharing expertise and working together to quickly identify and agree on objectives, understand risks and develop options with triple bottom-line focus.”

• Annual survey of alliancing performance and perception: Identifies trends and tests the views of client organisations about collaborative procurement and delivery efforts over the previous two years.

Industry-wide Benefits According to Mr Mignot, it does not stop there, as productivity gains have also been realised through the development of more capable professionals in the industry. “After more than a decade of alliancing, there is a whole new generation of people with collaborative engagement skills, experience and methods for tackling project complexities. This approach to business often transpires in non-collaborative

• Collaborative governance models: A planned three-year joint research program between QUT and AAA (ARC funding);

Effective and highly rated training programs include the Alliancing Life Cycle series, with courses ranging from procurement strategy to selection, contract and commercial agreements, building collaborative teams and troubleshooting alliance issues. The Advanced Series covers in-depth topics such as developing productive KRA/KPI frameworks and leadership and governance practices. Courses will be held on 6 September in Brisbane, and 29 September in Perth. For more information please visit: www.alliancingassociation. org, email or call the AAA on (02) 9431 8622.


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Presentedatat presented

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ensurIng wAter quAlIty And securIty In regIonAl towns A review of institutional reform requirements K Miles, J Byrnes, K Bannon Abstract Infrastructure Australia engaged AECOM to undertake a review of water quality and water security in regional Australia. The review identified an urgent need for action to address inadequate water quality and security in towns across the country. Recommendations resulting from the review focus on institutional reform, including governance reform in New South Wales and Queensland; improvements to operator training; regulation of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2004); streamlining water planning and reporting processes via introduction of a Best Practice Management Framework; and improvements to pricing structures.

Introduction Infrastructure Australia’s A Report to the Council of Australian Governments (2008) identified that many Australians in regional areas do not have access to the same levels of water quality and security as those living in the major urban centres. In 2009, Infrastructure Australia initiated a review of water quality and water security for Australia’s smaller communities, focussing on those utilities that provide a reticulated water supply to towns with populations between 2,000 and 15,000 residents. The review concentrated on the systemic and institutional constraints that are seen as barriers to supplying high quality drinking water and achieving supply security.

well understood, thanks to the nationally consistent performance-monitoring framework implemented by the National Water Commission and the Water Services Association of Australia in 2007. Every utility in Australia supplying more than 50,000 connected properties now reports on a range of performance indicators, measuring everything from CO2 emissions to the number of complaints made by their customers. However, the same cannot be said for smaller water utilities, where performance reporting is patchy and inconsistent. Similarly, as performance reporting is performed at a broad scale, the results achieved in smaller towns serviced by large utilities are not normally clear. Consequently, it is virtually impossible to present a national picture of water quality and water security outcomes for those living in Australia’s smaller regional towns. Notwithstanding inadequate available data, the evidence that is available demonstrates a definite need for action. A recent inquiry into the sustainability

of non-metropolitan urban water utilities in New South Wales uncovered some worrying trends: 17 of the 106 utilities failed to comply with Australia’s water quality standards, while only half of the very small utilities had water conservation and demand management plans in place (Armstrong and Gellatly, 2008). Although the situation in other states has not been documented to the same extent, the restructuring of regional urban water utilities in Queensland and Tasmania over the last five years suggests that there is a strong case for reform. In Victoria, evidence that the small water utilities in that state were unable to consistently supply high-quality drinking water was a key driver for sweeping water reform in the latter half of the 1990s. It is against this background that Infrastructure Australia engaged AECOM to undertake a review of water quality and water security for Australia’s smaller communities. This paper is based on the report.

The review considered the delivery of water to regional towns only, as the issues affecting regional areas are markedly different to major metropolitan communities. Australia’s major cities are well served with respect to drinking water treatment and significant improvements have been made to enhance the security of most metropolitan water supplies. The same, however, cannot be said of many small towns in Australia. The performance of urban water utilities in Australia’s capital cities and larger regional centres is now relatively

54 AUGUST 2011 water

Some regional water utilities are failing to provide safe, high-quality drinking water.

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Methodology The process followed during the review was broadly as follows: • Identify the frameworks and requirements for water quality and water security in regional Australia; • Determine the standards of water quality and security being achieved; • Analyse the causes of any gaps between required and actual standards; • Identify any significant risks; • Identify what, if anything, needs to be done; • Identify whether there are effective models available to address the issues; • Identify and prioritise actions to improve regional water quality and security; • Identify how the recommended actions should be implemented. The AECOM project team collected data from 101 towns across Australia to establish the current standards being achieved, the risks presented, and the reasons why the risks exist. Data analysis was complemented by stakeholder consultation and literature review.

Key Findings The key issues identified by the review were as follows: a. While less than full cost recovery by some water utilities contributes to the inability to deliver safe and secure water supplies in regional communities, it is only part of the problem. Less than full cost recovery is a common feature of water utilities servicing regional areas. However, even those utilities that earn sufficient revenue to allow a dividend payment to shareholders sometimes fail to supply high-quality water with acceptable security. This suggests that under the current governance arrangements there are insufficient incentives for water utilities to meet their minimum water quality and water security service standards. It also implies that basing future changes to governance arrangements on the generation of economic resources is unlikely to be effective in isolation. Potential governance reforms in the water sector should require and allow utilities to meet performance standards, include mechanisms that transparently verify utility performance, and provide training to build knowledge and enable change.

b. Pricing water in order to recover the full cost of supply is currently difficult to achieve in many regional towns. There is high variability in the price paid for water across regional communities. This is a result of many factors, including costs, but also pricing policies. On the cost side, the size and density of the water supply network, source water quality and the per capita volume of water consumed are key factors. The relative expense of supplying water infrastructure to small towns often means that capital projects are unviable for the water utility. For example, many small towns are without water treatment because the increase in residential bills to recover the cost would be substantial. Pricing is a difficult issue, particularly because of community and government sensitivity to price increases. However, many utilities servicing regional towns are not recouping the costs of supplying water, let alone providing for capital improvements. Many are charging prices significantly lower than in major urban areas, where economies of scale would be likely to mean lower cost. Without pricing reform, at least to cost-reflective levels, many regional water utilities – even the larger ones – will remain unsustainable and water quality and security will suffer as a result. Cross-subsidisation is a principle that needs to be acknowledged in the pricing discussion. Some utilities that service a larger geographic area spread the cost of water supply among all consumers – a solution not always supported by the larger regional or metropolitan communities that ultimately pay more for water to ensure neighbouring towns are serviced by safe and secure water supplies. Cross-subsidisation using ‘postage stamp pricing’ is a principle that is applied in virtually all major urban water utilities as one of the costs that comes with the benefits of economic scale. Many regional communities benefit significantly from the application of this principle to the provision of mail and telephone services. Australians have broadly accepted the application of this principle in the water sector and this position needs to be recognised when sections of the community argue that they may be disadvantaged by this approach. c. Water utilities servicing regional communities struggle to implement and comply with the ADWG – and this is particularly so for smaller water utilities.

governance This is due to: • Comparatively fewer human and financial resources, which is being exacerbated by declining population; • Relatively lower availability of technical knowledge and expertise; • Strong competition for skilled employees in regional areas; • Inadequate infrastructure to treat water and preserve water quality; • Poor processes for operation and maintenance of existing treatment infrastructure; • Lack of reporting and insufficient institutional incentive for utilities to comply with guidelines and licence requirements. Some regional communities are consequently exposed to a greater risk of illness from pathogens, algal toxins, and other physical and chemical contaminants. Sections of the community with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although there have been no recorded deaths directly attributed to contaminated potable water in regional Australia, numerous ‘boil water’ notices and severe outbreaks of water quality related illness have been recorded in regional Australia. d. A key reason for non-compliance is the absence of the necessary skills, experience and knowledge in water in many regional communities. Both water supply managers and operators have a critical role in achieving ADWG compliance. Inadequate knowledge, skills and training in regional areas at the managerial and operations levels result in poor understanding of the scope of the ADWG, how they should be implemented, and why implementation is important. The potential consequences of compliance breaches are not fully appreciated and the role of the operator in actively managing water quality is poorly understood. This leads to deficient operation, maintenance, and documentation practices that contribute to poor water quality. Treatment plant operators working in regional areas do not receive access to the same level of training provided in the larger metropolitan areas. This is significant due to the link between the knowledge and experience of operation and maintenance staff and the safety of drinking water delivered to consumers. The Commonwealth Government has acknowledged the significance of Australia’s water skills shortage following


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governance a national audit of labour and skills in the industry in 2008. Consequently, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed to a National Water Skills Strategy, which aims to improve retention and training, particularly in regional and remote Australia. The Commonwealth Government has agreed to provide up to $1.1 million in support of the Strategy. However, the program is likely to be ineffective without the institutional reform required to create organisations with the scale to ensure application and maintenance of those skills. e. Improving training and wider compliance with the ADWG could deliver significant benefits. Better-skilled operators will be more capable of facilitating and enhancing compliance with the ADWG. Improved compliance with the ADWG will increase the quality of water supplied to the consumer and generate a range of socio-economic benefits. Reducing water-related illness in the community will increase workforce productivity due to fewer sick days. Fewer outbreaks of illness will also contribute to lowering healthcare costs. Ad hoc and reactionary planning and funding will decrease, resulting in significant cost savings. Improved training will also help raise the status and recognition of water system operators. Recruitment and retention of skilled staff in regional areas are also likely to be facilitated as water operations becomes an identifiable career path. f. Achieving water security in regional areas is a relatively more complex task than in major urban areas, because towns in regional Australia often share the same water source, and this resource may be utilised by a number of water utilities, as well as other private users. Regional communities often share water resources with large water consumers such as irrigators, whereas most metropolitan utilities enjoy comparatively less competition for supply. Regional communities also usually share the main water source with other towns. Sharing the same resource means that decisions made by utilities serving regional areas involve far-reaching impacts, across the catchment and water system as a whole. Delivering certainty of supply and, hence, water security across a catchment therefore requires a high degree of coordination between all water users; currently this does not happen consistently. Where multiple users operate

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within a catchment, urban reuse schemes can have unintended consequences, with negative outcomes for downstream customers and environmental flows, as treated effluent is no longer returned to the river. For the majority of water utilities in regional areas, the options for diversifying raw water supply sources are limited by their geographic location. The majority of regional utilities are rainfall-dependent and operate within regulated systems, governed by complex water-sharing arrangements. Inland utilities cannot feasibly rely on desalination of seawater as a diversification option, while treatment of brackish groundwater results in difficult brine disposal issues. Establishing physical linkages between discrete supply systems is often not feasible due to remoteness. The Commonwealth has recognised these challenges and, in response, has committed $254.8 million under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns to fund projects that save water and reduce water losses in locations with populations of less than 50,000. A further $200 million has been committed under the Strengthening Basin Communities Program, which will assist communities in the Murray-Darling Basin to understand and adapt to a future with less water. g. Many planning and regulatory frameworks for the water sector are focused at a catchment level, which typically is not the case for water utility planning, particularly in New South Wales and Queensland. It has long been recognised that the management of Australia’s water resources according to institutional boundaries (such as state borders) has been a key barrier to achieving sustainable outcomes. Indeed, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is designed to remove this impediment. The fact that urban water planning in parts of regional Australia continues to be defined by Local Government boundaries stands out as an oddity in Australia’s water resource management framework. However, progress is being made in New South Wales, for example, where catchment-based water-sharing plans provide a rational approach to sharing the water resource between users and the environment and, for users, between town supply, rural domestic supply, stock watering, industry and irrigation. This approach indicates that more sustainable models can be implemented.

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The consequences from this regulatory framework are best illustrated through the example of water restriction regimes. The definition and application of water restrictions is governed by the water utility and is, therefore, applied on a supply system basis. This means that water restriction definitions and triggers are often not applied consistently within a catchment, though the water is being abstracted from the same resource. In New South Wales, the regulator reserves the right to overrule waterrestriction decisions made by water utilities to protect the overall security of the water resource. This is irrespective of the plans that utilities have developed to inform such decisions. h. Significant benefits could be achieved by aligning water business reporting, planning and management across regional Australia. Water business-related planning is not performed well in regional areas compared with the planning undertaken for metropolitan utilities and larger regional centres. Planning practices also differ between states and, as a result, the management of factors such as drought, demand, water quality, climate change and capital infrastructure is not achieved in a consistent manner and, more importantly, is not performed adequately in some parts of the country. A direct outcome of this is that performance reports and forward planning documents are structured differently and different statistical performance measures are used. Consequently, it is very difficult to compare the effectiveness of water utilities across the nation, to develop an accurate picture of the current situation or to assess preparedness for the future. A standard national approach would streamline performance statistics and assist governments in evaluating the need for supplemental funding. It would foster competition between the utilities, which should generate more rapid progress towards the objectives of the National Water Initiative. Regulation and monitoring will be a simpler and more efficient process. i. If water governance arrangements for water utilities in New South Wales and Queensland were on a catchment basis, as is the case in Victoria, significant benefits could be achieved. Under a model similar to that in Victoria, water quality and security planning could be implemented more efficiently and, as noted above, would be consistent with existing catchment-based resource

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management plans. These outcomes would be achieved because:

can make educated decisions regarding protection of their own health.

• Larger, regionally significant utilities would be more likely to attract highly skilled water staff, financial and asset management planners;

All regulation and legislation should include state health departments as the health-based regulatory body responsible for coordinating monitoring, testing and reporting on drinking water quality.

• A relatively larger customer base allows utilities to fund capital works with a relatively smaller impact on residential water bills, addressing a key equity concern with full cost recovery by small water utilities; • Utilities would be large enough to justify oversight by existing independent pricing regulators, delivering transparency in decision-making and greater economic efficiency. Action is required now to address the institutional barriers to smaller water utilities delivering healthy water quality and water security, as the costs of inaction will only continue to grow.

recommendations As our key findings suggest, this review found that in terms of water quality, there is an Australia-wide need for improvement, while the institutional barriers to delivering water security are largely confined to New South Wales and Queensland. The key recommendations are summarised below. 1. Mandate compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines through legislation or regulation. Under existing legislation or regulatory instruments such as operating licenses, many urban water utilities in Australia are not required to comply with the ADWG beyond particular water quality targets. Where compliance mechanisms do exist, the procedures for investigating and penalising non-compliance often do not provide sufficient incentive for utilities to meet their objectives. Mandating compliance will provide utilities with a clear motivation to observe and fulfil their requirements. Each state should, therefore, amend the relevant legislative or regulatory framework to require mandatory compliance. This recommendation may require some flexibility in how the various elements of the ADWG and water quality parameters are regulated to ensure the regulation is effective and targets the risks within each water supply. Additionally, in communities where full compliance is not practicable, regulatory exceptions would be available, with the agreed service level communicated to consumers so that they

Independent regulatory authorities would be responsible for non-healthbased audit and reporting to ensure independent review is performed (for example, IPART in New South Wales). All utilities would be required to publicly report on drinking water quality and audit results, which should also be published on their own websites. Appropriate responses to various levels of noncompliance should also be implemented, with priority placed on health related non-conformances. To assist utilities in complying with the full ADWG requirements, a sufficiently robust self-assessment tool and audit instrument should be identified and adopted as an industry-wide standard. 2. Implement a nationally consistent Best Practice Management Framework for all urban water utilities. All water authorities supplying water to urban consumers (regional and metropolitan) should be required to report to the National Water Commission on performance, with the results to be published annually in the National Performance Report. By streamlining performancemonitoring information, a nationally consistent Best Practice Management Framework for urban water utilities could be facilitated. This framework would be the key instrument through which national urban water reform would be enabled. The Framework development process would require a stock-take of current management frameworks both in Australia and internationally, and would take into account existing agreements such as the COAG National Urban Water Planning Principles and the NWI Pricing Principles. The National Performance Report KPIs would be updated to align with the intentions of the Best Practice Management Framework. The Framework could include the following components: • Planning processes and assumptions for Integrated Water Management; • Water security planning and water restriction definitions; • Climate change planning; • Drought management; • Demand management;

governance • Emergency response; • Forward planning to allow measurement of forward-looking metrics; • Asset management; • Pricing principles; • Consistent reporting requirements for input into the National Performance Reports. Self-assessment and independent reviews of compliance should also be enabled, with appropriate responses to non-conformance implemented. This would require construction of a selfassessment and audit tool following public availability of the Framework. 3. Improved water pricing. Significantly more work is required to ensure utilities servicing regional communities are operating commercially. Such reform needs to acknowledge equity and political issues that may arise as a result of changes to water prices, but these issues do not preclude such reform from proceeding. Further investigation into the structures available to achieve more cost-reflective water pricing in regional towns should be undertaken. This investigation should take into account both utilities servicing localised areas, as well as larger regionally based utilities servicing a range of communities. State and Territory Governments should play a key role in this activity, in collaboration with the National Water Commission. There are policy implications in attempting to target both efficiency and equity objectives through the price mechanism. A suggested route is that the price of water should be set to reflect costs of supply, with adverse impacts on vulnerable consumers addressed through compensating payments made via the welfare system. One approach could be for such a payment to cover the fixed access charge of a typical residential bill, while still exposing all water users to the variable element of the bill that reflects the actual amount of water used. 4. Develop a more highly skilled workforce to operate and maintain water systems in regional water utilities by developing a nationally consistent trade qualification. Continue to build on the initial progress made under the COAG National Water Skills Strategy to develop a nationally consistent qualification in water treatment and operations with progress overseen by the Water Industry Skills Taskforce.


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governance This would include a review of existing training and trainers to determine opportunities for improvement in delivery. A review process would also be developed to ensure training standards are maintained and that the program is continuously updated in light of new industry developments. This qualification should only be delivered by registered training organisations, and improved emphasis placed on the quality of training, via more meaningful and regular auditing, particularly in regional areas. To ensure risks posed by under-trained operators are managed, the ADWG should be amended to ensure that, at a minimum, the lead water treatment plant operator is trade-qualified to operate and maintain water systems. 5. Reform the governance structure of regional water utilities in New South Wales and Queensland. The preceding recommendations can only be effectively implemented in New South Wales and Queensland if the current governance structures are reformed. Our preferred reform model would see the urban water utility functions currently performed by local government in New South Wales and Queensland transferred to governmentowned Regional Water Corporations, the responsible boundaries of which would match catchments to the extent practicable. Each Regional Water Corporation would be governed by an independent board, with appointments to that board based on expertise in water utility management. The board would appoint the senior management team of the Corporation. The board would report to a relevant Government Minister against a set of conditions set in an operating licence. Compliance with licence conditions would be mandated via relevant legislation. The larger corporate structure is likely to give rise to increased efficiency. Government would remain the sole shareholder of each corporation. Regional Water Corporations would be large enough to warrant supervision by independent pricing and regulatory authorities in each state, and compliance with licence conditions, including tariff setting, would be formally assessed by those authorities. There are a number of key advantages from implementing this governance model. First, the Regional Water Corporation Board and management would have unambiguous objectives related to the efficient and effective

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management of the Regional Water Corporation. In particular, strategic decisions regarding maintenance and capital expenditure would no longer be made by local council General Managers. Second, the larger size of each Regional Water Corporation is likely to have a better chance of attracting appropriately qualified professional staff. Third, the larger customer base of each Regional Water Corporation means that the expense of ‘lumpy’ capital assets required to improve water quality and security in smaller towns can be spread across a larger number of customers, spreading the impact from increases in residential bills. Finally, in time, Regional Water Corporations may be able to raise capital on wholesale financial markets in their own right, a funding option that is rarely available to Local Government in Australia. There are two Regional Water Corporation ownership models operating in Australia at the moment that could guide decision-makers. Victorian Regional Water Corporations are wholly owned by the State Government of Victoria. In Tasmania, recent reform of the urban water sector in that state saw Water Corporations formed that are jointly owned by the councils that fall within the boundary of each Water Corporation. An alternative to the Regional Water Corporation reform option is the creation of larger state-based utilities (excluding current metropolitan utilities) in New South Wales and Queensland. However, the potential efficiency gains derived from a utility of this size may be outweighed by the considerably higher costs associated with this method of reform. A third solution is for ‘mandatory’ regional alliances to be established, governed by a board consisting of representatives from each Council, the state water departments and the catchment management authorities in the region. Precedent for this governance model can be found in the form of the Lower Macquarie Water Utilities Alliance currently operating in New South Wales. However, this should be seen as an interim stage in the progression towards Regional Water Corporations.

reform strategy Some of the above recommendations are not new ideas, and parts of the country will be more prepared for the reform proposed than others. Ease of implementation also varies depending on the current arrangements in that state and

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the appetite of each Government for water reform. While we do not believe that linking utility performance to state funding is a favourable means of achieving reform, Commonwealth Government assistance to the states could be helpful in achieving the objectives. To facilitate reform of the regional urban water sector, the Commonwealth Government could consider entering into funding agreements with the states, whereby successful and efficient implementation of agreed reforms by each state could attract a payment from the Commonwealth, in recognition of the costs of implementing wide-ranging reform. COAG has agreed to National Partnership Payments (NPP) under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations. Such a payment may be used to facilitate or reward nationally significant reforms or to support a specific project. Though the funding vehicle is different, implementation could be similar to the reform that occurred during the 1990s and 2000s, where each state agreed to implement a range of reforms in various sectors, ranging from reform of governance arrangements for water planning and management, to corporatisation of state-owned electricity and gas utilities. If NPP were used to provide incentive and reward reform, COAG would verify that pre-determined milestones and performance benchmarks have been attained before the incentive payment is made. Where regulation is recommended, implementation should also include a review of the consequences of policy change with respect to the objectives of COAG’s Best Practice Regulation guideline. The program for implementation of the recommendations is as follows: 1.Governance Structure Reform in New South Wales and Queensland. The preferred governance reform option in New South Wales and Queensland – Regional Water Corporations – should be a priority to allow for timely implementation of the other recommendations outlined in this paper within these states. Regional Water Corporations should be implemented within two years. 2. Best Practice Management Framework and Reporting. All water utilities should be required to publicly report on performance via the

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presented Presentedatat

National Performance Reports within one year, although some may not be able to report on all performance indicators within this timeframe. The nationally consistent Best Practice Management Framework should be developed and made publicly available within two years. The creation and release of a self-assessment and audit tool for the Best Practice Management Framework should be undertaken within one year of the Framework being made publicly available. The Framework could be regulated or legislated within two years of public release of the guidelines, which would allow governance reform in New South Wales and Queensland to happen first.

guidelines, and this should be done within one year. Compliance with the ADWG should then be legislated or regulated within two years of the completion of governance structure reforms in New South Wales and Queensland. 5. Develop a more highly skilled workforce A nationally consistent training qualification for key water treatment and operations staff should be developed by Government Skills Australia within two years and included in the ADWG within four years. Footnote: This paper was short-listed for the 2011 Award for Best Ozwater Paper.

3. Improved water pricing.


The NWC should initiate a review of pricing in regional areas, which will inform development of appropriate pricing models for implementation by utilities servicing regional communities. This review can commence within the next 12 months.

AECOM would like to acknowledge Rory Brennan, who was the Project Manager for Infrastructure Australia.

4. Regulation or legislation of the ADWG. Requiring mandatory compliance with the ADWG will need to be tested against COAG’s Best Practice Regulation

the Authors Kate Miles (email: kate. is a Principal Water Engineer in AECOM’s Sydney office, leading the Water Policy

and Planning Team in NSW. She is Co-convenor of the AWA Specialist Network for Water Management Law and Policy. dr Joel Byrnes is an Associate Director and Water Economist with AECOM, Melbourne, and also an Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga. Kath Bannon is a Graduate Water Engineer with AECOM, Sydney. Both were involved in the initial report.

references National Health and Medical Research Council (2004): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, ACT. synopses/_files/adwg_11_06.pdf Infrastructure Australia (2008): A Report to the Council of Australian Governments, ACT. www. to_the_Council_of_Australian_Governments.pdf Armstrong I & Gellatly C (2008): Report of the Independent Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW, Department of Water and Environment, NSW. au/ArticleDocuments/36/utilities_local_ sustainable_urban_water_and_sewerage_ for_non_metropolitan_nsw_report.pdf.aspx _1








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RECYCLED WATER: MANAGING THE RISKS IN SYDNEY WATER Developing a consistent framework across a wide variety of uses G Landers, P Chapman Abstract Across Sydney Water’s area of operations there are currently more than 20 recycled water schemes producing around 50 billion litres of recycled water per year. These schemes cover a range of end uses such as residential, industrial, irrigation, agricultural and environmental releases. In addition, the end users have varying capability for managing risks. While initial schemes were developed as simple effluent recycling operations, Sydney Water has seen a shift in understanding from effluent disposal towards resource recovery and manufacture of products. This emphasises the importance of risk management in recycled water schemes. Sydney Water has developed a framework for managing risks across this wide variety of schemes and end uses. This framework utilises Sydney Water’s existing ISO-certified processes, which also incorporate the Australian Standard for risk management, AS4360:2004, and its replacement, AS/NZS.ISO31000:2009. This approach also accounts for the flow of risk from scheme inception through to ongoing operation, as well as the physical flow of risk from source to end use.

approach is the identification, assessment and management of risk in the short term and over longer time frames. To establish background and context, this paper first reviews Sydney Water’s recycled water schemes and discusses trends in the understanding of recycled water as a resource. The paper then discusses Sydney Water’s framework for managing risk in recycled water quality and concludes with some comments on future directions in risk management.

Overview of Water Recycling in Sydney Water Sydney Water has been involved in water recycling since 1967, starting with recycling at its own wastewater treatment plants and with a small number of local irrigation schemes. Its first residential dual reticulation scheme at Rouse Hill commenced operation in August 2001. Since then, other major recycling schemes such as that supplying BlueScope Steel at Wollongong, NSW, and Western Replacement Flows have begun.

to the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system. Sydney Water supplies recycled water for the following typical non-potable uses: • Residential (dual reticulation); • Industrial; • Municipal irrigation (primarily sports ovals, golf courses, etc.); • Agricultural (fodder production); and • Environmental releases. Recycled water for these schemes comes from Sydney Water’s wastewater system and is treated to the required level for its end use. The 13 water-recycling plants that supply Sydney Water’s schemes employ a range of treatment processes depending on the product quality required for end uses. There are also many stormwater recycling projects across Sydney; however, this paper does not cover these.

Table 1 summarises Sydney Water’s types of schemes, their typical uses, as well as volumes from July 2008 up to March 2011. The significant increases The Western Replacement Flows in production are primarily due to project produced its first commissioning increasing connections in Rouse Hill, flows in March 2010 and commenced the BlueScope scheme, significant full operation in August 2010. This additional irrigation allocations and, most scheme provides up to 18GL per year of of all, the commissioning of the Western recycled water for environmental flows A key principle of Sydney Water’s Replacement Flows scheme. Some of the variations in Table 1. Summary of currently operating recycled water schemes. dual reticulation and irrigation consumption also reflect Volume (GL) Schemes Uses weather patterns. 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 Figure 1 illustrates the Residential, commercial and Dual reticulation schemes (Rouse current major recycling irrigation (ovals, recreational 1.779 2.208 1.812 Hill Recycled Water Scheme) schemes in Sydney. These areas, etc) include all of Sydney Water’s BlueScope Steel Recycled schemes, as well as the Industrial 6.652 4.390 4.962 Water Scheme Sydney Olympic Park dual Sydney Water’s WWTPs’ reticulation scheme run by Industrial 14.916 15.631 12.255 on-site recycling the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA). Data Other schemes taken from Irrigation (golf courses, sports 1.192 1.717 4.629 from SOPA are not included Sydney Water WWTPs fields and agricultural – fodder) in Table 1. Western Replacement Flows Environmental flow replacement NA NA 12.863 All of Sydney Water’s TOTAL 20.958 24.162 36.521 wastewater treatment plants Note: The 2010/11 figures are year-to-date up to March 2011 (three-quarters of the year). Over the (WWTPs) practise some form course of one year this equates to approximately 50GL/year. of on-site recycling and those

60 AUGUST 2011 water

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governance The graphical representation in Figure 2 understands WWTPs more from the perspective of resource recovery. Consistent with this thinking, Sydney Water has renamed all of its WWTPs that supply recycled water product(s) to off-site customers as Water Recycling Plants (WRPs).

Figure 1: Existing and committed recycled water schemes. marked with a lilac water drop send recycled water product(s) for off-site uses. The number and variety of schemes with different product qualities make them complex to manage. This became particularly evident when, in consultation with NSW Health, Sydney Water began to implement the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling Phase 1 2006 (2006 AGWR). Preparing Recycled Water Quality Management Plans (RWQMPs) initially highlighted that although most management procedures were common across all schemes, there were also many individual aspects for schemes. Sydney Water manages its recycled water schemes under the same ISO-certified quality management systems (9001 and 14001) that it uses throughout its business. Sydney Water manages risk across all of its business under a policy and procedures based on AS4360:2004 and its replacement AS/NZS.ISO 31000:2009 (Risk Management – Principles and Guidelines on Implementation). Reference will be made to it as ISO31000:2009 for the remainder of this paper. Sydney Water’s risk management procedures are included under its ISO-certified QMS. Although Sydney Water has operated irrigation schemes since 1967 and has always practised on-site recycling at its WWTPs, water recycling has substantially increased during the drought of the last decade. This includes an increase in the end uses, complexity and cost of schemes. With most cost-effective recycling initiatives already delivered, Sydney Water’s focus is now shifting towards ongoing operation and maintenance rather than development of new schemes. In addition, Sydney Water and NSW Health agreed to move to the 2006 AGWR for managing health risks in recycling schemes. This has resulted in further development and modification of business processes to manage risks in recycled water. At the same time, Sydney Water has seen a shift in understanding about water, recycling and especially in its treatment operations. Most recycling schemes have been built onto existing WWTPs. Traditionally, WWTP operation has focussed on discharge requirements and environmental protection. However, as plants have taken on supplying recycled water product, our understanding of plants has changed to one of seeing them as production facilities manufacturing a range of products, of which recycled water is one product line. Figure 2 illustrates this for a generic type of plant and, as noted in a previous paper (Landers and Blayney, 2009), one example of this is Sydney Water’s Wollongong facility.

Figure 2: Conceptual treatment plant overview. The shift in thinking in Sydney Water has been partially mirrored in the public sphere, with increased awareness of water as a resource. This conceptual presentation does not include other elements of the supply chain such as equipment supply, knowledge and skills, nor does it include potential nutrient recovery. In addition, while not shown here, financial sustainability is an essential element of this paradigm, as noted by Davis (2010).

Risk in Recycled Water – Background Discussion Section 2.2.4 of the 2006 AGWR discusses the mechanism for assessing risk, which aligns with ISO31000:2009. The guidelines apply this specifically to managing human health and environmental risks associated with recycled water schemes. However, in providing recycled water there are other business risks such as financial, legal and reputational. While this paper follows the same focus as the AGWR, Sydney Water addresses all aspects of technical and business risks when considering a recycled water scheme. The risk assessment mechanism of the AGWR and ISO31000:2009 provides, for a given scheme, a static snapshot of: • Hazards – and events that give rise to these hazards; • The causes of the hazards and hazardous events; • Consequences and their likelihoods; • The range of control measures (risk mitigations) either in place or available for use; • The unmitigated risk and the residual risk, or, in the case of a proposed scheme, the target risk; • A gap analysis between the desired and actual risk states, as well as possible options for addressing these gaps. The AGWR provide several indications on the sources of risk, differences between human health and environmental risks, and estimation of risk levels including quantification and uncertainty. The guidelines also note that risk is dynamic and advise that: “The hazard identification and risk assessment should be reviewed and updated periodically, because changing conditions may introduce important new hazards or modify risks associated with identified hazards.” (AGWR, 2006, p39).


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governance Starting then with the dynamic nature of risk, this paper describes Sydney Water’s processes for managing risk under the 2006 AGWR. The dynamic nature of risk can be considered from several viewpoints. By way of analogy, these viewpoints are as the windows on the four walls of a single room – they enable us to see the same reality from different angles and more fully appreciate the whole. For the purposes of this paper we define risk as the combination of an expected consequence and estimated likelihood. Mathematically we express this as Risk = Consequence x Likelihood. This follows the understanding and definition of ISO31000:2009 and of the 2006 AGWR.

The AGWR account for the dynamic nature of risk in the immediate and over the longer term through various elements. For the short term these include, for instance, the use of Critical Control Points (CCPs), appropriate monitoring and short-term evaluation of data. Over the longer term, some of the aspects of the guidelines that contribute to managing risk include identification

Sydney Water’s processes are typically managed along functional lines, not according to product line. For instance, Sydney Water applies the same communications and consultation process to all of its capital projects in a

5-Year RWQMP (Five-Year Plan)


Wollongong Stage I RWQMP

BlueScope Steel Customer Agreement

Wollongong Stage II RWQMP

Port Kembla Coal Terminal Customer Agreement

Wollongong City Council Customer Agreement

Wollongong Golf Course Customer Agreement

Rouse Hill RWQMP

Western Replacement Flows RWQMP

Sydney Water Customer Contract


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With the advent of the 2006 AGWR the challenge for Sydney Water was how to incorporate the new guidelines within its existing management systems across a diverse range of new and imminent schemes, without duplicating the ISOcertified processes and procedures that already incorporate ISO31000:2009.


Risk must also be managed over the different life-cycle stages of a scheme from inception through to ongoing operations and maintenance. Understood in this light, treatment process design, for instance, is a control measure for managing risk. Therefore, risk assessment

Sydney Water’s Framework for Managing Risk in Recycled Water

Recycled Water Quality Risk Management Planning

In contrast, other risks can occur over longer time frames. Examples of these include long-term trends in the chemical composition of plant influent, changes to business processes, changes to product quality and emerging chemicals of concern. The source or location of the variation in risk can occur throughout all elements of the supply chain. One may see varying pathogen loads in the production facility’s influent. Change in risk can also occur due to process upset or equipment failure. Risks can change in the delivery system, for example, due to insufficient chlorine residual maintenance or on-site plumbing modifications post scheme commissioning. Finally, risk can vary with end users depending on their practices and uses of the product. Again, this can occur over short time frames such as incorrect plumbing modifications, or over longer time periods due to increased product familiarity, resulting in reduced implementation of controls.

of knowledge gaps and measures to address uncertainty, evaluation and audit as well as R&D.

Sydney Water STRATEGIC

Risk varies over different time frames. In some cases this is more or less instantaneous, such as the quality characteristics of water entering or exiting a unit process. An example of this is the turbidity of filter effluent, which can vary according to chemical pre-treatment changes, or according to influent quality, which itself can be caused by change in plant influent or process upset in preceding unit processes. One risk mitigation is the control of filter effluent turbidity using plant control systems. This type of control is, or should be, instantaneous.

should be one of the first activities in developing a scheme. In addition, as with any project, regular reviews of the risk register during project delivery ensures that the delivered scheme will produce product that is fit for purpose. Again, an obvious example of this is commissioning of treatment processes to demonstrate that they are operating according to their design intent within the operational limits for which they have been validated.

Figure 3: Risk management planning framework.

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governance proportionate degree, be they drinking water, recycled water, wastewater or stormwater.

as described in its suite of Recycled Water Quality Management Plans and risk management procedures.

Sydney Water’s framework for managing risk in recycled water schemes accounts for the dynamic nature of risk discussed above. By way of analogy, Sydney Water’s approach can be described in the following manner:

Figure 3 illustrates the strategic and functional planning approach encapsulated in the recycled waterquality management plans and customer agreements using specific examples. The Five-Year Plan is a strategic plan which:

• The outcome or objective is the protection of public health and the environment in the provision of recycled water.

• Sets the strategic direction by which Sydney Water will manage recycled water quality for all of its schemes;

• The road map is the 2006 AGWR and other relevant guidelines and memoranda of understanding specified by Sydney Water’s regulators.

• Addresses water quality issues that affect all recycled water schemes or have a longer-term horizon. These often relate to business systems or are of an investigative or R&D nature.

• The vehicle that Sydney Water uses to achieve its objectives is its ISO-certified systems integrating ISO31000:2009,

The Five-Year Plan focuses on Sydney Water having and implementing policies and procedures to manage risk.

Physical Process

Risk Process

Overarching Planning for Schemes and Assets

Initial RA


1) Risk Assessment (RA) and Risk Register 2) Implementation Plan

Detailed Planning for Schemes and Assets

Source to Use on Preferred Option Draft the RWQMP

Design, Deliver, Commission for Schemes and Assets

Development Risk Management Plan (actions) and implement in asset creation. Audit and review progress of actions.

Review and update (with progress): 1) Risk Assesment and Register 2) Implementation Plan

Review and update (with progress): 1) Risk Assesment and Register 2) Implementation Plan

Asset Creation Operations and Maintenance

Catchment Source


For Sydney Water: ongoing/business as usual risk management activities including performance review over immediate, short- and long-term time frames. Implementation of RWQMP action plans.

Strategic and fuctional RWQMPs RA and Register Records and reports for business purposes, regulators and external stakeholders.

RW Networks Customer boundary Handover point

Designated RW Supply Zone. End use

- Following guidance from Sydney Water

Discretionary Schemes - Implementation of RWMS

Designated RW Supply Zone - SW comms and information

Discretionary Schemes - SW comms and information - Customer RWMS and records

Figure 4. Flow of risk from scheme inception to ongoing operations and maintenance.

The Quality Management Plan – Recycled Water Systems (QMP-RWS) documents the common processes and procedures that Sydney Water applies across all of its recycling schemes. From one perspective the QMP-RWS is a manual of Sydney Water’s processes and procedures for managing risk in recycled water systems. The scheme-specific recycled water quality management plans and customer agreements address scheme-specific matters. These are the functional planning level for managing recycled water quality risks at individual schemes. Figure 3 shows examples of the four types of schemes in Sydney Water’s portfolio. The Western Replacement Flows project is an environmental flow replacement project regulated by the Office of Environment and Heritage (formerly the Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water) and NSW Health. One example of how these plans integrate is Critical Control Points (CCPs). The Five-Year Plan specifies that Sydney Water’s systems will align with the 12-element framework of the 2006 AGWR, which includes Section 2.3.2 under Preventive Measures. The QMPRWS documents Sydney Water’s processes for design, operation and maintenance of control points and the use of critical and operational control points. A scheme-specific plan such as Wollongong Stage 1, for example, documents the CCPs for this scheme, operational limits and monitoring. Scheme-specific plans also document what Sydney Water has termed Operational Control Points (OCPs). These represent significant process operations or other procedures that can impact downstream processes, Critical Control Points or recycled water quality. OCPs strongly relate to operational effectiveness and efficiency and typically have an indirect impact on final recycled water product quality. Poor control or suboptimal performance at an Operational Control Point may result in greater operational difficulty at downstream Critical Control Point(s). An example of an OCP would be maintenance of chlorine residual in the distribution system. In a treatment process such as the Wollongong Water Recycling Plant, an OCP for the Stage 1 Scheme would be the deep bed filter effluent turbidity, which can reduce the efficiency of subsequent membrane microfiltration and reverse


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governance osmosis. However, the same point is also a CCP for the Stage 2 Scheme, which has UV disinfection and chlorination post the deep bed filters. This is another example of the complexity of multiple products from one production facility. This arrangement of recycled water quality management plans addresses recycled water quality risks both strategically – across all recycled water products and over the longer term; and functionally – for specific schemes and in the shorter term. However, as noted previously, effective risk management begins at scheme inception. Sydney Water, therefore, documented its processes for managing risk through the life cycle of a recycled water scheme. Figure 4 provides an overview of this process. The principle behind this flow chart is that we identify, assess and manage risks across whole systems (from source to use) and over different time frames (immediate, short and long term). The extent of risk transfer between Sydney Water and its customers will depend in large part on the capability of the customer for managing risk. To assist in risk assessment, Sydney Water has developed a master risk register for its recycled water schemes. Since this register includes all risks identified in existing schemes, it is a useful starting point for assessing a new scheme. The schemespecific risk assessment then applies this to the new scheme and includes any new risks that have been identified. While each scheme has its particular risk profile, some common themes emerge from the risk assessments. The principal risks for Sydney Water’s recycled water schemes are public health risks, and the key hazard events are those that give rise to inadvertent exposure or those that result in reduced product quality from treatment. These risks tend to be acute, microbial-related risks rather than chemical risks. Exposure risks are dominated by the potential for inadvertent ingestion. Accordingly, controls primarily focus on treatment and cross-connections. As for dual reticulation schemes, inadvertent ingestion still dominates the risk profile of recycled water schemes for industrial and commercial end uses. Industrial schemes also consider the impact of recycled water quality on customers’ products and processes. For the irrigation schemes, the longerterm environmental risks naturally take on greater significance, but in many cases cross-connections and plumbing hazard events still drive the risk profile.

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Summary and Future Directions Recycled water is still developing as a product, as is Sydney Water’s understanding of how to manage the risks associated with it and of the systems required to do so. Figure 2 suggests a new paradigm for understanding wastewater treatment moving from an understanding of disposal towards recovery of resources. This must be tempered with an appreciation of sustainability in its fullest sense, including financial criteria. In the context of a large utility spanning water (drinking and recycled), wastewater and stormwater, the increased complexity of multiple recycled water products affects the financial sustainability of this approach and how one manages risks. Sydney Water’s wide variety of recycled water products and schemes provides challenges for consistently managing risk following the principles and framework of the 2006 AGWR. However, the use of common business processes and procedures under the ISO system, incorporating ISO31000:2009, has enabled Sydney Water to achieve consistency of approach amid this variety.

Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank Kelvin Chow, Morgaine Gilley and Haixiang Wang, who assisted in producing this paper.

The Authors

Gavin Landers (email: gavin.landers@ has over 10 years’ experience at Sydney Water in Operations and Asset Management roles covering Drinking and Recycled Water Quality, Water and Wastewater Treatment and Planning. At the time of the work presented in this paper, he was Experienced Product Strategy Planner, Drinking and Recycled Water. He is currently Plant Manager, North West Filtration, at Sydney Water.

A key element of managing risk is ensuring that business processes address its dynamic nature. Figures 3 and 4 demonstrate Sydney Water’s approach, which has been to focus on the outcome (protection of public health and the environment through effective risk management) and then ensure that its policies, processes and procedures are adequate and robust in delivering this.

Peter Chapman (email: peter.chapman@ has 20 years’ experience in the water industry, predominantly with Sydney Water. During this time he has been responsible for the management of water networks, drinking water quality and recycled water. Peter is currently the Area Manager, Recycled Water Operations, Sydney Water.

Recycled water is maturing as a product and development of business systems is reflective of this. As systems become more developed they will move away from “undertaking” new actions or initiatives and more towards routine activities. Sydney Water’s current planning framework reflects this with the QMPRWS more like a manual than a plan with specific actions. The Five-Year Plan addresses strategic gaps and actions and the scheme-specific plans cover schemespecific functional improvements.


The authors do not suggest that these systems will reach a point of no improvement, but rather that, following a customary product life cycle, the quantum of improvements will tend to decrease as products and systems mature. As the industry’s understanding of risk and its management develops, the authors also propose that systems for achieving this must develop accordingly to ensure that they are sustainable business models.

Blayney B, Chapman P, Landers G & Storey M, 2009: ‘Implementing the new national recycled water guidelines within an existing quality management system’, AWA Ozwater’09. Davis C, 2010: ‘Assembling the Re-use Jigsaw’, Water Journal, Vol 37, No 8, p 5. Environment Protection and Heritage Council; Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council; Australian Health Ministers Conference 2006, Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Managing Health and Environmental Risks (Phase 1), Environment Protection and Heritage Council, Canberra, ACT, Australia. Landers G & Blayney B, 2009: ‘Implementing the 2006 AGWR’, AWA Reuse ’09. Landers G & McLeod S, 2008: ‘Risk Management Review of the Rouse Hill Dual Reticulation Scheme’, Water Journal, Vol 35, No 8 pp 61–65. NSW Recycled Water Coordination Committee, 1993, NSW Guidelines for Urban and Residential Use of Reclaimed Water.

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Risk appetite and risk tolerance: how robust are yours? A Davison Abstract Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) has arisen out of the insurance and finance industry; however, as the recent global financial crisis has shown, ERM may not necessarily be robust enough or contain stringent enough metrics to enable an organisation to fully understand, monitor and manage its risk. In this paper, the conceptual basis of ERM and how it can be interpreted within the context of corporate governance and the water industry is discussed. In particular, ERM (specifically risk appetite and risk tolerance) is considered in relation to Element 1 of the ‘Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality’ (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (NHMRC/NRMMC, 2004)) and ISO 31000 (constituted in Australia as AS/ NZS 31000: 2009 Risk management – principles and guidelines).

Introduction Most of the larger water utilities already have in place risk management systems for managing water quality for the range of water products that they produce, including drinking water, recycled water and raw water. In 1998, South East Water Limited in Melbourne was the first utility in Australia to gain certification to HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), with Reykjavik Energy in Iceland being the world’s first in 1997. Since that time, certification to HACCP, ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) and ISO 22000 (Food Safety Management Systems) has been achieved by many utilities for a range of products. While certification is discretionary for the utility, it is an excellent way of showing that it has been duly diligent (Davison et al., 2005). Increasingly, utilities in various jurisdictions are required by law to implement a ‘risk management plan’ under instruments such as the Victorian Safe Drinking Water Act 2003, the Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (NSW) or the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld), or may have specific water quality risk management elements incorporated into their operating licences. While utilities may be managing water quality in a sound manner and, indeed, in many cases are actually introducing an ERM approach to this issue, what is less

clear is how water quality is incorporated into an organisation-wide appreciation of risk and whether risk profile, risk appetite and risk tolerances have been communicated to, understood by and signed off by boards.

– of which ERM is a key component. Directors, managers and councillors need to understand their own fiduciary duties and obligations in order to understand how their actions may be viewed in a legal and corporate sense.

In this paper, the following are presented and considered:

Some jurisdictions are changing the way in which corporate responsibility is viewed in a legal context. For instance, section 172 of the UK Companies Act (2006) requires directors to have a “Duty to promote the success of the company” and, in particular, to have regard to such matters as the likely consequences of any decision in the long term, the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment, and the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct.

• An overview of ERM; • What a good ERM framework should contain; • ERM’s relationship to corporate governance; and • How ERM links to contemporary water cycle management guidance and ISO 31000 (AS/NZS ISO 31000: 2009).

Corporate Governance Corporate governance is a fundamental component of operating a transparent business and being a good corporate citizen. Organisations have obligations to operate their businesses in a sound and efficient manner within their operating context. Understanding and implementing a sound ERM framework allows organisations to set a benchmark against which business decisions can be transparently made and results reported against. In 2007, the ASX Corporate Governance Council (2007) released the second edition of its Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations in which it elucidates the meaning of corporate governance: “Corporate governance is ‘the framework of rules, relationships, systems and processes within and by which authority is exercised and controlled in corporations’. It encompasses the mechanisms by which companies, and those in control, are held to account (Owen, 2003). Corporate governance influences how the objectives of the company are set and achieved, how risk is monitored and assessed, and how performance is optimised.” Fundamental to the concept of ERM is the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Principle 7: Recognise and Manage Risk. As utilities are increasingly corporatised or ‘viewed’ in the eyes of the law as being a corporate body, utilities must act within a sound corporate governance framework

Australia similarly has statutes dealing with corporate liability for directors, those who can be construed as ‘representing the controlling mind and will of the company’ such as councillors, senior officers and members of statutory boards, as well as the company itself. There are also individual statutes dealing with specific offences and obligations. For instance, Section 7(e) of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) requires councils, councillors and council employees to have regard to the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) in carrying out their responsibilities. The Water Act 1989 (VIC) imposes similar obligations. Some jurisdictions are also beginning to use ‘corporate culture’ in deciding corporate criminal accountability (Allens Arthur Robinson, 2008). This fact means that having good policies and frameworks in place and implemented across all tiers of the corporation is essential not only for good business, but in terms of a practical demonstration of corporate culture (Figure 1, overleaf).

Enterprise Risk Management ERM is an overarching term used to describe an organisation’s approach to understanding and managing its overall risk: “…the discipline by which an organization in any industry assesses, controls, exploits, finances and monitors


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risks from all sources for the purpose of increasing the organization’s short- and long-term value to its stakeholders.” (Casualty Actuarial Society, 2003) “Risk Management Framework: Set of components that provide the foundations and organizational arrangements for designing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing and continually improving risk management throughout the organization.” (AS/ NZS ISO 31000:2009)

Figure 1. Board and management responsibilities in ERM (modified from Korthals and Chase-Jenkins, 2010).

However, while ERM should contain the elements of Risk Profile, Risk Appetite and Risk Tolerance, even as late as 2009 there was no common understanding or consistency in the comprehension of these terms (Carpenter, 2009). Further, while ERM was originally developed for understanding and managing fiscal and economic risks, it has now evolved to include other aspects such as stakeholder and environmental values, including corporate social responsibility as part of defining an

Table 1. Some ERM definitions (Carpenter, 2009; AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009), descriptions and examples (see also Table 2 for supporting information). Term

Risk Profile


Examples of What is Involved

The broad parameters a firm considers in executing its business strategy in its chosen market space.

Understanding the operating context of the organisation – includes understanding your key stakeholders, their value drivers and their priorities – e.g. a financial regulator might be more concerned about fiscal responsibility and compliance, whereas a resource stakeholder may be more concerned about water quality and quantity.

ISO 31000 uses the term ‘Establishing the Context – Defining the external and internal parameters to be taken into account when managing risk, and setting the scope and risk criteria for the risk management policy’, as well as a specific definition of ‘Risk Profile – Description of any set of risks’.

Stakeholder register. Compliance register or manual. Scope of the risk assessment.

Organisation-appropriate risk matrix for chosen corporate values – for a utility this can include infrastructure management, public Understanding your risk profile also includes identifying and worker health, environment, climate change etc; includes impact and likelihood. and assessing your organisational risks. ISO 31000 presents an overall set of principles that can be used Corporate risk register (clearly articulating the risk criteria to help an organisation fulfill this requirement. identified as part of the operating context), the events that could occur from not meeting those criteria, the outcomes, risk scores (including uncertainty, maximum and residual risk), treatments (controls) and actions to resolve the identified issues (including the risk owner). The level of uncertainty a company is willing to assume given the corresponding reward associated with the risk. ISO 31000 uses the term ‘Risk Attitude – [An] organisation’s approach to assess and eventually pursue, retain, take or turn away from risk’.

Risk Appetite

High risk appetite = acceptance of more uncertainty for a higher reward. Low risk appetite = less uncertainty and acceptance of a lower return.

Risk appetite metric (Table 2). Clear articulation of risk appetite ratings against each of the identified risks to organisational objectives.

At the board level, the risk appetite statement is usually a qualitative definition, usually against strategic corporate objectives and drivers, which is then articulated into practical implementation at the management level including development of quantitative risk tolerances. Clear articulation of tolerances the organisation is willing to work within. Risk Tolerance

The limits of an organisation’s capacity for taking on risk.

Can use a combination of qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative metrics to describe risk tolerance, and used as a basis for monitoring. The tolerances should be used to help set corporate KPIs.

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refereed paper

Table 2. Example of risk appetite metric (modified from University of Alberta, 2005). Assessment



High Risk Appetite


The organisation accepts opportunities that have an inherent high risk that may result in reputation damage, financial loss or exposure, major breakdown in information system or information integrity, significant incident(s) of regulatory non-compliance and potential risk of injury to staff.

Moderate Risk Appetite


The organisation is willing to accept risks that may result in reputation damage, financial loss or exposure, major breakdown in information system or information integrity, significant incident(s) of regulatory non-compliance and potential risk of injury to staff.

Modest Risk Appetite


The organisation is willing to accept some risks in certain circumstances that may result in reputation damage, financial loss or exposure, major breakdown in information system or information integrity, significant incident(s) of regulatory non-compliance and potential risk of injury to staff.

Low Risk Appetite


The organisation is not willing to accept risks in most circumstances that may result in reputation damage, financial loss or exposure, major breakdown in information system or information integrity, significant incident(s) of regulatory non-compliance and potential risk of injury to staff.

Zero Risk Appetite


The organisation is not willing to accept risks under any circumstances that may result in reputation damage, financial loss or exposure, major breakdown in information system or information integrity, significant incident(s) of regulatory non-compliance and potential risk of injury to staff.

organisation’s ‘ethical corporate culture’ (Ruggie, 2008). In Table 1, some definitions around the terminology used, links to ISO 31000, as well as examples of what would constitute a good approach to ERM from a water utility perspective are provided. The table is not intended to be exhaustive, but provides an overview of an approach that can be taken towards implementing ERM. Coupled to the definitions and examples provided, organisations should have other integrated documents and structural components in place as part of their ERM framework, including: • A Chief Risk Officer – usually assigned as being the ‘ERM Champion’; typically reports to the CEO and the CFO. • Designated Risk Committee (sometimes called the Risk and Audit Committee) – usually includes a board member. This is the committee usually responsible for reviewing enterprise-level Risk Tolerance limits. Risk appetite and risk tolerance limits are not static and need to be reviewed on a regular basis, as well as in light of events such as disasters or exposure to different types of risks. • Dedicated reporting lines to the board, including clear articulation of risk against each fundamental corporate value – noting that for a water utility, water ‘product’ quality is an essential component of this reporting. • Qualitative articulation of risk appetite statements against each corporate value – formalised by the board and integrated into appropriate organisation-wide policies. For a water utility providing potable water, risk appetite and tolerances to water quality, for instance, could

be articulated within its Drinking Water Quality Policy. • Risk Appetite Management Dashboard or Risk Dashboard reporting. • Communication of the risk appetite and tolerance limits to stakeholders, including internally, and how these are implemented in decision-making at all levels of the organisation. • Monitoring and reporting of adherence to the risk appetite and tolerance limits. With an increased scrutiny of risk and its management within other industries (Carpenter, 2009), including how risk appetite and tolerances are set at the board level and implemented by the management team (Figure 1), it is likely that water utilities will also have their ERM framework subjected to increasing scrutiny.

Links to the Framework Contemporary water management guidelines in Australia contain ‘Frameworks’ for the way in which the water product should be managed. In the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, the framework is known as the ‘Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality’. While ERM as a whole has a natural fit with Element 2 of the Framework, there are subtle and perhaps more pointed links between risk appetite and tolerance and Element 1 – Commitment to Drinking Water Quality Management. Setting risk appetite and tolerance clearly links with policy and management commitment as well as showing how stakeholders and their values are captured in setting the overall ERM framework. Further, capturing risk appetite and tolerance within the

Drinking Water Quality Policy, cements a clear link between the board and senior management for the way in which water quality should be managed by the organisation, again contributing to the demonstration of corporate culture and due diligence, as outlined. However, boards are often concerned with the quantity and finance issues of water provision, with water quality being either a poor cousin or not included at all in board discussions. The Framework specifically requires utilities to have clear reporting in place, which explicitly means top-down, bottom-up dissemination of water quality information. While risk management plans are often developed and have to be endorsed by boards, the plans may ‘sit on shelves’ and then not be properly understood, monitored or implemented by boards. In some cases, executives specifically require water quality or critical control point exceedances or ‘water quality near misses’ to be notified directly to them; however, it is more normally the case that finished water quality is reported rather than barrier effectiveness (as espoused in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines). Providing boards with more information on the health of the whole supply chain, not just finished water, would allow a more informed approach to be taken to managing risk tolerance overall. Of course, it would not be expected that board members should have a detailed knowledge of a water quality risk management plan; they would, however, be expected to have appropriate control loops in place to monitor and make sensible decisions on the risks to water quality to ensure that risks were kept inside the agreed tolerances.


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refereed paper

Table 3. Element 1: Commitment to Drinking Water Quality (NHMRC/NRMMC, 2004). Component

Action A 1.1.1: Formulate a drinking water quality policy, endorsed by senior executives, to be implemented throughout the organisation.

C 1.1: Drinking water quality policy

A 1.1.2: Ensure that the policy is visible and is communicated, understood and implemented by employees. A 1.2.1: Identify and document all relevant regulatory and formal requirements.

C 1.2: Regulatory and formal requirements

A 1.2.2: Ensure responsibilities are understood and communicated to employees. A 1.2.3: Review requirements periodically to reflect any changes. A 1.3.1: Identify all stakeholders who could affect, or be affected by, decisions or activities of the drinking water supplier.

C 1.3: Engaging stakeholders

A 1.3.2: Develop appropriate mechanisms and documentation for stakeholder commitment and involvement. A 1.3.3: Regularly update the list of relevant agencies.


Board-approved aggregated risk appetite statements for each of the corporate values, creating a clear risk road-map to help guide the organisation and show due diligence.

In designing and implementing a robust ERM framework for your organisation, there are many tangible benefits and outcomes that arise:

The author wishes to thank Bob Ford, Lynda Shelley and Dr Therese Flapper for review of this manuscript.

• Agreed list of corporate values. • Stakeholder list:

Dr Annette Davison (email: annette@iconnexx. is Director of iConneXX Pty Ltd, a company engaged in developing and auditing risk-management plans and helping clients to achieve regulatory approval.

- Clear articulation of value drivers for each stakeholder (cross-referenced against the key corporate values).

• Agreed corporate risk metric table. • Risk Appetite Management Dashboard consisting of: - Identified and assessed risks to corporate values; - Defined risk appetite for each of the identified risks; - Agreed risk tolerances, which can be used to set Key Objective Measures for transparent reporting and assessment.

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NHMRC/NRMMC (National Health and Medical Research Council and National Resource Ministers Ministerial Council) (2004): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. ISBN Online: 1864961244.

Davison AD, Pryor EL, Howard G & Deere DA (2005): Duly diligent utilities. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, Vol 5 No 2, pp 115–122.

Owen (2003): Justice Owen in the HIH Royal Commission, The Failure of HIH Insurance Volume 1: A Corporate Collapse and Its Lessons, Commonwealth of Australia, April 2003 at page xxxiii and Justice Owen, Corporate Governance – Level upon Layer, Speech to the 13th Commonwealth Law Conference 2003, Melbourne 13–17 April 2003 at page 2.

Allens Arthur Robinson (2008): ‘Corporate Culture’ as a Basis for the Criminal Liability of Corporations. Paper prepared for the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights and Business February 2008. Allens-Arthur-Robinson-Corporate-Culturepaper-for-Ruggie-Feb-2008.pdf

Ruggie JG (2008): Next Steps in Business and Human Rights. Remarks By Prof. John G Ruggie, UN Special Representative for Business & Human Rights. Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House London, 22 May 2008.

AS/NZS ISO 31000 (2009) Risk management – Principles and guidelines. ISBN 0 7337 9289 8.

University of Alberta (2005): Risk Management Policy (Appendix A) Risk Appetite Statement. groups/public/@finance/documents/procedure/ pp_cmp_059721.hcsp.


• Agreed corporate risk assessment methodology.


Korthals G & Chase-Jenkins L (2010): 6E: Embedding ERM – Setting a Risk Appetite. ERM Symposium April 2010. files/pdf/2010-chicago-erm-6e.pdf.

the Author

- Includes prioritisation of each stakeholder against a list of identified value drivers (note that many water utilities now have a stakeholder register in place as part of their risk management plans, therefore making this step a simple modification of existing information);


Casualty Actuarial Society (2003): Overview of Enterprise Risk Management. Enterprise Risk Management Committee. May 2003. http://


• Agreed operating context (synthesised from your compliance register).

Carpenter G (2009): Risk Profile, Appetite, and Tolerance: Fundamental Concepts in Risk Management and Reinsurance Effectiveness. uploads/2009/04/guycarpenter_erm_brief.pdf.

ASX Corporate Governance Council (2007): Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations. 2nd Edition.

MELBOURNE Peter Everist 03 9863 3535

SYDNEY Hugh McGinley 02 8904 7504

BRISBANE Hugh McGinley 02 8904 7504

ADELAIDE Owen Jayne 08 8348 1687

technical features


WATER RECYCLING SCHEMES: THE LEGAL REQuIREMENTS An overview of the legal requirements in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia J Button Introduction Prolonged periods of drought and low rainfall mean that many Australians are familiar with the need to save water. Something that is less widely understood is the work that is going on to supplement traditional rain-fed supplies through stormwater harvesting, desalination and wastewater recycling. Whereas stormwater harvesting and desalination projects are generally carried out on a large scale, wastewater recycling projects can be carried out at practically any scale. Some Government authorities are making significant largescale investments in upgrading regional water treatment infrastructure to make more water available for non-drinking use. At the smaller end of the scale, private enterprise and local water authorities are identifying opportunities to team up and find ways to use recycled water to supplement potable supplies. The reclaimed water sector seems to have enormous potential for growth, but the market is yet to mature, and the commoditisation of recycled water seems to have been slowed down by the absence of a simple, streamlined licensing

or trading system. Bespoke arrangements need to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis for all new recycled water schemes involving two or more parties, and development approvals may be required under various legislative schemes. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to provide a basic roadmap for getting a water recycling scheme up and running. It provides an overview of the key legal and contractual requirements for accessing and using recycled water in Victoria. The box on pages 72–73 also provides an overview of the regulatory requirements in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. The fundamental requirements for accessing and using recycled water in Victoria are: • Recycled water agreement – entering into a contract with the supplier stipulating the terms of supply; • Environment Improvement Plan – preparing (and in some instances obtaining regulatory endorsement of) a plan that demonstrates that the scheme meets the requirements of the Guidelines for Environmental

Management – Use of Reclaimed Water (EPA Guidelines); and • Statutory approvals – if necessary, obtaining regulatory approvals and endorsements from relevant authorities for the treatment and use of the recycled water. These are discussed in turn below.

Recycled Water Agreement A recycled water agreement is a commercial agreement setting out the respective rights and obligations of the parties to a recycled water scheme. The parties to the agreement will be the water supplier, the water user and the owner of the land upon which the recycled water is to be used (if different from the user). The supplier might be either a water authority, which is able to sell treated or untreated sewage, or a business engaged in water-intensive processes (such as manufacturing), in which case it may be able to supply treated or untreated process water. With only a few exceptions (such as price regulation), the provisions of a recycled water agreement are negotiated by the parties and are not statutorily

In Victoria, reclaimed water can be used for irrigation in accordance with an Environment Improvement Plan.


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governance mandated. The agreement will set out the essential commercial terms of the water recycling arrangement, such as: • Which party is responsible for constructing and maintaining works for the treatment and/or delivery of reclaimed water; • The term of the agreement, usually a number of years; • The quality of water to be supplied; • The volume of water to be supplied; • The period of time over which supply will occur; • The circumstances in which water supply can be interrupted; • The fee(s) to be paid by the user for the water (if any); • The permitted use of the water; and • Risk allocation provisions, including insurance requirements and indemnities. This is obviously not an exhaustive list; the agreement will need to be tailored to the circumstances of the particular scheme. It is worth noting that the EPA Guidelines contain recommendations about the allocation of responsibilities

between the supplier and user. It is important from the water user’s perspective that the EPA Guidelines be given weight when negotiating a recycled water agreement, because compliance with the EPA Guidelines exempts the water user from obtaining a licence under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic) for the discharge of treated effluent to the environment (this is discussed in more detail overleaf). Among other things, the EPA Guidelines recommend that the supplier of recycled water prepare the draft agreement in the first instance. There seems to be an underlying assumption in the EPA Guidelines (which is sometimes, but not always, correct) that the supplier of water is the more sophisticated party in the transaction, or in any event is better positioned to dictate the safety and environmental aspects of a water reuse scheme. Regardless of whether this is the case, under the EPA Guidelines, responsibility for managing these risks tends to rest more heavily with suppliers than their counterparts. This tends to mean that suppliers are careful to ensure that the recycled water agreement contains robust provisions for reducing, and allocating, health and environmental risks.

Does the scheme have a design and/or flow capacity of 5000L/day or more?

No No approval required for the use of water under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic)

Yes Does the scheme meet the requirements in the EPA Guidelines?

Yes Does the scheme require Class A reclaimed water?





Will the scheme supply more than 1,000,000 litres per day?


EIP must be endorsed by EPA and Department of Health

EIP must be endorsed by EPA or EPA-appointed auditor


Has the EPA granted an exemption on the basis that the scheme meets the key requirements of the EPA Regulations?


Will the scheme source water from industrial effluent? Yes No Will the scheme involve the irrigation of grazing or pasture with a large quantity of effluent from an offsite abbatoir, stockyard or intensive animal husbandry?

EIP must be endorsed by Chief Veterinary Officer Yes

Scheme will require licence prior to commencing. Works approval may also be required for works associated with the scheme

No Must comply with EPA Guidelines, and may require works approval for works associated with the scheme, but EIP does not need to be endorsed, and no requirement for licence under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic)

The Victorian EPA’s licensing requirements in respect of the use of reclaimed sewerage.

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Environment Improvement Plan One of the key requirements of the EPA Guidelines is that the user of recycled water must prepare and implement an Environment Improvement Plan (EIP). An EIP will generally contain a description of the water reuse scheme, an overview of all environmental risk management practices, and details of the monitoring and auditing program. The EIP can also be used to demonstrate a proponent’s compliance with the requirements of the EPA Guidelines. The level of detail required in an EIP should be commensurate with the scale of the specific reuse scheme, and the magnitude of the risks posed. Depending on the circumstances, the EIP may need to be approved by one or more regulatory bodies: • If the scheme requires Class A reclaimed water, the EIP must be endorsed by the Department of Health and signed off by the EPA; • If the scheme will supply 1ML/day per day or more, or if the scheme uses industrial effluent, the EIP must be signed off by the EPA or an EPA-appointed auditor; and • If the scheme involves the irrigation of grazing or pasture with significant quantities of abattoir, stockyard or intensive animal industry effluents generated offsite, the EIP must be endorsed by the Chief Veterinary Officer. Even where the EIP does not require any approval or endorsement, it may be beneficial for prospective parties to a recycled water agreement to consult with the EPA in relation to the scheme as it is developed, and to supply a copy of the EIP to the EPA voluntarily for consideration.

Statutory Approvals Water recycling schemes are primarily regulated at a state level. In Victoria, the key regulatory approvals for the development of a water reuse scheme may include: • An Environment Effects Statement under the Environment Effects Act 1978 (Vic); • A works approval (and possibly a licence) under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic); and • A planning permit under the local planning scheme. If the scheme is likely to have a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance, Ministerial approval will also be required under the

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governance Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). The circumstances in which these approvals are required are discussed below. In addition to obtaining necessary statutory approvals, scheme participants will also need to comply with general obligations to avoid adverse environmental or health impacts under state legislation, including the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic) and State Environment Protection Policies, the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) and the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic). Efforts are being made to harmonise regulatory requirements across the states, culminating in the publication by the Environment Protection and Heritage Council of the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Managing Health and Environmental Risks (Phase 1) and other related guidelines. In Victoria, these guidelines may be used as a reference document by proponents and regulators, but they have not been given formal legal status.

Environment Effects Statement Under the Environment Effects Act 1978 (Vic), the Minister for Planning can require an Environment Effects Statement (EES) to be prepared and assessed in respect of a proposal that could have a significant effect on the environment. It would be unusual for the proponents of a water recycling scheme to be required to prepare an EES because – if properly executed – a water recycling scheme should not have a significant effect on the environment. However, if an EES is required, the EES will be scoped by the Minister for Planning and the proponent will be required to prepare an EES document. There will be a public review of the EES, which will involve the documents being placed on public exhibition and the consideration of submissions on the documents (this may involve a public hearing). No decision can be made by decision-makers under other relevant Acts in relation to the works until the EES has been submitted, the Minister for Planning has assessed the EES, and the decision-maker has taken into account the Minister’s assessment.

Works approval and licence The Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic) requires occupiers of premises to obtain a works approval for the construction, and licence for the operation, of a ‘scheduled premises’. The list of scheduled premises includes: • Premises on, or from, which sewage

effluent, exceeding a design or actual flow rate of 5000L per day, is treated, discharged or deposited; and • Premises on, or from, which industrial wastewater effluent not generated at the premises, exceeding a design or actual flow rate of 5000L per day, is discharged or deposited. As discussed above, a licence is not required for the discharge of treated sewage if it complies with the EPA Guidelines. This exemption does not apply in respect of works approvals, so the EPA retains the power to require a works approval in respect of the works associated with the use of reused water. Nor does the exemption cover the treatment plant, so if the plant will be used to treat more than 5000L per day of wastewater, it will be required to obtain a works approval and licence under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic).

Planning permit Victorian planning schemes identify a number of specifically defined land uses, and regulate the use and development of land. A planning permit is unlikely to be required for the use of recycled effluent. However, the use of land for an effluent treatment plant and/or the delivery of water may require a planning permit (depending on the scale of the plant and the planning controls applicable to the land). In addition, a planning permit might be required for the construction of buildings, the carrying out of works and removal of native vegetation (if relevant). The planning permit application process involves a public exhibition process, and gives members of the community the opportunity to submit objections in relation to the proposal.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), ‘controlled actions’ (being actions that will have, or are likely to have, a significant impact upon either a matter of national environmental significance or the environment of Commonwealth land) must be approved by the Commonwealth Minister for the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Matters of national environmental significance include World Heritage areas, National Heritage wetlands listed under the Ramsar Convention, listed threatened species and communities, listed migratory species, and Commonwealth marine areas.

The production or application of treated water would be unlikely to trigger the requirement for an approval, but it is possible that it would in rare cases. For example, approval would be required if the construction of a pipeline linking the treatment plant to the end user could impact on the habitat of a listed threatened species. If a proponent is unsure whether a particular proposal is a controlled action, it should refer the action to the Minister administering the Act for a determination as to whether the action is or is not a controlled action.

Conclusion According to figures published by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, just 14 per cent of Melbourne’s wastewater is recycled. This is set to change, with both largescale and small-scale water recycling likely to be a key part of the State’s response to increased demands for water, and a growing level of acceptance in the community of non-potable applications of recycled water. To give effect to a proposed water recycling scheme, parties need to be prepared to take a collaborative and consultative approach, because the success of the scheme will depend on the parties jointly addressing inherent health and environmental risks to the satisfaction of the EPA. A collaborative approach need not derogate from the ability of the parties to agree on terms and conditions that provide a satisfactory level of certainty about the security and quality of water supply, and the allocation of risks in the case of an environmental or health incident. Note: Please see overleaf for an overview of Recycled Water Regulations in NSW, SA, QLD and WA.

Acknowledgement The author wishes to thank Peter George and Emily Long of Minter Ellison Lawyers for their assistance in preparing this article.

The Author Jillian Button (email: jillian. is a Senior Associate with Minter Ellison Lawyers, Melbourne, practising in Planning and Environmental Law.


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governance Water Recycling Arrangements: The Regulatory Approach in Other States The following provides a summary of the key approvals required for water recycling projects in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.

New South Wales In NSW, the main regulatory requirements that proposed water recycling schemes must satisfy are found in the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW), the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW), the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 (NSW), the State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005 (NSW), the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) and the Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (NSW). The proponent will need to apply for planning approval in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) if the local environment plan for the area, State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 or State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005 specifies that consent be obtained to construct and operate the recycled water scheme. A planning application for a high-impact development (known as a ‘designated development’) will need to be accompanied by an environmental impact statement. A wastewater treatment plant that services more than 10,000 people, costs more than $30 million, or is in an environmentally sensitive area will be classified as a designated development requiring an EIS. Licences are required under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) in order to carry out certain listed activities. One such activity is sewage treatment that involves the discharge of wastes or by-products to land or waters, where the processing capacity exceeds 2,500 persons equivalent, or 750KL per day. Another is the carrying out of irrigated agriculture, which could include the use of recycled water for irrigation. These licences usually contain conditions relating to water discharge limits, sampling and monitoring. The Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) requires councils that wish to construct or extend water treatment works, or provide for any sewage from its area to be discharged, treated or supplied, to seek Ministerial approval. Private entities, on the other hand, must seek the approval of the relevant council before carrying out any water supply work, installing, constructing or altering a waste treatment device, or holding or processing sewage, among other things. The Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (NSW) imposes further approval requirements specific to recycled water schemes. The aims of this Act include encouraging competition in relation to water supply and facilitating the growth of the recycled water market. Under the Act, any person who wishes to provide, construct, maintain or operate any water industry infrastructure, or to supply water or provide a sewerage service by means of any water industry infrastructure, is required to obtain a licence under the Act (unless specifically exempted from the requirement for a licence). Licences can be granted to parties either as network operators or retail suppliers. Licences specify what activities are authorised; for example, the quantity of recycled water to be supplied and where it may be supplied. The regulations apply rules to ensure that recycled water is ‘fit for purpose’ and that services are safe, reliable and have minimum environmental impacts.

South Australia In South Australia, participants in a water recycling scheme will need to observe the requirements in the Environment Protection Act 1993 (SA), Public and Environmental Health (Waste Control) Regulations 2010 (SA) and the Development Act 1993 (SA). EPA licences are required under the Environment Protection Act 1993 (SA) to carry out certain prescribed activities, including the conduct of sewage treatment works or septic tank effluent disposal schemes. A water recycling scheme may trigger this requirement. The EPA will also supervise the recycling of wastewater by condition of EPA licence required for the core activity that produces the wastewater, for example, wineries, food processing and chemical works. The Public and Environmental Health (Waste Control) Regulations 2010 (SA) also have some application. The Guidelines for the Carting of Recycled Water, published by the Department of Health, specifically clarify the approval requirements and application processes that apply to the cartage of recycled water under the Public and Environmental Health (Waste Control) Regulations 2010 (SA). The Reclaimed Water Guidelines 1999, also published by the Department of Health, are non-mandatory but provide further guidance in this area. They have been endorsed by the South Australian EPA and the Public and Environmental Health Council. Development approval under the Development Act 1993 (SA) will be required for the development of the project where the recycling activity constitutes a change of use of the subject land, or an intensification of an existing use.

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governance Queensland In Queensland, proposed water recycling schemes must satisfy key requirements set out under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld), the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld), the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld) and the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld). The supply of recycled water is also governed by the general water management regime of the Water Act 2000 (Qld). Sewage and water treatment are environmentally relevant activities under the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld). As such, development approval must be obtained under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) before a facility is constructed. Once constructed, the works must be operated by a registered operator, under a current registration certificate issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld). Large sewage treatment plants are also notifiable activities under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld), and must be listed on the Environmental Management Register. The Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld) sets mandatory requirements that recycled water providers must satisfy. A key requirement is that providers prepare a Recycled Water Management Plan (RWMP). Providers can apply for exemptions from this requirement. Exemption applications are assessed on the basis of the potential for human exposure to the recycled water, and risks associated with that exposure. The quality of recycled water is regulated under the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) and regulations made under that Act. The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management website ( contains various guidelines to provide assistance to recycled water providers in preparing RWMPs. The website also contains a link to the Manual for Recycled Water Agreements in Queensland, which provides guidance on the terms for a recycled water agreement, as well as a model agreement. The Queensland Government has amended the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 (Qld) to provide for a limited number of treated blackwater reuse trials in certain categories of buildings in South-East Queensland. Information about the trials (and associated regulatory requirements) can be found on the Queensland Department of Local Government and Planning website at:

Western Australia A proposed water recycling scheme in Western Australia may require approval under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA), the relevant local planning scheme, the Water Services Licensing Act 1995 (WA) and the Health Act 1911 (WA). The Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) provides for works approvals and licensing requirements in relation to prescribed premises. Prescribed premises are listed in subordinate regulations and are classified as either ‘Part 1’ or ‘Part 2’ premises. Part 1 premises include: (a)

Facilities where at least 100m3 per day of sewage is treated or discharged; and


‘liquid waste facilities’, being premises on which liquid waste produced on other premises (other than sewerage waste) is stored, reprocessed, treated or irrigated (100 tonnes or more per year).

Part 2 premises include sewage facilities where only 20–100m3 of sewage is treated or discharged per day. Both Part 1 and Part 2 premises must be constructed in accordance with a works approval, and operated in accordance with a licence (except in respect of Part 2 premises if those premises are registered with the Department of Environment and Conservation, in which case a licence is not required). Proposed recycled water schemes in Western Australia may also require approval of the local government under the applicable local planning scheme. When a planning determination is made, the decision-maker will take into account relevant planning policies. One such policy that is relevant is State Planning Policy 2.9 – Environmental and Natural Resources Policy. Under this policy, councils are required to take into account (among other things) the need to promote the reuse and recycling of water. The Water Services Licensing Act 1995 (WA) establishes a scheme for licensing water services. Under this Act, any person who wants to provide a water service in Western Australia must give notice to the Economic Regulation Authority. Where the proposed scheme relates to a determined controlled area (sewerage services) or controlled area (water supply services), the person must obtain a licence under the Act. Matters relevant to the granting of a licence include the proponent’s financial and technical ability to provide water services that will be covered by the licence. A water recycling scheme may also require approval under the Health Act 1911 (WA) and/or its subordinate regulations. The Draft Approval Framework for the Use of Non-drinking Water in Western Australia, published by the Department of Water, provides a non-mandatory process that enables the Department of Water to be a central clearing house for the various approval applications necessary for a water recycling scheme, so that the application process is streamlined. The document is currently operational and, at the time of publication, is expected to be reviewed and finalised in the coming year or so. For further information on water recycling in these jurisdictions, please contact Penny Murray at penny.murray@ (NSW), Antra Hood at (Queensland), Judith Bradsen at judith.bradsen@ (SA) and Lee Rossetto at (WA).


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Presentedatat presented

refereed paper

WATER HAMMER MODELLING FOR DESALINATED WATER DELIVERY Up to 550ML/d to be injected into existing reticulation mains warranted hydraulic investigations R Wilson, K Zic, B Leonard Abstract Sydney Water’s Desalination Plant has been designed to produce an annual average 250 megalitres of water per day (ML/d), and can be expanded to produce an average of 500ML/d if required. The Water Delivery Alliance (WDA), designer and constructor of the water delivery infrastructure, produced detailed water hammer models of the WDA delivery infrastructure and varying network complexities of Sydney Water’s existing Potts Hill system. The performance of various software packages over a range of network complexities was investigated, with implications and opportunities in water hammer design identified. Validation of water hammer modelling with field surge testing up to 310ML/d was also undertaken, and these results and subsequent design opportunities are discussed.

Introduction Sydney Water’s Desalination Plant has been designed and constructed to produce an annual average 250 megalitres of water per day (ML/d), and could be expanded in the future to produce an annual average of 500ML/d if required. From the desalination plant, water is pumped by the Clear Water Pump Station (WP0369) through the delivery pipeline, with a nominal capacity of 550ML/d, that links into Eastern Sydney’s main water supply system, the Potts Hill distribution system. The critical Potts Hill system supplies 1.4 million Sydney residents, including the CBD (Sydney Water, Quarterly Drinking Water Quality Report, 2010). The vast size and demand of this network means that any new additions on the scale of WP0369 and the delivery pipeline warrant considerable investigation into the hydraulic effect they will have on the system. The WP0369 pump station, delivery pipeline and associated infrastructure required to link the desalination plant to the Potts Hill system were designed, constructed and commissioned by the Water Delivery Alliance (WDA). The WDA consisted of Sydney Water Corporation (SWC), Bovis Lend Lease, McConnell

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Figure 1. Water hammer model extent. Dowell, Kellogg Brown & Root Pty Ltd (KBR), Worley Parsons, and Environmental Resources Management. The delivery pipeline is approximately 18km long, linking the desalination plant in Kurnell into the Potts Hill system via a connection to the City Tunnel at Shaft 11C at Erskinville. The delivery pipeline is sized for a nominal capacity of 550ML/d and consists of a single DN 1800 mild steel cement-lined (MSCL) pipeline along the land routes, and twin DN 1400 MSCL pipelines for the 8km section of the pipeline submerged along the floor of Botany Bay. Four vertically orientated surge vessels with a total volume of 760m3 (including an active standby) at WP0369 mitigate transient events, protecting the delivery pipeline and the Potts Hill system. Figure 1 illustrates the delivery pipeline and the extent of the Potts Hill system. The primary objectives of the hydraulic analysis and water hammer modelling component of this project were to assess and confirm the safe operating capacity of the delivery pipeline, as it delivers into the Potts Hill system, and some sub-zones which operate with older infrastructure. Operation of the new system had to

comply with the quite strict and narrow operating hydraulic envelopes in terms of system pressures, for both the normal operation and the hydraulic transients, for this critical water delivery infrastructure.

Objective The objective of this paper is not to discuss the specifics of developing a surge mitigation strategy and required protection devices, but rather to examine the various transient hydraulic modelling techniques and methods undertaken and consider how they might be applied to other design situations for complex network systems such as this one. In particular the following items are examined: • Performance of various software packages over a range of network complexities; • Relative accuracy of various water hammer model complexities as compared to field-measured surge results; • Discussion of practical applications, advantages and disadvantages in using multiple software packages and various model complexities.

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presented Presentedatat

Model Simulations and Observations Water Hammer and Surge Protection Design During the concept design (target outturn cost, or TOC) phase, a decision to use several different transient hydraulic modelling software packages was made to ensure modelling results were not affected by particular numerical features that may be unique to a model, and that may produce different results for some of the critical hydraulic elements of the existing network. This also provided a means of internally reviewing and checking modelling performed using the software package that was predominantly used for design. Multiple modelling approaches were important in providing the required confidence to the WDA. There were tight constraints on the allowable surge performance in the existing system (+/5m from normal operating levels) for any transient event created by the new infrastructure, and physical compliance with these limits formed a critical part of the WDA’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for operating performance. As such, the results of the surge analysis and surge protection design were of particular interest to SWC and the WDA. The key objective was to adopt the model and complexity level that was as functional, efficient and accurate as practical. The approach taken was to produce and run four independent water hammer models of the system, of various network complexities. These were three commercially available models: HAMMER (Bentley), HYTRAN (Hytran Solutions)

and WATHAM (Hydraulic Computer Programming), plus a fourth check model developed in-house by KBR. The water hammer models were developed to include both the WDA delivery infrastructure and the existing Potts Hill system. The Potts Hill system model was developed by utilising the trunk hydraulic model developed by SWC (Prospect Trunk Model – Version No. 0.51) using InfoWorks (Wallingford). SWC’s trunk model contained all the required network geometry verified prior to this project by SWC. All models were developed from the origin of this trunk model. Three network extents of differing complexities (see Figure 2) were then developed to allow adequate cross-checking with the available software packages: Full detailed network model: This model included all of the trunk system (as available in SWC’s InfoWorks trunk model) and contained 2837 nodes, 3112 pipes, the seven major pump stations, downstream trunk networks and associated reservoirs that deliver water to zones from the Potts Hill gravity system. The full model was analysed in HAMMER only. Cut-down detailed network model: This model contained 608 nodes and 657 pipes, and included the two key gravity tunnels (City and Pressure Tunnels) and the major trunk-connecting network. The major pump stations, other than WP0369, and ‘dead end’ sections of the gravity trunk system were removed from the full model. As flows to these sections were typically supplied as

hydraulics gravity flow from the Potts Hill Reservoir, and not pumped flow from WP0369, it was proposed that this step could be taken without considerably sacrificing the accuracy of results. To further prevent loss of accuracy, representative node flow demands were required to simulate the flows at the pump stations and deleted gravity sub-zones to maintain flow velocities throughout the system. The cut-down network was analysed in HAMMER and HYTRAN. Basic model: This was a highly simplified model containing only the WDA infrastructure and the City Tunnel to Potts Hill Reservoir, almost reducing the network to a simple transfer pipeline. This model contains 90 nodes and 91 pipes. Representative node flow demands were manually included to simulate the flows at offtakes from the City Tunnel. The basic model was analysed in HAMMER, HYTRAN, WATHAM and the in-house software developed by KBR. The reasoning behind developing models of varying complexity was the large numbers of potential operating scenarios and configurations in the system (approximately 60 base scenarios) that needed to be tested as part of the design on this project. Any reduction in model complexity that did not result in a loss of accuracy would create a distinct advantage in terms of computational time. This was particularly true for the concept design stage and when on-site testing and commissioning activities were taking place. Sensitivity of the modelling results to time-step selection was undertaken, and a uniform time-step of 0.025 seconds for each of these models was found to be suitable.

Model Comparisons

Figure 2. Model extents.

The biggest advantage HAMMER and HYTRAN had over the other software programs used for modelling in this project was their compatibility with EPANET (public domain software developed by US Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Supply and Water Resources Division). InfoWorks also had compatibility with EPANET, allowing the original, verified model geometry and system set-up to be imported into these water hammer programs with minimal manual manipulation. This was important in minimising error and time taken to set up the models. WATHAM was not capable of importing directly from EPANET, requiring manual formatting of data prior to entry. [Note: the latest release of WATHAM now has the ability to import from EPANET.]


AUGUST 2011 75


Presentedatat presented

Additionally, HAMMER had a major advantage in its inclusion of a steady state solution engine, which provides direct input to the transient engine. The other programs require an intermediate program to develop the steady state hydraulic input for water hammer modelling. For example, the steady state input to WATHAM must be developed in its sister program WATSYS, or imported manually from a program like EPANET. The software that handled the full detailed model best was HAMMER. This model proved to be the most robust in handling the large number of nodes and pipes. Neither HYTRAN nor WATHAM were used to complete simulations of the full detailed model, due to stability issues and data limitations respectively. The run time for a simulation of the full model was anywhere between 2 and 5 hours, depending on the sections of the model that were active for the given scenario. In comparison, the cut-down model was able to run in approximately 30 minutes (in both HYTRAN and HAMMER), and the basic model in approximately 5 minutes (across all models). There was no apparent advantage in simulation times across software types, but a definite advantage comes from creating simplified models that do not overly compromise accuracy. Given the large numbers of operating scenarios that had to be run for this project, they provide a means to produce results quickly when required, without sacrificing accuracy.

Methodology and Approach Design An estimated ‘worst case’ scenario based on velocities through the delivery pipeline and City Tunnel was simulated in the basic model that allowed quick estimation of the surge protection requirements. This was required early on in the concept design 100 90

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These cases were simulated using the cut-down model, which allowed the required variations in system configuration without the onerous computational demands. A selection of these simulations was cross-checked in HYTRAN. The worst-case scenarios from this modelling were then run in the full-detail model to ensure compliance with SWC’s surge criteria was being maintained, and that accuracy was retained between the full model and the more efficient cut-down model.

Commissioning During commissioning, pump shutdown tests were undertaken at WP0369 to further confirm the performance of the system after transient events. The tests involved a sequential program of testing comprising the shutdown of first one, then two pumps, while also varying the number of surge vessels. The maximum pumping rate under test conditions was 310ML/d. The water hammer model was progressively recalibrated in response to the observations made for each test, as a feedback system to improve model accuracy. The calibrations primarily involved adjustment of the surge vessel parameters. During shutdown testing, the cut-down model was utilised to simulate the shutdown test with the operating conditions of the day. There was confidence that the cut-down model was accurate enough for use due to the design work and comparison with the full model undertaken previously. Again, the relative speed of the cut-down model was valuable in providing the expected results of the shutdown test, allowing immediate comparison of results as they were witnessed at the pump station. This was particularly important on the occasions where several surge tests were completed on one day, as the WDA required adequate validation of each test before undertaking the next.

Discussion and Result Analysis

City Tunnel

15000 Chainage (m)


Steady state HGL Hammer Max. HGL Watham Min. HGL Shaft 11C Connection Point



Hytran Max. HGL Hammer Min. HGL WP0369

Figure 3. Basic model, HAMMER, HYTRAN and WATHAM comparison.

Model comparisons – basic model The basic model was run in the four available models: HAMMER, HYTRAN, WATHAM and KBR’s in-house model. Figure 3 shows the comparison of the predicted surge envelopes for a 100





















Pump Station Discharge Pressure (m)



Elevation/ Hydraulic Head (m AHD)

Following this, 60 different base system configuration scenarios were identified, which included various combinations of desalination flow, Potts Hill system configurations and pump station operations.

Detailed comparison and any required re-calibration were then undertaken using the full detailed model.


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phase to allow for cost estimation, and was able to be tested in all four of the available models.

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Pump Discharge Pressure - Full Model Pump Discharge Pressure - Basic Model 11C Pressure - Full Model 11C Pressure - Basic Model

Figure 4. Cut-down detailed model, HAMMER and HYTRAN comparison. Figure 5. Surge Test A: Model pressure comparisons.

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The cut-down model was used for quick on-site analysis of each surge test as it was undertaken. The comparison against field-recorded data gives an indication of the relative accuracy of such an approach, and is influenced by the system configuration. Two tests are considered here:

typical scenario along the WDA pipeline and the City Tunnel between the models. The results indicate that the HAMMER and WATHAM models match very closely, with some minor differences compared to the HYTRAN model. The HAMMER and WATHAM models predict greater control of the transient pressures by the surge vessels, with a narrower transient envelope in the WDA pipeline. Possible reasons for the observed differences are discussed below.

• Surge Test A – 275ML/d being delivered against a high Potts Hill system head with none of the seven major pump stations in operation.

The predicted operation of the surge vessel indicates that the air volumes and water flows are reasonably consistent between programs. The HAMMER model does predict a longer time period between transient pressure peaks and troughs. Generally, the models are consistent, with the HAMMER model being less conservative. This was considered in all subsequent design analysis with the HAMMER model, with additional design margins on the pressure limits used to ensure a suitably conservative approach to design was adopted.

Commissioning data comparisons





















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Flow - Observed Flow - Cut-down Model Surge Vessel Level - Observed Surge Vessel Level - Cut-down Model

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Flow - Full Model Flow - Basic Model Surge Vessel Level - Full Model Surge Vessel Level - Basic Model

Figure 6. Surge Test A: Surge vessel model comparisons.

0 700

The model results plotted against the field-recorded results for the three model complexities for Surge Test A are provided in Figures 5 and 6. The model results plotted against the fieldrecorded results for the three model complexities for Surge Test B are provided in Figures 7 and 8. Subsequent to the testing, the basic model was also run for these surge tests to give an understanding of the errors major simplification introduces. These results can also be seen in these figures. These results demonstrate that the cut-down and full model give a very good approximation to those results obtained from field-testing. For Surge Test A, the cut-down model is closer in nature to results from the full model and field testing, as downstream major pump stations are not operating and, therefore, the downstream systems are not modelled. In Surge Test B, the cut-down model approximates the demand of the pump stations with demands at the node extents; however, there was no significant degradation in the prediction accuracy of the cut-down model. The field-testing confirmed that model size may be reduced with minimal loss of accuracy, provided appropriate parts of the model are removed. 50


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Pump Discharge Pressure - Observed Pump Discharge Pressure - Cut-down Model 11C Pressure - Observed 11C Pressure - Cut-down Model



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Figure 7. Surge Test B: Model pressure comparisons. 10


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As part of the pump station commissioning, a series of pump emergency shutdown tests was undertaken. There were 13 surge tests conducted, ranging from single pump flows of 90ML/d to full flows of up to 310ML/d, with pressure recorded at the WP0369 discharge and Shaft 11C (the connection point to the Potts Hill system). The pressure-recording interval was initially 0.1s. It was found that due to the control exerted by the surge vessels, a 1s interval was adequate for future recording. Faster intervals were maintained for the initial 10–20s of the surge test at the WP0369 discharge to monitor the performance of the check valve operation.

• Surge Test B – 310ML/d being delivered against a low Potts Hill system head with six of the seven major pump stations operating.

11C Pressure (m)

The cut-down model was run in both HAMMER and HYTRAN. Figure 4 shows the comparison between the two models of the predicted surge envelopes along the WDA pipeline and the City Tunnel. The results indicate that there are some minor differences between the models. The HAMMER model predicts greater control of the transient pressures by the surge vessels, with a narrower transient envelope in the WDA pipeline. The reasons are not definitive; however, it appears most likely that the modelling of the surge vessels causes the discrepancy. The HYTRAN model allowed for a variable water level in the vessels, while HAMMER and WATHAM used a fixed mean level. For vertical vessels of 15m in height, this would be expected to generate some discrepancies. [Note: the latest version of HAMMER allows variable levels to be simulated in surge vessels.] The transient envelope predictions in the City Tunnel are very closely matched.

Pump Station Discharge Pressure (m)

Model comparisons – cut-down model

Flow (ML/d)

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Flow - Observed Flow - Cut-down Model Surge Vessel Level - Observed Surge Vessel Level - Cut-down Model

Time (s)




0 1000

Flow - Full Model Flow - Basic Model Surge Vessel Level - Full Model Surge Vessel Level - Basic Model

Figure 8. Surge Test B: Surge vessel model comparisons.


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Presentedatat presented

Field-test results demonstrate that the basic model is shown to lose considerable prediction accuracy, particularly the negative surge pressure wave at Shaft 11C. However, as the magnitude of the negative surge pressures predicted at WP0369 are quite comparable, it does demonstrate that such a model is suitable to approximate surge mitigation requirements prior to further detailed refinement.

Conclusions The key conclusions are: • It is feasible, at least in a system dominated by large surge mitigation devices such as the surge vessels in this system, to have a highly simplified model capable of determining reasonably accurate solutions to feed into more detailed analysis. • Significant efficiencies can be obtained without significant loss of accuracy by utilising a properly simplified model of a complex and computationally demanding system, provided it is understood how a simplified model might achieve appropriate results, and a robust procedure is undertaken to ensure compatibility. • Proper software selection is important, and consideration should be given to the required functionality. For example, in this case the complexity of the network and the compatibility of HAMMER and HYTRAN with InfoWorks via EPANET made them the most suitable tools for the work. While WATHAM was a highly useful water hammer program for simpler systems,

• It is demonstrated that a simple model (such as WATHAM) provides an experienced engineer with a method to verify more detailed surge modelling results. • It has been demonstrated that modelled results are compatible across software packages; however, there are significant advantages to some applications (HAMMER in this case), particularly with a detailed multiple scenario system such as this, in having a model that performs both a steady state solution and the associated transient analysis. Models not capable of this require some effort in developing a steady state solver and an intermediate method to import that data into the transient model. • The results from the cut-down models in both HAMMER and HYTRAN are consistent with results of the field testing. This should provide confidence that desktop water hammer studies will match transient events that may occur as a result of operation or equipment failure.

Disclaimer These materials contain information of a general nature and are provided for discussion purposes only. The conclusions drawn are specific to the circumstances of this project only and should not be taken in any way as representing engineering or procurement

advice. KBR does not warrant the accuracy, completeness or currency of the information in these materials. Any person who uses or relies on these materials does so entirely at their own risk.

Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge the design input, review and support of several SWC and WDA staff, notably: Robert Lus, Christopher Moore, Paul De Sa and Bruce Maunder, all of SWC.

The Authors

Robert Wilson (email: robert.wilson2@ is a Principal Water Resources Engineer and Project Manager in KBR’s Sydney office. Kresho Zic (email: kreho. is KBR’s Chief Technical Advisor for Water Resources and is based in the Perth office. Ben Leonard is a Mechanical Engineer based in KBR’s Perth office.

References Bentley Systems, 2008: Bentley HAMMER V8 XM Edition User’s Guide, Bentley Systems Incorporated, Haestad Methods Solution Center, Watertown, CT, USA. Lawgun N, 2008: Hytran Water Hammer Software Manual, Hytran v3.7.1-5, Hytran Solutions, Pakuranga, Auckland, New Zealand. Sydney Water, 2010: Quarterly Drinking Water Quality Report, 1st July 2010 to 30th September 2010, Version 2.

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refereed paper

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Presentedatat presented

refereed paper

DESIGN OF A CASCADE DROPSHAFT FOR ROSEDALE, NZ Energy dissipation and de-aeration accomplished by a cascade of pre-cast concrete modules L Toombes, S Coleman Abstract The recent upgrade of the Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant near Auckland, New Zealand, required the construction of a 37m-deep dropshaft into a 3km-long tunnel from the plant to the ocean outfall. Depending on the discharge and tide level, the hydraulic grade at the shaft could be anywhere between the tunnel soffit and 20m up the shaft. The most common form for large dropshafts is the vortex; however, these may require large, expensive de-aeration chambers, particularly when discharging into pressurised tunnels. De-aeration is most successful when there is a free surface within the chamber. Cascade dropshafts, which consist of a shaft subdivided by a series of steps, have been used for over a century. A relatively new variant tested at the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research was identified as a potential solution for the Rosedale WWTP outfall. A physical model study undertaken at Auckland University confirmed excellent energy dissipation and air release over a wide range of discharge and tailwater combinations, eliminating the need for a separate de-aeration chamber. The dropshaft is now operating satisfactorily at full flow.

Introduction The Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant is the second largest treatment works in the Auckland region and one of the largest in New Zealand. The plant services a population of approximately 185,000, treating 19.7 million cubic metres of wastewater annually. Recent upgrades to the plant have included the construction of a new ocean outfall connection to convey tertiary-treated

effluent to a discharge diffuser structure in the Rangitoto Channel. The outfall consists of a 3km-long bored tunnel from the WWTP UV Plant and the ocean, and a further 2km of buried marine pipeline. The system is designed to carry a peak flow of up to 6m³/s, although future upgrades may further increase flows. The WWTP is approximately 34m above sea level. The concept design for the connection between the UV Treatment Plant and the tunnel was originally for a 15m-deep vortex dropshaft, with the tunnel then falling a further 35m. The final 0.6km of the tunnel runs beneath the ocean floor, ending at a transition riser up to the marine pipeline fitted with diffusors. As the design progressed, geotechnical and construction issues were identified that required significant reduction in the grade and lowering of the tunnel. The height of the inlet dropshaft consequently increased to 37m, with the tunnel soffit at approximately mean sea level. The hydraulic grade level at the shaft is a function of both the velocity in the tunnel and pipeline and the tide level. A further significant consequence of the lowering of the tunnel was, therefore, that the dropshaft was required to function with the free surface below the dropshaft outlet, for low discharge and tide level, or potentially over 20m above the soffit (over halfway up the dropshaft) for high flows and tide (Figure 1).

Review of the Vortex Dropshaft Vortex dropshafts There are numerous configurations of vortex dropshaft inlet; however, all operate under the principle that the flow enters the inlet tangential to the dropshaft, inducing a centripetal force that helps

the flow stick to the outside of the shaft. An air core is present at the centre of the shaft, which prevents the shaft entrance from sealing and causing ‘gulping’ due to pressure imbalance. A review of standard practice worldwide by Jain & Kennedy (1983) identified that, with the exception of Chicago’s TARP dropshafts, virtually all large dropshafts for which energy management and air entrainment were of concern, constructed since the 1950s, had been of the vortex type. Vortex dropshafts offer several advantages over uncontrolled drops. The descending flow remains in contact with the shaft wall and, consequently, friction losses are increased and air entrainment, which can only occur at a free surface, is decreased. However, it is important to note that although these are improved by using a vortex, they are not negligible.

Air entrainment in vortex dropshafts Depending on outlet configuration and the hydraulic grade in the outlet tunnel, vortex dropshafts can operate with either a free discharge (Regime I), or with the lower end of the shaft submerged (Regime II). For Regime I the descending flow fragments upon impact at the bottom of the shaft, resulting in significant turbulence and generation of bubbles and spray droplets. This regime only occurs in the Rosedale dropshaft for low flowrates and tide. For Regime II, the flow transitions to full pipe flow in the shaft. Air is entrained prior to the transition by free surface aeration and at the transition in a process that is analogous to an annular hydraulic jump or plunging jet entrainment. Three-dimensional numerical modelling of the vortex inlet was undertaken using the Computational Fluid Dynamics

Figure 1. Section along the tunnel and undersea pipeline.

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package, FLOW-3D, developed by Flow Science. The model results predicted entrained air concentrations ranging from 20% with the hydraulic grade level around 10m below the inlet, to over 75% with the hydraulic grade near the bottom of the shaft. With the velocity of the descending flow in the shaft exceeding the rise velocity of bubbles, the entrained air is drawn down the shaft into the tunnel, where it rises and accumulates into large pockets at the tunnel soffit (Figure 2).

shaft. Together with the flow characteristics produced by the model within the tunnel, this highlighted several shortcomings of the air entrainment module, in that it does not differentiate between air bubbles in a water medium (say C < 30%) and water droplets in an air medium. It also assumes a constant â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;typicalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bubble size and does not simulate accumulation of small bubbles into larger air pockets. Despite these shortcomings in the modelling, it was considered reasonable to conclude that the vortex dropshaft could entrain a significant quantity of air (C > 30% to 50%), that this air would accumulate into large, pressurised air pockets within the tunnel, and that it would need to be safely removed. Air is entrained in the dropshaft and enters the tunnel as small bubbles, but then rises and accumulates into large pockets at the tunnel soffit. Any shaft or vent joined to the tunnel must have a contiguous water column within the shaft, sufficient to maintain pressure within the tunnel. Venting bubbles must pass through the water column, displacing the water around the bubbles.

Figure 2. Air entrainment in the vortex dropshaft. Air within the Rosedale tunnel could potentially be under pressures of up to 20m (2 Atm). These pressurised pockets could potentially vent with explosive force through any available opening, whether these be vent or access shafts located downstream, or the vortex inlet shaft itself. It became apparent that safe removal of this air would be a difficult task.

Discussion While it is understood that the air entrainment module of FLOW-3D has been designed and tested for situations including free-surface aeration, hydraulic jumps and plunging jets, the combination of all these phenomena within the confined shaft is likely to be outside the scope of anything tested by the model. It is the opinion of the authors that significant uncertainty remained as to the reliability of the model predictions. A literature review nevertheless confirmed the potential for vortex dropshafts to entrain large amounts of air. Zhao et al. (2006) measured air concentrations of 30% < C < 45% for Regime II flows, where C is defined as Qair/(Qwater + Qair). Although Ogihara and Kudou (1997) observed air concentrations of nearly 60% for Regime I flows, the numerical model predictions of up to 75% (i.e. three times more air than water) seem physically unrealistic for Regime II confined within the

Several researchers, including Sigg et al. (2004) and Wickenhäuser and Minor (2007), have investigated discharge of bubbles from a pressurised tunnel. They observed that the free surface within a vent shaft increases due to reduced density of the air-water mixture in the shaft. There may also be significant oscillation of the free surface due to passage and release of the air pockets (Figure 3). Should the water surface reach the top of the shaft, the water column maintaining pressure in the tunnel would be lost. The pressure imbalance could cause the tunnel to vent rapidly, leading to explosive ejection of air and water. The impact of the collapsing pocket in the tunnel can also cause structural damage.

Oscillation of free surface H/(1-C) HGL


Figure 3. Air release at a pressurised vent.

A review of vortex dropshaft design practices identified that a de-aeration chamber is almost always required downstream of the inlet when the tunnel can operate under pressurised conditions. While numerous designs have been developed, most de-aeration chambers are designed to operate with a free surface (at atmospheric pressure), which alleviates issues associated with the release of pressurised air pockets. A typical example is shown in Figure 4. Flow enters from the dropshaft at high speed, hence the flow in the de-aeration chamber is highly turbulent. The chamber must often be very large to give the air time to separate and can, therefore, be difficult and expensive to construct.



Figure 4. Standard de-aeration chamber. Although some examples of specific designs operating under pressurised conditions were identified, these were rare and in several cases were reported to not provide complete air removal. No examples could be found that operated under the extremes required by the Rosedale dropshaft. Since the Rosedale dropshaft must operate with the hydraulic grade anywhere between 0 and 20m above the tunnel obvert, installation of a standard vortex inlet and de-aeration chamber operating with a free surface was quickly identified as being not feasible. It was also concluded that the design of a pressurised de-aeration chamber to operate with these flow conditions and design constraints imposed by the tunnel, surface and hydraulic grade levels would be extremely difficult and expensive, and even if feasible would require an extensive development process.

Alternative Dropshaft Design A fundamental engineering principle states that it is preferable to remove a problem at the source than to fix the consequences. Rather than designing a new type of de-aeration chamber to remove entrained air, the ideal solution is, therefore, to prevent the air from being drawn into and pressurised within the


AUGUST 2011 81

hydraulics tunnel by minimising the entrainment of air and/or releasing any entrained air near the free surface. This is practically impossible to accomplish in a vortex or other conventional small-bore dropshaft, where the downward velocity of the water greatly exceeds the rise velocity of entrained bubbles. Therefore, several alternative types of inlet shaft were examined with the aim of reducing the amount of air drawn into the tunnel. Options considered included a helicoidal dropshaft, which induces a high tangential velocity and, hence, centripetal acceleration to minimise air entrainment, and a cascade dropshaft.

Identification of design alternatives In a standard vortex the tangential velocity decreases down the shaft (although only a small centripetal force is required to keep the flow in contact with the shaft wall). The helicoidal dropshaft uses a spiral ramp to convert the gravitational acceleration into tangential velocity. The increased friction and turbulence induced by the helicodial ramp results in higher energy dissipation than a standard vortex. Maintaining high tangential velocity induces very high centripetal acceleration, which acts to separate any entrained air towards the centre of the shaft where it can vent back up the shaft. Physical model studies of the helicoidal dropshaft, reported in Kennedy and Jain (1988), identified that it greatly reduced the amount of entrained air compared to a vortex, and suggested that a dedicated de-aeration chamber might not be necessary. The cascade dropshaft, also known as a stepped or baffle dropshaft or drop structure, consists of a series of alternating horizontal steps that allow flow to cascade down the dropshaft. Cascade dropshafts have been around for over a century, although their usage is not particularly widespread. The dropshaft designs typically used alternating steps, each occupying half of the full shaft. This design often led to flow instability problems because there was no supply of air to the steps, while also inhibiting access to the tunnel. A modified cascade configuration was recently developed and tested at the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research (IIHR). A central wall divides a large shaft into a ‘wet’ half fitted with alternating quarter-circle steps down which the flow is discharged, and an unobstructed ‘dry’ side that serves as a final dissipation and de-aeration chamber and also allows access to the tunnel. Penetrations through

82 AUGUST 2011 water

Presentedatat presented

the central wall are provided underneath each of the steps, allowing free circulation of air to the steps and also allowing air to escape once the descending flow reaches the standing water level in the shaft. The penetrations also serve for inspection and access to the steps. Cascades are noted for very high turbulence and air entrainment. However, unlike the vortex dropshaft, where most of the energy dissipation and de-aeration occurs within the chamber downstream of the shaft outlet, energy dissipation and de-aeration in the cascade occur continuously down the shaft and within the confines of each step. That is, each step acts as a small de-aeration chamber. Reports on the IIHR design presented in Margevicius et al. (2009) identified excellent energy dissipation and de-aeration characteristics, with no requirement for a separate de-aeration chamber.

Numerical modelling A CFD model of a helicoidal dropshaft was developed in FLOW-3D. The model was calibrated to replicate the physical model results reported in Kennedy and Jain (1988). Flow velocities and air concentration at the maximum design discharge of 6m3/s are shown in Figure 5 (note that the model extent does not represent the full dropshaft height; however, the flow conditions approach equilibrium relatively quickly).

refereed paper

and there is little additional entrainment when the descending flow encounters the free surface in the shaft. Although subject to the same concerns regarding the validity of the numerical model as the vortex modelling, the CFD modelling nevertheless indicates greatly reduced entrainment with the helicoidal dropshaft. A CFD model of the cascade dropshaft was also developed, as shown in Figure 6. Although this was able to represent the general flow patterns and characteristics demonstrated by the physical model studies, the strong aeration, mixing and de-aeration that occur on each step were found to lie far outside the capabilities of the FLOW-3D air entrainment module. Although some general conclusions could be drawn – that there was strong energy dissipation within the cascade side of the shaft and that entrained air tended to separate close to the surface rather than being carried down the shaft – the air entrainment modelling was considered to be unreliable.

With maximum velocity of less than 10m/s, the helicoidal dropshaft demonstrates significantly lower velocities and greater flow thickness than the vortex. Aided by a centripetal acceleration of over 5g, air entrainment is confined to the free surface at the centre of the shaft

Figure 6. Cascade dropshaft flow characteristics. Cost-benefit analysis

Figure 5. Helicoidal dropshaft flow characteristics.

Based on physical and numerical model studies, both the helicoidal and cascade dropshafts significantly reduce the rate of air entrainment, potentially to such a degree that a separate de-aeration chamber may be omitted. The helicoidal dropshaft requires a larger shaft than a standard vortex (2.5m diameter compared to the original 1.5m vortex). Significant effort and cost is also required to fabricate the helicoidal ramp. Although some designs only require the ramp to be installed at the top and bottom of the shaft, the large operating range of the Rosedale dropshaft implied that the ramp would be required for most of the shaft length. A separate access shaft would also be required for this option.

technical features


presented Presentedatat

The primary disadvantage of the cascade dropshaft is its size and construction cost. The cascade dropshaft requires a much larger shaft diameter than the vortex. It also requires the fabrication of the cascade, including shaft lining, central dividing wall and steps. Although these seem significant, they must be compared against the alternative of constructing a large de-aeration chamber entirely underground. At Rosedale WWTP, a temporary service shaft approximately 10m in diameter was already required for access of the tunnel-boring machine. The constructors, McConnell Dowell, were able to develop a design where the cascade shaft was fabricated as a series of pre-cast concrete rings (Figure 7) that could be lowered into place to allow the dropshaft to be constructed rapidly and economically. After consideration of the benefits and limitations of each of the alternatives, including cost, reliability, constructability and maintenance, it was concluded that the cascade dropshaft was the solution that had the greatest potential to satisfy the design requirements. There were, nevertheless, some concerns as to how the dropshaft would perform with a high water level in the shaft, and whether air could escape into the de-aeration shaft or would be entrained down the stepped shaft.

Adopted design The design and initial size for the alternative Rosedale dropshaft were based on the IIHR modelling. The only noteworthy change to the IIHR design was to the size and location of the air vents. Wide slots were placed underneath each step to assist collection and venting of air from the submerged steps. The cascade consisted of a series of pre-cast ring segments, each 6m in diameter and 1.5m high, to form the alternating steps. The cascade connected directly to the foreshunt, an oversized segment of tunnel 3.7m in diameter and 70m long for the installation of the tunnel boring machine, before transitioning to the standard 2.8m diameter of the standard tunnel (Figure 7).

Confirmation Of Design Performance Study objectives The IIHR model study reported in Margevicius et al. (2009) concluded that negligible air entrainment occurred beyond the cascade dropshaft, eliminating the need for a separate deaeration chamber. This study, however, focused on relatively low water levels in the shaft. A physical model study was,

The physical model was constructed using an undistorted physical scale of 1:9.5, which, while at the lower end of the preferred range, was considered reasonable to provide proof-of-concept. Froude similitude was adopted to give best representation of the free-surface flows occurring within the dropshaft. This means that viscous and surface tension forces are overestimated by the model, with a residual Reynolds number scale of 1:29.3 and Weber number scale of 1:278.


Left Segment

Right Segment 37.9m

refereed paper

Foreshunt (≈70m)




Figure 7. Cascade geometry. therefore, undertaken at the University of Auckland to confirm the performance of the design under flow conditions characteristic to the Rosedale WWTP operations. The primary objectives of the study were to: • Confirm that the proposed shaft size could adequately pass the design discharge without choking, causing upstream impacts, or spilling too much flow from the air slots under the steps; • Investigate the performance of the cascade with high submergence and confirm that entrained air would escape close to the free surface without being carried down the shaft and into the tunnel; • Confirm the size of the air vent penetrations, which need to be large enough to let entrained air escape, but also minimise water lost from upper steps.

Methodology Entrainment of air bubbles into water flow is a function of numerous parameters including shear stresses and drag forces (Reynolds scaling), buoyancy (Froude scaling) and surface tension (Weber scaling). It is impossible to match all these parameters using the same fluid in both the scale model and the prototype. It is well recognised that air entrainment can only be investigated using relatively large-scale modelling. A minimum scale of 1:10 and preferably at least 1:5 is recommended to achieve reasonable results.

The model included the dropshaft (minus two steps due to space constraints in the laboratory), the 70m-long foreshunt section of the tunnel and an additional 20m of regular tunnel. The circular dropshaft and tunnel were constructed from transparent Perspex, with the shafttunnel junction made from steel. The shaft dividing wall and steps were constructed from plywood. Flow was provided to the model from a constant head tank, while tailwater conditions were controlled using an adjustable valve at the downstream end of the tunnel. A pitot tube was installed to extract water (and air bubbles) from the downstream end of the foreshunt to assess residual air flow. The model was used to test a range of discharges from 1.25m3/s to 7.7m3/s (nearly 30% higher than the maximum design discharge) at tailwater levels from 0m to 10m above the tunnel soffit, including unrealistic ‘worst-case’ combinations.

Discussion Flow on the upper (unsubmerged) steps acts in a manner comparable with an unconfined stepped cascade. The descending jet rebounds and fragments upon impact with the step below, forming a swirling froth of spray and bubbles. A thin layer of water with relatively low air concentration can be observed close to the step and wall in Figure 8 and Figure 13(a) and (b), which shows as relatively clear fluid as opposed to the ‘white waters’ characteristic of bubbly flow. Although high air entrainment is observed on each step, much of this air is recirculated within the step cavity; that is, there is also significant detrainment on each step. Although some spray is ejected through the step vents at high flows (Figure 13b), this represents a negligible amount of the total flow. The flow conditions reach a quasiequilibrium after several steps. Although somewhat difficult to distinguish among the turbulence, several flow patterns could be identified. Rather than cut back through itself, the descending flow tends to form a swirl or spiral pattern, as shown


AUGUST 2011 83

hydraulics in Figure 8. Under some flow conditions a periodic surging can also be observed.

Figure 8. Unsubmerged steps at moderate flow. Energy is dissipated continuously down the cascade, and any residual energy is rapidly dissipated once the steps become submerged. The flow within the submerged shaft becomes relatively quiescent. Observation of the flow patterns that exist within the submerged steps, shown in Figure 9, reveals the formation of two distinct flowpaths – one that forms a recirculating vortex within the step (with some flow exiting through the penetration under the step) and one that continues down onto the next step. The buoyancy of the air and centripetal acceleration of the vortices appear to contribute to the air separating from the descending flow into the recirculating vortex, allowing it to collect underneath each step and vent out of the stepped side of the shaft.

Presentedatat presented

bubbles can freely rise to the free surface. Unlike the vortex dropshaft, there is minimal downward flow on this side to draw the bubbles down the shaft. A relatively narrow bubbly layer forms at the free surface in the ‘dry’ side of the shaft around the venting step outlets (Figure 13g). A large number of micro-bubbles (diameter <<1mm) are also entrained into the flow. These bubbles have a very low rise velocity and, consequently, many are drawn down the dropshaft and into the tunnel. The bubbles gradually rise and accumulate at the tunnel soffit downstream of the dropshaft (Figure 10). Studies such as Falvey (1980) have identified that the flow direction of air in a closed conduit is a function of dimensionless discharge and slope. Air pockets in the model were actually relatively stable and would gradually accumulate with little sign of motion. Periodically, the pockets would migrate back up the tunnel and vent into the dropshaft. Note that the true preferred direction of air within the tunnel is difficult to determine, as the larger foreshunt section of the tunnel may have acted as an air trap, helping prevent flow down the tunnel.

Figure 10. Air pocket collecting at the tunnel soffit.

Figure 9. Submerged steps at design flow of 6m3/s. The majority of the air entrained within the cascade dropshaft is in the form of small air bubbles, typically 1mm to 5mm in diameter. Most of these bubbles exit the shaft within one to two steps of encountering the free surface, with relatively few bubbles carried down the shaft. (The free surface in Figure 9 is approximately half a step above Step B7, while in Figure 13 it is slightly higher than Step B5). The unrestricted ‘dry’ side of the shaft acts as a de-aeration chamber, where air released from the stepped shaft near the free surface and any residual

84 AUGUST 2011 water

While large in number, the microbubbles only represent a tiny air flowrate, a fraction of a percent of the water flow. The air pockets at the soffit shown in Figure 10 took many minutes to accumulate. The low air-flow rate and large size of the upstream dropshaft meant that the intermittent release of the air pockets back up the shaft took place in a controlled and safe manner, as shown in Figure 11. Measurements from flow sampled at the downstream end of the foreshunt section produced residual air concentrations of less than 0.01%, a negligible amount.

Figure 11. Air pocket venting up the shaft.

refereed paper

Conclusion The new ocean outfall for the Rosedale WWTP required the construction of a dropshaft connecting the treatment plant to a 3km-long tunnel. This connection was originally designed as a 15m-high vortex dropshaft; however, geotechnical and construction issues with the tunnel increased the dropshaft height to 37m. The operating hydraulic grade level could be anywhere from 0m to 20m above the soffit of the tunnel, depending upon the discharge and tide. Assessment of the air entrainment characteristics of the vortex dropshaft identified that large, highly pressurised pockets of air could accumulate within the tunnel and potentially vent explosively. Vortex dropshafts discharging to pressurised tunnels typically require a de-aeration chamber to remove entrained air before it can enter the tunnel. These chambers can be large and expensive to construct, and most common designs operate with a free surface. This is obviously not feasible for the conditions present at the Rosedale dropshaft. Design of a new de-aeration chamber capable of operating under pressurised conditions was also considered to be extremely difficult. Several design alternatives for the inlet dropshaft and/or a de-aeration chamber were considered, including a helicoidal dropshaft and a cascade dropshaft. The investigation concluded that a cascade dropshaft design recently developed by IIHR displayed the greatest potential to minimise or even eliminate entrained air, and could be constructed within a large temporary dropshaft used for installation of the tunnel-boring machine. This design consists of a relatively large shaft divided into two halves, with a cascade installed downone side and the other side acting as a deaeration chamber and for tunnel access. A physical model study was undertaken at the University of Auckland to confirm that the cascade dimensions, which had been selected based on results of the IIHR study, were appropriate and would perform adequately under the wide range of discharges and shaft submergence that could occur at Rosedale. The model study confirmed that the design performed exceptionally well at flow rates up to and even exceeding the planned maximum. The primary advantage of the cascade dropshaft is that energy is dissipated at each step. Although significant aeration also occurs, most of the air does not travel down the shaft but, instead, either recirculates or is forced out into

technical features

refereed paper

presented Presentedatat

the de-aeration side once the descending flow reaches the water level in the shaft. Although a large number of microbubbles were drawn into the tunnel, these represented a negligible percentage of the flowrate, accumulating into air pockets at the tunnel soffit before safely venting back up the shaft (Figure 12). The Rosedale cascade dropshaft has since been constructed and operational testing was undertaken in July 2010. Although the internal workings of the shaft cannot be seen from the top of the shaft, the structure appears to be functioning as planned up to the full design flow. Highly aerated flow (small bubbles and spray droplets) descends the cascade Most of the air escapes close to the free surface Air pockets gradually collect at the tunnel soffit and vent up the shaft

at The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance and support of the constructors McConnell Dowell throughout the design, evaluation, testing and construction of the Rosedale dropshaft project.

References Falvey HT, 1980: Air-water flow in hydraulic structures. Engineering Monograph No 41. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado. Jain SC & Kennedy JF, 1983: Vortex-flow drop structures for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District Inline Storage System, IIHR Report No 264, Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, The University of Iowa, Iowa. Kennedy JF & Jain SC, 1988: Helicoidal-Ramp Dropshaft, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 114 (3) ASCE. Margevicius A, Lyons T, Schreiber A, Switalski R, Benton S & Glovick S (2009): A Baffling Solution to a Complex Problem Involving Sewage Drop Structures, 33rd IAHR Congress.

Micro-bubbles are carried with the flow and slowly rise

Figure 12. Air flow patterns in the dropshaft. Footnote: This paper was short-listed for the 2011 Award for Best Ozwater Paper.

The Authors Luke Toombes (email: ToombesL@ap.aurecongroup. com) is a Senior Water Engineer with Aurecon Australia, Brisbane. Dr Stephen Coleman (email: is an Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Ogihara K & Kudou T, 1997: Theoretical analysis of air-entrained flow in vertical drop shafts of the channel in urban drainage system. Proc., 27th Congress of IAHR, Water Resources Engineering Division, Theme A, pp 69–74.

At EcoCatalysts we’re the experts at reducing your operation & maintenance costs. Com at AW e & See Us A Confe NQ Regio nal rence Boo 2011 th 7

Sigg H, Keller U, Volkart PU & Minor H, 2004: De-aeration of a diversion tunnel of a large-scale hydro-electric scheme. Hydraulics of Dams and River Structures, Taylor & Francis Group, London. Wickenhäuser M & Minor HE, 2007: De-aeration by structural means in pressurized flow. 32nd Congress of IAHR, Venice 108: 1-8, Zhao CH, Zhu DZ, Sun SK & Liu ZP, 2006: Experimental Study of Flow in a Vortex Drop Shaft, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 132 (1), ASCE.



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Figure 13. Air flow patterns in the cascade dropshaft at design flow of 6m3/s.


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water treatment

Presentedatat presented

refereed paper

THE CAUSE OF LOW UV TRANSMISSIVITY AFTER MEDIA FILTRATION A systematic desktop- and site-based investigation at Pimpama RWTP M Wilson Abstract

Process Overview

The Challenge

The Pimpama Coomera Class A+ recycled water scheme encountered an unexpected challenge when the transmissivity of the water at the ultra-violet reactors dropped below the critical limit. The ramifications were that the production of Class A+ recycled water was not possible and, due to regulatory restrictions, could not be released from site.

As represented by Figure 1, the wastewater treatment process consists of preliminary treatment (grit and screenings removal), a 5-stage Bardenpho bioreactor and secondary clarification. Alum dosing is available to supplement biological phosphorus removal. After secondary clarification, the major barriers of the recycled water treatment process are oxidation/coagulation, media filtration, ultra filtration (UF), ultra-violet (UV) radiation and chlorination. Wastewater treatment plant effluent that cannot be accepted through the recycled water treatment plant is stored in ‘off-spec’ lagoons until such time as it can be retreated through both the wastewater and recycled water treatment plants.

In late 2009, the UV (254 nm) transmissivity (UVT) of the recycled water at the UV reactors began to dip below the plant’s RWMP critical limit of 70%. This critical limit was the lowest transmissivity at which the UV reactors had been validated by the manufacturer. During design, it was anticipated that additional validation of the UV unit would not be required as UVT in the effluent above 70% was expected. At UVT less than 70%, the pathogen log removal required by the UV reactors could not be guaranteed and, as such, the production and supply of Class A+ recycled water under these conditions was not permitted, meaning the water had to be diverted to the off-spec lagoon for re-treatment at a later time.

A systematic approach was implemented to identify the cause of the low transmissivity. Investigations identified operation of the media filters as the main cause of the low transmissivity. Analysis of the media filters revealed a high level of solids retained on the media due to poor performance of the cleaning sequence. Soluble natural organic matter was being released from the dirty media filters.

Raw wastewater

The Consequences

Preliminary treatment


Media filters and filtered water tank.

Introduction Pimpama Wastewater and Recycled Water Treatment Plant is the keystone in the Pimpama Coomera Waterfuture Master Plan. All new homes in the Pimpama/Coomera region on Queensland’s Gold Coast will be supplied with Class A+ recycled water from the Pimpama Treatment Plant for toilet flushing and external non-drinking uses. In general terms, Class A+ recycled water used for dual reticulation in Queensland is required to be free of pathogens, contain a chlorine residual and low turbidity, and have a Recycled Water Management Plan (RWMP), approved by the regulator, demonstrating the required log removal of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and helminths.

86 AUGUST 2011 water


Storage lagoons

Media filtration Ultra filtration UV radiation


Class A+ recycled water

Figure 1. Process flow diagram.

The consequences of failure to produce and supply Class A+ recycled water were not immediate, but were serious. In the event that both the onsite and network Class A+ recycled water reservoirs were exhausted, the needs of customers could be met using a potable interconnection, mitigating the consequences of exhausting the Class A+ recycled water supply; however, there was another, more serious, potential consequence. During the design process it was elected to delay construction of the Class B/C discharge pipeline, meaning the only way to discharge water from site was through the Class A+ recycled water network. Discharging water that did not meet the Class A+ recycled water requirements through this network was not an option due to regulatory restrictions. Should Class A+ recycled water production be inhibited for an extended period of time, the off-spec lagoon would overflow, breaching the environmental licence.

technical features

refereed paper

presented Presentedatat

The Response The immediate response by operations staff was to increase the pre-media filter chlorine and alum doses with the aim of oxidising and coagulating any soluble UV-absorbing compounds present in the secondary effluent. No positive recovery in UVT was observed from this change. A brainstorming session was held in which operators and operational support staff identified a number of potential causes of low UVT, including: • Sources of low UVT in the wastewater arriving at the plant (for example, new industrial connections, groundwater dewatering from construction activities in the network, and storm events – either first flush or elevated water table). • In-plant sources/returns (e.g. off-spec lagoon return, ultra-filtration clean-inplace waste return, chemical addition).

grab samples had to be sent to the NATA lab for analysis using a benchtop UV-vis spectrophotometer. Results confirmed that: • There was no corruption of the sample through the sample line. • There was no corruption of the online instrument signal; what was displayed locally was displayed on the control system. • There was a close correlation between grab sample results and online instrument output, with the difference being less than 1% for each sample. Hence it was concluded that we had a real problem. Scheduled maintenance following a documented procedure is in place to maintain the accuracy of this instrument.

• Changes in UVT removal due to pre-media filter chlorine dose and contact time (neat sodium hypochlorite concentration, chlorine demand changes, media filter chlorine demand, and contact tank sludge build-up). • Changes in UVT removal due to media filter operation (e.g. short circuiting, light loading/long hydraulic retention time (HRT), and stagnation of offline filter beds). • Changes in UVT removal due to changes in pre-ultra filter chlorine dose or ultra filtration efficiency. • UVT online instrument (calibration, precision, bubbles, sample line). Operators and operational support staff systematically carried out a range of sampling, trials, observations and analysis over a period of 6–12 months with the aim of identifying the UV-absorbing compound and the source, or operational practice, responsible for its presence, to enable the resumption of reliable Class A+ recycled water production.

Investigations UVT online instrument The prioritised task was to verify precision of the UVT online instrument; it needed to be confirmed whether the trend output by this instrument reflected the actual UVT of the water flowing from the UF into the UV reactors. Twelve sets of grab samples were collected from the UF filtrate (online instrument sample point) then, after the sample line HRT elapsed, at the online instrument. UVT of the samples was analysed for comparison against the UVT instrument output, displayed locally and on the control system. At this time the

The Pimpama RWTP control room. At this time the value of having a benchtop UV-vis spectrophotometer onsite was recognised. This instrument was subsequently purchased and is used for both regular cross-checking and calibration of the online instrument, as well as for troubleshooting trials and experimentation.

Plant inflow Literature review indicated that the common causes of low UVT were either wet weather inflows or industrial discharges. Low UVT was encountered during dry weather and there were no heavy industrial customers or dewatering activities in the treatment plant catchment. There was a possibility that a rogue wastewater customer or tanker was discharging unauthorised substances to the wastewater collection system; however, the UVT trend was persistently low, including weekends, which made this possibility unlikely. In the event that this was the cause of the low UVT, it would be difficult to identify the source, so this avenue of investigation was put on hold while others were investigated. UVT was not routinely monitored in the raw sewage or secondary effluent, which made it difficult to determine whether influent or effluent UVT had

water treatment dropped at the same time as the UF filtrate UVT – which would indicate whether low UVT influent was the cause of the low UVT at the UF filtrate. Routine monitoring of the secondary effluent UVT has been introduced. Reductions in secondary effluent UVT during wet weather have subsequently been observed, and are a serious issue for the plant; however, this was clearly a separate cause from the persistent, dry-weather low UVT.

Intra-plant sources A primary suspect was the off-spec lagoon return, due to either the significant algae infestation or the clay lining. Data from a sonde deployed in the lagoon over two days showed a clear correlation between high and fluctuating pH (8.5–9.7), dissolved oxygen saturation (30–180%), and temperature, indicating the strong influence of algae photosynthesis and respiration upon the water chemistry. The potential for water from this lagoon to contribute to low UVT was evaluated by comparing the online instrument UVT trend both when the lagoon was returning, and when it was not. There was no discernible difference in UVT between periods when the lagoon was returning and when it was not returning, so the off-spec lagoon return was discounted as the origin of low UVT. Another potential cause of low UVT was the UF clean-in-place (CIP) waste return. The UF modules are given a short-duration acid clean once per week, and a longer-duration acid followed by chlorine clean once per month. Spent cleaning chemicals are slowly returned to the media filter feed. It was observed that when running both CIP waste return pumps simultaneously, media filter filtrate turbidity increased significantly. Jar testing was carried out to gain a better understanding of the impact of the acid CIP waste return upon the treatment of secondary effluent. Effluent was dosed with the normal doses of alum and chlorine (7.5mg/L and 10mg/L respectively) and varying doses of CIP waste. Following a normal contact time (30 mins), samples were filtered through paper and analysed. The possible range of CIP return rate is 1mL/L to 5mL/L (mL CIP return/L effluent). It was found that the CIP waste had no appreciable impact on UVT, and a minor impact on turbidity over the applicable range of CIP return rate, as shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3.


AUGUST 2011 87

water treatment 78

UVT (%)

77 76

Presentedatat presented

Pre-Media Filter Chemical Dosing

Free Cl mg/L

refereed paper

Total Cl mg/L

Linear (Free Cl mg/L)

Linear (Total Cl mg/L)



Chlorine Residual (mg/L).

Turbidity (NTU).

UVT (%)

Jar testing was carried 74 76.5 73 out to improve our 72 understanding of 76 0 1 2 5 10 25 the impact on water CIP return rate (mL/L) 75.5 quality of pre-media Figure 2. Impact of acid CIP waste return filter chlorine and alum rate on UVT. 75 doses and contact times. The results 0.5 74.5 confirmed earlier 0.4 observations that 0.3 74 0.2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 increased chlorine 0.1 Chlorine Residual (mg/L) and alum doses of 0 up to 20mg/L and 0 1 2 5 10 25 Figure 5. Impact of chlorine residual on UVT. CIP return rate (mL/L) 15mg/L respectively caused no significant Methanol Dosing Figure 3. Impact of acid CIP waste return improvement in performance. In fact, rate on turbidity. At the time UVT problems were increasing chlorine and alum doses encountered, methanol was being The observed increase in filtrate in excess of 10mg/L and 7.5mg/L overdosed to the bioreactor due to turbidity is most likely caused by the respectively caused no appreciable insufficient turn-down of the dosing interaction of the cleaning chemicals improvement in UVT, turbidity or colour. pumps. It was unlikely that such a with the filter media, which is difficult Jar testing was also used to assess the readily biodegradable substrate would to replicate in jar tests. By minimising impact of contact time on water quality. not be entirely consumed within the the CIP waste return rate, detrimental There was no easy way to increase bioreactor, but on the chance that the impacts are avoided. the contact time; however, it may have overdosing was to such an extent as The occurrence of CIP waste chemical provided clues as to the nature of the to make breakthrough possible, a jar returns at discrete intervals means that problem at hand, or provided an option test was carried out in which a range of if they were causing a reduction in UVT, for a longer-term solution. Contact times methanol doses were applied to effluent. it would be apparent in the UVT trend at of 90 mins and 180 mins were assessed The methanol had no impact on the UVT. similar intervals. From observation of the for comparison against the design UVT trend it was concluded the CIP waste contact time of 30 mins. It was found that Pre-Ultra Filter Chlorine Dosing return was not causing a reduction in UVT. increasing the contact time increased the Chlorine is dosed to the UF feed to reduce UVT very marginally at high chlorine doses, the occurrence of biological fouling on the but not sufficiently to warrant further membranes. The dose setpoint is 2mg/L; investigation. however, persistent spikes of up to 10mg/L free chlorine had been recorded due to It was also considered whether the imperfections in the dosing set-up. Jar chlorine dose was ineffective due to either tests were carried out in which the UVT under-strength chlorine solution or high was measured for a variety of chlorine chlorine demand due to sludge builddoses. The method required refinement up in the contact chamber. The chlorine when it was observed that spiking chlorine solution was tested and found to be within as a stock solution caused the UVT to specification. The contact chamber drain increase due to dilution with the high was opened, which discharged a small UVT deionised water. To overcome this quantity of sludge, but then ran clear. Grab problem a micropipette was used to samples were analysed at the start and end of the contact tank and in the media dose neat sodium hypochlorite. CIP and UF strainer. filter filtrate. It was found that the chlorine The results, presented in Figure 5, residual remained indicate that the spikes of 10mg/L would Free Chlorine Total Chlorine constant through reduce the UVT by an additional 1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1.5% the contact tank 25 compared to the normal chlorine residual then was almost of 2mg/L. This was not enough to explain completely consumed 20 the reduction in UVT observed, and the by the media filters, as frequency of free chlorine spikes was not shown in Figure 4. 15 mirrored by reductions of UVT of a similar Hence it was frequency, but it was accepted that this 10 concluded that there was an issue that could contribute to was not abnormal reduced UVT and should be resolved. 5 chlorine demand Media Filter Operation through the contact 0 tank, but the chlorine An unexpected but key observation was Dosed Start Contact End Contact Filtrate demand through made that revealed the path to a solution. Tank Tank the media filter was All four filter beds were being operated higher than expected. simultaneously until one required Figure 4. Fate of pre-media filter chlorine dose.

88 AUGUST 2011 water

technical features

17 June 2010 Pre Clean

19 Dec 2009 Pre Clean

19 Jan 2011 Pre Clean

17 June 2010 Post Clean

19 Dec 2009 Post Clean

19 Jan 2011 Post Clean

Filter and Cleaning Sequence Description The four filter beds contained an anthracite mono media of bed depth 1.4m and effective grain size 1.7mm.




Depth from surface of Filter Bed (mm)

water treatment

presented Presentedatat

refereed paper

Following wet weather







1400 0






Solids Retained (Turbidity in NTU) on 100ml of Filter Media

Figure 6. Selected filter bed turbidity depth profiles. cleaning, at which time it would be taken offline for approximately 30 mins. This event increased the flow through the remaining three filter beds. It was noticed that at some time after a filter went into cleaning mode, a slight and temporary increase in UVT would occur. To further explore this observation, two filter beds were taken offline for an extended period of time, resulting in an increase in UVT over an extended time. This observation was contrary to expectations; it was expected that lower filtration velocity would promote enhanced filtration and, consequently, improve UVT. It was hypothesised that longer contact time between the water and media was increasing the transfer of a UV-absorbing substance from the media to the water – and, furthermore, that this was occurring because the filter media was not being cleaned sufficiently.

Based on this hypothesis, analysis was carried out in an attempt to gauge the cleanliness of the filter beds and the effectiveness of the cleaning sequence. As an interim measure, only two of the four filter beds were operated simultaneously. This increased the UVT sufficiently to meet the critical limit the majority of the time. From when the low UVT issue was first identified, it had taken approximately two months to make this connection and implement this interim control measure. Stagnation of the offline filter beds was a concern. A multi-parameter sonde was deployed in an offline filter bed for one week. The pH and dissolved oxygen remained constant and the oxidationreduction potential declined somewhat but remained positive. Hence rotating operation of the filter beds at one-week intervals was continued.

Filterable Manganese

Total Manganese

Manganese (mg/L).

0.060 0.050 0.040 0.030 0.020 0.010 0.000


Start Contact End Contact Media Filter Tank Tank Filtrate

Figure 7. Fate of manganese through media filtration.

The cleaning sequence consisted of an air scour at nominally 50m/h for 5 mins followed by a backwash at nominally 46.8m/h for 6 mins. The air scour rate was not adjustable without mechanical modifications to the blowers, but the duration could be extended up to 7 mins without control system modifications. The backwash velocity could be increased to 50m/h, at which point it was restricted by surge protection pipework, although the pumps were capable of delivering a higher velocity.

Media Filter Clean Three methods were utilised to assess the cleanliness of the filter and the effectiveness of the cleaning regime: • Sludge retention testing; • Backwash turbidity profiling; • Media filter coring and turbidity analysis. Sludge retention testing indicated that only small amounts of alum sludge were building up in the filter, and that it was being removed by the cleaning sequence. The initial peak of turbidity in the backwash turbidity profile was not as high as expected. Consecutive backwashes were performed without bringing the filter online between them; the resultant backwash turbidity profiles were the same each time. The media coring and turbidity analysis revealed that the filter bed was extremely dirty in comparison with guideline values (Kawamura, 2000). Comparing the turbidity depth profiles before and after a clean (Figure 6), it is apparent that during winter the entire depth profile becomes cleaner following a cleaning sequence. In comparison, during summer, the upper strata is cleaned and the lower strata becomes dirtier due to redistribution of solids within the filter. Following a summer wet-weather event, only the top 100mm is cleaned by the cleaning sequence. On average, the filter bed becomes about 30% cleaner following a cleaning sequence during winter, 15% cleaner during summer, and was hardly cleaned by the cleaning sequence following the wet weather. Measured bed expansion was greatest during winter at 8.2%, but still much less than the guideline value of 25-30% (Mosse and Murray, 2009). A detailed description of the media filter


AUGUST 2011 89

water treatment investigation methods, results and analysis is reported in the May 2011 issue of the WIOA WaterWorks Journal (Wilson et al., 2011).

Presentedatat presented

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Table 1. Impact of manganese and iron on UVT. UVT



Filterable mg/L

Total mg/L

Filterable mg/L

Total mg/L

















Manganese is known to be a strong absorber of UV radiation (Tchobanoglous et al., 2003) and, hence, if present in the UF filtrate it would reduce UVT. There is a constant load of manganese entering the plant with the wastewater. Manganese present in the effluent needs to be removed, primarily by oxidation, coagulation and filtration by the media filters and the UF. Grab samples were collected and analysed in an attempt to understand the fate of manganese and determine whether it was present in the UF filtrate and contributing to low UVT. Results indicated that the manganese in the effluent was effectively being oxidised and filtered by the media filters, as shown in Figure 7.






Investigations continued to identify the UV-absorbing substance causing the reduction in UVT.

Of six grab samples collected in the UF filtrate, only two returned very low positive manganese results, as shown in Table 1. Of these two samples with positive manganese, the UVT measured was 67 and 71%. Due to the lack of a relationship between manganese concentration and UVT it was concluded that manganese was not the cause of the low UVT being encountered. Iron was also analysed in these samples but was not detected. This was the first attempt at positively identifying the substance/s causing low UVT.

Fluorescence Analysis The University of New South Wales analysed four sets of samples for fluorescence excitation-emission matrix spectra. Two of these sets were collected when the UVT measured at the












plant was high, and two when the UVT was low. Each set contained samples from each step of the recycled water treatment process, collected in triplicate. Fluorescence analysis has the capability to quantify each type of natural organic matter present in the samples. It was found that humic-like natural organic matter increased through the media filters in the sets of samples collected when the UVT was low (Singh, 2010). This finding supported the hypothesis that longer contact time between the water and media was increasing the transfer of a UV-absorbing substance from the solids retained in the filter to the water, probably by degradation of the solids retained within the filter to a soluble NOM compound.

Conclusion A systematic desktop- and site-based investigation was carried out to determine the cause of lower-than-design UVT at the Pimpama Coomera WWTP/RWTP. UVT below the critical limit required to produce Class A+ recycled water was induced by poor cleaning of the media filters, resulting in the release of natural organic matter from the solids retained in the filter to the water. Improving the filter-cleaning regime

has helped to increase the UVT to acceptable levels; however, further improvements to the cleaning regime are required to robustly maintain the UVT above the critical limit. Footnote: This paper was short-listed for the 2011 Award for Best Ozwater Paper.

Acknowledgements • Allconnex Water, Pimpama Operations Staff: Dion Sleep, Charlie Suggate, Lee Davies and Joel Warnes. • David Fligelman, Tyr Group. • Pete Manning, Pimpama Coomera Waterfuture Alliance. • Sachin Singh, University of New South Wales.

The Author Mark Wilson (email: mark. is a process engineer at Allconnex Water.

References Amirtharajah A et al., 1991: Optimum Backwash of Dual Media Filters and GAC Filter – Adsorbers with Air Scour. American Waterworks Association Research Foundation, Denver, Colorado. Kawamura S, 2000: Integrated Design and Operation of Water Treatment Facilities. John Wiley and Sons, New York. Mosse P & Murray B, 2009: Practical Guide to the Operation and Optimisation of Media Filters. Water Industry Operators Association, Shepparton, Victoria. Singh S, 2010: UNSW Fluorescence ARC Linkage Project, Pimpama Coomera Results and Analysis Report. University of New South Wales, NSW. Tchobanoglous G et al., 2003: Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Reuse, McGraw-Hill.

Filter pipe gallery.

90 AUGUST 2011 water

Wilson M, Sleep D, Suggate C, Davies L & Warnes J, 2011: Filter Media Problems at Pimpama. WaterWorks Journal, May 2011, pp 13–16.

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presented Presentedatat

CArP Control IMProVeS the heAlth of AquAtIC eCoSySteMS Increase in native fish biomass three times greater than biomass of carp removed P Gehrke, M Clarke, S St Pierre, V Matveev, A Palmer

Introduction Carp were introduced into Australia in the mid-1800s. In the 1960s and 1970s, carp spread rapidly to become the dominant fish species in the Murray-Darling Basin, and now constitute 70%–90% of the total fish biomass in some rivers. Impacts attributed to carp include bank erosion, increased turbidity, elevated nutrient concentrations, increased phytoplankton density, damage to macrophytes, competition with and displacement of native fish, spreading fish diseases, loss of recreational fishing opportunities and revenue from tourism, and damage to water infrastructure (Gehrke and Harris, 1994; Roberts et al., 1995; Robertson et al., 1997; King et al., 1997; Koehn et al., 2000; Koehn, 2004; Pinto et al., 2005).

Part of the catch of carp removed from Warra Lagoon.

150 E

151 E

152 E

27 S

Warra Lagoon


Kurrowah Lagoon

28 S

Carp populations in two lagoons were reduced by 41%–51% (33%–43% biomass reduction). Compared to reference lagoons, treatment lagoons exhibited a succession of ecological responses including (i) an increase in biomass of large zooplankton; (ii) an increase in taxa richness and species diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates; and (iii) increased biomass of native fish. Reduction of carp biomass by 26–34kg ha-1 resulted in an increase in native fish biomass of more than 90 kg ha-1. This response represents a significant, but transient, increase in prey availability for large fish species and fish-eating birds, and may contribute to substantial improvements in aquatic ecosystem health if responses can be sustained over longer periods.

Carp control has gained increasing attention from management agencies, research organisations and community groups over the past decade, resulting in the development of practical approaches using existing technology, and biotechnology approaches that require further development. The objective of this project was to demonstrate the environmental benefits from carp control on a local scale, and to illustrate the benefits that might be achieved through further development of large-scale control methods.

Booberoi Lagoon

Goondiwindi Rainbow Lagoon

29 S


100 km

Figure 1. Location of study sites. • Treatment sites; ° Reference sites

Methods The project was conducted in the northern MurrayDarling Basin, with two lagoons in the Condamine River catchment, and two in the Macintyre catchment (Figure 1). One lagoon in each catchment was used as a treatment site for carp removal, while the other lagoon was used as a reference site. Lagoons were monitored before and after carp removal for water

quality, phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates, fish, turtles and fish-eating birds. Monitoring was conducted at three-monthly intervals over two years, giving a total of eight sampling occasions. One sample was obtained before carp reduction, with seven samples after reduction. Water quality was measured using in situ data loggers to record temperature and turbidity. A field water-quality meter was used to measure vertical water column profiles at 0.5m intervals for temperature, pH, conductivity, turbidity and dissolved oxygen. Concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus were measured as total reactive phosphorus (TRP), total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), ammonia nitrogen (NH4), and nitrates and nitrites (NOx). Surface water samples collected during each quarterly survey were tested at a NATA-accredited laboratory. Phytoplankton samples were collected at three locations in each lagoon, using a phytoplankton hose sampler to obtain a depth-integrated sample of the upper 1m of the water column. Samples were preserved with Lugol’s solution. Macrophyte beds were damaged by fluctuating water levels during drought conditions, so that macrophyte sampling was discontinued.





Study sites: (a) Rainbow Lagoon; (b) Booberoi Lagoon; (c) Warra Lagoon; (d) Kurrowah Lagoon.


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Presentedatat presented

Fish abundance, diversity and biomass were estimated by boat electrofishing using the CSIRO research vessel Donner and Blitzen, a 5.5m alloy boat fitted with a Smith Root GPP7 electrofisher. Electrofishing used direct current pulsed at 60–120 Hz at a 20–80% duty cycle within a range of 400–1000 VDC to create an electric field around the boat.

Zooplankton sampling. Zooplankton were sampled at three locations in each lagoon by oblique tows through the upper water column using a conical nylon 85 µm mesh zooplankton net towed 10m behind the boat. Zooplankton samples were preserved in ethanol. The volume of water sampled was estimated as length of tow x mouth area of the net. Quantitative macroinvertebrate kick samples were collected from five 10m linear transects in each lagoon using a standard 250 µm mesh dip net. Samples were collected from pool habitats with a sand or silt substratum. Live picking to remove animals was performed within eight hours of collection. All animals found within a minimum period of 30 minutes were preserved in isopropyl alcohol or ethanol.

Frequency, duty cycle and voltage output were varied to suit water quality and habitat conditions. Immobilised fish were dip-netted from the water and placed in an aerated live tank to recover. Electrofishing was conducted in a sequence of timed 5-minute shots to obtain quantitative estimates of fish density and biomass. All captured fish were identified and counted. A subsample of 20 individuals of each species was measured for length to allow estimation of biomass using published length-weight equations. All fish were returned to the water, except for carp at the treatment lagoons, which were euthanased. Carp populations were estimated before and after carp removal to quantify the effectiveness of removal efforts. The unbiased Chapman modification of the Lincoln-Petersen method (Seber, 1982) was used, with carp marked by either fin clips or dart tags. Population estimates obtained before and after carp removal

refereed paper

were compared with the known number of carp removed in order to derive an empirical estimate of the reliability of quantitative estimates. Methods for carp removal included boat electrofishing, fyke nets, gill nets, trap nets, community fishing events and screens to prevent carp moving into lagoons. Detailed sampling procedures and statistical analyses are described in Gehrke et al. (2010). Simple ecosystem models were developed using Ecopath with Ecosim (Christensen and Walters, 2004) to track responses to carp reduction over time, and to provide a basis for projecting potential responses to carp management in other locations. Ecopath uses a mass-balance approach to estimate consumption, production, respiration and unassimilated food within each food web group included in the model. The model developed here used 13 food web groups including fish-eating birds, individual fish species, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, phytoplankton, macrophytes, benthic algae and detritus. Full details of the Ecopath modelling approach, model development and data sources are presented in Gehrke et al. (2010).

Electrofishing in progress.

Table 1. Summary of the effectiveness of carp removal from lagoons in the northern Murray-Darling Basin. Macintyre Catchment

Condamine Catchment





Rainbow Lagoon

Booberoi Lagoon

Warra Lagoon

Kurrowah Lagoon

Initial population estimate ± SD

2142 ± 1496

594 ± 412

340 ± 233

18 ± 10

Initial biomass (kg) ± SD

2092 ± 1461

283 ± 136

996 ± 683

80 ± 44

78 ± 55

167 ± 80

78 ± 54

23 ± 13

Initial biomass density (kg ha ) -1

Total number removed (% reduction)

1084 (51%)

138 (41%)

Total biomass removed kg (% reduction)

904 (43%)

326 (33%)



Final population estimate ± SD

1263 ± 290

181 ± 136

Final biomass (kg) ± SD

1233 ± 283

530 ± 399

46 ± 11

42 ± 31

Biomass removed (kg ha-1)

Final biomass density (kg ha ) -1

92 AUGUST 2011 water

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Temporal simulations were developed for a scenario based on removal of 40% of the carp biomass, with smaller repeated removals representing carp removed during quarterly monitoring events.

Results Effectiveness of carp removal Initial population estimates before carp removal were 2142 ± 1496, and 340 ± 233 in the treatment lagoons, and 594 ± 412 and 18 ± 10 in the two reference lagoons. Equivalent biomass estimates were 78 ± 55 kg ha-1 and 78 ± 54 kg ha-1 in the treatment lagoons, and 167 ± 80 kg ha-1 and 23 ± 13 kg ha-1 in the reference lagoons. In total, 1084 and 138 carp (34kg ha-1 and 26kg ha-1) were removed from the two treatment lagoons, equivalent to 51% and 41% of the initial population, and 43% and 33% of the initial biomass (Table 1). Subtracting the known number of carp removed from the initial population estimates provided independent estimates of the final population size that were within 10% of the final population estimate, confirming that errors associated with population estimates were acceptable.

Figure 2. Responses of selected zooplankton taxa to carp reduction. Solid symbols represent treatment lagoons, hollow symbols depict reference lagoons. Shaded area depicts sampling occasions before carp reduction.

Boat electrofishing was the most effective method for carp removal, accounting for 94% and 77% of the carp removed per hour from the two treatment lagoons. In contrast, gill nets caught 5% and 22% of carp removed. Fyke nets were successful for removing small carp, but accounted for only a small proportion of the total catch. Public angling events only removed small numbers of carp, but were effective to promote community awareness of problems caused by carp.

Responses to carp removal Turbidity, nitrogen and phosphorus showed no consistent response over time that could be attributed to a reduction in carp biomass. Changes in these variables were more likely associated with changes in water levels, runoff from local catchments, and surrounding agricultural land use.

Figure 3. Response of bony herring to carp reduction. Solid symbols represent treatment lagoons, hollow symbols depict reference lagoons. Shaded area depicts sampling occasions before carp reduction.

Phytoplankton declined early in the monitoring program, but these changes were largely attributed to dissipation of blooms that were in progress before carp removal. In the absence of bottom-up responses to carp reduction in turbidity and nutrient availability, the phytoplankton responses were attributed to top-down grazing pressure by zooplankton. Large zooplankton taxa, particularly Boeckella, Daphnia carinata and Daphnia lumholtzii, showed strong increases in biomass following carp reduction (Figure 2), and are likely to have exerted strong grazing pressure on phytoplankton. Small zooplankton taxa such as Bosmina and Moina showed no response to carp reduction. An increase in macroinvertebrate taxa richness and diversity occurred in Rainbow Lagoon following carp removal. A large increase in taxa richness occurred in Warra Lagoon, but high variability among replicates masked potentially significant responses to carp removal. No significant responses in macroinvertebrate abundance were detected in either treatment lagoon. Native fish exhibited positive responses to carp removal. Bony herring biomass increased by 240% and 1,130% in the treatment lagoons, and gudgeon biomass increased by over 1,600% in one lagoon (Figure 3). However, neither increase was maintained over time. Other native fish species were only present in small numbers, and no significant responses were detected. Carp abundance and biomass density increased in Rainbow Lagoon after removal efforts, reflecting immigration of predominantly smaller carp into the fishable region of the lagoon.

Figure 4. Modelled ecosystem responses to a 40% reduction in carp biomass, simulated over 10 years. Observed responses of zooplankton, gudgeons and bony herring occurred over a shorter period of time than responses depicted by the Ecosim model. Carp abundance decreased during the summer after the reduction event and did not recover at Rainbow Lagoon. However, the mean weight of individual carp in Rainbow Lagoon increased from March 2009 onwards, resulting in an increase in biomass.

Ecosystem modelling Ecosystem modelling was able to reproduce the sequence of responses to carp reduction for zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, bony herring and gudgeons (Figure 4), and predicted future increases in other native fish species beyond the timeframe of the project. The model predicted decreases in biomass of phytoplankton and benthic algae following carp reduction, accompanied by increases in biomass of zooplankton, macroinvertebrates,


AUGUST 2011 93

river health gudgeons and bony herring. The model also projected increases in abundance of popular angling species such as golden perch in the longer term. Modelled responses were more persistent over time than observed responses, indicating further refinement of the model is required to reproduce the short duration of observed responses. The model was not validated against biomass time series from this study because the default time step for temporal simulations in Ecosim is one year. Further refinement of the model is required for validation against time series data collected at intervals of less than one year. The model has potential for further development to estimate potential responses to carp reduction at other wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Discussion Uncertainty in the carp population estimates obtained means that the starting and final populations are not known accurately. However, the number and biomass of carp removed is known with certainty. Findings from this study are significant from several perspectives. Firstly, while ecological responses to carp removal have been widely demonstrated (Pinto et al., 2005), this study provides evidence of a succession of responses across multiple trophic levels following carp reduction. The specific succession pattern differed between lagoons, but the generalised succession following carp reduction was evidenced as (i) an increase in biomass of large zooplankton; (ii) an increase in taxa richness and species diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates; and (iii) increased biomass of gudgeons and bony herring. In Warra Lagoon, the specific sequence occurred as (i) increased biomass of large zooplankton; and (ii) a lagged increase in biomass of gudgeons and bony herring. Observed changes in nutrient availability and phytoplankton biovolume could not be attributed to carp removal. In Rainbow Lagoon, succession was observed as (i) increased biomass of large zooplankton; (ii) a lagged increase in taxa richness and diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates; and (iii) increased biomass of bony herring. An observed increase in nutrient availability was inconsistent with expected responses to carp removal, since carp typically contribute to the pool of bioavailable nutrients, especially NH4, so their removal should have reduced both N and P (King et al., 1997, Pinto et al., 2005). The increase may be explained

94 AUGUST 2011 water

Presentedatat presented

by factors such as drying and re-wetting of the lagoon’s sediments, which has been demonstrated to increase nutrient concentrations. It is possible that effects of carp removal on nutrient availability were masked by the drying-wetting cycle, combined with nutrient inputs with runoff. Carp manipulations typically affect zooplankton biomass and size structure. Addition of carp reduces large zooplankton such as Daphnia and total zooplankton biomass (Hrbáĉek et al., 1961). Shifts in the size composition of zooplankton have been associated with changes in the steady state of lakes and wetlands from turbid to clear water regimes (Folke et al., 2004). Responses of zooplankton taxa to carp removal tend to be size-specific (Weber and Brown, 2009). Small carp consume zooplankton as a major component of their diet (Vilizzi, 1998) and may reduce zooplankton biomass through predation pressure (Schrage and Downing, 2004; Weber and Brown, 2009), releasing phytoplankton from grazing effects. In the present study, large zooplankton taxa, particularly Boeckella, Daphnia carinata and Daphnia lumholtzii showed strong increases in biomass following carp reduction, and are likely to have exerted strong grazing pressure on phytoplankton. Once phytoplankton densities declined, zooplankton biomass stabilised near original biomass values on subsequent sampling occasions. Small zooplankton taxa such as Bosmina and Moina showed no response to carp reduction. These taxa tend to be ineffective grazers of phytoplankton, and have limited capacity for top-down regulation of phytoplankton by grazing. The short-term costs and benefits of carp reduction strongly favour carp removal. This study has shown that reducing carp biomass by 33%–43% can result in an increase in biomass of native fish species by between 240% and 1,130% for bony herring, and over 1,600% for gudgeons. In absolute terms, removal of 26–34kg ha-1 of carp biomass resulted in a three-fold increase in native fish biomass of more than 90 kg ha-1. This increase in native fish production is consistent with the increased availability of zooplankton following carp reduction, and known dietary preferences of bony herring and gudgeons (Meredith et al., 2003; Balcombe et al., 2005; Balcombe and Humphries, 2006; Sternberg et al., 2008; Medeiros and Arthington, 2008). Responses of bony herring are similar to observed dynamics of the closely-related gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) in North America. Gizzard

refereed paper

shad biomasses of less than 20–30kg ha-1 allow large zooplankton, especially Daphnia, to increase in abundance (Schaus et al., 2002). When zooplankton are not abundant, gizzard shad switch to feed on less-nutritious benthic detritus. In our treatment lagoons, bony herring biomass increased from less than 20kg ha-1 to 60–100kg ha-1 following the increase in zooplankton biomass. As bony herring biomass declined towards the end of the study to less than 20kg ha-1 zooplankton biomass increased again. These results suggest that of the full set of potential ecosystem responses to carp reduction, only a subset of responses may be demonstrated in individual locations because of the influence of local drivers and constraints. The transient nature of observed responses by zooplankton and native fish is in contrast with the longerterm response predicted by food web modelling. The observed short-term responses, therefore, provide an indication of the magnitude of potential environmental benefits of carp control, but further investigation is required to determine the level of responses that may be achieved over several years. Additional work is also required to optimise the subsequent carp removal efforts required to prevent recovery of carp populations. This study has demonstrated that modest reductions in carp biomass can provide significant benefits for native fish, which, if continued, may be expected to translate into longer-term increases in native fish populations. Carp in turbid wetlands interact strongly with native fish through pelagic food web pathways involving zooplankton, as well as benthic macroinvertebrate pathways. Carp reduction has the potential to contribute significantly to restoring populations of native fish by increasing food availability. Environmental outcomes of carp reduction include direct conservation benefits to native fish, potential increases in popular recreational species including golden perch and Murray cod, and improved aquatic ecosystem health. Because of the rapid increase in native fish abundance, reduction in the number of juvenile carp is not expected to reduce prey availability for large native fish, such as golden perch and Murray cod, that include small carp in their diets. Rather, piscivorous fish are likely to experience increased prey availability as a result of carp reduction. The magnitude of carp removal required to achieve these outcomes is realistic for local community groups to pursue with

technical features

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presented Presentedatat

methods that are readily available. Access to electrofishing methods will provide a significant boost to carp removal capability. Improving native fish populations in key wetlands by reducing carp biomass may enhance the contribution of wetlands to native fish populations in the river network, and strengthen the value of permanent lagoons as drought refuges for native fish.

Conclusions Removing even a relatively small biomass of carp in the order of approximately 30kg ha-1 has the capacity to result in a net increase in native fish biomass of more than 90kg ha-1. This increase is attributable to the reduction of zooplankton consumption by carp. This study supports the hypothesis that carp act as an energy trap, limiting the transfer of energy to higher trophic levels. Effective carp reduction, therefore, allows increased food energy to be directed from carp to native fish production, resulting in an increase in native fish biomass that was three times greater than the biomass removed. This result suggests that native fish, particularly bony herring and gudgeons, may assimilate energy more efficiently than carp. Since both bony herring and gudgeons are widely consumed by other fish and fish-eating birds, carp control may be a key element in restoring aquatic ecosystem health by redirecting energy flow to native species. Reducing carp populations may increase prey availability for predators such as Murray cod and fish-eating birds. Carp populations in wetlands can be reduced using available technology to deliver significant environmental benefits. Development of more effective carp control methods is likely to deliver greater improvements in river health. Footnote: This paper was short-listed for the 2011 Award for Best Ozwater Paper.

Acknowledgements This project was funded by the MurrayDarling Basin Authority under its Native Fish Strategy as Project MD923. Many people contributed to various stages of the project, and we thank them all. Larissa Abbott, Brad Grant, David Little, Rylan Loemker, Dr Helen Michels, Nissa Murphy, Natasha Smith, Mellissa Zulpo, Jodie Thomas and Peter Cowper (SMEC) assisted with field work and project management. Craig Stewart (Fisheries Queensland) and Keith Bell and Tony Beaman (K & C Fisheries Global) assisted with carp removal.

Fran Holt and Kevin Graham (Condamine Alliance) and Meagan Purvis and Pip Bagshaw (Queensland Murray-Darling Committee), provided local knowledge for site selection and logistics. Dr Andrew Norris (Fisheries Queensland), Paul Webb (QMDC), Wayne Robinson and Prof Mike Braysher also provided valuable advice during the project. Special thanks go to landholders Brian and Helen Hayward at Warra Warra, Peter and Sally Bligh at Kurrowah, Ben Thomas at Booberoi and Thomas Pop at Rainbow Lagoon for allowing access to their properties. Fieldwork was conducted under Animal Ethics Approval No. CA 2008/01/235.

the Authors Dr Peter Gehrke (email: is Australian Manager – Natural Resources with SMEC Australia in Brisbane, Qld. He previously worked for CSIRO and NSW Fisheries. Dr Michael Clarke (email: is Natural Resources Team Leader with SMEC Australia in the Gold Coast, Qld. Sarah St Pierre worked as an environmental scientist with SMEC Australia in Brisbane, Qld. Dr Vlad Matveev (email: vlad.matveev@csiro. au) is a Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Land and Water in Brisbane, Qld. Andrew Palmer (email: andrew.palmer@ is a Senior Technical Officer with CSIRO Land and Water in Brisbane, Qld.

references Balcombe, SR & Humphries P, 2006: Diet of the western carp gudgeon (Hypseleotris klunzingeri Ogilby) in an Australian floodplain lake: the role of water level stability. Journal of Fish Biology 68, pp 1484–1493. Balcombe SR, Bunn SE, McKenzie-Smith FJ & Davies PM, 2005: Variability of fish diets between dry and flood periods in an arid zone floodplain river. Journal of Fish Biology 67, pp 1552–1567. Christensen V & Walters CJ, 2004: Ecopath with Ecosim: methods, capabilities and limitations. Ecological Modelling 172, pp 109–139. Folke C, Carpenter S, Walker B, Scheffer M, Elmqvist T, Gunderson L & Holling CS, 2004: Regime shifts, resilience and biodiversity in ecosystem management. Annual Reviews in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 35, pp 557–581. Gehrke PC & Harris JH, 1994: The role of fish in cyanobacterial blooms in Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45, pp 905–915. Gehrke PC, St Pierre S, Matveev V & Clarke M, 2010: Ecosystem responses to carp population reduction in the Murray-Darling Basin. Final Report for Project MD923 to Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation, Brisbane, Australia. Hrbáĉek J, Dvorakova M, Korinek V & Prochazkova L, 1961: Demonstration of

river health the effect of the fish stock on the species composition of zooplankton and the intensity of metabolism of the whole plankton association. Verhandlungen Internationale Vereinigung Limnologie 14, pp 192–195. King AJ, Robertson AI & Healey M, 1997: Experimental manipulations of the biomass of introduced carp (Cyprinus carpio) in billabongs. I. Impacts on water-column properties. Marine and Freshwater Research 48, pp 435–443. Koehn JD, 2004: Carp (Cyprinus carpio) as a powerful invader in Australian waterways. Freshwater Biology 49, pp 882–894. Koehn J, Brumley A & Gehrke PC, 2000: Managing the impacts of carp. Bureau of Rural Sciences (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia), Canberra. 249 pp. Medeiros ESF & Arthington AH, 2008: The importance of zooplankton in the diets of three native fish species in floodplain waterholes of a dryland river, the Macintyre River, Australia. Hydrobiologia 614, pp 19–31. Meredith SN, Matveev VF & Mayes P, 2003: Spatial and temporal variability in the distribution and diet of the gudgeon (Hypseleotris spp.) in a subtropical Australian reservoir. Marine and Freshwater Research 54, pp 1009–1017. Pinto L, Chandrasena N, Pera J, Hawkins P, Eccles D & Sim R, 2005: Managing invasive carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) for habitat enhancement at Botany Wetlands, Australia. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 15, pp 447–462. Roberts J, Chick A, Oswald L & Thompson P, 1995: Effect of carp (Cyprinus carpio L.), an exotic benthivorous fish, on aquatic macrophytes and water quality in experimental ponds. Marine and Freshwater Research 46, pp 1171-1180. Robertson AI, Healey MR & King AJ, 1997: Experimental manipulations of the biomass of introduced carp (Cyprinus carpio) in billabongs. II. Impacts on benthic properties and processes. Marine and Freshwater Research 48, pp 445–454. Schaus MH, Vanni MJ & Wissing TE, 2002: Biomass-dependent diet shifts in omnivorous gizzard shad: implications for growth, food web, and ecosystem effects. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 131, pp 40–54. Schrage LJ & Downing JA, 2004: Pathways of increased water clarity after fish removal from Ventura Marsh; a shallow, eutrophic wetland. Hydrobiologia 511, pp 215–231. Seber GAF, 1982: The estimation of animal abundance and related parameters. 2nd Edition, Macmillan, New York. Sternberg D, Balcombe S, Marshall J & Lobegeiger J, 2008: Food resource variability in an Australian dryland river: evidence from the diet of two generalist native fish species. Marine and Freshwater Research 59, pp 137–144. Vilizzi L, 1998: Observations on ontogenetic shifts in the diet of 0+ carp, Cyprinus carpio L., from the River Murray, Australia. Folia Zoologica 47, pp 225–229. Weber MJ & Brown ML, 2009: Effects of common carp on aquatic ecosystems 80 years after “carp as a dominant”: ecological insights for fisheries management. Reviews in Fisheries Science 17, pp 524–537.


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those regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Health Canada, as well as any other non-regulated compounds that may be of concern.

NanoH2O Inc, manufacturer of the next generation of reverse osmosis (RO) membrane technology, is proud to announce that its flagship product has received NSF Standard 61 Certification. This Certification attests to the safety and viability of QuantumFlux membrane modules when used in the production of drinking water.

“This is a mark of distinction within our industry that validates the safety and viability of our nanocomposite membrane technology in the production of drinking water,” said Jeff Green, CEO of NanoH2O. “I am very proud of our world-class product development and manufacturing operations team who worked diligently to ensure our product’s compliance to NSF 61 Standards. With our recently announced commercial launch, this achievement is another testament to the global commercial applicability of our technology.”

NanoH2O utilises advanced nanotechnology to increase membrane permeability by 50–100% over conventional membranes, while matching best-in-class salt rejection. Greater permeability translates to increased membrane productivity, thus decreasing energy consumption which is the major cost of desalination. QuantumFlux membrane modules are produced at NanoH2O’s Los Angelesbased manufacturing facility and are available in an 8-inch (20.32cm) diameter spiral-wound configuration that fits into industry-standard pressure vessels. NSF International is a leading global organisation that provides standards development, product certification, auditing, education and risk management for public health and safety. NSF Standard 61 sets criteria for the testing and evaluation of products that come into contact with drinking water to ensure they do not leach contaminants into the water. These contaminants include

Designed to fit into new and existing desalination plants worldwide, NanoH2O’s membranes are at the forefront of combating critical water scarcity issues. NanoH2O is the 2010 Wall Street Journal Innovation Award winner in the environment category. For more information, visit

NEW WATER LOSS REDUCTION BOOK Water loss affects everyone on the planet. Right now, distribution systems around the world are losing an average of 26% of treated water, which amounts to almost $14 billion in lost revenues. But reducing water loss is not just about increasing revenue. It is also about conserving water and energy, reducing carbon footprints, and supplying clean water to the global population. To successfully address water loss problems, water utilities are challenged to be cost-effective and efficient in implementing long-term programs that consistently reduce both commercial losses (from, for example, theft) and physical losses from leakages. Welldeveloped information management,

water system simulation and optimisation modelling technology, as well as increasingly improved monitoring of systems, are valuable tools that can help engineers effectively execute water loss reduction programs. For example, Bentley’s award-winning modelling technology leverages the usage of asset information and enables engineers to quickly construct hydraulic models, simulate leakage with pressuredependent demand analysis, and identify the likely leakage hotspots during the model calibration process. In addition, Bentley Institute Press, publisher of cutting-edge university textbooks and professional reference works for the architectural, engineering, construction (AEC), geospatial, owneroperator, and educational communities, has announced the release of its newest title, Water Loss Reduction. Written by a prestigious group of water loss experts from around the world, the book addresses the needs of water utility managers, a wide range of engineers (including water resources, hydraulic, and environmental), as well as teachers and students of the water engineering disciplines. It joins the many other widely acclaimed water books in the Bentley Institute Press catalogue, including the Water Resources Modeling collection. What makes Water Loss Reduction stand above other books on the subject is its comprehensive scope, covering in detail everything from the basics of water loss to almost every method of reducing it, including conventional devicebased approaches, data management, simulation and optimisation analysis, online monitoring, pressure management, and pipeline condition assessment and renewal planning. In reviewing the book, Kobus van Zyl, professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa, said, “Water Loss Reduction provides an excellent exposition of water loss modelling and management from an engineering perspective. It neatly fills the gap that existed in the literature between the fields of water losses and network

WaterGEMS® and SewerGEMS HYDRAULIC ANALYSIS SOFTWARE TO HELP MAKE WATER SYSTEMS MORE EFFICIENT WaterGEMS and SewerGEMS come equipped with everything engineers need in a flexible multi-platform environment, from automated fire flow and water quality simulations, to criticality and energy cost analysis, to automated design, bottleneck detection, and water loss analysis. These applications are part of Bentley’s integrated water solution which addresses the needs of owner-operators and engineers who contribute to the infrastructure lifecycle. For more information, see the inside front cover of the August issue of Water Journal, visit, or e-mail

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new products & services modelling. All the important topics, including water losses, data management, hydraulic modelling, leak detection, and pressure and asset management, are covered in an integrated and practical way. I welcome this book and recommend it as an essential resource for engineers and managers working in water distribution systems.” To order Water Loss Reduction, please visit For additional information about Water Loss Reduction, visit com/WaterLossBook. For additional information about Bentley’s water loss solution, visit WaterLoss.

TROJAN TECHNOLOGIES’ DRINKING WATER UV SYSTEM Trojan Technologies has introduced the first drinking water UV system validated to fully comply with US federal regulations for delivering 4-log inactivation of viruses, including the highly resistant adenovirus. In addition, Trojan now offers two new system sizes – the TrojanUVSwift™SC D03 and D18. The new validations and product line expansion will enable a broader range of drinking water treatment plants to benefit from validated TrojanUV disinfection solutions.

treatment using UV provides significantly greater community safety and peace of mind for municipalities.” The TrojanUVSwift™SC offers: Four units from the expanded TrojanUVSwift™SC product line, including the D03 and D18, now offer third-partywitnessed validation to meet all the recommendations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) UV Disinfection Guidance Manual and, for the first time, allows water providers to implement a fully compliant single-unit UV solution for the maximum required treatment of viruses. The TrojanUVSwift™SC uses high-efficiency lamps and is designed for compact installation and easy maintenance. It has been providing cost-effective, multi-barrier protection to municipalities around the world since 2002.

• Validation to USEPA, DVGW and ONORM protocols; • 4-log reduction of viruses, including adenovirus – virtually instantaneously; • Reduced lamp count and power consumption through the use of Trojan’s high-efficiency, high-output lamps; • Improved sleeve cleanliness with automatic sleeve cleaning; • Elimination of the need for larger chlorine contact tank or increased chlorine concentrations to meet virus treatment requirements; • Intuitive, at-a-glance system status reporting from the user-friendly digital controller;

“Our TrojanUVSwift™SC offers costeffective protection to safeguard drinking water against virtually all microorganisms, including Cryptosporidium, Giardia and viruses, including adenovirus,” says Adam Festger, Drinking Water Market Manager, Trojan Technologies. “Multi-barrier

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new products & services • Reduced reliance on chemicals with environmentally-friendly UV;

project of its kind undertaken in Australia and established a few world firsts in relation to Swagelining™, including the use of PN16 pipe and Swagelining™ through a number of long radius bends.

• Disinfection with no temperature dependence or formation of disinfection by-products. Designed to meet the needs of large and small communities, the TrojanUVSwift™SC incorporates energyefficient, low-pressure high-output UV lamps. The lamps and sleeves are fully serviceable from one side, allowing the system to be installed tight to walls, other equipment or piping. The “L-shaped” reactor design is also 40% more efficient than “U-shaped” systems. The automatic wiping systems minimise fouling of the quartz sleeves and allow the system to operate while the lamps are disinfecting, reducing downtime.

REHABILITATION OF A TRUNK WATERMAIN Swagelining™ is a rehabilitation process for the renewal of pressure and nonpressure pipelines in water, sewer and industrial applications, and is ideally suited where techniques such as open trench or pipe-bursting are not suitable. The system uses PE pipe, which has an outside diameter slightly larger than the ID of the pipe to be rehabilitated.

After sections of PE pipe are butt-fused together to form a continuous string, the PE pipe is pulled through a reducing die to temporarily reduce diameter. This allows the PE pipe to be easily pulled through the host pipe. After the PE pipe is inserted, the pulling force is removed, allowing the PE pipe to return naturally toward its original diameter until it presses closely against the wall of the host pipe. The new tight-fitting pipe results in a flow capacity close to the original pipeline design. The technology is suitable for applications ranging in diameter from 150mm up to 1000mm.

This pipeline runs beneath one of Adelaide’s busiest roads, and utilising Swagelining™ technology resulted in a significant reduction in the impact on and disruption to the community and environment. This project is a good example of where Swagelining™ provided a cost-effective solution that traditional techniques could not have delivered, resulting in savings of many millions of dollars. For this project ITS commissioned ABS Trenchless to build a RBS1900 wire rope unit, the largest of its kind ever made, with a pulling capability of 190 tons. ITS was able to design the pipe with Swagelining Pty Ltd’s assistance to significantly reduce the insertion loads during the swage process.

Using the Swagelining™ process, ITS Trenchless, along with its partner BJ Jarrad, which performed the related civil works, undertook the rehabilitation of a trunk watermain for SA Water. This is ITS Trenchless’ second project for SA Water, having also completed a pilot project in Adelaide in 2007. This project involved the rehabilitation of 4630m of an existing DN600 MSCL locking bar trunk water pipeline that was originally laid in 1920 and concrete lined in situ. Rehabilitation involved Swagelining™ DN594 HDPE pipe in order to restore the pipeline’s structural integrity. This is the first and largest

Swagelining has been used globally for some time, but it has only been through recent developments in pipe manufacture and specification, as well as the support of water authorities such as SA Water to pursue trenchless technologies, that has now opened up the viability of the application for this technology for Australian water infrastructure.

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP WINS MAJOR SEWER REHABILITATION CONTRACT Water Infrastructure Group has started work on rehabilitation of a section of Canberra’s Main Outfall Sewer (MOS) in Weston, ACT. ActewAGL, which manages the ACT’s water network on behalf of ACTEW Corporation, engaged Water Infrastructure Group to rehabilitate the

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new products & services 458-metre section of the MOS between Cotter Road and Lady Denman Drive in the Equestrian Park using Water Infrastructure Group’s proprietary Panel Lok PVC lining system.

connected by a more recent sewer to the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre. Work on the MOS rehabilitation project commenced in June 2011 and is expected to be completed by the end of October 2011.

Pieter Schoofs, Water Infrastructure Group Project Manager, said Panel Lok provided an ideal rehabilitation solution. “The concrete lining of the MOS has deteriorated due to aggressive gas attack on the concrete surface. The narrow oviform shape of the concrete makes relining more complicated, so we have carried out research and testing using a timber prototype with the exact measurements of the MOS. The results of our trials were very positive and we are now confident that we have selected the best material and developed an efficient technique for relining the MOS. “Normally we do these relining projects in live flows, when the level drops low enough to safely enter, usually at night. For the MOS relining project, we will divert the live flow through a bypass so we can work during daytime hours and in a dry environment to ensure that we achieve the highest quality installation. This will also minimise disruption to the local community.


“In addition to the main relining work, Water Infrastructure Group is carrying out repair works on the Yarralumla Creek aqueduct and renovating four manholes with a protective coating. We will also construct a new manhole that will act as a bypass chamber and facilitate access for future maintenance,” Pieter said. The MOS is a 1.68-metre high by 1.12-metre wide oviform sewer built of brick and concrete. Construction commenced in 1915 but was delayed during World War 1 and finally completed in 1926 in time for the opening of Old Parliament House in 1927. It runs seven kilometres underground from the former Canberra Hotel site in Commonwealth Avenue to the former Weston Creek treatment works site and is now

Australia’s largest provider of dedicated carbon sink plantings, CO2 Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly listed CO2 Group Limited (CO2 Group), has launched a new website called Yonderr. By visiting the website, people and businesses can purchase carbon offset packages specifically tailored to their lifestyle or business. Andrew Grant, CO2 Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, commented while there is widespread debate about the best way to tackle climate change, the Yonderr website gives people a simple way to offset individual, family or business carbon emissions. “Yonderr allows people who care about climate change to reduce their carbon footprint in three clicks. No rifling through power bills or calculating your kitchen waste. Just pick a package that sounds

Designer and manufacturer of high efficiency, low speed floating and fixed surface aerators from 3kW to 220 kW with an unmatched 5 year, unlimited hours guarantee. By-Jas offers flexible financing and delivery solutions including rental, purchase and fully maintained operating leases. Ring now for a current stock list. Other products in our range include settling tanks (12 designs), packaged sewage and water treatment plants, reuse filters and clarifiers to Class B and Class A standard. For more information, contact: By-Jas Engineering Pty Ltd PO BOX 424, HASTINGS VIC 3915 Tel: (03) 5979 1096 Fax: (03) 5979 1524


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new products & services like you. People are confused enough. We want to make it as easy as possible to make a positive contribution,” Mr Grant said. Projects supported by Yonderr include planting native forests in Australia, supporting wind farms in India and providing funding for landfill gas plants in the US. All Yonderr projects are fully accredited under the Verified Carbon Standard or NSW Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme. Lifestyle and business packages available on the Yonderr website work on average emissions associated with the activities included in the lifestyle and business sizes.

there is a growing number of people who want to voluntarily cut their carbon right now, so we need to give them options. Most websites in this space are technical and boring. Yonderr makes carbon offsetting easy and fun. You catch more flies with honey,” Mr Grant said. CO2 Australia has been operating since 2004 and corporate partners include Woodside Energy, Eraring Energy, INPEX Browse, Origin Energy, Qantas Airways, Macquarie Bank, Wannon Water Corporation, City of Sydney, Big Day Out and the Victorian Government. Visit or call 1800 900 333 for more information.

Packages range from as little as $54 a year for an individual to $336 a year for a family of four. Business packages range from $84 per annum for a home office operator to $1612 annually for a larger business. On the Yonderr website, carbon is priced at a very competitive $12 a tonne. “We are really excited about Yonderr. As political debate on climate change continues,



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Water Journal August 2011  
Water Journal August 2011