Water Journal August 2012

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Volume 39 No 5 AUGUST 2012 RRP $16.95 inc. GST




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Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367 Volume 39 No 5 August 2012


From the AWA President A Different Focus Takes Centre Stage Lucia Cade 4 From the AWA CEO My Point of View

Independent Economic Regulation

Transforming Liveability Into Reality

Tom Mollenkopf 5

Chris Chesterfield 6

Crosscurrent 8 Industry News 18 Young Water Professionals Awards: You’ve Got To Be In It To Win It Mike Dixon 30 Participants at the recent AWA and Engineers Australia Technical Tour at the Alice Springs Dissolved Air Flotation Plant. See page 34

AWA News 32

SPECIAL FEATURES Sustainable Water Management


Brian Spies

Securing Australia’s Future in a Green Economy Conference Reports AWA Biosolids and Source Management Conference

Diane Wiesner


Leading-Edge Technology Conference

Andrew Speers


Les Targ


Steven Kenway


Singapore International Water Week Stormwater Harvesting Workshop – Ozwater’12 AWA CONTACT DETAILS Australian Water Association ABN 78 096 035 773

Level 6, 655 Pacific Hwy, PO Box 222, St Leonards NSW 1590 Tel: +61 2 9436 0055 Fax: +61 2 9436 0155 Email: info@awa.asn.au Web: www.awa.asn.au

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 journal@awa.asn.au

WATER JOURNAL MISSION STATEMENT ‘To provide a journal that interests and informs on water matters, Australian and international, covering technological, environmental, economic and social aspects, and to provide a repository of useful refereed papers.’ PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: 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); Antony Gibson, Orica Watercare; Dr Brian Labza, Dept Health WA;

Team members tackle the design of a multi-benefit system at the recent Stormwater Harvesting Workshop. See page 48

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 – journal@awa.asn.au • Water Business and Product News Lynne Bartlett, National Relationship Manager, AWA – lbartlett@awa.asn.au

UPCOMING TOPICS SEPTEMBER 2012 – Membrane Technology, Indirect Potable Reuse, Enviro 12 Selected Papers, Agricultural Use, Irrigation Advances NOVEMBER 2012 – Coal Seam Gas Water, GHG Emissions, Carbon Footprint, Odour Management, Demand Management/Water Efficiency DECEMBER 2012 – Asset Management, Small Water & Wastewater Systems, Sustainability

Dr Robbert van Oorschot, GHD; John Poon, CH2M Hill; David Power, BECA

ADVERTISING Advertisements are included as an information service

Consultants; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO.

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 – lbartlett@awa.asn.au Tel: +61 2 9467 8408 or 0428 261 496.

EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS & CALL FOR PAPERS 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 Clare Porter, Technical Editor, Water Journal – cporter@awa.asn.au AND journal@awa.asn.au.

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: journal@awa.asn.au, Web: www.awa.asn.au


AUGUST 2012 1


Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367 Volume 39 No 5 August 2012

Spreading biosolids from a stockpile at Numurkah, Victoria. See page 71



Installation of production bore casing. See page 88


GOVERNANCE Optimum Use Of Subsidies For Reducing Domestic Water Consumption

A Lane et al.


A Modifi, P Hillis & J Evans


G Keremane, J McKay & Z Wu


P Bishop


D Stevens et al.


C Hester & B Eaton


R Condos & A Liubinas


Identifying Pareto-efficient rebate policy that maximises program yield Comparing International Water Regulations What future ADWG revisions may be anticipated? Sustainable Water Planning In Australia A survey of attitudes of our sustainability water policy entrepreneurs BioSOLIDS Development Of A Beneficial Use For Clay-Rich Biosolids Investigations and pilot trials into the use of biosolids for geotechnical applications Repeat Application Of Biosolids On Agricultural Land A review of the current Australian guidelines SOURCE MANAGEMENT Development Of A Catchment Based Trade Waste Mass Load Model A tool to improve trade waste officers’ knowledge Maintaining Sewer Salt Load Reductions Through Cleaner Production City West Water reduces TDS loads at source GROUNDwater MANAGEMENT Finding, Developing And Sustainably Managing Potable Groundwater Supplies In Victoria’s Central Highlands A consultant, resource manager and urban water supply authority’s perspective

T Anderson et al.


WATER BUSINESS New Products and Business Information 91 Advertisers’ Index 96




from the president

A Different Focus Takes Centre Stage Lucia Cade – AWA President Recently I have been contemplating our industry leaders – who they are and where we find them. And I have also been musing on the ideas that are leading a lot of industry thinking at the moment. I have noticed that the attention of our industry leaders has shifted over the past year or so. The change of our focus is not so much a collectively fickle attention span, but more that different issues come to the fore under different circumstances. It’s now the turn of the strategic asset managers to take their place at centre stage, joining the ‘liveable cities’ players. The big infrastructure teams have mostly moved off-stage left. And waiting in the wings ready to join the limelight are the integrated infrastructure planning folk. Of course, the customers have the house seats – front and centre. Our industry leaders come from many disciplines of the sector and many different organisation types. The boards and management of our water industry companies come from pretty much every sector. This provides a great body of intellect that has the capacity to challenge as well as to lead. Around Australia, our AWA branch committees are in the process of holding committee elections. If in your state this is still coming up, and you have something to offer in terms of intellect and energy, I encourage you to consider becoming involved. The options include developing technical programs and seminars, preparing or reviewing policy and advocacy material, writing for the newsletters and the Journal, organising events, or speaking and sharing your expertise. In August we will also be seeking nominations for the AWA National Board ahead of an October election process. In my time on the Board I have worked with people from utilities, consulting, contracting and academia with professional backgrounds in science, engineering, business, law and finance. As our strategic direction has broadened yet again as we focus on the integration of the whole water cycle across all its sources and uses, there is scope for further diversification of the Board.

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Recently I attended Singapore International Water Week. There were many Australians there, presenting an array of great papers at both the Water Convention and the Australian Business Forum. Australian projects and companies were well represented in the regional International Water Association Awards that were presented during the conference. It seems that our collective leadership in liveable cities, strategic asset management, recycling and resource recovery, and strong focus on the customer is well acknowledged globally. Les Targ of waterAUSTRALIA provides a good overview in this edition of the Journal on the support of Senator Farrell and the successful business connections our organisations established and extended through their participation in the Exhibition (see page 46 for the full report). The leaders from around the world showed that while water issues have many common themes, the implementation challenges differ substantially. The contribution of the private sector, working in partnership with public authorities, to create sustainable water and urban infrastructure solutions is enormous. In many countries it is a level above the private public partnerships we see in Australia. Whether your work and interests are local, regional, national or international there is plenty of opportunity to lead. I hope your involvement in AWA helps you to achieve that. As for me, my plans for August and September include attending the Tasmanian Regional Conference, TasWater, the Northern Territory’s ‘Water in the Bush’ Conference in Darwin and the Operators Specialist Network National Operators Conference, also in Darwin. In addition, I am planning on attending the celebratory gala dinners in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. I hope to see many of you at these events.

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from the chief executive

Independent Economic Regulation: Where To Now? Tom Mollenkopf – AWA Chief Executive In the mid-1990s, at the height of Australia’s economic re-invention, the water sector underwent a radical transformation. National Competition Policy (NCP) sought to drive efficiency into Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) through the adoption of new institutional and regulatory structures and a level playing field within the private sector. While there were some privatisations, this did not include the sale of utilities providing water services. Indeed, that was not the goal, for it was more about getting the right disciplines and signals in our GBEs, not about who may own them. Three key planks of NCP reform in the water sector were: separation of policy, regulation and service delivery; corporatised boards with clear accountability and responsibility; and cost recovery coupled with independent economic regulation. They were bold steps, driven nationally but adopted uniquely (and sometimes with varying enthusiasm) in each jurisdiction. What was interesting is, the reforms worked. Australia’s corporatised service delivery model delivered outstanding benefits to communities through service improvement, efficiency gains and greater engagement. The question now, however, is: “Has the experiment run its course?”. It seems pretty clear that at least one limb has been hacked off the model. Has Australia’s most important natural resource lost its independent economic regulation? Around the nation we have seen the concept of full cost recovery and the independent price setting weakened. True, we always struggled with the ‘full’ part of ‘full cost recovery’, particularly outside major metropolitan areas – but has all pretence now gone? In Tasmania, institutional reforms started well. When the price impacts of the capital program (to enhance water quality compliance and sewage treatment) were costed, however, there was strong pressure to cap price increases. Since then, several other states have followed suit. The perfect storm in Queensland (price pressures to cover infrastructure investment; community stress from the GFC; and the arrival of rain) resulted not only in government price intervention, but contributed to the demise of Allconnex. In Victoria, pressure to cap price increases was overwhelmed by the desalination plant cost recovery crisis, resulting in ministerial direction on prices.

In South Australia the Government has established a household rebate to offset the impact of price increases. Further, in June it issued a draft Pricing Order that limits the Essential Services Commission of SA’s role in determining SA Water’s drinking water and sewerage prices. The underlying intent of these political interventions in economic regulation – to minimise price shocks for consumers – is understandable. But it does raise the question: if the costs are being incurred and you cannot recover them from consumers, where will the money come from? The sector’s – and the community’s – big risk is that we will cut too deep: dropping necessary capital works, deferring essential maintenance and losing critical skills from the industry. Such a course of action serves no-one: it is economically inefficient and generationally inequitable. Turning from opinion to science, I hope that AWA members have had the chance to catch up with the recently released AWA Position Paper on Management of Biosolids in Australia. This considered piece of work has been driven by AWA’s Biosolids Partnership, and calls for biosolids to be recognised as a resource rather than a waste product, and for regulating biosolids management accordingly. Some state governments (for example, Queensland) now legally recognise biosolids as a resource. It also recommends more consistent approaches nationally to facilitate the use of biosolids in a sustainable way and to deliver value to farmers and the Australian community. Also due for release is AWA’s Position Paper on Water Efficiency. At a time when water again seems plentiful to many in the community, this is an important document. It observes that not only is water efficiency an economically viable way to enhance water security in many circumstances, it makes sense in its own right and could be employed even when water security is not a goal (for example, to increase the availability of water for environmental, economic, cultural, spiritual and aesthetic purposes). I commend each of these Papers to you.


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my point of view

Transforming Liveability into Reality Chris Chesterfield, CEO, Office of Living Victoria Chris Chesterfield has worked in technical and management roles in various government departments for more than 20 years, including Melbourne Water where, as General Manager, Waterways Group, he played a key role in improving the environmental management of urban stormwater and championed water-sensitive urban design. Chris is now Chief Executive of Office of Living Victoria, which is charged with driving generational change in the way Melbourne’s water systems are planned and managed, and establishing Victoria as a world leader in liveability and integrated water management. In 2011 the water industry in Melbourne reached 120 years old – the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) was established in 1891 – and water is just as prominent and as controversial as it’s ever been in the organisation’s history. The drought, which lasted from 1997–2009, uncertainty over climate change and the debate over how to respond became a universal barbeque discussion topic. The community was engaged and willing to do its bit. Per capita water demand in Melbourne decreased by over 40 per cent over the last decade. This was achieved through behavioural change, adoption of water-efficient appliances and personal investment in watersaving measures such as rainwater tanks. Local government also adopted water plans and targets that significantly reduced water consumption. Many councils have also taken an integrated approach to managing potable water use and stormwater to provide alternative water sources while trying to protect the amenity of open space and the health of local waterways and Port Phillip Bay.

An Industry Under Pressure Throughout this period the water industry was under pressure. It was widely perceived as having been asleep at the wheel by not doing the long-term planning required or investing enough in additional water supply, while the city and our gardens deteriorated and ‘liveability’ declined. Responding to this criticism, and concerned that another bad year like 2006 could see Melbourne running out of water, the Government announced two major supply augmentation projects – a desalination plant and the North-South pipeline. Both of these projects divided public opinion and received significant attention in the media. Their unpopularity has increased since rainfall from 2010 has exceeded long-term averages and restrictions have been relaxed. The water policies of the current Government reflect that community feeling.

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The Government’s Living Melbourne, Living Victoria Plan for Water outlines a new approach to managing Victoria’s urban water systems. The Plan aims to establish Victoria as a world leader in liveable cities and integrated water management by driving generational change in how rainwater, recycled water and stormwater are used in integrated projects and developments across Melbourne and regional cities.

The MAC Implementation Plan The Government appointed the Living Victoria Ministerial Advisory Council (MAC) to provide independent advice to Government on the key changes needed to achieve the Government’s aims for urban water – the Living Melbourne, Living Victoria Implementation Plan. The MAC Implementation Plan identified a vision for Melbourne’s water system: “A smart, resilient water system for a liveable, sustainable and productive Melbourne”. Achieving this vision will require an integrated, resilient water system that is planned and managed to: • Support liveable and sustainable communities; • Protect the environmental health of urban waterways and bays; • Provide secure water supplies efficiently; • Protect public health; and • Deliver affordable essential water services. Consequently, the Office of Living Victoria has been created to drive generational change – coordinating urban and water planning to help achieve this vision and deliver better outcomes for the community. So, what response is needed from the urban water industry? Does this policy signal a need for transformational change in the way we deliver urban water services? It is important to consider this question, because stumbling blindly into a transformational business cycle can be painful and, ultimately, destructive of business value. Remember Gerry Harvey calling for GST to be extended to internet purchases of less than $1,000 from overseas retailers? Harvey Norman initially tried to resist the forces threatening to erode business value, rather than adapting their business model to improve value to customers – which, in the end, is the only sustainable way to protect and grow business value.

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my point of view I have seen the impact of change imposed from the outside with the water reforms of the 1980s and ’90s in Victoria, and we have seen it more recently in Queensland. In both cases, institutional inertia was seen as a barrier to needed change rather than the industry being a leader of change. The risk is that a huge amount of value can be lost in these top-down driven changes.

A Paradigm Shift In Victoria, the reforms of the ’80s and ’90s were driven by a new efficiency and accountability paradigm. Commercialisation and corporatisation resulted in radical change to the prevailing public water utility business model of the time. I believe we are now experiencing another paradigm shift with some fundamentally new goals or drivers for service delivery. Those new drivers are sustainability and liveability, which are demanding a more integrated approach to urban water management. Many businesses have adopted sustainability goals. For example, the Melbourne Water vision up until 2012 was: “Working together for a sustainable water future”. The sustainability goal has been driven by two things – the threat of climate change associated with greenhouse gas emissions, and the growth of cities like Melbourne exceeding the ability of our environment to service our needs for water supply and waste assimilation without intolerable levels of environmental damage or unacceptable cost increases.

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“Liveability” has emerged as another business driver and is at the core of the Coalition Government’s urban water policies. The drought gave us a glimpse of a potential future with less water and the impacts on liveability were clearly significant Liveability is something we all value (even though we all may define it differently). It is both something we share with others and something we benefit from ourselves – whereas sustainability has perhaps come to be perceived as involving sacrifice for the benefit of future generations. The industry is responding. An example is Melbourne Water’s new vision: “Enhancing Life & Liveability”. However, it is unlikely that the industry can successfully respond to these drivers unless we are willing to challenge what we do and the way we do it, by transforming our mindsets and our prevailing service delivery models.

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Predicting the Future It’s hard to predict what the water industry will look like in 10 years’ time. Each transformational phase it has been through in the past has been characterised by uncertainty, ambiguity, the need for experimentation and risk taking, and a focus on learning. The Office of Living Victoria has been established to help drive this transformation. It sits outside normal delivery processes so that it can focus on influencing and enabling the mindset and policy changes needed to achieve more integrated urban planning and water management for liveability outcomes.

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AUGUST 2012 7


International Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced additional funding for the Civil Society Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Fund, providing $97 million of funding to WASH initiatives around the world. AusAID is currently seeking proposals for the Fund, which aims to enhance the health and quality of life of the poor and vulnerable by improving sustainable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

A UNEP report highlights a range of projects that showcase the ability of local authorities to deal with local problems. One of these is the Dan region wastewater treatment plant in Israel, which uses advanced wastewater treatment ahead of groundwater recharge. Other projects include ‘water smart’ parks in Stirling, Australia, where advanced irrigation methods reduced water consumption by 80 per cent.

The Australian water industry has highly developed expertise in non-revenue water management, water quality, climate change adaptation, water and energy efficiency, risk management and asset management. Water Operator Partnerships (WOPs) offer a vehicle to share this knowledge and expertise internationally. Participation by Australia in WOPs is growing, with seven partnerships in the Asia/Pacific region completed or in progress. Also, the Australian Government Agency for International Development, AusAID, has provided support for WOP programs run by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Indonesia and upcoming in the Pacific.

The European Parliament has voted for a non-binding resolution that access to water should be a fundamental and universal right. The resolution, drafted by Austrian Christian Democrat MEP Richard Seeber, calls water ‘a shared resource of humankind and a public good. Access to water should constitute a fundamental and universal right’. The document calls for an audit of the state of Europe’s water network ‘given the possibility that as much as 70% of the water supplied to European cities is lost as a result of leaks in the water system’.

National Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, has announced the appointment of a new Chair and reappointed commissioners to the National Water Commission. Former South Australian Nationals MP and Minister for Water Security and the River Murray, Ms Karlene Maywald, has been appointed Chair and Commissioner for a three-year term. Senator Farrell said Ms Maywald brings a high level of expertise in water resource management to the role. Former CEO of AWA, Chris Davis, has been reappointed as a commissioner.

Federal Water Minister Tony Burke has launched four new major teaching units to help students across Australia learn about the importance of water. The four units aligned to the Australian Curriculum allow students to explore four key regions

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in Australia: the Murray-Darling Basin; Northern Australia and the Wet Tropics; the Lake Eyre Basin; and the Great Artesian Basin. Mr Burke said the teaching resources explore how natural water systems work, the ways we use water, and sustainable water management practices.

The Siemens Stiftung (foundation) has launched a worldwide competition aimed at identifying and granting better access to appropriate technological solutions as one of the key levers for sustainable development. Inventors and developer teams are called upon to submit technical products or solutions that help combat existential problems in basic supply. The entries will be evaluated and made accessible to practitioners on a central knowledge database, empowering more people to actively improve social and economic environments.

The national Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme has been strengthened with the passage through Parliament of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Amendment (Scheme Enhancements) Bill 2012. The WELS Scheme helps consumers save water and money, and industry to showcase water-efficient technology, by requiring washing machines, dishwashers, showers, toilets and tap equipment to be registered and labelled with a water efficiency rating of between zero to six stars.

The largest study ever undertaken in Australia to investigate and address public perceptions of drinking recycled water will be led by UNSW’s Journalism and Media Research Centre (JMRC). The research will form the basis of a national education and engagement program that will give Australians access to evidence-based information about the production and consumption of recycled water. UNSW’s Faculty of Engineering and School of Public Health and Community Medicine, along with 30 national and international organisations, are collaborating on the $10 million research project, which is funded by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence.

Australia will not have enough fresh water to meet the combined needs of a rapidly growing population, expanding industries and conservation of native landscapes in the mid-21st century if it fails to articulate a national groundwater strategy for the future. This caution comes from two of the nation’s most eminent water scientists, Professor Craig Simmons and Professor Peter Cook of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NGCRT), as the National Groundwater Action Plan winds up and the latest MurrayDarling Plan proposes changes to groundwater rules.

The National Water Commission (NWC) will continue its important role overseeing the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) national water reform agenda, following Parliament’s passage of the National Water Commission Amendment Bill 2012. Welcoming the passage of the Bill, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the Gillard Government had delivered on its commitment to continue the National Water Commission.

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Project Manager, Danny Moon at Hattah Lakes Environmental Flows Project

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Barwon Water (Vic) – Clifton Springs Sewer Pump Station 1 & 2 Emergency Storage: Construction of 1.3ML Emergency Storages and associated works including supply, installation and commissioning of standby power.

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crosscurrent The Australian Government, in cooperation with all state and territory governments, is undertaking a program of reforms to improve compliance with water laws and strengthen Australia’s capacity to maintain equity for water users on rivers, inland waterways and groundwater systems. The $60 million National Framework for Compliance and Enforcement Systems for Water Resource Management is a multi-year program funded by the Australian Government and implemented in collaboration with all states and territories. The reforms will help each state and territory to move towards a consistent national approach in water laws and compliance activities.

The Senate has passed a Greens’ motion ordering the government to produce documents on the legal advice of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s plan to manage the river system. “The Greens are continuing to fight for the MurrayDarling in the Parliament so Australians can see on what grounds the government is making its decisions about the plan,” Greens’ water and Murray-Darling Basin spokesperson, Senator Hanson-Young, said.

National Water Commission CEO James Cameron has called for Australia’s states and territories to meet their commitments under the National Water Initiative by providing Indigenous Australians with access to water resources for cultural and economic purposes. Releasing a Commission position statement on Indigenous water, Mr Cameron said, “Water can make a significant contribution to the aspirations and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples”.

The Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence has awarded $3 million for a research project to investigate and address the barriers to public acceptance of reusing water for augmenting drinking water supplies in the first large-scale collaboration of its kind. Led by the University of New South Wales, the project will be delivered by a large consortium of organisations across Australia and overseas, including water utilities, universities and private companies. Contributions by these partners will bring the project investment to $10 million.

Confidence about the output obtained from all-important groundwater models has been enhanced following the release by the National Water Commission of new Australian Groundwater Modelling Guidelines. The objective of the Australian Groundwater Modelling Guidelines is to promote a consistent and sound approach to the development of groundwater flow and solute transport models in Australia. The new guidelines have been produced for the National Water Commission by Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) and the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), with support from industry leading practitioners.

The National Water Commission (NWC) has published a new report that found a number of surface and groundwater systems are stressed due to water extraction, regulation or altered flows. The Assessing Water Stress in Australian Catchments and Aquifers Report found that progress in addressing the overuse of water sources is ‘disappointingly slow’. The NWC

identified the government’s hesitance to publicly acknowledge the overuse and over-allocation of water systems. This problem has been compounded by the inability to even agree on what constitutes overuse and over-allocation.

New South Wales The New South Wales Government has confirmed that Sydney’s desalination plant will be shutting down, but has rejected suggestions that the facility has been a waste of money. The plant cost $2 billion to build and has completed a two-year proving period, but will now lie idle. Finance Minister Greg Pearce says it could be around three years before the facility operates again. “At the moment, of course, the dams are full, so it won’t go back on until they drop below 70 per cent, and then the desalination plant operates until they’re up to 80 per cent again,” he said.

The NSW Government will appoint a new Land and Water Commissioner, end the royalty ‘holiday’ for coal seam gas producers, and encourage producers to contribute funds to local projects under a new community benefits initiative, Deputy Premier and Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner has announced. “The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government will appoint a new Land and Water Commissioner to oversee the regulation of invasive exploration activity on Strategic Regional Land before this activity occurs,” Mr. Stoner said.

The New South Wales Government has announced the formation of a new Independent Water Advisory Panel responsible for providing expert advice on securing long-term water supplies for the Lower Hunter. “The Lower Hunter Water Plan is a vital planning project that will help ensure water security for the region’s 500,000 plus residents,” NSW Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce, said.

The NSW Government will spend more than $650 million over the next financial year on renewing Sydney Water’s critical infrastructure and expanding into new urban growth areas. Sydney Water’s planned expenditure will provide better and more reliable services across its 45,000 kilometers of water and wastewater pipes, more than 800 pumping stations, 265 reservoirs, and 38 treatment and recycling plants.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW (IPART) has announced Sydney Water’s prices for the four years to June 2016. IPART has determined prices for Sydney Water will go up by less than the rate of inflation from 2012–13 to 2015–16. This means the combined water and wastewater bill for a typical residential household (using 200kL of water a year) is proposed to decrease before inflation by $29 (or 2.6%) by 2016. If inflation is 2.5% a year, customer bills will still only rise by $72 by 2016.

The NSW Government has launched an interactive map on the Water for Life website that lists stormwater harvesting and water recycling projects across Sydney, the Blue Mountains


AUGUST 2012 11

crosscurrent and Illawarra. With more than 340 projects on the map so far, projects can be searched by postcode, region, council area, water source and water use. The details of each project include its exact location, the nature of the project and, where known, how much water is recycled.

Guidelines have been developed to operate within the regulatory and licensing framework provided by the Water Management Act 2000 and water sharing plans. This summary report has been produced on behalf of the New South Wales Office of Water as part of the National Water Commission Coastal Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Project.

Sydney Water Managing Director, Kevin Young, has officially opened a new super depot in Prestons, which will service the growing population of South-West Sydney. “The depot is the third and final super depot and can accommodate up to 100 staff,” Mr Young said. “It will be a centre for maintenance work, planning and scheduling for Western Sydney. It will also provide support for our frontline staff who carry out routine maintenance and are available 24/7 for emergency repairs to local water and wastewater infrastructure.

Manly Golf Course will save water and enhance its playing surfaces following the completion of its Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse project. Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, said the project would harvest, treat and reuse stormwater flowing through the course from a 35-hectare catchment to irrigate the Manly Golf Course. “The Australian Government contributed more than $2.3 million to this project, which will enable the golf club to save 48 million litres of water a year,” he said.

Victoria The $2 billion Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project (NVIRP) has collected an international award for innovative water management. The award was presented during the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) 63rd International Executive Council meeting held in Adelaide. The award is for an outstanding contribution to saving water through innovation. It was presented to NVIRP for the work of modernising the delivery system of the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District in northern Victoria, spanning an area from Yarrawonga to beyond Swan Hill.

URS has appointed Jane Branson to the position of Principal Economist in the Melbourne office. Ms Branson has 20 years’ experience and has recently returned to the URS Melbourne office after consulting for five years throughout California and the wider United States. Ms Branson brings extensive experience in integrated water resource planning from both countries.

Kyneton Botanic Gardens, Barkly Square, sporting ovals and other public open spaces. The Australian Government has contributed more than $700,000 to this $1.4m project.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) has released a new report investigating risks associated with pesticides in Melbourne’s drinking water. The report focuses on Sugarloaf Reservoir, Melbourne’s only reservoir that is supplied from the Yarra River, downstream of one of Australia’s most intensively farmed (and sprayed) regions. Sugarloaf supplies drinking water to over 1.5 million Melbournians living in the north and west of the city.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has again refused planning consent for a dwelling in a high-risk portion of a drinking water catchment. The decision supports previous refusals and was primarily based on Victorian planning policy emphasising the advantage of strong policy guidelines at state and local government level aimed at catchment protection.

Customers who have left the Melbourne Water area, or those with relatives who were customers but have since passed away, will be entitled to a return of money already collected for the desalination plant. “Melbourne water retailers are currently establishing processes for the return of this money and I have asked for details to be finalised and on their websites by the end of July 2012,” Water Minister Peter Walsh said.

More Victorian households and small businesses will be eligible for rebates for water-efficient products, Minister for Water Peter Walsh has announced. The expanded Living Victoria Water Rebate Program will increase rebates on products such as rainwater tanks and continue to include 5-star water-rated washing machines until 2015. Rainwater tank rebates can now also be claimed by owners of existing homes that received building permits between 1 July 2005 and 1 May 2011 and that were previously ineligible under the program.

Thiess Degrémont has produced the first reverse osmosis water from the Victorian Desalination Plant near Wonthaggi. The operation is set to produce its first potable water later this month when the plant remineralises the reverse osmosis water.

The Victorian Government, along with state and commonwealth members of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council, has asked the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to make significant changes to the proposed Basin Plan. The Council has asked the MDBA to work with the states to develop a process of accounting for environmental infrastructure works and river management.

Tasmania Kyneton’s public spaces and gardens can now be sustainably irrigated using recycled water sourced from the expanded Kyneton Recycled Water Scheme. Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said it would provide recycled water for irrigation of the historic

12 AUGUST 2012 water

The Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) has announced it will support the formation of a single water and sewerage corporation in the state, subject to agreement by the state and set to a number of requirements associated

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FOR STANDARD OR SITE SPECIFIC WATER CONTROL SOLUTIONS Australia’s Australia’s largest largest tilting tilting LayFlat LayFlat gates gates have have been been installed installed for for the the Koondrook-Perricoota Koondrook-Perricoota Forest Forest Flood Flood Enhancement Enhancement Work’s Work’s Torrumbarry Torrumbarry Offtake Offtake Regulator. Regulator.




AUGUST 2012 13

crosscurrent with its governance. The in-principle support will see fundamental requirements for state government oversight and involvement removed and will be guided by ASX Corporate Governance Principles.

litres of water, the equivalent of about 460 Olympic swimming pools, through the expansion of these projects will play an extremely important role in addressing water scarcity in the Pilbara,” Senator Farrell said.

Construction has begun on the Derwent Park Stormwater Harvesting and Industrial Reuse project, which will save about 476 megalitres of water a year at the Nyrstar Hobart Smelter and Moonah Primary School. Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the scheme would reduce demand on drinking water supplies and reduce the impact of urban run-off on local waterways.

Western Australia’s efforts to protect its water sources from illegal use have been bolstered by the Federal Government’s approval of its compliance and enforcement plan. Water Minister Bill Marmion said the integration of the state’s compliance and enforcement plan with a national framework would provide the state with extra resources for its increased efforts in this important area of operations. WA’s implementation plan for the National Framework for Compliance and Enforcement Systems for Water Resource Management was recently approved by the Federal Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke.

South Australia The Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and the Hon Jay Weatherill, Premier South Australia, acknowledged the challenging nature of overcoming the issues surrounding the Murray-Darling Basin in their opening addresses at the joint conference for the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), and Irrigation Australia Limited’s (IAL) conference and tradeshow held in Adelaide recently.

Western Australia The WA Department of Water is calling for comment on a new state-wide guideline that clarifies water management regulations for the resources industry. The Western Australian water in mining guideline: Draft for public comment, covers all areas of Western Australia and provides clear guidelines to miners about the regulatory processes around water management.

The WA Government will spend $2.5 million in 2012–13 on preliminary design and investigation works to ensure the Water Corporation is in a position to implement a groundwater replenishment scheme for Perth, should the trial be successful. Groundwater replenishment involves treating wastewater to Australian drinking water standards and then adding it to underground aquifers to supplement drinking water supplies.

A draft water plan released for public comment by the WA Department of Water will protect catchments and support the delivery of high-quality drinking water to West Pilbara towns. The Bungaroo Creek Water Reserve Drinking Water Source Protection Plan: Draft for Public Comment outlines how to protect the quality of the Bungaroo Creek groundwater source. A key recommendation of the plan is a proposal to establish a water reserve for the Bungaroo Creek source area.

Pilbara communities will save up to 1.15 billion litres of water each year through a $1.5 million expansion of water efficiency projects. Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, approved expansions of Integrated Water Efficiency Projects in the East Pilbara and West Pilbara regions of Western Australia. “Saving an additional 1.15 billion

14 AUGUST 2012 water

The Department of Water is continuing to monitor and assess the salinity of the lower Gascoyne River (WA) to assist growers and protect local aquifers. Mid West Gascoyne Regional Manager Adam Maskew said a reduction in both rainfall and river flow is contributing to the higher than normal salinity levels in the Gascoyne River for this time of year. “The pattern of rainfall and river flows starting with the 2010–11 flood events has led to increased soil salt mobilisation in the catchment and evaporative salt concentration in the Gascoyne River.

A multi-million dollar drilling program to establish if the West Canning Basin in the Pilbara can support a major industrial-use water supply will begin this week and is expected to be completed by December this year. Water Minister Bill Marmion said the program would be mainly funded by BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Fortescue Metals Group and North West Infrastructure, working with the Water Corporation to establish the viability of the source. WorleyParsons has been awarded the investigative drilling contract.

An evaluation of the WA Midwest’s groundwater resources has confirmed no change to water allocation limits across key groundwater areas. Department of Water Executive Director Science and Planning, Greg Davis, said despite an increase in Midwest water demand and licences, water remained available from most aquifers in the Midwest areas of Jurien and Arrowsmith.

Queensland The Newman Government will significantly reduce the number of water supply bureaucracies servicing South-East Queensland (SEQ) from four to one, fulfilling a commitment from the First 100 Day Action Plan. Minister for Energy and Water Supply, Mark McArdle, said merging three SEQ bulk water entities (Seqwater, LinkWater and the SEQ Water Grid Manager) and abolishing the Queensland Water Commission (QWC) would reduce the cost of supplying drinking water across South-East Queensland.

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AUGUST 2012 15

crosscurrent Queensland Urban Utilities’ Board announced that it is committed to lowering the cost of living for families in South East Queensland (SEQ) by freezing its residential water and sewerage prices for 2012–13. The Board’s decision to keep prices at current levels for another 12 months will provide welcome relief for households in Queensland Urban Utilities’ five service areas, including Brisbane and Ipswich.

Engineers Australia has completed a comprehensive analysis of the implications of the Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry’s Final Report and its recommendations for engineering professionals. The report, collated by senior engineers and flood-experts from Engineers Australia’s Queensland Division Flood Committee, highlights the intense and highly complex challenges faced by the dam engineers responding to the flood crisis in 2011. The report also focuses on four key areas concerning flooding and floodplain management, including planning, resilience, response and implementation.

The Queensland Government has passed legislation that will give council-owned water businesses in the state’s south-east the flexibility to manage staff in the same way as any other employer. State Minister for Water Supply, Mark McArdle, said the passage of the South East Queensland Water (Distribution Retail and Restructuring) Amendment Bill would give UnityWater, Queensland Urban Utilities, Gold Coast City, Redland and Logan Councils greater freedom to manage their water businesses.

The Queensland Government has established a working group to further develop sustainable local ideas for SunWater’s channel water services, following the release of the company’s new five-year rural irrigation price path. The price plan predominately limits any changes to the CPI. However, State Minister for Water Supply, Mark McArdle, said increased savings have been identified by ensuring future services and capital investment best represented what irrigators needed.

Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) will invest $319 million in the next 12 months to continue to provide high quality and reliable water and sewerage services for more than 1.3 million residents in its service regions. QUU Chairperson, Jude Munro AO, said the expenditure was part of a $3.2 billion, 10-year capital works investment in water and sewerage infrastructure.

Member News Since the acquisition of E3 Consulting Australia (E3 Consult) by CDM Smith Inc in August 2011, the two organisations have worked together to integrate teams, systems and operations into a single firm. As of 1 July, E3 Consult officially became CDM Smith. For further information, email Marco van Winden at: vanwindenm@cdmsmith.com

GHD has joined international desal firm Valoriza and Australian desal company Osmoflo as a Gold Industry Sponsor of the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia. In announcing the five-year commitment, GHD Global

16 AUGUST 2012 water

Development Leader Nick Apostolidis said, “GHD is delighted to be associated with NCEDA. We are impressed with the progress that has been achieved in such a short time and with GHD’s growing portfolio of involvement in successful large desalination projects we feel that we have a lot to contribute to NCEDA.”

New member Geoffrey Allum is the winner of the AWA New Member in May Competition that was run as part of Ozwater’12. Geoff wins a case of premium Australian wines. Congratulations Geoff – we hope you enjoy the benefits of being a member of AWA.

Water Group has appointed Stuart Stalely as State Manager and Water Loss Specialist, Victoria. Stuart is a highly experienced non-revenue water professional with an extensive history of delivering successful projects both locally and overseas. Stuart leads a Melbourne-based team of engineers and is tasked with delivering Water Group’s mission of securing water and saving money through cost-effective and sustainable solutions.

Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) has taken out two of the six categories at the 2012 International Water Association’s Asia Pacific Project Innovation Awards. In partnership with Sydney Water, SKM won the Planning Category for its work on the Critical Water Mains Project in Sydney and, as part of the Hinze Dam Alliance, the Marketing and Communications Category for its work on the Hinze Dam’s Stage 3 upgrade in Queensland.

AWA WASH committee member Dale Young has headed off to Tanzania to work with MSABI, a WASH-focused NGO that develops replicable and expandable models for the implementation of cost-efficient community-based water, sanitation and hygiene programs.

Itron has announced that as of 1 July, Sydney Water has begun the three-year-long installation of Itron’s high-efficiency meters to replace old meters that serve its residential and commercial customers in Sydney.

Salt Water is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Matthew Brannock as Technical Director for Consulting & Advisory Services. Matthew’s consulting experience in CSG/ mine water treatment and brine management will complement Salt Water’s existing design and consulting expertise in this area. He will also provide process support to AQUANA®, the company’s remote web-based plant diagnostics and optimisation service. Matthew is Brisbane-based and can be contacted at matthew@saltwatersolutions.com.au

Henry Tan, previously from the Western Australia Department of Health Water Unit, has been appointed Water Quality Manager/Principal Consultant at Ecosafe International. Henry brings his wealth of knowledge and experience surrounding drinking and recycled water to the Ecosafe team and can be contacted at henry.tan@ecosafeinternational.com

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industry news Western Water’s Carbon-Neutral First

ActewAGL Becomes ACTEW Water

Toolern, a new residential development north-west of Melbourne that aims to be Australia’s first waterneutral suburb, will rely on Australia’s first certified carbon-neutral recycled water plant.

ActewAGL has managed Canberra’s water and sewerage network by agreement with ACTEW Corporation (ACTEW) since 2000. As of 1 July 2012 ACTEW, to be known as ACTEW Water, will assume direct responsibility for the management and operation of its water and sewerage network.

Low Carbon Australia’s CEO Meg McDonald visited Western Water’s Class A Recycled Water Plant at Melton to meet Western Water’s new Managing Director Neil Brennan and present the plant’s carbon neutral certification in July. Ms McDonald congratulated Western Water on reducing the plant’s carbon footprint by just under 75 per cent by installing a cogeneration unit that uses methane emissions generated from the water recycling process to power the plant. To achieve carbon neutrality, Western Water carefully designed its water supply infrastructure to minimise its carbon footprint and has further reduced its carbon emissions through the use of energy generated from its biogas co-generation plant. Only a small amount of offsets, approved under the Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS), were purchased to cover the remainder of the recycled water plant’s emissions. Mr Brennan said the plant helped service one of the fastest growing regions in Victoria, which was also one of the driest parts of the state. “We’re currently providing water, recycled water and sewerage services to about 150,000 residents, but our population is growing by about 6,000 every year,” he said. “Looking ahead, we’re expecting more than 50,000 residents to call Toolern home by 2030, and to meet their needs we’re planning infrastructure now that will make them the first water-neutral development in Australia. “What that means is the amount of drinking water used in Toolern will be roughly equal to the amount of stormwater harvested for reuse. The amount of drinking water used by Toolern residents will be much lower than usual. They’ll be using our Class A recycled water for their gardens and for flushing toilets.” Mr Brennan said that Western Water saw the cogeneration plant as benefiting not only the environment, but also helping to improve the utility’s bottom line by providing better value for customers.

IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2012
 The IWA will hold its biannual World Water Congress in Busan, Korea, from 16–21 September 2012. The IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition is a high-profile international event that attracts over 5000 water professionals, companies and institutions from across the globe. The event is a valuable and unique opportunity for the community of world-leading water professionals to meet, exchange ideas, explore the state of the art and debate the key issues underlying the science and practice of water. It is also where the entire water community congregates once every two years and where IWA specialist groups showcase their work and plan for future activities. For more information, visit: www.iwa2012busan.org

18 AUGUST 2012 water

ACTEW Water will bring together all aspects of Canberra’s water and sewerage services including customer service, asset management of dams, pipes, pumps and treatment plants, and maintenance of all water and sewerage network infrastructure. ACTEW Water and ActewAGL will work together to continue to deliver high quality essential services to their customers. Other than water bills looking a little different, the introduction of ACTEW Water will have no impact on Canberra water and sewerage customers with all contact, billing information and customer support services remaining as they currently are. For more information visit: www.actew.com.au

New Wave-Energy Project Being Developed Ocean Power Technologies, a leading wave energy technology company, and global security company Lockheed Martin have entered into a teaming agreement to develop a 19MW wave-energy project in Portland, Victoria, one of the largest wave-energy projects to date. Funding for the project includes a grant of A$66.5 million ($65.3 million USD) from the Commonwealth of Australia’s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. The project will be developed through a special purpose company, Victorian Wave Partners (VWP), which is 100 per cent owned by Ocean Power Technologies Australasia (OPTA), which in turn is owned more than 88 per cent by OPT and 11.76 per cent by S&P/ASX50 energy company Woodside Petroleum. Manufacturing and development of the project is planned to commence in 2013 and deployment of the 28 PowerBuoys is expected to be completed in 2017. A significant number of jobs is expected to be created associated with fabrication, deployment and maintenance operations over the life of the power station. The 19MW project could provide energy to approximately 10,000 homes. For the project, Lockheed Martin will assist with the design of Ocean Power Technologies’ PowerBuoy® technology, lead the production and system integration of the wave-energy converters and support overall program management. Lockheed Martin and OPT have been collaborating since 2004, first on the development of an Advanced Deployable System for the US Navy and most recently to design and launch utility-scale wave energy converters off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon. OPT’s Australian-born founder and VWP Chairman Dr George W Taylor said: “According to the World Energy Council, wave energy has the potential to produce around 2,000 terawatt hours of electricity a year, or enough power to meet 10 per cent of the world’s current energy needs. Australia has very attractive wave resources and this percentage could be significantly higher.”

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industry news Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors Business, Director of Ocean Energy, Tim Fuhr said: “We see great potential in harnessing the vast power of the ocean. By working with OPT and Australian industry on this project, we will advance wave energy in Australia and globally.”

A Practical Solution to a Hard Climate Policy Problem A scheme that auctions power contracts to low-emissions technology companies could help Australia transform its electricity sector and meet its long-term climate change targets at the lowest cost, according to Grattan Institute’s Energy Program Director, Tony Wood. Launching Grattan’s new report, Building the bridge: a practical plan for a low-cost, low-emissions energy future, Mr Wood said that while a carbon price was an essential part of the response to climate change, government needed to take a further step to drive down the cost of low-emissions technologies. “Right now, investors are reluctant to back low-emissions technologies because they are expensive and high risk,” Mr Wood said. “There is also real uncertainty government will make decisions that keep the carbon price rising over time and give these technologies a chance in the market against traditional electricity sources.” The report proposes that government enters into long-term contracts with project developers to buy electricity at a price that makes low-emission projects viable. It does so through a series of six-monthly auctions, held over 10 years, that award power contracts in specific technology categories. Developers bid to provide low-emissions electricity and the lowest bids succeed. The scheme could produce about five per cent of Australia’s power.

Gas will be drawn by subsea pipelines from a field some 250 kilometres out to sea. Through Bechtel, the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor, Osmoflo is already building two seawater desalination plants for Wheatstone, which will provide in excess of 11 megalitres of treated water a day. A third plant has been supplied under a rental agreement. Much of the desalinated water provided by these plants will be used for general construction purposes, including site compaction; however, a portion will meet the potable water needs of construction crews. This latest order calls for the provision of two systems, one at the village housing construction crews and a second at the facility itself, which will further treat a percentage of the desalinated water to ensure that any used for potable purposes is of a quality better than Australian Drinking Water Standards and World Health Organisation Guidelines. Each system will incorporate cartridge filtration, calcite remineralisation, disinfection by ultraviolet and chlorine injection units. The contract also requires speedy delivery, especially for the system that will be installed in the village.

Environmental Sustainability Survey Provides Useful Benchmarks A 2011 Corporate Environmental Sustainability And Climate Change Governance Survey by NCS International (NCSI) survey attracted over 100 responses that represented 22 industry sectors. The survey sought to promote better understanding of prevailing trends in business sustainability and climate change. Survey respondents rated the importance of various sustainability issues to their business based on plans for the next three years, with the top five key drivers identified as:

Mr Wood said Grattan’s proposal would complement the Government’s Clean Energy Future Plan, which states: “There is a strong case for the Government to help by encouraging innovation in clean energy, particularly during the early stages of the transformation.”

• Energy efficiency;

However, it could also complement the Emissions Reduction Fund that the Federal Opposition has promised to introduce as part of its Direct Action Plan to counter climate change if it wins Government.

• Customer requirements for environmental performance.

“This proposal is not just another subsidy for renewable energy of the sort we have today, but addresses a real and recognised limit to carbon pricing,” Mr Wood said. “Government has to give confidence to the long-term carbon market. Our solution is designed precisely to build a bridge between the current carbon market and the market for low-emissions technologies that the country needs.”

Osmoflo Wins Fourth Contract from the Wheatstone LNG Project Osmoflo has consolidated its position as a lead supplier of water solutions, including desalination plants, to the Australian LNG industry following the award of a fourth contract for the giant Wheatstone Project. The Chevron-led $29 billion project includes the provision of an 8.9 million tonne per annum liquefied natural gas plant plus domestic gas plant near Onslow on the north-west coast of WA.

• Corporate governance around environmental sustainability; • Regulations for environmental, energy and carbon reporting; • Measuring and reporting carbon emissions;

The basic building blocks of corporate governance were in place at the majority of organisations. Sustainability or environmental policies were commonly in place, as was executive accountability for environmental and sustainability outcomes. Dedicated environmental teams are established within 75% of the responding organisations. Some of the sustainability drivers that the survey found to be less important included carbon offsetting, assurance of carbon reports and marketing benefits arising from environmental reporting. The larger organisations were generally more advanced on their sustainability actions, but board member responsibility and carbon offsetting were slightly more common with smaller organisations. The full survey report, including a detailed list of all issues and responses, can be accessed at: www.ncsi.com.au/ documents/Report-Corporate-Env-Sus-tCC-GovernanceSurvey-2011-12.pdf NCSI will conduct a second survey in late 2012 to allow for a longitudinal analysis of the responses to these issues.


AUGUST 2012 19

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industry news ESCOSA Becomes Independent Economic Regulator On 1 July 2012, the Essential Services Commission became the independent economic regulator of the South Australian water industry under the Water Industry Act 2012.

Solubilise Organic Matter

For the first time, SA Water and other suppliers will be legally required to be licensed to provide services, and deliver legally binding and enforceable consumer protection standards, and be subject to price regulation.

Increase Dissolved Oxygen

ESCOSA has released a number of consultation documents seeking the views of all stakeholders in three key regulatory areas:

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Water Policy and Climate Change in Australia Report In May 2012, the National Water Commission (NWC) launched the Water Policy and Climate Change in Australia report, which assessed whether water policy settings are robust enough to deal with the potential implications of climate change.

• Water retail regulatory instruments (codes and guidelines) to apply to licensees;

The report analysed water-related impacts of climate change mitigation initiatives and adaptation responses across seven sectors: electricity generation, mining and minerals processing, forestry, agriculture, urban water, rural water and the environment. A crosssectoral assessment looked at issues water policy would need to address, and implications of current water policy settings for the implementation of climate change initiatives.

• Proposed price regulation frameworks for non-SA Water licensees.

The key recommendations in the NWC’s assessment are that:

Comments should be provided by 24 August 2012. Further information on ESCOSA’s role in the water industry is available in the Consultation Fact Sheet, or by contacting Stuart Peevor on (08) 8463 4318 or at: stuart.peevor@escosa.sa.gov.au

• Further water entitlement and market reforms should be implemented to provide security to users and flexibly manage changes in water supply and demand due to climate change.

• Licensing framework for water and wastewater retail service providers;

Delhi Project to Reuse Wastewater The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) to recycle and reuse wastewater to help meet growing demands. A facility will be set up at Coronation Pillar sewage treatment plant in the city. The recycling project could potentially add about 40 million gallons a day (182 MLD) of raw water to ease pressure on existing resources. The treated water would be added to the city’s raw water system. “We have to adopt the mantra of the three ‘R’s, which is to reduce, recycle and reuse our scarce natural resources,” said Chief Minister and DJB chairperson Sheila Dikshit. The project will be supported by Temasek Foundation and co-funded by DJB, with engineering support from CH2M HILL and PUB Singapore.

• Improvements to water planning and related decision-making should be implemented to better manage climate change risk and uncertainty. • Regulation and pricing reforms should provide greater flexibility to adapt to climate change and to better signal all the relevant costs of managing it. • Approaches to investment in urban supply augmentations and rural water infrastructure should be reviewed to ensure that they address water security, but also to address the risk of poor investments. • Management of climate change risks to water infrastructure and services, particularly in urban areas, should be given higher priority. The study found that the National Water Initiative (NWI) objective of optimising economic, social and environmental outcomes of water remains appropriate in the context of climate change, recognising that the optimal balance may change over time and in response to climate change. Many elements of current water policy settings are well placed to manage potential impacts from climate change and related policies, but there is, in many cases, a need for better and more complete implementation of the NWI.

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AUGUST 2012 21

industry news Local McDonald’s Rewarded For Going Green

Golder Expands Australian Hydrogeology Team

The new Kilsyth South McDonald’s in Melbourne has been awarded a 4 Star Green Star – Custom Design rating for developing a new benchmark for the design of environmentally sustainable restaurants. The fast-food restaurant achieved the Green Star certification by including a range of sustainable initiatives, including energyefficient lighting and mechanical systems, a rainwater-capture system for irrigation and to flush toilets, solar panels and the use of more sustainable building materials including recycled concrete and steel. The restaurant also features low-VOC paints to improve indoor environment quality and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Global consulting, design and construction services company Golder Associates today announced the appointment of Mark Potts and Daniel Gamon, from the US, to its South Australian Water team.

McDonald’s worked closely with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) throughout the design and construction of the Kilsyth South restaurant to develop a specially tailored custom Green Star rating tool. GBCA Chief Executive, Romilly Madew said: “This is the first time we have worked with a brand in the food and beverage industry and we congratulate McDonald’s for taking the industry lead to create a custom-built Green Star rating tool.”

Appointed as Principal Hydrogeologist, Mark Potts brings more than 20 years’ experience to Golder, recently working as vice president of an environmental consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, that serviced industrial clients across the south-eastern states. Based in Adelaide, Mark will work primarily with the Water team on South Australian and Northern Territory projects, with his extensive experience and expertise also being utilised by Golder’s water specialists on a national level. He will be responsible for providing practical solutions on hydrogeological assessments and reviews, groundwater risk assessment, water supply projects, mine water issues, landfill-related groundwater matters, contaminated land and remediation issues. Daniel Gamon, who has been appointed to the role of Senior Hydrogeologist, also trained and worked in the US. Dan has more than 15 years’ experience and, prior to joining Golder, was a project scientist for a Washington-based remediation consultancy.



Water Infrastructure Group successfully completed the largest sewer rehabilitation project ever undertaken in Australia as part of the EMTJV


Peter Everist Hugh McGinley Owen Jayne Hugh McGinley David Foot

22 AUGUST 2012 water

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AUGUST 2012 23


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industry news Why Small Hydropower is Making a Splash Support from governments around the world is making hydropower a key renewable energy source, and small hydropower (SHP) plants in particular are exhibiting impressive growth thanks to numerous advantages over larger plants, states a new report by energy market analysts GlobalData. According to the report, the global installed hydropower capacity increased from 896.9 Gigawatts (GW) in 2006 to 1,072.1 GW in 2011, and is expected to climb to 1,443 GW by 2020, thanks to support from governments around the world. Renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular as conventional sources become more expensive due to decreasing reserves, and countries aim to minimise their carbon footprint. GlobalData’s research suggests that thanks to its reliable and affordable nature, SHP has emerged as one of the most favoured and promising solutions. Small and mini hydro facilities are gaining importance as their effect on the environment, and national budgets, is lighter. The construction of SHP plants does not disturb the local habitat and the building of large dams and reservoirs is unnecessary, thereby avoiding issues of deforestation and submergence. SHP plants are consequently much quicker to construct and also offer higher rates of return due to the low capital investment and operational and maintenance costs. Their implementation also carries positive social benefits as they encourage community participation and capitalise on local skills for plant construction.

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China is the biggest SHP market globally, accounting for 55.3% of the cumulative installed capacity in 2011. China has installed 59 GW of small hydro and is expected to take the lead among small hydro countries. China is followed by India and the US, with 9% and 6.9% of the SHP installations, respectively. GlobalData predicts cumulative installed capacity of SHP to grow from a 2011 figure of 106.7 GW to 137.8 GW by 2020, climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.9%. Go to: www.globaldata.com for the full report.

Climate Change Adaptation Framework Launched In response to the impacts of climate change on the built environment, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) Climate Change Task Group has launched a 10-point framework aimed at improving the resilience of our urban communities against extreme weather events and predicted future climate change. David Parken, Chair of the Climate Change Task Group and CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects, launched the framework during the BEMP (Built Environment Meets Parliament) 2012 summit in Canberra in June. “The experts agree that climate change is happening and Australia, with its experience of floods, droughts, storms and bushfires, can anticipate an increase in general temperatures and an upsurge in extreme weather events which all have an impact on our buildings and communities,” Mr Parken said.

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industry news ‘While industry and the community have their roles to play, it is government, the manager of Australia’s regulatory and public policy systems, that needs to show leadership. This document outlines effective steps the government can take to protect Australia’s economic and environmental sustainability,” he continued. The predominant focus of public policy discussion to date has been on mitigation and greenhouse gas abatement through regulation and placing a price on carbon. Despite some positive steps by government to address mitigation, adaptation remains low on the public policy agenda. Yet the continuing prosperity of the nation is dependent on how resilient we are to changes in climate. With an overall replacement cost for Australia’s built environment estimated in excess of $5.7 trillion, the economic, social and environmental risks posed by climate change are significant. A policy framework is necessary to support the owners, managers, and inhabitants of our built environment – our buildings, precincts, and communities – to make their regions resilient to the effects of climate change. One of the key elements of the framework is the establishment of a National Built Environment Adaptation Council to facilitate consultation between industries, government and communities, sponsor research and be a driver for change. ASBEC President, Tom Roper, stated that “by implementing adaptation strategies now governments and individuals will

benefit in the longer term and a central body such as a National Built Environment Adaptation Council would help deliver these changes now and in the future.” The full report and framework is available at www.asbec.asn.au

Australian Endeavour Executive Award Recipient Jeff Camkin, Professor (WRM) at the University of Western Australia (and former WA Branch President and AWA Director), has received an Australian Endeavour Executive Award to continue his work developing collaboration between Europe and Australia in water research and management. The Fellowship, which commences on 1 August 2012, will be hosted at the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering in Portugal. Working closely with partners in Portugal, Spain, UK and beyond, as well as Australia, Jeff aims to establish ongoing mechanisms for the exchange of experiences and learning, as well as business opportunities. Interested individuals and organisations can contact him at Jeff.Camkin@uwa.edu.au.

WaterSmart Innovations Conference & Expo For the fifth consecutive year, the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition, which will be held 3–5 October in Las Vegas, will serve as a platform for water-efficiency professionals from around the world to meet and share their experiences and successes. Also this year, the US EPA’s Water Sense Program and the Alliance for Water Efficiency will present the EPA’s WaterSense Partner of the Year Awards during the WSI luncheon, Thursday, October 4. WSI 2012 will be held at the South Point Hotel and Conference Center. The conference is presented by the Southern Nevada Water Authority in partnership with the US EPA’s WaterSense Program, the American Water Works Association, the Alliance for Water Efficiency and other forward-thinking organisations. For more information email: tom.bradley@snwa.com or visit: www.WaterSmartInnovations.com

Delivering innovative water, wastewater and reuse solutions.

26 AUGUST 2012 water

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AUGUST 2012 27

industry news New ACT Manager for SKM Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Pike as the firm’s new Australian Capital Territory Manager. Mr Pike joined the firm in Canberra earlier the year as a Senior Strategic Consultant, principally working with clients in the Buildings and Transport Infrastructure market. In his new role, Mr Pike will be drawing on the extensive experience he has gained in consulting to the Federal Government through previous roles with several leading management consultants in Australia and the United Kingdom. Mr Pike has worked across most Federal Government portfolios including Defence, Energy and Resources, Climate Change, Infrastructure and other policy agencies. “I look forward to working with our team to bring the broad range of skills and experiences that SKM can offer to Federal Government clients,” said Mr Pike.

GHD Sunshine Coast Appointment Murray Smith has joined the team of GHD on the Sunshine Coast as Principal Engineer – Regional Water, providing more than 30 years of experience in the management and development of natural resources and the agricultural activities reliant on the sustainable development of these resources. His knowledge extends through infrastructure planning and development, resource management and licensing, irrigation planning, design and extension, project management, and policy development.

Murray’s most recent tenure was a four-year stretch as CEO of the AU$2 billion Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project (NVIRP). As the founding employee of the project, he led a team to modernise the delivery system of the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District in northern Victoria, a 6500-km channel network spanning from Yarrawonga to beyond Swan Hill. The project was recently recognised for its achievements in saving water through innovative water management at the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) 63rd International Executive Council meeting and the 7th Asian Regional Conference held in Adelaide. Having joined the workforce with the Queensland Irrigation and Water Supply Commission (now known as the Department of Natural Resources and Mines), Murray then established a strong association with regional farmers through work with Canegrowers, and subsequently joined Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Limited (CICL) as CEO. At CICL, Murray implemented a strategic direction for the irrigation district, which saw it set the world benchmark for water delivery efficiency and a range of other environmental performance outcomes. As GHD’s Global Market Leader Water Chris Hertle commented, “Having Murray on board with us means direct impact to our people and our clients. With so much experience, and documented recognition of the pioneering nature of his work, Murray further positions GHD to guide our clients towards improvements in water security and agricultural production systems in their local communities and more broadly in terms of food security.”


For insights on how using Biosolids can provide benefits for your company including reducing your carbon footprint, contact Bill Barber, Technical Director on 02 8934 0056. Or email bill.barber@aecom.com for a copy of his keynote presentation on this topic at the recent AWA Biosolids National Conference.

28 AUGUST 2012 water


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AUGUST 2012 29

young water professionals

Awards: You’ve Got To Be In It To Win It! Mike Dixon – AWA YWP National Committee President “You’ve got to be in it to win it!” How many times have you heard that said? From a running race as a child, to a local meat raffle, to global corporations competing for a coveted top 10 list, you won’t win without giving it a go. The saying also rings true to winning awards in the water industry and, for the purpose of this article, rings true for young water professionals and the AWA Awards in particular. There’s a fantastic opportunity for YWPs to enhance our reputation through these awards. Consider some successful corporations (both inside and outside of the water industry); they use awards and recognition in their field as a competitive edge. How are we any different?

What’s In It For Me? The YWP Awards are an excellent way to be recognised for your hard work, to raise your profile and help build your credibility. At times, being noticed as a YWP can be difficult and your career may stall as a result. Winning an award can help if you’re applying for a new role or submitting a grant application – a genuine award could give you that bit extra to get you over the line. There is also the feeling of pride and achievement that you will gain. On the material side, you may receive a nice certificate, trophy or token to display on your desk, or even monetary reward. Feeling valued is important and an award is one way to feel valued through due recognition.

Who Should Apply? If you know you’ve been working hard and want people across the industry to acknowledge it, then you’re the right person to apply for an award. For the YWP Awards you need to self-nominate, so don’t wait around for someone else to do it for you. If you’re a YWP Committee member in any branch I encourage you to have a go, as many previous winners have been committee members. Perhaps you’re a WaterAid volunteer, or have really knuckled down to deliver a recent project… don’t underestimate what you’ve contributed and achieved. This year our winner was Kelly O’Halloran, Manager of the Process Assessment and Research team at Allconnex Water. Kelly has added considerably to the Water Industry through education, community and industry involvement. Kelly is also actively involved in AWA’s Queensland Committee, she is a mentor in the Queensland YWP mentoring program, and facilitates education through CSIRO’s Scientists in Schools program.

What You Need to Do Obtain the application form and details from your AWA Branch Manager and seek out any handy tips they may have. When producing your application ensure you clearly address the criteria provided. Build your application around the criteria and

30 AUGUST 2012 water

address each with specific examples from your experiences. Make it as clear as possible which criteria you’re addressing, as this makes it easier for the judges to score your application. Also ensure you have your application reviewed by another person; your manager can be a great person to do this, as when you look good, they look good too. Many awards require references, so take time to think carefully about people you’ve worked with who are respected in the industry. This could be a leader in your organisation who knows the quality of your work or someone external who has been a contact during your work. Think big… this is where your networking skills may pay off.

Don’t Be Discouraged... Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get things right. Even though you might pay perfect attention to the judging criteria and your submission is robust, the application is in the hands of the judges and they may decide someone else is more deserving. If this happens it’s important to realise it’s not a negative reflection on your ability or your hard work. The positive is you still receive exposure on the night and nobody will think less of you for applying. In fact, it can pay to apply for the same award the next time around. I’ve never received an AWA Award that I didn’t apply for twice. Following one of my unsuccessful applications a senior colleague offered to take me through my submission to point out the things I could do better. The next year I won the category. Finally, the AWA Awards night is fun. If nothing else you can have an enjoyable evening out, make some new friends in the industry and likely walk away with more people knowing who you are and what you have to offer. And if you win, so much the better.

Applying for the AWA YWP Awards Keep your eye on the AWA News update email from your AWA Branch Manager, which will outline specific dates to apply (each branch is slightly different). Start sooner than later, as a rush job the night before the deadline is unlikely to impress and could potentially harm your reputation with the judges. For more information visit the YWP section of the AWA website. Good luck! Ed: Coincidentally, Mike has recently won the International Desalination Association Fellowship Award for his project idea proposing a Red Tide Algae Operation’s Manual for the Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW). The project will involve a six-week placement in Kuwait. (See page 32 for more information.)

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www.ozwater.org PARTNER







AUGUST 2012 31

awa news Water Infrastructure Group Wins Safety Excellence Award AWA and Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) were joint supporters of the Water Industry Safety Excellence Award at Ozwater in May’12. The award was presented to the Water Infrastructure Group for its Rehabilitation of the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer project. The Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer (BOOS) was the first ocean outfall sewer of its type. Designed and built by the NSW Public Works Department from 1880 to 1889, it was built as an alternative means for disposing of the city’s sewage, which until then was being drained into Sydney Harbour. The BOOS is oviform in shape, constructed mainly of bricks, and is considered an engineering masterpiece of its time due to the surveying accuracy. However, after being in continuous service for over 120 years, the inner skin of bricks has deteriorated. It is crucial to keep the BOOS in good operating condition as there is no alternative to collect and transport sewage from Sydney’s city, inner west and eastern suburbs to the Bondi Sewage Treatment Plant. Large-scale rehabilitation was required to ensure that the BOOS structure remains intact and that its service life is increased by at least another 50 years. Health and Safety was a priority in undertaking the rehabilitation, with confined spaces and live sewage flows creating a real challenge to maintain and ensure the safety of all members of the work team. To ensure appropriate control measures were put in place, Water Infrastructure Group, in conjunction with Sydney Water, developed a Flow Management Plan that reviewed the risks and established control measures to minimise these risks. Control measures included: • The team’s roles and responsibilities each time they enter a sewer; • Ventilation methodology, flow management, emergency response procedures and HIDRA (Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment); • Permits and procedures that need to be completed and complied with for each confined space. A close working relationship between Sydney Water and Water Infrastructure Group ensured that action was taken to identify the root cause of OHS issues, trial solutions and then further develop the solutions in consultation with key stakeholders.

The main items that have great potential on other similar projects to prevent injury or to reduce the risk of injury are: • Establishment of D x V levels for working in live sewage flows; • Installation of custom-designed working platforms; • Ensuring continuous communication using two-way radios with aerial cable; • Effective trialling of emergency response procedures; • Use of temporary scaffolding to rehabilitate deep access shafts; • Installation of appropriately designed SS platforms and ladder arrangement to provide future safe access; • Variable ventilation system housed in noise-attenuated working container; • Close community and stakeholder consultation in the changing of traffic conditions to ensure an effective and safe implementation of the temporary measures.

Call for Papers – Ozwater’13 Ozwater is Australia’s International Water Conference and Exhibition and is the ‘must-attend’ event on the water industry calendar. AWA is calling for submissions to present papers, workshops and posters at Ozwater’13 in Perth from 7–9 May 2013. You are invited to submit an extended abstract that presents a challenging perspective on any of the themes that have been identified for this conference. Please visit www.ozwater.org/call-for-papers for further information. Submissions close 30 August 2012.

YWP President Awarded IDA Fellowship Mike Dixon, National Committee President of the Young Water Professionals, has won the International Desalination Association’s (IDA) Fellowship Award. The 2012 Fellowship is hosted by the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) in Kuwait, with sponsorship from Alghanim International. Consisting of a monetary award and an attachment with the host agency, the Fellowship is considered to be one of the industry’s most prestigious awards, recognising individuals with exceptional professional achievements and dedication to advancing desalination and water reuse. As his entry, Mike submitted a project idea to create a Red Tide Algae Operations Manual for MEW to address the threat of red tide blooms in the Arabian Gulf – and, in particular, in Kuwait where the water is warmest and at highest salinity. Red Tides are common in the Middle East and at times threaten the closure of desalination plants. Because of the Middle East’s heavy dependence on desalinated water supplies, this poses serious problems for the region. The project will involve a six-week placement in Kuwait working with MEW in desalination design and construct teams, and working in an operating desalination plant.

Lucia Cade, AWA President; Stijn Sampermans, Water Infrastructure Group; Sue Murphy, WSAA Chair; Hugh McGinley, Peter Everist, Pieter Schoofs, Water Infrastructure Group; Glen Nelson, Sydney Water; and Tom Mollenkopf, AWA Chief Executive.

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The Award Ceremony took place at a VIP Luncheon at Singapore International Water Week during the launch of the new IDA Academy. It will mean a significant learning event for Mike and a wider benefit to the industry through the production of a Red Tide Algae Operations Manual.

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awa news Coal Seam Gas Short Course Interested parties are invited to attend an intensive fullday training course with some of the leading thinkers and researchers in this area, focused on ensuring participants understand the fundamentals of coal seam gas including extractions, hydrogeological processes, modelling, managing risk and uncertainty, community involvement, NRM issues, government policy and the future of CSG in Australia. ‘Coal Seam Gas – The Science’, takes place 21 August in Brisbane and 22 August in Sydney.
Cost: AWA members $900, Non-Members $990, Students $540.
For further details and to register please visit: www.awa.asn.au/CSG_Training_Course/

New AWA President Elect Congratulations to AWA Director and Board Member Graham J Dooley (BSc, BE (Hons), MPA, FAICD, FIEAust), who was recently appointed President Elect of the Board. Graham brings a wealth of experience to the role, having spent 40 years delivering capital and operating water solutions across Australia. He has been a Chairman, MD and Director of over 40 companies in the past 25 years. Graham is currently Chairman of Osmoflo Pty Ltd, Australia’s largest desalination supplier; Chairman of Blue Sky Water Partners Pty Ltd, which manages investments in water rights and infrastructure; Chairman of waterAUSTRALIA, the peak export business body for the Australian water industry; Chairman of the Salisbury Water Management Board; a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia; a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; is a former member of the National Water Commission’s Urban Water Advisory Group; and a former Board Member of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. Graham was born in Sydney and completed his two Bachelor degrees at the University of Sydney and his Masters Degree at The American University in Washington, DC.

Small Water & Wastewater Systems National Conference Are you up to date in your knowledge of decentralised water systems? Do you want the opportunity to learn more and share your experiences?
Decentralised water systems are re-emerging as long-term solutions to water scarcity and constraints of the centralised approach. Make sure you are up to date and join us at AWA’s Small Water and Wastewater Systems National Conference in Newcastle from 26–28 September.
You can view the preliminary program and register online at www.awa.asn.au/swwsconference

Call for Submissions AWA is calling for submissions to present papers at the following national conferences: Water Education, Water Efficiency and Water Skills. These conferences are held in conjunction, giving you the opportunity to address one of the individual conference themes or one of the cross-conference themes: innovation, leadership & communication. Visit www. awa.asn.au/eecd to download the brochure and to submit your abstract. Call for Abstracts closes Friday, 31 August.

International WaterCentre’s Masters Scholarships Now Open The International WaterCentre’s Masters Scholarships are now open to study the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management in Australia in 2013. Using problem-based and experiential learning, IWC students create and implement integrated solutions to real-world water and climate change challenges. The degree is co-badged and co-delivered by The University of Queensland, Griffith University, Monash University and the University of Western Australia. Visit the IWC website for more information.

National Operations Conference The National Operations Conference takes place at the Darwin Convention Centre from 12–14 September 2012. This event will attract water industry operators from around the country and provide the opportunity to discuss the challenges being faced, both in our current climate and the industry at present. The program will include keynote presentations by Terry Tobel (MWH, USA) and Carl Devereux (Aurecon, New Zealand), a half-day session on water and mining, and technical tours demonstrating the challenges of remote operations.
To download the registration brochure and program go to www.awa.asn.au/natopconference

Master Class Troubleshooting Fouling on Water and Wastewater Treatment Membranes Fouling can have a detrimental impact on membranes and their capacity to provide high level water quality. This Master Class provides participants with a broad cross section of the different factors that result in fouling, the cost of fouling to your operation and what can be done to limit its effects. This course is limited to 25 participants. Where: Sydney When: 7-8 November Price:

AWA member: $1,925 (incl. GST) Non–member: $2,035 (incl. GST)

www.awa.asn.au/Troubleshooting_Foulants water

AUGUST 2012 33

awa news Branch News Australian Capital Territory Water Leaders Dinner The ACT Branch and dinner partner ActewWater will be celebrating the coming of spring with the ACT Water Leaders dinner in September. We would like to extend an invitation to you, your friends and colleague to join us for an evening of fine food, wine and entertainment at a gathering of ACT business, industry and community leaders, on Thursday 6 September at the Boathouse by the Lake. Geoff Leeper, Deputy Secretary, National Disaster Recovery Taskforce, Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, will be guest speaker.

Nominations for ACT Branch Awards Now Open The ACT Water Industry Awards are now an annual part of the ACT Branch’s program and have been developed to promote the outstanding work achieved by individuals and organisations in the water sector; as well as to promote water and environmental sciences as a career choice through the student category awards. For more information please visit our website www.awa.asn.au

Nominations for NSW Branch Awards Now Open The NSW Branch Awards are an opportunity for individuals and organisations, whether or not they are AWA members, to be recognised for innovation and excellence in the technology, business and delivery of their water industry projects. For more information please visit our website www.awa.asn.au.

Northern Territory AWA and Engineers Australia Technical Tour On Thursday 21 June 2012, over 30 engineering and technical people from local and Territory government, local consultancies and private business attended the combined AWA and Engineers Australia Technical Tour at the Alice Springs Dissolved Air Flotation Plant (DAF). The Dissolved Air Flotation recycled water treatment process has been operating since 2008 at the Alice Springs wastewater treatment plant. Power and Water’s (PWC) Water Services staff Abdul Basit Bashir, Billy Flanagan, Lewis Manners and Mark Wiltshire provided an enthusiastic explanation about the fate of the 8ML of wastewater received each day on the 50-hectare site and the treatment process required for recycling water south of Alice Springs.

New South Wales Call for Papers for NSW Regional Conference Droughts, floods and government reviews are just a few of the challenges that have faced regional water utilities over the last few years. This year’s AWA NSW Regional Conference is being held at the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort in Coffs Harbour on Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 October 2012. the conference will bring stakeholders together to analyse the competing demands of the regional situation and to celebrate some of the accomplishments of the last year. To this end, the conference will focus on the challenges and achievements of the regional water industry. Several keynote speakers will set the scene and this will be a great opportunity for practitioners from both small and large organisations to share information and gain confidence in pathways to meet the challenges ahead. For more information please contact the Branch Manager at nswbranch@awa.asn.au

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Alice Springs is topographically divided by the MacDonnell Ranges and wastewater use from the site has been limited in the past to nearby grazing areas adjacent to the showgrounds in the southern part of Alice Springs. Options for increasing the use of recycled water will require improving the treatment process and developing a reticulated recycled water supply that meets the health standards for unrestricted irrigation. The improved treatment process and network would provide recycled water for caravan parks, waste transfer stations, ovals, recreational areas and roadside enhancement, thereby improving the long-term sustainability of Alice Springs’ drinking water supply.

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awa news A key challenge in maintaining health standard compliance is the need for bacteriological sampling and analysis of pathogens, where current sampling collection times are over 24 hours to interstate laboratories. PWC has been working with local and NT laboratories to improve this challenge. At the conclusion of the tour, many of the participants took the opportunity for sunset refreshments at the Gap-View, a nearby watering hole on the MacDonnell Ranges Gap that separates the central Alice Springs urban area, north of the MacDonnell Ranges and the emerging development, the wastewater ponds and the airport to the south of the town.

South Australia

The nine category winners from a record number of entries were judged by independent judging panels. The highlight of the night was the announcement of Honorary Life Membership awarded to Mark Pascoe from the International WaterCentre. “I congratulate each of this year’s category winners on their success,” Mr Lewis said. “The quality of the 2012 entries has been extremely high and has showcased the vast array of innovative projects and the passionate people in our industry.” The category winners announced today will now go on as finalists in the 2012 AWA National Awards (applicable categories). Information about the National Awards can be found at www.awa.asn.au/awards

Queensland Water Awards 2012 Category Winners

Nominations for SA Branch Awards Now Open Nominations for the SA Water Awards have opened. The award programs recognise and promote the outstanding work achieved by individuals and organisations in the water sector. Winners of a number of the branch awards will automatically be entered into the equivalent AWA National Award category. WSAA and AWA have teamed up to offer the Water Industry Safety Excellence Award to acknowledge outstanding initiatives and team contributions in considering and playing an active part in the area of safety improvement and injury prevention across the entire water industry. You are invited to submit nominations for the 2013 award. Nominations could detail contributions in the form of an invention, an improvement in work processes or procedures, or simply a good idea that demonstrates safety at work. Nominations close 30 November. For more information on the award and how to nominate, please visit www.awa.asn.au/safetyaward/


Sponsored by AECOM Operator of the Year • Winner: Robert Harman (Allconnex Water) • Finalists: Heath Boxer (Veolia Water Australia); Michael McAuley (Mackay Regional Council) Water Research Merit • Winner: What’s in our water? Bioanalytical tools for assessment of micropollutants, mixtures and transformation products from sewage to drinking water (National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (Entox), The University of Queensland) • Finalists: Hydro-ecological relationships and thresholds to inform environmental flow management (International WaterCentre & Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University); Thermal Assisted Anaerobic Digestion (TAAD) Project (Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland) Program Innovation • Winner: LinkWater’s Holistic Water Quality Management Program (LinkWater)

Category Winners Announced for 2012 Queensland Water Awards Queensland Minister for Energy and Water Supply, Mark McArdle and AWA Queensland President, Colin Lewis, announced the category winners of the 2012 Queensland Water Awards at the AWA Gala Dinner & Awards Night on Friday 27 July.

Infrastructure Innovation • Winner: Fitzgibbon Integrated Watercycle Management: Stormwater Harvesting “FiSH” and Potable Roofwater “PotsRoo” (Bligh Tanner)

The VicTorian Branch of The ausTralian WaTer associaTion inViTes you To aTTend The

Palladium at Crown Level 1, Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank Thursday, 30 August 2012 7pm for pre-dinner drinks AWA members $185 / Non-members $230 Corporate table of 10 - $1,800 (available to AWA corporate members only) Black tie 21 August 2012 Register: http://www.awa.asn.au/VIC.aspx Enquiries: Gail Reardon, AWA VIC Branch P: 03 9235 1416 E: greardon@awa.asn.au dinner parTner

water AUGUST 2012 35 The premier event in the 2012 calendar for the Victorian water industry. an event not to be missed !

awa news • Finalists: Canungra Sewerage Treatment Plant Upgrade (Aquatec-Maxcon); LinkWater Barrel Union Joint Replacements (LinkWater/KBR); Townsville Wastewater Upgrade Program (WUP) (Townsville City Council, AECOM, Hunter Water Australia, Baulderstone). Undergraduate Water Prize

North Queensland and what various industry segments can do to play their part. The conference takes place 20–21 September 2012 at the Hilton, Cairns.

Tasmania TasWater12 Conference and Trade Exhibition

• Winner: Barak Truasheim • Finalists: Annabel Farr; Barbara Wronski; Julia Mueller Young Water Professional of the Year • Winner: Dr Paul Jensen (Advanced Water Management Centre) • Finalists: Dr Maria José Farré (Advanced Water Management Centre); Justin Simonis (Abigroup Water); Michael Whitehead (LinkWater) Water Professional of the Year • Winner: Prof Jurg Keller (Advanced Water Management Centre) • Commended: John Mulheron (Gladstone Area Water Board) • Finalists: Michael Thomas (Unitywater) Regional Service Award

TasWater is the premium event of the Tasmanian Branch on AWA’s annual events calendar. This year the conference subcommittee has assembled a program of quality presentations around the themes of Treatment Technologies, Research and Innovation in the Water Sector and Disaster Recovery. Keynote speakers will be Ms Evelyn Rodrigues, Program Manager: Research Collaboration, Water Services Association of Australia and Mr Roy Adair, CEO of Hydro Tasmania. An extensive Trade Exhibition will complement the program of presentations, and there will be ample opportunity to network and hear what’s new in the sector. Taswater12 takes place Wednesday August 15 at Wrest Point Convention Centre, Hobart. For more information and to register please visit www.awa. asn.au/EventDetail.aspx?id=4294971959


• Winner: Pedro Mendiolea (AECOM)

YWP Seminar on Carbon Pricing

Distinguished Service Award • Winner: Terry Loos (Queensland Government) Honorary Life Membership • Winner: Mark Pascoe (International WaterCentre)

AWA North Queensland Regional Conference Following on from recent local government amalgamations, large scale capital works programs, and managing the impacts of high profile climatic events, the water industry in North Queensland now hopes to draw breath and focus on the longer term. This conference, Water Business Sustainability in North Queensland, will focus on efforts at continual improvement of the essential ingredients of a sustainable water business in

The Victorian YWP group hosted a seminar on Thursday 14 June 2012 to inform those involved in the water industry just what the Carbon Pricing Package means to them. Three guest speakers included: John Thwaites from Maddocks, who covered ‘Legislative Implications for the Water Industry’; Walter Gerardi from SKM, who talked about ‘Direct and Indirect Impacts of Carbon Pricing on Water Utilities’; and Will Symons from AECOM, who finished off by sharing with attendees how to go about developing a carbon management strategy. All three speakers left the audience with a lot to think about, but with a more positive outlook on how we can use the carbon emission pricing scheme as an opportunity to change our behaviours and save money.

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Searching for the lateSt late job regularwww.h2oz.org.au features opportunitieS in the water Sector? opportunitie

awa news Western Australia Nominations for WA Branch Awards Now Open Nominations for the WA Water Awards have opened. The award programs recognise and promote the outstanding work achieved by individuals and organisations in the water sector. Winners of a number of the branch awards will automatically be entered into the equivalent AWA National Award category. WSAA and AWA have teamed up to offer the Water Industry

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

NEW CORPORATE MEMBERS NSW Corporate Bronze Rafflie Intertrade Water Pty Ltd


Safety Excellence Award to acknowledge outstanding initiatives and team contributions in considering and playing an active part in the area of safety improvement and injury prevention across the entire water industry. You are invited to submit nominations for the 2013 Award. Nominations could detail contributions in the form of an invention, an improvement in work processes or procedures, or simply a good idea that demonstrates safety at work. Nominations close 30 November. For more information on the award and how to nominate visit www.awa.asn.au/safetyaward/.



ACT P. Wallbrink

NSW E. Wright, P. Yacobellis, J. Caruana

NSW D. Good, F. Copeman, J. Gabbedy, R. Zhou, P.

QLD A. Langford, C. Mzyece, D. Kerridge, M. Briody,

Roeth, J. Wilkinson, R. Lowrie, J. Boundy, R. Wilson, S. Novic

QLD F. Riet, I. Craig, C. Dewar, S. Wetherall, N. Mahoney TAS M. Mihelakis VIC M. Wade, P. Cations, P. Higgins, P. Malcolm, D. Porta,

S. Manning

VIC J. Errey WA A. Harvey, L. Ellis, S. Pawley If you think a new activity would enhance

Corporate Silver VWR International Pty Ltd

K. Hedgecoe, K. Vinot, Y.H. Tan, A. MacNab, A. Kokolekos, D. Flower, M. Bismark, M. Banting, S. Vandermeersch


WA E. Zakheri, G. Thorne, S. Jennings, R. Knowles,

us on our national local call number 1300 361

Corporate Bronze Statewide River & Stream Mgt Pty Ltd

M. Morris, S. Wright, P. Albrecht, S. Mullins, A.C. Lwin, C. Roberts


the AWA membership package please contact 426 or submit your suggestion via email to

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



Thu, 02 Aug

WA Water Awards Showcase, Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, WA

Fri, 03 Aug

NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner 2012, Parkside Ballroom, SCEC

Wed, 08 Aug

QLD Industry Briefing – Monthly Technical Meeting, Brisbane, QLD

Tue, 14 Aug – Wed, 15 Aug

WICD Skills Workshop, Darwin, NT

Wed, 15 Aug


Thu, 16 Aug

NSW Sludge Handling Breakfast Seminar, UTS Aerial Function Centre, NSW

Fri, 17 Aug – Sat, 18 Aug

SA Branch Conference & Operators Forum 2012, Stamford Grand Hotel, Glenelg

Tue, 21 Aug – Wed, 22 Aug

Coal Seam Gas Short Course – The Science, Sydney NSW and Brisbane QLD

Tue, 28 Aug

NSW YWP Mentoring Breakfast 2012, GHD Offices – Sydney

Thu, 30 Aug

Vic Branch 50th Annual Dinner, Palladium at Crown, Melbourne, VIC

Thu, 06 Sep

ACT Water Leaders Dinner 2012, Boathouse by the Lake, ACT

Tue, 11 Sep

NT Branch Conference – Water In The Bush 2012 Darwin Convention Centre

Wed, 12 Sep – Fri, 14 Sep

National Operations Conference, Darwin, NT

Wed, 12 Sep

QLD Futurism & Long Term Trends for the Water Industry, Brisbane, QLD

Thu, 20 Sep – Fri, 21 Sep

NTH QLD Regional Conference, Cairns, QLD

Mon, 24 Sep – Thu, 27 Sep

Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference 2012, Adelaide, SA

Wed, 26 Sep – Fri, 28 Sep

Small Water & Wastewater Systems National Conference, Newcastle, NSW

Wed, 26 Sep – Fri, 28 Sep

Water NZ 2012 Annual Conference & Expo, Rotorua, NZ

Thu, 27 Sep

Catchment Management Seminar, Country Club Resort, Launceston, TAS

Wed, 10 Oct

QLD – Water Sensitive Cities – Monthly Technical Meeting, Brisbane, QLD

Mon, 15 Oct – Wed, 17 Oct

NSW Regional Conference, Novotel Coffs Harbour, NSW

Mon, 22 Oct

Victorian Water Summit, Melbourne, VIC

Thu, 25 Oct

Technical Seminar, Launceston, TAS

Thu, 25 Oct

WA National Water Week Seminar: Urban Water Recycling, West Perth, WA

Wed, 31 Oct – Fri, 02 Nov

5th Pacific Water Conference and Expo, Waipuna Hotel, Auckland, NZ


AUGUST 2012 37

feature article

Sustainable Water Management Securing Australia’s future in a green economy by Brian Spies, Deputy Chair, ATSE Water Forum The principles of ‘green growth’ – balancing improvements in productivity and economic prosperity with environmental and social outcomes – provide a framework for sustainable water management, resilient and adaptable to future challenges. As Australia enters the 21st century, it faces a multitude of challenges. Changing demographics, an ageing population, a decade-long slowdown in productivity, environmental degradation and increased susceptibility to climate variability and climate change, combined with the incessant demand to expand Australia’s exports of natural resources and food, put strain on the ‘business as usual’ approach. There will be renewed focus on reversing environmental degradation and improving the quality of life, including making our cities and towns more liveable. Government and decision makers will need to balance competing social, economic and environmental issues in order to assure Australia’s wellbeing for future generations. Water, a critical yet often under-valued resource, underpins Australia’s economy, society and environment. Many factors influence water security – population growth, environmental condition, climate change and variability, rainfall, land use, pollution, institutional arrangements and demand for Australia’s exports, notably natural resources and food. Sustainable and effective water management will require renewed flexibility and innovation in order to adapt quickly to changes in climate (which impacts on rain-fed supply) and changes in demand caused by economic and demographic transitions. Sustainable Water Management: Securing Australia’s Future in a Green Economy, a study supported by the Australian Research Council and recently published by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), explores a framework for sustainable water management in Australia that is able to adapt to future challenges through fostering the principles of green growth.

What is Green Growth? The term green growth refers to a process for sustainable economic development that recognises the inter-relationship and interdependence of elements of the economy, the environment and society as a whole. A green growth strategy harnesses the economic opportunities provided by new technologies and advanced products, while reducing the environmental impact and social disruption from such changes.

Climate Farm dams, etc

CO2e Concentration Forestry Hydro power

GHG emissions

Soil moisture Water for power stations Groundwater Commodity prices

Temperature Population Rainfall Water for mining & industry Runoff Salt in wastewater

Waste water from mining and gas

Soil health

Energy use

Stored water Agricultural water use

Agricultural Farming production practices Extent of water trading Economic health


Community Drinking water health & amenity quality WSUD Holistic, integrated planning

Degree of water treatment

Institutional arrangements Demand management Urban water price

Urban water use Per capita consumption

Security of urban water supply

Health of rivers & wetlands

Stormwater Recycled water harvesting use incl. nutrient recovery & biosolids Environmental flows Cultural flows

Socio-political stress

Demographic shift Extent of MAR

The arrows descibe links and feedbacks between different parts of the system.

Source: Based on ATSE, 2010

Figure 1. Influence diagram showing some of the interdependencies between water and other components of the Australian economy.

Interdependencies Water cannot be considered in isolation, as there are complex feedback mechanisms and interdependencies between water and energy, food and the carbon cycle (Figure 1).

For example, water is required for a broad range of energy systems – recent droughts severely impacted electricity production across much of eastern Australia. Energy in turn plays a number of key roles in the water sector, as it is needed for construction and operation of water infrastructure, transport, treatment and distribution. Approximately 30 per cent of Australian household energy consumption is used to heat water, and irrigation for agriculture consumes a substantial amount of energy. The development of alternative sources of water (such as desalination) often leads to significant increases in energy consumption. Biofuel production has led to competition for water resources, although next-generation biofuels offer opportunities for improvement. Population growth puts pressure on all resources, including land, water and energy. Technological improvements in energy and water efficiency, waste processing and recycling can help ameliorate potential ecological pressures from increasing population.

The Value of Water

Green growth principles provide a comprehensive framework for management of Australia’s water resources and prioritising investment decisions. Green growth describes the process of improving productivity and economic prosperity while optimising environmental and social outcomes. The concept encompasses sustainability, prosperity, resilience and adaptability.

Water makes a substantial contribution to the economy and related environmental goods. Ecosystem services supported by water can further boost economic output. Assessing the true value of this contribution is a challenge. Green growth outcomes could be measured through the provision of metrics from the integration of national water, economic and environmental accounts into a uniform accounting framework, as advocated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Major water utilities are adopting sustainability strategies, based on triplebottom-line analyses, which provide a useful starting point.

Green growth has been strongly sponsored in the AsiaPacific region through the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and is most evident in economies such as the Republic of Korea and China. In March 2011, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao spoke of the need to shift its measure of economic success from GDPfocus towards a broader set of sustainability metrics to save energy and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Statistics on the added value of produced goods per volume of water consumed highlights the large variation in the economic value of water – from $700 per megalitre for dairy farming to $18,000 for grapes and $50,000 per megalitre for electricity and gas supply. But water also has value in supporting ecosystems, biodiversity and recreation. How can environmental values be estimated and compared with financial returns from industrial use? Some people attempt to express

38 AUGUST 2012 water

feature articles

feature article environmental values in monetary terms so that their value can be compared directly with economic uses of water. Others insist that environmental outcomes should receive equal weight and that attempts to monetise non-economic impacts distort long-term planning.

Technological Opportunities Innovation and new technologies play a crucial role in driving green growth in the water sector. The technological opportunities in the water sector can be assessed against selected green growth indicators covering economic, environmental and social impacts. The long lifetime and capitalintensive nature of water infrastructure necessitates a careful and robust process for evaluating investment decisions. The implementation of green growth policies requires a sound appreciation of the true value of water by the community, businesses, regulators and policy makers. Integration of economic-environmental accounts will go some way to improving the quantitative evaluation of water, but other non-market goods and services also need to be valued. The productivity of the water sector has declined over the past decade, due to a combination of inadequate or inappropriate investment in infrastructure, population growth and drought. Drought conditions prompted governments in most states to impose restrictions on the use of water, which detracted from the output of businesses without commensurate reductions in factor inputs such as labour and capital. Demandside measures such as water efficiency programs are often the cheapest cost to implement, but when they extend to water restrictions, the external social and economic costs are born by the broader community. Excessive government-led investment in water infrastructure (including desalination in five states) made with a view to guaranteeing security of supply in drought conditions but with little subsequent use, has resulted in inefficient use of capital. Improvements to productivity in the water sector will be underpinned by better resource management, more efficient use of labour and advances in technology, as well as integration with other services such as electricity and waste disposal. Adaptive planning, using real options for investment decisions, minimises the risk of unnecessary, high-cost investments. Efficient water markets ensure that water is most effectively allocated between competing uses to where it has highest value. Water pricing should reflect the value of water, but there is a need to improve the technical and economic evaluation of water externalities so that they can be incorporated into policy decisions. Policy barriers that restrict rural-urban trading and potable reuse of recycled water should be removed. A holistic approach taking broad economic, environmental and social issues into account is essential for sustainable water management.

Key Findings of the Study Green growth Sustainable economic development requires a deep understanding of the inter-relationship and interdependence of the elements of the economy, the environment and society as a whole. A green growth strategy harnesses the economic opportunities provided by new technologies and advanced products, while reducing the environmental impact and social disruption. Green growth principles can provide a comprehensive framework for management of Australia’s water resources and prioritising investment decisions. The integration of Australia’s national economic and environmental accounts to enable consistent analysis of the contributions of economic sectors and natural

capital (e.g., water, soil, biodiversity and ecosystems), advocated by the ABS, provides an excellent metric for assessment of progress towards a greener, more sustainable economy. Investment decisions The long lifetime and capital-intensive nature of water infrastructure necessitates a careful and robust process for evaluating investment decisions. Triplebottom-line approaches ensure that social, economic and environmental factors are taken into account. The price charged for water should transparently reflect the full cost of water provision (as recommended in the National Water Initiative), with environmental externalities such as climatic variability, greenhouse-gas emissions, land degradation and water pollution included wherever possible to provide market signals that improve environmental and social outcomes. These externalities can be quantified and understood by targeted science and research. Investment in technology Technological and scientific innovation will underpin green growth in the water sector. However innovation can be impeded by existing long-term investments in infrastructure and systems (sunk cost) and entrenched path dependencies (technology lock-in and stranded assets). The ATSE report identifies 63 scientific and technological opportunities in the water sector that would increase efficiency and productivity and reduce environmental impact. New industries will be created in the areas of energy- and water-efficient equipment and appliances, new decentralised stormwater and wastewater treatment technologies, more efficient agricultural practices, better weather forecasting, climate and hydrological modelling, improved recycling technologies and co- and tri-generation of energy, water and waste technologies. Some of these technologies will be developed locally through R&D and innovation programs (and this will offer export potential), while the remainder of the technology will be imported. Australia needs to be an efficient developer and fast adopter – this means a focus on early deployment of a mix of technologies for which we have good quality resources to facilitate domestic learning and skills development. This also requires excellent education and research systems to support the training of engineers and scientists with the understanding and know-how to exploit these technologies. Water has multiple roles Water as a resource is interrelated with almost all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, mining, electricity production, manufacturing, recreation and tourism. Water also supports the environment and our social amenity. The difficulty of achieving an acceptable policy that recognises the multiple roles of water is highlighted in the progressive evolution of water management plans for the Murray-Darling Basin, where tensions between irrigators and environmental groups, townships and communities, and upstream and downstream users have been exacerbated by historical over-allocation and extended periods of drought. An optimal Basin Plan would recognise the multiple roles and incorporate processes for adaptation to changing climatic, economic and environmental conditions. Portfolio approach and alternative water sources Expanded access to a wide range of water sources can provide a reliable and secure, cost-effective water supply that can respond to changes in population and climate. Greater integration of water sources (catchments, groundwater, desalination, recycled wastewater and harvested stormwater) in urban water supply will require sophisticated risk management and water quality monitoring strategies to continue to ensure the primacy of public health.


AUGUST 2012 39

feature article Water management into the future will require adaptability, flexibility and innovation in order to adapt quickly and efficiently to changes in climate and water supply, variations in demand, community attitudes to environment and health issues, pricing policy and advances in technology. Policies need to consider uncertainties and maintain resilience to external shocks in the longer term. Planning should be based on risk rather than probability and be robust over a wide range of possible outcomes including high-consequence catastrophic events, not just the ‘most likely’. Where additional drinking water supplies are required, desalination – as well as recycled wastewater and treated stormwater for potable use – should all be considered based on their economic, environmental and social merits. A longterm participatory public awareness program to overcome entrenched negative community perceptions of recycled wastewater and treated stormwater would assist public acceptance of potable recycling. Economic efficiency Efficiency is impaired by cross-subsidies between sectors and incentives that distort price signals for consumers of water. Where subsidies exist, they should be recognised as such and transparently communicated to the community. Examples include urban and rural infrastructure upgrades, artificially low prices for recycled water and the purchase of subsidised renewable energy to offset energy use in desalination plants. Water–energy nexus The water and energy sectors are inextricably linked. For example, the provision of water and sewerage services involves significant energy consumption and most forms of energy generation require water use. Water and energy policy should recognise the interdependencies between these sectors. The provision of water and sewerage services involves significant energy consumption, which is purchased at market prices. In contrast, electricity generators and, potentially, carbon sequestration projects, are often provided with access to water below its true cost. National Water Initiative (NWI) Reforms in water management, led by COAG through the NWI, have made major inroads since 2004 into developing a nationally agreed, coherent set of principles and reform actions to achieve optimal economic, environmental and social outcomes. However, there is still much to be done, particularly in addressing the over-allocation of water, broadening sector coverage and eliminating policy barriers to efficient water markets. Restrictions on ruralurban water trading and potable use of recycled water, and the exclusion of sectors such as mining from water markets compromise the efficiency of water management. Adoption of reforms implicit in the states’ and territories’ commitment to the NWI, and more recently urged by the Productivity Commission, would go a long way to improving Australia’s productivity and setting the path for a green growth economy in the water and related sectors. Social impact Efficient water markets require the clear transmission of price signals to all water users to reflect water availability. Water and energy pricing policy should not distort the transmission of price signals to all water users. Any adverse social impacts should be addressed through social policy. Support for R&D and adoption of new technologies The public good nature of water justifies government support for research and development (R&D), which drives innovation, increased efficiency and productivity. Many of Australia’s existing R&D programs in the water sector are nearing the end of their terms, and there is a need

40 AUGUST 2012 water

Investing in better weather forecasting technology may help reduce the impact of extreme climate events. for a coordinated national approach to plan the next generation of programs. These programs would benefit from greater coordination and long-term commitment to ensure a strategic research investment focus in priority areas. A national R&D strategy for water, recognising its multiple roles and importance across the Australian economy, should be developed and its components prioritised. Water is essential for all aspects of human activity and natural ecosystems. Technological innovation and scientific advances will play ever-increasing roles in increasing our understanding of the water cycle, especially in areas such as hydrological modelling and forecasting, increased efficiency of water use, improved environmental outcomes, and the ability to adapt rapidly to changes in climate, changing demand and shifts in population. Australia’s long-term productivity and quality of life will be underpinned by improved understanding and management of water, and ensuring that economic goals are balanced by social prosperity and environmental outcomes. As a major food-exporting nation, Australia has an opportunity to use its water resources even more efficiently as a contribution to feeding the world. The full (166-page) ATSE report and 4-page summary can be downloaded from: www.atse.org.au/resource-centre/ ATSE-Reports/Water/ Brian Spies, FTSE, is Deputy Chair of the ATSE Water Forum. His career spans senior research and management roles in the resource and environmental sectors in Australia and the US, most recently as Principal Scientist at the Sydney Catchment Authority. Brian is currently a senior visiting fellow at the University of NSW.

feature articles



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conference reviews AWA Biosolids and Source Management Conference By Diane Wiesner The AWA Biosolids and Source Management Conference 2012 was held in the QT Hotel at Surfers Paradise, Queensland, from 18–20 June 2012. Attendance at this first combined event was higher than for the regular Biosolids Specialty Conference, with numbers being boosted by attendees from the Source Management Specialist Network, which was launching its first national technical event. Combining these two groups is of great value to both parties, as the quality of the biosolids produced by wastewater treatment is critically governed by the nature and chemical composition of the material that is delivered to the plant – hence the conference theme: “Source to Resource: The Input Influences the End Use”. The first keynote speaker was John Novak, in a welcome return to the AWA conference platform. Dr Novak is the Nick Prillaman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech, US. Novak’s focus is on identifying improved processes for the destruction of organic solids and the elimination of disease-causing organisms in biosolids. Novak believes the management John Novak of organisms is one of the most important aspects of wastewater treatment, because of economic and health and safety issues and because they are a major cost for wastewater treatment utilities. Pathogens and odours may restrict biosolid disposal options and affect hauling costs, particularly for the reuse of biosolids through land application to improve soil quality and nutrient content. Novak’s approach to reduce the volatility of wastewater sludges differs from some of the previously tried techniques. His work is based in part on some successful treatments of wastewater where a sequential anaerobic and aerobic digestion, called a dual-digestion process, is used. This reduces the volatile solids components of the sludges beyond what can be achieved when using only one of the processes. Odours are the main source of objections to land-applied biosolids. Novak explained that the production of odours from sludges is a complex biochemical process, primarily associated with organic sulphur compounds that may be produced from anaerobically digested dewatered sludge cakes, especially when high-solids centrifuges are used for dewatering. Even when digestion is effective, centrifugation can generate headspace concentrations of total volatile organic sulphur that are quite high and likely to cause odour problems. In recent years, companies have started selling sludge dewatering systems that consist of new centrifuges that reduce the amount of water in the process, thus reducing costs. Novak has also investigated the role that iron and aluminum play in odour coming from sludge treated anaerobically. Working with researchers from Carollo Engineers and CH2M HILL, Novak’s team used a centrifuge simulation method developed at Virginia Tech to anaerobically digest a blend of primary and waste-activated sludge from 12 different wastewater treatment plants to prove up their models. Their findings indicated that aluminum reduced the odour potential for sludges that were high in iron.

42 AUGUST 2012 water

Keynote speaker for the Source Management stream was Michael Catchpole, Field Manager for Trade Waste at Allconnex Water in SE Queensland. This presentation focused on the importance of good, consistent management of the industrial and municipal inputs – the source wastewaters – to wastewater treatment plants. Catchpole has played a major role in obtaining a national minimum qualification for trade waste officers. Keynote speaker Bill Barber, Technical Director, Biosolids and Wastewater at AECOM, gave a topical presentation on ‘Viewing Biosolids as a Resource – How Biosolids Can Help Reduce Our Carbon Impact’. Using a series of histograms and graphs, Barber examined the various treatment and management options for wastewater sludges to biosolids, in terms of their use to yield energy (as biogas) to offset costs that impact water utilities whose carbon emissions at the various Scope 1, Scope 2 and also Scope 3 levels of capture make them liable to pay the Australian carbon tax. Barber made a strong argument for examining the economics of implementing technological and treatment initiatives to reduce the tax impost, although the resultant numbers would need to be judged against the costs of retrofit, installation and operation, particularly at the level of a medium and smaller sized municipal utility. This data could be examined using a Life Cycle Assessment methodology, an approach adopted by Joe Lane of the Advanced Water Management Centre at University of Queensland, who applied ‘LCA Perspectives to the Beneficial Reuse of Biosolids’ – although he did not specifically address carbon tax issues. Yogeshwa Gokhale fom CH2M HILL, presented Jo Cesca’s paper ‘Biosolids to Energy – Co-Processing FOG and Sludge to Increase Energy Recovery Potential’, another important paper relevant to both biosolids and source management groups. Gokhale began by pointing to increased acceptance and processing of fats, oils and grease (FOG) wastes at municipal wastewater treatment plants, particularly in the US, because of the need to keep these materials out of wastewater collection systems, as well as the added energy recovery potential when FOG wastes are anaerobically digested. Adding FOG waste to anaerobic digesters is particularly attractive over other feedstocks, such as food waste, because of the high volatile content (FOG can yield over one cubic metre of methane per kg) and high degradation with minimal extra solids requiring disposal. The addition of FOG wastes to wastewater treatment plants usually involves combining the FOG with the sludges from the treatment plant, a process that involves using energy from the FOG, usually via anaerobic digestion. The manner by which this is done can impact performance of the anaerobic digestion as well as other solids handling processes. The talk then moved on to provide a series of examples of different waste-receiving and process-flow handling options, typical problems that may arise and how they might be resolved, such as blockages in pipes, grid accumulation in digesters, “stuck” digesters (curtailed methanogenesis) and clogging of gas and handling systems. A paper that provoked some discussion came from Karen Schwarz with co-researchers Simon Toze, Deborah Pritchard, Jatinder Sidhu and Yutao Li, titled ‘Survival Patterns of Human Enteric Pathogens in Agricultural Soil Amended with Biosolids’.



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Delegates at the Biosolids workshop. A detailed but sophisticated methodology was used to show that target microorganisms decayed faster in biosolids-amended soil compared with unamended soil; decay times were specific to microorganism type; and microorganism decay was correlated to declining soil moisture levels and increasing soil temperature. The researchers concluded that the risk of transmission of disease-causing microorganisms (pathogens) from cereal crops fertilised with biosolids was likely to be low, an important finding which the mass media should take note of in the light of its continuing criticisms of the risks of biosolids applied to farm lands used for growing many food crops. Another paper of note came from our New Zealand colleagues, always most welcome delegates to AWA Conferences. Jacqui Horswell, on behalf of a large team of her colleagues, presented a paper titled ‘Biosolids Reuse in New Zealand – Assessing the Impacts of Chemical Cocktails on the Soil Ecosystem’. Using soils contaminated with copper, zinc and triclosan, lysimeters were constructed from 15cm lengths of 13cm-diameter PVC pipe. The base of the lysimeters contained a layer of gravel to retain the soil and assist drainage. Field-moist soil (1kg) was adjusted to 65% water-holding capacity and spiked with triclosan. Triclosan degraded rapidly in the soils, with methyltriclosan being the major degradation product. However, as metal concentration increased, transformation and degradation of triclosan decreased. These preliminary results suggest that co-contaminants can result in a combined effect level that is potentially greater than the sum of the individual effects, with additional impacts on degradation rates. All in all, the standard of papers submitted to the conference was excellent. The Conference Committee was pleased to award the Best Paper and Presentation – Source Management to Colin Hester of Queensland Urban Utilities, for his paper ‘Development of a Catchment-Based Trade Waste Mass Load Model’, co-authored with Brett Eaton of Better Technical Options (NZ) (see page xx for the paper). Peter Bishop, of Melbourne Water Corporation, won the award for Best Paper and Presentation – Biosolids, for his paper Development of a Beneficial Use for Clay-Rich Biosolids (see page xx). Delegates also spent an enjoyable evening at SeaWorld for the conference dinner, where Deb Pritchard and Damien Batstone got their feet wet playing with the dolphins!

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conference reviews Leading-Edge Technology Conference By Andrew Speers, AWA National Programs & Policy Manager “To make a rock ‘n’ roll record, technology is the least important thing.” – Keith Richards It’s an odd quote, no doubt, to use at the beginning of an article about the Leading-Edge Technology (LET) conference held recently in Brisbane – but it is apposite, and not just because of the Rolling Stones’ recent anniversary. Rather, its relevance lies in acknowledgement of the link between technological processes and humanity’s use of the processes. In other words, it’s what can be done with technology that is remarkable, not the technology for its own sake. Accordingly, the International Water Association’s 10th annual Leading-Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technology began with plenary sessions directed, at least in part, to providing a framework for understanding how technology might be applied and how its uptake might be promoted, taking account of community aspirations and, at times, resistance. The first keynote speaker was Rebekah Brown of Monash University, who spoke on Enabling the Uptake and Diffusion of New Technology: The Political, Institutional and Social Contexts for Change. Professor Brown’s presentation was wide ranging, but her message was clear: the adoption of new technologies – some of which may be controversial or be met with a negative response from the community – will only be successful if scientists and developers understand the context in which adoption is proposed, and respond to it. While there are many examples of technology becoming widespread very rapidly – smartphones being a dramatic recent example – technologies that are objectively beneficial, but misunderstood or viewed with suspicion by the community or its political representatives, will not be taken up if the way in which people respond to new developments is not considered. Professor Brown presented a number of models describing the evolution of technology uptake that provided real insight into the context of paradigm shifting technologies, such as recycling systems or, more fundamentally, water-sensitive cities. She also described the evolution of urban systems from a ‘Water Supply City’ focussed on delivery of fresh water, to a ‘Water Sensitive City’ that is adaptive and multi-functional and in which infrastructure and good urban design reinforce water-sensitive values and behaviours (see Figure 1).

Adapted from Brown et al. (2008), and Wong and Brown (2008)

Figure 1. Evolving Urban Water Hydro-Social Contract.

44 AUGUST 2012 water

In a related manner, Jim Bradley from MWH in New Zealand spoke about the way technological development was driven by community demands. He explained that Kiwis consider not just a triple bottom line, but a quadruple one, the fourth element being the impact on Maori or ‘Tāngata Whenua’ values. As Tāngata Whenua have particular views about the management of and contact with human waste, management of such wastes sensitively is critical. Mr Bradley Mr Jim Bradley, described the configuration of a MWH New Zealand. new wastewater treatment plant that produces no biosolids, obviating the need to return biosolids to land, a process that may be objected to. Dr Shane Snyder, of the University of Arizona, delved into a discussion of risks, monitoring and management actions that might be identified or implemented as we move towards greater recycling of water. He noted that we now have the capability of identifying any contaminant in any situation, but that our analytical methods are not standardised and mere detection of a contaminant does not necessarily equate to elevated risk. Dr Snyder did not suggest that there is justification for complacency, but that we need to know what we’re detecting, to qualify risk and to mitigate that risk through management and treatment techniques. This we can do, if we apply rigour, but of course communication of risk to the public will continue to be a challenge. Notwithstanding the validity of the argument that technology will often only be accepted if the context of its introduction is appreciated and responded to, some technologies are potentially so beneficial and so benign that their availability presents a ‘breakthrough’ opportunity for water managers and the public. One such is the application of flow cytometry to the rapid detection of drinking water quality analysis, presented by Thomas Egli of Eawag, the Swiss water research institute. Presently, microbial water quality is determined through heterotrophic plate counts (HPC) with Escherichia coli, a thermo-tolerant coliform being an indicator of potential faecal contamination. However, as this method requires cultivation, it is slow. Flow cytometry, on the other hand, has the potential to produce a total cell count in less than 15 minutes and it detects all bacteria, including those that cannot be cultured. The process is based on the fluorescent staining of cells and the forcing of water flow through a glass capillary on which an argon laser is focussed. The scattering of the laser light can be interpreted to identify the presence and total numbers of cells (up to up to 1000 cells/second counted). There is the potential for the process to be automatable and installed online. Dr Egli also described further staining methods that can be used to identify the numbers of intact cells and their viability. Viability detection takes less than 45 minutes. Dr Egli’s research suggests that flow cytometry analysis provides a much more accurate picture of the presence of human pathogens than HPC. Over the 10 years the LET event has been run, numerous themes have been explored. Some, such as organics removal from drinking water and nutrient removal and recovery in wastewater, have been revisited on a number of occasions. Over recent years, the role of natural systems in the treatment of wastewater has featured, as has the role of natural systems

conference reviews in water reuse; these topics, among others such as the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions (visited again in 2012), indicate a clear shift to exploration of ‘greener’ technologies. This year, the topic of disaster recovery was explored by two keynote speakers, a reflection of recent catastrophes that have occurred around the world, including Australia. In this regard, Mr Paul Belz of SEQWater and Professor Tatsuo Omura of Tohoku University, Japan, both spoke passionately about the introduction of more resilient technologies, facilitating recovery from disaster. Resilient technologies and technologies for disaster recovery was a theme also explored in the body of the conference. Presentations covered the restoration of systems post-disaster, technologies for emergency response (for example, treatment of wastewaters from cholera treatment centres) and smallscale technologies that improve the resilience of systems and processes. Valuably, this session was followed by a panel discussion at which the session moderators, authors of the papers and keynote speakers discussed how to prepare for and react to natural disasters and emergency situations. Integrated and New Technologies for Cities of the Future was another theme that flowed from some of the keynote speakers. Presentations included technologies to produce tailored water reuse options for potable and non-potable uses, removal of pharmaceutical drugs from recycled wastewater through application of advanced photocatalytic technology with membrane bioreactors, and monitoring and treatment of nanoparticles in cities of the future. Other themes included: • Innovative Water Technologies in Resource Industries;

IWA President Glen Daigger (left) and Pentair Country Manager, Robert van Merkestein. • Energy Recovery and Energy Efficiency of Wastewater Systems; • From Resource Recovery to Wastewater Based Bio-refineries; • Control and Mitigation of Direct Greenhouse Gas (CH4 and N2O) Emissions; • Clean, Green and Sustainable Water Technologies – Minimising Waste and Maximising Resource Utilisation; and • Disinfection By-products in Drinking Water and Water Recycling. The Leading-Edge Conference on Water and Waste Water Technology was made possible through the generous support of Aurecon and Pentair. The International Water Association and AWA are grateful for their support.

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conference reviews Australia Makes an Impact at Singapore International Water Week Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2012 was held from 1–5 July at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore. Themed ‘Water Solutions for Liveable and Sustainable Cities’, and held together with the World Cities Summit and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore, the event attracted an impressive 18,554 participants from 104 countries and/or regions, and welcomed a record 750 participating companies. Australia’s presence at SIWW was our largest yet, with AWA once again organising the popular Australian Business Forum. Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, gave the key address to a near capacity audience. Other speakers included National Water Commission CEO, James Cameron, and Professor Gary Jones of eWater. The Forum provided the ideal platform through which to communicate the current water situation in Australia and the challenges that are being faced. Meanwhile, waterAUSTRALIA, the promotional arm of the Australian water sector, coordinated an Australian exhibitors’ pavilion. Twenty organisations were represented, including large businesses such as GHD, UGL and Transfield Services at one end of the scale and emerging companies such as StarWater, Nubian, BioGill and Detection Services at the other. Also present were representatives from AWA, Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and several of Australia’s major water R&D entities. The waterAUSTRALIA pavilion attracted a large number of visitors and several of the exhibitors reported serious interest that should lead to contracts. This was in part due to the business-matching program that was offered and delivered by the Water Supplier Advocate, Bob Herbert AM, and the Singapore Austrade office. With Austrade switching its focus from export facilitation to attracting investment into Australia, the likelihood is that waterAUSTRALIA will be called upon to host more Australian pavilions at international exhibitions in the future. Indeed, waterAUSTRALIA has already secured space for an Australian Pavilion at WEFTEC in New Orleans in the US, to be held in the first week of October.

Networking Reception One of the highlights of the week was a networking reception held at the Pavilion itself. Jointly funded by waterAUSTRALIA and the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, welcomes were extended to the 100 or so guests by Senator Farrell with introductory remarks from waterAUSTRALIA CEO, Les Targ, and Water Supplier Advocate, Bob Herbert. It provided an opportunity for Australian delegates to discuss business and professional matters among themselves and with their international guests. For the companies exhibiting, being part of the waterAUSTRALIA pavilion provided them with much greater visibility on an exhibition floor reminiscent of the ‘Land of the Giants’. Combining the exhibition space with a businessmatching program kept their investment to a manageable level and provided a greater opportunity to fully meet their objectives. For future exhibitions, the lessons were clear. A businessmatching program is an important ingredient; however, the waterAUSTRALIA brand is taking hold internationally and is

46 AUGUST 2012 water

the key to drawing international interest in what our industry has to offer – whether that be R&D, technology, education services, engineering and consulting and infrastructure products.

Other Higlights A number of new projects and investments were also announced at this year’s event, reinforcing SIWW as a major platform for water companies to share market trends, opportunities and explore collaborations. Key highlights include: • At the Middle East and North Africa Business Forum, Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company announced that they would be investing approximately S$11 billion on capital expenditure on municipal water infrastructure such as water and used water treatment plants, networks and mains for four major cities – Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Taif – over the next five years. • The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), the Philippines’ leading water authority, announced a US$1.5 billion investment program to establish a Water Security Legacy (WSL) for the 15 million residents of Metro Manila. • Singapore-based United Engineers Limited (UEL) announced three environmental engineering contracts worth over S$70 million, including two projects at the Changi Water Reclamation Plant and one for a waste-to-energy project at a poultry farm in Singapore. • Singapore-based water company Hyflux launched its Hyflux Innovation Centre. Besides the executive and corporate offices, the centre will also house engineering design and technology commercialisation departments and R&D laboratories. • The inaugural Industrial Water Solutions Forum presented key industry perspectives on the challenges faced by the oil and gas, food and beverage, mining and chemical sectors and how innovative solutions can turn these challenges into business opportunities. • TechXchange saw strong interest with a turnout of over 200 participants, plus a line-up of 21 water R&D innovations from Singapore and all over the world. Feedback from the workshop has been positive, with investors expressing interest in several of the technology providers. • Prototypes of some new cutting-edge technologies, such as the Fish Activity Monitoring System, Aquaporin-based biomimetic membranes and the Parasitometer presented at the TechXchange, were also showcased at the Water Innovations@SIWW booth. The next Singapore International Water Week will be held in 2014. Please go to www.siww.com for more information.

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workshop report

Collaboration in Stormwater Harvesting Learning to move from theory to practice The Collaboration in Stormwater Harvesting Workshop took place at the Ozwater’12 Conference & Exhibition on May 9 in Sydney. This report, which encapsulates the background and motivation for the workshop, as well as the outcomes, has been prepared by Steven J Kenway (Consultant, UWSRA), Dr Brian S McIntosh (International WaterCentre), David Hamlyn-Harris (Director, Bligh Tanner Pty Ltd), Adrian Crocetti (Brisbane City Council), Simon Toze (CSIRO), Don Begbie (Director, UWSRA) and Sharon Biermann (UWSRA). Stormwater is a substantial and yet largely untapped urban water source. In South-East Queensland, 245–750GL/year of stormwater flows unused from cities, compared with 350GL of water used for urban purposes in 2010. Other cities are similar. However, embedding the constructive use of stormwater as a resource in Australia remains elusive. Many challenges exist and, as a consequence, stormwater runoff continues to have numerous negative ecological impacts, degrading streams and contributing to erosion and sediment loading, while water supplies for our cities are imported from elsewhere, incurring energy costs and the requirement for significant capital investment in pipe and pump infrastructure. At Ozwater’12, the Urban Water Security Research Alliance (UWSRA) and International WaterCentre (IWC) convened a “hands-on” workshop to promote learning across organisations and disciplines about how effective, environmentally beneficial, healthy and well-maintained stormwater harvesting schemes might be implemented within brownfield urban development. The workshop aimed to bridge the gap between theoretical goals and real solutions through peer-to-peer learning involving a process and materials conducive to learning – building with Lego blocks.

and construct “fit-for-purpose” rather than over-engineered systems. This can reduce the capital and operational expenditure. Assets can be revitalised by improving connectivity with the local community. Wet spaces can be transformed and bring people back to the water. Major challenges included: (i) keeping the cost per kilolitre under potable supplies (energy use is key); (ii) enabling integrated planning by stakeholder engagement at the design stage; (iii) lack of space, aesthetics and perceptions in the use of public space; and (iv) supplying “fit-for-purpose” water while ensuring public health and safety requirements. Finally, Dr Brian S McIntosh outlined some of the typical ecosystem impacts caused by urban stormwater, including increased frequency and peak velocity of flow events and larger total volumes of stormwater flows caused by increased impervious surfaces. Collectively the impact of typically higher levels of imperviousness in urban areas increases the “flashiness” (rapid response) of stormwater flows and these are usually more erosive, carrying greater sediment load, nutrients and other contaminants into urban creek systems, ultimately reducing biodiversity and overall species abundance and productivity. The challenge from an ecosystem health perspective is to develop urban designs that promote less flashy, more ‘natural’ (non-urbanised) hydrological responses to rainfall events.

Hands-On Design Challenge After the presentations, the workshop participants split into four teams. Each team was tasked with designing a stormwater harvesting scheme for a brownfield site of approx 55ha. Housing for around 4,000 people was expected. Each team had 45 minutes to create a next-generation urban development incorporating extensive stormwater harvesting and management using nothing more than an A0 aerial photograph, an information pack characterising the site and “building materials” such as Lego blocks, pipe cleaners, pom-poms and pieces of foam (Figure 1).

Workshop Presentations The workshop involved a series of short presentations followed by a hands-on design exercise. David Hamlyn-Harris of Bligh Tanner kicked off with a presentation emphasising the water supply engineering design objectives of stormwater harvesting, including: (i) maximising permissible use of stormwater within total water use goals; (ii) ensuring fit-for-purpose, efficient and cost-effective design (including diversion structures, storage, treatment systems and pipe lines); and (iii) constructability and integration into the development. Dr Simon Toze (CSIRO) then tackled health risk management. Stormwater-treatment levels are dictated by proposed water uses to address risks. Potable use of stormwater requires high levels of treatment; however, for non-potable water uses, non-treatment barriers could be appropriate. Stormwater regularly has elevated levels of Enterococci, greater than 500 coliform-forming units/100 mL in wet weather. Trace chemicals such as cadmium, nickel and lead are of less concern from a human health perspective, unless the water is to be used for potable purposes. Adrian Crocetti ran through what Brisbane City Council learnt from the Millennium Drought regarding how to create stormwaterharvesting systems with positive social and environmental outcomes. Opportunities identified included the need to design

48 AUGUST 2012 water

Figure 1. Team 3 tackles the challenge of designing a multi-benefit stormwater harvesting system. Designs were encouraged to be imaginative and innovative as well as practical and cost-effective. The assessment “criteria” to be reflected in their design included: • Maximising stormwater use; • Multiple urban space outcomes and benefits; • Identification and management of health risks and fit-for purpose treatment; and • Enhancement of ecological habitat and/or ensuring degradation has been minimised or avoided. Once completed, each team had five minutes to “sell” the desirable scheme features to the judges.

workshop report The Results Designs generally featured detention basins and wetlands, revegetation and up-stream water capture to buffer peak flows. One design team (Table 4, see Figure 2) considered the water system first and the town second. All non-potable uses, such as toilets, washing machines and irrigation) were supplied from the stormwater system, which was positioned to maximise harvesting. The design was strong in all areas and was also viewed as pragmatic.


(a) ((e))



Figure 3. The team at Table 1 came up with a particularly creative design, but unfortunately it was deemed to be not practical or cost-effective enough. • Is not an “add-on” feature, but should be considered from the start of the design process; • Requires engineers to work closely with city planners to ensure successful outcomes; • Requires more land than a conventional system (e.g. for wetlands, swales, etc);

Figure 2. An example of a collaboratively designed stormwater harvesting system. One particularly creative design (by Table 1, see Figure 3) featured: (a) an aquatic centre involving treatment of harvested water with solar-powered UV, which then discharges to the (b) stormwater pond (and fountain), which can also be used for primary contact recreation (including disabled access). The pond doubled as a source of irrigation water. The design included a high-rise treatment plant (c) including blackwater treatment. Green roofing was used for thermal properties, water treatment and food production. The disused landfill was used to site (d) a bird-friendly wind-power-generation capacity and (e) a community vegetable garden was also incorporated to make good local use of the sub-potable stormwater resource while also reducing food miles. The development was argued to have received a huge subsidy from the state to begin with, but to then be generating revenue from feeding energy to the grid. This design rated extremely highly with the judges for imagination and urban place. However, this evaluation was countered with a relatively low score for practicality and cost-effectiveness. Other interesting design features included houses on stilts to deal with floods, stormwater export to surrounding suburbs, walking tracks and public art to increase local ownership and management, pumping from more distant (and larger) catchments to top up during low flow periods, and island habitat creation within the stormwater system.

Learning Outcomes and Conclusions Post-workshop, an email-based survey was sent to all participants, who identified a number of learning outcomes from the workshop process. Results indicated that participants took away that stormwater harvesting and management: • Can play a more significant role in the sustainability of development sites;

• Provides multiple benefits that cannot be communicated with a restricted view of harvesting as an alternative water supply only; and • Requires a multiple perspective approach, which is challenging! Feedback from the survey suggested that the event had high overall value and had an impact on the thinking of participants. Suggestions for improvement included increasing the time period and deepening the technical discussions at the outset, which were limited to five minutes per speaker. Participants felt that more information could have usefully been included on cost implications, energy demands, regulatory influences, system governance, greenfield/ brownfield differences, monitoring requirements and contribution to broader sustainability objectives. The UWSRA now aims to convene a longer collaborative planning event for stormwater in the near future, and is looking into a series of roadshow events. For more information contact: Don Begbie (email: Don.Begbie@ csiro.au) or Steven J Kenway (Steven.Kenway@qwc.qld.gov. au) at UWSRA, or Dr Brian S McIntosh (email: b.mcintosh@ watercentre.org) at IWC. Information on the UWSRA and its publications can be found at: www.urbanwateralliance.org.au and on the IWC at: www.watercentre.org

Acknowledgements The Authors wish to acknowledge the workshop participants including: Helen Oates, Maria Morahan, Matt Shanahan, Nigel Corby, Yuna Chen, Andrej Listouski, Judy Blackbeard, Owen Karsen, Anne Roiko, Ben Patterson, Joan Rose, Peter Spencer, Catriona Murphy, Brody Usher, Rebecca Drayse, Dylan O’Keefe, Rob Frawley, Jonathan Trail, Patrick Nixon, Mark H Rubarenzy, Brad Irwin, Brett Garrt, Warish Ahmed, John Radcliffe, Gregory Priest and Julien Reungoat.


AUGUST 2012 49


refereed paper


Identifying Pareto-efficient rebate policy that maximises program yield while minimising cost A Lane, R Ling, C Murphy, I Usher Abstract Rebate programs have been widely used as a demand-side management tool to encourage the installation and retrofit of water-efficient appliances, collection and reuse systems. A review of Australian rebate program effectiveness between 2003 and 2011 was conducted, spanning over one million rebate applications from three states and one territory. The evaluation identified that efficient policy formulation is hindered by limited understanding of consumer uptake, varied estimates of water savings, and unclear relationships between combinatorial rebate scenarios and program yield. This paper develops a framework to identify Pareto-efficient rebate policy that maximises program yield while minimising cost. A genetic algorithm is applied to a simulation model of uptake, water savings and cost to identify optimal combinations of rebate levels. Domestic water use is simulated at the household scale using behavioural stochastic enduse simulation. The application of this framework to a South Australian case study identifies a Pareto-efficient policy mix that could have achieved the same water-saving outcomes by reducing the rebate incentive for dual-flush toilets and rainwater tanks and increasing the incentive for low-flow showerheads. Compared to South Australia’s H2OME program, this optimal policy combination could have achieved the same projected water savings yield at a 44% (~$21.2m) lower cost to the government. This framework is robust to allow for optimal policy combinations to be identified for cost or water saving yield targets or at levelised unit cost targets comparable to supply augmentation. Sensitivity analysis demonstrates that optimal policy combinations are extremely sensitive to the inclusion of washing machine and low-flow showerhead rebates in a rebate program. By considering consumer uptake, this framework extends beyond

50 AUGUST 2012 water

traditional least-cost planning methods to allow for ex-ante estimation of yield.

Introduction In water-scarce countries like Australia there are economic incentives to reduce domestic water consumption. One demand-side management tool is the use of financial incentives to encourage the adoption of water-efficient equipment (Olmstead and Stavins, 2008). Rebate programs induce the uptake of waterefficient measures, bring forward the replacement of less efficient equipment, increase consumer awareness of water scarcity and support the manufacture of more water-efficient equipment (Gillingham, 2009). When faced with the difficult question of “Which measures should be subsidised and at what level?”, policymakers are hindered by limited insight into consumer uptake, varied estimates of water savings and unclear relationships between combinatorial rebate scenarios and program yield. Least-cost planning methods of demand management are effective at estimating the levelised unit cost of rebating various measures in isolation (White and Fane, 2002), but are limited in being able to estimate yield and cost from a combination of rebates. The problem is more complex than a classical capital budgeting decision – policymakers do not ‘assign’ the distribution of various retrofit measures to achieve a target yield. Rather, the market makes decisions about which rebates to uptake and, thus, the water-saving yield based on the suite of rebates that policy-makers offer. Building on insights from a review of past Australian rebate programs, this paper develops a framework that seeks to support robust decision making and efficient policy formulation. This approach extends beyond existing research in three key areas. First, by reviewing an eight-year dataset of uptake

from four Australian states and territories of over 1 million rebate applications, new understanding of consumer response towards rebate incentives for water saving measures is presented. Second, improved estimates of water savings are developed through the application of a behavioural end-use stochastic simulation model that incorporates end-use behaviour, occupancy and climate variability. Finally, a genetic algorithm applied to a simulation model of uptake, water savings and cost allows a Pareto-efficient frontier of rebate price combinations to be produced for objectives of yield and cost. This method allows for posterior articulation of preferences from decisionmakers and ex-ante estimation of yield. That is, a trade-off curve allows optimal policy combinations that achieve a target yield or operate within a limited budget to be identified. Our framework also allows economically efficient rebate policy combinations that deliver programs at, or below, the long-run marginal cost of supply to be identified.

Background: Australian Rebate Programs 2003–2011 Between 2003 and 2011, water authorities in all Australian mainland states and territories implemented programs that provided rebates to households that installed or retrofitted a number of watersaving measures. The most commonly subsidised measures included dual-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and the installation of rainwater collection and reuse systems. Identifying the water savings achieved from each installation or retrofit is inadequate when estimating the effectiveness of demand-side management policy at a regional or statewide scale. Yield from a water resources management perspective is achieved when water savings from individual measures are multiplied by uptake. To gain a better understanding of how consumers respond to rebate incentives,

technical features


refereed paper

water authorities in five Australian states and two territories were contacted between April and June 2011 to obtain historical rebate uptake data. Data was obtained from programs in South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. Rebate programs in these states have had success in inducing households to install or retrofit water-saving measures. Over 1 million successful rebate applications were paid, representing at least $115 million of government spending. By June 2011, programs in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory had encouraged 46,357 households to replace their showerheads, 40,755 dwellings to install a dual-flush toilet, 86,068 residences to install a rainwater tank and 344,200 households to purchase a water-efficient washing machine. For finer scale analysis, rebate applications were disaggregated by product type and program, then expressed as cumulative uptake normalised by the number of residential water connections in the state. Analysis reveals that the most popular form of rebate claimed by consumers was for new WELS 4-star or higher-rated washing machines. Over a five- and seven-year program, rebates for washing machines achieved uptake of 25.5% and 30.4% in South Australia and Western Australia respectively. This compares to rainwater tanks – 2.35% and 5.86%; low-flow showerheads – 3.44% and 2.66% and swimming pool covers – 0.52% and 4.50%, all for SA and WA respectively. Interstate comparisons reveal variation in uptake rates for the same product are largely independent of rebate level. For instance, a $30 rebate for low-flow showerheads was offered in SA, while a $10 rebate was paid in WA. Despite this, monthly rates of uptake, normalised for the difference in residential households in each state, were largely similar (0.59 v 0.54%/ mth). Analysis of the timing and intensity of advertising of rebate initiatives revealed strong correlation between uptake rates and marketing effort. Rebate programs may affect the adoption of water-saving measures by simply increasing awareness of water efficiency rather than through explicit financial means. Rebate incentives aimed to induce the installation of rainwater tanks achieved greater relative success in South Australia compared to other states. Monthly rates of uptake for standalone rainwater tanks (1.84%/mth) and indoor reuse connected tanks (0.73%/mth) exceeded programs in Victoria (0.02% and 0.01%, per month)

and Western Australia (0.29% per month). Apart from the influence of rebate level – the SA rebate for standalone tanks was $150 greater than that offered in WA and $50 greater than that offered in Victoria – the pre-rebate penetration rate of rainwater tanks in South Australian homes compared to the national average (45.4% v 19.3%) potentially explains this difference. Greater acceptability of rainwater harvesting and reuse may be inherent among South Australians. Climatic factors may also explain the increased uptake in South Australia relative to Victoria over the rebate period. Adelaide’s Mediterranean rainfall pattern – long, dry summers and wet winters – provides incentive for households to ‘store’ rainwater in the winter for use in summer. We later demonstrate through end-use modelling that this perceived benefit of rainwater tanks is flawed – more effective rainwater tank utilisation is achieved when larger volumes of water are continually used throughout the year. This leads to potential implications for program formulation. Policymakers in areas with consistent rainfall where the public may perceive little benefit in capturing rainwater may need to do more to encourage uptake. Statistical analysis of rebate applications, paired with information about the household, revealed some socio-economic insights into the adoption of water-efficient equipment. Mirroring the findings of Millock and Nauges (2010), who were limited by their use of a stated preference survey dataset, chi square tests performed on South Australian rebate applications show that home-owners are more likely to adopt water-saving measures than tenants. Normalised for the proportions of homeowners and tenants in South Australia, 30 times as many rebates were paid to home-owners compared to renters for dual-flush toilets and rainwater tanks.

Even for low-flow showerheads, which have minimal installation difficulty and low capital costs, uptake was 16 times higher (3.93% v 0.24%) in the home-owner group compared to the tenant group. Washing machines were the only measure with higher uptake in the tenant group compared to the home-owner group. Over the five-year H2OME program, approximately one in three tenants claimed a rebate for the purchase of a new washing machine compared to only one in five homeowners in South Australia. Regression analyses of postcode median aggregate income against the postcodes of rebate applicants accept, at the 5% level, a null hypothesis that income is not an influence on rebate program participation. Together, these results have implications for efficient policy formulation. We infer that the adoption of watersaving measures that do not add to consumer utility beyond a water-saving benefit – low-flow showerheads and dualflush toilets – are limited among groups with minimal financial incentive (landlords, rather than tenants in South Australia, generally pay the water supply and first 136kL of volumetric tariff charge) to save water. On the other hand, rebate uptake for measures that add a utility externality beyond water efficiency – washing machines – is relatively independent of the financial motivation for reducing domestic water consumption. It may be that subsidies for washing machines are being paid to consumers who have already made a purchasing decision independent of rebate incentive. This leads to Pareto inefficiency caused by the free-rider problem. Subsidy levels for measures such as washing machines need to be set at the typical price differential between WELS 4-star appliances and more inefficient models.

S = low-flow showerhead, WM = front loader washing machine, T = dual-flush toilet, PC = pool cover, T(O) = standalone tank, T(O+T) = tank plumbed into outdoor and toilet, T(O+L) = tank plumbed into outdoor and laundry, T(O+L+T) = tank plumbed into outdoor, laundry and toilet.

Figure 1. Levelised unit cost of water to the policymaker for various South Australian rebates.


AUGUST 2012 51


refereed paper

of rebate for these measures, the duration of the program, the intensity and timing of advertising campaigns, and the conditions attached to rebate eligibility.

South Australia had the highest level of uptake in rainwater tank installation. By June 2011, many programs had ended or been scaled back. Results of our cost efficiency analysis identified that in the South Australian scheme low-flow showerheads, pool covers and front-loader washing machine rebates were able to achieve levelised unit costs to the policymaker of $0.45/kL, $2.03kL and $2.38/kL – all less than the $2.40/kL long-run marginal cost of potable water – as shown in Figure 1. Similarly, the role of a rebate reduces the payback period of a 1kL standalone rainwater tank and dual flush toilet by 10 and eight years respectively. From the perspective of the consumer, only low-flow showerhead rebates allowed water savings to be achieved below the $2.48/kL tariff block at which most households are charged. While rebate programs have proved popular, questions can be raised about whether their cost efficiency could have been improved by altering the combination and rebate level of watersaving measures. A $150 rebate for a single dual-flush toilet has the opportunity cost to policymakers of subsidising five low-flow showerheads at $30 each. Would subsidising only the most costefficient measures such as low-flow showerheads produce meaningful volumes of yield? What combination of subsidy level would generate sufficient uptake to deliver water savings at or below the long-run marginal cost of supply? The first question requires estimates of uptake response, while the second question represents a decision space of order 1011 combinations for 20 common measures and nine possible prices.

Method: A New Framework for Pareto-Efficient Rebate Policy A review of Australian examples identifies that policy-makers exert influence over the response of consumers to a rebate program through a number of policy decisions. These decision variables include the measures that should be included in a rebate program, the level

52 AUGUST 2012 water

Additionally, a number of conditions outside the control of policymakers influence the uptake and, subsequently, the water-saving and cost response. Based on data constraints, our analysis simplifies the problem and decision space; policymakers are assumed to influence uptake through only two decisions – whether or not to subsidise a measure, and the level at which a subsidy should be offered for that measure. Our approach investigates the trade-off that exists between how much a policymaker is willing to spend and the volume of water savings that can be achieved for different rebate policy combinations. Using the understanding gained from the analysis of Australian rebate uptake, paired with original estimates of water savings, three models – uptake, water savings and cost – are proposed to evaluate conflicting objectives seeking to: 1. minimise

given policy combination is forecast using observed relationships derived from analysis of Australian programs. That is, we model uptake for a low-flow showerhead rebate of $30 in South Australia to occur at the same rate as the observed South Australian data fitted to a linear regression. To forecast consumer response to rebates at other, previously unoffered and unobserved prices, we apply the economic concept of elasticity – the ratio of percentage change of one variable to the percentage change in another variable – as a method to estimate response to a new policy of rebate prices. A price elasticity of rebate uptake, , is proposed in Equation 1 to measure the responsiveness of the cumulative uptake rate of rebates to a change in rebate level. A value of 1.658 was derived from Victorian uptake data. The level of uptake at each time step, shown in Equation 2, is a major driving input into the cost and water saving models. (1)

the cost of the rebate

program; 2. maximise

the volume of water savings.

A genetic algorithm, NSGA-II (Deb et al., 2002) in a spreadsheet-based implementation (Savic et al., 2011) is applied to develop the Pareto frontier of all non-dominated combinations of rebate policy. The two decision variables – whether or not a rebate should be offered for a given measure; and the level at which a rebate for that measure should be offered – are represented in the chromosome of the genetic algorithm. This chromosome of 20-bit length is formulated using integer coding, with each bit representing a different watersaving measure. These include four ‘nontank’ measures – low-flow showerheads, dual-flush toilets, 4-star washing machines and pool covers, and 16 combinations of rainwater tank measures representing 1kL, 2kL, 4kL and 9kL tanks with end-use connectivity to either outdoor; outdoor and toilet; outdoor and laundry; or outdoor, toilet and laundry end uses. A bit coding of ‘1’ indicates that a rebate of $0 should apply to the measure – i.e. it should not be subsidised – and a coding of ‘2’ through ‘9’ represents increasing increments of subsidy as a proportion of the typical acquisition and installation cost of the measure.

Forecasting uptake To demonstrate the proposed optimisation framework, uptake for a


Where Hs represents the number of households within the target area, is the empirically derived price elasticity of rebate uptake, is the observed rate of uptake for a measure k at an observed rebate level of represents the slope coefficient of cumulative normalised uptake for a new rebate level, , and is the number of months from the start of the rebate program.

Evaluating cost The objective of cost is evaluated from the perspective of the policymaker. At each monthly time step, the rebate level for a given measure, plus an administrative loading, is multiplied by the number of rebates taken up. These costs are discounted back to a net present value. Cost can also be evaluated from the perspective of program participants, society or a weighted sum of all three. An 8% discount rate is applied in addition to a 12% administrative cost loading based on empirical estimates of Western Australia’s Waterwise program.

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Evaluating Water Savings The objective of water saving is assessed by evaluating the sum of water savings achieved in the duration of the rebate program (Equation 3) and the annual yield achieved by measures after the conclusion of a rebate program. (3)

Figure 2. Economical analysis of Pareto-efficient solutions showing the economically efficient option for both South Australia and Western Australia. Where Ut,k is the cumulative uptake of a water-saving measure k in a given time t, φk is the monthly water saving value for a given measure k as predicted using the dataset of water savings, DSL is the length of the decision string, equal to the number of potential rebate options; PL is the length of the rebate program, NSL is the net saving life of the measures and NRR is the non-rebate replacement factor, the percent of water savings measures that would have been uptaken without a rebate offered.

Evaluating water savings using an integrated urban water management model Highly variable estimates of water savings from largely similar water-saving measures exist in literature and between ‘online efficiency calculators’ published by many Australian water authorities. Our approach demonstrates the application of a behavioural stochastic end-use model to create improved estimates of water savings achievable by the rebate-induced installation of water saving measures.

The Behavioural End-Use Stochastic Simulator (‘BESS’) (Thyer et al., 2011) in eWater’s Urban Developer (Breen et al., 2006) is applied to create datasets of water savings achieved when a water-saving measure is installed. Urban Developer is a water balance model that simulates discrete end-use events and allows for source substitution from rainwater tanks. Indoor behavioural patterns from a Residential End-Use Study by Roberts (2005) and outdoor end-use data from Barton (2003), Loh and Coghlan (2003) and Coombes and Kuczera (2003) are used for Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne respectively. Temperature, rainfall and evaporation data for January 2001 to December 2010 from Adelaide, Perth and Tullamarine Airports and household occupancy distributions from the 2006 Census are used as model inputs.

A simulation of annual water demand for a household of typical size, appliance stock and occupancy is run to create a baseline reference for each of the three case study locations. Appliance efficiencies such as toilet and showerhead standards are then changed and the model re-simulated to obtain an annual water demand due Table 1. Potential improvements from the application of to rebate-induced the proposed framework for three case study schemes. demand management. Cost Water Our analysis identified $/kL ($m) Saved (GL) extreme variability in Previous Rebate Scheme $48.2 19.3 2.50 water-saving yield for rainwater tanks due Economically Efficient 2.38 $101.3 42.6 SA to climate differences. $27 At Similar Water Saved 19.5 1.39 For instance, 1kL (-44%) rainwater tanks used Previous Rebate Scheme $22.8 19.2 1.19 for outdoor irrigation provide 7.67kL/year of Economically Efficient 1.05 $54.5 52.1 WA avoided mains demand $9.7 At Similar Water Saved 19.1 0.51 in Adelaide compared (-58%) to 15.13kL/year of

avoided mains demand in Melbourne. Water- saving yield from indoor retrofits depends on behaviour and occupancy, while water-saving yield from rainwater tanks depends on rainfall, roof area connectivity ratio, re-use configuration and tank size. These estimates differ to arbitrary yield models used by many policymakers – Victorian savings estimates are based on an assumption that a rainwater tank of any size will fill and empty 7.5 times a year for outdoor irrigation. A 9kL rainwater tank connected to outdoor end-uses was estimated to yield water savings of 7kL/ year higher than our predictions. Through the use of an integrated urban water management model, our approach balances both rainwater harvesting potential and end-use demand to accurately model mains reduction achieved by rainwater tanks.

Potential policy and discussion This framework is demonstrated to develop a Pareto-efficient trade-off curve for two case study programs – Western Australia and South Australia. This is demonstrated in Figure 2. The x-axis represents the water savings achieved by a rebate program – accounted for during a rebate program of an arbitrary five years, and then assuming measures have an average ‘net saving life’ of five years after the conclusion of the program. The y-axis represents cost to the policymaker, expressed as a levelised unit cost – the cost of all rebate measures and administrative costs, adjusted for the opportunity cost of capital; divided by the water savings achieved. The shape of the Pareto curve demonstrates the trade-off that exists in achieving greater volumes of water savings. At lower target water savings, the genetic


AUGUST 2012 53

governance algorithm identifies low-flow showerheads as the most cost-effective solution leading to improved cost efficiency. To encourage greater uptake and larger water savings, rebate levels increase, leading to reduced cost efficiency. Towards the right of the Pareto curve, the least cost-efficient measures – indoor end-use connected rainwater tanks – become part of the Pareto optimal combination of rebates. Subsidising only the most cost-efficient of measures – low-flow showerheads – achieves limited volumes of yield. The two curved lines in Figure 2 represent all non-dominated combinations of policy for South Australia (lower) and Western Australia (upper). The Western Australian frontier lies further within the optimal space – more efficient solutions are able to be achieved due to higher observed uptake of measures at lower rebate levels compared to the observed South Australian program. The two horizontal lines represent estimates of the long-run marginal cost of supply – that is, the levelised cost associated with the next possible expansion in supply – in Western Australia ($1.08/kL) and South Australia ($2.40/ kL). Points on the Pareto frontier that lie below these lines represent policy configurations that would induce sufficient uptake in order to deliver water savings lower than the cost of supply expansion. The intersection of the curved Pareto frontier and the horizontal lines of longrun marginal cost represent economically efficient and Pareto-optimal solutions. For South Australia, this corresponds to rebate policy, which applies rebates of half of the retail cost to indoor appliances and pool covers, delivering a program cost of $101.3m and an estimated water saving of 42.55GL for a 10-year period. Applying an optimisation algorithm that evaluates the entire Pareto front in one run facilitates posterior articulation of preferences from policymakers. They are able to identify the various configurations of policy that are able to meet objectives at either constrained budgets or for target water savings. On this chart we also model reference points of past Western Australian and South Australian programs. These correlate to the water savings and cost that could have occurred given the actual numbers of uptake, evaluated with our water savings dataset and cost model. These reference points exclude the water savings achieved by, and costs incurred from, measures our demonstration did not include due to lack of data, but which were part of the programs – e.g. garden measures, groundwater bores, etc. This allows for a ‘like-for-like’ comparison.

54 AUGUST 2012 water

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Immediately evident on this chart is the fact that these two reference points lie within the dominated area of the Pareto curve. The horizontal distance at which these points lie above the curve, multiplied by the water savings achieved, represents the potential cost savings that could have been realised if rebate choices and prices were optimally formulated. For South Australia, this represents removing rebates for 1000L tanks, reducing the rebate incentive for washing machines and most tank rebate options, and increasing the rebate incentive for showerheads and pool covers to $60 and $300 respectively.

Conclusion This research develops and demonstrates a new framework for Australian and international policymakers to formulate optimal rebate policies for water-saving measures to reduce household water consumption. Multi-objective genetic algorithm optimisation techniques were successfully applied for the first time in this context to allow policymakers to develop a Pareto-efficient frontier of optimal policy mixes. A review of historical rebate programs produces new knowledge about the drivers and expected response of Australian consumers to rebate programs. Applying behavioural end-use stochastic simulation, this research demonstrates a new method of estimating water savings from retrofit and rainwater tank installation measures. Through the application of a formal optimisation framework, our results demonstrate that improved economic and environmental outcomes can be achieved. Current methods of evaluating program success – through ex-post economic analysis – are plagued, as they are retrospective and often rely on poor or exaggerated water savings estimates. Least-cost planning methods that identify the levelised cost of measures in isolation are useful only to formulate policy when budgets are unconstrained. Our framework improves on both through ex-ante estimation of yield and cost with an uptake model, improved estimates of water savings and consideration of measures in combination. This paper won the Undergraduate Water Prize at Ozwater’12 in May.

Acknowledgements The Authors wish to acknowledge Professor Graeme Dandy and Dr Mark Thyer from the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide for their research supervision and support.

The Authors

Augusta Lane, Ronnie Ling, Catriona Murphy (email: catriona.murphy@ smec.com) and Ian Usher graduated with degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Adelaide in 2011. Catriona and Ian are Graduate Water Engineers at SMEC and GHD Adelaide respectively. Augusta is completing a Bachelor of Science in Geology and will next year start as an engineer with SKM Adelaide. Ronnie is completing a Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering and will join ExxonMobil in Melbourne in 2013.

References Barton A (2003): Investigation into the Characteristics of Residential Water Use In Adelaide, In: Association, AW (ed.) AWA SA Branch Regional Conference. Adelaide, SA. Breen P, Coleman J, Deletic A, Duncan H, Fletcher T, Gerhart T, Grant A, Holt P, Inman M, Maheepala S, Mitchell G, Sharma AK, Stewart J, Rahilly M & Vieritz A (2006): Integrated Urban Water Modelling Review Stage 2 Report In: CRC, E. (ed.). Australia. Coombes PJ & Kuczera G (2003): Analysis of the Performance of Rainwater Tanks in Australian Capital Cities. 28th International Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Wollongong NSW: The Institution of Engineers, Australia. Deb K, Pratap A, Agarwal S & Meyarivan T (2002): A Fast and Elitist Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm: NSGA-II. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, Vol 6. Gillingham K (2009): Economic efficiency of solar hot water policy in New Zealand. Energy Policy, 37, pp 3336–3347. Loh M & Coghlan P (2003): Domestic Water Use Study. In: CORPORATION, W (ed). Millock K & Nauges C (2010): Household Adoption of Water-Efficient Equipment: The Role of SocioEconomic Factors, Environmental Attitudes and Policy. Environmental & Resource Economics. Olmstead SM & Stavins R (2008): Comparing price and non-price approaches to urban water conservation. Harvard University. Roberts P (2005): Residential End Use Measurement Study – Final Report. Yarra Valley Water. Savic DA, Bicik J & Morley MS (2011): A DSS generator for multiobjective optimisation of spreadsheet-based models. Environmental Modelling Software, 26, pp 551–561. Thyer M, Micevski T, Kuczera G & Coombes P (2011): A Behavioural Approach to Stochastic End Use Modelling. Presented at Ozwater’11, Adelaide, SA. White SB & Fane SA (2002): Designing Cost Effective Water Demand Management Programs in Australia. Water Science and Technology, Vol 46 (6–7), pp 225–232.

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Comparing international water regulations

What future ADWG revisions may be anticipated? A Mofidi, P Hillis, J Evans

Abstract The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) directs efforts expended by Australian utilities to provide safe, reliable water. It provides guidance in determining the health of supplies, proper treatment for purification and potable needs, and maintenance of water quality through regional and council reticulation schemes. It is also a living document, as evidenced by the recently published revision (NHMRC, NRMMC 2011). Future ADWG revisions are expected to follow patterns similar to other governmental and international guidance and regulatory documents. This manuscript investigates evolutionary changes to non-Australian regulatory practices to help provide an assessment of ADWG’s future, and what utilities can do to prepare.

Introduction The American Water Works Association (AWWA) was formed in 1881 following the practice of water chlorination in Chicago (Ericson, 1918), Toronto (Adams, 1915) and New Jersey (Baker, 1948), which reduced typhoid fever by more than 95%. Drinking water regulation came soon afterwards, at the time when germ theory was in its infancy. Discoveries linking disease spread via drinking water (Snow, 1855) and functions of basic biological processes (Pasteur, 1939) directly impacted the drinking water profession to protect public health. By discovering these connections in waterborne illness, advances in quantifying doseresponse kinetics of many disinfectants (Chick, 1908) and government regulation followed. Regulation quickly became a way to disseminate best practices. It is arguable that these and other advances in water treatment have led to increased public health and overall world population numbers. Figure 1 shows scientific advances in the past 400 years, along with a 10-fold increase in world population (USEPA, 1999; USCB, 2011; ACC, 2012). Although other advances, such as in sanitary engineering, have supported increased population, the availability of safe drinking water is thought of as saving and improving more lives than physicians. Drinking

Figure 1. World population and historical drinking water treatment markers. water quality has, therefore, been and is expected to continue to be, a highly regulated area. Since the early 1900s, a link has been established between science and technology and development of government regulation and guidance for drinking water quality and treatment. This link is exemplified by the regulatory environment in various jurisdictions across the globe. This section reviews various regulatory and water quality histories.

workshops and conferences discussing water treatment and disinfection practices as well as a public voice in regards to drinking water safety. AWWA advocated passage of the very first US drinking water regulation banning use of common drinking water cups aboard interstate train service (Hoffbuhr, 2006). In general, Health Canada embraces US regulation, making slight changes before transitioning it to provincial law and guidance. Therefore, for the purposes of brevity, only US standards are presented here. A list of significant historical impacts on the US drinking water industry is presented in Table 1. By the mid1900s, drinking water regulation was commonplace with US reticulation systems. These systems were also

Table 1. Historical regulatory-related events in the US drinking water industry. Year

Purpose or Impact of Regulation


Interstate Quarantine Act (IQA) (USPHS*)


Banned common water cups on trains**


<2 coliform/100 ml on trains**


Water softening (lead, copper, zinc) and <1 coliform/100ml for municipalities

Regulations Background


Increased bacteria monitoring requirements

North America


The first US city to pump surface water through distribution pipes was the City of Philadelphia in 1799. By 1860, there were more than 400 water systems, with that number surpassing 3,000 by 1900. AWWA was formed by 22 water treatment professionals and quickly grew to be a technical communication platform for drinking water in the US and Canada. The impetus for an AWWA was based upon correlations between chlorinated reticulation systems and improved public health. AWWA has since been the North American venue for


Monitoring for various chemicals †


Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (USEPA) Standards for systems >25 persons become legally binding

1975†† Disinfection by-products (trihalomethanes) 1986, 1989

The Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR) (USEPA, 1989): Filtration, long-term health goals & maximum contaminant levels (MCLs)


Yearly average DBPs across retic system, treatment techniques required for enhanced removal of organics/DBP precursors.


Increased pathogen removal, inactivation


Yearly average DBPs at worst-case locations


Cryptosporidium treatment regulation put in place due to massive 1993 outbreak.


IQA formed the US Public Health Service (USPHS).

** This was later extended to buses and planes. †

SDWA formed the USEPA.

Disinfection by-product (DBP) regulations were amended †† with increased stringency in 1976, 1979 and 1980.


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governance regularly sampled for bacterial contamination by 1946. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) formed in 1970 and brought the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Regulation for contaminants started first in 1962 for constituents such as copper, lead, phenols, silver and turbidity. The regulation of constituents was a legallybinding requirement, supported by

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non-binding guidance documents describing recommended disinfection and filtration practices. Since SDWA passage in 1974, there has been a three-fold increase in the number of contaminants regulated. All water systems are required to collect, test and report sample results to state agencies, which determine if utilities are in compliance. Three types of violations

Table 2. Select waterborne illnesses recorded in North America following SDWA implementation*. Year



Number Affected*


New York




New Hampshire





Giardia (?)















Puerto Rico





E. coli 0157

243; 4(D)


Puerto Rico








Ontario †






650; 7(D)




403,000; >100(D)


Br. Columbia †

T. gondii



Br. Columbia †


4,000**; 2,000**


Ontario †

E. coli 0157

2,500; 7 (D)





* Karanis et al., 2007; Hrudey, 2006 ** Separate outbreaks † Canadian Province D = Number of reported deaths

Table 3. Historical regulatory-related events in the UK drinking water industry. Year

Purpose or Impact of Regulation


London’s first water quality regulator appointed for raw and filtered water


Water Resources Board to collect data and conduct supply research on water sources


Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution to advise Queen, Parliament, and public on environmental matters


First European Drinking Water Directive (DWD) adopted 1980. Member states adopt by 1982 and mandatory compliance by 1985


Microbial, DBP and plumbosolvency regulations in the 1980 DWD


DOE suggests privatisation of water industry


Privatisation of water and sewerage companies and Cryptosporidium monitoring.


Supplying water sufficient for domestic use at sufficient pressure, which is also wholesome


Updated chemical constituents and long-term health protection, absolute maximum THM value (rather than a 3-month rolling average)


DWI 2004 updated sampling requirements and reporting

56 AUGUST 2012 water

include exceedance of an MCL (MCLs are typically set at an EPA-defined “de minimis” risk level of 10-6, one increased cancer out of 1,000,000 average persons across a 70-year period), a treatment technique violation (e.g., not disinfecting), and a monitoring/reporting violation (e.g., not sampling or testing when required). MCLs include both primary (enforceable) and secondary (non-enforceable) standards. Primary standards include constituents of health concern such as disinfection by-products (DBPs), while secondary standards include parameters such as odour, pH and dissolved solids. Violations require public notification and may include the levy of fines and even legal action. All data collected helps USEPA determine if new or revised regulations are required in the future. With the increased number of contaminants regulated by the SDWA, there still were many large-scale outbreaks of waterborne illness documented in both US states and Canadian provinces. Table 2 provides a partial listing of these outbreaks, illustrating that utilities must remain diligent in protecting the public from acute illness due to waterborne bacteriological pathogens (USEPA, 1999; Karanis et al., 2007). The SDWA (covering 83 regulated compounds) was amended in 1986, with the requirements for EPA to: regulate 25 additional contaminants every three years; require filtration of all surface water supplies; require “unregulated” contaminant monitoring every five years; specify best treatment technologies for each contaminant; and, develop water quality protection programs. To help protect against disease spread by microbiological constituents such as those listed in Table 2, post-SDWA regulations included the Total Coliform Rule (TCR) and the SWTR (USEPA, 1989). The TCR requires that, out of the total number of water system coliform samples taken, >95% must be coliform negative. The SWTR (and its amendments) set summed removal and inactivation requirements of 99.9% (3-log10), 99.99% (4-log10), and up to 99.999% (5-log10) for Giardia, virus and Cryptosporidium respectively. Cryptosporidium is regulated in Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule Amendments, primarily enacted due to the severity of the 1993 cryptosporidiosis outbreak, which made more than 400,000 people sick and caused the death of more than 100 individuals. Post-SDWA regulation also makes it mandatory for a secondary disinfectant residual to be measurable at the furthest reaches of a reticulation system.

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EPA regulates new contaminants if approved analytical methods are available and occurrence data exist (from unregulated contaminant monitoring), showing the contaminant is present in drinking water sources and/or systems.

United Kingdom Table 3 outlines changing regulation in the UK. Following London’s cholera outbreaks and the work by John Snow and others in identifying water as a carrier of disease, efforts began to curtail the discharge of sewage into the Thames river, London’s primary source of drinking water. The Metropolitan Board of Works was formed in 1855, but work to improve conditions was slow until “The Great Stink” of 1858. This event – which brought overwhelming sewage odours from the Thames through London – was severe enough to adjourn Houses of Parliament, causing sanitary engineering projects to progress (Hansen, 2012). There are many parallels between the North American and UK regulatory environments, such as pollution control in the late 20th century. The 1974 Control of Pollution Act (COPA) gave authority to water purveyors to protect water bodies. The first Drinking Water Directive (DWD) for water quality was issued in 1975, was adopted in 1980, and mandatory for compliance in 1985. Example compliance in England and Wales was overseen by the Department of Environment (DoE), indicating drinking water must be ‘wholesome’ and meet the 1974 Act. The UK started efforts to privatise the water industry with the belief that it would increase efficiency. This led to the 1989 Water Act privatisation provisions (government control remained for water quality and pricing regulation). 1989 provisions also regulated Cryptosporidium, which remained a cause of significant waterborne disease as shown in Table 4. Regardless of purveyor privatisation and several European water quality regulations that were in place, compliance remained somewhat of a mystery. There remained concerns about drinking water contamination and there was no consistent verification or formal assessments of reporting and whether standards were being met. To battle this problem, the DOE created the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) office in 1990. The DWI is independent of policy officials, with the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water able to enforce drinking water quality standards and initiate prosecution in the case of a criminal offence. The DWI enforces regulations on 46 parameters listed in the Drinking Water Directive (DWD)

and 11 additional national standards. The first year of monitoring showed 99% compliance, and a follow-up review in 2003 showed a 99.9% compliance, partially due to the abandonment of small/old water treatment works. Regardless of the increased regulation and the power to enforce it, there were 25 recorded waterborne cryptosporidiosis outbreaks in the UK between 1988 and 1998, including events that occurred without treatment works upsets.

Table 4. Select waterborne illnesses recorded in Europe/UK following first DWD implementation*. Year



Number Affected


Cobham, UK




Sheffield, UK




Salen, Sweden




Ayrshire, UK




Oxfordshire, UK




Loch Lomond, UK




Nth Humberside, UK




Warrington, UK




Oxford, UK




Torbay, UK




Lyon, France




Hertfordshire, UK




London, UK




NW England




Rengsdorf, Germany




Belfast, Ireland




Belfast, Ireland



2001 Dracy le Fort, France Cryptosporidium 563 These events * Karanis et al., 2007; Furtado et al., 2008 supported improved ** Actual number unknown, but expected to be much greater levels of treatment at many sites (such as New Zealand membrane filtration), the release of ‘boil water’ notifications The New Zealand Health Act of 1956 based on ‘trigger’ events prior to required all water purveyors to ensure positive Cryptosporidium identification, their water is safe to drink. Approximately and reduced turnaround times on one half-century later, it gave powers to monitoring samples (May, 2007). the Ministry of Health to establish and enforce drinking water standards and was World Health Organization fully amended in 2007. It requires water In the 1950s, the World Health purveyors to implement Public Health Risk Organization (WHO) performed a memberManagement Plans (PHRMPs) as a guide state query as to their independent levels for safe drinking water management and of acceptable water treatment and quality. includes the Drinking Water Standards for This was done primarily to help protect the New Zealand (DWSNZ). significant increase in the number of world

travellers and led to the first International Standards for Drinking-Water (WHO, 1958). These standards were first used by ports and airports but then became a worldwidereference of the basis for improved water quality. The standards were revised in 1963 and 1971 and replaced by WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality (GDWQ) in 1984. The most recent 4th edition revision was published last year (WHO, 2011). The switch to guidelines was to encourage member states to use it for development of national standards. Guideline values for non-microbial constituents were determined based on the anticipated diagnosis of one additional cancer per 100,000 population (10-5) ingesting water with the compound over a period of 70 years.

Current maximum acceptable value (MAV) levels (for non-microbial compounds) are primarily based upon (WHO) guidelines, but the EPA’s Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2) was also referenced for the latest revisions. Most reported waterborne-related disease outbreaks in New Zealand are tied to exposures during swimming, and not drinking water (Table 5). This may be due to several factors ranging from source water protection and/or lack of mammalian carriers of protozoa near surface water reservoirs, differences in monitoring and reporting of illness, and differences in treatment and distribution of drinking water.


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Table 5. Select waterborne illnesses recorded in New Zealand. Year



Number Affected


Bay of Plenty & Manawatu



Karanis et al., 2007

Table 6. Select waterborne illnesses recorded in Australia since the first ADWG publication*. Cause

Number Affected

Sunbury, Diggers, Rest & Bulla*



In central Queensland †

Salmonella Saintpaul


Salmonella Saintpaul




1987 1999 2005

A rural town in Queensland


* Kirk et al., 1999 † Taylor et al., 2000 †† Dale et al., 2010

Australia The protection of drinking water in Australia comes under the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (NHMRC, NRMMC 2011), recently updated with version 6 (2011). The ADWG is a descendant of national Australian guidelines published in 1972 (Desirable Standards for Public Water Supplies in Australian Capital Cities) and updated in 1975, 1977, 1980, 1987, & 1996. The latest revisions include collaboration with water quality management agencies and government health authorities, and are a strong link to the requirements outlined in the WHO GDWQ. The ADWG provides a proactive approach to water supply management, encourages multiple barriers to protect/ improve water quality, and is set upon principles that waterborne pathogenesis is the greatest consumer risk; maintenance of robust, multiple protective barriers is required; operations standards must be kept in place to rapidly respond to system changes and/or complaints; and, an overall risk management approach is required to ensure safe drinking water. As a difference from North American and (to some extent) New Zealand standards, ADWG guidelines are not mandatory, but do lead towards specific monitoring requirements for utilities. ADWG 2011 revisions impart requirements for developing a ‘Framework for Drinking Water Quality Management’ and incorporate guidance for utilities to implement their Water Safety Plans. Utilities then work with their states and territories in order to develop these plans. For example in Queensland, the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) approves a purveyor’s Drinking Water Quality Management Plan (DWQMP).

58 AUGUST 2012 water

These DWQMPs take into account risks and hazards for individual water suppliers. Constituents outlined in DWQMPs are what the purveyor then needs to monitor. Based upon waterborne illness records summarised in Table 6, there are very few reportable incidents in Australia. This table shows similarities to New Zealand in that the majority of events occur in recreational areas (not listed) and not via drinking water (Dale et al., 2010). Table 7 provides some insight into a few differences between ADWG and USEPA requirements for several DBPs and DBP precursor monitoring. Although ADWG has close links to WHO GDWQ requirements (10-5 cancer risk level [CRL] vs USEPA’s more stringent 10-6 CRL), ADWG is more strict on some compounds. This includes cyanogen chloride (0.08mg/L ADWG vs 0.200 USEPA), NDMA (0.0001mg/L ADWG vs no USEPA regulation and a 0.0003mg/L response level set by California), and formaldehyde (0.5mg/L in the ADWG with no regulation set by USEPA. The largest differences seem to be in the acetic acids and trihalomethanes where ADWG regulates individually and USEPA assigns more stringent summed requirements. Accordingly, the ADWG closely follows international moves toward illness prevention. This seemingly results in very few recorded waterborne illness outbreaks. ADWG does address the importance of regulating against some constituents, which may lead to more long-term chronic illness (i.e., some individual trihalomethanes). However, it is not as stringent as the USEPA, which regulates summed levels of THMs and haloacetic acids and also regulates by requiring treatment techniques where

certain water qualities dictate. Treatment techniques are a more proactive direction to utilities to monitor for raw water organics and implement treatment that would reduce organics loading where water quality so requires. This proactive effort helps utilities reduce DBP loading and distribution system problems such as disinfectant loss, bacterial regrowth, and nitrification problems. The water quality management strategy that guides the ADWG is set upon some specific guiding principles. These include protecting consumers against pathogens, maintaining multiple treatment barriers, applying a risk management approach to ensure water quality, and instilling a sense of personal responsibility and dedication to system operators and managers. This marks the key difference in the ADWG with respect to other regulations: increased reliance upon the expertise of states, territories and individual system managers.

Future ADWG Revisions The ADWG promotes a safe and healthy drinking water supply system and Australian utilities consistently supply safe, reliable water. However, drinking water regulations in all regions of the world – as well as Australia – are ‘living’ documents and change with time. Likely, the only certainty in future revisions of the ADWG is that stringency will not be reduced. However, the above historical summary of other regions and regulatory agencies does provide insight into what may change.

Scientific advances in contaminant detection Evolving chemistry can now detect parts-per-trillion (nanograms per litre, ng/l) levels. Because ng/l levels of contaminants such as n-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) can impact chronic health at the 10-6 CRL, California state issued a public health goal of 3ng/l, becoming more stringent than EPA. As ADWG focuses on both quality and scientific evidence for changing stringency in regulation, it is not likely that improved analytical methods would result in increased stringency of regulation. However, coupled with improved health effects research and the detection of additional compounds, it is hard to tell what the regulatory results may be. A possible result of advancing science: Regulation of more constituents.

Engineering advances, morbidity and mortality The digital age has brought split-

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second process monitoring and control capabilities. Speed-of-light ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection can be monitored; computational fluid dynamics (CFD) helps optimise treatment controls; and instrumentation allows rapid response to treatment upsets. Treatment is being reduced from days/hours of chlorination, to minutes of ozonation, to a split-second of UV. Because of these trends, USEPA regulations continually push US utilities to install advanced operations and treatment technologies to meet increasingly stringent requirements. The challenge in water treatment and the protection of water quality is that there are no absolute barriers to pathogens for large-scale, regional distribution of piped water. As the world population grows and healthcare improvements allow for populations of the aged and various other immunocompromised to grow, there may be increased sensitivity to low levels of pathogenic organisms in drinking water. The result of the increased capabilities of treatment technologies coupled with continued possiblity of acute waterborne disease outbreaks: Imposed regulation for treatment techniques for improved removal and/or inactivation of pathogens.

Epidemiological Health effects research is identifying increasing numbers of chemicals – both prolific in our environment and formed through chemical reactions during water treatment – that negatively impact public health. New studies are increasingly being used to develop an ever-changing contaminant candidate list (CCL) for compounds that should be regulated to their ‘de minimus’ cancer risk level. Ongoing work in epidemiology will also be aided by advances in science that allow laboratories to more easily detect these compounds. The result may be: Increased number of compounds to be regulated, as well as the potential for imposed treatment techniques to remove greater amounts of natural organic matter in order to reduce DBP formation.

Consumer expectations and confidence One of the most unpredictable and variable impacts on regulation may be consumer confidence and expectations. An example of how consumer confidence could rapidly change includes the July 1998 detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in Sydney-area source water (Sinclair et al., 1998). This led to Sydney water being labelled as unsafe in July, then again in August. Although there were no illnesses recorded, a ‘boil water’ notice was issued.

Table 7. Comparing ADWG and USEPA disinfection by-product requirements. Disinfection By-Product (DBP)

Disinfectant Responsible

2011 ADWG Value mg/l


Ozone (O3),+




Chlorine dioxide (ClO2),+







Halogenated acetic acids * Chloroacetic acid


Dichloroacetic acid


Summed Value Less than 0.030 or 0.060

Trichloroacetic acid Chlorophenols 2-chlorophenol

Chlorine (Cl2) and Chloramines (NH2Cl)

0.1 0.3





Cyanogen chloride **

2011 USEPA Value mg/l




O3, Cl2, ClO2






Total organic carbon

Precursor #




Cl2, NH2Cl



Trihalomethanes (sum total)

Cl2, NH2Cl



Specific UV absorbance (SUVA)

Precursor #


2 L/mg-m

Formaldehyde n-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)

NV No value set for regulation or guidance at this time. CCL Not currently regulated by USEPA, but on the Contaminant Candidate List 3 (CCL3) for potential future regulation. +

These compounds are DBPs and they are formed during the production and storage of bulk liquid chlorine.

CA State of California (US) has certain requirements that are more stringent than USEPA regulations, which include the following: - NDMA public health goal = 0.000003mg/l = 3 nanograms per litre, ng/l (the 10-6 CRL) - NDMA notification level = 0.00001mg/l - NDMA response level = 0.0003mg/l (level where source should be removed from service, 10-4 CRL) - Chlorate notification level = 0.8mg/l - SUVA Specific ultraviolet (UV) absorbance = Water absorbance of UV light at a wavelength of 254 nanometres, nm (UV254), divided by the total dissolved organic carbon (DOC). tt A treatment technique is in place that requires a certain percentage removal of either total organic carbon (TOC), which is based on the measured ratios of alkalinity and TOC, or the calculated SUVA (if SUVA is >2.0 L/mg-m). The purpose of this treatment technique is to reduce the formation potential of DBPs and aid in protection of the retic system. * USEPA does not regulate acetic acids separately, but combines several into a sum of five, which includes dichloro-, trichloro-, monochloro-, bromo- and dibromo- (acetic acid). USEPA is in the process of evaluating the risk of several additional acetic acids and including them into the current summed regulation. **

ADWG lists “as cyanide” while USEPA lists “as free cyanide”.

# SUVA and TOC are not DBPs, but they measure precursors that directly impact DBP formation during chemical disinfection. ## Most utilities are required to meet the 0.08/0.06 mg/l guidelines (THM/acetic acids species respectively); however, certain conditions do require the sum of each total to be less than 0.04/0.03 mg/l (for total THMs/acetic acids, respectively).

If consumers perceive tap water is not safe to drink, customer confidence will need support either from regulation or self-directed utilty programs. One challenge with the ADWG and WQMP dynamic is that self-directed utility research is not rewarded. Instead, utilities that conduct extra sampling and/or research may actually be ‘rewarded’ with increased regulation depending on their findings. This is a barrier to utilities’ ability to conduct research and

development, proactively increasing consumer confidence. If it were, instead, an environment that encourages innovation, consumer confidence could be kept in check while other benefits such as increased treatment efficiency and decreased operating cost may be realised. If consumer confidence decreases: The regulatory environment may change, becoming increasingly stringent.


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Table 8. Percentage association of recorded drinking water disease outbreaks with population. Region

Population (Millions)

Outbreak Percentage**

North America






Australia & New Zealand

25 †


* World Bank (www.data.worldbank.org) ** Karanis et al., 2007 † Australian Bureau of Statistics (www.abs.gov.au)

Increased stringency = increased monitoring? If ADWG stringency increases, it may lead to prescribed increases in water quality sampling both in source and treated waters. An example of this is in North America, where mandatory data collection for all regulated parameters – as well as several unregulated contaminants – drives future regulation. Karanis et al. (2007) documented a total of 325 global outbreaks associated with waterborne transmission of pathogenic protozoa. Distribution of these events, shown in Table 8, found 60% occurred in North America, 33% in the UK, and 2% in Australia and New Zealand. One possibility of the increased morbidity in North America and the UK has been theorised as related to their increased level of required monitoring. Will increased monitoring in Australia l ead to a perception of decreased quality?

Conclusion Based on population growth and historical drinking water perspectives from other regions around the world, it is possible that the drinking water regulatory environment in Australia will change. Future ADWG

revisions may become more stringent, even with the balance of public health protection placed upon states, territories and individual systems. Increased stringency may include: 1.

Regulation of increasing numbers of constituents;


Imposed treatment techniques for the improved removal and/or inactivation of pathogens;


Imposed treatment techniques for the removal of natural organic matter to reduce DBPs; and,


Increased water quality data monitoring.

It is possible that increased stringency may not be realised in the future ADWG. Australia is not as densely populated as many other parts of the world and consumers have been well protected by water treatment provided by Australian utilities. Regardless of reaching this outcome, one adage of the ADWG’s founding principles should ring true: “System operators must maintain a personal sense of responsibility and dedication to providing consumers with safe water…” ADWG 1-3 Based upon this call to action, it is important to continually strive to

improve and protect public health. In order to either meet increased stringency or to proactively implement improvements that increase water quality or enhance treatment, planning is a must. Figure 2 provides an example of roadmap methodology that can be used to monitor drivers for change, fully develop the objectives needed to meet those drivers, and implement new water quality strategies, programs and projects that will meet whatever regulatory timeline exists. Australian utilities, working with state or territorial regulatory agencies, should be free to implement investigative programs. These programs should not be for the purpose of increasing DWQMP stringency, but allow utilities to better understand their systems, better quantify risks, and provide insight into how system improvements can be made to result in increased ease of operations, decreased costs, and a better understanding of water quality and treatment. Utilities will develop a better knowledge base of needs, goals and directives/outcomes by this healthy investigation and sharing of information. This paper was originally presented at Ozwater’12 in May.

the Authors Alex Mofidi (email: Alexander.Mofidi@aecom. com) is Associate Director for Water Treatment in AECOM’s Brisbane, Queensland office. He specialises in global drinking water quality and treatment optimisation and has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings on related topics. He was previously a utility water quality manager in California, overseeing more than 2,000 MLD of treatment. Peter Hillis (email: Peter.Hillis@aecom.com) joined AECOM in 2011 as Technical Director for Water Treatment, specialising in water treatment process design, membrane technology for water and wastewater treatment, research and development, and pilot plant investigations. Peter is based out of AECOM’s Melbourne, Victoria office, but operates across the Australia and New Zealand region, and supports AECOM’s global water treatment practice.

Figure 2. Example guideline for developing water quality strategies, programs and projects in response to a changing regulatory environment.

60 AUGUST 2012 water

James Evans (email: james.evans@ aecom.com) is a Graduate Engineer in AECOM’s Brisbane, Queensland office.

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References (ACC) American Chemistry Council (2012): A public health giant step: Chlorination of US Drinking Water. Water Quality & Health, Jan. WQ&H Council, Chlorine Chemistry Division, Washington, DC. Adams F (1915): Water chlorination experiences at Toronto, Canada. American Journal of Public Health, Vol 8, September 7, New York, NY, pp 867–869. Baker MN (1948): The quest for pure water: The history of water purification from the earliest records to the twentieth century. American Water Works Association, Denver, Colorado. Chick H (1908): An investigation of the laws of disinfection. Journal of Hygiene (8:1). GHF Nuttall, Ed. Cambridge University Press, London. Dale K, Kirk M, Sinclair M, Hall R, Leder K (2010): Reported waterborne outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease in Australia are predominantly associated with recreational exposure. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34, pp 527–530. Ericson J (1918): Chlorination of Chicago’s water supply. American Journal of Public Health, Vol 10, December 9, New York, NY, pp 772–775. Furtado C, Adak GK, Stuart JM, Wall PG, Evans HS, Casemore DP (2008): Outbreaks of waterborne infectious intestinal disease in England and Wales, 1992–95. Epidemiology & Infection, 121, 1, pp 109–119.

Hansen RD (2012): Water-related infrastructure in medieval London. International Water History Association (www.iwha.ewu.edu).

Pasteur V-R (1939): Works of Pasteur. Masson ET, Ed. Libraires de L’académie de Médecine. Saint-Germain, Paris.

Hoffbuhr JW (2006): 125 Years – Fulfilling the mission. Journal American Water Works Association, 98, 3, pp 8–14. Denver, Colorado.

Sinclair MI, Fairley CK & Hellard ME (1998): Protozoa in drinking water: is legislation the best answer? Medical Journal of Australia, 169, pp 296–297.

Hrudey SE (2006): Fatal disease outbreak from contaminated drinking water in Walkerton, Canada. Case Studies Compilation, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. Karanis P, Kourenti C & Smith H (2007): Waterborne transmission of protozoan parasites: A worldwide review of outbreaks and lessons learnt. Journal of Water and Health, 05, 1. Kirk M, Rouch G, Veitch M (1999): What happens in an outbreak of waterborne disease? An historical look at the Sunbury gastroenteritis outbreak. Proceedings of the Australian Water and Wastewater 18th Federal Convention, Adelaide. April 11–14. May A (2007): An assessment of the impact of regulatory models for drinking water quality in the UK. Thesis presented to the School of Engineering, University of Surrey. NHMRC, NRMMC (2011): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Paper 6, National Water Quality Management Strategy. National Health and Medical Research Council, National Resource Management Ministerial Council, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Snow J (1855): On the mode of communication of cholera. John Churchill, New Burlington Street. London. 2nd Ed. Taylor R, Sloan D, Cooper T, Morton B & Hunter I (2000): A waterborne outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul. Communications in Disease Intelligence, 24, pp 336–340. (USCB) United States Census Bureau (2011): International Programs Database. (www. census.gov/population). (USEPA) United States Environmental Protection Agency (1989): National primary drinking water regulations for filtration, disinfection, turbidity, Giardia lamblia, viruses, legionella, and heterotrophic bacteria – Final Rule. Federal Register 40 CFR 141,142. V54, N124. June 28. USEPA (1999): 25 Years of the Safe Drinking Water Act: History and trends. Office of Water. EPA816-R-99-007. (WHO) World Health Organization (1958): International Standards for Drinking-water. Geneva, Switzerland. WHO (2011): Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. 4th Ed. Geneva, Switzerland.


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A survey of attitudes of our sustainability water policy entrepreneurs G Keremane, J McKay, Z Wu Abstract Water governance structures in Australia have undergone notable transformation as a result of two phases of reforms – the 1994 COAG reforms and the 2004 National Water Initiative (NWI). While the COAG reforms directed all states to achieve Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD), the NWI sets out goals to achieve ESD; and the means used to achieve ESD has been the statutory water plans. Accordingly, this study conducted an internet survey of 23 water planners all over Australia who, essentially, are sustainability water policy entrepreneurs by statute. This paper is based on this study and begins with a brief literature review on sustainability water policy entrepreneurs, followed by the actual findings. The results indicate there was a general preference for a federal system of water governance; but respondents particularly favoured state governments for water allocation and planning. There was agreement among the planners that a statutory water plan was the right way to achieving ESD and there were conflicts over water plans in their region.

Introduction Water management in Australia is a complex process that falls within the power of the states; the governance arrangements are complex, with over 14 different types of legal forms of water supply businesses (McKay, 2007a). Furthermore, the Council of Australian Government (COAG) reforms in 1994 and the National Water Initiative (NWI) in 2004 have resulted in notable transformation of the water governance structures. As a result, all Australian states have been directed to achieve Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD). Consequently, all state governments in Australia have enacted comprehensive water legislation to ensure sustainable use of the limited water resources. One of the key elements of such water legislation is the preparation and adoption of water allocation plans (Preston, 2008). Therefore, this study chose to conduct

62 AUGUST 2012 water

an internet survey of water planners to understand their perception about water governance in general – but particularly their views on federalism in Australian water management, achieving ESD and conflicts over water allocation. The people who participated in this survey have been cast in the role of drafting the water allocation plans corresponding to their regions in order to accommodate and fulfil the legal requirements to achieve ESD, which was introduced in 1992 in the form of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment, 1992 and the related National Strategy on Ecologically Sustainable Development (McKay, 2010). Later, in 1994, the COAG reforms endorsed a framework for water industry reforms and required that each state insert an ESD objective into several policy areas including water; and the states were required to produce water plans for regions and reduce allocations to achieve ESD (McKay and Marsden, 2009). Hence, the people we interviewed have been made sustainability policy entrepreneurs by statute.

The Concept of Sustainability Water Policy Entrepreneurs The terms ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ have been appearing in the public policy and management literatures since the 1960s and have been described in many different ways – policy entrepreneurs, political entrepreneurs, bureaucratic entrepreneurs (Roberts and King, 1989); change agents, policy advocates, visionary leaders (Huitema and Meijerink, 2009; Huitema, Lebel and Meijerink, 2011). In the present context they can be classified as bureaucratic policy entrepreneurs – ‘unelected bureaucrats who regularly influence the implementation of public policies and play an important role in shaping policy agendas and in formulating new policy’ (Teske and Schneider, 1994, p. 331). In other words water planners are high profile appointed officials promoting a particular public policy (Howard, 2001) and, in some cases, even compensating

for a lack of interest in a policy issue on the part of elected representatives (Teske and Schneider, 1994). However, this study called them sustainability water policy entrepreneurs because they are people who have adopted the sustainable development philosophy placed in all Australian water and other natural resource laws since 1992 (NWC, 2004; McKay, 2005) and they have been made sustainability policy entrepreneurs by statute. Sustainability water policy entrepreneurs in Australia can be grouped into two classifications (McKay, 2010): (1) informal entrepreneurs – people who go beyond their job to really unite the region and its communities of water users; and (2) formal court-based officers who again go beyond their normal duties. This paper focuses on the first group and, based on the course of observations of water planning processes across Australia, they can be classified as: public servants – local regional level often in local government; public servants – state-based in the capital city some way from the region; public servants – Commonwealth; members of industry or commodity groups or water user entrepreneurs are another group. Yet another are members of environmental groups called altruist entrepreneurs. However, the emphasis here is on water planners who are sustainability water policy entrepreneurs.

Method This study conducted an internet survey of 23 key water planners in most Australian states and territories. The water planners were selected as expert professionals involved in the planning process in various water management authorities around the country. All the respondents had years of experience in the public sector and held senior positions in their organisation/department, such as Director, Policy and Planning; Senior Policy Officer/Senior Water Planning Officer; Manager, Water Planning; and had one or more university or post-graduation degrees in environmental science, hydrology, law and geography, water science and business administration.

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All were involved in the preparation and adoption of water allocation plans in their regions and had close links with the local communities established through sufficient community involvement in the water planning process. Initial contact with the respondents was established by a snowballing exercise and thorough desk research; a list of 40 potential respondents was generated and these were contacted by telephone and/or email to check their availability and interest to participate in the study. This exercise was time-consuming, and getting the list of people involved in water planning was challenging, reflected by the relatively low number of final respondents (Table 1). This was mostly because people who were initially involved had either changed their work location (e.g. interdepartmental moves) or work type (from policy to service delivery) as a result of the Australian Public Sector (APS) reforms (Moran, 2010).

Findings and Discussions As mentioned earlier, this study wanted to understand water planners’ perception about water governance, their views on federalism in Australian water management, achieving ESD and conflicts over water allocation. Therefore, the survey included a mix of question types related to these issues.

Water governance and sustainable water resource management Governance of water resources is a longterm, complex affair in which many actors (governments, large businesses, political parties, civil societies, international agencies) at many different levels (basin, municipal, regional, national, international) have to take responsibilities and account to others (Akhmouch, 2012; Laban, 2007; McKay, 2007b). According to Rogers and Hall (2003), governance in the water sector must be perceived as a

Figure 1. Attitude towards federalism in Australian water management. subset of a country’s general governance system of how various actors relate to each other. Therefore, it is important that these interactions are considered when promoting local water governance (Laban, 1994; 2007). Accordingly, the survey asked the respondents about their views on the current water governance arrangements in Australia, federalism in water resources management, and sustainable water resources management. The survey provided some likert-type scale statements related to these issues and asked respondents if they agreed or disagreed with the statements (Figure 1).

Overall, there was a disagreement among the respondents on water governance responsibility being clearly defined between the federal, state and local governments in Australia. A majority of respondents favoured a federal system of water governance similar to the findings in other studies (Brown, 2007; Wu et al., 2012), which reported that the bulk of Australians support federalism in Australia and believe it is time for many areas of state government regulation to

Table 1. State-wise breakdown of the respondents expressing interest in the study. State or Territory

No. of respondents

Australian Capital Territory

1 (1)

New South Wales

6 (11)

Northern Territory

0 (3)


2 (4)

South Australia

6 (8)


2 (6)


3 (4)

Western Australia

3 (3)

Total Note: Figures in parentheses indicate the number of planners contacted.

23 (40)

give way to uniform national plans. But when asked specifically about who should be responsible for allocating the water resources and planning and developing sustainable water development strategies, respondents favoured state governments over the Commonwealth. Achieving sustainability in the use of water resources means achieving ESD, which is a result of the two phases of ambitious reform of state laws and policies for water management: (1) the 1994 COAG reforms and (2) the 2004 National Water Initiative (NWI). The COAG reforms required massive changes to water governance, including achieving ESD, while the NWI is much more prescriptive and sets out goals that water supply businesses and state governments must encourage rural and urban communities to achieve ESD (McKay, 2007b). Furthermore, statutory water plans are seen as the means to achieving sustainability in water management. This study wanted to know what ‘sustainability in water management’ meant to the water planners. The general impression from the responses received was that sustainable water management means ensuring environmental, economic, social and cultural water requirements are protected without compromising intergenerational equity. Here are some of the expressions of sustainable water resources management as envisaged by the water planners: “Sustainable water management varies from community to community and is a concept that reflects the values of a community in a particular time and place.” “Ecologically sustainable water resource management involving use, conserve, and management in


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(communities) intra-generational equity is more immediate than looking forward to next generation and sometimes (it is) hard for the community to think of longer term (inter-generational equity)”.

Conflicts over water plans

Figure 2. Inter- and intra-generational equity and the environment – order of importance. a way and at a rate that will enable people and communities to provide their economic, social and physical well-being.” “Managing a resource to ensure primarily that needs of in-situ values are met and that water is reliably available now and in the future for all users.” Next, the survey asked the planners: Is a water allocation plan the right way to approach sustainable water policy? A majority of the water planners (65%) agreed that a statutory water plan was the right way to approach sustainable water policy, but pointed out some issues that need to be addressed. For example, one of them said: “Statutory water planning is the right way to go; however, there are some caveats; the legal framework for developing the water plans must stipulate clearly what must be covered in plan development. Issues such as environmental water requirements, cultural water definition, historical rights to water, etc, must be addressed…” The rest, who either disagreed or were not sure, substantiated their responses. For example, one planner stated, it (a water plan) is not the right way to achieving sustainability in the use of water resources because “too much is required from a single instrument. Use of multiple instruments enables the creation and implementation of new water management tools. The planning process as described in Commonwealth documents is resource intensive and inflexible”.

Balancing equity and environment in water allocation planning The National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, 1992, defines ESD as: “Using, conserving and

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enhancing the community’s resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased. Put more simply, ESD is the development that aims to meet the needs of Australians today, while conserving our ecosystems for future generations”. In relation to water resources, this clearly requires the most appropriate allocation and use of the limited resource to meet the growing demand of economic objectives, social needs and environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, the dilemma facing water planners is to balance between equity (inter- and intra-generational) and the environment. Therefore, the survey asked the planners to rate inter-generational equity, intragenerational equity and the environment in order of importance. They were asked to rate these separately: first from their own perspective – what is most important to them while developing and implementing a water plan; and, second, what is important to the community – as observed during the planning process (Figure 2). Admitting all three are very important, water planners rated future needs – including the needs of the environment and next generations (inter-generational equity) – as being more important to them while preparing a plan than the current equity among different user groups (intra-generational equity). On the contrary, based on their observations during consultation meetings and negotiations with various stakeholders during the planning process, the planners felt communities generally place more importance on intra-generational equity than inter-generational equity and environment because, as explained by one of the planners, “to them

Water allocation is mostly contentious and, therefore, the process of developing and adopting a water plan requires that various stakeholders negotiate through these issues. As Preston (2008) points out, achieving sustainability in water management has been the subject of different types of litigation, including those arising due to re-allocation of water resources between users through the means of water allocation plans. This is also illustrated by McKay et al. (2010), who used an innovative research method called ‘Photostory’ (Keremane and McKay, 2011) to demonstrate irrigators’ views on water allocation issues in rural Australia and the photostories – photos with narrative (see Figure 3) – represent some of their experiences.

“This bore is right next to the forest, competing for water use.”

“Everyone agrees that the environment should be placed high on the agenda for water use, but with the water that is available, irrigators, forestry and other industries are a lot more vocal. Not many people stand up for the environment.”

Figure 3. Photostories about water allocation issues in rural Australia. Since water planners are usually involved in negotiating with the stakeholders to resolve conflicts over water allocation, this study asked them if their region had (any) conflict over the water plan(s). Most of the planners (86%)

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indicated they had conflicts in their region and also highlighted the issues of conflict in their region, such as: “No rules yet established for environmental water. Issues regarding quality of water in lower reaches and licensing issues.” “Large number of unlicensed users, difficulties with compliance.” “ …users have complaints regarding lack of available stock and domestic (S&D) flows.” To summarise, as one of the planners quoted: “[The] majority of plans have some level of conflict as a result of plan development”. In case of conflicting interests, stakeholder involvement is crucial to resolve the conflicts by engaging in public consultations (NWI, 2004: Paragraphs 95, 96).

Conclusions In Australia, as a result of the water institutional reforms implemented since 1995, water planning has become one of the most important tools for achieving sustainable use of water and, as evidenced in this study, water planners agree. The findings show there is a keen appreciation for and adoption of the values of the ESD policy in most of the Australian states and territories, and statutory water plans are definitely regarded as the right tool to achieve sustainable water use in Australia. Statutory water plans control water allocation by establishing rules for extraction of water for a variety of purposes, including maintaining appropriate environment flows. However, a major challenge is to allocate water between competing activities and the environment. This involves trade-offs and thereby raises the issues of fairness and equity (inter-generational and intra-generational). It is, therefore, very important to ensure that the process for making these trade-offs is transparent and involves sufficient community engagement. Furthermore, the study also found respondents favouring a federal system of water governance, suggesting a need for another round of water reforms to establish water governance at a national level (Brown, 2007; Wu et al., 2012). Establishing the National Water Commission (NWC) and allowing the Commission to continue as an independent agency to advise the Australian Government on national water issues is a positive step in this direction. Finally, water being a limited resource, there will always be dispute(s) over its allocation; so water allocation

plans create winners and losers amongst existing and future water users, with the parties adversely affected often attempting to challenge water allocation plans in the courts (Preston, 2008). The solution, therefore, may be in enhanced consultation processes and in transparent processes in drafting plans.

Acknowledgements The Authors acknowledge the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training for funding this study. They also thank the water planners for their time and for participating in the survey.

The Authors

Symposium on Systems-oriented Research in Agriculture and Rural Development, Montpellier: CIRAD-SAR. Laban P (2007): Accountability and Rights in Right-based Approaches for Local Water Governance, Water Resources Development, 23 (2), pp 355–367. McKay JM (2007a): Groundwater as the Cinderella of water laws, policies and institutions in Australia, in S Ragone (ed.), The Global Importance of Groundwater in the 21st Century: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Groundwater Sustainability, Westerville, OH: National Groundwater Association, pp. 321–327. McKay JM (2007b): Water Governance Regimes in Australia: Implementing the National Water Initiative, Water Journal, 34 (1), pp 150–156. McKay JM (2005): Water institutional reforms in Australia, Water Policy, 7(1), pp 35–52.

Ganesh Keremane (email: ganesh. keremane@unisa.edu.au) is a Research Associate at the Centre for Comparative Water Policies and Laws, School of Commerce, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA. Professor Jennifer McKay is the Director of the Centre and Zhifang Wu is a Research Associate at the Centre. All three are also associated with the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training.

References Akhmouch A (2012): Water Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Multi-Level Approach, OECD Regional Development Working Papers, No. 2012/04, OECD Publishing. Brown AJ (2007): Reshaping Australia’s Federation: the choices for regional Australia, Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, 13(3), pp 235–253. Howard C (2001): Bureaucrats in the Social Policy Process: Administrative Policy Entrepreneurs and the Case of Working Nation, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 60(3), pp 56–65. Huitema D & Meijerink S (eds.) (2009): Water Policy Entrepreneurs: A Research Companion to Water Transitions around the Globe, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK. Huitema D, Lebel L & Meijerink S (2011): The strategies of policy entrepreneurs in water transitions around the world, Water Policy, 13 (5), pp 717–733. Keremane G & J McKay J (2011): Using Photostory to capture irrigators’ emotions about Water Policy and Sustainable Development objectives: A case study in rural Australia’, Action Research, 9(4), pp 405–425. Laban P (1994): Accountability: an indispensable condition for sustainable natural resource management, Proceedings of the International

McKay JM (2010): Some Australian examples of the integration of environmental, economic and social considerations into decision making – the jurisprudence of facts and context, in D French (ed.), Global Justice and Sustainable Development, BRILL, pp. 327-339. McKay JM, Keremane G & Gray A (2010): Picturing Fresh Water Justice in Rural Australia. CRC Irrigation Futures, p 101. McKay JM & Marsden S (2009): Australia: The Problem of Sustainability in Water in JW Dellapenna and J Gupta (eds.), The Evolution of the Law and Politics of Water, Springer Science and Business Media, pp 175–188. Moran T (2010): Ahead of the game: blueprint for the reform of Australian Government administration. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra. National Water Commission (2004): National Water Initiative, www.nwc.gov.au/www/html/117national-water-initiative.asp?intSiteID=1, accessed 27 April 2012. Preston BJ (2008): Water and Ecologically Sustainable Development in the Courts, Paper presented to Australian Sustainability Laws and Water Management: The Future Symposium, 17 October 2008, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia. Roberts NC & PJ King (1989): Public Entrepreneurship: A Typology, Paper presented to the Academy of Management Meetings, Public Sector Division, Washington DC. Rogers P & Hall A (2003): Effective Water Governance, TEC Report No. 7, Global Water Partnership, Stockholm. Teske P & Schneider M (1994): The Bureaucratic Entrepreneur: The Case of City Managers, Public Administration Review, 54(4), pp 331–40. Wu Z, McKay J & Keremane G (2012): Governance of Urban Freshwater: Some views of three urban communities in Australia, Water Journal, 39(1), pp 88–92.


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Development of a beneficial use for clay-rich biosolids Investigations and pilot trials into the use of biosolids for geotechnical applications P Bishop Abstract The key environmental regulator for Melbourne Water Corporation (MWC) sewage treatment activities has stipulated that MWC must actively develop plans to recycle its biosolids through beneficial uses. One category of stockpiled biosolids, amounting to about 400,000 tonnes (dry weight), is a 50/50 blend of clay and biosolids created by methods used in the past to harvest biosolids from clay-lined drying pans. An appropriate beneficial use of this particular category of biosolids is for engineered fill where the inherent structural properties of the clay-rich biosolids are enhanced with additives. A significant amount of technical development was required to gain endorsement for this use from relevant regulators. In addition, full-scale trials plus offers of a financial subsidy for extra-over construction costs were used to gain market interest. This paper describes the technical development and market development activities used to target the beneficial use of the clay-rich biosolids in road construction and in construction of platforms for industrial buildings in low-lying areas.

Introduction Melbourne Water Corporation (MWC) currently generates over 50,000 dry tonnes of biosolids per annum from its two treatment plants and transfers the partly dried material into stockpiles as part of its treatment process. MWC has recognised its obligation to beneficially use the accumulating biosolids and has for several years devoted funds for research and development into potential applications that would meet acceptable cost, risk, environmental and sustainability targets. MWC has some 400,000 dry tonnes of biosolids stockpiled at its Eastern Treatment Plant, which are mixed 50/50 with natural clay as a result of methods used in the past to harvest the biosolids from clay-lined drying pans. These

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methods are no longer employed, so the amount of “clay-rich” biosolids is not expected to increase beyond the stockpiled volume.

properties developed from theory and from empirical methods to define the characteristics of a naturally occurring material. These properties include:

These particular clay-rich biosolids are not suitable for energy recovery (calorific value), nor for land application (nutrient value), due to these essential properties being diluted by the 50% clay content. However, the clay adds some positive structural characteristics and the potential of these properties was recognised during a strategic review of the full biosolids inventory in 2006.

• Moisture content;

Based on a preliminary investigation of the geotechnical properties of the clay-rich biosolids and the potential market for the structural fill application, MWC’s biosolids strategy in 2006 recommended that funds be allocated for further investigation and initial use of the clay-rich biosolids in public infrastructure projects such as roads.

Product Development Performance requirements Material that is suitable for geotechnical applications (structural fill for an embankment or fill platform) must demonstrate the following performance characteristics: • Consistent moisture content that is close to “optimum” for achievement of required density using a standard compaction effort; • Adequate strength when subjected to compression and shear forces; • Low compressibility under sustained load leading to minimal subsidence of the embankment made up of the material; • No contaminants that could leach into adjacent soil and/or groundwater; • A consistency that can be handled and compacted using conventional earthworks construction equipment. To determine if a material can achieve these performance requirements, it can be compared with corresponding material

• Specific gravity; • Particle size distribution; • Shrinkage limits; • California bearing ratio; • Ultimate compressive strength. Naturally occurring clays and clean granular material generally exhibit properties that make them suitable for structural fill applications. All specifications for material to be used for structural fill contain a clause such as: “....no organic matter....”. Organic matter demonstrates adverse performance in all those properties required for a satisfactory structural fill material. Biosolids contain a significant amount of organic matter and are, therefore, considered unsuitable for use as a structural fill. Testing of stockpiled biosolids has confirmed that most of the geotechnical properties needed for structural fill are not achieved. Laboratory and field testing has demonstrated that it is possible to blend biosolids with a structurally competent granular material such as crushed glass or brick to dilute the effect of the organic matter and then the required geotechnical properties are improved (Arulrajah, 2010). However, this improvement does not reach an acceptable level for many applications. The existing clay-rich biosolids stockpiled by MWC provide a granular blend with some initial structural properties and an organics content that has been diluted to an average 10% by dry weight. These properties encouraged MWC to invest in applied research aimed at amending/stabilising the clay-rich biosolids to produce a viable structural fill product.

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The performance specification of the Victorian road regulator (VicRoads) for structural fill in road embankments (VicRoads, 2004) was adopted as the objective for developing stabilised clayrich biosolids as a viable product for embankment construction. In particular, the selected target was the quality required to meet the VicRoads “Type B” fill specification that is required for the bulk of the material in a typical road embankment.

Staged investigations Following the recommendation from the 2006 biosolids strategy, a structured program of technical and market development was initiated, as shown in Figure 1. The first phase of investigation determined that it is possible to stabilise the clay-rich biosolids with a pozzolanic material such as cement to enhance the strength of the material and to achieve much improved structural performance. This study involved a laboratory analysis and a plate-loading trial on compacted clay-rich biosolids sampled from several stockpiles, with and without the addition of normal portland cement in proportions from 3% to 8.5% by weight. Typical earthworks construction equipment and methods were used to construct the embankment for the plate load test. Civil engineering industry representatives were invited to witness the construction and a video recording was made of the operation to show that the material behaved similarly to natural clay when handled with typical earthworks equipment.

The conclusions from this study were that: • Clay-rich biosolids stabilised with 3% cement may be suitable to meet VicRoads Type B fill specification; • In the stockpile, the clay-rich biosolids are mostly wet of optimum; • There may be potential for long-term volume change due to degradation of the organic material within the biosolids; • It may be necessary to encapsulate the clay-rich biosolids in an embankment for environmental reasons; • For the cement-stabilised material, negligible creep strain (ongoing settlement) was observed in the plate load test after 10 to 30 days depending on the concentration of cement used. The findings of this initial investigation were discussed with VicRoads, who agreed to produce industry guidelines as “Technical Note 90” (VicRoads, 2007) for the use of the clay-rich biosolids in road projects as Type B fill. This technical note, which was published in October 2007, includes the following qualifications: • Clay-rich biosolids must be cement stabilised; • They must not be placed within one metre of the road subgrade level; • They must be placed above design flood level and not less than one metre above maximum known groundwater level;

• Must be not more than one metre thick; • Settlement monitoring must be undertaken; • The standard specification requirement for zero organics content will be considered for a waiver on a projectby-project basis. The Technical Note 90 suggests that 15mm of settlement (not defined whether long term) could occur under an applied stress of 150kPa (seven metres of embankment). With this positive support from VicRoads, the environmental regulator was consulted to establish conditions that may apply to this beneficial use of the clay-rich biosolids. MWC worked with EPA Victoria to develop EPA Publication 1288, which was published in June 2009 (EPA, 2009). This document provides guidelines that would maximise the sustainable use of clay-rich biosolids as structural fill by documenting good practice. The publication includes guidelines on site selection and management where clay-rich biosolids are proposed. These include: • Recommended buffer distances to sensitive receivers and to waterways; • Not typically to be used where a site is within a one-in-100-year flood plain; • Not less than two metres above the longterm average groundwater table and with a (low permeability) liner below;

Figure 1. Melbourne Water’s Technical and Market Development Program.


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biosolids • Unless EPA is satisfied that alternatives will provide an equivalent environmental outcome, design requirements are to include the provision of a marker layer in the fill, a low permeability cap and liner, and appointment of an environmental auditor to oversee the works.

EPA also accepted that the stabilised clay-rich biosolids could be used in this application subject to approval of an Environmental Improvement Plan that covers all aspects of the use from the MWC stockpile to the completed road project in operation. This provided a more manageable and streamlined process than the alternative of obtaining an EPA Works Approval for the use.

Pilot trials & consequential investigations Initial consultation with the civil engineering industry identified concerns about the following issues: • Potential delays due to industrial action based on health and safety concerns; • Potential delays due to MWC inability to consistently produce the stabilised clay-rich biosolids at optimum moisture content and at a rate to match progress on the road construction site; • Disruption to time-critical construction activities due to the insertion of a material requiring special stabilising methods, including the construction of a high-quality clay encapsulation of the clay-rich biosolids cell in the embankment; • Disruption to time-critical construction activities due to a lack of industry experience working with the material;

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A short section of access road on the Eastern Treatment Plant property was constructed as a full-scale production trial to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing the stabilised clay-rich biosolids as a consistent product using lime and cement additives. The lime and cement were mixed in sequentially using conventional rotavator equipment and a production rate of close to 1000 cubic metres per day was achieved when constructing the one-metre-high embankment. Subsequent in situ and laboratory testing confirmed that it is practical to achieve a minimum dry density of 95% standard using a nett 2% lime and 2% cement content by weight. Furthermore, both the strength and particle size requirements for VicRoads Type B fill were achieved. However, compressibility testing (long-term subsidence) produced confusing results compared with earlier tests of laboratory-produced samples. Ongoing industry consultation was used to raise the profile of this new product as well as to define development tasks that would address specific industry concerns. The key issues raised were: • Production of a consistent product at a high rate; • Preference to use the material in locations that were less time-critical and where the material formed the total structure such as an overpass embankment. This would require fill depths of, say, four metres and exacerbate the VicRoads concern about long-term subsidence. • The need for a clay liner around the cell of stabilised clay-rich biosolids, which

was costly and time consuming, and absorbed much of the available depth in a typical six-metre high overpass abuttment.

In response to these issues, MWC committed to another full-scale trial, building a 500-metre-long access road at the Eastern Treatment Plant. This trial was closely planned and supervised and a specialist contractor was engaged for the critical blending of lime and cement, as well as for compaction of the product in the road embankment. Key features of this trial were: • The blending of lime and subsequent stockpiling to establish sufficient material with consistent moisture content (close to optimum) to match the total requirement for the road project; • Loading out from the stockpile over its full depth to further blend the material as it was delivered to the road construction site; • Strict limits on the depth of layers placed on the road for cement stabilisation; • A range of cement concentrations (2%, 4% and 8%) were used to gauge the sensitivity of test properties to cement content; • To gauge the effect of in situ curing of the stabilised clay-rich biosolids in the compacted state, undisturbed samples were recovered from a one-metre-thick test zone in the embankment by coring two 63mm tube samples across the depth from each of the seven boreholes. Duplicate testing of saturated and unsaturated samples

• Liability for long-term subsidence in the event that the material does not behave as predicted; • Potential delays in obtaining final detailed approvals from VicRoads and EPA. These concerns were clear barriers to entry of the stabilised clay-rich biosolids into the roads market, so a program of responses was initiated. Further consultation with road designers and contractors indicated that the use of “quick lime” in addition to the cement would assist with controlling the variability of the moisture content in the clay-rich biosolids as well as the achievement of a consistent product. An addition of around 3% lime by weight was recommended, based on road industry experience in dealing with the stabilising of marginal clays and soils.

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Typical example of blending lime with biosolids.

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was undertaken over a time period to gain a good understanding of the effects of in situ conditions. • The testing used a long load cycle to identify “primary” compression as well as long-term creep behaviour. Laboratory oedometer testing performed on the tube samples indicated satisfactory short- and long-term settlement performance. For example, biosolids modified with 3% lime and 2% cement, compacted to a dry density ratio of at least 95% standard, underwent rapid initial compression of about 2%, after which creep compression of about .06% – .09% per log cycle of time was observed. For a four-metrethick cell of stabilised clay-rich biosolids located about 1.5 metres below the top of the embankment, this corresponds to an immediate (during construction) settlement of perhaps 50mm, and creep of less than 10mm over the subsequent 50 years. This performance is predicated on achieving between 95% and 98% standard compaction. The trial indicated that consistent achievement of 98% standard compaction, as required by the VicRoads specification for Type B fill, may be difficult in practice. A waiver from VicRoads will be required subject to demonstration that design performance requirements can be consistently met with compaction above 95% standard and the embankment design will take this into account on a case-by-case basis. Other test data collected during this trial confirmed compliance with VicRoads Type B fill specification. The typical data were: • Optimum Moisture Content = ~21%; • California Bearing Ratio (CBR) = 5% to 12%; • CBR Swell = 0.15% to 1.41%; • Ultimate Compressive Strength = ~200kPa at 14 days; • Standard maximum dry density = 1.34 t/cubic metre. Further consultation with VicRoads confirmed general acceptance that the MWC trials and test results provided adequate predictions of compressibility and creep characteristics of the stabilised clay-rich biosolids subject to the outcome of in situ cone penetrometer tests of the embankment to confirm that the tube samples used for laboratory tests were representative of the consistency achieved in construction. In addition, VicRoads raised the unresolved concern that a road embankment could deform

due to decomposition of the small amount of organics content in the stabilised clay-rich biosolids. The residual total organics content in clay-rich biosolids ranges from 4% to 15% by weight (average 10%). It is difficult to chacterise the chemical composition of the residual organics, which comprises products of microorganisms, proteins, lignin and cellulose. Decomposition is anticipated to be minimal and, if it occurs, would transpire over many years. Evidence of minimal decomposition was available from a compacted fill constructed by Melbourne Water at Woodlands Wetlands in 2005 (Australian Eco Systems website, 2012). Unstabilised clay-rich biosolids were used in this embankment and column leachate and gas generation tests were conducted over a nine-month period at ambient and elevated temperatures to accelerate anaerobic decomposition. The test report concluded: “…the organics content resists degradation in anaerobic conditions, such that negligible gas or leachate was generated. This implies that the rate of creep settlement is unlikely to be augmented by such degradation. However, as the possibility that some degradation could occur cannot be excluded, allowance for some additional settlement and some extension to the creep period should be allowed for in design calculations.” Furthermore, this conclusion was supported by anecdotal evidence from the plate load test in 2006 (described above). Notwithstanding the results of these previous investigations, it was decided to provide more robust evidence to support the use of stabilised clay-rich biosolids for structural fill. Two responses to the decomposition concern were adopted: • A long-term laboratory-based program was initiated to measure decomposition rates in the presence of lime and cement (higher ph environment), as well as in the typical low moisture environment in a compacted road embankment. This program is in its early stages and is not expected to provide a definitive conclusion in the near term. • A consultant was commissioned to: I.

evelop a numerical model D to simulate a typical road embankment; and to


se this model to introduce a change U to the fill material properties in several scenarios where the organics decompose with subsequent

modulus change uniformally or in a skewed way to investigate possible differential settlements. The findings of this work indicated that settlement of around 25mm was possible if the maximum organics content (15%), distributed randomly through the fill, decomposed by 90% to a nominal residual strength of 20kPa. On the basis of the investigations to date, MWC and VicRoads intend to work together to identify a suitable road project where a full-scale industry trial can be undertaken in the near future.

Environment & public health issues Based on available biosolids characterisation data, EPA provided its environmental guidelines in Publication 1288 described earlier. As already noted, the buffer distances and the requirement for encapsulation of the cell of stabilised clayrich biosolids described in the publication were highlighted by potential users as a serious constraint. In addition, the likely time to prepare a detailed Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) and gain approval was seen as a high risk of unplanned delay. To address this concern, MWC proceeded with: • Additional sampling and testing of the clay-rich biosolids stockpiles to improve characterisation data; and • Specific testing of unstabilised and stabilised material to establish concentration levels of leachable metals and to determine if the lime and cement would inhibit leaching. The findings from this work were: • “The total metals analyses on unstabilised samples show reasonably high levels of contamination present. The leachable metals analyses carried out on the same samples display low levels which appear to show that the metals present are reasonably well bound to the solids present”. • “As the leachable metals present in the biosolids were very low and generally insignificant, no conclusion could be drawn from the results as to the most appropriate mix of lime and cement combination”. A statistical analysis was used to demonstrate that the characterisation sampling and test data were truly representative of the biosolids in each stockpile selected for the structural fill application. This evidence, together with the leachate anlaysis, was used to work with EPA on preparing a simplified EIP template that does not require


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biosolids the inclusion of encapsulation of the stabilised clay-rich biosolids cell with a low permeability liner. The users’ concern about public health issues potentially creating grounds for unplanned delays during construction were addressed by the preparation of a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the combined product of lime, cement and clay-rich biosolids. This document was prepared by an independent expert and concluded that the material could be managed with normal personal protective equipment (PPE) and normal industry practice for issues such as dust control and personal hygiene. Emphasis was placed on employee education and induction to introduce this “new” construction material.

Market Development In the context of the current EPA Victoria objectives for beneficial use of biosolids, the markets for geotechnical applications of biosolids are confined to those where the inherent geotechnical properties of the biosolids (or amended/ stabilised biosolids) can be demonstrated as a fundamental requirement of the particular market application. EPA Victoria Publication 1288, June 2009 in Section 5, Permitted End Uses and Restrictions, states that: “For biosolids used as geotechnical fill to qualify as a ‘sustainable use’, the properties of the biosolids must be utilised in a beneficial way”. This Section 5 of the publication goes on to define how a proposed geotechnical re-use application can be evaluated and nominated as the optimal reuse option. Based on the EPA publication, the available markets for geotechnical reuse of biosolids can be defined as those requiring a cost-effective fill platform or fill structure that must support imposed loads and/or maintain a specific geometric profile under self weight and environmental erosion and without adverse environmental impact. The markets that fit within this definition are: • Fill platforms (embankments) for transport infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, marine port facilities and flood barriers (bunds); and • Fill platforms for building sites such as where a worked-out quarry or flood-prone area requires a filling to create suitable areas for access and for locating residential/industrial properties and associated infrastructure. • Market development activities to date have focussed on roads. However, presentations to a wide

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range of civil engineering contractors have stimulated enquiries for land development applications as well. Projects with close subsidence tolerances such as railways have been avoided. Most contractors are keen to gain the kudos offered from the use of high-profile sustainable practices. The beneficial use of clay-rich biosolids as structural fill has been demonstrated as a sustainable practice for MWC when compared (using “Triple Bottom Line” principles) with other options to re-use biosolids. However, contractors are concerned about the management of actual and perceived risks including financial risks. These were addressed in the market development activities by preparing a table to compare responsibilities and liabilities for a project where stabilised clay-rich biosolids are used with those where natural clay fill is used. The principle is that MWC accepts the responsibility of a material supplier, similar to that of a quarry owner. Subject to MWC’s supply of lime-stabilised clayrich biosolids with offered properties, guaranteed within reasonable tolerances, the responsibilities of the road asset owner, the road designer and the construction contractor remain as they would on a typical road project.

Financial Market investigation to date has indicated that this product will be used so long as MWC offsets the total cost by providing a subsidy for extra-over costs compared with the use of competitor products such as natural clay. This subsidy may include extra-over costs, if any, associated with material transport, cement stabilisation, compaction, environmental compliance works and stakeholder management. Any subsidy will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, subject to MWC approval. In addition, MWC will lead the preparation of the EIP and may subsidise approved extra-over costs incurred by the contractor’s specialist staff or consultants.

Conclusion MWC has identified a use for a particular category of its stockpiled biosolids that is in line with its sustainability and risk management objectives and is supported by a TBL comparison with other options to deal with these stockpiled biosolids. The use of some 400,000 dry tonnes of stockpiled clay-rich biosolids for structural fill is approaching market readiness after resolution of technical and environmental issues through stakeholder engagement and focussed investigations.

This paper won the Best Paper and Presentation Award – Biosolids at the AWA Biosolids and Source Management Conference held from 18–20 June at the Gold Coast.

Acknowledgement Melbourne Water acknowledges the support and encouragement of VicRoads and EPA Victoria in the pursuit of the beneficial use of its clay-rich biosolids. Melbourne Water has been assisted by several consultants and construction contractors to undertake its technical and market development for the use of clay-rich biosolids as structural fill. These organisations are: • Golder Associates; • MWH Australia; • Coffey Geotechnics; • ALS Water Resources Group; • Stabilime Group of Companies; • Kelco Developments P/L & Civil Engineering.

The Author Peter Bishop (email: peter. bishop@melbournewater. com.au) is a Civil Engineer with 30 years’ experience in planning, design and construction of major infrastructure projects in Australia, the UK and Asia. He has worked on hydroelectric power schemes, highways, railways and water sector projects. From July 2004 to 2007 Peter managed the planning of strategic projects for Melbourne Water Corporation (MWC), with involvement in the feasibility stage of major recycled water treatment projects, biosolids re-use projects and outsourcing of agriculture operations on a 5,000ha treatment plant buffer area. From 2007 to date, Peter has worked part-time for MWC on the development of biosolids beneficial use projects, including the management of biosolids R&D tenders.

References Arul Arulrajah (2010): Stabilised biosolids as an embankment fill material, Swinburne University of Technology. VicRoads (2004): www.vicroads.bookweb.com.au/ redirectpdf/pdfs/rc500.20Oct04.pdf VicRoads (2007): VicRoads Technical Note 90 on the “Use of Biosolids as Fill Material”, October 2007. EPA (2009): EPA Publication 1288 on the “Use of Biosolids as Geotechnical Fill”, June 2009. Australian Eco Systems website (2012): www.australianecosystems.com.au/projectswoodlands-industrial-estate.htm

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REPEAT APPLICATION OF BIOSOLIDS ON AGRICULTURAL LAND A review of the current Australian guidelines D Stevens, A Surapaneni, N Albuquerque, B Meehan, D Smith, P Uren, P Hansen Abstract Land application of biosolids is an important component of beneficially using solid wastes from sewage treatment processes. The aim of many water authorities is to achieve 100% beneficial use of biosolids. To achieve this, repeat application of biosolids to the same site nearby is a useful strategy, as transport costs are minimised and fertiliser requirements at the site of application can be met while improving soil organic matter content. A one-in-five-year “repeat application tradition” is generally practiced across the water industry in Victoria. This “one-in-five-year norm” anecdotally seems to have originated from the world’s best management practices during the earlier stages of schemes involving land application of biosolids, as a conservative approach. However, there appears to be no one regulatory document available that states this ‘rule’. Our knowledge and understanding of biosolids’ chemical and physical risks (beneficial and detrimental) has improved considerably over the last few decades and it is time to reconsider the guidance offered for the practice of beneficial land application of biosolids. This paper reviews the current Australian and overseas regulations governing repeat application of biosolids, and the set of rules that govern repeat applications, and defines what is currently considered best practice. Recommendations as to revisions and improvement of the current guidance for beneficial land application of biosolids is suggested as a first step in embracing a transparent risk-assessment-based strategy for the future.

Introduction Land application of biosolids continues to play an important role in the beneficial use programs, mainly because of its relatively low cost of recycling the nutrients and addition of much-needed organic matter to soils. In the south-east region of Melbourne, biosolids are produced at treatment grade T1 and contaminant grade C2 (see EPA Victoria, 2004 for

grading details). The preference to date has been for application on agricultural land adjacent to sewage treatment plants (STPs) owned by water authorities – for example, South East Water Corporation in Victoria applies biosolids produced at Pakenham STP, Koo Wee Rup STP, Lang Lang STP, Boneo STP, Somers STP and Mt Martha STP to land at various agricultural (fodder production and cattle grazing) and landscaping sites. For the past 11 years (2001 to 2011), biosolids have been applied on South East Water Corporation-owned land for agriculture with an average use of 127% of biosolids currently produced each year. The annual target for the beneficial use of biosolids is 105% of the current year’s production to ensure that some of the current stockpiles are used. The Victorian EPA expects water authorities to achieve 100% reuse to ensure no long-term accumulation of biosolids. Repeat applications of biosolids on the same land is common practice in Victoria (e.g., South East Water). The reasons for this are varied and typically include: • Lack of availability of suitable land near the STP, meaning repeat applications are more cost effective than seeking land further away;

• The risk-adverse nature of the water industry, leading to an avoidance of applying biosolids onto land owned by third parties, thus further limiting available land for reuse; and • A reputed agricultural value of providing further nutrients and organic matter. A one-in-five-year “repeat application tradition” is generally practiced across the water industry in Victoria. This “putative one-in-five-year norm” ostensibly originated from world’s best management practices during earlier stages of biosolids beneficial use schemes, as a conservative approach. This intent was seemingly to ensure biosolids applications do not result in significant accumulation of heavy metals, especially cadmium (Cd), in soils. For example, the Victorian EPA guidelines (EPA Victoria, 2004) are silent on this ‘rule’, except to suggest a need to assess soil contaminant concentrations before repeat application is carried out. This is primarily to ensure receiving soil contaminant ‘levels’ are always below the Receiving Soils Contaminant ‘Limits’ (RSCLs). It is also possible that the “onein-five-year norm” in Victoria originated from the cadmium loading rate rule that limits the application of biosolids to 150g cadmium/ha/5 years (EPA Victoria, 2004).

Table 1. General rules to be met prior to land application of biosolids across Australia. No.



Nutrient (N, P and K) Limiting Application Rate (NLAR) Rule Nutrients must always meet crop requirements (agronomic rate).


Soil Contaminant Rule The receiving soil’s contaminant ‘levels’ must not exceed the Maximum Soil Concentration (MSC) or Receiving Soils Contaminant Limit (RSCL) set by guidelines.


Maximum Application Rate Rule The maximum allowable application rate should be the lower rate of the nutrient (NLAR) and contaminant (Contaminant Load Application Rate, CLAR) application rates.


Time Limiting Cadmium Loading Rate Rule The biosolids application rate must not exceed the cadmium loading rate of “30g/ha/yr averaged over five years or 150g/ha/5 years”.


Soil pH Rule Biosolids should not be applied to soils having a low pH without appropriate safeguards (e.g., lime addition to low-pH soils).


Residual Soil N Rule Residual nitrogen in soil should also be determined and taken into account in calculating the application rate.


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Repeat applications can potentially be carried out more frequently, if it can be demonstrated that biosolids applications do not result in the receiving soil contaminant ‘levels’ being greater than the guidelines’ set ‘limits’ and nutrients applied meet Nutrient Loading Application Rates (NLAR). Thus the objectives of this paper are to (i) review current guidance and best practices in Australia and overseas in relation to the ostensible one-in-five year rule and/or repeat application situations, (ii) discuss rationale behind the “repeat application rules”, and (iii) recommend further improvements/guidance to be considered by the regulators in repeat biosolids application situations.

Review Current Guidance Australia: General rules to be met prior to first-year land application of biosolids For use of biosolids on agricultural land in Australia, national guidelines (NWQMS, 2004) must be used in the absence of any state/territory guidelines. The only territory without biosolids guidelines in Australia is the Northern Territory. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) does not have its own guidelines but refers to the New South Wales (NSW) guidelines.

based on NLAR-N to meet 100% crop N requirements (replacement of N removed by the crop). This invariably results in excess biosolids P applied to soils. The N-based application rates enable water authorities to beneficially use more quantities of biosolids on a given land area when compared to application rates based on P. If this is focused on real beneficial application, then we suggest that the NLAR should be FLAR (Fertiliser Loading Application Rate). Biosolids should be applied to meet crop fertilisation requirements for a range of macro nutrients. Of all the guidelines, only the WA guidelines provide separate equations to calculate biosolids application rates based on both N and P (Nitrogen Loading Biosolids Application Rate, NLBAR and Phosphorus Loading Biosolids Application Rate, PLBAR, respectively).

There are some subtle differences between guidelines in relation to the NLAR rule (Rule #1).

There is no major difference in the Soil Contaminant Rule (Rule #2) in the National, Victorian and NSW guidelines. The maximum permitted concentration values for Victoria and NSW vary from each other but are still within the range set in the national guidelines. The Tasmanian guideline values are significantly lower than in other states in an attempt to reduce risks relating to site contamination and soil ecology. The SA and WA Draft Guidelines started introducing matrix tables for Cu, Zn and Cd. The tables work by looking at the major parameters that affect the soil concentration at which Cu and Zn become toxic to plants and soil microorganisms. In relation to cadmium, it is to ensure cadmium values in crops do not exceed food standards for products destined for human consumption.

N in NLAR is misleading – N refers to nutrients (N, P and K) in most guidelines, not Nitrogen alone. In almost all guidelines NLAR calculations are provided using nitrogen as an example. Even though a similar process can be used for other major nutrients (P and K), most land application schemes are

The variability in guidelines across states in Australia is confusing and confirms the recent finding by the Australian and New Zealand Biosolids Partnership (2009). They identified an urgent need for consistent and unified guidelines; however, the regional environmental conditions should also be considered.

The general rules to be met prior to land application of biosolids are listed in Table 1 according to Australian guidelines. However, the number of rules varies from guideline to guideline (Table 2). Rules 1, 3 and 4 are based on biosolids chemical composition. On the other hand, Rules 2, 5 and 6 are based on soil chemical properties.

Table 2. General rules to be followed under different Australian guidelines. Guidelines National

General Rules1

Guideline Reference


NWQMS (2004)



EPA Victoria (2004)

New South Wales


NSW EPA (1997)



DERM (2011)2

1-4 & 6

Dettrick and McPhee (1999)

South Australia



EPA SA (2009)

Western Australia


DEC (2010)

1 Table 1 2 No guidelines specific to biosolids at present

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Australia: Specific rules to be met prior to land application of biosolids in repeat application situations For those guidelines that do not provide any specific guidance on the ‘one-infive-year application rule’ and/or repeat application of biosolids (National, WA, Tasmania), it seems that general rules set in the respective guidelines for single/first year application are also relevant in repeat application situations, although this is not obvious in some guidelines. The only guidelines that stand out in making specific rules for biosolids repeat application are the NSW EPA guidelines (NSW EPA, 1997): “Once applied to a portion of the land, biosolids should not be reapplied to that portion until at least five years has elapsed or the pH requirement is met”. The following three rules should be met in repeat application situations based on the NSW guidelines: I.

For an application frequency of greater than one in five years, the applier should lime the soil to achieve soil pH 5.5 and maintain that pH for at least two years following biosolids application (Soil pH Rule – Rule #5).


On the sites receiving frequent application of biosolids the residual nitrogen in soil should also be determined and taken into account in calculating the NLBAR (Nitrogen Loading Biosolids Application Rate) (Residual Soil N Rule – Rule #6).


Phosphorus loading rates should also be estimated on sites that receive yearly (or more frequent) biosolids applications. The rationale given for this guidance is that “under repeat application situations, crop P requirements can be exceeded”, implying soil P build-up. Total P and P adsorption capacity of the soil should be determined at five-yearly intervals to ensure that the soil does not become overloaded (Residual Soil P Rule – Rule #7).

In essence, there are six rules (three in Table 2, plus Rules 5, 6 and 7 above) to be considered before repeat application of biosolids on agricultural land based on the NSW guidelines (Table 3). The Tasmanian EPA guidelines (Dettrick and McPhee, 1999) state that “there are no rules regarding the best frequency for biosolids application on a given site, but more frequent applications will usually lead to gradual reduction in application rate”.

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The South Australian EPA guidelines (EPA SA, 2009) do not provide detailed discussion on the repeat application of biosolids, except to state that where a site has received a previous biosolids application, the potential residual soil nutrients (Residual Soil N and P – Rules 6 and 7, respectively) and contaminants (Rule #2) will need to be considered prior to any subsequent biosolids application. Hence, the optimal application frequency will vary from site to site depending on the site history and proponent needs. Previous biosolids applications are to be considered when determining the suitable application rate. The biosolids may be applied in one or more application years, providing that the annual metal (Rule #4) and nutrient loading limits (Rules 6 and 7) and soil maximum permitted concentrations (Rule #2) are observed. Furthermore, to ensure that biosolids are not repeatedly applied to soils with a pH below 5.5, the end user should complete a pH (CaCl2) soil analysis within two months prior to biosolids reapplication (Rule #5). The results of this analysis must be provided to the EPA. The Victorian EPA guidelines also do not provide detailed discussion on the repeat application of biosolids, except to state that the contaminant ‘levels’ in the receiving soil must not exceed the Receiving Soil Contaminant Limits (RSCLs) set in the guidelines (Rule #2). The reason given for not providing a detailed discussion on biosolids application frequency in the Victorian guidelines is that “the optimal application frequency will vary from site to site depending on the history and the proponent needs”. Even though not explicitly cited in the guidelines, this probably means that where a site has received a previous biosolids application,

the potential residual soil nutrients (Residual Soil N and P rules – Rules 6 and 7) and contaminants (Soil Contaminant Rule – Rule #2) will need to be considered prior to subsequent biosolids application. While contaminants in the receiving soil are taken into account before repeat application of biosolids, no clear guidance is provided in the Victorian guidelines on the residual soil nutrients (Residual Soil N and P rules), other than to mention that this should be considered (discussed below). It appears that for repeat application of biosolids in Victoria the five rules identified in Table 2 must primarily be met. In addition, the soil pH levels must be maintained at optimal levels for minimisation of metal bioavailability and migration of nutrients and contaminants into groundwater (Rule #5). The Victorian guidelines also points out that “the acceptable application rates will most likely decrease under repeat application situations due to reducing difference between the nutrient/ contaminant levels of the receiving soil and the maximum levels (RSCLs) permitted”. However, while the ‘maximum levels permitted’ for contaminants are stipulated in the guidelines, no guidance is provided on maximum permitted levels for nutrients (N or P) in the soil other than to infer that the proponents should ensure that NLAR (Nutrient Limiting Application Rate) does not exceed the annual nutrient uptake of the selected crop (NLAR Rule). This would generally mean that fertiliser would be applied insufficiently for optimum plant growth as fertiliser requirements often consider losses (i.e. adsorption to soil, volatilisation, denitrification). The NLAR calculation for nitrogen also does not take into account any residual organic N in the soil that could be plant-available for the

Table 3. Summary of guidance and relevant specific rules in relation to repeat application. Guidelines

Nature of Guidance

Specific/Deduced Rules

Not specific

New South Wales



Followed NSW

Soil pH Rule (Rule #5), Residual Soil N Rule (Rule #6), Residual Soil P Rule (Rule #7)


Victoria Tasmania South Australia Western Australia

Limited and vague

Soil Contaminant Rule (Rule #2), Soil pH Rule (Rule #5), Residual Soil N Rule (Rule #6), Residual Soil P Rule (Rule #7)

Not specific


Residual Soil N Rule (Rule #6), Residual Soil P Rule (Rule #7)

Not specific

subsequent crop and, for that matter, any measure (form) of soil N. It is, therefore, not clear why the Victorian guidelines infer use of the NLAR while also advising consideration of residual soil nutrients, (specifically organic N) from previous applications when repeat (subsequent) applications of biosolids are intended (Residual Soil N Rule). Further, no guidance is provided as to how to account for the residual organic N in the soil from previous application to enable diligent calculation of NLAR for the repeat application. It should also be noted that the maximum allowable application rate under repeat/subsequent application situations will depend mainly on AS (Actual Soil concentration or background soil concentration) and Biosolids Contaminant Concentration (BCC) and is unlikely to be lower than the previous biosolids application rate, especially if there is no provision in the Victorian guidelines to take into account the residual soil nutrients (mainly N) from any previous application in calculating NLAR for a repeat/subsequent application.

Overseas: Rules to be met prior to land application of biosolids in repeat application situations In general, overseas repeat application regulations for biosolids address the following issues that are different and/or not specifically covered in any Australian guidelines. In New Zealand, for example, soil contaminant limits are not allowed to be reached for at least a 20-year biosolids application period (NZWWA, 2003). This implies that any number of repeat applications is allowed for up to a maximum period of 20 years without reaching the RSCLs (Restricted Site Life Rule – Rule #8). In cases where one or more metals are already close to the soil limits, consent authorities may wish to impose an application rate limit based on 20 years of average annual application. This involves a simple mass balance calculation relating to the soil limit for that metal, its existing concentration in the soil, and its concentration in the biosolids.

The repeat application of biosolids under USEPA regulations (USEPA, 1994) is based on Cumulative Pollutant (contaminants) Loading Rate (CPLR), whereas in Australia, reapplication is generally based on RSCLs. The US regulations, therefore, do not take into account the receiving soil concentration when applying biosolids, and there is no set maximum contaminant limits in the soil as in the case of Australian and other overseas regulations. However, the maximum soil contaminant limits in the


AUGUST 2012 73

biosolids US (synonymous to RSCLs), as calculated by McGrath et al. (1995), are significantly higher than the soil contaminant limits set by the Australian guidelines. The calculated US soil contaminant limits are based on CPLR, assuming incorporation of 15cm depth and average soil bulk density of 1.33 g/cm3 (McGrath et al., 1995). Furthermore, biosolids can be repeat applied for 20 consecutive years in the US at the Annual Pollutant (contaminants) Loading Rate (APLR) (Time Limiting Contaminant Loading Rate Rule – Rule #9). After this period, the application site can no longer be used for further repeat applications – Rule #8. In the UK, only Rule #9 applies for repeat application situations (DEFRA, 1996), with the exception that the application rate of biosolids must comply with the maximum permissible average annual rate of Potential Toxic Elements (PTEs) addition over a 10-year period. Rule #9 is similar to Rule #4 in Table 1, but with the inclusion of all nine metals (as opposed to Cd alone in Rule #4) and different time-limiting periods (20 years in the US and 10 years in the UK). Rule #9 is also applicable in repeat application situations in EU (EU, 1986). In the Ontario guidelines (CEM, 2004) in Canada, Rule #9 applies with a timelimiting period of five years. Additionally, sodium bicarbonate extractable phosphorus in soil (Olsen P) is not allowed to exceed 60mg/kg in the top 15cm of soil (Residual Soil P rule – Rule #7).

Rationale Behind “Repeat Application Rules”

refereed paper

Rationale Behind Cadmium Loading Rate Rule (Rule #4) in Australia The cadmium rule in Australia originated from a National Cadmium Management Committee (NCMC) workshop held in 2002. The outcome of this workshop recommended maximum annual loading of 30g Cd/ha/yr averaged over five years (i.e. 150g Cd/ha/5yr). This information was sent to each government agency to be adopted in appropriate guidelines (Warne et al., 2007). The cadmium rule was to ensure that there was no accumulation of cadmium in the soil and that the processes removing cadmium from the soil are at a steady state with the cadmium added from the biosolids (McLaughlin et al., 1996). It should also be noted that the maximum permissible annual contaminant load for cadmium has been set across a period of five years instead of the oneyear period. Therefore, it is possible to apply biosolids at an application rate of 0.15kg/ha cadmium in the first application. However, no subsequent biosolids applications containing cadmium may be made until five years has passed since last application. Alternatively, an annual loading rate of 0.03kg/ha/yr averaged over five years (i.e. 0.15kg/ha/5 years cadmium) could be adopted.

Rationale Behind Soil pH Rule (Rule #5) Soil pH has been known for a long time to have a major effect on nutrient and metal bioavailability to plants and mobility of metals and nutrients in the soil profile. For example, a study done by Gibbs et al. (2006) found an inverse relationship with pH and Cd and Zn concentration in the soil solution. Recently, Heemsbergen et al.

(2010) concluded that the observed strong influence of soil pH on biosolids metal solubility and bioaccumulation requires monitoring of soil pH to minimise the risks from cationic metals to food quality and ecosystem health.

Rationale Behind Application Rate Rules (Rules #1 & 3) Application rates are regulated to ensure that biosolids are beneficial to agriculture and do not cause short- or long-term harmful effects. Application rates are based on (i) crop nutrient requirement over the growing season, and (ii) calculated available nutrients in biosolids. Crop requirement in most cases is based on meeting 100% crop demands for N, which is usually greatest during early spring. So it is important to apply biosolids when the crop needs N, rather than earlier in the season (when there is a greater probability of losses). However, as per Rule #3, the allowable maximum application rate is the lower rate of the NLAR and CLAR application rates.

Rationale Behind Residual Soil N and Soil P Rules (Rules #6 & 7) In almost all guidelines, calculations of N application rates do not take into account the N status of the soil. The residual soil N from previous application(s) and the preceding crop could be a significant source of N for the crop that is to follow the repeat application of biosolids. Use of soil or plant testing to assess available N supply to decide the quantity of biosolids to apply in a repeat application situation is a topic not well addressed in most guidelines.

Rationale Behind Contaminant Rules (Rules #2, 3, 4, 8 & 9)

Table 4. Rationale behind contaminant rules. Rationale


The amounts of contaminants that can be land applied are restricted to protect human health, soil and crop quality, and the environment. There should always be sufficient margin between the measured contaminant concentration in the receiving soil and the regulatory limits set by guidelines. Table 4 shows the rationale behind regulatory limits and reference to the source of the rationale.


Plant toxicity (corn)

(NEPC, 1999; Sheppard, 1992)


To ensure that Cd does not accumulate in food and to protect the microbes in the soil

(NEPC, 1999; Chander et al., 1995; McLaughlin et al., 1996; Smith, 2009a; Warne et al., 2007)


Plant toxicity

(NEPC, 1999; EnHealth, 2001; Smith, 2009a)


Plant toxicity and reduction in yield

(Bhogal et al., 2003; Macnicol and Beckett, 1985)


To protect children from direct ingestion of Pb

(EnHealth, 2001; USEPA, 1995)


To protect children from direct ingestion of Hg

(NEPC, 1999; Smith, 2009a)


Plant toxicity

(NEPC, 1999; EnHealth, 2001)


Plant toxicity (wheat)

(Macnicol and Beckett, 1985; Rani et al., 2005)


Plant toxicity and reduction in yield

(Bhogal et al., 2003; Macnicol and Beckett, 1985)

The ability of the soil to tightly retain contaminants is clearly important for shortand long-term application of biosolids and must always be taken into consideration when applying biosolids. The soil contaminant retention is predominantly dependent on soil organic matter content, oxide (iron, aluminium and manganese) content, clay content and soil pH.

74 AUGUST 2012 water


technical features


refereed paper

As discussed above, the application rates of biosolids are typically determined by the N limiting application rate, which is a function of the N content of biosolids and the crop N requirement. The ramification of this practice is that high rates of P are being applied in land application programs around Australia. These rates of P are much higher than typically applied through standard inorganic fertiliser practice and, as a result, soil P levels (e.g., Olsen P) have increased concomitant with total P loadings (Pritchard et al., 2007). Crop management practices should ensure that fertiliser P is not applied to soils saturated in P, including those with a long history of biosolids application, to minimise risks of off-site movement of P (Pritchard et al., 2007).

Recommendations for Further Improvements of Repeat Application of Biosolids to Land Refinement of NLAR Rule (Rule #1) To beneficially apply biosolids and gain maximum benefit from the fertilisers they contain, biosolids should be applied to supplement nutrient pools already available in the soil where the crop is to be grown. A Fertiliser Loading Application Rate (FLAR) should consider N, P, K and other nutrients in biosolids and estimate the application that would best meet crop fertiliser requirements. The SA Biosolids Guidelines (EPA SA, 2009) recommend estimating fertiliser requirements as indicated by the local Department of Agriculture, not just replacement of nutrients removed by the crop. This type of approach, balanced with compliance with contaminant loadings, will encourage beneficial use of the nutrients in biosolids.

Refinement of Residual Soil N Rule (Rule #6)

be considered before subsequent (repeat) application of biosolids is intended. Mineralised N from first-year application accumulates in the soil profile and could be lost to the environment by leaching, runoff and/or denitrification. However, none of the NLAR equations in the guidelines (e.g., Equation 1) take into account the residual soil N and/or biosolids N from previous applications when determining the application rate for repeat/subsequent biosolids applications. Therefore, there is a need for a prescribed method (accounting tool) to take into account the residual biosolids N from the previous application(s), to facilitate judicious application rates in repeat application situations, similarly as to what should be done for fertiliser application to soils. There are two possible ways of calculating NLAR (Victorian context) in repeat application situations if the residual nitrogen in biosolids/soil following first year application needs to be taken into account. The first one is based on the biosolids added to the application site in the previous year(s) and the second one is based on the measured Available Soil Nitrogen (ASN) of the application site prior to each repeat application. To calculate NLAR based on the previous addition of biosolids, there are two options (relevant equations not provided in this paper). These are: I.

Estimate the mineralised organic N (MON) from previous biosolids application(s) and account for it in the ABN calculation in Equation 1 for the biosolids stockpile to be used in the repeat application.


Estimate the Plant Available Organic Nitrogen (PAON) from the previous biosolids application(s) and subtract it from crop requirement. By taking into account the PAON from previous biosolids application(s), the amount of N needed by the crop will most likely be lower and this will result in a lower N application rate in repeat application situation.

All guidelines provide equations to calculate nutrient application rates (NLAR Rule: Rule #1) using N as an example without taking into account the N status of the soil. NLAR equation in the Victorian guidelines is as follows: Equation 1 (EPA Victoria, 2004): NLAR = Nutrient Loading Application Rate (t/ha) CNR = Crop Nutrient Requirement (kg/ha) ABN = Available Biosolids Nutrient (kg/t) ABN for Nitrogen (1st year application) = Ammonia N + Oxidised N + MR (Organic N)

The equation calculating NLAR based on available soil nitrogen (ASN) is as follows: Equation 2:

Soil Residual N Rule (Rule #6) advocates that the residual nitrogen, specifically organic N, in the soil must

MR = % Nitrogen Mineralisation Rate for the total organic N in soil CNR = Crop Nutrient Requirement (kg/ha)

This requires additional soil N measurements, unlike equations based on the biosolids added to the application site in the previous year(s). This is similar to appropriate methods for determining fertiliser application rates for specific crops and soils, which should be adopted for biosolids.

Refinement of Residual Soil P Rule (Rule #7) Repeat application of biosolids based on the N limiting application rate is likely to result in increased soil P levels in excess of crop requirements. P losses to surface waters (rivers, streams and lakes) are a serious concern in some regions, as elevated P concentrations can cause water quality problems in P-sensitive water bodies. In addition, elevated P levels are a waste of a resource that is becoming increasingly valuable. A soil test for P (e.g., Olsen P) in conjunction with other soil P measurements (e.g., PBI, Phosphorus Buffering Index) is commonly used to predict the likelihood of a crop response to additions of fertiliser P including biosolids P. It is now acknowledged that the soil P measurements (Olsen P, PBI, etc) alone cannot predict environmental P losses, as many other factors (such as rainfall, erosion, drainage etc) will influence the concentration of P in the runoff and leaching waters. Understanding of P release and transport process in fields nominated for biosolids repeat application is necessary to adopt adequate field management strategies (such as crop rotations, tillage, establishment of conservation buffers etc) to minimise P losses. Residual soil P rule should, therefore, not only be based on soil P measurements (e.g., Olsen P, Total P and P adsorption capacity) as currently is the case in most guidelines, but also include P indices that can predict risks for P losses. Of note is the widely recognised P-index approach in the US (Maguire et al., 2005).

Refinement of Soil Contaminant Rule (Rule #2)

MR = % Nitrogen Mineralisation Rate Organic N = Total Kjeldahl N – Ammonia N

ABN = Available biosolids nitrogen for current biosolids batch

ASN = Available Soil Nitrogen (calculate using soil data) ASN = Ammonia N + Oxidised N + MR {(Kjeldahl N) – (Ammonia N)}

Plant uptake is one of the major pathways by which land-applied biosolids contaminants (particularly Cd and Pb) enter the food chain. Nevertheless, in most cases, Cd and Pb concentrations in the


AUGUST 2012 75


refereed paper

Dr Aravind Surapaneni (email: aravind.surapaneni@ sew.com.au) is a Product Quality Scientist at South East Water Corporation and has been involved in managing a wide range of biosolids reuse activities. Nihal Albuquerque is a PhD student and Dr Barry Meehan is Associate Professor of Environmental Science (School of Applied Sciences), both at RMIT University. David Smith is Product Quality Manager, Peter Uren is Treatment Plants Manager and Paul Hansen is Treatment and Product Systems Branch Manager, all at South East Water Corporation.

References Spreading biosolids from a stockpile at Numurkah, Victoria. harvested produce generally are much lower than the Codex Standards (Codex Alimentarius Commission Levels, 2006) or Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ, 2010). These guidelines are derived to protect the chronic buildup of heavy metals in the crops that take up relatively high concentrations from contaminated soil. It is also interesting to note that the concentration of persistent organic chemicals (e.g., PCBs) and many heavy metals (e.g., Cd and Hg) have significantly reduced in biosolids since source control measures have been implemented (Harrison et al., 2006). Given these changes and the age of many biosolids guidelines, the contaminant ‘limits’ in relation to the risk and benefits associated with land application of biosolids should be reconsidered.

Organic Chemical Rule (New Rule #10) With the increased knowledge now of organic chemicals found in biosolids, there may also be some logic for the one-in-five-year application to allow degradation of more persistent organic chemicals and minimisation of accumulation of organic chemicals in soils (Smith, 2009b). However, there appears to be no one regulatory document available that supports an ‘organic chemical rule’. The half-life of organic chemicals of concern range considerably from days to years. With annual application of biosolids to land, organic chemicals will have an upper maximum soil concentration, driven primarily by application rate and degradation half-life. A precautionary approach to minimise the upper soil concentration, and minimise any potential risk, could be to apply once in every five years. Ideally, this should be supported with a risk assessment focused on the risk associated with organic chemicals found in biosolids produced in Australia.

76 AUGUST 2012 water


Australian and New Zealand Biosolids Partnership (2009): Review of Biosolids Guidelines, Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, Australia.

To overcome the current complexity and inconsistency of guidelines in Australia and manage the concerns related to contaminants and emerging organic chemicals, we recommend a risk assessment approach be developed to manage land application of biosolids in Australia. Such an approach should consider nutrients as fertilisers, and base biosolids application on fertiliser rates while minimising any risks posed to the surrounding environment. It should provide a framework that will allow specific sites to be easily assessed for repeat applications within a local context for the key hazards associated with biosolids. The Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (NRMMC and EPHC, 2006) have taken this approach for recycled water and the lessons learnt during this process may provide the ideal platform to attempt a similar approach for land application of biosolids.

Bhogal A, Nicholson FA, Chambers BJ & Shepherd MA (2003): Effects of past sewage sludge additions on heavy metal availability in light textured soils: implications for crop yields and metal uptakes. Environmental Pollution, 121, pp 413–423.

This paper was originally presented at the AWA Biosolids and Source Management Conference held from 18–20 June at the Gold Coast.

DEFRA (1996): Code of Practice for Agriculture Use of Sewage Sludge, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, UK.

Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Mr Dominic Flanagan and Ms Pam Kerry for critical comments, and Dr Mirela Magyar for proof-reading the paper.

The Authors Dr Daryl Stevens (email: daryl@atura.com.au) has worked for NEPC from 2005–2010 developing the AGWR. He and his company (Atura Pty Ltd) consult across Australia in establishing and operating recycled water schemes and systems for land application of biosolids.

CEM (2004): Draft: Guide for the Beneficial Use of Non-Agricultural Source Materials on Agricultural Land, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Environment Ministry. Chander K, Brookes PC & Harding SA (1995): Microbial biomass dynamics following addition of metal-enriched sewage sludges to a sandy loam. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 27, pp 1409–1421. DOI: 10.1016/0038-0717(95)00074-o. Codex Alimentarius Commission Levels (2006): Codex Alimentarius Commission Joint Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Food Standards. The Hague, Netherlands. ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/ ccfac38/ fa38 19e.pdf. DEC (2010): Western Australian Guidelines for Biosolids Management: Draft for comment, in: DoE a Conservation (Ed).

DERM (2011): Guideline. Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. Approval of a resource for beneficial use, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Qld Government. www.derm.qld.gov.au/ecoaccess/business_ and_industry/pdf/gl-bi-approval-resource-buem1719.pdf. Dettrick D & McPhee J (1999): Tasmanian Biosolid Reuse Guidelines in: DoPIW a Environment (Ed). EnHealth (2001): Health-based Soil Investigation Levels, Canberra, ACT, Australia, Commonwealth of Australia. EPA SA (2009): Draft. South Australian Biosolids Guideline for the Safe Handling and Reuse of Biosolids, Environmental Protection Authority South Australia. EPA Victoria (2004): Guidelines for Environmental Management. Biosolids Land Application,

technical features

refereed paper

Melbourne, Environment Protection Authority Victoria.

NZWWA (2003): Guidelines for the Safe Application of Biosolids to Land in New Zealand.

Maguire RO, Kettering QM, Lemunyon JL, Leytem AB, Mullins G, Osmond DL & Weld JL (2005): Phosphorus Indices to Predict Risk for Phosphorus Losses.

EU (1986): Council Directive 86/278/EEC on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when sewage sludge is used in agriculture. CELEX-EUR Official Journal, L 181, pp 6–12.

McGrath SP, Chaudri AM & Giller KE (1995): Long-term effects of metals in sewage sludge on soils, microorganisms and plants. Journal of Industrial Microbiology, 14, pp 94–104.

FSANZ (2010): Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Up to and including Amendment 121. Barton, ACT, Australia: Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).

McLaughlin M, Tiller K, Naidu R & Stevens D (1996): Review: the behaviour and environmental impact of contaminants in fertilisers. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 34, pp 1–54.

Gibbs PA, Chambers BJ, Chaudri AM, McGrath SP, Carlton-Smith CH, Bacon JR, Campbell CD & Aitken MN (2006): Initial results from a long-term, multi-site field study of the effects on soil fertility and microbial activity of sludge cakes containing heavy metals. Soil Use and Management, 22, pp 11–21.

NSW EPA (1997): Environmental Guidelines. Use and disposal of biosolids products, Sydney, Environment Protection Authority. NRMMC & EPHC (2006): Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling. Managing Health and Environmental Risks. Phase 1. National Water Quality Management Strategy 21, Canberra, Australia, Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council. Environment Protection and Heritage Council Australian Health Ministers’ Conference.

Harrison EZ, Oakes SR, Hysell M & Hay A (2006): Organic chemicals in sewage sludges. Science of the Total Environment, 367, pp 481–497.


Heemsbergen DA, McLaughlin MJ, Whatmuff M, Warne MSJ, Broos K, Bell M, Nash D, Barry G, Pritchard D & Penney N (2010): Bioavailability of zinc and copper in biosolids compared to their soluble salts. Environmental Pollution, 158, pp 1907–1915.

NEPC (1999): Schedule B(1). Guideline on the Investigation Levels for Soil and Groundwater. National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999, Canberra, ACT. Nation Environment Protection Council.

Macnicol RD & Beckett PHT (1985): Critical tissue concentrations of potentially toxic elements. Plant and Soil, 85, pp 107–129.

NWQMS (2004): Guidelines for sewerage systems biosolid management in: AWA and NRMMC (Eds).

Pritchard D, Penney N, Bell M & Barry G (2007): Getting a Grip on Biosolids: The Impact of Phosphorus Loading Rates in Australia. Rani N, Dhillon KS & Dhillon SK (2005): Critical Levels of Selenium in Different Crops Grown in an Alkaline Silty Loam Soil Treated with Selenite-Se. Plant and Soil, 277, pp 367–374. Sheppard SC (1992): Summary of phytotoxic levels of soil arsenic. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 64, pp 539–550. Smith S (2009a): A critical review of the bioavailability and impacts of heavy metals in municipal solid waste composts compared to sewage sludge. Environment International, 35, pp 142–156. Smith S (2009b): Organic Contaminants in Sewage Sludge (biosolids) and Their Significance for Agricultural Recycling. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 367, No 1904 (October 13, 2009), pp 4005–4041. USEPA (1994): A Plain English Guide to the EPA Part 503 Rule, in: EP Agency (Ed). USEPA (1995): A Guide to the Biosolids Risk Assessments for the EPA Part 503 Rule, in: EP Agency (Ed). Warne M, Rayment G, Brent P, Drew N, Klim E, McLaughlin M, Mitham P, Shelley B, Stevens D & Sparrow L (2007): Final Report of the National Cadmium Management Committee (NCMC).


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source management

refereed paper

Development of a Catchment-Based Trade Waste Mass Load Model

A tool to improve trade waste officers’ knowledge of catchment parameters that impose constraints on trade waste acceptance C Hester, B Eaton Abstract To ensure Queensland Urban Utilities’ (QUU) sewer acceptance criteria and customer-specific discharge approvals are set at levels that support its trade waste objectives, QUU began development of a catchment-based trade waste mass load model that could be operated on commonly available corporate software (MS Access 2003/2007) and be readily used and maintained by trade waste officers.

Introduction Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) is the South-East Queensland central water distributor-retailer and provides trade waste services to commercial customers across a service territory incorporating the local government areas of Brisbane City Council, Ipswich City Council and the Lockyer Valley, and Somerset and Scenic Rim regional councils. In Queensland, a distributor-retailer is not obliged to accept trade waste, but where it does it must meet its obligations under the Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 2009, including the requirement to implement a Trade Waste Environmental Management Plan (TWEMP) to control trade waste entering its system, and for that plan to consider the effect of trade waste on the following: • Materials used to construct the sewerage system; • Health and safety of people working on the sewerage service; • Treatment capabilities of the wastewater treatment plants; • Receiving environment; and • End use of waters to which the trade waste is being released (e.g. downstream recycling). The potential for tightened environmental constraints and the fact that QUU is the sole provider

78 AUGUST 2012 water

of treated wastewater to the Queensland Government’s Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme (under tightly monitored input water quality specifications) encouraged QUU to develop a catchment-based trade waste mass load model that would allow trade waste officers to assess (consider) the impact of proposed or hypothetical additional contaminant mass loads. Additionally, it was intended that the mass load model be designed to allow its manipulation by trade waste officers, rather than skilled modellers, to enable relatively rapid assessment and an improved understanding of the catchment trade waste characteristics by trade waste officers. In short, it was the development of a tool that would improve trade waste officers’ knowledge of catchment parameters that impose constraints on trade waste acceptance (i.e., would the addition of a particular contaminant mass load meet a constraint first from plant design parameters, environmental licence conditions, downstream recycling quality specifications, biosolids quality etc?).

Discussion To meet its intended purpose, the proposed trade waste mass load model was required to have the following features (as specified by QUU to the model developers, Better Technical Options Ltd, Petone, Lower Hutt, NZ): • Relatively low cost; • User-friendly interface based on the easily obtainable MS Access database; • Straightforward data update processes for static and dynamic data inputs; • Security levels that prevent unintended database access or edits; • A tailored reporting system that would provide:

– A summary of source flows and loads to sewage treatment plants (STPs);

– Predicted STP flows and loads compared to STP maximum capacity limits (e.g. design capacities, environmental discharge conditions, input water quality specifications, sludge disposal specifications);

– Removal efficiencies (intended and incidental).

Although it was initially hoped to create a database model with sufficient flexibility to be adapted to all QUU sewage catchments (dealing with changed networks and various treatment plant types), it soon became evident that a specific model would need to be developed for each catchment. Nevertheless, the developers were instructed to make the models as similar as possible, reducing wherever possible the need for recoding or variations to the user interface. It was decided that the modelling effort should begin with development of the Oxley Creek catchment mass load model, because this catchment has the following characteristics that could test the capability of the model under a variety of scenarios: • Moderate scale among QUU’s treatment assets (60ML/day treatment volume); • Combined industrial/commercial and urban catchment area; • Connected to the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme (mass load modelling of this catchment will allow QUU to demonstrate source control diligence across Barrier 1 (trade waste controls) that is required by the WCRWS Scheme Provider Plan); • Modern STP with complications to treatment train, including imported sludge processing through CAMBI biosolids processing;

technical features

source management

refereed paper

• BTO are well versed in Oxley Creek processes due to prior site engagement; • Ready availability of input data (trade waste officers and embedded process engineers are located at the STP). The input data described below was provided to the modellers as the basis of the model: • Pump station locations and the average dry weather flow (ADWF) for each pump station; • Plant design parameters; • Output trade waste data from the QUU trade waste customer database (known as LIWIS); • Environmental licence conditions;

Table 1. QUU trade waste categorisation. Category A Descriptor

Input total number of Cat A connections Database Assumptions

Category B Descriptor

An average flow from each connection Assumed domestic strength Category C


Discharge greater than 275kL/annum with assumed less than domestic strength. Input total number of Cat C connections

Database Assumptions

• STP plant return stream settings;

Key database inputs include the trade waste connections inputs (described in the paragraphs below); pump station network inputs; and STP capacity model inputs (these are assumptions associated with treatment processes such as inlet works, bioreactors, disinfection and sludge handling).

Discharge greater than 275kL/annum with assumed domestic strength. Input total number of Cat B connections

Database Assumptions

• Influent monitoring data;

• Input water quality specifications for the WCRWS.

An average flow from each connection Assumed domestic strength

• Biosolids flows and quality specifications; • Effluent monitoring data;

Discharge less than 275kL/annum with assumed domestic strength.

An average flow from each connection Assumed contaminant concentrations of BOD=100mg/L, TSS=200mg/L, TN=13mg/L, TP=10mg/L

Category C (sub group – metal handler) Descriptor

Typically Category C traders where QUU obtains regular flow and sampling data for metals contaminants

Database Assumptions

Input industry and monitoring data relevant to specific Cat C (metal handler) on individual basis


Large trader with high-volume or high-strength trade waste (typically >20kg/day BOD or at QUU discretion)

Database Assumptions

Input industry and monitoring data relevant to specific Cat D customer on individual basis

Category D

Most of the variable data inputs are sourced from the known or aggregated discharge characteristics recorded within the QUU trade waste database (LIWIS), and will require regular updating; whereas the fixed data inputs sourced from management plans, licence conditions and plant design specifications are likely to require only infrequent review and update. To understand the nature of the variable data inputs, it is first necessary to understand the categorisation of trade waste customers within the QUU trade waste management system. Trade waste approvals are split into four categories: Cat A, Cat B, Cat C and Cat D. These categories are described in Table 1, along with the assumptions that have been made to enable manageable input of data to the mass load model.

Where input data was unavailable, but may later become available (as for incidental removal rates and some design parameters or discharge conditions), hypothetical entries were made to support the development of the model.

Figure 1. Front screen of mass load model.

Model Overview

Network pump stations page (Figure 2)

The following sections describe the capability of the database model and show several of the input and output screens accessible from the entry screen (Figure 1). This is intended as an overview of the model’s capability and is not exhaustive or detailed.

The model provides a schematic of the major pump stations in the relevant network, and also the interconnections between the pump stations and the major flow path to the STP. The flows and loads calculated for the trade waste contributors are displayed


AUGUST 2012 79

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capacity analysis that compares the design/typical values to those predicted in the model. If a capacity limitation has been breached, the relevant cell will be highlighted in red. All assumptions made within the STP capacity mass balance can be changed from this page (by clicking on the “Mass Balance Assumptions” button).

Output summary reports The following output summary reports are able to be generated: • Network and STP Capacity Highlighted Issues This report shows capacity issues that have been breached (only), and can be used to highlight significant issues before and after a new trade waste connection is added to the model (Figure 4).

Figure 2. Pumping station network screen.

• Network and STP Capacity Triggers Summary This report shows all of the capacity triggers that are tested in the model, and can also be used to highlight changes before and after a new trade waste connection has been made.

Figure 3. STP capacity mass balance screen (hypothetical data). under the network schematic. From this screen the trade waste officer can: • Change details of individual pump stations; • Access a network pump station’s flow summary that compares the modelled flows to the design average daily flow and the design duty flow. The output can be filtered to show flows that exceed the design average daily flow; • Access pump station flow details.

STP capacity mass balance page (Figure 3) The model provides a schematic of the significant processes in overview form, with streams in and out of the STP shown. Trade waste officers can select and view six contaminant or flow parameters at a time (from an extensive list of parameters of interest), all with relevant units applied. The trade waste officer can select a year from 2011 to 2050, and the model will make projections of flow and mass load based on catchment growth projections contained within a relevant planning report (in this case, the 2006 Oxley Creek Upgrade Report).

80 AUGUST 2012 water

The flow condition can be chosen (from a dropdown menu) and this will update mass balance flows and loads based on the selection. The four flow conditions are based on typical ratio assumptions defined below: • ADWF (average dry weather flow); • PDF (peak daily flow condition) 2.2 x ADWF; • PWWF (a sustained 24-hour flow condition) 1.6 x ADWF; • Peak Hourly Flow (sustained 1-hour flow condition) 4 x ADWF. Care must be taken to ensure that the selection of flow condition is relevant to the particular area of the model being observed (i.e. peak flow conditions are relevant for observing constraints at inlet works or pump stations, but not the effect on contaminant levels in treatment processes and sludge handling).

A detailed view of input and output streams for any particular segment within the STP can be viewed (by clicking on the relevant segment). The detail provides

• Individual Constituent Summary This report shows the sources for a particular contaminant in tabular and graphical form. A complete mass balance through the STP is also shown in tabular and graphical form. • Brief Summary of All Constituents This report shows the sources of each constituent (municipal, commercial or imported sludge), and the fate of the contaminants. This form is intended to be used as a calibration tool for the database model (i.e. to fine-tune inputs into the database model). • Individual Trade Waste Connection Summary This report shows the details of any individual Cat D trade waste connection, and the summary of the individual trade waste connection flows and contaminants used in the database model compared to: – The sample average, maximum, minimum or latest sample; – The trade waste approval conditions. This form is also intended to be used as a calibration tool for the database model (i.e. to fine-tune inputs into the database model).

Maintenance QUU recognises that the maintenance of the mass load model is as important as its development. Although the data input duties are not onerous, regular input data updates are necessary – requiring the

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(BTO – NZ). This paper was derived from project specifications prepared by QUU and the model and training materials provided by BTO.

The Authors

Figure 4. Example (hypothetical data) network and STP capacity highlighted issues. collation of data from several sources, including the LIWIS database, planning reports and discharge licence conditions. For this reason, the data input duties associated with the model have been assigned within the role description of a specific trade waste officer. The update of schematics, the correction of any faults encountered and further enhancements to the model will continue to require model development skills provided by BTO officers, and to meet this need QUU expects to maintain a commercial relationship with BTO.

affordable, accessible and easily maintained tool for the assessment of trade waste applications by trade waste officers. Where assessment approval decisions are relatively clear cut, the model is expected to speed the assessment process and reduce the demand on high-order modeling expertise within the business. This paper won the Best Paper and Presentation Award – Source Management at the AWA Biosolids and Source Management Conference held from 18–20 June at the Gold Coast.



Future development

The Oxley Creek trade waste mass load model and its associated training materials were developed for QUU by officers at Better Technical Options

QUU has 28 sewage catchments that are potentially the subject of this accessible style of catchment based modelling; however, several of these catchments are currently considered too small to justify development of catchment-based models in the short–medium term.

Colin Hester (email: Colin.Hester@ urbanutilities.com.au) is a member of the Operations Management Team at Queensland Urban Utilities (South-East Queensland’s central distributor-retailer and water service provider to Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Scenic Rim local government areas). Colin’s portfolio includes management of Trade Waste, Environmental Compliance and Water Quality Compliance. Brett Eaton (email: BEaton@btoltd.co.nz) is a Process Engineer at Better Technical Options Limited, an environmental consultancy based in Wellington, New Zealand. He has over six years’ experience working with municipal and industrial water/wastewater treatment processes, in particular design, optimisation, risk assessment, source control and process modelling. Brett took the lead role in developing the trade waste source control models for QUU from a process perspective, as well as software design/development.

Priority will be given to the six catchments that are connected to the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme (Luggage Point, Gibson Island, Oxley Creek, Wacol, Goodna and Bundamba STPs) and other catchments with sensitive receiving environments, significant scale or specific problems associated with flow or mass load. QUU and BTO are currently developing the Bundamba network and STP mass load model. QUU is satisfied that the trade waste mass load model developed for Oxley Creek catchment provides an


AUGUST 2012 81

AWA Branch Awards Nominations Now Open

The AWA Awards Program recognises and celebrates the achievements and commitment of individuals and organisations in the water sector.

How to nominate Where offered, nominations must be made through the branch awards. Details of entry can be found at www.awa.asn.au/awards The closing date for nominations to branch awards will vary. If your Branch does not offer the award relevant to you nominations can be made directly to the National Awards Program by 30 November.


Awards Open August Awards Close October


Awards Open August Awards Close November


Awards Open August Awards Close October


Awards Open July Awards Close September


Awards Open July Awards Close November


Awards Open June Awards Close September


Awards Open July Awards Close September


Awards Now Closed

For more information please visit www.awa.asn.au/awards

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MAINTAINING SEWER SALT LOAD REDUCTIONS THROUGH CLEANER PRODUCTION City West Water reduces TDS loads at source R Kondos, A Liubinas Abstract A significant impediment to water recycling in the west of Melbourne is the relatively high total dissolved solids (TDS) or salt content of sewage flowing into the Western Treatment Plant (WTP). Without specific additional treatment high TDS levels in sewage reduce the quality of recycled water produced, which limits the opportunities for reuse, especially in agricultural applications. City West Water (CWW) considered a number of options to manage and reduce both residential and industrial salt contributions to the sewage system. This paper outlines the initiatives CWW undertook and the results achieved.

Introduction While water recycling had not been a priority in the past, years of drought and greater community understanding and acceptance have led to recycled water becoming an integral part of Victoria’s water supply. However, recycling opportunities are constrained by high levels of salt entering a wastewater treatment plant. Typical urban growth patterns over the past 100 years have resulted in a natural increase in the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) with time. Government priorities over that time included an accepted ‘treat and discharge’ policy. Together with drought affecting Victorian water storages and associated water conservation programs reducing sewage volumes, the concentrations of TDS have been on a steady increase. Therefore TDS monitoring, reporting and forecasting is part of core business activities for many water utilities, including City West Water (CWW). Unlike industrial contaminant contribution to the sewer, understanding domestic contaminant contribution is an ongoing challenge for CWW and is typically more difficult to monitor and forecast. The Victorian government at that time had also planned water recycling from the Western Treatment Plant (WTP); however, a constraint was the relatively high salt levels in the sewage entering the treatment plant.

The 10-year Victorian drought forced CWW to take a closer look at how water is used and how it could be reused. TDS source reduction is part of the solution in order to supply clean, high-quality recycled water. Recycled water provides an alternative resource in order to reduce stress on existing water supplies. Demand management strategies, conservation programs, cleaner production and contaminant source reductions also became essential core business at CWW. CWW recognises that the most economic way of managing TDS contributions to the sewage is through the cleaner production applications principles. Low-hanging fruit became evident when assisting customers in recognising the potential TDS savings that could be made. Through the CWW Business Resource Efficiency program, TDS loads from CWW’s non-residential customers have reduced by 54.9 tonnes/day since 2002/03, with water savings of 18.6GL. CWW continues to pursue source management opportunities with both residential and non-residential customers for a range of sewage contaminants.

Background City West Water overview City West Water (CWW) is one of three retail water businesses in metropolitan Melbourne. It manages the distribution of drinking water and the provision of sewerage, trade waste, alternative water and resource efficiency services to approximately 332,263 residential and 35,998 business customers. Providing assistance to customers to improve water efficiency and reduce contaminants, including salt in trade waste discharges, is consistent with CWW’s regulated functions as outlined in its Statement of Obligations. Ninety per cent of CWW’s sewage is treated at Melbourne Water Corporation’s (MWC) Western Treatment Plant (WTP).

Policy The then Victorian Government’s Vision for Werribee Plains – the Next Step – Action Plan, aimed to provide sustainable fit-for-purpose recycled water to the Werribee Irrigation District and other potential recycled water projects in the region (Living Victoria Ministerial Advisory Council, 2011; Quality Recycled Water for the Werribee Plains – Salt Reduction Strategy, Our Water, Our Future, 2004). Recycling opportunities from WTP were possible; however, they were constrained by the high levels of salt in the influent entering the treatment plant. The treatment process at WTP did not reduce salinity. The objective of this strategy was to reduce salt levels in effluent produced at the WTP by more than 40% by 2009 to enable significantly increased water recycling west of Melbourne (Quality Recycled Water for the Werribee Plains –Salt Reduction Strategy Our Water, Our Future, 2005). To address this, CWW and MWC developed the Salt Reduction Strategy outlining three actions to be undertaken to reduce the TDS concentration of recycled water produced at WTP. CWW was set the following actions: • Work with its trade waste customers on cleaner production opportunities to reduce the discharge of TDS in trade waste by 10% (equivalent to 49 tonnes/ day); and • Determine the contribution of laundry detergents to TDS concentration in recycled water and recommend a strategy to reduce this contribution towards achieving a 5% reduction in TDS concentration in recycled water. In addition, MWC was to consider in a business case the opportunity to desalinate treated effluent.

Sources of salt Around 400T/day of salt enters WTP. Of this:


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Figure 1. Top 2 recommended powder and liquid detergents for top-loaders and front-loaders. Powder Detergents

Liquid Detergents

Top Loaders

Biozet Omo Small & Mighty 2 x concentrate

Seventh Generation OMO Small & Mighty 3 x active power

Front Loaders

Biozet Omo Small & Mighty 2 x concentrate (at ½ dose)

Seventh Generation OMO Small & Mighty 3 x active power

• Residential sources account for 24% (40% of this is from blackwater and 60% from greywater); • Industrial sources of trade waste make up 35% of the salt load; and • The remaining 41% comes from salty groundwater infiltration or, less likely, unidentified trade waste customers. Increasingly, retail water companies are receiving enquiries from private individuals (domestic use) and businesses regarding the installation of desalination plants to treat groundwater. With brine discharged to sewer, this is another source of TDS in wastewater.

Methodology A range of options for TDS reductions were considered; however, the most costeffective and preferred approach adopted by CWW was a combination of residential and non-residential initiatives.

Residential initiatives Laundry Detergents A study conducted by CSIRO on sources of critical contaminants in domestic wastewater revealed that washing machines produced the highest levels of salt in domestic sewage (Tjandraatmadja, 2006). Laundry detergents contribute approximately 50% of TDS loads from households (Tjandraatmadja, 2009), and are estimated to represent 9.2% of TDS loads entering WTP. Laundry detergents consist mainly of sodium-based surfactants and builders. Surfactants are responsible for the detergents’ cleaning capability, while builders assist surfactant agents (Diaper et al., 2008). Different laundry products have varying levels of sodium-based compounds. CWW partnered with Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and consumer organisation CHOICE to conduct an independent study into laundry detergents, with the aim of uncovering the products with the lowest salt load and that were best for: • The use of greywater on gardens; • Wash performance; • Water recycling from the treatment plants;

84 AUGUST 2012 water

• Minimising impacts on inland ecosystems; and

• Products are not labelled for low TDS or chemical loading;

• Price.

• The average consumer does not see the connection between low-salt detergents and benefits to wastewater treatment plants, recycled water and inland waterways; and

The most recent study tested almost 50 detergents, including both powder and liquid detergents, for both top- and front-loading machines. Testing included chemical analysis (including TDS and phosphorus) and wash performance testing for the removal of soil, grass and tomato stains. It was found that liquid detergents generally contained less salt than powder detergents; however, powder detergents offered a better wash. Therefore, consumers should pick the detergent that is fit-for-purpose for their needs (i.e. pick a powder only for heavier soiling). In addition, CHOICE conducted an experiment with one laundry detergent to see if there was a noticeable difference in dirt removal if the dose of detergent was reduced. CHOICE discovered that using just one-quarter of the recommended dose still produced a high-quality wash. So not only is reducing the detergent load per wash better for recycling and reuse, it also saves the consumer money. CHOICE magazine published the results in an article in July 2011, and CWW produced a video to educate residents looking to make their choice of laundry detergent more environmentally friendly without compromising wash performance. The results of the study and the video are hosted on the savewater! website, accompanied by top tips for reducing the environmental impacts of detergents, a quick guide for selecting the recommended detergents (Figure 1) and a full list of ratings for each detergent. Behavioural barriers to residential programs CWW’s laundry detergents study aimed to raise awareness of the environmental impacts that could be reduced through the choice of laundry detergents. However, there are a number of barriers that influence the effectiveness of these initiatives. Some of the most common barriers include: • Environmental and salt savings are not often considered when consumers choose a laundry detergent;

• The perception that detergents containing P are most harmful when, in reality, many well-performing detergents are now free of P and other salts are the bigger issue, especially for inland waterways. Promotion of the detergent study results aims to persuade consumers to consider salt content as part of their selection criteria when choosing laundry detergents, alongside wash performance, and convince consumers that wash performance does not need to be compromised to reduce environmental impacts. CWW’s Community and Social Involvement team have attended a number of community events to promote the findings of the laundry detergents program, particularly the impact of salt on recycled water. Manufacturers of the recommended detergents have provided free samples to CWW to distribute to its customers, so consumers can trial lower salt detergents.

Non-residential initiatives CWW formally began targeting source reductions in trade waste volume and contaminants with non-residential customers through its Cleaner Production Program in 2003. Framework CWW developed a resource efficiency framework for customers to identify, evaluate, implement and monitor improvement opportunities. The framework, a Resource Management Action Plan (ResourceMAP) program assesses trade waste, and includes actions to improve water efficiency, reduce trade waste and target key contaminants such as TDS, heavy metals and nitrogen. A typical ResourceMAP includes: • A list of relevant contacts at City West Water and the customer involved;

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• A process description and flow diagram of the customer’s process/business; • Water mass balance; • Water usage trend; • Trade waste volume graph; • Salt load to sewer trend; • Table of environmental improvement initiatives; • Table of completed actions; and • Table of proposed actions (with water savings, TDS reductions, cost and status). Additionally, targeting source reduction in specific sectors or processes has demonstrated large salt savings. CWW is continually working to consult with industry on the potential success of delivering targeted programs for high-salt contributing processes such as Clean in Place (CIP) and animal-hide salting and preservation. Salt Monitoring and Reporting CWW conducts regular sampling programs at non-residential sites that discharge significant TDS loads. Customers who are discharging greater than 100kg/day of TDS are currently part of CWW’s sampling program. The sampling results are used to monitor and track TDS contributions from trade waste to WTP. This information allows CWW to identify at source increases or decreases, and to identify opportunities for reductions at source. Barriers to Implementation of TDS Reduction Initiatives While TDS is a chargeable parameter under a non-residential customer’s trade waste agreement, the cost of discharging TDS is still relatively low – around 1.7 cents per kilogram. As such, there is little financial incentive for businesses to implement TDS reduction initiatives. CWW encourages customers to assess projects holistically, as TDS reduction projects often have water and energy savings that increase the financial benefits to customers.

Case Studies A selection of CWW case studies of non-residential salt reduction initiatives is outlined below.

Sugar Australia As the largest sugar refiner in Australia, Sugar Australia operates refineries in Queensland and Victoria, producing an extensive range of industrial and retail products.

In order to incorporate more environmentally sound operational procedures, Sugar Australia embarked on a project to remove calcium phosphate (a salt) from the wastewater at its Yarraville refinery. In October 2000 the Sugar Australia Board of Directors approved spending $3 million to build a phosphatation plant to commence the refinement of QHP, a high-yield and high-purity sugar. During the phosphatation process, a by-product containing calcium phosphate and dissolved sugar is created, which, at the time, was discharged as trade waste. Sugar Australia had been identified as a major contributor of total dissolved solids to the Western Treatment Plant and, as a result, CWW commenced developing a plan with Sugar Australia to install a decanter to reduce this input. In 2004, a centrifuge decanter was trialled to recover water containing sugar and process the entire refinery’s calcium phosphate waste stream. The trial was successful and a project was developed to install a larger unit with associated equipment. The decanter now being used was commissioned in 2006. Some 3,000 tonnes of solids per year that were previously sent to sewer are now sent to composting. These solids included 188 tonnes per year of salt and 51 tonnes per year of phosphate now removed from the trade waste stream. Additionally, 13 million litres of water containing sugar was recycled back into the process. The project initially had a lengthy payback period, with the total cost of the project being $850,000. Sugar Australia applied to the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s Water Smart Industry Demonstration Projects Fund, a part of the Vision for Werribee Plains Strategy, and received a $340,000 grant, which made the project viable (Liubinas, 2004).

Victoria Wool Processors Acid Recovery Victoria Wool Processors receives bales of wool from farms across Australia. Before the wool is ready for export, it undergoes an intensive cleaning and processing procedure to remove grass seeds and other vegetable matter. The wool-scouring process includes immersing the wool in acid bowls to remove the vegetable matter. These acid bowls contain 5% sulphuric acid solution. Previous practice was to neutralise the sulphuric acid with caustic and discharge the solution to trade waste after a three-week period of use.

Victoria Wool Processors recognised that they were losing valuable acid and spending a significant amount of money and effort in managing trade waste to meet discharge limits. Victoria Wool Processors employed the use of a hydrocyclone to treat the acid-water mix and remove suspended particles. The process allows the solution to be reused, rather than being discharged to sewer. The project reduced water consumption by 650kL/ year and reduced TDS discharge by 10 tonnes/year.

Steam System Efficiency Program Over 100 of CWW’s customers use steam within their processes. City West Water’s Steam System Efficiency Program engaged a consultant to provide free steam system audits to selected customers. The program had the following deliverables: • Potential water, energy, chemical and trade waste savings; • Identify steam system equipment at each site; • Document inefficiencies; • Provide recommendations on improving: - Water and energy losses; - Trade waste and chemical savings; - Steam generation and distribution; - Engineering practices and correct applications; - Return of condensate and heat recovery. • Cost of implementation; and • Return on investment or payback period. Customers from various industries were targeted to demonstrate the value of steam system auditing, maintenance and retrofitting within each industry sector. Industries targeted include: food; beverage; meat processing; chemical/ petrochemical; laundry; tanker washers; textile; resins and rubber; and hospital and medical. The program also included a training course aimed at facility managers and maintenance personnel to improve knowledge and promote behavioural change with respect to ongoing maintenance of steam systems, as well as investigating and implementing improvements. The program was conducted in two phases. In the first phase of the program,


AUGUST 2012 85

source management 19 audits were conducted, uncovering 121 opportunities with potential identified water savings of 125ML/year and 115,739GJ/year. Audits for the second phase of the project are complete; however, CWW is waiting to receive final audits reports. Although the main driver for the initiative is water and energy efficiency, a large salt-saving potential exists from improved boiler performance. Chemicals that are essential to boiler performance and maintenance are normally large contributors of salt to sewer. Boiler efficiency through increased condensate recovery reduces the need for added anti-scalant chemicals. Although the potential TDS load-saving from the project was unquantifiable, the reduction in chemical loading entering the sewer from this program will save CWW customers approximately $800,000 per year.

Carlton and United Breweries Carlton and United Brewers’ (CUB) Abbotsford brewery is Victoria’s largest brewery and employs around 500 staff and produces around 430 million litres of beer a year. CUB recognised that large chemical savings could be made by improving the site’s trade waste discharge process. The site had separate acidic and basic discharge streams that required pH adjustments before final discharge to sewer to comply with trade waste limits. CUB found that combining the acidic and basic streams resulted in sufficient pH neutralisation, which negated the need to pH-adjust the individual streams. Eliminating chemical use for pH dosing reduced the site’s TDS discharge by 32%.

refereed paper

Trade waste pH discharge limits A contribution to TDS in the sewerage system arises from the use of acid (normally hydrochloric) or alkali (caustic soda) dosing to correct the pH of trade waste discharges to the range required by their trade waste agreements. The trade waste pH limits exist to minimise odour generation, protect infrastructure, decrease Occupational Health & Safety risks and avoid impact on the treatment plant. A PhD was funded by CWW and RMIT to develop a model to predict sewer pH when streams of varying volumes and pH are mixed. The project aims to safely mix trade wastes of high and low pH in the sewer, so reducing the amounts of dosing chemicals used to neutralise trade waste without adversely affecting health and safety, asset integrity or treatment plants. CWW is currently working with customers to quantify the TDS contribution from pH dosing, and to identify suitable trade waste streams that can be safely mixed within the sewer to neutralise pH. The model developed will be tested on suitable pairings of customer discharges.

Clean In Place Best Practice Guidelines Clean in Place (CIP) is a widely implemented process used in a range of food and beverage industries to ensure that process piping and equipment is maintained to a hygienic and clean standard. The process involves pumping cleaning agents through pipelines and process equipment (such as mixing tanks), followed by rinsing with water.

Trade Waste Cleaner Production Target and Actual TDS Load


2002–2003 Trade Waste TDS load reduction strategy 60,000



Tonnes per annum


47,000 40,000








46,000 38,000


45,500 53,000


Actual Total Trade Waste loads





0 02/03





Figure 2. City West Water’s target and actual TDS loads.

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Smart Water Fund, on behalf of CWW and the other Melbourne water retailers, engaged the Hatlar Group to create a set of best practice guidelines for CIP optimisation at industrial and commercial sites. In developing the guidelines, assessments of CIP systems at numerous food and beverage sites and a literature review of worldwide best practice were undertaken. A single CIP system can produce up to 40% savings in energy, water and chemicals if optimised (Hatlar, 2010). CWW has recognised these benefits and is developing a targeted program designed to assist customers optimise CIP systems in delivering increased resource efficiency and reduce TDS discharge through reductions in chemical use. CWW is currently assessing options to best deliver the benefits to industry.

Results and Outcomes Source management with customers has proved effective in reducing TDS loads to WTP to contribute to providing fit-for-purpose recycled water. CWW has exceeded its actions outlined in the Salt Reduction Strategy and achieved significant TDS load reductions through source management: • To date, TDS loads from CWW’s non-residential customers has reduced by 54.9 tonnes/day (Figure 2); and • Laundry detergents contribute 50% of the TDS load from households and is estimated to represent 9.2% of TDS loads entering WTP. CWW has completed two studies with CHOICE to determine the TDS contribution from a range of laundry detergents and educate the residential sector on salt levels in detergents. This work has been supported by Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), as it has significance for all Australian water utilities. The salt reduction achieved by CWW trade waste customers up to June 2011 is equivalent to 54.9 tonnes/day, exceeding requirements under the Salt Reduction Strategy by 5.9 tonnes/day. However, the reduction in concentration has been partly negated by reduced flows in the sewerage system caused by Melbourne’s water conservation programs and reduced inflow and infiltration.

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CWW’s challenge for the future will be for customers to avoid discharging contaminants at source and maintain the gains made, without which the concentration of salt in inflows at the WTP would be much higher.

The Authors

Our Water, Our Future (2004): Western Treatment Salinity Management Plan, viewed 16 April 2012, www.vgavic.org.au/pdf/env_Western_ Treatment_Plant_Salinity_Management_ Plan_2004.pdf

Conclusion Melbourne urban growth patterns, along with drought conditions, have resulted in an increase in TDS loads and other contaminants entering the sewer. The most sustainable approach to managing TDS and contaminant loads is through cleaner production principles, which are primarily reduction at source. Although many of City West Water’s targeted initiatives have had marginal impacts on TDS contributions, the combined savings from all the initiatives have allowed for CWW to meet and exceed the TDS reduction targets to date. Removing the salt at source through avoidance importantly also obviates the need to dispose of salts removed at end of pipe in desalination plants. This paper was originally presented at the AWA Biosolids and Source Management Conference held from 18–20 June at the Gold Coast.

16 April 2012, www.water.vic.gov.au/__data/ assets/pdf_file/0009/107658/3770_DSE_Living_ Victoria_Roadmap_1.3MG.pdf

Randa Kondos (email: rkondos@ citywestwater.com.au) is Resource Management Consultant and Audra Liubinas (email: aliubinas@citywestwater. com.au) is Co-ordinator Business Resource Efficiency, both at City West Water, Melbourne, Victoria.

References Diaper C, Tjandraatmadja G, Pollard C, Tusseau AC, Price G, Burch L & Gozukara Y (2008): Sources of critical contaminants in domestic wastewater: contaminant loads from household appliances, CSIRO, Australia, CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship. Hatlar Group (2010): Clean In Place Best Practice Guidelines, Melbourne. Liubinas A (2004): Cleaner Production Co-funding Case Study Phosphate Removal at Sugar Australia, City West Water, Melbourne, Vol 1, No 1, pp 1–2. Living Victoria Ministerial Advisory Council (2011): Living Melbourne, Living Victoria Roadmap, Victorian Government, Melbourne, viewed

Our Water, Our Future (2005): Quality recycled water for the Werribee Plains Salt Reduction Strategy, Victorian Government, Melbourne, viewed 16 April 2012, www.melbournewater. com.au/content/library/water_recycling/ western_region/quality_recycled_water_for_ the_werribee_plains.pdf Tjandraatmadja GT, Diaper C, Gozukara Y, Burch L, Sheedy C & Price GD (2006): Sources of Critical Contaminants in Domestic Wastewater: a literature review, CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship, www.clw.csiro.au/ publications/waterforahealthycountry/2006/ wfhc-criticalcontaminants-sourcesdomesticwastewater.pdf Tjandraatmadja G, Pollard C, Gozukara Y & Sheedy C (2009): Origins of Priority Contaminants and Household Wastewater – An Experimental Assessment, CSIRO, Australia. Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship, www.clw.csiro.au/ publications/waterforahealthycountry/2009/ wfhc-prioritycontaminants-sourcesdomesticwastewater.pdf

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AUGUST 2012 87













Please send your abstracts and/or technical paper submissions to our Technical Editor, Clare Porter, email: cporter@awa.asn.au AND journal@awa.asn.au. Please see page 1, Editorial Submissions, for editorial guidelines.

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December 2012 • Asset Management • Small Water & Wastewater Systems • Sustainability

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Water Journal is always seeking quality, well researched technical papers on a range of key and regularly addressed topics. Contributions from suitably qualified individuals are always welcome on these and other relevant topics of interest. Upcoming topics for the November and December 2012 issues include: November 2012 • Coal Seam Gas Water • GHG Emissions • Carbon Footprint • Demand Management/ Water Efficiency • Odour Management


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groundwater management

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FINDING, DEVELOPING AND SUSTAINABLY MANAGING POTABLE GROUNDWATER SUPPLIES IN VICTORIA’S CENTRAL HIGHLANDS REGION A consultant, resource manager and urban water supply authority’s perspective T Anderson, P Russell, B Cossens, D Stanley Introduction The City of Maryborough is located in the Central Highlands Region of Victoria, approximately 60km northwest of Ballarat on the Pyrenees Highway, and 170km northwest of Melbourne. Gold was discovered approximately 4km north of Maryborough in the early 1850s and the town grew rapidly shortly afterwards. While the population expanded to more than 50,000 citizens during the gold mining boom, in more recent times this figure is closer to 10,000. Prolonged drought conditions experienced throughout Victoria, including six consecutive years of below-average rainfall, had severely stressed the reservoirs servicing the City of Maryborough supply system, both in terms of volumes of water available, and water quality. This water supply stress had far-reaching impacts to the community in terms of severe water restrictions, but also to the responsible urban water supply authority, Central Highlands Water, with a mandated responsibility for ensuring continued potable water supply to the community.

As a result, Central Highlands Water proactively sought alternate water supplies to augment the Maryborough supply system. Groundwater was identified as a practicable option and GHD was commissioned to provide hydrogeological support and engineering services to Central Highlands Water. Investigations were focused on developing groundwater contained in two ‘Deep Leads’ at Evansford and Moolort. This article presents an overview of the investigations undertaken by GHD for Central Highlands Water, with greater focus on the development of the Moolort borefield.


The Maryborough and District water supply is the second largest system managed by Central Highlands Water and provides filtered water to Maryborough and several surrounding rural towns. A locality plan has been provided in Figure 1. The Maryborough water supply system contains three reservoirs that are managed by Central Highlands Water. The main water harvesting reservoirs are Evansford Reservoir (1,351ML capacity) and Talbot Reservoir (846ML capacity). Centenary Reservoir (180ML capacity), located on the southern outskirts of the city, does not receive natural inflow and serves as a central holding basin only. In addition, Central Highlands Water has a bulk entitlement to extract water from Tullaroop Reservoir (see Figure 1) each year (1200ML/year, with a minimum of 600ML/ year, and the capacity to Figure 1. Maryborough and District site locality plan. carry over up to 900ML).

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Moolort Production Bore 1 headworks. Historically, the main sources of supply were Evansford Reservoir and Talbot Reservoir due to their superior water quality and reliable inflows. In recent years, however, changes in climate (drought) have affected the system performance and resulted in fundamental changes to the management of the system. Evansford and Talbot Reservoirs could not provide full supply due to insufficient inflow and there was a greater reliance on sourcing supply from Tullaroop Reservoir. However, the water from Tullaroop Reservoir has different characteristics, most notably higher salinity. Another effect of reduced inflows into the system was the resultant low reservoir levels and higher temperatures, and greater likelihood of algal blooms. To improve the quality, Central Highlands Water upgraded treatment with the introduction of aerators, which helped prevent algal blooms in the reservoirs by introducing oxygen and facilitating mixing.

Planning Central Highlands Water developed a Water Demand Supply Strategy in accordance with the Guidelines for the Development of a Water Supply Demand Strategy prepared by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), with the assistance of VicWater and its members.

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refereed paper

groundwater management Investigation Program Owing to the urgency to drought-proof Maryborough, GHD undertook groundwater investigations at both Evansford (Stony Creek) and Moolort. These investigations included a number of phases of exploratory drilling, water sampling, production bore construction and pumping test programs.

Observation bore at Middle Creek. With reservoir inflows at record low levels, and the community under some of the most severe water restrictions (Stage 4) imposed throughout Victoria, Central Highlands Water examined other water supply options for the Maryborough system. Historically, a number of 19th century miners were defeated by groundwater inflows and this provided promising evidence of a resource of sufficient capacity to supply a relatively large city. GHD’s hydrogeologists identified groundwater aquifer systems in the Maryborough district that had the potential to alleviate water supply stress in terms of volume, but at the same time maintaining a desired water quality.

Accessing Groundwater The Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) has recognised areas of intensive groundwater use with the potential to be developed throughout Victoria. These areas have been defined as Groundwater Management Areas (GMAs) for resource management purposes. In the Maryborough region, the Upper Loddon and Mid Loddon Water Supply Protection Areas (WSPAs) had been proclaimed with water resources (surface and groundwater) managed by Goulburn-Murray Water. Licensed allocations had been capped over most of the aquifer systems deemed suitable for supply to the Maryborough system and, as such, before embarking on a groundwater development program, Central Highlands Water had to secure access to a supply by obtaining licence entitlements. Based upon the review of their existing water supplies, current levels of usage and predicted demands, Central Highlands Water was able to identify spare allocations within these management areas that could be transferred to sites closer to Maryborough. In addition, Central Highlands Water advertised in the local press and successfully negotiated transferable water entitlements from existing licensed groundwater users in the Upper Loddon WSPA.

Key aspects of the investigations included: • Undertaking background hydrogeological reviews to identify sites with development potential. This included reviews of historical mining reports and boring records, and geological mapping. • Prioritising sites based on perceived water quality (and likely treatment requirements), but also delivery infrastructure requirements such as pipelines, power and pumping stations. GHD and Central Highlands Water worked closely to ensure that infrastructure approvals, contracts and construction were timed closely with groundwater development to minimise any delay in establishing the connection of the new supply to the delivery system. • Obtaining drilling, land access and environmental approvals. GHD’s hydrogeologists and ecologists worked closely with the regulatory authorities of Goulburn-Murray Water and the Department of Sustainability and Environment to ensure that bore construction licenses were obtained promptly and sites approved in terms of native vegetation clearances. The priority targets for groundwater development were ‘Deep Lead’ aquifer systems. These are geologically young (lower to mid-Tertiary in age), unconsolidated sediments of the Calivil Formation. These sediments were laid down under fluviatile conditions as river channel deposits and consist of interbedded sand, gravel and minor clay. The leads do not form a laterally continuous sheet across the region and consist of a few tens of metres of sand and clay ‘drift’ overlying several metres of gravel material. They are restricted in extent, being deposited along channels typically incised into the Palaeozoic bedrock surface. The physical extent of these systems is extremely difficult to determine based on the surface topographic expression. The geometry and lithology of the Deep Leads have been primarily identified through drilling programs principally undertaken by government in the late 1800s to the early 1900s in an attempt to locate the

floors of the lead valleys where alluvial gold accumulated in the gravel wash. The Deep Leads outcrop or sub-crop buried at shallow depth beneath thin Quaternary-age alluvium along the upper reaches of the highland valleys; however, elsewhere along much of their course they are buried beneath basalt flows of the Newer Volcanics. The interpreted alignment of the Moolort and Greenock Deep Leads, targeted at the Moolort and Stony Creek Borefields respectively, has been shown in Figure 1. At Moolort, the Deep Lead was targeted at the nearest location to Tullaroop Reservoir to facilitate rapid connection to the Maryborough potable supply. Water transmission pipeline (and power to operate the borefield) approvals were initiated early during the groundwater investigation program to avoid construction delays. GHD drilled a number of pilot exploratory bores to identify the thickness and lithology of the Deep Lead, in order to locate the optimum site for production bore/s installation. These bores were tested to confirm water quality before the larger-diameter production bores were constructed. The exploratory bores were subsequently converted into monitoring bores to support both the licensing of the supply (and pumping test investigations), but also to provide information during the borefield’s operation. A simplified geological cross-section through the Moolort Borefield has been shown in Figure 2, which shows the Deep Lead sediments overlain by two main flows of Newer Volcanic basalt. At Stony Creek the Greenlock Deep Lead was targeted (see Figure 1) at a location close to the water pipeline between Talbot Reservoir and Maryborough. The geological profile at Stony Creek is similar to that at Moolort, with approximately 40m of Newer Volcanics overlying a thin section of the Greenock Deep Lead.

Installation of production bore casing.


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groundwater management hardness is somewhat elevated, however, significant treatment to remove other unusual constituents is not required.

Assessment of Impacts Under the Water Act (1989), the Minister issued the guidelines for the groundwater licensing of urban supplies (Victorian Government 2008). The guidelines “provide Figure 2. Moolort Borefield geological section. that applications for Bore Construction groundwater licence for urban water supply may require The construction of groundwater bores a groundwater assessment report. to access the Deep Leads was relatively The groundwater assessment report complicated, as in some cases the aquifer essentially describes the potential yield overlying the Deep Leads contained of groundwater resource and makes saline groundwater. Multiple casing in both an assessment of potential risks or exploration and production bores was any adverse impacts arising from the required to seal off shallower non-potable proposed extraction of groundwater groundwater and preserve the developed (Victorian Government, 2008). Under aquifer water quality. Two production bores these guidelines, the delegated licensing were constructed at the Moolort Borefield authority, in this instance Goulburnand one at Stony Creek. Murray Water, is empowered to: Geophysical logging was undertaken • Issue bore construction licenses; to identify the coarser grained intervals • Request a program of pumping test of the Deep Lead over which to place investigations to define the hydraulic the bore screens, and sieve analysis parameters of an aquifer; undertaken to size (and maximise the screen apertures). Production bores • Issue short-term licences (e.g. were constructed with ABS casing and three-year period) to enable further wire-wound stainless steel screens. monitoring of extraction and The pumphouse casing of the Moolort assessment of extraction impacts; production bores are 300mm in diameter • Provide a means of compensating with 10m of 2mm aperture screens impacted, authorised users of the positioned some 70–80m below the resource. surface. A further eight monitoring bores were constructed to monitor conditions in the Deep Lead and overlying aquifers. Aquifer pumping tests confirmed sustainable production flow rates in excess of 4ML/day from each bore. The Greenlock Deep Lead is not as thick as the Moolort Deep Lead, and the production bore at Stony Creek is capable of flows of 1.5 ML/day. In the order of five monitoring bores were also installed in the vicinity to monitor conditions within the Deep Lead sediments and overlying basalt, as well as potential impacts on a nearby waterway. Groundwater quality was assessed during the investigations. Water from the pumping tests undertaken at both borefields was fed directly into water supply system to avoid wastage of the resource. The groundwater salinity extracted from both the Moolort and Stony Creek borefields is around 700mg/L to 800mg/L Total Dissolved Solids. Groundwater

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GHD undertook pumping test investigations consistent with Australian Standards AS2368 (1990) and the Ministerial Guidelines. The pumping tests enabled the determination of aquifer hydraulic parameters (and thus the impacts of extraction), and further characterisation of the water quality under sustained extraction. An assessment of extraction impacts on neighbouring groundwater users and the environment was undertaken by GHD to satisfy the Ministerial Guidelines for licensing urban authorities. While understanding the requirement for provision of essential urban supplies, Goulburn-Murray Water also has to ensure that the rights of existing users and environmental values of the system are not compromised. Analysis of the test results indicated that impacts to existing users and the environment were deemed to be acceptable. Goulburn-Murray

refereed paper

Water subsequently granted groundwater extraction licenses to Central Highlands Water to enable commissioning of both the Moolort and Stony Creek Borefields. Consistent with the Ministerial Guidelines, and in consultation with Goulburn-Murray Water, GHD and Central Highlands Water developed monitoring and reporting programs to assess the impacts of extraction over time. In addition, throughflow analysis was undertaken to understand the impacts down-gradient in the aquifer system, particularly under the influence of prolonged drought conditions. Central Highlands Water annually reports the results of their monitoring program to GoulburnMurray Water as part of the extraction licensing conditions, and to confirm the longer term sustainability of the systems (both during and outside of drought periods).

Conclusions The development of the Moolort and Evansford (Stony Creek) Borefields has provided Central Highlands Water with a drought-proof water supply for the City of Maryborough. With the breaking of the drought in 2010, and filling of Tullaroop (to spilling capacity) the borefields are no longer required in continuous operation. However, Central Highlands Water periodically operates the borefields to confirm the system’s operation, and continues to undertake an approved groundwater-monitoring program to build upon the knowledge base of the aquifer system. Note: This paper is taken from a presentation made at the National Groundwater Conference 2010, Canberra.

The Authors Tim Anderson (email: timothy.anderson@ghd.com) is a Principal Hydrogeologist with GHD, primarily involved in groundwater resource and environmental investigations associated with the development of water supplies, salinity studies, groundwater flow processes and surface water interactions, mine dewatering, mineral spring and contaminated groundwater. He also undertakes EPA groundwater monitoring compliance reviews. Pat Russell is Manager Water Resources, with Central Highlands Water. Brendan Cossens is Senior Water Resources Officer with Goulburn-Murray Water. David Stanley is a Principal Hydrogeologist with GHD and has over 30 years’ experience in the field of geology/ hydrogeology. David has undertaken projects for Central Highlands Water and its predecessors for over 20 years.

technical features

water business


The Urban Renewal Authority of Victoria, which operates as Places Victoria, is seeking to implement major site-specific and precinctual-scale sustainable urban renewal. Through its activities the agency aims to combine State Government environmental initiatives and private sector investment to develop residential and mixed-use projects within established areas of Melbourne and strategic locations in regional Victoria. Victorians are experiencing significant water service price rises across the state, to pay for multi-million dollar investments in essential infrastructure by water utility corporations. The expectation is that residential service bills will increase by between 13 and 30 per cent in the two years from June 2011. Places Victoria sought to specify a comprehensive portfolio of bestpractice building technologies including an integrated water cycle management system for The Nicholson Project in inner suburban East Coburg. The results were ground-breaking. As well as significantly reducing the use of valuable drinking water, the provision of a non-potable water supply at The Nicholson has helped insulate residents from steeply rising costs for water and sewerage services. Peter Burke, Development Director of Medium Density Infill at Places Victoria, said: “Partnering with proven suppliers of the calibre of Nubian Water Systems aligns with our objectives to promote high amenity, sustainable and affordable urban environments.” Nubian Water Systems and its tendered solution underwent strict due diligence to satisfy Places Victoria that it could in turn meet its commitments to purchasers and other key stakeholders, as well as

compliance with the regulatory regimes of the relevant authorities. Architectural and engineering consultants to Places Victoria along with the project builder, Hickory Developments, verified that the Nubian greywater harvesting system could be efficiently implemented and maintained.

The Nubian system was assessed by the project’s hydraulic consultant to have the smallest footprint, with the lowest energy use and maintenance costs of any solution in its class. Nubian installed its CGT5-10A system compromising two bio filters, which treat the organic content of the greywater, plus a triple disinfection barrier of ultra-filtration, ultra-violet light and chlorination to ensure recycled water is of the highest quality. With a 10,000 litre per day capacity, the system was designed to capture water from showers then treat and re-use the water for toilet flushing and, should residents elect, for laundry use. Rainwater is also captured for hot water use and garden irrigation, which further lowers potable water consumption and significantly reduces the discharge of stormwater to nearby waterways. Nubian worked closely with Hickory Developments to synchronise the greywater system’s installation with the construction phase so it had no impact on the project’s completion schedule. Under the tailored building maintenance agreement, Nubian will meet any servicing, upgrade or expansion requirements of its system at The Nicholson complex. Water quality and system performance are able to be monitored and controlled remotely by the building manager via both a web browser and an iPhone/iPad App. Nubian’s water-saving technologies counter rapidly rising utility costs.

It is expected that the Nubian greywater plant will deliver a 30 per cent reduction in potable water consumption. Residents can easily take advantage of the laundry money-saving option. By simply connecting to a pre-plumbed ‘third pipe’ outlet in each unit’s laundry to the washing machine, residents have immediate access to the high-grade unmetered water supply for clothes washing. As well as the potable water savings, the treatment and re-use of greywater also reduces by up to a third the discharge of wastewater. This is important to the increasingly capacity-constrained sewerage system as urban renewal progresses in The Nicholson’s neighbourhood. Places Victoria is seeing growing customer expectations of environmental sustainability for new housing and land developments. This encouraging trend was demonstrated with the release of The Nicholson project in April 2010, with all units sold within 11 months of the official launch. Nubian Water Systems Pty Ltd is an Australian-owned developer and marketer of sustainable water solutions for scalable domestic, commercial and industrial use. Nubian has pioneered advances in technology that ensure the highest quality recycled or purified water. Its systems are efficient, easy and flexible to install and maintain. Nubian systems can be purchased directly or via an Australiawide distributor network. For more information visit www.nubian.com.au

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP COMPLETES $6.9 MILLION SEWER REHABILITATION IN SYDNEY Water Infrastructure Group has completed repair work on a major wastewater pipeline for Sydney Water. The 1.8 metre pipeline extends 2.1 kilometres from High Street in Canterbury to Unwin Street in Earlwood in Sydney’s south western suburbs. The pipeline carries all wastewater from the Canterbury Bankstown area and eventually drains to Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant. Water Infrastructure Group project manager John Gillan said: “Our repair work will improve the performance and extend the life expectancy of this important asset. “We relined 2,108 metres of pipeline with our proprietary Panel LokTM technology, which is a spiral wound uPVC lining system specifically designed to reline major circular or oviform sewers and stormwater conduits,” John explained.


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new products & services

Pipe being relined. Nineteen maintenance holes and shafts were also repaired to provide safer access for crews in the future. This involved applying an epoxy protective coating to deteriorated surfaces, replacing several maintenance hole roofs and replacing corroded fittings.

A common philosophy is to use streaming current or streaming potential as an indicator of system charge and, therefore, a control point for chemical dosage. In this approach, an arbitrary potential is selected as a desirable endpoint and coagulants are dosed to achieve this. Apart from conductivity dependence, run-ability and reliability issues with many of these simple devices, there is no rational basis for the selection of a control point. As a result, this type of system can be unreliable if there are changes in the upstream process. In addition, simple streaming potential has no value in quantitative lab evaluations of an aqueous system. 1. An

increasingly popular approach is to use a model predictive coagulant (MPC) control system based on an inline spectrolyser. The benefit of this system is that the measurement is repeatable and a range of supplementary water properties can be determined. The disadvantage of MPC type systems is that the predicted optimal coagulant control point is only as good as the input data used to generate the model. This puts a predictive system at a disadvantage when natural events significantly change the upstream process but do not form part of the model.

“During the repair work, we removed 70 tonnes of silt and debris. Crews decended 25 metres below ground level to access the 1800mm diameter pipe and worked in live flows, mostly at night. Continuous flow monitoring was done to ensure a safer working environment,” John said. As part of the project, Water Infrastructure Group worked closely with Sydney Water, Canterbury City Council and the Wolli Creek Preservation Society to repair a stormwater channel located in bushland near the walking path in Wolli Creek Valley in Earlwood. The existing route for stormwater runoff was diverted to prevent erosion and a bridge built to improve access to the walking trail.

A SIMPLE TOOL TO OPTIMISE COAGULATION PROCESSES The removal of suspended and colloidal material from aqueous systems forms the basis of a wide variety of production processes. Coagulation and flocculation operations are key elements in these systems.


Particle charge detectors quantitavely measure the total surface charges in a suspension. A streaming potential is generated in the measuring cell. Based on the polarity of the potential, a polyelectrolyte of opposite charge and known charge density is titrated until charge neutralisation is achieved. Using this technique, it is possible to directly and quantitatively measure the chemical dose rate required to achieve charge neutralisation. Assuming that the charge neutralisation condition is an optimal coagulation condition, this technique can then directly determine the optimum.

In most cases chemical additives are used to enhance separation and the focus becomes optimising chemical dose rate for quality and cost control. A number of approaches are available for the optimisation and control of coagulants and flocculants. These include streaming current devices, a model predictive algorithm based on optical characteristics and particle charge demand analysers. The suitability of any system to deliver robust measurement and/or control is based on the underlying measurement assumption.

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Figure 1. Measuring cell of the Mütek™ PCD-04.

Since a particle charge detector measures a known physical condition in a suspension and the measurement assumption (charge neutralisation) represents the optimal coagulation point, it is a very powerful tool in process improvement and control. The measured result is independent of upstream process changes and always reflects a known process state. Both laboratory and online versions are available using this technique. The method can be used to: • Detect and quantify particle charges; • Monitor charge demand in colloids and suspensions; • Optimise coagulant and flocculant dosage; • Evaluate the effectiveness of different coagulants and flocculants; • Act as a proxy for gross system pollutant demand (similar to turbidity but covering a much broader particle size range). The starting point in many optimisation projects is in the laboratory, and the PCD04 Particle Charge Detector is a widely used particle charge analyser that is described below. The Mütek™ PCD-04 Particle Charge Detector measures the surface charge of colloidal, dissolved and finely dispersed substances in aqueous solutions and suspensions. It delivers reliable results even at high conductivity in a broad range of applications. In the paper industry, the PCD is the standard tool for detecting anionic trash levels and for characterising chemical additives. Identification of charge levels is also very important in water and wastewater treatment, the food and beverage industries, ceramics, colours, textiles, mining and pharmaceutical industries. The Mütek™ PCD-04 Travel is a true stand-alone unit suitable for production laboratories or frequent travellers. The standard Mütek™ PCD-04 instrument can be combined with an external automatic titrator, which is highly recommended for R&D applications. A pH electrode is an option for both the standard Mütek™ PCD-04 and the PCD-04 Travel. The surface charges of colloids and suspended solids in water lead to a concentration of oppositely charged ions, the so-called counterions, at the particle surface. If these counterions are sheared from the particle, a streaming potential can be measured in mV between two suitably located electrodes. A streaming

water business

new products & services potential of zero mV denotes the pointof-zero-charge where all existing charges in a sample are neutralised. Streaming potential measurements with the Mütek™ PCD-04 are based on the following principle (see Figure 1): If an aqueous sample is placed in the measuring cell, the dispersed sample material will adsorb at the cell wall and the piston under the action of Van der Waals forces. The counterions remain comparatively free. A defined narrow gap is provided between cell wall and displacement piston. Driven by a motor,

the piston oscillates in the measuring cell, creating an intensive liquid flow. This entrains the free counterions and separates them from the adsorbed sample material. At the built-in electrodes, the counterions induce a current that is evaluated digitally. A streaming potential with the appropriate sign is shown on the display. A precise volume of an aqueous sample is placed in the measurement cell. Once the Mütek™ PCD-04 is switched on and the streaming potential measurement started from the touch panel, the piston moves up and down in the measurement cell. A positive or negative mV signal is shown on the display. The sign of the measured voltage indicates whether the sample carries a positive (cationic) or negative (anionic) charge. However, the amplitude of the mV signal cannot be quantitatively interpreted as the sample’s charge, as it depends on a number of system variables. In order to quantify the charges, a polyelectrolyte of opposite charge is titrated until the point of zero charge (0 mV) is reached. The titration can be performed manually using a hand-pipette, however, use in combination with an automatic titrator will give bias-free, accurate and reproducible results.

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 www.byjas.com.au

Simple, reliable and easy to operate, the PCD-04 Particle Charge Detector is a powerful tool to quantitatively evaluate and optimise coagulation operations. For more information on charge measurement applications please contact BTG at btg.au@btg.com or visit: www.btg.com

ISO 9001 CERTIFICATION FOR ANODE ENGINEERING Anode Engineering has been granted a Quality Management System Certificate by Certification Australia, recognising its implementation of a system conforming to AS/NZS ISO 9001: 2008. The system scope covers the provision of design, development, production, supply and servicing of corrosion control and related systems for the oil, gas, mining, utility and marine industries. This important milestone in the development of Anode Engineering supports the continued growth in the scope, range and size of projects that the company is delivering to clients. The company’s specialist engineering and supply skills are providing valued input to many major new mining and gas infrastructure projects as well as to the

HYDROVAR, the modern variable speed pump drive is taking pumping to a new level of flexibility and efficiency. Call us to discuss your applications: Melbourne 03 9793 9999 Sydney 02 9671 3666 Brisbane 07 3200 6488 Email: info@brownbros.com.au Web: www.brownbros.com.au DELIVERING PUMPING SOLUTIONS water

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new products & services Due to the innovative design of RotoSieve’s internal feed system and the circular perforations in the screen, it has been shown in practice that a fibre or hair has a very small chance of orienting itself at the right angle and against the water current to pass through a round hole compared to a slotted screen used by traditional rotary screen manufacturers. Because of this feature, the Roto-Sieve rotary screen offers exceptionally high separation efficiency.

Allan Sterling and Wayne Burns with the certificate – an important milestone in the development of Anode Engineering. ongoing maintenance of key assets like the national pipeline network and marine terminals. Based in Loganholme, near Brisbane, Queensland, Anode Engineering is under the management of two of the country’s most experienced cathodic protection specialists: Wayne Burns and Allan Sterling. Under their guidance the company develops and implements engineered solutions that balance technical demands with practicality. Through its extensive agency network the company also brings the products of well-known and respected brands to Australian industry.”

HIGH-PERFORMANCE ROTARY DRUM SCREENS Lackeby high-efficiency Roto-Sieve rotary drum screens will separate solid particles and fibres from liquids down to 0.6mm and Lackeby will guarantee 100% separation above perforation size. RotoSieve drum screens are based on proven technology with a self-cleaning function that delivers good results and minimises maintenance with high operational reliability. They will provide a long service life with low energy consumption.

Roto-Sieve rotary drum screens are available in five models for flows rates up to 435 litres per second and are supplied in either stainless steel (1.4301) or acid-proof steel (1.4436) materials. Standard drum perforations are 0.8, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 mm and the smallest perforation available is 0.6 mm. The drum screens can be supplied with removable splash-guards in stainless steel or glass-fibre reinforced plastic and the drum brushes are manufactured in polypropylene/nylon materials.

There are a number of reports and papers published extolling the advantages of the Roto-Sieve filter perforated drum screen as pre-treatment ahead of MBR process plants, including no seals, integral overflow, self-cleaning, competitively priced, reliable operation for guaranteed continuity, and high rate of capture of the small chain toilet paper fibres – which tend to spin in the pre-aeration zone, generating threads that grow into long strands that wrap

around the hollow fibre membranes and cause too frequent backwash, which weakens the structure of the hollow fibre membrane to the point that it breaks. The Roto-Sieve filter screen has validated its excellent performance in preventing this problem and is recognised as the best available solution. The horizontal design of the rotary drum makes it ideal for handling rags, grit and stones which are transported out of the screen by the internal auger built inside the drum, compared with internal-fed double band screens which have at least six vertical side seals through which the small chain fibres escape, and which have limited ability to handle rags and stones and do not have an integral overflow to return excess flow back to the upstream of the process train and not downstream, which allows the fibres to enter the MBR process. Double flow band screens used ahead of MBRs are always installed after the grit trap, compared with the Roto-Sieve filter perforated rotary drum screen which is installed ahead of the grit system. The double flow screens, therefore, require installation of an additional screening step ahead of the grit trap, which is obviously not required with the Roto-Sieve filter screen. Lackeby Products has recently been awarded a contract to supply Roto-Sieve drum screens to the QingHe wastewater treatment plant in Beijing, China. The QingHe plant (3,000,000 PE) will become the largest MBR plant in the world when it is completed, with a capacity of 240,000 m3/d. A total of 19 Roto-Sieve drum screens are being supplied via Purac China to provide 1mm screening protection for the MBR plant in order to reduce operational maintenance and extend service life. Of the 4,000 plus Roto-Sieve Drum Screens supplied by Lackeby to date, there are more than 100 units in operation worldwide protecting MBR plants, including 50 units in France

Memcor Microfiltration Plant for Sale by Tender Barwon Water Corporation has a decommissioned Memcor microfiltration skid available for sale. Until last year the plant was used to filter potable water for the township of Meredith in central Victoria. Changes to the configuration of the regions water supply system has meant the filtration unit is no longer required. Filtration capacity is approx. 30 litres/second (net). For enquiries please contact Dene Denny: dene.denny@barwonwater.vic.gov.au or Mobile: 0417595410

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new products & services alone. The Roto-Sieve drum screen is the leading technology for prescreening of MBR plants as it provides a robust and cost-effective means for removing all solids greater than 1mm in two directions from the flow. The Roto-Sieve drum screen has been used on numerous solids/liquid separation projects in a wide range of industries including agriculture, food, meat and vegetable processing, brewery, plastics recycling, winery, tannery, pulp and paper, as well as municipal and industrial waste water treatment.

KERNMOBILE DELIVERS BIG NEWS FOR FIELD WORKERS After extensive field tests with forerunners in the utility asset management industry, KernMobile has now released V5 of its Enterprise Mobile Works Management solution to the Australasian market. It’s chock-full of new features that further enhance the value KernMobile already adds to asset and workforce management across many local government and utilities organisations. Top of the list for KernMobile’s chief executive, Kerry Connors, was the big button functionality delivered via the Mobile Field Client. “It’s the single biggest request we’ve had from our existing customers,” says Kerry. “Workers need to be able to see, read and easily select icons and input data on their devices and we’re thrilled to deliver this in version 5.” The new Mobile Field Client also offers a high-contrast black and white display to maximise readability in the glare of an outdoor environment. Data capture is continuous, even when you’re in a ditch; the in-house Intelligent Dispatcher console simply sends the information when crews are back in range. Oftentimes crews are required to schedule jobs on the fly and KernMobile’s solution allows for this – new permits or inspection orders are prime examples. The addition of GIS Maps in the console as well as the Mobile Field Client offer smooth panning and zooming to track assets, job coordinates, and job addresses simply and easily. KernMobile’s Enterprise Solution has always offered the corporate view of works and V5 adds to this. At the Console, the Intelligent Dispatcher is a multi-view dashboard that includes feature-rich map integration allowing visual mapping of jobs, crew and locations and smart decisions around workforce management. Navigation across the Intelligent Dispatcher is fast, fluid and user-friendly and job allocation happens in real-time. Crew workload can be viewed over time and managed

accordingly. The new KernMobile Form Builder embraces simple drag and drop functionality so you can create forms that make sense for you, and the KPi Dashboard & Progress Reports offer a quick view of crews versus key performance indicators. KernMobile now offers secure connectivity using HTTPS (SSL) and integration with Active Directory and the new version is future-proofed with the V5 Console written in Silverlight. Not only is there a roadmap for the Field Client to released in Silverlight also, but the KernMobile team has developed a number of migration scripts to move work completed in V4 to V5. “We’re grateful to the clients who’ve field-tested the new version with us,” Kerry adds, “and we’ve listened and incorporated their enhancements. Overall the solution offers a significant improvement to works management for them.”

or little more than half the installed power of 30 x 100m3 units. This advantage can have a major impact on operational profitability and whole-of-life performance, especially with a carbon tax looming, says Ben Murphy, Technology Leader, Flotation, for Outotec in the South-East Asia Pacific Region.

For more information contact the KernMobile team in Australia on 1800758-315 or in New Zealand on +64-9447-3810, or visit www.kernmobile.com

“Challenges facing many sites include declining ore grades, higher throughputs and metallurgically difficult ore bodies. Additionally, the industry’s growing requirement for energy reduction, optimised water usage and decreased emissions all require high performance and proven solutions.”


The world’s first 300m3 flotation cells – then the largest available – were installed by Outotec in 2007 as roughers

Outotec has surpassed the 500m3 float cell barrier, utilising its extensive experience with flotation cells to produce the new best-in-class 500m3 TankCell® e500 that consumes far less power and space while maintaining the highest metallurgical performance. Outotec’s new 500m3 TankCell® also offers lower capital and operational costs, compared to banks of smaller flotation cells. On an ‘average’ rougher/ scavenger duty, for example, all things being equal, six 500m3 cells would need only 75-80 per cent of the installed power of 10 x 300m3 cells


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6 x 500m


Relative Footprint

Approx installed kW power








30 x 100m3




10 x 300m


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at OceanaGold’s Macraes mine in New Zealand. More than 200 of the TankCell 300 float cells have been sold since, including 30 x TankCell 300s at Kennecott and 34 x TankCell 300s at Sierra Gorda, to name a few – a testament to the success and industry acceptance of this best-in-class design. Advances in flotation technology have contributed to developments in the large float cell category, with the e500 incorporating important features such as: • Floatforce technology, which is proven in hundreds of Outotec large cell installations. ®

• Forced air technology – offers flexibility to decouple air addition and mixing to avoid sanding; – separate areas within the FloatForce® mechanism for pumping and air dispersion; – efficient pumping even at highest air feed rate, delivering maximum performance with low power draw. • Direct gearbox drive – no belt/pulley arrangement or external motor cooling system, mixing is driven by a standard 4 pole motor; – smaller drive footprint, simplified maintenance, greater reliability with specifically designed gearbox (other suppliers often use standard gearboxes

with oversized power transmission components, resulting in less efficiency). • CFD modeling tools and process validation – CFD (computational fluid dynamics) provides effective evaluation of hydrodynamics of new designs; – extensive laboratory testing and on-site testwork is vital. “As the installation of large cells can represent massive risk if poorly designed or installed, it is vital to ensure you are working with a supplier who has sufficient ‘runs on the board’ and understands the challenges of large cell design,” says Mr Murphy. “These ‘runs on the board’ should not just be from cleaner duties or ‘easier’ ores, but truly represent the myriad of challenging duties and ore bodies. “It is important to realise that the real key in the successful operation of 500m3 cells is using a supplier with experience in proven large cell design and scale-up. This is vital and its value cannot be underestimated.” For more information, please contact Outotec South East Asia Pacific, ph +61 2 9984 2500, fax +61 2 9984 2501 or email laura.white@outotec.com




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