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Volume 42 No 4 JUNE 2015
Journal of the Australian Water Association
IT ALL HAPPENED AT OZWATER’15! See page 41 for the full Conference Report, Workshop Reports & Awards PLUS • Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems • Groundwater Management • Wastewater Treatment • Water Reuse • Disinfection
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Contents regular features From the AWA President A Case Of Regulator Envy Peter Moore
From the AWA Chief Executive
New Strategic Alliances Announced At Ozwater Jonathan McKeown
Young Water Professionals 18
AWA International News
New Products And Services
MANAGING EDITOR – Anne Lawton Tel: 02 9467 8434 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CREATIVE DIRECTOR – Mike Wallace Email: email@example.com SALES & ADVERTISING QUERIES – Michael Seller Email: firstname.lastname@example.org CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – Jonathan McKeown
Passing On The Baton Robbie Goedecke
TECHNICAL EDITOR – Chris Davis Email: email@example.com
My Point of View
WSUD: Has The Doing Exceeded The Knowing? Ted Gardner
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Email: firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL BOARD Frank R Bishop (Chair); Dr Andrew Bath, Water Corporation; Michael Chapman, GHD; Dr Dharma Dharmabalan, TasWater; Wilf Finn, Norton Rose Fulbright; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rtd); Ted Gardner (rtd); Antony Gibson, Orica Watercare; Dr David Halliwell, WaterRA; Sarah Herbert, Shelston IP; Dr Lionel Ho, AWQC, SA Water; Des Lord, National Water Commission; Dr Robbert van Oorschot, GHD; John Poon, CH2M Hill; David Power, BECA Consultants; Dr Ian Prosser, Bureau of Meteorology; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO; Rodney Stewart, Griffith School of Engineering; Diane Wiesner, Jamadite Consulting. PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: February, April, May, June, August, September, November and December. Please email email@example.com for a copy of our 2015 Editorial Calendar. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Acceptance of editorial submissions is at the discretion of the Editors and Editorial Board.
Would you be tempted to drink from this water fountain?
feature articles Supporting Nationwide Groundwater Management BOM’s New Suite Of Groundwater Information Products Dr Elisabetta Carrara
Automation Of Aquifer Hydrograph Trend Reporting A Methodology To Simplify Groundwater Monitoring Khan Kamruzzaman, Timothy Anderson & Randal Nott
volume 42 no 4
Climate Review Promised After Dispute Between Scientists Review Likely Within The Next Seven Years Gregg Borschmann & Sara Phillips
Project 0: Winner Of The Australian Water Innovation Challenge Community Water Fountains With A Difference Gretha Oost
ozwater report Conference Report
National Water Awards
case study A Suez environnement Project
cover IT ALL HAPPENED AT OZWATER’15! See page 41 for the full Conference Report, Workshop Reports & Awards PLUS: Water Reuse • Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems • Wastewater Treatment • Groundwater Management • Disinfection
Highlights from Ozwater’15 in Adelaide. Please turn to page 41 for a detailed report on the conference, workshops, awards and social events.
Technical Paper Submission Guidelines Technical Papers should be 3,000–4,000 words long and accompanied by relevant graphics, tables and images. For more detailed submission guidelines please email: firstname.lastname@example.org • General Feature Articles, Industry News, Opinion Pieces & Media Releases: Anne Lawton, Managing Editor, email: email@example.com General Feature Submission Guidelines General Features should be 1,500–2,000 words and accompanied by relevant graphics, tables and images. For more details please email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Water Business & Product News: Michael Seller, Sales & Advertising, email: email@example.com
Ice-Pigging Solves Port Macquarie’s Bio-Film Build-Up
• Technical Papers & Technical Features: Chris Davis, Technical Editor, email: firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com
ADVERTISING Advertisements are included as an information service to readers and are reviewed before publication to ensure relevance to the water sector and the objectives of AWA. PUBLISHER Australian Water Association (AWA) Publishing, Level 6, 655 Pacific Hwy, PO Box 222, St Leonards NSW 1590; Tel: +61 2 9436 0055 or 1300 361 426, Fax: +61 2 9436 0155, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.awa.asn.au COPYRIGHT Water Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without the written permission of AWA. Email: email@example.com DISCLAIMER AWA assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of fact expressed by contributors or advertisers. Mention of particular brands, products or processes does not constitute an endorsement.
JUNE 2015 water
From the President
A CASE OF REGULATOR ENVY Peter Moore – AWA President
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We have just concluded Ozwater’15 in Adelaide – and what a great success it was. In excess of 2,500 people participated in the event, either as delegates at the conference or as visitors to the exhibition. The convention met all our expectations and for this we owe a special thanks to our sponsors – particularly our principal sponsors the South Australian Government, SA Water and Suez environnement. Without their support we would not have been able to provide such an outstanding conference.
who reports to Parliament. It is also a national system (or at least for England and Wales). As indicated by both Cathryn and Chris, the regulator has developed a level of maturity that enables customers to work with their utility to achieve the desired outcomes they are prepared to fund. This has developed from a period of comparative regulation and is now focused on utilities dealing with their customers on achieving outcomes, rather than reporting to the regulator on comparative performance.
We also owe a special vote of thanks to the Ozwater’15 organising committee, ably led by SA Water CEO, John Ringham, and supported by our very competent staff and volunteers. Everything ran like clockwork and I have heard only praise for the event and the value participants received. This doesn’t mean we can’t improve, however, and we are keen to get feedback both on what we did well, and opportunities for improvement. A feedback survey has been sent to all participants, so please help us make Ozwater’16 in Melbourne even better.
With its clarity and consistency, the system in the UK encourages private investment. While it is a system we may wish to aspire to for Australia, the constitutional ownership of water by the states will present challenges, some of which could be overcome by harmonisation. I encourage continued dialogue across all sectors of the industry aimed at putting in place a regulatory framework for Australia that will encourage investors to participate in the industry.
There has been considerable discussion recently at all levels in the industry about the opportunities and need to introduce further private sector funding. As part of the international guest list at Ozwater’15 we were privileged to have two speakers from England: Cathryn Ross, CEO, of OFWAT; and Chris Loughlin, CEO of South West Water Limited, who gave us some clear insights as to just how this can be achieved.
On another note, we had two very interesting and exciting visions presented at Ozwater’15 for agricultural expansion in northern Australia. The first was from the Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister The Hon Willem Westra van Holthe, MLA, while the second was from Aaron Hood from Andrew Forrest’s Mindaroo private company. Both saw great scope for expansion of agriculture based on water availability in our north, which together with the recently released Northern Australia White Paper provides real hope that movement will be seen in this area.
To say that Cathryn’s presentation in the opening plenary gave the industry in Australia a case of regulator envy would be an understatement. The UK has had a privatised industry since 1989, with an independent regulator
Ozwater’15 was an outstanding success and we have started the planning for Ozwater’16 under Organising Committee Chair John Thwaites. It will be an event not to miss, so please mark it in your diary now!
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From the CEO
NEW STRATEGIC ALLIANCES ANNOUNCED AT OZWATER Jonathan McKeown – AWA Chief Executive We’ve had excellent feedback on this year’s Ozwater event, which attracted over 2,700 delegates, trade visitors and exhibitors. At the opening session the Australian Water Association announced two important new alliances to support our international activities and engagement with the water sector. The first is with the Bureau of Meteorology to promote its range of water management tools and services. These products and services, funded by the Commonwealth Government, have been developed over the past eight years and now need to be more widely promoted to industry to ensure the investment is well utilised and maintained for future use. The second is with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), who will support the Association to facilitate water and wastewater projects across Asia and the Pacific. ANZ has developed Australia’s largest network of banking offices across Asia and has extensive links with the water industry in Australia. ANZ is now the principal sponsor for the Australian Water Association’s International Programme. Specifically this means that ANZ will sponsor our international delegations to Vietnam and Singapore, and our trade initiatives in Indonesia and India. Members will be able to access ANZ banking and finance expertise across the region together with ANZ’s local knowledge and networks. All of these activities are focused on raising the profile of Australia’s water sector across the AsiaPacific region and positioning our members to develop business across the world’s fastest-growing economic sector. A high priority for countries in the Asia-Pacific region is the delivery of improved water and wastewater services. This includes design and operation of water and wastewater infrastructure, transfer of water management knowhow, customer engagement systems, and transfer of governance and pricing models tailored to local conditions. Australia’s own journey across these issues within a context of multiple jurisdictions, urban, regional and remote environments – all with variable water supply and water quality – is of immediate relevance.
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Australia continues to provide vital aid and development assistance in the region and the Commonwealth Government has kept access to quality water within the mix. The Government has commenced a new program of economic diplomacy across the region that seeks to deliver practical development assistance with innovative approaches, including increased private sector involvement. Under this program the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has selected the Australian Water Association to deliver a water project in Vietnam; this has arisen from our engagement with the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewage Association (VWSA) since the signing of an MoU in January this year. The project will review Vietnam’s recent reforms to its regulatory framework for water and make recommendations to: • Support increased public private partnerships; • Strengthen VWSA (our counterpart organisation) capacity to support the Vietnamese water sector and provide our members with relevant trade, investment and policy information; and • Encourage more trade between the Vietnamese and Australian water sectors through Australian participation at VietWater in November and increased Vietnamese participation at Ozwater next year. As we implement this project we will position expertise from our members, Specialist Networks and other stakeholders to maximise the profile of Australia’s water sector in Vietnam. Under a separate but related project, DFAT has selected eWater Limited to establish and manage a new Australian Water Partnership with funding of $20 million over the next four years to secure new opportunities to transfer Australia’s water expertise across the Indo-Pacific region. Initial focus will be on positioning Australian water expertise with aid projects funded by DFAT, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. We look forward to being a supportive member of the Australian Water Partnership.
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My Point of View
WSUD: HAS THE DOING EXCEEDED THE KNOWING? Ted Gardner – Retired Scientist
Ted Gardner is a retired scientist who has had a long career as a research scientist with the Queensland State Government and CSIRO. He currently has adjunct professorial appointments at a number of universities in Queensland. I grew up in Brisbane in the 1950s and 1960s, when the equivalent of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WUSD – a term yet to be invented) in the new suburbs consisted of curbing and channelling, with perhaps a concrete strip on the footpath. Fast forward to the 2000s and I was deeply impressed on first seeing the innovative stormwater system at Lynbrook Estate in Melbourne, which had, inter alia, a vegetated rock swale in the median strip, receiving pits for rainwater connected to infiltration trenches and grass swales, single cross-fall roads, a large wetland with pedestrian walkways and a magnificent stand of remnant river red gum trees. Monitoring of the site by the CRC for Catchment Hydrology provided proof of concept that this water quality improvement design could provide the same hydraulic benefits as conventional stormwater pipes. Voila! and WSUD was off and running, providing a sense of place as well as water quality and discharge improvements for the urban development sector. This sense of aesthetic pleasure was reinforced by my visits to early examples of WSUD in SouthEast Queensland (SEQ) such as Forest Lake and Coomera Waters, with their well-landscaped grass and rock swales, wooden crossover bridges and creatively vegetated wetlands. The average punter apparently shared my views on the urban aesthetics, as the housing allotments sold for a
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$10,000 to $20,000 premium over the standard market offering. The water quality benefits of WSUD were incorporated into regulation in many Australian states (e.g. State Planning Policy 4/10 in Queensland in 2010) and, using the MUSIC model, an industry grew up designing and constructing bioengineered water treatment installations that delivered an approximate 80:60:45 per cent reduction in the export load of suspended solids, total nitrogen and total phosphorus. An additional regulatory requirement was maintaining the post-development 1:1 year ARI stormwater peak discharge to pre-development levels, to help protect urban creek geomorphology. As time has gone on it’s been my observation (and some industry experts are of the same opinion) that WSUD has lost much of its aesthetic (and reuse) aspects and, with perhaps the exception of some of the larger master-planned communities, has evolved into a commoditised product involving bio-retention basins, sized by MUSIC, to deliver the 80:60:45 performance required by legislation.
Does WSUD Deliver? Considering the cost of fairly standard WSUD devices (about $5,000 per allotment) it would be reassuring to know that they at least operated as designed over the longer term – and perhaps more importantly that they delivered the creek and estuary ecosystem benefits that were the critical raison d’etre for getting these ideas into mandatory legislation in the first place (no easy feat, as those familiar with government will know!).
My Point of View It could be argued that this urban civil construction imbroglio is somehow unique to SEQ, where house construction on newly developed land is such an important contributor to the regional economy – especially the coastal shires in the south east of the state. However, similar anecdotal evidence has been “reported” for other Australian states, albeit that independent, quantitative evidence is missing.
Photo: Ted Gardner
More Research Needed
Catastrophic creek sedimentation during construction of a small subdivision in SEQ. I argue that the reality is far removed from this ideal, for not only is field testing of newly installed WSUD installations (mainly bio-retention basins and wetlands) relatively infrequent – perhaps only three or four well-documented case studies in Australia – but also there has essentially been nil reporting of their performance after the age of three years. Indeed, there are frequent anecdotal observations that ageing WSUD systems have lost much of their planted vegetation, as well as having sedimentation occurring at much higher rates than initially budgeted for.
My own conservative measurements in a small SEQ subdivision a few years ago returned a figure of 285 tonnes/ha. Subsequent modelling by others (e.g. Hoban, 2012) using the RUSLE model suggests a figure of 250t/ha is more appropriate as a regional estimate. So, assuming a fully functional, postoccupation WSUD is installed, about 260 years will be required to prevent the same sediment loss as that which occurs during, say, 18 months of subdivision construction. One has to wonder if current stormwater legislation and WSUD practice is looking at the wrong end of the (sediment) stick. There are technologies and practices available that can significantly reduce this enormous figure of 250t/ha. These include: high efficiency sedimentation basins (pioneered by Auckland Regional Council); staged development at the larger sites; no civil works during the peak of the wet season; and soil conservation measures that maintain soil cover. But if regulatory enforcement is weak, and fines for lack of compliance are far less than the cost of implementing compliance methods, then it is an uphill battle to implement change towards sustainable practices.
It’s also important to get a sense of perspective on the magnitude of contaminant sources affecting the water quality of receiving bays and estuaries. In Melbourne and Adelaide, for example, contaminant export into nutrient-sensitive Port Phillip Bay and Gulf of St Vincent is dominated by urban runoff – hence the sensible focus on WSUD or end-of-catchment wetlands to reduce nutrients, especially nitrogen. However, in Moreton Bay in SEQ, excessive sediment input is particularly important in limiting seagrass vigour to perhaps even a terminal endpoint. Healthy Waterways estimates that average diffuse urban sediment export into the Bay is 132,000t/year (see www.ehmp.org/TheStrategy/LinkstoOtherPlans.aspx), while rural diffuse is 318,000 t/yr, which in turn spiked at c. 16,000,000 t during the floods of 2011 and 2013 (TERN: www.tern.org.au/Newsletter 2014). Hence, to protect the ecosystem function of Moreton Bay, sediment reduction measures need to be particularly focused on rural catchments as well as those urban civil construction sites that add an estimated further 295,000 t/year (Hoban, 2012).
Photo: Alan Hoban
So, painting the picture with a fairly broad brush, admittedly, there is serious concern that over the medium to longer term even standard WSUD features are not delivering the modest reduction in contaminant export required of them. And by modest, I am comparing untreated, household occupancy stage sediment losses (about 1.2 tonnes/ha/year) with the sediment loss that occurs during the relatively short-lived civil construction stage.
So do we need more enforcement of the existing Erosion & Sediment Control (ESC) rules? Or more research into methods that prevent or contain erosion on site? I would suggest both, as recent opportunistic surveys by the independent not-for-profit advisory organisation, Healthy Waterways (healthywaterways. org), in SEQ subdivisions reported suspended solids concentrations in the range of 1,000s to 10,000s mg/L, when the discharge limit is 50mg/L. And, of course, suspended solids constitute only the tip of the sediment export iceberg.
An industrial-scale bioretention basin tacked onto a subdivision in SEQ.
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My Point of View to longer term, either because of poor maintenance, excessive sedimentation, or both. This needs scientifically rigorous confirmation or rejection. 3. Most WSUD practice is looking at the wrong end of the stick; orders of magnitude more damage seems to be done because of poorly implemented ESC practices during the relatively short civil construction stage.
Photo: tonY Webber
4. Protection of creek ecosystem health requires implementation of WSUD to a very high standard (if Victorian experience is anything to go by) as the treatment devices need to essentially recreate predevelopment hydrology. A very big ask!
A well-designed and landscaped wetland in a modern Brisbane subdivision. The other critical reason for WSUD is protection of urban creek ecosystem health as measured by a combination of physico-chemical and biological indictors. It appears that only a small increase in the amount of directly connected impervious area – to, say, five per cent of the catchment – is sufficient to cause a significant deterioration in the biological health of Victorian and North American urban streams. Hence WSUD practices such as rain gardens, rainwater tanks and other methods of disconnecting direct stormwater discharge are effective for reducing the frequency, volume and peak discharge from small rainfall events. However, a similar comprehensive study of ecosystem health in SEQ urban streams, inspired by the pioneering work of urban stream experts Chris Walsh and Tim Fletcher, could not reproduce this relationship between directly connected impervious area and ecosystem health score (UWSRA 2012 Report # 99: www. urbanwateralliance.org.au/publications/technicalreports/index.html). Rather, there were reaches of good and poor ecosystem health in most of the urban creeks examined, with the dominant factor apparently being the remnant damage and recovery from the assault of prior urban construction. Considering the difficulty and cost of keeping the directly connected impervious area of a modern subdivision to < 5%, it appears more effective, in SEQ at least, to revegetate the riparian zone for creek shading and bank stabilisation, and increase the base flow during the dry season using engineered aquifers.
5. If the state were to invest (or mandate) more resources into protecting the urban aquatic ecosystem, how would we prioritise the investment options once their efficacy had been established? The cost (or ecological benefit) per unit of contaminant removed would seem an economically rational metric, at least initially.
6. With the current obsession with public sector cost cutting and budget balancing, I am not optimistic that resources will be made available to research and test these ideas. It looks as if the urban landscape is simply not as attractive as the Great Barrier Reef, although suburbia is where people spend most of their time. If you feel strongly about any of the issues I have raised, you may wish to lodge a submission to the current Senate Inquiry into Stormwater Management. To view AWA’s Submission to the Environment and Communications References Committee On Senate Inquiry Into Stormwater Management, please go to www.awa.asn.au/Industry_ Submissions_2015.
rEFErENCE Hoban A (2012): Doing Things Right Or Doing The Right Things? Queensland Stormwater Industry Conference, May 2012.
sUMMiNG UP In summary I think we can say:
2. There is reasonable doubt that these WSUD devices operate as designed over the medium
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Photo: tonY Webber
1. WSUD as currently practiced has moved away substantially from the original vision of an aesthetic integrated water cycle to one of commoditised technologies such as bio-retention basins whose sizing is based on MUSIC calculations. In fact, some wag has called this practice “following the MUSIC Religion”. An early (1999) example of WSuD in a Brisbane suburb.
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International In spite of the prolonged drought conditions gripping California, it’s the state of water and wastewater infrastructure and how to finance capital improvements that top the list of concerns facing water professionals throughout North America, according to the American Water Works Association’s 2015 State of the Water Industry Report. You can access the full report at www.awwa.org.
The Obama administration has issued a rule to protect streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act, a step it says will help keep drinking water safe. The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, issued by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, aims to give clarity about which bodies of water the EPA would have jurisdiction over. Environmental groups have praised the measures, but farmers fear they could face steep fines if traces of fertiliser or manure are discharged without a permit into bodies of water under the EPA's regulatory powers. Lawmakers from farm states have blasted the rule and called on the administration to withdraw or redo it.
The New Zealand Office of the Auditor-General has investigated the state of infrastructure maintenance done by local authorities, and what is needed to ensure the provision of roads and water supply, wastewater and stormwater in the future. In New Zealand these assets are collectively worth more than $100 billion. The Office analysed the asset management practices of 31 selected local authorities that between them own 74% of local authority property, plant and equipment assets nationwide.
National The Government has released its White Paper on Developing Northern Australia: Our North, Our Future. The White Paper sets out an ambitious long-term reform agenda for the north, delivering an initial investment of $1.2 billion in addition to the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to provide concessional finance for infrastructure projects. The White Paper includes measures to unlock the north’s potential across six key areas: simpler land arrangements to support investment; developing the north’s water resources; growing the north as a business, trade and investment gateway; investing in infrastructure to lower business and household costs; reducing barriers to employing people; and improving governance. The Government will support the development of more water resources in the north by establishing a $200 million Water Infrastructure Development Fund. The Fund will provide up to $5 million for a feasibility analysis for the Nullinga Dam near Cairns, and up to $5 million for a detailed examination of land-use suitability for Ord Stage 3. Secure water rights will be a condition for any water delivered through new Commonwealth funded water infrastructure. The Government will also provide $15 million for water resource assessments of the Mitchell River (Queensland), West Kimberley (Western Australia) and Darwin region (Northern Territory). More information on the White Paper is available at: northernaustralia.dpmc.gov.au
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The House of Representatives has passed legislation to abolish the National Water Commission. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Bob Baldwin, said the legislation would save $21 million over forward estimates. “All Governments have made substantial progress in water reform so there is no longer a need for the National Water Commission to operate as a standalone agency,” Mr Baldwin said. “It’s important to note that the key statutory functions of the NWC will be carried out by other agencies to ensure their delivery is not affected.” The Coalition passed the legislation through the Senate on May 13.
The Australian Government says it is delivering on its commitment to Murray-Darling Basin communities, introducing legislation for a 1,500 gigalitre cap on water purchases in the Basin. Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said the Water Amendment Bill 2015 would ensure certainty for Murray-Darling Basin communities.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is calling on basin water users to see the river system as a national asset. Chair, Neil Andrew, said many water users were still blaming others in the river system for using too much water, rather than working together. He said it would be difficult to find the perfect medium between getting the river to full health and using it as an irrigation source, and getting the states to work together.
Australia’s productivity and quality of life will be tested, with population and economic growth set to cause increasing congestion and bottlenecks, according to the nation's first comprehensive infrastructure audit. Releasing the report, Infrastructure Australia Chairman Mark Birrell said Australia must act now before these demand pressures affect our living standards and economic competitiveness. "Experiences of transport networks failing to keep pace with demand, water quality standards being uneven, energy costs being too high, telecommunication services being outdated, or freight corridors being neglected are now so common that they necessitate a strategic response," he said.
Water trading organisation Waterfind has released its quarterly CEO Report (Q3) for the 2014–2015 irrigation year. The report finds that the national temporary water market has continued to record the highest average prices since the Millennium drought. Dry conditions and lower water availability kept the demand for temporary water high during Q3 of the 2014–15 irrigation season, while heavy rainfall in April reduced demand only slightly. Within the Southern-Connected system, a major share of demand for temporary water has come from irrigators in Victoria, especially from the Murray, below the Barmah Choke and Goulburn systems.
The ACCC has released its fifth Water Monitoring Report, which will help inform its current review of the Commonwealth's water charge rules. The report details the impact of water market and charge reforms on irrigators and infrastructure operators in the Murray-Darling Basin. Under the water market rules, irrigators are able to more easily "transform" and trade their water free from any operator restrictions. The rules also limit the fees that can be charged when an irrigator wants to change or terminate their water delivery arrangements.
CrossCurrent The Commonwealth Government has announced new national science and research priorities. The nine cross-disciplinary priorities are food, soil and water, transport, cybersecurity, energy, resources, advanced manufacturing, environmental change and health. The priorities will help our world-class science and research efforts to reflect the needs of industry, the national economy and the community, says the Prime Minister’s office.
Australia has invested heavily to establish large environmental water portfolios. A recent thought piece from Aither argues that governments now have an obligation to overcome constraints to environmental water trade in order to achieve the greatest environmental returns. The article advocates water trading as a flexible, high-value tool and says allocation trade expands the range of short-term water management options. To read the full article go to www.aither.com.au.
Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, has announced the 2015 Environment Minister’s Award for a Cleaner Environment to mark World Environment Day. The award aims to recognise outstanding contributions by Australians towards achieving a cleaner, healthier environment and a more resilient and sustainable Australia. Projects that demonstrate how they have contributed to the Government’s Clean Air, Land and Water environmental pillars are eligible for consideration. Nominations close 4 September 2015.
Australian Capital Territory ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, has released the final report of the review into ACT’s Water and Sewerage Pricing Framework. The report was commissioned by the Government in November last year and has been led by an independent expert. The most recent pricing determination about water prices in the ACT was only finally resolved in May 2015, almost two years after the pricing period was due to start. Given the length of this process, the government commissioned Peter Grant PSM to explore options for reform.
A new study will help establish what social expectations the community has around the use and amenity of urban waterways in the ACT, said Minister for the Environment Simon Corbell when he opened the Australian Water Association’s Water Matters Conference in Canberra in June 2015. Through the Basin Priority Project, the ACT Government has engaged the University of Canberra to undertake a research study and survey of the social expectations of waterways and water use behaviour in the ACT and region. The Basin Priority Project will see up to $85 million of Commonwealth funding to help improve our urban waterways.
New South Wales NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water, Niall Blair, met with agriculture and primary industries ministers from other States, Territories, the Commonwealth and New Zealand in Sydney in June 2015. Mr Blair said this was an important opportunity to bring NSW issues to a national forum. “The NSW primary industries sector is leading the nation in production, innovation and competitiveness,”
Mr Blair said. “These forums play a vital role in making sure issues that affect a number or all of the states are addressed collectively and a way forward is paved as a national approach.”
The Water Authority of Fiji has called on the assistance of Sydney Water to help create a framework to better manage environmental compliance and manage the discharge of industrial wastewater. “Sydney Water has an excellent track record in building relationships with its environmental regulator and we see this as a benchmark for how we could establish our governance framework and management systems in Fiji,” said Opetaia Ravai, CEO of the Water Authority of Fiji. “We also believe that Sydney Water’s trade waste management policies will provide an excellent framework on which to structure Fiji’s policies.”
The Australian Government has commenced a tender for the purchase of Barwon-Darling Unregulated River water source licences Class A, Class B and Class C in the New South Wales catchment of Barwon-Darling. The tender opened 4 June 2015 and will close at 5pm 6 July 2015. The tender aims to purchase eligible Class A, Class B and Class C water licences from within the Barwon-Darling Unregulated River water source in the Barwon-Darling catchment.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its final decision on the charges that Water NSW is able to levy for infrastructure services in the Murray-Darling Basin during 2015–16. This is the first annual review of charges conducted by the ACCC. In June 2014, the ACCC set the regulated charges that Water NSW is able to levy from 2014 to 2017. The ACCC did this by setting a methodology to calculate charges to ensure that they reflect upto-date information about water availability.
Twenty-one projects that will help grow and strengthen the rural NSW economy have been granted almost $18 million of Australian Government funding through the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, said the funding was to assist Murray-Darling Basin communities increase economic diversification and adjust to a water-constrained environment, and would lead to the creation of around 250 jobs.
Queensland The Australian Government, in partnership with the Queensland Government, is delivering more investment to ensure water savings for Queensland’s Great Artesian Basin (GAB), one of the largest underground water reservoirs in the world and the lifeblood of local rural communities. As a result of a new agreement, Queensland will be eligible to receive a share of $15 million to assist landholders rehabilitate remaining free-flowing bores in the state. Federal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Bob Baldwin, said the Government had been working with GAB jurisdictions since October 2014 to get the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative back up and running.
The Inspector-General of Emergency Management has been commissioned to undertake an independent review into the warning
June 2015 water
CrossCurrent systems provided by Seqwater and SunWater to communities downstream of their dams. Emergency Services Minister Jo-Ann Miller said that, following a request from the Minister for Water Supply, Mark Bailey, the Inspector-General would review current communications systems and ways to improve them. The review will focus on Seqwater and SunWater’s gated dams, including the Wivenhoe and Callide dams.
A Far North Queensland agri-business will commence an environmental impact study for major integrated agricultural production under a new MOU with the Palaszczuk Government. State Development Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, has released details of the MOU with the proponents of the proposed $1.98 billion Etheridge Integrated Agriculture Project in the Gilbert River catchment near Georgetown. The proposal involves sugar and guar cropping, grazing, meat processing and aquaculture activities.
South Australia More than $65 million will be shared by 61 South Australian irrigation and industry projects to improve farm productivity and return water to the River Murray. The Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (3IP) funding includes $16.3 million for Renmark Irrigation Trust and $8.7 million for Sunlands Irrigation Trust.
Applications are open for the Rain Garden 500 grants program in the Adelaide region. Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister, Ian Hunter, said groups eligible to apply for this grant include local government and community organisations, schools, sports and church groups in Adelaide and metropolitan areas.
Victoria The public review of Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority has begun, with the appointment of an advisory committee led by former Secretary of the Department of Justice, Penny Armytage. The review will examine the powers and resourcing of the state’s environmental regulator and ensure the Authority is best prepared to act on community concerns and tackle modern day challenges such as pollution and contamination. The review is due to present a report to the Government by the end of March 2016.
Yarra Valley Water has begun trials of a new trenchless water main renewal technology. If the trial is successful, Yarra Valley Water will become the first Australian water utility to introduce the innovative water main spray lining technology. Successfully used across America and the UK, the technology works by applying a quick-curing polyurea solution to the inside of the pipe.
Western Australia The State Government will use cutting-edge technology to inspect a 112-year-old globally recognised engineering landmark. Acting Water Minister, Terry Redman, said Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
water June 2015
would be used to perform a visual inspection of the Goldfields pipeline, enabling up to 10km of pipe to be inspected in minutes. The Water Corporation will use UAVs to inspect about 260km of pipeline in the Goldfields region throughout June 2015.
The Water Corporation has yet to decide on an alternate dumping site for wastewater from its desalination system in Denmark. The utility abandoned its plan to dump the brine discharge at Perkins Beach after widespread community backlash. A spokesperson said it was still weighing up the community, financial and environmental impacts of each potential alternative. Water Minister Mia Davies said she was confident the Water Corporation would find a suitable solution after consulting with the local community.
Upgrades to Broome’s water supply scheme are continuing with a $2.7 million State Government project underway to construct a new water main in the Cable Beach area. WA Water Minister, Mia Davies, said the project formed part of a suite of water supply upgrades for Broome with more than $20 million invested over the past three years.
WA Water Minister, Mia Davies, has told an economic forum in Broome she hopes new groundwater investigations in the West Kimberley would assist Aboriginal corporations to fast-track intensive grazing opportunities on their pastoral stations. Ms Davies told the Committee for Economic Development of Australia that investigations were being carried out through the State Government's Royalties for Regions Water for Food program, which has Aboriginal advancement and job creation as a key objective.
Construction of Australia’s first full-scale groundwater replenishment scheme at Craigie is progressing, with earthworks complete and work to pour the estimated 2,500 to 3,000 cubic metres of concrete at the site underway. The scheme will provide another secure, rainfall-independent water source for the rapidly growing population in Perth, Ms Davies said.
Member News Cardno Limited has appointed Richard Wankmuller as CEO and Managing Director. Mr Wankmuller has more than 30 years of experience in professional engineering services and was recently a Director of GHD Group Pty Limited and President of GHD Americas.
qldwater has taken over the secretariat function for the national Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST) for a period of 12 months. Dave Cameron, qldwater CEO, has been elected Chair.
Peta Maddy has joined the team of economics, policy and strategy consultants at Aither as an associate. Peta has nearly 20 years of experience in the water industry, both in the Government and private sectors, in management and strategic advisory roles. She is a council member for the Victorian Catchment Management Council and Immediate Past President of the Victorian branch of the Australian Water Association.
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IT’S TIME TO USE OUR STORMWATER, SAYS ATSE Australian towns and cities are drastically underutilising stormwater, missing out on the chance to reduce pollution and erosion of urban waterways, says the Australian Academy of Technical Services and Engineering (ATSE). Stormwater is a valuable potential resource to provide a significant alternative water source for a range of productive applications, but its full potential is still to be realised. Existing technologies are capable of providing stormwater capture, but water governance rules need updating to take advantage of stormwater potential.
ATSE noted that uncontrolled stormwater damaged urban infrastructure during large storm events and ongoing investment would be needed to ensure that drainage systems met service needs, amplified by ageing drainage infrastructure, rapid increases in urban population and the densification of cities. It also noted that extensive impervious (or paved) areas in cities pushed excessive stormwater flows into waterways, causing erosion and pollution. Stormwater could also carry large amounts of heavy metals and nutrients, which can increase the risk of algal blooms. ATSE emphasised that the full potential of urban stormwater was still to be realised, given its volume and location. It noted that the volume of stormwater discharged from houses annually in Melbourne was similar to the entire household water demand of the city, while in Brisbane it exceeded demand by around 50 per cent.
These were key aspects of ATSE’s submission to the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee Inquiry into Australia’s stormwater resource.
Stormwater generally required less treatment than other wastewater sources, such as sewage or industrial waste, and it could be harvested through passive treatment and distribution methods, based on natural processes, with much less energy than many other water treatment and supply solutions.
The Academy said better management of urban stormwater was essential as the current poor management of stormwater led to societal, economic and environment costs through flooding and degradation of waterway and bays.
Stormwater harvesting could protect and enhance the health of urban streams by restoring flows and water quality to approximately pre-development levels and was the only water source whose use would benefit the environment, rather than degrade it.
ATSE Water Forum Deputy Chair Professor, Ana Deletic FTSE, led the development of the submission and re-emphasised ATSE’s position on stormwater when she appeared at a Committee hearing in Melbourne in May, along with ATSE’s Executive Manager of Policy and Projects, Dr Matt Wenham.
ATSE also noted that Australian communities were more prepared to accept stormwater re-use than wastewater re-use and that more than 100 stormwater harvesting systems were built during the Millennium drought in Victoria, largely without participation from the water industry.
ATSE made five recommendations on how to better use Australia’s stormwater in Australia, including: • Further development of stormwater harvesting technologies; • Wider implementation of these systems to relieve pressure on ageing drainage infrastructure; • Development of economic models to better understand the total community costs and benefits of complex stormwater systems; • More sophisticated governance frameworks for managing multifunctional and decentralised stormwater assets, in an area that is traditionally highly centralised; and • Better linkages between stormwater management and urban planning processes.
REGISTRATIONS OPEN FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT NSW WATER MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE The 2015 Local Government NSW Water Management Conference will be held from 24 August to 26 August at Peppers in Craigieburn, Bowral, New South Wales. The conference will look at innovation in operational practice of council water utilities and showcase examples from Wingecarribee Shire Council, such as an in-situ demonstration of ice-pigging (cleaning drinking water pipes with slush ice) and sophisticated pressure management and leak detection. David Harris, CEO of Water NSW, will discuss the impacts and challenges related to drinking water catchment protection requirements. A conference site visit will explain Wingecarribee Shire Council’s sewerage strategy, dealing with Water NSW’s stringent catchment protection requirement, and showcase related facilities such as the Robertson Sewerage Treatment Plant 2000EP with its unique membrane filtration.
Uncontrolled stormwater can damage urban infrastructure.
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The theme ‘Challenges of Water Transfer Schemes’ will shine the spotlight on the local Shoalhaven Water Scheme and the Goulburn Water Supply Pipeline. Delegates will visit Wingecarribee Dam and examine parts of the Shoalhaven Water Scheme infrastructure. A separate conference stream will discuss other council transfer schemes such as the recently completed Macquarie River to Orange pipeline.
Industry News Water recycling and its growing importance as a sustainable way of providing water supply in regional New South Wales is another popular topic. The Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence will update attendees about the latest developments in promoting direct potable reuse, both in Australia and internationally. Delegates will also learn about and discuss the newly released Office of Water guidelines for water recycling in regional New South Wales and new economic assessment tools for recycling proposals. The conference agenda will continue the ongoing discussion about institutional and regulatory arrangement for local water utilities in regional New South Wales, this time in the context of the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future initiative. Speakers such as Kerry Schott, former Managing Director of Sydney Water, and Adam Lovell, Executive Director of the Water Services Association of Australia, will look at the future of water utilities, while councils from CENTROC and the Lower Macquarie Water Utilities Alliance will demonstrate how they continue to strengthen regional approaches. In addition, to the main themes, speeches will address issues such as the impact on water supplies of coal seam gas activities, interaction between private water services and local water utilities, trialling health-based targets and implementation of quality management systems for drinking water. The Hon Niall Blair MLC, Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Lands and Water, has also been invited to outline the NSW Government’s policy priorities in relation to water. More than 200 delegates from NSW and interstate are expected to attend the event, including councillors and general managers, water managers and professionals, policy makers from government agencies and key industry stakeholders. The LGNSW Water Management Conference is a joint initiative between Local Government NSW, Wingecarribee Shire Council and Destination Southern Highlights. Registrations are now open and can be booked at lgnsw.org.au/waterconference.
SAVING DOLLARS WITH A TEAM APPROACH Consultants David Downie, former head of the Office of Water in Victoria, and Melbourne lawyer and water governance facilitator, Ruxandra Lazaresc, have joined forces with Paul Bayly, infrastructure specialist with Australian/NZ corporate advisory firm Cranleigh, to help prepare a seminal report on the delivery of water services in New Zealand. The report, A Business Case for Water Services, calls for three councils to transfer their water and wastewater assets into a jointly owned, not-for-profit council-controlled organisation, and is currently being examined in a public consultation process. The report applies to the management of water services in the Waikato region of New Zealand. For the first time Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Waipa District Council have come together to assess water management. The report was cofunded by the councils. “A new solely dedicated water organisation will be far more efficient and, if recommendations are implemented, NZ$468 million could be saved over 28 years,” Mr Bayly said.
The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development, which aims to facilitate world‐class infrastructure for New Zealanders, has backed Cranleigh’s recommendations and New Zealand industry experts have described the report as seminal for the management and delivery of water services in New Zealand. Independent water infrastructure consultant, David Downie, provided peer review and international experience to the project, while water lawyer and consultant, Ruxandra Lazarescu, examined the governance aspects of each model up for consideration and facilitated a governance workshop together with Mr Bayly and the project team. Ms Lazarescu said: “Water is such a precious resource that a team approach is going to be crucial. Waikato Is a powerful example of how local councils can work together with the aim of saving money, improving water quality and services and conserving water. “When Paul, David and myself first considered joining forces, we recognised that the challenges to the delivery of water services are multi-faceted and developing any solution will involve a combination of skill sets. We see governance as a key element of any water service delivery model, and consider that water is very much a local affair. Our role is to bring in best practice expertise and on the ground experience and support the local operators to develop a solution that is right for them.” David Downie added that while the Australian story of water reform is compelling and provides useful lessons for other jurisdictions: “Water is so complex that each jurisdiction must go through its own process of developing a local solution that best meets its needs. It’s not a case of one‐size-fits-all.” Please go to www.waterstudywaikato.org.nz/technical‐reports for more information.
WATER AUTHORITIES JOIN FORCES TO HOST BIGGEST EVER DINNER Victoria’s 19 water authorities joined forces recently to host the Biggest Ever Dinner to raise funds for the Australian Prostate Cancer Foundation. The event included guest speakers Sam Kekovich, Terry Daniher, Eloise Southby, Dr Bernie Crimmins and David Parkin. Organising Chair and MD of Western Water, Neil Brennan, said the event was held in honour of water industry stalwart Laurie Gleeson OAM, who passed away from prostate cancer in January this year. “Laurie was Managing Director of Goulburn Valley Water for 28 years and was highly regarded as an innovative industry leader. He championed the annual Biggest Ever Blokes lunch in Shepparton to raise funds for prostate cancer, so it is a fitting tribute to him to hold this event.” Around 500 water industry colleagues, suppliers, contractors and consultants attended the dinner at Etihad Stadium on 25 June. EcoCatlyst was a major sponsor of the event, with Premium sponsorship from Vision Super and Goulburn Valley Water, and Support sponsorship from Integrity Governance, Coliban Water and Marsden Jacobs & Associates.
June 2015 water
WATER REUSE ADVOCATE WINS 2015 STOCKHOLM INDUSTRY WATER AWARD CH2M has been named winner of the 2015 Stockholm Industry Water Award for developing and advancing methods to clean water and increasing public acceptance of recycled water. “CH2M has long recognised that our global community cannot afford to use water once and dispose of it – freshwater sources are too precious and growing more scarce. We are proud to receive the 2015 Stockholm Industry Award for our leadership in the evolution and acceptance of purifying wastewater effluent to create drinking water,” said Greg McIntyre, CH2M Global Water Business Group President. CH2M’s first notable success in wastewater recycling came in the 1960s, when CH2M pioneered the third advanced stage of effluent treatment by successfully removing excess phosphorous, nitrogen and trace metals, restoring the used water of the South Tahoe Public Utility to pristine purity. Through a series of improvements, tests and large-scale implementation, the technology of treating used water back to drinking water quality was further refined to increase reliability, efficiency, and sustainability. In the 1970s, CH2M designed the world’s first surface water indirect potable reuse plant, improving the water quality for more than one million people in northern Virginia, raising the bar for cost-effective wastewater treatment. CH2M continued to evolve water reuse practices and in the early 2000s worked with Singapore’s national water agency to not only prove the safety of potable reuse, but to win public acceptance for the country’s NEWater project. By combining state-of-the-art technology and public education tools, unprecedented public acceptance of water reuse was achieved. The Stockholm Industry Water Award (SIWA) was established in 2000 to stimulate and celebrate outstanding and transformative water achievements by companies in improving production, managing risks, finding solutions and contributing to wise water management. The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) were partners in establishing the award, which is also supported by the International Water Association (IWA) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
NO-DIG DOWN UNDER AT THE GOLD COAST In September 2015, the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre will play host to the largest trenchless event in Australasia, No-Dig Down Under. The event will provide over 1,000 delegates with insights into innovative and new techniques for installing and renovating underground infrastructure. The technical program includes speakers from around the globe who will be presenting papers covering case studies, new and emerging technologies, challenging projects and environments, risk management and more. Delegates will enhance their skill-set by learning about the role trenchless technology plays in reducing carbon emissions, reducing occupational health and safety risks, and protecting the environment and existing infrastructure, among many other benefits. Delegates will also have the opportunity to hear from a diverse range of local and international speakers, covering topics in lining solutions, microtunnelling, pipe jacking, directional drilling, stormwater and a vast array of case studies. Delegates will also be offered an extensive range of social and networking opportunities, including the Exhibition Opening, Boat Cruise to South Stradbroke Island and Gala Dinner and Awards Evening. This will be the trenchless industry’s main event for the year, and the evening will include presentation of the 2015 ASTT awards, which recognise outstanding people and projects in the industry. For more information please go to www.nodigdownunder.com
MOTT MACDONALD TO INVESTIGATE SEWERAGE SYSTEM PERFORMANCE Mott MacDonald has been appointed by North East Water to investigate the performance of sewerage systems in Yarrawonga, Wodonga and Wangaratta in north-east Victoria. Split into two parts, the project aims to understand the current and anticipated future performance of the sewerage systems under the influences of urban growth and wet weather. The first stage will involve monitoring flows within the systems during dry and wet weather events over the course of 12 weeks through the installation of 46 flow monitors and 12 rain gauges. These results will then be used to model growth-related dry-weather flows and wet-weather flows across a range of average recurrence intervals. Mott MacDonald will analyse flow data to identify any likely issues with inflow, infiltration or other hydraulic issues. The consultancy will also build, calibrate and masterplan the entire flow modelling stage.
In the 1970s, CH2M worked with the Upper Occoquan Service Authority’s regional water reclamation plant in Virginia, US, to design the world’s first and largest indirect potable reuse plant.
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Peter Stephens, Mott MacDonald¹s project director, said: “The models will be used to develop options that will accommodate future growth and reasonable wet weather flows in the sewerage systems. The projects identified will be put forward for design and construction, mainly over the next five-year planning period from 2017-22.” The project is expected to be completed in the middle of 2016.
SEQWATER A FINALIST FOR HEALTHY WATERWAYS AWARDS
“All this is clearly outside Taswater's financial capacity, and would be well in excess of the $1 billion estimated by the Government in 2009. To imply TasWater has the capacity to self-fund these projects through increased gearing is not realistic. The reality is external funds will be needed.
Seqwater is a finalist in two categories of the Healthy Waterways Awards, an annual event that recognises those who actively help to protect and improve South-East Queensland’s waterways.
“Additionally, to suggest borrowings should be permitted to blow out to a gearing of 60 per cent would make TasWater one of Australia’s most indebted water authorities and potentially see us hamstrung by the cost of interest, ultimately having to be paid for by customers.
Seqwater Chief Executive Officer, Peter Dennis, said it was an honour to be a finalist alongside other individuals, groups and organisations who were making a positive difference to the region’s waterways through various projects and initiatives. “Seqwater has been nominated for a Water Services Award for our upgrade to the Image Flat Water Treatment Plant,” Mr Dennis said. “The upgrade of the plant’s sludge handling system and chemical dosing system has led to significant improvements to the quality of the water leaving the plant site and entering the region’s waterways. “Seqwater is also a finalist for the Rural and Agriculture Award for the Farm Flow Project, which was undertaken in partnership with Maroochy Landcare. This project supported 17 rural landholders to protect and improve water quality in the South Maroochy Catchment through improved land management.” Mr Dennis said the Lake Baroon Catchment Care Group was also a finalist for the Rural and Agriculture Award. This year Seqwater is sponsoring the Volunteer of the Year Award, the Waterways Champion Award and the Research Award.
“It is inevitable, as we invest in critical upgrades, our gearing will increase with the need to borrow more funds. The challenge is to do this responsibly by implementing a plan for the long term, which does not create an unnecessary burden for future generations of Tasmanians. “I had hoped the State Government would have stood firm on supporting TasWater and its owners to get on with the job of fixing these assets and services for Tasmania rather than using us as a political football. “TasWater’s work involves a delicate balancing act – we need to invest in our assets but without exposing the community to significant price rises into the future. This is a long-run challenge which will continue long after any single political cycle.” Mr Brewster concludes: “TasWater has a vision for the future and I urge the State Government and the community to join TasWater and our owner councils on a sustainable and financially responsible road to achieving this vision.”
Mr Dennis congratulated all category finalists for their contributions to South-East Queensland’s waterways.
TASWATER FOCUSED ON REALISTIC AND SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS, SAYS CEO TasWater has issued a media release in response to claims that it needs to lift its game. CEO Michael Brewster says: “The organisation is already working hard to achieve its targets of upgrading essential water and sewerage services across Tasmania. To suggest the process can be sped up by immediately borrowing more money is simplistic and financially irresponsible with that debt imposing more financial imposts on every Tasmanian as a user of water and sewerage services. “TasWater is all too aware of the challenges it faces, a challenge that has been more than 30 years in the making. It is only two years since TasWater was formed from the four businesses established as part of our water and sewerage reform process, and TasWater can point to a range of improvements and efficiencies already in place. The challenge going forward is to bring many of our ageing and failing assets up to scratch and fix the drinking water issues in small towns. “As well as upgrading our assets to meet modern compliance standards TasWater needs to provide increased capacity for new developments, address major regional infrastructure challenges such as Launceston’s combined system and its sewerage system, potentially remove Macquarie Point sewerage treatment plant and rationalise Hobart’s sewerage system. This is without considering the cost to introduce services to places like the Southern Beaches.
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Young Water Professionals
PASSING ON THE BATON robbie goedecke â€“ aWa yWp national representative committee president With another successful Ozwater Conference & Exhibition behind us it is time for an injection of renewed enthusiasm to ensure the young water professional voice remains heard. I have recently been handed the role of National Representative Committee (NRC) President, representing the interests of the YWP membership within AWA. I would like to start by thanking the outgoing NRC president Justin Simonis for his dedication to ensuring the NRC remains a viable strategic group moving forward. I have had the pleasure of working with Justin over the past year and have appreciated the knowledge and support he has provided to YWPs across Australia. Justin, along with former experienced members of the NRC, will be sorely missed. Secondly I would like to introduce my committee members for the immediate term, all of whom have a great deal of experience, diversity and passion. Kate Bowker (Western Australia), Tom Attwood (Northern Territory), Hannah Walmsley (New South Wales), Will Gielewski (Victoria), Kate Jennings (South Australia), Daniela Cortez (Australian Capital Territory), Kathryn Silvester (IWA YWP) and I (Queensland) will work together to ensure YWPs across Australia remain engaged, and that state YWP committees are supported in providing value to our membership through initiatives aligned with the strategic objectives of AWA. We are working towards providing more relevant information for YWPs, access to continuing professional development as well as opportunities to network and collaborate. Our initial focus turns towards the reinvigoration of a national YWP conference jointly hosted with IWA in February next year, led by Kathryn Silvester. Delivering an event at low cost and high value is paramount to enable
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support for YWPs from research, industry and government to attend and present their work, and I look forward to providing an update down the track. In order to retain the enthusiasm of YWPs within the water industry, focus has been placed on reinvigoration of existing mentoring programs to ensure survival, with a national framework to be developed over time. It is important that mentoring relationships are given the opportunity to develop through support from the NRC and state committees. However, our challenge remains to engage the wider AWA membership to give back to the industry through becoming mentors and, hence, supporting the growth of YWPs and retaining knowledge within the water industry. To enhance retention as well as attract the best talent, it is important that awards programs are given appropriate recognition. The Young Water Professional of the Year, the Undergraduate Water Prize and the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize are critical towards ensuring our current and future membership remains inspired to solve upcoming challenges within the water industry. On that note I would like to congratulate Gabrielle McGill from GHD, Matthew Makestas, Mark Bailey, Diana Bethune and Joshua Ware from the University of Adelaide and William Tsai from Queensland Academy for Health Sciences for being our 2015 recipients of these awards, as well as those who were award recipients for their respective states. There is plenty going on in the water industry at the moment and I look forward to sharing my thoughts as to how we as YWPs can play our role to ensure the future of the sector is well positioned. The NRC welcomes your contribution or feedback at email@example.com. Robbie Goedecke is Graduate Engineer â€“ Supply Systems with Seqwater in Queensland.
SAVE THE DATE!
Australiaâ€™s international water conference & exhibition
10-12 May 2016 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Australiaâ€™s leading international water conference and trade exhibition will return to Melbourne for the first time in seven years.
Keep up to date at www.ozwater.org or follow Ozwater on twitter @ozwater
ANZ ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION ANZ has formed a new partnership with the Australian Water Association to support its water and wastewater management programs in South-East Asia. The programs focus on knowledge sharing, capacity building, trade and investment initiatives and strengthening governance arrangements in Vietnam, India and Indonesia, including organising outbound and inbound trade delegations of water professionals, facilitating trade exhibitions and business matching. ANZ will add expertise in infrastructure and public-private partnership (PPP) financing. The partnership builds on ANZ’s existing relationship with the Association in Australia, which seeks to promote innovation and best practice in water and wastewater management around the country. ANZ Managing Director of Global Loans and Advisory, Christina Tonkin, said: “Australia has developed world-leading capabilities in water management, in particular during the Millennium drought, which affected most parts of the country for the best part of a decade. “As part of our commitment to sustainable finance, we believe this partnership will help disseminate Australian expertise in key markets identified by the Australian Water Association and where ANZ has operations, as well as leverage private sector involvement in aid-funded water projects. We hope to develop similar programs in other Mekong countries in due course.” Australian Water Association Chief Executive, Jonathan McKeown, said that with support from ANZ, coupled with the support of the State and Federal Governments, the Association will be able to build the capacity of the water sectors in these fast-emerging economies and raise the profile of the Australian water sector’s skills and capabilities.
two main social events: the Welcome Reception at Adelaide Oval and the Gala Dinner, which was attended by almost 1,000 delegates. An exciting new feature at the event was the use for the first time of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to enhance the experience of delegates and exhibitors. Nametags were embedded with an NFC chip containing each delegate’s contact details and which also integrated with the Australian Water Association’s Business App, allowing delegates to track the connections they made on-site. Using this technology, delegates could tap and connect instantly with other delegates and exhibitors, participate in live polls and send questions directly to the facilitator in the closing plenary panel session. The technology also allowed us to collate the following useful statistics: • 2,762 nametags were issued at Ozwater’15; • On the first morning of the conference, 4.8 people per minute arrived to register; • 21 exhibitors chose to use the NFC technology, generating 1,457 business leads between them and averaging 69 leads per exhibitor; • KSB was the leading exhibitor, with 177 ‘real’ leads generated; • 56 questions were directed electronically to the facilitator in the closing panel session; and • There were more than 8,000 interactions on the Australian Water Association’s Business App during the event. NFC technology will again feature at Ozwater’16 in Melbourne. For a full report on Ozwater’15 please turn to page 41.
BARRIERS TO INVESTMENT: A CONVERSATION BETWEEN REGULATORS AND INDUSTRY
“Australia’s water sector has much to offer our regional neighbours to enable sustainable urban and rural growth and economic productivity. Our collaboration with ANZ will support the institutional strengthening necessary for improved performance of water and wastewater services and support government objectives for transitioning Asian countries towards a more market-orientated water sector,” said Mr McKeown.
The Australian Water Association’s inaugural Water Regulators’ Forum was held on Wednesday, 13 May as part of Ozwater’15. Regulators from across Australia were invited to participate in the interactive workshop, which was structured around the recently released Australian Water Association and Minter Ellison Discussion Paper, Promoting Investment in the Water Sector.
OZWATER’15 VOTED A RESOUNDING SUCCESS!
Australian Water Association Chief Executive, Jonathan McKeown, said that given the challenging fiscal environment for governments in the short to medium term, it is the opportune time for governments to consider whether additional private investment into the water sector could assist in making public investment more readily available in other areas.
Ozwater’15, which took place at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 12–14 May, was a huge success with over 2,700 people attending the event. The three-day program featured 181 exhibitors, 153 technical presentations and nine keynote speakers with attendees representing 45 different countries. Feedback on the conference has been positive, with many delegates commenting on the high quality of the keynote speakers, including international keynote speaker Cathryn Ross (CEO, Ofwat) and Bernard Salt (Partner, KPMG), outstanding workshops delivered by Water Futures, WSAA and the Victorian Intelligent Water Network, the thought-provoking Young Water Professionals program and the
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“Funding issues are only going to become more severe in coming years, when competition for the available capital from governments will increase among service providers such as health and education,” said Mr McKeown. “However, for effective private investment in the water industry, clear and strong policy and regulatory settings are required to maximise customer benefits and community expectations from additional private sector involvement. “The Promoting Investment in the Water Sector Discussion Paper shows there is a desperate need for consistency of economic regulation across all states and territories to attract long-term private investment.”
AWA News Lucia Cade, Chair of Western Water, facilitated the Regulators’ Forum, which began with presentations by Katrina Groshinski, Partner Minter Ellison and co-author of the Discussion Paper, and Cathryn Ross, CEO of Ofwat. Katrina spoke on the 13 key recommendations that were outlined in the paper, in particular the need for independence and reducing political interference, licencing frameworks necessary to attract private investment and water market improvements. Cathryn discussed the UK privatisation experience and the critical need for legitimacy and transparency of utilities through reformed governance structures. She also spoke on the benefits of a clearer separation of powers between government policy, regulators and utility boards, using regulation to incentivise industry innovation, better customer engagement and the role of harmonising regulation between jurisdictions (England and Wales) to drive improved efficiencies and customer benefits. Following the presentations there was a panel discussion about the possible solutions to mitigate the investment impediments. The panel was made up of Katrina Groshinski, Cathryn Ross, Dr Ron BenDavid (Chair of the Essential Services Commission), David Cunliffe (Principal Water Quality Adviser at the Department of Health) and Heath Chester (Manager of Water Regulation at the Environment and Planning Directorate).
• An independent regulator determines prices or maximum allowable revenue in accordance with a statutory framework for a defined period of time that: - Enables new entry; and - D oes not otherwise allow the government to constrain the scope of the independent economic regulator’s ability to make a determination; and - T he independent economic regulator’s price determination is subject to review by a competent independent body such as the Australian Competition Tribunal; • Recommendation 1: Governments should agree on the broad objective of water sector regulatory frameworks to ensure that Australians have access to a safe, secure and environmentally sustainable water supply for human consumption as well as domestic, agricultural and industrial uses. Of the 13 recommendations, Recommendation 13 was voted as the least important recommendation (Figure 2).
At the conclusion of the session audience members voted on the recommendations of the Discussion Paper. Results of the Polling Of the 13 recommendations, in order of voting preference, the top three immediate priorities were: • Recommendation 2 (Figure 1): Governments to review the governance arrangements for water utilities to ensure that they have well-defined roles for the shareholding and portfolio ministers, the Board and management of the utility so as to maximise their ability to meet their statutory objectives;
Figure 2. Recommendation 13. The Association will continue to work with Minter Ellison and members to advocate the recommendations to government to bring them to fruition. The full Discussion Paper can be viewed at www.awa.asn.au/Discussion_Papers
AUSTRALIAN STOCKHOLM JUNIOR WATER PRIZE WINNING PROJECT Figure 1. Recommendation 2. • Recommendation 7: State and Territory Governments should commit to a minimum standard of economic regulation of water under which: ° The economic regulatory framework is a statutory framework put in place by government that clearly articulates
- T he basis upon which the independent economic regulator will make its decision; and
- T he overarching objective of the regulation to promote economically efficient water use and service provision in the long-term interests of the end user;
• The economic regulatory framework is designed to promote consistent and predictable decision-making over time by the independent economic regulator;
The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) is an international award for high school water science research. Its purpose is to increase students’ interest in water-related issues and research and raise their awareness and knowledge of global water challenges. The competition is open to projects aimed at improving the quality of life through improvement of water quality, water resources management, water protection or water and wastewater treatment. This year’s winner is William Tsai from the Queensland Academy for Health Sciences. William’s investigation examined the effect of nitrate levels in effluent, discharged from various wastewater treatment plants into Queensland waterways. William describes his project here: “My project aimed to examine the effect of nitrate levels in effluent on the growth of Anabaena circinalis (A. circinalis). My experiment
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AWA News was based on the inconsistency of nitrate concentration at various wastewater sites in relation to the Australian and New Zealand Environmental Conservation Council regulations for preventing eutrophication. Subsequently, nitrate eutrophication is a risk factor for A. circinalis (cyanobacteria) bloom, which can have severe health, economic and ecological implications. A. circinalis blooms can cause severe depletion of dissolved oxygen, which creates a hypoxic or anoxic ‘dead zone’ that suffocates fish, shellfish and other aquatic life. This continues to threaten the world’s commercial fishing industries. “My methodology involved testing nitrate concentration in water samples collected from Esk, Fernvale, Lowood, Oxley and Beenleigh wastewater sites on five separate days. Nitrate concentrations were compared with ANZECC 1992 guidelines for preventing eutrophication. These nitrate concentrations were simulated using sodium nitrate and inoculated with cyanobacteria. On the respective days of collection, 1mL of solution was removed from each test tube for cells/filament and heterocyst/filament calculation. “Results showed higher nitrate levels correlated with higher growth rate of cyanobacteria. Only the A. circinalis growing in Beenleigh’s nitrate concentration had a significantly higher growth rate, relative to the negative control; Esk, Lowood, Fernvale and Oxley nitrate concentrations did not due to low nitrate concentrations. However, all nitrate concentrations tested exceeded the ANZECC guidelines for preventing eutrophication. “The results indicated that Beenleigh’s wastewater treatment requires refinement in reducing nitrate levels prior to discharge. However, it was inconclusive whether the observed higher growth rate would result in cyanobacteria algal bloom. Further study should determine what degree of cyanobacteria growth would be of ecological or economical significance. Although tested nitrate levels exceeded recommended guidelines, A. circinalis did not have significant growth relative to the negative control, indicating nitrate treatment at these locations is satisfactory in regards to prevention of cyanobacteria bloom. “This award has given me confidence not only in my research, but in myself. However, without the opportunities and support from the Queensland Academy for Health Sciences I would not be where I am today. I would ike to acknowledge my supervisor Mr Anir Lal for his continuous support and guidance. I would also like to express my gratitude to Xylem, sponsor of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, for providing me with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent Australia to compete internationally.”
2015 NATIONAL WATER POLICY SUMMIT The Australian Water Association’s National Water Policy Summit will be held Tuesday 6 to Wednesday 7 October 2015 in Melbourne. If you have any policy issues you would like to see discussed at the Summit please email Amanda White at firstname.lastname@example.org
water June 2015
WATER INNOVATION CHALLENGE WINNER Innovation plays a key role in the water sector and helps us address some of our current and future challenges. In response to ongoing challenges involving sustainable water management, the Australian Water Association and YouNoodle have joined forces to launch the Australian Water Innovation Challenge. The Innovation Challenge calls for entrepreneurs and established companies to enter their most innovative water technology solutions to transform the sustainability of communities and businesses, both in Australia and around the world. The first challenge was launched at the Australian Water Association’s Water Innovation Forum in Sydney in March. This first challenge, presented in collaboration with ARUP, called on entrepreneurs and established companies to enter their most innovative product or solution that would lead to better engagement with customers and communities by creating an emotional connection with water. Twenty-two entries were formally submitted via the online platform. The winner is a Melbourne-based start-up company called Half a Teaspoon with its ‘Project 0’, which aims to engage communities, business and government to collectively create specially designed Art Fountains, creating a more positive association with drinking tap water from public fountains and reducing the need to buy bottled water. To read more about Project 0 please turn to page 39.
BRANCH NEWS QUEENSLAND NORTH QUEENSLAND REGIONAL CONFERENCE 2015 North Queensland Regional Conference 2015, which features the theme ‘Driving Efficiency In Water Service Delivery’, will be held 23–24 July in Cairns and will provide a combination of technical presentations, trade displays and networking opportunities. The conference will attract a wide cross-section of the industry and will cover all of the major participants in the water industry in North Queensland. Host sponsor for 2015 is Cairns Regional Council. Cairns is at the heart of Queensland's tropical economy, and Cairns Regional Council has a clear focus for economic growth and long-term sustainability for the region.
VICTORIA 53RD ANNUAL DINNER The Australian Water Association’s Victorian Branch Annual Dinner is the premier event on the calendar for the Victorian water industry. This year the dinner will held at Melbourne Town Hall with guest speaker, The Hon. Lisa Neville, Minister for Climate Change and Water. The event kicks off with pre-dinner drinks at 6.30pm in Swanston Hall, after which guests will proceed to the Main Hall for dinner. The evening concludes at 11.30pm. To register, please go to www.awa.asn.au or contact State Manager Gail Reardon at email@example.com.
New Members AWA welcomes the following new members since the most recent issue of Water Journal.
NEW CORPORATE MEMBERS
NEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS
NEW SOUTH WALES
Australian Capital Territory A Lambert, N Chowdhury, W Padarin
New South Wales D Hamer, A Thompson,
Bathurst Regional Council
J Gordon, M Williams, I Gatt, S Baker, C Wellard, R Crissani, N Keong, M Cahalane, C Evans, P Rogolinski, A Knickerbocker, S Imran Khan, E James, S Moege, G Jones, F Chen, Z Li, B Zhang, M Luo, J Bailey, P Pascal, K Harries, M McLinidn, D Hart, D McDade, P Cox, A Pretorius Queensland M Sorenson, W Sicangco, G Dinse, J Rishworth, S Boer, R Drane, A Mills, T Veronese, A Bardak, D Sharland, S Fernando, J Frampton, A Corbett, H Nguyen South Australia S Selby, A Atukorala, T Banks, B Fuller, D Faithow, P Simmonds, D Watson, C Fong, A Duncker, D Williams, M Nicholas, E Brooks, M Watson, J Mrozek Tasmania M Packer, S Dadswell Victoria J Hall, H Isreb, D Francis, B Windmeyer, L Simmons, B Asquith, C Azcurra, S Taylor, A Lisitsa, P Breen,
Corporate Bronze Rocla Swan Analytical Australia Pty Ltd Warren Smith & Partners Pty Ltd
SOUTH AUSTRALIA Corporate Silver Global Water Group Pty Ltd
VICTORIA Corporate Silver Aither Pty Ltd
Corporate Bronze Vertical Matters
OVERSEAS Corporate Bronze Armatec Environmental Ltd
G Walsh, D Browne, C Morgan, M Crudden, M Woolston, C Pregnalato, E Carden, K Langdon, A Gibson, S Wilkinson, D Brownbill, J Stewart, D Watson, J Yu, C Pilkinton Western Australia X-Z Niu, L Cox, V Brown, L Cheng, J Gugich, L Hiew, J Preo, R Plummer, M Cavaney, J Burgess, M Andrews, E Skira, R Carter
NEW OVERSEAS MEMBERS S Pope, New Zealand; B Vrizonis, New Zealand; G Mickell, New Zealand; L Breach, New Zealand; J Guan, China; M Liu, China; F Meng, China; M Buchmuller, The Netherlands; B Geraats, The Netherlands
NEW STUDENT MEMBERS Australian Capital Territory L Macadam Queensland E Bertone, H Meng Western Australia R Carter
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
July Wed, 1 Jul 2015
QLD: Unitywater’s Demand Modeller and Tracking Tool (DMaTT), Brisbane
Tue, 14 Jul 2015
VIC: ‘Climate Change’ (Technical Evening), Melbourne
Wed, 15 Jul 2015
NSW: New Models for Financing Water infrastructure (Technical Event), Sydney
Thu, 16 Jul 2015
VIC: Victorian Branch President’s Dinner, Melbourne
Thu, 23 Jul 2015
NSW: NSW Branch President’s Dinner, Sydney
Thu, 23 Jul – Fri, 24 Jul 2015
QLD: North QLD Regional Conference, Cairns
Wed, 29 Jul 2015
NSW: NSW YWPs: An Evening with Carmel Krogh 2015, Sydney
August Wed, 5 Aug – Thu, 6 Aug 2015
NSW: Innovation Incubator Masterclass, Sydney
Thu, 6 Aug 2015
VIC: Victorian Branch 53rd Annual Dinner, Melbourne
Tue, 18 Aug 2015
VIC: 2015 Safe Drinking Water Regulations (Technical Seminar), Melbourne
Thu, 20 Aug 2015
TAS: Water Environment Merit Award 2015 Presentation, Sandy Bay
Thu, 20 Aug 2015
TAS: AWA Tasmania Annual Conference: Where the Waters Meet 2015, Sandy Bay
Fri, 21 Aug 2015
QLD: Women of Water (WoW) Networking Event, Brisbane
Wed, 26 Aug 2015
QLD: Breakfast: Seqwater Water Security, Brisbane
August & September
Ozwater Roadshow: WA/TAS/NSW/VIC
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WATER FOR ECONOMIC PROSPERITY IN VIETNAM: MAKING THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS
Paul Smith, International Manager, reports on the Australian Water Association’s program to foster closer economic, technical and operational co-operation between Vietnam and Australia. There has been a recent shift in Australia’s development co-operation in Vietnam, from a relationship based on aid to one that strengthens its focus on trade and investment, by helping to improve the business climate and expand the scope of opportunities for mutual benefit. The Australian Water Association, along with our project partners in Vietnam, has now commenced a series of initiatives designed to support this transition and showcase the depth and breadth of Australia’s water expertise and technological innovations. With support from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) , the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Austrade, the program will guide improved performance of water and wastewater services in Vietnam. It will foster closer economic diplomacy between the Vietnamese and Australian water sectors, focusing on three critical sector issues:
• Strengthening the governance, financial and investment structures of the Vietnamese water sector; • Strengthening the role of the private sector;
• Trade promotion and capacity building. “Australia has developed world-leading capabilities in water management, in particular during the millennium drought which affected most parts of the country for the best part of a decade,” says Katherine Tapley, Director, Structured Export Finance, Global Markets & Loans, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Limited. “As part of our commitment to sustainable finance, we believe this partnership will help disseminate Australian expertise in key markets identified by AWA and where ANZ has operations, as well as leverage private sector involvement in aid-funded water projects.”
The Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Hugh Borrowman (centre), with representatives from the Australian Water Association, ANZ and the Australian Embassy in Vietnam.
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international Vietnam: a development journey Political and economic reforms launched in 1986 have transformed Vietnam within a quarter of a century from one of the poorest countries in the world to a lower-middle income country. Water, and the efforts of many to reform its management, has played a vital role in this. However, water infrastructure and services have often not kept pace with economic development, threatening to hold back further equitable growth and sustainable development. Ageing water supply systems struggle to cope with rapid growth in demand, and environmental management services are not adequately dealing with the final treatment and disposal of liquid or solid waste. Rising sea levels and new extremes in drought and flood events are compounding the challenges facing the Vietnam water sector. The causes are well documented and solutions now focus on improving the capacity and financial autonomy of provincial utilities, including the ability to recover costs from customers. As Vietnam moves towards a market-based economy, new ways of financing and delivering water and sanitation infrastructure are being pursued by the Vietnam Government.
Opening doors to investment and technological innovation Since the early 2000s, Vietnam has opened its economy to international markets. In July 2006, Vietnam updated its intellectual property legislation to comply with world standards, and it became a member of the WTO in January 2007. Vietnam is now one of Asia's most open economies and Australia is one of Vietnam’s key trading partners. Vietnam has been rising as a leading agricultural exporter and an attractive foreign investment destination. Accordingly, the Vietnamese Government has set ambitious targets for urban, industrial and rural growth. In Hanoi alone, there are 107 industrial zones that have been earmarked for 100% centralised water and wastewater systems. Servicing expanding populations of Vietnam will require continued major capital expenditure and technological innovation. The Government of Vietnam is now looking for private investors to provide the capital required, and private service providers and technological innovators to enter the market. ANZ, one of the Australian Water Association’s major partners, is a natural fit in supporting this transition. In February 2015, the Government of Vietnam released a Decree that sets out the legal framework for Public-Private Partnerships and private investment, including in water. This is a significant development for attracting private capital; the task now is to strengthen the institutional frameworks and regulations so they support private sector confidence and participation.
Dinner with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and VWSA.
international Join the Australian delegation to Vietwater 2015 The Australian Water Association and Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA), in partnership with the ANZ Bank, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Austrade in Vietnam, invites you to participate in an Australian delegation to VietWater 2015, to be held in Hanoi 25–27 November 2015. Vietwater is Vietnam’s largest water and wastewater conference, an international industry event that attracts over 10,000 visitors from across 35 countries. Participation in the event will include: Space within the Australian Water Booth The Australian Water Booth is a large, professionally constructed booth centrally located in the exhibition hall. You will be provided with a personalised freestanding poster display and brochure rack. All exhibitors will be promoted in the Australian delegate handbook, in addition to featuring in a colour webcast that is circulated to over 10,000 attendees prior to the event. Present your services and technologies during the AustraliaVietnam workshop The Australian Water Association and VWSA are organising a special workshop for you to pitch your product to the market and share your experiences of Australia’s millennium drought and water reform journey.
Access to business opportunities We will provide you relevant leads, including tenders for programs funded by international and domestic financial institutions. Opening doors We will facilitate meetings with the Vietnamese authorities at government, provincial and local level, or with Vietnamese enterprises. We will support you connecting with international water professionals, donor agencies, decisionmakers, potential buyers and partners. Providing information on Vietnamese rules and regulations – for example, on import, export and the establishment of legal entities. We can also refer you to relevant government agencies or legal assistance and help you navigate through the relevant regulations and standards. Receive logistical support We will facilitate the display space and marketing of your company and provide assistance in arranging brochures and printed materials for the event. Cost and funding options The cost for full participation in the event is $2,500 (ex-GST) for members and for nonmembers $2,750 (ex-GST). This does not include domestic or international travel, meals outside of the nominated events or accommodation. Payment is required to be made on signing of an agreement prior to departure.
Have your technology selected for a pilot study in Vietnam water utilities as part of the project Companies with technology in high demand may be selected for a pilot study where the technology will be trialled in partnership with select water and wastewater providers in Vietnam. This study will be part of the Australian Water Association program in Vietnam and will be designed to build confidence in the use of innovative technology while contributing to the development of national standards and guidelines.
Funding support There are opportunities for the registration costs to be reimbursed through State and Commonwealth Government assistance programs. The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme is a key Australian Government financial assistance program for aspiring and current exporters. Please go to www.austrade.gov.au/Export/ Export-Grants/What-is-EMDG for more information. Participants are encouraged to contact their State Government Trade and Investment Agency to access support.
Receive information on sectors and potential business partners The Australian Water Association will undertake an in-depth business partner scan and provide you with information on specific water sectors and potential business partners to increase your opportunities in the Vietnamese market.
Registration Registration and payment to join the delegation is due by 3 September 2015 and available via www.awa.asn.au/ VietWater2015. For further information please contact Paul Smith, the Australian Water Association’s International Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 02 9467 8403.
Connecting the Australian and VietnamESE Water sectors DFAT has engaged the Australian Water Association, with support from the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA) and relevant water ministries, to foster closer economic, technical and operational co-operation between the Vietnamese and Australian water sectors. It will support government priorities in Vietnam focusing on: Strengthening governance, financial and investment structures of the Vietnam water sector By transferring Australian experience and know-how this component will support efforts to strengthen the capacity of Vietnam Ministries, provincial governments and utilities to plan, regulate and price water and wastewater services efficiently and effectively, thus supporting conditions favourable for enhanced private participation in Vietnam’s water sector. Trade and business development This component will support Australian-Vietnamese trade in water and wastewater products, technologies and services, and business partnerships including Joint Ventures and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). It will implement
workshops, trade exhibitions and pilot studies in regional, remote and urban areas validating low-cost, low-maintenance advanced water and wastewater treatment and energy recovery technology. It will also undertake case studies examining pre-conditions for joint ventures and PPPs between Australian and Vietnamese water companies and government agencies. Improved service delivery and utility capacity This component will facilitate two-way exchange and twinning placements between Australian and Vietnamese water professionals and agencies in the following areas: • Water quality risk management; • Asset management; • Water efficiency; • Water recycling; • Water regulation (economic, health and environment); • Wastewater management;
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QuicK Fact File The Australian Government plays a lead role in supporting the Water and Sanitation sector in Vietnam, promoting new and low-cost technologies and innovation. In recent years, Australian support has contributed to Vietnam achieving the following results: Australian Water Association CeO, Jonathan McKeown (fifth from left), and International Manager, Paul Smith (third from left), with representatives from VWSA.
• 82% of the rural population has access to hygienic water (additional 1.2 million people); • 60% of rural households have hygienic latrines (additional 400,000 people); • 90% of schools equipped with water supply and sanitation facilities (additional 318 schools); • 92% of clinics equipped with water supply and sanitation facilities (additional 126 clinics); • Helping 270,000 people build their resilience to climate change and natural disasters.
Meeting with the Vietnam Women’s union and VWSA. • Water law and policy; • Public–Private Partnerships; • Water performance reporting; • Water skills development; • Supply – demand planning;
Would you liKe to get inVolVed in the project? The Australian Water Association is now looking for Australian water sector partners (public and private, individuals and organisations) to collaborate on the program. Opportunities exist in the following areas: • Exchange and twinning (short-, medium- and long-term placements);
• Business management;
• Project support and peer review;
• Energy recovery.
• Capacity building workshops;
A strong and prosperous Vietnam, with a population of over 90 million, will play an increasingly important role in the region. The Australian Water Association is proud to support the Australian Government’s objectives in Vietnam and contribute to the pursuit of economic prosperity, inclusive growth, environmental sustainability and improving the quality of life across the Vietnamese population.
• Trade exhibitions; • Participation in inbound and outbound delegations. If you or your organisation are interested in participating please send a short expression of interest to Paul Smith, International Manager, at email@example.com.
The Australian Water Association would like to acknowledge our project partners and sponsors who are an invaluable part of the project’s success. The support and funding they provide allow us to bridge the Vietnamese and Australian water sectors.
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BENEATH THE SURFACE: INFORMATION TO SUPPORT NATIONWIDE GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT Driven by the need for a national baseline picture on a range of groundwater management and resource issues, the Bureau of Meteorology has developed a suite of groundwater information products, writes Dr Elisabetta Carrara.
roundwater is the sole source of water in many regions of Australia and provides more than 30 per cent of the countryâ€™s total consumptive water. The management of groundwater is challenged by the shared nature of the groundwater resource and increasing demand from growing populations, consumption patterns and expansion of irrigation along with the impacts of climate variability.
to private bodies that provide services to urban and rural consumers. The imperative for improved groundwater information at a national scale has been driven by the need for a national baseline picture on a range of groundwater management and resource issues from which future progress could be measured (NWC, 2006). Evidence-based policy-making relies on the availability of information that is credible, legitimate and salient (Robinson et al., 2010).
These challenges have motivated the Commonwealth and States to work together to improve the availability of groundwater information. The Millennium Drought (2000â€“2009) was a catalyst for unprecedented reforms to Australian water management, which were formalised through the National Water Initiative in 2004. As part of this reform the Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) was given a key role to improve the collection and dissemination of water information through the Water Act 2007.
The Bureau has adopted a collaborative approach and worked closely with State and Territory governments and other Commonwealth agencies to develop a range of groundwater products. This strategic guidance and technical input has resulted in the development of a comprehensive suite of groundwater information products to inform the sustainable management of this precious resource.
Groundwater information is particularly challenging from a national perspective and fulfilment of the legislative mandate has presented a number of conceptual and practical challenges, mostly related to standardisation of groundwater data and analysis at a national level. This is a legacy of the distributed nature of groundwater management across the various levels of government and extends
Recognising that access to nationally consistent information is essential to support informed decision-making about Australiaâ€™s vital groundwater resources, the Bureau collects, standardises, stores and analyses groundwater information from lead water agencies around Australia, to ensure the best available information is on hand to help manage this complex and largely hidden resource.
An outback bore at Charlotte Plains Station.
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This data can be viewed and analysed through the Australian Groundwater Explorer web-mapping portal (www.bom.gov.au/water/ groundwater). Data can also be downloaded in a range of formats at the State level and the entire database is available as an ESRI File Geodatabase on request.
National Aquifer Framework
Figure 1. Work flow of data in the National Groundwater Information System. Table 1. An example of the three-tier National Aquifer Framework. State Hydrogeologic Unit SA
Pliocene Sands Aquifer (Tp)
Loxton Parilla Sand
Murray Group Limestone Aquifer (Ty)
Murray Group/Glenelg Group/Nelson Formation
Murray Group Limestone
Renmark Group (Tr)
Lower Renmark Group
Lower Renmark Group
NAF Hydrogeologic Unit
NAF Hydrogeologic Complex
Loxton Sand, Parilla Sand, Norwest Bend Formation
Upper Tertiary marine sediment aquifer
Murray Group and correlates
Upper Mid-Tertiary marine sediment aquifer
The Bureau’s groundwater information products include:
Lower Tertiary sediment aquifer
One of the challenges for the Bureau in building a national dataset was that States and Territories use local terminology to describe aquifers and aquitards. These differences can be problematic, particularly when examining groundwater basins that span multiple States and Territories. The Bureau has developed the National Aquifer Framework in collaboration with Geoscience Australia and lead water agencies across Australia. The Framework, which built on the Victorian Aquifer Framework, is a nationally agreed terminology for naming and grouping hydrogeologic units in Australia. This ensures that nationally consistent information is available to support informed decisionmaking about groundwater resources. The Framework aggregates statelevel information to nationally consistent terminology on three tiers: • Geologic units (the smallest tier); • Hydrogeologic units; and
• National Groundwater Information System;
• Hydrogeologic complexes (the most aggregated tier).
• National Aquifer Framework;
Groundwater data collected by States and Territories is standardised using the National Aquifer Framework before being uploaded to the National Groundwater Information System. Table 1 shows an example of the framework, which is available for download from the Bureau’s website.
• Australian Groundwater Explorer; • Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems; and • Australian Groundwater Insight. These groundwater products are available to the public from the Bureau’s website, except for the Australian Groundwater Insight which will be released by end of 2015.
National Groundwater Information System The National Groundwater Information System is a spatial database containing standardised State and Territory groundwater data. This database is the foundation for the Bureau’s groundwater information suite and was created thanks to input from State, Territory and Commonwealth groundwater experts. Contributing partners included the lead water agencies of each State and Territory, the Australian National University, Geoscience Australia, the Murray– Darling Basin Authority and the National Water Commission, which co-funded the product together with the Bureau. The Groundwater Information System contains the location of more than 820,000 bores around the country. Detailed information is provided about each bore, including (where available) purpose, lithology, construction and hydrostratigraphy logs. Aquifer geometry is available for some areas in 2D or 3D, including a 3D hydrostratigraphy model for the Murray Basin.
Australian Groundwater Explorer The Australian Groundwater Explorer is a web-based mapping portal (www.bom.gov.au/water/groundwater) with visualisation, analysis and download functions. An interactive map allows the user to explore the national dataset of groundwater information, tailor search information for a specific area, view bore logs and aquifers in 3D, or download tables and graphs. Water level data is available as a table or graph and can be downloaded for further analysis. The Explorer provides a truly national picture of groundwater levels. In 2014, in its first release, the Explorer contained groundwater level data for a pilot area covering south-eastern Australia. Since then data from all the States and Territories has been added and the Explorer now contains more than 55,000 bores with water level data. The groundwater level information is provided by lead water agencies across the country under the Water Regulations 2008, and is updated annually. The Explorer is also updated annually with the latest bore and bore log data from the National Groundwater Information System. The Australian Groundwater Explorer was developed in collaboration with State and Territory water agencies, whose June 2015 water
Feature Article Atlas of Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems The Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems is a comprehensive national inventory of the location and characteristics of ecosystems that depend on groundwater. It was designed to make information available to planners and decision-makers to help them balance the need for development with the protection of groundwater sources and their dependent ecosystems. The Atlas categorises groundwater-dependent ecosystems into three classes: • Ecosystems that may rely on the surface expression of groundwater – this includes all the surface water ecosystems that may have a groundwater component, such as rivers, wetlands and springs. Marine and estuarine ecosystems can also be groundwater dependent, but these are not mapped in the Atlas. • Ecosystems that may rely on the subsurface presence of groundwater – this includes all vegetation ecosystems. • Subterranean ecosystems (Tasmania only) – this includes cave and aquifer ecosystems.
Figure 2. Groundwater level data and chart (inset) available from the Explorer for the Marne River and Saunders Creek, South Australia. datasets are available through the Explorer, and was co-funded by the National Water Commission. The national dataset housed in the Groundwater Explorer is a considerable achievement. It is the first system to make Australian bore data readily available at a national scale and puts local, State and Territory groundwater information into an Australia-wide context. In addition, this tool makes a large body of data broadly accessible without the need for specialised software.
The Atlas shows ecosystems that will be significantly changed or degraded if groundwater availability is altered beyond its normal range of fluctuation. These ecosystems are important for their ecological, conservation and biodiversity values, as well as social and economic values. Some groundwater-dependent ecosystems, such as riparian forests, provide pathways for animals that move across otherwise fragmented landscapes. Others, such as rivers and wetlands support tourism, fishing, bird-watching and recreation. The Atlas is a flagship project developed by the National Water Commission, SKM (now Jacobs), CSIRO, Cogha and the Bureau of Meteorology, with input from every State and Territory.
Australian Groundwater Insight The Australian Groundwater Insight is a value-add product that will present a first-pass snapshot of groundwater resources across the nation. This information will provide the context for a broadscale
Figure 3. Screenshot of the Atlas showing groundwaterdependent ecosystems reliant on the surface expression of groundwater (green shading), and ecosystems reliant on subsurface groundwater (orange shading) around Canberra.
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It is available publicly on the Bureau’s website and has been accessed by a wide range of users, including government agencies, policymakers, researchers, industry and local communities. Uses range from a property owner investigating bores in their area and confirming the targeted aquifer before drilling a bore for irrigation, to a consultant accessing data to perform a groundwater resource appraisal, especially for inter-jurisdictional areas.
The web-based Atlas includes a map and text-based interface, and collates information from many sources into a central database, including published research and interpreted remote sensing data. The Atlas incorporates previous fieldwork, literature and mapped groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Nationwide layers of remote sensing data are included, as well as mapped layers that show the presence of potential groundwater-dependent ecosystems.
Figure 4. Mock-up of Groundwater Insight, which will be available from the Bureau’s website by the end of 2015.
Feature Article Conclusions This collaborative approach has for the first time since Federation created a common terminology for groundwater, resulting in a standardisation of groundwater data across Australia. This can be viewed and downloaded from the Bureau’s website (www.bom.gov.au/water/groundwater) in a range of formats. The release of national and regional high-level groundwater assessments by the end of 2015 will be another step towards a comprehensive suite of groundwater information. The Bureau’s goal is to continue to improve the quality and range of groundwater data and information holdings to support transparent management. WJ Figure 5. The Bureau of Meteorology’s groundwater information overview. analysis of groundwater level data. It is currently being developed and will be released by the end of 2015. The Groundwater Insight will provide a range of groundwater information through an interactive mapping portal. Queriable maps will allow the user to explore physical hydrogeology, such as aquifer types and groundwater salinity, as well as information on groundwater management. Bore-by-bore trends in groundwater levels will be available across Australia for 5, 10 and 20-year periods, and recent levels will be compared to the long-term average level (up to 20 years of record). The Groundwater Insight aims to bring together physical and management information with groundwater level analysis in a single portal to provide a national overview of Australian groundwater resources. This will significantly increase the capacity to provide a consistent analysis of groundwater across the nation.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Author would like to thank Eloise Nation and John Sharples for their contributions to the Bureau’s expanding suite of groundwater resources.
References National Water Commission (2006): Australian Water Resources 2005, A Baseline Assessment of Water Resources. The National Water Initiative, Australian Government, Canberra. Robinson CJ, Eberhard R, Wallington T & Lane MB (2010): Using Knowledge to Make Collaborative Policy-Level Decisions in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. CSIRO Technical Report, Brisbane.
The Author Dr Elisabetta Carrara (email: E.Carrara@bom. gov.au) has more than a decade’s experience in hydrogeology and water resources assessment. She currently leads the Bureau of Meteorology’s groundwater team.
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AUTOMATION OF AQUIFER HYDROGRAPH TREND REPORTING The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is responsible for managing more than 2,700 groundwater monitoring bores in Victoria. Khan Kamruzzaman, Timothy Anderson and Randal Nott report on a methodology to simplify this complex process.
n order to sustainably manage Victorian groundwater resources, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) requires a clear and accurate understanding of the condition of groundwater throughout the state. Currently, DELWP is responsible for managing more than 2,700 groundwater monitoring bores. As a resource manager, DELWP reports on the condition of Victoria’s groundwater resources at a number of levels. This could include the Minister for Water, but also a number of other Federal agencies such as the Bureau of Meteorology and the MurrayDarling Basin Authority. Groundwater information also needs to be disseminated to the general public, irrigators and major water resource users. Such reporting is essential for the management of the resource, but also for water planning, knowledge sharing and community awareness. For understanding and reporting of groundwater levels, hydrogeologists and water managers in DELWP and other Victorian agencies often rely on interpreting hard copy or on-screen maps, as well as printed time-series water level hydrographs. This information could also be coupled with voluminous data such as groundwater reports, or high-frequency data obtained from automated groundwater level loggers. The process becomes more complex when it requires not only interpreting data at various spatial scales, but also visualising the complex subsurface geometries of aquifers and relating them to time-series hydrographs, i.e. a 3-dimensional perspective. To make the complex groundwater monitoring analysis process simple, this study developed a methodology that normalises similar groundwater hydrographs together, essentially determining an ‘average’ of like hydrographs. In this way larger spatial areas can be represented by a single hydrograph. The methodology also simplifies reporting of groundwater level trends, including developing a novel way to integrate the simplified hydrographs at a particular location.
Scope of the project The project study area covers the entire state of Victoria. In the ‘vertical’ sense, Victorian aquifers have been classified into 14 aquifer systems (lumped into four layers: Upper, Middle, Lower and Basement), based on the Victorian Aquifer Framework (VAF). To reflect the requirements and the issues of DELWP, the study had to: • Statistically analyse over 2,700 monitoring bores with up to 50 years of records for hydrographs; • Spatially map (define polygons) hydrograph suites (like hydrographs); • Integrate an existing DELWP natural resources database;
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• Develop tools that enabled the display, interrogation, selection and reporting of the various elements required to enable groundwater analysis for water managers.
Problems and challenges There are a number of challenges involved with analysis of groundwater hydrographs. Groundwater level data comes with water elevations, which are reduced levels (RL) in metres relative to AHD (Australian Height Datum). For a specific part of the state, this could mean that hydrographs could have a significant scale range because of the natural topography variation across a region. For example, in a mountainous region, the groundwater level could be from 120m to 150m AHD, whereas in a low relief region it could be from 0m to 30m AHD. Owing to the differing water level elevations, the hydrographs of the two bores may not be directly comparable, even though: a) they are subject to the same aquifer recharge and stresses; and b) they visually have similar hydrograph responses. Secondly, from a resource management perspective (and reporting), it is often preferable to assess the groundwater behaviour for a large spatial area or region, than for that of an individual bore or local scale. This reinforces the need to be able to produce a typical hydrograph for an area. Thirdly, groundwater information is collected at differing frequencies throughout the state. For example: • A monitoring bore might have a period where it has no water level information (e.g. access or maintenance issues); • Newer bores have shorter monitoring histories compared to the older State Observation bores that could have records dating back to the 1960s; • Bores located in groundwater management areas (e.g. intensively developed irrigation areas) may have higher frequency readings compared to other parts of the state. For these reasons, it was necessary to statistically manage incomplete monitoring records, or varying frequencies of measurement. Fourthly, factors such as groundwater extraction and rainfall can influence groundwater level responses and, therefore, it is important to characterise these effects when undertaking any hydrograph analysis. Data on groundwater extraction and rainfall are available, but they are in a format (i.e. rainfall data is in raster format) that requires conversion to enable it to be represented with other bore information. To overcome these problems the study had to face a number of challenges to find:
Feature article • A process to convert all data into a common and convenient format for producing hydrographs easily; • The means of storing data to allow easy access when required; • How to generate reports, either in an on-screen version or in pdf format, in a convenient way; • Information about the bores, aquifers they intersect, and relationships to each other; • The means to have all hydrograph and bore information readily accessible for analysis to enable better decision making; • The way to identify vertical aquifer interaction, i.e. between overlying and underlying aquifers in a stacked hydrogeological sequence. This last challenge of identifying aquifer interaction was another important aspect of interpreting regional behaviour. There are nested state observation bores located throughout Victoria, i.e. closely spaced bores that monitor different depth intervals within the lithological profile. By examining hydrograph behaviour at these nested sites, hydrogeologists can make determinations regarding inter- and intra-aquifer leakage, and how this may be influenced or modified over time. Identifying the nested sites and displaying characteristic hydrographs for the different aquifers was a key outcome of the project.
Figure 1 Framework of hydrograph trend reporting. Zonal Hydrograph To enable regional mapping and classification of groundwater level behaviour, a statistical analysis was conducted
approach To make the complex groundwater monitoring analysis process simple and efficient, by considering the problems and challenges described previously a robust methodology was adopted for construction and reviewing of groundwater level hydrographs. The methodology is divided into two components: Back-End Analysis and Front-End Interface.
to create an average or characteristic hydrograph for an area that represents multiple hydrographs within that particular area – i.e. many ‘like’ hydrographs were converted into a single representative hydrograph. DELWP has grouped all of the monitoring bores into 258 categories of hydrographs exhibiting a like behaviour, which
have been referred to as hydrograph suites. Statistical analysis
In the Back-End Analysis, a range of data such as bore water level data, water level suites, water extraction data, rainfall data and SOBN (State Observation Bore Network) database (comprising the bore information) were analysed and integrated into a single database to feed the tools for reporting ground trend dynamically and seamlessly.
was subsequently undertaken using MATLAB to generate an
As shown in Figure 1, all processed data that are the results of a number of analysis (conducted using MATLAB, MS Access, ArcGIS and Python) were stored in an MS Access Database (point 2) to give easy access to the tools developed (points 3, 4 and 5) for hydrograph report generation.
average hydrograph for each suite. The study also conducted a digitisation process to delineate the spatial extent of the suite across Victoria and across all aquifers, which enables users to see the smaller groundwater regions defined by their similar bore hydrograph. A set of rules was defined to support the digitisation process.
The Back-End Analysis can be split into a number of sections, which are described in the following sections. Making Same Scale and Remove Gaps To solve the issue of different ranges of water level, normalisation analysis was conducted to fit them into the same scale. MATLAB was used for this analysis and data was presented on a negative 30m to positive 30m ordinate axis (water elevation) scale range. MATLAB was also used to conduct linear interpolation analysis for removing data gaps and making data continuous. Figure 2 shows the process of normalisation and removing data gap process.
Figure 2. normalisation and removing gaps in the data.
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Feature Article Water Extraction and Rainfall Groundwater extraction data was supplied by DELWP (e.g. megalitres per year of total metered groundwater take in a particular irrigation district). This water extraction data was formatted using MS Access so it could be accessed and displayed either onscreen or in printed reports with the relevant bore hydrographs. Rainfall data received from the Bureau of Meteorology was in raster format. The raster represents monthly rainfall by their pixels for the whole of Australia. More than 50 years of records means several hundred raster files. For a particular bore, it was necessary to analyse several hundred raster to extract and see the historical rainfall together with the hydrograph. When this was expanded to cover the 2,700 bores required for the state, several thousand analyses were required to extract the rainfall data. To make the analysis convenient, a Python script in conjunction with ArcGIS was used, which put all rainfall data into a suitable tabular format. Nested Bore To synthesise 3D aquifer information, it was necessary to know about bores constituting the nested site and their characteristic hydrographs. Information about the bore construction was obtained from the DELWP SOBN database and coding was undertaken to enable reporting outputs. Front-End Interface Front-End Interface is where users (hydrogeologists or resource managers) can interact with the groundwater level, bore construction, rainfall and metering information in the spatial context. As shown in Figure 1, the Front-End Interface is fed by a database accumulated from all information collated and manipulated through the Back-End Analysis.
Figure 4. On-screen hydrograph. end dates, and choosing one of two templates – General Template or Inter-Aquifer Template. More discussion on the templates and their example can be found in the section titled ‘PDF Report’. There is capacity to increase reporting template styles should that be required in the future. Onscreen Hydrograph For quick access to groundwater level data and to generate a hydrograph, a tool was developed (Tool 2 in Figure 3) enabling users to view a hydrograph on a pop-up window by just clicking on a bore. As shown in Figure 4, the bottom part of the onscreen hydrograph (pop-up window) shows the whole data range of
The Front-End Interface was developed to specifically target novice GIS users. Its design enables easy interaction with the intuitive interface, to interact with bore locations, complex groundwater subsurface geometries and generate reporting outputs. It is divided into three parts – spatial enablement, on-screen hydrographs and pdf reporting. Spatial enablement For spatial enablement, a set of layers was organised in an ArcMap document to display the monitoring bore, associated hydrogeological information and base layers, so that a user could navigate to specific regions of the state to interrogate and extract bore information. A series of customised tools (Figure 3) based on ArcMap was developed to facilitate data interpretation, analysis and reporting. A groundwater level trend in hydrograph form can be visualised by simply ‘clicking’ an individual bore point, or a suite polygon (region). By using these tools, a user can generate a hydrograph report in PDF format by defining a reporting period, e.g. calendar start and
Figure 3. Spatial enablement and toolset for hydrograph automation. Figure 5. PDF report using General template.
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Feature article the bore, which helps users to select a range of the data. The selected parts are zoomed in the middle part of the window. The top part of the window shows other bore information. The user can also export selected water level data into a CSV file by clicking on a button in the window. PDF Report A user can easily generate reports in PDF format for a single bore or multiple bores with just a couple of clicks. There were two templates developed for reporting – General and Inter-Aquifer Templates. The General template is composed of a bore hydrograph, water extraction and rainfall data, maps and bore textual information. The Inter-Aquifer template is composed of hydrographs of bores at a given nested site and a number of map windows to show different aquifer layers, which helps hydrogeologists and resource managers to identify the movement of groundwater between aquifers. Figure 5 shows a PDF hydrograph using the General Template.
conclUSIon This study developed an innovative way to harmonise large and complex spatial and non-spatial datasets of groundwater level information into a simple visualisation and reporting tool for both hydrogeologists (for technical studies) and groundwater managers (for the reporting of regional aquifer behaviour).
the aUthor Khan Kamruzzaman (email: khan.kamruzzaman@ ghd.com) is a spatial scientist at GHD with 14 years of experience across Australia and Bangladesh. Khan provides Spatial Information capability to all areas of GHD’s business, including Mining, Geotechnical, Environment, Infrastructure, Water, Transportation and Planning. He recently led a range of projects in development of tools for analysis and modelling of sub-surface geology, bore databases, cross-sections and hydrography. Timothy Anderson (email: timothy.anderson@ ghd.com) is a Senior Hydrogeologist with GHD with over 20 years’ experience in hydrogeological investigations. He has been involved in groundwater resource and environmental investigations associated with the development of water supplies for potable and irrigation purposes, salinity studies, groundwater flow processes and surface water interactions, mine dewatering, sewer construction and geotechnical dewatering, mineral spring and contaminated groundwater.
The utility of the developed tool is such that it can be readily updated with bore and water level information, or the development of other reporting formats. In future, it will be a logical step to transform the desktop-based tool to a web GIS environment, which will enable more groundwater practitioners to interact with the tool and make useful decisions. Wj
Randal nott (email: Randal.Nott@delwp.vic. gov.au) is Manager of Groundwater Resource Assessment in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and has 28 years of experience in working in government on groundwater resource management in Victoria.
NATIONAL WATER POLICY SUMMIT 2015 SAVE THE DATE
Don’t miss the chance to join Australia’s most influential and engaging industry leaders from the water, resources and agribusiness sectors whose future prospects remain dependent on the sustainable management of water.
WHO WILL THE EVENT ENGAGE?
TUESDAY, 6 OCTOBER:
The event will engage C-suite executives from both the traditional water sector and from other industries where business relies on the sustainable management of water.
WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER:
• Chief Executives
• Managing Directors
• Heads of departments
• Decision-makers and industry leaders • Senior management
Melbourne Tuesday, 6 October – Wednesday, 7 October Industry dinner event (included in registration fee) National Water Policy Summit
• Food and beverage • Manufacturing and distribution
• Regulators • Policy Managers • Politicians • Media
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CLIMATE REVIEW PROMISED AFTER DISPUTE BETWEEN TOP WATER SCIENTISTS Climate change is an issue that tends to elicit passionate debate among experts and the community alike. Following a recent disagreement between scientists sparked by a technical paper published in Water Journal, ABC Radio National journalists Gregg Borschmann and Sara Phillips donned their investigative caps. This article has been reproduced courtesy of ABC Radio National
major review of the risks of climate change in the Murray-Darling Basin is likely within the next seven years. The proposed timeline1 comes after a dispute between the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and some of Australia’s leading water scientists over the predicted drying of the Basin in coming decades. The scientists say that the $11bn Murray-Darling Basin Plan does not currently take into account lower average rainfall patterns and more frequent and severe droughts predicted by climate models. Dr Rhondda Dickson, Chief Executive of the MDBA, says the Authority is in the process of cutting water use by farmers and irrigators in the Basin by about 20 per cent2. “So that’s going to enable the (Basin) environments and also those communities who depend on those environments to be more resilient to future climate change.” But Professor Quentin Grafton, Director of the Centre for Water Economics and Environment at the ANU says, “There’s no way climate change has been accounted for in the current Basin Plan. So clearly we have got a problem here in terms of understanding facts.”
Differing Opinions The row among the water scientists started after the publication of a technical paper in the April issue of Water Journal titled ‘Dealing With Climate Change in the 2012 Basin Plan and Into the Future’3. Dr John Williams, Wentworth Group Scientist and former Chief Land and Water Scientist at the CSIRO, says: “The actual paper, when you read it carefully, says in the last paragraph that the issue of managing climate change and managing the allocation of water for the environment and human use has not been resolved. That’s the nub of what needs to be done.” After five years of review and dispute, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was signed in late 2012. The main aim of the Plan was to reduce the massive over-allocation of water in the Basin. Basically, too many farmers had rights to water that didn’t reliably exist. But does the Plan also currently take account of future climate change? Mike Young, Professor of Water and Environmental Policy at the University of Adelaide says: “No, it’s the reverse. It’s locked out. It assumes there’s no climate change and none could ever happen.”
Essentially, what’s in dispute is the difference between the climate variability of the past century and the predicted climate change for this century. The main tool for cutting water use in the Basin is the so-called Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs). Professor Mike Young says because these are not based on future climate scenarios, they could very quickly become unsustainable. “The advent of adverse climate change on the amount of water that’s available is savage. A 10 per cent reduction in rainfall can result in as much as a 60 or 70 per cent reduction in the amount of water that’s available for use.” It’s a warning bell that the single biggest problem in Australia’s main food bowl is far from fixed. In June 2015, the government released its Northern Australia White Paper. But the Murray-Darling is where most of Australia’s agricultural action is, and is likely to remain.
Past Weather No Predictor The MDBA acknowledges in the Water Journal paper that “it is no longer realistic to believe that natural systems fluctuate within an unchanging envelope of variability”. In other words, past weather will be no predictor of weather under climate change. The claims by the scientists raise the prospect that further cuts to consumptive water use will be necessary. This would impact Australia’s food supplies and exports as farmers in ‘Australia’s food bowl’ generating around $7 billion worth of agricultural production are caught unawares by long-term drier conditions. Dr Williams says the MDBA has not been honest about what the future holds. “I think there’s a spin here,” he says. “I think it’s concerning that such an important issue for so many people in the Basin can’t go into the future with confidence that the water assignments in place can cope with what we expect to be climate change.” David Karoly, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Melbourne says, “The Murray-Darling region will be a very different place due to climate change.” Predictions of future rainfall across the Basin, which encompasses 70 per cent of Australia’s irrigation, are uncertain. Some calculations
www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/climate-review-promised-after-dispute-with-top/6562404 www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/dredging-at-murray-mouth-highlights/6529470 3 digitaledition.awa.asn.au/?xml=Water_Journal_Secure&iid=117123#folio=104 1 2
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Most scientists agree that the Murray-Darling Basin will experience longer periods of drought in future. say we could see as much as 34 per cent less rainfall and more evaporation by 2030. Richard Davis, former Chief Science Advisor to the recently disbanded National Water Commission, says climate change was not considered when the current SDLs for the Basin were set three years ago. “The Authority was quite clear. They did not incorporate climate change into their hydrologic modelling (for the Sustainable Diversion Limits).” He says this was despite the CSIRO incorporating climate modelling into its Sustainable Yields Study for the Murray-Darling Basin in 2007–2008. “I was actually very surprised (when the Authority didn’t). I assumed that these days it’s widely regarded that it’s one of the fundamental drivers for your modelling – your longer term modelling – so you would normally include it. So I was very surprised when they didn’t. I’ve never had a satisfactory explanation for why they didn’t.” Professor Mike Young says he has an explanation. Three years ago, he says, he had discussions with the MDBA Board about how to manage for future climate change, and scientific uncertainty. “My sense at the time, talking to the board, was that they realised to make the change they’d have to go back and change or amend the act and convince the governments to do that and it was just all too hard. It was better to leave these two issues – how to deal with climate change and how to adapt in the future – to future boards and future governments.” Asked for a response, Dr Rhondda Dickson, MBDA Chief Executive, says: “That might be Professor Young’s view, that’s certainly not how the Basin Plan was built. We’ve just recently published a paper, a technical paper actually that talks about how climate change has been incorporated in the Basin Plan.” (This is the technical paper that the scientists are challenging.) Hydrologist Richard Davis says he agrees with Mike Young that three years ago the MDBA board appears to have made a political choice: “Partly because they had enough on their plates fighting the argument for returning water to the environment and they didn’t
want to open another front with all the climate change sceptics. I don’t think they wanted radio shock jocks on their tail over climate change at the same time.” Colin Mues, Director of Environmental Management at the MDBA, agrees with the scientists that the SDLs are based on past climate variability of the last 114 years – and not the scientific prediction that in the future average rainfall in the Basin will decrease, with more frequent and severe droughts. Section 6.06 (c) of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan says that the Authority “must” conduct a review of the management risks to the Basin from climate change. But a date has never been set. Colin Mues has revealed to ABC RN the Authority’s proposed timeline. “My thinking is that as we approach the next review point for the Basin Plan, which is currently 2022, it gives us a good window (for a review of climate change as well),” he says. “It’s not a near-term priority, while we have Basin Plan implementation being completed, while we have environmental works and measures being put in place, while we have the understanding of climate change improving all the time. So I would see that it would be after those things are in place or we’ve got time to collect some additional information (about climate change) – that would be the best time for a review.” Professor Quentin Grafton from the Crawford School at the ANU says that climate change must be on the table in 2022 because it’s not on the table now. “Yes, it may well be the case 10 years down the road when we revisit the Basin Plan that we will account for climate change, but that’s in the future, that’s not the reality today”. WJ A note from Chris Davis, Water Journal Technical Editor: The ABC Radio National story reproduced here reveals a vigorous policy debate, precipitated by the paper by Neave et al. in our April issue. The protagonists do not seem to disagree on the science of climate change, but are divided on the proposition that the current Plan does not yet take climate change into account. In the next issue of Water Journal we will be publishing a paper in response to the MDBA paper, authored by Jamie Pittock [et al.] from the Australian National University.
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For your convenience, the 2015 Australian Water Directory is now available online...
The AusTrAliAn WATer DirecTory 2015 26th Edition An invaluable resource and reference tool for the Australian water industry
To view the digital version now visit www.awa.asn.au/WaterDirectory
Project 0: Winner of the Australian Water Innovation Challenge
nnovation plays a key role in the water sector, helping to address a range of current and future challenges. In response to ongoing issues around sustainable water management, the Australian Water Association and YouNoodle recently joined forces to launch the Australian Water Innovation Challenge. The first challenge was held at the Australian Water Association’s Water Innovation Forum in March 2015 in Sydney in collaboration with ARUP. It called for entrepreneurs and established companies to enter their most innovative product or solution that would lead to better engagement with customers and communities by creating an emotional connection with water. Twenty-two entries were submitted via the online platform. The winner, announced at Ozwater’15, is a Melbourne based start-up called Half a Teaspoon with its entry ‘Project 0’. Company founder Gretha Oost, explains here what Project 0 is all about. Would you drink from a public fountain? It seems most people would rather spend $4 on a bottle of spring water than drink from a community water bubbler because of concerns about health and safety. The result? In Australia alone, about one million plastic water bottles end up in landfill every day.
Collective funding Currently, there is a general perception that access to drinking water in community spaces is the responsibility of local government. But addressing such a major social and environmental issue is the responsibility of us all and requires multiple parties to be involved. We need to collaborate and collectively fund attractive public drinking water fountains that will change people’s perceptions, encourage their use and create a sense of shared ownership.
Community Engagement In today’s world of crowdfunding, Uber and airbnb, there is a willingness among communities to rally together and make things happen. Project 0 is a community engagement program that makes it super easy to collectively create a piece of public art that also functions as a water refilling station.
Benefits of Project 0 Project 0 is based on the idea that, through art, we create a positive association with drinking tap water from public fountains. Project 0 Art Fountains will reduce plastic waste associated with drinking bottled water.
To turn this situation around, we need to apply a systems approach and revisit our water drinking habits in public spaces. This is where Project 0 comes in. Project 0 delivers an attractive, design-driven solution to the environmental impact associated with drinking bottled water. The key elements of the project are design + public art, collective funding and community engagement.
Design and public art Most drinking fountains have been designed with the local government as the customer in mind. They tend to be robust, stainless steel units that resemble urinals, and are often positioned near rubbish bins. Project 0 Art Fountains, on the other hand, have been designed with the end user in mind. We collaborate with local communities and artists to create an exciting piece of public art that also functions as an attractive water refilling station, enhancing the meaning of public spaces and encouraging people to pause, refresh and enjoy their surroundings. Quite simply, through art and design Project 0 creates a positive association with drinking water in public spaces.
A concept illustration depicting a Project 0 Art Fountain in a community space.
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Project 0 Art Fountains aim to lift the profile of public drinking water bubblers and, by providing a more positive experience, reduce consumption of bottled water in Australia. Water retailers, do you want to be involved in co-funding a Project 0 Art Fountain outside a café or fashion store and create positive and ethical associations with your organisation?. Most public water fountains are unattractive and are often perceived as being unhygienic. Project 0 will lift the profile of public drinking fountains to a higher level of significance, combining a functional need with an artistic outcome. There are opportunities to match an artist with the distinct character of a precinct or local area in order to tell a story or illustrate the history of the area. Project 0 will also initiate collaboration between government, businesses and the public to create and deliver an attractive, designdriven solution to counter the negative environmental impacts associated with drinking bottled water.
COLLABORATing WITH business PARTNERS Project 0 works with corporate partners that want to give back to the community by funding a ‘blank canvas’. It’s an opportunity to promote the company’s commitment to sustainability, community art and wellbeing. Are you a leader in the water industry? Project 0 is ready to bring a range of interests together and collaborate towards a new movement that makes drinking water in public spaces an engaging and positive experience that brings people and ideas together.
Local councils, do you want to celebrate a community-minded project that reflects your commitment to sustainability by installing and maintaining a Project 0 Art Fountain in key precincts of your wards? I look forward to collaborating with you to transform the way Australians think about drinking water in public spaces while celebrating innovation, art and good design as well as promoting the power of connections between community and water industries. Be a part of creative innovation! WJ For more information about the Australian Water Innovation Challenge please contact Jerome Moulin, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Author Gretha Oost (email: email@example.com) is Managing Director and Founder of Half A Teaspoon, a Melbourne-based design and product development business with a focus on ‘Design for Behavioural Change’. Gretha is passionate about finding an answer to the big question: “Why do we drink so much bottled water?” In 2010 she crowdfunded 321 Water, an award-winning water bottle with an innovative filter system. The next step is to turn Project 0 into a global movement. For more information please visit halfateaspoon.com.
DID YOU KNOW? • Over 78% of people believe there are not enough bubblers available to the public • 90% do not know where their local water bubblers are, and do not believe they are easy to find • 85% are concerned about the safety or cleanliness of public bubblers • 66% said that if a greater number and quality of bubblers were available, they would buy less bottled water. Source http://dosomething.net.au
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Ozwater lead-in page to come
OZWATER’15 HITS THE HIGH NOTES IN ADELAIDE Australia’s international water conference and exhibition, Ozwater’15, took place at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 11–14 May and by all accounts was a resounding success. Technical Editor Chris Davis reports on the event. The Australian Water Association’s flagship event, Ozwater’15, was held in the expanding Convention Centre on the banks of the River Torrens in Adelaide – often referred to as ‘city of churches’. Delegate and visitor turnout was gratifying, with a total of 2,700 participants including 960 delegates, 1,000 trade visitors and 181 trade exhibits. A pleasing development was the attendance of international delegates from 45 countries. Delegates broke the ice at the Welcome Networking Evening, a meet-and-greet function on the Monday evening, which took place at the Adelaide Oval, the elegant new stadium across the river from the main convention centre. Guests enjoyed delicious locally produced food and wine as they mingled and caught up with colleagues. Australian Water Assocation CEO Jonathan McKeown gave a brief speech to welcome guests and introduced Julian Briggs, Technical Director at Aurecon, sponsor of the evening. On Tuesday morning the Hon. Ian Hunter MLC, SA Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Conservation and Minister for Climate Change, officially opened the conference on behalf of Premier Weatherill. A ‘Welcome to Country’ was conducted by Gumaroy Newman, a proud Aboriginal man descended from the Gamilaroi and Wakka Wakka nations. The conference was structured with plenary sessions and keynote speakers on the Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, followed by parallel sessions (up to six, to accommodate 153 papers) and workshops for the rest of the day (see page 48 for Workshop Reports). There were also 46 poster papers. The keynote speakers were: Bernard Salt, demographer and columnist; Cathryn Ross, Chief Executive of Ofwat, UK economic regulator; Thierry Mallet, SUEZ environnement Director; and Aaron Hood, Chief Investment Officer, Mindaroo Group.
Keynote speaker Bernard Salt. Ellenbrook (WA), Melton (VIC) and Karratha (WA). No major city appeared in the top 10 growth areas. The main towns to actually shrink were Kalgoorlie-Boulder in WA and Grafton in NSW. Population growth is close to record levels and there is local and global demand for more water. Urban densification creates a challenge in delivering services to every part of expanding cities. The ageing trend in populations means more people will find it hard to pay utility bills. Agribusiness will supplant family farms, and those businesses will need water. Community attitudes to water will change and water businesses will have to negotiate for sustainable outcomes. As governments become more cash-strapped, they may look to the private sector for solutions, so water will become big business.
Bernard Salt titled his keynote address: ‘Think Big, Think Longterm, Think Water: Why Water Requires Real Commitment to Secure the Future Liveability of a Community’. He illustrated world population: seven billion this year and 11 billion by 2050, along with almost asymptotic growth in demand for cereals. He explained that Australia’s place in the global economy is 12th for GDP (1.444 trillion USD); third in GDP/cap (USD 61,000) and 11th in GDP growth from 2009–2014 (34%). A map showing growth areas revealed densification along the east coast of Australia, in Adelaide and around Perth, while inland areas were not affected. Annual population growth is currently around 370,000, peaking at 380,000, sustained by net migration. Natural population growth is projected to shrink gradually.
Cathryn Ross’s keynote, ‘Privatising the UK Water Industry: Lessons Learnt That Benefit Customers’, provided a potted history of consolidation in the water industry in England and Wales. Evolving from a highly fragmented system consisting of many hundreds of authorities, a reform thrust led to the establishment of 10 major regional water authorities in the 1970s (along with some smaller, water-only businesses). Then, in a legendary move in 1989 (during the Thatcher era), the major authorities were privatised under the financial regulatory control of Ofwat.
Against a backdrop of overall growth, the major cities continue to expand, but not as fast as some key towns, the top three being
Successes brought about under Ofwat’s leadership include: private sector investment of GBP125 billion in real terms; better
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Ozwater Report • Nature, safety and well-being. The SUEZ group is substantial, delivering water services to 92 million people, wastewater for 65 million and desalinated water to 10 million. The business has a presence in 70 countries and employs 80,000 people. It has four strategies to seize growth opportunities: • Developing smart and high-tech value solutions to better secure water resources; • Responding to resource scarcity by giving waste a ‘second life’; • Developing new business models for new markets; and Keynote speaker Cathryn Ross. and more stable infrastructure; improved standards of service; greater environmental and drinking water compliance; and, thanks to regulation, 30 per cent lower consumer bills. Ms Ross listed key challenges facing the UK water industry: climate change; population growth (73 million population by 2037); changing consumer expectations; affordability (52 per cent of the adult population now struggles to pay household bills and debt repayments); and increasing environmental standards (including carbon emissions). Ofwat’s vision and approach to regulation can be encapsulated under the heading of Trust and Confidence in: • The quality of drinking water; • The resilience of services; • Customer service and fair dealing; • Stewardship of the environment; • Ensuring that decisions made today will not impoverish future generations. Thierry Mallet, Director, Innovation & Business Performance, SUEZ environnement in France, titled his keynote ‘The Importance of Innovation in the Delivery of Water Solutions for the 21st Century’. He identified a series of global megatrends: • Population growth and ageing; • Urbanisation and megacities; • Social inequalities; • Resource scarcity; • Growing energy costs; • Climate change; • New technologies; • Better informed populations;
Keynote speaker Thierry Mallet.
• Being a strategic partner for industrial clients to optimise their water and waste management. SUEZ’s innovation priorities to align with strategy are: Water • Make better use of water resources; • Develop advanced treatment solutions; • Develop “smart water” solutions. Waste • Face resources scarcity by positioning SUEZ as a leader in recycling; • Improve energy recovery from waste, while reducing environmental impact. Industry • Manage the water cycles of industrial customers. Mr Mallet noted that private and public water businesses have common goals in many respects and can bring complementary values to the table. A key is to ensure that regulation is in place to encourage private sector involvement, and to ensure that all parties work under fair pricing mechanisms. Aaron Hood’s theme was ‘Unlocking Australia’s Water Resources’ and he followed the well-beaten path to a target of northern Australia. Potential resources could, he asserted, enable Australia to double its agricultural production, developing 1.5 to 2.0 million hectares and using some of the 16,000 gigalitres of available water resources in the north. The key to unlocking this potential lies with the Australian Government and, potentially, the Chinese Government to support the venture, which could feed another eight million people (see northernaustralia.dpmc. gov.au for the Australian Government’s recently released White Paper on Developing Northern Australia).
Gala Dinner The social highlight of Ozwater’15 was, of course, the Gala Dinner on the Wednesday evening, which saw a packed ballroom accommodate 960 guests. Gospo, Adelaide’s leading gospel (and much more) choir, performed a short but tantalising gig that had feet tapping. An unexpected surprise was provided by aerialist Kate Lawrence, a young Adelaide artist who has performed across Australia and in Asia and the UK. She seemed to float gracefully up and down on a cord of chiffon from the high roof. TRILITY, the major sponsor of the Dinner, donated funds to WaterAid in place of a delegate gift on the night. Immediate Past President Graham Dooley took the stage to talk briefly about his tenure on the Board, before going on to present the Australian Water Association National Water Awards (see page 55 for a full rundown on the Awards).
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The food was excellent, particularly for a mass event of this nature and, of course, local wines and beer featured strongly. A final bouquet to the Events team to acknowledge the fact that the music was not so loud as to hamper conversation!
Closing Ceremony The closing plenary session took place on the Thursday afternoon. Outgoing Australian Water Association President Graham Dooley thanked Board members who had served during his term and introduced new President Peter Moore, handing over the ceremonial gavel. Ozwater’16 will take place in Melbourne from 10–12 May, led by Professor John Thwaites as Chair.
Technical Stream Reports Unfortunately there is not enough space here to do justice to all 153 oral presentations, so this report serves more to identify some key themes and trends. As always, wastewater treatment was fertile ground. Topics ranged from relative newcomers like aerobic granular sludge, which (after decades on the bench) is now establishing a toe-hold in the market; through the now ubiquitous MBR (membrane bioreactor) and attendant practical issues; to nutrient removal in all its guises.
It was clear that the importance of energy efficiency is now being recognised, especially in aeration systems. It seems Australia’s efficiency record does not match that of overseas peers. Increasing interest in energy self-sufficiency was evident in papers about anaerobic digestion to produce power, in some cases relying on the addition of other waste streams to maximise generation. After an era where anaerobic processes lost favour, energy issues are driving practice back again. A related interest, of course, is that of managing biosolids (sludge), especially thickening and drying – the buzzword being recuperative thickening (RT), which is, in effect, an anaerobic version of activated sludge. Water reuse remains an area that attracts great interest, especially in respect to pathogen and contaminant removals and monitoring. The context ranged from oxidation ponds through to ceramic membranes. Alllinson et al. assessed the performance of treatment barriers in an Advanced Water Treatment Plant in removing trace organic chemicals, and the quality of the waste stream, using simplified but extensive multi-residue GC-MS and LC-MS methods capable of determining more than 1,200 chemicals. Few chemicals pass through the barriers to the final product water and there were few chemicals in the waste stream, which was further assessed by bioassays. These results suggest that almost all the trace organic chemicals of concern are removed by the treatment train. A number of papers addressed aspects of sewerage: sewers; rising mains; pumping; and odours. A quirky but eminently sensible approach was adopted by Yarra Valley Water: ice-pigging of water mains (a pig is a plug sent down a pipe to scour the walls with slush ice, normally needing special facilities to retrieve the pig).
Peter Griffiths from pH Water Consultants speaks on biological phosphorus removal in Australia.
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Asset management attracted many papers; evidently the scope of the topic is broad and eclectic. Cultural factors vied for space alongside plant optimisation and various analytical and modelling techniques. Charakos et al. summarised a WSAA project to assess the efficiency of sewage pump stations and found a wide range of performance, from best practice to poor. Siow described the use of Reliability Block Diagrams (RBDs) to model expected performance, a generic tool applied in this case to the Mt Martha sewage treatment plant.
Ozwater Report Water treatment, always a strong and diverse stream, revealed the growing interest in biological treatment (typically by BAC – biological activated carbon treatment) to lower organic carbon levels and, hence, minimise DBPs (disinfection by-products). Papers by Du Toit, Mingo and Sawade all addressed this topic. Stormwater was the focus of an eclectic batch of papers that revealed growing interest, with quality measures, using radar for rainfall modelling and hydraulic controls being some of the topics presented. O’Neill et al. homed in on Living Waterways and demonstrated that on-site controls are generally more effective than off-site interventions. Rural, regional, remote and isolated communities pose their own challenges in delivering reliable, secure and high quality water supplies. While many of the issues are consistent across the board, the added challenges brought about by distance, lower density communities, transient populations and resource-oriented communities add a level of complexity and sensitivity to the business of managing water and wastewater in regional and remote communities. The range of different topics presented at the sessions of Servicing Remote and Regional Communities and Challenges and Opportunities for Rural, Remote & Regional Communities reflected the range and depth of challenges associated with planning, design, management, maintenance and community engagement in non-urban environments. Nanda Altavilla, of the NSW Office of Water, described some of the challenges in applying the Australian guidelines for water recycling in regional NSW and emphasised the importance of incorporating stakeholder feedback as part of the process by using examples from recent workshops held in Wagga Wagga and Orange. The work being done in the Antarctic at Davis Station promoted some robust debate around treatment and regulatory aspects involved in potentially delivering Australia's first direct potable reuse plant at Davis Station. Sallyanne Bartlett from Water Q Plus Pty Ltd outlined the importance of critical control points when considering a new approach to HACCP for remote and regional reuse schemes such as those proposed in the Antarctic. Stephen Gray (Victoria University) detailed the proposed water recycling reuse plant for Davis Station, which will see the raw wastewater being treated to a secondary effluent quality via a low-maintenance membrane bio-reactor. Further treatment will occur via a multi-barrier advanced water treatment plant. The plant is not expected to be commissioned for a one-year trial until later in 2016. Remote and isolated Indigenous communities were also featured in these sessions, with Cara Beal from Griffith University providing an overview of three smart meter-enabled water end-use pilot studies in regional and remote Queensland and the larger Remote and Isolated Communities Essential Service Projects that have just commenced in three Indigenous communities in central and northern Australia. A technique for measuring how much water can be sustainably extracted from aquifers (and the extent of saltwater intrusion risk) on Milingimbi Island, one of the larger Indigenous communities in NT, was described by Eddie Banks from Flinders University. He explained the importance of having a robust conceptual model on which to base a detailed hydrogeological investigation of the longterm water supply on Milingimbi Island. Further south, the challenges of encouraging water consumption behaviour change to reduce water tank demand in off-grid holiday hamlets located along the Great Ocean Road was described by Steven Reddington of Barwon Water. The importance of community buy-in to the successful engagement of water
conservation programs, by both owners and visitors, was emphasised in this largely successful program. Tasleem Hassan (Viridis Consultants) and Andrew Francis (Parkes Shire Council) detailed some of the approaches used to overcome the challenges associated with the complexity of managing a shared upstream and downstream water supply source in Parkes, NSW. In regional Victoria, the introduction of water pricing to enable the preservation of a viable recreation water body in an otherwise drought-strapped community around the Wimmera Lakes region was described by Mark Williams from GWM Water. Nicolas Milne from Victoria University reviewed the range of decentralised treatment system solutions for regional and remote locations. His work re-emphasised the range of systems available that are currently in operation overseas and could be applied in Australia. Adam Medlock (TRILITY) described the value of utilising a holistic approach in ensuring successful operation of varying treatment processes within a single operations team, with emphasis on the Riverland Region of SA. The issues of liveability and sustainability were addressed by several authors. Westcott et al. examined the integrated approach adopted for the expanding area of Casey Clyde near Melbourne. They concluded that a substantial integrated approach could be delivered at a cost similar to that for a conventional centralised system.
Alex Sanbrook from Sydney Water presents on urban liveability. Morgan and May tackled another Victorian site, Bunbury, in an attempt to match water demand to alternative sources. They showed that available sources far exceeded demand, but achieving potable water quality was a major challenge. Still in the Melbourne area, Finlayson et al. developed a spreadsheet to model the current and future urban, rural and environmental water cycle for the Western Region of Greater Melbourne to inform the Government’s Water Future West strategy. Large population growth to 2050 will result in increases in water demands as well as pollutants entering waterways and Port Phillip Bay from both stormwater runoff and wastewater. Whole-of-system scenarios to reduce the demand for potable water from the Melbourne system, improve environmental outcomes for waterways and the Bay, and improve reliability of supply to agriculture were investigated. The primary conclusion of this work is that there is now a sufficient level of analysis undertaken, and enough analytical tools available to decision makers, to inform long-term strategy development for the integrated water cycle for the western region of Melbourne. The key issue is that value judgements now need to be made to develop a water strategy for the region. Tools provide data, but cannot make value judgements.
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Ozwater report Community engagement is growing in importance and Coombe explained how SA Water collaborated with education departments to put a dedicated teacher into the system. Bailey and Cash outlined Unitywater’s 2013 World Toilet Day Art Prize campaign in Queensland; it supported WaterAid’s efforts, while educating customers on the value and role of sewage treatment in healthy communities. A relatively new topic for Ozwater is data analytics. Prevos described a novel way of melding all facets of water treatment plant performance into a simple ‘traffic light’ format, making sense to leadership and senior staff. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Lemon et al. explained how Sydney Water hopes to minimise tree root chokes in sewers, using aerial maps of tree canopy to identify where problems are most likely. Regulation and governance are evidently becoming more rational and sophisticated. Byleveld et al. noted that NSW Health has assisted 74 rural and regional water utilities to develop their quality assurance programs. Stevens et al. introduced the
concept of earned autonomy, whereby businesses with appropriate management systems and procedures in place, and a proven track record of compliance, are given greater flexibility in delivering regulated outcomes. EPA Victoria (EPAV) has progressed this approach, which will recognise and encourage excellence in environmental performance. Water for mining, resources and power was also a relatively new theme for Ozwater. neitzel compared regulation of unconventional gas operations in the US and Australia, concluding with a table that summarised strengths and weaknesses in the two countries. Australia had many areas in which improvement was needed. Lane et al., in positive vein, asserted that the appropriate management of water will be a critical determinant for the success of shale gas projects in the highly prospective Cooper Basin. The region’s aridity and seasonal water availability mean that early strategic and collaborative planning will be required to limit the potential for water management to constrain gas production. The authors proposed a long list of actions needed.
my oZWater eXperienCe Rebecca Borwell, a YWP member and Graduate Engineer from Midcoast Water, attended Ozwater’15 as the winning recipient of the Australian Water Association/Water Directorate Conference Attendance Award. She provided the following feedback on the event and what she personally gained from it. Ozwater’15 was an excellent experience that provided me with invaluable opportunities for networking while exploring industry innovations and developments. The address, ‘The Business of Managing Water is the Business of Managing Risk’, by Dr Rob Vertessy from the Bureau of Meteorology, was echoed throughout my time at Ozwater, exploring as it did water diversification through utilisation of resource management integrated with communities and lifestyles. By attending a range of sessions including Liveable Cities, Asset Management and Drought Security, which complemented the technological innovations on display at the trade show, I was able to gain industry insight that can be applied to my work at Midcoast Water and throughout my career to achieve holistic outcomes. My Ozwater experience began with a Young Water Professionals workshop, where I met other young professionals and discussed the impacts of Megatrends on the water industry. Through networking with my peers I was able to build relationships and connections with the water industry community. The connections that I made at Ozwater have provided me with valuable contacts that will enable me to continue networking within other water professionals. The technical presentations provided me with insights and inspiration that can be applied to my work at Midcoast Water and my research at the University of Newcastle in the way of both technical content and presentation techniques. The presentations I attended were the highlight of my Ozwater attendance and by networking with presenters I was able to gain insight on what made the projects presented successful, the key challenges to be overcome and tips on how to overcome them; this awareness will be fundamental for building my knowledge to aid my pursuit of holistic and integrated project solutions. I was able to view the products on display at the trade show and have their potential applications explained to me; these experiences provided me with a new knowledge of the industry and how I could apply these technologies to projects I am working on. My week concluded with a tour of the Adelaide Desalination Plant, which encompassed a technical tour of the plant and an insight into their community education programs. The efficient process technology, which incorporated energy recovery, coupled with an interactive education program demonstrated the potential for proactive community engagement that fosters ownership of resources. The integration of engineering processes into SA Water’s education program to collaborate with the community has provided me with inspiration for future community engagement. These opportunities have enhanced my professional knowledge and given me a great leap into my career as a water professional. I would like to thank the Australian Water Association and the Water Directorate for their sponsorship of my attendance to the conference. The experience was extremely valuable in forming a platform for growth as a young professional. The Australian Water Association/Water Directorate Conference Attendance Award provided an outstanding young water professional the chance to win a trip to Ozwater’15 free of charge. To be eligible for the award, entrants had to have less than seven years’ experience in the water industry and work at a Water Directorate member council in the water and sewerage section. AWA provided one full registration gratis to the successful applicant, valued at up to $1,690 and the Water Directorate covered the cost of travel and accommodation up to the value of $2,000 (excl GST). In addition, the Water Directorate covered the cost of attending the Young Water Professionals Workshop and Breakfast.
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innoVation on shoW A first at Ozwater’15 was a section of the trade show that specifically featured innovation. Exhibitors, winners of the pitching session at the Water Innovation Forum that took place in Sydney in March, were invited to show their wares and were allocated prime exhibition spots along the riverview side of the Convention Centre. They also had the opportunity to pitch to the Innovation and Young Water Professionals Workshops.
Calix is an Australian manufacturer and supplier of magnesium hydroxide liquid (MHL) under the brand name Acti-Mag, used in sewage treatment for odour control and in a revolutionary application for corrosion protection of concrete sewerage assets. MHL is also used to manage water quality in aquaculture facilities. www.calix.com.au
The innovators on display were: Oxyzone designs and manufactures ozone generation and dosing equipment, as well as oxygen generators. Generators come in a range of sizes and are used in many industries. Of particular interest to the water industry is the Ozone Pipeline Disinfection System, a patented product used to disinfect newly laid water mains and repaired pipes without the use of chemical disinfectants. The system was developed in collaboration with Sydney Water. www.oxyzone.com.au
Propeller Aerobotics gives users access to the full power of drone-based surveying and inspections. Leveraging more than 215 licensed operators across Australia, Propeller Aerobotics provides the processing and collaboration tools that enable businesses to get more value from drones. Apart from the array of possible applications (probably limited only by the imagination of the user), the data management capabilities enable Propeller to be used in conjunction with clients’ own data. www.propelleraero.com.au
Manhole after MHL coating.
IJInuS is a French manufacturer of autonomous wireless instrumentation for smart grids and smart cities. IJINUS has implemented more than 35,000 products worldwide (for example, in Paris, Montreal, Boston, Shenzhen and Sydney) since the company was founded in 2008. IJINUS’ range provides multi-channel wireless management solutions for water networks and facilities. The range of individual products on offer is vast, including sensors, data loggers and web services. www.ijinus.com
nICTA (National ICT Australia) is Australia’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence and the nation’s largest organisation dedicated to ICT research. NICTA’s primary goal is to pursue high-impact research excellence and, through application of this research, to create national benefit and wealth for Australia. NICTA is active in several waterrelated fields, including water pipe failure prediction (enabling considerable saving in finding faults); groundwater impact assessment (understanding flows much better); and optimising the deployment and monitoring of bores. These projects are all carried out in partnership with key government and water industry players. www.nicta.com.au
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Young Water Innovation Workshop Professionals Workshop By Jerome Moulin, Australian Water Association Keeping pace with its comprehensive innovation agenda, and Breakfast the Australian Water Assocation’s Innovation Workshop was an By Robbie Goedecke, NRC President The YWP program at Ozwater is always a highlight as it brings together the next generation of water industry professionals to share their knowledge and explore how changes in social, economic and environmental conditions play a role in future industry decisions. The workshop was held on the Monday afternoon prior to the official Ozwater program, allowing Young Water Professionals the opportunity to attend the technical streams. The theme of this years’ workshop was ‘Megatrends and Strategic Directions for the Water Industry’ and we were fortunate enough to have Matt Pearce, Director of Management Consulting, KPMG, speak about his recent work undertaken in partnership with water utilities across the country. Matt provided some background to megatrends that already exist in society and then offered examples of future megatrends that have the potential to impact on the way water utilities conduct their business. Megatrends thought to impact on society were split into three key themes: changes in the individual; changes in the physical environment; and changes in the global economy. One of the key conversations raised was around public debt and the ability for governments to be able to meet future growth in water resources. The rise of the individual brought forward multiple discussion points around how changes in technology and access to information may change the way business is undertaken, and the need for water utilities to adapt. Due to an uncertain future, Matt highlighted the importance of undertaking scenario analyses to reaffirm some of these societal changes on a consistent basis. As such, water utilities must consider moving towards a more proactive, agile and customer-focused business and operating model. Other speakers at the workshop included: • Jerome Moulin, the Australian Water Association’s Industry Innovation Programs Manager, who hosted a discussion on future innovations required within the water industry to enable greater productivity, and sought input from the attendees as to particular themes that could be considered prior to releasing the next round of innovation platforms within the Association; • Scott Morath, Head of Water & Environmental Business, Jacobs, who provided an overview of his career working within the water sector and encouraged participants to find the right opportunities to grow their career within the industry; • Geoffrey Gray, the Australian Water Association’s National Manager – Industry Development, who gave us an update on the Professional Development/Accreditation scheme currently being rolled out to members. As such the workshop was used as a trial to facilitate the accruing of points for those attending the workshop. A breakfast was held the next morning to introduce participants to the five innovation pitch winners selected as part of the Water Innovation Forum held in March. Thanks to Jacobs for their ongoing support with this program.
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opportunity to find out more about the role of innovation and the embedment of innovative approaches in a range of organisations. The session was also a platform to introduce the Australian Water Assocation’s industry innovation programme, which includes: • Innovation Incubator Program: This 12-month schedule of activities aims to facilitate and accelerate the adoption and commercialisation of novel water technologies. Aligned with Australia’s major water events QWater (Brisbane, November 2015), Water Innovation Forum (Sydney, August 2016) and Ozwater’16 (Melbourne, May 2016) the program is specifically designed to give innovators exclusive access to the most relevant and influential industry representatives and investors across three major markets and through tailored business-tobusiness meetings and pitching opportunities. • The Water Innovation Forum: The Water Innovation Forum and Exhibition provide a platform to share water innovation and provide a showcase of best practice solutions that can be adopted by Australia’s water-using industries. The Forum is an opportunity to identify needs and future challenges, and develop solutions that could help address those, encouraging collaboration and the development of new technologies. The exhibition provides the right environment for innovators to display their products to potential buyers and investors. • Innovation Webinars: A series of focused webinars to provide Australian water sector access to international innovation know-how and expertise. • Innovation Challenge: Through an online platform and open to all with no eligibility restriction, the Australian Water Assocation’s Innovation Challenge calls for entrepreneurs and established companies to enter their most innovative water technology solutions to transform the sustainability of communities and businesses, in Australia and around the world. • The National Industry Water R&D Roundtable: The National Industry Water R&D Roundtable aims to build improved cooperation and collaboration between industry and the research community by sharing information on R&D projects, results and new R&D opportunities based on industry needs. The workshop also offered an opportunity for the winners of the pitch session at the Water Innovation Forum (Sydney, March 2015) to present their products to a wider audience (those winners are outlined in a separate report). The five companies each had seven minutes to pitch the key benefits of their technology. Following the pitch session, Simon Cashion, Manager, Research and Commercial Development at the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, Michael Scott, Manager Water and Environment at GHD and Anthony Gibson, General Manager at IXOM (formerly Orica Chemicals), each gave a short presentation to provide an insight into the role of innovation in their organisation.
Water Futures Workshop By Dan Deere, Water Futures Guidelines For Using Health-Based Targets To Set Requirements For Drinking Water Treatment The Water Quality Advisory Committee (WQAC) of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recently released an important discussion paper (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, Health-Based Targets, Stakeholder Discussion Paper, 2014). The paper explored setting health-based microbial treatment requirements within a future revision of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has been preparing the industry for the possible inclusion of this so-called health-based targets (HBT) approach within the ADWG. The purpose of this workshop was to provide practical training and problem solving support in the use of the WSAA HBT Manual. The WSAA HBT Manual starts by setting treatment objectives for drinking water sources based on sanitary survey information and microbial monitoring data. The document then discusses accrediting pathogen reduction performance to particular water treatment plants based on their type and performance. The manual has been developed and extensively pilot-tested by WSAA to provide a model for meeting HBT within water utilities that is intended to align with WSAA's estimate of what possible future revisions to the ADWG might look like. The manual has been developed by WSAA’s HBT Working Group (WG), which includes several participants who sit on the NHMRC’s WQAC. The WSAA Board has endorsed the concept of HBTs for members’ drinking water supplies in Australia. WQAC Chair, Dr David Cunliffe, explained that the NHMRC WQAC intends to complete the incorporation of HBT concepts into the ADWG in future years. David advised that the NHMRC would define the ‘what’ by setting out the principles and the requirements within its guidance. He went on to explain that the NHMRC would potentially then refer to the WSAA HBT Manual as the ‘how to’ guide.
Experts from WSAA member utilities gave short presentations on four components of the HBT Manual (Drs Melita Stevens, Arran Canning, Andrew Ball and Mark Angles). After the first three of these talks the delegates took part in short workshops, during which they attempted to apply the HBT Manual to a case study system provided by one of the non-major urban Victorian water utilities. The workshop helped the HBT WG to gain insights into how to communicate the HBT Manual. The next steps involve the HBT WG meeting in July to review and revise the Manual drawing from the advice of delegates at the workshop, as well as to design a training program based on the experiences of the event. Overall, the workshop was a valuable opportunity for two-way communication of HBT concepts and their implications between WSAA and the broader industry.
Australian Water Recycling Centre Of Excellence Workshop By Mark O’Donohue, AWRCoE Australia’s Validation Framework: The Path From Development To Implementation With continuing national support from Australia’s water industry, represented by health regulators, water utilities (large and small), private sector technology manufacturers and engineering consultants, the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence has continued to develop the scientifically robust and, from a regulatory perspective, efficient validation framework (NatVal) for water treatment technologies. In this workshop, the Centre reported that the practical implementation of all elements of this innovative framework is now proceeding in earnest. This includes the development of detailed validation protocols, and establishing independent processes for validation assessment and technology certification.
Panel members in conversation at the Water Futures Workshop.
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Workshop Reports Additionally, the Centre highlighted that it is continuing to engage with Australia’s water industry representatives around the development of a sustainable business model by which the practical implementation and administration of this framework can be sustainably managed over the next two to three years. The Centre highlighted that it is also working closely with health regulators in the United States, with the objective of having more consistent international approaches to technology regulation. At the workshop, representatives from all key sectors outlined the tangible benefits of the validation framework to their respective stakeholders. Panellists noted that this consistent approach to technology validation would streamline regulatory approvals and help bring new technology and innovation to the market.
Australian Water Association & UNSW Workshop By Greg Leslie, UNSW Emerging International Opportunities For Australian Water Expertise And Technologies This workshop gave conference participants the opportunity to hear from Australian Water Association members engaged in capacity building, humanitarian engineering and disaster response projects in the Asia-Pacific region. The presentations covered individual experiences of training, preparation and in-country delivery of sanitation systems to river communities in Cambodia (Gabrille McGill, GHD) and the challenges of rapid deployment in response following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and 2015’s Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines (Paul Byleveld, NSW Health). Both presenters stressed the need for patience, good communication skills and broad technical capabilities in these deployments, as well as the understanding and support of their fulltime employer. Other presentations on humanitarian engineering initiatives (Heidi Michaels, Engineers Without Borders and Allesia Winter, Skyjuice Foundation), emphasised the importance of developing long-term partnerships and working to the strengths of local communities to effect meaningful change. A presentation by Russell Rollason (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) highlighted the Commonwealth’s commitment to sustainable water management, underscored by funding of bilateral agreements with a range of countries in South Asia and multilateral arrangements through the World Bank, Asia Development Bank and the United Nations. Paul Smith (Australian Water Association) presented on Australia’s water reform journey, highlighting the demand for Australian capabilities and technological innovations from international markets. Other avenues for engagement include the recently launched Australian Water Partnership. These initiatives provide opportunities for companies and organisations to engage in the region and leverage expertise, particular management strategies for reform, and extension of water resources developed by governments of Australia during the millennium drought. Follow-up actions from the workshop include a discussion paper on support and initiatives for the Australian water industry to build capability and co-ordinate resources to engage on capacity building, humanitarian engineering and disaster response projects in the developing world.
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National Centre For Groundwater Research & Training Workshop By Fiona Adamson, NCGRT Drilling Into The Future Of Unconventional Gas Australia needs safe, secure, competitively priced natural gas supplies and has abundant natural gas resources as well as enormous prospective unconventional reservoirs. That said, land access and approval for the development of natural gas from unconventional reservoirs will be vetoed where proponents of projects are unable to assure that the life-cycle of operations will meet community expectations for social, natural and economic environmental outcomes. The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) recently undertook a review of the science, technology, economic, environmental and social impacts of shale gas in Australia, carefully examining the possible risks involved and the potential benefits that could accrue. This workshop considered the results of this review. In general, extraction of shale gas does not require extraction of large amounts of groundwater (as is the case with many CSG operations). However, risks can arise from drilling through aquifers, or through spillage or from well failure. But these potential impacts are not inevitable; nonetheless, the adoption of best practice backed by a trustworthy and enforced regulatory regime is vital. Unlike CSG, which can often be produced from cleats in the coal without the need for fracking, to produce shale gas it is necessary to hydraulically fracture (frack) the fine-grained rocks to allow the gas (and any associated oil) to flow. There have been millions of fracking activities undertaken over the years around the world, but very few documented examples of related earthquakes (none damaging). Similarly there are few examples of aquifer contamination resulting from fracking. Nonetheless there is a need for regulations that ensure fracking is only undertaken when the geology of the site is well understood and carefully monitored. Extraction of shale gas can lead to surface impacts on the land and water, or on ecosystems, with aggregated and cumulative environmental impacts through surface disturbance, destruction and fragmentation, and loss of habitats and ecological communities (this also occurred in Queensland to some degree with early CSG developments). Drilling technologies have greatly improved in recent years and much of that impact can be avoided. Similarly, there is now a much greater understanding of how to minimise surface disturbance related to roads and site works. Nonetheless the ACOLA Review rightly considered it essential that appropriate strategies were adopted and best practices were firmly in place to minimise surface impacts occurring in Australia in future. However, it also has to be said that our overall understanding of how sedimentary basins work is still inadequate and that more research in this area would also help to ensure sensible strategies for beneficial basin use and protection. There are, of course, risks associated with the production of shale gas, just as there are for any form of resource extraction or infrastructure development, but the evidence suggests that those risks are small and can be managed.
Victorian Intelligent Water NetworkS Workshop By Deni Warwick, Victorian Intelligent Water Networks Collaborating To Innovate And Risk Share Changing The Status Quo Of The Water Industry About 30 people from all around Australia joined representatives from the Victorian Intelligent Water Networks group to hear about the collaboration efforts for innovation and risk sharing in Victoria, before exploring where we are using technology well now, and the opportunities, barriers and processes for further innovation and technology uptake in the water industry. The group identified that there are a number of great examples of technology use for increased efficiency and more effective decisionmaking in all states and territories; however, there are still some barriers to further investment or uptake into business as usual. Typically, the resistance to change was identified as being cultural, and clear examples of risk aversion were identified because of the uncertainty that can be associated with new technology and ways of operating. It was apparent that by sharing information on what has worked well and what hasn’t, there are multiple opportunities to better utilise existing data and technology within water organisations, to provide more efficient services and better satisfy customers.
Water Services Association of Australia Workshop By Sandi Kolbe, WSAA Utilities, Customers And The Digital Age In this workshop Chris Loughlin, Chief Executive of South West Water (SWW), UK, outlined recent price review experience and an extensive customer engagement program that saw SWW achieve “enhanced” status from the UK regulator Ofwat. Research and stakeholder
engagement commenced five years before SWW submitted its final Business Plan, putting the customer first as it sought to fully understand customer priorities. Chris also outlined South West Water’s offerings in the digital space, including a number of smart phone apps such as WaterLive (realtime mapping) and BeachLive (live feeds for water quality at 38 beaches). The result of these efforts in customer engagement has been an increase in customer satisfaction by 14 per cent since 2010/11. Reg Chamberlain, Head of Public Affairs, NRMA, provided the view from outside the water sector. He outlined how NRMA has used digital tools to enhance its customer advocacy program. By engaging with customers through online advocacy, it has had success in building an online community that is engaged and responsive. Reg reminded the audience of the need to have a flexible plan and that failure can happen – but to do it quickly and recover. Anika Johnstone, Manager Digital Strategy at SA Water, outlined the six key factors to creating a successful digital strategy and reminded the audience that there needs to be a focus on the people – both customers and staff. Hamish Reid, General Manager Customer and Business Futures, spoke on the need to focus on the customer/user experience and defined the fundamentals of people, platforms and process as critical to success.
CSIRO & Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence Workshop By Joanne Vanderzalm, CSIRO Economic Viability Of Recycled Water For Managed Aquifer Recharge This workshop presented current research supported by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCoE). Approximately 30 participants attended, representing water utilities, water resource managers, regulators, consultants and research institutions within Australia and Indonesia. Presentations included an overview of the AWRCoE’s research related to the economics of recycled water MAR (John Radcliffe and Joanne
An interested audience at the WSAA workshop.
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workshop reports Vanderzalm), application of the Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool to MAR schemes (Phil Pickering and Peter Dillon) and water utility experiences in groundwater replenishment in Perth (Pippa Hepburn), and Soil Aquifer Treatment in Alice Springs (John Pudney). Group discussion of the key challenges limiting the uptake of MAR followed the presentations and key outcomes of the discussion are summarised below: • Need for a standard approach to assess the economics of MAR schemes (the AWRCoE’s Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool developed by Marsden Jacob was presented in this workshop as an example of a standard approach that could be adopted); • The benefits of MAR are not fully understood and able to be quantified within an economic assessment. For example, the primary driver for the Alice Springs SAT scheme was to reduce sewage overflow and mosquito numbers, but this could not be quantified; • Regulatory framework and associated costs vary across the country; • National scale understanding of aquifer suitability for MAR; • Demonstration projects are valuable, but each MAR scheme needs to be addressed on its own merits, taking into account localised influences such as aquifer suitability, water availability, economic demand and community acceptance; • Perception of risk associated with MAR is still very high, regardless of the intended end use (i.e. potable supply, agricultural reuse). This may be due to the lack of ability to transfer knowledge from one site to another; • Community acceptance. A webcast of this workshop can be accessed at: www.australianwaterrecycling.com.au/knowledge-hub/ economic-value-and-assessment
sa Water WorkshoP By Gayle Newcombe, SA Water How Do We Improve Customer Perceptions Of Drinking Water Quality? When they first entered the workshop participants were asked to ‘Take the Tap Test’ – a blind tasting of four different Australian tap waters and one commercial spring water to assess their satisfaction with the taste. They were also asked to determine which water was the spring water and which was the South Australian tap water. Participants were also given a copy of the Perceptions of Water Quality Survey developed by Kelly Fielding (University of Queensland) and Anne Roiko (Griffith University) and asked to note down their hot topics for further discussion. evelyn Rodriguez from WSAA facilitated proceedings, which began with a brief explanation of the aims of the workshop and the purpose of the taste testing and water quality survey. Representatives from SA Water, Yarra Valley Water and Seqwater (Jody Slater, Asoka Jayaratne and Anne Roiko respectively) presented findings from their recent customer-focused research and discussed engagement strategies. Kelly Fielding presented the results of the aforementioned survey and feedback was sought from the workshop participants. Results from Take the Tap Test (run throughout Ozwater’15) were then presented by Gayle newcombe (SA Water) and discussed. Surprised murmurings ensued, as only about 30% of participants identified the spring water. Finally a brief discussion was held around participants’ hot topics.
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australian Water recYcling centre of excellence WorkshoP By Greg Oliver, AWRCoE Making Innovation Accessible to Regional and Remote Communities This workshop focused on constraints to innovation in regional and remote areas and sought industry insights to the adoption of innovation. Availability and affordability of new technologies, overly complex regulations and insufficient economic assessment were identified as key barriers to greater implementation of cost-effective water cycle management in regional and remote communities. Drawing on real-world projects and trials, the workshop examined four technology innovations and explored practical solutions and pathways for wider national implementation: • Anammox is a new low-technology treatment for the removal of nitrogen and production of fit-for-purpose recycled water, especially for irrigation. Pilot plants and forming connections with wastewater treatment experts to demonstrate the technology were recommended to encourage adoption. • Robust treatment processes provide opportunity for access to highquality, safe water where it may not have been available. However, schemes need to be capable of being operated and managed remotely with a reliable power source. Regulatory challenges to adoption can be overcome by validation of each treatment process to demonstrate its ability to produce potable water. • Ponds are widely used in regional and remote communities for wastewater treatment. They have significant potential to produce recycled water to offset potable uses and save energy. The Centre has researched the log reduction of pathogens achieved and linked this to a hydrodynamic model that will enable water engineers to better design and operate treatment ponds. Development of guidelines and transfer of knowledge through industry training were seen as the most effective strategies to encourage wide adoption. • The Centre has developed an economical, robust tool to provide a consistent transparent assessment of the economic viability of water reuse schemes, incorporating externalities. It has been trialled in several regional locations and received endorsements, e.g. from Parkes Shire Council. The need to have data to populate the tool in early planning stages was seen as a key constraint. However, this can be overcome by developing default values and sharing data between projects.
Attendees at the AWRCoe Workshop.
The Australian Water Association would like to thank our generous sponsors who contributed greatly to the success of Ozwaterâ€™15
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INNOVATION HUB & AUSTRALIAN WATER AWARDS
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LIST OF EXHIBITORS TO COME
water June 2015
Awards National Awards Sponsor:
The 2015 Australian Water Awards were presented at the Ozwater’15 Gala Dinner. The Australian Water Association and ANZ would like to congratulate and recognise all national finalists and winners. Research Innovation Award Finalists • Data Mining of Vertical Profiler Readings to Predict Manganese Concentrations in Water Reservations, Seqwater, QLD • Economic Viability of Recycled Water Schemes, Marsden Jacob Associates, WA
the South East Natural Resource Management Board, SA • The Hawkesbury Nepean River and South Creek Model, Sydney Water in partnership with Jacobs, BMT WBM, eWater, Yorb, UWA and CSIRO, NSW • Unitywater’s World Toilet Day Art Prize 2013, Unitywater, QLD
• eWater Cooperative Research Centre, eWater, ACT
• Wave Energy to Desalinated Water, MAK Industrial Water Solutions & Carnegie Wave Energy, WA
• Upper Dandenong Creek Catchment Project, Centre of Aquatic Pollution Identification & Management, The University of Melbourne, VIC
Farm Water Program, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, VIC
• Waste to Energy Through Co-digestion, Sydney Water, NSW Winner
Research in Environmental Water, Climate Change, Urban Water and Water for Industry to Support State Government Decision Making, Goyder Institute for Water Research, SA Established in 2010, the Goyder Institute has proven to be an effective collaboration, providing independent expert scientific research that not only supports new and improved water management policies, but also builds and enhances the knowledge base across the water sector. It has delivered substantial benefits since 2010, investing some $40 million in research. The Institute’s research work underpinned the SA Government’s successful negotiation of the Murray-Darling Basin plan. This plan resulted in an additional $1.77 billion in funding and an extra 450 GL of water.
The Farm Water Program provides co-investment opportunities for irrigators within Victoria’s Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District to achieve farm water savings. This is achieved by modernising their on-farm irrigation infrastructure. To date the program has secured over $200 million of investment to deliver over 100,000 ML of farm water savings. It provides benefits to irrigators, the regional economy and communities, water quality and salinity management and, most importantly, the environment.
Infrastructure Project Innovation Award Finalists • AAT Alliance, Icon Water & Downer, ACT Program Innovation Award Finalists • Accounting for and Managing the Water Resource Impacts of Plantation Forestry in the Lower Limestone Coast Region, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and
• Christies Beach Upgrade Project, SA Water & KBR, SA • Geothermal Heating Project, Geographe Leisure Centre, Busselton Water and City of Busselton, WA • Maleny Sewerage Treatment Plant & Wetlands, Unitywater and Monadelphous, QLD
June 2015 water
Awards • Western Treatment Plant 55E Cover Renewal, Melbourne Water, Jacobs & Water Resources Alliance, VIC Winner
and remote control tracking excavator. This PSP initiative has the potential to benefit not only the water industry, but the construction industry as a whole.
Burrendong Temperature Control Curtain, Water NSW, NSW Water NSW’s innovative $4 million project involved installation of a flexible cylindrical curtain around the dam’s intake tower and below the surface of the water. The curtain was designed to be raised and lowered depending on the water level of the dam and downstream requirements. The resultant change in downstream river temperature is set to greatly enhance survival rates for native fish, improve river ecology and boost recreation and tourism in towns along the river.
Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize Proudly sponsored by:
Runner Up Jeenie Kim, Queensland Academy for Health Sciences Winner
William Tsai, Queensland Academy for Health Sciences
Water Industry Safety Excellence Award Proudly sponsored by:
Finalists • Remote Communities Group: Remote Operations, SA Water, SA • Modifications to Reservoirs to Improve Access, Richmond Valley Council, NSW
William’s investigation examined the effect of nitrate levels in effluent, discharged from various wastewater treatment plants into Queensland waterways. His study measured the effect on growth rate and heterocyst development of Anabaena circinalis in freshwater. William is now in his first year of a pre-medical degree at Griffith University and also hopes to contribute to the science community through environmental sustainability. Undergraduate Water Prize
• Safety Steps, SA Water, SA
• Achieving a Zero Harm Culture, Unitywater, QLD
• Rhys Carter, Curtin University, WA
• Elissa O’Malley, The University of Queensland, QLD
Priority Sewerage Program Alliance, Sydney Water, MWH, John Holland Group, United Group Limited and RPS Manidis Roberts, NSW The PSP Alliance set out to provide a safer and more efficient way of undertaking excavation. Manual handling injuries within construction are a major source of trauma, distress and lost productivity. This initiative aimed to remove the human element and exposure to manual handling risks. The resulting innovation achieved this by developing an engineer-designed folding Roll Over Protection
water June 2015
• Katie Shield, University of Western Sydney and Sydney Water, NSW Winner
Matthew Makestas, Mark Bailey, Diana Bethune and Joshua Ware, University of Adelaide, SA The group’s fourth year honours project explored the significance of alternative water sources, specifically stormwater and treated wastewater, which are currently underutilised resources. The water supply industry in South Australia is at a point where there is a need
Awards for formal design procedures and methodologies. The project successfully created a fast and flexible modelling platform that evaluated the performance of alternative regional water supply schemes.
for Australian Water Technologies for seven years and held overall responsibility for Research and Development for Sydney Water. Peter has been at the forefront of new ideas and approaches for water management. Peter’s work has borne fruit within Australia and internationally and has led to long-lasting increases in water use efficiencies and benefits to communities and environment.
Young Water Professional of the Year Finalists • Sylvia Campbell, Water Quality Engineer, Melbourne Water, VIC • Timothy Crockford, Graduate Mechanical Engineer, GHD, ACT
Best Water Journal Paper
• Daniel Ford, Operations and Maintenance Engineer, TasWater, TAS
Ben van den Akker, Katherine Reid, Alexandra Keegan, Stephanie Rinck-Pfeiffer, Joerg Krampe
• Ben McDonald, Client Delivery Manager, Water Utilities, Parsons Brinckerhoff, SA • Emma Rose, Water Services Strategy Advisor, Water Corporation, WA • Ashley Zanetti, Water Resources Team Leader, SMEC Australia and New Zealand, QLD Winner
Gabrielle McGill, Process Engineer – Water, GHD, New South Wales Throughout her five years in the industry Gabrielle has shown not only that she is a high-performing and capable engineer, but that she is also committed to the improvement of hygiene and sanitation for people less fortunate than herself throughout the world. Gabrielle has also committed to being a fantastic role model for young aspiring engineers in the water industry. Water Professional of the Year Finalists
The Best Water Journal Paper (previously called the Guy Parker Award) was judged by the Water Journal Editorial Committee over the period July 2013–June 2014. The winner was the paper titled Increasing Sequencing Batch Reactor Capacity Using Granular Sludge by Ben van den Akker, Katherine Reid, Alexandra Keegan, Stephanie Rinck-Pfeiffer and Joerg Krampe. The paper was published in Water Journal Vol 41, No 3, pp 74–77, May 2014.
Get your nomination in now for the 2016 Australian Water Awards. Finalists for the National Awards are winners from the State Awards. Please see the State closing dates below. Visit awa.asn.au/awards for further details. The National winners will be announced at the Ozwater’16 Gala Dinner, Wednesday 11 May 2016 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. State
Award Entries Close
24 July 2015
• Terry Fagg, Water Treatment Principal, Western Downs Regional Council, QLD
25 September 2015
• Malcolm Robb, Manager Water Science, Department of Water, WA
25 September 2015
• Rob Thomas, Chief Scientific Advisor, Department of State Development, SA
1 October 2015
8 October 2015
• Daniela Tonon, Special Counsel, Herbert Smith Freehills, WA Winner
Peter Fagan, Business Development Executive – Asia-Pacific Region, MWH, New South Wales Peter has had a long career of dedicated service in both the public and private sectors of the water industry. Aside from his current role, he was General Manager, Environment Science and Technology
Ben van den Akker
14 October 2015
State Winners Announced
Gala Dinner & Awards Night 18 September 2015 Annual Awards Gala Dinner 20 November 2015 Water Awards Gala Dinner 20 November 2015 Galah Dinner and Debate 26 November 2015 End of Year Celebration 3 December 2015 Awards Night & End of Year Function 9 December 2015
22 January 2016
Heads of Water Awards Night 11 March 2016
June 2015 water
Case Study: SUEZ environnement
D E H S U L F GET
d-up l i u b m l fi o i ie’s b r a u q c a M t s Por e v l o s g n i g Ice-pig
ate last year, after nearly eight years of operation, the pipes servicing a Port Macquarie Reclaimed Water Treatment plant that recycles sewerage for domestic water use needed a thorough clean, along with other parts of the Council’s potable water system.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council engaged SUEZ environnement Australia to undertake the project using a method of cleaning water pipes known as ice-pigging. This is a relatively new way of cleaning waste and water pipes using slush ice. It has been found to be significantly more effective, efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional techniques. Ice-pigging is a combination of the “flushing” and “pigging” methods, adopting the main principles behind these two processes. The ice can be flushed through the pipes from any access point, typically a fire hydrant point, meaning there is no requirement for excavation and the installation of pigging entry and receival stations. The project with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council was part of a three-week cleaning contract in December 2014, to rid part of the Council’s underground system of dirt and grime, known as biofilm. Over the years, biofilm had built up across the inside of the pipe system. In fact, it was so bad in the rising main pipe that transfers water from the tertiary ponds to the reclaimed water treatment plant, that it was detaching and blocking the initial straining filter at the plant. Because of this, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council staff were manually cleaning the strainer up to three times a day in summer. According to Council’s Water and Sewerage Operations Manager, Terry Randall, a total of 33.8km of water main was cleaned with icepigging over a 12-day period in the Laurieton and Dunbogan areas, 30km south of Port Macquarie. “This area was chosen as it has historically had a large number of dirty water complaints, due to being at the end of our long network, old pipe work, geography (many mains have low points) – and we have an unfiltered supply,” Mr Randall said, adding that complaints had dropped considerably since the ice-pigging project had been undertaken. About 10 tonnes of ice was flushed through the system each day, through pipelines of various sizes – from 100mm to 300mm – made from materials such as PVC, ductile iron and unlined cast iron fittings. Mr Randall said ice-pigging was a thorough cleaning process: “When you see it in action, the colour of the water is incredible.
WATER JUNE 2015
It is also a systematic approach, cleaning from the source to the customer,” he added. This ensures that once a water main has been cleaned, from that point on only clean water is produced in the pipeline. There is no risk of dragging contaminants into the pipeline just cleaned, which offers a significant advantage over traditional foam-pigging. A big plus for ice-pigging, from the point of the ratepayer, is that it can clean large areas in a short space of time, which means minimal impact for water interruptions and water quality for customers due to the efficiency of the process. And unlike the traditional foampigging that Council has historically used to clean the pipes, there was no excavation needed. Another factor that led the Council to opt for ice-pigging is that it is kinder to the environment, as it requires about 50 per cent less water than flushing alone. It is also non-toxic and risk free, good news Ice-pigging is kinder for the people of Port Macquarie. From a financial perspective, while on the surface it may look more expensive, it proved to be the lowest cost option considering the amount of sediment that needed removing.
to the environment, as it requires about 50% less water than flushing alone.
Using ice-pigging, SUEZ environnement Australia was able to thoroughly clean the main pipe at the Port Macquarie recycled water treatment facility within a day, and then move on to other pipes in the Council’s potable water network. Customer complaints in the area have dropped and the water is running clean. According to Terry Randall, Council is now considering using the ice-pigging technique to clean more – if not all – of its underground water pipes.
Water Reuse Chemical Cleaning In Membrane Bioreactors
A Branch et al.
A Canning et al.
KL Linge et al.
N Hughes et al.
L Sutherland-Stacey et al.
T Cauchi & S Gaskill
M Gunady et al.
Implications for accreditation in water recycling
Disinfection & By-Products Validation Of Relationship Between Free Chlorine Dose And Pathogen Activation In Drinking Water
Results of a series of studies conducted by Seqwater and the Australian Water Quality Centre
Thirty Years Of Australian Disinfection By-Product Research
An overview of the changing research landscape
Wastewater Treatment Mixed Liquor Screening To Prevent Fouling In A Membrane Bioreactor WWTP
Screening options investigated and implemented at Victor Harbor to overcome cotton fouling
Real-Time UV/Vis Monitoring For Protection Of Advanced Wastewater Treatment Processes
Experiences at a pump station with an online in-situ UV/Vis spectrometer
Groundwater Management This icon means the paper has been refereed
Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems Management In Urban Settings
Development of conceptual hydrogeological models
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems A Review Of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems In Western Australia
Installations and failures of OWTS in rural or remote areas from 1997 to 2011
Disclaimer: The papers in this section have been peer reviewed for relevance, clarity and contributing constructively to the sharing of knowledge about water. It is not intended that any conclusions drawn by authors may be used as validation of the performance of a process or product; AWA expressly refutes any suggestion that publication herein implies endorsement. Although reviewers consider the credibility of data presented, it is not possible for them to vouch for the accuracy of such data.
AUGUST 2015 • WATER TREATMENT • ODOUR MONITORING & MANAGEMENT • STORMWATER HARVESTING & TREATMENT • WATER ALLOCATION, TRADING & MARKETS
Installed side-stream filtration unit.
• WATER SAFETY & SECURITY • EDUCATION & TRAINING
CHEMICAL CLEANING IN MEMBRANE BIOREACTORS Implications for accreditation in water recycling A Branch, T Trinh, B Zhou, G Leslie, P Le-Clech
ABSTRACT In this study, a full-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) was monitored over a period exceeding six months. Microorganism log removal values (LRV) were monitored during two common chemical cleaning modes using sodium hypochlorite, chemically enhanced backwash and clean-in-place. Overall, the impact to LRV for viruses, bacteria and protozoa due to cleaning was negligible with respect to normal system variability. High permeate chlorine residual post chemically enhanced backwash was noted. The findings of this study will facilitate risk management for MBR systems used for water recycling.
INTRODUCTION In water recycling applications, a thorough understanding of pathogen removal performance and variability for each unit operation is imperative. Validation is a process to confirm that a treatment technology can, and will continuously, meet specified performance targets. Any event that compromises the pathogen removal efficiency must be detected and quantified to inform appropriate corrective action (Trinh et al., 2014). The primary mechanisms for pathogen removal in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) are size exclusion, entrainment within activated sludge flocs or membrane fouling layer, and biological predation. Previous studies have indicated the importance of the fouling layer in aiding removal of viruses that are smaller than the membrane pore size (Hai et al., 2014). Consequently, removal of this fouling layer following chemical cleaning was identified as a key short-term event requiring quantification at full scale. Multiple chemical cleaning cycles over the membrane life are expected to result in membrane chemistry and morphology changes (Puspitasari et al., 2010; Wang et al., 2010; Arkhangelsky et al., 2007), with consequences for pathogen rejection (van den Akker et al., 2014). To date, very few investigations have been performed on
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full scale MBRs accounting for change in log removal value (LRV) due to extended service life. As part of the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCoE) project, ‘Establishment of a National Validation Framework for Water Recycling’ (NatVal), an MBR sub-project has been established to address knowledge gaps associated with MBR validation. In this study, a full-scale MBR was monitored over a period exceeding six months. At the time of monitoring, the MBR had been in operation for two years on municipal wastewater. During the monitoring period, influent, activated sludge and permeate samples were taken to quantify LRV. Sampling was conducted before and after weekly maintenance backwashes of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). Additionally, a yearly offline clean-in-place (CIP) was observed. Indicator organisms tested included somatic coliphage (SC), FRNA bacteriophage (FRNA), E. coli (EC), total coliforms (TC) and Clostridium perfringens (CP). Previous studies already concluded that the effect of NaOCl cleaning on MBR LRVs was negligible (van den Akker et al., 2014; Hirani et al., 2014). However, this work is the first study to assess two different cleaning methods (CIP and chemically enhanced backwashes (CEB)) on the same full scale site with reference to the site
operating data, and to report permeate chlorine residual resulting from cleans.
METHOD MBR DESCRIPTION
A multiple barrier process at Pitt Town Local Water Centre (PTLWC), New South Wales was commissioned in May 2012 (Figure 1). PTLWC receives domestic wastewater from a rising main as part of the infrastructure for a dual reticulation scheme for a new housing development. An MBR was installed as part of the PTLWC to ensure biological treatment and first-stage disinfection. The MBR features anoxic (40%), aerobic (51%) and membrane compartments (9%) with a total working volume of 97m3. Hollow fibre ultrafiltration membranes with a total area of 558m2 and nominal pore size of 0.04 μm were installed. Typical operating flux and mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) for the monitoring period were 6L.m2.h-1 and 8000–14000 mg.L-1 respectively. Sludge was wasted in 10,000L batches via tanker, at the discretion of the operator, resulting in an average solids retention time of 100 days. The critical control point for the MBR was permeate turbidity. If turbidity exceeded 0.2 NTU, the permeate was bypassed to the influent balance tank, until turbidity recovered and remained below 0.2 NTU for one minute.
Figure 1. The water recycling plant at Pitt Town Local Water Centre.
Chemical dosages included acetic acid to increase influent BOD; sodium hydroxide to normalise pH; and aluminium sulphate for phosphorus removal. Alum and acetic acid additions were programmed at a predetermined rate into the anoxic zone. Sodium hydroxide additions were inline, controlled via pH.
CHEMICAL CLEANING REGIMES
A chemically enhanced backwash (CEB), performed once a week, consisted of eight cycles of the following sequential steps: aeration (400s), sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) pulse (20s), backflush (60s) and soak (240s). The CEB regime resulted in a NaOCl concentration of 100–300 mg.L-1 flushed in reverse through the membrane. A yearly CIP involved the following steps: isolation of the activated sludge compartments; drain down of the membrane compartment; soaking the membranes in 1000mg.L-1 NaOCl overnight; discharge of the cleaning solution; and refill of the membrane compartment with activated sludge. The balance volume (9%) was made up with influent wastewater. The MBR was then returned to service. SAMPLING AND CONTROL DATA
For each sampling event, grab samples were taken from influent wastewater, mixed liquor (recycled activated sludge line) and permeate (before UV disinfection). Four permeate samples were collected during the CEB events. Two control permeate samples were taken before cleaning, one immediately after cleaning and one two hours after cleaning. For CIP, influent, mixed liquor and duplicate permeate grab samples were taken immediately upon restart and then daily, excluding weekends, for six days following the cleaning. Additional control samples of influent, mixed liquor and permeate were taken randomly over the six-month period. In order to define event significance, a control charting approach was implemented. Data obtained during the monitoring period was organised into subgroups according to whether it was normal operation or not. Normal operation was defined as samples taken before cleaning, as well as discussions with operators about recent events in between sampling visits. If recent operational events, such as weather or maintenance shutdowns, were deemed to potentially depart from normal operating conditions, data was excluded from the control set. Monte Carlo simulation and probability
Figure 2. Expressing log removal value as a distribution. density function (PDF) fitting were used with all control data to characterise microbial removal and variability (Figure 2) in order to arrive at a statistically significant benchmark. To this end, lognormal PDFs were fitted to cumulative microorganism densities, with goodness of fit analysed by root mean squared error. An LRV distribution was then calculated using the influent and permeate microorganism PDFs, via Monte Carlo simulation with @Risk software (Palisade Corporation, version 6.0) and Latin Hypercube sampling (using 10,000 iterations). Previous studies have used similar approaches in order to address limitations due to concentrations below permeate limits of detection (LOD) and to adequately account for system variability (van den Akker et al., 2014; Khan et al., 2010; Olivieri et al., 1999). Lognormal distributions were previously shown to be adequate for modelling parameters in treated and untreated wastewater (Oliveira et al., 2012). MICROBIAL INDICATOR ANALYSIS
Two virus indicators, somatic coliphage (SC) and FRNA bacteriophage (FRNA), along with two bacterial indicators, E. coli (EC) and total coliforms (TC), and one protozoan indicator, Clostridium perfringens (CP), were analysed in this study. The SC and FRNA methods were not established in time to adequately quantify the effect of CIP, but were analysed around CEB. Brilliance agar (Oxoid CM1046) was used to enumerate both EC and TC, which were incubated at 37°C for 24 hours. TC were enumerated by counting both purple and pink colonies that were visible on the agar, while the number of presumptive EC was obtained
by only counting the purple colonies. CP were enumerated using the tryptose sulphite cycloserine agar for CP (Oxoid CM0587), and incubated anaerobically at 37°C for 24 hours. FRNA were quantified using the double agar layer (DAL) technique according to previously published methods (Noble et al., 2004), using E. coli F-amp (ATCC #700891) as the host and MS2 bacteriophage (ATCC #15597-B1) as the positive control. SC were also analysed by the DAL technique with E. coli CN-13 (ATCC #700609) as the host and Phi X174 (ATCC # 13706-B1) as the positive control. All bacterial indicators measured within the permeate were quantified using membrane filtration (Method 9215D, (APHA, 1992)), whereby a desired volume of sample (typically 5, 50 and 100 mL) was filtered through a 47mm diameter, 0.45 μm gridded filter membrane (Millipore, S-Pak, type HA). The filter membrane was then transferred onto the surface of a plate of selective agar. Data was reported in colony-forming units (CFU) for bacterial indicators and plaqueforming units (PFU) for phage per 100 mL volume of sample. For SC and FRNA, LOD was 10 PFU per 100mL. For CP, EC and TC, LOD was 1 CFU per 100mL. LRV was calculated for each microbial indicator using Equation 1. (1) Where CIn and CPermeate were the densities of microbial indicator X, from paired grab samples, analysed on influent and permeate respectively, X being one of the indicator organisms (e.g. LRVTC was the log removal of total coliforms).
JUNE 2015 WATER
Technical Papers BULK PARAMETERS AND OPERATIONAL DATA
During cleaning events, permeate turbidity was recorded online with a HACH FT660 Laser nephelometer. The online reading at the time of sampling was recorded as an instantaneous point, representative of the sample. Permeate flow rate and transmembrane pressure (TMP) were retrieved from site SCADA systems for the sampling events. Total chlorine was measured on the permeate using a HACH pocket chlorimeter and DPD reagent pillows (HACH Method 8167). Total chlorine was tested before and after chemical cleaning events at five-minute intervals.
Table 1. Number and location of control samples analysed over six months. Brackets indicate samples with microorganism densities below the LOD. Indicator Clostridium perfringens
Sample Location Influent
Table 2. LRV distribution parameters representing normal operational performance and variability of the MBR during the sampling period. Indicator
LRV Distribution Parameter 5th %ile
RESULTS AND DISSCUSSION
NORMAL SYSTEM VARIABILITY
Over the six-month sampling period, 28 paired, influent and permeate samples were taken for bacterial and protozoan indicators and 14 for virus indicators. CP, EC, TC, FRNA and SC were detected, at or above the limit of detection (LOD), in the permeate for 26, 66, 100, 5 and 20% respectively, for all samples satisfying normal operating criteria (Table 1).
> 3.7 3.9
Establishment of a control distribution for FRNA was not possible, as this indicator was only detected on one occasion in the permeate, at the LOD. Accordingly, the lowest LRV, calculated with the permeate LOD, was chosen as the lower control limit (LCL) i.e. LCL was LRVFRNA > 3.7. Control distributions were created for all other indicators. The 5th percentile LRVs from distributions were defined as the LCL. If an LRV were to fall below the 5th percentile then a significant deviation with respect to ‘normal’ operation had occurred. The 5th percentile LRVs for CP, EC, TC and SC were 5.0, 6.0, 5.9 and 3.9 respectively (Table 2). The results from this study were in agreement with LRVs reported for other full scale MBRs (van den Akker et al., 2014; Pettigrew et al., 2010; Marti et al., 2011). The use of Monte Carlo simulation to calculate control LRVs was advantageous, with LRV expressed as a distribution summarising not only performance, but also expected variability (Figure 2). Additionally, it was still possible to calculate a representative LRV, even though up to 80% of permeate readings were below the LOD. Based on a majority of observations, the MBR at PTLWC could be expected to exceed an LRV of four for bacteria and
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protozoa and, for viruses, an LRV of > 3.7 could be achieved (Table 2). Only one state-based validation guideline exists in Australia, published by the Victorian Department of Health in 2013. In order to encourage the use of multiple barriers in a water recycling scheme, no single unit operation can attain a log removal credit greater than four for virus, bacteria or protozoa (VDoH, 2013). With respect to a maximum log removal credit of four, the MBR in this study performed very well under normal operating conditions. EFFECT OF CLEAN-IN-PLACE ON LRV
After restart of the MBR, following the CIP, levels of total chlorine in the permeate were low, starting at 0.9 and dropping to 0.03 mg.L-1 within 30 min, indicating minor transfer of NaOCl across the membrane during the soak. As such, the permeate sample taken an hour after CIP was not affected by disinfectant residual. Membrane permeability was assessed by observation of SCADA flow and TMP data before and after CIP as 1.4±0.3 and 2.0±0.4 L.m-2.h-1. kPa-1 respectively. The slight increase in permeability indicated the CIP removed some portion of the accumulated membrane fouling. Instantaneous turbidity results were recorded from the onsite turbidity meter upon permeate sampling. Grab samples were analysed for indicators at 1, 24, 48, 120 and 144hr after the CIP. Upon start-up, turbidity immediately spiked to 0.5 NTU, receding to 0.32 NTU at one hour. At four hours,
turbidity had decreased to the typical value of 0.08 NTU. Some minor spikes in online turbidity to 0.1 NTU were evident at 18 and 42hr, although not exceeding the critical control limit. LRVEC slightly decreased to 5.2–5.4 during the two days following the CIP. After 120hr, LRVEC had recovered to 6.8. LRVTC rose from 4.9 to 5.9 over the first 48hr after the CIP. After 120 hr, LRVTC recovered, within the control limits, to 6.3. LRVCP remained > 5.1 and was not detected in any permeate samples post-CIP (Figure 3). The significant breakthrough of TC for the first 48hr following a CIP can be explained by the removal of the fouling layer, acting as a shield for potential micro-defects on the membranes. With this hypothesised exposure of aged (and, therefore, more porous) membrane, the relatively high density of TC in the mixed liquor (4–8 x 107 CFU.100mL-1) is expected to permeate more easily across the membrane, when compared to other indicators featuring lower densities. LRVEC was below the 5th percentile, but not to the same extent as LRVTC. Bacterial indicator recovery, with respect to the 5th percentile of the control set, occurred within five days. EFFECT OF CHEMICALLY ENHANCED BACKWASH ON LRV
CEB with NaOCl was observed for three weekly cleans. Up to 35 mg.L-1 total chlorine was observed in the permeate immediately upon system restart. After 20min, chlorine residual returned to the LOD of 0.03 mg.L-1. Turbidity spike following CEB with NaOCl was as high as
negatively affect overall LRV, on a system not performing frequent CEBs. Following CEB, no indicator organism LRV fell below the 5th percentile LRV of the control set. Even though a majority of indicator LRVs were censored, with permeate concentrations below LOD, CEB does not appear to have a significant negative effect on LRV for up to two hours after. CEB may have a slightly positive effect on LRV, due to removal of bacterial growth. The removal of biofilm growth present in the permeation line by CEB may explain turbidity spikes immediately after CEB.
Figure 3. LRV for TC, EC, CP and turbidity for 5 d following a CIP.
Figure 4. Total chlorine and turbidity following a CEB. Error bars represent standard deviation from three CEB events. 0.32 NTU, recovering to 0.08 NTU at two hours (Figure 4). Indicator organisms were assayed before, immediately after, and two hours after CEB. CP was not detected in any permeate samples during the trials, LRVCP > 5.3 before and after CEB. LRVFRNA varied between > 3.9–> 5.4, dependent on influent densities, and was not detected in any permeate samples. LRVSC was 4.6, detected at the permeate LOD for one trial, two hours after the CEB. For other trials, influent densities were only sufficient to yield LRVSC of > 4.2 and > 4.3, unchanged by CEB. LRVEC increased by 0.3 immediately after CEB, remaining high post-clean, detected at the LOD in one of three trials two hours after CEB. LRVTC increased significantly from 7 to > 8.7, undetected
immediately after cleaning. TC were detected in all three trials, two hours after CEB, with an average LRV of 7.6 (Figure 5). The initial sudden increase in LRVTC was likely due to the excessive disinfectant concentration (35 mg/L) measured immediately after CEB. LRVTC was still higher two hours after CEB than before the clean, although no disinfectant residual was present. It is likely that some reduction of LRVTC before CEB was observed due to TC growth and gradual detachment from permeate pipework. NaOCl concentration between 100–300 mg.L-1 in the permeate line during CEB is expected to result in destruction of accumulated total coliform growth. The slight net increase in LRVTC of 0.6, two hours post-clean, may be indicative of the level to which growth can
CIP removed fouling from the membrane, as indicated by permeability increase, but did not appear to result in significant breakthrough of disinfectant into the permeate line. As a result, the use of an oxidising disinfectant in the CIP process did not contribute to LRV. For up to 48hr after CIP, bacterial LRV was below the 5th percentile of the control set, indicating a significant change, outside normal variability. Within five days, bacterial LRV recovered and protozoan LRV was stable, unaffected by CIP. In contrast to CIP, CEB resulted in appreciable disinfectant quantities remaining in the permeate for up to 20 min. Elevated disinfectant concentration immediately after CEB appeared to increase LRV, even though turbidity was out of specification. The large spike in turbidity may indicate suspended solids passage, through unshielded defects in the membrane, or sloughing of biofilm from within the permeate line. Two hours after CEB, no indicator LRV was significantly affected relative to the 5th percentile. At two hours after CEB, total coliform LRV displayed a slight increase, relative to results before cleaning, likely due to removal of coliform growth within the permeate network. This paper was voted Best Paper from Ozwater’15 in Adelaide. Amos Branch, main author, has also been awarded Best Student Presentation for this study.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This project is funded by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence under the Australian Government’s National Urban Water and Desalination Plan. The Authors acknowledge Flow Systems for substantial in-kind support in the form of access to PTLWC and operational data.
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Technical Papers Bioreactors: A Review of the Mechanisms, Influencing Factors and Reduction in Chemical Disinfectant Dosing, Water, 6, pp 3603–3630. Hirani ZM, Bukhari Z, Oppenheimer J, Jjemba P, LeChevallier MW & Jacangelo JG (2014): Impact of MBR Cleaning and Breaching on Passage of Selected Microorganisms and Subsequent Inactivation by Free Chlorine. Water Research, 57, pp 313–324. Khan SJ & McDonald JA (2010): Quantifying Human Exposure to Contaminants for Multiple-Barrier Water Reuse Systems. Water Science & Technology, 61, pp 77–83. Marti E, Monclús H, Jofre J, Rodriguez-Roda I, Comas J & Balcázar JL (2011): Removal of Microbial Indicators from Municipal Wastewater by a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR), Bioresource Technology, 102, pp 5004–5009.
Figure 5. LRV before and after CEB with NaOCl. Excess chlorine significantly improved TC LRV immediately following CEB. ‘>’ symbols denote permeate concentrations below LOD. Fractions denote number of permeate trials at or above LOD.
THE AUTHORS Amos Branch (email: firstname.lastname@example.org. edu.au) is a PhD student at the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology at the University of New South Wales. His research is focused on developing national validation protocols for membrane bioreactors in Australian water recycling schemes. Trang Trinh (email: trang. email@example.com) received her PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology at the University of New South Wales. Ben Zhou (email: ben.zhou@ unsw.edu.au) completed a BE in Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales. Since 2013 he has been employed as a research assistant at the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology focusing on two major membrane bioreactor projects. Professor Greg Leslie (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Director of the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology at the University of New
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South Wales. Prior to this, he worked in the public and private sectors on water treatment, reuse and desalination projects, including the Singapore NEWater and the Orange County Water District in California. He has served on the Water Advisory Committee for the Prime Minister’s Science Engineering and Innovation Council and currently serves on the Independent Advisory Panel for the Orange County Groundwater Replenishment Project. Associate Professor Pierre Le-Clech (email@example.com) has worked in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales for the last 12 years, after completing his PhD on membrane bioreactors at Cranfield University, UK. He has studied many aspects of the water and wastewater treatment by membrane processes, focusing on membrane bioreactors and other hybrid membrane systems.
REFERENCES APHA (1992): Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (American Public Health Association/American Waterworks Assoiciation/Water Environment Federation: Washington DC, US). Arkhangelsky E, Kuzmenko D & Vitaly G (2007): Impact of Chemical Cleaning on Properties and Functioning of Polyethersulfone Membranes, Journal of Membrane Science, 305, pp 176–184. Hai FI, Riley T, Shawkat S, Magram S & Yamamoto K (2014): Removal of Pathogens by Membrane
Noble RT, Lee IM & Schiff KC (2004): Inactivation of Indicator Micro-Organisms from Various Sources of Faecal Contamination in Seawater and Freshwater, Journal of Applied Microbiology, 96, pp 464–472. Oliveira SC, Souki I & von Sperling M (2012): Lognormal Behaviour of Untreated and Treated Wastewater Constituents, Water Science & Technology, 65, pp 596–603. Olivieri A, Eisenberg D, Soller J, Eisenberg J, Cooper R, Tchobanoglous G, Trussell R & P Gagliardo (1999): Estimation of Pathogen Removal in an Advanced Water Treatment Facility Using Monte Carlo Simulation. Water Science & Technology, 40, pp 223–233. Pettigrew L, Angles M & Nelson N (2010): Pathogen Removal by a Membrane Bioreactor, Water Journal, 37, 6, pp 44–51. Puspitasari V, Granville A, Le-Clech P & Chen V (2010): Cleaning and Ageing Effect of Sodium Hypochlorite on Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) Membrane, Separation and Purification Technology, 72, pp 301–308. Trinh T, Branch A, van den Akker B, Le-Clech P, Drewes JE & Khan SJ (2014): Impacts of Hazardous Events on Performance of Membrane Bioreactors. In Hai FI, Yamamoto K & Lee C-H(eds.), Membrane Biological Reactors: Theory, Modeling, Design, Management and Applications to Wastewater Reuse (IWA Publishing: London). van den Akker B, Trinh T, Coleman HM, Stuetz RM, Le-Clech P & Khan SJ (2014): Validation of a Full-Scale Membrane Bioreactor and the Impact of Membrane Cleaning on the Removal of Microbial Indicators, Bioresource Technology, 155, pp 432–437. VDoH (2013): Guidelines for Validating Treatment Processes for Pathogen Reduction – Supporting Class A Water Recycling Schemes in Victoria. In, edited by Victorian Department of Health. Melbourne, Australia: Department of Health Victoria. Wang P, Wang Z, Wu Z, Zhou Q & Yang D (2010): Effect of Hypochlorite Cleaning on the Physiochemical Characteristics of Polyvinylidene Fluoride Membranes. Chemical Engineering Journal, 162, pp 1050–1056.
VALIDATION OF RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FREE CHLORINE DOSE AND PATHOGEN INACTIVATION IN DRINKING WATER A Canning, S Wati, A Keegan, D Middleton, D Shilito, M Bartkow
ABSTRACT Seqwater and the Australian Water Quality Centre conducted a series of studies to establish a general relationship between four variables: aqueous free chlorine concentration, pH, temperature and exposure period. The work involved carefully designed empirical laboratory studies under a range of conditions, followed by mathematical interpolation to provide a predictive tool for estimating viral inactivation by free chlorine in drinking water. A “worst case” waterborne virus was selected (Coxsackie B5 virus) to permit the study to be used to conservatively cover all of the waterborne viruses relevant to potable water supply in developed economies. The studies built on, and were entirely consistent with, previous pioneering studies by Black et al. (2009). A key finding was that the results validated the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) long-standing chlorine disinfection recommendation of dosing free chlorine to reach a final concentration of 0.5 mg/L for > 30 min at pH < 8. The concentration (mg/L) x time (min) yields the dose (C.t), which in this case would be 15 mg.min/L. Those conditions were predicted to reduce the infectious virus concentration by > 4 log10. Moreover, the equations permitted a range of chlorination conditions to be defined in order to tailor and optimise disinfection. For instance, at 20°C and pH 7.5, a final free chlorine concentration of 0.5 mg/L for a contact time of < 2.5 min (a C.t of 4.7 mg.min/L) would reduce the infectious virus concentration by > 4 log10. Where temperatures are somewhat elevated (such as in the Seqwater region) and pH can be tightly managed through good process control, chlorine doses can be significantly but safely reduced based on
this evidence, reducing costs and adverse consequences associated with taste, odour and disinfection by-products.
INTRODUCTION Guidance on pathogen treatment requirements and the performance of treatment barriers is not well defined for drinking water treatment in Australia, unlike for recycled water. Seqwater, like many of the major water authorities, has largely adopted international guidance to inform pathogen treatment requirements, in particular those produced by the USEPA and the World Health Organisation. In the case of treatment for viruses, Seqwater adopted a 4 log10 reduction as its corporate treatment standard and elected that disinfection would be the only process across which this would be allocated for conventional treatment trains. Seqwater reviewed the available guidance and literature around disinfection of viruses with free chlorine and identified significant gaps and inconsistencies in the treatment performance requirements. With the development of Seqwater’s Drinking Water Quality Management Plan, a variation of the USEPA guidance for chlorine disinfection of enteric viruses was adopted for the determination of dose, defined as concentration x time, or C.t. This derived C.t is based on the C.t values reported by Black et al. (2009) for disinfection of the Coxsackie B5 virus (CB5), adjusted for temperature and pH as described in an Ozwater’13 poster by Middleton et al. (2013). A research project was undertaken to validate this derived C.t by determining the C.t required for 1, 3 and 4 log removal of Coxsackie B5 virus at a range of temperatures and pH representative of those observed at Seqwater’s water treatment plants.
METHODOLOGY VIRUS CULTURE
CB5 (Faulkner, ATTC-VR185) was grown and anaysed in Buffalo Green Monkey Kidney (BMK) cells. Supernatant from two-day-old infected cells showing 90% cytopathic effect was centrifuged at 10,000 g for 10min at 4°C to remove cell debris and further purified by a 0.2 µm filter. The virus was enumerated by the plaque-forming (PFU) method in six-well tissue culture plates (Kahler et al., 2011). Ten-fold dilutions of the supernatant were prepared in Minimum Essential Medium (MEM) without Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS) and inoculated onto cell monolayers. After a 90min adsorption period the monolayers were washed and overlayed with 1% Sea Plaque agarose containing 2 x MEM and 5% FBS. Following two days of incubation (at 37°C, 5% CO2), a second agarose overlay containing 2% neutral red was added to visualise plaques within 8-24 hours. GLASSWARE AND WATER PREPARATION
All glassware was made chlorine demand free by acid washing with 10% nitric acid as per AS/NZS (1998). Buffered demand free (BDF) water was prepared by dissolving 0.54g of Na2HPO4 (anhydrous) and 0.88g of KH2PO4 (anhydrous) per litre of ultra pure water (Black et al., 2009). The pH was adjusted using 1 N sodium hydroxide. DETERMINING CHLORINE DEMAND OF BDF WATER AND ADJUSTMENT OF PH
The chlorine demand of the virus and water was obtained to determine the amount of chlorine to add to get measurable free available chlorine (FAC) at the 30min time point postchlorination (preferably 0.5 mg/L) in
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Results of a series of studies conducted by Seqwater and the Australian Water Quality Centre
Technical Papers test flasks. This was obtained by adding known concentrations of chlorine to flasks containing 200 mL of BDF water spiked with CB5 and incubating in a shaking water bath at the appropriate temperature (similar to test flasks below) for 30min. The FAC residuals were measured at 30min post-chlorination and the chlorine amount chosen to test each water type was based on the lowest amount of FAC initially added that gave a measurable FAC at 30min for each of the water types tested. Comparison of BDF water with and without virus showed the virus used in these experiments had a chlorine demand of approximately 1.25 mg/L. These experiments involved use of an aqueous chlorine stock solution (described below) as the source of chlorine and 2.25 mg/L was required to achieve FAC after satisfying the BDF water and virus demand. It was not necessary to adjust the pH prior to addition of chlorine in BDF water, as pH was stable in this water type. The pH was determined at the start and end of each experiment to ensure that the disinfection experiments were carried out at the desired pH. CHLORINE STOCK, CHLORINE ANALYSIS AND C.T CALCULATION
Free chlorine stock solution was prepared by bubbling gaseous chlorine through ultrapure water to give a stock concentration of 1,000 mg/L of FAC. Concentration of FAC in the stock solution and sample during the course of the experiments was measured by the standard N, N, Diethyl-P-Phenylenediamine-ferrous ammonium sulphate (DPD-FAS) titration method (APHA, 1998) (Figure 2). For virus inactivation purposes the important parameters were the concentration of FAC and the time over which the virus was exposed to chlorine. The appropriate degree of inactivation was obtained by determining the C.t where concentration is multiplied by time of chlorine exposure. Therefore C.t for 1 to 4 log10 inactivation value of CB5 in these experiments was calculated by determining the area under a curve of chlorine concentration vs. time (previously described by Ho et al., 2006). EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOL
Two parameters, pH and temperature, were varied to determine C.t values for inactivation of CB5 in BDF water. This included four pH values (7.2, 7.5, 7.8 and 8) and three temperatures: 10, 15 and 20°C (Table 1). Chlorine disinfection experiments were performed in a benchscale batch system using chlorine demand
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free glassware in a 10–20°C shaking water bath. Each experimental condition was tested in triplicate, with controls alongside each test flask to determine the initial virus concentration in the reaction flask and to evaluate whether virus inactivation occurred under the tested pH and temperature in the absence of chlorine. To determine if the test techniques used in this study gave similar results to published work, C.t values for CB5 were also determined at pH 7.5 and 9 and 5°C in BDF water as described by Black et al. (2009). Determination of chlorine demand: This was obtained by adding known concentrations of chlorine to flasks containing 200 mL of BDF water spiked with CB5 (approximately 5 x 105 PFU/ mL CB5), incubating in a shaking water bath at the required testing temperature (similar to test flasks below) for 30min. The FAC residuals were measured at 30min post-chlorination using the DPD-FAS method (APHA, 1988) and the chlorine amount chosen for each water type was based on the lowest amount of FAC initially added that gave a measurable FAC at 30min for each water type tested. Determination of virus inactivation by free chlorine: A total of six flasks containing 200 mL of pre-adjusted pH BDF water was inoculated with CB5 (4–5 x 106 PFU/ mL). Flasks were incubated at the required temperature (10–20°C) in a shaking water bath (approximately 90–100 oscillation per min) for 30min before the experiment to allow equilibration and mixing of the virus. The pre-determined concentration of FAC stock solution was added to the three test flasks (in succession). In order to determine
viral inactivation by FAC, 1 mL samples at the set time points (i.e. 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2.5, 5, 10, 20 and 30min) were taken and neutralised with 2% sodium thiosulphate in 1 mL of 2 x MEM. Note that a virus sample at time zero was only taken from the three control flasks. Virus samples were stored at 4°C for one to three hours before being assayed. The experimental setup is shown in Figure 3. Determination of chlorine decay kinetics: To determine chlorine decay during the experiment, 20 mL samples from the same test flask were taken at time points 0.5 (as soon as practicable after addition of chlorine), 2.5, 5, 10, 20 and 30min and the residual FAC was measured immediately using the DPDFAS method (APHA, 1998). Determination of virus persistence in absence of disinfection (control): Sampling from the control flask (no chlorine added) was done at time-points 0 and 30min and consistently showed minimal variation in virus numbers during its exposure to the different experimental temperatures during the 30min time period of study. pH of BDF water in these control flasks was kept the same as test flasks.
RESULTS Determination of C.t values for chlorine in BDF water for purposes of replicating published work: To determine if the test techniques used in this study gave similar results to published work, C.t values for CB5 were determined at pH 7.5 and 9 and 5°C in BDF water as described by Black et al. (2009). The experimental method was carried out as described by Black et al. (2009), however,
Table 1. pH and temperature matrix for assessment of C.t values for CB5. Temperature (°C) pH 5 10 15 20 25 7.2 X X X 7.5 X* X X X 7.8 X X X 8 X X X 9 X* * Repeat of Black et al. (2009)
Table 2. Inactivation of CB5 using chlorine at 5 °C, pH 7.5 and 9 in BDF water. Published C.t Published C.t values pH 7.5 pH 9 Log 10 values for pH 7.5 for pH 9 inactivation CT Values* CT Values* (Black et al., 2009) (Black et al., 2009) 2 6.55 5.4 13.57 14.00 3 8.93 8.4 18.79 18.70 4 11.03 11.5 23.56 22.90 * C.t values were obtained using 2.25 mg/L of FAC and a virus concentration of 2 x 105 PFU/mL. The C.t values presented are average of triplicate experiments. Black et al. (2009) used 1 mg/L of FAC and 3.6 x 105 PFU/mL.
Figure 1. Chlorine decay curve for C.t experiments in BDF water at pH 7.5 and 20°C. C.t was calculated by determining the area under the chlorine decay curve of chlorine concentration vs. time (Ho et al., 2006). Another difference to note was that CB5 used in these experiments was only partially purified and did not have [a] secondary purification step involving polyethylene glycol precipitation and Vertrel treatment as described in Black et al. (2009). Use of partially purified virus increased the demand of FAC requiring approximately 1.25 mg/L more FAC than used in Black et al. (2009) study, but did not affect the final C.t values. Black et al. (2009) used the ‘Efficiency Factor Hom’ (EFH) to calculate C.t for virus inactivation in buffered demand free water (BDF). In this study we have used the empirical approach used in Ho et al. (2006), which uses a worksheet to calculate the C.t by determining the integral between time zero and the time taken for virus inactivation of a respective log10 reduction value directly from chlorine decay graphs. C.t values of triplicate experiments carried out under the same conditions that were described by Black et al. (2009) and calculated using the Ho et al. (2006) method were not statistically different to those published by Black et al. (2009) (Table 2). Passing and Bablock regression analysis showed a small constant bias (of 0.69) (no proportional bias) and a p value of > 0.1, indicating agreement between the two sets of results with no significant deviation from linearity. This demonstrated that the experimental setup, preparations and methods used in this study were comparable to the previous Black et al. (2009) work. Determination of C.t for CB5 in BDF water: For C.t experiments, cultured virus particles at a concentration of 4–5 x 105 PFU/mL were added to the test water
and incubated at the relevant temperature (10– 20°C) in a shaking water-bath for at least 30min before the disinfection experiments. This allowed time for virus particles to mix with BDF water and equilibrate in the test water. The chlorine concentrations added to the BDF water to ensure a measurable residual at the end of the experiment was 2.25 mg/L. FAC degraded rapidly when added to BDF. For example, in BDF water pH 7.2 tested at 20°C, the FAC decreased from 2.25 Figure 2. FAC C.t values to inactivate from 1 to 4 log10 CB5 in BDF water with initial chlorine dose of 2.25 mg/L tested mg/L to 1.18 mg/L at temperature (a) 10, (b) 15 and (c) 20 °C and pH 7.2, 7.5, within 30 seconds 7.8 and 8.0. The r2 values for linear regression equations that and at 30min the determine C.t values were 0.99. final residual was survival curves are presented in Figure 2. 0.15 mg/L. FAC chlorine decay curves were The survival curves in Figure 2 show linear obtained for pH values of 7.2, 7.5, 7.8 and 8 inactivation of CB5 for all pH values. Linear and at temperatures of 10, 15 and 20°C. An regression equations from these graphs example is shown in Figure 1 and C.t values were used to determine time points for were calculated as the area under the FAC between 1 and 4 log10 inactivation of curve between time zero and times of 1, 2, viruses. C.t values were calculated as 3 and 4 log10 inactivation of CB5. Note that the area under the FAC curve between chlorine concentration was measured at the time zero and times of 1, 2, 3 and 4 shortest intervals practicable early in the log10 inactivation of CB5 over the 30min experiment to avoid over-estimation of the duration for each of the experiments. exposure of CB5 to chlorine. For each of the BDF waters containing spiked CB5, log10 reduction values were determined and graphs showing the
The linear regression equations shown in Figure 2 were used to determine C.t values. The mean C.t values for
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Table 3. Calculated free chlorine C.t values by determining the integral of residual chlorine vs time of CB5 in BDF water tested at various pH and temperature.
C.t (mg.min/L) 10°C
C.t (mg.min/L) 15°C
C.t (mg.min/L) 20°C
using 2.25 mg/L using 2.25 mg/L using 2.25 mg/L
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
1.98 3.41 4.63 5.72 2.04 3.60 4.96 6.18 2.69 4.72 6.54 8.18 3.27 5.81 8.08 10.14
1.81 3.11 4.19 5.27 1.85 3.28 4.53 5.68 2.11 3.67 5.06 6.33 2.34 4.09 5.62 7.02
1.46 2.47 3.33 4.10 1.59 2.74 3.70 4.57 1.87 3.24 4.39 5.42 2.17 3.83 5.30 6.63
disinfection of CB5 in BDF water tested at 10, 15 and 20°C and pH values of 7.2, 7.5 and 7.8 and 8.0 are provided in Table 3, and an example at 10°C is represented graphically in Figure 3.
Figure 3. FAC C.t values required to inactivate 1 to 4 log10 of CB5 in BDF water with initial chlorine dose of 2.25 mg/L at a temperature of 10°C and pH ranging from 7.2–8. The empirically determined inactivation observed at the two pH values tested at 5°C was signficantly different to that predicted by extrapolation using those equations shown in Figure 2. Therefore, it is not recommended that the data provided in this study be used to extrapolate outside of the 10°C–20°C, inclusive, test range of the study. This difficulty with exrapolation is commonly observed in microbial inactivation studies.
*USEPA Guidance Manual C.t value for 10, 15 &, 20°C 3,2,1 4,3,2 6,4,3 3,2,1 4,3,2 6,4,3 3,2,1 4,3,2 6,4,3 3,2,1 4,3,2 6,4,3
that at pH above 8 there is a higher ratio of hypochlorite ion to hypochlorous acid and disinfection is less effective. This is shown when comparing the C.t values from Table 3 at 10°C for 4 log inactivation of CB5 at pH 7.2 and 8.0, where the C.t required increases from 5.72 to 10.14 mg.min/L respectively. This same trend is shown with all the temperatures studied. The USEPA disinfection free chlorine C.t tables cover a temperature range from 1–25°C in 1°C increments, calculated through linear interpolation, to provide guidance to water utilities to determine the appropriate C.t values for their water treatment plants based on the water temperature at the point of disinfection. In order to establish an equivalent table to be used in the water industry using the CB5 data in this study, linear regression analysis was undertaken on the three data points of 10, 15 and 20°C and a linear trend was used to extrapolate the data. An example of the linear extrapolation is shown in Figure 4 for
DISCUSSION Table 3 represents the C.t values across three discrete temperatures for each of the experimental pH values. The range of pH values selected represents the most common range for disinfection with FAC in well managed drinking water treatment plants. It is well established
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Figure 4. Linear extrapolation of C.t vs temperature at pH 7.5 for 4 log inactivation of CB5 in BDF water.
C.t as a function of temperature at pH 7.5 and 4 log inactivation of CB5. However, it is acknowledged that such extrapolation is not likely to be accepted in validation guidance which, by convention, will only permit interpolation within experimental bounds and not extrapolation beyond them. Undertaking the analysis at 1, 2, 3 and 4 log10 inactivation across the temperature range allows the development of a table for the four pH values studied. These are shown in Table 4. The linear regression equations derived for each of the experimental conditions had r2 values greater than 0.94, except for those at pH 8.0, which had r2 values greater than 0.83. It can be seen from Table 4 that CB5 is shown to be generally more resistant to free chlorine disinfection than Hepatitis A virus. However, it is not clear from the USEPA data what the exact experimental conditions were. This is particularly relevant in relation to pH, where only a range of 6-9 is referenced and not the precise pH conditions. This greater resistance has been seen in other studies, including by Black et al. (2009) and has been attributed to a greater propensity for CB5 to clump together than other enteroviruses (Jensen et al, 1980). For this study no safety factor was applied to the C.t values generated, as they represent C.t values for the most FAC-resistant virus investigated that is of significance to the water industry. This is in contrast to the USEPA data using Hepatitis A, where a safety factor of 3 was applied. It is possible that, when using this data, other parties may wish to include some safety factors, particularly where any kind of extrapolation is involved. The current guidance in Australia from the ADWG is to achieve at least 0.5 mg/L of free chlorine for a contact time of 30min at a pH of < 8.0. This equates to a C.t of 15 mg.min/L. The work in this paper shows that to achieve 4 log10 virus inactivation under the most challenging conditions, i.e., the most resistant virus, 5°C and pH 7.5, then a C.t of 11.0 mg.min/L would be required. This means that under the most conservative conditions the ADWG advice holds true. However, if a water utility operates under different environmental conditions, i.e. warmer climates, requires less log inactivation due to lower risk catchments or has more stringent pH process control, then this work allows a refinement in the required C.t.
Table 4. C.t values in mg.min/L at 5°C increments from 10 to 20°C (inclusive) modified by linear extrapolation for 1 to 4 log10 inactivation of CB5 at pH 7.2, 7.5, 7.8 and 8.0. Shown in italics, for comparison, are the results obtained at 5°C, for the same series of experiments. At the bottom of the table, for comparison, is shown the USEPA C.t values for 2,3, and 4 log inactivation of Hepatitis A virus at pH between 6 and 9. pH
1 2 3 4 1 2
ND ND ND ND ND ND
3 4 1 2
ND ND ND ND ND 6.55
C.t (mg.min/L) 2.0 1.8 3.5 3.1 4.7 4.1 5.8 5.0 2.1 1.8 3.6 3.2
1.5 2.6 3.4 4.2 1.6 2.8
ND ND ND ND ND ND
ND ND ND ND
8.93 11.03 ND ND
5.0 6.3 2.6 4.6
4.4 5.5 2.2 3.9
3.8 4.7 1.8 3.1
ND ND ND ND
3 4 1 2
ND ND ND ND
ND ND ND ND
6.4 8.0 3.1 5.6
5.3 6.6 2.6 4.6
4.3 5.3 2.0 3.6
ND ND ND ND
3 4 1 2 3 4
ND ND ND ND ND ND
ND 7.7 6.3 ND 9.7 7.9 ND ND ND 13.57 ND ND 18.79 ND ND 23.56 ND ND USEPA data (for comparison) 6.0* 4.0 3.0 2.0 9.0* 6.0 4.0 3.0 12.0* 8.0 6.0 4.0
5.0 6.2 ND ND ND ND
ND ND ND ND ND ND
1.0 2.0 3.0
1.0 1.0 2.0
2 3 4
*0.5°C for USEPA data ND: not determined
It has been well established and backed up by this work that, as pH increases, a greater C.t is required to achieve the required log inactivation. This is due to a shift in the equilibrium towards hypochlorite ion from hypochlorous acid. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl), being the primary disinfecting agent, has up to 300 times more disinfection power than
The data in this study demonstrated that the C.t values defined for the drinking water processes (using Hepatitis A virus) do not achieve the same level of inactivation of CB5 in BDF water. CB5 is considered more resistant to free chlorine disinfection than Hepatitis A virus. As anticipated, the C.t values decreased with increasing temperature and also increased with increases in pH. No safety factor was applied to the C.t values generated within this study as they represent C.t values for the most FAC-resistant virus investigated that is of significance to the water industry. It is noted in some regions there may be value in studies being conducted into the inactivation of CB5 by chlorine at lower and higher temperatures than 10°C to 20°C. This paper was Highly Commended at Ozwater’15 in Adelaide.
Figure 5. HOCl C.t (mg.min/L) as a function of pH at 4 log CB5 inactivation. EFFECT OF PH ON HOCL
CONCLUSION There has been a general need for updated relevant data to provide a basis for the development of guidelines required to adequately disinfect viruses in drinking water, to provide an essential barrier against the transmission of waterborne viruses. The current USEPA guidelines are based on experiments conducted on mono dispersed Hepatitis A viruses in BDF water and include a safety factor of 3.
hypochlorite ion (OCl-) (White, 1999). However, when HOCl C.t is calculated for each pH and plotted against pH, an unexpected trend is observed. This trend is shown in Figure 5, using the HOCl/OCL- ratio at 20°C (White, 1999) to convert free chlorine C.t to HOCl C.t.
It is observed that as pH increases the HOCL C.t required to achieve a 4 log10 reduction in CB5 is reduced, dropping from 2.9 mg.min/L HOCL at pH 7.2 to 2.0 mg.min/L HOCl at pH 8.0. It would be expected that, if HOCl is the major disinfection agent, then this trend would have been constant at a consistent C.t. This effect that has been observed may be attributed to the CB5 virus being more
This work was funded by Seqwater. The Authors would like to thank Daniel Deere for his peer review and technical assistance with finalising this manuscript.
THE AUTHORS Dr Arran Canning (email: arran.canning@seqwater. com.au) is Manager, Water Quality and Environment for Seqwater. He is currently responsible for drinking water quality and environmental management for a diverse range of water supplies servicing several million people across South-East Queensland. Dr Satiya Wati has 10 years’ experience as a Virologist in clinical diagnostics, isolation, culture, detection and enumeration of human infectious viruses in wastewater and recycled waters. Satiya was employed as a postdoctoral researcher at SA Water and now works with Theraputic Goods Australia in Canberra.
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susceptible to increased concentration of hydroxide ions. One potential theory is that, with increased pH, the aforementioned clumping of CB5 may be affected.
Dr Alexandra Keegan is the Manager of Wastewater Research at SA Water. She has 15 years’ experience in the water industry covering aspects of the microbiology of drinking water, wastewater and recycled water, water treatment technology and validation of treatment processes. Duncan Middleton has more than 10 years’ experience in drinking and recycled water quality management. He has worked on some of the most significant drinking and recycled water schemes in Queensland and the ACT and is currently a Technical Specialist – Drinking Water Quality for Seqwater. Duncan Shillito leads the Drinking Water Quality Unit in Seqwater. He has 15 years’ experience practicing risk-based management systems in the utility sector for catchment to tap drinking water, wastewater and purified recycled water activities.
Dr Michael Bartkow (email: Michael.Bartkow@seqwater. com.au) is a Team Leader within the Policy, Strategy, Research and Innovation group at Seqwater. The team develops and implements policies, strategies and research to ensure the long-term sustainability of water supply and quality.
REFERENCES APHA (1998): Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th ed.; APHA-AWWA-WEF: Washington, DC. AS/NZS (1988): Water Quality – Sampling Part 1: Guidance on Design of Sampling Programs, Sampling Techniques and the Preservation and Handling of Samples. AS/NZS 5667.4:1998. Black S, Thurston J & Gerba C (2009): Determination of Ct Values for Chlorine of Resistant Enteroviruses. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A. 44, 4, pp 336–339. Ho L, Onstad G, von Gunten U, Rinck-Pfeiffer S, Craig K & Newcombe, G (2006): Differences in the Chlorine Reactivity of Four Microcystin Analogues. Water Research, 40, 6, pp 1200–1209.
Jensen H, Thomas K & Sharp DG (1980): Inactivation of Coxsackie Viruses B3 and B5 in Water by Chlorine. Applied Environmental Microbiology, 40, pp 633–640. Kahler AM, Cromeans TL, Roberts JM & Hill VR (2011): Source Water Quality Effects on Monochloramine Inactivation of Adenovirus, Coxsackie Virus, Echovirus, and Murine Norovirus. Water Research, 45, 4, pp 1745–1751. Keegan A, Wati S & Robinson B (2012): Chlor(am)ine Disinfection of Human Pathogenic Viruses in Recycled Waters. Smart Water Funded Report, SWF 62M-2114. Middleton D, Canning A & Shillito D (2013): Development and Implementation of a Free Chlorine Disinfection Standards for Seqwater, Ozwater’13, Perth. Sobsey MD, Fuji T & Shields PA (1988): Inactivation of Hepatitis A Virus and Model Viruses in Water by Free Chlorine and Monochloramine. Water Science and Technology, 20, pp 385–391. USEPA (1999): Disinfection Profiling and Benchmarking Guidance Manual, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC.
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White GD (1999): Handbook of Chlorination and Alternative Disinfectants, 4th ed, John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp 217, 269.
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THIRTY YEARS OF AUSTRALIAN DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCT RESEARCH An overview of the changing research landscape KL Linge, D Liew, I Kristiana, K Cadee, JWA Charrois, CA Joll
INTRODUCTION Disinfection of drinking water has been integral for controlling waterborne infectious diseases since the early 1900s. An unintended consequence is the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs), which occur when the disinfectant reacts with inorganic (e.g. bromide, iodide) and organic substances in the source water.
Keywords: Disinfection by-products, trihalomethanes, drinking water guidelines.
Disinfection by-products were first discovered in 1974, with the identification of chloroform and other trihalomethanes (THMs) in chlorinated drinking water (Rook, 1974). The discovery was made possible by improved instrument sensitivity and the development of new sample preparation techniques (Kristiana et al., 2012). Prior to this, THMs were not detected by analytical methods utilising chloroform and other solvents of similar volatility to extract organic compounds. Since then, the discovery of new DBPs has often followed advances in analytical chemistry (Charrois, 2010), as depicted in Figure 1. To date, more than 600 DBPs have been identified in drinking water, yet only a small subset have been quantitatively studied for
their health risks and even fewer are included in drinking water guidelines or regulations (Richardson, 2011). Over time, DBP research has expanded from simple occurrence and identification studies, to larger studies considering formation mechanisms, treatment processes and source water quality, and finally integrating toxicological and epidemiological research (Hrudey and Charrois, 2012b, Liew et al., 2015b). In this paper, we provide an overview of DBP-related research conducted in Australia over the last 30 years, based on information collected for a DBP impact study prepared for Water Research Australia (Liew et al., 2015b). In this impact study, Australian DBP research was characterised into one of five DBP research sub-disciplines, and assessed for research impacts in the areas of knowledge foundation, improved risk management and optimisation of operations (Figure 2). While the major focus of DBP research in Australia has been drinking water systems, newer research areas, such as recycled water and swimming pools, were also considered.
Figure 1. The discovery of new disinfection by-products has followed advances in analytical chemistry.
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ABSTRACT Disinfection of drinking water is essential for control of waterborne infectious disease, but also results in the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs). In this article, we summarise DBP research conducted in Australia over the past 30 years and consider its impact on the drinking water industry in terms of knowledge foundation, risk management and optimising operations. Fundamental and applied research in Australia has led to a greater understanding of the chemistry and conditions under which DBPs are formed, resulting in improved water quality. There is a high degree of industry collaboration and engagement in DBP research projects, and from a wide range of stakeholders. Collaboration has facilitated knowledge transfer to industry and enabled strategic alliances between national and international organisations. It is expected that Australian DBP research will continue to be driven by international research questions, as well as the specific needs of the Australian water industry.
allocation of exposure from drinking water (from 50% to 75%), to account for the reduced usage of chloroform in other industries (WHO, 2008). Following WHO, other health authorities have gradually recognised that the occurrence of chloroform at relatively low concentrations, such as those typically found in drinking water, does not result in carcinogenic outcomes (Hrudey and Charrois, 2012b). Despite this, chloroform is still assumed to be carcinogenic by some researchers and water practitioners (Bull et al., 2012; Hrudey and Charrois, 2012a).
Figure 2. DBP research sub-disciplines and examples for research impact benefit, devised using the approach of Newcombe (2013). Table 1. International THM standards and guidelines, adapted from Hrudey (2002). *TTHM = sum of chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, bromoform. Australia TTHM* (maximum) 1987: 200 μg/L 1996: 250 μg/L
USA TTHM (running annual average, RAA) 1979: 100 μg/L 1998: 80 μg/L
Canada TTHM 1978: 350 μg/L TTHM (maximum) 1996: 100 μg/L TTHM (RAA)
World Health Organisation Chloroform (RAA) 1984: 30 μg/L 1993: 200 μg/L 2008: 300 μg/L Other THM (RAA) 1993: 100 μg/L bromoform 1993: 100 μg/L dibromochloromethane 1993: 60 μg/L bromodichloromethane
Other THM (maximum) 2006: 16 μg/L bromodichloromethane 2009: guideline withdrawn European Union TTHM (maximum) 1998: 100 μg/L
DBP HEALTH GUIDELINES Soon after THMs were discovered to be ubiquitous in chlorinated drinking water (Symons et al., 1975), chloroform was declared to be carcinogenic in laboratory animals, based on results from a rodent cancer bioassay that used extremely high doses in corn oil (NCI, 1976). This was the primary driver for inclusion of DBPs in drinking water guidelines and regulations, and initiated epidemiology studies seeking evidence for cancercausing chlorination by-products in drinking water (Hrudey, 2012). Table 1 compares the evolution of international THM standards and guidelines. Of particular note is the World Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water
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guideline for chloroform, originally set at 30 μg/L in 1984, but revised to 200 μg/L in 1993 (WHO, 2008). The increase in guideline value was a result of new toxicity studies that indicated that dosing chloroform in corn oil produced significantly higher carcinogenicity than when dosed in drinking water (Larson et al., 1994). While studies have indicated an association between DBPs and bladder cancer (Cantor, 2010, Villanueva et al., 2014), evidence consistently indicates that the causal agent is not chloroform (Hrudey and Charrois, 2012b; Larson et al., 1994; Ranmuthugala, 2001). A further increase in the WHO guideline for chloroform (to 300 μg/L) in 2008 resulted from an increased
Historically, drinking water guidelines in Australia have followed those adopted by WHO (NHMRC-AWRC, 1987). Disinfection by-products were first mentioned in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) in 1987 (NHMRC-AWRC, 1987) with the inclusion of a ‘total THMs’ guideline (TTHM 200 μg/L, Table 2). The 1996 revision included 23 different DBPs, although guideline values were only stated for 11 individual DBPs plus TTHMs, due to insufficient data. In 2004, the ADWG were fundamentally revised to introduce a risk-based multi-barrier approach to drinking water quality (NHMRC-NRMMC, 2004), but there were no changes to DBP guideline values. While guideline values have changed for some DBPS since then, only one DBP (NDMA, 100 ng/L) has been added (NHMRC-NRMMC, 2011). Thus, for many water utilities, DBP regulations have not changed significantly for between 10 and 20 years.
DBP RESEARCH IN AUSTRALIA While some Australian water utilities, such as SA Water, began in-house THM analysis soon after their discovery (Simpson and Hayes, 1998), DBP guidelines were not introduced in Australia until 1987 (NHMRCAWRC, 1987), and the first major Australian DBP occurrence study was not conducted until 1994 (Simpson and Hayes, 1996; Simpson and Hayes, 1998). This national survey tested 23 DBPs in chlorinated and chloraminated drinking waters across five states, provided fundamental knowledge on the occurrence of DBPs in Australian drinking waters, and established a number of analytical methods. The survey results were assessed against the new 1996 ADWG guidelines and helped identify DBPs that were most likely to exceed guidelines – in particular, chloral hydrate and chloroacetic acid. The results also demonstrated that, while most water supplies complied with DBP guidelines, high organic content or variations in treatment processes could produce elevated DBP concentrations.
Table 2. Overview of Australian Drinking Water Guidelines for DBPs. DBP(s)
1996: 20 μg/L
1996: 300 μg/L 2011: 800 μg/L 1996: 150 μg/L 1996: 100 μg/L 1996: 100 μg/L
Chlorophenols 2-Chlorophenol 2,4-Dichlorophenol 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol
1996: 30 μg/L (0.1 μg/L aesthetic guideline) 1996: 200 μg/L (0.3 μg/L aesthetic guideline) 1996: 20 μg/L (2 μg/L aesthetic guideline)
1996: 80 μg/L as cyanide
1996: 500 μg/L
Chloral hydrate (Trichloroacetaldehyde)
1996: 20 μg/L 2014: 100 μg/L
1987: 200 μg/L 1996: 250 μg/L
2011: 100 ng/L
Figure 3 provides an overview of Australian DBP-related research projects since 1994. Research projects undertaken directly with industry have not been considered, as they do not necessarily incorporate mechanisms for publication and technical transfer. Between 1995 and 2007, DBP research was predominantly funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment (CRCWQT). While focused on all aspects of water quality, the CRCWQT significantly contributed to DBP research and played an integral role in building natural organic matter (NOM) expertise in Australia. The CRCWQT supported 27 DBP research projects, including 11 PhD students, during its lifetime (Liew et al., 2015b). Many DBP projects funded by the CRCWQT focused on the role of NOM in DBP formation and treatment processes for NOM removal. A suite of advanced NOM characterisation techniques were developed, and both conventional coagulation and new treatments such as ion exchange and powdered activated carbon were studied and subsequently implemented at full-scale. Software tools for operators were developed to effectively optimise coagulation, providing economic benefits through reduced labour costs and chemical usage. CRCWQT projects also studied chlorinous tastes and odours, alternative disinfectants such as ozone, DBP formation from treatment polymers, disinfection management in distribution systems, and DBP genotoxicity.
One of the most significant research outputs from the CRCWQT was the Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality. This risk-based multibarrier approach to managing drinking water quality was adopted in the 2004 revision of the ADWG. A similar approach has since been adopted in the Water Safety Plans used in the UK and by the WHO. CRCWQT research projects often included scholarship support for postgraduate students, which was both cost effective and developed a cohort of PhD graduates with the skill and interest to work in and support the global water industry. Many CRCWQT graduates found employment in water, environment or health-related industries (CRCWQT, 2008). Since 2008, Australian DBP research has been predominantly facilitated by Water Quality Research Australia (WQRA), which was incorporated in October 2007 due to strong water industry support for continued industry-focused research after the CRCWQT closed in 2008. It being a not-for-profit member-funded company, cash funding is provided by the industry and general members, and in-kind support provided by research members. Most CRCWQT partners continued as members of WQRA. In 2013, the Board and Membership voted to change WQRA’s name to Water Research Australia Limited (WaterRA), and updated the constitution to reflect a broader scope of work. While operating with a smaller research budget than the CRCWQT, WaterRA has supported over 100 projects
Since 2002, the ARC (Australian Research Council) has funded numerous water quality projects through its Discovery and Linkage schemes, particularly focusing on wastewater treatment efficiency, water recycling and desalination. However, only 12 DBP-focused projects have been funded. Of the 12 projects, 11 were funded under the Linkage scheme (which requires a cash contribution from industry). All 11 Linkage projects involved at least one water utility as an industry partner, with five of these involving WaterRA as an industry partner. The projects funded by the ARC have investigated DBP toxicity, wastewater and water recycling, treatment options to mitigate emerging DBPs, and drinking water distribution systems (Liew et al., 2015b). Only one DBP research project has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) – an epidemiological study of the impact of DBPs in terms of birth defects. Figure 4 provides an overview of the sub-disciplines targeted by Australian DBP research. Early studies, predominantly funded by the CRCWQT, particularly focused on DBP identification. Projects funded by WaterRA and the ARC largely focused on understanding the chemistry and conditions under which DBPs are formed, and studying treatments to remove DBPs and DBP precursors. More recent identification studies have investigated emerging – rather than regulated – DBPs. While about 20% (10/53) of projects have included a component of toxicological research, only two projects have included an epidemiological study. All the DBP research projects undertaken
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Chloroacetic acids Chloroacetic acid (CAA) Dichloroacetic acid (DCAA) Trichloroacetic acid (TCAA)
and 25 PhD students since 2008, including 19 DBP research projects (Liew et al., 2015b). Most projects are supported in collaboration with a wide range of partner-funding agencies, including various state, national and international funding agencies. Like the CRCWQT, research funded by WaterRA has focused on DBP identification, formation and treatment. Significant contributions to knowledge foundation have included research into emerging DBPs, including NDMA, other nitrogen-containing DBPs, as well as brominated and iodinated DBPs from high bromide and iodide source waters. WaterRA has also supported research into disinfection in long distribution systems and DBPs in water recycling. As well as individual projects, WaterRA helped facilitate an Australiawide analysis of NDMA in drinking water (Liew et al., 2015a) that identified specific source water and treatment conditions that promote the formation of NDMA.
Technical Papers have contributed to knowledge foundation including: • Developing research capacity of both industry and research organisations; • Understanding of DBP formation, occurrence and chemical risk;
• Establishing analytical methods, sampling protocols and laboratory-scale treatment processes. Outputs from DBP research that have improved risk management and optimised operation in the water industry include: • Development of management plans and guidance manuals; • Monitoring recommendations for DBP management; • Treatment strategies for minimising DBP formation; • Improving monitoring methods for DBPs.
CASE STUDY: THM REGULATION AND MANAGEMENT A recent review of world-wide DBP guidelines and standards (Wang et al., 2015) indicates that the Australian THM guidelines are higher than those in the US, EU, Canada and Japan. However, it is not possible to directly compare guidelines based on maximum detected to regulations based on running annual averages. It is also important to note that, even if the running annual average meets a DBP guideline, seasonal variations in DBP formation can mean that the maximum DBP concentration detected is higher than the guideline. In Australia, there are no federal laws to enforce the guideline values. Instead, the regulatory framework for each water utility is determined by the state. In addition to regulatory requirements, exceeding DBP guidelines can attract unwanted media attention (Walker, 2012a). Australian drinking waters have comparatively high THM concentrations, due to the high NOM and bromide content of many source waters, but usually comply with the ADWG THM guidelines without significant modifications to conventional treatment (Chisholm et al., 2008; Knight et al., 2010; Simpson and Hayes, 1998). Figure 3. Overview of DBP research projects undertaken in Australia by major funding organisations, ordered by project start date.
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To date, there is no evidence indicating that chloroform is a causal agent for cancer (Hrudey and Charrois, 2012b;
Technical Papers NRMMC, 2014). Indeed, any reduction in the TTHM guideline will require significant expenditure by the water industry to upgrade plants that struggle to meet the current guideline and may encourage adoption of alternative disinfectants, such as chloramine, known to minimise the formation of THMs, without careful consideration.
Larson et al., 1994; Ranmuthugala, 2001). Epidemiological studies suggest that the only plausible cancer associated with chlorinated drinking water is bladder cancer. However, chlorinated drinking water is considered as a minor factor in the overall population incidence of bladder cancer and there is no evidence that decreasing concentration of either THMs or haloacetic acids in drinking water will decrease this risk (Hrudey, 2012). Disinfection by-products have also been hypothesised to cause adverse reproductive outcomes, but overall the results from international epidemiological birth studies do not support a causal linkage (Hrudey, 2012, Nieuwenhuijsen et al., 2009, Nieuwenhuijsen et al., 2008) and no biological mechanisms have been identified (Nieuwenhuijsen et al., 2008). One Australian study, focusing on brominated THMs, reported an elevated risk of birth defects in areas with high (>130 μg/L) TTHMs (Chisholm et al., 2008); however, there was a high degree of uncertainty in THM exposure data, as drinking water samples were collected several years after the birth defect data, which was categorised by postcode only. The study is considered to provide inadequate evidence of DBP concentrations impacting birth outcomes (Hrudey, 2012). Based on evidence to date, the current ADWG THM guideline is appropriate for Australian drinking water systems. The ADWG make it clear that disinfection should not be compromised to meet DBP targets as pathogens represent the greatest risk to human health (NHMRC-
Reported NDMA concentrations in Australian drinking water systems to date have been below the ADWG of 100 ng/L, but NDMA concentrations >100 ng/L have been observed in chloraminated distribution systems elsewhere (Charrois et al., 2004; Charrois et al., 2007; Zhao et al., 2006). Another emerging group of DBPs that preferentially form during chloramination are iodinated THMs (Bichsel and von Gunten, 2000), when elevated iodide concentrations are present in the source water (Gruchlik et al., 2014). Iodinated THMs have been reported to be more cytotoxic than regulated THMs (Richardson et al., 2007) and have been associated with taste and odour complaints (Hansson et al., 1987). Since iodinated THMs do not have existing health-based limits, their health significance at current occurrence levels is unclear. A pre-chlorination step can reduce formation of both NDMA (Liew et al., 2015a) and iodinated THMs (Gruchlik et al., 2014) during chloramination, but will also impact THM formation. Utilities that are considering a switch from chlorine to an alternative disinfectant must consider not only the impact of the switch on THM concentrations, but also the potential for other DBPs to form. This may require preliminary testing of the revised treatment process and additional ongoing monitoring. The philosophy of the ADWG encourages a precautionary approach that includes continual improvement as a central tenet, and DBP reduction is considered important for water quality risk management (Walker, 2012a). One
While the initial motivation for NOM removal at Wanneroo was reduction in swampy odours in the distributed water (Cadee et al., 2000), subsequent full-scale studies confirmed that MIEX® treatment also reduced the total THM formation potential of the produced water (Warton et al., 2007). THM formation potential has also been linked to chlorine demand, rather than total dissolved organic carbon, which formed the basis of another simpler approach for THM management. Laboratory-scale investigations of two WA water supplies with high concentrations of THMs in the distribution systems, attributed to the high dissolved organic carbon concentration and high chlorine dose, found that the DBP yield was proportional to the amount of chlorine consumed, and development of an empirical model for THM formation enabled plant operators to optimise chlorine dose rates (Trolio et al., 2007). In addition, a recirculation and aeration device was installed as a quick, cost-effective technique for managing THM concentrations at both locations. This technique provided a short-term operational solution to reduce the risk of exceeding guidelines for volatile DBPs while longer-term solutions to DBP formation were investigated (Trolio et al., 2007). Australian DBP research has demonstrated that the precursors that form THM and other DBPs such as NDMA are typically more abundant in low and medium molecular weight organic matter that is poorly removed during conventional alum treatment (Drikas et al., 2003; Kristiana et al., 2013b). Other water treatment strategies implemented in Australia that have benefited from Australian DBP research include ozone (Ho, 2004; Ho et al., 2002; Kostakis and Nicholson, 2001) and activated carbon (Bjelopvalic et al., 1999; Ho, 2004; Kristiana et al., 2011; Newcombe et al., 1996; Newcombe et al., 1997; Thomson, 2003).
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Figure 4. Overview of the number of DBP research projects undertaken in Australia by research funding body and research sub-discipline, as described in Figure 2.
Use of chloramine in place of chlorine as a disinfectant has been a popular strategy for THM reduction in the US (Richardson, 2003). While chloramines produce lower THM concentrations, they may have the disadvantage of forming other DBPs in greater concentrations that could be potentially more toxic (Hua and Reckhow, 2007; Kristiana et al., 2009). For example, N-nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens, preferentially form with chloramine (Newcombe et al., 2012) and, in Australia, the N-nitrosamine NDMA has been found almost exclusively in systems that utilised chloramine (Liew et al., 2015a).
approach that has been successful for THM reduction is the implementation of a MIEX® (magnetic ion exchange) drinking water treatment process at the Wanneroo groundwater treatment plant in Perth (WA). The use of ion exchange for the removal of NOM was a research pathway from the earliest days of the CRCWQT (CRCWQT, 1997), and numerous publication outputs from the CRCWQT demonstrated anion exchange reduced NOM concentrations and DBP formation (Bolto et al., 2002; Drikas et al., 2003; Morran et al., 2004).
CONCLUSIONS Australian DBP research has significantly improved our understanding of the conditions under which DBPs form and much of Australia’s current DBP expertise has resulted from the sustained investment in water research by the CRCWQT and its successor, WQRA (now WaterRA). While research has been undertaken in all sub-disciplines, there has been a focus on identification, understanding the chemistry and conditions under which DBPs are formed, and treatment strategies that minimise formation. Improving water quality by reducing the concentration of regulated DBPs, particularly through source water NOM removal, has also improved disinfectant stability in distribution systems and taste and odour management. To date, the causal agent for the adverse effects attributed to chlorinated drinking water remains unknown and research will continue internationally to identify toxicologically important DBPs. Australian DBP research will be driven by international research questions, as well as the specific needs of the Australian water industry. These drivers are already reflected in the research projects funded in the last five years (see Figure 3), with common themes including emerging DBPs, assessment of toxicity, chloramination and water recycling.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Authors acknowledge funding support from Water Research Australia (WaterRA) to conduct this work.
THE AUTHORS Kathryn Linge (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Curtin Water Quality Research Centre (CWQRC), Curtin University, WA. Deborah Liew (email: email@example.com) is a Senior Research Officer at CWQRC. Ina Kristiana (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Research Fellow at CWQRC. Keith Cadee (email: keith. email@example.com) is a former General Manager at Water Corporation of WA, and now an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University.
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Jeffrey WA Charrois (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) is an Adjunct Associate Professor and former Director of CWQRC. Currently he is Manager of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Section with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (Canada). Cynthia Joll (email: email@example.com) is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director of CWQRC.
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NHMRC-AWRC (1987): Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality in Australia. ISBN 0 644 06607 5, Canberra, ACT: National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Water Resources Council. 33 pp. NHMRC-NRMMC (2004): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 6, National Health and Medical Research Council, National Resource Management Ministerial Council, Australia. NHMRC-NRMMC (2011): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 6, National Health and Medical Research Council, National Resource Management Ministerial Council, Australia. NHMRC-NRMMC (2014): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 6, National Health and Medical Research Council, National Resource Management Ministerial Council, Australia. Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Martinez D, Grellier J, Bennett J, Best N, Iszatt N, Vrijheid M & Toledano MB (2009): Chlorination Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water and Congenital Anomalies: Review and Meta-Analyses. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117, pp 1486–1493. Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Toledano MB, Bennett J, Best N, Hambly P, de Hoogh C, Wellesley D, Boyd PA, Abramsky L, Dattani N, Fawell J, Briggs D, Jarup L & Elliott P (2008): Chlorination Disinfection By-Products and Risk of Congenital Anomalies in England and Wales. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116, pp 216–222. Ranmuthugala G (2001): Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water and Genotoxic Changes in Urinary Bladder Epithelial Cells. PhD Thesis, Australian National University. Richardson SD (2003): Disinfection By-Products and Other Emerging Contaminants in Drinking Water. Trac-Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 22, pp 666–684. Richardson SD (2011): Disinfection By-Products: Formation and Occurrence in Drinking Water. In: NRIAGU, J. O. (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. Burlington, MA: Elsevier. Richardson SD, Fasano F, Ellington JJ, Crumley FG, Buettner KM, Evans JJ, Blount BC, Silva LK, Waite TJ, Luther GW, McKague AB, Miltner RJ, Wagner ED & Plewa MJ (2008): Occurrence and Mammalian Cell Toxicity of Iodinated Disinfection Byproducts in Drinking Water. Environmental Science and Technology, 42, 8330. Richardson SD, Plewa MJ, Wagner ED, Schoeny R & DeMarini DM (2007): Occurrence, Genotoxicity, and Carcinogenicity of Regulated and Emerging Disinfection By-Products in
Rook JJ (1974): Formation of Haloforms During Chlorination of Natural Waters. Water Treatment Examination, 23, pp 234–243. Simpson KL & Hayes KP (1996): Drinking Water Disinfection By-Products Relevant to the 1996 NHMRC/ARMCANZ Guidelines. Report # 115: Urban Water Research Association of Australia. 123 pp. Simpson KL & Hayes KP (1998): Drinking Water Disinfection By-Products: An Australian Perspective. Water Research, 32, pp 1522–1528. Symons JM, Bellar TA, Carswell JK, Demarco J, Kropp KL, Robeck GG, Seeger DR, Slocum CJ, Smith BL & Stevens AA (1975): National Organics Reconnaissance Survey for Halogenated Organics. Journal American Water Works Association, 67, pp 634–647. Thomson J (2003): Biological Activated Carbon Treatment of Natural Organic Matter. PhD Thesis, RMIT. Trolio R, Walker R, McNeil S, Huynh T & Jismi N (2007): Trihalomethane Management in Drinking Water: A Novel Approach. Water Journal, 34, pp 77–81. Villanueva CM, Kogevinas M, Cordier S, Templeton MR, Vermeulen R, Nuckols JR, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ & Levallois P (2014): Assessing Exposure and Health Consequences of Chemicals in Drinking Water: Current State of Knowledge and Research Needs. Environmental Health Perspectives, 122, pp 213–221. Walker R (2012a): Managing DBPs Under Challenging Conditions – A Utility Water Quality Manager's Perspective. In: Hrudey SE & Charrois, JWA (eds.) Disinfection ByProducts: Relevance to Human Health. London: IWA Publishing. Walker R (2012b): Managing DBPs Under Challenging Conditions – A Utility Water Quality Manager's Perspective. In: Disinfection By-Products: Relevance to Human Health, London, IWA Publishing. Wang X, Mao Y, Tang S, Yang H & Xie Y (2015): Disinfection Byproducts in Drinking Water and Regulatory Compliance: A Critical Review. Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering, 9, pp 3–15. Warton B, Heitz A, Zappia LR, Franzmann PD, Masters D, Joll CA, Alessandrino M, Allpike B, O'Leary B & Kagi RI (2007): Magnetic Ion Exchange Drinking Water Treatment in a LargeScale Facility. Journal of American Water Works Association, 99, pp 89–101. WHO (2008): Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. 3rd Edition incorporating the first and second addenda. Volume 1 Recommendations, Geneva, World Health Organisation. Zhao YY, Boyd J, Hrudey SE & Li XF (2006): Characterization of New Nitrosamines in Drinking Water Using Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Environmental Science & Technology, 40, pp 7636–7641.
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Kristiana I, Charrois JWA & Hrudey SE (2012): Research Overview, Regulatory History and Current Worldwide Status of DBP Regulations and Guidelines. In: Hrudey SE & Charrois JWA (eds.) Disinfection By-Products: Relevance to Human Health. London: IWA Publishing.
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MIXED LIQUOR SCREENING TO PREVENT FOULING IN A MEMBRANE BIOREACTOR WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT Screening options investigated and implemented by TRILITY at Victor Harbor to overcome cotton fouling N Hughes, L Moran, A Connell, P de Groot
ABSTRACT The Victor Harbor membrane bioreactor plant has suffered significant operational issues caused by the agglomeration and braiding of fibrous materials. Previously, rectification was achieved by removing and physically cleaning the membranes, which was a costly and high-risk process. This paper discusses the different options trialled and implemented by TRILITY to reduce the concentration of fibrous material. Mixed liquor screening was found to be the most effective method with pilot trials successfully removing solids at a rate of 17kg/m2/hr and improving filterability of the screened mixed liquor. A full-scale solution has since been implemented at the site and is currently undergoing optimisation with expected long-term results of increased membrane life and reduced frequency of physical cleans.
INTRODUCTION TRILITY operates the Victor Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant (VHWWTP) in South Australia under a Design, Build, Operate and Maintain (DBOM) agreement with SA Water. The submerged membrane bioreactor (SMBR) treatment process has an ultimate capacity of 5.1 MLD and utilises Kubota flat sheet membranes in a double-deck formation. Plant operations commenced in 2005 and since this time the agglomeration and braiding of fibrous material in the mixed liquor has caused significant operational challenges. This site has experienced issues in achieving the required membrane flux, reduced membrane life and high treated water turbidity at times due to premature membrane failure.
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Figure 1. Fibrous braids on membrane permeate tubes (left); and clean membrane permeate tubes (right). In August 2008, plant operations reached a critical point that required all membranes to be removed from tanks and physically cleaned. It was during this process that the full extent of the ragging and fouling across the membranes was realised with the majority of the top-deck membranes rendered inoperative. Figure 1 illustrates the degree of braiding that was experienced in the plant, with a comparison between heavily braided and clean membrane permeate tubes. The cotton braiding experienced in the plant originates from smaller fibrous suspended solids, commonly found in sanitary products, and cellulose fibres that enter the plant. Under the highly agitated conditions of the bioreactors and membrane tanks, it is these fibres that readily agglomerate to form braids. The mechanical integrity of these braids has been found to be unaffected by chemical treatment with sodium hypochlorite or weak acids, nor are they biodegradable. The braided material blocks the membrane plates, inhibiting the coarse air scouring channel that controls the biological layer on the membrane, potentially resulting in caking on the membrane surface.
The fibrous materials that braid together were also found to contain fine abrasive material in the form of fine grit. These braids rub against the membrane with the movement of the mixed liquor and air, and weaken the integrity of the membrane plate. Figure 2 is a membrane plate that was removed from service, which shows the effects of a blocked coarse air-scouring channel and the resulting caking that can occur.
Figure 2. Membrane plate removed from service.
Technical Papers The physical cleans have since been repeated on an annual basis. While these enable the removal of the braiding and maintain membrane operability, the cleaning operations run for periods of up to two weeks for each of the two membrane trains, they limit plant performance, they involved managing a number of subcontractors on site undertaking high-risk work and they are a substantial cost. Hence in terms of safety, plant operability and cost, a more effective solution was needed.
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS In order to remove the fibrous suspended solids from the mixed liquor, several different plant locations and screen types were considered. The ease of retrofitting the proposed solution to the existing plant with minimal operational interruptions was one of the most important factors.
Installation of secondary inlet screening had the advantage of being easily retrofit due to the plant setup and existing space available, however it would require multiple, large units to enable screening of the entire inlet channel. Secondly, the smaller aperture size required to remove the fibrous material would simultaneously remove some of the organic load, which in turn would require higher chemical dose rates to replace the removed carbon sources and achieve the same level of nutrient removal. Inlet screens of any form were also disadvantageous as they could not reduce the fibrous material that had already accumulated within the plant. It order to remove this existing accumulation of fibrous materials from the mixed liquor it was evident that the chosen solution needed to include screening of the mixed liquor. This could either be achieved by screening the mixed liquor upon entering the membrane tanks utilising travelling band screens, or a side stream could be taken from the existing return activated sludge (RAS) line, filtered and returned.
A side-stream filtration process was considered highly favourable due to the smaller filtration unit required as a result of the reduced filtrate flow and consequently smaller required screen size. By taking the side stream from the RAS line, this also meant that the filtration unit could be installed externally to the bioreactor and membrane tanks. This was advantageous as it meant no plant operations would be interrupted throughout the installation and only a simple tap-in would be required to start up the filtration process. The side-stream screening process also supported the work done by Stefanski et al. (2011), which suggested to prevent the ragging and braiding of the fibrous suspended solids, the fibrous suspended solids do not need to necessarily be completely removed, rather reduced to a lower concentration such that the degree of braiding and ragging is potentially eliminated.
using a header tank and overflow weir to ensure even distribution. As the mixed liquor flows over the inclined screen, any solids are collected while the permeate passes through and is collected under the unit. A pneumatic piston drives two spray arms located above and below the screen. These spray bars move up and down the screen intermittently at a predetermined rate dependent on the rate of solids deposited on the screen. This both cleans the screen and pushes the collected solids into a solids collection hopper at the end of the unit. Due to the high water content of the solids, a dewatering unit would typically be used. For the purpose of these trials the solids were allowed to drain overnight while the filtration unit was off, which resulted in solids of 7â€“11%. Overall the pilot trial proved to be successful and there were no major operational issues encountered with the filtration of the mixed liquor. Throughout the period several different screens of different aperture size were trialled including a 125, 250, 500, 750 and 1000 micron. Key results from these trials are shown in Table 1. The 125 and 250 micron screens were found to be too fine and were restrictive in terms of the flux. It was also found that the two screens were removing mixed liquor as well as fibrous materials, with a reduction in mixed liquor of approximately 40% calculated for the 250 micron screen.
To confirm the effectiveness of screening the mixed liquor and determine an appropriate screen aperture size, a 0.3m2 filtration unit was installed on site. This unit screened mixed liquor taken directly from one of the bioreactors and was operated intermittently over a period of three months.
Pilot results showed the 1000 micron screen was too large to effectively remove the fibrous materials. This was also noticed during operations with the downstream pump station, which returned the permeate to the process, continually blocking up and requiring regular cleaning to remove the build-up of fibrous materials.
The filtration unit operated by passing mixed liquor over an inclined screen
In terms of solids removal per hour it can be seen that the 500 micron
Table 1. Key pilot trial results. Screen size (micron)
Solids removal (kg/hr)
Solids removal (kg/m /hr)
Flux (m /hr/m ) 3
Improvement in filterability index 2 minute
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Improving efficiency of the existing inlet screens was explored by reducing one of the three 3mm inlet screw screens to a 2mm aperture. This was trialled for three months during which a minimal difference in removal efficiency was observed. Due to the lack of screening in the upstream pump stations and network, it was seen that further reduction in the inlet screens below 2mm would be high risk and introduce further operational issues.
Screening the mixed liquor prior to the membrane train inlets was advantageous in that the entire mixed liquor volume would be screened. However, the flow rate into the membrane tanks is equivalent to the plant inlet flow rate plus the RAS flow rate, which can be four to six times the inlet flow rate. To accommodate this large flow, the mixed liquor filtration system would be relatively large, difficult to retrofit, have limited access for any maintenance or troubleshooting and would require a shutdown and partial drainage of half of the plant at a time in order to install.
determine the base line concentration of fibrous material. On average, the CSS500 concentration was found to be 150 mg/L in bioreactor 1 and 172 mg/L in bioreactor 2. Following commissioning the filtration unit was operated intermittently while the equipment was optimised. During this period, large volumes of highly braided fibrous solids were observed being removed by the filtration system. After one month of operations, the average CSS500 concentration in bioreactor 1 and 2 was 104.6 and 156.9 mg/L respectively, equating to a decrease of 30% in bioreactor 1 and 9% in bioreactor 2. The average CSS500 concentration in the permeate of the filtration unit was calculated to be 1.7mg/L, which equates to a removal efficiency of approximately 98%. Figure 4 compares two separate CSS500 analysis taken from the feed and permeate of the filtration system. Figure 3. Installed side-stream filtration unit. screen performed best, followed by the 750 micron screen. The 500 micron screen was also noted to have the added advantage of a considerable improvement in the filterability of the screened mixed liquor. This has the potential to reduce membrane fouling and increase the peak capacity, both of which may contribute to an extension in membrane life.
FULL-SCALE PLANT APPLICATION A critical analysis was carried out by various TRILITY business groups to compare both the side-stream filtration unit and the pre-membrane tank screening option. This considered many factors such as operability, occupational health and safety, maintenance, flexibility and whole of life cost, which the two different options were scored against accordingly. The side-stream filtration unit proved to be the highest rating solution. This had many advantages over the premembrane tank screening option which included having an interchangeable, sub 1000 micron screen aperture size, the ability to run intermittently without affecting plant operations, and it would potentially increase the filterability of the mixed liquor over time. In terms of installation the side-stream filtration unit was also superior due to its ease to retrofit to the existing plant structure without affecting plant operations.
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A 3m2, 500 micron side-stream filtration unit was subsequently designed and installed on site in February 2014. The filtration unit screens the mixed liquor, which is taken directly from the RAS lines and has a hydraulic capacity of up to 8L/s. The unit is connected to the RAS lines such that the mixed liquor can be taken from either membrane train. The screened mixed liquor is pumped back into the same RAS line and the captured solids are dewatered and then transferred into bins for external disposal. There are future plans to incorporate this waste into the plantâ€™s existing sludge wasting lines to then be dried in the lagoons on site. Figure 3 shows the finished installation of the side-stream filtration unit.
RESULTS In order to measure the effectiveness of the side-stream filtration unit, the current level of fibrous suspended solids in the plant needed to be determined. This was achieved using the published method by Stefanski et al. (2011), which measures the concentration of coarse suspended solids (CSS500). The measurement involved passing a mixed liquor sample through a 500 micron sieve and then drying and measuring the retained solids. Mixed liquor samples were routinely taken from each bioreactor and the corresponding RAS lines for a period of eight months to
In the second month of operations it was noted that the decrease in the CSS500 concentrations of both bioreactor 1 and 2 appeared disproportionate. Further investigations discovered this was due to poor compactor performance, with the majority of concentrated solids being fed back to the plant at an average concentration of 1,195 mg/L. Optimisation and rectification works are currently underway to improve the performance of the compactor. Throughout the operational period of the filtration unit, there have been no adverse or negative effects on the overall performance of the plant. The mixed liquor suspended solid concentration has remained at the usual operational level with no changes to the current sludge wasting schedule. This confirms that the solids removed by the filtration unit are predominantly fibrous and no significant amount of mixed liquor is being removed. To date, there has been no improvement to the filterability of the plant; however, it is hoped once the operational refinements are complete there will be a gradual improvement similar to what was observed in the pilot trials. Since the commissioning of the sidestream filtration unit, TRILITY estimates that 4.5 tonnes of dry material has been removed from the mixed liquor, which is similar to the quantity removed during an annual cleaning operation. This reduced
Figure 4. CSS500 samples before and after side-stream filtration unit.
This has the potential to save up to $100,000 every two years in maintenance costs. Additionally, as the membranes will not be subjected to the harsh operating conditions previously experienced, it is expected that the life of the membranes will also be extended. The potential cost saving of the membrane life extension is in the order of $500,000 to $1,000,000. Apart from the potential plant operability and cost savings, the installation of the side-stream filter will also significantly decrease the occupational health and safety risks associated with the annual physical clean of the membrane tanks. To date, these works have involved many highrisk tasks including working at heights, crane operations, biological exposure and working in confined spaces. While TRILITY has not had an incident in relation to this, by reducing the need for these activities, any risks are averted.
CONCLUSION The installation of a side-stream filtration unit has been shown to successfully remove a large quantity of fibrous suspended solids from the mixed liquor of a SMBR plant. The removal of this material has the potential to avert the need for physical cleaning in the future and possibly prolong the life of the installed membranes. Following the current optimisation program, the filter unit will be able to operate intermittently and with minimal operator intervention. Based on the observed results it is
expected to see further reductions in concentration of fibrous material throughout the VHWWTP, which will provide increased confidence that the membrane life and performance will not be impaired by ragging and braiding. This paper was Highly Commended at Ozwater’15 in Adelaide.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Authors would like to acknowledge the work done by Tim Grosser through the pilot trial period and SA Water for their support during testing and optimisation. They would also like to acknowledge the Victor Harbor Process Controllers for their assistance and the countless number of mixed liquor samples collected.
THE AUTHORS Nicole Hughes (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Process Support Engineer at the Adelaide Desalination Plant, where she is involved with plant optimisation, troubleshooting and project delivery. Throughout her five years in the water industry she has been extensively involved in the operations of TRILITY’s South Australian water and wastewater treatment sites. Nicole was also involved in the upgrade of the Victor Harbor WWTP and commissioning of the Mundaring WTP in Western Australia. Luke Moran graduated from Adelaide University in 2004 with a double degree in Chemical Engineering and Economics and has since worked in the water industry for nine years.
Luke currently works for TRILITY as an Operations Support Engineer for the South Australian region. This role involves developing and implementing improvement programs into existing operations, operational trouble shooting, providing monthly water quality reports and invoices to TRILITY’s clients, and the optimisation of TRILITY Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities. Alice Connell is a Process Engineer at TRILITY with five years’ experience in the water industry. Starting out as an Operations Support Engineer, she was closely involved with the operation and optimisation of TRILITY’s operating contracts in South Australia, including the Victor Harbor WWTP. Alice has since been involved with various D&C and O&M tenders and is currently working on the Redcliffe STP rehabilitation project. Phil de Groot is an Operations Manager responsible for the Wastewater Operations Team SA group at TRILITY. He has almost 38 years of experience in the water industry. In his 20 years of service with TRILITY he began as a Process Controller for the Riverland Water WTPs, where he was integral to the commissioning of this $130 million project.
REFERENCES Stefanski M, Kennedy S & Judd S (2011): The Determination and Origin of Fibre Clogging in Membrane Bioreactors. Ovivo Water. West Bromwich, UK.
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concentration of fibrous material will reduce the braiding or ragging potential, which in turn reduces the need to remove and clean the membranes.
REAL-TIME UV/VIS MONITORING FOR PROTECTION OF ADVANCED WASTEWATER TREATMENT PROCESSES Experiences at a pump station at the outlet of an industrial subdivision with an online in-situ UV/Vis spectrometer L Sutherland-Stacey, J van den Broeke, J Briggs, L Mills
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Industrial and trade wastes have the potential to cause process problems in receiving biological wastewater treatment plants and advanced water reuse plants. In this paper we describe experiences in real-time monitoring of wastewater at a pump station at the outlet of an industrial subdivision with an online in-situ UV/Vis spectrometer. Trade waste discharges were detected and characterised by the equipment and related to process problems in the receiving treatment plant. Investigation upstream led to identification of a non-compliant industry and cessation of illicit discharges. Keywords: UV/Vis, trade-waste, online monitoring, influent, WWTP.
INTRODUCTION The effective operation of primary, secondary and tertiary treatment processes depends to a large extent on the presentation of treatable wastewater at the plant inlet. Arrival of either untreatable wastewater or unusually high quantities of treatable wastewater may result in costly process failure, for example by disrupting the biological processes in the plant. A wide variety of industrial chemicals are known to be inhibitory to biomass (Johnson, 1983; Manusadzianas et al., 2003; Chen, 2008). Detection and quantification of intermittent and short-lived discharges within the bulk wastewater matrix is complicated and traditional grab or composite sampling techniques, while widely used, may not properly quantify the variability in wastewater pollutant loading (Ort et al., 2010). This can lead to uncertainty around the causes of treatment process upsets.
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A variety of online techniques are available to continuously detect changes in wastewater treatability. Online biomonitors allow for non-specific detection of toxic contaminants by automatically monitoring stress indicators or mortality of test organisms (Vanrolleghem et al., 1993; Inui et al., 2001; Melidis et al., 2005). Such devices have shown promise for detection of discrete toxic discharges. De Hoogh et al. (2006) performed targeted sampling and laboratory analysis of river water to investigate non-specific toxicity alarms based on swimming behaviour of Daphnia magna, resulting in identification of four unusual industrial chemicals in the river water, which was suggestive of dumping. A comparable case is described by van der Schalie et al. (2001) in which monitoring of the effluent of a groundwater treatment facility identified several incidents of elevated metal concentrations (Al, As). Geenens and Thoeye (1998) used an online activated sludge respirometer to investigate incidences of total nitrification inhibition at a WWTP and identified the cause to be slugs of toxic influent from industry within the catchment. Notwithstanding these notable successes, the use of continuous online screening for influent toxicity remains limited. To the authorsâ€™ knowledge, online screening is not carried out routinely in any WWTP in New Zealand or Australia. This may be partly because maintenance requirements for biological detection systems in unscreened wastewater applications are high due to sample pre-filtration requirements (Inui et al., 2001) and biomass mortality issues. Non-biological monitoring techniques may address some of the operational barriers to wider screening for influent treatability. For example, Hoes et al. (2009) have made use of fibre optic cables
deployed within stretches of sewers to detect localised variations in temperature, some of which were found to be associated with illicit discharges. UV/ Vis absorption derivative spectroscopy (Langergraber et al., 2004, 2006) can provide indications of trade wastes that absorb ultra violet or visible light, some of which may be damaging to receiving plant biomass. The use of UV/Vis methods can be advantageous in unscreened sewage applications as the systems are more robust and memory-less. UV/Vis absorption measurement quantifies the attenuation of light by a sample at different wavelengths. The measured reduction in light intensity at different wavelengths is related to all of the dissolved chemicals that absorb light according to the Beer-Lambert Law and scattering of light by particulate material (Huber and Frost, 1998). UV/Vis methods have been used to estimate standard municipal wastewater quality parameters such as chemical oxygen demand (COD), suspended solids (TSS), nitrate (NO3) (Langergraber et al., 2003; Torres and Bertrand-Krajewski, 2008; Rieger et al., 2004) and hydrogen sulphide (Sutherland-Stacey et al., 2008). In this paper we report on our experiences using online UV/Vis methods to identify the source of contamination impacting a 7.5 ML/d advanced water reuse plant that has recently been commissioned in Victoria, Australia. The plant receives sewage from the Oyster Cove domestic catchment (2.4 ML/d) and the Corio West industrial subdivision (3.3 ML/d) along with wastewater from an adjacent petrochemical refinery (1.8 ML/d). The wastewater passing through the Corio West PS is a mixture of domestic wastewater, slaughterhouse effluent and smaller discharges from a number of trade waste customers. Times
Technical Papers of high loading from the slaughterhouse were easily identified from the UV/Vis measurements because of the distinct absorption peak of haemoglobin at around 450nm (for a discussion of detection of haemoglobin in wastewater with online UV/Vis methods see Sutherland-Stacey et al. (2009). In the Corio West PS location slaughterhouse discharges occur daily, usually during the afternoon. The advanced water reuse plant comprises: • Screening/grit removal; • A secondary activated sludge biological treatment process (35% anoxic volume, 20-day sludge age) with conventional circular clarifiers and associated solids handling systems; and
The plant is unique in Australia in terms of the proportion of industrial influent being co-treated with domestic wastewater to Class A standard (up to 50%, allowing for the Corio West industrial contributions). The advanced tertiary process is vulnerable to secondary process upsets and breakthrough of organic carbon compounds and relies on stable performance of the WWTP. The absence of primary sedimentation upstream of the secondary biological process means that rapid changes in influent load can impact the secondary process within a very short timeframe, with limited time to detect and respond. If the secondary process does not perform well, then large amounts of untreated organics may be present in the secondary effluent. High contaminant concentration in the secondary effluent can influence the downstream UV transmissivity, which may reduce the efficacy of UV disinfection, increase the necessary chlorine dose, affect pH stability and potentially lead to RO membrane fouling. This means that good performance of the biological process is essential for providing good enough quality effluent to supply the AWTP. During commissioning it became apparent that the WWTP was failing to consistently meet the target concentrations for feed to the AWTP. On occasions effluent quality from the secondary treatment process would
On-site investigations of these process failures failed to identify any onsite cause of the problems and led to the hypothesis that some or all of these problems might relate to untreatable industrial waste being discharged from the Corio industrial subdivision.
MONITORING METHODOLOGY Little information about the nature of industrial material originating in the catchment of the WWTP/AWTP was available. The major industry in the Corio West catchment is a slaughterhouse. Composite sampling during earlier pilot testing had not identified any unusual loading patterns in the subdivision or risk attached to the slaughterhouse effluent. In this work an automated monitoring station was deployed to a pump station (PS) at the outflow point of the Corio West industrial subdivision, and immediately upstream of the WWTP/AWTP, to investigate the catchment effluent. The station included a submersible online UV/Vis spectrometer (spectro::lyser, s::can Messtechnik GmbH). The spectrometer measures the absorption of ultra-violet and visible light at 2.5 nm increments between 200 and 700 nm and may be programmed to sample as frequently as every 20 seconds. The spectrometer function has been described in detail by Langergraber et al. (2003). In the configuration used in this work the spectrometer is not deployed directly into the waste stream. This is because the fibres suspended in the wastewater in the PS sump would quickly tangle and accrete around the instrument, eventually blocking the measurement path and make reliable measurements impossible. Access to the PS sump for manual unclogging represents an occupational health and safety risk, so frequent maintenance is not desirable. Instead, a sample of wastewater was reticulated to the spectrometer every two minutes using a specialised wastewater sampling pump (SDU, DCM Process Control). The pump head self-cleans with an aggressive air purge after every delivery. Only the intake head (ø76 mm x 485 mm, 4.6 kg) is deployed in the hazardous environment
and, for maintenance, it may be easily winched to surface level through a small portal cut in the PS cover plate, leaving the monitoring station on the surface. Intermittent discharges from industrial or trade waste customers may be detected from unusual changes in the characteristics of the time-resolved derivative UV/Vis measurements (Langergraber et al., 2004 and 2006). Derivative spectra provide information about the slope of the spectrum and give better insight into its component parts, e.g. showing a subtle deformation due to the presence of a foreign compound not usually present in the waste matrix. The derivative spectrum is also largely insensitive to changes in solids concentration – in comparison to single wavelength absolute absorption measurements. After an initial data collection period, the recorded UV/Vis spectra were automatically processed to calculate 1st derivatives of the absorbance spectrum for pre-defined wavelength bands. The derivative spectra were calculated with a finite differencing method. No extra signal filtering or smoothing is employed because the absorption spectra measurements provided by the spectrometer software are already the average of a number of lamp flashes. The standard deviation of a derivative measurement calculated in this way is then of order 0.1 Abs/m/nm for the 2mm path length spectrometer used in this work. In comparison, the variability in derivative spectra typically encountered in wastewater applications can be two orders of magnitude larger. A quality control step was used to discard measurements affected by air ingress into the pump or temporary blockages – both of which also generate outlier derivative spectra. While UV/Vis derivative measurements provide a continuous record of changes to the wastewater matrix, additional information is required in order to understand the details of the change. Targeted laboratory analysis of wastewater samples, obtained at times that the UV/Vis derivative measurement suggests are unusual, is therefore required. To facilitate efficient sample collection, the monitoring station control computer was connected by a digital relay to a standard glass bottle refrigerated discrete auto sampler and programmed to trigger sample collection in the event the presence of a non-
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• An Advanced Water Treatment Plant (AWTP). Wastewater is treated to Class A standard for non-potable reuse in the refinery and Class C for local irrigation.
decline markedly, indicating some form of process upset placing the AWTP process at risk. Additionally, unexpected and rapid fouling of the UV sterilisation lamp sleeves resulted in higher than expected power requirements.
Technical Papers only. An additional weak but distinct absorption peak at 360 nm differentiates these two discharges from the previous four events.
Figure 1. 1st derivative of UV/Vis absorption at 265 nm (blue) and 400 nm (red) for two one-week monitoring periods. Five events with very large UV/Vis gradients at 265 nm are indicated with labels A–E. Trigger set point of -7Abs/m/nm for the automatic sampler is the dotted line.
standard industrial discharge was implied by a derivative UV/Vis measurement far outside the normal variability of the waste stream (again following Langergraber et al., 2004 and 2006). The auto-sampler was also triggered at pre-determined times to sample the baseline diurnal and weekly variability. All samples were tested in the first instance for standard wastewater parameters: chemical oxygen demand, both of the bulk sample and with a 0.45 um glass fibre pre-filtration (COD, CODf) and total suspended solids (TSS) (APHA 2005). Samples that exhibited a distinct “petrochemical” odour (E & F, discussed in the results section), were also tested for volatile organic compounds (VOC) and for semi-volatile organic compounds (USEPA 8260 and 8270).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The UV/Vis derivative spectra analysis methodology flagged not only the expected deviations related to daytime slaughterhouse activity (for example, distinct positive upwards trending in the derivative signal at 400 nm in Figure 1), but also a second distinct, but intermittent, signal related to a suspected non-municipal early morning discharge (sudden downwards spikes in derivative UV/Vis signal over a range of wavelengths including 265 nm, also Figure 1).
during the monitoring period. The changes in the UV/Vis absorption spectra vary between events, with only some commonalities for all events. The trigger point for defining detection of this outlier was an increasingly negative gradient at 265 nm, so it is not surprising that all events (A–F) exhibit a substantial increase in UV absorption in the UV range 200–270 nm. Events A–D also involve a general increase in absorption against the background measurements immediately before and after the event. Such an increased absorption across the entire spectrum is typical for the presence of elevated levels of particulate matter or non-polar emulsion (Huber and Frost, 1998). Events A and B appear to have an additional shoulder around 280 nm, suggesting the presence of an additional compound or functional group. Meanwhile events E & F exhibit no change in background visible light absorption at all, suggesting the presence of water-soluble material
WWTP and AWTP process data was analysed following events A–F. Identification of any direct correspondence between aeration air usage in the WWTP biological process and the industrial contaminant is confounded during working hours by the already high slaughterhouse loadings and intermittent gating of influent from the Corio subdivision. This interference is not present at night-time when all wastewater from Corio is accepted by the plant and little slaughterhouse wastewater is present. Events that occurred overnight (A & D–F) caused no noticeable increase in blower demand, suggesting that the industrial contaminant is not an attractive food source to the plant biomass. It is, therefore, possible that this material passes through the biological process without modification and results in poor effluent quality. The intensity of penetrating the UV disinfection lamp sleeves decreased markedly – some 20% in one week – following the events (Figure 3). Inspection of the lamp sleeves indicated an accretion of white material that was partially opaque to UV light. Given the timing of the discharges and the observed strong UV absorption of the unknown material in the PS, there were suspicions that the unknown material might be penetrating the biological process and accumulating on the
The raw UV/Vis measurements that corresponded to the early-morning signal were manually examined in an attempt to gain insight into the cause of this sudden change in influent character. The difference between UV/Vis readings before and during the outlier events were calculated to obtain an estimate of the pure absorption spectra of the contaminant. Figure 2 gives an example of the extracted contaminant spectra for the first six outlier events observed
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Figure 2. Estimate of the pure UV/Vis spectra of the unknown contaminant (red) obtained by differencing measurements made during (blue) and immediately after (dashed blue) an outlier event.
Technical Papers no records of commercial use of these chemicals in the catchment existed. Instead it was decided to make use of the detailed time distribution of the outlier events to assist with backtracking to source up the sewer network.
Figure 3. UV disinfection performance during the events Câ€“F. Intensity measured at a fixed point in the process water (blue) and process water transmisitivity (green). The UV intensity drops between points 1 and 2, even though the process water transmissivity and lamp power (not shown) remains constant. Intensity from only one duty bank is plotted for simplicity. sleeves. Therefore, identification of the source to preclude further discharges was deemed critical.
Standard methods COD testing of events E and F returned results of up to 9,000 mg/L, most of which was stored in the soluble form. This is significantly higher than the usual wastewater COD of up to 1200 mg/L in the Corio West PS, suggested by grab sampling (Table 1). COD results of these magnitudes are not usually encountered in domestic wastewaters. It was not clear that the plant biomass can suitably adapt to be able to assimilate the unusual and possibly non-polar materials. Therefore, more detailed analysis of the samples was performed in order to identify the substances present and to evaluate their potential impact. The initial assessment of the UV spectra recorded during the alarm periods (Figure 2) showed increased absorption in the UV part of the spectrum, with characteristic features visible at 350 nm and 270 nm. A review of UV/Vis spectra available in literature (Perkampus, 1992; Thomas and Burgess, 2007) revealed that the absorption peaks of the material contained in the sample were characteristic of compounds of low molecular aromatic nature. Therefore, the analytical methods for VOC and semivolatile organics were chosen for detailed chemical analysis of the samples.
No significant progress in identifying the source of the material could be made from this chemical analysis alone, as
The suspected organic contaminant (indicated from the derivative spectral measurement at 265 nm) was only ever detected overnight on weekdays and then, at most, once per day. This pattern is consistent with a small volume point source discharge. It was speculated that the contaminant was for the most part detected overnight for one or both of two reasons. It might be that during the day the discharge is diluted by the much larger flow from the slaughterhouse and is not detected. Alternatively, the industry may only discharge overnight, or the wet-well into which the discharge occurs might receive only a small flow and pump out only intermittently.
Table 1. Selected accredited laboratory standard quality parameter results obtained from the Corio West Pump Station. Samples E and F were triggered in response to a large gradient in the derivative spectra at 265 nm (UV/Vis spectra of these samples are given in Figure 2). Date/Time
COD (mg/L O2)
CODf (mg/L O2)
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After events A and B were observed, it was decided that there was sufficient evidence of illicit activity within the Corio industrial catchment to justify a grab sampling campaign. A trigger point was set to drive the auto sampler if any measurement of the UV/Vis derivative spectra at 265 nm was less than -7 Abs/m/nm (threshold indicated in Figure 1). This work was completed in time to obtain discrete samples of events E and F.
The VOC analysis of the same samples revealed the presence of ethylbenzene (1 mg/L), xylenes (10 mg/L), methylphenols (2 mg/L), acetone (50 mg/L) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (also known as DEHP) (5 mg/L), as well as smaller amounts of other benzenes (dichlorobenzene, toluene and naphthalene). The UV/Vis spectra of the different compounds are consistent with the GC observations. The total sum concentration of the substances identified by the VOC method was high enough to explain the absolute absorption of the spectra. These chemicals are neither standard components of municipal wastewater nor slaughterhouse effluent. They are more readily identifiable as industrial chemical precursors for manufacturing of more complex organic chemicals.
Figure 4 gives an alternative visualisation of the UV/Vis derivative spectra alarm signal and may be used to gain insight into the time distribution of events. The chart can be read in the same way as a seismogram: each circle represents the maximum derivative measurement in a 30-minute period; a line of circles (left to right) represents one day of measurements and subsequent days are plotted top to bottom. Large solid circles represent suspected trade waste discharge detected from the 1st derivative at 265 nm or 400 nm.
Technical Papers performed immediate inspections of wet-wells upstream of the monitoring location. By following traces of the white material a suspected point source was identified. A composite auto-sampler was installed at the suspect location and checked when the downstream monitoring station issued alarm warnings. This extra monitoring was undertaken at the start of April 2013 and an undiluted sample consistent with downstream observations was captured after an alarm event. The pure sample was sent for laboratory analysis and COD readings in excess of 80,000 mg/L-O2 were returned, along with breach conditions for various organic chemical constituents.
The non-compliant discharge was found to relate to manufacture of chemicals for use in the mining industry. The bulk of production at the discharge site was petrochemical polymers (reported to be ethyl-hexanoic acid) that are used in the manufacture of explosives. The factory attributed the non-compliance to a three-way valve being opened to the incorrect position. This caused a discharge of waste product at unpredictable times. After follow-up action by the local water authority, the customer made several changes to waste management procedures and installed additional storage and treatment tanks. The site has reverted to a batch discharge system and officials are now performing on-site analysis at their internal (NATA accredited) laboratory, as well as notifying the receiving authority prior to discharging.
Figure 4. Time distribution of alarm events generated by plotting a filled circle proportionate to the 30min maximum of the 1st derivative absorption at 265 nm (blue) and 400 nm (red) at the time (x-axis coordinate) and day (y-axis) of the measurement. Weekends are shaded; all events occurred during the working week. Inspection of the PS sump and collected samples immediately following outlier events (after event F and later) indicated a white oily material adhering to the sides of the wet-well. It appeared to be responsible for the elevated readings, and operations staff continued to report the material was characterised
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by a â€œhydrocarbonâ€? odour suggesting a commonality with previously obtained grab samples and completed VOC analysis. In one case the auto-sampler suction tube was completely blocked with this material. Following triggered events, compliance officers from the local water authority
Monitoring of the Corio West PS continued after the follow-up action (from 2013/04/15) and no further outlier events at 265 nm were detected (as indicated by the absence of early morning events in the lowest area of Figure 4). Plant operations reported no further UV sleeve degradation events occurred after the compliance action.
CONCLUSION The front-gate monitoring approach used in this work gives operations a small warning (about one hour at NWP) that trade waste is about to arrive at the plant. Before a monitoring system was available at NWP, operators may not have been aware that the plant had received difficult-to-treat industrial wastewater until indicators from the biological
Technical Papers and end-users in development, implementation and operation of (online) water quality monitoring systems. Joep holds a PhD in chemistry.
The industrial waste detected in this work appears to have been untreatable and the biological process was not able to fully assimilate the industrial contaminant. This may have resulted in untreated industrial chemicals presenting at the inlet to the AWTP and ultimately accreting on the UV lamp sleeves, decreasing their transmissivity. Fortunately, effluent monitoring prevented this water being taken up into the AWTP; however, if such breaches are not detected there is a real risk of damage to RO membranes.
Julian Briggs is the Expertise Leader for Water and Wastewater Treatment at Aurecon. He has over 20 years’ experience and specialises in the design of advanced treatment systems for wastewater and effluent reuse, with a particular interest in the impacts of wastewater characteristics on process performance.
This work clearly demonstrates the power of real-time non-specific UV/ Vis monitoring to protect advanced WWTP processes. However, more work is required to establish a methodology to link variability in UV/Vis absorption measurements to non-biodegradable, toxic or inhibitory substances. For example, many food processing wastewaters exhibit distinct UV/Vis absorption patterns but are not toxic to biological wastewater treatment processes. Therefore, at present, site-specific experience and time is required to train a UV/Vis alarm system, potentially resulting in false alarms. This limitation could be reduced by compilation of a database of UV/Vis absorption spectra of trade waste discharges. UV/ Vis absorption spectroscopy can also only detect compounds that absorb light, so could not, for example, detect many types of heavy metals. A side-by-side comparison of UV/Vis and biological alarming systems could better quantify the importance of this limitation.
THE AUTHORS Luke SutherlandStacey (email: luke@ dcmprocesscontrol.com) is a recent doctoral graduate from the University of Auckland. Luke’s expertise is in real-time and continuous measurement and modelling of highly variable environmental processes, particularly the impacts of rainfall and industrial wastes on water and wastewater systems. Joep van den Broeke has extensive experience in water quality and sensor related R&D and has worked with technology developers, suppliers
Laura Mills is pursuing an Engineering degree at the University of Auckland. APHA (2005): 2540 D. Total Suspended Solids Dried at 103-105˚C in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 21st Ed. pp 2-58–2-59. Chen Y, Cheng JJ & Creamer KS (2008): Inhibition of Anaerobic Digestion Process: A Review. Biosource Technology, 99, pp 4044–4064. Geenens D & Thoeye C (1998): The Use of an OnLine Respirometer for the Screening of Toxicity in the Antwerp WWTP Catchment Area. Water Science and Technology, 37, 12, pp 213–218. Hoes OAC, Schilperoort RPS, Luxemburg WMJ, Clemens FHLR & van de Giesen NC (2009): Locating Illicit Connections in Storm Water Sewers Using Fiber-Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing. Water Research, 43, 2, pp 5187–5197.
A Method to Define Alarm Parameters from Spectral Data. Water Science and Technology, 50, pp 13–20. Manusadzianas L, Balkelyte L, Sadauskas K, Blinova I, Pollumaa L & Kahtu A (2003): Ecotoxicological Study of Lithuanian and Estonian Wastewaters: Selection of the Biotests, and Correspondence Between Toxicity and Chemical-Based Indices. Aquatic Toxicology, 63, pp 27–41. Melidis P & Aivasidis A (2005): Biosensor for Toxic Detection and Process Control in Nitrification Plants. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 131, pp 658–663. Ort C, Lawrence MG, Reungoat J & Mueller JF (2010): Sampling for PPCPs in Wastewater Systems: Comparison of Different Sampling Modes and Optimization Strategies. Environmental Science & Technology, 44, 16, pp 6289–6296. Perkampus HH (1992): UV-VIS Atlas of Organic Compounds. VCH, Germany. Rieger L, Langergraber G, Thomann M, Fleischmann N & Siegrist H (2004): Spectral In-Situ Analysis of NO2, NO3, COD, DOC and TSS in the Effluent of a WWTP. Water Science and Technology, 50, 11, pp 143–152. Sutherland-Stacey L, Corrie S, Neethling A, Johnson I, Gutierrez O, Dexter R, Yuan Z, Keller J & Hamilton G (2008): Continuous Measurement of Dissolved Sulfide in Sewer Systems. Water Science and Technology, 57, pp 375–381. Sutherland-Stacey L, Dexter R, McWilliams B & Watson K (2009): Real-Time In-Situ Measurement of Haemoglobin in Wastewater. Water Science and Technology, 60, pp 1683–1689.
de Hoogh CJ, Wagenvoort AJ, Jonker F, van Leerdam JA & Hogenboom AC (2006): HPLCDAD and Q-TOF MS Techniques Identify Cause of Daphnia Biomonitor Alarms in the River Meuse. Environmental Science and Technology, 40, pp 2678–2685.
Torres A & Bertrand-Krajewski JL (2008): Partial Least Squares Local Calibration of a UV-Visible Spectrometer Used for In Situ Measurements of COD and TSS Concentrations in Urban Drainage Systems. Water Science and Technology, 57, pp 581–588.
Huber E & Frost M (1998): Light Scattering by Small Particles. Journal of Water Services Research and Technology-Aqua, 47, pp 87–94.
Thomas O & Burgess C (Eds) (2007): UV-Visible Spectrophotometry of Water and Wastewater, Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-444-53092-9.
Inui T, Tanaka Y, Okayasu Y & Tanaka H (2001): Application of Toxicity Monitor Using Nitrifying Bacteria to Sewage Systems. Water Science and Technology, 45, pp 271–278.
USEPA (1996): 8260B Volatile Organic Compounds by Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) in SW-846 Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/ Chemical Methods.
Johnson LD & Young JC (1983): Inhibition of Anaerobic Digestion by Organic Priority Pollutants. Water Pollution Control Federation, 55, pp 1441–1449. Langergraber G, van den Broeke J, Lettl W & Weingartner A (2006): Real-Time Detection of Possible Harmful Events Using UV/Vis Spectrometry. Spectroscopy Europe, 18, pp 19–22. Langergraber G, Fleischmann N & Hofstadter F (2003): A Multivariate Calibration Procedure for UV/VIS Spectrometric Quantification of Organic Matter and Nitrate in Wastewater. Water Science and Technology, 47, pp 63–71. Langergraber G, Weingartner A & Fleischmann N (2004): Time-Resolved Delta Spectrometry:
USEPA (1996): 8270D Semivolatile Organic Compounds by Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) in SW-846 Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/ Chemical Methods. Van der Schalie WH, Shedd TR, Knechtges PL & Widder MW (2001): Using Higher Organisms in Biological Early Warning Systems for Real-Time Toxicity Detection. Biosensors & Bioelectronics, 16, pp 457–465. Vanrolleghem PA, Kong Z, Rombouts G & Verstraete W (1993): An OnLine Respirographic Biosensor for the Characterization of Load and Toxicity of Wastewaters. Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, 59, pp 321–333.
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process (such as increased or reduced air demand, or variations in dissolved oxygen concentrations) or compliance testing indicated problems.
GROUNDWATER-DEPENDENT ECOSYSTEMS MANAGEMENT IN URBAN SETTINGS Development of conceptual hydrogeological models to demonstrate current understanding of hydrological processes that potentially influence GDE health T Cauchi, S Gaskill
Melbourne Water is responsible for managing waterways in the Port Phillip and Western Port region of Melbourne, Victoria. In fulfilling its role, it required further understanding of the groundwater-dependent features of waterway ecological assets and ecosystems within its catchments. To help deliver Melbourne Water’s Healthy Waterways Strategy and ultimately protect and improve the health of groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs), this project reviewed, assessed and prioritised GDEs identified previously by Melbourne Water. This was undertaken through a rigorous process that engaged relevant stakeholders and technical specialists. GDE sites were identified, assigned qualitative attributes and ranked using an innovative Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) approach. Short-listed GDEs were subject to further assessment prior to the establishment of long-term groundwater monitoring networks through a drilling investigation program and surface water monitoring. The dependence or ‘role’ of groundwater at each GDE site was considered through technical assessments, and conceptual hydrogeological models were developed for each GDE to provide an illustrative tool to demonstrate the current understanding of hydrological processes that potentially influence GDE health. GHD developed management strategies relating to the long-term management and assessment of data collected to monitor GDE health.
INTRODUCTION Melbourne Water is responsible for managing waterways in the Port Phillip and Western Port region of Melbourne,
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Victoria, including the Werribee, Maribyrnong, Yarra, Dandenong and Bunyip catchments. A key aspect of this role is the protection of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) which, in these catchments, occur primarily as wetlands and streams with inferred high reliance on groundwater. In managing GDEs, it is important to understand the hydrogeology of the catchments, interaction between groundwater and surface water, and the hydroecology of waterways and wetlands. These aspects help in the development of surface water and groundwater monitoring programs.
METHODOLOGY/ PROCESS GDE PRIORITISATION
Prior to commencement of this project, Melbourne Water had already established a process to identify and manage data pertaining to GDEs. GHD undertook a review of previously mapped GDEs in Melbourne Water’s service area to appraise available spatial datasets relevant to the GDE prioritisation process. A short-list of GDE sites was established through: • Undertaking a review of previous studies; • Interrogating Melbourne Water’s existing ‘GDE Catalogue’ and understanding existing management criteria; • Establishing supplementary prioritisation criteria in consultation with Melbourne Water; • Updating and modifying attributes from Melbourne Water’s existing ‘GDE Catalogue’; • Consideration of previously determined ‘high priority sites’;
• Undertaking Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) of prioritised sites; • Stakeholder engagement. The following sites were selected for further investigation from the prioritisation exercise: • Boneo Swamp; • Carrum and Seaford Swamps; • Truganina Swamp; • Deep Creek (two sites near Lancefield); • Western Port Bay. UNDERSTANDING MONITORING REQUIREMENTS
Hydrogeological technical assessments were conducted for each of the prioritised GDEs. These assessments helped to establish or develop the conceptual hydrological understanding at each site (illustrated through conceptual model diagrams) and appraise existing surface water and groundwater monitoring arrangements. The technical assessments outlined the current understanding of surface water, geology, hydrogeology (including groundwater levels, quality, flow systems, recharge and discharge processes), supported ecosystems and GDE threats. These technical assessments enabled the identification of data gaps and facilitated the development of water monitoring networks, which were designed for each GDE site, based on assessment findings. The objective of the designed monitoring networks was specifically to develop the understanding of potential impacts, address knowledge gaps and enable monitoring of GDE health. Bore design schematics and surface water monitoring point designs were prepared and appropriate automatic dataloggers procured for future deployment.
Technical Papers LICENSING AND PERMITS
Legislative permits were obtained in relation to planning, flora and fauna, and bore construction prior to undertaking on-site works. GHD prepared and lodged planning permit applications for the removal of vegetation associated with the drilling of each groundwater monitoring bore. This process presented a learning curve for the client, consultant and government, due to the recent update of the Victorian DEPI (2013) biodiversity assessment guidelines. GHD liaised with each Council throughout the application and approvals process, and administered the conditions of the approved permits as required. The requirements under the Coastal Management Act 1995 and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act 1988 were appraised and necessary permits were submitted and received. Bore construction licences were sought and received from Southern Rural Water (SRW) and each bore design complied with SRW’s licensing requirements. GHD applied for and received the appropriate consent from the roads authority to undertake works within road reserves. Traffic management plans were subsequently prepared in relation to those works. Stakeholder Engagement GHD coordinated engagement with relevant stakeholders at each GDE site, most notably at: • Western Port Bay, through development of a data sharing agreement with RMIT University;
Site Investigations Each groundwater bore location was drilled under a hydrogeologist’s supervision by an appropriately licensed driller. Automatic dataloggers were deployed by GHD and Melbourne Water at groundwater and surface water monitoring sites.
DISCUSSION AND RESULT ANALYSIS GDE PRIORITISATION
The GDE site prioritisation process involved a number of steps: Establishing prioritisation criteria In consultation with Melbourne Water,
• Ecological value; • Land management; • Aspects of Melbourne Water’s Healthy Waterways Strategy; • Land use; • Cultural heritage. Updating the GDE Catalogue Based on the criteria selected, the existing GDE Catalogue was updated to provide data relevant to the prioritisation process. This involved creation of several new fields applicable to each selected criterion, using DEPI and Melbourne Water datasets. New fields included: • Ecological value: detailing Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act 1999) status, FFG Act 1988 status, Ramsar listed status, Sites of Biodiversity Significance (SOBS) status; • Land management: database updated and reclassified to reflect current land management status; • Land use: database updated to reflect the current Urban Growth Boundary; • Cultural heritage: database field created based on site location in relation to Aboriginal Affairs Victoria (AAV) data. GDE Catalogue sub-set Prior to beginning the prioritisation analysis, the 441 GDE Catalogue sites were reduced to a sub-set of 299 using GIS techniques, by selecting high-priority sites belonging to the following categories: • High priority sites (i.e. sites of ‘high value and either high sensitivity and/or susceptibility’);
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Ecological value (EPBC) Ecological value (SOBS) Land management Healthy Waterways Strategy Land use
Figure 1. Weighting of attributes. Values for each of these criteria were subsequently reclassified based on the following rules: • EPBC Act 1999 status (present = negative); • SOBS status (present = positive); • Land management arrangements; • Melbourne Water land = positive; • Public land = neutral; • Private land = negative; • Melbourne Water Healthy Waterways Strategy (within = positive); • Land use (within = positive). The analysis and subsequent robustness testing were carried out to calculate a final value (score) for each site. The sub-set of 299 sites was then ranked based on the final scores (which were calculated by summing the results of the field/criterion scores multiplied by the relevant weighting). Stakeholder workshop The shortlist developed through the analysis, and the method and confidence levels of the approach, were shared with relevant stakeholders in a subsequent workshop. The workshop further prioritised the shortlist of priority sites obtained to ultimately identify five sites on which to undertake detailed hydrogeological investigations as part of this study, namely: • Boneo Swamp; • Carrum and Seaford Swamps; • Truganina Swamp; • Deep Creek (Lancefield area);
• Melbourne Water areas of interest.
• Western Port Bay.
Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA)
The MCDA process initially involved the weighting and reclassification of criteria and values within the GDE Catalogue. Figure 1 shows the weightings applied to the following criteria/fields, with greatest weight being placed on the EPBC Act 1999 status.
Through undertaking a legislative review and stakeholder engagements, GHD identified that the DEPI (2013) guidelines had been recently updated. Changes in the updated guidelines required the preparation of a planning permit for each site, for potential vegetation removal and subsequent permit approval now
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• Truganina Swamp, where access to existing monitoring bores was provided by a local chemical plant through a mutually beneficial data sharing arrangement.
the following criteria were selected to incorporate with the existing GDE Catalogue, as additional attributes for interrogation:
Technical Papers delegated to each respective Local Council, since each of the GDE sites contained some form of scattered native vegetation or was in close proximity to native vegetation. A number of lessons were learnt in the planning approvals process, as summarised below: • While each Council worked under the same planning legislation, their approach was not identical, potentially due to Councils’ limited understanding of the activities proposed and/or the appropriate response under the updated DEPI guidelines. Liaison with Councils to discuss the technical aspects helped to remove ambiguity of the proposed project activities;
Figure 2. Conceptual hydrological model of Seaford Swamp.
• While each Council had a statutory timeframe in which to respond to planning applications or request for information responses, most Councils did not adhere to these due to preexisting workloads and resource limitations. Submitting planning applications as soon as possible helped to minimise lead times in receiving responses from Council;
• The planning approvals process can be slow – allow up to 90 days from application submission to approval; • Recent revision of associated guidelines (DEPI, 2013) meant that Councils and consultants alike were unfamiliar with how to initially approach approval. If there is uncertainty, consult DEPI in the first instance for advice; • If there is uncertainty as to whether a planning permit is or is not required, a conservative approach would be to proceed with the approvals process, to provide the greatest likelihood of achieving project timeframes. Consider the requirement for ancillary approvals requirements relating to GDEs, such as: • The Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia; • Coastal Management Act 1995 consent;
Figure 3. Detailed conceptual hydrological model of Seaford Swamp. CONCEPTUAL HYDROGEOLOGICAL MODELS
Having identified the location and distribution of the priority GDE sites for this study, the first step that was considered in protecting and managing each GDE was to define the role of groundwater at each site through development or update of conceptual models of their ecological structure and function. For each site, textual and visual conceptual hydrogeological models were developed, focussing on aspects including: • Site location, topography and drainage; • Geology and geomorphology; • Hydrogeology (groundwater quality, flow systems, recharge/discharge, flux);
• FFG Act 1988;
• Supported ecosystems and groundwater dependence;
• Bore construction licences;
• GDE threats.
• Authority/consent from landowners, including the Roads Authority.
Figures 2 and 3 show the types of conceptual hydrological models developed
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for each priority GDE site. The dependence or ‘role’ of groundwater at each GDE site was considered through technical assessments and is summarised in Table 1, along with the major hydrological processes that potentially influence GDE health. MONITORING NETWORK DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
GDEs can be best protected in the long term through the development of groundwater management and monitoring plans with a level of detail commensurate to the perceived level of risk to the GDE and the level of protection required. Site walkovers were undertaken to consider target vegetation at each GDE site, as well as logistic considerations in terms of drilling rig access and adherence to licence/approvals conditions. Existing monitoring infrastructure (e.g. bores, surface water gauges) was incorporated in the network designs, where these were identified as being appropriate in achieving the project objectives.
Table 1. Inferred role of groundwater. GDE Site
Boneo Swamp (Tootgarook Wetlands)
Groundwater seepage from adjacent hydrogeological units maintains groundwater levels in the Quaternary Aquifer throughout the year.
Identified Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) are reliant on shallow groundwater levels.
Stormwater inputs from surrounding urban areas periodically flush shallow groundwaters, maintaining fresh groundwater qualities in the Quaternary Aquifer.
Identified Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) are reliant on shallow groundwater levels.
Groundwater from tidal, marine quality aquifers are hydraulically connected to regional water table aquifers, maintaining shallow groundwater levels.
Identified EVCs are likely to be reliant on shallow groundwater levels and saline groundwater quality.
Deep Creek (Musteys Bridge and Doggetts Bridge)
Stormwater inputs from surrounding urban areas periodically Groundwater contaminants have the flush shallow groundwaters, maintaining fresher groundwater potential to impact swamp water quality qualities in the Quaternary Aquifer. Without this periodic and EVC health. flushing, Seaford Swamp may be vulnerable to salinisation.
Western Port (Tooradin)
The dependence of the identified ecosystems upon groundwater is not well understood at Truganina Swamp.
Following the drilling, installation and development of each bore, In Situ Rugged TROLL 100 downhole dataloggers were deployed at each surface water and groundwater monitoring site. Dataloggers typically collect water level and temperature data on an hourly or six-hourly basis and are managed by Melbourne Water.
CONCLUSION Melbourne Water is now familiar with the technical, logistic and planning approval requirements relevant to the development of water monitoring networks. The method adopted can be applied to other Melbourne Water priority GDE sites using the updated ‘GDE Catalogue’.
This project established GDE monitoring networks at five sites in Melbourne Water’s service area. The collection of baseline data, periodic data download and review of collected data has commenced, with the objective of assessing potential GDE impacts.
THE AUTHORS Tony Cauchi (email: Tony. Cauchi@ghd.com) is a Chartered Professional Engineer and Senior Hydrogeologist with GHD, with over nine years’ consulting experience working directly with water industry clients in the Victorian and South Australian governments, Federal Government, mining and infrastructure sectors.
Local aquatic fauna rely on groundwater levels to be close to or above the bed level. Changes to the existing groundwater level regimes may result in habitat loss. Sarah Gaskill has over 20 years of experience in environmental water management. She worked for the Environment Agency (UK) in hydrology, abstraction management and groundwater wetland investigations for 15 years, before moving to Melbourne Water in 2009. At Melbourne Water she has continued to grow her knowledge in environmental water management, planning and delivering many projects relating to rivers and wetlands.
REFERENCES Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) (2013): Permitted Clearing Of Native Vegetation, Biodiversity Assessment Guidelines.
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A REVIEW OF ONSITE WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS IN WA Installations and failures of OWTS in rural or remote areas in Western Australia from 1997 to 2011 M Gunady, N Shishkina, H Tan, C Rodriguez
ABSTRACT Onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) are widely used in Western Australia (WA) to treat and dispose of household wastewater in areas where centralised sewerage systems are unavailable. Septic tanks, aerobic treatment units (ATUs) and composting toilets with greywater systems are among the most well-established and commonly used OWTS. However, there are concerns that some OWTS installed in WA are either performing below expected standards or failing. Poor performance of OWTS is often attributed to inadequate installation, inadequate maintenance, poor public awareness, insufficient local authority resources, ongoing wastewater management issues, or inadequate adoption of standards, procedures and guidelines. This paper reviews the installations and failures of OWTS in WA. Keywords: Onsite wastewater systems; wastewater management; environmental health; monitoring; maintenance.
INTRODUCTION Onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) are widely utilised to treat and dispose of household wastewater in areas where centralised reticulated sewerage systems are unavailable. Septic tanks, aerobic treatment units (ATU) and composting toilets with greywater treatment are among the more commonly used OWTS in Australia and elsewhere (Whitehead et al., 1999). In the 1990s it was estimated that approximately 20% of Australian households relied on septic systems for domestic wastewater management (Martens and Geary, 1998). By 2001, it was estimated that more than a million OWTS were installed in Australia, with the greatest number in New South Wales (300,000), followed by Victoria (250,000) and Queensland
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(250,000). In Western Australia (WA), there were 125,000 OWTS installed by 2001 (Beal et al., 2005). Figure 1 represents the numbers of OWTS installations, while the percentages on the figure indicate the proportion of unsewered properties in each state across Australia. These figures are likely to increase along with Australian population growth, the continuous development of rural and unsewered urban regions, and the acceptance that, Figure 1. Distribution of OWTS in Australia in 2001. (Source: Beal et al., 2005) where the situation rules out other options can contribute to eutrophication of for managing sanitation, OWTS are a sensitive water bodies and create algae cost-effective and long-term option for blooms. Failing OWTS are one of the meeting public health and environmental main causes of contamination in streams, health goals if properly installed, operated lakes, rivers, wetlands and groundwater and maintained (Carroll et al., 2004). due to the release of nutrients and pathogens into the environment (Ahmed The current average household size et al., 2005). Various studies worldwide in Australia is 2.6 people. Assuming and in Australia have shown that poorly each person produces approximately performing or failing OWTS have 200L of wastewater per day, a total of resulted in degradation of soil and approximately 31 tonnes of nitrogen, 8.4 tonnes of phosphorus, and 70 Ă— water quality (Beal et al., 2005; Bremer 1010 faecal coliform organisms will be and Harter, 2012; US EPA, 1997). discharged to the OWTS (Beal et al., In addition, effluent from 2005). Nutrients and pathogens are underperformed or failed OWTS may released into the environment when pose a public health risk, particularly OWTS fail and the public health and to susceptible population groups such environmental consequences could be as children, the elderly, or people significant, considering that OWTS failure with compromised immune systems. in Australia has been reportedly high, Contamination of drinking water or at up to 40% (Ahmed et al., 2005). recreational waters by failing OWTS IMPACTS OF POORLY may increase concentration of pathogens PERFORMING OWTS that may impact on human health (Carroll et al., 2004). Untreated effluent lying Undoubtedly, poorly performing or in gutters or pooling in public places failing OWTS have economic impacts provides an elevated environmental on the owners and pose environmental risk for the transmission of diseases, impacts due to nutrients that may such as those listed overleaf: disrupt ecosystem balance; they
Technical Papers • Gastroenteritis from bacteria such as Salmonella, or viruses such as rotavirus or protozoa (e.g. Giardia);
management issues; poor maintenance procedures, and inadequate governance (Martens and Geary, 1998).
centralised DOHWA Data Management System and Local Government (LG), from their own data systems.
• Bacterial dysentery;
The following causes have been identified as the major reasons for OWTS failure (Sorell Council, 2005):
LG is responsible for the approval of an OWTS producing less than 540L/ day of wastewater, while non-domestic and commercial OWTS producing more than 540L/day are referred to DOHWA for approval. Inspections of installed OWTSs are the responsibility of the LG Environmental Health Officer (EHO), who is required to inspect the OWTS and ensure that installation complies with the approval and conditions issued either by LG or by DOHWA.
• Typhoid fever from Salmonella typhi; • Polio from enterovirus;
• Lack of area on the properties for the treatment and disposal of wastewater;
• Infectious hepatitis (hepatitis A);
• Undersized or inadequate wastewater treatment units or absorption trenches;
• Skin infections. Pooling of effluent creates a nuisance by emitting offensive odours, affecting the amenity of an area. Spray irrigation of untreated greywater or septic tank effluent can result in aerosol transmission of pathogens (disease-causing organisms). Irrigation of food crops with effluent or greywater can cause diseases such as gastroenteritis or serious, life-threatening illnesses. Contact with lawn areas recently irrigated with untreated wastewater may also result in skin infections or gastroenteritis via direct or indirect ingestion of organisms (Sorell Council, 2005).
• Poor maintenance, such as failure to desludge septic tanks; • A change in occupancy from occasional to permanent; • Inappropriate location of absorption trenches; that is, in areas that are poorly drained, subject to flooding or high seasonal water table; • Poor knowledge of operation and maintenance procedures by homeowners/occupiers. There is an increasing concern with the cumulative environmental impacts and local public health risk of failing or inadequately designed OWTS in unsewered areas. Therefore, at the planning stage, it is important to ensure that inappropriate development does not proceed with an expectation that sewerage will come at a later date to solve problems (Wyong Shire Council, 2013).
MAIN CAUSES OF OWTS FAILURES OWTS are often associated with systems not situated and constructed correctly. In particular, areas with low permeability soils and/or high water tables present the greatest challenge in WA. Failure of many onsite systems is generally not due to inherent flaws in system technology but, rather, inappropriate siting and construction design or their operation and management (Otis and Anderson, 1994). Other factors contributing to poor performance or failure of OWTS are poor public awareness; poor local authority guidance; wastewater
METHODS A literature review related to OWTS legislation, standards and approval processes was undertaken. Data on the numbers of OWTS installed in WA was collected from two sources: the
The DOHWA database collected the following information: applicant’s details; date of application; dwelling address and purpose; type of apparatus installed, and date of inspection. The database was created in 1997 and, in order to match the information with the DOHWA database, data from 1997 onwards was requested from LG. At the end of the analysed period in 2011, DOHWA conducted a survey to gather data from various LGs in WA on the primary causes of OWTS failures. The survey was sent out to 140 LGs across WA. However, out of those 140 LGs, 20 have centralised reticulated sewerage and, therefore, responses were only expected from the remaining 120 LGs. The information collected included the type of OWTS and the reasons for system failures. Data was then examined, manually screened and validated to remove any non-compliance. Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted to correct any errors in the data.
Table 1. OWTS approved by LG (1997–2011). System Type
Other System not specified
Table 2. OWTS approved by DOHWA (1997–2011). System Type
System not specified
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Technical Papers RESULTS Statistics on OWTS applications approved by LGs between 1997 and 2011 Overall, 28 LGs (out of 120) provided data on the numbers of OWTS installations. The number represented 23% of the total number of LGs in WA with OWTS installations. Nine of the LGs were located within Perth urban areas, while 19 others were in the outer suburban areas. Based on the data obtained, more than 12,500 applications were approved between the period 1997–2011. The highest number of applications was recorded in 2008, with over 1,000 applications, while the lowest was observed in 1997, with fewer than 500 applications.
Statistics on OWTS applications approved by DOHWA between 1997 and 2011 Based on the data collected from the DOHWA database from 1997 to 2011, DOHWA approved over 3,700 OWTS applications, with an average of 247 applications annually. The highest number of applications was noted in 1999, with over 350 applications, whereas the lowest was observed in 1997, with 128 applications. The number of OWTS approved by DOHWA from January 1997 to December 2011 is shown in Figure 2. East Pilbara and Derby were the two regions with the highest numbers of OWTS approvals, with 304 and 293 approvals respectively, whereas most of Perth’s urban areas (e.g. 73 applications in Stirling) recorded a relatively low number of installations. This is expected because communities with higher population density in metropolitan and urban areas are more likely to be connected to reticulated sewerage. Number of installations versus population density The proportions of OWTS installed in WA regional areas are larger than in urban areas. However, the risks of contamination due to failed systems are higher in urban/metro areas due to the increased density of OWTSs. Moreover, greater population density increases the likelihood of release of contaminants such as nitrogen to the environment in OWTS failure (US EPA, 2004). East Pilbara, for example, had the highest number of OWTS approvals between the period 1997–2011, with a total of 304 installations, whereas City of Stirling has a total of 73 approvals. However, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2013), the population density of these two LGs is quite different. East Pilbara, with an area of over 379,000 km2
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Figure 2. The number of OWTS approved by DOHWA for each LG in WA within the period 1997–2011. (Source: DOHWA, 2011) had a total population of 11,950 in 2011, giving it a population density of 0.031 people per km2. On the other hand, City of Stirling had a total population of over 200,000 with a relatively smaller area of 105.2 km2, giving it a population density of 1,958 people per km2. Type of OWTS Data collected from 1997 to 2011 have revealed that conventional septic tanks account for 76.5% and 63.7% of all wastewater systems approved by LG and DOHWA, respectively. Due to their simplicity and affordable cost, septic systems remain far the most common
OWTS. This is despite the fact that ATU is becoming more prevalent. As evident from Figure 3, ATU has become more popular in WA over the last decade due to its ability to produce high-quality effluent, as well as its capacity to contain and reuse treated effluent on lawns or garden beds via surface or subsurface irrigation (DOHWA, 2001). Figures 4 and 5 indicate that LG and DOHWA have approved more than 1,800 (15%) and over 800 (23%) of ATU installations, respectively, during the study period of 1997 to 2011. The proportions of OWTS types approved by LG and DOHWA are shown in Figures 4 and 5.
Technical Papers toilets with greywater treatment has increased over the years (Whitehead et al., 1999). Given that the WA climate is characterised by mild winters and very hot, dry summers, there is an increased tendency to improve wastewater quality to achieve fit-forpurpose non-potable quality to alleviate the pressure on scarce water resources.
Figure 3. Number of ATU approvals in WA by LG during the period 1997–2011. A total of 9% of OWTS are categorised as “other” by LG. More than 80% of the “other” systems were so described without any explanation, whereas the remaining 10% corresponds to: 2% holding tanks; 4% greywater systems and 4% nutrient removal systems. On the other hand, composting was the type described as “other” in the OWTS approved by DOHWA during the study period of 1997 to 2011. OWTS failures in WA DOHWA conducted a survey in 2011 to collect information from various LGs in WA on the major causes of OWTS failures. Out of the 21 LGs that responded to the survey, six were located within Perth metro areas, while the remaining 15 LGs were in the outer suburban areas. Based on the data collected, there were 53 OWTS failures, with Shire of Dundas and Shire of Derby/West Kimberley reporting the
highest number of failures at 11 and six failures, respectively. The most common reasons for OWTS failures in the survey include groundwater and surface water ingress, systems not installed properly, unsuitable soil type and undersized systems. Several LGs also mentioned other factors that contributed to OWTS failures, including increase in wastewater volume, root invasion, illegal installation, unauthorised tampering, cross-connection to stormwater disposal, undersized systems, and unauthorised materials (such as fats, oils, and yeasts). Figure 6 presents the classification of major OWTS failures identified by LGs in WA.
DISCUSSION Septic systems remain a preferred option for onsite wastewater management in unsewered urban and rural regions of WA. However, the use of other types of OWTS such as ATU and composting
Currently, national and state guidelines are available to ensure adequate construction, installation, and management of an OWTS in order to protect public health. However, a survey conducted in 2011 indicated that
Figure 5. Proportion of OWTS types in WA as approved by DOHWA (1997–2011) (n=1,023).
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Figure 4. Proportion of OWTS types in WA as approved by LG (1997–2011) (n=12,414).
As a significant amount of effluent is generated, OWTS have to be installed and monitored properly in order to prevent biological and nutrient contaminants from entering surface water and groundwater (Ahmed et al., 2005). Throughout WA, over 12,500 OWTS applications were approved by 28 LGs during the period 1997–2011, representing 23% of the total number of existing LGs with OWTS installations. While 23% of LGs managed to provide statistics of their OWTS approvals, the rest could not produce any information, mainly due to the absence of data and difficulties with retrieval. Additionally, more than 3,700 applications were approved by DOHWA in the same time period, with East Pilbara and Derby being the two regions with the highest number of approvals. As expected, the number of applications was generally higher in regional areas compared to urban areas, as most urban areas are connected to centralised sewerage systems (Committee on US-Iranian Workshop on Water Conservation and Recycling, 2005).
Technical Papers CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Lack of appropriate administration systems to record OWTS approvals and installations is a significant drawback in the management of OWTS in WA. Without any feasible management strategies to assess and maintain the performance of OWTS in each region, the resulting environmental and public health risks associated with poor system performance may increase.
Figure 6. Classification of major OWTS failures in WA (n=53). a number of OWTS are either performing poorly or failing, with about 48% of OWTS failing in WA due to groundwater and surface water ingress. Other reasons include incorrect system installation, unsuitable soil type, undersized systems, increasing wastewater volume, hydrostatic pressure, high groundwater, root invasion, cross-connection to stormwater disposal, and a small percentage of unauthorised tampering.
Although technology is improving over time and some OWTS are capable of producing better effluent quality, the problems identified in the DOHWA survey are also reported elsewhere. As such, there is a need to assess site and soil conditions rather than relying solely on technology (Carroll et al., 2006). Failing or poorly performing systems often lead to various environmental and public health issues (Whitehead et al., 1999; Carroll et al., 2004; Ahmed et al., 2005). One of the most common reasons for OWTS failures identified in the survey is failure due to ground and surface water ingress. Therefore, during the design and installation of OWTS, it is important to ensure a minimum separation distance to winter table of 1.2m from the bottom of the leach drains for conventional systems is achievable; or 0.5m from irrigation surfaces when ATUs are used. The AS/ NZS 1547:2000 recommends a 0.6m soil absorptive zone to allow for filtering, isolating and absorbing of wastewater, microorganisms, nutrients and particles. This reduces the potential for OWTS failures due to ground and surface water ingress. Population density and the number of installed OWTS need to be addressed in more detail. Identifying and comparing areas with many OWTS installations in WA is necessary to ensure that effluents are not negatively impacting human
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or environmental health. In addition, it is essential to ensure that a fair and consistent approach to dealing with malfunctioning OWTS is taken by LGs under the guidance of DOHWA. Inadequate management strategies and the lack of coordinated institutional arrangements in relation to OWTS have been previously reported in Australia (Alexander, 2010). For instance, in a survey of 48 septic tanks, it was found that 72% of dispersal fields were soggy and (by inference) ineffective; 67% required solids removal; 8% needed structural repairs; 6% had insufficient capacity and 4% were incorrectly sited (Ahmed et al., 2005). Also, a study of OWTS performance in South Australia (SA) indicates that 22% of ATU discharged indicator bacteria at levels higher than specified in the SA regulatory guidelines (Levett et al., 2010). Only 23% of the existing LGs in WA with OWTS installations (28 out of 120) provided data. Reasons for the lack of data from LGs include the following: • Records were not available, due to lack of files, LGs in remote locations and lack of fulltime EHOs; • Records were not easily retrieved as data stored in offsite storage; • Information on OWTS was not recorded in the early years; • For some LGs approval, inspection and ongoing management for OWTS were conducted in a reactive way rather than proactively; • EHOs do not have the time to collate information because OWTS are only one of several responsibilities; • Systems described as “other” were not explained or elaborated on further.
Hence, there is a need to provide a generic approach for a standardised, common system that will allow each LG to record the number of OWTS applications that have been approved and to store information related to the approvals in a clear, standard record system. Government agencies need to understand their roles and responsibilities in the management of OWTS when assessing applications for land-use or other developments, to ensure that all potential effects arising from such developments are considered prior to approvals. Furthermore, there is a need to strengthen the multi-governance approach that can address the importance of an effective and robust planning and development of sites. It is important that site assessment for onsite wastewater management be carried out in the early stage of the planning phase. This site assessment procedure should be applied at the rezoning or subdivision stages of the planning process. This will help to develop a management regime for OWTS that can minimise health risks and environmental impacts and enhance OWTS’ long-term sustainability. Based on these findings, to improve water quality from OWTS, DOHWA should do the following: • Provide a standard management tool to all LGs for OWTS records, including GPS location. Registration is the first step in complying with the regulatory requirement. A database should be able to record information on the installation, operation, maintenance and any other inspection requirements, particularly for ATU or systems achieving a secondary treated quality effluent; • Implement a soil absorption zone path length of at least 600mm to reduce the potential for OWTS failure due to ground and surface water ingress; • Provide EHOs with on-site wastewater management training based on AS 1547 and current legislations as part of their professional development
Technical Papers and an important measure of quality assurance for the industry, government and general public; • Produce educational materials for owners of OWTS to facilitate the understanding of how OWTS work, how to identify signs of systems failures, and why inadequate maintenance can increase the system failures and the risk to humans and the environment. It is recommended that LGs should do the following: • Implement a risk management program to minimise failures, and rapidly identify and address failures when problems occur. It is considered that a tolerable rate of system failure is smaller than 5% annually; • Implement a planning strategy for OWTS in the early stage of any development to identify the resources that are required to ensure adequate OWTS performance; • Implement site inspection strategies that are predominantly risk based, taking account of sensitive receptors, and integrated with other regulatory inspections as appropriate; • Distribute educational materials produced by the DOHWA or LGs to owners of OWTS and provide advice to applicants on OWTS-related matters when required; • Update the register of installed OWTS in each LG jurisdiction and implement an inspection regime to identify legacy sites that will require remediation work. Inspection can initially be targeted at the highest risk areas or OWTS with previous history of failures and complaints; • In the case of low-risk sites, initiate a variety of non-routine inspection strategies, working closely with homeowners or stakeholders to ensure that those who are responsible for OWTS understand how to comply with the regulations and are encouraged to do so;
• Conduct follow-up site inspections of approved OWTS that focus specifically on operation and maintenance. Priority should be given to known areas of risk or environmentally sensitive areas such
THE AUTHORS Maria Gunady (email: maria. email@example.com) is a Scientific Officer at the Department of Health, WA. Her primary responsibility is to assess applications for development, subdivision and rezoning to ensure suitability of a lot for on-site wastewater disposal. Natalia Shishkina (email: natalia.shishkina@health. wa.gov.au) is a Scientific Officer at the Department of Health, WA. Her primary role is to deal with technical matters related to wastewater management, as well as provide technical and legislative advices to enforcement agencies, industries and the public on water-related issues. Henry Tan (email: henry. firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Scientific Officer at the Department of Health, WA. His primary role is to deal with technical matters related to wastewater management, as well as provide technical and legislative advices to enforcement agencies, industries and the public on water-related issues. Dr Clemencia Rodriguez (email: clemencia. email@example.com. au) is a Special Project Officer at the Department of Health Western Australia. She is a Medical Doctor, has a Master of Public Health and a PhD in the field of water recycling. She has been involved in water-related research and water regulation for more than 15 years.
REFERENCES Ahmed W, Neller R & Katouli M (2005): Evidence of Septic System Failure Determined by a Bacterial Biochemical Fingerprinting Method. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 98, 4, pp 910–920. ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (2013): Perspectives on Regional Australia: Population Growth and Turnover in Local Government Areas (LGAs) 2006–2011. www.abs.gov.au/ ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/1380.0.55.007 Alexander KS (2010): Community Management of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems – What They Want in Mount Gambier, South Australia. Water Practice and Technology, 5, 1, pp 1–10. Beal CD, Gardner EA & Menzies NW (2005): Process, Performance, and Pollution Potential:
A Review of Septic Tank-soil Absorption Systems. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 43, 7, pp 781–802. Bremer JE & Harter T (2012): Domestic Wells Have High Probability of Pumping Septic Tank Leachate. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16, 8, pp 2453–2467. Carroll SP, Goonetilleke A & Hargreaves M (2004): Assessment of Environmental and Public Health Risk of On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems. In: Proceedings of the 10th National Symposium on Individual and Small Community Sewage Systems, Sacramento, California, USA. eprints. qut.edu.au/4216/1/4216_1.pdf Carroll S, Goonetilleke A, Thomas E, Hargreaves M, Frost R & Dawes L (2006): Integrated Risk Framework for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. Environmental Management, 38, 2, pp. 286–303. Committee on US-Iranian Workshop on Water Conservation and Recycling (2005): Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling. Washington DC, US. Department of Local Government and Communities (2015): Local Government. dlg. wa.gov.au/Content/Directory/Default.aspx Levett KJ, Vanderzalm JL & Dillon PJ (2010): Factors Affecting the Performance and Risks to Human Health of On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems. Water Science and Technology, 62, 7, pp 1499–1509. Martens DM & Geary PM (1998): Australian Onsite Wastewater Strategies: A Case Study of Scotland Island, Sydney, NSW, Australia. www. martens.com.au/PDF%20Files/ASAE 98V2.pdf. Otis RJ & Anderson DJ (1994): Meeting Public Health and Environmental Goals: Performance Standards for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. In: Proceedings of the 7th National Symposium on Individual and Small Community Sewage Systems, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Sorrell Council (2005): On-Site Wastewater Management Strategy. Sorrell Council, Tasmania. US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) (1997): Response to Congress on Use of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems. Office of Wastewater Management, Washington DC, USA. nepis.epa.gov/Adobe/ PDF/200047VF.PDF US EPA (2004): Tribal Management of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. water.epa. gov/type/watersheds/wastewater/upload/ 2004_08_06_septics_tribal-owts-mgmt.pdf Whitehead J, Geary P & Patterson B (1999): Skills to Assess the Suitability of Sites for On-site Wastewater Disposal. Environmental Health Review, 28, 2, pp 42–47. Wyong Shire Council (2013): Onsite Effluent Disposal in Non Sewered Areas – Development Control Plan 2013. www.wyong. nsw.gov.au/getmedia/dbdf9cd5-e1cc-4f5e-a82341c72e74f842/3.8-On-Site-Effluent-Disposal-inNon-Sewered-Areas.aspx
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• Embark on a series of activities to raise awareness and compliance related to the operation and maintenance of OWTS. Information campaigns may include the communication of international best practice to Water Services Australia (WSAA) and specific local guidance to non-government organisations (NGOs) and homeowners;
as OWTS close to rivers and lakes. Inspections will vary in both type and frequency as the inspection program develops over time.
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Heartbeat Technology is easy to use and can be activated at the touch of a button without interrupting the process. It is accessible via the local display, the webserver or system integration interfaces, so it needs no on-site presence. Seamless and traceable verification results are stored permanently and can be retrieved at any time. The reliability of your measurement is ensured in three ways: 1. Diagnostics Diagnostics is based on the continuous testing of a device’s health during ongoing operation. You are immediately warned if the device has reached a critical condition, enabling you to take quick and appropriate action. These messages are interpreted in accordance with NAMUR NE 107 and are displayed by the device as a diagnostic event. This also includes direct instructions on what to do next, ensuring that the process can be up and running again quickly in the case of a shutdown to prevent unnecessary maintenance measures. 2. Monitoring Condition monitoring is recommended for applications with demanding operating conditions or where the device is subject to wear, for example from corrosion or abrasion. Condition monitoring recognises if the measuring performance or the integrity of the device is impaired. It also recognises trends in the secondary measured values and can evaluate the relationships between individual parameters, reducing the risks of an unexpected failure. Condition monitoring also makes it possible to display temporary, process-specific faults
water June 2015
Verification can be used to take an immediate snapshot of the device status, to demonstrate that the flowmeter meets the manufacturer’s technical specification requirements. A hard copy verification report is automatically produced and stored in the meter’s internal memory. The report includes a qualitative assessment of the checked parameters. It can be utilised to meet the audited compliance requirements of either ISO 9001 quality systems as traceable documentation, or in safety related applications, as documentation of the proof test, for SIL-based functional safety systems. Heartbeat Verification extends the test coverage of the inbuilt diagnostics circuits. The meter momentarily comes offline to allow for the independent redundant reference signals to be processed through the standard electronic signal chain. The offline period is typically no longer than one minute. The independent reference signal for an electromagnetic flowmeter comprises an internal redundant reference voltage, which is used solely for verification purposes. The redundant reference is traceable back to factory references and is constantly monitored to ensure long-term stability and zero drift during the life of the instrument. Testing the entire signal chain from coil excitation, through electrode measuring circuit and, finally, to signal output ensures the highest possible “total test coverage”, minimising the potential for random undetected failures. With a total test coverage typically in the order of 95%, Heartbeat Verifications ensure that the meter remains as accurate and repeatable as when calibrated at the factory during manufacture. Being completely internal, it is quick and easy to use, reducing the time for maintenance and increasing plant or process availability. It is also possible to perform verifications remotely through integration with a digital control system or connection through to an asset management system such as FieldCare.
Specifically developed for the water industry, with Heartbeat Verification, in addition to being able to perform completely internal verification, it is also possible to perform external verification. External verification adds measurement of the internal reference voltage with a thirdparty calibrated and traceable multimeter. This provides an additional path of traceability, through to commonly accepted local or national accreditation bodies. How does it work? The diagnostic test functionality is embedded in the electronic modules in the form of an internal reference system. This means the traditional method of verification, with traceable, external measuring instruments, is no longer necessary. Often the intervals between labour-intensive recalibrations can be extended. There is also the option to integrate the process into a higher-level control system or asset management system. All of this saves time and costs, while virtually eliminating the possibility of interference due to incorrect handling. Heartbeat Technology is an accredited and traceable internal verification ondemand technology that allows users to fulfil the requirements of third-party approved meter verification, based on the highest possible test coverage. For more information on Heartbeat Technology please call 1800 ENDRESS or visit www.au.endress.com/flow.
Water Business KAESER EXPANDS ITS RANGE OF ENERGYSAVING LOW-PRESSURE SCREW BLOWERS Following the successful 2014 market launch of the highly efficient EBS series screw blowers featuring Sigma Profile rotors, Kaeser has launched the FBS series of screw blowers, which provide free air deliveries up to 67m3/min. Launched at Hannover Fair 2015, the new FBS series of screw blowers provide a low-pressure compressor solution that is remarkably quiet, yet highly efficient. In fact, the FBS series screw blowers are up to 35% more efficient than conventional rotary blowers, outclassing other comparable screw and turbo blowers on the market. Such significant energy savings are realised thanks to the inclusion of the same proven and trusted technology inherent in the standard Kaeser compressor range. The rotors found in the EBS and FBS series screw blowers are uncoated, ensuring that the user can enjoy outstanding efficiency, year after year. The data provided for the effective total energy consumption and usable flow capacity correspond precisely to the machines’ actual performance (as per the conservative tolerances outlined by Standard ISO 1217; measurements validated by TÜV-Süd). This ensures that the estimated savings calculated as a result of investing in this piece of equipment are actually realised. All EBS and FBS series screw blowers from Kaeser feature an integrated Sigma Control 2 controller. This provides continuous and comprehensive monitoring while allowing
straightforward connection of each machine to communications networks. For users requiring further productivity and energy savings capabilities, the Sigma Air Manager (SAM) master controller can be introduced. SAM features further refined software specialised for blower operations. Applications such as wastewater treatment, pneumatic conveying systems and power generation can all benefit from this innovative screw blower technology. Made in Germany, the EBS and FBS series screw blowers possess numerous other outstanding qualities that Kaeser products are renowned for. This includes an internal cooling system that makes the energy-intensive use of oil pumps and oil coolers redundant. Further, they feature a highly effective sealing concept that ensures long-term seal integrity without the need for vacuum pumps. The durability and reliability of these machines is also enhanced by eliminating the need for auxiliary equipment and circulating oil lubrication. Cooling and process air are drawn in separately from outside the machine enclosure, which not only provides greater usable air mass flow for the same power consumption, but also ensures optimum cooling and efficiency. Thanks to a clever component layout, these units can easily be installed directly next to a wall, or side-by-side, additionally making maintenance easy. The durable EBS/FBS series screw blowers from Kaeser have been designed for dependable and continuous operation and are available with free air deliveries from 10 to 67m3/min, maximum differential pressure 1.1 bar. For more information please visit www.kaeser.com.au or phone 1800 640 611.
SEWER ODOUR MANAGEMENT WITH PASSIVE BED CARBON FILTERS Sewer operators require a low-cost and reliable way to treat odorous air released from the daily operation of sewer networks. Air released from pump stations, air release valves and manholes can have an objectionable odour and result in public complaints. The rate of odour formation and release can be variable, making its prediction and subsequent treatment difficult. Passive bed carbon filters – carbon beds without a fan – can offer a low-cost, simple and reliable odour management solution. The main odorous compound in air released from sewers is H2S (hydrogen sulphide), which is formed as wastewater ages and becomes anaerobic. With sewer networks continually expanding to capture wastewater from more and more residences, such as semi-rural areas, coastal communities, holiday homes and similar, wastewater age is increasing and so are H2S odours. A passive bed carbon filter is one solution. Air released from a sewer is forced to pass through a bed of activated carbon, which adsorbs and eliminates the odorous compounds from the air before it is released to the atmosphere. All alternative air paths such as electrical conduits and access hatches must be sealed. Once the carbon is saturated with the odorous compounds it is removed for disposal and new carbon is installed in the bed. Passive bed carbon filters need no fan, heater or other moving parts, and require no power. Only a small footprint is needed and there is nothing to regularly service and maintain. The ‘Green Dome Odour Filter’ (GDOF) by Armatec Environmental Ltd (distributed in Australia by Xylem), is a passive carbon bed with additional features to ensure reliable and acceptable performance. With a GDOF, the carbon bed is installed partly below ground, and a dipstick is provided to monitor the degree of carbon usage. The GDOF has the air inlet duct and carbon bed below ground level, so it can be sited close to the air release point but at a location out of the way of roads, footpaths and service crews. The only part of the installation that is seen above ground is the ‘Green Dome’, which is removed to access the carbon bed. The first installations of GDOFs were on two pump stations at a coastal holiday community of Mangawhai in New Zealand.
June 2015 water
Water Business Guard’s off-grid and mobile customers the ability to disinfect water via UV treatment.
Odours were eliminated at this site at Chirnside Park, east Melbourne. One was located just 10m from the entrance to a gift shop and customers often commented on the terrible odour. Immediately after the GDOF was installed the odour stopped. At Chirnside Park in east Melbourne, odorous air released from a manhole after a rising main resulted in many odour problems. As soon as a GDOF was installed, all odour release ceased. Monitoring of the dipstick points to a carbon change-out time of two years. The sewer operator is happy with this carbon life, and that the GDOF is successfully treating the odour. At the Playne Street Foreshore in Frankston, Melbourne, a GDOF eliminated odour complaints from a pump station. The readily accessible foreshore area is a popular destination for people of all ages enjoying the walkways, picnic areas, beach and local restaurants. All sewage odour was stopped immediately after the GDOF was installed. A carbon life of three years is predicted based on monitoring of the dipstick. In summary, GDOF passive carbon bed filters are reliably solving odour problems at air release points throughout sewer networks. They are attractive to sewer network operators due to their low cost and low-maintenance requirements.
NEW POWER SUPPLY BOXES MAKE MOBILE AND OFF-GRID WATER DISINFECTION POSSIBLE Off-grid and mobile water disinfection is now possible thanks to a unique product recently released by Australian water disinfection specialists, UV-Guard. A PLC-operated controller packed with integrated features, including the ability to operate on 12V and 24V DC power supplies, now gives UV-
UV-Guard Principal Water Treatment Engineer, Luke Chamberlain, said the company worked closely with customers to ensure the new controllers met their needs. The 12V and 24V DC function was the final option to be added to the new controllers, which boast a number of features. “This option has been added after receiving a number of enquiries from operators of solar-powered buildings and other customers who require UV disinfection but are off the grid. We have also heard from customers who require mobile UV disinfection for commercial and domestic applications,” Luke said. “We have been working in partnership with select customers to ensure these enhancements meet their requirements across the industry. Working with an Australian developer has allowed us to release this new range at a competitive market price while incorporating functionality that would ordinarily bring with it a greater price tag,” Luke said. The 12V and 24V DC PLC controller can control UV-Guard’s UV systems up to a power of 40W. This means that recommended UV dose rates can be provided at flows of up to 60lpm by using the SLF, SLT and S-Series of systems. It can also control the storage tank headspace disinfection systems, the T-series. “We see this as the ideal disinfection solution for drinking water provision and commercial applications for our off-grid and mobile customers,” Luke said. The new range has the following optional features that make installation, operation, monitoring and servicing easy: • Australian-designed and made weatherproof IP65 rated box; • User-friendly service menu and digital display; • Digital lamp hour run meter to indicate when the lamp has reached its operational life; • Integrated UV intensity monitoring to ensure correct UV intensity and sufficient disinfection is being achieved; • Building Management System (BMS) connection for remote monitoring; • Remote controllable. For more information about UV-Guard’s range of UV water treatment systems please go to www.uvguard.com.au.
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FIRST PROFESSIONAL PH ELECTRODE WITH BLUETOOTH® SMART TECHNOLOGY Hanna Instruments has released HALOTM, the world’s first professional pH probe with Bluetooth® Smart (Bluetooth® 4.0) technology. HALO is a high-quality pH probe with a built-in temperature sensor that can be used virtually anywhere – in the field, laboratory or classroom. Using Bluetooth® Smart technology, HALO transmits measurement data directly to an iPad (third generation or newer) running the Hanna Lab App. This combination frees the HALO from cumbersome wires and the need for expensive meters, taking advantage of the widespread usage and versatility of the Apple iPad®. The Hanna Lab App is a free application that turns the iPad into a full-featured pH meter when used with the Hanna HALO pH electrode. Functions include calibration, measurement, continuous data logging, graphing and data sharing. Measurement and logging of pH and temperature at one-second intervals start as soon as the probe is connected. Measurements can be displayed with tabulated data or as a graph. The graph can be panned and zoomed with the iPad’s pinch-to-zoom technology for enhanced viewing. “Part of our philosophy involves making science accessible to the masses,” said Michelle Salisbury, Applications Manager for Hanna Instruments. “The HALO does exactly that. It has the potential to be a real game changer. It makes it easier and more affordable than ever to do pH measurements. Home users, schools, laboratories … virtually anyone can perform accurate pH measurements with an iPad, the Hanna Lab App and HALO.” Hanna’s new HALO is available in Australia from 1 July 2015 and the Hanna Lab Application is available free through the iTunes store. Familiarise yourself with the application by selecting DEMO probe in the Bluetooth menu. For more information please visit www.hannainst.com.au.
The new force in PE
Zetco is an ISO9001 certifiedÂ company.
Quality ISO 9001
DIP. READ. The new Hach SL1000 Portable Parallel Analyzer (PPA) performs the same tests with less than half the manual steps. Get highly accurate results, with less opportunity for errors, in a fraction of the time. Up to six parameters, tested simultaneously. Colorimetric: Total Chlorine | Free Chlorine | Free Ammonia | Monochloramine | Nitrite | Total Ammonia | Copper Probe-based: pH | Conductivity | Dissolved Oxygen (Temperature included with each probe)
NEW Web Address!
www.au.hach.com | 1300 887 735
Published on Jul 2, 2015
Published on Jul 2, 2015
Water - Journal of the Australian Water Association: This issue features a detailed round-up of Ozwater’15 held in May in Adelaide, with a c...