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Volume 39 No 3 MAY 2012 RRP $16.95 inc. GST



National Water Skills Audit Report 2011 – see page 55


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Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Volume 39 No 3 May 2012

contents REGULAR FEATURES From the AWA President

Lucia Cade


From the AWA Chief Executive Bright Spots on the Horizon Tom Mollenkopf


Catchments, Mines and Money

My Point of View

Tackling a Sea Change

Keith White


Industry News


AWA Young Water Professionals

Mike Dixon 28

AWA News Opinion

30 Sustainable Water Use in Abbatoirs


Northern Water’s $94 million Class A recycled water plant under construction at Geelong in Victoria. See page 22.




Guenter Hauber-Davison


David Harriss 42

Management of Menindee Lakes Moving Away from the MDBP Political Tug O’ War

Craig Knowles 44

Ninth IWA Leading-Edge Technology Conference Review


Enviro 2012 Conference Review


Tackling Skills Shortages in the Water Industry Four ‘good practice’ case studies


National Skills Audit 2011 Report A guide to meeting the skills challenges of the future


Book Review Intergenerational Democracy: Rethinking Sustainable Development

Chris Davis

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

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

COPYRIGHT AWA Water Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission of the AWA. To seek permission to reproduce Water Journal materials, send your request to WATER JOURNAL MISSION STATEMENT ‘To provide a journal that interests and informs on water matters, Australian and international, covering technological, environmental, economic and social aspects, and to provide a repository of useful refereed papers.’ PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: March, April, May, July, August, September, November and December.

EDITORIAL BOARD Chair: Frank R Bishop; Dr Bruce Anderson, AECOM; Dr Terry Anderson, Consultant SEWL; Michael Chapman, GHD; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rtd); Antony Gibson, Orica Watercare; Dr Brian Labza, Dept Health WA; Dr Robbert van Oorschot, GHD; John Poon, CH2M Hill; David Power, BECA Consultants; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO.

EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS & CALL FOR PAPERS Water Journal welcomes editorial submissions for technical and topical articles, news, opinion pieces, business information and letters to the editor. Acceptance of editorial submissions is at the discretion of the Editor and Editorial Board. • Technical Papers and Technical Features Clare Porter, Technical Editor, Water Journal – AND


Photo: NSW office of Water


The main weir at Menindee Lakes in NSW. See page 42.

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

UPCOMING TOPICS JULY 2012 – Selected Ozwater’12 Papers; UV Disinfection, Aquifer Recharge AUGUST 2012 – Governance, Biosolids/Wastewater Source Management, Singapore IWW Report, Selected IWA Leading Edge Technology Papers SEPTEMBER 2012 – Membrane Technology, Enviro 12 Selected Papers, Agricultural Use, Irrigation Advances, Coal Seam Gas Water

ADVERTISING Advertisements are included as an information service to readers and are reviewed before publication to ensure relevance to the water sector and the objectives of the AWA. Contact Lynne Bartlett, National Relationship Manager, AWA – Tel: +61 2 9467 8408 or 0428 261 496.

PUBLISHED BY Australian Water Association (AWA) Publications, Level 6, 655 Pacific Hwy, PO Box 222, St Leonards NSW 1590; Tel: +61 2 9436 0055 or 1300 361 426, Fax: +61 2 9436 0155, Email:, Web:


MAY 2012 1


Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Optimised coagulation with minimised polymer dosing can reduce NDMA at some plants. See page 76.


Volume 39 No 3 May 2012


A typical dam and gas extraction facility. See page 71.


PIPELINE CLEANING & MAINTENANCE CSIRO Research Into Computer-Aided Image Interpretation A review of current status for automatic recognition of pipe defects from a robot

J Mashford, D Marney & S Burn


Degradation Of Epoxy Pipe Coatings Due To Diffusion Of Chemicals Failure of epoxy coating can be due to a number of means

DI Verrelli


Buried Pipelines – We Can’t Ignore Them A review of current technology

AL Ratliff


A Davey, R Howick & R Armbruster


G Newcombe, J Morran & J Culbert


M Sinclair, J O’Toole, K Leder & M Malawaraarachchi


S Reber & C Frommann


WATER IN MINING Treatment of Coal Seam Methane Water in Talinga, Dalby and Moranbah Relocatable RO plants for the coal seam gas industry CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN NDMA Attracting International Attention The latest news on nitrosamines WATER RECYCLING Household Behaviour And Motivations For Greywater Use Implications for policy and future research MEMBRANE PRE-TREATMENT Pre-Treatment For Membrane Plants A history and guidelines WATER BUSINESS New Products and Business Information


Advertisers’ Index


OUR COVER Kids play on the Mannum-Adelaide Pipeline in Mannum, South Australia, the first major pipeline built from the River Murray to serve the water needs of Adelaide. See pages 58–70 for a selection of technical papers on Pipeline Cleaning & Maintenance. Photo by Amy Toensing.


MAY 2012


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from the president

Catchments, Mines and Money Lucia Cade – AWA President Earlier this year I mentioned we had reviewed our strategic plan in consultation with our Members, Branches, Strategic Advisory Council, Staff and Board. The Board and I are very proud of the plan that has emerged from this process. It was shared with you all at Ozwater’12 in Sydney and is available on our website.

My admiration also goes to Wayne Castle and his team of talented conference and exhibition organisers who supported David’s committee in the preparation. They were there to assist everyone, anytime and anywhere, for the duration of the event – tireless, cheerful, helpful and professional. Impressive.

We updated our vision to be the essential Association for professionals and organisations working together to create a sustainable water future.

Our strategic priorities to collaborate and extend are currently in play with the recent establishment of our “Water in Mining” focus group, in recognition that mining and resources companies are significant players in impacting and managing catchments and the water cycle in regional Australia.

We consequently articulated five strategic priorities, which are to: • Engage our members with valued services; • Represent the sector as a trusted voice; • Extend our reach to a greater number of water professionals; • Build knowledge and skills in the sector; • Collaborate with volunteers, staff and members working together. Our vision of bringing people and organisations together and working to create a sustainable water future was in full evidence at Ozwater. I think all of you who attended would agree it was a hugely successful gathering of people and organisations. Throughout the conference presentations and workshops and all through the Exhibition Hall I heard and saw people talking and debating, learning from each other and sharing. It was a hive of chatter – and I hope it inspired much creativity and innovation in all who participated. As I wrote in the program introduction, events like Ozwater don’t just happen. As with much of what AWA does, the success comes from the powerful combination of our dedicated professional members working together with our talented and passionate staff. So I’d again like to thank Dr David Barnes, who chaired the organising committee, as well as all the members of his committee: Tony Church, Erin Cini, Andrew Kasmarik, Grant Leslie, Cheryl Marvell, Kate Miles, Sue Murphy and Richard Stuetz.

4 MAY 2012 water

This group comprises leaders from a number of our member organisations. They held their first face-to-face meeting at Ozwater to develop a plan for how we address the water resource management needs of the mining and resources sectors. With the leadership of our Northern Territory Branch President, Nicole Jacobsen, and National Manager – Membership, Michael Seller, we are collaborating with the Minerals Council of Australia to ensure good water management knowledge is shared and, collectively, the people and organisations involved develop sustainable land and water practices. In September the AWA National Operations Conference will held in Darwin at the same time as the Minerals Council of Australia Conference. The double benefit of this will be not only the traditional focus of the conference on operational efficiency across all elements of water operations and management, but also a half-day on the specific challenges of efficient and effective water management in the mining sector. There are many more things afoot at AWA. Visit our website to see the full range, or contact the team at our National Office or your State Branch. I encourage you to get involved. Join a special interest group. Attend our courses and seminars. Meet people. Share and learn. And as always, enjoy this issue of Water Journal.

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from the chief executive

Bright Spots on a Sometimes Gloomy Horizon Tom Mollenkopf – AWA Chief Executive It’s a pretty tough economic climate out there. Not just for the water sector, but for everyone. Jeepers, even the miners are now complaining. But we all get plenty of this in our daily news, so you don’t need me to labour the point. Instead, I’d like to talk a little about some of the great things that are happening within AWA. Most visibly there has been Ozwater, AWA’s National Water Conference and Exhibition, which took place from May 10–12. I was thrilled to see the exceptional interest and lively discussions this year in Sydney. We were fortunate to have an outstanding array of keynote speakers, both international and home-grown, as well as a comprehensive program of papers from presenters from all parts of the water sector. These will be reported in more detail in the next edition of Water Journal. Meanwhile, my sincere thanks go to our event partner, Sydney Water, and the many sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, delegates and volunteers who ensured that our participation rates grew yet again this year. Conference Chair, Dr David Barnes, can be justifiably proud. I would also like to acknowledge the fine professional Events Team that AWA has in-house, led by Dr Wayne Castle, which has over several years steered this event to the outstanding heights we have just witnessed. I can think of no more fitting contribution to AWA’s 50th Anniversary. Another important long-term strategic goal for AWA that is coming to fruition is in capacity and skills development for the water sector. This issue came to national prominence through a Skills Forum in 2008 in Canberra that was co-convened with the National Water Commission and WSAA. The Forum provided the impetus for AWA to establish the Water Industry Skills Taskforce with the objective of keeping water skills issues on the national agenda. Over many years, AWA has met industry skills needs through seminars and technical meetings, master classes and workshops, offering online training programs and through an extensive conference program. AWA is now broadening its role in the delivery of water industry training by offering a growing suite of nationally recognised vocational training programs that can be delivered across all states and territories. A key driver for this is the looming skills deficit, with fewer graduates entering the water sector, older workers moving on to retirement, competition from more highly paid industries, and the imminent arrival of minimum standards for people working with drinking water. Our training package is offered through a range of partnerships, including an exciting new joint venture partnership with Opus International Consultants (NSW).

The joint venture will trade under the name AWA Opus Water Industry Training Institute, which is a Registered Training Organisation. Through this unique partnership, we will deliver efficient and responsive training programs to industry, particularly in targeted areas of need, including hard-to-service areas of rural and regional Australia. Our approach is modelled on the successful partnership between Opus and our colleagues at Water New Zealand. As the leading provider of water industry training in New Zealand (with 60 years of experience), coupled with AWA’s knowledge and relationship with the Australian water sector, I am confident that this initiative will make a critical contribution to meeting industry needs. AWA has also partnered with the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT). The NCGRT, administered by Flinders University of South Australia, is a Co-Funded Centre of Excellence of the Australian Research Council and National Water Commission and undertakes scientific research to improve understanding of Australia’s groundwater systems. The partnership will deliver high-quality training events using world leaders in their field for the next generation of researchers and groundwater professionals. Our efforts in training come at an important time, as the Council of Australian Governments has just signed up to an ambitious set of skills-related agreements. The Agreements identify the long-term objectives of the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments in the areas of skills and workforce development, recognising the interest of all Governments in ensuring the skills of the Australian people are developed and utilised in the economy. On a sadder note, many in the water industry will have heard that last month, Everard Arthur Swinton (known to all as ‘Bob’) passed away at the age of 89. Bob was a stalwart of AWA and one of our longest standing members. For many decades, he was the Technical Editor of this journal – indeed he was working on the publication right up to the night before he died. Bob was a tireless worker and an unforgettable character. A tribute and celebration of Bob’s life is published in this issue of Water. AWA has lost a good friend.


MAY 2012 5

my point of view

Tackling a Sea Change Keith White, Chief Executive Officer – Busselton Water, WA As a relative newcomer to the water industry, Keith has been intimately involved in a number of rapidly evolving facets of the water industry. In particular, Keith has an interest in water law reform and the practical implementation of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines framework. Keith’s particular areas of interest are ongoing improvement of risk management and licence compliance practises. I commenced work as CEO with Busselton Water, a small regional water supplier in Western Australia, in September 2006. Coincidently, Busselton Water had been constituted 100 years previously, in 1906, and this placed me on the brink of a new era in Busselton Water’s human resources, infrastructure and demand growth. The town of Busselton is a sea-change destination some 230 kilometres south of Perth in Western Australia. The town experiences a significant increase in its population each year, from some 25,000 to 60,000, as tourists come for the peak season in summer to enjoy the delights of the area, which include a tranquil bay, boating, fishing, surfing, fine dining and winery tours. The water supply comes from deep aquifers, and is sustainable.

Although Busselton Water is unique in Western Australia, being one of only two non-Water Corporation utilities, there is a universality of issues facing smaller water suppliers around other regional areas of Australia, and I would like to share my thoughts on these challenges and how Busselton Water is facing them.

Investing for the Future My greatest aspiration since joining Busselton Water has been to build a robust entity to take Busselton Water into the future and ensure its autonomy and financial wellbeing. Busselton Water is an integral part of the community it serves and it is important in my view that it be strong enough to provide that role going forward. My first challenge was to update the administrative processes. To this end there has been considerable investment in the update of many internal systems, including a replacement asset management system, a revised risk management system including a new risk register, a new records management approach, as well as a change in customer care management and IT communications. In addition, I have been keen to see that longer-serving employees provide their wealth of knowledge and understandings of processes and the like in a documented form. This way the information can be placed in a knowledge management system for wide-scale access and “future proofing”. In addition, I have a strong and dedicated approach to obtaining and retaining highly qualified individuals to work at Busselton Water.

The Chlorination Controversy

The decision to chlorinate the water supply at Busselton created fierce public debate.

6 MAY 2012 water

The second challenge was the issue of chlorination, predominantly an exercise in community consultation. Busselton Water was unique up until March 2012, as one of a handful of water service providers in Australia whose drinking water supply was not chlorinated. As 11,000 connections serve a population of 25,000 people, it was to be expected that the move

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my point of view to chlorination would provide some controversy and challenges for Busselton Water, both social and engineering. However, with warm water drawn from deep aquifers it was imperative that residual protection be placed in the mains to safeguard both Busselton’s resident population and tourists alike. This seemd a straightforward decision, but I came away astounded at the degree of public consultation and compliance which needed to be undertaken in order to successfully introduce chlorination. Nevertheless, I’m sure in the longer term this consultation will prove its worth, both financially and in terms of public health benefits.

Smarter Metering Thirdly, there was a technical issue, a project to place radio frequency (RF) meters onto all of Busselton Water’s 11,000, metered connections. This was possible due to Busselton Water’s relatively small size and deemed prudent as the town was growing. Meter reading was also difficult with the number of semi-rural and industrial properties where, for OHS reasons, it was difficult for meter readers to do their jobs. With RF metering now installed, and a meter reader not having to physically visit each meter in the network, Busselton Water enjoys a quick turnaround in its billing. The RF project was provided with assistance from the Australian Government and has increased our efficiency in terms of water loss management, water billing, and the data available to customers and the organisation itself. The project certainly, in my view, has placed Busselton Water at the forefront with this form of technology.

Innovations & Endeavours I’ve also been instrumental in negotiating a bulk water supply contract to an adjoining town under the jurisdiction of another water service provider, and also a contract with a large recreation centre that is capturing the geothermal energy contained within our raw water and returning the cool water to our system. Busselton Water has been involved in a number of new local partnerships including supply of geothermal energy, the Busselton Health Study, a waterwise business program and other water-related programs. Busselton Water also supports a number of community events, including the renowned Busselton International Ironman, Busselton Half Ironman and the Busselton Jetty Swim. Support for the community through general water and education programs also occurs through school visitations, shopping centre displays and the like. This form of local partnerships and local support is a hallmark of Busselton Water and has been growing steadily since 2006. It is something of which I am very proud. A dedicated localised water education curriculum has also been developed with the input of local teachers and has been provided free of charge to all local schools. Water reform in Western Australia will see Busselton Water transform from a statutory authority into a government-owned corporation. With a strong financial footing, Busselton Water is well placed to continue to provide for the area. I look forward to the new legislation and the opportunities it provides for the future.

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MAY 2012 7


Industry Training

Course Calendar The National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training’s Industry Training Program is delivering courses that respond to a range of needs for groundwater professionals across Australia. The Groundwater Industry Training Program is extending education beyond professional development for groundwater industry staff to include: technicians specialists, environmental community groups and those who are working in land and water management.





Adelaide, 19-23 March Sydney, 27-30 August Perth, 19-22 November

Melbourne, 21 June Albury, 22 June



Canberra, 30 May

Melbourne, 18-19 June



Christchurch, New Zealand, TBA

Sydney, 28-29 June



Brisbane, 1-3 August


Well Design Hydrogeology of Fractured Rock Managed Aquifer Recharge Getting to Know Groundwater and Surface Water

More details will be released shortly.

NATIONAL CENTRE FOR G ROUNDWATER RESEARCH & TRAINING GPO Box 2100 Adelaide SA 5001 Australia p: +61 8 8201 5632 f: +61 8 8201 5635

Australian Research Council

SOIL AND GROUNDWATER POLLUTION Perth, 8-11 October Sydney, 15-18 October


Groundwater Training The National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training is Australia’s premiere groundwater industry training organisation, and one of the world’s largest research institutions.

Short courSeS include: • the Australian Groundwater School

Groundwater accounts for over 30% of Australia’s water consumption, and with demand growing, it is more important than ever that we develop a comprehensive understanding of this vital resource.

• groundwater in mining

The centre’s industry training program has been at the forefront of educating groundwater specialists and policymakers for over 20 years and has access to Australia’s best experts, researchers and trainers.

• field methods

We offer a wide range of courses across the country — from generalist introductory courses to specialised science, engineering, modelling, mining and policy courses. Building on our professional short courses, we readily customise training, providing greater flexibility, on-site delivery and tailored topics. Or, we can even develop an entirely new program specifically for your company.

• soil and groundwater pollution • groundwater modelling for management

• groundwater and vegetation and many more! Through our superior quality training, we can help you lead the way in groundwater management. To find out more about us, including course dates and locations, visit our website or contact us using the details below. +61 8 8201 5632

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International The 6th World Water Forum ‘Time for Solutions’ was held recently in Marseille, France. During the forum, nine countries bordering the Niger River made a commitment to improve water access and sanitation for 100 million people who rely on the river.

The 4th edition of the World Water Development Report, “Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk”, was launched by UNESCO on the first day of the World Water Forum. It notes that rising food demand, rapid urbanisation and climate change are significantly increasing pressure on global water supplies.

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), with headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, has been named the 2012 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for its pioneering research that has served to improve agriculture water management, enhance food security, protect environmental health and alleviate poverty.

A global online tool launched by WWF and German development finance institution DEG (Deutsche Investitionsund Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH) enables companies and investors to address their water-related risks. WWF and DEG have created a practical online questionnaire that not only identifies water risk in supply chains and investment portfolios, but also provides practical steps to mitigate risk.

increases access to affordable and reliable electricity and water. Nearly four million people will gain more reliable and effective water supplies and sanitation, and the level of water revenue collection will be increased by 20% in the target municipalities.

The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program, in its 2012 progress report on drinking water and sanitation, has ranked China, India and Nigeria at the top of the list of countries with the largest population without access to improved drinking water. China is reported to have 119 million without access to potable water, India 97 million, Nigeria 66 million, Ethiopia 46 million and Sudan 18 million.

waterAUSTRALIA has welcomed the announcement that its application under the SAMP Program for a national water sector strategy for the US has been approved by the Government. waterAUSTRALIA CEO Les Targ said the grant would enable implementation of some key initiatives, including the appointment of a US representative and creating a greater profile of the Australian water industry with key customer groups in the US.

Australia has joined a United Nations body to improve access to clean water and safe sanitation for the world’s poor. Senator Bob Carr said being a member of the global Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership would allow Australia to add its voice to the global call for safe water to all.

National A new report from the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) provides guidance on how to tackle inequalities of water access and highlights successful policies that governments, water operators and civil society have implemented. It distinguishes three key dimensions of equitable access: geographical disparities, specific barriers faced by vulnerable and marginalised groups, and affordability concerns.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has launched a new partnership to improve water security. The US Water Partnership is a public-private partnership that seeks to mobilise US-based knowledge, expertise and resources to improve water security around the world – particularly in those countries most in need.

The 2012 UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water – or “GLAAS” – has been released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNWater. The report calls for additional and more targeted resources, especially for routine operation and maintenance of existing systems and services.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Government have announced that together they will provide over $25 million to support Zimbabwe’s second phase Zim-Fund infrastructure rehabilitation program. The program, managed by the African Development Bank,

10 MAY 2012 water

Environment Minister Tony Burke has introduced legislation to the House of Representatives to establish an Independent Expert Scientific Committee to provide advice on coal seam gas and large coal mining. The legislation will amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to allow for the establishment of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development as a statutory body.

The National First People’s Water Summit was held in Adelaide on March 29–30 and developed nationally agreed positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on Indigenous water policy issues including Indigenous economic and cultural water. The Summit was hosted by the First People’s Water Engagement Council, with the support of the NWC.

The National Water Commission has released its latest annual reports on the performance of Australia’s urban water utilities and rural water service providers. The urban report includes information from 79 utilities that supply approximately 18.7 million Australians with their urban water. It was prepared by the National Water Commission, all state and territory governments, and the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). The rural report, produced in conjunction with state governments, covers 13 rural water service providers representing 90 per cent of Australia’s rural network water supply.

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crosscurrent The Centre for Water Sensitive Cities has released the Stormwater Management in a Water Sensitive City: Blue Print 2012. The purpose of the blueprint is to foster discussion and innovation in harnessing the potential of stormwater to overcome water shortages, reduce urban temperatures, and improve waterway health and the landscape of Australian cities.

Laurie Arthur said that water markets have helped regional communities in the southern Murray–Darling Basin to remain productive, even during drought. The Impacts of Water Trading in the Southern Murray–Darling Basin Between 2006–2007 and 2010–2011 Report is the second report produced by the Commission to fulfil its National Water Initiative obligation to monitor the impacts of interstate trade in the southern MDB.

Two irrigation projects were winners at the 2012 Smart Infrastructure Awards for improving the sustainability of water supply. They were: Tasmanian Sustainable Irrigation Development Project – a Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd project that will build a series of 13 irrigation schemes to mitigate the effect of droughts in the state; and Future Flow Project – a Transfield Services project to modernise and upgrade existing irrigation infrastructure in northern Victoria.

New South Wales

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Simon Birmingham has said the Government must release all legal advice relating to the consistency of the proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan with the Water Act. Mr Birmingham said that legal advice differs between environmentalists, irrigators and the South Australian Government, and Minister Burke should release the thousands of pages of legal advice he holds.

The use of a more streamlined process to recycle wastewater could have saved Brisbane from severe flooding in 2011 and mitigated recent flood risks in NSW, a leading water expert says. Direct potable reuse (DPR) of wastewater could free up billions of litres of water from reservoirs around Australia, giving cities a greater buffer to capture rainwater and control major flooding events, says Dr Stuart Khan, an environmental engineer at the UNSW Water Research Centre.

New research by the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) suggests that water trading would benefit both urban and rural users, the nation’s water resources and also help protect the native environment, says Centre Director Professor Craig Simmons. The research is based on a case study of Perth’s Gnangara groundwater system (GGS), by Mr James Skurray and Professor David Pannell, published in the Journal of Hydrology.

The volume of water needed to secure the long-term sustainability of the Murray-Darling river system cannot be identified clearly due to a lack of transparency in the proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan, more than 60 Australian scientists have said in a special joint statement.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water 2010–11 Outcomes Report is now available. The report shows the results of water use including the impacts on plant and animal species and provides important indicators of wider river and wetland health.

Launching a new National Water Commission report recently at the Australian Water Congress 2012, Commissioner

12 MAY 2012 water

The NSW Water Commission has launched the 2nd edition of the information kit Our Water Our Country to increase the capacity of Aboriginal communities to be involved in the New South Wales water reform process.

The NSW Office of Water has hired 11 new staff to monitor and enforce compliance with NSW water laws to ensure sustainable supplies for all users. The NSW Water Commissioner said that the NSW Government has strong water management legislation that makes it a crime to take water without a licence or breach licence conditions.

Sydney Water is investing in water supply by completing a $4.7 million refurbishment of Clifford Love Bridge and the major aqueduct that sits underneath the bridge. Sydney Water’s Managing Director, Kevin Young, said the project will ensure future water supply for customers in the Upper North Shore. “The extensive refurbishment commenced in April 2011 and took approximately 11 months to complete. To ensure the safety of workers and the community, it was necessary to close the bridge for the duration of the project,” Mr Young said.

The NSW Office of Water is working with local Murray-Darling Basin communities to identify potential projects to improve delivery, water-saving efficiency, or efficient environmental outcomes achieved by using less water. The NSW Murray Darling Basin Environmental Works & Measures Feasibility Project is about identifying projects that will improve delivery or efficiency of water for the environment. The NSW Government is currently looking for ideas from the community.

The upgrade of Old Man Creek, located in New South Wales, is one of a number of infrastructure and operational upgrades currently being undertaken in the Murrumbidgee River by State Water as part of the Computer Aided River Management (CARM) project. The $6.8 million Old Man Creek project proposes to construct a new weir on a bypass adjoining the existing Beavers Weir. The new weir will be fitted with gates for better-regulated water flow and a fishway to help native species migrate up the river. The infrastructure improvements will improve control flows into Old Man Creek from the Murrumbidgee River.

The NSW Office of Water has coordinated the preparation of the NSW Government submission on the Proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan in coordination with relevant NSW agencies and key stakeholders. The submission analyses the proposed Basin Plan

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crosscurrent against New South Wales requirements for triple bottom line outcomes, efficient water management and equitable sharing of impacts between Basin States and communities.

The NSW Office of Water is trialling new technology to provide real-time monitoring of potential blackwater events in flood conditions of southern parts of the state. Blackwater is a natural event and can occur during times of drought or floods. It involves decaying organic matter that uses oxygen and then darkens the water. This places stress on fish and other aquatic biota, potentially leading to fish kills.

Sydney Water has announced its intention to look to the market to provide mechanical and electrical services. Sydney Water Managing Director, Kevin Young, said that while the group is delivering quality service, it could be at a lower cost. “The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has asked Sydney Water to save $173 million in business efficiencies over the next four years. These proposed changes are part of that process, keeping costs and bills as low as possible for our customers without compromising quality and the safety of our staff,” Mr Young said.

The MIA Renewal Alliance is now developing a design for the modernisation of the Hanwood irrigation channel system near Griffith, NSW. The automation of existing channel control structures and escape structures is being proposed to eliminate loss of water from the irrigation system through the lateral and tail escapes and to achieve water savings and system improvement.

Sydney Water has taken the lead in leak management thanks to an $800K research project to trial innovative leak detection techniques in Sydney’s 3,000km of large pipes. Sydney Water’s Managing Director, Kevin Young, said that even though we are rated among the best in the world when it comes to leak management, Sydney Water is keen to improve the accuracy and effectiveness in the way we measure any loss of drinking water caused by leakage.

The NSW Public Health Act 2010 will commence later this year. The Act will require each water supplier to develop and implement a risk-based drinking water management system. NSW Health is preparing a series of regional workshops for local water utilities. NSW Health is seeking to identify suitably qualified contractors to help regional water utilities develop management systems. NSW Health held a briefing session for contractors on Monday 30 April. For further information on the briefing session please contact Dr Paul Byleveld .

Sydney Water is committed to maintaining its wastewater network to minimise odours and concrete corrosion. $21.8 million is being invested to fund five years of research into the best methods, models and tools to minimise concrete renewals costing around $40 million a year. $4.7 million is funded by the Australian Research Council Linkage Program. This is the largest Australian Research Council grant for water industry research.

14 MAY 2012 water

Western Australia The Western Australian Department of Water has published an information report to assist in developing a new groundwater allocation plan for the South West Coastal area. Community members and other stakeholders are invited to access the South West Coastal Groundwater allocation plan Information Report and get involved in the process of developing the allocation plan. The allocation plan will cover the groundwater area from Mandurah to Myalup and aims to ensure a sustainable water supply to the region.

The Swan and Canning rivers in Western Australia will receive an environmental health boost from the $8.56 million Urban Waterways Renewal Project, which aims to improve water quality. Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the Australian Government is providing $4 million to improve the health and amenity of the rivers, which are an iconic and integral part of the Perth community.

Water Corporation has selected Aroona consortium as its partner to provide improved water and wastewater services for customers in Perth and Mandurah regions in Western Australia. Aroona, which comprises Degrémont Pty Ltd and Transfield Services, will commence work on the contract in July.

Construction of the second phase of the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant (SSDP) in WA is running to schedule with water expected to be produced for the integrated scheme by December 2012. Water Minister Bill Marmion said he was pleased to see the progress that had been made. “The current plant is operating at full capacity, already producing more than 20 billion litres of water since it was officially opened in September last year,” Mr Marmion said. “When the second stage reaches full production most of our population will be receiving about half of their drinking water supply from the Indian Ocean – independent of rainfall.”

Victoria Water Minister Peter Walsh has announced a temporary suspension of some of Victoria’s allocation trade to protect next season’s allocations to Victorian water entitlement holders. The temporary suspension until 30 June begins immediately for trade of water allocation from New South Wales to Victoria, and from the Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems to the Victorian River Murray system, or to interstate.

The Victorian Government has placed a first water order of zero gigalitres from the Wonthaggi desalination plant for the coming financial year. Water Minister Peter Walsh said Melbourne’s water storages were at 64.8 per cent, thanks to good rainfall and the water saving efforts of Melburnians.

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crosscurrent The social and economic impacts of the proposed Murray Darling Basin Plan are too costly for Victoria, Water Minister Peter Walsh has said. Releasing the Victorian Coalition Government’s submission to the draft plan, Mr Walsh warned the Gillard Government against taking more water from Victoria. “This debate is not just academic – it’s about real communities and real people fighting for their very survival,” Mr Walsh said.

Heritage-listed public gardens in Melbourne will save water and stay green through a stormwater harvesting and reuse scheme. Marking the start of construction of a stormwater storage tank at Fitzroy Gardens today, Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, said the tank is part of the Eastern Melbourne Parks and Gardens Stormwater Harvesting Scheme. “The Australian Government is investing $4.88 million in the Scheme through its National Urban Water and Desalination Plan under the Water for the Future initiative,” he said.

Queensland Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has said the management of South-East Queensland dams significantly mitigated the impacts of the January 2011 flood on Brisbane. WSAA has endorsed the actions of Seqwater and its employees, saying they acted with caring professionalism throughout the most stressful and demanding of circumstances.

The SA State Parliament has passed historic legislation that will give South Australians independent water price regulation and greater consumer protection. This legislation is part of the biggest overhaul of water industry legislation in South Australia’s history and delivers on a key commitment of the State’s water security blueprint, Water for Good.

The annual review of the Eyre Peninsula Demand and Supply Statement shows that the region’s drinking water supplies are secure until at least 2023–2024. Department for Water Executive Director, Policy and Strategy, Julia Grant, says the review of the State’s first Demand and Supply Statement is part of an ongoing commitment to assessing water security across the state to 2050.

The communities of Booleroo Centre and Melrose in South Australia will save nearly six million litres of water each year through the use of an innovative water saving technique. The Australian Government is providing funding of $90,000 under its National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program to reduce evaporation and improve the quality of the communities’ recycled water, which is used for non-drinking purposes. Covers installed over local wastewater treatment storage lagoons at Booleroo Centre and Melrose are all but eliminating evaporation. The covers also reduce the temperature and UV exposure of the water, reducing the likelihood of algal blooms.

Member News The final report of the Flood Commission of Inquiry supports Engineers Australia’s position that disaster-planning processes at state and local levels should be strengthened. As the peak body for the engineering profession, Engineers Australia takes this issue seriously, Queensland Division President Steven Goh said.

The former owners of Lady Annie Mine, located 120 kilometres north-west of Mt Isa, have received a record fine of $500,000 for causing serious environmental harm after discharging contaminated water from the mine site. The fine is the largest ever handed down under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and was in addition to the estimated $11 million the former operator had been made to spend by DERM to clean up and rehabilitate the site following the discharge.

South Australia Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, has accused the Federal Government of being “slippery and spineless” for refusing to acknowledge that South Australians stuck to water extraction caps, despite being presented with clear evidence during Senate Question Time. Senator Xenophon presented the Federal Government with a graph created by the Murray-Darling Basin Commission that showed historical levels of extraction for each of the Basin states. It showed SA has stuck to extraction caps since 1968 while New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have more than doubled their take by over 3000 gigalitres.

16 MAY 2012 water

TRILITY will acquire Hydramet as part of its strategic expansion into the resources, public infrastructure and industrial sectors. TRILITY anticipated achieving financial close by early April.

Nominations for the AWA Queensland Water Awards have opened. The awards program recognises and promotes the outstanding work achieved by the individuals and organisations in the water sector. This year, the QLD Water Awards presentation will be held at our premium event, the Annual Gala Dinner, on 27 July 2012. Visit the AWA website to find out more about the awards and to nominate.

The Small Water and Wastewater Systems (SWWS) Specialist Network ran a networking evening on 27 February in Newcastle on Raising the Bar for On-site and Decentralised Wastewater Management. About 35 members attended and enjoyed three 15-minute presentations followed by 30 minutes of informal discussion and networking. The speakers were Ben Asquith, Tim Gipper and Joe Whitehead.

WQRA CEO and AWA Board member Jodieann Dawe has advised that she is expecting her second child in September 2012 and will be taking maternity leave later this year. Jodieann will take 12 months’ leave from WQRA, but will remain active on the AWA Board during this period.

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crosscurrent The Minister for Water Tony Burke has appointed Professor Stuart Bunn to act as the Chair of the Commission following the resignation of Chloe Munro. Professor Bunn will commence in this role on 2 April and has been appointed until 30 June, 2012.

George Frougas, formally of John Holland, has been appointed Central Region Water Manager for SMEC Australia. George brings 26 years of water and wastewater design, construction, commissioning and operations experience to SMEC. George will focus on developing the SMEC Water capability in the central region.

Queensland Branch Immediate Past President John Graham has joined the growing team at Monadelphous as National Business Development Manager – Water. John brings over 30 years of experience in a variety of senior management positions in both the private and public sectors. He will be located in Monadelphous’ Brisbane office.

Parsons Brinckerhoff has appointed three senior professionals to strengthen the environment, planning and stakeholder engagement team and support continued growth in the regions. Catherine Atoms and Tim Holmes will lead new stakeholder engagement teams in Perth and Melbourne. Joanna Stewart Priestley has joined as Principal Environmental Consultant in Perth. Section Executive Brian Ashcroft said the addition of the new team members was one more step in building a national network to service clients.

Scholarships for the 2012/13 round of the IWC Water Leadership Program are now open for the December 2012 intake. This customised nine-month program helps emerging water leaders to develop the abilities they need to exert influence, drive change and advance challenging integrated water management projects.

IWA Sustainability Specialist Group Prizes has called for nominations. The prizes seek to encourage reflection by researchers and practitioners about the implications of their work for sustainable water management and to recognise contributions which demonstrate significant progress towards the sustainable management of water resources in an urban environment. Details of eligibility, criteria and entry forms for the 2012 Awards are available on the IWA website and the deadline for entries will be 1 July 2012.

AWA is pleased to announce a partnership with the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT). The NCGRT, administered by Flinders University of South Australia, is a Co-Funded Centre of Excellence of the Australian Research Council and National Water Commission and undertakes the scientific research needed to improve understanding of Australia’s groundwater systems. The partnership will deliver high-quality training events using world leaders in their field for the next generation of researchers and groundwater professionals. For more information visit the AWA website.

AWA would like to sincerely apologise to AECOM for omitting key information from the 2012 Australian Water Directory, including key contacts as listed below. We appreciate AECOM’s understanding and continued support: National Water Leaders Water Supply & Wastewater Systems – James Prothero, (02) 8934 0000, email: james.; Water Resources – Mark Gibbs, (07) 3553 2000, email:; Program & Project Management – Greg Klamus, (02) 8934 0000, email:; Director for Growth – Lucia Cade, (03) 9653 1234, email:

AQUAPHEMERA The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and the Australian Government are now in the final stages of completing the Basin Plan, with submissions having closed in mid-April. Unfortunately, politics, parochialism and prejudice risk the adoption of a plan that is critical to the future health of this nationally significant river system. Over 60 scientists have signed a submission criticising the Draft Plan for only meeting some of the targets, saying it is not clear why all targets should not be met (see They, quite rightly, questioned groundwater extractions underwriting surface water use, and climate change scenarios not being included. But their call for better definitions of the links between hydrology and ecology seems disingenuous, as many of those links are ill defined and are likely to be for decades. The South Australian Government also says the Plan is not providing sufficient water for the environment. Conversely, the New South Wales and Victorian Governments in their submissions (see www.water.nsw. and respectively) are critical of the Plan for the opposite reason – putting too much water back into the river. While the New South Wales submission attempts to sound reasonable, citing the need for best available science, triple bottom line balance and diversified strategic water recovery, their credibility is questioned with claims of being a leader in water reform over the past 25 years; that water recovery is not equitably shared between Basin States; and that all costs, including structural adjustments, should be met by the Commonwealth Government – despite New South Wales gaining massive benefits from the Basin for a century. The Victorian Government also believes the community has not been adequately engaged. While some criticism is warranted of the Draft Plan, it would have been to the credit of the above if they had clearly supported the Plan – not just the concept – and shown how they were prepared to work with the MDBA to improve it over time. – Ross Knee

18 MAY 2012 water

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industry news Compact with Water Utilities Launched

More than 70 community representatives of Australia’s First Peoples gathered at the First Peoples’ National Water Summit in Adelaide on March 29–30 to develop advice on how Indigenous water should be managed.

Reflecting the significance of the event, the Minister For Industry and for Climate Change, Greg Combet, formally officiated at the launch of the Compact between waterAUSTRALIA and the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) recently.The Compact, whose other signatories include the Industry Capability Network and the Water Supplier Advocate, will encourage Australian water technology and service suppliers to work with Australia’s urban water utilities to build a stronger domestic supply base which is tuned to the future needs of the utilities.

The two-day Summit was convened by the First Peoples’ Water Engagement Council (FPWEC), which was formed to provide advice to the National Water Commission on national Indigenous water issues.

Photo: hho EvEnts

FPWEC Summit on Indigenous Water

FPWEC Chair Phil Duncan giving the Introduction at the Summit.

“The Water Supplier Compact demonstrates that Australian urban water utilities and suppliers are committed to tackling barriers to innovation, investment and trade, and to increasing suppliers’ access to business opportunities within the sector,” said Mr Combet at the launch event. Signatories for WSAA were Chair, Sue Murphy, and Executive Director, Adam Lovell. Addressing one subject area for the Compact, Adam Lovell said: “Small suppliers and vendors can find it difficult to penetrate the market place for water utilities. Standards, specifications and service requirements do vary from utility to utility, depending on region, size and need. This agreement means that Australian suppliers and water utilities can work more effectively together to build a capable, disciplined, supply chain.”

The members of the FPWEC are Cheryl Buchanan (Kooma (Gwamu)), George Cooley (Yanyula and Antakirinja Mutu-Yankuntjatjara), Phil Duncan (Gomeroi), Bradley Moggridge (Kamilaroi), Lillian Moseley (Dunghutti), Robert Dalton (Mudburra) and Brian Wyatt (Yued and Banyjima).

Graham Dooley (Chair) and Les Targ (CEO) were signatories for waterAUSTRALIA. Graham Dooley described the Compact as “a ground-breaking agreement for the Australian water industry. It brings together the major parties in the water industry with a shared goal to maximise opportunities for Australian suppliers and to build a capable, disciplined supply chain to the advantage of their major customer base, the water utilities.”

Summit attendees discussed Australia’s First Peoples water-related topics including: • Gaining respect and recognition for cultural values and aspirations; • Potential allocation of water entitlements to support economic development and cultural needs; and

More details are available at

• Opportunities to improve decision making and partnerships in water planning and management. The first day of the Summit was for Australia’s First Peoples’ attendees only, who worked together to develop a national position on how Australia’s First Peoples can gain access to water and how water can be better managed to provide for Indigenous needs. On the second day, a broader audience including Federal, State and Territory Government water policy makers, National Water Commissioners, academics and other water industry stakeholders joined the Summit to discuss how Australia’s First Peoples’ water needs can be taken up and acted upon. FPWEC Chair Phil Duncan said, “The Council will now use the Summit outcomes to develop formal advice to the National Water Commission on Australia’s First Peoples’ water issues. This will inform the Commission’s findings as it develops a position on how Australia’s First Peoples’ water should be managed in the future.”

Working Together for Australia’s Cities

Photo: hho EvEnts

Consult Australia has responded to the release of the COAG Reform Council’s report into Capital Cities Strategic Planning Systems by urging governments to continue to work together, harder, smarter and faster to secure a better future for Australian cities. The Association sees the report as the beginning of ongoing collaboration between all spheres of government and industry supporting better strategic planning of cities across Australia.

Attendees at the First Peoples’ National Water Summit, Adelaide.

20 MAY 2012 water

Consult Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Megan Motto welcomes the much-anticipated report and applauds COAG’s contribution to this vital debate. “The COAG Reform Council has clearly demonstrated without any measure of doubt the importance of an ongoing commitment by all spheres of government to work together and to share information and expertise towards better strategic planning for better cities,” said Ms Motto.

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industry news “Industry collaboration and community buy-in are critical elements in this process. Consult Australia looks forward to being a part of the work going forward. Whether we are talking about population growth, productivity, climate change, social inclusion, health, liveability or housing affordability, it is through better urban planning that we will see meaningful change in these areas. In once again demonstrating the critical role of cities and the extent of work still to be done, this report should provide the catalyst for improved strategic planning across all Australia’s major cities, not just our capital cities—the expansion of this work must be a focus for COAG’s forward agenda.”

Australia’s Water Industry Adapts to Changing Conditions The National Water Commission has released its latest annual reports on the performance of Australia’s urban water utilities and rural water service providers. Releasing the two reports, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the wet conditions of the last two years, following severe drought, demonstrates the challenge of delivering water services in Australia. “The urban report shows that the water industry is performing well in delivering water and wastewater services to 18.7 million Australians, including very high quality drinking water. The rural report demonstrates that investment in infrastructure renewal to modernise irrigation networks and install new metering technologies is boosting efficiency and reducing water losses.” The reports also note that water availability increased dramatically during 2010/11, when some of the most significant flooding in our recorded history occurred over eastern Australia. At the same time a number of major water security projects were completed. Senator Farrell said the Commission’s work continues to be valuable. “I recently introduced a Bill proposing to continue the National Water Commission, subject to endorsement by the Council of Australian Governments. These reports demonstrate how the Commission contributes greatly by providing quality information on the performance of the organisations that deliver our water.” Acting Chair of the National Water Commission, Stuart Bunn, said: “Australia’s water service providers and jurisdictions provide vital leadership in developing these reports. The Australian water sector has a chance to take stock before storages are again tested by drought. Although considerable gains have been made, we need renewed and forward-looking reform to ensure our water supplies remain safe and reliable. In particular, the Commission believes there is scope for further reforms that set clearer water security objectives, promote better customer choice, and send clearer price signals.”

New Training Organisation to Lead the Way in Water Training The Australian Water Association (AWA) and Opus International Consultants (Opus) are proud to announce the arrival of a new registered training organisation for the water sector, AWA Opus Water Industry Training Institute (WITI). Capacity and skills development in the water sector has been an important issue for many years. The issue came to national prominence through the National Water Commission in 2008, and AWA has been working with the industry since this time to keep the water skills issue on the national agenda. AWA Chief Executive Mr Tom Mollenkopf says WITI has been set up to ensure that AWA can continue to assist industry to meet these skill needs. “AWA is the leading water sector body in Australia, and Opus is the owner of the Environmental Training Centre (ETC), the dominant provider of water industry training in New Zealand. AWA’s relationship with the water industry and Opus’ experience over 60 years in delivering water training in New Zealand, make this partnership ideal. “Through this unique partnership, we will be able to deliver efficient and responsive training programs to industry. The establishment of this joint venture RTO will bring a sharp commercial focus to the challenge of delivering quality training particularly in hard-to-service areas of rural and regional Australia”, said Mr Mollenkopf. Opus Managing Director Australia Mr Melvyn Maylin said that as a leading consultant in the water sector, Opus provides design and technical advisory services throughout the lifecycle of infrastructure assets. This includes provision of operator training which we see as an essential ingredient in enhancing infrastructure security. We are delighted to team with AWA to bring operator training to the place where clients need it; their own patch.” Initially, WITI will focus on delivering NWP30107 Certificate III in Water Operations and intends to provide NWP20107 Certificate II in Water Operations in the future upon application. Qualifications initially focusing on Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment and Reticulation and Distribution will be offered and can be customised to suit workplace needs. In the future WITI will also offer short courses based on clusters of units of competency as required for the accreditation of employees. To find out more about the AWA Opus Water Industry Training Institute, visit

Executive Director of the Water Services Association of Australia, Adam Lovell, said: “During the drought, our urban water utilities invested in new water infrastructure and efficiency programs to secure future diversified supplies. Typical residential bills reflect these investments and rising operating costs. The fall in demand for water has softened the impact of the price increases on consumers. “Despite challenging conditions, however, water quality and sewerage services were maintained. All urban water utilities serving mainland capital cities achieved 100 per cent microbiological compliance.” Both the reports are available online at


MAY 2012 21

industry news Unique ‘Class A’ Plant in Geelong

Carbon Neutral First for Western Water

A new Class A recycled water plant is currently under construction in Geelong, Victoria. The $A94 million Northern Water Plant, located next to the Shell Geelong Refinery, is a major water-saving initiative. The plant will treat trade waste from the refinery and domestic sewage from Geelong’s expanding northern suburbs. The facility will produce close to 2000ML per annum of low- and medium-salinity Class A water for service to the refinery. It will also produce a third type of Class A water for irrigation supply to a nearby sports ground complex. The project is being delivered by Barwon Water in partnership with Shell.

Residents in one of the fastest-growing regions of Victoria are using Australia’s most environmentally friendly water through Australia’s first certified carbon neutral recycled water plant. Low Carbon Australia has certified Western Water’s Class A Recycled Water Plant in Melton, north-west of Melbourne, as carbon neutral.

The opportunity for a joint project was borne from investigations by Barwon Water into options to meet growth and manage bottlenecks in the sewer. Options included a new treatment plant in the northern suburbs. Concurrently Shell Refinery, also located in the north, was planning to build its own treatment plant to improve wastewater discharge quality. “The concept was developed in 2003 during one of the most severe droughts ever experienced in the region,” says Barwon Water’s General Manager of Capital Projects, Paul Northey. “The project was a natural fit to meet the needs of both organisations, with added benefits to the community.” These added benefits include a substitution of five per cent of Geelong’s potable supply and improved wet weather flow management. The project has received $20 million and $9.2 million funding from the Australian and Victorian Governments respectively. Shell and Barwon Water are meeting the remainder of the project cost. The project is designed to treat 7.5ML/day and up to 20.7ML/ day of wet weather flow through a continuously aerated biological nutrient removal plant. The biological plant includes clarifiers sized for wet weather and onsite sludge thickening. Treated water will supply an ultra-filtration/reverse osmosis plant to generate 5ML/ day medium- and low-salinity Class A recycled water. Treated wet weather flow will be temporarily stored onsite. The high concentration of refinery wastewater presented a risk to conventional membrane designs. A pilot plant mimicking the biological and membrane trains was operated in 2010, which confirmed the design could meet the performance requirements. Importantly, excessive fouling from recalcitrant hydrocarbon constituents was not observed. Due to the sensitivity of the site locality, 300 metres from residents, the plant includes coverage and odour treatment from the inlet works, biological tanks and solid handling processes. “For the project to be a success, we needed to invest in complete odour recovery and treatment with best available technology.” Paul Northey says. John Holland was awarded the construction contract in early 2011. The plant is soon to commence commissioning. Completion is scheduled for early 2013.

Low Carbon Australia’s CEO, Meg McDonald, said the Melton plant’s biogas cogeneration facility, which began operating in 2010, uses methane emissions generated from the water recycling process to power the Class A Recycled Water Plant’s operations. “The plant has been able to reduce its total carbon footprint by just under 75 per cent through cogeneration. It has then purchased offsets approved under the Australian Governments National Carbon Offset Standard to achieve carbon neutrality,” she said. Western Water’s Managing Director John Wilkinson said Western Water was committed to reducing its carbon footprint and adapting to climate change in a way that was socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. “We’re servicing one of the fastest growing regions in Victoria. While we’re currently providing water, recycled water and sewerage services to about 150,000 residents, this population is growing by about 6,000 every year,” he said. “With that kind of growth, it’s imperative that we look to ways to keep our carbon emissions low, and we see this cogeneration plant as benefiting not only the environment, but also improving our financial bottom line and providing better value for customers. For us, gaining carbon neutral recognition has been an important step towards a sustainable future.”

Coal Seam Gas Expert Scientific Committee Legislation Introduced Environment Minister Tony Burke has introduced legislation to the House of Representatives to establish an Independent Expert Scientific Committee to provide advice on coal seam gas and large coal mining. The legislation will amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to allow for the establishment of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development as a statutory body. The Independent Expert Scientific Committee is part of a science-based framework to provide more certainty for regional communities on coal seam gas and large coal mining developments, jobs and investment and the protection of water resources. An interim committee was put in place pending formal establishment of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee. The interim committee will continue until it hands over to the Independent Expert Scientific Committee from July 1 2012. The establishment of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee as a statutory committee delivers on the commitment made by the Prime Minister in November 2011 on this issue and fulfils one of the Commonwealth’s key obligations under the National Partnership Agreement being negotiated between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. New South Wales and Queensland have signed the agreement. Negotiations with other states are continuing. “Independent expert scientific advice to provide quality recommendations for the protection of water resources has formed part of approvals where they have been given under national environmental law,” Mr Burke said. “To date, this quality independent advice has been limited to the extent of environmental powers in relation to matters of national

22 MAY 2012 water

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industry news environmental significance set out under the EPBC Act. The establishment of the committee is about ensuring that robust, independent scientific evidence is available to all governments when they consider applications which potentially have direct or indirect impacts on water resources. “Under the agreement, signatory governments to the National Partnership Agreement are required to seek the committee’s advice when considering approvals for coal seam gas and large coal mining developments which are likely to have direct or indirect impacts on water resources.” The first five regions where the interim committee will undertake further detailed assessment to provide better information for decision-makers to ensure protection of water resources are: • Queensland – Lake Eyre Basin, which is underlain by the Galilee, Cooper and Pedirka coal-bearing basins; • New South Wales and Queensland – Northern Inland Catchments, incorporating the Namoi, Border Rivers-Gwydir, Maranoa-Balonne and Macquarie-Castlereagh coal-bearing basins, an area underlain by the Gunnedah and Surat basins; • New South Wales – Northern Sydney Basin and Gloucester Basin, encompassing the Hunter Central Rivers and Hawkesbury-Nepean natural resource management regions; • New South Wales – Southern Sydney Basin, encompassing the Southern Rivers, Sydney Metro and Hawkesbury-Nepean natural resource management regions; and • Queensland – Clarence-Moreton Basin, encompassing the South-East Queensland and Northern Rivers natural resource management regions. The interim committee will provide further information together with state governments that have signed the National Partnership Agreement on how these bioregional assessments will be undertaken. Further bioregional assessments will be determined following advice from the interim committee and relevant state governments. Mr Burke also announced $9.2 million for 23 natural resource management regions in New South Wales and Queensland to undertake an analysis of their local environment and potential impact on water resources from coal seam gas and coal mining developments.

Current Coal Seam Gas Approach Not Covering Risks Australia would greatly benefit from a “slow down and learn approach” to managing possible risks from coal seam gas extraction given the near impossible challenge of modelling its impacts, says Professor Alan Randall, from University of Sydney. “The grand Australian coal seam gas project is just getting started, so there is still the opportunity to slow things down, learn more about its impacts and apply what is learned to control the direction, scale and speed of future development,” says Randall, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University, in an article to be published in a forthcoming edition of the Environment and Planning Law Journal. “Regulatory approaches are continuing to evolve, but I am suggesting something much more comprehensive than anything currently under serious consideration.” The key elements of a “slow down and learn” approach to CSG, as outlined by Professor Randall, would include curtailing CSG expansion until the completion of in-depth scientific studies and analysis of the impacts of existing CSG extraction technology on soil, the surface and the aquifers and developed and tested models of cumulative impact including: • A study of impacts on groundwater; • Research to design state-of-the-art and cost-effective wastewater treatment technologies; and • A comprehensive plan to direct, manage and control future expansion of CSG extraction. In addition, an integrated risk management approach to CSG would require adequate regulatory protections at the project level for future and, where feasible, existing projects. “Of course, slowing down future CSG development will entail opportunity costs in the form of foregone economic benefits, but these costs could be less than we might think,” Professor Randall said. “It will take some time until we know better how to identify projects that entail manageable risks, how to manage those risks and where to draw the line on unacceptable risks. But when we do, the gas will still be there and depending on developments in energy markets, it may be even more valuable later than it is now.

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industry news The Challenge of Sustainable Water Development in Australia’s North

the Commission has worked to improve understanding of the area’s hydrology, river ecology and water-dependent ecosystems.

Acting Chair of the National Water Commission, Stuart Bunn, has released a position statement calling for Australia to draw on its experience and knowledge to protect and sustain the unique water resources in our north.

Recognising that the National Water Initiative (NWI) provides the right framework for managing water resources and is equally applicable to northern Australia, the Commission calls for NWIconsistent water legislation to be enacted in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

“Because the diverse hydrological and ecological systems in our north differ so much from other systems, development in northern Australia presents inevitable challenges for water management,” he said. “We now have a historic opportunity to make sure that these largely undeveloped water systems support productive and healthy ecosystems, vibrant communities and rich Indigenous cultures.” The Commission’s position statement outlines five principles to support the sustainable management of water resources as this important region develops. Stuart Bunn explained: “Transparent and inclusive water planning that balances development aspirations with environmental and cultural water requirements will be critical to building community confidence in decisions about how we share resources. Achieving this will require an informed and shared understanding of northern Australia’s water resources based on robust science and socio-economic information. The Commission is encouraged that progress is being made in achieving Indigenous access to water through cultural flows and water for economic purposes. It is vital that Indigenous interests in water planning and management continue to advance and are properly recognised.” Through strategic investments and partnerships such as the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Research Hub,

Stuart Bunn added: “We also acknowledge the importance of collaboration across governments and welcome the establishment of the Northern Australian Ministerial Forum. The Commission believes that Northern Australia’s water resources can be developed in an culturally, socially, ecologically and economically sustainable way by pursuing these principles and associated actions.” The Position Statement is available on the Commission’s website at

New Institute to Lead the Way on Climate Change Research A new research institute at the University of Western Sydney will use world-class facilities to deliver research that will help Australia tackle the impacts of climate change. Opening the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at the university’s Hawkesbury campus in Richmond recently, Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, said the Gillard Government had invested $40 million to establish the institute, which will transform climate change research in Australia. “These world-class facilities will provide us with the capacity to undertake cutting-edge research on a scale that will help place Australia at the forefront of the response to climate change,” Senator Evans said. “The data produced at the Hawkesbury Institute will help determine the impact of climate change on our land and water resources and, in turn, help us shape our response to these challenges. “The facilities at the institute act as a climatic ‘time machine’ that will give scientists unique access to study the effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide, changed rainfall patterns and rising temperatures on the environment.” Senator Evans added that since 2007, the Education Investment Fund, through which the Hawkesbury Institute has been funded, has provided more than $875 million in research infrastructure funding to higher education institutions, the VET sector and research providers. “The Gillard Government recognises that Australian scientists and researchers – given the necessary support – have what it takes to lead the way to a strong economy into the future,” Senator Evans said. “The Hawkesbury Institute will act as an international research hub for academics, research students and technical and professional staff collaborating to find solutions to climate change impact. This research will be transformative in our response to climate change.” In 2012, the Gillard Government will invest more than $480 million in the University of Western Sydney for research, science, teaching and learning – an increase of almost $200 million since 2007. This includes $40 million to establish the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment through the Education Investment Fund. The University of Western Sydney also contributed $15 million for the project.

26 MAY 2012 water

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industry news Abigroup Awarded New Wastewater Treatment Work Abigroup Water has been awarded a new scope of works by Sydney Water for a wastewater treatment plant in Sydney’s south as part of the ongoing Odour Management Program (OMP) Alliance of works. The work, to be carried out at Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), consists of an upgrade to the plant’s odour management system and to the existing civil, mechanical and electrical infrastructure to improve life and operability. OMP Alliance Manager Sam Quagliata, from Abigroup Water, said, “This is a pleasing result realised through the collaborative working environment within the Alliance and the broader Sydney Water Cronulla plant operators. The Alliance has worked very closely with Sydney Water to achieve this positive outcome which will ultimately benefit the operators, the local community and the new residential development in Green Hills, Sydney.” Work is due to start on Cronulla WWTP in May 2012 and to be completed by early 2014. The project forms part of Abigroup’s $100 million contract to upgrade Sydney Water’s wastewater treatment plants as part of the Sydney Odour Management Program in Sydney and the Illawarra. The five year OMP Alliance between Sydney Water, Abigroup and CH2M Hill will reduce odour at the plants through capture and treatment.

Water Set to Support Pilbara’s Growth Tenix has been announced as the preferred partner for the Pilbara Wastewater Treatment Alliance which is set to provide up to $200 million worth of major upgrades to wastewater services in the Pilbara region. Detailed design will enable a final proposal to be completed and the award of the Alliance Agreement. This Agreement is expected to be executed by July 2012. Onsite works are expected to begin later in 2012 for the upgrade of the Karratha Wastewater Treatment Plant No.1 and South Hedland Wastewater Treatment Plant to a capacity of 10 million litres per day by June 2014. “We are delighted to have been selected as the preferred partner with Water Corporation to supply end-to-end project services for the delivery of these wastewater treatment plants,” said Chris Lazidis, Tenix Executive General Manager. The Pilbara region is set for unprecedented population growth, from approximately 15,000 to well above 30,000 people in 2015, as some analysts are predicting. Tenix is currently delivering existing water and wastewater services in an Alliance with Water Corporation in the Margaret River and Busselton regions, having partnered with Water Corporation for over a decade.

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MAY 2012 27

awa news

Mentoring (It Doesn’t Have to be Epic) Mike Dixon – AWA YWP National Committee President In Homer’s Odyssey, Mentor is a trusted friend of Ulysses. While Ulysses is fighting the Trojan War, Mentor cares for Ulysses’ son until the war ends and encourages him to search for his lost father. While I did realise mentoring involved encouragement and guidance, I was intrigued to find the word ‘mentor’ originated from Homer’s epic. Mentoring is a professional relationship between two people – a more experienced mentor (usually senior and outside a mentee’s line of management) and a less experienced mentee. The relationship is formed as an opportunity to strengthen the mentee’s skills and knowledge to enhance their job performance and career prospects. Ideally, I believe an effective mentoring relationship is based upon encouragement, constructive feedback, openness, trust, respect and a willingness to learn and share information. Recently I became a mentee and I am already finding the experience a great self-development opportunity. I had always wanted a mentor, but like many people found the idea of approaching someone with this request a little daunting. However, as I increased my activity in the water industry and continued to volunteer with the Young Water Professionals it became clear I would definitely benefit from a mentoring relationship. The YWP was just the ticket I needed to set the mentor wheels in motion. In the past I have received coaching, which involved sharing specific skills in a technical area with short-term goals. I have also initiated what I see as informal mentoring; for instance, being in a casual setting with a more senior person and asking a leading question for insight into their career and knowledge.

What Makes a Good Mentor? From my perspective, formal mentoring is more a broad brush stroke with advice on your career and your life, delivered in a structured way with regular meetings and the opportunity to discuss progress. While informal mentoring can deliver quick outcomes, a formal approach provides the support required to help with longer-term progress and ingraining new, improved behaviours. I read that a good mentor is someone whose hindsight can become your foresight. Being mentored can be one of your most valuable and effective development opportunities. Being guided, encouraged and supported by a trusted and experienced mentor can provide a mentee with both personal and professional benefits. It provides a brain to pick, an ear to listen and perhaps a steer in the right direction. Mentoring also exposes the mentee to new ways of thinking, advice to develop strengths and overcome weaknesses, and an exciting opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge.

28 MAY 2012 water

It should be said that to be successful, mentoring needs to benefit both parties. The relationship is more than the transfer of advice, knowledge and insights from mentor to mentee. It can be rewarding for mentors willing to invest their time in developing another professional. In addition to the personal satisfaction of sharing skills and experience, the benefits for a mentor include recognition as a subject matter expert and leader, exposure to different perspectives and fresh ideas, and an opportunity to reflect on their own goals and personal leadership style.

National Water Industry Mentoring Program The concept of a national water industry mentoring program was initiated by the YWP network in response to concerns about knowledge loss from an ageing workforce. It was envisaged a successful mentoring program could see earlycareer water sector employees paired with more experienced mentors whose expertise and circumstances suited the mentee. So far New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia have started mentoring programs with several successful events and I am delighted to share details from two branches. Working with a foundation developed by New South Wales YWPs, Queensland launched their program in March last year with a breakfast at the Brisbane Exhibition and Conference Centre. The event, sponsored by Abigroup Water and CH2M Hill was made all the more successful with attendance from the AWA Board, Tom Mollenkopf (AWA Chief Executive Officer) and Garth Bellingham (AWA Queensland Branch President). That morning, 13 mentee/ mentor pairs started their journey. Following on from the success in 2011, a program has been launched in Queensland for 2012 with the continued support of Abigroup Water and CH2M Hill. Western Australia’s YWPs showed they are ‘Mad About Mentoring’ with a fantastic turnout to launch a new phase of mentoring partnerships in February this year. More than 60 people, including existing and prospective mentors and mentees, attended the event, hosted and sponsored by SKM. The turnout demonstrated the level of support and interest for the program, both from the YWPs and from more experienced people in the industry. Dion Karafilis of SKM kicked off the event with some words of wisdom, followed by Denis Ericson, Western Australian Branch President, who shared his valuable mentoring experiences. This was followed by some feedback on the first six months of the Western Australia program and an overview for new mentors and mentees from Natalie Horsfield, YWP Mentoring Coordinator. If you would like a mentor but are unsure how to go about organising one, or if you have knowledge and experience to share or want self-development as a mentor or mentee, please contact your local Branch Manager or YWP Committee Members.

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MAY 2012 29

awa news

Release of the AWA Biosolids Management Position Paper This communications tool will promote biosolids as a valuable by-product AWA is pleased to announce the formal release of the AWA Biosolids Management Position Paper. Developed in partnership with the Australian and New Zealand Biosolids Partnership (ANZBP), the paper communicates the position that biosolids are a valuable product that can be used safely and sustainably. The ANZBP is a collective of utilities, consultants, academics and government bodies committed to the sustainable management of biosolids. Managed by AWA, the objectives of the ANZBP are to: • Support public engagement with respect to the sustainable management of biosolids in Australia; • Support the Australian and New Zealand water industry on technical and regulatory components of biosolids management; • Establish a global network of parties interested in the sustainable management of biosolids. The ANZBP believes biosolids are a valuable product that can be used safely and sustainably. Their use is consistent with the principle of waste minimisation and use and that applying biosolids to the land closes the nutrient cycle, reducing land degradation and returning fertilisers to the soil. With the completion of a number of key projects exploring the current state of biosolids management practices and regulation in Australia, the ANZBP recognised the need for a document that discusses the current state of biosolids management and provides a vision of sustainable biosolids management. The ANZBP approached AWA to offer support and leadership in the development of an industry position paper that could be used as a communications tool. AWA, supported by its Board and a committee of ANZBP members, developed a position paper that declares that: 1.

Biosolids are a valuable by-product of the wastewater treatment process and their use represents an appropriate use of a resource and closes the ‘nutrient loop’.


Biosolids are currently regulated to protect human health and the environment; noting that there is much room for improvement to make the biosolids management process more efficient.


Governments should seek to introduce consistency in regulation and that AWA/ANZBP will encourage governments to introduce reforms accordingly.

Returning biosolids to the land closes the nutrient ‘loop’. useful soil-like material that have relatively high nutrient value and soil-enhancement characteristics. • There are a number of uses to which biosolids may be put. The use chosen reflects the quality of the biosolids produced. Lower grades of biosolids may be used for landfill, while the highest grades are used for agricultural application. • Inorganic sources of phosphorus and essential macronutrient are declining globally and prices are likely to rise in future. Biosolids are nutrient-rich, so their use may help to defray the increasing cost of phosphorus. Use of biosolids also represents a closing of the nutrient ‘loop’, returning nutrients to the land from which they were derived in the first place. • Research by ANZBP has suggested that the community is generally supportive of the use of biosolids, with those who have had some experience or contact with biosolids (such as farmers, and householders who live in areas where biosolids are used or produced) being more supportive than the general community. • Australia has some of the strictest regulations and guidelines to control the use of biosolids, significantly stricter than those that apply in the EU or the United States. The multi-barrier approach that is characteristic of these regulations ensures that biosolids are safe for the use for which they are intended. • While Australian regulations are strict, unnecessary inconsistencies exist between the various states and territories and the Commonwealth. These inconsistencies cause confusion for consumers and the community generally and add to costs. There are strong grounds for a review of regulations to reduce inconsistencies, while maintaining the effectiveness of regulations in protection community and environmental health and wellbeing.

Educational Tool

Key Objectives

The Position Paper is a tool that will serve to educate those unfamiliar with biosolids management practices and deliver a scientifically justified message and position. The information provided by the ANZBP is factual, unbiased and open.

With the confirmation of a common industry position, a key objective of the ANZBP is to promote the development of an improved regulatory structure for Australia and New Zealand, exploring opportunities to harmonise the numerous regulations and management requirements across the jurisdictions.

The following is the core narrative of the Position Paper: • Biosolids are a by-product of the sewage treatment process. Managed in line with carefully designed practices for treatment and application, biosolids are a safe and potentially

30 MAY 2012 water

The Position Paper will form the core of an ANZBP communications campaign to raise awareness of biosolids among all levels of Government, the general public and other parties identified by the ANZBP and AWA.

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awa news The audience of the Position Paper is quite broad, ranging from established ANZBP stakeholders through to parties that are likely to have little awareness of biosolids. The ANZBP Communications Strategy, developed in 2011, provides a plan to disseminate the Position Paper to a variety of interest groups. Members of Parliament and government bodies are core groups that have been rated as having a high information need. MPs that are associated with (via a portfolio), or have an interest in agriculture and/or management of water and waste, will be a priority to reach. Another group that the ANZBP would like to include in communications activities include food quality assurance organisations and food-retailers. Findings from the ANZBP Community Attitudinal Survey indicate there is a generally positive attitude within the community on biosolids, which places the ANZBP in a good position.

Only the highest grades biosolids are used in agriculture. concerns and provides it in a non-partisan manner for consideration.

The ANZBP’s research report, Community Attitudes to the Use and Management of Biosolids did find, however, that an inherent threat in the overall lack of knowledge about biosolids in the community is misinformation or a fear campaign. This poses a risk where an ill-informed community could quickly escalate into a negative market response from the food retailers (to protect their position and customers) to the detriment of the biosolids industry. Therefore, the ANZBP needs to manage communication cautiously.

The Position Paper will be formally released at the AWA Biosolids and Source Management National Conference, 18-20 June 2012, at the Gold Coast.

Food quality assurance is generally based on good science, although it can also be influenced by industry groups and food retailers. The Position Paper addresses health and safety

Many thanks to Andrew Speers, AWA National Manager – Programs and Policy, for his guidance in the development of this resource, and to AWA and ANZBP Board Members for their input.

Copies of the Position Paper may be accessed from the AWA website. ANZBP Membership enquiries are welcome – please contact the Project Manager at for more information. Please visit for additional information regarding the ANZBP.

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MAY 2012 31

awa news

Vale, Everard Arthur (Bob) Swinton With thanks to Frank Bishop, Brian Bolto, Peter Griffiths and Kim Fisher for their contributions. It is with great sadness that we at AWA pay tribute to our longstanding colleague and friend Everard Arthur (known to all as Bob) Swinton, who passed away on April 19 after a several-month battle with cancer. Bob, who was 89, demonstrated a spirit of pluck and resourcefulness right up until the end, continuing to work in his capacity as Technical Editor of Water Journal until a day or so before he died. He will be greatly missed by all at AWA and in the water industry. Water Journal was born in 1974 and was initially produced as a quarterly publication. As Technical Editor, a role he took up on retirement and performed admirably for 25 years, Bob sourced and edited technical papers, corrected the galleys before going to print, attended industry conferences and wrote up reports, as well as serving on the Editorial Committee. Prior to this Bob had spent most of his working life at the CSIRO as a scientist applying research and undertaking pilot studies; however, as former CSIRO colleague Brian Bolto recollects, he never quite fitted the public service mould. “Bob was imported by Don Weiss in the early 1950s to do pilot plant work on novel water treatment processes devised on the lab scale. He did things his way, always, and was usually right. Things like jigged bed continuous ion exchange for uranium extraction at Rum Jungle; moving bed ion exchange with magnetic micro resins; de-alkalisation at Deer Park and in the field at Singleton – and he was involved in the full-scale magnetic ion exchange Sirotherm desalination plant at Leederville. He also ran the physicochemical sewage treatment plant at Lower Plenty for a while, where CSIRO had up to six pilot rigs going for various processes. “Bob was highly innovative, as exemplified by this low-tech example: Working at Fishermen’s Bend in wooden prefab huts, there were often floods with pilot rigs. Bob’s answer to this was to find the lowest part of the building and drill a big hole in the floorboards. Then there was the notorious episode with the Commonwealth Police. CSIRO shared the Bend site with the Aeronautical Research Labs, so it was a patrolled area. After a roasting from the boss re an ambiguous rate test for salt uptake by resins, Bob decided to go back and repeat it on the Saturday. He couldn’t raise the guard, so climbed over the fence and vanished into his lab. The cops, of course, spotted him, but had to spend quite some time scouring the site to find him. They raised all hell.” Editorial Committee Chair Frank Bishop recalls: “Several of us on the Journal Committee had the need to contact Bob over AWA affairs, when CSIRO and ICIANZ were developing the Sirotherm process. But he was hard to catch up with. A call to CSIRO Water Group in South Melbourne would have

32 MAY 2012 water

the receptionist announcing he was not there… the same would happen at ICI Head Office and ICI Deer Park, where sometimes you would have success asking to check if he was in the backyard. Bob was the ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’ of CSIRO. No wonder his supervising scientists found it difficult to control him! “Bob attended all AWA conferences and was well known as an identity. He surpassed all, however, at the 1979 Gold Coast Convention when he arrived on stage at the conference dinner with a lovely bikini-clad Meter Maid on each arm. The reason was never found out, but all were very envious. “In spite of these diversions, the success of the Journal depended in part on Bob’s efforts and his ability to develop themes, scratch up papers and edit them to a high standard. Bob was no ‘book worm’, though; he had a zest for life and wanted to live it to the full and sample the delights of the world, from the frozen wastes of Finland to the Amazon jungles of Brazil or the high-speed trains in Japan.” Colleague Peter Griffiths recalls that Bob was awarded the first Michael Flynn Award in 1981 and he was the first to congratulate Bob on this honour. Bob was also for many years active in the Scouts and in 2003 was awarded the Silver Kangaroo, an award given for eminent achievement and meritorious service for a period of at least 20 years. Former Scout Kim Fisher remembers Bob with admiration and affection. “Bob was a wonderful man who taught us Senior Scouts how to have confidence in ourselves, to face up to difficulties and the unexpected,” he says. “He gave us a love of the outdoors and we had many extraordinary adventures. He threw us in at the deep end and taught us how to swim, and constantly strove to find innovative ways to do those things. “He was ever cheerful, always looking for an opportunity to teach us how to be men. I remember once on the way to a Scout meeting he picked up a hitchhiker and persuaded him to come to the meeting ... and teach us how to play the bagpipes. He took us to the snow to first build and then spend the night in an igloo. One scouting night he blindfolded us, drove us to an unknown place and left us there, saying we had enough information to find our way back. It took us two hours but we were glad to be alive, forged into a team, confident in our ability and enjoying the challenge. “Over the years there have been many times when Bob’s teachings have lent me courage and the wit to respond in a way that has helped me and those around me. I am deeply indebted to Bob and have the utmost respect for all he has done for me. His marvellous education and mighty adventures – and his cheery and slightly mischievous smile – will always be a treasured memory.”

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awa news AWA Training and Professional Development: New Directions for 2012–13 In 2011 the AWA Board signed a Training Strategy that set the direction for the Association in a number of new and exciting areas. Traditionally, AWA has provided the water sector with high-quality training and professional development opportunities and taken a lead role in the advocacy of training at a national level. However, since the Training Strategy was approved, AWA’s National Manager – Water Sector Training, Petra Kelly, has focused on ensuring there is a coordinated and strategic approach to training delivery with balance between the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education sectors and a stronger focus on linking training initiatives to formal accreditation. A summary of the achievements over the last 12 months and plans for moving forward are outlined here.

Advocacy AWA continues to be an active leader in the water sector training space with an ongoing role in the Water Industry Skills Taskforce and a number of roles representing the water sector in training related committees, including the Water Industry Advisory Committee (WIAC), which provides advice about the vocational training needs of the water industry to Government Skills Australia, the Industry Skills Council responsible for the Water Industry Training Package. AWA has also represented the industry in the National Water Commission (NWC) funded project to develop a National Certification Framework for Operators of Drinking Water Treatment Facilities.

Vocational Education and Training Offerings Huge achievements have been made within the Vocational Education and Training (VET Sector) space, with AWA: • Launching the AWA Opus Water Industry Training Institute,

34 MAY 2012 water

providing the water sector with access to a new RTO initially focused on delivering Certificate III in Water Operations via an intensive face-to-face training model; • Providing access to Asset Management Training in partnership with the RTO, Institute of Quality Asset Management; • Offering Certificate IV in Water Operations (Trade Waste) through SkillsTech Australia and Riverina Institute of TAFE; • Developing a business model that will give industry access to the learning and assessment resources developed by City West Water for the new Diploma and Advanced Diploma level Engineering Technology units of competency now available in NWP07 V 3 and; finally • Identifying a need for and building a project to deliver industry approved Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) tools. Supported by the NSW Industry Training Advisory Body (ITAB), the NSW Department of Education and Communities and the NWC, this project is currently underway.

University Projects Within the university space at undergraduate and postgraduate level, AWA is pleased to support the Water Leadership Program run by the International WaterCentre. We are also excited about the new University Project sponsored by the Water Industry Capacity Development (WICD) specialist network. The University Project will formalise and extend an accessible database of contacts in academic institutions, water authorities and companies. The aim of the resulting network is to strengthen and inspire creative and sustainable collaborative practices between university and water industry stakeholders in order to attract and retain engineering, science and related professionals in the Australian water industry. The project is supported by the Australian Government through the Workforce Innovation Program.

Professional Development Professional development has always been a strong deliverable for AWA and future plans are no exception. AWA’s new strategy is to build on the existing brands of Master Classes and One-day Seminar Series and work in partnership with industry to supply short courses and online training opportunities on a broad range of topic areas. Proposals for Industry-to-Industry Training are currently being sought, with Round 1 applications closing at the end of May.

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15th International


RIVERSYMPOSIUM Melbourne, Australia 8-11 October 2012


Priyanie Amerasinghe, Head, International Water Management Institute-Hyderabad (IWMI) and Senior Researcher (Bio-medical sciences), IWMI, INDIA Celeste Cantú, General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA), USA

Dr David Molden PhD, Director General, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), NEPAL Prof Klement Tockner, Director of the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), GERMANY

Visit the website for updates to the program including themes, convening partner sessions and study water MAYtour. 2012 35

awa news Existing courses that AWA is planning to offer over the next 12 months include: • Water Industry 101 – a Snapshot of Current Issues/Trends/ Challenges; • Sustainability Implementation – Action and Tools for Change; • Sustainability Leadership – How to Facilitate Positive Change; and • Climate Change Adaptation Planning – Building a Plan of Action.

National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) Partnership A number of partnership discussions are already underway, with the most recent announcement related to the NCGRT. The NCGRT, administered by Flinders University of South Australia, is a Co-Funded Centre of Excellence of the Australian Research Council and National Water Commission and undertakes the scientific research needed to improve understanding of Australia’s groundwater systems. The partnership will deliver high-quality training events for the next generation of researchers and groundwater professionals. The first two events are happening in July and August and will concentrate on Coal Seam Gas: • Workshop and Panel Discussion involving three of the world’s experts on Coal Seam Gas: Professor Craig Simmons, director of the NCGRT; Professor William L Fisher, Department of Geological Sciences – University of Texas; and Peter G Flood, Emeritus professor, retired Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of New England; • ‘The Science’ – a one-day course providing a broad introduction, demystifying the science and outlining key challenges of Coal Seam Gas.

• Integrated Water Recycling; • Risk Assessment for the Water Industry; • Asset Management – Solving Leaks and Smells (coming soon).

Formal Accreditation Work continues with the University of Wollongong, with early conversations looking promising regarding formal accreditation for some of AWA’s Professional Development offerings. For further information about training and development opportunities, please visit the AWA website at or contact Petra Kelly, National Manager – Water Sector Training, email:; or Clare Porter: Program Manager – Professional Development, email:

Keeping on Top of Current Water Management Trends Water – the most fundamentally important natural resource in Australia, if not the world – continues to make headlines across our nation. From droughts to floods, water manages to steal the spotlight time and time again, often for all the wrong reasons. This July, water will be taking centre stage at a special conference in Wagga Wagga – for all the right reasons. Hosted each year by the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW, the conference takes place from July 22–24 and is a ‘must’ for anyone involved or employed in the water management industry, including policy makers, Local Government professionals, councillors and general managers.

AWA has also developed a series of online training programs that can conveniently be undertaken anytime, anywhere, delivered by leading industry professionals. Upon completion of any course, students can test their knowledge and apply for a Certificate of Completion provided by AWA.

There are currently 107 local water utilities in New South Wales, servicing more than 1.8 million people – approximately 30 per cent of the state – and providing water supply and sewerage services to communities in regional NSW. Of these, around 100 are council-owned and operated local water utilities, highlighting just how important it is for Local Government to run them efficiently – especially considering water utilities can make up a quarter or more of a regional council’s annual budget.

Courses will be regularly developed, but the selection of topics currently available is:

With a number of expert speakers lined up, including National Water Commissioner Chris Davis, the two-day conference

Online Training

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awa news will focus on the performance, financial sustainability and reform options for local water and sewerage utilities. The program also includes a special panel session on the reform of local water utilities and the way forward in implementing the recommendations of the Local Water Utilities Inquiry. Coupled with practical site visits to Riverina Water Headworks and the end-user suburbs of Glenfield and Lloyd, conference participants will see first-hand how Riverina Water addresses the challenges it faces in balancing the demand for and supply of water in an integrated way. Participants also have the option of attending the Water Directorate Forum or an alternate site visit, which includes a tour of the $12 million effluent system upgrade at Teys Australia’s abattoir in Wagga Wagga, and the Bomen Street Industrial Sewage Treatment Facility. The second day of the conference offers a choice of sessions, enabling participants to focus on their specific stream of water management or the chance to learn something new. Sessions include: • Skills, Training and Succession Planning; • Climate Change – Impacts and Adaptation; and • Stormwater and Drinking Water Quality – Current Policy Initiatives. Metropolitan and urban councils concerned with water reuse systems, stormwater harvesting and climate change will benefit greatly from these sessions, with several speakers presenting on timely issues such as extreme weather-related events and the impact on water quality, and a pilot study of 11 councils that assesses the effect of climate change on the secure yield and supply of urban water. The host city of Wagga Wagga, located on the Murrumbidgee River, could not be more fitting for the Water Conference, especially with the recent release of the Australian Government’s Murray-Darling Basin Plan. It will be interesting to hear from those people and government authorities affected by the plan and how they think Australia’s food security and local townships in the Murray-Darling catchment region will be impacted.

With an anticipated 250 delegates attending the 2012 Water Conference from NSW and interstate, register now to secure your place: au/www/html/3987-water-managementconference-2012.asp

AWA Biosolids and Source Management National Conference AWA invites you to the 6th Biosolids National Conference combined with the 2nd Source Management National Conference to be held from June 18–20 2012 at the QT Gold Coast. The AWA Biosolids and Source Management Conference allows for knowledge of the treatment process as a whole and influent contaminants that may reduce the outlets for this reuse. This is essential in understanding the whole life cycle of the system and the potential issues that can arise, not only in treatment but disposal. Source management and biosolids go hand-in-hand to achieve an integrated solution and this conference will explore both areas and link them together.


Keynotes include Dr John Novak, Virginia Tech (US); Professor Jurg Keller, Director, Advanced Water Management Centre; Bill Barber, AECOM; and Michael Catchpole, Allconnex. The third day will offer the opportunity to engage with your peers in workshops on Biosolids Regulation in Australia or Trade Waste Monitoring Procedures. A technical tour is also available to the Luggage Point WWTP and the Yatala Brewery. For more information visit: www.awa.asn. au/bsmconference or contact awaevents@

Branch News Western Australia Water Future Forum: Boom or Bust? Management of Water in a World of Extremes, Young Water Professionals’ Perspectives Following on from the success of the 2011 inaugural Water Future Forum: Water in Changing Climates, the WA Young Water Professionals are proud to present this year’s forum “Boom or Bust: Management of Water in a World of Extremes”. This half-day conference, which takes place May 24 at City West Function Centre, Plaistowe Mews, West Perth, will focus on the wide-ranging issues that face the water industry and will include presentations from Western Australian young water professionals.

At EcoCatalysts, we continually seek new ways to ensure extremely high levels of plant performance and work to supply economic, ef cient and environmentally friendly outcomes. By utilising the power of nature our high performance catalysis technology for wastewater treatment is unparalleled. Call today to see what we can achieve for you.

Call: 1800 207 009 Email: Web:


MAY 2012 37

awa news Topics include: • Peel Water – A New Approach: Jeff Strahan, Chief Operating Officer, Peel Water; • Growth and the Water Corporation: James Tay, Water Source Strategy Advisor, Water Corporation; • Understanding the hydraulic window in northern Gnangara to help groundwater management: Dr Jon-Philippe Pigois, Hydrogeologist, Department Of Water; • Gascoyne River Floods – Drinking Water Quality Management: Matt Bowman, Operations Support Manager, Water Corporation; • Optimising Water Infrastructure in a Complex FastChanging Mining Environment: Dr Carl Rouhiainen, Specialist Water Engineer, FMG; • NCEDA and Water Security – Research that will make a difference: Dr Misty-Lee Palmer, Project Officer, NCEDA; • Desalination: Can it help us overcome the challenges of the Water Energy Nexus? Sheryl Mitchell, Project Officer, Energy, Water Corporation. This event has been kindly sponsored by IA (Australia) Group Limited. For more information visit:

Water & Unconventional Gas in WA AWA and the Health Safety and Environment Group of the RACI will present a half-day seminar on Unconventional Gas and Water on Thursday June 21 2012 from 8am–2pm at ChemCentre, Resources and Chemistry Precinct, Curtin University, Bentley. The seminar will highlight water issues associated with the development of Shale, Tight and Coal Bed Methane gas in WA, both at the surface and in groundwater. Key issues include how to design fracs to use the minimum amount of water and how to treat/recycle the maximum amount of recovered water and chemicals. For more information visit:

WA Water Awards 2012 Presented by the Department of Water and the Water Corporation, nominations are now open for the WA Water Awards. These Awards are an opportunity for individuals and

organisations to be recognised for innovation and excellence in the technology, business and delivery of their water industry projects. Winners of a number of the WA Water Awards will automatically be entered into the equivalent AWA National Award category. For further information or any queries please email: Nomination forms are available from:

Queensland What’s New in Water This event, held in Brisbane recently, provided a platform for researchers to present the results of the latest research on a range of water topics, from ground- and surface water monitoring and modelling to drinking water disinfection byproducts and advanced water treatment technologies. The 2012 program included presentations and research program overviews from organisations such as Advanced Water Management Centre, Urban Water Security Research Alliance, Seqwater and the International WaterCentre, and from researchers from the University of New South Wales, Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, and Griffith University, including the Smart Water Centre.

Water Business Sustainability in North Queensland Conference Following on from recent Local Government amalgamations, large-scale capital works programs, and managing the impacts of high profile climatic events, the water industry in North Queensland now hopes to draw breath and focus on the longer term. This conference, which takes place September 20–21, will focus on efforts at continual improvement of the essential ingredients of a sustainable water business in North Queensland and what various industry segments can do to play their part. Details are available on the AWA event website.

Queensland Water Awards Celebrating and promoting the outstanding work achieved by individuals and organisations in the water sector, the Queensland Water Awards is now open for nominations (closing June 1). Winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner & Awards Night on July 27 2012. Registrations for corporate tables and individual tickets are available on the AWA event website.

Delivering innovative water, wastewater and reuse solutions.

38 MAY 2012 water

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

NEW CORPORATE MEMBERS NSW Corporate Silver Precision Civil Infrastructure Pty Ltd Corporate Bronze Skillset Vinsi Partners Tata Consultancy Services Ltd KPMG Northrop Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd

QLD Corporate Gold Brown Consulting (Aust) Pty Ltd Corporate Silver Clough Pty Ltd Gilbert & Sutherland Corporate Bronze SES Mining & Industrial Moerk Water Solutions Asia Pacific Pty Ltd YKON Pty Ltd T/A ECOBUD Ionode Pty Ltd

VIC Corporate Gold Nacap Australia Pty Ltd Corporate Silver Toyota Tsusho (Australasia) Pty Ltd Sharp Business Solutions Corporate Bronze Exel Composites

Sugar Australia Lanco Group Pty Ltd Marsden Jacob Associates Pty Ltd

WA Corporate Bronze Freemantle Diving Centre Kwikzip Pty Ltd

NEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS ACT P. Nandapalan NSW A. Tooher, A. Fitzgerald, B. Eliasson, D. Rudge, D. Hill, G. Finlayson, G. Taylor, P. Vogelaar, K. Werksman, S. Tam, P. Patel, R. Peterson, K. Diskin, J. Nobre, S. Joshi, N. Valenzisi, D. Bartels, H. Coleman, G. Vidler, I. Sobotta, P. Birtles, M. Wilder, J. Birrell, P. Outtrim, A. Barber, A. Cowley, P. Sweatman, L. Liu, K. Shaw NT A. McLeod QLD A. Leddy, A. Aldred, A. McPhail, B. Rees, B. Eather, C. Bookogianne, E. Skowron, R. Savage, K. Ward, J. Burrows, K. Lee, M. Johnston, J. Hold, P. Howarth, H. Eddy, H. Lu, I. Ivory, K. Taylor, R. Campbell, J. Evans, E. Starowicz, K. Athanasiadis, J. Toe, M. Patel, J. Fisher, S. Wadsworth, I. Bragg SA B. Nilsen, D. Spackman, T. Lines, T. Anderson, P. Ramussen, A. Ferguson, H. Fallowfield, D. Butcher, K. Rouse, L. van der Linden TAS C. Pillans, L. Stapleton K. Easther VIC A. Duncan, A. Kollmorgen, C. Marcuccio, C. Walsh, C. MacHintosh, C. Didomenico, D. Sheehan, D. McGuigan, D. Bourne, G. Peretiatko, G. Turner, K. Logie, J. Pruyn, S. Smith, W. Roshan, R. Pimpalkar, M. O’Connell, J. Tawadros, K. Devlin, J. Byrnes, L. Northwood, S. Answerth, J. Riddiford, M. Verkuylen, S. Craven, M. Wheelahan, L. O’Brien, Tim Jerram, R. Irwin, S. Denton, P. Betson, V. Costelow, P. Hunt, P. Lalor, P. Jacob, L. Deutsch, P. Coysh, S. Valvo, A. Nicol, A. Abdelmoteleb, C. Olszak, D. Downie, J. McLauchlan, R. Catchlove,

P. Edwards, J. Baumann, R. Johnston, S. Chidgey, D. McMaster, G. Ferrando-Miguel, H. Hata, R. Franklin, J. Shell, J. Stevens, K. Pande, W. Reynolds WA A. Barry, A. Old, D. Karafilis, P. Sonmale, S. Hurley, J. Linaker, L. McCallum, S. Seet, E. Tynes, R. Trolio, N. Els

NEW OVERSEAS MEMBERS Z. Arom, A. Koh, L. Andy, K. Lok, K. Ow Yeong, K. Tan, Y. April, T. Arumugam, L. Albert, C. Ulyatt

NEW STUDENT MEMBERS NSW S. Yasar, J. Mead QLD G. Bradfield, G. Oliver SA S. Sotora VIC K. Burry

YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONALS NSW A. Angelica, A. Jones, C. Kristoffersen, G. Hinner, H. Walmsley, G. Palsdottir, K. Francis, N. Mills, R. Rashid, S. Loder QLD A. Abeypala, R. Yang, T. Wisumperuma, T. Patterson, K. Vaughan, SA A. Capaldo, A. Byrne, A. Malekizadeh, E. Sawade, H. Rohrlach, K. Braun, K. Reid, J. Dreyfus, P. Zhang, M. Webber VIC A. Spark, D. Van Tholen, F. Goff, S. Walsh, S. Rich, M. Whitelaw, N. Grundy, H. Clarke WA K. Mills, M. Short, K. Holland

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

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


Tue, 22 May

Technical Seminar, Hobart, TAS

Thu, 24 May

WA YWP Water Future Forum: Boom or Bust, Perth, WA

Tue, 29 May

Technical Seminar – Stormwater, Melbourne, VIC

Wed, 30 May – Thu, 31 May

WICD Skills Workshop, Darwin, NT

Wed, 30 May

Monthly Technical Meeting, Brisbane, QLD

Sun, 03 Jun – Thu, 07 Jun

IWA Leading Edge Technology, Brisbane, QLD

Wed, 06 Jun – Thu, 07 Jun

QLD Water Industry Operations Workshop and Exhibition, Gold Coast, QLD

Wed, 06 Jun

Technical Event: Water Efficiency, Perth, WA

Thu, 14 Jun

YWP PD Seminar – Carbon, Melbourne, VIC

Fri, 15 Jun

NSW YWP Mentoring Breakfast 2012, NSW

Mon, 18 Jun – Wed, 20 Jun

Biosolids and Source Management National Conference, Gold Coast, QLD

Thu, 21 Jun

WA Half-Day Seminar: Groundwater and Gas, Perth, WA

Thu, 21 Jun

Seminar 2 – Privatisation & Outsourcing, Sydney, NSW

Thu, 21 Jun

Forum – Skills Retention and Motivation: The War for Talent Still Rages in the QLD Water Industry, Brisbane, QLD

Tue, 26 Jun

Water Matters Conference, Kamberra Wine Company, ACT

Tue, 26 Jun

Technical Seminar, Hobart, TAS

Wed, 27 Jun

ACT & Southern NSW Regional Operations Workshop, Kamberra Wine Company, ACT


MAY 2012 39


Planning for Sustainable Use of Water in Abattoirs Guenter Hauber-Davison, Managing Director, Water Conservation Group I see that the grass is lush once more for most of eastern Australia, but effective and efficient water usage needs to remain a priority for the meat-processing industry. In a matter of three short years, much of Australia has swung from crippling drought to a weather pattern that has filled our dams and opened our spillways – for many, for the first time in years. However, casting a glance to the west is a stark reminder of the realities of drought. Much of Western Australia is in drought condition, with many water storages at only 20 per cent capacity. Over the past 20 years, residential and commercial water users have become more aware of how water is used and, equally, how water is wasted, and have implemented many changes to improve water efficiency, such as greywater usage on our gardens, improvements to hose and fixture design, and rainwater harvesting. Our understanding of our weather patterns over both the short and long term has contributed significantly to our preparation for drier conditions. Weather patterns such as the Southern Oscillation, El Niño and La Niña, which greatly affect Australia’s climate, have been thoroughly researched. The changes in our weather can now be forecast to show the likelihood of drought. However, exactly when drought will occur is not so easily determined. We have learnt a great deal and achieved significant changes in how we use our water, but what we need to do now is take stock of our successes and failures and learn from them, particularly while most of Australia has a respite from drought conditions. Now is the time to plan for the next drought, which is possibly only a few short years away. Climatologists have studied long-term weather and climate patterns and predicted that the severity of weather patterns such as El Niño and La Niña is likely to increase. Potentially, droughts will become more widespread and severe flood events more destructive, putting a great deal of pressure on our resources, such as water and the infrastructure used to support industry and communities.

Water Usage in Meat Processing The food and beverage industry and, in particular, meat processing, is well known to be a significant user of water resources. Meat processors’ primary function is to produce quality products that are safe for consumption. Compromising this through inappropriate cutbacks in water usage would be detrimental to public health and the meat-processing business. This is often used as an “excuse”. Yet most plants still have a large scope to lower their water use and be more efficient. In addition, for many abattoirs water and energy costs are now a significant cost item. Slaughter and evisceration processes account for almost half the estimated 1,000 litres of water used per carcass. The remaining water usage for a typical plant* is principally for cleaning and plant operation, irrespective of throughput. Regulations regarding the use of non-potable water restrict usage to functions that do not have contact with products for consumption. However, there is significant scope to re-use water for yard cleaning, washing of animals, steam production and other activities such as irrigation. The source of re-usable water can originate from knife and equipment sterilisation, slaughter-floor sterilisation and hand washing. Treated final effluent can also be used within the plant or as irrigation on surrounding vegetation. The level of treatment undertaken will determine where effluent water can be used. In the event of the next El Niño, when rainfall diminishes, the less water that is taken into the plant the more successful the plant will be at surviving drought conditions. Many abattoirs have instigated water-saving measures such as trigger hoses, sensors and timers, and have educated staff on water usage, all of which have provided measurable changes in water consumption. Further actions that can be taken include dry-manure collection, suspended mesh flooring (not suitable for soft-footed livestock), partial processing, de-dagging and sensor-operated viscera and bleed tables. These changes to plant operation will minimise the intake of water into the plant and open opportunities for co-production – for, example manure sales for composting. In the past, changes to water usage in abattoirs have had poor payback periods, as water prices were relatively inexpensive. However, water prices have now increased sharply and, with that, payback periods have reduced to the point where where they have become attractive. Analysis by the Water Group shows that as the price of water has increased by 40 per cent to 50 per cent over the last few years, payback periods have decreased from four to five years to less than two (Figure 1). Payback periods are a function of the cost of the water savings measure, how much water is used and the price set by the supplier. Therefore, accurate measurement of water usage needs to be undertaken in order to determine payback periods for a specific abattoir.

Figure 1. As water prices continue to rise, payback periods for installing water-saving techniques decrease.

40 MAY 2012 water

Thus to effectively measure, monitor and make changes to the plant, an assessment of current water usage must be made. The use of meters in strategic points around the abattoir will not only show where the water is being used, but also where leakage or waste may be occurring. Acting on that data is the key to effective water management. Re-using water for noncritical tasks, putting in water-saving devices such as sensors

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opinion mega litre; Melbourne has the lowest at 0.91 kWh/kL and 1.11 t.CO2eq per mega litre. These are all pre-desalination figures, except for Adelaide. The trade-off between less water usage and the energy required to save that water needs to be considered. If the resultant water savings are outweighed by the amount of energy used to achieve the savings, then an overall environmental lowering of the carbon footprint may not have been achieved. In locations where water is scarce or the price is soaring, energy costs may take a back seat. It may in this instance be prudent to research alternative energy sources as well as supplemental water supplies.

Maximising water usage in abattoirs minimises water wastage. and timers, maintaining equipment and pipes, and rainwater harvesting are all effective measures that can be implemented with relative ease with attractive payback periods. Now, while we have relatively good water supplies, is the time to implement greater operational changes throughout the abattoir. Water treatment solutions, effective rainwater harvesting and dry-manure collection all require a degree of shift in thinking and are not easily implemented into an existing abattoir. Meat processors that are planning upgrades in the next few years have an excellent opportunity to incorporate water usage changes in the design phase, thereby maximising the benefits while minimising the disruption to plant operation.

Water, Energy and Embedded Carbon Water requires energy to heat (for hot water) and to move around within an abattoir. As energy costs rise, savings can be made by heating and pumping less water. Heat reclamation techniques from equipment such as compressors can be employed to re-heat water in boilers. For some meat processors, harnessing anaerobic energy may provide additional energy savings. Lowering energy and water use not only improves efficiency in a meat processing plant, but also reduces carbon emissions and the impact of the proposed carbon price. Energy use is now tied in with carbon emissions such that every cup of water has embedded carbon dioxide. Of the top 500 polluters of carbon emissions for the 2009/2010 financial year, as reported under the National Greenhouse Emissions Reporting (NGER) scheme, a significant number originate from the food and beverage industry, and at least four were meat processors. Typically, energy is required for water supply and treatment; consumption of water via heating, distribution and, possibly, further treatment; and, finally, wastewater collection and treatment. For every cup of water there are potentially three points of energy consumption and consequently increased carbon emissions. The analysis conducted by the CSIRO shows that for water supply and treatment for Brisbane, the average energy cost is 1.52kWh/kL representing 1.38 t.CO2eq per mega litre. Adelaide posts the highest costs at 3.38kWh/kL and 2.84 t.CO2eq per

Sustainable Processes The final decision will be a complex process requiring a more holistic approach. Financially, it is a relatively simple process. If all the factors, including operations, maintenance, water and energy pricing are favourable, then the necessary changes can be budgeted. From an environmental perspective, the decisions will be more complex and dependent on location and, to some degree, dependent on community sentiment – particularly with regard to treatment of wastewater. A good guideline is to ensure that the changes are at least carbon-neutral, meaning that your overall carbon budget is not contributing to Australia’s overall carbon emissions. Consumer pressure to be a more ‘sustainable’ operation will also be a contributing factor to implementing improvements at the conceptual stage of a meat processor and ongoing changes such as re-use of water, treatment of waste and alternative sources of energy. By marketing product as ‘sustainably produced,’ opportunities for increased market share may be opened. Businesses and, in particular, large water users such as the food and beverage industry, need to understand that Australia has always been a continent of extremes, with extended periods of wet and dry. Now is the time to implement water and energy consumption change in a coordinated fashion that will save money – and resources. This way, we will be ready for the next dry spell. *A typical plant for these comparisons as 150 HSCW (equivalent to 625 head of cattle), operating five days per week, 250 days per year. Source: Eco-efficiency Manual for Meat Processors, Queensland Government, MLA and AMPC. Guenter Hauber-Davison is Managing Director of Guenter is passionate about securing our water supplies and saving money through cost-effective and sustainable solutions. He has over 10 years’ experience in the food processing industry.


MAY 2012 41


Management of Menindee Lakes Benefits All States

Water from Lake Pamamaroo can then be released back to the Darling River through an outlet regulator or passed into Lake Menindee via a constructed interconnecting channel. Water from Lake Menindee will pass naturally into Lake Cawndilla when the level exceeds the natural sill between the two lakes. Water from Lake Menindee can also be diverted to the Darling River. Water from Lake Cawndilla can be diverted back to the Darling River through Lake Menindee when the level exceeds the natural sill level between the lakes, or can be directed through an outlet regulator and channel to Tandou Creek and, subsequently, onto the Great Anabranch.

David Harriss, Commissioner, NSW Office of Water It seems some days that everyone who has ever heard of the Menindee Lakes has an opinion on how they should be managed, what their benefit is to securing water resources, or how water within the lakes should be reduced. The Menindee Lakes storage is a series of nine natural lakes, part of the Travellers Lake System adjacent to the Darling River in far-west New South Wales. In the early 1950s and 1960s, the NSW Government constructed the Menindee Lakes Water Storage Scheme by connecting the natural lakes and Darling River by a series of weirs, regulators, inter-connecting channels and levees. At full supply, the storage scheme stores 1,731,000 megalitres and has a surface area of 453 square kilometres. It is also one of only two storage systems in New South Wales that can be surcharged during floods, although levels must be reduced to full supply level up to 2,050,000 megalitres after the peak of the flood has passed.

Drought-Flood Cycles Flows in the Darling River are among the most variable of any river in the world, and at the Menindee Lakes the cycles from drought to flood are more distinct than in any other part of New South Wales. Located in a semi-arid environment subject to highly variable flows, the area is subject to high evaporation rates. On average, 425,000 megalitres is lost from the Menindee Lakes through evaporation each year. This compares to 745,000 megalitres that is lost from the Lower Lakes in South Australia through evaporation per year. The Menindee Lakes also has high environmental and cultural values.

The initial purpose of the storage scheme was to secure water supply for Broken Hill and to foster economic development in far-west New South Wales through irrigation. The lakes have subsequently been used to contribute water supply to Victoria and South Australia.

So, not only is the management of the lakes scheme complex in its own right, but it is also part of the equally complex watersharing arrangements of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement. These complexities and the need to consider a range of values make the management of the Menindee Lakes both interesting and difficult. It also leads to various and diverse opinions on how the lakes should be managed differently to meet different outcomes.

The scheme is owned and maintained by the NSW Government and is managed under section 131 of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, for which the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) pays the NSW Government an agreed sum per annum and threequarters of the costs of operations and maintenance.

MDBA chairman Craig Knowles was recently quoted in the South Australian Stock Journal as saying: “…too much water is stopped from flowing to South Australia by the Menindee Lakes”. While not aware of the context of the quote, this reflects a simple outcome of getting more water down to South Australia by reducing the water conservation capacity of the lakes. It fails to recognise the other values provided by the lakes, including securing water supply to downstream users not just in New South Wales, but in Victoria and South Australia.

A System of Natural Lakes The Menindee Lakes water storage scheme is a complex system of natural lakes in a semi-arid and flat environment. Most water storages in upstream catchments consist of a dam across a river that simply stores inflows that are subsequently released for downstream use. The Menindee main weir raises the level of the Darling River by 14 metres, which inundates the floodplain upstream of the main weir and connects the smaller lakes – Malta, Balaka, Bijiji and Tandure – with the Darling River. The floodplain is confined on the eastern side by a constructed levee. Collectively, the inundated floodplain and connected lakes is called Lake Wetherell.

When water availability was reduced in the Murray Valley during drought, the Menindee Lakes provided valuable reserves that were used to supply water users along the Murray River, including South Australia. In addition to this, in 2009–2010 the NSW Government agreed to allow over 580,000 megalitres to pass through Menindee Lakes to meet the immediate environmental needs of the Lower Lakes in South Australia. This water could have been stored in the Menindee Lakes to increase water availability to NSW and Victorian irrigators.

Photo: NSW office of Water

Water from Lake Wetherell can be released directly to the Darling River via an outlet regulator through the Main Weir, or water can be diverted by gravity through an inlet regulator into Lake Pamamaroo.

The main weir at Menindee Lakes.

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Most years, water from the Menindee Lakes provides a significant proportion of South Australia’s entitlement flow when it is either diverted for storage in Lake Victoria or directly into South Australia. This is necessary as natural constraints on the Murray River, including the Barmah Choke near Echuca, limit the amount of water able to be delivered to meet peak daily demands in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia during summer. The value of the Menindee Lakes as a vital water storage for all three states will only increase under CSIRO climate change predictions that show increased dry periods and reduced water availability in the south of the Murray-Darling Basin. Some suggestions that water from the north of the Basin never finds its way past the Menindee Lakes is just ridiculous. Between October 2010 and May 2011, over 4.7 million megalitres was

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opinion Environmental Concerns

released from the Menindee Lakes to the Lower Darling River and the Great Anabranch, contributing to over 15.1 million megalitres that passed across the border into South Australia during 2010-2011. With Menindee Lakes again currently being operated under flood management procedures, high flows in the River Murray and some of the biggest flood flows in decades in the Murrumbidgee River, it is likely that a significantly higher volume will pass into South Australia this year.

The second New South Wales requirement was that the environmental values of the lakes could not be compromised. However, the Commonwealth’s proposal involved the surcharge and extended inundation of the two upstream lakes in the system, including the floodplain of the Darling River that connects the four smaller lakes. This floodplain provides the habitat for the enormous biodiversity found at the Menindee Lakes and extended inundation would destroy this habitat. There have been more bird species identified at the Menindee Lakes than at Kakadu National Park, and New South Wales is not prepared to threaten these unique environmental values, which provide a huge tourist drawcard and contribute to the economy of the area.

Memorandum of Understanding In 2010, the Commonwealth and NSW Governments entered into a ‘Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the cooperative investigation and subsequent implementation of key water reform initiatives in New South Wales, including Broken Hill’s urban water supply and Menindee Lakes operational arrangements’.

Thirdly, New South Wales required in the MoU that the Commonwealth identify an alternative secure water supply for Broken Hill. The indicative capital costs of the proposed Managed Aquifer Recharge scheme to provide an alternative water source for Broken Hill were found to be prohibitively expensive. Further, this did not include the significant costs of water treatment and the ongoing costs of operations and maintenance that would have to be borne by residents of Broken Hill and Menindee.

The MoU followed investigations undertaken in the joint NSW–Commonwealth Darling River Water Savings Studies, which identified a number of potential options for infrastructure and changed operations at the Lakes. The investigations proposed by the Commonwealth Government under the MoU only focused on one of the potential options. This option involved effectively decommissioning two of the lakes, Menindee and Cawndilla.

In the letter to the Prime Minister advising the reasons for withdrawing from the MoU on Menindee, the NSW Premier said that New South Wales remained committed to investigating options for the improved management of the Menindee Lakes. However, whatever option is agreed must meet the New South Wales requirements under the MoU.

Within the MoU, New South Wales identified three specific requirements that needed to be met in the investigations. After 18 months of work, it became clear that the Commonwealth’s preferred option didn’t meet the NSW requirements stipulated in the MoU, and the NSW Government withdrew from the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Darling River Water Savings Studies have previously identified other potential infrastructure works and changes to existing operating rules that would generate more modest, but still significant, water savings while protecting the values of the Menindee Lakes. The NSW Government will continue to work with the Commonwealth Government to progress these options, but is not prepared to compromise the enormous water supply benefits provided to all states and the natural values of the Menindee Lakes, to meet unspecified environmental objectives downstream.

The first requirement was that there would be no reduction in the reliability of water availability to downstream users. This includes users in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The investigations showed there would be significant impacts on water availability to downstream users in sequences of dry years. This is hardly rocket science. If you start a dry sequence with only two out of the four lakes in the Menindee scheme full, of course you will run out of water more quickly. The hydrologic modelling, which was independently reviewed by Bewsher and Associates, showed that under the Commonwealth’s proposal the lakes were effectively dry, with less than five per cent of capacity for 22 per cent of the time, as opposed to two per cent of the time under current arrangements. This gets worse if you overlay extended dry sequences under a future climate change scenario.

It is important that the management of the lakes now, and into the future, meets the triple bottom line that addresses environmental, social and economic issues that are fundamental to the National Water Initiative.

Photo: NSW office of Water

More detailed information about the management of the Menindee Lakes, including the management of the flood flows in the Barwon Darling and the Menindee Lakes system, can be found at the NSW Office of Water’s website at:

The flow regime of the Menindee Lakes system.

David Harriss is the Commissioner of the NSW Office of Water, which now forms part of the NSW Department of Primary Industries. David is responsible for the overall management of the State’s surface water and groundwater resources. David has 20 years’ experience in leading water planning and negotiations on the sharing of water resources at the regional, interstate and national level. David was the NSW Deputy Commissioner to the Murray-Darling Basin Commission from 1997–2008 and currently represents New South Wales on the Murray-Darling Basin Officials Committee implementing the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement.


MAY 2012 43

public address

Moving Away from the Political Tug O’ War As the debate still rages over the proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan, the following speech made last month by MDBA Chair Craig Knowles to the Farm Writers’ Association of NSW outlines the main points of contention and concedes that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. We are now at the pointy end of the development of a Plan for the Murray-Darling Basin. Right now, the various and disparate groups who either want to stop the plan dead in its tracks or who want to argue that the plan doesn’t do enough, are jockeying for position as we begin to turn for home. The States are in there arguing their traditional cases: South Australia threatening High Court action, demanding more water; NSW and Victoria arguing that no more be done because of the inevitable social and economic impact. And it’s exactly why the Basin Authority needs to exist. Let me start with three simple assertions: 1.

The worst possible outcome is that there is no plan – that is, the status quo prevails;


The risks associated with what we propose in our Draft Plan will be far less than the uncertainty and risks associated with no plan;


We need to make a start and do it in a way that lets us check how we are travelling as we go along.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve travelled across the Basin to cities and towns to meet with many thousands of individuals, groups and governments who have an interest in how water is managed in the Murray-Darling Basin. It won’t surprise you to learn that the disparity of views and the political tug-o-war over the Basin’s water resources remains well and truly entrenched after a century of failure to find agreement. We’ve heard good ideas about how we can do things better. We’ve heard concerns about how changes will affect industries and communities. And we’ve heard arguments as to why there should be either more or less water recovered for the environment. Situation normal! And while we can take on board many of the ideas and suggestions we have heard, with such disparate views, we recognise we will never meet all the needs and wishes of every individual, group and government. Interest groups and governments will continue to fight for what they want, and “experts” will continue to produce studies and arguments to support their claims. But at the end of the day, this is not about satisfying interest groups or lobbyists or even the individual demands of the State and Territory Governments. It’s about building a balanced model to manage the Basin

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– keep it in good health, make it more resilient for the next inevitable drought and underpin its capacity to continue to produce food and fibre. It’s also recognising we have to manage in a context. Mostly for good reason, we as Australians have altered the natural state of the Murray–Darling Basin. We’ve built dams on our rivers and bridges across them. We’ve built towns on flood plains and it’s the flood plains where we grow our food and fibre crops. Our plan recognises these changes. They are real. They form a part of our National Circumstance. Our plan does not attempt to take us back to pre-European times. For some that’s a disappointment. For most of us it represents the reality of the altered state of the Basin. The alterations have created legitimate and, indeed, legal constraints to water management and water flow regimes. We manage within those constraints. We also recognise that constraints can change and that there are many different ways of managing water to achieve similar outcomes. It’s why we argue the need for an adaptive management approach – that is, an ability to apply new knowledge over time and be willing to change as information and evidence might suggest. And, it is why we reject the simplistic notion that a plan for the Murray-Darling Basin is just about a volume of water. Let me assure you, if this were just about a volume of water, be it 4,000GL, 2,750GL, 2,000GL, or indeed any other number, there would be no need for a plan for the Murray-Darling Basin. All that would be required is for the Commonwealth Government to stand in the market with its cheque book and buy the required amount – they don’t need a plan to do that, and it’s the cheapest cost option – buy licences, take water out of communities, not invest in infrastructure, and not pursue opportunities to get smarter with how we use the precious resource. Of course what happens next, in such a scenario, would be potentially catastrophic for the social and economic fabric of the Basin, the productivity capacity of our Nation, and the environmental health of our rivers and wetlands throughout the Murray-Darling. It’s why we argue for a package that has a bias toward infrastructure investment, a more efficient rules framework, an adaptive change process with time to implement and check points along the way. There are some who argue that infrastructure options are too expensive and that buyback is the only way to go. “No Plan” delivers that result. What “No Plan” also means is that we are stuck with the divergent water management regimes of the State and Territory Governments with no coordination and no level playing field, but with the added overlay of the Commonwealth purchasing water through its buyback program. We know, as John Howard did, that the State-based management models have passed their “use-by” date. Tony Windsor’s Inquiry also highlighted that the multitude of rules, operating procedures, barriers to trade, and multiple water products built up over 150 years is less than efficient.

feature articles

public address

The challenge is to create a plan that works for the social and economic aspects as well as the environmental health of rivers and wetlands. And we’ve argued that sorting out the fundamental rules and processes that manage water across four states and one territory is just as important as bringing the system back into a volumetric balance.

I also want to take a moment to address some of the criticisms I hear about our science.

We’ve required, as part of our plan, that the rule books be reviewed.

Our modelling is far more detailed and more robust than any previous scientific work carried out by either the Authority or other independent groups.

So we believe our plan provides a coordinated and sensible way forward to allow these things to be done and to get everyone together to work on the same page. The status quo is no longer acceptable. The truth is that while there are many views there is an overwhelming message from communities that it is time to get on with it. So having a Basin Plan in place is the first step to giving people in the Basin some certainty. Our Plan represents a framework through to 2019 with a mid-point review and builds in options to make changes along the way. Some argue that this creates uncertainty, but we believe with flexibility comes opportunity. The alternative is to lock everything in now and rely solely on buy-back – and we have heard loud and clear that communities and industry do not want that as an option. Our framework allows: • Opportunities for infrastructure savings; • More opportunities for local involvement; and • Incentives to Government to find savings and to make improvements without affecting communities and industries using tools such as infrastructure, environmental works and measures and more efficient rules and management procedures.

We challenge any assertion that the draft plan isn’t based on firm science.

We’ve heard claims by some environmental lobby groups that “science” shows the environment needs more than what we’re proposing in the basin plan. We assume they are referring to our historical work that has now been replaced by more robust and detailed modelling. We’ve also factored in the realities of the system, those constraints which govern the flow of water. Our current methodology has been peer reviewed by a panel led by CSIRO and they determined this was sufficient as a basis to make a start. As Professor Bill Young of CSIRO said: “There is sufficient science available to make an informed decision on an environmentally sustainable level of take in the Basin. In other words, the science and evidence base is clear – the improvements in environmental flow regimes achievable under the proposed SDLs would deliver significant environmental benefits. It also found that the substantial body of work undertaken by the MDBA represents a sufficient basis to begin an adaptive process of managing the level of take in the future and that the methods of modelling and analysis used by the MDBA were generally robust and defensible.” We’re not aware of any other scientific work that shows evidence to support some of the claims being put forward by lobby groups. Of course, we would be happy to consider any new or improved science and our adaptive framework is designed in a way that allows new science to be brought forward and considered.


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public address But the quest to find the “perfect science” should not be an excuse to allow more years of delay.

So we have a starting point. An opportunity to move away from the disparity of views and the political tug-of-war.

As Professor Bill Young also said: “Of course, in a system as large and as complex as the Basin, some gaps remain in the scientific knowledge base. It is important for all stakeholders engaged in shaping the future of the basin to acknowledge that an absence of perfect scientific knowledge does not provide a reasonable basis for not embarking on the journey that is needed to secure the long-term future of one of Australia’s most economically, socially and ecologically important assets.”

An opportunity for real people living in the Basin to be involved and to play their part in the solution.

And as I have said in the past this is not a science experiment. In this regard I am fond of quoting the late Professor Peter Cullen who will be known to many of you as one of the founders of the Wentworth Group who, in their current form, have taken an active role as one of the many lobby groups in the debate about the Plan: “Scientists commonly hold strong values about desirable outcomes, and should be welcome in the political debates as society grapples with the various issues. However, they should not expect their scientific standing gives them any special right to decide value questions for society. Their science needs to inform the debate, not replace the debate.” We are not willing to experiment with the real people living real lives in the Basin. The result should, indeed must, have regard for the people who live in the Basin, their lives and their livelihoods. Not dealt out because they don’t fit some scientific model, but dealt in because they are valued and needed as part of our great Australian landscape.

An opportunity to show courage and accept compromise. Is there more work to be done? Yes there is always more work to be done. Can there be further improvements? I certainly hope so. An adaptive management process embraces the need to know more, the value of knowledge and the willingness to admit to not knowing everything and a desire to change and adapt as new and better information comes along. Finally, in the end, decisions about how to best manage the Basin’s resources will not end with a Basin Plan. In fact, managing the Basin will be an ongoing challenge for this nation as we continue to learn more about the science, about the Basin’s hydrology, about the effects of climate change, and as we find new technologies that will allow us to be more efficient. We believe we’ve created a good template to meet this ongoing and never-ending challenge. And we look to our governments to provide the leadership and courage needed to take this critical reform forward. Thank you.

9th IWA Leading-Edge Conference on Water and WastewaterTechnologies The 2012 edition of the highly successful Leading Edge Technology Conference on Water and Waste Water Treatment Technologies (LET) moves to Australia, a continent which in many ways is a living laboratory for many of the challenges facing the water profession around the globe. This event is for all those interested in the latest advances in wastewater and drinking water technologies. It offers a wide range of multi-disciplinary presentations and will provide ample opportunities to learn and network with professionals in your fields of interest. Registration Open Advanced programme available on line Organized by:

Supporting publication:


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3-7 June 2012 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) South Bank, Brisbane, Australia regular features

conference preview Ninth IWA Leading-Edge Technology Conference In 2003 the International Water Association (IWA) began an experiment. The hypothesis was that there was enormous value to be delivered through the convening of a series of specialist conferences dealing with the most topical issues in two key areas: Technology and Asset Management. The hypothesis proved correct. The ‘Leading-Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies’ and the ‘Leading-Edge Conference on Strategic Asset Management’ have been held regularly ever since and have always been forums at which ideas from desktop research to implementation of full scale technologies and concepts could be premiered and discussed. In 2012, the Leading-Edge Technology (LET) Conference will visit Australia for the first time. To be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from June 3–7, LET will showcase emerging developments in thematic areas that are both of international relevance and draw on local experience. The IWA’s Leading-Edge Conference seeks to establish a platform for dialogue and to promote developments in water and wastewater technologies. The annual Leading-Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies focuses specifically on advances and developments in water and wastewater technologies. To keep the program targeted and discussions meaningful, the conference consists of a single plenary of invited speakers on the first day, followed by two parallel sessions (one for drinking water and the one for wastewater) on days two and three. The program will feature invited speakers, covering themes such as: • Resilient technologies and technology for disaster recovery; • Integrated and new technologies for Cities of the Future; • Disinfection by-product in drinking water and water recycling; • From resource recovery to wastewater based bio-refineries; • Clean, green and sustainable water technologies – minimising waste and maximising resource utilisation; • Innovative water technologies in resource industries (oil, gas and mining etc); • Control and mitigation of direct greenhouse gas emissions; • Energy recovery and energy efficiency of wastewater systems. Because LET focuses on highlighting developments at the forefront of research and implementation, prominent keynote speakers are approached directly to participate. Among the highlights in 2012 will be: • Monash University’s Rebekah Brown, whose topic will be “Enabling the uptake and diffusion of new technology. The political, institutional and social contexts for change”; • Shane Snyder, of the University of Arizona, speaking about developments in micro-pollutants and transformation products; • Thomas Egli, of EAWAG, Switzerland: “Flow cytometry in microbiological drinking water analysis – new technology for an old problem”; • Chris Moran of the University of Queensland, talking about “Water in Resource Industries”;

LET takes place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. • Jim Bradley of MWH, New Zealand, speaking about New Zealand’s experience in developing technology solutions that address sustainability criteria; and • Two presentations on disaster recovery and technologies – one from Japan (Tatsuo Omura, Tohoku University) and one from Queensland on “Resilient technologies and the 2011 flood in Brisbane/South East Queensland”. As a bonus, on the Sunday before the conference begins, two workshops will be held – one on anaerobic treatment of low-strength wastewaters and the other on ‘Direct Potable Reuse – Why Not?’ Of course, conferences are equally about the opportunity to meet with peers and industry leaders. The focus on obtaining insights into the very forefront of technological development at LET means that speakers and participants are also leaders in their field. LET, therefore, provides an unparalleled opportunity to discuss breakthrough technological developments with those who are behind them, and to debate issues of critical concern with an international range of participants. Finally, the conference will conclude with optional technical tours to: • Inghams’ Advanced Water Treatment Plant, which services this major Australian poultry producer. The installation of this facility has enabled water consumption to be reduced by 70% at Inghams’ processing facility; • The Carlton United Brewers Yatala Brewery In 2003 the brewery embarked on an upgrade program investing over $172 in the project to double the previous production capacity. This facility is now the world’s most water-efficient major brewery, and the innovations employed minimised energy and greenhouse gas impacts; • Wivenhoe Dam and Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant (AWTP), part of the $2.4 billion Western Corridor Recycled Water Project – the third-largest recycled water project in the world; • Hinze Dam and Desalination Plant The Hinze Dam was originally constructed in 1976 and in December 2011 a $395 million upgrade was completed that significantly enhanced water security and the dam’s flood mitigation capacity. The Leading-Edge Water and Wastewater Technologies Conference is an event not to be missed. Registrations are open at


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conference preview Enviro 2012: Integrating Business and the Environment Don’t miss Australia’s peak environmental and sustainability event Enviro 2012 takes place from July 24–26 at the Adelaide Convention Centre in South Australia. Hosted by AWA and the Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) this biennual event aims to bring together leaders of the Australian environment industry, business and policy makers to facilitate cross-fertilisation and networking opportunities across a wide range of areas including waste management, resource recovery, water, energy, climate change, communication, innovation, infrastructure, supply chains and procurement. The breadth and diversity of contributors is designed to cover all aspects of sustainability.

Vaughan Levitzke Under Vaughan’s leadership as Chief Executive, Zero Waste SA has developed and delivered grant funding schemes for local government, industry and other stakeholders for infrastructure, recycled product market development, and improvements to recycling and waste collection systems. Some of the state and national firsts/significant initiatives include: • The first State Waste Strategy 2005–2010 for South Australia; • The largest Australian council food waste collection trail, and initiated kerbside performance incentives for food waste collection in councils; • Developed with EPA, the Waste to Resources Environment Protection Policy (EPP), and its implementation.

This year’s event features five technical tours, two workshops and formal openings of the conference and exhibition. Additionally, a panel of keynote speakers underpins the two-and-a-half day conference program.

The conference is run concurrently with the Enviro’LIVE Exhibition, which is Australia’s peak environmental and sustainability exhibition showcasing the largest display ever of products, technologies and services for the environmental and sustainability sectors.

Keynote Speakers

Trade Exhibition

Alison Rowe

Discover the latest ideas, network with the right people and place business by attending the ENVIRO 2012 Trade Exhibition. The Exhibition is free to attend; however, registration for a Trade Visitor Pass is essential.

Alison has over 20 years’ experience in a range of industries including technology, transport, telecommunications and government. She is the Global Executive Director of Sustainability, Fujitsu and the Non-Executive Director, Environment Victoria. Alison established the sustainability consulting practice for Fujitsu now operating globally, and leads the global community team across the entire organisation.

Dr Campbell Gemmell Dr Gemmell is Chief Executive of the Environment Protection Authority, South Australia’s independent environment regulator. Before taking up the position in January 2012, Dr Gemmell was Chief Executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). He was a member of Scotland’s Government Resilience and Emergency Planning Bodies and up to the end of 2011 led Scotland’s Environment and Rural Services (SEARS) frontline delivery process, designing and implementing reform of rural delivery service by nine public bodies.

Dr Liz Goodwin Dr Goodwin is Chief Executive Officer, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) )UK). She joined WRAP in 2001 as the first Director of Materials Programme. In 2007, she became WRAP’s CEO. Since taking over as CEO, the profile of WRAP and the issues of waste and recycling have increased significantly through wide media coverage. Under her leadership, the Courtauld Commitment, involving the major retailers, brands and their supply chains, has been driven forward with the first target of cutting packaging growth achieved.

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Technical Tours A choice of five technical tours is also available to attendees. These include:

Tour 1 – Barossa Site 1: AMCOR Glass Manufacturing Plant This $140 million glass manufacturing facility incorporates a 196-square-metre furnace and is one of the largest dedicated wine bottlemaking furnaces in the world. Site 2: Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre Jacobs Creek’s sustainable practices have been recognised with certification as a Climate Action/Business for Ecotourism Australia. Wine tasting will be available along with a tour of the demonstration vineyard. Site 3: Tarac Technologies Key environmental issues that Tarac alleviates through value adding are the disposal and treatment of solid and liquid winemaking residuals; treating over 120,000 tonnes of grape marc, more than 40 million litres of liquid waste and approximately 7,000 tonnes of solid waste annually.

Tour 2: CBD Walking Site 1: Adelaide Convention Centre The Adelaide Convention Centre was the first Convention Centre in Australia to be awarded Green Globe Silver Certification. Waste minimisation and energy efficiency have been one of the most successful areas of change. Recent acknowledgments include: 2009 AIPC Innovation Award for Excellence in Convention Centre Management; Eco-Tourism Australia – Climate Action Innovator Certification; and South Australian Governor’s Award for support to Foodbank SA.

conference preview the gas turbine is harnessed to produce steam used in the brewing process. Co-products are sold as stock feed and surplus yeast is sold overseas for the production of other alcoholic beverages. Nearly all of Coopers’ water requirements originate from aquifers beneath the brewery, reducing the demand on Adelaide’s reticulated water supply.

Tour 4: South Site 1: Gemtree Vineyard The Gemtree family vineyard is dedicated to producing iconic wines of the highest quality from their McLaren Vale vineyards, which, since 2008, have been farmed biodynamically and are fully certified organic.

Site 2: SA Water House The EPA leases the top two floors of SA’s first 6-star Green Star building, SA Water House. It features an atrium that provides natural light through all the floors; a single pass air-conditioning system that provides under-floor pressurised air supply; staff workstations that don’t have rubbish bins; and an environmentally friendly waste system, including a special waste dock on the ground floor. Site 3: Hilton Adelaide Hilton Adelaide has a clear goal to be an environmental leader in the hospitality industry and be recognised by the community as an environmental champion. Initiatives include: daily collection of unsold food from the hotel by the Hutt Street Centre for homeless and vulnerable people; local sourcing of food and wine to support local industry and reduce carbon emissions from transport; selection of suppliers with similar environmental principles; and minimisation of waste by the return of packaging to suppliers. Site 4: Adelaide Central Market During this tour, attendees will receive a brief history of the Central Market and an overview of market operations including waste management operations.

Site 2: Paris Creek Farm A 170-acre biodynamic farm, Paris Creek was established by Helmut and UlliSpranz in 1988 utilising German biodynamic farm practices. The first liquid manure conversion plant in Australia was installed using special holding tanks and flow forms to convert the liquid manure into rich organic liquid compost. Site 3: Peats Soil & Garden Supplies Peats Soil produces a wide range of recycled organic products available in bags and bulk, including seed-raising mixes, soil conditioners, potting mixes, organic blends, loams, mulches and more.

Tour 5: Wingfield Eco-Precinct Site 1: Wingfield Waste & Recycling Centre The Wingfield Waste & Recycling Centre is a world-class resource recovery and waste recycling operation that contains a collaborative cluster of commercial businesses on a site managed by the Adelaide City Council. Site 2: Integrated Waste Services IWS is Adelaide’s largest and most environmentally responsible waste handling facility for the general public and industry.

Site 5: Christie Walk Completed in 2006, Christie Walk in the heart of Adelaide was designed to create a liveable, affordable and environmentally benign urban community.

Site 3: KESAB Wingfield Interpretive Centre The Wingfield Interpretive Centre (WIC) highlights SA leaders in resource recovery by providing creative displays and hands-on learning experiences.

Site 6: Whitmore Square Initiated by Adelaide City Council, this housing development has adopted ecologically sustainable design features that aim to provide housing that is affordable to rent and to live in by reducing energy and transport costs for the tenants.

Site 4: SITA ResourceCo Built at a total cost of over $20 million, the automated SITA-ResourceCo plant sorts, sizes and extracts combustible material from commercial waste streams in order to manufacture Process Engineered Fuel (PEF).

Tour 3: North Site 1: Michell Wool (TBC) Much of the wool grease washed from the wool at Michell Salisbury is collected and sold as lanolin. The remainder is sent to a composting facility where it is pasteurised and converted into a soil conditioner that is much in demand by the intensive horticulture industry. Site 2: Greenfields Wetlands The Greenfields Wetlands were constructed by the City of Salisbury from 1990–1995 to improve water quality, provide valuable habitat for wildlife, enhance the landscape and provide flood retention. The 110 hectares of constructed wetlands now support a wide variety of plants and wildlife. Site 3: Coopers Brewery Coopers Brewery has extensive monitoring systems in place in production to maximise efficiency and waste reduction. A co-generation plant was built in 2002 in partnership with AGL. Waste heat from

Site 5: VISY Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Get an ‘up close and personal’ look at the latest methods of material recovery. Household recyclables are delivered to a VISY MRF to be sorted and baled into groups such as paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, steel and aluminium. Site 6: Jeffries Jeffries is a fourth-generation South Australian company focused on receiving, processing and marketing recyclable organic resources. They receive and process most of metropolitan Adelaide’s green organics through council kerbside and business collections, as well as food organics from hotels, supermarkets, schools, office buildings, food processors and manufacturers. Site 7: E-Cycle Recovery Pty Ltd E-Cycle Recovery prides itself on recycling all types of e-waste in an ethical, transparent and socially responsible manner. For more information about Enviro 12 and to register, please visit


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feature article

Tackling Skills Shortages in the Water Industry Four Good Practice Australian Case Studies Organisations across the water sector are looking at how best to address the challenge of attracting and retaining the right people and providing the most relevant learning and development opportunities. This is particularly critical in the face of intense competition for talented workers from other high-profile industries, and the ageing workforce. At the same time, there is substantial experience within the water sector of successful initiatives, projects or strategies aimed at securing a talent pool of productive employees that meet business needs. AWA is working with the water sector, specifically the WICD Network, to enhance its capacity to address critical skills issues within organisations. Here we present four case studies from the Australian water sector, each with its unique needs, priorities and solutions.

Case Study 1 SA Water Workforce Replenishment Project

Owned by the Government of South Australia, SA Water is focused on providing essential services to support growth and economic development throughout the state. The organisation provides clean, safe drinking water to almost 1.5 million South Australians. Once this water has been used, waste is removed and treated to ensure the best outcomes for community health and to reduce environmental impact. SA Water has a history that spans over 150 years. It manages over $13 billion worth of assets, its water quality expertise is recognised around the globe and it is a leader in wastewater recycling. SA Water employs more than 1500 people – each of whom does their part to ensure that the organisation continues to deliver efficient and responsible water and wastewater services to its customers into the future.

time, almost one in every five employees was over the age of 55 and SA Water had no clear strategy to address this issue. It faced significant risk as its experienced workforce walked out the door.

Approach developed to meet this business need To address this critical issue, SA Water developed a strategic and clearly defined Workforce Replenishment Strategy. The strategy mapped the resourcing and transitioning requirements for replenishing the core workforce over the next five-year period. It identified key and critical roles and individuals who would leave in the coming five years and established a clear workforce replacement strategy to minimise the impact of these departures.

Activities and their implementation While this approach to workforce planning is not uncommon in Australian organisations, the SA Water approach was unique in a number of ways. These included: • A dedicated workforce replenishment budget of approximately $20m over five years was approved by Senior Management and the Board to be held centrally by the People and Culture Unit. This ensured that the replenishment positions were protected and business leaders could actively replenish their workforce without head count or salary cost to their business unit; • A dedicated resource team was recruited to manage all aspects of the Workforce Replenishment Strategy; • The strategy developed and implemented targeted attraction, selection and development programs for the “replenishment” workforce including a four-year apprenticeship program, a two-year graduate program, traineeships and cadetships; • The strategy also allowed business units to recruit a “replacement worker” for up to two years to shadow and learn from the departing technical expert (who was over aged 55).

Summary In 2006–2007, one of the most significant issues facing SA Water was the availability of, and competition for, skilled staff. Many of the organisation’s older workers, with decades of experience, were reaching retirement age and the potential loss of knowledge posed a major challenge. SA Water developed a strategic and clearly defined Workforce Replenishment Strategy that: • Identified key and critical roles and individuals who were expected to retire in the coming five years, and; • Established a clear workforce replacement strategy to minimise the impact of these departures and focus on attracting, training and retaining the right people for these roles.

Case Study The specific business need SA Water’s demographic profile was out of sync with other technical organisations and in comparison to the general utility supply industry in Australia. The organisation faced an ageing workforce with significant numbers of specialist and core business skilled workers due to retire in the next five to 10 years. At the

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feature articles

feature article Outcomes and measurable impacts of the activities A key driver of the Workforce Replenishment Strategy was for SA Water to address its ageing workforce profile and ensure that its key and critical roles were successfully filled with talented candidates. This initiative has been instrumental in tackling this critical human capital issue. Testimony to the strategic impact of this initiative is the fact that SA Water’s average workforce age has reduced from 47 in 2001 to 42 in 2010. This demonstrates that the company has successfully managed its workforce composition through replenishment. While the replenishment program is in itself important, SA Water was keen to ensure that it retained these valuable employees past the formal “replenishment” period. A key result indicator for this strategy was “do the workforce replenishment candidates remain in SA Water and fill key and critical jobs?”. It is pleasing to note that the retention of the replenishment workforce has been outstanding. SA Water has been highly successful in not only attracting new and young technical talent, but has also been highly successful in retaining these skilled workers to complement ongoing workforce needs. The table below outlines the number of replenishment positions hired in the areas of graduates, apprentices and trainees and the associated retention rate from 2007–2010. It is noteworthy that 80% of those candidates recruited under the replenishment program obtained ongoing work at SA Water and filled key and critical technical roles. Replenishment category

Numbers hired

Numbers retained

% retained





Water Industry Trainees




Technical Cadets




Graduates • Engineers, • Environmental Science • IT • Business/finance








Other benefits and outcomes can be outlined in three key areas:

1. Business continuity The Workforce Replenishment Strategy was developed to ensure that SA Water was able to deliver key and critical technical functions without workplace disruption due to skill shortages. SA Water successfully maintained its required operational functioning (even in the face of the worst drought in over 100 years) and despite significant numbers of older employees retiring from the Corporation.

2. Knowledge management and transfer The strategy was designed to support knowledge transfer from the older workforce to a younger generation of technical workers. Information from the workplace demonstrates that knowledge transfer is occurring with important technical processes being documented, taught and transferred to replenishment workforce employees. 3. Workplace diversity SA Water also used the strategy to support increased workforce diversity in areas such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and women in technical positions. This has been highly successful, with improvement in all of these diversity areas. For further information contact: Jacki Done, Manager – Organisational Development, SA Water, email: jacki.done@

Case Study 2 The Water Corporation Partnerships Help Build In-house Knowledge, Capability and Capacity at the Water Corporation

The Water Corporation is the principal supplier of water, wastewater and drainage services in Western Australia to hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and farms, as well as bulk water to farms for irrigation. The Corporation’s services, projects and activities span over 2.5 million square kilometres, with regional offices in Perth, Bunbury, Albany, Karratha, Geraldton, Northam and Kalgoorlie.

Summary An overview of the operational training function within the Water Corporation’s HR People Development section.

Case Study The Water Corporation currently has a robust training structure for the development, delivery, assessment and issuance of national water operations qualifications aligned to the National Water Training Package. The structure is unique in that the Water Corporation partners with two Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) that are both Institutes of Technology (previously TAFE Colleges). This in itself is not unusual; however, what is different is that each partner seconds one of its lecturers permanently (under a contract for services arrangement) into the HR People Development ‘Water Industry Training Team’ within the Water Corporation. The Corporation supplements this with its own in-house Technical Learning Specialists and supporting structure for managing traineeships and administration across the State. The partnership provides many benefits, including the fact that the Water Corporation’s knowledge, training capability and capacity are bolstered by having the lecturers based within the Water Industry Training Team, and the Institute backfills the role should the secondee take extended leave. Water Corporation staff are issued with nationally recognised qualifications, or part thereof, from a third-party Institute. The Water Corporation also benefits through utilising other services each RTO offers through the existing contractual arrangements, and is assured that all water-related training being developed, delivered and assessed in-house meets the requirements of the national training framework as well as the Corporation’s own in-house policy, practices and procedures. The RTO’s secondees act as internal auditors, while developing their own skills within the water industry environment. The overall effect is a one-stop shop for internal customers and key external alliances, in being able to gain nationally recognised industry qualifications (or part thereof) totally in-house. The services include disciplines such as water and wastewater treatment, distribution and collection, surface water operations, dangerous goods training and a suite of water quality compliance courses. Across Australia, the water-training scene is complex, with the National Water Commission and peak water industry bodies offering up constructive strategies and initiatives to solve the skills shortage. There is a recognised pressure on skills development and training provision nationally – plus, initiatives like the ‘National Certification Framework for Potable Water Treatment Operators’ are poised to add to the increased demand. With the Water Corporation’s appetite and expectations increasing for qualifications and skills-based training and


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feature article assessment services, the Water Industry Training Team are at a point where they need to consider the best way to meet demand and plan for the future. The team has created a position of strength for the organisation, but admit they still need to innovate, build on and plan for the future. This includes new technologies in training provision like ‘point of vision’ glasses and the use of self-directed learning materials. The team is also embarking on succession planning by providing acting opportunities to operational staff to learn from experienced technical learning specialists over a 12-month period, with the chance for a permanent training role in the future.

The specific business need • Preserving the capacity to provide water services to meet present and future needs; • Protecting the health and safety of all; • Preventing harm to the environment; • Creating a great place to work; • Knowledge and skills development; • Climate change challenges; • Meeting future demand (e.g. changing demographics, ageing workforce, skills migration); • Ensuring there are operational staff with the capability to meet changing operational demands (e.g. technology, processes, policy, legislation, compliance);

An RTO partnership case study at Water Corporation in WA. • Maintain compliance under auspicing arrangements; • Design, develop, deliver and assess training; • Continuously improve services; • Provide value-add services outside of the Water Training Package such as dangerous goods training (e.g. chlorine, fluoridation), a complete suite of water quality courses, and manage compliance registers for water samplers and for staff working in chlorine facilities;

• Recognising staff through qualification pathways and portability of qualification outcome;

• Liaise with in-house process expertise groups to develop meaningful learning and assessment materials and align with legislation, policy, procedures and practices;

• Maintaining in-house knowledge, capability and capacity to develop, deliver and assess training across all aspects of the operational side of the water business;

• Integrate all aspects of the business into learning materials such as occupational health and safety, sustainability principles and environmental considerations.

• Planning for future events such as the proposed ‘National Certification Framework for Potable Water Treatment Operators’;

Lessons learnt and critical success factors

• Operators’ remuneration structure linked to qualification outcomes (or part thereof).

Approach The approach taken by the Water Corporation was to: • Form a partnership arrangement with suitably capable Registered Training Organisations (RTOs); • Offer the opportunity via a tender process to attract two RTOs either scoped to deliver or able to scope under the Water Training Package to meet the organisation’s business need; • Evaluate each RTO for its internal capability and capacity to support the organisation; • Provide its own internal capability and capacity with suitably qualified staff; • Align all of its internal training processes with that of the national framework.

In-house activities • Manage RTO partnership; • Manage traineeships; • Meet business needs and provide excellence in service to customers; • Maintain in-house knowledge, capability and capacity;

52 MAY 2012 water

After six years of maintaining the partnership, the positives are: • Increased capacity through the use of external partners’ employees being seconded on a fulltime basis in the Water Corporation; • Knowledge sharing across three organisations – Water Corporation and two partner Institutes; • Having the partners’ employees embedded within the Water Corporation provides us with the ability to manage our compliance required under the National Training Framework; • Water Corporation is not burdened with the responsibility of managing and maintaining an Enterprise RTO arrangement, especially given the current rate of change occurring across Australia (e.g. national versus State regulator, AQTF and AQF changes, complete training package makeovers); • Water Corporation staff are issued with nationally recognised qualifications (or part thereof) from a third party Institute, rather than receiving a qualification branded internally; • Water Corporation benefits through utilising other services each RTO offers due to the existing contractual arrangements. The only real challenge is that the secondees from the RTOs operate under different workplace agreements; this needs to be managed effectively so it does not impact on the organisation’s business. For further information contact: Neil Hooley, Managing Consultant – People Development, Water Corporation, email:

feature articles

feature article Case Study 3 Yarra Valley Water Creating a Vibrant Culture

Yarra Valley Water is the largest of Melbourne’s three retail water businesses providing water supply and sewerage services to over 1.6 million people and over 50,000 businesses in the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It currently has 635 staff (580 FTE).

Summary Workplace culture is a critical determinant of business performance and an essential factor in attracting and retaining quality staff. In 2008, as part of a five-year business strategy, Yarra Valley Water identified a set of cultural attributes encapsulated by the word “vibrant” that would provide the work environment in which staff could excel. To define and quantify “vibrancy” Yarra Valley Water, in partnership with Monash University, developed the ‘Vibrant Workplace Survey’ (VWS) incorporating feedback from staff about the type of work environment they would value and that would allow them to be highly productive. The results inform change initiatives and provide concrete milestones to assist in delivery of the company’s cultural vision. The organisation also used the Organisational Culture Inventory (OCI) and other tools developed by Human Synergistics International to measure and benchmark its culture against global best practice. Over the past two years the company has delivered a number of initiatives aimed at achieving improvements in areas identified by the VWS and the OCI. Many of these have now been implemented and recent survey results show significant improvement.

Case Study The VWS was developed in partnership with Monash University in 2009 and was based on an existing ‘Positive Work Environment’ survey developed by Monash for the State Services Authority. In developing the VWS, Yarra Valley Water incorporated the results of several consultation sessions with staff and managers to identify what they felt would signify a ‘vibrant workplace’. The survey represents a collective vision about the environment staff want to work in, to support high levels of achievement as well as personal growth and satisfaction.

Vibrant Workplace Survey structure and results The VWS comprises 11 sections under which participants are presented with statements relating to three distinct perspectives: Organisational, Managerial and Individual. Considering each of these perspectives, participants are asked to respond to a series of statements reflecting four developmental stages: Beginning,

Emerging, Consolidating and Established. Participants choose the statements that most accurately represent how the workplace occurs for them now. The top two stages, ‘Consolidating’ and ‘Established’, reflect a more advanced perception of workplace vibrancy, and are the desired responses in achieving the Culture Outcome. Yarra Valley Water has set a target of achieving >80% in these ‘top two’ stages by June 2013. The 2009 ‘top two’ result was 72.4%. The survey was re-run in May 2011 to determine the effect of initiatives and to measure progression towards achievement of the 2013 Culture Outcome. The results of the 2011 survey show significant progress towards the 2013 target, with improvements in each of the 11 sections and an overall ‘top two’ score of 77.2%.

Analysis and communication of results The survey was run and analysed by a Monash University PhD student, with the results segmented for Groups, Divisions and Teams, by section, topic, age, gender, position level and length of service. The results were communicated to staff via the intranet home page, which featured a video interview with the Managing Director, a web page outlining overall company results and a link to further layers of the results. In addition, team discussion sessions were run focusing on their own results to develop improvement actions at a local level. A ‘Heat Map’ was developed to highlight common areas of concern across teams and a ‘Culture Levers’ plan was developed by the Executive Team to provide ongoing focus and personal commitment at the top of the organisation.

Key strengths and areas for improvement The following four sections returned the best results (% denotes the combined result from the ‘top two’ fields – Consolidating and Established): • Fair Treatment – 86.9% • Risk Management and Safety Culture – 85.2% • Attraction and Selection – 84.3% • Strategic Priorities and Culture – 80.4%. Two sections returned a ‘top two’ result below 70%: • Performance Effectiveness – 65.4% • Learning and Development – 61.6%.

Initiatives Over the last year Yarra Valley Water has implemented a number of initiatives to address the gaps, both at a team level and at a corporate level. At a corporate level the organisation focused on initiatives that would improve the results of the Performance Effectiveness and Learning and Development categories, as well as support general improvements in our culture.

Results of Organisational Culture Inventory (OCI) In November 2011 Yarra Valley Water ran its fifth OCI and again achieved significant improvement in growing constructive behaviours and shrinking defensive behaviours. Each of the constructive styles improved by 12 to 17 percentile points, and each of the defensive styles decreased by 6 to 16 percentile points. Since the first OCI in 2001, the company’s constructive styles have improved by an average of 35 percentile points, while defensive styles have decreased by an average of 46 percentile points. For more information contact: Anne Farquhar, General Manager – People and Culture, Yarra Valley Water, email:


MAY 2012 53

feature article Case Study 4 Central Highlands Water (CHW) Employing Vision-Impaired People CHW provides water and wastewater services in and around the Ballarat region.

Summary The objective of this activity was to engage with people with disabilities to assist them in being able to actively participate in the workforce.

time. In other cases, CHW has been able to have existing staff move on to other productive work within the role description.

Case Study

Heidi has also commenced training in a Cert IV in Government and Frontline Management.

Geoff is a mature-age man who lost his sight approximately 10 years ago. Heidi is 23 and lost her sight 11 months ago. They are both active members of society who [since losing their sight], had not been given a chance to be actively engaged in the workplace.

Specific business need CHW developed a number of robust strategies in 2009; the outcome of two of these strategies was to develop an action plan to attract and retain people from within its customer base who would not normally consider applying for roles with CHW. These strategies are: 1) High performing organisation – to continuously improve and enhance individual and organisation performance; and 2) Responsive to Customers and Community – to understand and respond to changing customer expectations. Up until 2010 CHW had not actively engaged in seeking employees outside of the traditional method of employing people, relying on newspaper media and the internet to advertise vacancies.

Approach developed to meet the business need • Worked in partnership with Western District Employment Access (WDEA), which specialises in placing people with disabilities. • Developed a trial program within the Organisational Development team, working with the prospective staff member, WDEA, Vision Australia and other CHW staff.

Activities and their implementation CHW identified a number of challenges with their first trial. These involved: • Workstation design and layout; lighting; glare; phone system; walkway access; getting to and from the office; staff communication; and the willingness and capacity of the first vision-impaired employee to work with CHW on a trial run as part of a learning process.

Outcomes and measurable impacts of the activities CHW’s awareness of working with and getting to know their customers who have disabilities have increased exponentially.

Extent to which the outcomes are sustainable and were achieved in a cost-efficient manner The administrative tasks both Geoff and Heidi are completing have been identified as areas that had not been addressed for some

54 MAY 2012 water

Important lessons learnt and critical success factors Geoff and Heidi have different levels of vision and one of the key learnings for CHW was ensuring that they listened to their individual needs and adapted processes and workstation designs to suit. Critical success factors and tips included: • That a Senior Manager should drive the engagement and communication with staff; • Don’t participate if it is a token gesture – make it part of your attraction and recruitment campaign; • Have patience. If it doesn’t work out the first time, keep trying; • Advise staff on how the vision-impaired staff members would wish to be approached; • Coach staff on how to train vision-impaired staff; and, above all, • Recognise that it is a learning process. For further information contact: Katrina Baddeley, Manager – Organisational Development, Central Highlands Water, email:

The WICD Network The Good Practice Case Studies in Attraction, Retention and Training were developed by the Water Industry Capacity Development (WICD) network, which includes the following industry members: ActewAGL; Barwon Water; Central Highlands Water; City West Water; Coliban Water Authority; East Gippsland Water; Gippsland Water; Gosford City Council; Goulburn Murray Water Training Services; Goulburn Valley Water; Government Skills Australia; Hunter Water Corporation; Melbourne Water; MidCoast Water; North East Water; Power and Water Corporation; qldwater directorate; SA Water Corporation; South East Water; South Gippsland Region Water Corporation; State Water; SunWater; Sydney Catchment Authority; Thiess; Townsville City Council; Unity Water; Veolia Water Australia; Wannon Water; Western Water; Westernport Region Water Corporation. The aim of WICD is to provide a forum for the water industry to discuss issues, define strategies and take action to reduce the extent and impact of the skills shortage. WICD provides the opportunity for collaboration on skills, training and professional development needs that are required now and into the future by the water industry.

feature articles

feature article

AWA National Water Skills Audit 2011 Report This extract outlines key data gleaned from audit respondents that will act as a guide to meet skills challenges of the future. AWA undertook a national skills audit of the Australian water industry throughout August and September 2011. The AWA National Water Skills Audit 2011 was conducted to assess the water industry’s current and future skills needs and requirements.

• The majority of employees are in the 36–55-yearold age range (see Figure 3);

As a biennial study, the audit will provide qualitative and quantitative data and provide a mechanism for evaluating and guiding the sector’s understanding, preparedness and coordination in meeting skills challenges, including projects and investments designed to address the skills shortage.

• The industry is male dominated (over 62% male); • The number of senior management roles held by women is below the Australian average;

The first AWA National Water Skills Audit attracted 46 respondents from a diverse range of organisation types, locations and sizes. The respondents included water utilities, local government water providers, government agencies with water responsibilities, engineering firms and consultancies, membership associations, research agencies, training organisations and mining companies from around the nation. The respondents were a good cross-section of the water sector in Australia and, as the first of a regular biennial audit, this provides a solid base to build upon in future audits. The limited number of respondents to the Audit means a cautious approach should be taken when making definitive statements about the entire water sector from these results. However, there are strong indications from the data, including: 1. The Audit respondents reported the following workforce characteristics: • Almost half of employees (42%) have worked for three years or less at their current organisation (see Figure 1); • There is a higher proportion of long-term employees in comparison to the general workforce average; • Low turnover rate (below 10%) (see Figure 2);

Figure 3. Workforce age. Demographic

Estimated % of workforce

< 25 years old


25 – 35 years old


36 – 45 years old


46 – 55 years old


56 – 65 years old


> 65 years old


*Note: Percentage figures were bracketed and not exact, so total does not equal 100%.

• There is a relatively low representation of minorities, e.g. non-English speaking background, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and persons with disabilities. 2. Over the next five years, the highest demand roles are predicted to be: • Civil engineer; • CEO, senior, corporate and divisional managers; • Information technology; • Water treatment; • Asset maintenance and construction. 3. The majority of respondents report that they are recruiting, that their organisations are growing in staff numbers, and that they are experiencing a skills shortage. It was also reported that staff are being poached and overseas staff are being recruited to supplement the Australian workforce (see Figure 4). 4. Candidates are being sourced chiefly through internet and newspaper advertising, with industry websites, recruitment agencies and staff referrals playing a smaller role.

Figure 1. Indicate your overall workforce tenure by percentage breakdown (average answer).

Figure 2. What is your organisation’s current or most recent turnover rate?

Figure 4. Recruitment status of respondents.


MAY 2012 55

feature article 5. Respondents indicated that a wide range of staff incentives is being offered by their organisations. 6. Common reasons cited for staff resignations included remuneration, career pathways and competitive working conditions offered by other industries. The most common reason was reported as ‘personal’, indicating either that staff are not willing to disclose the reason, or that data is not being collected. 7. Workforce development planning is progressively being adopted in the water sector and, where these plans are in place, they are linked to training activities. However, there is still a strong reliance on informal information to identify skills development needs, which is a matter for concern for an industry facing workforce supply issues (see Figures 5 and 6).

Figure 7. Workforce training priorities. 10. Over half the respondents indicated they were investing more than 3% of total operating turnover in staff training. This level far exceeds training industry benchmarks set by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and indicates the water industry is performing well against this organisational indicator. 11. While a significant number of respondents indicated they had applied for traineeship funding, only half the respondents indicated they had or intended to apply for government funding to support their training needs. 12. Distance, lack of local delivery, training not meeting expectations and cost were reported as being the main barriers to accessing training. There is a broad range of training delivery preferences that include on-the-job, classroom, on-line/distance. The following organisations participated in 2011 AWA National Water Skills Audit. We thank them for their participation:

Figure 5. Processes used by respondents to identify staff skills development needs.

Figure 6. Workforce development plan in place. 8. The highest response to workforce skills training priorities within organisations was leadership. Other workplace training priorities included OH&S, training related to new processes or equipment, and generalised management skills such as project and people management. 9. In terms of formal qualifications, Certificates ll, lll and lV in Water Operations were identified as priorities. There were relatively low numbers of potential trainees for most other nominated qualification levels and a significant number (30%–47%) of respondents indicated they have no need for training at any of the nominated qualification levels (see Figure 7).

56 MAY 2012 water

• ABCO Water Systems • APP Corporation Pty Ltd • Australian Water Association • Bayside Group • BHP Billiton • Bureau of Meteorology • Chrisp & Bremner Engineers Pty Ltd t/as WaterCon • City West Water • Coliban Water • Dubbo City Council • Degremont Australia Pty Ltd • Dept of Natural Resources Environment the Arts and Sport • DERM • GHD • Gladstone Area Water Board • Goondiwindi Regional Council • Gosford City Council • Goulburn Valley Water • GWMWater • Gympie Regional Council • Hunter Water Corporation • IPMG (SA) Pty Ltd • International Water Centre • Kempsey Shire Council

• Macquarie Franklin • Melbourne Water • MidCoast Water • Narromine Shire Council • NVIRP • Power and Water Corporation • Queensland Health • Queensland Water Directorate • Riverina Institute TAFE NSW • SA Water • Seqwater • South East Water • State Water Corporation • Sydney Water Corporation • Tenix Australia • Unitywater • Veolia Water • Wannon Water • Water Corporation Western Australia • Western Downs Regional Council • Westernport Water • WIOA

feature articles

book review Intergenerational Democracy: Rethinking Sustainable Development Author: Kirsten Jane Davies Published by Common Ground, Champaign, Illinois 2012 ISBN 978-1-61229-08-9, 249pp RRP: US$35.00 (Hardcover); US$10 (e-Book) In this book Kirsten Davies has tackled environmental sustainability from an unusual angle – looking at the sociology and psychology of interaction between people and their environment. She has also examined cultural and ethnic dimensions and the migrant experience. Although the book is aimed at environmental sustainability overall, inevitably water crops up as a strong theme. The result, however, is a much richer tapestry than the average water technocrat would normally encounter. Davies, who adapted her PhD thesis to create the book, begins by outlining the status of the various underpinning concepts and describes research that she conducted to compare communities in Parramatta with urban and rural communities in Goulburn-Mulwaree, a shire between Sydney and Canberra. She had found that cultural and ethnic heritage is not as important as time spent in a location, and phase of life, in determining an individual’s attitude and behaviour towards sustainability. Unsurprisingly, she found that people living on the land had a greater empathy with the environment than did their urban peers. As Davies’ study was contemporaneous with much of the major drought of the time, her work illuminates aspects of community responses to drought and water restrictions.

1. Sustainable Ecocycle 2. Knowledge & Awareness Human Identity 4. Capacity & Skills 5. Behaviour Sustainable Ecocycle.

3. 1.

This closed loop is contrasted with the ‘Cycle of Destruction’, which is: 1. Human Identity 2. Knowledge & Awareness 3. Capacity & Skills 4. Behaviour 5. Unsustainable Ecocycle; not a closed loop. Three case studies are reported, in: Ku-ring-gai (Sydney); Sydney Water; and Espiritu Santo (Vanuatu), each of which explored phase-of-life notions of intergenerational democracy and sustainability. Of particular interest to the water audience, the Sydney Water study examined the impact of a smart metering trial on water use patterns. The author brings together the concept of phases of life and the Human-Ecocycle model and proposes a survey method, HELP (Human-Ecocycle Life Phase), which ensures that the voices of the young and the old are included in the mix when sustainability is considered. This book should help to bring greater integrity and equity to future dialogues about sustainability. The book is well referenced, but is not indexed. There are lists of figures and tables and useful appendices relating to migration to Australia and explanations and examples of relevant aspects of the author’s research. – Chris Davis, National Water Commissioner

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The conceptual model with which she proposed to examine interactions is the Sustainable Human-Ecocycle:


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The term ‘intergenerational democracy’ was coined by Davies, because it addressed the common thread that emerged from her research to explain how people would feel about sustainability and the environment.

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Coupling YOU to SUCCESS


MAY 2012 57

pipeline cleaning & maintenance

refereed paper

CSIRO RESEARCH INTO COMPUTER AIDED IMAGE INTERPRETATION FOR AUTOMATIC PIPE INSPECTION A review of current status for automatic recognition of pipe defects from a robot J Mashford, D Marney, S Burn Abstract A considerable amount of research into automated or semi-automated interpretation of images of sewer or other pipes has been carried out over the past two decades. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has had significant involvement in this research almost from its outset. A major early project in this area was the PIRAT project, which was a collaborative effort involving two divisions of CSIRO and Melbourne Water. In this project an image acquisition robot was built, and software for the automatic interpretation of pipe images using computer vision and other artificial intelligence techniques was developed. Recent CSIRO work in the area has been focused on image interpretation, where reliance is made on commercial image acquisition systems. Techniques for pipe

defect and pipe feature detection have been developed and, through university partners, techniques for 3D pipe reconstruction and large scale processing of pipe image collections by neural selforganising maps have been developed.


The process of inspection of the interior of buried pipes is made up of two parts. These are the image acquisition component and the image interpretation component. The image acquisition system is usually made up of a robotic device that moves through the pipe obtaining images. The images may be greyscale, colour, range or other sensor modality. In current pipe inspection practice the interpretation component is manual. This manual image interpretation is a time-consuming, labourintensive and error-prone operation. Automation has the potential to increase its objectivity and efficiency. Such an automated interpretation system processes images obtained by the image acquisition device with the aim of identifying defects and features and, possibly, providing input into a system Figure 1. The PIRAT image acquisition device. that produces a report about the state of the pipe.

Figure 2. A commercial image acquisition device.

58 MAY 2012 water

It may be fully automated or semiautomated, in which case it operates in conjunction with a human operator. One possible function of a semi-automated system is to provide a screening system to filter out images of pipe sections that are definitely non-

defective, leaving potentially defective areas to be assessed by the human operator. Such a screening operation has the potential to increase the efficiency of the image interpretation process. An early semi-automatic inspection system was the German KARO system (Kuntze et al., 1994), which consisted of a multi-sensor inspection device and a twopass interpretation system. During the largely automatic first pass, a hierarchical fuzzy logic sensor fusion algorithm was used to identify candidate defects that were then investigated in detail by the operator during a second pass. The PIRAT system (Kirkham et al., 2000) was developed shortly after the KARO system. It was made up of an inspection device providing range images (obtained by laser striping) together with an interpretation system using neural networks and other AI techniques (Mashford, 1995). The image acquisition device for the PIRAT system is shown in Figure 1. Our recent work has focused on the development of an interpretation system rather than on the building of an inspection device. Data for such an interpretation system could be provided by a commercial inspection system such as that shown in Figure 2. Such an inspection system will move through a pipe and obtain a number of colour images that may then be combined to form an unwrapped pipe image. The images obtained by the inspection system, or the unwrapped pipe image generated from these images, are processed by the image interpretation system. The accuracy of the image interpretation process would depend on the quality of the images obtained by the inspection device. It may be difficult to obtain satisfactory accuracy in the case of sewer pipes that have not been pre-cleaned.

technical features

refereed paper

pipeline cleaning & maintenance Research Context Colour images provide significantly different information from greyscale images or range images (where the pixel values are distances). This can augment the effectiveness of some of the image processing tasks that are to be carried out on the images. However, in some other respects, the tasks are more difficult. With colour images, where the information available is that of colour and intensity, there may be no way of determining whether a defect or feature is an intrusion or an extrusion. This is because a patch of pipe surface looks essentially the same if it is translated in space. This means that it may be difficult to distinguish between categories such as “corrosion” and “deposit” for defects. On the other hand it may be that corrosions tend to have a particular colour or texture signature while deposits have another, in which case the colour image data would be sufficient to distinguish between them.

Figure 3. Reconstructed pipe surface together with its triangulation state.

With range images it can be determined whether a defect or feature is an intrusion or an extrusion by simply comparing the range values on the defect with the nearby range values off the defect. For this reason we may also assume, when discussing properties related to range values of defects, that the interpretation system has available an unwrapped pipe range image. This range image may be provided by the inspection system, or else possibly constructed by processing the colour images obtained by the inspection system using photogrammetry. If photogrammetry is used, then the cost of an inspection device would only be the cost of a colour image acquisition system such as in a commercially available system. The image matching operation for stereo photogrammetry is difficult for the images obtained from the inside of pipes. Research carried out with ANU (Zhang et al., 2011) has been directed to making this matching process possible under these conditions. Figure 3 shows the result of the 3D reconstruction of the surface of a pipe using these techniques. 3D pipe reconstruction is useful for detecting and quantifying deformation of pipes. In general, the system being developed by our research is similar to the PIRAT interpretation system. It consists of pre-processing, segmentation, classification, image analysis and high-level system modules. Pre-processing carries out such operations as smoothing and filtering to put the pipe image in a suitable form for the subsequent processing modules. The segmentation module partitions the input image into meaningful subsets. In the case of two-class segmentation, each subset is either a “region of interest” (ROI) or “good pipe”. Segmentation can be effected by pixel labelling combined with connected component labelling. The image classification module classifies each ROI output by segmentation as being in one of a number of classes such as “hole”, “corrosion”, “pipe connection”, “deposit” and “tree root”. A schematic diagram for the proposed system is given in Figure 4. A decision tree classifier can be implemented. The fundamental decision that has to be made about an ROI is whether it is an intrusion or an extrusion. This can be made by comparing the average range value of on-defect pixels with the average range value of off-defect pixels that are in a neighbourhood of the boundary of the defect.

Figure 4. Schematic diagram of proposed system.

The difference of these values in the case when the defect is determined to be an extrusion can be used to assign the defect to being either a hole or corrosion. Alternatively, by using appropriate fuzzy membership functions, the defect can be assigned fuzzy membership function values in the classes “hole” and “corrosion”.


MAY 2012 59

pipeline cleaning & maintenance

refereed paper

Some holes can be identified as pipe connections by means of a pipe connection detector that examines the dimensions and location of the defect and may compute the ellipse of best fit for the boundary of the defect in order to give a compound fuzzy membership value. Intrusive defects can be given a deterministic or fuzzy classification as either tree roots or deposits by use of a tree root detector that computes the maximum deviation between the range values of off-defect pixels and on-defect pixels in windows centred on boundary points of the defect. The remainder of this paper describes some techniques for the recognition of defects and features in pipe images. The first step in each case is to carry out segmentation of the pipe image, which results in a binary image. The connected components of this binary image are candidates for defect regions or pipe features. The large connected component extending over the full length of the pipe is referred to as the principal segmented region, and contains the pipe flow lines, the pipe joints and adjoining defects. Other connected components are candidates for corrosion defects and pipe connections. An approach is therefore needed for distinguishing between corrosion regions and pipe connections. In this research, corrosion defects and pipe connections are distinguished using a simple fuzzy approach. The principal segmented region may then be decomposed into its component flow lines region, pipe joint regions and adjoining defect regions using the techniques of mathematical morphology.

The Segmentation Sub-System There are a number of approaches to colour image segmentation including thresholding, feature-based clustering, region-based approaches, edge detection approaches, fuzzy approaches and neural network approaches (Cheng et al., 2001). The main segmentation approach that we consider in this paper is described in (Mashford et al., 2007). It is a supervised method involving classification of feature vectors consisting of the H, S and B components in the HSB (hue, saturation and brightness) colour space. For the classifier we used a support vector machine (SVM). SVMs are statistical pattern recognisers that can be used for classification or regression tasks. They have certain properties that make them superior to neural networks such as requiring smaller training sets and having better generalisation ability.

60 MAY 2012 water

Figure 5. GUI display of pipe connection. For generation of a training set for the SVM, a set of feature vectors for individual pixels together with their classifications must be extracted from the training data images. The approach that we have used to generate training sets for the pixel classifier is to select rectangular regions of constant classification using standard tools. Rectangular regions were selected and extracted from the unwrapped pipe image of a concrete sewer pipe. The regions were extracted from regions of corrosion and regions of good pipe. Corrosion and good pipe regions were used for both training and testing the classifier. SVMs generally require 100s or 1000s of training cases in order to be trained effectively. Since the SVMs used in this research are being used as pixel classifiers, and a single image contains many thousands of pixels, it is not necessary to use a large number of images to train an SVM for this purpose. It is just necessary to ensure that there is sufficient variability in the training data to reflect variability in practice. The SVMs were trained to detect areas of sub-critical corrosion characterised by darker areas of pipe, but other defect types such as different coloured corrosion areas could also be investigated.

Detection of Corrosion Defects and Pipe Connections Segmented regions other than the principal segmented region form candidates for corrosion regions, other defect regions or pipe connections. Pipe connections may be distinguished from corrosion regions by using a simple fuzzy approach. A defect region is likely to be a pipe connection if it is located approximately laterally in the pipe and

its size is within a range of suitable sizes. One may also consider requiring that its shape as measured by, for example, a goodness of fit parameter for an ellipse of best fit is in a suitable range. However, as noted by MĂźller and Fischer (2007) segmented regions arising from pipe connections can come in a number of shapes other than oval. One may define fuzzy membership functions associated with the conditions that the defect be laterally located and of a suitable size. Pipe connection detection by this simple fuzzy approach has been applied to the trial images under consideration, with the result of completely accurate detection except in one case where the pipe connection was on the boundary of the image. Cases such as these can be avoided by processing the full, unwrapped pipe image, or else by using overlapping windows. Defect regions, together with their classification as either corrosion or pipe connection, can be displayed by means of a GUI, as shown, for example, in Figure 5, where a pipe connection is displayed. The effectiveness of the system at finding defects or features depends on the quality of the segmentation. For the SVM segmentation the result depends on a parameter called reference_brightness. In this case the value of reference_ brightness is determined by trial and error. When the parameter is high the system under-segments, resulting in more false negatives. When the parameter is low the system over-segments, resulting in more false positives. Some values of the parameter are associated with both false positives and false negatives. Thus, as in the case of the thresholding method,

technical features

refereed paper

pipeline cleaning & maintenance The candidate pipe joint components are the connected components of this image. In the case of the given example, there are six such components. Pipe joints may be determined by analysis of the candidate pipe joint set (Mashford et al., 2010). The method of pipe joint detection described above has been applied to 23 images of a section of 393m of concrete pipe with the result of 100% classification accuracy.

Figure 6. Typical example of flow lines, pipe joints and adjoining defects. perfect segmentation cannot be achieved using the SVM method. However, the SVM method has the potential to be a more powerful segmentation method because it takes into account the colour properties of the images rather than just the greyscale brightness value, and so is utilising more information present in the image.

Detection of Flow Lines, Pipe Joints and Adjoining Defects It is desirable to have a method of decomposing the principal segmented region into its separate components, that is, flow lines, pipe joints and adjoining defects. This can be achieved using the methods of mathematical morphology. Grey-scale morphology has been used by Sinha and Fieguth (2006) to segment pipe joints and pipe connections. However, in our work, a binary-segmented image is already present as a result of prior segmentation using SVM or other method. Therefore, the more reliable binary image morphology can be used. Also, we define generalisations of the morphology operations that are more suitable to the images being analysed. Consider the problem of flow line detection. The image of Figure 6 is a typical example of a section of pipe containing flow lines, pipe joints and adjoining defects. The associated principal binary image obtained after SVM segmentation and connected component labelling is shown in Figure 7.

structuring element given by E = {(0,j) : j = -element_length_1, …, element_length_1}.

However, the erosion does not provide a good representation of the flow line region because some points in the convex hull of the flow line region are missing due to random noise variation. This results in lines of missing values in the eroded image. This behaviour can be avoided by defining a generalisation of the erosion operation that we call α-erosion, fractional erosion or partial erosion (Mashford et al., 2010). The result of carrying out the α-erosion of the image in Figure 7 by the horizontal structuring element defined above with element_length_1 = 100 and α = 0.9 is shown in Figure 8. This gives a good representation of the core of the flow line region. The flow line region may be taken to be estimated by the dilation of the core flow line region by the structuring element E = {(i,0) : i = -element_length_2, …, element_length_2}.

Figure 8. Core flow line region = α-erosion of principal binary image with α = 0.9. The binary image obtained by taking P~F where P is the principal binary image and F is the (estimated) flow line region represents the pipe joints and adjoining defects. Candidate pipe joints may be detected by taking the α-erosion of this image with respect to the structuring element E = {(i,0) : i = -element_length_3, …, element_length_3},

with the result shown in Figure 9.

Figure 7. Principal binary image. Let A be the principal segmented region shown in Figure 7. It is natural to try to define the core region of the flow lines to be given by the result of the erosion operation AƟE where E is the horizontal

Figure 9. Candidate pipe joints.

Neural Processing of Pipe Image Collections Pipe image acquisition devices acquire large numbers of images that need to be processed, either manually, semiautomatically or automatically. In any case many of these images contain sections of good pipe not containing any defects. The efficiency of the image interpretation process could be increased significantly if these regions of good pipe could be filtered out and only potentially defective regions be presented to the human operator or automated system. Research carried out with Monash University (Ganegedara et al., 2012) has been directed towards processing collections of sewer pipe images by neural self-organising maps (SOMs) to filter out regions of good pipe. SOMs are a sort of unsupervised neural network. The SOMs being used are growing selforganising maps (GSOMs) (Alahakoon et al., 2000). An overview of the system developed for processing sewer image collections by GSOMs is shown in Figure 10. The algorithm generates features for the image collection and hierarchically clusters the image features into regular and irregular feature classes. Features are generated using the Canny edge detector. GSOMs are used to classify the features. The algorithm consists of three phases, pre-processing, feature extraction and clustering. The proposed approach, when applied to a large set of test images, filtered out 86.7% of the image data. The filtered data contained only good areas of pipe, while the remaining data contained mainly defective regions.

Conclusions Automation of pipe inspection has the potential to improve the efficiency of the CCTV inspection process through the use of fully or semi-automated systems. A useful function of an automated pipe inspection system is to be able to detect and recognise pipe features such as pipe connections, flow lines and pipe joints as well as pipe defects. In this paper an approach to signal interpretation for automatic pipe


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pipeline cleaning & maintenance inspection based on segmentation of colour images by SVM has been described. Analysis of the principal segmented region by mathematical morphology enables the flow line region, pipe joints and adjoining defects to be detected. While manifesting some false positives or false negatives in corrosion detection, the system had high accuracy in the detection of flow line regions, pipe joints and pipe connections on the data on which it was tested. A technique for processing pipe image collections by growing self-organising maps to filter out good regions of pipe has also been described. By means of this processing more than 80% of pipe image data may be filtered out, leaving a much smaller amount of data to be processed either manually or by further automated systems. Further research will be directed to the problem of pipe connection detection, and then further investigation into the detection of pipe defects on a large scale (such as pipe deformation) or a small scale (such as holes or cracks).

Acknowledgements Work described in this paper has been funded by the CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship. The authors thank Yuhang Zhang and Richard Hartley of ANU; Hiran Ganegedara, Damminda Alahakoon and Andrew Paplinski of Monash University and Karsten Müller and Thomas Deserno of Aachen University for collaboration on this work; Mike Rahilly for implementing a graphical user interface; and Paul Davis and David Marlow for very helpful discussions.


Figure 10. Overview of system for processing sewer image collections by growing self-organising map.

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Dr John Mashford (e-mail: John.Mashford@ is a Senior Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Land and Water, PO Box 56, Highett, Victoria 3190, Australia. Dr Donavan Marney (email: is a Research Scientist and Stream Leader of Intelligent Networks at CSIRO. Prof Stewart Burn (email: Stewart. is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO’s Land and Water Division and an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University.

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References Alahakoon D, Halgamuge S & Srinivasan B (2000): Dynamic self-organising maps with controlled growth for knowledge discovery, Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on, Vol 11, No 3, pp 601–614. Cheng HD, Jiang XH, Sun Y & Wang J (2001): Color image segmentation: advances and prospects, Pattern Recognition 34, pp 2259–2281. Ganegedara H, Alahakoon D, Mashford J, Paplinski A, Müller K & Deserno T (2012): “Self-organising map-based region of interest labelling for automated defect identification in large sewer pipe image collections”, accepted, to appear in Proc. 2012 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks. Kirkham R, Kearney PD, Rogers KJ & Mashford J (2000): PIRAT – A system for quantitative sewer pipe assessment, The International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol 19, No.11, pp 1033–1053. Kuntze H, Haffner H, Selig M, Schmidt D, Janotta K & Loh M (1994): Development of a flexible utilisable robot for intelligent sensor-based sewer inspection, Proc. of the 4th International Conference on Pipeline Construction, Hamburg, Germany, 367-374 (1994). Mashford JS (1995): A neural network image classification system for automatic inspection, Proc. of the 1995 IEEE International Conference on Neural Networks, Perth, Australia. Mashford J, Davis P & Rahilly M (2007): Pixel-based colour image segmentation using support vector machine for automatic pipe inspection, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 4830, SpringerVerlag, Berlin. Mashford J, Rahilly M, Davis P & Burn S (2010): “A Morphological Approach to Pipe Image Interpretation based on Segmentation by Support Vector Machine”, Automation in Construction, Vol 19(7), pp 875–883. Müller K & Fischer B (2007): Objective condition assessment of sewer systems, LESAM 2007 – 2nd Leading Edge Conference on Strategic Assessment Management, Lisbon, Portugal. Sinha SK & Fieguth PW (2006): Segmentation of buried concrete pipe images, Automation in Construction, Vol 15, pp 47–57. Zhang Y, Hartley R, Mashford J, Wang L & Burn S (2011): “Pipeline reconstruction from fisheye images”, Proc. 19th International Conference on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision 2011, Plzen, Czech Republic.

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pipeline cleaning & maintenance

DEgrADATIon oF Epoxy pIpE CoATIngS DuE To DIFFuSIon oF ChEmICAlS

Failure of epoxy coating can be due to a number of means DI Verrelli Abstract Concrete pipes are commonly protected by a coating of epoxy or some other barrier. However, these coatings are subject to degradation by a variety of means. One important route is by diffusion of chemical species. This article reviews the state of knowledge on degradation of coatings due to diffusion, in order to provide an accessible context for recent publications on this topic. Specific caution must be taken in considering the model of diffusion to apply, implementation of the model and the mode of failure. Solubilities should be estimated besides diffusivities; solubilities are especially important if the coating fails due to liquid pooling and blistering.

Introduction Epoxy coatings are commonly used to protect pipe surfaces such as those used in water systems. Diffusion into epoxy coatings can degrade them and, eventually, the underlying pipe. Diffusion of chemical species into and through solids has been well characterised by authors such as Barrer (1951) and Crank (1975). However, this does not mean that prediction of coating degradation is a simple matter of plugging a few numbers into a calculator. Valix and Bustamante (2011), in a paper comparing commercial epoxy mortar coatings and the effect of fillers, used a simplified treatment of diffusion of sulfuric acid into epoxy coatings. It is important to recognise that the situation may be more complicated in reality. The main points addressed herein are as follows: • Analysis of typical experimental data using an approximate diffusion formula suitable for short times only will lead to substantial errors. A formula applicable for the complete process should be used; • Care must be taken in preparing the specimen and defining its thickness;

• Degradation may occur by physical processes as well as chemical modes of attack; • Solubility may be as important as, or even more important than, the diffusivity.

Evaluation of Diffusivity Diffusion in many materials can be described by Fick’s law, which states that the flux of diffusing substance is proportional to the concentration gradient. The constant of proportionality is the diffusivity, D, in

F= D

C , x


where F is the permeation rate per unit cross-sectional area, C the concentration (or, strictly, activity), and x the space coordinate (Barrer, 1951; Crank, 1975). It is known that ‘glassy’ materials – i.e. materials below their glass-transition temperatures, such as epoxy coatings at ambient conditions (Banks and Ellis, 1982; Barrie et al., 1984; Liu et al., 2004; Musto et al., 2000) – often do not abide by Fick’s law, but rather exhibit ‘anomalous’ diffusion (Alfrey et al., 1966; Crank and Park, 1968; Legghe et al., 2009; Vieth, 1991). (Sorption of water by hydrophobic glassy polymers typically exhibits the least deviation (Crank and Park, 1968).) Nevertheless, it is common practice to apply a Fickian analysis (Ivanova et al., 2001; Legghe et al., 2009; Liu et al., 2008a), and so I will proceed on that basis and return briefly to the topic of anomalous diffusion afterward. A number of alternative techniques exist for estimation of the diffusivity of material through a solid. The first option is to measure the uptake of fluid or solute by the solid: a relatively small solid specimen is immersed in a much larger reservoir. This is a convenient technique, which requires simply the measurement of the mass of the specimen, as has been described in recent articles (e.g. Liu et al., 2008a; Valix and Bustamante, 2011).

An alternative is to immerse a solid specimen in a small reservoir, and measure the change in concentration or volume of the fluid that has not been absorbed (Crank, 1975). This may be less precise, unless care is taken to avoid interferences such as evaporation. It also may be less representative of field exposure. Another technique is to use a solid ‘film’ to separate two chambers, and measure the rate of transfer from one to the other, typically under the assumption of steadystate conditions (Crank, 1975; Huldén and Hansen, 1985). This represents a more difficult measurement, and again is more removed from field exposure. The advantage is that the steady-state analysis does not require assumption of Fickian behaviour (Crank and Park, 1968). Finally, it is possible also to dissect a specimen that has been exposed to the penetrating fluid in order to find the profile of penetrant concentration through the thickness of the solid. The diffusivity could then be estimated by treating it as a curve-fitting parameter (Crank, 1975). In the following, I focus exclusively on the first technique, due to its convenience and popularity. In the case of partially filled pipes, part of the pipe coating would be in contact with a liquid phase, and part would be exposed to the vapours. Theoretically, no difference is expected for diffusion above or below the waterline if the vapour phase is saturated with the diffusing species (Crank and Park, 1968; Huldén and Hansen, 1985), which is a fair assumption in the pipes considered.

Theory of Diffusion in Solids The basic theory of diffusion starts with an assumption that Fick’s law holds, as in Equation 1. Diffusion into a solid slab can then be described by (Barrer, 1951; Crank, 1975; Hill, 1928):


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pipeline cleaning & maintenance =1

8 2




e 25 25


e 49 49

, (2)

in which 2






M represents the uptake of penetrant mass at time t, while M is the corresponding value at equilibrium; D is the diffusivity, which has units of cm/s2 or similar; l is half the thickness of the slab, both of whose faces are exposed to the fluid. A coating has only one face exposed to fluid, with the other bonded to the pipe; hence, l can also be taken as the thickness of a coating. Care must be taken lest the wrong interpretation of l be used (e.g. Valix and Bustamante, 2011). The ellipsis indicates that the series continues indefinitely; however, for all but the shortest times the summation is sufficiently accurate when only a few terms in the series are retained. A series of algebraic transformations to express Equation 2 in terms of the first integral of the complementary error function (see Crank, 1975) provides a more numerically tractable computation for the shorter times. In principle, that form of the equation can be used for all times, but at longer times it becomes impractical to evaluate, and at shorter times a simpler alternative can be employed (see Simplifications). A number of assumptions are made in the derivation of Equation 2. These include: 1.

Diffusion occurs along one axis only. This means that the test specimen must be much thinner than it is wide or tall.


The material is uniform, chemically stable and of constant dimensions.


The diffusivity is constant. An average effective diffusivity is readily defined, but may be difficult to evaluate from absorption measurements.

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is a slow process (low diffusivity), then weeks might be considered small times. Conversely, if the diffusion proceeds quickly (high diffusivity), then even a minute might not be considered a small time. For the first phase of the diffusion, , the full equation can when be well approximated by (Barrer, 1951; Crank, 1975):


D 2



Then M is conveniently plotted as a straight line against , the gradient . Despite what being proportional to is sometimes seen in the literature (e.g. Legghe et al., 2009; Valix and Bustamante, 2011), it is incorrect to apply this formula to the long-time response. When the diffusivity, D, is a function of concentration, the range of applicability of Equation 4 may be either extended or curtailed from the default situation (Crank and Park, 1968). The limiting behaviour for glassy polymers is found to be a direct proportionality between M and t, rather (Alfrey et al., 1966). A combination than of the two can also occur, as can powers intermediate to 0.1 and 1.0. Other ‘anomalous’ behaviours include powerlaw variation with indexes greater than 1.0 (Vieth, 1991), sigmoidal and two-stage uptake curves (Crank, 1975; Crank and Park, 1968; Ivanova et al., 2001), and Langmuir adsorption (Liu et al., 2008b). An even simpler formula has been derived to relate the diffusivity to the normalised time at which half of the absorption has occurred, namely

a substrate to protect it. One interface of the coating is bonded to the pipe, while the other is exposed to the fluids flowing through the pipe. This asymmetry is the reason for specifying l to be the thickness of a bonded coating, exposed at one face only. As mentioned, if the specimen is exposed on both faces, then its thickness is set equal to 2l. In the formulae, M is the mass uptake of the penetrant at equilibrium. Formally, that means the value at infinite time. Fortunately, sufficient accuracy is maintained if one merely waits for long times. How long is “long”? It means times that are long relative to the rate of diffusion. Hence, this can only really be determined by monitoring the mass uptake over time and ensuring that it has reached a practically constant value (assuming that no other transport mechanisms become important). In that case, any of the above formulae could be used to estimate D with reasonable accuracy. If the experiment has proceeded for a “short” time only, then M is still unknown. Even though a “maximum” value of acid uptake will have been recorded in the experiment (e.g. Valix and Bustamante, 2011), this should not be confused with the asymptotic value, which could only be identified by continuing the observations. In this case, there is no possibility of correctly evaluating D. Cursory inspection of Equation 4 might lead to the misapprehension that any arbitrary value of M , such as the maximum value observed, can be used. Rearranging the equation demonstrates more clearly that D cannot be disentangled from M , if M is unknown: 2


The rate-limiting process is the internal diffusion within the solid.


The concentration of the penetrating species at the surface is constant.


For a coating bonded to a substrate, and thus exposed on one face only, the mass of penetrant propagating into the substrate is negligible.

Simplifications At small times the behaviour described in Equation 2 always simplifies to a power (Hill, law, in which M is proportional to 1928). It is important to realise that “small” times is a relative concept. If the diffusion

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D 2




at which in which T50% is the value of (cf. Crank, 1975). Again l is the half-width of a sheet exposed on both sides, or the full thickness of a lining exposed only on the outer face. While this last formula is simpler, its estimates are more sensitive to any dependence of the diffusivity upon concentration than those of the initialgradient method (Crank, 1975). The claims of remarkable accuracy associated with the T50% formula (Crank, 1975) are not practically meaningful, as they ignore any kind of experimental error.

Application of the Theory The formulae have been derived for coatings that are fulfilling their function, which means that they are applied to

This is demonstrated in Figure 1 and Figure 2. Even though the diffusivities vary by a factor of 16, the fourfold variation in solubility compensates, so that all three cases are described by the same curve at early times. Finally, if the experiment has proceeded for an ‘intermediate’ length of time, then M is still unknown. However, it can be predicted by using the complete formula, consistent with Equation 2. Figure 3 presents an example in which only a few observations are available of the true underlying response, for which D = 1 and M = 1. In the scenario, the coating has unit thickness; equivalently, the horizontal or axis could have been plotted as , to obtain a ‘reduced sorption plot’ (Crank and Park, 1968). The observations

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pipeline cleaning & maintenance were generated by taking the true uptake at times 0.1, 0.2, ..., 0.8, and rounding the uptake to two decimal places, in order to introduce a small experimental imprecision.

Figure 1. Uptake of penetrating species into coating of unit thickness for various combinations of diffusivity and equilibrium uptake, in comparison with the early-time approximation (which is the same for these three combinations), plotted against time so that the initial response follows a square-root profile.

To employ the short-time formula, the obvious choice for M is the value of M at the last observation, namely M ~ 0.89. Applying the formula to all eight observations results in an 11% overestimate of D. However, plotting this curve over the observations shows that it does not reflect the true initial uptake, as only the first few points closely approximate a relation. Hence a revised fit is applied to only the first two observations. Interestingly, this results in a worse estimate of D, being 25% larger than the true value. Evidently the error due to mis-specification of M was partially compensated by an error of opposite sign due to the inappropriate curve fit when all observations were included. (This is a fortuitous circumstance, and not a recommended ‘correction’.) To use Equation 5 it is necessary to first estimate a value of M for which Taking M ~ 0.89 means that T50% would occur at M ~ 0.45. The experimental data points in this example are fairly sparse, and so linear interpolation is applied to obtain an estimate T50% ~ 0.161, and hence D ~ 1.22. (Interpolation on instead of t yields T50% ~ 0.157 and D ~ 1.26.) This estimate is as bad as the preceding one.

Figure 2. Same as Figure 1, but plotted against square root of time, so that the initial response is linear.

These estimates can be compared with application of Equation 2. It might be considered easier to specify M ~ 0.89 again, so that only one parameter need be estimated. This expediency results in an unacceptable overestimation of D, by 39%. It is seen that the prediction clearly reaches an asymptote at M = 0.89, and the estimate of D is very sensitive to this. Finally, when both M and D are simultaneously estimated, by minimising the sum of squared errors, a good match is attained between the predicted curve and the real underlying response. (An exact match could not be expected, given the experimental errors introduced.) M has been almost perfectly estimated, and D is only underestimated by 3%.

mechanism of Degradation and relevance of Diffusivities

Figure 3. Comparison of uptake curves estimated by fitting ‘observed’ data with true underlying response. Unit thickness of coating.

There are two important routes by which degradation might occur: physical and chemical. One might also include microbiological processes as a third route, but it is convenient to describe these as chemical processes, because ultimately it will be secretions of an enzyme, acid,


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pipeline cleaning & maintenance etc from the microbes that react with the coating. Autogenous ageing is not considered. (While the emphasis of the present article is on degradation, certain chemical reactions may actually improve the stability of the coating (van den Brand et al., 2004) (cf. Legghe et al., 2009).) The simplest models of chemical reaction consider that the rate of reaction is directly proportional to the concentration of reactant. If the diffusion kinetics are slower than the kinetics of reaction, then the highest concentrations will exist at the exposed surface of the coating and it might be expected that this is where degradation will be worst. If the diffusion kinetics are faster than the kinetics of reaction, then the chemical will reach saturation levels throughout the coating, and degradation across the whole thickness will occur. The coating likely has a very good resistance to a wide range of chemical agents, as it is designed to protect the substrate. (By the same argument, dissolution of the protective coating into the fluid is assumed negligible (cf. Crank and Park, 1968; Hansen, 2004).) It may be that even if the concentration of chemical that has penetrated the coating is much lower than the value in the bulk, this could still be the most critical region of degradation. Either the chemical may interfere with the bonding of the coating to the pipe, resulting in delamination, or the chemical may attack the substrate directly. The absolute value of the chemical concentration within the affected region is the parameter of interest for chemical degradation. Hence, low solubility and low diffusivity can both be considered protective. The most obvious and well-known physical mechanism of degradation may be abrasion. However, it is important to consider a more pernicious mechanism, due to liquid ‘pooling’ or ‘blistering’ within the coating (Hansen and Just, 2001; 2002). Although it is seldom recognised, this blistering phenomenon is very common and has been seen specifically in numerous polymer films, including epoxy coatings (van den Brand et al., 2004; Hansen, 2004). The pooling phenomenon is caused by prior super-saturation, and results in ‘blistering’ of the coating. In the dynamics of diffusion treated above, super-saturation would not have seemed possible, as the concentration is expected to approach an asymptote (the equilibrium value), and so at most is equal to the saturation concentration. To achieve super-saturation, it is necessary to recognise that in a real installation the temperature can fluctuate.

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If the coating were saturated with the chemical, either throughout or in some regions, then a decrease in temperature would (usually) lead to a decrease in solubility and, thus, super-saturation. The super-saturated state is not stable, and some of the ‘dissolved’ species that have penetrated into the coating would tend to come out of solution (i.e. form a new phase within the solid matrix). Initially the liquid may form as extremely small droplets, but these quickly merge into larger pools or blisters within the solid matrix, especially at hydrophilic sites (Hansen, 2004; cf. Musto et al., 2000). In the sequence described, it is assumed that the timescale of temperature fluctuation – hours or days, say – is faster than the timescale of diffusion, which is the usual situation for the industrial coatings typically encountered. The physical forces involved can be tremendous, and can tear apart the coating, or cause catastrophic delamination from the substrate (Crank and Park, 1968). In ‘pooling’, the parameter of interest is the chemical concentration relative to the saturation value, within the affected region. Hence, only low diffusivity can be considered protective for this degradation mechanism. Low solubility will not help, and in principle would be worse for this type of attack. It has been suggested that the application of coatings incorporating ‘voids’ would provide a means of relieving internal liquid pressure without mechanical degradation (Hansen and Just, 2001). However, this would create a lower permeation resistance. A further potential mode of physical degradation is swelling upon liquid uptake (Alfrey et al., 1966). Swelling of coatings on test coupons can result in catastrophic delamination, to relieve the shear stresses (van den Brand et al., 2004). In the coupon coatings the shear stresses are generated because the swelling pressures are unbalanced at the edges. When the coating is applied to the inside of a pipe, the material cannot swell laterally, and so shearing stresses are minimised; however, tensile stresses may arise (cf. Alliband et al., 2006). These stresses will be less evident in unbonded specimens. It can reasonably be anticipated that the maximum swelling would be greater when the solubility is high, and would be attained more rapidly for higher diffusivities. The foregoing discussion alerts us to the separate importance of both diffusivity and solubility in governing degradation by various chemical and physical mechanisms. This is illustrated

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also by Figure 1 and Figure 2. For the combinations of D and M chosen in these Figures, the coating with the highest diffusivity (or highest permeability) can be expected to experience the least degradation by chemical attack – contrary to what might have been anticipated (e.g. Valix and Bustamante, 2011) – assuming the materials have the same susceptibility to given concentrations of the diffusing chemical. Of course, this could not be known unless observations were made for sufficiently long times. Six assumptions were presented above. It is appropriate to test how reasonable those assumptions are. 1.

planar diffusion (one-dimensional) Although a pipe is curved, this does not affect the analysis, because coating thicknesses are typically much smaller than the pipe radius. It is important to ensure that the test coupons are suitably sized so that the additional penetration at the edges is small relative to the total ingress (Crank, 1975).


Constant material In reality, a coating cannot be truly uniform. The most serious deviation from this ideality would be the presence of flaws in the coating such as pinholes or cracks (Vieth, 1991); an impermeable coating may be next to useless if the barrier is breached either in its initial state, or after some time in service (e.g. due to thermal expansion and contraction). Another deviation could occur by design if the coating is a composite material containing, for example, fibres, spherical fillers or paracrystalline aggregates (Crank and Park, 1968; Huldén and Hansen, 1985; Liu et al., 2008b; Vieth, 1991). The coatings discussed are chosen for their protective characteristics, but if we admit that diffusion may gradually occur in service, then we should also allow for the prospect of slow reaction. Lastly, the equations suppose that the coating does not change its shape, yet an intake of acid into epoxy of more than 30% (Valix and Bustamante, 2011) suggests that these coatings could be subject to considerable swelling (Barrer, 1951). Strictly, swelling systems cannot be described by Fick’s law as it is usually stated, and more generalised forms apply; however, the simpler version is still often employed for expedience (Barrer, 1951), with some theoretical justification (see Crank, 1975). (Swelling might also be expected to affect the diffusivity, beyond the simple change in geometry.)

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Constant diffusivity The diffusivity could vary with position in the coating. Solids are sometimes characterised as having a ‘skin’ (Crank, 1975; Hansen, 2004), e.g. due to more rapid curing of the epoxy at the exposed surface. Conversely, the coating properties may be affected by the presence of the substrate at the non-exposed face (van den Brand et al., 2004; Crank and Park, 1968; Huldén and Hansen, 1985). The diffusivity can also vary as a function of concentration, which is common for a range of coatings (Barrer, 1951; Hansen, 2004); in this case an average effective diffusivity is obtained (Crank, 1975). Variation with temperature also occurs (Huldén and Hansen, 1985; Vieth, 1991). Diffusion in coating controlling Diffusion within the liquid phase is not likely to impose a constraint, especially with the flow present in typical installations. However, in some systems the resistance at the interface significantly affects the penetration rate (Barrer, 1951). The most problematic manifestation of this exhibits a false ‘equilibrium’ at intermediate times, which soon yields to further sorption (Crank, 1975); the plateau could easily be misinterpreted as the equilibrium state, which would underestimate the true final uptake that would apply in service. Constant concentration at surface Given a high diffusivity in the fluid phase and continually replenished ‘solution’, this assumption would be met except for the obvious diurnal and seasonal variations. For design purposes a representative ‘average’ would be used. If coupons are to be exposed in the laboratory, it is important to ensure an adequate reservoir of acid, so that its concentration will not be appreciably diminished due to absorption into the specimen. negligible efflux from coating The diffusivity and solubility in the pipe wall ought to be much less than that of the coating, suggesting flux out of the coating can be neglected. However, the possibility remains that the diffusing species could be consumed in a degradation reaction. As a first approximation, it would be assumed that any such reaction is slow, so that only diffusion in the coating need be considered, as in assumption 4. (Alternative equations can be derived for the case of fast reaction.)

It is not necessary for an assumption to exactly reflect the reality; it need only be an adequate approximation.

pipeline cleaning & maintenance Discussion The theory of diffusion based on Fick’s law is well known, and equations for this system have been available for around 100 years. They are readily implemented in commonly available software applications. Incorrect applications of the formulae produce erroneous results, on which evaluations cannot be founded. Even though not all materials will obey Fick’s law precisely, often it will be an adequate approximation. Correct application of the theory will at least allow recognition of exceptions, in which alternative models of ‘anomalous’ diffusion are required. Such models are detailed in the references provided. To assess susceptibility to degradation, quantification of diffusivities is not sufficient. The solubility should also be estimated. This could be estimated from the diffusion experiment, from separate experiments, or perhaps from literature reports. The relative importance of the diffusivity and solubility depends on the mode and kinetics of degradation. In order to determine the mode of degradation, microscopic examination and chemical assays are valuable.

Conclusions To assess coating stability, one should: (i) know the mechanism of degradation of the coating or pipe; (ii) identify parameter(s) to characterise the mechanism; (iii) choose the correct theory and correctly apply it to evaluate parameter(s). Of course, other factors will also weigh on the decision, such as the cost of the coating and ease of application.

Acknowledgements I am grateful for the support of CSIRO, and for the invaluable services of our librarians. I also thank Lachlan Mason at University of Melbourne for cross-checking the work.

The Author Dr David I Verrelli (email: is a Postdoctoral Fellow at CSIRO Process Science and Engineering, based in Clayton, Victoria.

references Alfrey T, Jr., Gurnee EF & Lloyd WG, 1966: Diffusion in glassy polymers. Journal of Polymer Science Part C: Polymer Symposia 12 (Perspectives in Polymer Science), pp 249–261. Alliband A, Lenz DW, DuPois J, Alliston K, Storhaug V, Stevenson LE, Whitmer T, Cash R, Burns D & Stevenson WTK, 2006: Epoxy paint failure in

B-52 fuel tanks: Part I – Preliminary development of a model for the process. Progress in Organic Coatings 56(4), pp 285–296. Banks L & Ellis B, 1982: The glass transition temperatures of highly crosslinked networks: Cured epoxy resins. Polymer 23(10), pp 1466–1472. Barrer RM, 1951: Diffusion In and Through Solids, Corrected reprint. Cambridge University Press, UK. Barrie JA, Sagoo PS & Johncock P, 1984: The sorption and diffusion of water in epoxy resins. Journal of Membrane Science 18, pp 197–210. van den Brand J, Gils SV, Terryn H, Sivel VGM & de Wit JHW, 2004: Changes in epoxy-coated aluminium due to exposure to water. Progress in Organic Coatings 51(4), pp 351–364. Crank J, 1975: The Mathematics of Diffusion, 2nd Edition. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK. Crank J & Park GS (Eds.), 1968: Diffusion in Polymers, Academic Press, London, UK. Hansen CM, 2004: Aspects of solubility, surfaces and diffusion in polymers. Progress in Organic Coatings 51(1):], pp 55–66. Hansen CM & Just L, 2001: Water transport and condensation in fluoropolymer films. Progress in Organic Coatings 42(3–4), pp 167–178. Hansen CM & Just L, 2002: Erratum to “Water transport and condensation in fluoropolymer films”. [Prog. Org. Coat. 142 (2001) 167–178]. Progress in Organic Coatings 44(3), p 259. Hill AV, 1928: The diffusion of oxygen and lactic acid through tissues. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing papers of a biological character 104(9), pp 39–96. Huldén M & Hansen CM, 1985: Water permeation in coatings. Progress in Organic Coatings 13(3–4), pp 171–194. Ivanova KI, Pethrick RA & Affrossman S, 2001: Hygrothermal aging of rubber modified and mineral filled dicyandiamide cured digylcidyl ether of bisphenol A epoxy resin. I. Diffusion behavior. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 82(14), pp 3468–3476. Legghe E, Aragon E, Bélec L, Margaillan A & Melot D, 2009: Correlation between water diffusion and adhesion loss: Study of an epoxy primer on steel. Progress in Organic Coatings 66(3), pp 276–280. Liu H, Uhlherr A & Bannister MK, 2004: Quantitative structure–property relationships for composites: prediction of glass transition temperatures for epoxy resins. Polymer 45(6), pp 2051–2060. Liu W, Hoa SV & Pugh M, 2008a: Water uptake of epoxy–clay nanocomposites: Experiments and model validation. Composites Science and Technology 68(9), pp 2066–2072. Liu W, Hoa SV & Pugh M, 2008b: Water uptake of epoxy–clay nanocomposites: Model development. Composites Science and Technology 68(1), pp 156–163. Musto P, Mascia L, Ragosta G, Scarinzi G & Villano P, 2000: The transport of water in a tetrafunctional epoxy resin by near-infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy. Polymer 41(2), pp 565–574. Valix M & Bustamante H, 2011: Sulfuric acid permeation in epoxy mortar coatings. Water Journal 38(1), pp 74–77. Vieth WR, 1991: Diffusion In and Through Polymers: Principles and Applications. Hanser, Munich, Germany.


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refereed paper

BuRIED PIPELInES – WE CAn’t IGnoRe tHem A review of current technology AL Ratliff Abstract When condition assessment of a water transmission main is needed, implementing a cost-effective program means that not all methods need to be applied to all segments of the pipe; rather, the most appropriate inspection technology is applied when and where it is needed.

Introduction Buried pipelines often operate in a state of anonymity with respect to their condition until deterioration is severe enough to cause failure. A condition assessment program will provide information to better plan for repair, rehabilitation or replacement, and avoid service outages. Typically, for large-diameter water transmission mains, we do not have the ability to take the pipes offline to conduct internal inspections. The more we can do externally to assess the condition of these pipes and keep them in service, the more cost effective condition assessment will be. Failure modes for the large-diameter pipe are not the same as for smaller distribution mains. Internal or external corrosion can affect both pipes, but when a small-diameter pipe develops a leak at joints or from pinhole corrosion, the consequence of failure is not as high as for a larger, deeper pipeline. Distribution mains typically carry less water, operate under lower pressures, and are located at shallower depths than transmission mains; they also serve

a smaller service area. Leak detection systems are readily available to identify leak locations for these small-diameter systems. The approach for large-diameter transmission mains is more complex and is focused on an approach that starts with a desktop assessment, then external assessment, direct assessment and, finally, structural assessment. The progression from one level to the next is based on an analysis of the data collected at each step to determine if the more specialised technology needs to be implemented. Beyond the desktop assessment, the approach will vary according to the material and access to the pipe.

Desktop Study A desktop study uses all existing information to determine if the pipe has potential exposure to internal or external corrosion. Some of the types of data to be analysed include: • GIS Data GIS layers and GIS maps including attribute data such as asset ID, coordinates, length/ dimensions, diameter/size, street location/address, age, testing and maintenance data, repair/rehabilitation data and elevation contours; • WAE Drawings Construction details such as section lengths, material specification, details of joints or cathodic protection (CP), slope, plan view showing location, valve/structure details, and specifics of coatings and lining systems; • Capacity/Hydraulic Data Needed to determine if the pipe is meeting design capacity requirements (if not, then it can be recommended for replacement at a larger size and condition data may not be required depending on when the upsize is needed);

Figure 1. Emag testing.

68 MAY 2012 water

• Operating Pressures If available, operating and surge/transient pressure data

determines which sections of pipe have a higher risk of failure; • Maintenance Records Provides understanding of how pipe has performed over time and for prioritising assets for assessment; • Cathodic Protection WAE drawings and details, specifications and testing histories to determine design and performance effectiveness; • Previous Test Results Any previous testing results such as potentials, closed-circuit television (CCTV), electromagnetic, leakage, pressure or others, used to assess corrosion rates; • Geotechnical Data For any location at or near the pipe alignment to determine soil type, groundwater elevations and provide resistivity data if performed; • Groundwater Data Existing data taken in conjunction with geotechnical borings or separate piezometer readings; • Repair/Rehabilitation/Replacement Records Provides a history of asset performance or portions not requiring inspection; and • Water Quality Data Parameters needed include temperature, pH, total alkalinity, conductivity and total hardness in order to construct scaling indices. Water quality data is used to evaluate internal corrosion potential from current and historic water quality using the Puckorius Scaling Index (PSI) or the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI). PSI is used as a predictive tool for calcium carbonate (cement mortar lining) scaling/corrosion and may only be used accurately for untreated water or with treatments (phosphonates and acrylates) that “solubilise” calcium carbonate. It is not as accurate for estimating calcium phosphate, calcium sulphate, silica or magnesium silicate scale or calcium carbonate scale creation in waters already treated with “crystal modifiers”. Such treatments (polymaleates, sulphonated styrene/maleic anhydride, or terpolymers) cause foulants to precipitate, but do not result in a true scale. The Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) is used when the PSI cannot be used.

technical features

refereed paper

pipeline cleaning & maintenance

Correlation Function 1.0


0.5 0.0 Volume Control Low

-0.5 -1.0


















Time (seconds)

Leak position is 244.3 m from Blue station and 256.7 m from White station, time Delay = 0.01052 s 1|W1B2 1050mm DI 501m Hydros background cleaned2.wav

Figure 2. Wenner 4-pin survey.

External Assessment Deploying external assessment tools will require planning for access permissions, traffic control, subcontractors for specialised technologies and excavations or potholing. Where soil resistivities are low within the pipe zone, then more focused assessment is needed based on the material type. The advantage of using the soil resistivity approach is that additional work is only needed at a few locations along the pipe to characterise the high potential sites for external corrosion. Previous applications have used regular spacing to deploy these tools, but hot spots could be missed this way. • Soil Resistivity (all pipe materials): - Electromagnetic (Emag) Survey (see Figure 1): From the surface, measures

Cast Iron


501 m

1185 m/s


Figure 3. Acoustic testing showing potential leak. the horizontal soil resistivity to identify potential areas of high corrosion; - Wenner 4-pin Testing (see Figure 2): From the surface, measures the vertical soil resistivity at sites identified by Emag survey within the pipe zone; and - Geotechnical Investigation: Soil and groundwater sampling and testing for resistivity, pH, chlorides and sulfides. Used at sites identified by Emag and Wenner 4-pin with high potential for external corrosion within the pipe zone; • Active Cathodic Protection (mSCL): - Direct current voltage gradient (DCVG): Detects, locates and ranks defects or holidays in pipe coatings on pipe that is electrically continuous; • metallic pipe without CP protection (mSCL, CICL, CISL, DICL): - Electrical continuity testing: If not identified from the WAE drawings/ details, then testing is performed using CP equipment to validate the electrical continuity status of the pipe; - Stray current survey: Usually performed as part of a potential survey to determine if the pipe is subject to stray currents from external sources;

Figure 4. BEM-HSK scan of average wall thickness over entire exposed surface.

- Pipe-to-soil potential survey: Used for electrically continuous metallic

pipe using reference electrodes at ground level that are positioned directly over the pipeline, ideally at intervals of about 1km to 2km (intermediate 2-wire test stations installed by pot-holing may be needed if appurtenances are too far apart); - Cell-to-cell potential survey: Same as pipe-to-soil potential surveys only for non-electrically continuous pipe; and - Close-internal survey: Used with smaller spacing to quantify the limits of problem area found during pipe-tosoil potential survey; • Asbestos-cement (AC), Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Pipe: - Pressure testing: Determines if the pipe is performing under working pressure conditions. May also identify major leaks; however, if there is concern over pipe condition, pressure testing may worsen the condition; - Acoustic testing (see Figure 3): Non-destructive method using listening hydrophones or sensors in contact with the pipe at valves, access structures, or with intermediate listening stations to determine leaks along the pipe (new acoustic technology can provide average pipe thickness as well).

Direct Assessment For direct assessment, the pipe needs to be exposed through excavation for about at least a 1m length of pipe, and including a pipe joint. An excellent non-destructive screening tool is the Broadband Electromagnetic (BEM) Hand Scanning Kit (HSK) or similar equipment, which provides an average thickness over the entire exposed surface of the metallic pipe through up to 75mm coatings (see Figure 4). Based on the results, ultrasonic thickness testing may


MAY 2012 69

pipeline cleaning & maintenance be recommended. If the scan (Figure 4) indicates potential corrosion sites, follow-up Ultrasonic Thickness (UT) testing could be performed. If the steel thickness indicates no concern for steel thickness reduction, no additional work is necessary. When the pipe has a cement-mortar coating, mortar is removed before UT testing. Samples of mortar are obtained, both for the joint mortar, if available, as well as for factory-applied mortar coating. Analysis of the mortar samples includes pH, chlorides and sulphates.

Structural Assessment To provide the highest level of accuracy as to the remaining service life of a pipe, a section of pipe must be removed and sent to a structural laboratory for testing, which also requires that a detailed fieldwork plan to remove, repair and test the pipe needs to be prepared and approved prior to starting any work. If pipe removal is not possible or feasible, then a limited analysis of the thickness measurements from the previous fieldwork will have to suffice for the remaining service life estimate.

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Based on the results of the BEM, UT and acoustic testing to provide thickness results, a structural assessment is performed to determine a critical wall thickness and time to failure. There are several failure analysis models available and many utilities have developed their own tools.

Concluding Remarks When condition assessment of a water transmission main is needed, implementing a cost-effective program means that not all methods need to be applied to all segments of the pipe; rather, the most appropriate inspection technology is applied when and where needed. More data does not necessarily mean better information. Data needs to be collected at locations with the greatest potential for damage to properly assess the appropriate solutions. Screening methods are useful to determine where more expensive or destructive methods are absolutely necessary. One method is not appropriate for all conditions or pipe materials. There are other potential methods available on the market in addition to those described here, but not all necessarily provide

refereed paper

the same level of accuracy. If planned and executed appropriately, the inspection should yield valuable information to provide an expected remaining service life of the pipe.

the Author Alison L. Ratliff (email: is a Principal Engineer with GHDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sydney Water Group. She has over 26 years of project management and delivery experience, including supervision of project teams and contractors, budget management, schedule control, and development of studies, reports and design contract documents. Her specialty has been on water and wastewater condition assessment and rehabilitation projects in Australia, the US, the State of Kuwait, and Lima, Peru. Her recent focus is on water pipeline condition assessments using state-of-the-art technologies and practices to provide design and maintenance recommendations to extend the service life of these assets.

technical features

water in mining

refereed paper

TREATMENT OF COAL SEAM METHANE WATER IN TALINGA, DALBY AND MORANBAH A Davey, R Howick, R Armbruster Abstract Origin Energy and Shell (formerly Arrow Energy) are major players in the coal seam methane market in Queensland. Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s carbon tax and emissions trading scheme (ETS) will make coal-fired electricity increasingly more expensive. The intention of an Energy Trading Scheme is to motivate major CO2 producers to switch from coal to natural gas and/or renewables. AquatecMaxcon has provided a number of microturbines ranging from 30kW to 1MW for gas well heads in the coal seam gas (CSG) market, which provide power directly at the source of the gas. Through this relationship Aquatec-Maxcon was requested to provide a number of containerised integrated micro-filtration (MF) and reverse osmosis (RO) plants that can be dismantled, connected to a new storage dam and recommissioned if required at different well locations. The design of the RO plant is challenging, as it needs to deal with a wide range in raw water conductivity, as water can vary vastly over the region and is mainly drawn from the Artesian basin. The integrated membrane plant includes screening, microfiltration (MF), reverse osmosis (RO),

as well as acidication and antiscalant dosing. Both the MF and RO systems are designed with a conservative flux in order to treat a high bacterial and organic load from open dams. The RO system has been designed to operate as either two or three stages depending on the feed water conductivity at the particular extraction area in the gas field. We have completed two plants for Shell at Dalby and Moranbah. The plant at Dalby has two stages and operates at 75 per cent. The plant at Moranbah and at Talinga for Origin Energy is a three-stage RO system capable of operation up to 85 per cent. Aquatec-Maxcon has a fabrication workshop in Ipswich, and it was a requirement of the client to house all the technology and equipment, including air compressors, pumps and clean-in-place systems, inside 40ft (12m) containers. The client also requested that the plants include interconnecting pipework with quick-release fittings, electrical type plug and sockets, and removable pipework and cable trays. This was to ensure the plant could be transported easily to another site where water demand is required for industrial, agricultural or domestic use.

Introduction Aquatec-Maxcon has been involved in the coal seam gas (CSG) market for over four years. When the Energy Trading scheme started to take shape, the company got involved in clean energy and became the distributor for capstone micro-turbines in Australia. Typically, CSG companies compress gas and transfer it down pipelines to a centralised power station. However, there was no electrical grid network around Talinga. Origin Energy wanted to construct a 20 ML/d membrane treatment facility in Talinga. Origin Energy purchased gas turbines from Aquatec-Maxcon on their gas wells to provide standalone power up to 3MW for their site facilities and reverse osmosis plant at Talinga. To date, we have provided over 150 of these gas engine turbines to Origin Energy. Using CSG to generate electricity instead of coal, we can reduce greenhouse emissions by up to 70 per cent. These gas engines have one moving part and operate on air bearings. The turbines donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t suffer issues with corrosion due to sulphides in methane gas. These units are standalone co-generation facilities providing low-grade waste heat and electrical power. It was at that time that we were asked as a water company to provide integrated membrane systems to accompany these power generation units. Aquatec Services and its electrical company MPA provide backup service and support to Origin and Arrow Energy from Chinchilla as required.

General Background The Australian coal seam gas (CSG) industry has grown significantly in recent years and several multi-billion dollar developments have occurred in the CSG fields of central and eastern Queensland (see Figure 2).

Figure 1. A 3MW gas co-generation facility for the Talinga treatment plant.

Arrow Energy is a $2.3 billion vertically integrated specialist CSG company, with a huge domestic acreage position over eastern Australian coal beds with 1,430 PJ of reserves and 5,084 PJ of additional gross reserves. Arrow Energy has a wide alliance with Royal Dutch Shell and Petrochina. Origin Energy is a $7 billion integrated


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Figure 2. Locations of Origin and Arrow CSG plants in Queensland. gas and electricity provider with interests in gas and oil exploration, production and power generation. The Moranbah Gas Project (MGP), located in the Bowen Basin region, is already one of the largest operating coal seam gas (CSG) projects in Australia. As Arrow looks to supply gas to the international market, production across its broader Bowen Basin acreage will increase. When Arrow’s coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant is built on Curtis Island off Gladstone, more than a third of the gas will be from Arrow’s operations in the Bowen Basin. The gas will be transported to Gladstone through the 600km Arrow Bowen Pipeline Origin Energy runs the largest number of onshore oil and gas production facilities and is Australia’s leading developer of coal seam gas for eastern Australian markets. Origin Energy and Shell (formerly Arrow Energy) have more 10% of the gas reserves in Queensland (see Figure 2). The National Water Commission had estimated that more than 7500 gigalitres of water will be extracted by the CSG industry over its half-century life, which is about a third of the average annual flow of the Murray-Darling river system. CSG water usage is expected to reach 300GL

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a year, which is equivalent to current water demand of Queensland’s population. Water produced from CSG wells is usually referred to as Produced Formation Water (PFW). PFW quality will often vary significantly between wells in close proximity. The highest flow rate of water produced from a CSG well is typically in the period immediately after commencement of CSG extraction. Water production will gradually reduce over the life of the CSG well. Disposal of PFW is regulated by the Queensland Government’s Coal Seam Gas Water Management Policy.

CSG production involves extracting methane from coal seams by reducing groundwater pressure that keeps the methane trapped in the coal (see Figure 3). They use high-pressure pumps to inject a mixture of sand, chemicals and water to fracture the rocks and open cracks (called cleats) present in the coal seams to release natural gas. The methane is extracted by reducing ground pressure, and the by-product of the drilling process is water rich in salts. The amount of salt depends on the location and age of the coal seam. Typically five to eight tonnes of salt every megalitre of water is produced, mostly chloride, sodium and carbonates. One of the preferred management options is to treat water to a level suitable for agriculture, industrial or potable use. The predicted large volume all has to be treated. The most common water treatment is using reverse osmosis

(RO) desalination processes, but the pre-treatment strategy applied for any CSG water has to be investigated by using good water science and ensuring that the treatment selection is the best for project – which usually means the best for the RO membrane selection and production arrangement. RO does produce large volumes of salt and brine as a by-product of CSG extraction. Therefore, CSG water management policy recommends that all salt and brine residues that are not disposed of in the short term, either industrially or by safe injection in an aquifer, should be removed from agricultural areas and local water catchments. Comprehensive water management plans coupled with a proven capacity to implement them in regard to salt and brine disposal are requirements of future CSG project approval. Department of Environmental Management (DERM) typically issues a notice of decision to approve a resource beneficial for CSG water based on the following uses: • Aquaculture; • Coal washing; • Dust suppression; • Industrial use; • Irrigation; • Livestock watering.

Raw Water Quality Aquatec-Maxcon was requested to provide an integrated membrane plant to treat the storage dams in the gas field of Chinchilla and Talinga, and Moranbah in Queensland. The plants are designed to have the flexibility to move between different sites to maximise well operation. The design of the RO plant is challenging as it needs to deal with a wide range in

Figure 3. Schematic of gas extraction.

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water in mining

refereed paper

• This water is finally used for beneficial use, in this case for irrigation and dust suppression.

Pre-treatment As these plants need to be moved, the RO system needs to operate over a wide range of water quality from different dams. Depending on which CSG wells fed that dam, the salinity of water can range from low to high brackish quality, as indicated by the range of 3,500 to 8,100mg/L reaching upper limits of 10,000mg/L. The water extracted from these storage dams requires significant pre-treatment: • We have found most of the PFW water to be low hardness with high alkalinity, mostly made up of bicarbonate. Given the presence of hardness and alkalinity, there is potential for calcium carbonate scaling and LSI adjustment is required with hydrochloric acid. We have found the Moranbah water is more like normal surface water with more balanced alkalinity and some hardness;

Figure 4. Typical dam and gas extraction facility. raw water conductivity as water can vary vastly over the region and is mainly drawn from the Artesian basin. CSG water in the Chinchilla and Dalby area is pumped from well sites to centrally located storage dams (see Figure 4).

Approach to Plant Design

The water stored in these dams is treated by RO to an acceptable quality such that it becomes a useful resource for construction sites.

• Screening through disc filtration of less than 70um for algal control;

A range of water analysis for the different CSG wells is provided in Table 1.

The typical process schematic for CSG water (see Figure 5): • Requires various ponds for feeding/ and treating water;

• Micro-filtration is typically used for its robustness and ability to handle high solid loads;

• Open dams with several days’ retention time result in algal blooms during the warmer months, particularly when temperatures reach 40°C. The amount of algae and organic matter needs to be controlled through disinfection and screening;

• RO treatment for removal of salts;

• The variance in suspended solids can

Table 1. Statistical analysis of raw water data for CSG wells. Dalby and Glenelg Parameter Temperature deg C TDS (mg/L)




























Alkalinity ppm













Potassium (mg/L) Calcium (mg/L)







Magnesium (mg/L)







Sulphate (mg/L)







Sodium (mg/L)







Chloride (mg/L)







Fluoride (mg/L)







Silica (mg/L)







Turbidity (NTU)









Total Suspended Solids





TOC (mg/L)





































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water in mining

Figure 5. Typical schematic for CSG scheme.

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Figure 6. Site photo of the containerised RO system.

be somewhat controlled through membrane filtration, but in one instance at Dalby where turbidities reached 100 NTU an additional lamellae settler was necessary. The CSG water was drawn directly from the gathering system long before it reached the storage dams. There were a lot of innovative engineering features to get this system to work, by degasifying the water using a chimney stack just before the clarifier. The only challenge was that the gathering system could not supply enough water; • Adequate screening to protect the membrane filtration system; • A granular activated carbon pre-filter was provided at Moranbah to remove oil from the raw water supply; In some instances the client has provided the feed pumps, biocidal dosing and iron removal at the feed intake; • Either chlorination, chloramination and non-oxidising biocides to eliminate bacteria in the water;

Plant layout at Dalby.

• A specific antiscalant is necessary where levels of iron, fluoride and silica become an issue, particularly calcium fluoride, and barium sulphates at high recovery.

Key Features of the Reverse Osmosis Plant The design of the reverse osmosis membrane plant includes: • The incorporation of seawater membranes and back pressure on permeate ports to ensure correct flux rates across stages and optimal recovery; • Cross-flow membrane filtration with conservative flux rates and automated cleaning system to handle organic/biological fouling. In most of the plants the micro-filter was provided by Pall Australia and at Moranbah the membrane modules were provided by DOW;

Plant layout at Talinga.

• Energy recovery turbines and boost pressure on third-stage operation; • Variable speed control for the high-pressure feed pump to allow plant stabilisation; • Pressure transmitters to measure pressure across each stage and flow meters on all permeate connections for monitoring of flow production; • In some instances the use of duplex stainless steel where chloride concentrations were high and outside the range of normal stainless steel 316; • Given the high recoveries necessary antiscalant is tracked and measured. Aquatec-Maxcon provided a number of containerised

74 MAY 2012 water

Plant layout at Moranbah.

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refereed paper

Table 2. Irrigation water quality. Water quality characteristics



Limit type

pH units













pH Sodium Absorption Ratio

Table 3. Road dust suppression water quality. Water quality characteristics



Limit type

pH units



Total suspended solids




Total dissolved salts




Total petroleum hydrocarbons





plants (see Figure 6) for the membrane technology with tanks and chemical skids installed separately. The majority of pumps, all water storage tanks, membrane cleaning system, MF and RO systems, compressed air and electrical switchboards and panels were installed in 40ft (12m) containers. The plants were designed to be relocatable for movement to other gas wells once production life of the well is completed (see photos of plant layouts at Dalby, Talinga and Moranbah.) The plant included: • Bulky box and spill container used for transfer and storage of chemicals; • Plant pipework uses flexible hoses and flange connections; • The pipework and conduits were supported on metal dust pads or a galvanised dipped tank platform on the skids; • Stairs and platforms were used as pipe bridges. Cable conduits at Glenelg were strung between containers using stainless eye-hooks and stainless conduits. All instrumentation and power was connected with plugs; • All packages have access stairways and platforms in accordance with OHS and workplace safety guidelines. As the Moranbah plant is intended to be located in a permanent location Aquatec-Maxcon was required to provide more extensive civil and building works to house the treatment equipment.

Water Quality Use The permeate water is used for irrigation or road dust suppression as noted in Tables 2 and 3. The water is required to be of the right quality for this beneficial use.

Sodium Absorption Ratio (SAR) is critical. Farmers are concerned about providing the right mix of salinity, sodicity and nutrients. Further minerals, such as calcium carbonate, are sometimes added to the process to produce the right SAR. Dust suppression requires a blend of micro-filtered and desalinated water to achieve the low-quality water required.

Environmental Discharges In Queensland, which has the highest number of CSG well installations of any state in Australia, the state government’s policies are continuously being upgraded to better suit the latest needs, which are continuously being refined as more knowledge is gained (Santos philosophy). Hence, the current CSG Water Management Policy has been updated to provide even stronger protection for natural resources and the environment. This policy is designed to maximise the opportunities that CSG water presents for the environment and the community. That is, the EP Act requires annual reviews and evaluations of CSG water management practices against management criteria. This review process may necessitate changes to CSG water management options if it is shown that CSG water is not being managed effectively in line with the criteria. Any such changes must consider the preferred hierarchy of CSG water management options contained within this policy. The purpose of the CSG policy is to ensure that CSG water is managed and disposed of in a manner that best protects the environment including groundwater, and human health. This latest policy supersedes the CSG Water Management Policy released in June 2010, and has been updated to take account of recent legislative changes, improved knowledge and understanding of the CSG industry and impacts of CSG water. This policy must be considered when any CSG company is preparing a CSG Environmental Management Plan (EM Plan). Based on CSG Management Policy, Aquatec-Maxcon has been committed to

providing the highest recovery possible with reverse osmosis, and reducing waste volumes as much as possible. The process of desalination results in the production of concentrated salts. This saline solution can reach concentrations of up to 40,000 mg/L and is currently stored in lined evaporation dams. Evaporation ponds are not the preferred method of waste disposal, as they need to be managed and contained correctly; i.e., leakage and evaporation lead to a decreased volume of useable product. There are many investigations currently going on to dispose of this by-product by creating useable or saleable products as salt, injecting this brine underground above hydraulic loading zone or suitably regulated waste disposal facility on freehold land. Evaporation basins are not the preferred method of waste disposal. In the future, further processing and extraction of salt products will be mandatory.

Conclusions Aquatec-Maxcon has provided some unique solutions to very challenging environmental and raw water conditions at remote CSG well sites. The plants have proven themselves in hostile conditions, and with careful design considerations have operated successfully for Origin and Arrow Energy, providing repeat business with these clients. The treatment of CSG water is a challenge due to variety of water qualities from different well sites and method of extraction and storage. While membrane treatment provides a reliable source of water, further issues, such as the brine waste, are yet to be resolved. Aquatec-Maxcon is still endeavouring to find solutions for waste, as CSG management policy is tending towards a zero discharge solution on these sites. Further processing of brine wastes to make useable salt products is the next stage currently being investigated. Crystallisation can produce sodium chloride, sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. The salts can be used to produce caustic soda and chlorine.

The Authors Anthony Davey (email: anthonyd@aquatecmaxcon. is a branch manager with Aquatec-Maxcon, Melbourne, Victoria. Rob Armbruster is a Project Manager for Aquatec-Maxcon and Ron Howick is the Business Development Manager for Aquatec-Maxcon, Australia.


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contaminants of concern

refereed paper

NDMA ATTRACTING INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION The latest news on nitrosamines G Newcombe, J Morran, J Culbert Abstract

• N-nitrosomethylethylamine (NMEA);

N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and nitrosamines in general, are attracting increasing worldwide attention. While Australia has now established a guideline for NDMA, other countries such as New Zealand, the US, Canada and the European Union, are still deciding the most appropriate concentration of this disinfection by-product to allow in drinking water, and whether to include other nitrosamines in any ruling. Such intense interest brings an increase in knowledge, so the authors considered it timely to publish an update on the situation regarding nitrosamines in Australia and overseas. This paper complements similar topic reviews published in 2006 (Nicholson, 2006) and 2009 (Newcombe et al., 2009).

• N-nitrosomorpholine (NMor);

Introduction N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a nitrogen-containing organic compound that has known carcinogenic properties (IARC, 1978). NDMA has been a health concern for some industries for a number of years as it is used in rubber formulations, as a fire retardant, antioxidant, additive for lubricants and softener of copolymers; it is also a degradation product of dimethylhydrazine, an additive to rocket fuel (WHO, 2008). However, it has only come to the attention of the international water industry since it was recognised as a by-product of disinfection of wastewater and drinking water with chlorine or chloramines (Jobb et al., 1992). Most interest has focused on NDMA, as it is the most commonly occurring analogue, although there is a range of nitrosamines that can enter drinking and recycled water systems through similar mechanisms, and all are considered to be potentially toxic. In fact, like NDMA, many have been identified as probable human carcinogens (IARC 1978). Eight other nitrosamines of interest in drinking and recycled water are: • N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA); • N-nitrosodi-n-propylamine (NDPA); • N-nitrosodi-n-butylamine (NDBA);

76 MAY 2012 water

• N-nitrosopiperidine (NPip); • N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPyr); and • N-nitrosodiphenylamine (NDPhA).

Occurrence of Nitrosamines Disinfection isn’t the only pathway for contamination of drinking water and wastewater by nitrosamines. Nitrosamines can be formed in wastewater by biological and chemical reactions, or they may enter wastewater treatment facilities or waterways through industrial waste streams. For example NMor is more likely to be an industrial contaminant in wastewater plant influent than a disinfection byproduct (Krasner et al., 2009). NMor is found in rubber industry waste effluent and can be present in some hydraulic fluids and in morpholine-nitrite salts used as vapor-phase corrosion inhibitors. Another potential source of NMor in wastewater treatment plant effluent is the bacterial nitrosation of secondary amines such as the common industrial pollutant morpholine (Calmels et al., 1988). Similarly NDMA can reach a drinking water source through run-off from agriculture, as some pesticides are contaminated by the compound, or can enter wastewater treatment plants through industrial waste disposal. It has also been identified as a contaminant in water treated with ion exchange resins, even in the absence of a disinfectant (Kemper et al., 2009). More recently, rubber components such as valves and joiners/O-rings that are used in treatment plant pumps and in distribution systems have been found to leach significant levels of nitrosamines into the water supply (Morran et al., 2011). This newly identified source of the compounds could have implications for water supplies previously expected to have low, or zero, concentration of nitrosamines. It appears that new distribution systems using rubber products in the construction of pipelines could be particularly at risk from nitrosamine contamination.

The publication of occurrence data for nitrosamines in water and wastewater has been increasing over the last few years. NDMA is the most extensively studied of the nitrosamines to date, and most of the published data reflects this. Extensive surveys for NDMA in Japan and North America found that the majority of samples were < 10ng/L (Huy et al., 2011; Charrois et al., 2004; Charrois et al., 2007; Eyring, 2011). Similarly, a survey of 41 drinking water supplies in the UK during December 2006 and November 2007 found only 10% of samples contained NDMA, all < 10ng/L (see Wang et al. (2011) surveyed the source and finished water of 12 drinking water treatment plants in China, detecting six of the nitrosamines (NDMA, NDEA, NMor, NDBA, NMEA and NDPhA). The total nitrosamine concentration found was up to 42ng/L and 26ng/L for source and finished water respectively, with NDMA and NDEA the most abundant. Comprehensive nitrosamine occurrence data from the US have recently become available after the USEPA’s second Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation cycle (UCMR2) was undertaken between January 2008 and December 2011. Russell et al. (2012) analysed the first three years of data from 1,196 community water systems, and compared the results with data from the Ontario Drinking Water Surveillance Program (DWSP), which included annual sampling of drinking water systems from 1997 to 2007. Six nitrosamines were analysed for the UCMR2, and eight for the DWSP. In both data sets NDMA was detected far more frequently than the other nitrosamines. In the UCMR2 data 69% of samples in chloraminated systems contained detectable NDMA (10% of samples overall), whereas NDEA, NPyr, NDBA and NMEA were detected in < 5% of these samples. NDMA was detected in 37% of DWSP samples; however, it is not clear how many of these samples were from chloraminated systems. In addition, this percentage was probably influenced by the lower detection limit of the DWSP

technical features

refereed paper

contaminants of concern It appears that NDMA, and some other nitrosamines, are present in drinking and recycled waters produced using many different treatment processes and sources. While the majority of samples contain 10ng/L or less of these disinfection by-products, levels of over 100ng/L are regularly reported and drinking water suppliers should be aware that the levels may vary seasonally due to water quality and operational changes.

Formation of Nitrosamines

Chemical dosing facilities at a regional South Australian treatment plant. Chloramines are commonly used for country plants with long distribution systems. NDMA analysis. NDPA was not detected in any sample. In an earlier publication the authors showed that the majority of samples contained NDMA concentrations of < 10ng/L; however, there were a number of samples above 50ng/L, with the highest concentration reported of 630ng/L (Blute et al., 2010). Occasional samples in other published surveys show elevated levels of between 50 and 160ng/L (Swaim et al., 2008; Zhao et al., 2008; Charrois et al., 2004; Charrois et al., 2007). Zhou and coworkers published the results of a survey of nine nitrosamines in a chloraminated drinking water supply (Zhou et al., 2006). They detected NDMA, NPyr, NPip and NDPhA, and found that the levels increased with increased detention time in the distribution system. The highest concentrations of NDMA and NPip found were 108ng/L and 117ng/L respectively. In Australia, chloramination is widely practiced and in South Australia the South Australian Water Corporation implemented a routine monitoring program for NDMA in four systems in 2007. From these results it is clear that the levels in the distribution system vary considerably with time, indicating a seasonal influence due to variations in detention time controlled by demand. There was also evidence of a strong influence of water quality during a period of high flow, colour and turbidity in the river feeding the treatment plants. However, the average concentration of NDMA of more than 750 samples analysed from 2007 to present was low, < 20ng/L. Knight et al. (2011) recently reported nitrosamine data from five drinking water treatment plants in South-East Queensland. Three of these plants practice chloramination, one uses

chlorination, and the other a combination of ozone and chlorine for disinfection. Sampling took place over a three-tofour month period at each plant. NDMA was not detected above the limit of quantification (5ng/L) for any samples. However, the authors noted that the sampling in the distribution system was probably insufficient to conclude that there was no NDMA formed at some distance from the plants. In 2010/2011, Newcombe et al. (2012) conducted three surveys of three chlorinated and six chloraminated drinking water and 16 chlorinated recycled water systems over a one-year period. A total of 130 samples were analysed for NDMA, NDEA and NMor. NMor was not detected in any drinking water sample taken during the survey periods, while it was present in 42% of the chlorinated recycled water samples. NDEA was not detected in any sample. The limit of detection for both compounds was 10ng/L. NDMA was detected in 75% of all samples analysed, including some chlorinated drinking water samples. While there was some variation between the survey periods, for both drinking water and recycled water most of these samples (72% and 63% respectively) had NDMA concentrations ≤ 10ng/L. In summary, nitrosamines can be found in the effluent of drinking and wastewater treatment plants and in distribution systems through three pathways: • They may be formed during the treatment process; • They may be introduced as contaminants into the water during treatment or distribution; • They may be present in the influent to the plant and are not removed during treatment.

The most common formation pathway for nitrosamines is through the chloramination of a range of organic nitrogen-containing precursor compounds – particularly those containing amine groups – that can be found in water and wastewater. Chloramines can be used as a primary disinfectant, as in many drinking water treatment plants, or they can be formed on chlorination of wastewater in the presence of ammonia, where chloramines are produced as a by-product. It is now believed that the form of chloramine that is most important in the formation of NDMA is dichloramine (Schreiber and Mitch, 2006a); therefore, chlorine to ammonia ratio, pH, the order of addition of chlorine and ammonia and the efficiency of mixing are important parameters (Portillo et al., 2008). The application of optimum operational conditions for monochloramine formation will minimise dichloramine formation; however, even a low concentration of dichloramine is thought to be sufficient for the formation of NDMA (Shah and Mitch, 2012). Dimethylamine (DMA) is an important precursor of NDMA (Choi and Valentine, 2002; Schreiber and Mitch, 2006a). As DMA is known to be formed during wastewater treatment processes, NDMA in drinking water has been associated with input from wastewater treatment plants upstream of the source (Schreiber and Mitch, 2006b). NDMA has also been shown to be formed on ozonation of water containing DMA in the absence of chlorine or chloramines (Andrzejewskia et al., 2008). During their survey of nitrosamine occurrence Wang et al. (2011) detected the secondary amine precursors of the six nitrosamines they detected in the drinking water, with DMA and diethylamine (DEA) the most abundant. The authors suggested that the secondary amines in the source waters were the most important precursors for the nitrosamines in these systems. Cationic water treatment polymers have been identified by a number of researchers as significant precursors to these DBPs, with polyDADMAC being the


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contaminants of concern most widely used and, therefore, the most important precursor in water treatment (Wilczak et al., 2003). This effect has been attributed to the formation of DMA during degradation of these polymers (Park et al., 2009). In addition, DMA was reported to be released from polyDADMAC on ozonation, thus increasing NDMA precursor material (Padhye et al., 2011). Natural organic material containing nitrogen functional groups and nitrogenous microbial products, for example, metabolites of algae or cyanobacteria, or biofilm material, have been identified as precursors (Chen and Young, 2008; Gerecke and Sedlak, 2003; Krasner et al., 2010). In contrast, Sacher et al. (2008) suggested that natural organic material is not a major precursor of nitrosamines, and the major precursors are contaminants associated with wastewater plant and industrial effluent. The same authors tested a range of precursor materials and concluded that NDMA was formed to a far greater extent (1–2 orders of magnitude) than the seven other nitrosamines analysed, and in most cases NDMA was the only nitrosamine detected as a by-product of chloramination of the precursor materials. Confirmed precursors include a range of agricultural and industrial contaminants, such as the herbicides diuron and chlortoluron, and the pharmaceutical ranitidine (Sacher et al., 2008; Chen and Young, 2008; Xu et al. 2012). Due to the various precursor materials associated with wastewater, drinking water sources impacted by wastewater effluent are considered at high risk of nitrosamine formation.

In practice, nitrosamines are present in such low concentrations it is very difficult to identify specific precursor compounds, and often formation-potential tests, similar to those used to measure trihalomethane formation potential, are used to determine the level of precursors in a water source (Mitch et al., 2003). The test involves dosing the water sample with an elevated level of pre-formed monochloramine, usually around 60mg/L; the sample is then left in the dark for several days. The nitrosamine concentration (usually only NDMA) is measured and this is described as the NDMA formation potential (NDMAfp). The value doesn’t always reflect the concentration that may be found in the distribution system, but is an indication of the maximum concentration that may be formed under extreme conditions, and is considered the “potential” of that water sample to form NDMA. A similar test was used by Labernik et al. (2010) to determine the efficacy of various treatment processes for the reduction of NDMA precursors. The authors found that coagulation in the presence of polyDADMAC increased the concentration of precursors, as did filtration through a biologically active sand filter. Morran et al. (2009) determined the level of NDMA precursor material through several conventional treatment plants. They reported that, in general, the formation potential increased through the plant for those plants using a cationic polymer as a flocculant aid, whereas a plant using alum alone for coagulation displayed minor changes of precursor concentration through the treatment plant. Sludge lagoon supernatant displayed a very high concentration of precursors

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for the plants using cationic polymers in drinking water treatment or sludge treatment, impacting on the raw water quality due to supernatant recycling to the head of the plant.

Controlling Formation The first step in the minimisation of formation of nitrosamines is the removal of the precursor compounds. One of the most effective processes is reverse osmosis, with more than 99% removal of precursors from recycled water reported by Farre et al. (2011). Other authors report that precursors are effectively removed by activated carbon, with the combination of ozone and granular activated carbon one of the most effective combinations tested (Sacher et al., 2008). Some control of nitrosamine formation can be achieved by oxidation of water prior to disinfection, due to oxidation of the most important precursor functional groups. (Chen and Valentine, 2008; Lee et al., 2007). Ozone and chlorine dioxide were both found to be effective oxidising agents, showing similar deactivating effects for NDMA precursor material (Lee et al., 2007). Ozone alone, and in combination with hydrogen peroxide, was reported to be effective for the removal of NDMA precursors by Pisarenko et al. (2012). Pre-chlorination has been found to be particularly effective, although there is some disagreement in the literature regarding the chlorine exposure (CT) required for effective precursor inactivation – possibly because the ease of oxidation is dependent on the structure of the precursor material (Hrabovsky, 2009). Similarly, the results of the research

In Australia the most important reason for applying chloramines for disinfection is to ensure a residual throughout the system, particularly in long pipelines. In the US it is often used as an alternative to chlorine to minimise chlorinated DBPs to comply with the Stage 2 DBP rule.

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undertaken on the effect of the order of addition of chlorine and ammonia during disinfection have not been entirely in agreement (Portillo et al., 2008; Schreiber and Mitch, 2005; Pehlivanoglu-Mantas and Sedlak, 2006). However, the majority of the work suggests that the application of chlorine prior to ammonia reduces NDMA formation significantly (Hrabovsky et al., 2009; Schreiber and Mitch 2005). The reasons for this effect are twofold; the addition of chlorine prior to ammonia is essentially a prechlorination step, resulting in oxidation of precursor material, and this method of disinfection reduces dichloramine formation. As mentioned, the pH of chloramination is an operational parameter that strongly affects NDMA formation. The maximum NDMA formation is within the pH range 6 to 8 (Mitch and Sedlak, 2002; Sacher et al., 2008; Portillo et al., 2008; Morran et al., 2009). Above and below this range the formation of NDMA decreases dramatically. This could be due to the combined effect of pH on chloramine speciation and reactivity of the amine groups on the precursor materials. Another very important influence on the level of NDMA in the distribution system is the reaction time between the precursor compounds and the disinfectant. Many studies have shown a continuous slow increase in the concentration of NDMA with time in the presence of a monochloramine residual (Charrois et al., 2004; Mitch et al., 2003). As a result, it can be expected that NDMA concentrations will be higher the further the samples are taken in the distribution system, and will be higher at a particular sampling point if the detention time has increased – for example, in winter during low flows.

Removal of Nitrosamines In the production and distribution of drinking water, chloramination is the most important pathway for the introduction of NDMA and other nitrosamines into the final product. These contaminants continue to form in the distribution system, and the contamination can be increased by leaching from rubber components such as O-rings installed in new pipework. The latter contribution can occur even in the absence of chloramines. Therefore, there are few practical measures that can be applied to remove nitrosamines from drinking water. Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is the main avenue for NDMA reduction after chloramination or within the distribution system. NDMA is very

The UV disinfection unit at Mannum Water Treatment Plant. susceptible to photolysis and can be destroyed if UV is used as a secondary disinfection step after chloramination, although in the presence of a chloramine residual it will continue to form in the distribution system. In one long distribution system in South Australia researchers found that on exposure to sunlight in an open storage situated approximately seven days’ detention from the disinfection point, NDMA levels decreased by up to 90% (Cook et al., 2007). In wastewater treatment it is more likely that NDMA and other nitrosamines will be present in the influent, or be formed during chlorination at some stage in the treatment process. Therefore, removal through subsequent steps in the treatment plant is possible. Many studies have been undertaken to determine the efficacy of various processes, both at the full scale and in the laboratory. Processes that have been shown to be effective include UV irradiation, UV in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide and slow sand filtration (Schmidt et al., 2006; Swaim et al., 2008; Lee et al., 2005; Lee et al., 2011; Poussade et al., 2009; Sacher et al., 2008). Activated carbon can be effective for the removal of some nitrosamines; in the case of NDMA, this has been attributed to biological degradation (Schmidt and Brauch, 2008). Ho et al. (2011) studied the removal of NDMA, NDEA and NMor from wastewater treatment plant effluent by granular activated carbon filters. No biological removal was observed over a period of 300 days, and the three nitrosamines displayed very different

physical affinities for the carbon. NDEA was readily removed early in the trial, with the efficiency decreasing to 30% by the end. NMor was removed well for approximately 100 days, and NDMA was not effectively removed. Both NDMA and NMor showed evidence of desorption on any decrease in the influent concentration of the contaminant. Ozonation and ozone/hydrogen peroxide may not be effective at doses that would be used for disinfection or microcontaminant removal (Wille et al., 2011; Pisarenko et al., 2012) and reverse osmosis is at best only partially effective (Poussade et al., 2009; Pisarenko et al., 2012).

WHO Guidelines The World Health Organisation has issued a drinking water guideline level of 100ng/L for NDMA, but presently there are insufficient toxicological data to determine guidelines for the other nitrosamines. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) now also provide a guideline of 100ng/L for NDMA as part of the recent revisions. The current Australian guideline value for NDMA in recycled water destined for augmentation of drinking water is 10ng/L. This is based on a 10-6 increased lifetime cancer risk, whereas the WHO and ADWG guideline is based on a risk factor of 10-5 (AGWR, 2008; WHO, 2008). The Australian recycled water guidelines also contain levels for NDEA (10ng/L) and NMor (1ng/L). Five nitrosamines are on the USEPA candidate contaminant list (CCL3) and are under consideration for regulation –


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contaminants of concern NDMA, NDEA, NDPA, NPyr and NDPhA. In the meantime, California has adopted state-based risk and notification levels for NDMA, NDEA and NDPA of 10 and 300, 10 and 100, and 10 and 500ng/L respectively. The notification level is the concentration at which the water provider is expected to take the supply out of service (Californian Department of Public Health website, www. NotificationLevels.aspx). Canada recently established a guideline for the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 40ng/L for NDMA, while the province of Ontario has an interim standard for NDMA of 9ng/L. New Zealand’s Drinking Water Standards document, published in 2005 and revised in 2008, does not have a maximum acceptable value (MAV) for NDMA. Similarly, Japan’s water quality standards and the European Union’s Water Framework Directive don’t include NDMA or other nitrosamines. In late 2008 the United Kingdom Drinking Water Inspectorate issued guidance information about NDMA to water service suppliers in England and Wales on their website. Similar to the Californian Department of Health, they suggest a tiered approach to management of NDMA in drinking water, involving actions to be undertaken at various NDMA concentrations. For concentrations > 10ng/L the recommendation is to implement strategies to reduce the levels to < 10ng/L, and at > 200ng/L the actions are to “consult with health professionals and reduce consumer exposure within days” ( guidance-and-codes-of-practice/ NDMA%20concentrations%20in%20 drinking%20water.pdf).

The main risk factors associated with the presence of nitrosamines in drinking or recycled water are: • The presence of chloramines, particularly dichloramine; • Highly urbanised or industrialised catchment for wastewater plants, industrialised or agricultural catchment, or source water impacted by wastewater for drinking water; • Poor source water quality, frequent algae blooms, high dissolved organic carbon concentration and colour; • The use of cationic polymers; • Recycling lagoon supernatant and/or backwash water to the head of the plant;

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• Minimise sludge supernatant return; • Apply activated carbon prior to disinfection to reduce chemical contaminants from wastewater and industrial or agricultural run-off that could contribute to the precursor levels; • Optimise coagulation with the aim of minimising polymer dosing if this is contributing to formation; • Optimise organics removal by coagulation; • Adjust pH to a range that minimises NDMA formation; • Dose chlorine prior to ammonia.


removal or inactivation of precursor material; and

Although the individual factors that can influence the production of nitrosamines, and NDMA in particular, have been identified and studied extensively, the impact of individual parameters, and the synergy between them, is not well understood at the full scale. Probably the most important reason for this is the extremely low concentrations that are of concern for such potent carcinogens. Very small changes in the operational parameters or precursor concentrations could have a significant, but unpredictable, effect on the concentration of nitrosamines. Therefore, an overall nitrosamine minimisation strategy should combine as many measures as possible for their control.


application of appropriate operational measures to minimise formation.


• Ineffective/insufficient treatment barriers for organic carbon and contaminant removal; • New pipes containing rubber products. When the main nitrosamine contribution to the distributed water is from leaching in new pipework, flushing is the only method for reducing the concentrations. For nitrosamines entering the treatment plant various processes can be applied to remove them, although few are very effective. The principal method for the minimisation of nitrosamines is the control of their formation through:

Following are some general strategies that can be applied to reduce nitrosamine formation; however, it is important to note that any of these should only be applied if there is no adverse impact on water quality or potential risk to public health.

The authors would like to acknowledge Water Quality Research Australia for funding Project 1018 “Occurrence and management of NDMA and other nitrogenous disinfection by-products in Australian drinking and recycled waters”.

Summary Nitrosamines can contaminate drinking and wastewater treatment plant influent through industrial waste or agricultural run-off. They can be formed during the treatment process if chloramination, or chlorination in the presence of ammonia, is practiced. The most problematic of the nitrosamines is NDMA; however, NMor can be found in high concentrations in some wastewater treatment plant influents. Although the major pathway for most nitrosamines occurrence is reaction of precursor material with chloramines, high concentrations of NDMA and other nitrosamines can also be attributed to leaching from rubber components of new pipework, even in the absence of chloramination.

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Optimised coagulation with minimised polymer dosing can reduce NDMA in some plants.

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contaminants of concern dimethylamine-containing waters. Water Research, 42, pp 863–870. Asami M, Oya M & Kosaka K (2009): A nationwide survey of NDMA in raw and drinking water in Japan. Science of the Total Environment, 407(11), pp 3540–3545. ATSDR (1989): Toxicological profile for N-nitrosodimethylamine. Prepared by the Syracuse Research Corporation in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, DC, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 119 pp. Blute N, Russell C, Chowdury Z, Wu X & Via S (2010): Nitrosamine occurrence in the US – analysis and interpretation of UCMR2 data. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Seattle, Washington, November 2010.

Effective disinfection shouldn’t be compromised by operational changes implemented to reduce NDMA.

The Authors Gayle Newcombe (email: Gayle.Newcombe@ is Research Leader, Applied Chemistry at the Australian Water Quality Centre. Gayle has worked in the water industry for 23 years leading research into the management of cyanobacteria and, more recently, nitrosamines in drinking and recycled water. Jim Morran is Senior Research Scientist for water treatment at the South Australia Water Corporation with over 30 years’ experience in research and development in water treatment processes, with a particular focus on natural organic matter, disinfection processes and disinfection by-products. Julie Culbert is a Senior Research Officer with the Australian Water Quality Centre and is involved with developing and applying analytical methods for the analysis of trace organic contaminants in water.

References AGWR Phase 2 (2008): Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Managing Health and Environmental Risks (Phase 2). Augmentation of Drinking Water Supplies ( taxonomy/term/39). Andrzejewskia P, Kasprzyk-Horderna B & Nawrockia J (2008): N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation during ozonation of

Calmels S, Ohshima H & Bartsch H (1988): Nitrosamine formation by denitrifying and non-denitrifying bacteria: implication of nitrite reductase and nitrate reductase in nitrosation catalysis. Journal of General Microbiology, 134, pp 221–226.

Gerecke AC & Sedlak DL (2003): Precursors of N-nitrosodimethylamine in natural waters. Environmental Science & Technology, 37(7), pp 1331–1336. Ho L, Grasset C, Hoefel D, Dixon MB, Leusch FDL, Newcombe G, Saint CP & Brookes JD (2011): Assessing granular media filtration for the removal of chemical contaminants from wastewater. Water Research, 45(11), pp 3461–3472. Hrabovsky I, Grendahl S, McCasland L, Talabi O, Lee B & Cotton C (2009): Formation and occurrence of NDMA at the City of Scottsdale Water Campus. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Seattle Washington. CD ROM. Huy N, Murakami M, Sakai H, Oguma K, Kosaka K, Asami M & Takizawa S (2011): Occurrence and formation potential of N-nitrosodimethylamine in ground water and river water in Tokyo. Water Research, 45, pp 3369–3377. IARC (1978): Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans. Vol. 17. Some N-nitroso Compounds. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer, pp 125–175.

Charrois JWA, Arend MW, Froese KL & Hrudey SE (2004): Detecting N-nitrosamines in drinking water at nanogram per liter levels using ammonia positive chemical ionization. Environmental Science & Technology, 38(18): pp 4835–4841.

Jobb DB, Hunsinger RB, Meresz O & Taguchi VY (1992): A study of the occurrence and inhibition of formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the Ohsweken water supply. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Toronto, Ontario: pp 103–132.

Charrois JWA, Boyd JM, Froese KL & Hrudey SE (2007): Occurrence of N-nitrosamines in Alberta public drinking water distribution systems. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science 6, pp 103–114.

Kemper J, Westerhoff P, Dotson A & Mitch W (2009): Nitrosamine, dimethylnitramine, and chloropicrin formation during strong base anion-exchange treatment. Environmental Science & Technology 43 (2), pp 466–472.

Chen W & Young T (2008): NDMA Formation during chlorination and chloramination of aqueous diuron solutions. Environmental Science & Technology, 42, pp 1072–1077.

Knight N, Watson K, Farré MJ & Shaw G (2011): N-nitrosodimethylamine and trihalomethane formation and minimisation in Southeast Queensland drinking water. Environmental Monitoring Assessment. In press (DOI 10.1007/ s10661-011-2256-7)

Chen Z & Valentine R (2008): The influence of the pre-oxidation of natural organic matter on the formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Environmental Science & Technology, 42, pp 5062–5067. Choi JH & Valentine RL (2002): Formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) from reaction of monochloramine: a new disinfection byproduct. Water Research, 36, pp 817–824. Cook D, Daly R, Morran J, Drikas M & Kilmore G (2007): Degradation of NDMA in an open reservoir. 233rd ACS National Meeting, Chicago, IL, March 25–29. Eyring A (2011): Six years of nitrosamine monitoring in Philadelphia. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Phoenix Arizona, November 2011. Farré MJ, Keller J, Holling N, Poussade Y & Gernjak W (2011): Occurrence of N-nitrosodimethylamine precursors in wastewater treatment plant effluent and their fate during ultrafiltration-reverse osmosis membrane treatment. Water Science & Technology, 63(4), 605.

Krasner S, Dale M, Lee C, Garcia E, Wong T, Mitch W & von Gunten U (2010): Difference in reactivity and chemistry of NDMA precursors from treated wastewater and polyamine polymers. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Savannah, Georgia. CD ROM. Krasner S, Westerhoff P, Chen B, Rittman B & Amy G (2009): Occurrence of disinfection byproducts in United States wastewater treatment plant effluents. Environmental Science & Technology 43, pp 8320–8325. Labernik S, Liang S, Yates R and Yun T (2010): Formation and control of NDMA with cationic polymers. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Savannah, Georgia. CD ROM. Lee C, Choi W & Yoon Y (2005): UV photolytic mechanism of N-nitrosodimethylamine in water: roles of dissolved oxygen and solution pH. Environmental Science & Technology, 39, pp 9702–9709.


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contaminants of concern Lee C, Schmidt C, Yoon J & von Gunten U (2007): Oxidation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) precursors with ozone and chlorine dioxide: kinetics and effect on NDMA formation potential. Environmental Science & Technology, 41(6), pp 2056–2063.

Park S, Wei S, Mizaikoff B, Taylor AE, Favero C & Huang C-H (2009): Degradation of aminebased water treatment polymers during chloramination as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) precursors. Environmental Science & Technology, 43(5), pp 1360–1366.

Lee W, Westerhoff P, Chen B, Lee H-D & Choi J-S (2011): Catalytic photolysis of carbonaceous and nitrogenous disinfection by-products. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Phoenix Arizona. CD ROM.

Pehlivanoglu-Mantas E & Sedlak DL (2006): The fate of wastewater-derived NDMA precursors in the aquatic environment. Water Research, 40, pp 1287–1293.

Mitch WA & Sedlak DL (2002): Formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) from dimethylamine during chlorination. Environmental Science & Technology, 36, pp 588–595. Mitch WA, Gerecke AC & Sedlak DL (2003): A N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) precursor analysis for chlorination of water and wastewater. Water Research, 37, pp 3733–3741. Morran J, Newcombe G & Slyman N (2009): Factors affecting NDMA formation in treated drinking water. Water Journal, 36(3), pp 57–61. Morran J, Whittle M, Fabris RB, Harris M, Leach J, Newcombe G & Drikas M (2011): Nitrosamines from pipeline materials in drinking water distribution systems. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 103(10), pp 76–84. Newcombe G, Morran J, Culbert J, Slyman N, Leach J & Kapralos C (2012): Occurrence and management of NDMA and other nitrogenous disinfection by-products in Australian drinking and recycled waters. WQRA Project Milestone Report No 5. Newcombe G, Morran J & Slyman N (2009): NDMA – an update on issues. Water Journal, 36(3), pp 64–66. Nicholson B (2006): N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) – An emerging issue for the water industry. Water Journal, 33(6), pp 43–51.

Pisarenko A, Stanford B, Yan D, Gerrity D, Snyder SA (2012): Effects of ozone and ozone/peroxide on trace organic contaminants and NDMA in drinking water and water reuse applications. Water Research, 46(2) pp 316–326. Portillo M, Kinser K, Cassanova R, Lehman S & Jacangelo J (2008): Impact of sequential and preformed chloramine dosing on NDMA formation in repurified wastewater. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Cincinnati, CD ROM. Poussade Y, Roux A, Walker T & Zavlanos V (2009): Advanced oxidation for indirect potable reuse: a practical application in Australia. Water Science & Technology, 60(9), p 2419. Russell C, Blute N, Via S, Wu X & Chowdury Z (2012): Nationwide assessment of nitrosamine occurrence and trends. Journal of American Water Works Association, 104(3) pp 57–58. Sacher F, Schmidt C, Lee C & von Gunten U (2008): Strategies for Minimizing Nitrosamine Formation during Disinfection. AWWA Research Foundation, Denver, CO, USA. Schmidt C, Sacher F & Brauch H-J (2006): Strategies for minimising formation of NDMA and other nitrosamines during disinfection of drinking water. Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Philadelphia. CD ROM. Schmidt C & Brauch H-J (2008): N,Ndimethylsulfamide as precursor for N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation upon ozonation and its fate during drinking

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water treatment. Environmental Science & Technology, 42(17), pp 6340–6346. Schreiber IM & Mitch WA (2005): Influence of the order of reagent addition on NDMA formation during chloramination. Environmental Science & Technology, 39, pp 3811–3818. Schreiber IM & Mitch WA (2006a): Nitrosamine formation pathway revisited, the importance of dichloramine and dissolved oxygen. Environmental Science & Technology, 40, pp 6007–6014. Schreiber IM & Mitch WA (2006b): Occurrence and fate of nitrosamines and nitrosamine precursors in wastewater-impacted surface waters using boron as a conservative tracer. Environmental Science & Technology, 40(10), pp 3203–3210. Shah AD & Mitch WA (2012): Halonitroalkanes, halonitriles, haloamides, and N-nitrosamines: a critical review of nitrogenous disinfection byproduct formation pathways. Environmental Science & Technology, 46(1), pp 119–131. Swaim P, Royce A, Smith T, Maloney T, Ehlen D & Car B (2007): Effectiveness of UV advanced oxidation for destruction of micro-pollutants. Ozone: Science and Engineering, 30: pp 34–42. Wang W, Ren S, Zhang H, Yu J, An W, Hu J & Yang M (2011): Occurrence of nine nitrosamines and secondary amines in source water and drinking water: Potential of secondary amines as nitrosamine precursors, Water Research 45, pp 4930–4938. WHO (2008): N-nitrosodimethylamine in Drinking Water. Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinkingwater Quality, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland ( gdwqrevision/ndma/en/) Wilczak A, Assadi-Rad A, Lai HH, Hoover LL, Smith JF, Berger R, Rodigari F, Beland JW, Lazzelle LJ, Kinicannon EG, Baker H & Heaney CT (2003): Formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in chloraminated water coagulated with DADMAC cationic polymer. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 95(9), pp 94–107. Wille A, Swaim P, Schimmoller L & Maloney T (2011): Ozone for NDMA destruction? Proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Phoenix, Arizona. CD ROM. Xu B, Qin C, Hu C-Y, Lin Y-L, Xia S-J, Xu Q, Mwakagenda SA, Bi X-Y, Gao N-Y (2012): Degradation kinetics and N-nitrosodimethylamine formation during monochloramination of chlortoluron. Science of the Total Environment, 417–418, pp 241–247. Zhao Y, Boyd J, Hrudey SE & Li X-F (2006): Characterization of new nitrosamines in drinking water using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Environmental Science & Technology, 40 (24), pp 7636–7641.

A research scientist from the AWQC samples the supernatant return stream to determine the NDMA formation potential.

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Zhao Y, Boyd JM, Woodbeck M, Andrews R, Qin F, Hrudey SE & Li X-F (2008): Formation of N-nitrosamines from eleven disinfection treatments of seven different surface waters. Environmental Science & Technology, 42(13), pp 4857–4862.

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HOuSeHOLd BeHAvIOur And MOTIvATIOnS fOr GreywATer uSe Implications for policy and future research M Sinclair, J O’Toole, K Leder, M Malawaraarachchi Abstract


This paper presents the results of a household greywater survey conducted in Melbourne in 2011. It describes the patterns of use of greywater over a fiveyear period, covering the time when tap water restrictions, since relaxed, were at their most stringent. It also explores the motivation of households for using greywater and for discontinuing its use. Awareness of Victorian greywater guidelines and their influence on householder behaviour is also described.

Use of greywater (wastewater reused from the shower/bath, laundry or kitchen) is one way in which households can conserve the tap water supply and replace some of their non-potable demand with reused water. There may be a number of motivations for such usage, including tap water restrictions, concerns about sustainability, cost, ease of implementation and/or a desire to maintain a garden or pursue another water-using activity despite adverse climatic conditions and reduced tap water availability.

Understanding the drivers for, and barriers to, the use of household greywater and the ensuing rates of initiation and sustained use allows for better prediction of tap water savings and design of integrated household water systems. Use of alternative water sources must not present unacceptable health or environmental risks; hence it is important that relevant interventions are in place to ensure that greywater is used safely and sustainably. One such intervention is provision of guidelines. While there are relevant guidelines in the Victorian jurisdiction and almost half of greywater-using households were familiar with their existence, this did not always result in household compliance with them. Further investigation is required about the degree of familiarity of householders with guideline content; the best ways to communicate important messages about household greywater use and barriers to household greywater use.

In Melbourne, drought conditions over many years led to the imposition of increasingly strict restrictions, commencing August 2006, on use of tap water for garden watering and other outdoor household uses. Although recent rainfall has led to relaxation of restrictions, at their most stringent (Stage 3A from April 1 2007 to April 2 2010) there were severe limitations on the use of tap water for garden watering and other outdoor purposes. Had the drought continued and the next tier of water restriction (Stage 4) been implemented, outside watering would have been banned altogether. Domestic greywater provides a source of water during dry periods that is both rainfall-independent and assured, given that indoor tap water use has been, and is likely to remain, exempt from strict water restrictions during dry periods. While drought conditions have abated and tap water restrictions have since been relaxed, future dry weather conditions coupled with

(EPAV Brochure: Greywater Use Around the Home)

Greywater don’ts


Water vegetable gardens if the crop is to be eaten raw or uncooked


Use kitchen wastewater (including from dishwashers), due to the high concentration of food wastes and chemicals that are not readily broken down by soil organisms


Let children or pets drink or play with greywater


Use greywater that has faecal contamination from soiled nappies or soiled sheets

× ×

Store greywater for more than 24 hours or store in rainwater tanks Allow greywater to flow from your property or enter stormwater drains

restrictions on outdoor uses of tap water, changes to water pricing policies, new household building (sustainability) design requirements and a trend towards integrated water management are likely to lead to the continued use of greywater by households. It is important to better understand household motivations for greywater use as well as the type(s) and way(s) in which greywater is used, so that appropriate policies may be designed and implemented. In supplementing and substituting existing drinking water supplies with alternative water sources such as greywater, potential health impacts must be considered and water must be safe for its designated purpose(s). Accordingly, the provision and promotion of guideline material to householders about health effects and greywater treatment is an important public health measure. In Victoria, recycling untreated greywater is not subject to specific legislative control. However, guidance is provided in an Environment Protection Authority Victoria brochure, Greywater Use Around the Home (EPAV 2008). This same guidance is cross-referenced in a Victorian Department of Health guidance note that describes the uses of greywater that are considered appropriate to minimise health risks. The box below left summarises ‘Greywater Don’ts’ as presented in the brochure. This paper presents selected results of a household greywater survey that was conducted in Melbourne in 2011. It describes the patterns of use of greywater over a five-year period (2007–2011), covering the period when tap water restrictions in Melbourne were at their most stringent. It also explores the motivation of households for using greywater and for those households that did so, for discontinuing its use. Awareness of Victorian greywater guidelines and their influence on householder behaviour is also described.

Method A survey of greywater use was undertaken in suburban Melbourne in early 2011 using three modes of recruitment – a


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water recycling postal survey; an introductory letter followed by a telephone interview; and an introductory postcard followed by an internet survey. The study area included suburbs in the south-east of Melbourne covering a range of socio-economic levels and with a relatively high percentage of dwellings with gardens (i.e. detached or semi-detached homes, as opposed to apartments). Householders were asked to supply information on whether they had used greywater in the current year (2011) or during any of the preceding four years. More detailed information was then collected from greywater users about the most recent year of greywater use, the types of greywater collected (from laundry, bathroom and kitchen), whether water from these different sources was mixed together, the purposes for which it was used, how water was distributed for use, and methods of greywater storage and treatment before use. Awareness of and compliance with regulatory guidance were also assessed, as well as motivation for using greywater and reasons for changes in usage over time. Information on demographics, household type, dwelling type and home ownership was also collected to allow comparison of survey respondents with the general Melbourne population.

Table 1. Characteristics of households: survey respondents, study area and Melbourne metropolitan area. Percentage of households


Survey respondents

Target study area

Melbourne metropolitan area

Home ownership: Own or buying home




Renting home










dwelling type: Detached house










Unknown rainwater tank ownership*










Average number of persons per household

*Rainwater tank ownership for the target area and the Melbourne metropolitan area were estimated from Australian Bureau of Statistics data assuming only detached and semi-detached homes are potentially suitable for tanks.

Table 2. Yearly patterns of greywater use among the 1,621 households responding to the greywater use survey. Number of households

Percentage of households






Years of use










































Households completing the survey and their characteristics

























Table 1 summarises the characteristics of the 1,621 households responding to the survey, along with all households in the target area (27 suburbs containing 126,278 households) and the metropolitan Melbourne area (Statistical Division of Melbourne containing 1,243,373 households). Information on the survey respondents was collected in the survey questionnaire, while that for the target area and the Melbourne metropolitan area is derived from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 census data (ABS 2008) and other surveys (ABS 2010).

















































































Figure 1. Use of greywater by individual years among the 1,621 households responding to the greywater use survey.

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Figure 2. Last year of greywater use among the 1,621 households responding to the greywater use survey.

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water recycling Prevalence of greywater use The percentage of survey respondents classified as greywater users during the five-year interval covered by the survey was 67.6% (1,095/1,621). The variation in use by households during individual years is shown in Figure 1, and the most recent year of use is shown in Figure 2. Among the 1,621 households responding to the survey, the percentage of households using greywater was highest in 2009 and lowest in 2007 (Figure 1). The year in which the highest percentage of households last used greywater was 2011, and the percentage of households last using greywater in other years showed a stepwise decline from 2010 to 2007 (Figure 2). Almost one third of the 1,621 households responding to the survey reported that they had not used greywater during the 2007 to 2011 period (Figures 1 and 2). Patterns of greywater use among survey respondents over the five-year period are shown in Table 2. Among the 1,095 households that had used greywater, 315 (28.8%) reported using greywater in all five years covered by the survey, and 211 (19.3%) reported use for four years out of five. Overall, the 1,095 greywater-using households used greywater for an average of 3.4 years out of the five-year period covered by the survey. To examine trends in use we looked at the proportion of greywater users in a given year that continued to use greywater in subsequent years (Table 3). It is evident that continuation of use remained very high during the period from 2007 to 2009, but there was some decline in 2010 and a steeper decline in 2011. This is consistent with rainfall patterns in Melbourne, with moderate rain occurring in the spring/summer of 2009/2010 and heavy rain in the spring/summer of 2010/2011. In addition, water restrictions for Melbourne were relaxed from Stage 3A to Stage 3 in April 2010, and then to Stage 2 in September 2010.

reasons for using greywater The majority (87.0%: 953/1,095) of greywater users cited ‘water restrictions’ as a reason for using greywater, and 55.8% (532/953) also nominated ‘sustainability’. Among those who did not nominate ‘water restrictions’ (13.0% of greywater users, 142/1,095), the majority (81.3%: 114/142) cited ‘sustainability’ as a reason for using greywater. Only 10.2% (112) of greywaterusing respondents specified other reasons for using greywater in an optional free text answer. The most common reasons were classified as ‘reducing

Table 3. Proportion of greywater users continuing to use in subsequent years. Continuation of use over years 2007





2007 users













2008 users











2009 users









2010 users







water costs’ (4.1% of all greywater users: 45/1,095), ‘conserving water/ environmental concerns’ (3.8%: 42/1,095) and watering/keeping alive garden plants/lawns’ (1.1%: 15/1,095). The box overleaf shows a selection of typical comments provided by householders classified according to theme.

reasons for changes in greywater use, including cessation of use Forty-one per cent (449/1,095) of greywater users said they had not changed their greywater use over time. Some change in use was reported by 59.0% of greywater users (646/1,095), with the most common reason nominated being ‘there has been more rain’ (42.0%: 460/1,095). Other reasons nominated were ‘water restrictions have been relaxed’ (21.6%: 236/1,095); and ‘rainwater tank installed’ (17.3%: 189/1,095). A total of 7.8% of greywater users (85/1,095) gave additional reasons in an optional free text answer. Among these, the most common reason given was ‘not able to collect greywater’ due to a change of household appliances, alteration of plumbing or moving house (1.4% of all greywater users: 15/1,095), followed by ‘greywater was bad for plants/soil’ (1.1%: 12/1,095), and ‘unable to carry buckets’ (due to old age/injury/other health reason) (1.1%: 12/1,095). Eight respondents said collecting and using greywater was too inconvenient (0.7%: 8/1,095) and seven cited problems such as leaking hoses or accidental flooding of the house, which had caused them to stop using greywater (0.6%: 7/1,095).

Intentions for future greywater use Among all households that had used greywater at some time during the five-year period, the majority (85.2%, 933/1,095) stated they intended to keep using greywater in the future.

Awareness of ePAv guidelines and effect on greywater use practices A total of 49.1% (538/1,095) of greywater users stated that they were aware that the EPAV publishes guidelines for greywater use. Among those who were aware of EPAV guidelines, 22.5% (121/538) used greywater on vegetables/herbs/fruit which were eaten without cooking, and among those who were not aware 22.8% (127/557) used greywater for this purpose. There was no significant difference between the two groups using the twosample test of proportion (P>0.05). Among those who were aware of the guidelines, 37.9% (204/538) reported storing greywater for longer than 24 hours. Among those who were not aware, the corresponding figure was 35.9% (200/557) and this was not significantly different. It should be noted that householders could choose one or more options for the questions on duration of greywater storage (used immediately/stored less than 24 hours/stored more than 24 hours). Many householders choose more than one option, indicating that storage time was variable, therefore data relates to the percentage of households that sometimes stored greywater for longer than 24 hours. Use of greywater from the kitchen was reported by 31.4% (169/538) of households aware of the EPAV guidelines and 35.7% (199/557) of non-aware users, and again the difference was not statistically significant.

discussion Changes in greywater use over time The survey covered greywater use during the period 2007 to 2011, with results indicating a high percentage of continuing use by households from 2007 to 2009, followed by a small decline in 2010 and a larger decline in 2011 (Table 3). The observed pattern is consistent with changes in rainfall levels and restrictions on outdoor tap water use in Melbourne


MAY 2012 85

water recycling during the period covered by the survey. Another factor affecting greywater use after 2008 was that government rebates were offered for installation of rainwater tanks and purchase of water saving devices. A public education campaign (Target 155) to reduce household water use to 155 litres per person per day also operated from November 2008 to February 2011. Installation of rainwater tanks – an alternative to greywater for watering of gardens – was nominated by 17.3% of greywater-using households as the reason for a change in the use of greywater.

of more stringent restrictions for outdoor tap water use. Increases in the intensity of greywater use can also be predicted the longer that dry weather conditions persist – in which case rainfalldependent alternative water sources such as rainwater tank supplies will also be reduced or become depleted. The implications of these findings are that there is a constant need to educate households about the health and environmental risks of greywater use and to strengthen communication efforts when drought conditions recur in the future.

Nevertheless, even after above average rainfall during the spring/summer of 2010/2011, around 60% of households that had used greywater during the drier years reported they were still continuing to use it when the study was conducted in March/April 2011. This result suggests that there are now ‘core’ users of greywater unlikely to abandon its use, even in the absence of strict tap water restrictions and/or during higher rainfall periods. This is supported by survey findings where over 85% of greywaterusing households stated that they intended to keep using greywater in the future. However, since households more motivated to use greywater would also have been more likely to respond to the survey, these figures may well be higher than would be reported by the general population.

Motivations for, and cessation of, greywater use

Our results also indicate that the prevalence of greywater use will increase again when prevailing weather conditions and lack of sufficient drinking water supplies necessitate the introduction

Investigation of the motivation for greywater use among survey respondents showed a variety of reasons for household greywater use. These included reduction of water costs; concerns about sustainability; ease of implementation; a desire to maintain a garden; or desire to pursue another water-using activity despite adverse climatic conditions and reduced tap water availability (see box page 86). While some drivers (e.g. rainfall levels and implementation of tap water restrictions) can be directly linked to greywater use and their effect can be somewhat quantified, it is difficult to disentangle them from other factors. For example, among the 87.0% of greywater users citing ‘water restrictions’ as a reason for using greywater, 55.8% of these also nominated ‘sustainability’. The fact that water sustainability is a concern for more than half of the households citing water restrictions as a driver for greywater use provides

Reasons for greywater usage: a selection of comments by theme wastage


“Seems like a waste to have slightly dirty water going down the drain” “Waste not, want not!” “Why waste it?” “Coming from a dry country area, I value good drinking water” “Dislike unnecessary consumption” “Sensible thing to do (avoid waste)” “To get the maximum from our water supply” “To help preserve the water supply” “To benefit long-term water supply” “Traditional family culture of waste minimisation”

“Laundry water acts as a fertiliser” “To provide moisture to soil around house foundations… soils dry out, particularly during summer” “Kitchen outlet external” “Washing machine outside due to renovations” “Damaged pipes – didn’t want flooding of driveway or house”

feel good & sustainability benefit “Feel good – future generations” “Role model for children” “Feel good, as really makes no difference” “Trying to do the right, helpful thing”

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Importance of garden “Keep garden alive” “Maintain lawn” “To save my garden” “Benefit of the garden” “Hate the dead garden” “Keep lawn green” “Cheaper for the garden”

a possible explanation as to why at least some households might persist with greywater use even in the absence of water restrictions for outdoor water use. It is possible that increases in the price of tap water may result in future significant increases in household greywater use. Although only about 10% of greywater users provided ‘other’ reasons for greywater use in a free text answer, a significant fraction of these (40.2%, 45/112) cited ‘reducing water costs’ as a motivation. The trigger point for increases in household greywater use due to price increases, as for water restriction implementation, is also likely to be confounded by other factors such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘conserving water/ environmental concerns’, which might override or highly influence decisionmaking by householders. A practical barrier to the use of greywater is the suitability of plumbing configurations and access to pipework for diversion of water. Unfortunately the survey did not ask questions of non-users of greywater as to why they chose not to initiate greywater use. Nonetheless, some probable reasons for the non-use of greywater can be gleaned from responses to questions by those greywater-using households that ceased to use greywater some time during the five-year survey period. In addition to the predominant reasons for cessation of greywater use (‘there has been more rain’; ‘water restrictions relaxed’ and ‘rainwater tank installed’), many of the reasons related to practical barriers to greywater use: a change of household appliances; change of plumbing or moving to a house where drainage pipes were not accessible; inability to carry buckets and leaking hoses or accidental flooding of the house. From a policy perspective these responses highlight the need for integrated water management strategies to consider aspects of housing design that facilitate greywater collection. For example, easy accessibility of laundry and bathroom drainage pipes should be considered in housing design requirements to maximise the potential for greywater use. Also, future surveys should ask households that do not use greywater about their reasons for not doing so.

Guidance on household greywater use Nearly half of households said they were aware of EPAV guidelines on greywater use. Awareness did not influence non-recommended

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water recycling other reasons), or whether they are aware of the existence of guidelines but not of their content. Both current users and nonusers of household greywater should also be surveyed about their reasons for use/ non-use of greywater as well as guideline awareness. Gathered information would assist not only in determining the barriers to guideline compliance and how guideline dissemination might be improved, but would also allow for better prediction of tap water savings associated with greywater use and design of integrated household water systems.

Acknowledgements Greywater can be a useful alternative source for keeping the garden alive during drought. practices such as using greywater to water vegetables/fruits/herbs that were to be eaten without cooking, storing greywater for longer than 24 hours or reusing kitchen water. Awareness of the specific content of these guidelines was not assessed in the survey as it was felt that this might influence some respondents to give answers that matched the recommendations in the guidelines rather than reflecting their actual greywater use practices. Further investigation of householder familiarity with guideline content should be undertaken to establish whether householders are, in fact, cognisant of the content of guidelines and nonetheless ignore them, or whether they are aware of the existence of guidelines but not of their content. Both of these possibilities have policy implications and would necessitate either better communication of the rationale for recommended practices and/or improved promotion and dissemination of the guidelines themselves. Possible avenues of future research include extending this study to re-contact householders to ascertain their familiarity with the content of EPAV guidelines or to survey another set of households (including non-users of greywater) about the existence and content of existing guidelines.

Limitations All survey results must be interpreted in relation to the characteristics of respondents to determine whether results are able to be generalised beyond the survey population. The survey in the first instance targeted an area likely to have higher greywater use (households with gardens); hence, results are not able to be extrapolated to all of Melbourne metropolitan households. As for any voluntary survey, the respondents are likely to contain an over-representation of those who are interested in the topic and, therefore, felt motivated to respond.

Both users and non-users of greywater were eligible to respond to the survey; but it is probable that non-users felt less motivated to do so. The majority of those who responded to the survey had last used greywater in 2011 or 2010. Those who had used greywater further in the past, but then ceased to use it, may have had less interest in responding to a survey on this topic, and thus may be underrepresented among the respondents. However, taking available information into consideration, in terms of household characteristics and greywater use behaviour, the survey respondents are believed to be largely representative of Melbourne households with gardens, which have used greywater in recent years – the number of persons per respondent household was not significantly different from that in the target study area or the Melbourne metropolitan area (Table 1) and there was no clear trend in response rates relative to socioeconomic status.

Conclusion Survey findings provide an insight into both the drivers for, and barriers to, household use of greywater and highlight that use of this alternative water source is likely to continue and increase, particularly during times of drought. Use of alternative water sources must not present unacceptable health or environmental risks; hence, it is important that relevant interventions are in place to ensure that greywater is used safely and sustainably. One such intervention is provision of guidelines. While there are relevant guidelines in the Victorian jurisdiction and almost half of greywater-using households were aware of their existence, this did not always result in household compliance with them. Further investigation of householder familiarity with guideline content should be undertaken to establish whether householders are aware of the content of guidelines yet ignore them (for practical or

This research was funded by the Smart Water Fund Victoria and Water Quality Research Australia. The project title used for communication with potential participants was ’Understanding greywater use around the home’, and ethical approval was obtained from the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (Project Number CF10/1163 – 2010000621). Only selected information is presented in this paper. The Full Report (Project 72M-7079) may be requested from the Smart Water Fund ( in July this year. Participation of Melbourne householders in this study is gratefully acknowledged.

The Authors dr Martha Sinclair (email: martha.sinclair@ and dr Joanne O’Toole (email joanne. are microbiologists and Senior Research Fellows in the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. Associate Professor Karin Leder (email: karin.leder@ is an infectious disease physician and Head of Unit. dr Manori Malawaraarachchi (email: mjayanetty@ completed a Public Health traineeship at Monash University and is currently located at the Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

references ABS, 2008: Census of Population and Housing: Basic Community Profiles, 2006. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Commonwealth of Australia. ABS, 2010: Environmental Issues: Water use and conservation. Catalogue number 4602.0.55.003. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Commonwealth of Australia. EPAV, 2008: Greywater use around the home, Publication 884.1. Environment Protection Authority Victoria. reuse/reuse.asp


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membrane pre-treatment

PRe-TReATMenT FoR MeMbRAne PlAnTS A history and guidelines on designing mechanical pre-treatment systems for membrane wastewater treatment plants S Reber, C Frommann Abstract With the introduction of membrane technology solutions for the treatment of municipal wastewater, the requirements on mechanical wastewater treatment systems changed fundamentally. Conventional screening systems with bar spacings or perforations from 6mm turned out to be not sufficient to guarantee the stable and low-maintenance operation of downstream membrane plants. In particular, fibres and hairs hinder the operation of membrane plants. These materials tend to entangle and may lead to a loss of membrane surface. Hairs and fibres, therefore, need to be removed reliably under any inflow conditions. Consequently, technical systems for the mechanical pre-treatment of wastewater needed to be adapted accordingly in order to meet the requirements. This paper describes the history of pre-treatment systems for membrane plants, with particular emphasis on the importance and influence of operational experience. Finally, planners are provided with guidelines on how to design mechanical pre-treatment systems for membrane wastewater treatment plants. Keywords: Pre-treatment, hairs and fibres removal, membrane protection, fine screens, high removal screens, screen element mesh.

Pre-Treatment The efficiency of conventional screens with 6mm to 10mm bar spacing or perforation is insufficient for the membrane plants recently available on the market. Screens with higher separation efficiencies are necessary to ensure the reliable operation of membrane plants without excessive maintenance requirements. Which separation efficiency exactly is necessary depends on the specific requirements of the type of membrane system used (whether hollow fibre modules fixed on one or both sides, or plate modules). Hollow fibre modules need a very fine preliminary screening, as

88 MAY 2012 water

practical experience has shown that hairs and fibres strongly influence operating stability. Due to their flat surface, plate modules have fewer tendencies to clog. Manufacturers, therefore, often bring forward the argument of wider bar spacings and larger perforations. Meanwhile, a certain amount of experience with preliminary screens is available. This experience has been gathered mainly on small and mediumsized, but also on some large, sewage treatment plants. A summary of this experience with fine screening is provided in the following, along with additional information to serve as planning support.

Selection of Screens for Membrane Processes As more and more membrane plants were put into operation, it became apparent that great importance needs to be attached to the reliable removal of hairs and fibres from the inlet to membrane bioreactors. Already from 2002 to 2004, the first membrane plants were equipped with preceding fine screens (WWTP Schilde, Monheim, Nordkanal, etc.). The majority of these fine screens were wedge wire screens with apertures from 0.5mm to 1.5mm. However, in the following years it was experienced that hairs and fibres caused problems with the membrane plants, even if functionally efficient fine screens were used as pre-treatment units. The efficiency of one-dimensional screens, such as wedge wire screens, turned out to be insufficient to guarantee the safe operation of membrane plants. It became necessary to develop a new type of twodimensional mesh or perforated plate screen to improve the retention of fibres and hairs. In 2004, on WWTP Schilde, the first fine screen was changed from wedge wire to mesh. As the apertures of the screenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mesh or perforated plate are defined in two dimensions, the screen is able to ensure the maximum retention of hairs and fibres.

Figure 1.1. The fine screen on WWTP Schilde in Belgium was the first that was refitted and equipped with a twodimensional mesh in 2004. Therefore, conventional mechanical preliminary screening systems used upstream of membrane plants today are generally completed with a fine screen equipped with a two-dimensional mesh or perforated plate to remove hairs and fibres. Two-dimensional screens have proven that they achieve a solids removal rate that is by the factor 2 to 4 higher. Due to the much finer apertures and the operating experience, sealing and cleaning systems have become increasingly important. Sealing systems have been further developed to ensure no

technical features

membrane pre-treatment

Figure 1.2. Compared to one-dimensional wedge wire screens, two-dimensional perforated plate or mesh screens achieve significantly higher separation efficiency. particles bigger than screen aperture pass through the screen. In addition, machinecleaning systems have been adapted to the very fine apertures. Adequately designed fine screens are equipped with an additional intervallic high-pressure cleaning system to ensure the fine screen apertures are continuously and reliably kept free, even with high contents of grease and oil in the wastewater. Furthermore, when selecting downstream treatment systems, it is also important to consider the specific properties of the separated screenings and the high amount of screenings. As fine screenings contain much more sludge and fine particles (silt) compared to coarse screenings, the requirements on downstream treatment systems are higher. As an option, the fine screenings can be passed to the sludge treatment system, where they reduce specific polymer consumption and lead to increased sludge dewatering degrees being achieved. In this case, the fine screen design would be such that the mix of screenings and spray water is pumped to the sludge treatment system and the need for additional screenings treatment is eliminated.

Planning Guidelines Sewer system Washing and load peaks should be avoided to ensure the reliable operation of the fine screen. Sudden load peaks lead to increased blinding of the fine screen, with the result that bigger machines are required. Also, machine running times and wash water demand increase. Details about the sewer system are of great importance for the layout of the preliminary screen. Especially in combined sewer systems, if the sewer network is long and shallow, sudden peaks are likely to occur. Preliminary screens, therefore, must be designed to ensure that big loads of coarse screenings are quickly and reliably removed from the sewer. Special attention must be paid to sewer systems with stormwater tanks, stormwater overflows and sewers with

Figure 1.3. A schematic drawing of two fine screen units. The machine on the left combines the process steps of screening, screw conveyor, dewatering and compaction in one unit, whereas the screenings discharged from the machine on the right are pumped to the sludge treatment system.

Figure 1.4. Coarse and fine screening on WWTP Glessen, Germany. The coarse screen is a 5mm step screen, while the fine screen is equipped with a 1.0mm mesh. The screenings from the fine screen are dewatered and discharged into a container. storage capacity and overflow. When such structures are emptied, very high dry substance amounts arrive in the pre-treatment system. Due to their sludgy consistency they pass through the pre-treatment system. The fine screen must, therefore, be able to handle such amounts and within a very short time separate a very high amount of screenings and remove it reliably. Specific conditions must be clarified in advance and taken into account in the layout of the mechanical wastewater treatment system.

Preliminary screen Preliminary screens installed upstream of membrane plants must separate as many as possible of the coarse screenings contained within the wastewater in order to reduce as much as possible the solids load in the fine screening system. Sturdy and efficient machines should be selected

that achieve convincing results, such as machines with stationary bars with spacings from 3mm, or step screens with spacings from 3mm. Intensive washing of the separated screenings is required to ensure the organic material contained can be returned to the wastewater in liquid form. Screenings free of faeces are very easy to dewater and odour development in the screen room is avoided.

Grit and grease trap Aerated grit traps are normally designed for 0.2mm grain diameter. Many grit traps are over-dimensioned today â&#x20AC;&#x201C; i.e., they have the function of a sludge separation plant due to the great variation between dry and stormwater conditions, resulting in problems with grit removal. Tests carried out at HUBER SE have shown


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membrane pre-treatment The integration of a fine screening system into the overall plant hydraulics can be described with two approaches:

Figure 1.5. Fine screening on WWTP Bei Xiao He, China. The fine screen units have a diameter of 2200mm and are equipped with a 1.0mm mesh.


To reduce the costs for preliminary mechanical treatment, a fine screen with gravity flow should be selected so that additional pumps are not required;


The inlet and outlet channel to/from the fine screen should be dimensioned to ensure the flow velocity in the channel does not fall below 0.5m/s. The fine screen itself should be installed inside a chamber.

The screenings separated by the fine screen can either be dewatered and discharged or passed on to the sludge treatment system. Fine screenings are much more difficult to dewater than coarse screenings due to the high amount of sludge contained within fine screenings. In most cases, therefore, DR results between only 20% and 30% are achieved. If fine screenings are passed into the sludge treatment system, they increase the content of structural material such as fibres and hairs, with the result of reduced specific polymer consumption. As structural material also improves dewaterability, higher DR values of the dewatered sludge can be achieved.

Figure 1.6. Flow diagram of a mechanical pre-treatment system for membrane plants, including the option of pumping fine screenings to the sludge treatment system. that huge amounts of fine material (160 µm fine grain, silty fine material) are flushed out of the grit trap along with the fibres. This material is then retained and removed by the fine screen. However, if grit traps were designed for smaller grain fractions, still bigger grit traps with still longer retention times would be needed – but this actually makes no sense. Instead, this knowledge is of great importance for the material selection and design of the downstream fine screening unit and even more for the screenings treatment stage. The separation of floating grease and oil prevents these materials from later accumulating on the free surfaces and leading to odour problems. A wellfunctioning grease trap is important. Otherwise, there is the risk that lipophilic

material is retained on the fine mesh or perforated plate of the downstream fine screen from where it is difficult to remove. Fine screening elements blinded with grease reduce the free cross-sectional surface, increase hydraulic loss and affect hydraulic plant efficiency.

Fine screen In contrast to previously known wastewater screens (> 3 mm) fine screens are much more sensitive. Much more separation surface must be provided to handle comparable wastewater flows so that the machines must be dimensioned bigger. Load peaks, as described above, must be considered in the screen layout, which must be load and volume related.

Table 1.1. Amount of screenings generated by a fine screen. Screen aperture [mm]

Specific amount of screenings [l/(PE*year)], 25% DR Wedge wire screen

Mesh or perforated plate screen

1.0 mm



0.5 mm



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Irrespective of how the fine screenings are treated, it must be considered that the volume of screenings generated is significantly higher than with conventional 6mm screens. With load peaks the amount of screenings generated by a fine screen can increase to even five times the amount generated by conventional systems.

emergency operation and incident scenarios Previous experience has shown that a stanby screen is required to ensure maximum operating reliability of a membrane plant. A simple emergency bypass is not state-of-the-art and must be strictly avoided. In the event of a failure, a standby screen must be available to ensure 100% hydraulic screening of the wastewater flow prior to being passed to the MBR plant.

The Authors Stefan Reber is Product Manager, Mechanical Treatment – Fine Screens, and Christian Frommann is Head of Business Area, Mechanical Treatment, both of HUBER SE, Industriepark Erasbach A1, 92334 Berching, Germany. For more information visit: or contact John Koumoukelis on 02 9542 2366 or email:

technical features

water business

UV CIPP LINING IN SYDNEY’S CBD In January this year, Sydney Water awarded Kembla the contract to repair heritage-listed concrete oviform stormwater assets in high impact locations in Sydney’s CBD, including Pitt Street Mall. In late March, Kembla Watertech successfully completed its first Ultra Violet (UV) cured CIPP installation at night in the middle of Sydney’s CBD. Kembla’s CIPP team installed a 110-metre length of UV liner in a dilapidated brick 1070mm x 710mm oviform pipe from an access chamber located in the centre of Elizabeth Street.

Kembla Watertech is installing UV-cured CIPP liners in over a kilometre of Sydney Water’s stormwater assets, as well as an additional 300 metres of wastewater aqueduct to be lined in Enfield, in Sydney’s southwest. This aqueduct is located through residential backyards and business areas with a high civil component adding to the community impacts. Kembla’s CIPP team has nearly 20 years’ experience installing liners across metropolitan Sydney, the Hunter region, Victoria and Queensland. UV lining technology Kembla Project Manager, Paul Propper, says: “Kembla is working closely with experienced staff at our German partner company and three representatives flew to Sydney to assist with the first installation. Our German partner company has over 10 years’ experience in UV curing systems, which have multiple benefits, including a smaller site footprint, less traffic disruption, quieter machinery, and reduced styrene odours.” External monitoring plays a large part in the quality assurance of our German partner company liners, including DIBT (German Institute for Construction Technology). Three Kembla staff gained DIBT technician accreditation in Germany, with more to follow. “Kembla is committed to training its staff with the technical skills


In 2012 Acromet is celebrating 50 years of service to Australian industry. The company is the only manufacturer of metering pumps in Australia and its sales, manufacturing, engineering and service staff can boast many years of experience in a multitude of fields. The company supplies:

Figure 1. Securing the end packer inside the brick stormwater manhole. to provide quality, reliable products to its clients,” Paul explains. “Attaining DIBT accreditation is highly esteemed within the European market.” At present, the product is ideal for large diameter and oviform pipes and all liners must be imported from Germany as there is no production facility in Australia. Kembla’s commitment to on-time delivery is demonstrated by expedited air freight shipping of the eight-tonne liner used in the first Elizabeth Street installation to meet strict project timeframes. Community and heritage impacts “A major advantage to this lining system is the reduction of time on-site compared to conventional CIPP installation,” says Paul. “With UV installation we were able to reduce the time spent on-site. “With our first installation, we knew there were going to be some impacts on local stakeholders, so we consulted with a multitude of stakeholders to ensure our impact on them was minimised.” With Sydney Water’s assistance, Kembla worked closely with Sydney Buses, the Roads and Maritime Services, City of Sydney Council, local hotels and building managers to ensure the project was executed seamlessly. This consultation is ongoing throughout the project to ensure stakeholder satisfaction. Due to the age and significance of Sydney Water’s heritage-listed stormwater assets, heritage approvals were required before conducting any work. These are some of Sydney Water’s oldest assets, built in 1857 to service Sydney’s growing CBD.

• Premium chemical metering pumps; • Dry material and bulk handling equipment; • Gas chlorination equipment; • pH correction and cooling tower dosing control systems and a range of related instrumentation; and • Process pumps. Acromet can also install, commission and train operators in their correct safe operation. Acromet also prides itself on: • A national distribution and support network (including the Asia/Pacific and Oceania regions); • Business partners in Thailand; and • International support for distributed product. Acromet also provides several programs of technical support, After Sales Service and Preventative Maintenance Programs, including: Site Audit Program This encompasses site visits, recording of assets, assessing compliance with relevant Australian Standards and OHS guidelines. This program is usually conducted at multiple sites. Sites may include Water Treatment Plants, Wastewater Treatment Plants, remote dosing and disinfection facilities – any site with chemical handling equipment. A comprehensive illustrated report with recommended actions is supplied. Acromet’s extensive experience in Preventative Maintenance is also utilised in order to provide recommended actions for ongoing safe and economical plant operation.

What’s next?

Figure 2. Kembla’s CIPP team working with their German partner company on the UV light train.

Moving on from this site, Kembla’s CIPP team are currently traversing and investigating the remaining assets in Elizabeth and Pitt Streets. The project team is continuing to meet with high level stakeholders to ensure all community, stakeholder and government requirements are met.


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new products & services Acromet in partnership with Orica are authorised training providers for the Orica Chlorine Awareness/Operator and Maintenance Training Programs These are short, operator-focused TAFE-accredited courses. Emphasis is placed upon providing participants with a sound knowledge of the properties, hazards, storage and handling of Liquefied Chlorine Gas. Acromet and Orica hold this training in high regard. Many water utilities and other users of Liquefied Chlorine Gas mandate course attendance for all operators and supervisory staff. These courses cover such topics as the chemical and physical properties of gaseous chlorine, relevant first aid, handling emergencies, Australian Standards in relation to chlorine gas, basic maintenance of chlorine systems, and disconnecting and reconnecting at chlorine installations. Regular refresher courses are also conducted. Courses can be conducted at the customer’s premises.

Service/repair facility In addition to our PM systems we can provide specialist repairs to our extensive range of products and are happy to quote repair work for other brands of equipment. These repairs can be conducted within our repair facility based in Clayton (Victoria) or on your site. All PM systems and repair works are conducted by industry-experienced, factory-trained tradespeople. For more information email:

GO TRENCHLESS WITH FUSIBLE PVC PIPES As one of the most widely accepted pipe systems used in modern water systems, Fusible PVC pipes now offer engineers in Australia the advanced option of continuous trenchless pipelines. This new trenchless technology offers engineers a solution that takes advantage of using superior thermoplastic pipe solutions to cover a wider range of applications – from both trenchless pressure pipe applications as well as non-pressure. Iplex Pipelines’ Novafuse Fusible PVC pipe systems provide the only method available in Australia to install a continuous, monolithic, seal-ring free PVC pipe, capable of use in numerous trenchless or conventional “open cut” installations. Applications for Fusible PVC pipeline include pressure and nonpressure pipelines for drinking water, wastewater, electrical, industrial and telecommunications industries.

Preventative Maintenance Programs Preventative Maintenance systems have many advantages. Correctly maintained equipment operates more efficiently leading to less costly down time and safer operation. Preventative Maintenance visits can be programmed to coincide with plant shutdowns and the chance of possible costly breakdowns minimised. Each piece of equipment has a service schedule assigned, however these schedules are very flexible and can be “customised” to suit site requirements. Frequency of maintenance is also taken into account, and continually reviewed, aiming for optimal safety and continuous operation in the most economic way.

Nigel Jones, Business Development Manager for the industry movement ‘Think Pipes, Think PVC’ (an industry initiative set up by Australia Vinyls to promote and encourage the use of PVC Pipes throughout industry) explains: “Trenchless pipe technology in itself isn’t new in Australia. However, for engineers facing the constant challenge of rehabilitating dated infrastructure or constructing new projects in busy community areas, trenchless PVC pipelines are an excellent way to minimise impact disruptions while executing a seamless project on time and within budget.” Engineers choosing Novafuse Fusible PVC trenchless technology will have the

advantage of small excavations only with the overall installation being completed using pre-drilled board holes or an existing pipeline. Trenchless technology also makes it possible to rehabilitate ageing pipelines without digging up the entire pipe system, often restoring both the structural integrity and flow speed of the pipe. “Having thinner walls than alternative materials for virtually the same pressure rating and hydraulic capacity, Fusible PVC requires a smaller hole to be drilled, while having a higher safe pulling stress due to its significantly higher tensile strength’” explains Nigel. “On top of the overall project management benefits, engineers now have advantages from both performance and sustainability perspectives by using PVC over alternative materials.” The range of useful properties afforded by PVC pipes makes it the most versatile of all pipe materials, a fact attested to by the variety of applications and markets served by PVC pipes. Novafuse Fusible PVC Pipes offers engineers and specifiers the most efficient pipe to move water, coupled with overall cost savings thanks to reduced installation costs due to lightweight pipes and reduced overall pipe dimensions. Novafuse Fusible PVC pipes are potentially the best solution for slip-lining, where new PVC pipes are inserted into old pipe systems requiring rehabilitation. Novafuse Fusible Pipeline is available in Australia from Iplex Pipelines. PVC pipe is a product of modern technology, offering reliable and durable service to a variety of users including contractors, engineers, operators, industries, utilities and irrigation districts. For more information email:

We harvest cool drinking water at extreme temperatures from salty sea, river, well or brackish water using just solar energy – without motors. For more information visit: 92 MAY 2012 water

water business


only produces the actual compressed air required at any given time. Precisely meeting compressed air demand reduces the energy consumed as well as wear to the motor, optimising energy usage and enhancing the lifetime of the blower.

Photos and information highlighting the water control infrastructure utilised in some of the country’s most significant water projects are now available to all with the release of AWMA’s new website at:

The energy savings that can be created with the new range of Gardner Denver centrifugal turbo blowers ensures a short payback period on initial investment. With sound emissions as low as 75dBA, creating almost no vibrations and running oil-free, these turbo blowers are also the environmental option.

A wide variety of penstock, stopboard and bulkhead information is now available online through the company’s website. AWMA Pty Ltd is the only fully Australian owned specialist penstock manufacturer. AWMA believes experience gained in the design, manufacture and installation of specialised water control infrastructure should be shared with all industry stakeholders and operators worldwide to help secure our water resources. Water control solutions developed to combat industry challenges such as flood mitigation, spill containment, environmental protection, irrigation metering, emergency isolation, aggressive environments and extremely high head pressures can now be viewed across a wide range of applications.

Low cost of ownership is guaranteed. The new range of centrifugal turbo blowers is virtually maintenance-free, with no wearing parts. Only the filter mats require periodic replacement. An integrated soft starter comes as standard for convenient installation and ease of use. The range is available with a motor rating from 11kW to 250kW, with minimum working pressure 0.3 bar(g) and free air delivery 200 m3/min. For more information phone 03 9212 5800 or visit:


These high-efficiency centrifugal turbo blowers are fitted with a variable speed drive as standard for optimised system efficiency. Using frequency inverter technology ensures that the turbo blower



Negotiations have recently concluded in a distribution and technical support agreement between Iplex and the South Australia-based GRP pipe manufacturer RPC Pipe Systems, for FLOWTITE™ GRP pipe. This marriage combines Iplex’s extensive experience in pipeline design, material selection, supply and logistics, with RPC’s manufacturing capabilities and the state-of-the-art FLOWTITE™ process technology. FLOWTITE™ pipe was developed in Norway in the early 1970s and is now licensed on all continents with 44 production lines operating in 22 pipe factories worldwide. The unique manufacturing process utilises a continuous mandrel winding system, which permits rapid automated production in long lengths with exceptional quality control. This is not Iplex’s first encounter with the FLOWTITE™ GRP pipe product; in 2008 Iplex successfully completed supply of 99 kilometres of DN1000 and DN1200 FLOWTITE™ pipe for Australia’s largest recycled water project, the South East Queensland Water Grid, to avoid devastating water shortages in that region. That project was given two years and four months for completion when the industry timeframe benchmark was more than four years. At the time, many critics doubted it could be achieved.

For further information visit: www. or call 1800 664 852.

Gardner Denver has launched an energy-efficient and cost-effective new range of centrifugal turbo blowers. The new high-speed range of single-stage centrifugal blowers represents an energyefficient, environmentally friendly and low-maintenance blower solution ideal for wastewater treatment plants.

RPC Pipe Systems at Lonsdale, SA.

IPLEX NEGOTIATES AGREEMENT FOR FLOWTITE™ GRP PIPE Since the mid-1980s, Iplex Pipelines has been at the forefront of Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP) pipe in Australasia, boasting hundreds of projects covering thousands of kilometres of high and low pressure pipelines in both open trench and jacking applications.

Two major portions of the SEQ Water Grid were supplied in FLOWTITE™. The Western Corridor Recycled Water Pipeline section from Lowood to Caboonbah utilised 49km of DN1000 and 16km of DN1200 of FLOWTITE™ PN16 pipe and fittings, while the Northern Pipeline Interconnector (NPI) from Landers Shute to Morayfield, involved another 34km of DN1200 PN25 FLOWTITE™.

MELBOURNE Peter Everist 03 9863 3535

ADELAIDE Owen Jayne 08 8348 1687

SYDNEY Hugh McGinley 02 9325 5822

BRISBANE Hugh McGinley 02 9325 5822

PERTH David Foot 08 9346 8557


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new products & services As much of the NPI alignment traversed a transmission power line corridor, one of the key selection criteria that favoured FLOWTITE™ was its immunity to the detrimental effects of stray currents and saline soils. Additionally, the continuously wound structure of FLOWTITE™ GRP pipe, which includes distinct protective, hoop and stiffening layers, largely mitigated the risks of third-party interference over the life of the pipeline. In some regions the use of longleg shallow-angled curvilinear bends eliminated the need for concrete thrust blocks and site welding, resulting in lay rates only marginally slower than for straight sections. Rubber ring joints and long-length pipes yielded installation rates as fast as 1000m per day, with a typical day achieving 500m to 600m. The efficiency of the FLOWTITE™ manufacturing process allowed Iplex Pipelines to meet the stringent time, cost and quality constraints in which almost 2400 truckloads of pipes and fittings supplied over the construction phase. Overall the client, contractors and designers of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Pipeline and Northern Pipeline Interconnector projects were extremely satisfied with the project’s

outcome, achieved through the use of FLOWTITE™ pipe material and Iplex’s professional approach to such a critical water infrastructure project. Looking forward to the future, Iplex and RPC are currently involved in the design and planning of a number of major Australian water projects in difficult environments that take advantage of FLOWTITE™ pipe’s unique properties. The outlook for Australian-made GRP pipe is secure, as more and more asset owners and designers seek materials not susceptible to galvanic corrosion and recognise the cost-saving benefits provided by FLOWTITE™ GRP pipe.

Large bore GRP pressure pipe, Western Corridor Queensland.

HYDROVAR, the modern variable speed pump drive is taking pumping to a new level of flexibility and efficiency. Call us to discuss your applications: Melbourne 03 9793 9999 Sydney 02 9671 3666 Brisbane 07 3200 6488 Email: Web: DELIVERING PUMPING SOLUTIONS 94 MAY 2012 water

NANOH2O DELIVERS HIGHEST SALT REJECTION SEAWATER REVERSE OSMOSIS MEMBRANE NanoH2O Inc, manufacturer of the most efficient and cost-effective reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for seawater desalination, has launched new additions to the QuantumFlux™ line of RO membranes – the Qfx SW 400 R and Qfx SW 400 SR. Both products feature industry-leading 99.85% stabilised salt rejection and NSF Standard 61 Certification, enabling operators to meet stringent water quality standards, even under the most challenging water conditions. In pilot tests, the new QuantumFlux high-rejection membrane elements produced exceptional permeate quality, surpassing competitive membranes with the same flux. When used in combination with NanoH2O’s highest flux Qfx SW 400 ES membrane, the new Qfx SW 400 SR and Qfx SW 400 R high-rejection membranes allow our customers to run at higher system flux without increasing feed pressure or fouling potential, while still delivering excellent permeate quality. “We have been pilot testing a combination of the Qfx high rejection

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

water business

new products & services industry demand for professional water industry training, particularly in the area of practical water science.

R and SR elements, in 365 square-foot configurations, within a single pressure vessel for almost 180 days,” said Raúl Lemes de León, Technical Director for the EMALSA desalination facility in the Canary Islands. “To date, the performance of the Qfx membranes has been highly stable, and producing almost 50% more water with lower total dissolved solids (TDS), at the same operating pressure, than other membranes currently installed in the skid. The membranes are delivering at their specified performance.” “We entered the seawater desalination market by introducing the most energyefficient membrane ever produced,” said Jeff Green, CEO of NanoH2O, Inc. “We have now further leveraged our nanocomposite membrane technology to push the boundaries of salt rejection – providing customers with better water quality while maintaining or improving energy consumption. “This improvement in salt rejection over existing membranes typically provides a 25% improvement in permeate quality versus competing membranes under the same operating conditions. These new membranes, combined with our energy-efficient Qfx ES membrane, provide customers with a suite of products that can optimise any SWRO system for low energy consumption, maximum water production, minimum footprint or the best permeate quality.” NanoH2O is the 2011 Aquatech Innovation Award Winner in the Water Supply category. QuantumFlux membranes are Standard 61 Certified by NSF International for the production of drinking water. For more information visit:

The National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) is seeking to meet this demand with its industry training program. Led by training manager Joanne Barbaro, the program recognises a need for water professionals to maintain a solid foundation of scientific understanding. According to Joanne, this need cannot be understated, especially where new technologies or growing industries are concerned. “Whether you are an engineer working on-site or a manager involved in planning, having general knowledge of the science behind what you are doing is vital. Not only does it give you a greater understanding of the real-life impacts of your work, it provides you with a foundation from which you can make better planning and management decisions.” For several years the NCGRT has prided itself on providing training courses for industry focused on the science and management issues related to groundwater and its uses. Joanne believes that the success of their courses stems from the high quality of their presenters, delivering the most up-todate science in an independent and professional manner. “Our aim is to provide attendees with the latest scientific information, so that they are fully informed and able to make the best decisions possible. It is important that a general level of scientific understanding is maintained across the whole water community. “By far our biggest success is our Australian Groundwater School. This fourday course acts as a general overview of groundwater, covering everything from the basics of hydrology to more specialised topics such as managed aquifer recharge. This course is great for individuals hoping to gain a broad understanding of the field and is widely attended by representatives of government and industry.”

While general courses are proving popular, Joanne suspects the current financial climate is driving more companies to seek specialised training. “From our experience it seems that many employers require training targeting topics. Unfortunately, depending on the market, the availability of good science instruction can be limited.” Driven by an obvious gap in the marketplace, the NCGRT industry training team has begun to tailor its training programs to suit the needs of particular industry groups, offering more specialised science-based courses. “In response to public demand we have developed a series of courses that are designed to answer some of the fundamental science and technology questions relating to specific areas of industry concern,” says Joanne. “We have created courses that look at the uses and management of groundwater in mining and will even be tackling the science of coal seam gas as it relates to groundwater resources. “Given the importance and possible environmental and social impacts of so many of these issues it is vital that all the parties involved are up to date with the latest science and informed by leading experts in the field.” For more information on the courses offered by the NCGRT, visit: www.

UNDERSTANDING THE SCIENCE: A VITAL TOOL FOR INDUSTRY As awareness of the economic and environmental need for efficient water resource management grows, so too does the requirement of government and industry to employ water-savvy professionals. This has driven an


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Hurll Nu-Way has now become an authorised distributor of GE Roots blowers in Australia and New Zealand. GE has recently acquired the well-known Dresser Roots blowers, the manufacturer who designed the original ‘Roots’ style blower, and announced the Dresser business’s integration into GE’s Energy Services and Power & Water business units. Hurll Nu-Way, with over 30 years of expertise in supplying, building and repairing blowers for Australian energy, manufacturing and water businesses, is proud to add GE Roots blowers to its extensive range of products in order to provide further solutions to its clients’ needs. The GE Roots range includes: • 2- and 3-lobe blowers, single- and multistage centrifugal compressors and control systems all designed for top performance and minimal maintenance. • Exclusive WHISPAIRTM design of 3-lobe air and gas blowers allows equalising pressure

pulses, reducing shock wave intensity by up to 40%. It means lower energy consumption, lower noise and longer life of equipment. • EASYAIR®X2 Factory Blower Package System, produced for pressure or vacuum applications, provides simple, on-site installation. • 3 primary lines of Centrifugal compressors will help tailor your design solution to most efficiently handle your application. Whether it be conveying, aeration, vacuum, agitation – mixing, combustion, fogging or gas transfer, material drying or mining and mineral processes application, Hurll Nu-Way will help you choose the right blower to suit your application for any industry. For more information email: Peter.wallach@ or phone 1300 556 380.







Kembla Watertech


AWMA Water Control Systems


AWMA Water Control Systems


Brown Brothers Engineers Australia 94 By-Jas Engineering


Comdain Infrastructure


Comp Air Australasia EcoCatalyst Franklin Electric


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National Centre for Groundwater Research & Training


Plasson Australia


Projex Group







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Hach Pacific





Tyco Water

International Water Centre


International Water Centre – River Symposium



James Cumming & Sons


Xylem Water Solutions Australia


Water Infrastructure Group

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Mining. Building Services. Irrigation.

Founded in Indiana USA in 1944, since 1962 Franklin Electric has been manufacturing, distributing and servicing the Australian water industry. The people of Franklin Electric have strived for over 60 years to design, produce and support the best products available for domestic, irrigation, industrial and agricultural markets. That is why Franklin products are relied upon above and below ground around the world. We know Franklin Electric is better for your business, because Moving Water is Our Business. 1300 FRANKLIN (1300 372655)

PumPs • motors • Drives • Controls FE712A 1/12

Water Journal May 2012  
Water Journal May 2012