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Volume 39 No 6 SEPTEMBER 2012 RRP $16.95 inc. GST




How community consultation paved the way – see page 46 POTABLE REUSE • MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGY • IRRIGATION ADVANCES

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Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Volume 39 No 6 September 2012

contents REGULAR FEATURES From the AWA President Passing The Baton To The Young Ones

Lucia Cade 4

From the AWA CEO Recycling Need Not Be An Opportunity Lost Tom Mollenkopf 5 My Point of View Change From Within The Water Industry


Linda Macpherson



Industry News


Young Water Professionals Making The Most Of Conferences Architect’s impression of the Gilberton Pump Station in Adelaide. See page 46

Mike Dixon

AWA News

28 30

CONFERENCE REVIEW Enviro 2012 Conference & Exhibition


Clare Porter

OPINION Managing Cost And Productivity In A Challenging Environment


FEATURE ARTICLES A Community Connection


Construction of the Adelaide North South Interconnection System Project (NSISP) Water Reuse Practice and Projects An Overseas Perspective

49 John Poon

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; Graham Bateman, CH2M HILL; Dr Andrew Bath, Water Corporation of WA; Michael Chapman, GHD; Wilf Finn, Norton Rose Australia; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rtd); Ted Gardner (rtd); Antony Gibson, Orica Watercare; Dr Lionel Ho, AWQC, SA Water; 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

A wildlife pond in the San Joaquin Delta, Central Valley, California. See page 49

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 NOVEMBER 2012 – Coal Seam Gas Water, GHG Emissions, Carbon Footprint, Odour Management, Demand Management/Water Efficiency DECEMBER 2012 – Asset Management, Small Water & Wastewater Systems, Sustainability FEBRUARY 2013 – Wastewater Management & Treatment, Water Education, Groundwater Management/Aquifer Recharge, Water In Mining, Innovation

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:




Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367

Greenwood Lakes Reserve rehabilitation planting. See page 83


Volume 39 No 6 September 2012


Drum screen arrangement. See page 69


POTABLE REUSE Human Health-Based Chemical Guidelines In Purified Recycled Water A tool to estimate the likelihood and significances of exceedances Achieving Drinking Water Reuse Without Reverse Osmosis A case for granular-activated carbon-based advanced treatment

FDL Leusch, D Middleton, ME Bartkow


L Schimmoller, B Angelotti, B Bellamy & J Lozier


R Regel, C Heidenreich & A Keegan


K Jones, D Bailey, L Procter


P Carroll, M Chapman, A Barton & G Whorlow


mEmBRAnE TEchnOLOgy Full-Scale MS2 Testing Of The Glenelg RWTP UP Membrane Process Four out of eight membrane units tested Membrane Bioreactor Commissioning And Operation Lessons from a WWTP upgrade in the Hunter Valley RURAL PiPELinE mAnAgEmEnT Experience With The Grampians Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Scheme A case study in water quality risks, unintended consequences and opportunities SUSTAinABLE wATER mAnAgEmEnT Retrofitting Water-Sensitive Urban Design Assets To Achieve Integrated Water Management Outcomes Assessing the viability of constructed wetlands to supply fit-for-purpose water to irrigate local sports fields The Logan Water Alliance Model Delivering infrastructure in a healthy environment

A Svazas & N Corby


P van der Linde & P Solanki


V Shah et al.


GR Eves


wATER REcycLing Recycled Water Schemes In The Lower Hunter Region, NSW An overview of agricultural, municipal irrigation and industrial reuse schemes by Hunter Water Corporation iRRigATiOn ADVAncES Water Smart Parks Strategy An innovative water-saving solution for the City of Stirling wATER BUSinESS New Products and Business Information Advertisers’ Index



96 100


from the president

Passing the Baton to the Young Ones Lucia Cade – AWA President Historically speaking, we are morphing into what our world commentators, who coin such things, refer to as the ‘Asian era’. Further, they tell us, it will be an era where technological innovation will be the source of future wealth and progress. But really, this is nothing new. Rapid invention and adoption of technology has equally characterised preceding centuries. In reading such commentaries I am reminded of a modern parable I came across recently that is a reminder of how time and perspective can influence the way two people judge the success of an era. It was the story of an old man and a young man, and began in the expected way with the old man extolling the inventive excellence and vision of his generation. “In my generation we invented the things that have changed our world,” he said. “We got man to the moon to conquer the universe, we created manufacturing assembly lines to make more appliances and faster cars, we invented mass air travel to conquer the globe, nuclear power to light up the world, computing and mobile technology to speed up everything. You young people don’t know how to create things”. To which the young man replied: “You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Look at how your generation has depleted the world’s resources. Look at the state of the world environment you have left as a consequence. Now it is up to us to fix it up.” Makes you think, doesn’t it? So in this Asian-centred era we are entering, where science and technology will be our most valuable currency, how will we in Australia develop? And how will the water industry progess? There is no doubt that inventiveness in science and technology will be required to provide water services for a population that is predicted to grow by another 50% to 34 million by 2050, at the same time as we also ensure we restore and protect our environment, and provide water for agriculture to feed our own and the world’s population, as well as water for the productive uses that fund our economy.

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No small task! So, all you young ones, the challenge is on for the future. On the plus side, we do have some amazingly talented young people coming through. In late August the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition finals were held. These awards bring together students, 15 and 20 years of age, to encourage their continued interest in water and the environment. Over 30 nations were represented in 2011. This year we are represented by our Australian winner, awarded at Ozwater’12 back in May, I-Ji Jung, who is currently studying at the Queensland Academy of Health Sciences. I-Ji’s project was based on the work done for her Year 12 International Baccalaureate extended essay: “Polymer Power: The extraction of divalent heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions using sodium polyacrylate and its potential use to treat heavy metal contaminated waterways in Queensland, Australia”. Good luck, I-Ji! Our job, indeed our challenge, as current water industry professionals and parents is to make sure today’s bright young things get the education, training and opportunities that turn them into the inventive “fixers” of the future that we need them to be. Meanwhile, to address today’s challenges, this issue of the Journal showcases some of the technologies and thinking we are currently applying – membrane technology, indirect potable reuse of water, advances in agricultural and irrigation, and integrated water management. As always, I hope you enjoy this issue of Water. There is always much to learn in it.

regular features

from the chief executive

Recycling Need Not Be An Opportunity Lost Tom Mollenkopf – AWA Chief Executive This edition of Water Journal again reflects the diversity of challenges facing our sector and the outstanding work that is proceeding to deliver world–class solutions. Principal themes for this issue include Membrane Technology, Sustainable Water Management and Water Reuse. Of particular interest is the focus on “Indirect Potable Reuse” (IPR), a topic that presents particular challenges to the water industry, not least a lack of understanding among consumers and a prevailing negative perception of the concept. In this issue we present a general overview of the overseas scene written by Principal Technologist John Poon from CH2M HILL, a My Point of View by reuse expert, Linda Macpherson, and two technical papers: ‘Achieving Drinking Water Reuse Without Reverse Osmosis’; and ‘Human Health-Based Chemical Guidelines in Purified Recycled Water’. Continuing the theme, we follow in the next issue with a discussion of AWA’s position on IPR, an overview of the Australian scene, three papers covering Regulation, Processes and Attitudinal Change, respectively, as well as a long overdue and timely discourse on terminology. As the Journal editorial team was putting together this issue, the long-standing controversy over the nomenclature used by the sector flared again – hence the reference to IPR in quotation marks. Why is terminology so important? There is no doubt that the words we use are instrumental in framing our perceptions. According to Linda Macpherson, “the use of words that magnify fears is invariably more powerful than countervailing efforts to emphasise facts”. This is not about PR “spin” – it’s about effective communication and enabling conversations that build understanding. For the sector to engage and engender public confidence on recycled water, we need to communicate in terms that are easily understood and consistent throughout the industry. “Indirect Potable Reuse” is, frankly, not a term that meets these criteria. For a start, a high proportion of the community does not understand the term “potable water”; the reference to “indirect” is not meaningful; and “reuse” fails to mention that it is highly treated recycled water. One suggestion from Linda Macpherson is that we should start talking about “Purified Recycled Water”. AWA has supported the greater uptake of recycled water by Australian communities for many years now, including potential applications for returning purified recycled water to drinking supplies. The rationale is certainly there. Even as we squelch through muddy fields and gardens on the east coast, the Bureau of Meteorology is warning us of a likely return to a drier El Niño scenario. Although the dry may not strike this

summer, we know from experience that our climate dictates that dry conditions will return. We must, therefore, continue to explore every option to diversify our water supplies. Following nature’s own cycle and returning purified water to our supplies will often represent the least community cost and require less energy than alternatives. Critically, we have the technology and systems to guarantee the quality and safety of this water. So, what’s the problem? Paradoxically, the community is both a supporter and a cynic. While the concept of recycling generally draws considerable public support, using it for drinking purposes draws more emotive responses and, as we reach each critical decision point in implementation, it turns into the proverbial political football. When it comes time to differentiate oneself from one’s political opponent, or when a headline is needed, recycling seems to be an easy target. Also, we don’t make it easy for ourselves. Sadly, other (arguably) unrelated events impacting the sector can erode confidence in our ability to manage a sensitive issue like recycling. The lengthy public disquiet over industry reforms in South-East Queensland and the more recent outrage over the “premature recovery” of desalination plant costs in Melbourne have contributed to declining community trust in the sector overall. A good start to tackling this issue would be bi-partisan support including an acknowledgement by our major political parties of the industry’s competence and the criticality of this issue; however, ultimately this conversation must be between the industry and the community. It is up to us to engage, rebuild trust and inspire confidence. The public is right to expect our assurance of their health and safety. Using consistent and meaningful terminology will help and AWA will also play its part. We have initiated an important collaboration with WSAA and the WaterReuse Association and, next year, we will be jointly presenting the Asia Pacific Recycling Conference in Brisbane. With the support of the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence this event will draw together some of the best researchers and practitioners from Australia, the US and around the world. Failing to deliver on the possibilities in recycling would be an “Opportunity Lost” – perhaps not quite of the same epic proportions as John Milton’s classic poem Paradise Lost – but a tragic loss nevertheless.



my point of view

Change from Within: A Water Cycle Approach to Reuse Communications Linda Macpherson, Reuse Principal Technologist – CH2M HILL Linda has more than 22 years’ experience in the water industry specialising in changing thinking about water, especially water use and reuse. She is a passionate advocate of sustainable water management and was recently a co-principal investigator on two major Water Reuse Research Foundation Reports. For years, the water industry has been grappling with the idea and implementation of drinking water reuse. There are few in the industry who could defensibly deny the inevitable future of water recycling as a component of a sustainable drinking water supply, given the increasing pressure on the world’s water resources. Treatment, disinfection and oxidation technology have advanced to the point that there is no longer a question about whether water dirty enough to be considered “waste” can be rendered clean, safe and drinkable again. So what prevents this proven technology from taking hold and alleviating some of the world’s water stress? Psychological resistance of those who may end up drinking the water, that’s what. Reuse projects, even those that do not involve drinking water, have been met with public opposition that stops a project from being implemented. In some cases negative sentiments, or the presumption of negative sentiments, prevent reuse from being considered as part of a water supply portfolio.

The Power of Communication The results of two recent WateReuse Research Foundation projects demonstrate that it is not necessarily the case that the public will reject drinking water reuse out of hand, but more that communications about potential reuse projects from the water industry can strongly influence outcomes. Both studies were conducted in the United States and Australia, providing an internationally tested hypothesis. Water professionals including engineers, planners, scientists and others whose jobs include public communication as a matter of course, have historically focused on the state of recycled water before it is treated, before it is put to beneficial use, whether that use is for drinking water or something else. In other words, we focus on the waste phase of the urban water cycle rather than acknowledging to the public (and perhaps to ourselves) that wastewater is a temporary state in which pollutants are being carried by the water before they are taken out again to make the water fit for a certain purpose. We choose to give our clean, safe product a name (e.g. recycled wastewater) that invokes what the water used to be (wastewater) rather than what it is now – treated, safe, fit-for-purpose water.

6 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

A report, titled ‘WRF 07-03 Talking about Water: Vocabulary and Images to Support Informed Decisions about Water Recycling and Desalination’, explored the layperson’s thoughts about the words used to describe treated water. When asked which descriptions of water used to augment drinking water supplies reassured them of the water’s safety, research participants responded that the phrases most often used by water professionals – recycled water and reclaimed water – were the least reassuring. These phrases invoke the waste phase of the water cycle by the presence of the qualifying prefix “re,” rather than calling to mind an image of the current state of the water – purified to a level that meets or exceeds nationally accepted drinking water standards. In response to research participants’ statements that information about water needs to be simple enough to understand yet technical enough to trust, the WRF 07-03 research team developed an interactive web-based urban water cycle. This water cycle provides high-level explanations for various phases of the urban water cycle, while providing the user the opportunity to drill down into technical details through cross-referenced hyperlinks. Building on the idea that people were interested in the urban water cycle and the issues around water management, the WateReuse Research Foundation followed the WRF 07-03 report with ‘WRF 09-01: Knowledge of Unplanned Potable Reuse on Acceptance of Planned Potable Reuse’. This research tested people’s responses to drinking water from four hypothetical reuse scenarios. The scenarios ranged from a typical “unplanned potable reuse” surface water supply to direct drinking water reuse in which treated river water was blended in the distribution system with water that had been treated at a wastewater treatment plant and at a water purification plant. Prior to being shown the scenarios, survey participants were shown a visually dynamic slideshow presentation called Downstream. The presentation effectively described the state of the world’s water situation, the fact that all water has already been reused, and the technology used to restore urban wastewater to a relatively pure, safe condition. Water from one of the three planned drinking water reuse scenarios, which included treatment at a water purification plant, was preferred by survey participants more than three times as often as water from the “business-as-usual” unplanned drinking water reuse scenario that did not include a water purification plant. Direct drinking water reuse was, in fact,

regular features

my point of view the most preferred drinking water for 23 per cent of survey respondents in Australia, and 28 per cent of survey respondents in the United States. These results were mirrored by a sampling of water professionals who were informally surveyed as part of a WateReuse Research Foundation webinar, reinforcing the idea that people in general can be comfortable with drinking water that they understand was once in a toilet. Participants in both research projects indicated that they were much less concerned about the source of drinking water than they were about monitoring and reliability, and the safety and taste of their drinking water when it arrives at their tap. Taken together, these research projects clearly show that a change in the historical method of describing water by its source (e.g. recycled wastewater) rather than its quality (e.g. purified water) can positively impact acceptance of drinking water reuse projects.

A Transparent Approach The water industry needs to shift its focus away from wastewater towards thinking and talking about all water as a potential drinking water supply, no matter where it comes from. We need to stop differentiating between drinking water produced from a river or groundwater and drinking water produced from a once-wasted resource. By no means should we conceal from the public that drinking water contains water that has been used in other places – whether that was for agriculture, in an industrial facility, or even in a sink, shower or toilet.

But we need to explain that concept from the holistic perspective of the water cycle, that in fact all drinking water, everywhere, contains water that has been used before, because all water on earth has been used before. That message needs to be followed with clear, positive, factual terminology to describe how skilfully operated treatment technology produces water that is at least as safe and clean as drinking water produced from any other source. We need to choose our language and design our communications to impart images of the quality of treatment and operations that produce clean water instead of images of wastewater. Linda was co-principal investigator alongside co-principal investigator Dr Paul Slovic on WRF 07-03 and co-principal investigator Dr Shane Snyder on WRF 09-01, with oversight provided by Dr George Tchobanoglous. Emily Callaway, a water resources engineer and public acceptance specialist with CH2M HILL, was an integral part of the research team. Both Downstream and the Interactive Urban Water Cycle are available at The WRF 07-03 research report is currently available from the WateReuse Research Foundation. WRF 09-01 will be published in late 2012; an illustrated Executive Summary is currently available from






WHO has released its comprehensive WSP guide: Water safety planning for small community water supplies: step-by-step risk management guidance for drinking-water supplies in small communities. The guide outlines the essentials of water safety planning and then offers a series of tasks for implementation.

The Newman Government has proposed a $100 million Floodplain Security Scheme (FSS) that could save billions of dollars in future disaster damage. Deputy Premier, Jeff Seeney, has called on the Federal Government to match state spending in the program, which would aim to flood-proof large parts of Queensland. Mr Seeney has written to the Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Nicola Roxon, seeking Federal support.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide $6.3m to non-profit organisation WaterAid to improve sanitation facilities in Nigeria. The scope of the four-year-project will involve WaterAid working with local government bodies across the country to facilitate affordable and sustainable sanitation services to a large number of people in Nigeria.

A group of UN independent experts have warned there is no room for complacency, with only three years to go until the 2015 deadline to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). According to the report, the target on access to an improved source of water has been met in 2010; nonetheless, “significant disparities still exist and the most vulnerable people in the world have not benefited from progress,” noted the UN Special Rapporteur, Catarina de Albuquerque.

National The Gillard Government will provide more than $42 million to deliver nine innovative and sustainable stormwater harvesting and re-use projects to help secure water supplies in urban areas across Australia. Senator Don Farrell announced the successful applicants under the Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Projects third competitive grants round.

Australia should take a lead in tackling the emerging global crisis in groundwater, says Prof Craig Simmons, director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, commenting on a recent UNESCO report titled Groundwater and Global Change. It warns that “current stresses on groundwater systems are without precedent in many parts of the world. These stresses are still increasing and produce considerable risk and uncertainty.”

The Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply has released a draft of the Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Review and Audit Guideline. It aims to help providers and auditors understand how they can comply with the review and audit elements for approved Drinking Water Quality Management Plans.

The Queensland Government has announced a three-member interim board to lead the transition of three bulk water entities into a single body – the South-East Queensland Bulk Water Company Limited – from next year. Minister for Energy and Water Supply, Mark McArdle, said Mr Noel Faulkner (Chair), Mr Michael Arnett and Ms Leith Boully would manage the merger of the three existing entities – Seqwater, LinkWater and the SEQ Water Grid Manager.

Queensland Urban Utilities has acquired a state-of-the-art laboratory from Brisbane City Council. CEO Louise Dudley said the acquisition of Scientific Analytical Services Laboratory (SAS Lab) represents an important milestone enabling the organisation to conduct expanded chemical and biological analysis and sampling of sewage, soil and air. SAS Lab is available to provide services to other water entities and industries.

The Queensland Government has announced a new Chair and members of the Advisory Council to the independent Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland. Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle has appointed Julie-Anne Schafer as the new Chair. Ms Schafer is a solicitor, as well as a commissioner on the National Transport Commission and a board member of Queensland Rail and the Territory Insurance Office.

The Bureau of Meteorology has released a publication titled Record-Breaking La Niña Events, which covers events which were associated with record rainfall over much of Australia and some of the biggest floods in living memory. It provides a historical record of the La Niña climatic conditions and explains how La Niña and El Niño events occur and the effect they have on Australia’s weather.

The Queensland University of Technology, Science and Engineering Faculty has developed GVS (Groundwater Visualisation System), designed to represent groundwater systems and associated data, including drillholes water chemistry and surface connections. The system has been applied to a wide range of land types from sand islands to irrigated catchment-wide systems and regional sedimentary basins hosting coal seam gas resources.

Two new research projects will improve understanding of the costs, benefits and risks that impact on investment in recycling options in Australia. Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence CEO Dr Mark O’Donohue said more than $1 million has been granted by the organisation for research that will examine the true value of water recycling.

The Queensland Government has announced the release of water from two Gulf of Carpentaria rivers to support irrigated agriculture in north-west Queensland. Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, said water from the Flinders River and Gilbert River catchment areas would deliver a boost for Gulf communities.

8 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

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New South Wales

Australian Capital Territory

NSW Water Commissioner, David Harriss, has released a report summarising the management of the 2011–2012 floods through the Barwon-Darling and Menindee Lakes systems. Mr Harriss said that after nearly 10 years of drought throughout much of the Murray-Darling Basin, this was the third year in a row that the Office of Water and State Water Corporation had managed flood flows through the river systems in the west of the state.

ACTEW Water has released a copy of its submission to the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) as part of the review into the price of water and sewerage services in the ACT. The ICRC is currently undertaking a water and sewerage services inquiry to determine the prices that ACTEW will charge for water and sewerage services for the five-year pricing period starting 1 July 2013.


The NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has announced new chairmen for three Catchment Management Authorities in rural NSW. They are: The Hon. Ian Armstrong AM OBE, former Member for Lachlan in the NSW Parliament and former Deputy Premier Lachlan CMA; Cr Hans Hietbrink, Mayor of Guyra, Border-Rivers Gwydir CMA; and Cr Conrad Bolton, Councillor with Narrabri Shire Council, Namoi CMA.

Cradle Mountain Water has opened the Waratah Water Treatment Plant. The new plant increases surety that there will be no more ‘boil water’ notices for the residents of Waratah.

IPART has published its preliminary views of Sydney Water’s undertaking to provide access to the services of its drinking water network, the first voluntary access undertaking submitted by a water utility to an economic regulator for approval in Australia. IPART identifies a small number of areas for improvement. If these areas are addressed, IPART is likely to approve the document.

The WA Government will assist five dryland agricultural local government areas to generate extra emergency water to supplement farming and community supplies during periods of low rainfall. WA Water Minister Bill Marmion said the funding of $233,633 was part of the Department of Water’s managed Community Water Supply Program for dryland areas.

The City of Sydney has developed a Decentralised Water Master Plan for its local government area. The plan identifies that local water sources such as stormwater, seawater and wastewater can produce up to 12 billion litres of local recycled water each year. This plan will be discussed in detail at AWA’s Small Water and Wastewater National Conference in Newcastle this month.

Water Corporation has formed an Alliance with Tenix to deliver wastewater upgrade works in Karratha, Port and South Hedland. Water Corporation Regional Business Manager Peter McAllister said the Alliance would begin work on the ground this month and the upgrades would be completed by mid-2014.

Construction of a $3 million project to improve water quality at Malabar Beach has been completed as part of a joint project between Sydney Water and Randwick City Council. Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce said new pipes under Fisherman’s Road and the Malabar Waste Water Treatment plant will now divert stormwater runoff away from the beach.

The Warriewood Wastewater Treatment Plant has received $400,000 to improve the reliability of the plant. Sydney Water Managing Director, Kevin Young, said this investment is on top of a bigger $34.5 million project currently underway to expand and improve the operations of the plant. “Work has started to renew two primary sedimentation tanks. These tanks are an integral part of the wastewater process,” he said.

Residents are now connected to the $82 million Appin Wastewater Scheme following 18 months of construction. Those connecting can now enjoy the benefits of a new wastewater system, rather than relying on septic tanks and a pump-out service. The scheme includes about 40 kilometres of pipes to collect wastewater from the Appin village and transfer it to Sydney Water’s system at Rosemeadow.

10 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

Western Australia

WA Water Minister Bill Marmion has announced the KwinanaCalista area would be provided $1.26 million of vital wastewater services as part of the State Government’s Infill Sewerage Program. Mr Marmion said 98 residential lots would benefit from connection to the Water Corporation’s central system. Infill sewerage is a system of pipes that takes wastewater away from residential properties for safe and healthy processing and disposal.

WA Water Minister Bill Marmion has announced measures to help secure a reliable water supply for the south-west town of Manjimup, following months of poor rainfall. Mr Marmion said the town’s water supply came from two local dams – Manjimup and Phillips Creek – both of which had received little inflow since 2010. A persistent drying climate has meant dam levels have dropped to 28 per cent, or just 529 million litres, well below the annual demand for water in the area, which is about 700 million litres.

Bill Marmion has announced the early completion of a major Port Hedland infill sewerage project. The $7.9 million project, in an area rezoned as part of the Port Hedland Land Use Master Plan, would be finished at least three months ahead of schedule and provide safer processing and disposal of wastewater while allowing for development.

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Raw Water Supply System, Serpentine Water Treatment Plant (VIC)


A hands-on intelligent approach Comdain Infrastructure is a leading infrastructure construction and maintenance services business specialising in the water, irrigation and gas sectors. Our water capabilities include construction of major pipelines, distribution and reticulation networks, pump stations, treatment plants, civil, mechanical and electrical works, automation control, network maintenance and emergency response. We deliver projects under a range of contracting models including; as a Managing Contractor; D&C; ECI; Alliance and Construct Only. We place importance on professional excellence and best practice in all aspects of our construction and maintenance services work, most particularly on safety.

Intelligent Doers, Dependable Delivery

Current & Recent projects: ƒ Goulburn-Murray Water (VIC) Hattah Lakes Environmental Flows Project: Construction of seven 750mm pump columns, a 2100mm RCP, 900mm PE branch pipeline, large regulating structures, penstock gates and levee banks. ƒ State Water Corporation (NSW) NSW Metering Managing Contractor: Planning and installation of over 1200 river and groundwater extraction meters. ƒ Western Water (VIC) Romsey Bore & Treatment Plant Upgrade: Construction of bore water supply infrastructure at the Glenfern Rd bore site and a civil, mechanical, electrical and SCADA upgrade to the Romsey Water Treatment Plant including the design and construction of the pre & post caustic dosing system. ƒ Queensland Urban Utilities (QLD) Purified Recycled Water Connection Project: Connenction of Carole Park WRP recycled water supply line to Seqwater’s WCRWP and installation of a pump station along existing supply main. Works also include a number of PRV sites and sampling points. water


crosscurrent Western Water has welcomed funding for the Romsey Recycled Water Project. This project will reduce pressure on Romsey’s drinking water supplies and guarantee a green sporting precinct for the town. Western Water is contributing almost $80,000 to the project, including upgrading the pump station and building the pipeline that will take recycled water from the Romsey Recycled Water Plant to the town’s sports precinct.

long-term plan considered SA Water’s water and wastewater services in Whyalla, Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Port Germein, Crystal Brook and other surrounding country lands. SA Water Chief Executive John Ringham says a detailed review of the region’s water services has found that there is sufficient water available to supply the Upper Spencer Gulf until at least 2040/41.


South Australia is still suffering the consequences of decades of upstream over-allocation from the River Murray, which was exacerbated by the recent severe drought. It is a timely reminder to upstream states about why South Australia is fighting for more water for the river.

Future development in Melbourne’s largest and fastest growth area in the city of Wyndham is secure following action on water supply by the Victorian Government. Minister for Water Peter Walsh and Minister for Planning Matthew Guy announced the West Werribee Dual Water Supply Project will now progress quickly following an amendment to the Wyndham planning scheme.

Melbourne’s water storages have reached 70 per cent full for the first time since January 1998. The Thomson Dam starred, gaining 63.8 billion litres and rising to 63.7 per cent capacity. This increase represents around three months’ water supply for Melbourne. The impressive increase was thanks to a combination of aboveaverage rainfall and soaked catchments, and the legacy of almost two years of good rain and stream flow.

South Australia SA Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Paul Caica, has opened the SA Arid Lands Natural Resource Centre in Port Augusta. Mr Caica said it would be a valuable new centre for all natural resource management issues. “This centre is the second of eight to open throughout South Australia as part of the State Government’s commitment to support sustainable land use, water quality and conservation,” Mr Caica said. “It will offer advice and services to the region’s residents, ranging from land management and sustainable primary production to native plants and animals.

Mount Gambier’s iconic Blue Lake has been named one of Australia’s seven hydrogeological wonders. The Great Artesian Basin, one of the largest groundwater basins in the world covering 22 per cent of the Australian continent, including the north-eastern part of South Australia – was named the most outstanding.

The Gillard Government will provide up to $1.2 million to explore proposals to improve irrigation efficiency in South Australia. Water Minister Tony Burke said he wanted to explore options for infrastructure funding for South Australian irrigators that provided value for money and would help restore the health of the MurrayDarling Basin. The funding will support the SA Government and the South Australian Water Industry Alliance to undertake a feasibility study and a business case and program proposal for the South Australian River Murray Improvements Program.

SA Water has finalised its long-term plan for the Upper Spencer Gulf, which will ensure it can continue to meet customer requirements for the next 30 years. The Upper Spencer Gulf

12 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

Northern Territory Wurrumiyanga residents on Bathurst Island now have a secure water supply with the opening of a new water production and storage project. The Australian Government is providing $2.7 million in funding for this project – one of eight in the Northern Territory receiving a total of $20.25 million under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns. Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, said safe and reliable water supplies will help improve the quality of life and wellbeing for the people of Wurrumiyanga.

Member News YWP President Mike Dixon is moving to the US to take a position with NanoH2O Incorporated as a Senior Applications Engineer. NanoH2O is a membrane manufacturing company based in Los Angeles, utilising nanotechnology to produce low energy and high flux membranes. Mike will continue as YWP President until the end of 2012.

Observant was crowned the winner of the Irrigation Australia 2012 New Product/Innovation Award for its next generation C3 remote water monitoring system at the Irrigation Australia annual awards night in Adelaide. C3 was recognised for its originality, quality of design, scope for acceptance by the market, water and energy efficiency contribution, and potential to reduce environmental impact through water savings.

Black & Veatch’s global water business has appointed William Yong to lead strategic business growth in South Asia Pacific. Yong joins as the investment in Critical Human Infrastructure™ across Asia is rising. US$10 trillion is expected to be invested in infrastructure in Asia between 2010 and 2020, with a significant proportion earmarked for water projects.

AWA National Director Mark Bartley has moved firms to start a new water, planning and environment practice at HWL Ebsworth Lawyers in Melbourne. Mark has been an AWA director for four years and before that was a Victorian Committee member. He previously led the water practice at DLA Piper (Phillips Fox).

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PUMP & PIPING TRAINING Pump Fundamentals Seminar

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27 & 28 November 2012 Christie Conference Centre 4 & 5 December 2012 Mantra on Hay, Perth


29 & 30 November 2012 Christie Conference Centre 6 & 7 December 2012 Mantra on Hay, Perth

KASA Redberg will be running the ever popular “Pump Fundamentals” and “Liquid Piping Systems Fundamentals” seminars for the last time this year in November and December. Both seminars are of two days duration. About These Seminars The information presented in “Pump Fundamentals” and “Liquid Piping Systems Fundamentals” includes: Pump calculations, pump types, sizing, selection, installation, maintenance, pipe and fittings selection, pipe sizing, pipeline materials and operation, wall thickness calculations, valves, instruments, drafting, relevant codes and standards and much more. Discounts apply for early registrations, dual seminar bookings and multiple registrations from the one organisation. We can also run these seminars at your own workplace or customise them to suit your needs. We have also provided customised pump/pipeline seminars to many organisations involved in the water and wastewater sector, mining and minerals processing etc including consultants and public utilities. Who Should Attend These seminars are designed specifically for those involved in the design, management and/or operation of pumping and liquid piping systems. Project Engineers, Process Engineers, Design Engineers, Sales Representatives and Project Managers would all benefit from the information presented. Specific examples, design calculations and hardware selections are included from industries such as: Mining/minerals processing, industrial water treatment, municipal water/wastewater, petro-chemicals, marine and heavy manufacturing. Seminar Materials For each seminar, all attendees receive:

Training Manual: A reference manual comprising theory, worked example problems, tables and charts, illustrations etc based on the training seminar outline. All KASA Redberg training manuals have been designed to be a valuable future resource for the office, workshop, factory or plant.

Certificate of Attendance: Each certificate states the number of hours of training and serves as documentary proof of attendance for claiming CPD hours as per the policy of Engineers Australia.

Contact Details For more information on our seminars (including a full seminar synopsis) and to obtain registration forms, call KASA Redberg on (02) 9949 9795 or email or visit Seminars in 2013 KASA Redberg’s 2013 seminar program is scheduled to begin again in April 2013 with “Gas Piping Systems Fundamentals”. Please contact our office directly should you require an in-house or customised seminar. 14 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

KASA Redberg

Engineers & Technical Trainers

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crosscurrent Water management firm Metito has secured further contracts with engineering, procurement and construction management firm Bechtel International. The two new projects will see Metito design, build and supervise the installation of seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants and sewage treatment plants to be used for construction sites at Liquefied Natural Gas plants. Both projects are located on Curtis Island, near Gladstone in Queensland, Australia.

Gilbert and Sutherland has appointed Eric Rooke as Principal Hydrogeologist, based in the company’s Melbourne office. Eric has 35 years’ experience in groundwater assessment, development and management specialising in the technology of managed aquifer recharge including aquifer storage and recovery. Eric can be contacted at

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is running a Development Louise Dudley has been appointed CEO, Queensland Urban Utilities. Louise was the Chief Financial Officer of Queensland Urban Utilities and drove setting up the organisation, and one of its predecessors, as Manager Water Retail, Brisbane City Council (BCC) as early as five years ago. Louise will fill the position arising from the resignation of Ian Maynard who has taken up the role of CEO, Queensland Public Service Commission.

Mark Dimmock has been named Managing Director of the Australia-Pacific operations of Parsons Brinckerhoff. He succeeds Jim Mantle. Mr Dimmock will oversee 2,500 employees working on a diverse range of projects covering transport, water, power, mining, oil and gas, industry and property. He will be responsible for setting the direction and positioning the business for future growth in the Australia-Pacific region.

Joe Adamski has been appointed new Managing Director of Barwon Water. Mr Adamski has been interim Managing Director since March this year, when Michael Malouf stepped down. As Managing Director, he will be responsible for a business with annual revenue turnover of $205 million, a $2 billion asset base and more than 400 full-time employees.

The Unitywater Board has appointed George Theo as CEO. George has been acting as CEO since May this year and was previously Chief Operating Officer, where he played a pivotal role in Unitywater’s establishment. George brings more than 25 years’ experience to his new role and a wealth of knowledge from the water industry through previous positions at GHD, Brisbane Water and City West Water. George takes over from former Unitywater CEO, Jon Black, who now holds the position of Director General, Department of Energy and Water Supply, Queensland Government.

Gillian Hand-Smith joined SMEC on 2 July 2012 as the Regional Manager Environment (Southern Region). Based in the Melbourne office, Gillian is responsible for overseeing the development of SMEC’s Environment business across Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited’s project ‘Cloudbreak Managed Aquifer Recharge Scheme’ is the Global Grand Winner for the Operations/Management category of the 2012 IWA Global Project Innovation Awards (PIA). Other Australian companies were also awarded with honours.

Adventure to Cambodia in November. This eight-day adventure is an exclusive, intimate learning and engagement program that has been specifically designed for existing and potential new major supporters of EWB in which to gain a personal, hands-on understanding of humanitarian engineering and community development in a culturally rich and challenging environment.

AQUAPHEMERA State Water did a great job during the floods of the last few years according to Malcolm Lamshed, skipper of River Lady Tours on the Menindee Lakes. Despite still having to access his house by boat, Malcolm was impressed and grateful for the much improved flow and level forecasts, as he showed off the “greater bird diversity than Kakadu” in the now full Lakes. To see firsthand the waterways and landscape recovering from the ravages of drought reinforces the necessity to support the “altered proposed Basin Plan” from the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) provided to the Minister in early August ( The main changes to the Plan include: • That subject to the Ministerial Council reaching a consensus on the method to be used to apportion the water, the members would give consideration to an apportionment based on: surface water diversions less urban water use, or surface water diversions less critical human water needs, and that the principles used are consistent, equitable and transparent; • The Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) Adjustment Mechanism will provide a transparent and scientifically valid way to take into account efficiencies and savings achieved through various initiatives in the Basin that could lead to adjustment of SDLs; and • Some adjustments be made to the groundwater sustainable diversion limits.

Of the 2,750GL of water to be recovered under the Plan, only 1,200GL is still required. The responsible Commonwealth Minister, Tony Burke, may now either approve the Plan or request further changes and, only when satisfied, present the Plan to Parliament. Hopefully it will be adopted, as while the Plan will never be perfect, each iteration has been an improvement and enables us all to benefit from and look after this unique asset. For those interested in seeing the adjacent catchment’s Lake Eyre with water, a once-in-a-generation opportunity, you need to hurry, as it is almost empty again. But along with the nearby Lake Frome, it is still fascinating and worth the trip. – Ross Knee



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Wagga Wagga Operations Tenix Case Study

Wagga Wagga City Council and Tenix recently hosted a tour of the Council’s main sewage treatment plant as part of the 2012 Local Government and Shires Association (LGSA) Water Management Conference in July. The Narrung Street Sewage Treatment Plant is the largest of the Council’s three plants serving the rural city. Tenix operates and maintains the plant, along with two others, as part of a Design, Build and Operate contract made with the Council in December 2007. Under the performance-based contract, Tenix designed and built major upgrades to the Narrung Street and Kooringal Sewage Treatment Plants, and now operates the plants along with the Bomen Industrial Sewage Treatment Facility - a 4.5ML/day capacity SBR plant designed and built by Tenix in 2004/05. Tenix took over the operations of the Narrung Street and Kooringal plants in January 2008 in preparation for their $42 million upgrade. This involved keeping the old plants operating while constructing the new plants on the same sites. By the end of June 2010 both new plants successfully completed commissioning and their 40-day process proving periods.

Matt Brill, a Wagga local, now heads up operations of the Wagga plants. Matt has been with Tenix since they took over operations of the plants in 2008. And according to Matt, operating the plants has not been without its challenges. This includes having to deal with two floods, the most recent in March this year. Says Matt, “the 1-in-40-year March flood forced the evacuation of both the Wagga CBD and the Narrung Street plant for three days. The operations team monitored and ran the plant remotely, continuing treatment throughout the flood.” “Once the flood subsided it took only five days to bring all systems back online. There was only minor damage to non-critical equipment and no injuries. Our flood management plan worked well, and strong collaboration throughout the flood event resulted in the plant continuing to perform well.” Chris Yeats, Tenix’s General Manager for Water points out that Tenix is no stranger to having to deal with flooded treatment plants. “In 2010 flooding occurred at Narrung St which also resulted in inundation. We have also seen floods in Mackay and Bega during March of this year. The strong processes on site and the dedication of our teams gets us through these difficult situations!” said Chris.


Highlight The Wagga Wagga sewerage network services over 18,000 residential and 2,000 non-residential properties. Apart from the treatment plants, the network consists of over 530 kilometres of gravity and pressure mains and 36 pumping stations.

industry news Ancient Waterways Sustain Australia’s Arid Zone A National Water Commission report released recently explains the role of paleovalleys in arid Australia, how they are connected and where they flow. Palaeovalleys are geologically ancient, buried river valleys that are often relied on in regional Australia to supply water. Groundwater in Australia’s arid zone is essential to the sustainability of this vast region and paleovalleys represent the only viable groundwater resource in many areas. The estimated annual volume of groundwater currently extracted from paleovalleys is more than 200 gigalitres in Western Australia, 14 gigalitres in South Australia and eight gigalitres in the Northern Territory. A $4.935 million study conducted by Geoscience Australia was funded under the Raising National Water Standards Program to improve the management of this valuable resource. A key project output was the development of a map showing approximately 200 discrete palaeovalleys in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. “Paleovalley groundwater resources are essential to sustaining mining operations, horticulture, tourist sites and many thousands of bores on pastoral stations,” said Dr Steven Lewis, Geoscience Australia Project Leader for the paleovalley program. “Prior to this project there was no coordinated investigation at a national scale to improve our knowledge of paleovalley aquifers. Nor was there a well-defined approach for mapping and characterising paleovalley aquifers as prospective water resource targets. An accurate account of the water recharge processes is critical to inform decisions on how extraction should be handled to ensure sustainability of the resource. Some of these paleovalleys were larger than the Murray-Darling River system, and we have mapped several that began in the Northern Territory and ran westwards until they eventually flowed into the Indian Ocean.” Although there is scope for extracting substantial volumes of groundwater resources across many parts of arid Australia, the National Water Commission points to the need for any future decisions to take into account the principles agreed under the National Water Initiative for the sustainable and economically efficient use of water resources.

The program is part of the country’s wider national development vision, in which it pledges to “pave the path for all Ethiopians to have access to basic sanitation by 2015”. The Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Program was launched recently at a high profile event in Addis Ababa. Progress made over the past decade, especially on improving access to water sources, signals the political traction that the Ethiopian government and its partners have given to the development of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector, which plays a critical role in improving the quality of life of its citizens. From 2005 to 2008, access to potable water in rural areas increased from 35 per cent to 52 per cent. However, despite positive trends in access to improved water sources, millions of Ethiopians continue to experience difficulties in accessing clean and safe water and sanitation facilities. The GSF-funded program will support the Government’s existing national Health Extension Program (HEP) to help address health issues linked to sanitation and hygiene. In total, the program will help 1.7 million people to gain use of improved toilets over the next five years, and 3.2 million people will be living in open-defecation-free environments

AquaSure Announces New Chair AquaSure’s Board of Directors has announced that infrastructure expert Ron Finlay has been formally appointed Chair of AquaSure. Ron took on the role as interim Chair in April 2012 following the departure of Chloe Munro to Canberra to become the Clean Energy Regulator. Ron has over 35 years’ experience in property, construction, development and infrastructure projects, having undertaken significant advisory and management roles with major infrastructure initiatives spanning the energy, rail, airport and water sectors in Australia and overseas. With the Victorian Desalination Project plant due to be at full production by the end of this year, Mr Finlay said that he was confident that it will come to be appreciated by the Government and the community as a valuable state asset for the long term.

Ethiopia Receives Boost in Sanitation and Hygiene Ethiopia will receive an additional boost from the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), which officially announced a US$5 million investment through its Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) to help the government of Ethiopia achieve its Universal Access Plan in Sanitation and Hygiene.

18 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

“We have a 30-year partnership with the Government and the community, and we will be able to produce high quality water to meet the needs of the people of Victoria whenever required,” he said. “While there has been significant rainfall over the past two years, before that Victoria endured 12 straight years of drought. The Victorian Desalination Plant will ensure that Victoria has access to a reliable, high quality, rainfall-independent water source for many years to come, a resource that will be much valued in times of future drought.”

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be in a very concerning situation with its public drinking water supply if not for the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant and Southern Seawater Desalination Plant.

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East Coast Encouraged to Follow WA’s Drought-Proofing Example Australia’s east coast urban planners and state governments need to hold their nerve on using major seawater desalination plants for effective drought-proofing and not give in to shortterm politics and vocal minorities, says National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia CEO Neil Palmer. Mr Palmer says Western Australia’s foresight in embracing desalination early by building two plants to eventually supply half of Perth’s water has paid off. Perth has just experienced its driest July since records began, with dams receiving only 5.4 billion litres of inflow this year – the same amount of water Perth uses in five hot summer days (see graph, below). Water Corporation has stated that Perth would

“Investment in desalination is a long-term water security insurance plan, so astute east coast planners will know that even though it’s raining now, forecast cycles of drought and climate change will push cities to the brink if desal plants are not there for the dry years.”

Ice Melt Highlights Sea Level Risk New NASA data shows unprecedented melting on the Greenland ice sheet, reports the Climate Commission. On 8 July this year, 40 per cent of the surface of the ice sheet showed signs of melting; just four days later, it was 97 per cent. “This is extremely disturbing,” said Professor Lesley Hughes. “This shows that some changes to the earth are happening much faster than any of us previously thought.” NASA has found that it is easily the largest area of melting recorded over the past 30 years of satellite observations, and the fastest scientists have ever seen. In a normal summer, about half of the surface of the ice sheet starts to melt; this year almost the entire surface is melting. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its two-mile-thick centre, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analysed by NASA and university scientists. “Melting and ice discharge from Greenland make significant contributions to the increased rate of sea-level rise that we are now observing,” says Professor Will Steffen. “Observations like this are a clear warning that, by the end of this century, the sea level could well rise by a metre or more compared to 1990. Even more worrying is that the Greenland ice sheet could reach the point of no return – the point at which we cannot prevent the loss of most or all of the ice sheet – earlier than we thought. “This puts more pressure on the world’s largest emitters, such as Australia, to achieve rapid and deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid condemning our descendants to several metres of sea-level rise.” For more information see: features/greenland-melt.html

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industry news New Publication from WSAA A new publication released by the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) aims to explode the perception that the urban water industry is slow to change and is not innovative, by presenting a series of contemporary case studies taken from all states and territories of Australia. The studies demonstrate how water utilities are approaching, resolving and actioning solutions to changing conditions. Adam Lovell, Executive Director of WSAA said: “These case studies have a strong theme: The role of urban water in underpinning Australia’s economy. From supporting major export industry in Queensland to preparing for carbon pricing and improving services to indigenous communities, our industry reaches every corner of Australian society and makes a substantial contribution to its wellbeing.” Innovative Solutions from the Australian Urban Water Industry was launched by Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator the Hon Don Farrell in August. The case studies cover a diverse range of topics such as: • New South Wales: A partnership arrangement supplying recycled water and saving drinking water; • Western Australia: A trial using recycled water to replenish groundwater; • Victoria: Electricity from treatment by-products reducing greenhouse gas emissions;

• Tasmania: Award-winning software to track metering rollout; • Northern Territory: Training Indigenous people to undertake local water servicing work; • ACT: Saving of fish habitat while building a new dam; • Queensland: How a water utility is supporting a booming Australian export industry. The publication is available to download at:

Sydney’s Stormwater Recycling Initiative The City of Sydney plans to roll out a citywide system of stormwater recycling to reduce harbour pollution and ensure Sydney’s water supply never runs out. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City’s research showed more than half of Sydney’s future water demand could be met with non-drinking water. “We need to take strong decisive action now to drought-proof our city and ensure we are less dependent on dam levels,” she said. “Lessons from recent years are that we need a flexible, adaptable and resilient water system that can cope with climate

• South Australia: Sustainable approach turns waste to energy and reduces carbon footprint;

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variability. The stormwater run-off from roofs, roads, paths, parks and other open areas is a valuable alternative supply of water for non- drinking purposes. Our stormwater harvesting initiative at Sydney Park is the kind of program we plan to install in parks and open spaces across Sydney. We will harvest and recycle stormwater, and use the recycled water for irrigating, flushing toilets and high-rise cooling towers.” The Decentralised Water Master Plan aims to: • Improve water efficiency in buildings across the City of Sydney to save 10 per cent on the 2006 demand by 2030; • Cut a quarter of water use in city buildings, parks and open spaces by 2030;

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• Halve the 26 billion litres of stormwater run-off into Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay; • Replace 54 per cent of drinking water used for non-drinking purposes with recycled water; • Water-sensitive urban design, including rain gardens, swales, infiltration trenches within streetscapes and permeable pavers on footpaths to filter or retain stormwater and reduce pollution discharged into waterways; • Diversify water sources to include recycled and treated wastewater, stormwater, groundwater, roof water and seawater to reduce dependence on the drinking water supply. The Decentralised Water Master Plan is part of the City’s Green Infrastructure Plan, which is designed to deliver the greenhouse gas reduction and environmental targets in the Sustainable Sydney 2030 program.

Saline Effluent Management Workshop Credible water quality data and delineation of patterns in water quality parameters can help scientists and engineers accurately define and mitigate environmental issues through analysis and evaluation of options. Aimed at scientists, engineers and water planners, the Produced Water Research Centre will hold a

24 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

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industry news workshop to showcase the best available scientific methods and industry practices for generation and use of water quality data in characterisation, classification and treatment of saline effluents. “Sustainable management of saline effluent is currently a major operational and environmental challenge for industries facing large volumes of produced water, such as unconventional gas production,” said Bill Russell, manager of the Produced Water Research Centre. “A major impediment to identification and assessment of any produced water-related risks, and for developing sound management policies and practices for minimising those risks, is lack of credible and validated water quality data and information.” The workshop, titled Best Practices for Sampling Design, Characterization and Classification of Saline Effluents, will run from 8–9 October 2012 at Macquarie University, Sydney. For more information go to: news-views-and-events/wkshp/

Economic Benefits of Water Recycling Examined Two new research projects will improve understanding of the costs, benefits and risks that impact on investment in recycling options in Australia. Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence CEO, Dr Mark O’Donohue, said more than $1 million has been granted by the organisation for research that will examine the true value of water recycling. “Australia has really begun to embrace water recycling initiatives, with investment increasing over the past 10 years,” Dr O’Donohue said. “While it is encouraging to see this uptake, it appears there is still a gap in measuring the full range of benefits of these projects, which has led to some concerns for further investment. “We believe it is time to bring together the diverse research, industry and utility experience Australia has built up to evaluate the qualitative and quantitative benefits of and impediments to water recycling. Our goal is to use this knowledge to improve policy, planning and future investment, and to more equitably distribute the costs, benefits and risks of recycling.” Dr O’Donohue said the research should refine the approaches to investment decisions, helping key players to assess where recycling makes sense. This will improve the capacity for building business cases and the financial performance of water recycling schemes.

The University of Technology Sydney will use national case studies to uncover the full range of actual environmental, economic and social costs, benefits and risks of water recycling. Their project includes representatives of key players in water recycling: utilities, regulators, developers, councils, and technology suppliers. The commercial benefit could be substantial, as it seeks to significantly inform the business case assessment of recycled water projects, and to shift policy frameworks to better distribute costs and benefits. The first workshop has already been held with global property and infrastructure company, Lend Lease, who will be the subject of a pilot case study. A second study, led by Marsden Jacob Associates, will develop the first national framework for the economic assessment of new schemes. This project aims to fill the need for a national framework, review specific case studies and provide detailed advice on the circumstances and locations in which recycled water schemes are most likely to be economically feasible. Following numerous workshops held with industry participants, work has commenced on the six modules of the project that address specific areas of the recycled water assessment framework. The work includes a community value study, an analysis of pricing issues and an evaluation framework. For more information on the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence visit

Wood Group PSN Wins Major Contract Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) has been awarded a $232 million contract by Melbourne Water to provide maintenance services and low-risk capital works to its metropolitan water and wastewater network. Under the contract, WGPSN will provide mechanical, electrical and civil maintenance services to several hundred sewage transfer and water treatment facilities across Melbourne. The award will result in more than 150 new jobs for WGPSN in Melbourne. Taking a partnership approach to service delivery, a WGPSN management team will be based at the Melbourne Water office in Brooklyn, with maintenance personnel working across the city’s southern, eastern and western regions. Matt Gavin, regional director for WGPSN Australia said: “We are absolutely delighted with the award of this contract. We have 16 years’ experience providing maintenance services to Australia’s water industry and our achievements have been considered world class standard for maintenance management in water utilities by independent auditor, MCP Asset Management Information Services (AMIS).”


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industry news Tony Antoniou, general manager, operations and maintenance at Melbourne Water said: “Wood Group PSN had a significant track record of driving continuous improvement and efficiency in delivering maintenance and low risk capital works, and has demonstrated outstanding performance in health and safety on previous contracts, which is critical to Melbourne Water.”

“Fresh groundwater stored in coastal aquifers constitutes an important resource for urban and rural residents as well as industrial and agricultural activities. More than 85 per cent of Australians live within 50km of the coast, and for many growing coastal cities and towns, groundwater is often an important water supply.”

Assessing Seawater Intrusion Risks to Coastal Groundwater Regions

The National Water Commission funded this $1.8 million study to improve awareness of this issue and inform national, state and regional planning and management strategies.

A report released by the National Water Commission outlines the first ever national-scale assessment of the vulnerability of Australia’s coastal aquifers to seawater intrusion. The assessment indicates that some coastal aquifers in all Australian states and the Northern Territory are potentially at risk, and may become more vulnerable due to increased groundwater resource demands, recharge changes, and sea-level rise associated with climate change.

the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, in

Geoscience Australia’s groundwater and environment scientist, Dr Baskaran Sundaram, said that many of the most vulnerable resources were in locations with high population densities or where there was intensive use of groundwater for agriculture or industry.


The research was carried out by Geoscience Australia and collaboration with state and territory water agencies. The report identifies several opportunities to progress and develop effective resource management and protection of Australia’s coastal aquifers through additional monitoring, research, stakeholder education and communication. “The vulnerability of coastal aquifers to seawater intrusion will vary over time and it is important that monitoring regimes are maintained to ensure early identification and management of the phenomenon around Australia’s coastline,” Dr Sundaram said. Dr Sundaram and Dr Adrian Werner presented findings from the National Scale Vulnerability Assessment of Seawater Intrusion Project at the 34th International Geological Congress in Brisbane in August. The Waterlines report is available under the publications section on the National Commission website

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Service, Operations & Chemicals 26 SEPTEMBER 2012 water AUSTRALIA WIDE: (02) 9542 2366

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young water professionals

Making the Most of Conferences Mike Dixon AWA YWP National Committee President Recently I attended Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) with my SA Water and AWA colleague Lionel Ho, the South Australian Branch Vice President. It was a fantastic conference; I learned a lot, met lots of people and felt enriched from the experience. It’s for these reasons and more that I recommend all Young Water Professionals (YWPs) attend conferences if possible. However, many conferences have an associated cost and it can be challenging for YWPs to gain approval.

Lionel stayed at the conference hotel while I stayed with peers from IDA about a five-minute taxi ride away. I do think it’s best to arrange accommodation at the conference hotel, as you will have more of an opportunity to talk with people you might not otherwise meet and share knowledge from the day. After hours can be just as important for your development as a technical session during the day. Each evening at SIWW Lionel and I joined different people for dinner to socialise and network.

Getting Company Approval

The Importance of Follow-up

In my experience, your manager and organisation will firstly consider what benefits you can gain from attending. This works in two ways, as you can show what your business is capable of at a conference. Writing a paper is an excellent way to showcase a problem you have solved and promote your own and your organisation’s work to the wider water public. Anyone can submit a paper; however, it’s a good idea to check the guidelines as they may change depending on the conference.

What happens on your return is an essential part of following up your reasons for attending. Make sure you share what you learned with your manager and colleagues. Also, even if you’re not required to by policy or process, write a summary report of your experience and any new knowledge gained and send this to key people in your organisation, including senior managers. This is useful to show the investment was worthwhile. I usually select the three best technical papers (in my opinion) and write the key lessons from each in my report.

There can be other paths to attend, such as the one I took for SIWW. During SIWW Lionel and I made presentations and had other responsibilities including representing AWA and the International Desalination Association (IDA). During the conference we met up occasionally to discuss what we’d learned and to whom we’d spoken. This meant we could work together to get the most benefit for the organisations and associations we represented. Before the conference I read the program closely. SIWW has many technical streams as well as side streams. I’m most interested in membranes and desalination so that made many of my decisions easier. That said, I ensured I looked through the entire program and, where possible, attended sessions outside my key interests to broaden my knowledge base. Lionel and I also attended the Australian Business Forum, where I saw an excellent presentation on how Sydney Water had progressed over the last 30 years and what they intended to do to ensure operational efficiency to improve value for their customers. While we waited for this forum to begin we were able to speak with Senator Don Farrell, the Australian Government’s Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water.

You could also give an internal seminar about the conference or a particular session to maximise the knowledge sharing and cost benefit of your organisation. At SIWW I really enjoyed hearing about the novel concept of reverse electrodialysis for producing electricity from seawater and how it compared with forward osmosis. I made sure I asked a question during this session so I had full understanding from the presenter. From a personal perspective, never overlook the importance of following up with people you have met. It’s a good idea to transfer business card information to your LinkedIn connections and send each person a personal message or email. At SIWW I promised several people I would send them papers about topics we discussed, and I kept my promise.

Sharing Knowledge and Experiences

As with anything, there is room for improvement. For me, at SIWW, I wasn’t able to thank the conference organisers, which is something I prefer to do as a presenter or speaker. Having organised smaller scale events myself I can only imagine the work required for a conference of the magnitude of SIWW. I was also disappointed I didn’t stay for the entire conference, as I like to hang around and speak to as many people as possible!

I also enjoyed the Expo, which was huge and featured many prominent companies in the industry. What I enjoyed most was walking around the displays and booths, with an IDA peer I had met for the first time during the event. Sharing the experience meant we both gained a different perspective about what is important to different organisations and areas within the industry.

There are many other excellent conferences supported by AWA, whether it be an event with a strong technical theme such as those organised by our Specialist Networks, or one with an industry-wide focus such as OzWater. Either way, start checking outt hose you would like to attend, start thinking about a subject for your paper and start talking to your organisation about attending.

28 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

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awa news WICD Skills Workshop The WICD Skills Workshop was held from 14–15 August in Darwin. The two-day workshop included a number of presentations on workforce planning and capacity development. There were also interactive sessions on leadership capacity, consultation on AWA’s proposed Accreditation Scheme and a workshop to direct the goals and ambitions for the Water Industry Capacity Development (WICD) Network. On the first day, Dr Martin Challis, from Performance Frontiers, led delegates through a range of leadership approaches. Martin stressed the importance of conversation in leadership with “The role of the conversation as the vehicle that delivers leadership”. Martin stated that he sees the principal focus of leadership as being: “the ability to recognise, take responsibility for, and respond to what is needed”.

Paul Scott, Training Specialist at Power & Water, spoke about Power & Water’s learning philosophy, strategy and traineeship program. The philosophy for training within the water services division of Power & Water is based on the 70/20/10 Learning Philosophy (Figure 2). It acknowledges that the training that individuals most require is on-the-job experience and feedback. As part of its training strategy, Power & Water has begun to bed down the essential compliances, competencies, knowledge, skills and abilities for career streams within the water services division. Paul showed delegates a screen shot from their database that tracks staff training requirements against those sets. Paul also spoke about Power & Water’s trainee rotation and development program ‘Water – Learn It, Live It’, which guides trainees through rotations within the division, providing a structured workplace learning experience that links to the formal training under the National Water Training Package.


Drawing from knowledge located in the fields of neuroscience and clear communication, as part of his session Martin introduced delegates to Optimal Thinking ACTION Responsive Decisions the concept ACCOUNT Focus on Solution of ‘above and RESPONSIBILITY Optimism below the line’ OPENNESS conversations (see Figure Sub-Optimal Thinking BLAME 1). This tool Reactive Decisions EXCUSE encourages Focus on Problem DENIAL leaders to Pessimism DEFENSIVENESS examine their intentions and Figure 1.

the quality of their thinking on a given subject or person prior to starting a conversation, the premise being that if you stay above the line in your thinking you can influence from a positive place.

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awa news Petra Kelly, AWA National Manager – Water Sector Training, spoke about AWA’s role in contributing to capacity development. She described a range of ways through which AWA delivers training and professional development: through AWA initiatives and many partnerships. Petra also discussed AWA’s intention to develop a professional accreditation scheme. After a brief introduction on the key features, delegates were asked to conduct a SWOT analysis. The quick analysis illustrated that there is the potential for the scheme, but that there is still a large amount of work and further consultation needed prior to developing it. On Day 2 Sue Peisley from Government Skills Australia (GSA) spoke about upskilling the water sector. Sue explained that GSA is one of 11 industry skills councils funded by the Federal Government through the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. GSA’s role is to provide industry intelligence on skill needs and training solutions to the Australian Government to develop a skilled workforce. Sue mentioned that GSA can assist the sector through industry engagement and research, training package development, workforce development and through funding. Sue also discussed GSA’s priorities for the sector, which include raising the profile of the industry, building a workforce development story and developing and promoting the National Water Training Package. Grant Leslie from the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) also spoke on the second day about an Urban Water Industry Workforce Development Project being managed by WSAA and funded by the Australian Government. The purpose of the project is to collect and analyse water industry intelligence to enable the industry to design and implement an Industry Workforce Development Strategy, including developing

a case to amend the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) Codes to better reflect occupations that exist in the industry, to introduce a national water industry competency framework and to expand the NSW Water Trainer and Assessor Network nationally. Stage 1 has been delivered, a water industry submission to the ABS and Statistics New Zealand for the inclusion of water industry occupations in the ANZSCO codes. Twenty-eight new occupations have been identified. ANZSCO provides a basis for the standardised collection, analysis and dissemination of occupation data for Australia and New Zealand. The use of ANZSCO has resulted in improved comparability of occupation statistics produced by the two countries. Grant also advised of WSAA’s collaboration with AWA on the H2Oz careers in water website. The website, developed in 2009, responds to the lack of awareness of career options within the water industry. It currently provides information on education/ course information for the industry, a recruitment system, career pathways, a media centre with employee testimonials, as well as news and events. Under the collaboration AWA and WSAA will form a governance committee, which will expand the site. The last session was an interactive session where members reviewed the goals and ambitions for the Water Industry Capacity Development (WICD) Network. Further details about this session will be provided to WICD members and outcomes will be published on the WICD Website. The WICD Skills Workshop was sponsored by Power & Water. For details about the WICD Network visit, call Jacilyn O’Grady on 02 9467 8429 or email:

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awa news Amendment In our August issue we published a technical paper titled ‘Comparing International Water Regulations’ by A Mofidi, P Hillis and J Evans. We have been informed that there was an error in Table 7 where the 2011 USEPA Value (mg/l) of Trihalomethanes was described as ‘0.25’. This should have been ‘0.08, 0.04’, as described in the ## Reference Note. Please see corrected Table below. The authors and AWA apologise for the error.

Water Retail Specialist Network Launched at Ozwater’12, the Water Retail Specialist Network has been formed to support those working in the areas of water retailing, billing and customer communications. The network is a unique platform servicing water retailers in utilities, section leaders, regulators, those working with retail billing systems, and suppliers of retail bodies.

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

Disinfectant Responsible

2011 ADWG Value mg/l

2011 USEPA Value mg/l


Ozone (O3),+




Chlorine dioxide (ClO2),+







Halogenated acetic acids * Chloroacetic acid


Dichloroacetic acid


Trichloroacetic acid Chlorophenols 2-chlorophenol


Chlorine (Cl2) and Chloramines (NH2Cl)




2,4,6-trichlorophenol Formaldehyde



Cyanogen chloride ** n-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)

Summed Value Less than 0.030 or 0.060



O3, Cl2, ClO2






Total organic carbon

Precursor #




Cl2, NH2Cl



Trihalomethanes (sum total)

Cl2, NH2Cl


0.08, 0.04##

Specific UV absorbance (SUVA)

Precursor #


2 L/mg-m


No value set for regulation or guidance at this time.

CCL Not currently regulated by USEPA, but on the Contaminant Candidate List 3 (CCL3) for potential future regulation. +

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


State of California (US) has certain requirements that are more stringent than USEPA regulations, which include the following: - NDMA public health goal = 0.000003mg/l = 3 nanograms per litre, ng/l (the 10-6 CRL) - NDMA notification level = 0.00001mg/l - NDMA response level = 0.0003mg/l (level where source should be removed from service, 10-4 CRL) - Chlorate notification level = 0.8mg/l - SUVA Specific ultraviolet (UV) absorbance = Water absorbance of UV light at a wavelength of 254 nanometres, nm (UV254), divided by the total dissolved organic carbon (DOC).


A treatment technique is in place that requires a certain percentage removal of either total organic carbon (TOC), which is based on the measured ratios of alkalinity and TOC, or the calculated SUVA (if SUVA is >2.0 L/mg-m). The purpose of this treatment technique is to reduce the formation potential of DBPs and aid in protection of the retic system.


USEPA does not regulate acetic acids separately, but combines several into a sum of five, which includes dichloro-, trichloro-, monochloro-, bromo- and dibromo- (acetic acid). USEPA is in the process of evaluating the risk of several additional acetic acids and including them into the current summed regulation.


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

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SUVA and TOC are not DBPs, but they measure precursors that directly impact DBP formation during chemical disinfection.

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Most utilities are required to meet the 0.08/0.06 mg/l guidelines (THM/acetic acids species respectively); however, certain conditions do require the sum of each total to be less than 0.04/0.03 mg/l (for total THMs/acetic acids, respectively).

34 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

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awa news A committee of leading industry representatives from water utilities across Australia has been formed to drive the network. The committee includes Alex Coe (Marchment Hill Consulting), Helen Harding (Queensland Urban Utilities), Tony Holmes (Shoalhaven Water), Scott Emmonds (Allconnex Water), Margaret Haynes (Allconnex Water), Eleanor Bray, Sophie Murphy (Ben Lomond Water), Gabe Scarmozzino (Gentrack Pty Ltd), Deb Caruso (Unitywater), and Stephen Lennox (Yarra Valley Water). The committee is in the process of determining key objectives of the network. Initial discussions have focused on: • Raising the profile of retail functions within and beyond the water industry; • Acknowledging successful projects, individuals, and innovations; • Defining, developing and recognising best practices within and outside the water industry with the intent of assisting industry development; • Identifying and discussing regulatory, policy and operational challenges; • Encouraging a collective response to issues and proposals in the water retail area; and • Sharing of new products, systems and technologies servicing the water retailers. Members will be able to access professional development and training programs, the latest news and advances, contribute to the development of best practice, and network with like-minded water professionals. To join, please update your AWA membership profile via the AWA website. For more information on the Water Retail Specialist Network and AWA go to

Best Paper Award Congratulations to Rolando Fabris, Kalan Braun, Jim Morran, Lionel Ho, David Cook and Mary Drikas from the Australian Water Quality Centre, South Australian Water Corporation for winning the Best Water Journal Paper from June 2011 until May 2012 for their paper entitled: ‘Effective Water Quality Monitoring for Drinking Water Treatment Plants’ published in the December 2011 edition (p 65). The Best Water Journal Paper Award is given in honour of Guy Parker, a chemist and bacteriologist, and one of the founders of AWA, and is awarded for originality, relevance and presentation. A letter of congratulations and award certificates were sent to all the authors.

New Honorary Life Member The Queensland Minister for Energy and Water Supply, Mark McArdle and AWA Queensland President, Colin Lewis announced Mark Pascoe, from the International WaterCentre, as an Honorary Life Member at the AWA Queensland Gala Dinner & Awards Night. Tom Mollenkopf, AWA Chief Executive, said: “It is truly fitting that Mark Pascoe has been elected an Honorary Life Member of AWA. He has been an outstanding contributor to AWA activities, and a great international ambassador for Australia’s water sector over many years. Within AWA he has worked in public roles and behind the scenes: on the Queensland Branch, at National Council, organising or contributing to events, chairing Ozwater and more. Internationally he has represented the very best of Australia’s water competence through his roles with IWA, working with the World Bank and AusAid or, in his most recent day job, as CEO of the International Water Centre.”



awa news Branch News

variety of roles Hydro Tasmania plays in providing and selling power into Tasmania and the mainland grid, and the range of power sources, including water and wind.


The afternoon session commenced with Stornoway’s General Manager, Tim Gardner’s presentation on the six-year development of Stornoway’s decentralised water treatment plants for regional communities, followed by Dr Jess Walker’s examination of the use of fluid dynamics on assessing and minimising the impacts of biofilms or biofouling on the transfer of water along Hydro Tasmania’s extensive system of canals and pipelines.

TasWater 2012 TasWater 2012 commenced with opening addresses from AWA National President Lucia Cade, and keynote speaker Evelyn Rodrigues from WSAA. Both speakers focused on the key themes of “Research and Innovation in the Water Sector”. Our members were keen to hear what is going on nationally in terms of collaboration, future initiatives, research and sustainability from the perspective of two key players in the Australia water sector. It was also encouraging that Tasmanian projects and corporations are showcased and included as examples of providing innovative solutions in the water industry across Australia.

Lance Stapleton discussed the issue of the management of WWTPs that discharge into the Derwent Estuary and Southern Water’s approach to the management of perceived impacts on the estuary’s ecosystems. Ray Wright from Ben Lomond Water discussed a host of “mini-disasters” that have been inherited or occurred since the formation of Ben Lomond Water. Ray was awarded “Speaker of the Day” for an entertaining yet serious topic.

The remaining sessions focused on the other two themes for the day “Technical Solutions – Treatment Technologies” and “Disaster Recovery”. Ross Young from GHD highlighted GHD as the principal supporter of the Innovation Interchange. Brad Rudsits, also from GHD, discussed issues and solutions associated with assessing and rebuilding water and sewerage infrastructure across Christchurch after three earthquakes in February, June and December 2011. Yogeshwar Gokhale from CH2M HILL summarised the successful upgrade to the Boulder Bay WWTP south of Port Stephens. Ross Luttrell from Southern Water then spoke about their intensive program to install 52,000 water meters in 12 months prior to the commencement of two-part pricing across the state from 1 July 2012. The morning finished with the second keynote speaker, Hydro Tasmania’s CEO Roy Adair. Roy highlighted the

Celebrating 50 years of Service to Australian Industry

AWA Tasmanian President Daryl Polzin presents Ray Wright with his Speaker of the Day prize.

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Let’s push water to its highest potential. Specially designed for tall buildings, our booster systems deliver steady, reliable water pressure in hotels and high-rise buildings all over the world. The systems can also be used for water distribution, reverse osmosis, water purification and filtration, as well as for light industrial applications. Combining market-leading products with system design expertise, our solutions help you cut energy costs while reducing maintenance and life cycle costs of ownership. So let’s solve your booster system challenge. Visit | Lowara | Goulds Water Technology © 2012 Xylem Inc. Lowara is a trademark of Xylem Inc. or one of its subsidiaries. Goulds is a registered trademark of Goulds Pumps, Inc. and is used under license.

awa news

Micron Vertical and Horizontal Filters

Simon Tarte provided an interesting insight into Deloitte’s structured innovation program and how this was implemented. The final speaker for the day was Michael Mullens from Cradle Mountain Water. Michael took the audience through the systematic integration of data capture, GIS and financial systems within CMW from conception to implementation, a process that took three years. The final event was an interactive panel discussion on: “Will the carbon tax promote innovation in the water industry?”. A range of views was expressed by panel members Lucia Cade, Dr Michael Connarty (SKM) and Gerard Flack (Hydro Tasmania), and an engaged audience participated in lively debate about the topic.

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QWater’12 Regional Conference The QWater’12 Regional conference will take place 9–10 November 2012 at the Royal Pines Resort Gold Coast. Themes will include: Water Governance: Where are we now and what’s next? This session will look at the current political and regulatory environment and the potential changes and the effect they are having on our water businesses. In Search of Efficiency After several years of efficiency, optimisation and continuous improvement programs can we continue to stretch our processes, people and assets? Delivering and Regulating the Water Cycle We have a broad industry of utilities, consultants, suppliers and contractors as well as much regulation governing the water industry. How is this mix changing and what should we expect over the coming years? The New Waters, CSG & Mining The water industry is quickly moving from its traditionally urban water base. How is Coal Seam Gas and Mining Water changing our industry? Retaining and Attracting our People The biggest elephant in the room is how we resource our businesses over the coming years. How are you winning this battle?

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

NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner NSW (Head Office) 02 9898 8686

QLD 07 3299 9900

SA / NT 08 8244 6000

VIC / TAS 03 9764 1211

WA 08 9273 1900

NZ 09 525 7570 38 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

The Annual Heads of Water Gala Dinner was held on 3 August at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. It was a great night and we would like to thank sponsors Beca, Xylem and Transfield for their support. Congratulations to Peter Burgess – IPART, Colin Storey – Veolia Water Australia, and Greg Mashiah – Clarence Valley Council on their nominations for membership to the Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers.

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awa news NSW Awards Now Open The 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. For more information please visit our website

demands of the regional situation and to celebrate some of the accomplishments of the past year. The conference will focus on the challenges and achievements of the regional water industry.

Registrations for NSW Regional Conference Open

Several keynote speakers will set the scene for the conference and this will be a great opportunity to practitioners from both small and large organisations to share information and gain confidence in pathways to meet the challenges ahead.

This year’s AWA regional conference will be held at the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort in Coffs Harbour from 15–17 October 2012, and will bring stakeholders together to analyse the competing

For more information, sponsorship opportunities or to register, please visit or contact the Branch Manager at:

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

NEW CORPORATE MEMBERS VIC Corporate Gold Emerson Process Management

QLD Corporate Silver Logan City Council Redland City Council/Redland Water

NEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS ACT A. Gonzalez NSW A. Grant, A. Dunphy, S. Mikulic, S. Ballard, S. Trewhella, P. Hart, M. Dawson, M. Reiter, K. Killoran QLD A. Bryant, L. Smith, K. Creighton, N. Ahmed, A. Klein, E. Larsen, K. Crouch, M. Hafeez, R. Scott, P. Baker SA G. Nace, M. Lutton, C.Bell TAS Y. Edward VIC A.L. Child, C. Povey, C.W. Tseng, B. Le, C. Tutuka, D. Salienko, K. Mudie, C. Lee, G. Fenigan, M. Scanlon, S. Das, D. Sinclair, S. Patnaikuni, S. Banfield WA C. Staib, L. Paris, G. Frost, J. Davies, M. Chin, R. Hall, W. Seydel, B. Douglas, M. Murphy, A. Kaksonen

NEW OVERSEAS MEMBERS B. Hawthorn, C. Benson, M. McGregor

NEW STUDENT MEMBERS NSW S. Manning QLD A. Jarihani, S. Patschke VIC F. Barker, K. Roberts

YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONALS NSW D. Michael, T. Teo VIC M. Rouqueirol, J. Gandy, J. Kinder WA G. Evans

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: September


Tue, 04 Sep

The Blue-Green Lake Burley Griffin - The Science, The Solutions and a User’s Perspective, Barton, ACT

Thu, 06 Sep

ACT Water Leaders Dinner 2012, Barton, ACT

Tue, 11 Sep

Water In The Bush Conference 2012, Darwin, NT

Wed, 12 Sep – Fri, 14 Sep

National Operations Conference, Darwin, NT

Wed, 12 Sep

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

Thu, 13 Sep

YWP VIC Critical Conversations and Credible Communication Workshop, Melbourne, VIC

Tue, 18 Sep

Vic Branch Low Pressure Sewer Systems Seminar, Melbourne, VIC

Thu, 20 Sep

SA YWP Breakfast – Mentoring Program Launch, Adelaide, SA

Thu, 20 Sep – Fri, 21 Sep

Nth Qld Regional Conference, Cairns, QLD

Thu, 20 Sep

WA 40th Annual Members’ Meeting, Perth, WA

Mon, 24 Sep – Thu, 27 Sep

Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference 2012, Adelaide, SA

Wed, 26 Sep – Fri, 28 Sep

Small Water & Wastewater Systems National Conference, Newcastle, NSW

Wed, 26 Sep – Fri, 28 Sep

Water NZ 2012 Annual Conference & Expo, Rotorua, NZ

Wed, 26 Sep

SA Technical Seminar – Guest Presenter Glenn Shimmin, Adelaide, SA

Thu, 27 Sep

Catchment Management Seminar, Launceston, TAS

Thu, 27 Sep

WA Technical Event: DBPs and Human Health, Leederville, WA

Wed, 10 Oct

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

Mon, 15 Oct – Wed, 17 Oct

NSW Regional Conference, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Fri, 19 Oct – Sat, 20 Oct

SA Awards Judging Day, Adelaide, SA

Mon, 22 Oct

Victorian Water Summit, Melbourne, VIC

Thu, 25 Oct

Technical Seminar, Launceston, TAS

Thu, 25 Oct

WA National Water Week Seminar, West Perth, WA

40 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

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conference review Enviro 2012 Conference & Exhibition Enviro 12, Australia’s 7 National Conference on Integrating Business and the Environment, took place from 24–26 July at the Adelaide Convention Centre in South Australia. AWA Technical Editor Clare Porter attended the event and prepared this report. th

Conference Highlights and Keynotes Run by the Waste Management Association of Australia with joint venture partner AWA, Enviro 2012 attracted almost 400 delegates and 40 exhibitors in South Australia for a series of workshops, tours, plenary and concurrent conference sessions. A highlight of this year’s event was the keynote speaker lineup. Day 1 Keynote, Alison Rowe, Global Executive Director of Sustainability with Fujitsu, gave a candid presentation of the challenges and pitfalls along the organisation’s sustainability pathway, describing the lessons learnt as being: making sustainability part of business talk; persistence is vital; people are intellectual hotspots; and sustainability as a term needs to be ‘refreshed’. Dr Campbell Gemmell, Chief Executive at EPA SA, highlighted the important role that regulation plays and outlined successful examples from Scotland and Europe. Day 2 Keynotes concentrated on waste issues. The session opened with Vaughan Levitzke, Chief Executive, Zero Waste SA, sharing stories from his sponsored journey to Japan postearthquake and tsunami to guide reconstruction efforts and provide ideas on the development of a new green economy for the areas affected. The most expensive natural disaster in human history also provided some immense challenges with the amount and type of waste left behind. Filled with heartbreaking photos and uplifting stories of survival and hope, Vaughan’s presentation culminated in a call to arms for green businesses in Australia to engage with

Japan’s interest in a new green economy. In many ways WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) leads the way on the international stage, with innovative strategies to deal with waste issues delivered by clever partnerships and arrangements between industry, government and the community. Dr Liz Goodwin outlined some of the key initiatives currently being undertaken, including a focus on packaging, recycling of electronic waste, and changing the way clothing is supplied, used and disposed of. To conclude the keynote presentations, Scott Vitters, General Manager of PlantBottle Packaging Innovation, The Coca-Cola Company (US), spoke of the journey undertaken to ensure the packaging around ‘Coke’ was as sustainable as possible, with as much emphasis placed on the approach to encouraging innovation and collaboration as on the technical aspects themselves.

Conclusion The focus for the Enviro Conference & Exhibition has always been about bringing together individuals from a variety of sectors in the one arena to cross-pollinate ideas and inspire new thoughts and directions. The concurrent sessions highlighted everything from water-sensitive cities, energy efficiency and action on carbon, through to industry economics, organic waste challenges, education and communication around change, industrial symbiosis, supply chain risks and opportunities, and industry leadership. Featuring six streams over two days, plus a third day for workshops and technical tours as well as a conference dinner and welcome function, Enviro provides an ideal forum for sustainability professionals to re-engage, reconnect and re-inspire.

31 ocTobEr – 1 novEmbEr 2012


“ThE musT aTTEnd EvEnT for all waTEr lEadErs in ausTralia” AWA’s Annual National Water Leadership Summit is your opportunity to hear water industry Chief Executives, Managing Directors, Senior Managers and Parliamentary Ministers provide their views on challenges and opportunities the sector will face in the coming years: Chew Men Leong, PUB, Singapore; Christopher Gasson, Global Water Intelligence, UK; Rosemary Bissett, NAB; Chris Herbert, Aquasure; Tony Kelly, Yarra Valley Water; Craig Knowles, MDBA; Sue Murphy, Water Corporation WA; Tom Rooney, WaterFind; Mark Siebentritt, Healthy Rivers Australia; Kevin Young, Sydney Water; Tony Wong, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.

EnquiriEs Tel: +61 2 9436 0055 email: Web:


Earlybird rates available until 5 October water SEPTEMBER 2012 41


Managing Cost and Productivity in a Challenging Environment

The spectrum of cost reduction and productivity improvement opportunities ranges from the tactical through to the truly strategic and includes:

Six ways for water utilities to streamline their business models

• Debottle-necking and business process optimisation, including the streamlining of end-to-end business processes via simplification, elimination or outsourcing;

by Bruce Williamson, Lead National Partner – Operations Consulting, Deloitte

• Strategic sourcing of strategic categories, including the oft-neglected areas of capital equipment, capital projects, outsource partners and, indeed, direct materials;

The water sector is not isolated from the challenges faced by the rest of the economy. Competition for scarce human resources, diminished security of supply of key capital equipment and operating materials, complex supplier relationships, ageing infrastructure and regulatory constraints all contribute to the complex environment in which water utilities operate. At the same time, more is being demanded from water utilities by ratepayers, regulators and governments, particularly when it comes to increased accountability and efficiency for both capital programs of work and annual operating expenditure. Increasingly, utilities are being asked to look at both cost reduction and productivity efficiency programs as customer service levels and growth are being supported by diminishing capital and operating expenditure budgets. Although there is a clear indication that organisations are beginning to focus on simple cost improvements, it is important that they now adopt a more comprehensive or transformational approach in order to deliver significant and sustainable improvements to their underlying cost structure. This means looking beyond incremental improvements such as hiring freezes, deferred expenses, reduced travel and training, and across-the-board budget cuts. These belt-tightening efforts generally tend not to be sustainable beyond the short term, as the savings they produce are easily pared back over time and scant attention is given to improving productivity.

• Spend reduction, which incorporates low end strategic sourcing (indirect goods and services), demand management and tax management to aggressively reduce external spend;

• Infrastructure rationalisation where operational assets, IT and real estate portfolios are rationalised. For example, a number of organisations take the opportunity to address their operational footprints that have been built up incrementally over a number of years, and don’t necessarily make sense from an optimal cost or service level perspective given current and emerging business requirements; • Service delivery model and organisational alignment, which involves the re-alignment of staff based on the most effective method of adding value to your operations. Often forgotten, overlaps and gaps in key organisational accountabilities across key processes prevent an organisation from effectively and efficiently functioning. At the same time, management operating systems, including reporting structures and KPI dashboards, lack integration and coordination across the organisation; • Business model redesign, which entails shifting to a more cost-effective business model and at the same time considers if the organisation is well positioned to grow into the future through the provision of improved customer service. Water utilities need to focus more on the strategic end of this spectrum by driving structural improvements such as streamlining their infrastructure, adjusting their service delivery model, and redesigning their business model, since such improvements deliver cost savings and productivity improvements that are both larger and more sustainable than incremental cost-cutting.

Furthermore, such initiatives can often be a barrier to achieving the necessary improvements as they can lead an organisation to believe it is already addressing the problem. They are also likely to divert attention and resources away from far more important structural cost and productivity improvements.

Better Approach Needed Organisations need to understand the full spectrum of cost reduction and productivity improvement levers available, ranging from tactical opportunities that include spend management and low end sourcing (e.g. indirect categories), to the truly strategic, where the organisation transitions to a new operating model. The spectrum of business improvement levers needs to be applied in the context of the overarching objectives of the organisation. For example, is your cost to serve significantly higher than that of your peers or hurdle benchmark rates? Is your scale never likely to match your peers? If so, do you need to move to a business model that will enable you to operate as leanly as possible and rely on key supply chain partners to support your operations?

42 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

Analysing actionable spend can help identify major business opportunities and set priorities.

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opinion 6 Tips on Managing Cost and Productivity Following are six practical tips on how organisations can drive cost and productivity transformation in a complex environment: 1. Decide how much cost improvement is needed When it comes to reducing costs and driving productivity improvement, different organisations have different requirements. The main variables are: (1) the breadth of change needed, and (2) the time available to take action and capture value. Organisations find themselves within a wide spectrum of situations. At one end, healthy organisations generally have the luxury of time and can afford to pick and choose their opportunities. At the other end, organisations in a turnaround or crisis situation, such as reduced funds or declining revenues, often have no choice but to rapidly reduce their costs using every cost lever available. In the case of water utilities, lower than expected revenues, pricing pressures and increased expectation to improve ROAs and dividends, raise the urgency of any cost reduction and productivity improvement program by creating the need for greater change in less time. 2. Start with the obvious For many organisations, the most immediate cost savings often come from tackling external spend (the materials and services the organisation buys). Improvements in these areas can deliver significant savings almost immediately, with little or no downside for the business. The potential savings from external spend can be greater for organisations that have significant improvement opportunities in their procurement systems and practices. However, even organisations that believe their external spend is as good as it can get may find additional opportunities to save as procurement has often been technically led by the engineering community often to the detriment of including commercial goals. Importantly, quick wins delivered through a procurement program create change momentum for your broader program and, at the same time, release funds to underpin additional initiatives. 3. Take an enterprise view Organisations should look beyond organisational silos to include cost reduction and productivity improvement opportunities across the entire enterprise. A quick but comprehensive analysis of actionable spend (i.e., costs that are within the organisation’s control over the next 12 months) can help identify the biggest opportunities and set priorities. Of particular relevance for water utilities is the adoption of an end-to-end view of your Program of Work (both Operating expenditure and Capital) from Planning, Concept Design, Project Approval, Detailed Design, Works Management, Project and Construction management, through to Field Force Management. By adopting this end-to-end process view, you will be able to truly identify waste (poor hand-offs between departments, repeated work, wrong work, overlapping accountabilities, no accountabilities etc.) and at the same time establish where key throughput bottlenecks reside within your organisation. As most managers and executives only have visibility of a narrow set of costs related to their day-to-day responsibilities, this enterprise view can be an eye-opener. A broad enterprise view can help an organisation put its existing cost reduction and productivity improvement initiatives into perspective, and allow decision makers to understand the broader opportunity.

It can also provide initial guidance and direction on where the organisation should focus its efforts. 4. Balance short-term and long-term improvements Many organisations can be in such a hurry to cut costs that they end up ignoring significant business improvement opportunities. That’s a mistake few can afford. In general, the most effective business improvement programs apply a tiered approach that includes a mix of short, medium and long-term opportunities. Each tier provides a different level of potential savings, complexity, risk and required investment. Tier 1 typically includes incremental short-term opportunities such as decreasing discretionary spending and improving span of control. Tier 2 consists of medium-term opportunities such as process improvement, shared services, outsourcing of ancillary processes and strategic sourcing. Tier 3 comprises long-term opportunities such as re-engineering or outsourcing of core business processes, changing the organisation’s business model, restructuring the supply chain, and large-scale technology investments including billing systems. This tiered approach can provide the best of both worlds, allowing an organisation to generate immediate benefits while capitalising on more substantial and sustainable opportunities that take longer to implement. With proper planning, Tier 1 benefits can provide some or all of the funding for the more significant structural improvements in Tier 2 and Tier 3. 5. Choose the right business model In some cases, the most effective way for a business to achieve the required benefits may be through a transformation of its business model. In choosing a business model, the main tradeoff is between ‘operational independence’ and ‘cost efficiency’ (through centralisation and economies of scale). At one extreme, a holding company model allows each business to operate independently, which helps foster innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, but minimises the opportunities to save money through standardisation and shared services. At the other extreme, an integrated operating model gives an organisation much greater control over its business units, which may increase the number of opportunities for synergies and economies of scale.




Sulzer SMD Pump – Excellent Hydraulic Performance for Raw and Clean Water Applications

6. Actively manage change Once a business has made the decision to transform its cost structure and drive greater productivity from its asset base, one of the biggest challenges can be overcoming resistance to change. Commitment to business improvement should begin at the top. Leaders should have a solid understanding of what is being changed – and why. They should also provide strong and visible support for the improvement activities throughout the project lifecycle. This is particularly true for large-scale structural improvements, which often require significant collaboration across organisational boundaries. If the various stakeholders don’t buy into the need for change – or the approach taken – the chances of an effective implementation are greatly reduced. Furthermore, effective communication is essential. In the rush to improve their organisation, many leaders and managers neglect to keep their employees informed in order to build support for the changes.

Conclusion How should your organisation respond to your increasingly complex operating environment? Should it follow the usual approach of focusing on incremental improvements? Or should it pursue strategic initiatives that provide lasting and sustainable benefits? In most cases, the answer is clear. Over the past decade, countless studies have shown that short-sighted remedies and belt-tightening generally don’t pay off over the long haul. The key to achieving significant results is to make strategic, structural business improvements that give you a sustainable advantage.

About the Author

The Heart of Your Process

The SMD pump is Sulzer Pump’s latest innovation that meets your most stringent and toughest water pumping requirements. The world class features of the SMD pump provide the following benefits: • High operational reliability under harsh environmental conditions • Lower energy consumption and easy maintenance • Lower life cycle and inventory costs • Excellent suction capability Sulzer Pumps Sulzer Pumps (ANZ) Pty Ltd Suite 3 / 624 Ferntree Gully Road P.O. Box 5427, Brandon Park Wheelers Hill, Vic 3150, Australia Tel +61 (0)3 8581 3753 Fax +61 (0)3 8581 3767

44 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

Bruce Williamson is Lead National Partner – Operations Consulting with Deloitte Australia and a former practising Civil Engineer focusing on the water sector. Bruce has more than 18 years’ strategy and operations consulting experience with a focus on transformational business improvement, large-scale cost reduction, capital efficiency/debottlenecking, supply chain optimisation and strategic sourcing/ procurement. Bruce has worked extensively across Australasia, Asia and Europe and has led a number of projects that have delivered cumulative benefits in excess of $1 billion for organisations across a range of industry sectors including mining and resources, energy, telecommunications, manufacturing, FMCG, government utilities, retail, airlines and automotive. Deloitte Australia provides a range of audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services to individuals and businesses around the country. For more information, please visit

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PVC-O tested in Extreme field excavation conditions - 20 Tonne Excavator test - Rock Drop test - Pressure test Ductile Iron Pipe Failed where PVC-O pipe sustained only minor damage, demonstrating the amazing resistance to damage that PVC-O has.

PVC pipe after the rock drop test

Damage to Ductile Iron Pipe after the rock drop test

Testing performed for comparative purposes only. Testing of this nature would not normally be recommended.


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A Community Connection When SA Water proposed its $403 million North South Interconnection System Project (NSISP) to improve Adelaide’s water security it was clear that public acceptance was crucial to its implementation. They achieved cooperation through a series of meaningful consultations and engagement with affected communities, including door-knocking over 5,000 properties. Water is South Australia’s most precious resource and is critical to the state’s future prosperity, as it underpins future growth in the population and the economy. Innovative, longterm solutions had to be found to deliver the flexibility and reliability of water supply that is essential to meeting existing and future demand, as well as ensuring water security during prolonged droughts. Through the SA Government’s Water for Good strategy, a significant commitment to invest in a suite of water security measures has been made to improve Adelaide’s water supply network. Critical to this strategy is the $403 million North South Interconnection System Project (NSISP), one of SA Water’s largest infrastructure projects to date. In the past, the northern and southern water supply systems generally operated separately and most suburbs were able to rely on only one water supply system to meet their needs during peak demand periods. The interconnection of these two drinking water systems was identified as essential to allow for the delivery of water from all of Adelaide’s water resources (the reservoirs, the River Murray and the new desalination plant) to all metropolitan customers. The NSISP integrates metropolitan Adelaide’s drinking water network into one flexible water delivery system. This means that climate-independent water produced by the Adelaide Desalination Plant can be delivered across the metropolitan system, ensuring a secure water supply for the future. The NSISP also offers the network flexibility to manage the effects of drought, population growth and any failures within the system. The project consists of a number of complex works including the construction of four major pipelines totalling 32 kilometres in length, with large-diameter pipe works constructed along main arterial roads as well as residential streets and open space corridors. Other project works include the construction of three new pump stations in the residential suburbs of Wattle Park, Clapham and Gilberton and the delivery of three valve stations, one in Gulfview Heights, one at Seacliff and one at Hope Valley.

Community and Stakeholder Engagement Initially the NSISP Project Team faced negative, emotional community reaction, a situation that had to be turned around within weeks due to non-negotiable project deadlines. The required project approvals could not be obtained without community support, so public participation was needed to educate the community about the necessity of interconnection, and to identify measures to remove or reduce impacts of the project on residents and businesses. The Minister for Water, Paul Caica, made a public commitment to engage the community in the planning and construction of the NSISP. Meanwhile, SA Water’s Stakeholder Engagement Manager, along with the Project Director, made it a priority to understand the community’s perspective and better engage with those most impacted by the infrastructure works. They attended and facilitated over 100 community forums and meetings, listening to the issues and identifying integrated planning solutions to deliver acceptable community outcomes. This involved door-knocking every home and business along the 32 kilometres of pipeline routes to identify any special needs during the construction. It also helped to ensure that the community knew how to contact SA Water and the construction contractor teams for further information. Over the course of the project so far approximately 5,000 individual properties have been door-knocked, 48,500 outgoing letters have been sent and 2,400 phone calls received by the information hotline. SA Water worked closely with businesses in areas where construction works took place to minimise the effect of activities as much as practicably possible. The stakeholder engagement team, together with the contractors, collaborated with business owners on an ongoing basis to minimise construction impacts, including undertaking night works where necessary. Community Reference Groups were established for aboveground infrastructure sites. These groups worked collaboratively with SA Water to determine a unique look for each building,

An architect’s impression of the Gilberton Pump Station.

46 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

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Construction underway in Anderson Avenue, Torrens Park. including architectural design, aesthetic use of building materials and colours and eco-sensitive landscaping, resulting in a sense of local ownership for project outcomes.

New Technology and Innovation Working collaboratively with the community provided a number of challenges when designing the new above-ground infrastructure, including the necessity to minimise building heights and sizes to reduce the impact on the surrounding urban environment.

The new Clapham Pump Station is the largest pump station in urban Adelaide and was constructed as part of the NSISP. It was built from the ground up in the same time it takes to build an average sized house and is home to state-of-the-art operational and control technology. But although the pump station building may appear large, in reality it is small for the role it performs and the capability it contains. It is home to five

Above: An overview map of the NSISP scheme. Left: Construction in Delamere Avenue, Springfield.



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Adelaide Desalination Plant can supply water to all of metropolitan Adelaide through the NSISP network. one-megawatt high-voltage pumps capable of transferring up to 100 million litres of water per day (or the equivalent of 40 Olympic size swimming pools) from the Happy Valley clear water storage to the northern suburbs via Wattle Park. “Back to the future” technology was also used, with the installation of flywheels on the pumps as surge protection for the eastern pipeline. As surge is usually caused through power failure, the project team also implemented a further safeguard against power failure occurring by installing three independent power supplies to the site. The 19th century flywheel technology has been brought into the 21st century with high-tech controls, and has enabled SA Water to avoid the need for large, silo-like surge vessels external to the building.

No Surprises To manage community concern the NSISP set noise targets for the new pump and valve stations well below standard industry practice. The project’s acoustic engineers were given the challenge of making these buildings as quiet as possible, resulting in advanced levels of acoustic attenuation being installed. Two additional capital investment projects were brought forward to minimise long-term impact on the local community. These included the refurbishment of the Wattle Park Reservoir and the replacement of the low level trunk main through Glen Osmond and Beaumont. Based on feedback from the community it was considered appropriate to proceed and avoid the need to return to the area in two years’ time. To date the NSISP project has delivered a large amount of infrastructure in a relatively short time frame; however, there are still further works to complete before the end of 2012. These include finalising the construction of some pipelines and pump stations, as well as a range of ancillary works across the metropolitan Adelaide water supply network. The NSISP remains on track for completion on time and on budget in late 2012 with network integration to be completed in 2013. The work has been delivered while working collaboratively with the community and striving to deliver the ‘no surprises’ mantra of the project team.

48 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

Project Management Approach In order for SA Water to deliver community engagement requirements, the project team was required to challenge the usual approach for delivery of large infrastructure projects and develop a new model and team structure. SA Water brought together an integrated project team to design and implement the NSISP, combining the expertise of its own team members, the Waterlink Joint Venture, and other specialists as required. The construction contracting strategy was tailored to focus on locally based tier two contractors. This enabled SA Water to invest in developing and retaining skilled workers within the state and provide support to growing second tier local South Australian businesses. The mid-tier contracting firms that partnered with SA Water included Guidera O’Connor, York Civil, Leed Engineering and SAGE Automation. Over 3,500 predominantly local, highly skilled individuals have contributed to the project, with an average workforce of 450 employed during construction at any one time. The complexity of work has provided skill development opportunities and has allowed local businesses to expand their horizons, tackling challenges of a scale and nature they haven’t experienced before. The commitment to stakeholder engagement has seen the contractors work closely with local residents to manage works around the community requirements. Some examples of stakeholder considerations include finishing works early, or stopping works so as not to impact on a special event such as an open home inspection, an auction or a family birthday; resealing a section of road to ensure residential driveway access for a wedding; and providing an elderly resident with transport to a regular appointment while works blocked their driveway access. The community in turn has expressed appreciation for the considerate approach of the works crews, with many receiving coffee and cake as thanks for doing a good job by local businesses and residents.

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Water Reuse Practice and Projects: An Overseas Perspective For decades water shortages have seen governments and organisations around the globe look for ways to reuse water for both potable and non-potable purposes. Increasingly a lack of water security and new technology are opening up opportunities for safe, effective ways to augment existing water supplies. John Poon, Principal Technologist with CH2M HILL Australia, prepared this overview. Recycled water, reclaimed water, reused water, NEWater, treated effluent, treated sewage, highly purified recycled water and potable reuse water are words commonly used by community leaders, water planners, technologists and the public to describe water that was once raw sewage, wastewater or an effluent to be managed or disposed of at the earliest opportunity. To keep things in line with the latest research into public acceptance of water recycling, the term drinking water reuse (DWR) has been adopted to describe the water management practice of converting used water such as wastewater or raw sewage into drinking water. For non-potable uses the terms water reuse or recycled water are used interchangeably to describe water reuse that does not include drinking.

Global Developments From the late 1960s we have seen many new water recycling developments and upgrades to existing DWR projects in the global arena. Namibia was a pioneer in producing drinking water from wastewater or used water sources. Its first DWR plant opened in 1968 with a capacity of 4800kL per day and was refurbished in 2002 to produce water for agricultural irrigation, while a new state-of-the-art treatment plant was commissioned to produce 21,000kL per day for drinking water use (Cyclifer, 2012). Namwater currently has a number of

A recycled water scheme in Riyadh could make 800,000kL of water per day available to the city.

tenders open for equipment upgrades and policy development across several of its sites (Namwater, 2012). Most recently a large groundwater aquifer was discovered under Namibia that could potentially take some of the focus off DWR for the time being should it be more economical (Department for International Development, 2012). Texas in the US, like Namibia, has a longstanding water reuse program. The San Antonio Water System holds the reputation for the largest water reuse treatment process in the United States and is a key player in reducing withdrawals from the surrounding groundwater systems in the desert state. Similarly, recycled water from Dallas gets pumped into the Trinity River, supplementing the flow of the river and replenishing the water that was removed, which ultimately supplies the city of Houston. This effectively creates a chain of water use and reuse within this catchment. The higher the quality of water reintroduced after the Dallas outlet, the less processing that is required for the Houston treatment facility downstream – not to mention maintenance of river health to support many aquatic species and recreational activities. Arizona has a different approach to encouraging water recycling and, ultimately, DWR. After almost 30 years of supplying greywater for non-drinking uses an initiative established by the City of Tucson and supported by the Federal Government, which commenced in 2007 and has subsequently ceased, provided financial incentives for both new home owners and builders to install rainwater and greywater systems in all new homes that were built during this period. Providing an incentive of 25 per cent, up to US$1000 tax rebates for home owners and US$200 per install for contractors, as well as education on the safe uses and sources of recycled water, helped to re-brand recycled water for another generation of citizens. Being a desert community, Tucson Water supplies private residences with a recycled water supply, thus reducing the demand for groundwater for services such as irrigation. It has been reported that enough water has been saved to support 60,000 families every year (City of Tucson, 2012). Other incentives include a more affordable price for recycled water than for drinking water; this is achievable by using revenue from the drinking water service to fund the recycled water system. Big Spring, which is being built by the Colorado River Municipal Water District, is another facility that is designed to reduce the demand from groundwater sources. The purpose is to process the wastewater downstream of the treatment plant by passing it through a series of membranes and disinfection processes before it goes directly into water supply pipelines. From here the water is blended with water coming into existing water supply reservoirs and then passed to a conventional water treatment plant to become drinking water. The water supplies Permian Basin Cities, such as Odessa, with about 8,000kL of water per day, about one-eighteenth of the overall supply (Galbraith, 2012). Effectively, this system is practicing direct DWR without the customary intermediate buffer or environmental storage seen in other DWR projects such as NEWater, Singapore or Orange County, US.



feature article Unlike Big Spring in Texas, California recently announced plans to build a 60-kilometre twin tunnel network to link the Silicon Valley and San Diego. This is an attempt to provide residents with a steady flow of drinking water that is uninterrupted by court-ordered diversions and natural events, such as earthquakes. Once completed, there is an estimated price increase of USD$7 per month on water bills. Should the plan progress, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would be protected and water withdrawn from other sources such as the Colorado River could be lessened (Gardner, 2012). Subsequently, as a result of the increased price, more residents have looked to water reuse systems to extend their water supply systems. In San Diego, both the North City Water Reclamation Plant and the South City Water Reclamation Plant have been retro-fitted to treat water for drinking water uses. However, public opinion has begun to shift as a result of a strong negative campaign by drinking water reuse opponents (Gubbison, 2011). There is much less of a concern over water recycling projects reported in China. Admittedly the focus is on non-drinking water reuse, but the goals are no less ambitious. As of 2009 the Beijing Water Authority released a three-point plan to establish 100% water recycling in Beijing and its surrounding suburbs. As it stood in 2009, that is an increase on the current amount of water being reused from 60% to 100%. As Beijing currently leads water conservation efforts in China and plans to continue, they hope that a US$5.13 billion injection into infrastructure will let them achieve this goal by 2013. This is in addition to the south-to-north water diversion project that is being built to overcome a chronic shortage of water but will not be available until after 2014 at best. The new funding will improve existing treatment plants to completely recycle all used water and

establish new plants in Beijing and its surrounding suburbs, including four new biosolids treatment works within the district. The resulting water supply increase is estimated to exceed 900,000kL per day. It is believed public faith in water reuse has resulted from the momentum surrounding the Olympic Games, which has created a more environmentally conscious China (Global Water Intelligence, 2009). The expectation is that the majority of this new water will be used for non-drinking uses such as cooling towers and industrial processes. Along with China, Saudi Arabia is moving towards increased water recycling at a large scale to help offset drinking water use. Having relied on groundwater aquifers and seawater desalination, the reliance on recycled water is new and novel for this country. There are targets set to reuse as much as 40 per cent of all domestic water and use it for agriculture and irrigation of outdoor recreation areas (Information Office of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 2012). There are also new and novel developments in the distribution of recycled water. The National Water Company plans on selling direct to users as opposed to implementing a second set of pipelines. With availability of water being such a key issue, this could make 800,000kL of water per day available in Riyadh alone (Global Water intelligence, 2012). The citizens of Saudi Arabia have, reportedly, welcomed the new source of water as it is more accessible and will, as a result, lower the price of drinking water in the longer term. Aside from fulfilling a demand, Singapore’s approach to recycled water has been extremely successful in its outcomes and achievements. Singapore has famously called its brand


excellence in


A water contractor committed to building, operating and maintaining world class water infrastructure for its customers 50 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

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feature article of highly purified recycled water ‘NEWater’. By rebranding and proactively marketing the benefits of recycled water sources, over 30 per cent of all its daily water needs are now supplied by NEWater. Drinking water reuse has been capped at about three per cent of the daily water demand. The vast majority of over 500,000kL of NEWater per day is supplied directly to hightechnology manufacturing and cooling tower users. It is likely that the components used in your PC, LCD screen or hard drive storage unit were made using NEWater. Otherwise, the cleverly crafted comfort and convenience of your shopping experience in Singapore was aided by cooling systems fed with NEWater. The Changi Water Reclamation Plant (the term used for sewage treatment plants) opened in 2009 and is still one of the world’s largest and most advanced facilities of its type. After a recent expansion it now has the capacity to produce some 860,000kL of treated used water per day. This water is either returned to the environment or sent to a NEWater factory and subjected to advanced dual membrane filtration and ultraviolet disinfection technologies (, 2011). The NEWater branding and use of a sophisticated visitor centre has transformed the image of recycled water and continues to normalise drinking water reuse in the eyes of Singapore residents (Galbraith, 2012). As of June 2012, the Delhi Jal Board in India signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a recycle process within the Coronation Pillar sewage treatment facility that is to produce at least 180,000kL per day of drinking water with the assistance of Singapore and its NEWater technology. The water produced is to be mixed with the river water, conventionally treated and distributed throughout the existing water supply network. Completion of India’s first large-scale drinking water

reuse project is expected to be completed by 2017 (Express News Service, 2012). This first attempt at drinking water reuse will service up to three to four million people (The Hinde, 2012). Delhi has little option but to attempt sourcing drinking water from a ‘renewable’ source as a way of bridging the gap between current supply shortfalls and demand both now and for the future. Recent water supply and demand studies for Delhi have conservatively estimated the shortfall in water supply as in excess of 800,000kL per day. The situation is expected to worsen as the population grows from the current 18 million people to some 33 million over the next 30 years. The rapid population growth experienced in Delhi is also being experienced in all major urban centres throughout India as the economy transforms from agriculture to a technology, manufacturing and services-based powerhouse of the Asia region. Clearly this kind of growth must be underpinned by a secure, robust and resilient water supply infrastructure system. The government of India has acknowledged that the current poor state of water infrastructure is a key constraint on future development of the country. Private industry in India has also been driven to implement its own water recycling systems to overcome a chronic shortage of water. At Delhi International Airport, a sewage treatment and water recycling plant can produce up to 15,000kL of recycled water per day. The water is to be used in toilets and for irrigation of the airport grounds. In conjunction with existing rainwater harvesting, Delhi International Airport is able to conserve drinking water and, thus, reduce the need for withdrawals from limited groundwater sources and the Delhi water supply (Roy, 2012).

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A wildlife pond in the San Joaquin Delta, Central Valley, California.

Conclusion Planned and deliberate DWR is not a new concept and has been used around the world since the late 1960s. Countries such as Namibia and Singapore have successfully leveraged new treatment technologies and public acceptance programs to produce a stunning array of recycled water projects and systems that now underpin key commercial and industrial sectors. Nearly every visitor to Singapore has benefited from the NEWater program. Water recycling projects continue to expand and grow more needed in dry and parched states such as Texas in the US and the deserts of Saudi Arabia. Now Asian powerhouses of China and India are investing and planning major projects to recycle 100% of their wastewater, or are deliberately planning drinking water reuse projects to overcome chronic shortfalls in water supply. All of these countries know of the economic benefits and importance of using water more than once. As they continue down their path of rapid urbanisation and development, the need to recycle or reuse water will become an essential infrastructure platform rather than a luxury. John Poon is Principal Technologist, Regional Technology Leader – Resource Systems Management, CH2M HILL Australia. John would like to acknowledge the support of Ms Sheila Ditty, CH2M HILL student intern, in preparing this article.

References City of Tucson (2012): Reuse The Water In Your Home Instead Of Flushing And Draining It All Away, City of Tucson, viewed 2 August 2012. Cyclifer (2012): Reclaiming Waste Water, Netherlands Architecture Fund, viewed 2 August 2012. Department for International Development (2012): DFID research finds huge reservoirs under Africa, Crown, viewed 2 August 2012. Express News Service (2012): Singapore Company to help parched Delhi recycle waste water, Indian Express, 21 June. Galbraith K (2012): Taking the Ick Factor Out of Recycled Water, The New York Times, viewed 2 August 2012. business/global/26iht-green26.html Galbraith K (2012): Texas Gets Creative with Recycling Water, The Texas Tribune, viewed 2 August 2012. Gardner M (2012): State Unveils Water Project, The San Diego Union Tribune, viewed 2 August 2012. tp-state-unveils-water-project/?tw_p=twt Global Water Intelligence (2009): Beijing steps up its commitment to 100% water reuse by 2013, Global Water Intelligence, Vol 10, Is 4, viewed 2 August 2012.

52 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

Global Water Intelligence, Namwater (2012): Tenders, Namibia Water Corporation Ltd., viewed 2 August 2012. Global Water Intelligence, Gubbison G (2011): Ready to Stomach Reclaimed Water?, NBC Universal Inc, viewed 2 August 2012. www.nbcsandiego. com/news/local/Ready-to-Stomach-Toilet-to-Tap-115143139.html Global Water Intelligence, Kathy Liu (2009): Beijing steps up its commitment to 100% water reuse by 2013. general/beijing-steps-up-its-commitment-to-100-water-reuse-by-2013.html Global Water Intelligence (2012): Saudi Arabia opens water reuse market, Media Analytics Ltd, viewed 2 August 2012. archive/9/4/general/saudi-arabia-opens-water-reuse-market.html Information Office of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia (2012): Water Resources, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, viewed 2 August 2012. www.saudiembassy. net/about/country-information/agriculture_water/Water_Resources.aspx Roy S (2012): Delhi Airport to reuse recycled water, Hindustan Times, viewed 2 August 2012. Delhi-airport-to-reuse-recycled-water/Article1-876782.aspx The Hinde (2012): Jal Boar, Singapore ink agreement on sharing waste water treatment expertise, The Hinde, 21 June. (2011): Changi Water Reclamation Plant, Changi, Singapore, Net Resources International, viewed 2 August 2012. www.

Note From The Editor This edition of Water Journal has introduced an extensive discussion about water recycling that will take place across two issues. This month we have an international flavour, backed by a My Point Of View opinion piece from water re-use expert Linda Macpherson (see page 6) and technical papers on treatment and health risk management (see pages 53 and 58 respectively). These will be complemented in the next edition by a domestic perspective, including an overview of local developments and initiatives, insight to the activities of the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, and papers on aspects of the regulatory environment for recycled water, contamination risk management and community engagement and trust by relevant industry leaders. Readers should also watch for the release of the State of the Water Sector Survey at the AWA’s 3rd Annual National Water Leadership Summit on 1st November. This report contains interesting data about industry participants’ own perspectives on the ways in which water derived from various sources is most appropriately used. (Search: AWA Annual National Water Leadership Summit for details.)

feature articles

potable reuse

refereed paper


Development and application of a tool to estimate the likelihood and significance of exceedances FDL Leusch, D Middleton, ME Bartkow Abstract A framework has been developed to inform the public health risk assessment process for indirect potable reuse schemes. A stepwise framework has been designed to 1) prioritise chemicals in recycled water using a risk-based approach; and 2) incorporate chemical characteristics and the natural barrier when guideline exceedances are detected. Triggers in the framework include method detection limits exceeding health guidelines, chemicals considered persistent/bioaccumulative/toxic and chemicals detected routinely for which it is possible to produce a probability distribution function. Of the 468 chemicals monitored in the purified recycled water scheme of SouthEast Queensland, only 4% were classed as Category 1. Of these 20 chemicals, 16 were included in Category 1 due to method detection limits exceeding the Queensland Public Health Regulation. Examples are provided for specific chemicals to illustrate triggers in the assessment process and the benefits of the natural barrier in reducing water concentrations. Further work is required to fully integrate chemical fate and reservoir hydrodynamic models with the assessment framework.

A process has been developed to inform the public health risk assessment of purified recycled water (PRW). A stepwise framework has been designed that can both identify priority chemicals in PRW and also assess the likely risk of health guideline exceedances. Figure 1 summarises the approach taken, both during this prioritisation exercise (1) but also in dealing with possible exceedances in the future (2). In the prioritisation exercise, monitoring data was synthesised in probability distribution function (PDF) charts, as discussed in Khan (2010).

468 parameters were monitored; however, not all of these have a current guideline value and some were monitored purely for operational or contract purposes (e.g., conductivity, pH, total organic carbon). The QPHR contains approximately 360 standards for chemicals, while the ADWG provides approximately 220 guideline values for chemicals. In Queensland, when dealing with recycled water for augmentation of drinking water supplies, the QPHR take precedence over the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (Phase 2) Augmentation of Drinking Water Supplies (AGWR) and the ADWG. Where no guideline was available, an interim guideline was derived using the framework described in the AGWR.

These charts provide a measure of the likelihood of potential exceedance of current human health guidelines from the Queensland Public Health Regulation Schedule 3b (QPHR) and the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). Some

This paper outlines the process developed to prioritise chemicals according to available monitoring data, human health significance and with an example of how a natural barrier (reservoir or storage) can be incorporated into the risk assessment.

chemical transformation processes and dilution may change the risk profile of particular chemicals.

Introduction When undertaking public health risk assessments for planned indirect potable reuse (IPR) schemes it is important to monitor the quality of recycled water and account for the effect that the natural barrier may have on the concentration of chemicals. Monitoring data can be used for comparison with guidelines and to determine ongoing monitoring requirements, particularly when chemicals are not detected or only occur at very low concentrations. Accounting for the effect that the natural barrier will have on water concentrations further informs the risk assessment by demonstrating how

Figure 1. Approach for the prioritisation exercise (1) and dealing with exceedances (2). Note that expert assessment is required if a chemical triggers a PBT (persistence, bioaccumulation, toxicity) alert (red box in this diagram).



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Materials and Methods Initially, a stepwise framework was developed that could be applied to determine the prioritisation category of all target parameters. The framework goes through simple dichotomous questions about each parameter and takes into account method detection limits, chemical characteristics and expected occurrences above guideline values before producing PDFs where required (Figure 2). Based on this stepwise analysis, chemicals were sorted into three prioritisation categories: Category 1 (high priority), Category 2 (medium priority) and Category 3 (low priority). The scientific basis for the guideline value of chemicals binned in Category 1 was examined to determine the significance of any potential short-term exceedances. Where the monitoring dataset does not provide sufficient data points to generate a PDF, the margin of safety (MoS) between the highest concentration and the guideline value was used. We cautiously chose 0.1% as our trigger for likelihood of exceedance from the PDF, as this would translate into 1 in every 1,000 samples being above the guideline value. The second trigger value of 0.001% was 100× lower than the first trigger to incorporate a large safety factor. This means that the parameter would be detected above guideline value in 1 out of 100,000 samples. We used “10× below the guideline value” when dealing with the MoS as a commonly used safety factor to buffer for uncertainty in the data. Our criteria requiring at least 8 data points to apply the PDF approach is based on a minimum sample size needed to produce a reliable distribution (Khan, 2010). Chemicals in Category 1 were also assessed separately in terms of both a chemical fate model (Hawker et al., 2011) and hydrodynamic model (Gibbes et al., 2010) to determine the predicted extent of natural attenuation and the expected range of concentrations at the dam wall (location of the closest downstream water treatment plant off-take), and again compared with the relevant guideline.

Figure 2. Stepwise decision tree to assign parameters to their priority categories. MDL = method detection limit; PBT = persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic; GV = guideline value. Prioritisation sub-grouping letters are: n = “not detected”; R = “radiological”; P = “PBT triggered”; d = “detected only once”; h = “highest concentration – not based on PDF”. Method detection limit trigger

Results and Discussion

The first step of the framework is to determine if the chemical has ever been detected during the monitoring period, and if not, to ensure that the method detection limit used is appropriate.

The following paragraphs describe a chemical identified at each of the steps of the framework, starting with chemicals singled out because of their detection limit, chemicals that trigger PBT alerts, chemicals that were detected only occasionally, and chemicals detected routinely for which is it possible to produce a PDF.

Of the 468 parameters monitored in Lowood PRW between 13/5/2009 and 23/1/2012, 402 (86%) were never detected above the method detection limit (MDL). For those parameters, it is essential to compare the MDL with the guideline value to ensure that these have not been eliminated due to insufficiently sensitive analytical methods. Of those

54 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

402 parameters, 16 had an MDL higher than or equal to the guideline value (GV / MDL ≤ 1) and a further 21 had an MDL lower but less than 10× lower than the guideline value (GV / MDL < 10). Those 16 parameters with an MDL higher than or equal to the current PHR guideline (GV / MDL ≤ 1) fall in Category 1n (High Priority) (Table 1). In this case, it becomes important to understand the basis for the guideline (e.g., chronic animal data, acute animal data) to determine the significance and consequence of any potential exceedances. Where a guideline was based on the threshold of toxicological

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Table 1. Example of a non-detect parameter assigned to Category 1n (High Priority) due to inadequate method detection limit. Parameter


QPHR guideline



Scientific basis for the guideline value

Bromochloroacetic Acid





Provisional guideline only – based on TTC for genotoxicity

TTC = threshold of toxicological concern, a concept described in more details in the AGWR; MDL = method detection limit; PHR = Queensland Public Health Regulation; GV = guideline value. Notes: The 2012 draft PHR will remove the individual standards for haloacetic acids and replace them with a single HAA6 guideline of 60 μg/L for 6 haloacetic acids (chloroacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, bromoacetic acid, dibromoacetic acid and bromochloroacetic acid).

Table 2. Example of a PBT chemical detected in PRW. Chemical


QPHR guideline

Highest concentration reported in Lowood PRW

Exposure margin of safety

Scientific basis for the guideline value






Based on NOEL in rat medium-term toxicity study

Table 3. Example of a parameter detected more than once but less than eight times, for which it is not possible to generate a reliable PDF. Chemical


QPHR guideline

Highest concentration reported in Lowood PRW

Exposure margin of safety

Scientific basis for the guideline value






Based on tolerable daily intake in humans

concern (TTC) approach, a more meaningful guideline value may need to be derived before an attempt is made to improve the analytical methods. It should be noted that the PHR guidelines for a few of these chemicals are currently being revised (see notes in Table 1) and the change will mean that the MDL will become adequate, putting many of these chemicals into a lower priority category in the future.

PBT trigger The potential for persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity (PBT) was determined using an online tool developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (PBT Profiler, available at www. Of the chemicals detected on at least one occasion, the industrial chemical 4-t-octylphenol was the only chemical to trigger all three alerts for PBT. 4-t-Octylphenol is widely used as an intermediate in the production of phenol/ formaldehyde resins and in the manufacture of octylphenol ethoxylates surfactants, widely used in a large variety of detergents, paints, lubricants, resins and pesticides. It occurs in the aquatic environment, mostly as a degradation product of octylphenol ethoxylates and via landfill leachates and wastewater effluent discharges. Octylphenol is moderately toxic and has been identified as an estrogenic endocrine disrupting chemical (e-EDC) in aquatic environments, with a proposed no-effect concentration (PNEC) of 0.122 µg/L based on a thorough assessment of toxicity and endocrine effects (UKEA, 2005). Octylphenol is usually found at ng/L concentrations in surface and groundwaters, although concentrations

as high as 1.4 µg/L have been reported at polluted sites (Sharma et al., 2009). There is a high exposure margin of safety for 4-t-octylphenol when comparing the highest concentration detected in PRW with the current guideline value (Table 2). The following PDF can be produced for 4-t-octylphenol – it is, however, of limited reliability due to the relatively low number of results above the MDL (n = 8) (Figure 3). Nevertheless, the PDF confirms the result of the exposure margin of safety, namely that there is a large margin of safety between the concentration of 4-t-octylphenol in PRW and the current guideline value, with less than 0.001% likelihood of exceedance of the guideline value. It is also unlikely to exceed the UK PNEC of 0.122 µg/L, with a likelihood of exceedance <0.1%.

Of those 66, 16 were detected only once, and 10 were detected more than once but less than eight times. While a line can theoretically be fitted to the data, the resulting PDF will only be of low reliability due to the lack of sufficient data points (i.e., sample size too low). It remains safer in this instance to compare the highest occurrence to the guideline value and derive an exposure margin of safety (MoS). The following low reliability PDF (due to the low number of results detected above LOR, n = 3) could be produced for bromide (Figure 4). Based on those data trends from 13/5/2009 to 23/1/2012, bromide is not expected to exceed

Because this chemical has been highlighted as fully PBT, it is nevertheless possible that over a long period of time it might bioaccumulate in the receiving environment, and the precautionary principle would suggest that 4-t-octylphenol should be kept under close scrutiny. It is, therefore, assigned to group 1p (high priority).

Exposure margins of safety Sixty-six out of 468 parameters were detected at least once in PRW monitoring.

Figure 3. Limited reliability probability distribution function for 4-t-Octylphenol.



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Figure 4. Limited reliability probability distribution function for bromide. the current PHR of 7 mg/L. It remains, however, safer to compare the highest concentrations with the guideline value. Based on its MoS of 87.5 (Table 3), bromide is assigned to group 3h (low priority). It should be noted that ozonation of high bromide water can lead to formation of bromate, although at the current time ozone is not employed as a treatment process in any of the drinking water treatment plants located downstream of the PRW discharge point for augmentation of drinking water supply into Lake Wivenhoe.

Probability distribution function and the natural barrier This left 40 physical/chemical parameters that were detected with sufficient frequency to produce a reliable PDF. Most of these parameters are, in fact, aesthetic or operational parameters and, therefore, do not have a health-based guideline value (e.g., pH, total organic carbon, conductivity, total hardness). However, a few do have a health-based guideline value, such as the disinfection by-product bromodichloromethane (BDCM). Based on the data trends from 13/5/2009 to 23/1/2012, BDCM is expected to exceed the current PHR of 6 µg/L in 30% of cases (Figure 5). Most of the exceedances occurred between 18/10/2010 and 14/6/2012, and are thought to be due to the long residence time of water in the pipeline during that time of low PRW demand. BDCM is a disinfection by-product

56 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

Figure 5. Probability distribution function for bromodichloromethane showing the current and proposed PHR guidelines.

formed during chlorination, and attempts to control BDCM exceedances should never compromise proper disinfection. Also, note that the 2012 draft PHR guidelines have eliminated the guideline of 6 µg/L for BDCM and replaced it with a total THM (covering BDCM, DBCM, chloroform and bromoform) of 250 µg/L, which BDCM alone would be very unlikely to exceed (<0.1% probability).

Figure 6 shows the predicted concentration of BDCM from PRW at the Dam Wall (Figure 6). Hawker et al. (2011) predicted a 99.8% removal of BDCM in Lake Wivenhoe, mostly due to volatilisation. Using this predicted removal and a predicted percentage of PRW ranging from 1-30% at the Dam Wall from the hydrodynamic model conducted using environmental variables applicable during the monitoring window (Badin et al., 2011), BDCM is expected to be present at significantly lower concentrations at the Dam Wall, several orders of magnitude lower than the current PHR guideline value of 6 µg/L.

Even combined, the 99.9th percentile for chloroform (90 µg/L), bromoform (1.2 µg/L), BDCM (43 µg/L) and DBCM (24 µg/L) would only add up to a total THM of 158.2 µg/L, below the proposed guideline of 250 µg/L. This means that while BDCM is currently in Category 1 (high priority), it will drop to Category 3 (low priority) if the 2012 draft PHR standard does indeed assign a total THM guideline of 250 µg/L. Furthermore, in the event that PRW is supplied to Lake Wivenhoe to augment drinking water supply the water age will be significantly less and, as a result, the concentration of BDCM will reduce significantly and would Figure 6. Probability distribution function for bromodichloromethane be unlikely to exceed incorporating estimated attenuation and dilution. Hydrodynamic the current PHR modelling scenario based on simulations using constant PRW standard under those inflow and climate and catchment forcing data from the period operating conditions. from 1 February 2008 to 31 December 2009.

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refereed paper

Conclusions and Recommendations Out of 468 parameters monitored in PRW from 2009 to 2012, this approach identified 20 parameters in Category 1 and 27 in Category 2 (the bulk of these due to inadequate method detection limits and not actual detection in PRW), with the remaining 421 in Category 3. Improvement of analytical methods is currently being investigated for several parameters where the current method detection limit is either higher or too close to the guideline value to allow a sufficient margin of safety. These outcomes inform the ongoing review of the PRW monitoring program in terms of selection of chemical parameters and analytical method development. Future work will focus on the development of an integrated and adaptable fate and hydrodynamic modelling process to more accurately predict removal from the system using current environmental variables and consider baseline monitoring for the high priority chemicals to establish the background in the receiving environment prior to any PRW discharge. Issues associated with the application of the PBT profiling (e.g., the adequacy of PBT triggers and classification, methods to determine PBT characteristics of inorganic chemicals) also require further investigation. Additionally, a PBT chemical below the detection limit may still become a problem in the long term if it consistently enters the water supply, even with a margin of exposure of >10. As a precautionary measure, it may be warranted to run any chemicals that are known to be partially removed by the advanced water treatment train in PBT Profiler, even if this chemical was not detected during monitoring, and determine the importance of PBT chemicals in the long term (e.g., 20 years).

electrical conductivity, change in light regime, and chemical levels that may be safe for intermittent human health exposure via drinking water, but not constantly exposed aquatic wildlife) by comparison with the ANZECC guidelines.

Acknowledgements This research was funded by Seqwater (Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority). Seqwater is the bulk water supplier for the South-East Queensland region and is responsible for catchments, water storages and water treatment plants.

The Authors Dr Frederic Leusch (email: f.leusch@griffith. is a Senior Lecturer at Griffith University and Program Leader for Water Quality and Diagnostics at the Smart Water Research Centre. His research focuses on the development of bioanalytical methods for water quality assessment, health risk assessment of recycled water, endocrine disruption and the application of toxicogenomics and proteomics to environmental science. Duncan Middleton (email: dmiddleton@seqwater. is the Recycled Water Quality Coordinator with the Water Quality and Environment team at Seqwater. Duncan manages the Recycled Water Management Plan for the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme.

Dr Michael Bartkow (email: au) is a Senior Research Scientist with the Research, Science and Technology group at Seqwater. Michael co-ordinates the delivery of research projects related to the management of catchments, water storages and treatment services to ensure the quality of the region’s water supplies. His work focuses on issues relating to the impact of chemicals and pathogens on maintaining acceptable water quality in raw and treated water.

References Gibbes B & Grinham A (2010): Application and testing of a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model of Lake Wivenhoe using the ELCOM modelling platform. Internal report to Seqwater. Hawker DW, Cumming JL, Neale PA, Bartkow ME & Escher BI (2011). A screening level fate model of organic contaminants from advanced water treatment in potable water supply reservoir. Water Research 45, pp 768–780. Khan SJ (2010): Quantitative chemical exposure assessment for water recycling schemes. Waterlines Report No 27, March 2010. National Water Commission, Canberra, ACT, Australia. Sharma VK, Anquandah GAK, Yngard RA, Kim H, Fekete J, Bouzek K, Ray AK & Golovko D (2009): Nonylphenol, octylphenol and bisphenol A in the aquatic environment: A review on occurrence, fate and treatment. Journal of Environmental Science and Health A, 44, pp 423–442. UKEA (2005): Environmental risk evaluation report: 4-tert-Octylphenol. UK Environment Agency, Bristol, UK.

To date, this work has focused on human health risks from exposure to PRW via drinking, and the conclusions are framed in a human health context. An ecological health assessment could also be conducted to determine potential ecological risks in the receiving environment (e.g., from nutrients, change in



potable reuse

refereed paper

ACHIEVING DRINKING WATER REUSE WITHOUT REVERSE OSMOSIS A case for granular activated carbon based advanced treatment to improve sustainability and reduce cost L Schimmoller, B Angelotti, B Bellamy, J Lozier Keywords


Drinking water reuse, potable reuse; sustainability; emerging contaminants; triple bottom line; reverse osmosis; granular activated carbon.

The purpose of this exercise is to compare the cost, treated water quality, and environmental impact of two full-scale operating treatment systems for indirect drinking water reuse. The following approach was undertaken for this comparison:

Abstract The reverse osmosis (RO)-based treatment approach used by some of the newer indirect potable reuse or indirect drinking water reuse (IDWR) plants around the world (e.g., Orange County, CA; Singapore NEWater; Western Corridor, Queensland, Australia) is espoused as a preferred approach, but it is relatively energy intensive and produces a concentrate sidestream that can be difficult and expensive to manage. This provides a challenge, especially for inland locations that do not have access to an ocean discharge. Sustainable management of brine concentrate has become a key factor in the future viability of drinking water reuse for inland locations. Capital cities such as Canberra, Australia, and New Delhi, India, are two examples of inland locations that have or are currently considering IDWR to augment their water supplies. In June 2012, India’s first planned drinking water reuse project for New Delhi was launched. Alternative inland IDWR treatment schemes based around granular activated carbon (GAC) are successfully operating at several full-scale facilities in the eastern United States. Both the GAC and RObased treatment approaches produce excellent finished water quality, but the GAC-based approach has been shown to be significantly less expensive, with lower environmental impacts. Analysis included in this paper shows that both GAC and RO-based treatment trains provide significant reduction of chemicals of emerging concern (CECs), pathogens and bulk organic matter. The capital and operating costs of the GACbased approach are significantly lower than the RO-based approach and produce less than half of the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions. However, the RO train may be necessary or desirable at those locations that have unacceptable salinity.

58 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

• The estimated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from each treatment train were calculated based on the plant’s energy consumption, the energy consumption required for replacement of the plant’s major consumables ( e.g., GAC regeneration), and the manufacturing and delivery of chemicals used at the plant.

• Treatment train configuration and finished water quality data were collected from two full-scale GACbased plants and four full-scale RO-based plants for comparison. Parameters of focus included total organic carbon (TOC), nutrients, pathogens, total dissolved solids (TDS) and CECs.

Treatment Provided

• Actual design criteria and chemical and power consumption data were collected from two full-scale operational indirect drinking water reuse plants – a 204MLD GAC-based IDWR plant and a 70MLD RO-based IDWR plant. • Using the design criteria collected, construction costs were developed for each treatment train at a normalised flow of 70MLD. Rather than using construction bid data, which is subject to variation caused by the construction date or global and local market conditions, a propriety parametric cost-estimating tool was used to assess the cost of both treatment trains to allow for accurate comparison. FLOC/SED SOLIDS ORGANICS PHOSPHORUS


• Using the actual chemical and power consumption data collected, annual operating costs were calculated at a normalised average annual flow of 42MLD, which is 60% of the plant’s maximum design flow of 70MLD to reflect the lower annual average flows.

Figure 1 shows the treatment train provided for the four RO-based IDWR plants evaluated; major treatment processes include fine screening, microfiltration (MF), reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet irradiation or hydrogen peroxide/ultraviolet-based advanced oxidation (AOP). RO concentrate in all cases is discharged to the ocean. High-purity treated water is discharged to a potable water aquifer for three of the four plants analysed; the fourth RO plant discharges to a drinking water reservoir when reservoir levels are low. For the option used in the cost analysis, chemical precipitation is also provided upstream of microfiltration.








Figure 1. RO-based treatment approach.

Secondary Effluent w/ BNR for N Removal







Figure 2. GAC-based treatment approach.

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potable reuse

refereed paper

Figure 2 shows the treatment train for the full-scale GAC-based IDWR plant that was used as the basis for costs and GHG calculations; major treatment processes for this plant include lime clarification, granular media filtration, GAC (operating in both adsorption and biological mode), chlorine disinfection, and dechlorination for advanced treatment. High-purity treated water mixes with surface runoff and is discharged to a drinking water reservoir. The treatment train for the second full-scale GAC-based IDWR plant is similar to the first, but uses ultrafiltration (UF) in lieu of pressure filtration and ozone before and after GAC. Note that for the GAC-based treatment approaches, a conventional drinking water treatment plant is located prior to potable water distribution, whereas some RObased facilities (particularly in California) only practice disinfection prior to potable water distribution.

Table 1. Design criteria for RO-based approach. Item


Average FeCl3 Dose

40 mg/L

Rapid Mix G

1000 s-1

Flocculation Time


Clarifier Loading Rate

0.8 m/hr (0.32 gpm/sf)

Average Monochloramine Dose

5 mg/L

MF Design Flux

67 lmh (40 gfd)

Average Transmembrane Pressure

110 kPa (16 psi)

MF Mini-clean Frequency

Once every 3 days

MF CIP Frequency

Once per year

RO Design Flux

19 lmh (10.6 gfd)

RO Feed Pressure

150 m (213 psi)

RO Recovery


RO CIP Frequency

Once every 3 months

Antiscalant Dose

5 mg/L


0.29 kwh / 1000gal / 1-log NDMA

For clarity purposes, ancillary facilities such as chemical storage and feed, solids handling and intermediate pump stations are not shown but were included in the cost analysis. Major design criteria for all unit operations are shown in Tables 1 and 2. This design criteria, including chemical and power consumption, was collected from two full-scale operating plants (one GAC-based and one RO-based) to improve the accuracy of comparison. Some facilities, such as clarifiers, were updated from older type technology to a newer, more cost-competitive approach. For example, the conventional lime clarifiers included in the GAC plant were updated to high-rate solids contact clarifiers for cost comparison purposes.

UVAOP Average H2O2 Dose

6 mg/L

Average Final Chlorine Dose

3 mg/L

Average Finished Water Lime Dose

46 mg/L

Costs Capital and operations and maintenance (O&M) cost estimates for each treatment train were developed using an in-house proprietary cost-estimating tool for water and wastewater treatment plants. The tool was applied to generate capital costs (in US dollars) by using detailed quantity takeoffs and unit costs for material, which are based on an extensive database of constructed treatment plants. The costs are for a complete and fully operational plant with the necessary site development, electrical, computer, operations and maintenance buildings, and miscellaneous support infrastructure included in a typical plant. Standard percentages for items such as overheads and profit, contingency, engineering, and bonds and insurance, were then applied to generate a total capital cost estimate. Annual O&M costs include power, consumables and regular replacement for items with an expected life of less

Average Finished Water CO2 Dose

30 mg/L

Thickener Hydraulic Loading Rate

11 m/d (270 gpd/sf)

Thickener Solids Loading Rate

45 kg/d/m2 (9.2 gpd/sf)

Thickener Underflow % Solids


Centrifuge Solids Loading

7,700 kg/d (17,000 lb/d)

Solids Disposal

On-site landfill

Table 2. Design criteria for GAC-based approach. Item


Lime Dose

140 mg/L

Lime Type

Hydrated Lime

Lime Clarification Type

Solids Contact Clarifier

Clarifier Loading Rate

14.6 m/hr (6 gpm/sf)

CO2 Recarbonation Dose

18 mg/L

Filter Loading Rate

11.5 m/hr (4.7 gpm/sf)

Filter Media Depth

3 feet

GAC Influent PS TDH


GAC Filter Loading Rate

16.1 m/hr (6.6 gpm/sf)

GAC Media Depth

6.1 m (20 feet)

GAC Regeneration Frequency

12.5% of media per year

GAC Regeneration


Average Chlorine Dose

2 mg/L

CCB Detention Time At Peak Flow

20 minutes

Average Sodium Bisulfite Dose

3 mg/L

Backwash Supply Tank

2.3 ML (610,000 gallons); four backwash events

Thickener Hydraulic Loading Rate

16 m/d (400 gpd/sf)

Thickener Solids Loading Rate

45 kg/m2/d (25 lb/d/sf)

Thickener Underflow % Solids


Centrifuge Solids Loading

9,800 kg/d (21,600 lb/day)

Solids Disposal

On-site landfill



potable reuse than 20 years (e.g., membranes). Labour and annual repair and replacement costs were specifically not included to avoid errors often introduced when using percentages for these values. Power costs were estimated by calculating the equipment and building electrical draw, and applying a unit power cost of $0.056/ kWh. The cost for consumables (e.g. chemicals) was estimated based on the calculated annual average usage times a unit cost for each consumable.

refereed paper

Gravity Thickener Lamella Claifier Rapid Mix

BreakTank Flocculation Centrifuge Chemicals UV AOP Backwash Supply & Waste

Gravity Thickener GAC Pump Station


Chlorine Contact Basin Centrifuge Chemicals Filters Lime Clarifier


The capital and O&M costs included in this paper should only be used for comparison between the two specific IDWR treatment trains and should not be applied to any actual projects. The costs are considered accurate for comparison purposes, but could vary significantly in different locations of the world. In addition, the costs do not reflect actual costs at the full-scale plant since they have been adjusted to an equivalent flow for accurate comparison. The construction and annual operation and maintenance (O&M) costs are shown in Figures 3 and 4, respectively. Inspection of these figures reveals the following:




Figure 3. Construction cost for 70MLD (18.5 mgd) indirect potable reuse plant.



Lime FeCl3


- The membrane-based processes are much more costly than the filtration and GAC processes included in the GAC-based approach. â&#x20AC;˘ Annual operation and maintenance costs: - The annual O&M costs for the RObased train are more than 350% higher than the GAC-based train ($3.74M versus $1.05M); - All three of the major unit processes included in the RO-based train (MF, RO and UVAOP) consume large amounts of power, which increases O&M costs; however, other significant cost items included with these processes are membrane replacement, chemicals (e.g. antiscalant, hydrogen peroxide), and lamp, sleeve and ballast replacement. - Chemical costs represent a large fraction of costs for both treatment trains. The most costly for the RObased train is ferric chloride because of its 40mg/L average dose. The most costly for the GAC-based train is lime because of its 140 mg/L average dose.

60 SEPTEMBER 2012 water



â&#x20AC;˘ Construction costs: - The construction cost of the RObased train is more than 50% higher than the GAC-based train ($109M versus $69M);

Lamella Claifier









GAC Regen Freq increased to 1x/yr

Figure 4. Annual O&M costs. - GAC regeneration costs are based on a regeneration frequency that results in 12.5% GAC media replacement per year. This frequency could be increased for better organics removal if so desired. Figure 4 shows the annual O&M costs for an increased frequency of 100% GAC media replacement per year. As shown in the figure, the annual O&M costs are still significantly lower than the RO-based approach ($3.74M for RO-based approach and $1.77M for GAC-based approach). - The RO-based treatment train consumes large amounts of power and consequently its O&M costs are very dependent on the cost of electricity. An electricity rate of $0.056/kwh was used in this analysis, which represents an average industrial rate in the US. However, electricity rates vary significantly across the US and the world. For example, California and the New England states have

rates as high as $0.09/kwh and $0.13/kwh, respectively. The O&M cost difference between the two trains would increase in these geographic locations.

Greenhouse Gases Figure 5 presents the average greenhouse gases (GHG) for the RO-based and GACbased approaches. As shown, the GAC approach is estimated to produce less than half the equivalent CO2 emissions than the RO approach. The basis for these calculations includes the power estimates for the electro-mechanical equipment, the regeneration energy required for the GAC, and the chemical manufacturing and delivery. As shown, there is a significant GHG sustainability impact (penalty) for the RO approach. RO facilities located inland would likely have even higher GHG emissions because of the difficulty in disposing of the RO concentrate. In addition, the water supply is decreased

technical features

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refereed paper

Table 3. Bulk water quality in finished water from indirect potable reuse (IPR) plants (Angelotti, 2010). Parameter

Average Finished Water Quality GAC1


TOC (mg/L)



TDS (mg/L)



Phosphorus (mg/L)






GAC1 nitrogen is comprised mostly of nitrate, which is naturally removed in the receiving reservoir; in addition, elevated nitrate is purposefully discharged at times to the receiving reservoir to prevent water quality problems at the downstream drinking water plant by creating anoxic conditions that delay or retard anaerobiosis in the hypolimnion.

Turbidity (ntu)



RO3 turbidity is elevated because of inerts associated with finished water lime addition.

Total Coliform (cfu/100mL)



E. coli (cfu/100 mL)



Nitrogen (mg/L)

Notes: ND = not detected; NM = not measured

by the inverse of RO recovery (e.g., a decrease of 15% from the water diverted); this can have a substantial impact on environmental flows as well as downstream users. This analysis suggests that air, water and land environmental impacts, as well as water availability, need to be seriously considered prior to opting for an RO IDWR option.

Finished Water Quality Including Emerging Contaminants Tables 3 and 4 compare finished water quality for total organic carbon (TOC), nutrients, pathogens, total dissolved solids (TDS) and chemicals of emerging concern (CECs). Table 3 includes data from two full-scale plants and Table 4 includes data from six full-scale plants. Although data from identical parameters was not universally available, significant quantities of data allowed for a fair comparison. Examination of these tables reveals the following:

Figure 5. O&M-related CO2 emission estimates.

• The TOC concentration for the RO-based plant is significantly lower than the GAC-based plant (0.6mg/L versus 2.7mg/L). The TOC for the GAC-based plant is based on a regeneration frequency of 12.5% GAC media regeneration per year. Lower TOC in the GAC-based plant could be achieved with higher GAC regeneration frequencies. • The total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration for the RO-based plant is significantly lower than the GACbased plant (130mg/L versus 398mg/L) because of RO’s ability to reject salts. The TDS concentration from both plants is below USEPA’s secondary maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water of 500mg/L. Also note that RO generates a highly saline concentrate stream that can create significant disposal challenges for inland locations. • The total nitrogen concentration for the RObased plant is significantly lower than the GAC-based plant (0.6mg/L versus a range of 3–16mg/L, which averages 12mg/L). However, the GAC-based plant’s product water total nitrogen is mostly

comprised of nitrate. Nitrate is intentionally discharged in the 12–16mg/ L range during periods of reservoir stratification to improve reservoir water quality and limited to 3–8mg/L when the downstream reservoir is not thermally stratified. The GAC plant is fully capable of controlling nitrate levels well below the USEPA drinking water MCL of 10mg/L. • The finished water turbidity from both plants is very low. The turbidity of the RO-based approach is higher because of inerts associated with lime addition in the finished water stabilisation approach. • Total coliform and E. coli are not detectable in the finished water for the GAC-based approach. These parameters were not measured at the RO plant, but are expected to also be below detection limits. • In general, CECs at the RO-based and GAC-based treatment plants are very low and in most cases below the detection limits. Some CECs are present in the finished water at both the RO- and GAC-based plants.

Conclusions Analysis using a detailed parametric cost model and USEPA-based carbon emissions data indicates significantly higher costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) production for the RO-based treatment approach when compared to the GACbased treatment approach for plants of equivalent capacity. The capital and operating costs for the RO-based approach are 50% and 350% higher, respectively, than the GAC-based approach. Furthermore, the RO-based approach produces more than twice the GHG emissions.



potable reuse

refereed paper

Table 4. CECs measured in finished water from IPR plants (Sedlak et al., 2005; Snyder et al., 2007; Angelotti, 2010) . All units in ng/L; BDL: Below Detection Limit at stated concentration. Constituent

GAC-Based Plants

RO-Based Plants





















BDL2; BDL0.5






16.5 23


















BDL1; BDL0.25













Ofloxacin Trimethoprim Ibuprofen Indomethacin Ketoprofen Bisphenol-A

RO4 BDL5; 4.8

Diclofenac Metoprolol



BDL1; 13.9

BDL5; BDL100



BDL2; 2.8













BDL5; 2.3



11; (max:130)

Acetaminophen Caffeine


BDL5; BDL500

BDL1; 2.8

19; BDL50

BDL1; 12

Sampling Information: 1. GAC1: Average of two sampling events; except NDMA (4 samples) 2. GAC2: One sample for some parameters; average of two samples for others 3. RO1: One sample 4. RO2: Average of two samples 5. RO3: Average of 30 samples 6. RO4: Average of quarterly samples taken in two years

Both GAC and RO-based treatment trains presented in this paper provide significant reduction of CECs, pathogens and bulk organic matter. The RO train, either in split-stream treatment mode or full-flow treatment mode, may be necessary at those locations that have unacceptable salinity. However, consideration should be given to alternative treatment approaches (e.g. GAC-based) because of the significantly lower environmental and economic impact. The social benefit of IDWR for both alternatives may be similar. However, the significant environmental and economic benefits of the GAC-based alternative may sway the decision making process in a triple bottom line approach. Elements of this paper were presented at the 8th IWA International Conference on Water Reclamation and Reuse, Barcelona, September 2011.

62 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

The Authors Larry Schimmoller (email: Larry.Schimmoller@ch2m. com) is CH2M HILL’s Global Technology Leader for Water Reuse, located in CH2M HILL’s Denver office. Larry has extensive experience working on potable and non-potable reuse projects, including serving as Senior Process Engineer for the Luggage Point Advanced Water Treatment Plant, part of Queensland’s Western Corridor Recycled Water Project. Larry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering. Bob Angelotti (email: Bob. is the Director of the Technical Services Division for the Upper Occoquan Service Authority (UOSA) and has 27

years of experience working at a highly successful potable surface water augmentation reuse project in the US. He served on the Technical Advisory Committee to develop Virginia’s Water Reclamation & Reuse Regulations and then on a Regulatory Advisory Panel to amend the rules to incorporate indirect potable reuse requirements. Dr Bill Bellamy (email: is a Fellow and Senior Vice President of Global Water Technologies at CH2M HILL. His career spans over 35 years and includes positions with Texaco, US Environmental Hygiene Agency, academia, and assignments with USEPA. He has a PhD in Environmental Engineering, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Bioelectrical Engineering. His current focus is on developing methods and tools designed to integrate sustainability principles into comprehensive power and water management systems, assisting business to be more profitable and better stewards of the environment. Jim Lozier (email: is CH2M HILL’s Global Technology Leader for Desalination. A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Arizona, he is a registered professional civil engineer in Florida and Arizona. With over 30 years of engineering experience, Jim has participated in projects across the globe utilising brackish and seawater desalination for drinking water and integrated membrane systems for indirect potable reuse and high-quality industrial process water production. Jim has served on the board of the American Membrane Technology Association, as past Chair of the AWWA Membrane Processes Committee, and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal Desalination.

References Angelotti Robert W (2010): Sustainable Water Practices Surrounding Indirect Potable Reuse Within the Occoquan Basin, presented at the 2010 Sustainable Water Management Conference & Exposition, April 13, 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sedlak D, Pinkston K & Huang CH (2005): Occurrence Survey of Pharmaceutically Active Compounds. Denver, Colorado. AWWA Research Foundation. Snyder S, Wert E & Lei H (2007): Removal of EDCs and Pharmaceuticals in Drinking and Reuse Treatment Processes (#91188). Denver, Colorado. AWWA Research Foundation.

technical features

membrane technology

refereed paper

FuLL-sCALe Ms2 testIng oF tHe gLeneLg RWtP uF MeMbRAne PRoCess Four out of eight membrane units were tested and an LRV of 2.5 log10 determined R Regel, C Heidenreich, A Keegan Abstract Full-scale ultrafiltration membrane challenge testing with MS-2 bacteriophage was undertaken at the Glenelg Recycled Water Treatment Plant (GRWTP) as a validation activity to verify virus removal accreditation. Four out of eight membrane units were tested and tests repeated on three separate days at normal operating conditions. Based on using a paired feed filtrate LRV method and the 5th percentile, an LRV of 2.5 log10 was determined.

Introduction Membrane technology is becoming widely used in Australia and ultra-filtration (UF) membrane technologies have been installed in several South Australian

metropolitan alternative water schemes, including the Glenelg-Adelaide Recycled Water Scheme (GARWS), the Aldinga Southern Urban Reuse Scheme and the Christies Beach “C-plant” upgrade.

monitoring to prevent passage of pathogens through the barrier. Direct (i.e. air pressure decay testing) and indirect (i.e. filtrate turbidity) monitoring are crucial for integrity monitoring (Crozes et al., 2002; Farahbakhsh et al., 2003) and compliance for the regulator.

UF membranes provide a physical barrier to pathogens including bacteria, protozoa and viruses, and the degree of removal is based on several factors including the organism, membrane, operating conditions and water quality (Jacangelo et al., 2006; Jacangelo et al., 2008; Humbert et al., 2011).

The GARWS is designed to supply up to 34ML/d of alternative water to the Adelaide parklands, central business district and surrounding councils for municipal open space irrigation (unrestricted) and dual reticulation (indoor/ outdoor) applications. The source water for the scheme is chlorinated secondary effluent from the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Glenelg Recycled Water Treatment Plant (GRWTP) train comprises four pathogen treatment barriers – secondary treatment, UF, ultra-violet (UV) disinfection and chlorine disinfection (Figure 1).

The use of membrane systems is dependent on the pathogen log removal value (LRV) accredited by a regulatory authority. The LRV accreditation for specific installations may depend on the extent of validation testing by the supplier at a pilot or fullscale, the experience of the regulator and operator, and the existence of other comparable installations. Furthermore, the relationship between membrane integrity and LRV removal will influence operational

The health regulator initially approved the scheme for municipal applications in 2009 and accredited an LRV of 2.0 log10 for virus removal through the UF membrane system, but indicated that this could be revised subject to full-scale challenge testing. Prior to challenge testing, dual-reticulation approval was provided subject to an increase in the

Table 1. Summary of LRVs for pathogen removal at the GARWS. Barrier

Figure 1. GARWS process schematic.

Dual reticulation (Feb 2010)

Dual reticulation (Mar 2011)







Secondary treatment



































Dual retic.*














V = virus, B = bacteria, P = protozoa *Minimum LRV requirements according to NRMMC-EPHC-AHMC (2006).



membrane technology

refereed paper

MS 2 Dosing pump


Feed basin

UF feed manifold

UF feedwater pump To UV UF discharge manifold Wetrack online instrumentation

Figure 2. Schematic of full-scale testing apparatus. chlorine contact time from 20 to 25 mg.min/L (Table 1). Membrane challenge testing was undertaken during June/ July 2010 to increase the membrane LRV accreditation for viruses. Challenge testing at a pilot or full-scale has been adopted as an approach to validate membrane treatment processes for pathogen removal (Jacangelo et al., 2006; Tazi-Pain et al., 2006). This paper describes the method and results of full-scale virus challenge testing at the GRWTP.

testing The challenge test design was undertaken by the Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC) and United Water (Veolia Water) in consultation with the health regulator. All microbiological cultivation, sampling and analysis were undertaken by the AWQC and are reported in Keegan (2010), while the plant was operated by the City Green Alliance with United Water as operators, and performance is reported in City Green Alliance (2010a). The GRWTP had been in operation since December 2009 and, therefore, the membranes were approximately seven months old before the first challenge test in June 2010.

Membrane challenge testing The challenge testing was based on the virus removal correlation through an intact membrane. The testing was conducted using introduced MS-2 bacteriophage, which is widely used as a challenge particulate for pathogenic enteric viruses (Jacangelo et al., 2006; Jacangelo et al., 2008; Arkhangelsky and Gitis, 2008; Langlet et al., 2008). MS-2 is similar in size to pathogenic viruses and is recommended in the US EPA (2011) generic protocol for challenge testing of UF membranes. MS-2 can be readily cultured and enumerated by laboratories. The stock MS-2 was prepared, enumerated and stored at –80°C until required. MS-2 was added and continuously mixed in an 800L batching tank filled with effluent from the feedwater basin. The effluent was tested to ensure there was no chlorine residual. The MS-2

64 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

was dosed continuously using a peristaltic pump from the batching tank into the suction side of a single dedicated pump in the membrane feedwater pumping station, drawing from the feedwater basin (Figure 2). During testing, the membrane pump station was operated continuously and pre-UF chlorination was isolated. The test design involved sampling the feed and filtrate of a membrane unit at four discrete time intervals (1, 12, 20 and 28 minutes) throughout a 30-minute filtration cycle. Four membrane units (#2, #4, #5 and #6) were tested individually on a single day and this was repeated over three days (Day 1 = 17/6/10, Day 2 = 8/7/10 and Day 3 = 28/7/10). The challenge test results were analysed by determining the LRV using the three methods outlined by the US EPA Membrane Filtration Guidance Manual (2005): • Method 1: LRV calculated from log10 of average of all influent samples and average of all effluent samples for a filter run; • Method 2: LRV calculated from average of the LRV calculated for time (t) paired samples for any filter run; • Method 3: LRV calculated as minimum of LRV calculated for time-paired samples for any filter run. Quality assurance included the use of the AWQC accredited to ISO9001, while United Water was accredited to ISO9001 and ISO14001. Quality controls included: background sampling for MS-2 prior to dosing; a trip control (MS-2 stock); an MS-2 survival assessment; and proof of mixing whereby MS-2 concentrations were compared from the membrane pump station to the inlet of the membrane unit. All samples were collected in triplicate. All samples consisted of approximately 250mL and were stored on ice for return to the laboratory. All sampling locations were equipped with flame-resistant sampling taps that could be heat sterilised using a portable butane torch.

Enumeration was undertaken within 24 hours of sampling. MS-2 was analysed according to the method of Adams (1959) with E. coli 700891 as the host bacterium. Serial dilutions of the sample were prepared in tryptone soy broth. A 100 µL volume of sample and 20 µL of log10 phase E. coli was added to a molten 0.5% tryptone soy agar (TSA) overlay (cooled to 50°C). The mixture was poured onto solidified TSA supplemented with 150 µg/mL ampicillin contained in petridishes. After the top agar layer set, the petri-dishes were inverted and incubated for 16–24 hours at 35–37°C. The plaques were enumerated with a plaque identified as a circular zone of clearing, 1–5mm in diameter, in the lawn of host bacteria. Each sample was analysed for phage numbers (PFU) using three dilutions and one plate per dilution. The raw data were analysed to select those dilutions giving counts of between 20–200 plaques per agar plate and outliers were identified and removed from the analysis (Keegan, 2010). MS-2 numbers in the water samples were calculated by multiplying the mean number counted from the triplicates by the dilution factor, divided by the total volume plated.

Membrane system and operation The GRWTP UF membrane system consists of a Siemens-Memcor CP Unit and L20 V module system comprising eight units, operating in a x7 duty and x1 standby arrangement, capable of 60-65L/s per unit. Each unit contains 120 modules, and each module contains approximately 10,000 hollow fibre PVdF membranes, with a nominal pore size of 0.04 µm and outside to inside filtration. The plant is controlled via an iFIX SCADA system with the operation of the UF system controlled by a dedicated PLC incorporating Siemens proprietary control logic. Based on an operator-specified flow requirement, the UF system outputs a pressure requirement on the feed side of the UF units and the upstream feed pump station operates to maintain the requested pressure. The feed flow control valves on each UF unit modulate to maintain the required flow rate (flux) through the on-line units as specified by the Siemens control system. Membrane integrity monitoring involves Pressure Decay Testing (PDT) and filtrate turbidity monitoring via dual on-line turbidimeters. During challenge testing, two membrane units were run at a time to match the capacity of a single pump (120 L/s) at the feedwater pump station. The time at which a unit was exposed to the MS-2 before the filtration cycle was minimised and sampling occurred

technical features

membrane technology

refereed paper

Table 2. Feedwater and filtered turbidity during challenge testing. 17/6/10



Table 3. Summary of UF performance during the 30-minute filtration test period.

Feedwater turbidity (ntu) Min












Filtered water turbidity (#1/ #2)1 (ntu) Min Max

0.05/0.05 2










Two on-line turbidimeters are in place monitoring the turbidity of the common discharge from all UF units. 2 The max filtered water turbidity is the max instantaneous value. 1

on one unit at a time. Each unit was operated at its design capacity of 60L/s and pre-chlorination was stopped for the testing day. A single feedwater basin was also isolated and chlorine residual was monitored on the days preceding the test day to ensure no chlorine inactivation of MS-2 in the feed from residual carry-over from the Glenelg WWTP/feedwater basins. Prior to testing, the units underwent chemically enhanced backwashes. Immediately prior to a unit test filtration period, residual chlorine was measured during a short filtration run (~5 minutes) and the unit underwent a PDT and backwash. As the unit came out of a backwash it was subsequently put into a test filtration cycle and MS-2 sampling commenced at 1, 12, 20 and 28 minutes.








R units


R units


R units

Day 1 unit 2 2.1



















Day 1 unit 4 Min


Day 3 unit 4


















Day 1 unit 5 Day 2 unit 5 Day 3 unit 5 The critical Min 2.4 3.6 8.9 0.3 26.9 2.7 compliance Max 60.4 5.0 43.7 2.8 53.6 3.6 exceedance limits for filtrate turbidity Mean 54.7 4.4 38.6 2.5 47.6 3.2 were >0.15 NTU Day 1 unit 6 Day 2 unit 6 Day 3 unit 6 (24-hr average), Min 42.6 2.9 6.2 2.1 30.2 2.2 >0.30 NTU for >30 Max 57.2 4.0 46.1 2.7 43.5 2.8 minutes and UF unit is not isolated Mean 53.5 3.5 37.7 2.4 38.6 2.5 and >0.5 NTU for >30 minutes and 3). High TMP and R operating conditions production is not stopped. For PDT, can indicate membrane fouling. The TMP the Pressure Decay Rate for a unit ranges of 2.3 to 61.6 kPa indicate that the must not exceed 4.8 kPa/min. membranes were operating in the low to

On-line instrumentation and grab sampling revealed that the feedwater was low in turbidity (Table 2). Total organic carbon concentrations in feed samples ranged between 11.2-12.9mg/L, while filtrate concentrations ranged between 10.8-11.4mg/L. The membrane process has no coagulant dosing for microflocculation and given the low turbidity and suspended solids there is unlikely to be significant capture of viruses in flocs or particulates that would assist removal. The TMP and Resistance for each unit and day of testing were compared (Table

Table 4. UF unit pressure decay rates (kPa/min) Unit 2


Day 2 unit 4


system operating conditions and membrane integrity

The key membrane performance parameters monitored by SCADA were transmembrane pressure (TMP), resistance (R) and feed fouling index (FFI).

Day 3 unit 2


Results and Discussion

On Days 1 and 2, the PDT was undertaken immediately before and after a test filtration period for each unit. On Day 3, the PDTs were undertaken collectively for all units before and then after the test filtration runs.

Day 2 unit 2


Unit 4

Unit 5

Unit 6

Day 1 PDR before





PDR after





Day 2 PDR before





PDR after





Day 3 PDR before





PDR after





moderate range when also considering the water temperature and its effect on viscosity and, hence, TMP. In addition, the TMPs following the most recent chemical cleans were not substantially lower than those before and after the challenge testing, indicating that the membranes were not fouled during the challenge testing. Membrane R values after cleaning were also generally less than 2.5 R units which represented effective cleaning. The R values experienced during the testing are considered to be within normal operating ranges (Table 3). Direct (Table 4) and indirect membrane integrity monitoring revealed that the membranes were intact during testing on each day. For all testing, the range of PDRs was between 0.5 and 2.0 kPa/min respectively and on-line filtrate turbidity was <0.15 NTU at all times. The major operating issue for the testing was a plant shutdown towards the end of Day 1 due to a low feedwater basin level affecting the pump station. This impacted the filtration cycle of unit #5 and no samples were collected at the 28-minute time point.

Feed Ms-2 numbers across the testing day MS-2 numbers were monitored at the inlet to each of the membrane units (Figure 3).



membrane technology

refereed paper

Figure 3. Log10 F-RNA counts from the unit influent samples taken across the testing period of six hours. Day 1 results demonstrated a problem encountered during the unit #5 filtration cycle with a large variation in MS-2 numbers. This was likely due to a falling feedwater basin level, leading to reduced head on the pump station and an increase in MS-2 dosing from the batching tank – whereas, on Day 2 and Day 3, more consistent MS-2 numbers were measured in the influent. The influent concentrations ranged between 5.2–5.9 x105 PFU/ mL, 5.27–5.7 x105 PFU/mL and 4.6–5.0 x104 PFU/mL for Days 1, 2 and 3, respectively. On Days 1 and 2, the influent concentration was compliant with those recommended in the US EPA (2011) challenge testing protocol whereby MS-2 should range between 5 x105–3.16 x106 PFU/mL.

Ms-2 bacteriophage log10 removal values The MS-2 LRVs in Figure 4 were calculated using the UF unit feed and filtrate data recommended by Keegan (2010). For unit #2, LRV ranged between 2.41–3.55 log10 across all three days. For unit #4, LRV ranged between 2.44–3.96 log10 across all three days. For unit #5, LRV ranged between 1.18–3.72 log10 across all three days. For unit #6, LRV ranged between 2.22–3.24 log10 across all three days. Test results indicate Table 5. Summary of LRVs the 1-minute sample calculated for each unit over each paired values show day according to three methods. statistically (t-Test) LRV/ method UF lower log10 removal Test day unit than the remaining M1 M2 M3 data set (12, 20, 28 2 3.45 3.52 2.98 minutes), with an 4 3.43 3.61 2.88 Day 1 average of 2.86 log10 (17/6/10) 5 1.31 1.77 1.18 (s.d.=0.47) compared to an overall average 6 2.92 2.89 2.77 including 1-minute 2 2.63 2.71 2.41 data of 3.14 log10 4 2.75 2.86 2.44 Day 2 (s.d.=0.49). The (8/7/10) membranes were 5 2.64 2.69 2.19 chemically cleaned 6 2.30 2.34 2.22 prior to the test runs 2 3.15 3.26 2.65 and results suggest 4 3.27 3.28 3.15 removal increases Day 3 significantly after (28/7/10) 5 3.55 3.56 3.32 1 minute. 6 2.91 2.99 2.65 The data were Average* 3.00 3.06 2.70 analysed using the 2.63 2.69 2.22 10th percentile* three methods of 2.46 2.52 2.20 5th percentile* calculation (Table 5). The results of Minimum* 2.30 2.34 2.19 unit #5 on Day 1 *Excludes results for UF unit #5 on Day 1. were excluded

66 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

Figure 4. Unit calculated LRVs log10 ± s.d. using data with outliers removed for Day 1 (D1), Day 2 (D2) and Day 3 (D3) at 1, 12, 20 and 28 minutes. Bars represent max and min LRV for each time point. from the analysis due to substantial differences in feed MS-2 concentrations; 1-minute sample results were not countable even with multiple dilutions and, therefore, no log10 removal could be determined. Methods 1 and 2 produced similar results when considering the statistical summaries. Of the two methods, Method 2 is considered the most representative of actual operation as it treats the feed and filtrate samples collected at each time period (1, 12, 20, 28 minutes) as paired samples.

technical features

refereed paper

membrane technology

Figure 5. Trend of MS-2 LRV, Resistance (R) and Transmembrane Pressure (TMP) for UF units 2, 4, 5 and 6 across three days of testing. Given the volume of a unit (3,300L) and the flow rate through a unit (60L/s), effluent resides for approximately 50 seconds in the unit; hence, the feed and filtrate samples at any discrete time are effectively paired. The use of Method 3 for determination of the LRV will favour the selection of the 1-minute LRV as the lowest LRV during any filter run; however, this is not representative of the average water quality generated by the process over a 30-minute period. The use of Method 2, which incorporates the 1-minute samples, provides a better representation of the overall water quality, allowing for conservatism due to inclusion of the 1-minute samples with equal weighting in their determination of the LRV. Based on discussions with the regulatory authority, the 5th percentile of 2.5 log10 calculated using Method 2 was determined to be the removal efficiency of the GRWTP. This is 0.5 log10 greater than the process was initially accredited during the design phase. This result is similar to the findings of the NSF (2009), which reported an average LRV of 2.49 log10 for MS-2 while Bacillus atrophaeus, a surrogate for protozoa, recorded 6.89 log10 for the L20V membrane module in a test rig arrangement. The findings are less than those of Humbert et al. (2011), who reported an MS-2 LRV of 4-5 log10 for pressurised membrane technology at a lab scale.

LRV and membrane performance Several studies have shown that pathogen removal is affected by the age of membranes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; new/mature (Jacangelo et al., 2006; Humbert et al., 2011), permeate flux and feed concentrations of challenge particulate (Farahbakhsh and Smith, 2004), transmembrane pressure (Arkhangelsky and Gitis, 2008), chemical cleaning regime (Guibert and Colling, 2011) and water quality (Jacangelo et al., 2008). Jacangelo et al. (2006) found that up to 2 log10 additional removal of viruses could be achieved by a deposition layer on the membrane surface, which would form gradually after backwashing and membrane fouling had a greater impact on removal than did deposition layer formation. Figure 4 indicates an increase in removal during filtration.

Using results from Method 2, the unit LRVs were trended with respect to unit TMP and R as a function of time (Figure 5). At the beginning of the filter run, TMP tends to display a short rapid increase that becomes more stable with time. The 1-minute MS-2 sampling is within the initial rapid increase, which involves commencement of formation of the deposition layer on the membrane following introduction of feedwater to the clean membranes and, hence, displays lower removal as is evident on several occasions (Day 1: u2, u4; Day 2: all units, Day 3: u5). However, the pattern of an increase in LRV with TMP and R as a function of time was not evident for all units and a plot for the complete dataset displays a weak relationship (Figure 6).

Conclusion The health regulator, based on the 5th percentile, accepted the LRV result of 2.5 log10 for the UF membrane process at the Glenelg RWTP. Conservatism was encapsulated in the testing and analysis protocol by taking into account: that low feed water turbidity and suspended solids reduced the potential for pathogen capture into flocs; test units operated at low to moderate TMP, R and FFI, which represented minimal fouling; no pre-chlorination was employed as would be in place in normal operation; and the inclusion of 1-minute LRVs, which were statistically lower than the remaining LRVs. The revision of the approval created greater flexibility and optimisation of the plant, as the chlorine contact time could be reduced from 25 to 20 mg.min/L. The membrane critical compliance limit for PDR was also revised from 4.8 to 13.4 kPa/ min (City Green Alliance, 2010b). In addition, the findings and revised approval conditions were transferable to the Aldinga Southern Urban Reuse Scheme, which incorporates the same CP L20V membrane system. This paper was originally presented at Ozwaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 in Sydney in May.



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Crozes GF, Sethi S, Mi B, J Curl & Marinas B (2002): Improving membrane integrity monitoring indirect methods to reduce plant downtime and increase microbial removal credit. Desalination, 149, pp 493–497. Farahbakhsh K, Adham SS & Smith DW (2003): Monitoring the integrity of low-pressure membranes. AWWA, 95(6), pp 95–107. Farahbakhsh K & Smith DW (2004): Removal of coliphages in secondary effluent by MF-mechanisms of removal and impact of operating parameters. Water Research, 38(3), pp 585-592. Guibert D & Colling A (2011): Direct membrane integrity testing: impact of parameter selection on log removal value calculations. Desalination, 272(1-3), pp 174–178. Humbert H, Machinal C, Labaye I & Schrotter JC (2011): Virus removal retention challenge tests performed at lab scale and pilot scale during operation of membrane units. Water Science and Technology, 63(2), pp 255–261. Jacangelo JG, Palania Brown NL, Madec A, Schwab K, Huffman D, Amy G, Mysore C, Leparc J & Prescott A (2006): Micro and ultrafiltration performance specifications based on microbial removal, Amercian Water Works Association Research Foundation, Report #2683. Jacangelo JG, Haiou H, Yong, TA & Madec A (2008): Virus removal by low pressure membranes in wastewater treatment: effects of ion composition and effluent organic matter. Membrane Technology, 12, pp 204–215.

Figure 6. Relationship of MS-2 LRV & TMP or R. Dataset excludes results for UF unit 5 on Day 1.

Acknowledgements The MS-2 challenge testing was undertaken after commissioning of the GRWTP by the City Green Alliance. The challenge testing was managed by United Water on behalf of the City Green Alliance. The Authors are grateful to the operators and maintainers at the Glenelg plant for their contribution to the testing. The Authors wish to acknowledge Veolia Water Australia and Siemens for assistance in reviewing the test protocol and assessment of results and are also grateful to the South Australian Department of Health for feedback on the proposed methodology. The City Green Alliance also acknowledges the sponsorship of the challenge testing by SA Water. Lastly, we thank the reviewers for their comments.

the Authors Rudi Regel (email: au) is the Recycled Water Coordinator at SA Water Corporation. He has worked for several years in wastewater and recycled water treatment. In previous roles he has managed research trials and overseen operation of MAR schemes with treated effluent and stormwater, and contributed to applied limnological investigations in Australian reservoirs and rivers.

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Craig Heidenreich (email: craig.heidenreich@allwater. is the Southern Plants Manager for Allwater responsible for operation of Christies Beach, Aldinga and Myponga WWTPs in Metropolitan Adelaide. Craig previously worked as Plant Manager for the Glenelg WWTP and RWTP when the work on the surrogate challenge testing of the UF membranes occurred. Alexandra Keegan (email: alex.keegan@sawater. is the leader of the Wastewater Research Program at the Australian Water Quality Centre, SA Water Corporation.

References Adams MH (1959): Bacteriophages. Interscience Publishers, Inc., New York. Arkhangelsky E & Gitis V (2008): Effects of TMP on rejection by viruses by UF membranes. Separation and Purification Technology, 62(3), pp 619–628. City Green Alliance (2010a): Ultrafiltration (UF) membrane virus surrogate validation test report, November, 2010. City Green Alliance (2010b): GARWS Review of Compliance conditions, December 2010.

Keegan A (2010): Glenelg Recycled Water Treatment Plant UF Membrane LRV Assessment via Challenge Testing with MS Bacteriophage. Australian Water Quality Centre, 15 September 2010. Langlet J, Ogorzaly L, Schrotter JC, Machinal C, Gaborinaud F, Duval JFL & Gantzer C (2008): Efficiency of MS2 phage and Qb phage removal by membrane filtration in water treatment: applicability of real-time RT-PCR method. Journal of Membrane Science, 326(1), pp 111–116. Louins WA, Taylor SS & Hong SK (2004): Microorganism rejection by membrane systems. Environmental Engineering Science, 19(6), pp 453–465. NRMMC-EPHC-AHMC (Natural Resource Management Minisiterial Council, Environment Protection and Heritage Council, Australian Health Ministers Conference) (2006): Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Managing health and environmental risks: Phase 1. National Water Quality Management Strategy. NRMMC-EPHC-AHMC, Canberra, Australia. NSF (2009): Environmental Technology Verification Report – Removal of microbial contaminants in drinking water. Siemens Corporation Memcor L20V ultrafiltration module (NSF 09/31/EPA DWCTR, EPA/600/R-09/108, September 2009. Tazi-Pain A, Schrotter JC & Gaid K (2006): How to select a membrane for water application. The experience of Veolia Water. Desalination, 199, pp 310–311. US Environmental Protection Agency (2005): Membrane Filtration Guidance Manual. US Environmental Protection Agency (2011): Final Environmental Technology Verification Protocol – Generic protocol for the product specific challenge testing of microfiltration or ultrafiltration membrane modules. Prepared by NSF International, May 2011.

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MEMBRANE BIOREACTOR COMMISSIONING AND OPERATION Lessons from a WWTP upgrade in the Hunter Valley K Jones, D Bailey, L Procter Abstract Paxton Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is a 1 ML/day capacity facility situated in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. A growing population, as well as tighter discharge requirements for the sensitive discharge environment, resulted in the need for a plant upgrade. The upgrade was delivered via an Alliance contract with Hunter Water Australia (HWA), as the contracted operator, liaising closely with the Alliance team. This paper outlines the practical issues involved in the brownfield upgrade and commissioning of the membrane bioreactor process adopted for the upgrade, as well as the problems encountered and the changes made in order to resolve them. The plant optimisation process is outlined and the performance results given. Operational and maintenance lessons learned are also discussed.

delivery method was chosen, the cost for this process was found to exceed the allowed budget. Other process options were then considered before it was determined that a membrane bioreactor (MBR) process, combined with chemical phosphorus removal, was the most cost-effective option. The new process was designed to meet the effluent quality requirements shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Concentration limits for Paxton WWTP. Analyte














0.3 6.5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;8.5



Paxton WWTP was built in 1993 and originally served a dormitory town for the local mining and forestry industries. The plant had no inlet works and consisted of an intermittently decanted extended aeration (IDEA) activated sludge process that discharged into a catch pond and maturation pond prior to discharge to Congewai Creek via two artificial wetland cells. A portion of the effluent was also discharged into a two-hectare woodlot area.

The project involved providing operational input from an operatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perspective on the design, construction, commissioning and optimisation phases of the Paxton WWTP upgrade. The initial upgrade concept design did not incorporate MBR technology. The decision to adopt MBR was made by the Alliance during the Turn-Out Cost (TOC) development phase.

The NSW Government had made the commitment to sewer two local townships, and a growing population and proposed development in the area, combined with stricter discharge requirements, meant that an upgrade of Paxton WWTP was needed. During the selection process a number of options were considered. These included decommissioning the treatment plant and transferring effluent to another treatment facility. Once it was decided to upgrade Paxton WWTP, a 5-stage Bardenpho process was initially considered due to the low total nitrogen discharge requirements. After the Alliance

The upgraded process incorporated biological nitrogen removal, chemical phosphorus removal and immersed ultrafiltration membranes for solids removal. The design incorporated a high degree of automation, remote monitoring and remote control to minimise the need

During the upgrade the existing activated sludge plant needed to remain operational and comply with licence discharge limits, which proved to be challenging. During the commissioning and proving phases, HWA worked with the Alliance to optimise the process in terms of effluent quality and energy efficiency. HWA also worked closely with the Alliance to rectify identified defects.

Alliance Delivery Method

Percentile Limits (mg/L)

pH (100 %ile)

for operator attendance for this relatively remote site.

An Alliance contract model involves collective responsibility for risk, performance and outcomes (gain-sharing/ pain-sharing) and attempts to avoid a blame culture. The Alliance involved a designer, constructer and the owner/ operator. The main factors that favoured the Alliance in this instance were a major program of capital works involving multiple plant upgrades, short delivery timeframe for the upgrade program, desire to have owner/operator input to design, design flexibility, legacy documents, and learning from experiences on each upgrade. These factors are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Alliance delivery method characteristics.



membrane technology Screening and Grit Removal

Balance Tank

Aluminium Sulphate

Sodium Hydroxide

Citric Acid Sodium Hypochlorite

Bioreactor Anoxic Zone

Bioreactor Aerobic Zone

Membrane Bioreactor M

Effluent discharge Figure 2. New Paxton WWTP process flow diagram. Inflow


The process of selecting the members of the Alliance involved expressions of interest, short-listing of proponents, and workshops with each short-listed proponent to assess capability and team fit. These workshops were facilitated by an independent expert. Finally, the preferred proponent was selected. The Alliance delivery method involves the development of a Total Outturn Cost (TOC), which is based on the initial/ concept design of the plant. The delivery method involves all stakeholders including representatives from the designer, constructer, owner, assets planning, infrastructure delivery, operator and maintenance groups. After the TOC is complete the detailed design is then completed followed by construction, commissioning and optimisation. In order to ensure that the Alliance was operating effectively, there were a number of oversight mechanisms. The project leadership team oversaw the operation of the project directly. The Alliance Project Management Team (APMT) oversaw the Project Leadership Team for each project, and the Alliance Leadership Group oversaw the work of the APMT. This ensured that each group was operating effectively, and it also gave the opportunity for unresolved issues to be escalated to a higher level for discussion and decision making. Alliances can result in a drain on operational resources during the design, construction and commissioning phases. HWA initially restructured the operations team to provide the extra support required and a single operational liaison was appointed for each upgrade.

Catch Pond

Maturation Pond

Regardless of the contract model, it is crucial that all issues are raised appropriately. It is important to document everything and to escalate issues to achieve progress when required.

Process Selection

Effluent discharge

Wetland Cell 1A

Wetland Cell 2A

Wetland Cell 1A

Wetland Cell 2B

Wetland Cell 3A

Wetland Cell 3B

Figure 3. Old Paxton WWTP process flow diagram.

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During the TOC development for Paxton, it was found that the most cost-effective option was a packaged MBR plant combined with a chemical phosphorus removal process. This packaged plant was to be designed, constructed and commissioned by a specialist contractor and the Alliance would oversee the work conducted by this contractor. Advantages with this option included reduced design and construction costs by using a pre-designed plant. Disadvantages of this option included: • Less design flexibility;

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• Equipment and controls were different to other Hunter Water plants; • Modifications to the standard design were costly; • Less input into equipment selection process. Process flow diagrams of the old and new processes are shown in Figures 2 and 3.

Plant Performance Plant performance data for key analytes from both before and after the upgrade is illustrated in Figures 4, 5, 6 and 7. It can be seen that there was a significant decrease in total suspended solids, biological oxygen demand and total phosphorus following the MBR upgrade. This was due to superior particulate removal provided by membranes compared to gravity clarification, and also higher aeration capacity of the MBR process. Total nitrogen levels increased following the upgrade. This was likely due to the large capacity of the blowers making turn-down difficult and resulting in overaeration. This result also highlighted that the previous process removed nitrogen effectively. Contributing factors were likely to be the wetland cells, which provided excellent nitrogen removal via uptake by plants and microorganisms.

Lessons Learned During the upgrade process the plant needed to continue operation and comply with the discharge licence conditions. This proved to be challenging. During the construction phase, the maturation pond and one of the two wetland trains was offline. This meant that all of the flow through the plant was discharged through the remaining wetland train. Normally discharge occurred by gravity flow; however, in this case flow was pumped from the effluent catch pond to the wetland cell. This resulted in hydraulic overloading and overflow from the wetland cell, which constituted a breach of the discharge licence. In response to the overflow from the wetland, the effluent was directed to the onsite woodlot for irrigation; however, the temporary irrigation system set up by the constructor resulted in an overflow from the woodlot, which again constituted a breach of the discharge licence. The abovementioned incidents highlighted the critical importance of monitoring effluent discharge during an upgrade to ensure compliance with licence requirements, even if the facility is under the control of a contractor.

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Effluent BOD5 Concentration 90

BOD5 Concentration (mg/L)

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Before


Boxes represent the 5th and 95th percentiles, the whiskers represent the minimum and maximum values

Figure 4. BOD5 results before and after the upgrade. Effluent Total Suspended Solids Concentration Total Suspended Solids Concentration (mg/L)

90 80 70

This upgrade also provided information on the performance and optimisation of the MBR process. Operational optimisation following commissioning has maintained low effluent TSS and BOD5 concentrations with less energy and chemicals. Although operation of the upgraded plant initially required more operator input than expected, changes to control have simplified the operation while still providing the flexibility and reliability that is required. Some equipment-related issues that were encountered during the project are further described in the following text.

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Before


Boxes represent the 5th and 95th percentiles, the whiskers represent the minimum and maximum values

Figure 5. TSS results before and after the upgrade. Effluent Total Nitrogen Concentrations 25

Total Nitrogen Concentration (mg/L)

During commissioning, the feedback control implemented for sodium hydroxide dosing was found to be ineffective and resulted in overdosing. The dosing was run in manual mode until the problem was rectified. It was eventually found that the installed control logic was not consistent with the logic documented in the Automatic Control and Monitoring Manual (ACMM). Detailed Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) had not been conducted for this packaged plant because the same logic had been used on a number of other plants previously. Experiences with the Paxton upgrade showed that it is always vitally important to conduct detailed SAT in order to prevent serious control problems at comissioning.





0 Before


Boxes represent the 5th and 95th percentiles, the whiskers represent the minimum and maximum values

Figure 6. Total nitrogen results before and after the upgrade.

Screenings bypass occurred during commissioning due to the seals between the screen and the housing not being correctly installed. This issue also occurred on another MBR process commissioned by the Alliance three months after the Paxton plant was commissioned. A temporary modification was made until a permanent solution could be provided by the supplier. A photo of this patch is shown in Figure 8. Any screenings that bypass could damage the membranes. If the screens do have bypass, it is important to ensure that the entire contents of the bioreactor are recirculated through the screens again to prevent screenings entering the MBR.

Figure 8. Drum screen seal damage and temporary patch.

In-line strainers (2mm aperture) on the recirculation line from the bioreactor to the inlet works were found to frequently block up (Figure 9). These strainers had to be cleaned hourly while the plant was operating to maintain sufficient recirculation flow. The 2mm strainers were replaced with 6mm aperture strainers; however, the blocking persisted. The upgrade contractor subsequently made a decision to remove the strainers completely.

Effluent Total Phosphorus Concentrations Total Phosphorus Concentration (mg/L)

18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0



Boxes represent the 5th and 95th percentiles, the whiskers represent the minimum and maximum values

Figure 7. Total phosphorus results before and after the upgrade.

Figure 9. Blocked strainers (left) and cleaning a strainer (right).



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The installed control philosophy did not include capability to automatically stop the blowers during periods of low oxygen demand. Changes will be implemented to allow this capability. Control changes have also been proposed to allow recirculation rates to be increased when operating without aeration to improve denitrification. It will also be important to ensure that the control philosophy provides operational flexibility for situations such as breakdown of critical equipment and for process optimisation.

Figure 10. Membrane condition at installation (left) and after six months of operation (right). Following removal of the strainers, a significant build-up of fibrous material was observed on the membrane modules (Figure 10). Following concerns raised by the membrane suppliers about the risk of premature membrane failure, maintenance was performed to remove this accumulated material. One of the two membrane trains was taken offline for cleaning while the other train remained in service.

operation was both time consuming and labour intensive, with four people required over a week-long operation to clean and repair the membranes on only one of the two membrane trains. This issue of membranes becoming fouled with fibrous matter was also observed on another MBR process commissioned by the Alliance three months after the Paxton upgrade. However, at the time of writing the extent of the material build-up at the other plant had not been clearly identified. The air blowers for the upgraded plant were sized for the ultimate load at design capacity (at year 2030). This factor, combined with the intensive aeration needed for membrane air scour, resulted in excessive aeration and higher total oxidised nitrogen concentrations, making it difficult to comply with the low-effluent total nitrogen concentration limits. In an attempt to remedy the overaeration problem, both the dissolved oxygen set point and the recirculation rates were reduced until effluent nitrate levels dropped to an acceptable range.

Figure 13. Drive cog on drum screen motor. The residual chemical (sodium hypochlorite) from recovery cleaning was found to adversely affect the biological process. Effluent ammonia spikes were observed the day after each recovery clean was performed. This residual chemical was designed to be returned to the biological process; however, it was concluded that this resulted in a loss of nitrification. When this occurred the wasting rate was temporarily reduced to give the nitrifying biota time to re-establish, which took about one sludge age to occur. The control sequence for the recovery clean was subsequently changed to divert the residual hypochlorite to the aerobic digester.

Figure 11. Membrane bubble testing (top) and repair (bottom). Prior to manual cleaning the membranes were soaked in a sodium hypochlorite solution for 24 hours. The manual component involved lifting out the membrane cassettes and removing extraneous material caught in the membrane fibres by hand. After the membranes were cleaned they were bubble tested and any damaged fibres were plugged before re-installation. This

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Figure 12. EfďŹ&#x201A;uent ammonia concentrations before and after a membrane recovery clean (timing of recovery clean shown by red line). Daily sampling was conducted to confirm that the nitrate spikes had been effectively reduced. The feasibility of reducing the pulley ratio on the air blowers to reduce the blower output will also be examined.

Figure 14. Drum screen arrangement.

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Figure 15. Blowers and recirculation pumps. After only six months of operation, the drum screens were found to be exhibiting signs of imminent mechanical failure, making loud noises while rotating. On further investigation it was found that the condition of the drive cog on the drum screen motor had deteriorated. The equipment supplier is currently repairing the unit and modifying the drum screen to prevent recurrence of this problem. Another MBR process (Branxton), commissioned three months after the Paxton upgrade, experienced similar problems with inlet drum screens. The drive cog was damaged at Branxton following failure of a drive bearing. The drum screens need regular inspection and maintenance in order to operate effectively, and it is important to ensure that these tasks can be performed safely. The screens also need to be tilted regularly to clean rag buildup and to prevent blockages. At the upgraded Paxton WWTP no safe method was provided for lifting and accessing the screens to allow inspection, maintenance and cleaning. A system including two davits has been proposed to remedy this deficiency. During the design process it is critical to make provision for safe and efficient removal of equipment for maintenance and servicing. The majority of the major process equipment, including recirculation and effluent pumps, and the air blowers for aeration and membrane scouring, are housed in a small building. There is currently no safe method for removing this equipment for maintenance. The installation of appropriate lifting devices to allow safe and efficient equipment removal is being investigated.


The Authors

The upgrade of Paxton WWTP provided valuable lessons for the design, commissioning, operation and maintenance of an MBR process, including: • Increased challenges for nitrogen removal, particularly in under-loaded situations, and the need for careful design of air blower capacity and turndown capability; • Need for effective screening to prevent fouling of membranes and the need for excessive labour for operation and maintenance; • The critical importance of completing thorough pre-commissioning tests; • The need to provide safe and efficient capability to inspect, operate and maintain equipment. The final MBR process provided a robust and effective treatment barrier. Fostering operator input at all stages of the upgrade resulted in much better outcomes in terms of safety, performance and reliability. Commissioning of the MBR process also revealed significant opportunities for optimisation including: • Improving nitrogen removal by modifying the internal recirculation ratio; and • Options to minimise energy consumption. The upgrade process also highlighted strengths and limitations of the Alliance contract delivery method and how it was applied for this application. This paper was originally presented at Ozwater’12 in Sydney in May.

Katie Jones (email: au) is a Chemical Engineer with six years’ experience in the water industry. Katie started with Hunter Water Australia in 2006 as a Cadet Chemical Engineer. Her current role involves supervising the operation of four wastewater treatment plants in the NSW Hunter region. Katie has been involved in numerous plant upgrades providing operational input though the design, commissioning and optimisation stages. Darren Bailey (email: darren.bailey@ is a Chemical Engineer with over 25 years’ experience in the water industry. His current role as Manager – Treatment Operations for Hunter Water Australia involves managing operations and maintenance and providing operational support services for water and wastewater treatment plants in the Hunter region and for clients throughout Australia. Darren has also contributed to numerous research and upgrade projects in the water treatment field. Lisa Procter (email: lisa.procter@hwa. is a Chemical Engineer with over 20 years’ water industry experience. Her current role as Manager – Wastewater Treatment Operations for Hunter Water Australia involves managing operation and maintenance and providing operational support services for treatment plants in the NSW Hunter Region and for clients throughout Australia. Lisa has also contributed to numerous research and upgrade projects related to wastewater treatment.



rural pipeline management

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ExPERIEnCE WIth thE GRAMPIAnS WIMMERA MAllEE PIPElInE SChEME A case study in water quality risks, unintended consequences and opportunities P Carroll, M Chapman, A Barton, G Whorlow Abstract Large, unfiltered water pipe networks have been constructed and operated for the past two years to replace a leaky open channel system in the Grampians Wimmera Mallee Region. Significant water quality risks have emerged as well as a number of new opportunities for improved treatment, environmental management and local recreation. This paper summarises these and complements other recent published studies. (Barton et al., 2009; Mitra et al., 2012).

Introduction Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater) owns and operates an extensive network of rural pipelines that supply untreated water to a wide range of customers in the Wimmera and Mallee regions of Western Victoria

Figure 1. GWMWater’s rural pipeline network.

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(Figure 1). The rural pipeline network comprises the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline (WMP) and the Northern Mallee Pipeline (NMP), each of which is comprised of discrete supply systems. GWMWater engaged and worked with GHD on various investigations and design aspects of these projects. Water is supplied by this network to towns, rural properties, industries, recreational lakes and wetlands. This water is further treated for supply as drinking water to 27 towns throughout this region. The network comprises approximately 8,800km of pipelines, covering approximately 2 million ha, or about 10% of Victoria (Mala-Jetmarova et al., 2011). The pipe network was constructed to replace an ageing network of channels across the region that was characterised by poor water efficiency due to high losses from seepage and evaporation. Water is supplied from Lake Bellfield (78,560ML capacity) and Taylors Lake in the Grampians in the south and from the Murray River in the north. This large pipe network is achieving its objectives in terms of energy-efficient and reliable delivery of sufficient quantity of water with minimal losses. Possible water savings have been previously estimated at close to 103GL per year (Barton et al., 2009). However, because the water is not filtered, a number

of water quality risks have emerged, particularly following the very high rainfall/runoff conditions since early 2011. This paper discusses these water quality risks, in particular the build-up of sediments, iron and manganese slimes and biological infestations that can cause increased hydraulic losses and block pump strainers and customer filters (Mitra et al., 2012). It also summarises the new environmental/recreational/ water treatment opportunities that have emerged with the establishment of this rural pipe network. Finally, the paper summarises key future directions GWMWater is pursuing to improve management of the WMP and NMP.

A Key Risk: Pipe Fouling GWMWater was aware from early experience operating the NMP that fouling of internal pipe surfaces by biological or chemical material could cause operational problems including increased hydraulic losses, fouling of downstream customer meters and even water quality events if the fouling material was to be scoured from the pipe walls. Typically pipe fouling is a combination of: • Iron and manganese slimes Dissolved iron and manganese can form a slime that deposits on pipe walls, which in turn can scour and cause dirty water events for downstream customers. Water sourced from reservoirs that stratify is a typical source of these slimes. • Sediment-based deposits Sediment particles can build up on walls as well as accumulate on the floor in pipelines over time, especially where raw water is turbid and pipe velocities are low. Scouring due to changes in flow can cause downstream water quality problems for treatment works and raw water customers due to sudden increases in turbidity and sediment that blocks water filters.

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rural pipeline management

• Biological infestations Various organisms can exist within a pipeline network. A common nuisance organism is Plumatella, a Bryozoan that forms colonies seasonally in pipelines, shearing off to foul downstream meters and even decomposing causing taste and odour problems (Figure 3).

sediment and/or Bryozoa fouling, may over time cause significant increases in pumping requirements across the network, especially given the flat topography of the network, where most pumping energy is used to overcome friction rather than for static lift. Managing pipe fouling in order to maintain low pipe friction conditions is important to keep energy use down.

In 2009, when the WMP was being constructed and the NMP had been operating for several years, a study into the effects of pipe fouling was completed. The study drew upon experience with the NMP as well as information collected specifically for the study of the WMP. This work complemented the ongoing research project underway between Victoria University and GWMWater, focusing on Bryozoa in the NMP where at least five different species have been identified (Mitra et al., 2012). The WMP had been operating for only a short period at the time of this study, meaning that rather than relying on operational experience, a risk assessment approach was adopted to identify the likely types of fouling and the possible consequences of their development under different scenarios. Key findings included: • Development of sediment and/or iron and manganese fouling downstream of Lake Bellfield was a risk due to occasional storm-event high turbidity and typical seasonal stratification of the reservoir. The risk is exacerbated as the Lake Bellfield outlet tower can only extract water from the bottom of the dam. Figure 2 shows examples

Examples from elsewhere of pipeline fouling due to biofilms and sediments suggest the following: • Eppalock Pipeline Iron and manganese slime build-up prior to pigging was in the range of 500 to 2000 gDS/m2. After a 30week pumping season period the friction headloss was observed to increase to approximately 200% of that of a clean pipe (i.e. a pigged main). Draining and flushing of the pipe restores the friction headloss to a level equivalent to approximately 130% of a pigged main.

Figure 3. Example of Bryozoa found in the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline (WMP). of iron-manganese slime (Tasmanian Hydropower example) and sediment attachment (Victorian large regional transfer mains example) that can occur on the walls of the pipeline. • Bryozoa were identified within the WMP. The Bryozoa Plumatella and Fredericella are known nuisance organism in parts of the NMP, which draws water from the Murray as opposed to from Lake Bellfield and Taylors Lake. • A relatively small increase in pipe roughness, due to manganese/iron/

• Otways Pipeline Build-up over 15 to 20 years of biological infestation removed by pigging has increased hydraulic capacity by about 7%. • Recent Major Regional transfer Pipeline Sediment build-up had occurred, possibly reducing the hydraulic capacity of the pipeline by about 10%. The sediment build-up was measured to be up to about 40 gDS/m2 at the inlet end of the pipeline. • Winneke-Preston Pipeline Manganese type biofilms can be managed by scouring with flow rates that produce shear stresses at the wall in excess of about 9.7 N/m2. Figure 4 summarises what flow rate is needed for different diameter pipes to achieve this condition.

Manganese on pipe walls

Sediment on pipe walls Figure 2. Example of iron and manganese slime and sediment build-up.

Figure 4. Scour velocity and flow rate for removal of iron and manganese slimes for different pipe diameters (based on achieving a shear stress of > 9.7 N/m2).



rural pipeline management The red dots in Figure 5 are sites in the WMP system where a hydraulic model, running at high demand conditions, indicates pressure could fall below acceptable levels (< 20 m WG) under high demand periods. It shows that a relatively small deterioration in HazenWilliams friction factor (reducing from C = 130 to C = 120) in WMP system No 3 and No 4 resulted in a substantial increase in the number of locations where low pressure could occur.

• Continuation of research work into Bryozoa and other forms of biofouling with Victoria University;

This water quality risk study was used as the basis to pursue further investigations on the management of the WMP including:

This rural pipeline network has generally resulted in customers across the region being supplied with better quality water from a more reliable source. There has also been a substantial reduction in water losses due to cessation of evaporation and infiltration losses that occurred from the open channels that were used to supply the area. However, there have been some unintended consequences with the operation of the system:

• Ways to monitor for changes in hydraulic performance and possible sediment scour events. Possible monitoring methods were identified across the system, and recommendations were made for hydraulic monitoring based on existing infrastructure and instrumentation as well as water quality monitoring to better quantify the risks identified in the initial study;

• Better understanding of the impact of heavy storms impairing water quality and ways to minimise impacts; and • The impact of stratification of reservoirs on water quality and the means to overcome them.

Other Unintended Consequences

Changes to water quality characteristics within the new pipe network Drinking water supplies at towns within the WMP that have disinfection as the

Figure 5. Output of hydraulic model showing effect of increased pipe friction at peak demand (red dots indicate low pressure).

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refereed paper

only treatment barrier experienced a significant rise in concentrations of haloacetic acids (HAAs). The source was traced to the new piped supply from Lake Bellfield, and the different mix of dissolved organics it contained compared to the previous channel-fed supply. By supplying the water directly from the reservoir in a pipeline, the degradation of organic compounds (due to UV degradation and compound volatility) was reduced. Changes to the operation of the disinfection system have been made to maintain the concentration of disinfection by-products within the ADWG values. The WMP is designed for future demands. This, and the fact that at the time of commissioning the region was in the grip of a prolonged drought, meant that stocking rates and, hence, water demands were relatively low compared to design demand values. Long detention times in the DN600 MSCL section of the pipeline from Lake Bellfield, combined with the soft water conditions, caused pH increases up to 11. A simple carbon dioxide dosing system has been installed at the Taylors Lake end of this pipeline to reduce the pH to a range between

Figure 6. Colour and turbidity in Lake Bellfield at and after a storm event (January 2011).

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rural pipeline management has remained high for over a year (Figure 6). In saying this, however, both colour and turbidity near the surface have usually been substantially higher than near the bottom (Figure 7). Finally, as occurs in most reservoirs, there has been a seasonal (over summer) rise in iron and manganese levels in near bottom zones in the Lake where dissolved oxygen levels fall below roughly 4mg/L to 5mg/L (Figure 8).

Improvement of water quality

Figure 7. True colour and turbidity versus distance from the bottom of the reservoir. 8 and 9. This pH range is suitable for non-potable domestic supply and stock watering. Once the carbon dioxide has been added, the pH tends not to increase again as the leached calcium and alkalinity from the upstream section of cement-lined pipeline is adequate to partially stabilise the water. Also, ironically, it is suspected that the elevated pH conditions near Lake Bellfield act to supress the establishment of any Bryozoa within this section of the WMP. It has been observed, however, that pH levels prior to the carbon dioxide addition point have reduced in recent months. This is probably due to the drop-off in “easy to leach out lime” in the cement-lined pipes and shorter detention time as demand increases. The elevated pH problem may, therefore, be a relatively short-term problem.

Direct connection of previously remote catchments

from Taylors Lake, a secondary source north of the Grampians that is typically of poorer quality. Taylors Lake had also been affected by the storms, although to a lesser extent. Also, the outlet tower for Lake Bellfield, constructed in 1967, can only draw water from the bottom of the storage. Therefore, to maintain a better quality supply from this source to the WMP, GWMWater instituted emergency measures to pump water from the surface of the storage. The discharge pipe went over the dam wall and into the outlet pipe from the Lake. This operational response resulted in avoidance of initially very high turbidity in the near bottom water (Figure 6). Some towns supplied by the WMP without filtration also required a boil water notice to be issued. Fortunately, at Lake Bellfield “average” turbidity dropped substantially within four months but “average” colour

Improvement options assessed for Lake Bellfield included upgrade of the existing aeration-mixing system at the dam and the addition of a multi-level outlet structure. Aeration-mixing aims to prevent low dissolved oxygen conditions near the bottom of the reservoir that trigger release of manganese and iron from sediments in summer. The multi-level outlet would provide the ability to avoid poor quality stratified inflows, especially during winter refilling periods when cold inflows would tend to enter as a thin layer along the reservoir floor.

new Opportunities Due to Establishment of the WMP and nMP Systems Various new opportunities have been presented by the establishment of this large rural pipeline network: • Environmental flows Water efficiency improvements by the decommissioning of the channel system means there is more water available to be returned to the streams and rivers across the Wimmera and Mallee regions while providing far greater drought resilience for towns and farms.

Lake Bellfield is the main supply for the southern area of the WMP (supply systems No 1 through No 4). Storms in the Lake Bellfield catchment in January 2011 caused widespread damage to the landscape. The floods are believed to have resulted in a saturated soil profile in the catchment and caused a geological response of overlying mudstone slipping off the underlying sandstone. This resulted in multiple landslips throughout the catchment and some directly into the reservoir. The water in the storage became highly turbid immediately after the event. However, electron microscope work indicated that there was virtually zero organic matter in this turbidity. The turbidity levels at the surface were up to 100 NTU, while the bottom layers were > 2,000 NTU. The elevated turbidity required GWMWater to switch to supplying

Figure 8. Manganese/iron vs. DO relationship at Lake Bellfield.



rural pipeline management • Recreational facilities Multiple lakes across the region can now be seasonally filled with flows from the WMP and NMP to provide community assets that are used for recreational activities including boating, swimming and fishing. These lakes provide stronger community links and tourism opportunities. Similarly, some golf courses in the region can now take a supply of irrigation water from the WMP, providing a higher standard of course and allowing them to be playable in drier conditions. • Centralised and regional treatment As part of early consideration for Water Plan 3 in 2011, GWMWater examined options for implementing centralised or regionalised treatment options across the WMP and NMP. The nature of the WMP pipe network, with essentially a single point of supply from the headworks, means that it is conceivable to treat all water supplied with a centralised treatment plant. A similar situation exists for the NMP. Also considered was partial treatment of water to manage events such as the 2011 storms and the subsequent extended elevated turbidity conditions. Centralised treatment, although technically feasible, did not ‘stack up’ financially for the following reasons: • It would make existing treatment facilities at individual towns obsolete, requiring an asset to be prematurely written off; • The high marginal cost of treating water to drinking water standards that is ultimately used mainly for non-potable purposes in agriculture, industry or to fill recreational lakes; • Potential regulatory issues with ensuring that backflow from rural properties could not occur;

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Some regional options were considered feasible, whereby an existing WTP might be expanded and used to supply nearby towns via dedicated treated water mains. Supply of Minyip and Rupanyup from the Murtoa WTP is under early planning at the moment, and supply of Nhill from Dimboola is currently under construction.

Future Directions The rural pipeline network has provided great benefit to communities and businesses across the Wimmera and Mallee. GWMWater is working to improve this unique system by investing in various upgrades to the system including: • Improved aeration at Lake Bellfield to reduce stratification and risks associated with iron and manganese; • Modification of the outlet tower to enable water to be extracted at levels above the floor of the reservoir; • Improved monitoring of pumping and water quality across the network to provide evidence of any occurrence of fouling and the corresponding reduction of system performance; • Implementation of new treatment plants, or pipelines from nearby existing treatment plants, to supply filtered water to larger towns across the region that are currently without filtration; • Research and trials into the regulatory implications of point of entry and point of use for small towns and individual rural customers; • Continued partnership with Victoria University looking at bio-fouling problems and how to manage against any impacts within the NMP and WMP systems.

the Authors

• The requirement in the south of the WMP to break the head from Lake Bellfield, requiring additional pumping and energy; • Relatively few additional people would be provided with filtered drinking water, as most of the larger towns already have filtration plants (typically Dissolved Air Flotation Filtration plants).

Peter Carroll (email: is a Process Engineer within GHD’s Water Technology Team. He has over five years’ experience in the water industry including in the areas of water treatment plant design, water supply option studies and water quality monitoring and analysis.

Michael Chapman (email: Michael.Chapman@ is a Chemical Engineer with some 35 years’ experience in water treatment, water supply and recycled treatment design, and water quality risk assessment. He is GHD’s Global Leader for Water Treatment and Desalination Service Line. He is also GHD representative at Water Quality Research Association. Dr Andrew Barton (email: Andrew.Barton@ Is a Senior Water Resources Engineer with 10 years’ experience in the water and research industries. He is a water resource and hydro-technical specialist, with his current role at GWMWater primarily focusing on the operation of the complex Grampians reservoir system and associated entitlement and water allocation framework. Greg Whorlow (email: Greg.Whorlow@gwmwater. is a water scientist with five years experience in the water industry. Greg’s role includes managing risk within water supply systems and optimising the water and wastewater treatment facilities operated by GWMWater.

References Barton AF, Briggs S, McRae-Williams P & Prior D (2009): Coping with Severe Drought: Stories from the Front Line. In: 32nd Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Newcastle, Australia, 30 November–3 December 2008. Published on CD. Mala-Jetmarova H, Schwarz S, Barton A, Le Roux S, Smalley P & Gerke S (2011): Development of hydraulic models for a complex and large scale water distribution system in regional Australia. In: 19th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Perth, Australia, 12–16 December 2011. Mitra R, Barton AF, Briggs S & Orbell JD (2012): Identification of five bryozoan species in the Northern Mallee Pipeline, Australia. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, DOI:10.1080/03014223.2012.674538.



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Water Infrastructure Group leading the industry with the award-winning Virtual Control Room MELBOURNE SYDNEY ADELAIDE BRISBANE PERTH

Peter Everist Hugh McGinley Owen Jayne Hugh McGinley David Foot

03 9863 3535 02 9325 5822 08 8348 1687 02 9325 5822 08 9346 8557

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RetRofIttINg wAteR-SeNSItIve uRbAN deSIgN ASSetS to AChIeve INtegRAted wAteR MANAgeMeNt outCoMeS

Assessing the viability of constructed wetlands to supply fit-for-purpose water to irrigate local sports fields A Svazas, N Corby Abstract The recent drought in Australia forced many communities to reconsider how they manage water resources. With traditional water supplies dwindling it became necessary for water authorities to put in place restrictions on the use of potable water. The utilisation of non-traditional alternative water resources, such as recycled water and stormwater, came into focus for communities that could use this water for non-potable water demands. City West Water (CWW) is working with municipal councils, schools and businesses to utilise these non-potable water sources to improve the sustainability and resilience of operations at these organisations. In 2008 two opportunities for alternative water supply were identified in the Point Cook area in the west of Melbourne. Together they are called the Point Cook Sustainable Alternative Water Scheme. The concept for both projects was to use recently constructed wetlands as the source of water and to supply adjoining sports fields and school grounds with fit-for-purpose water for irrigation. This paper describes the method that was used to assess the viability of these wetlands to convert them from stormwater treatment assets to stormwater treatment and supply assets, and the technical challenges that were presented with this approach.

Introduction The reduction in reliable rainfall in southeast Australia has required communities to reconsider how they manage their water resources. In Melbourne numerous mitigation strategies were developed and successfully implemented, including the Target 155 campaign, Stage 3a restrictions and rebates for water tanks. CWW also worked with community members and businesses to develop solutions to ensure

efficient water use in industrial production and open space irrigation. The Water Innovation team at CWW developed centralised recycled water schemes and investigated decentralised alternative water schemes to provide fit-for-purpose alternative water. CWW sought partnerships with community organisations such as councils, businesses and schools to investigate and develop the decentralised projects. Carranballac College in Point Cook, Victoria, approached CWW to help the school with its needs. Civil engineering and town planning have traditionally viewed stormwater as a nuisance and designed the urban landscape to dispose of it as quickly as possible. As our understanding and the size of the urban landscape grows, measures have been taken to develop land to provide detention, retention and treatment of stormwater in an attempt to return waterways to a more natural operational paradigm. This practice is typically referred to as Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD). Over the last few years the management approach to urban stormwater has changed again. The development of Integrated Water Management (IWM) has added a third objective to stormwater management: stormwater reuse or stormwater harvesting. IWM encourages the perspective to view stormwater as an opportunity to improve liveability, urban habitat and drought resilience for urban settings. This paper discusses the challenges that have been encountered in retrofitting and utilising WSUD infrastructure (constructed wetlands) to achieve IWM objectives.

Project Setting Carranballac College, one of two partner schools in the scheme, has two campuses within Point Cook, the Jamieson Way

(South) and Boardwalk Estate (North). Both of these campuses are located adjacent to constructed WSUD wetlands. The alternative water projects that comprise the scheme are referred to as Scheme A (North) and Scheme B (South). The environs of Scheme A include the Point Cook commercial town centre, the Boardwalk Estate wetlands, a Wyndham City Council (WCC) oval, Carranballac College (CC) and Emmanuel College (EC). At the time of project initiation neither school, including both CC campuses, had an operational school oval. WCCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oval was operational; however, due to Stage 3a water restrictions the turf was not being irrigated with its optimal irrigation volume. The environs of Scheme B include the Jamieson Way wetlands, Carranballac College and the Point Cook community centre. Both of the wetland systems are part of a larger catchment that feeds an estate with a number of constructed lakes. CWW identified an opportunity whereby all the open spaces at each location could be supplied with alternative water supplied by the constructed wetlands. Discussions were undertaken to include WCC, CC and EC in the projects. All gave a positive commitment to the projects, with the scheme to be called the Point Cook Sustainable Alternative Water Scheme (PC SAWS). The environs can be seen in Figures 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

Method While stormwater harvesting is not new from an informal water supply perspective, it is a relatively new concept to traditional urban water supply companies in Australia. While stormwater harvesting is unregulated in Victoria, a number of tools were used to develop the project concepts. These included:



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Boardwalk Estate Wetlands

City of Wyndham Reserve


Emmanuel College


od Dve

Carranballac College, Boardwalk Campus

Dunnings Rd

Figure 1. Scheme A. • Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse, July 2009; • Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement and Conceptualisation (MUSIC); • CWW internally developed runoff and harvesting tools using historical climate data; and • Code of Practice: Irrigated Public Open Space South Australia (CoP). A concept design was developed for each project highlighting a number of underlying risks and assumptions. Investigation of the schemes’ risks and assumptions was undertaken by the following method: 1.

Demand and rainfall modelling was undertaken to assess whether sufficient runoff could be harvested and make the projects financially viable;


Harvesting impacts on the wetlands and downstream waterways;


Assessment of wetlands for suitability of stormwater harvesting and their ability to provide fit-for-purpose non-potable water;


Design and environmental site

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constraints: assessing flora and fauna and cultural heritage aspects. The initial concepts were to use the existing wetlands as storage and treatment by either using or raising the permanent pool depth. The permanent pool would be drawn upon directly from the last pond in the wetlands flow and would supply the end users on an asneeds basis. The last pond was chosen because the water was considered to be the cleanest, and because the pond was closest to the demand locations. The concept extraction points can be seen in Figures 1 and 2 by the red X for Schemes A and B, respectively.

discussion Using catchment characteristics, field data and the as-constructed designs, the wetlands’ flow was recreated in MUSIC. Climatic data for the long-term average year of Western Melbourne was used to estimate the annual harvested volume. The wetlands’ outfall data was then used in internally developed stormwater harvesting models. The internal models follow best practice using the (CoP) to determine turf irrigation demand.

The outputs from the models indicate that, on average, a satisfactory and financially viable amount of water could be harvested from the wetlands provided relatively large storages for each scheme were provided. Separate modelling was undertaken to determine how harvesting from the wetlands’ sub-catchments affected the flow into downstream water systems. The modelling indicated that, with harvesting, only 25% of flows had a reduction in greater than 10% instantaneous flow. This includes low flow conditions when the modelled flow was less than 1L/s. The modelling outputs were considered acceptable and it was decided to proceed further with the concept investigations. Options were explored to store the water. It was initially conceived to raise the permanent pool depth in both the wetlands; however, expert advice from the wetlands owner, Melbourne Water, indicated that this would hamper the performance of the wetlands in relation to flood mitigation and could affect the wetland ecology. This was an undesirable outcome. An extraction system that could operate within the extended detention depth was considered acceptable by Melbourne Water.

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Carranballac College, Jamieson Way Campus Jamieson Way Wetlands

X Point Cook Community Centre Figure 2. Scheme B. Options were explored to locate above-ground storages for both sites, given that using the permanent pool depth was unacceptable. It was fortunate that for both schemes the landholders, CC and WCC, could accommodate the installation of above-ground tanks. Retrofitting stormwater projects into urban landscapes is often very expensive because of the need to install underground storage tanks. After support was achieved for aboveground storage, CWW and the appointed consultants began to develop designs to harvest flow from the overflow of the wetlands. For Scheme A, this included harvesting water from the wetlands outfall culvert. For Scheme B, diversion design ideas were not finalised. During the modelling phase it was revealed that the Scheme B wetlands included numerous ‘open groundwater’ ponds. Groundwater in the Western Melbourne region is known to be high in Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), which above a certain concentration makes the reuse of water for long-term irrigation unsustainable. Field tests were undertaken to determine the presence of groundwater in each of the ponds. The tests confirmed the presence of groundwater in most of Scheme B ponds, with TDS values ranging from

700 to 3700mg/L. Some ponds were found to have lower TDS in the range of 150 to 500mg/L. These ponds were in the northwest corner of the wetlands, where the wetlands were designed to exclude the infiltration of groundwater. The concentration in the north-west ponds was considered satisfactory to harvest for irrigation end use. Scheme A field tests returned a maximum TDS concentration of 100mg/L. No evidence of groundwater infiltration was witnessed in the field or in the designs. As a result of the water quality findings, the diversion location for Scheme B was relocated from the last pond (farthest east) to the freshwater ponds (farthest west). Functional designs and cost estimates were completed for both schemes. As a result of the water quality issues with Scheme B and the need to move the diversion location, the capital cost estimates more than doubled, making this project financially unviable. Alternative arrangements were explored for Scheme B and the demands are now being met by CWW’s recycled water system. Environmental assessments, including of flora and fauna, and a cultural heritage Phase 1 site assessment, were undertaken for Scheme A. The flora and fauna assessment determined

that the wetlands are likely habitat for the Growling Grass Frog (GGF), which is an Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) listed species. No disturbance to the habitat could be undertaken until it was determined whether the GGF was present. Moving the diversion point from the wetlands outfall, surrounded by vegetation, to the barrel drain 15m downstream alleviated disturbance to potential GGF habitat and, hence, further flora and fauna investigations. The cultural heritage investigation indicated that the Scheme A area was a likely place of Aboriginal activity (DSE, 2012; DPI, 2012). Records (DoS, 1979; MMBW) show that the wetlands and WCC oval have been constructed in a depression that would accumulate water, which could provide resources and food for the traditional owners. The land developer and Council provided supporting documentation that was used to determine areas of significant disturbance. This includes areas that were used to lay drainage lines, raise and construct roads, and to raise and contour the WCC oval. The locations that were identified as significantly disturbed are as much as 50% of the project area.



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Scheme B

Sanctuary Lakes Figure 3. Schemes A and B in context.

Key Learnings Particular WSUD practices that lead to the construction of wetlands provide flood and pollution control; however, the opportunity for harvesting is often overlooked. This makes retrofitting such systems to achieve integrated water management outcomes potentially difficult. During the concept design and challenge phase of a stormwaterharvesting project the proponent should discuss with the wetlands owner what portion of volume is harvestable. Taking water that is accumulated in the extended detention depth does not appear to affect the original intended performance of the wetlands. The proponent should be familiar with the catchment and the hydrogeological and geological conditions within the project area. This can help determine any influence on the wetlands and water quality. Drainage assets and wetlands are often built in areas that naturally collect water. Depending on the jurisdiction and legal framework, proponents should seek advice from town planning authorities and land developers on the works history in the investigation area if archaeological and historical factors are likely to be a concern. Similarly, land and assets associated with drainage can

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often also be associated with flora and fauna constraints. The proponent should educate themselves as to the limitations that may be imposed at their area of investigation. Finally, the WSUD system designs may provide further information as to the wetlands’ ability to achieve integrated water management.

Conclusion From a town planning perspective the schemes that were investigated as part of the PC SAWS project were ideal cases of where WSUD assets could be retrofitted to implement integrated water infrastructure. Drainage and WSUD assets were located immediately next door to regional ovals and schools. However, technical challenges proved to make Scheme B limitations on the project greater than the benefits, rendering the project unviable. Once all of the technical limitations were understood, adjustments to the design of Scheme A could be undertaken. All technical issues could be accommodated for Scheme A with the scheme still viable. Construction is expected to begin in late 2012. This paper was originally presented at Enviro 12 at Adelaide in July.

the Authors Aleks Svazas (email: asvazas@city au) has worked on a range of integrated water management projects including the Yarra Park Sewer Mining Project and the Maribyrnong City Council Stormwater Harvesting Project. He is currently an Engineer – Water Innovation with City West Water (CWW). Nigel Corby (email: ncorby@ citywest is the Integrated Water Projects Manager for CWW. He has overseen the planning and development of many CWW Integrated Water Management projects.

References Environment Protection and Heritage Council (2009): National Water Quality Management Strategy. Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Stormwater Harvesting Resuse. Government of South Australia (2007): Code of Practice: Irrigation of Public Open Space. Department of Sustainability and Environment (2012): Biodiversity Interactive Maps. Department of Primary Industries (2012): Geovic Interactive Maps. Department of Sustainability (1979): Aerial Photo Archives. Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works, unknown publication date. Water Supply Maps Darley 2500/29.04.

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THE LOGAN WATER ALLIANCE MODEL Delivering infrastructure in a healthy environment P van der Linde, P Solanki Introduction This paper reveals how Logan City Council’s Logan Water Alliance delivers water and wastewater infrastructure in a healthy environment. It outlines the way sustainability is driven by the Alliance’s inclusive decision-making process, and discusses how Planning, Opportunity and Risk (POAR) and Design, Opportunity and Risk (DOAR) workshops are used to proactively identify and manage key economic, environmental, social and technical issues across numerous projects. The paper also discusses Logan Water Alliance’s strategic approach to managing mitigation requirements for clearing native plants under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and highlights the Alliance’s key sustainability achievements.

About Logan Water Alliance Logan Water Alliance is a public and private sector enterprise involving Logan City Council, Tenix, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Cardno. It is one of the largest water infrastructure delivery programs of its type in Australia and was established by Logan City Council in August 2009 to meet the demand for water services in the Logan district, one of Queensland’s fastest growing areas. As part of the Queensland Government’s South-East Queensland Water Reform process, Allconnex Water

temporarily replaced Logan City Council as the Alliance’s public sector partner from July 2010 to June 2012; however, Logan City Council resumed this role from 1 July 2012. The Alliance will continue delivering essential water and wastewater services across Logan City until at least the end of 2013, with a possible one-year extension thereafter. The Alliance is responsible for planning, designing, constructing and commissioning new and improved water, wastewater and recycled-water infrastructure in Logan City, which is located in South-East Queensland immediately south of Brisbane (Figure 1). Individual projects range in value from $1m to $50m. It is forecast that the Alliance will deliver up to $50m in capital works annually. However, it is not the Alliance’s size that sets it apart from other water industry partnerships or makes the greatest contribution to its success. The main advantage of this alliance delivery model is that it incorporates planning, design, construction and commissioning functions, a strategy that only a handful of infrastructure programs in Australia have adopted.

The Logan Water Alliance Model The Logan Water Alliance is a ‘planningled alliance’ with planning decisions directly influencing the scope and delivery

of the Alliance’s annual capital works program. This planning-led approach has resulted in a range of value-formoney work processes and outcomes, including significant environmental benefits. The program is headed by an Alliance Leadership Group made up of representatives from the Alliance partners. The Alliance Manager is responsible for financial and strategic planning of the program, and for ensuring that systems and procedures are implemented and maintained to ensure the delivery of successful outcomes. Figure 2 illustrates how the Alliance’s planning-led approach directly influences the development of future capital works projects. During this phase, input from all sections of the Alliance team is used to develop multi-criteria analyses that rank whole-of-life costs and non-cost factors, such as environmental and social impacts, to determine the right solutions to infrastructure deficiencies. An overview of the main work activities completed at the different stages of a typical project is included in Figure 3. Logan Water Alliance’s planningled approach provides the opportunity to influence projects at the earliest stage of the project life cycle, where the opportunity to create value is at its greatest. To date, this has resulted in significant value-for-money outcomes

Figure 1. Logan City Council operational area1. Logan State Emergency Service:


Figure 2. Logan Water Alliance processes.



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Planning • Strategy planning reports • Master planning • Catchment planning • Detailed planning • Options assessments • Planning opportunities and risks workshops • Detailed planning • Business cases (Work Package Definiition Statements)



• Design opportunities and risks workshops • Safety in design reviews • Environmental and approval assessments • Community and stakeholder assessments • Detailed design • Estimating • Construction planning • Target Outturn Cost Reports

• Materials specifications and inspections • Procurement and selection processes • Request for Information (RFI) processes • Design, safety, quality and environmental audits during construction • Verification • Sub-contractor management

Handover • Commissioning tests • Operations staff training • Commissioning reports / handover documentation • Project completion reports • As built drawings • Maintenance and support arrangements

Evaluation • Stakeholder satisfaction surveys, including infrastructure operator surveys • Lessons learned workshops • Value for money assessments

Figure 3. Logan Water Alliance infrastructure delivery method. for the client, including approximately $70m in capital cost savings and $45m in net present value cost savings. The approach proactively encourages the early identification of potential environmental impacts associated with new infrastructure. It also encourages the team to consider ways to avoid, or mitigate, these impacts at a planning level – for example, by choosing pipeline alignments that minimise vegetation clearing as much as possible. Similarly, the Alliance’s delivery of a program of works, rather than a single project, enables economies of scale to be achieved when, for example, it plans revegetation programs to mitigate unavoidable vegetation clearing.

Measuring our success Logan Water Alliance’s activities are linked to a series of key performance indicators, which are used to measure the effectiveness of its work processes and outcomes. For example, the Alliance measures how safe its work sites are, how well it delivers approved work tasks or work packages, its impact on the environment, and community satisfaction with its delivery activities.

The Decision-Making Process Being able to draw on the experience and expertise of team members from four different partner companies allows the Logan Water Alliance to capitalise on the broad collective knowledge of its team members, who can be relied on to solve the range of problems that occur. Input from cross-functional teams, including the safety, approvals, environment, community, design, planning and construction teams, is requested at all stages of the project. The inputs are discussed, collected and documented during the Planning, Opportunity and Risk (POAR) and Design, Opportunity and Risk (DOAR) workshops. POAR workshops are held at the planning stage, at which time an options assessment and/or multi-criteria analysis is undertaken to identify the most sustainable option to execute the project.

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After the most sustainable option is identified and approved by the client, two DOAR workshops (or more if required) are held during the design stage, usually at the 30% and 80% design development intervals. In the DOAR workshop the preferred option is considered in more detail to confirm the specific environmental, approval, community, safety and technical requirements. Risks are identified and management measures documented. As in the POAR workshop, representatives from the crossfunctional teams attend these workshops. Representatives from the client’s operations team are also invited to attend and contribute to the workshops to ensure their design requirements are considered. During the project’s construction stage, the in-house design team works closely with the construction and environment teams to identify potential sustainable solutions to issues that arise during construction. The environment team also monitors the performance of subcontractors to ensure the commitments and sustainable outcomes anticipated by the Alliance are achieved on site.

of Logan Village. Most of the pipeline was constructed using open-trench technology. However, in a number of cases where mature koala-habitat trees were located inside the proposed pipeline corridor, auger boring was used to ensure the preservation of significant trees. The project delivered the infrastructure needed to connect Logan Village to a reticulated water supply for the first time. The construction alignment that was initially approved was reassessed and ruled out, as it required the removal of significant koala habitat trees. This was done despite the original alignment being approved for construction and despite the fact that the alternative alignment option would add risk to the budget and the delivery timeline. An alternative alignment on the opposite side of the road was assessed and selected because of its historical disturbance as well as its low ecological value compared to the initially approved alignment. However, it was discovered that the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) was planning to widen the road in the near future. Due to this additional constraint, the Alliance, in consultation with DTMR, agreed to revert back to the side of the road originally proposed, but with a non-standard setback from the road that gave the Alliance

At the end of the project, ‘lessons learned’ workshops are held to capture key learnings from completed projects; these are subsequently used to improve performance on future Alliance projects.

Key Sustainability Successes To demonstrate the Logan Water Alliance’s commitment to delivering infrastructure in a healthy environment, three case studies are briefly discussed below. These projects, namely the Logan Village Trunk Main project, Greenwood Lakes Reserve Rehabilitation project and Springwood Low Level Reservoir project, reflect some of the significant sustainability successes that the Alliance decision-making process has accomplished.

Logan Village trunk main The Logan Village Water Main project included the installation of 4.5km of 250mm and 300mm water trunk mains along Camp Cable Road and Waterford-Tamborine Road in the suburb

Figure 4. Boring under trees.

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Figure 5. Post-construction restoration. more flexibility and an opportunity to use alternative construction techniques. The final alignment enabled the Alliance to retain the majority of the significant habitat trees using different construction techniques (Figure 4). The trees that were retained are large, mature, hollow-bearing koala-habitat trees that, apart from fauna habitat, also provide aesthetic value and a buffer to the residents living along the road (Figure 5). The efforts of the Alliance were recognised and appreciated in the local media by the community (Figure 6). This approach has achieved the following important sustainability outcomes: • The retention of over 300 significant habitat trees within the construction corridor and the clearing of only 640 trees of lower ecological value (as opposed to the originally estimated 1,800 destined to be cleared). This outcome was achieved by: – boring under trees – using smaller excavators wherever possible – reducing the construction footprint along the alignment by minimising the clearing corridor, wherever possible, from 10 metres to 8 metres wide, resulting in a reduction of nearly one hectare in vegetation clearance; • Demonstration of the Alliance’s commitment to reducing its environmental impacts to key program stakeholders, including the Australian Koala Foundation and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP). This has helped the Alliance develop a strong working relationship with regulators, a relationship that is based on their confidence that

Figure 6. An article in the local media2. 2

Jimboomba Times, November 17, 2010.

the Alliance is genuinely committed to pursuing outcomes that limit its environmental impacts; this in turn facilitates effective approval processes; • Maintenance of a buffer between high-speed traffic and residential dwellings, resulting in significantly better community amenity for residents along the alignment; • Satisfaction of all DTMR requirements during design and delivery phases, thereby ensuring high-quality outcomes for public road infrastructure.

Greenwood Lakes Reserve Rehabilitation Project In 2011, the Alliance identified a strategic approach to meeting its mitigation-offset requirements for vegetation clearance under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. The Alliance’s environment team realised that the most effective way to mitigate the loss of vegetation on Alliance construction sites was to find a significant area of land to rehabilitate through additional vegetation planting, rather than by conducting rehabilitation activities on sites scattered across the Logan district. The majority of the Alliance’s project sites do not allow sufficient space for onsite revegetation works because planting over the pipeline is not considered appropriate. Also, many Alliance projects are in the ‘road reserve’ of roads that are earmarked for future widening. Therefore, on-site planting often would not have provided a long-term sustainable solution. Working with Logan City Council and the DEHP, the Alliance identified a suitable site – the 43-hectare Greenwood Lakes Reserve on the banks of Oxley Creek in Forestdale. This reserve is part of an important wildlife

corridor between Brisbane and Beaudesert, but has been degraded by years of sandmining activities. The main driver in the selection of Greenwood Lakes Reserve was the long-term environmental and community benefits that would be achieved by the mitigation work. This rehabilitation project indicates a substantial investment by Logan City Council in environmental sustainability and meeting its obligations under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. The Alliance developed a three-year management plan for the reserve (approved by council and the Department of Environment and Resource Management) and is now implementing the $1.9m first stage of rehabilitation activities, which includes rejuvenation of a 12-hectare section of the reserve through: • Propagation of 10,000 native plant seedlings; • Planting of more than 81,000 tubestock; • Installation of 34 nest boxes to provide habitat for local fauna. The benefits of the Greenwood Lakes Reserve rehabilitation project include: • Cost savings gained by managing a single mitigation site rather than multiple sites; • Cost savings gained by managing one subcontractor under one contract rather than multiple subcontractors under different contracts; • Improved relationships with DEHP assessment staff, which gave DEHP confidence that the Alliance would meet the vegetation-clearing permit conditions; this decreased the time it took to approve individual permits;



sustainable water management

Figure 7. Greenwood Lakes Reserve rehabilitation planting. • The opportunity to conduct community tree-planting days at the reserve, which provides an avenue for involving the local community and stakeholders, and helps demonstrate the sincerity of the Alliance’s intentions to meet its environmental responsibilities. As a result of the success of this strategy, Logan City Council has indicated that it would be willing to support future mitigation works within the reserve in line with vegetation clearance requirements on future capital works projects.

Springwood Low Level Reservoir project The Springwood Low Level Reservoir project is another example of the Alliance’s commitment to delivering sustainable project outcomes, and demonstrates the value added by the environment team at different project stages. This project involved the duplication of the existing single inletoutlet pipe at the Springwood Low Level Reservoir (which is located adjacent to the Springwood Conservation Park) and construction of erosion and sediment controls to manage the gully erosion that had developed over time. For the erosion and sediment control section of the project, the original design specified filling eroded areas with rock and covering the top section with reno mattress. After construction began, it was determined that this was not the most sustainable solution to the issue. After discussion with the appointed subcontractor, design experts and landscaping experts, a decision was made to use coir logs, jute matting, partial rock fill and topsoil as a top layer, and replanting of the area to stabilise the slope. This solution is contiguous with the Springwood Conservation Park and maintained the continuity in vegetation for the area’s fauna. In addition, it saved approximately $15,000 compared with the original solution.

86 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

Overall sustainable result Logan Water Alliance’s sustainable decision-making process and commitment to maintaining and enhancing the health of the local environment has generated significant results to date. By focusing on avoiding and minimising vegetation clearing where practical, the Alliance has delivered approximately $1m in mitigation cost savings and saved more than 3,000 trees in approved construction corridors through innovations in project delivery.

Figure 8. Springwood Low Level Reservoir erosion and sediment control.

Conclusion This paper demonstrates how the Alliance’s inclusive decision-making process promotes and achieves sustainability. Involving environmental specialists in all stages of the alliance delivery model ensures that environmental impacts are kept to a minimum. Taking a strategic approach to managing mitigation requirements for clearing native plants creates an opportunity for limiting impacts, provides substantial efficiencies and builds trust among all stakeholders. This paper was originally presented at Enviro 12 at Adelaide in July.

Acknowledgement We would like to thank Allconnex Water and Logan City Council for allowing the presentation of this paper. We would also like to express our appreciation to the Logan Water Alliance approvals and environment team (including former members), as well as members of other teams, including the stakeholder and community team, for their contributions.

The Authors

Pieter van der Linde (email: is a Principal Planner with 23 years’ experience in the public and private sectors. Currently manager of Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Gold Coast, Queensland, office, his responsibilities include client relationship management and business development. Pieter is also the part-time approvals/ environment manager on the Logan Water Alliance and a guest university lecturer. Pratik Solanki (email: psolanki@ is an Environmental Engineer with more than five years’ experience in environmental management of infrastructure projects up to $100m. Pratik has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, a Master of Environmental Engineering and a Diploma in Project Management. He is currently employed as Environmental Team Leader on the Logan Water Alliance Project by Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Brisbane, Queensland, office.

technical features

water recycling

refereed paper

RECYCLED WATER SCHEMES IN THE LoWER HUNTER REGIoN, NSW An overview of agricultural, municipal irrigation and industrial reuse schemes implemented by Hunter Water Corporation V Shah, B Jennar, E Turner, T McClymont Abstract Hunter Water Corporation (Hunter Water) is a State-owned corporation providing water and wastewater services to over half-a-million people in the Lower Hunter region of New South Wales. Hunter Water aims to pursue sustainable water recycling opportunities as a substitute for potable water and as a way of managing effluent discharges from its wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), where financially and environmentally feasible. During 2011–12, approximately 4,660ML of recycled water was supplied to customers by 16 recycled water schemes, of which 40% directly substituted the use of potable water. During this period, approximately 7% of the total effluent treated was recycled.

Dungog and a small part of Singleton in New South Wales (Figure 1). Hunter Water’s area of wastewater operations is serviced by a system to transport and treat wastewater received from over 215,000 properties including 4,792km of sewer mains, 380 pumping stations and 18 WWTPs. Hunter Water’s area of water operations is serviced by a system to extract, treat and supply drinking water to over 230,000 properties including 4,930km of water mains, six water treatment plants (WTPs), two surface water storages and two groundwater resources. The Hunter region’s drinking water supply delivers about 180ML/day on average, extracting water from eight catchments with a total area of 2085km2.

Regulatory Framework The NSW Government regulates Hunter Water’s operations through a number of regulatory instruments, including an Operating Licence. The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) licenses the operations of the wastewater pipe network and WWTPs under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. The NSW Office of Water (NOW) licenses the extraction of water from natural surface and groundwater sources for the region’s drinking water supply. NSW Health, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), establishes the scope of the drinking water monitoring plans and procedures for communicating results of water quality monitoring programs. Hunter Water’s operational

These recycled water schemes at Hunter Water consisted of a number of agricultural and municipal irrigation applications, as well as two significant industrial reuse schemes. The recycled water was supplied from 10 out of 18 WWTPs owned by Hunter Water, with performance of the schemes regularly monitored by Hunter Water’s Recycled Water Quality Committee as well as other key Hunter Water personnel and senior management. A number of studies are currently underway to identify further recycled water opportunities in the Lower Hunter, both for effluent management and for water security. This includes the Lower Hunter Recycled Water Initiative, which is expected to save 3,730ML/year of potable water and almost double the volume of recycled water used in the Lower Hunter, and other studies concentrating on decentralised wastewater, greywater and stormwater reuse.

Introduction Hunter Water’s area of operations covers 5,366km2 with a population of almost 600,000 people in the local government areas of Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens,

Figure 1. Hunter Water’s area of operations.



water recycling

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Table 1. Summary of Hunter Water’s recycled water schemes during 2011–12. Supplying WWTP

Treatment Level

Reuse Scheme

Reuse Type


Pasture irrigation

Reuse for WWTP (ML/year) 2011–12


Membrane bioreactor

Branxton Golf Course

Municipal irrigation


Non-food crop irrigation



Cessnock Golf Course

Municipal irrigation



Eraring Power Station

Industrial process water


Secondary with maturation pond detention


Pasture irrigation


Waratah Golf Course

Municipal irrigation

Oceanic Coal

Dust suppression and coal washing


Secondary with maturation pond detention


Pasture irrigation


Secondary with UV disinfection

Karuah Effluent Reuse Enterprise (ERE)

Pasture irrigation


Dora Creek Dungog Edgeworth Farley^ Karuah

Kurri Kurri



Secondary with UV disinfection

Kurri Golf Course

Municipal irrigation

Kurri TAFE

Municipal and landscape irrigation

Tertiary (filtration and UV disinfection)

Secondary with UV disinfection




Pasture irrigation

McColl Engineering (Trotting Track)

Dust suppression and landscape irrigation

East’s Golf and Leisure

Municipal irrigation


Non-food crop irrigation

Onsite Reuse

WWTP process water


Indirect Reuse

Agricultural irrigation


Membrane bioreactor





^ Farley WWTP currently being upgraded, ** Paxton WWTP recently upgraded.

performance under the Operating Licence is audited annually by an independent expert nominated by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). The framework for calculating recycled water pricing is determined by IPART. Under the Operating Licence, recycled water supplied by Hunter Water must be supplied according to the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (AGWR) or relevant guidelines specified by NOW, NSW Health and EPA.

Initiatives on Recycled Water Quality Management and Improvement Hunter Water ratified its Recycled Water Policy in September 2007. The Policy supports and promotes the responsible use of recycled water and the application of a management approach that consistently meets the AGWR, as well as recycled water customer and regulatory requirements. Most of the existing recycled water schemes were designed prior to the establishment of the AGWR in 2006, and as such are currently managed under

88 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

the Guidelines for Sewerage Systems: Use of Reclaimed Water (2000). Hunter Water has developed the Recycled Water Quality Management Plan (RWQMP) that provides a pathway for implementation of Phase 1 of the AGWR (2006). The RWQMP, accepted by NSW Health, was submitted in the 2008–09 IPART audit for which Hunter Water received full compliance with respect to the recycled water aspects of the Operating Licence. A key component of being compliant with the AGWR is the implementation of the risk-based management framework. As part of this implementation process, a five-year Recycled Water Quality Improvement Plan (RWQIP) has been developed, which builds on management strategies established in the RWQMP providing significant background to the improvement strategies outlined. In support of management strategies established in Hunter Water’s RWQMP and RWQIP, Hunter Water develops annual Recycled Water Quality Monitoring Plans outlining Hunter Water’s recycled water quality monitoring strategies and procedures for a financial year. These plans support their objectives through

proactive monitoring and established controls as described below: • Baseline monitoring is used to establish typical concentration levels present in the sources of recycled water and receiving environments; • Validation monitoring is undertaken to determine whether relevant preventative measures are capable of adequately controlling recycled water quality and exposure levels within the bounds required to achieve health and environmental target criteria specified in the AGWR; • Operational monitoring is undertaken to assess the performance of preventative measures throughout the recycled water system. Hunter Water uses a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to support its operators by continuous online monitoring of WWTP equipment performance and operations; • Verification monitoring is designed to assess the overall regulatory compliance of a recycled water system with the requirements of the RWQMP;

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of 70ha has been developed for irrigation of recycled water and site access. Significant areas of native trees have been maintained. A native tree buffer zone (20m) has been established along the northern and north-western boundaries. The Karuah ERE has a capacity to irrigate up to 290kL per day (1,450 EP) of recycled water from Karuah WWTP. A site plan of the Karuah ERE is shown in Figure 3 and the historical recycled water usage data are presented in Table 2. Irrigation System

Figure 2. Locations of current recycled water schemes and future opportunities. Table 2. Historical recycled water usage data for the Karuah Effluent Reuse Enterprise (ERE). Financial Year

Recycled Water Usage (ML)

Annual Rainfall (mm)*































* Indicative rainfall data from Raymond Terrace WWTP, ^ Data from September 2002 to June 2003.

• Monitoring in response to incidents and emergencies may include increased and strategic monitoring of recycled water and the receiving environment at short notice with minimum turnaround times.

Existing Recycled Water Schemes Hunter Water has a long track record of using recycled water in industry, agriculture and on municipal facilities such as golf courses. During 2011–12, approximately 4,660ML of recycled water was supplied to customers by 16 recycled water schemes (Table 1), of which 40% directly substituted the use of potable water. These schemes consisted of a number of agricultural and municipal

irrigation applications as well as two significant industrial reuse schemes. Indirect recycled water use accounted for treated effluent discharged to receiving waters and then extracted by downstream farmers. The recycled water was supplied from 10 out of 18 WWTPs owned by Hunter Water. Figure 2 shows the locations of these recycled water schemes. Recycled water is also used at a number of WWTPs for chemical mixing, washdown and general process water. • Karuah Effluent Reuse Enterprise (ERE) Background

The final recycled water from Karuah WWTP is stored in a 100ML-capacity dam located to the west of the central ridge on the ERE land, before being pumped to the reuse area via a centrifugal pump. The reuse area consists of 34ha of pastoral land irrigated by one full-circle (Pivot 2) and one part-circle centre pivot irrigator (Pivot 1). Pivot irrigation was selected as the preferred irrigation method because it allows variable application rates, optimised spraying to avoid run-off, irrigation of part circles, simplicity of operation with low labour and energy requirements, and low potential for spray drift. Crops Harvested Currently a mixture of lucerne, rye grass and clover is being grown on the irrigation area. Due to the slightly different elevation, topography and groundwater levels at each pivot area, the success of the different crops vary. A combination of rye grass and lucerne grows well on Pivot 2, with clover being the predominant crop on Pivot 1. Site Management Plan The Site Management Plan (SMP) has been developed for the identification of potential environmental impacts due to operation of the scheme and measures to mitigate these risks. One of the key risk areas of any agricultural effluent reuse enterprise is appropriate irrigation scheduling. Consequently, an Irrigation Management Plan, based on the NSW Department of Primary Industries guidelines on Irrigation and Drainage Management Plan (IDMP), has been developed as part of the SMP.

Karuah WWTP and the ERE were established as part of the Hunter Sewerage Project (HSP) in 2002. The objectives of the HSP were to protect water quality in Karuah River and the adjacent marine environment, safeguard public health, reduce local pollution and minimise impacts to local oyster industry, and optimise resource use. Karuah WWTP and the ERE are fully owned by Hunter Water and managed by Hunter Water Australia (HWA), a subsidiary company of Hunter Water.

Performance Management of Existing Schemes

The Karuah ERE is situated adjacent to Karuah WWTP off Scotts Road, approximately 3km north-west of the township of Karuah. It is located on a 100-hectare (ha) property owned by Hunter Water. Much of the site had been cleared by the previous owner. An area

The performance of existing recycled water schemes is regularly monitored by Hunter Water’s Recycled Water Quality Committee (RWQC) as well as other key Hunter Water personnel and senior management. Health and environmental risk assessments were



water recycling

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Figure 3. Site plan of the Karuah Effluent Reuse Enterprise (ERE). recently conducted on recycled water schemes, in accordance with the AGWRapproved hazard identification and assessment methodology. Based on the classification criteria listed in the AGWR, no ‘high’ risks were identified. Some of the risks classified as ‘moderate’ included excessive, unauthorised or inappropriate use of recycled water, slime growth within recycled water reticulation system and recycled water pipe breakage. These risks are currently being managed as part of the Recycled Water Quality Improvement Management Plan (RWQIMP), which would systematically decrease the exposure to risk for Hunter Water and its recycled water customers. The risk assessments will be reviewed again once a statistically valid set of data becomes available through monitoring undertaken as part of Recycled Water Quality Monitoring Plans.

Future Recycled Water opportunities Hunter Water aims to pursue sustainable water recycling opportunities as a substitute for potable water and as a way of managing effluent discharges from WWTPs, where financially and environmentally feasible. A number of studies including the Lower Hunter Recycled Water Initiative (LHRWI) are currently underway to identify recycled

90 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

water opportunities in the lower Hunter, both for effluent management and for water security. The LHRWI would deliver significant recycled water projects to improve the water supply security in the Lower Hunter. The completion of the LHRWI is projected to save 3,730ML of potable water annually, which is expected to result in the volume of recycled water in the Lower Hunter almost doubling to 8,700ML per annum or 15% of total effluent treated in 2011–12. This is further expected to result in a reduction of 22,000kg of nitrogen and 8,000kg of phosphorus being discharged to Hunter River each year. Figure 2 shows the locations of future recycled water opportunities. These opportunities include: • Branxton Irrigation Water Scheme Branxton Irrigation Water Scheme will provide up to 300ML of unrestricted recycled water to The Vintage for golf course and general landscape irrigation. It will also include upgraded delivery infrastructure and better quality recycled water for the Branxton Golf Course and adjacent farm. The construction of this scheme is now complete. It is due to be commissioned by September 2012. • Kooragang Industrial Water Scheme The Kooragang Industrial Water Scheme (KIWS) will provide highly treated process water to

commercial and industrial users on Kooragang Island and is expected to save approximately 3,300ML of potable water annually. The KIWS, once completed, will be the largest water-recycling scheme in the Lower Hunter region, providing significant drinking water savings while reducing discharges to Hunter River. Recycled water for the scheme will be sourced from Shortland WWTP, where it will receive secondary treatment before being pumped to an advanced recycled water treatment plant located at the Steel River industrial estate. The advanced treatment process is expected to consist of microfiltration, chlorine disinfection and reverse osmosis to produce high quality process water. Process water will then be pumped from Steel River to storage reservoirs on Kooragang Island. Process water will be suitable for a wide range of industrial applications including use in boilers, cooling towers, chemical mixing, fire fighting and general wash-down. In addition to the LHRWI, Hunter Water is also considering the following recycled water opportunities: • Chisholm Dual Reticulation Scheme The Chisholm Dual Reticulation Scheme (CDRS) is proposed to provide highly treated recycled water to approximately 5,000 homes (over 20 years) for toilet flushing, garden

technical features

water recycling

refereed paper

watering, car washing, washing external surfaces, fire fighting, ornamental water features and optional clothes washing. The scheme is expected to save approximately 600ML of potable water annually (equivalent to the usage of 2,000 homes). Secondary treated effluent will be sourced from Morpeth WWTP where it will then be treated in a separate recycled water treatment plant. • Gillieston Heights Dual Reticulation Scheme The Gillieston Heights Dual Reticulation Scheme is proposed to provide highly treated recycled water to approximately 1,900 homes (over 15 years) for residential use as described for the CDRS. The scheme is expected to save approximately 220ML of potable water annually (equivalent to the usage of 750 homes). Secondary treated effluent will be sourced from Farley WWTP where it will then be treated in a separate recycled water treatment plant. • Clarence Town Effluent Reuse Enterprise The Clarence Town Irrigation Scheme will utilise secondary treated recycled water from the newly constructed Clarence Town WWTP.

The scheme will use a K-Line irrigation system for irrigation of fodder and pasture crops. It is anticipated that the scheme will use up to 75ML of recycled water annually. Construction of the scheme was completed earlier in 2012. Further to the aforementioned opportunities, Hunter Water has initiated studies to identify additional recycling opportunities within the Hunter River catchment and also across a broader geographic scope and source waters including decentralised wastewater, greywater and stormwater.

Conclusion Hunter Water has been committed to the identification of sustainable water recycling opportunities with the establishment of a number of schemes for municipal and agricultural irrigation, as well as industrial reuse schemes to reduce the reliance on potable water supply and increase water security. Additional studies currently underway will assist in the identification of future water recycling schemes that are both financially and environmentally viable.

Acknowledgements The Authors thank Hunter Water Corporation colleagues Greg Bone, Victor Prasad, Angus Seberry, Madhu Pudasaini, Emma Berry, Natasha Watson, Rahul Chhillar, Jane Brownette, Michael Kendall, Melanie Berry, Kirby Morrison, Geoffrey Maeder and Robert Main for assistance with review; Samantha Sneddon of Hunter Water and Donald Palmieri of Hunter Water Australia (HWA) for assistance in the preparation of figures; and Caitlin Cooper and Shannon Davies of HWA for their assistance with data for this paper.

The Authors Dr Vikas Shah (email: vikas.shah@hunterwater. is an Engineer in the System Planning group of Hunter Water Corporation, Newcastle, NSW. Bob Jennar (email: bob.jennar@ is a Process Engineer, Emma Turner (email: emma.turner@ is Project Manager – Lower Hunter Water Plan and Tony McClymont (email: tony.mcclymont@ is Water Network Planning Team Leader, all with Hunter Water Corporation, Newcastle, NSW.


Lantian Peier is currently a committee member of the peak National Standard organisation for flat sheet membrane production. Peier produces over 16,000,000 m2 capacity per annum of wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse equipment. Customers include the pharmaceutical, mining, chemical and related industries. Lantian Peier MBR also is well suited to decentralised as well as remote area applications such as hotels/ resorts, hospitals, schools, utilities including domestic use. Peier has successfully supplied and commissioned several Peier 100-100 MBR units in South Australia and Western Australia. It is expanding its operations to New Zealand and other South Pacific countries. 895 Pacific Highway, Pymble, NSW, Australia, 2073 Website:




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irrigation advances

refereed paper

WATER SMART PARKS STRATEGy An innovative water-saving solution for the City of Stirling GR Eves Abstract Climate change is a global challenge and predicted reductions in rainfall mean that current water allocations may be reduced. This paper illustrates one organisation’s solution to meet this challenge and to deliver sustainable water practices for the next generation. The City of Stirling in Western Australia was previously 22% over its groundwater licensing allocation of 7,500 kilolitres/ ha/yr determined by the Department of Water. The challenge was to not only bring groundwater use for irrigation within the licence allocation, but also to balance that groundwater across all suburbs within the City. To do this the City developed the ‘Water Smart Parks’ strategy, which consists of a range of management options designed to optimise water use efficiency, and to match current and future use with groundwater allocations.

Introduction The City of Stirling developed the ‘Water Smart Parks’ strategy to bring about savings in groundwater use in irrigated parkland and landscapes taking a strategic approach to groundwater conservation in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Water (DoW). The Water Park Smart Parks strategy is considered unique, as it builds upon three other inter-related environmental initiatives in a cohesive manner. These three initiatives are: 1.



conserve groundwater use and reduce bore abstraction. The City of Stirling developed a process of converting non-recreational areas of developed parkland into eco-zones consisting of heavily mulched areas with local native plantings of trees, shrubs and groundcover.

installation of new bores and reticulation systems, plus programmed upgrading and maintenance of existing systems. However, this expenditure represents only 15% of the total annual expenditure on parks, suggesting that the expected flowon effects from the investment in efficient irrigation infrastructure will be significant.

Urban Bushland Conservation Strategy (also known as the Green Plan). The City’s successor, Green Plan 2, advocates the establishment of ecological links between local and regional remnant bushland. These links enable movements of birds, insects and small animals, and by this process, the transfer of plant genetic material to increase biodiversity. It is envisaged that the establishment of such links should occur between strategically located parkland and other reserves. Eco-zones and ecological links are, therefore, basically similar.

Likely Impacts From Climate Change

Million Trees Initiative is the mechanism through which ecozones for groundwater conservation and ecological links for promoting biodiversity are being implemented. The City’s ‘Million Trees’ initiative spans 10 years, with the aim to plant 100,000 trees annually.

The Value of Groundwater

It has been estimated (Deeley, 2008) that all local authorities in Western Australia use approximately 26% of all groundwater abstracted compared to what is used by other institutions and Ground Water Conservation Strategy domestic households (Figure 1). This resulting from an identified need to represents a total of 40 gigalitres Potable supplies Private bores 267 GL 295 GL per year. Much of this is used for the watering Domestic lawns, gardens Domestic lawns, gardens 84 GL 115 GL of recreational Sw imm ing parkland and poo ls 4 GL sporting fields. Public open space Inside house The City of 48 GL 99 GL Stirling’s current capital expenditure Non-revenue, industry Agriculture on irrigation 80 GL 96 GL management is Industry 36 GL approximately between $1.2M and $1.3M per annum. This consists of the

Figure 1. Competition for groundwater (GL).

92 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

General scientific opinion predicts that by 2030 Western Australia will be hotter in the inland regions, and drier, particularly in the southwest. This will be characterised by more extreme events with frequent droughts, heatwaves and fires and, conversely, more intense tropical storms with flooding more pronounced. Sea levels are predicted to rise by a range of three to 17 centimetres. For the Perth region this could mean reduced rainfall, reduced run-off and reduced recharge of groundwater aquifers, a noticeable trend pattern that has been developing over the last 12 years. The obvious impact on management of recreational parkland would mean having to contend with increased moisture deficit in the soil profile and the need for increased irrigation to meet the resulting moisture deficit. Remnant natural areas and native bushland would be equally affected in terms of the gradual degradation of floristic abundance and diversity. Other likely impacts that could accrue with reduced rainfall and the increased soil moisture deficit include the oxidation of the upper soil profile, thereby leading to the acidification of soils, particularly those with high sulphide mineral content, as well as the leaching of acids into groundwater systems together with the release of iron and other heavy metals and toxic minerals such as arsenic. If the reduced rainfall trend continues, Western Australia could face water restrictions similar to that already imposed in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. This will mean a scarcity of water for existing and new public open spaces (Standing Committee, 2006), especially under increased competition from the numerous private and public bores abstracting from the same aquifer.

technical features

irrigation advances

refereed paper

Table 1. Groundwater use in relation to water licence allocation from 2006/07 until 2011/12. Financial Year

Water Licence Allocation

Amount of Water Licence Allocation Used (KL)

Amount of Water Licence Allocation Used (%)

























Irrigation in the City of Stirling’s Parks and Reserves The City of Stirling has 366 pumping stations and associated infrastructure that represent a $42M irrigation asset. This system is designed to irrigate 740 hectares and to deliver a total output of 5,226,750 kilolitres per annum. All of the City’s bores are licensed and subject to quotas. The annual allocation target of 7,500 kilolitres/ha/yr is an average amount and is subject to review, and may vary depending upon different turf surface requirements.

DoW, in conjunction with local authorities, is currently developing the requirements for Water Conservation Plans. The Water Smart Parks strategy is one avenue through which this is being developed, and to ensure that the overall allocation is not breached they have advised that the new benchmark allocation will be 7,500 kilolitres/ha/yr. It is up to each local authority to ensure that its usage is not in breach of the bore license conditions issued to it, otherwise permits could be revoked.

The City of Stirling implemented a 25year asset upgrading and replacement program (based on industry standards) The City’s groundwater abstraction for the irrigation assets. This is reviewed records indicate that in 2006/2007 annually prior to budget submissions and the annual allocation was exceeded adjusted depending on monitoring of the system’s performance. All new systems by approximately 22% depending on are designed to Best Practice Standards seasonal factors. This resulted in part (i.e. to provide 85% coefficient of from having to over-water several older reserves to compensate for poor coverage uniformity in terms of sprinkler coverage and wetting pattern). Several reserves due to inefficiently designed irrigation still operate with inefficiently designed systems, and from having to compensate systems and are waiting to be upgraded for soil moisture deficit condition during with successive budget programs. The an extremely dry year with above average City’s entire irrigation network is centrally temperatures. However, since the controlled and regulated through its implementation of the Water Smart ‘Computerised Irrigation Monitoring Parks strategy, the amount of water System’ (CIMS). The system has the licence allocation used fell to just 84% capacity to monitor watering programs of the total allocation in 2009/10 and in all irrigated reserves and to assess systems performance in terms of flow 2011/12 (Table 1). volume and Cost effectiveness of three upgrade scenarios Most cost-effective pressure at the 300 pump source. Water savings Maintenance cost savings

3 Plus Ecozones

Capital costs ($000)


200 2 Plus Hydrozones




1 Improved CU

0 0










Savings (% of base case) Evaluation of scenarios:

1 Upgrade of irrigation system for improved sheduling and Coefficient of Uniformity (CU). 2 Redisign of irrigation system to introduce additional Hydrozones (passive turf areas). 3 Redesign of irrigation system, introduction of Hydrozones and Ecozones (rainfed gardens)

Figure 2. Cost effectiveness of upgrade scenarios.


Many of the existing reservebased irrigation systems have been designed so that a concept of hydro-zoning can be implemented in conjunction with the process of eco-zoning. In addition, the City is nearing completion of a project, funded

under the National Community Water Grant program, for the refinement of a soil moisture monitoring system that could be directly linked into the CIMS unit.

Planning for Different Scenarios In the development of the Water Smart Parks strategy the following three scenarios were evaluated in terms of savings on water usage and annual operating costs (Figure 2). • Scenario 1 represents a reserve previously operating on an inefficiently designed irrigation system, but upgraded to provide an 85% coefficient of uniformity. It was estimated that with a simple upgrade a reduction in annual water usage by up to 13%, and a corresponding reduction in the annual operating cost, could be realised. • Scenario 2 follows on from the Scenario 1 reserve, but with the introduction of hydro-zones around peripheral areas. These are areas infrequently used for recreation and where turf quality can be sustained with a lower watering regime (Short, 2002). It is estimated that this treatment could achieve a reduction in annual water usage of 19%, while a corresponding reduction in annual operating costs could be realised in comparison to the original unimproved irrigated reserve. • Scenario 3 follows on from the Scenario 1 reserve, but in this instance with the introduction of hydro-zones and ecozones. Eco-zones are portions within hydro-zones converted to native tree and shrub plantings. Such areas are eradicated of the original turf and are heavily mulched, thereby removing the necessity for irrigation. It was estimated that with this treatment a reduction of 42% in annual water usage and a reduction in annual operating costs could be realised in comparison to the original unimproved irrigated reserve. Implementation of these scenarios is also expected to deliver other beneficial outcomes, such as lower maintenance of the asset base, significant energy savings, and enhanced recreational amenity values.

The Process of Prioritisation This initiative categorises parks into ‘zones’, ie, ‘eco-zones’ or ‘hydrozones’. These zones may have different watering needs dependent upon zone use, resulting in overall reduced watering requirements. An example showing how this works is presented in Figure 3. Zone Categories:



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Hydrozone Water Application Rates 1


High quality heavily used lawn (sports recreation turf & playing fields).



Informal recreation parkland. (BBQs, playgrounds, kick-a-ball areas).



General parkland. (walking, exercising dogs)



Non-irrigated area within bore licence (seasonal lawn, eco zones, hardstands and mulched areas).


Area of reserve excluded from bore licence.

Areas 24000 m2 10000 m2 30000 m2

• Low priority Where groundwater use is within licence allocations. An example of the scope planning examples is outlined in Table 2. Water Conservation Plans were developed for all of the ‘Water Smart’ Reserves. Each water conservation plan included a detailed concept design production, systems upgrading recommendations (if inefficient), hydrozoning and eco-zoning suggestions, an outline of water monitoring and community engagement.

4000 m2

Watering allocations for hydro-zoning were rationalised on the following basis:

Figure 3. Hydro-zone identification (Johnson, 2008).

• Turf sports surfaces – suggested at 11,000 kilolitres/ha/yr;

• Zone 1 – requires a high quality of lawn for areas such as sports/recreational turf and playing fields;

• Informal recreational lawn areas – suggested at 9,000 kilolitres/ha/yr;

• Zone 2 – informal recreational parklands, i.e. barbecue, playground and non-organised play areas; • Zone 3 – general parkland, i.e. walking and dog exercise areas. • Zone 4 – rain-fed areas. There are a number of developed reserves that lend themselves to the implementation of any one of the above scenarios and categories. The City’s formally adopted Public Open Space (POS) strategy and guiding principles of classification have been used to implement the Water Smart Parks strategy across all of the City’s parks and reserves. Some of the relevant criteria in the POS strategy include the type and use of sportsground/recreational parkland, the location of the reserve with regard to the coast/inland, the availability of water in terms of quantity/quality, and whether the reserves in the locality have exceeded their allocation (e.g. the Gwelup Scheme Water Borefield Zone). Furthermore, the type of turf species present and its resilience to wear under environmental stresses, the existence of remnant native

vegetation from which eco-zones could be extended, and other criteria significant to the classification of reserves under the POS strategy, need to be considered. The POS strategy and guiding principles classification enable a priority to be developed for the implementation of hydro-zones and eco-zones into high, medium and low priority classification reserves. Naturally, the high order reserves have been targeted for the formulation of Water Conservation Plans.

Implementation As part of the implementation process, the City undertook a review to identify all reserves with potential for hydrozoning and eco-zoning based on the information obtained: • High priority Reserves where eco-zones are already present as ‘pockets’ of native bushland and where associated parkland could be easily hydro-zoned, e.g. Rannoch Tay Earn Reserve and Richard Guelfi Reserve, where groundwater use is well above licence allocations. • Medium priority Multi-use reserves with a mix of active sports fields, passive parkland and natural areas and/or reserves where groundwater use is somewhat above licence allocations.

• Peripheral low-use lawn areas – suggested at 4,000 kilolitres/ha/yr. The eco-zones incorporated site preparation (removal of turf, soil renovation and weed eradication, followed by mulching) and consideration of the use of exotic “waterwise” plants, where contextually appropriate. CIMS was used to identify water usage weekly, monthly and cumulatively throughout the financial year. Irrigation could be reduced according to the current climate. The public and developers are being encouraged to consider undertaking hydro-zoning and eco-zoning to ensure compliance with water restrictions. The City also aims to increase awareness regarding water conservation and environmental sustainability, particularly in respect to climate change. It is essential to the success of the Water Smart Parks strategy, and continued implementation of sites to become Water Smart, for the public to be knowledgeable and have understanding regarding Water Smart Parks.

Success and Achievements

Table 2. Scope planning examples and common attributes. Scope

1. Residential Makeover

2. Park Redevelopment

3. Local Authority


Micro scale 200m2

Small scale 6ha

Meso scale 300km2


Irrigation, amenity

Irrigation efficiency, amenity, performance tracking

Demographics, usage, facilities, irrigation efficiency, water supplies, environment, performance tracking


2 weeks

4 months

5–10 years







Budget Water saving / year

94 SEPTEMBER 2012 water

A number of successes and achievements have been identified from the implementation of the Water Smart Parks strategy. Some of the environmental and conservation achievements include: • Reduction in power consumption, fertilisation usage and overall environmental impact;

technical features

irrigation advances

refereed paper

• Irrigation activities are sustainable for the long term, designed for water conservation and have improved schedules; • Water conservation and contingency plans are available for individual sites; • DoW water licence allocation is now underutilised. In addition to this, there has been increased planting of native and local plant species, which have adapted to local conditions and the revised low watering regime, and the additional benefit of promoting biodiversity (part of Green Plan 2), creation of natural/wildlife habitat and strengthening the ‘ecolink’ network (Green Plan 2 and ecological links).

The Next Steps There are a number of identified steps for the future direction of this project. A top priority is the development of a complete profile of the city and its reserves, paying particular attention to the hydrogeology, topography, type of facility, location of reserve (coastal/inland), the availability of water in terms of quantity/ quality, groundwater allocation levels, turf species present and the existence of remnant native vegetation from which eco-zones could be extended. There is also interest in further implemention of eco-zoning methods by undertaking site surveys and defining eco-zones intended on ‘Water Smart’ reserves. There is a preference for seed collection, propagation and planting of local native and indigenous plants. A more complicated but informative monitoring regime is planned with the installation and refinement of: • Electronic soil moisture probes to determine the threshold between deficit levels and sustenance levels in ‘Water Smart’ reserves; • The operation of ‘weather stations’ to generate dependable data; and • An effective irrigation control and regulation system based on automatic relay from the soil moisture probes and the ‘weather station’. Further research and technical reviews are planned to supplement existing research into the Turf Irrigation and Nutrient Study (TINS) in which the City played a major role. The City will also be looking into the viability of wetting agents, identification of new turf species and implementation of turf species currently used. A thorough review and integration of the existing plans such as the Green

Plan, POS Strategy, Local Area Planning and others ensuring that actions are compatible and supportive across all strategies, with timeframes appropriately coordinated, is currently underway. Finally, the development of a communication plan involving consultation with internal and external stakeholders, plus the wider general community, is earmarked. Emphasis is being placed on actively promoting the idea of ‘Water Smart Parks’, including designating high profile reserves for the development of Water Conservation Plans, ensuring reserves conform to the established criteria. The City of Stirling is seeking the support and possible endorsement from statutory authorities such as the Department of Water and the Department of Environment and Conservation for the regional adoption of the City’s Groundwater Conservation strategy and Water Conservation Plans for ‘Water Smart’ reserves.

Conclusion The City of Stirling has accomplished a significant amount since the implementation of the ‘Groundwater Conservation Strategy’ and the subsequent launch of the ‘Water Smart Parks’ strategy and, in conjunction with the POS strategy, will enable a more sustainable provision and development of public open space. As part of the roll-out, the City designated particular reserves as ‘Water Smart’ reserves. This enabled the City to introduce the concept of hydro-zones and eco-zones to the public as part of the Water Smart Parks reserves. Currently all of the City’s parks and reserves are considered ‘Water Smart’. Any upgrading, refurbishment or redesign is undertaken with the ‘Water Smart Parks’ strategy in mind. In accordance with this, the City of Stirling has developed a communication strategy for the citywide Water Conservation Plan and the Water Smart Parks strategy. Public knowledge, understanding and acceptance of changes are essential elements to the successful implementation of the water conservation strategies. These strategies, in conjunction with the POS strategy and the implementation of the Million Tree Initiative, have brought about a significant change in the community’s thinking and is essential if the City is to maintain its investment in parks and reserves infrastructure, and achieve a 10% reduction each year and a uniform redistribution of its water allocation across the City.

In conclusion, the City of Stirling has made significant progress in reducing the amount of water it consumes via the Groundwater Conservation Strategy. The City’s progress is further supported by the Urban Bushland Conservation Strategy, and the Million Trees Initiative, which seek to establish ecological links or eco-zones in non-recreational areas where irrigation is being removed. The City of Stirling aims to provide leadership to the next generation through a local solution (Water Smart Parks) to a global challenge (groundwater conservation strategy) to create a sustainable City.

Acknowledgements The City’s Water Smart Parks has won several awards specifically related to the Water Smart Parks strategy, including the Department of Environment & Conservation, 2009 WA Environment Awards – Winner of Government Leading By Example category; the Parks and Leisure Australia, 2010 PLA State and National Awards of Excellence – Winner of Sustainable Initiatives Category in both; and was a key contributor to the Keep Australia Beautiful National Association, 2010 Australian Sustainable Cities – Overall Winner for 2010 Australian Sustainable Cities. Most recently the Water Smart Parks initiative has been showcased in a number of international best practice reports published by the United Nationals Environment Program.

The Author Geoff Eves (email: Eves. is Director of Infrastructure at the City of Stirling, the largest local authority in Western Australia, a position he has held for the past seven years. He has over 30 years’ experience in local government, with qualifications in engineering, accountancy and administration, and is currently enrolled for his PhD at the Curtin University. The Water Smart Parks strategy is an innovation developed and implemented by City of Stirling’s former Manager Parks and Reserves, Sam Morrison.

References Deeley DM (2008): A strategic approach to water management issues. Acacia Springs Environmental. Johnson K (2008): Photo images, Courtesy Sports Turf Technology. Short D (2002): Water use and drought tolerance in turf grasses. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Western Australia. Standing Committee on Public Works (2006): Report No. 5308 Inquiry into Sportsground Management in NSW.



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UV-Vis Spectroscopy

Coagulation Control

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Automated coagulation control is an essential tool in optimising organics removal and, therefore, THM formation

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With s::can spectro::lysers sampling the plant inlet and filtered water (before chlorination) it is possible to continuously monitor the reduction of THM formation potential and HAA5 formation potential. The treatment regime can then be optimised to target the removal of these parameters. Com::pass Plus does this automatically. Chlorine Dose Set-Point Control In order to minimise formation of THMs and HAAs it is important to avoid overdosing chlorine. The S::can chlorine demand parameter can be used to automatically adjust the chlorine dose control setpoint. This ensures that the target chlorine residual

Despite the relatively high levels of both total THMS and HAA5s in the source waters the concentrations measured in the distribution system are always <20µg/L and <50µg/L for total THMs and HAA5s respectively. will be met at the end of the distribution system under all water quality conditions and avoids overdosing of chlorine. Case Study Greater Wellington Water (New Zealand) operates two surface water treatment plants. These are the 140ML/d Te Marua WTP and the 60ML/d Wainuiomata WTP. Both of these sites treat water from heavily forested upland catchments. The source water is very low in turbidity and has highly variable NOM content. The NOM is predominantly humic and fulvic acids with a high THM and HAA formation potential. The average normalised formation potentials for the plants are: Total THM formation potential = 75.3 µg/mg C HAA5 formation potential = 100.9 µg/mg C

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250 -1

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Laboratory THM Formation Potential ( μ L )

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R = 0.95













S::can THM Formation Potential (μgL )

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Water Journal September 2012  
Water Journal September 2012