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Volume 42 No 6 SEPTEMBER 2015

Journal of the Australian Water Association


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Managed Aquifer Recharge Water-Sensitive Urban Design Community Engagement Stormwater Management Membrane Processes

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Contents regular features From the AWA President

Let The Debate On Water Pricing Continue Peter Moore


From the AWA Chief Executive


Putting Water Back On The National Agenda Jonathan McKeown


Value Must Be Demonstrated To Assure Water Research Funding David Halliwell, Lionel Ho & Des Lord




Industry News


Identifying Transferrable Skills To Enhance Your Career Path Robbie Goedecke


AWA News


AWA International News

27 88


CREATIVE DIRECTOR – Mike Wallace Email: SALES & ADVERTISING QUERIES – Michael Seller Email:

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Email: EDITORIAL BOARD Frank R Bishop (Chair); Dr Andrew Bath, Water Corporation; Michael Chapman, GHD; Dr Dharma Dharmabalan, TasWater; Wilf Finn, Norton Rose Fulbright; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rtd); Ted Gardner (rtd); Antony Gibson, Orica Watercare; Dr David Halliwell, Deakin University; Sarah Herbert, Shelston IP; Dr Lionel Ho, AWQC, SA Water; Des Lord, National Water Commission; Dr Robbert van Oorschot, GHD; John Poon, CH2M Hill; David Power, BECA Consultants; Dr Ian Prosser, Bureau of Meteorology; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO; Rodney Stewart, Griffith School of Engineering; Diane Wiesner, Jamadite Consulting. PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: February, April, May, June, August, September, November and December. Please email for a copy of our 2015 Editorial Calendar.

Wetlands in Sydney Park are to be given Aboriginal names.

EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Acceptance of editorial submissions is at the discretion of the Editors and Editorial Board.

opinion The MDBP Fails To Deal Adequately With Climate Change Jamie Pittock, John Williams & R Quentin Grafton


innovation spotlight Andzac Group’s Energy-Efficient Aeration Machine Hugh Fagan


feature articles Stakeholder Engagement And Infrastructure

volume 42 no 6

MANAGING EDITOR – Anne Lawton Tel: 02 9467 8434 Email:


Young Water Professionals

New Products And Services

ISSN 0310-0367

TECHNICAL EDITOR – Chris Davis Email:

My Point of View

Water Business

water journal

South-West Priority Growth Area Wastewater Servicing Project Michael Robertson & Gina Newling


Traditional Consultation Is Dead

Impact Of Digital Technology On Water Policy Consultation Joel Fredericks & Kylie Cochrane



The Sustainability Of Rural Water, Sanitation & Hygiene In PNG Data From 21 Rural Communities FH Designs, Trevor Nott, Edkarl Galing & Isabel Blackett


Process Modelling For Membrane Systems

A Review Of The Various Options Available In Design Software Darren Szczepanski & Matthew Brannock

technical papers

cover A misty sunrise at Walker Flat in the Riverland region of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Technical Paper Submission Guidelines Technical Papers should be 3,000–4,000 words long and accompanied by relevant graphics, tables and images. For more detailed submission guidelines please email: • General Feature Articles, Industry News, Opinion Pieces & Media Releases: Anne Lawton, Managing Editor, email: General Feature Submission Guidelines General Features should be 1,500–2,000 words and accompanied by relevant graphics, tables and images. For more details please email: • Water Business & Product News: Michael Seller, Sales & Advertising, email:

Integrating ‘One Water’ Into Urban Liveability

Strong Leadership A Key Driver In Transitioning Pierre Mukheibir

• Technical Papers & Technical Features: Chris Davis, Technical Editor, email: AND



ADVERTISING Advertisements are included as an information service to readers and are reviewed before publication to ensure relevance to the water sector and the objectives of AWA. PUBLISHER Australian Water Association (AWA) Publishing, Level 6, 655 Pacific Hwy, PO Box 222, St Leonards NSW 1590; Tel: +61 2 9436 0055 or 1300 361 426, Fax: +61 2 9436 0155, Email:, Web: COPYRIGHT Water Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without the written permission of AWA. Email: DISCLAIMER AWA assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of fact expressed by contributors or advertisers. Mention of particular brands, products or processes does not constitute an endorsement.

SEPTEMBER 2015 water


From the President


In my column in the August issue I spoke about the need for consistent and hard decisions in the water industry to ensure that any advances once achieved are not lost. Where this occurs it is often difficult and time-consuming to recover the situation and regain the trust and confidence of the community. Why is this the case? In my view it is related to the community’s comfort in the certainty of what they have come to expect and believe. We go to great lengths, often through community engagement, to bring our community to a particular position that they believe to be an appropriate outcome. It appears that what the community wants is consistency in direction and the belief that the decision-making process is in their best interests. So where is this leading me? There has been (and continues to be) significant debate regarding many water issues – including pricing of water based on its value. I suspect this actually means different things to different people, but let’s confine the topic to how we price water. In many water jurisdictions water is priced at the full cost of supply – and where this is currently not the case they are moving towards this goal. Is this what people believe to be pricing based on the value of water? I suspect not. It is, in fact, the full cost of collecting, costing the environmental impacts, treating, distributing and reticulating water to customers. It does not include any market-driven or other altruistic value and I am unaware of any regulator who has attempted to address this. Why not, you may ask?

water september 2015

Firstly, regulators are tasked with looking at the efficient economic cost of water and, therefore, only address the actual costs involved and opportunities for improved efficiency. Secondly, governments who own most of the utilities on behalf of the community are looking for social equity of this, our most precious of commodity, and price shock minimisation that may become a political issue. There is also the view that any value-based pricing would be perceived as some form of revenue-generating tax. This generally leads to a position where the service is priced so that all in the community get their so-called ‘water for life’ at the same price and prices rise yearly at a modest rate. Such policies challenge concepts such as seasonal pricing, scarcity pricing, large yearly price increases or even yearly price reductions, or increases based on the sources available at the time. This last event could occur where you have a cheap surface water source and a second desalination source that is only used in extended droughts. The price would increase when the desalination plant is used and reduces when the rain returns. Our challenge is to work across our constituencies to really understand how they value water, and how it can or should be priced to reflect this value. I suspect that this value discussion will continue to be with us. However, this also opens up a wider debate about the true value of water and how our communities need to better understand the pricing options. The exciting thing for me is that we can continue to have robust debates on these issues so decisionmakers are well informed.

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From the CEO


This edition of Water Journal goes to print just a few weeks before the Australian Water Association’s National Water Policy Summit 2015, which takes place 6–7 October in Melbourne. The National Water Policy Summit is the forum for industry executives, political stakeholders and strategic thought leaders to raise, discuss and debate the big issues facing Australia’s management of water. I look forward to this event on the calendar each year, as it gives all of us in the water industry the opportunity to think beyond our daily tasks and technical pursuits to shape an advocacy program on water issues capable of influencing our politicians and the community. Admittedly there are some in the industry who subscribe to the view that continuing water reforms are all “too hard” or “will never happen” – largely because the Commonwealth Government no longer has water on its agenda. But governments do respond to community demands. The challenge for the water industry is to take the community with us as we seek continuing improvements in how we manage water for the benefit of all Australians. The National Water Policy Summit allows us to consider some of Australia’s national challenges and opportunities and how the water sector can contribute. Why do things need to change and what is really driving the demand for change? Have our policy makers got it right, or can we present some alternative views that better reflect the science or evidence that the water sector generates?

water september 2015

Where should the National Water Initiative be directed? Why do we think infrastructure planning is important? Why do we believe we need further investment in the water sector? Why do we feel there is a role for integrated water management planning? The common thread through the answers to all of these questions is that there are clear and measurable benefits for our communities and our customers. There has been some discussion about whether as an Association we are simply trying to push privatisation. Let me assure you, readers, that this is not the case – such an approach is too simplistic. But we are pushing for a realisation that there is a need for further investment in the water sector. It is the consumers’ needs (not the private or public operators’ needs) that must remain at the centre of any debate on increased investment in the water sector. We know Australia needs to confront the demands of a growing population, changing demographics, new emerging industries ... and all spread across a continent prone to extreme weather events, which will be exacerbated by climate change. We know that Australia needs to manage its water carefully and be agile and responsive to these challenges. We need to be clear on what we are seeking to fix, and we need to articulate solutions and convince the community on the benefits advocated. If we can succeed at this, before you know it our water issues will be back on the national agenda again.






My Point of View

VALUE MUST BE DEMONSTRATED TO ASSURE WATER RESEARCH FUNDING David Halliwell, Lionel Ho & Des Lord David Halliwell has recently joined Deakin University as Director of the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF). David was previously Chief Executive Officer for Water Research Australia. He completed his PhD in 1998 and his MBA in 2003, both from Monash University.

on the wall as far back as three or more years ago, when it was obvious that many of the timebound centres were going to find it difficult to continue, given the shrinking government funding environment. Cutting the R&D budget, it seems, is often seen as an easy measure of budget control.

Lionel Ho is currently Client Liaison Manager at Allwater. He completed his PhD in 2004 from the University of South Australia and has over 16 years’ experience in the water industry. He won the 2012 Guy Parker Award for Best Paper in AWA’s Water Journal and the 2011 Michael Flynn Award for Best Paper at Ozwater.

While it is easy to play the victim or maintain an attitude that government investment in research is a right or expectation, we may gain more value (and ultimately more funding) by taking a reflective and introspective look at the things that are within our control and how we might be able to influence in a positive way the investment in urban water R&D. In this article, we present some constructive approaches to enable a stronger business case for demonstrating the return from research investment, and suggest that these points apply equally to the government and private sectors.

Dr Des Lord is a scientist and engineer with more than 35 years of experience in water resources management as well as in offshore marine industries. He has held research and academic positions in South Africa and Canada and has extensive industry and consultancy experience in Australia. He is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia and was a Commissioner with the National Water Commission. The Australian water industry has significantly benefited from the knowledge and experience generated by a range of well-funded entities that have invested in, and undertaken research and development into, the better management of our water resources, both urban and rural. Many of the relevant initiatives were stimulated during the Millenium drought and from the need to secure water supplies. In late 2014 there were several opinion pieces on research funding published in Water Journal, most notably the articles by Chris Davis (August 2014) on cuts to CSIRO urban water funding and by Stuart Khan (December 2014) on the reduction and tightening of funding support. In fact, astute observers would have noticed the writing was

water september 2015

Water does not feature in the national policy landscape Water must be returned to the national agenda. At present this is not the case, although it was during the drought years and still is in drought-affected areas. A core driver for influencing both State and Federal Government policy and investment in water research is in establishing the right context, which in turn drives strategy formulation. Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, was quoted as saying: “We are the only OECD country without a science or technology strategy. Other countries have realised that such an approach is essential to remaining competitive in a world reliant on science and science-trained people”. Professor Chubb’s office, to its credit, has published a strategy document titled Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia’s Future (September 2014). However,


My Point of View

the word ‘water’ does not feature at all in this document. As fundamental as water is to lubricate the economy in every facet of business, it does not even rate a mention in the closest document Australia has to a national science strategy.

To this end, there is as much (if not more) onus on the providers of research services to demonstrate value, than from those who are making the investment decisions, even though they are usually beneficiaries (be they utilities or governments).

Digging deeper into this document, it focuses on four broad themes, including international competitiveness, education and training, research and international engagement. I am sure that we would all agree that the Australian water industry has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to each of these areas. Given this, why hasn’t the water sector had greater influence on the national science strategy process?

So what does this mean specifically? Although many utilities measure the return from their research investments differently, most can relate benefits to three broad areas. These include improvements to productivity, improvements to service delivery (including customer value) and improvements in managing risk. Thus, these areas can help frame the research value argument.

The winding down of the National Water Commission has not helped. Beyond an entity such as the NWC, there is no single, united voice from the broader water sector to prod, influence and inform the national policy debate. National priority setting in the water sector is sporadic at best and there is a clear argument here for a more nationally concerted effort, which spans across industries (i.e. urban water, agriculture, mining etc.) to agree on national water priorities. Perhaps organisations like the Australian Water Association and the Water Services Association of Australia, and similar entities from other industries, can join forces to influence this policy environment more significantly?

So what can we do to help ourselves? Consistent with the Chief Scientist’s view that well-focused scientific effort is fundamental to driving productivity growth, we (the water industry) need to get better at articulating this position in a quantitative way. Our failure to demonstrate value is resulting in a research funding environment that looks more like a global commodity cycle with ‘boom and bust’ periods. This leads to the extremes of either ‘spending at any cost’ in dry times, to one of austerity when there is plenty of water in the dams. A significant advantage in smoothing the water-funding cycle relates to ensuring a relatively constant supply of research capability and capacity across time. For example, in Australia right now we are witnessing a reduction in water research capacity, with some scientists either leaving the industry altogether, or simply leaving the country to take up international funding opportunities. Another benefit in smoothing the funding supply is to ensure a greater research effort during financially constrained times, which is often when productivity is lowest. Research and innovation are key drivers for productivity growth, which would likely result in a shorter austerity cycle if research investment was maintained during these times.

A large part of the ‘business case’ should be developed during the ‘problem definition’ phase (i.e. well before any project work begins). Far too often, we find ourselves trying to retrofit the ‘value’ question to a project after it has been completed. By ‘problem definition’ we mean more than stating the lack of or limitation to specific knowledge. In this, we include the description of the approaches to provide resolution or clarification of problems, as well as the pathways to their effective implementation. There are many approaches to problem definition, but in essence, we need to step through a process that ensures we identify the root cause of the problem, make some estimate as to the likely benefits if successful (keeping in mind the three high-level areas noted above), identify how these benefits can be measured and, finally, identify how the benefits can be realised when delivered (i.e. knowledge transfer). For the most part, there is much more that can be done at the ‘problem definition’ phase of a project to ensure its success, than is typically done. If the above can be well thought through, including a solid outline of the benefits and the business case, then obtaining the required research funding is a much easier proposition. Thus, to successfully attract research funding into the future, we need to adopt a stronger focus on the business benefits, from the eyes of the customer, including identification before the project begins on how they will be measured and how the knowledge will be transferred back into the businesses. In summary, we need to concentrate on supporting policy that encourages research and innovation with the caveat that we must ensure our experience and findings are able to be implemented in a cost-effective and purposeful manner. To misquote an old adage: “A nation that does not put great store in research has no soul. Research scientists who do not strive to ensure the effective implementation of their work are not worthy of their salt”.

september 2015 water


CrossCurrent Former Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer will be the keynote


speaker at the Australian Water Association’s National Water Policy Summit dinner to be held in Melbourne in October. Mr Fischer served under the Howard Government from 1996–1999, and

In 2007 Coca Cola and its bottling partners set out to replenish all the water it uses by 2020; however, with the target expected to be met by the end of the year the company looks set to achieve its goal five years ahead of schedule. The drinks manufacturer, which produces Sprite, Diet Coke and Powerade, has announced that it has already returned about 94 per cent of the water used according to the sales volume recorded in 2014. This translates to returning approximately 126.7 billion litres of water used in its manufacturing processes back to communities and nature through treated wastewater last year.

since retiring from politics in 2001 has become well known for his charitable work, as well as his interest in agriculture and rail and transport industries. With his background, Mr Fischer will be sure to deliver a germane address to set the mood for the Summit. The dinner will be held on the eve of the Summit, on 6 October.

The latest Climate Council report, Climate Change 2015: Growing Risks, Critical Choice, provides an update of climate change science, impacts and risks. The report draws from the massive body of evidence that human activities – primarily from the burning of coal, oil and gas – are driving dramatic changes in

The latest findings of The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking reflect a marked increase in global instability over the last 12 months. The ranking, which provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide, shows that since 2010 average liveability across the world has fallen by 1%, led by a 2.2% fall in the score for stability and safety. While this may seem marginal, it highlights that 57 of the cities surveyed have seen declines in liveability over the last five years. The top 10 liveable cities include Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth and Auckland. Incidences of terrorist shootings in France and Tunisia have been compounded by civil unrest in the US and ongoing conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Libya.

our climate system, and outlines how the changing climate poses substantial and escalating risks for health, property, infrastructure, agriculture and natural ecosystems in Australia. The report describes why it is in Australia’s national interest to play a leadership role in the global move for strong climate action leading up to the Paris climate conference at the end of 2015.

Research from the University of Adelaide has provided new insights into how Australian farmers and irrigators may respond to certain market conditions, and when they are more likely to sell their water entitlements. The study has resulted in a world-first


model that could be used to help develop water markets in areas that do not exist, as well as a better understanding of how to apply environmental policy, such as water buyback schemes. “The selling

The second independent review of Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme has found that the scheme has been effective in delivering substantial water savings. The review was tabled in Parliament by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Bob Baldwin, who said there was widespread support for the scheme and the role it plays in water management and conservation across Australia. The review was conducted by past CEO of the Australian Water Association, Tom Mollenkopf.

or buying of water entitlements is a contentious and politically charged issue, with competing environmental and agricultural interests, but it's also an issue that needs more evidence around it to ensure success,” says research leader Associate Professor Sarah Wheeler, an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow in Global Food Studies at the University of Adelaide.

A virtual "stock exchange" for water has been launched. The Commonwealth and Murray-Darling Basin states have welcomed the findings of an independent stocktake into the sustainable diversion limit (SDL) adjustment process. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Bob Baldwin, hosted a Ministerial Council meeting in Sydney where Ministers were updated on the outcomes. “The stocktake report has found that a supply contribution of about 500 gigalitres is plausible, and that further project refinements may lead to additional contributions,” Mr Baldwin said. “To have an independent body verify a 500 gigalitre amount provides further certainty to Basin communities. We will, however, continue to work towards 650 gigalitres by seeking out high quality projects that provide high returns.”

H2OX is a privately owned company that aims to make water trading more transparent and financially secure. H2OX will allow a full list of all the bids to sell or buy water to be seen on a website. Farmers, irrigators and others operating in the water trade space will then be able to trade, with an expectation that it is a fair and accurate price. The launch has coincided with calls for more transparency and fairer water prices for farmers. H2OX covers the four Murray-Darling Basin states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia and plans to develop the water trade exchange for Tasmania and the Ord scheme in Western Australia. The exchange will be 24/7 live.

eWater has announced the establishment of the Australian Water Aither’s Water Markets Report 2014–15 Review and 2015–16 Outlook is now available. The report provides an overview of water market activity in the southern Murray-Darling Basin for the 2014–15 water year, compares results with 2013–14 and comments on the water availability and price outlook for 2015–16.

water september 2015

Partnership Committee and welcomes the inaugural members: Kaye Schofield (Chair), Bill Costello, Leith Boully, Joanne Chong, John Ringham, Malcolm Shepherd, Robert Skinner, Geoffrey Spencer and Jody Swirepik. The first meeting of the Committee was held in August 2015 in Canberra.



New South Wales Communities in the Murrumbidgee and Murray will share in $100 million of Commonwealth funding to improve irrigation infrastructure and ensure triple bottom line outcomes for the Murray-Darling Basin. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Bob Baldwin, announced the shortlisted applications for the latest round of funding under the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Programme (PIIOP) in New South Wales. Applications were received from Coleambally Irrigation Cooperative Ltd, Goodnight Irrigation Trust, Hay Private Irrigation District, Murray Irrigation Ltd and Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd. All five applications have been shortlisted for further consideration in the next stage of the assessment process.

government environmental management plan for Sydney Harbour and sets targets and actions to improve the water quality and ecological integrity of the Harbour and its tributaries, leaving a lasting legacy for all Australians. For more information please contact Dr Peter Freewater at

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water, Niall Blair, has opened the world’s largest water recycling plant of its kind, sustaining the iconic Central Park development in the heart of Sydney. Mr Blair said services provided by Central Park Water, which is on the site of the old Carlton Brewery at Broadway, will save around one million litres of water a day and set the standard for water reuse and efficiency in new developments.

Queensland The NSW Government has introduced the Dams Safety Bill 2015 to the NSW Parliament, which will further improve dam safety standards. NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water, Niall Blair, said the new Bill will modernise the approach to regulating dam safety in NSW and protect the community from the risk of dam failure. "These dams are the lifeblood of our regional communities, providing clean drinking water to our towns and cities, sustaining productive irrigation and farming industries and providing recreational benefits to the community," Mr Blair said.

The 6,000 hectares of land purchased by Hunter Water for the scrapped Tillegra Dam has been sold to local and Sydney residents. Hunter Water received 32 expressions of interest for varying portions of the land, including five bids to buy 100% of the land. Ultimately after a sales campaign overseen by an independent probity advisor, the Board of Hunter Water has agreed to sell the land divided into five lots ranging in size from 1,000ha to 1,300ha, and one separate parcel at 86ha.

The Ricegrowers' Association of Australia (RGA) has welcomed the announcement by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Bob Baldwin, and NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair, of $263m joint Commonwealth and NSW Government investment in on-farm irrigation efficiency projects across Southern NSW. RGA President Les Gordon said RGA would manage a segment of this investment in local agricultural industries. "The government's On-farm Irrigation Efficiency Program is an important way to make sure any water removed from irrigation is done in a way that maintains our region's agricultural productivity."

DPI Water Manager Rural Water Planning, Lyndal Betterridge, has announced the public exhibition of the draft water-sharing plan for the Hunter Regulated River Water Source, urging those interested to make a submission. Ms Betterridge said that the water sharing plan for the Hunter Regulated River Water Source was developed in the first round of water-sharing plans 10 years ago and is part of the suite of 31 plans that were due to expire in 2014. The current plan has been extended for up to 24 months to allow sufficient time for the development of the replacement plan, said Ms Betterridge

The Sydney Harbour Water Quality Improvement Plan has been finalised. The Plan is the first whole-of-catchment, whole-of-

Remote Gulf communities are set to get a jobs boost as the Queensland Government announces the release of thousands of megalitres of water. Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, released an amended Gulf Water Resource Plan and Gulf Resource Operations Plan. "This delivers on the Queensland Government's commitment to promote jobs and boost the economies of local communities in Far North Queensland," he said. "We can now start a competitive tender process to make much-needed water available in Gulf communities to support sustainable farming, rural jobs and local development.

Seqwater is in the process of developing a 30-year-plan to meet South East Queensland’s future water supply needs. The first phase of scenario analysis is now complete and will form the basis of a region-wide community engagement program, Water for Life – South East Queensland’s Water Future 2015–2045. Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said Version 1 of the Water Security Program was available to view at au. Mr Dennis said the community would play a significant role in developing the region¹s long term water plan.

Western Australia Work towards discovering potential new water sources in the Middle Gascoyne has begun, with the start of an airborne survey between Rocky Pool and the Kennedy Ranges. WA Water Minister Mia Davies said the survey, part of the State Government’s Water for Food program, would take place throughout the week and uncover crucial information about the region's groundwater resources. “The aerial survey will record data on the geology of the area, the depth of the groundwater table and groundwater salinity,” Ms Davies said.

WA Water Minister Mia Davies has called for innovative ideas to increase the availability of useable water from Wellington Dam in the South-West. "Wellington Dam is the second largest reservoir in the state and the largest surface water storage in the South-West, but rising salinity has resulted in much of the annual 85 gigalitres of water allocation not being fully utilised," she said. "The State Government is inviting Expressions of Interest to provide a solution to increase the availability and use of water from Wellington

september 2015 water


CrossCurrent Dam. We are looking for responses from a broad range of proponents to both manage water quality and support agricultural development in the Myalup-Wellington region, and potentially industry in the region."

The State Government will soon begin work to refurbish wastewater pipes in Victoria Park, which is expected to extend the life of this vital infrastructure by at least 50 years. WA Water Minister Mia Davies said the $4.93 million Water Corporation project formed part of an ongoing program of work to reline and refurbish wastewater pipes across the state. "About four kilometres of wastewater pipe in Victoria Park will be refurbished over the coming year," Ms Davies said.

Water quality in the Vasse Geographe catchment is improving, according to a five-year evaluation of the State Government's Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands and Geographe Bay Water Quality Improvement Plan. The results were discussed at a recent meeting of the Vasse Taskforce, where a new Vasse Geographe Strategy was officially endorsed to guide the direction and type of projects to be delivered over the next three years. Water Minister Mia Davies said she was pleased to see the taskforce moving forward collaboratively and building on the solid science-based foundations of work to date targeting water quality in the south-west catchment.

The State Government is planning to put Broome's legendary sunshine to good use by trialling hybrid solar-diesel power to deliver the town's water supply. WA Water Minister Mia Davies said in a first for Western Australia, a hybrid generator would be installed to power a pump at the Broome borefield, using solar energy during the day and storing excess solar energy in batteries for the evening. Ms Davies said solar-diesel power could be used for other Water Corporation bore pumps across the state if the 12-month trial was successful.

Work has finished on a 3.4-kilometre pipeline between the Denmark River Dam and Quickup Dam and a 700-metre extension to an existing pipeline, as part of the State Government's plans to secure Denmark’s drinking water supply. WA Water Minister, Mia Davies, said the Water Corporation project would allow more water from Denmark River Dam to be used in times of low rainfall. “Last year Denmark experienced its second driest year on record and current winter rainfall is once again below average, so we are taking steps to ensure residents have a reliable water supply before summer,” Ms Davies said.

South Australia Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, says the Senate Inquiry into stormwater harvesting would point the way towards a national stormwater policy that, with adequate funding from all tiers of government, could unlock billions in lost productivity each year. Each year 3,000 billion litres of stormwater runs off, mainly into creeks and the sea – greater than the 2,100 billion litres of water used by Australia’s cities. The inquiry by the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee was held in August 2015 in Adelaide.

water september 2015

Flinders University Professor Craig Simmons has been announced as SA Scientist of the year. Described as an energetic leader and enthusiastic teacher with a passion for groundwater, Professor Simmons is also the latest Scientist in Residence at The Adelaide Advertiser, through the Adelaide-based Australian Science and Media Centre. Now a global authority on groundwater, he originally studied electrical and electronic engineering and physics. He is credited with building the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, launched in 2009, “from the ground up”.

Former chair of Australia’s National Water Commission, Karlene Maywald, has been appointed as Strategic Adviser – Water Opportunities, to assist South Australia’s water expertise global sales pitch. Ms Maywald said there are many exciting opportunities for South Australia in the area of water and environmental management, including the provision of knowledge and training.

Tasmania The Tasmanian Government has been working with the Launceston Flood Authority and Hydro Tasmania to explore ways to reduce siltation in Launceston's iconic Tamar River, says Peter Gutwein, Tasmanian Treasurer. “I am pleased to announce that a trial will begin that will combine a controlled release of water from the Trevallyn Dam, silt raking and strong tide events,” he explained. “There are no silver bullets when it comes to tackling siltation in the Tamar, but we believe this test will provide valuable information on different methods to manage the siltation issue.”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, is encouraging young Tasmanians to apply for the 2016 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. "I know there are a lot of energetic young researchers, scientists and innovators in Tasmania and I urge them to think big and apply for a grant," Senator Colbeck said. "Agriculture, fisheries and forestry are significant industries in Tasmania, with agriculture alone contributing $1.2 billion to the economy in 2012–13."

Victoria An audit conducted by the Victorian Audit Office has found that Victoria is not as well placed as it could be to respond to the risks and impacts that could arise if unconventional gas activities were allowed to proceed. According to the audit, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR) did not sufficiently assess the risks or effective regulation. The infancy of the industry and the current moratorium on unconventional gas activities provide an ideal opportunity for the government to evaluate the full range of potential risks and impacts. There is key work that DEDJTR needs to do to inform the government about risks before the moratorium is reviewed, and work to be done on regulation should the government lift the moratorium. DEDJTR can also improve its earth resources regulation more generally, the audit found.


CrossCurrent In a submission to the Australian Water Association, Melbourne Water says that greater collaboration across the Victorian water industry has led to broader insurance cover and substantial savings for 19 Victorian water organisations. The joint insurance procurement initiative has saved the industry an estimated $6.9 million in insurance costs, while improving the quality of policy coverage.

Jacobs has announced the appointment of Patrick Hill as Group Vice-President of Jacobs’ Australian and New Zealand Infrastructure and Environment business. Prior to his current role Mr Hill headed Jacobs’ North American Telecommunications division and was based in Chicago. He joined Jacobs through the acquisition of Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) in 2013.

Led by a Steering Committee made up of Risk Managers across the Water Corporations, including Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne Water, South East Water, Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water, Western Water and East Gippsland Water, the initiative is an example of how working together can equate to substantial savings.

Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure has recently appointed Greg Taylor to the role of Chief Executive Officer. He will commence in mid-September 2015. The founder and current CEO of Abergeldie, Mick Boyle, will then move into an Executive Chairman role and focus on strategy, business acquisitions, joint venture relationships and international opportunities.

Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville has turned the first sod on the $5.84 million Southern Cowwarr Balancing Storage, part of the Macalister Irrigation District modernisation project. This 160-megalitre balancing storage in North Gippsland will improve customer service downstream, allowing automation of the irrigation system in about one-third of the Macalister Irrigation District. The Macalister Irrigation District

Echologics has appointed David Brady as Client Manager ANZ. Echologics has extensive experience in water and sewage leak detection and pipeline condition assessment. David brings over 25 years of experience in water pipelines, having previously held senior roles at Tubemakers/Tyco/Pentair.

Phase 1A project will result in over 12,300 megalitres of water savings annually, reduce nutrient flow into the Gippsland Lakes and provide a better service for farmers. The Victorian Government has invested $16 million in the Macalister Irrigation District project, with Southern Rural Water and its customers also contributing $16 million.

Member News Erin Cini has won the 2015 NSW Women in Engineering Maria Skyllas-Kazacos Young Professional Award. Erin has had a varied and exemplary career across the fields of policy, planning, design, construction and operations within the water industry. She was recently appointed as the Director of Water Licensing and Compliance at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal

Downer and the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) have set a new benchmark with Australia’s first Accredited ISO 55001 Certification for Asset Management. The ISO 55001 Asset Management Certification is for the Yarra Park Recycled Water Treatment Facility (RWTF), an MCC-owned facility that was designed and built by Downer and has been operated by Downer since 2012.

Ventia has been selected by Yarra Valley Water to deliver an approximately $200 million maintenance contract over five years in Melbourne. The contract is a major milestone in the development of this new company formed by a 50/50 investment partnership between CIMIC and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management. Ventia has been chosen as the name for the partnership.

of NSW and manages the team responsible for the regulation of public and private water utilities in NSW.

Darryl Day, life member of the Australian Water Association and Executive Director of the Water Directorate, has been recognised by Engineers Australia as Northern Division Professional Engineer of

For the sixth year running, Veolia has won a prestigious Australian Business Award (ABA) that recognises organisations that have made a significant contribution through effective products, processes or ideas that result in environmental or social improvements. This year, Veolia was awarded both the ABA for Innovation and the ABA for Sustainability.

the Year. Power & Water Corporation’s Eric Vanweydeveld also took out the Young Professional Engineer of Year. Both of these awards were selected from a highly competitive field of candidates spanning all sectors of engineering. The Australian Water Association congratulates Darryl and Eric on their achievement and for being fantastic ambassadors for the water industry in the NT.

Kim Wood has resigned as Managing Director with Hunter Water to take on the role of Principal Commissioner of the new Queensland Productivity Commission. Hunter Water Chairman, Terry

Cardno has welcomed a record number of graduates across its Australian operations this year. Thirty-six engineering graduates are being taken on, with 55 graduates in a range of disciplines – from civil engineering, to hydrology and town planning – admitted to the 2015 graduate program. Graduates will go through a structured program, aimed at helping them build the fundamental skills needed to operate in a business context. As part of the program, the new graduates will come together in Melbourne in November for the Cardno Graduate Summit.

Lawler, said: “During the past four years Kim has driven substantial change in the operation and focus of Hunter Water, particularly in the areas of debt stabilisation and asset rationalisation via the sale of the Head Office building, land reserved for the Tillegra Dam and boutique consultancy Hunter Water Australia.”

Mr Scott Cummins has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of McConnell Dowell Corporation Limited, effective 1 October 2015. Mr Cummins replaces current CEO, David Robinson who has announced his intention to retire.

september 2015 water


Industry News



World leaders, water experts and development professionals met in Stockholm, Sweden, in August to jointly attempt to find solutions to the world's escalating water crises.

CH2M has won the 2015 Stockholm Industry Water Award (SIWA) at World Water Week for developing and advancing methods to clean water and increase public acceptance of recycled water. This award is given annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute and honours outstanding and transformative water achievements by companies that contribute to sustainable water management.

The 2015 World Water Week, themed ‘Water for Development’, welcomed over 3,000 participants from more than 120 countries, representing governments, academia, international organisations, civil society and the corporate sector. Water is the foundation for all human and societal progress. Soon, a decision on the Sustainable Development Goals will be followed by a new climate deal at COP21. Water's role in these processes is crucial. With water availability severely altered by climate change, and a growing world population needing more food, time is not on our side. "From the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, to São Paulo, California and China, people's perseverance is being tested,” said Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI. “We can no longer take a steady water supply for granted." The Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, said, "When the international community is shaping a new sustainable development agenda, water management and allocation must be at its heart. Not only as a separate goal but as an essential vehicle for development and health." Talking about climate change and the effect it has on his small island nation, the President of the Marshall Islands, Christopher J Loeak remarked: "As the leader of my country I cannot look my people in the eyes and with good conscience say that everything will be OK when I know the world continues to travel down a very destructive path." The Prime Minister of Jordan, Abdulla Ensour, described the extreme pressure his country is under due to the combination of water scarcity and a large refugee population.

“CH2M has long recognised that our global community cannot afford to use water once and dispose of it – freshwater sources are too precious and growing more scarce,” said Greg McIntyre, CH2M Global Water Business Group President. “We are proud to receive the 2015 Stockholm Industry Award for our leadership in the evolution and acceptance of purifying wastewater effluent to create drinking water.” CH2M has invented, implemented and refined methods for cleaning used water back to drinking water quality. But since this water is only valuable if people actually use it, the company has also put significant and successful effort into building public understanding and acceptance. They pioneered the application of social science research to better understand the underlying reasons for why people reject the notion of reuse and what might be done to change that mindset. This research, combined with demonstrations, education and transparency, has dispelled myths around use of treated wastewater and paved the way for a surge in interest in, and acceptance of, potable reuse. “Our planet does not hold any enormous, unknown sources of freshwater. We have to live with what we have. With growing populations and more unreliable precipitation patterns, it is essential to increase our reuse of water in the future,” said SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren, adding: “CH2M has understood this. In working for public acceptance of drinking treated wastewater, they have taken a step beyond engineering, and shown impressive commitment to wise water management.”

For more information please go to

COULD UNITED STATES CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION BE A SIGN THE WORLD IS MOVING AWAY FROM FOSSIL FUELS? The contrast between US and Australian action on climate change could not be more striking, according to Oxfam Australia’s climate change policy advisor, Dr Simon Bradshaw, following the recent announcement by US President Barack Obama of new environmental regulations that will force power stations to cut emissions by 32 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030. The new policy is a strengthening of the previous proposal of a 30 per cent cut in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

The 2015 World Water Week, themed ‘Water For Development’, attracted participants from more than 120 countries.

water september 2015

“While the Australian Government continues to undermine renewable energy and pander to the fossil fuel industry, the US is making significant efforts to reduce the emissions from its power sector, ramp up renewable energy and energy efficiency, and move more rapidly away from coal,” Dr Bradshaw said.


Industry News Oxfam sees the world’s poorest people made even more vulnerable through the increasing risk of droughts, floods, hunger and disease due to climate change. “Alone, this new policy will not meet the US 26–28 per cent reduction target by 2025. But its successful implementation is absolutely necessary to help the US meet that initial goal, along with the much stronger long-term goals that will be required to limit warming to well below two degrees,” Dr Bradshaw said. “It’s yet another sign that major economies are moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and will provide further momentum to the Paris climate change negotiations later this year. All eyes are now on the Australian Government to see how strong a post-2020 emissions reduction target it will announce.” Oxfam recently launched a report, Powering Up Against Poverty, which challenged coal industry spin about coal and poverty to show that coal is not the solution to improving energy access in developing countries. Dr Bradshaw said Australia must rapidly phase out coal from its own energy supply and, as a wealthy developed country, do far more to support developing countries with their own renewable energy plans.

MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE INCREASINGLY BEING USED TO COMPLEMENT TRADITIONAL WATER SUPPLY There is a growing awareness globally that good-quality clean water, at an affordable price, is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. Stormwater, historically considered a nuisance, is being used to supplement traditional water supplies. One of the challenges for reusing stormwater is how to capture, treat and store sufficient volumes when a surplus is available to meet peak demands. Managed Aquifer Recharge is increasingly being adopted to complement traditional water supply sources, providing a fit-for-purpose supply and added level of water security to meet industry, agriculture and municipal demands. Aquifers present the most viable option for the storage and subsequent recovery of economic volumes of water. Managed Aquifer Recharge, while sounding simple, is quite complex and requires a multidisciplinary team to deliver a successful and sustainable scheme. Many proven methods are available to get water into the ground, but there are still myths surrounding the suitability of aquifers. In truth all aquifers can be recharged – it happens naturally; but managed aquifer recharge reduces to a simple equation of volume and economics. Numerous pitfalls can trip up inexperienced practitioners or operators, resulting in significant capital losses if the scheme is not implemented properly, is over- or under-designed, or potentially viable projects fail to start due to poor conceptualisation and investigation.

MAR Hub is a smart specialisation cluster composed of South Australian companies, research and training institutions and experts within Government leading the way in managed aquifer recharge. Over 30 per cent of the academic papers written in this field by CSIRO, South Australian-based practitioners and universities originate from South Australian-led research, reinforcing our global expertise in this highly specialised field of water resource management. South Australia, through the expertise of MAR Hub participants, has earned world-wide recognition for the entire managed aquifer recharge process, from research and conceptualisation to successful implementation and operation of managed aquifer recharge schemes in a range of aquifer types using various water sources. MAR Hub is facilitating the leveraging of these leading skills for the global market, furthering the opportunity to work nationally and provide expertise around the world. Managed aquifer recharge is currently being used in a range of scales for urban and rural irrigation and also industrial purposes in Australia. At the request of industry, the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training is providing two courses on Managed Aquifer Recharge – one in Melbourne on 12–13 October and one in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15–16 October. The course is designed for urban planners, stormwater managers, hydrogeologists, engineers, water resource regulators, water utility operators, mining and petroleum operators seeking to manage excess water, and representatives from local government with an interest in water-sensitive urban design. For more information on Managed Aquifer Recharge or to register for the course, please go to

MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE COURSES Melbourne 12-13 October Christchurch 15-16 October The MAR course assists regulators & practitioners to facilitate a smooth & efficient uptake of MAR for producing urban & peri-urban water supplies & is suitable for various professionals working in MAR projects in local government, water utilities, industry, irrigators & consultants. For more information or to register:

The regulatory framework also presents a number of challenges and in some cases has not kept pace with the emerging knowledge concerning the safe and sustainable operation of these schemes. Recognising that all of the requisite skills to deliver a successful managed aquifer recharge scheme do not necessarily reside within a single provider, the Water Industry Alliance has formed MAR Hub to support proponents interested in pursuing this management approach.



Industry News

NEW! AUSTRALIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE LAUNCHES WEBSITE The Australian Academy of Science has launched a new-look educational science website that will serve as a convenient resource for journalists and the wider public. The site, called Nova, presents the best current scientific understanding through engaging graphics, video and interactive material. All topics are created by talented science writers and digital producers and are verified by top Australian scientists. Nova was one of the first science education websites in the world when it was first established by the Academy in 1997. With support from Telstra it has now undergone a complete transformation and features a wide range of easy-to-understand science topics. Readers can also ask scientists and experts questions directly through each topic's Ask an Expert section. Marine scientist and star of Coast Australia, Professor Emma Johnston, formally launched the site at the Australia Museum, along with Academy President Professor, Andrew Holmes, and Chairman of Telstra Ms Catherine Livingstone. Check it out at


DIP. READ. The new Hach SL1000 Portable Parallel Analyzer (PPA) performs the same tests with less than half the manual steps. Get highly accurate results, with less opportunity for errors, in a fraction of the time. Up to six parameters, tested simultaneously. NEW Web Address! 1300 887 735 water september 2015

New sponge-like crystals that clean up contaminants in industrial waste and soil can now be made rapidly and for 30 per cent of the cost. CSIRO’s new method, developed in collaboration with the University of Padova in Italy and the University of Adelaide, makes the crystals viable to manufacture for the first time by reducing the production time from up to two days to as little as 15 minutes. The crystals are made of extremely porous metal organic frameworks (MOFs) and have an internal storage capacity of 7,000 square metres, which is equal to the size of a football oval in a single gram. This means that the crystals can filter huge volumes of industrial wastewater, trapping large amounts of contaminants including carcinogenic material and heavy metals. CSIRO research team leader, Dr Paolo Falcaro, said the length of time it takes to produce MOFs has been a barrier to their manufacture until now. “We’ve estimated that this process could cut the cost to make MOFs by thousands of dollars for Australian manufacturers,” Dr Falcaro said. “While we’ve initially used the method to create zinc oxide-based MOFs, it could be applied to a range of different MOFs with applications spanning energy and pharmaceuticals.”
 Producing MOF crystals has traditionally been an energy-intensive process due to the heating and cooling required, but this new method is performed at room temperature for dramatic energy savings. “We’re now seeking to work with Australian chemical manufacturers to further develop the method and explore turning the crystals into a sustainable industrial waste management product,” Dr Falcaro said.


Don’t miss the chance to join Australia’s most influential and engaging industry leaders from the water, resources and agribusiness sectors whose future prospects remain dependent on the sustainable management of water. The Summit includes the launch of the State of the Water Sector Survey results and the Water Consumer Survey results.

WHO WILL THE EVENT ENGAGE? The event will engage C-suite executives from both the utilities and water sector, and from other industries where business relies on the sustainable management of water.



• Chief Executives

• Water • Government • Mining • Agribusiness • Food and beverage • Manufacturing and distribution

• Managing Directors • Directors • Heads of departments • Decision-makers and industry leaders • Senior management • Regulators • Policy managers • Politicians • Media


Industry dinner event (included in registration fee)

WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER: National Water Policy Summit


Industry News

OSMOFLO PROJECT SUPPLIES DRINKING WATER TO BROKEN HILL Osmoflo recently celebrated its 450th water treatment project, securing the contract to supply additional reverse osmosis capacity to the Broken Hill Water Treatment Plant through a competitive tendering process for current client Essential Energy. Essential Energy owns an existing Osmoflo reverse osmosis plant, which will also undergo re-instatement. The combination of this reinstatement and additional capacity will help meet the drinking water needs of the Broken Hill community. The capacity of the plant will be attained using brackish water and high salinity reverse osmosis technology. Osmoflo is providing a turnkey solution, which includes onsite and remote ongoing operations and maintenance support of the plant, using Osmoflo’s proprietary PlantConnect software. Since 1991, Osmoflo has delivered projects in a range of industries, for clients such as Rio Tinto, Santos, BHP, Bechtel and other global entities. “It is a very proud milestone for Osmoflo delivering its 450th water solution,” Managing Director Mr Marc Fabig commented. “The company has grown tremendously since delivering its first project in 1991. It now delivers projects across four continents, for a range of industries and communities. Having expanded our capabilities to wastewater solutions and emergency water we are very proud of the achievements of the company in the last 24 years.” The re-instated plus additional reverse osmosis capacity will be fully operational as of November 2015.


than for new houses. Retrofitting buildings can be costly, so it’s better to include higher sustainability standards at the design stage. Prospective buyers of new apartments could be shown a BASIX ratings certificate, so they can be aware of how well the building performs environmentally. “We’ve already seen how buildings with better sustainability standards can reduce bills for owners and tenants in the long run, and this is a major selling point for new apartments.” The Residential Apartments Sustainability Plan used data from the City’s Smart Green Apartments program – a three-year sustainability trial that took place in 30 buildings across the city from 2011–2013. An independent evaluation of 21 of those buildings last year found environmental retrofit projects helped result in an annual reduction of more than 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per building, with savings of up to $90,000 per building each year. The City has allocated $400,000 to develop a High Rise Leaders Retrofit Program to make existing apartment buildings more sustainable. The United States-based Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance has also given the City a $60,000 grant to help increase the number of highrise residential buildings that create their own energy from solar and other sustainable sources. The City will advocate for residential apartment buildings to be included in State and Federal Government subsidy schemes. The community supported the High Rise Leaders Retrofit Program as a useful way to: • Tackle some of the financial barriers to retrofitting buildings; • Prove the business case for owners to retrofit; • Develop benchmark sustainability data for apartments; and • Identify service providers for an expert panel. “The community wants higher environmental standards in new apartment buildings and has asked us to encourage developers to increase their sustainability goals by offering incentives for watersaving devices, solar photovoltaic panels and bicycle parking in new buildings,” the Lord Mayor said.

The City of Sydney has received strong community support for its Residential Apartments Sustainability Plan, which outlines ways to reduce the environmental impact of apartment living. Community feedback showed strong support for higher energy efficiency targets and better compliance for the existing Building Sustainability Index, known as BASIX. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it was important to ensure residential buildings are designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste and water use, and that owners are aware of their apartments’ green credentials. “Over 70 per cent of the City’s residents live in apartments and this is estimated to increase to 80 per cent by 2030. That’s 270,000 people living in apartments in the inner Sydney area,” the Lord Mayor said. “The number of apartments is increasing, but the minimum sustainability targets for new apartment buildings are much lower

water september 2015

Central Park residential apartments in Sydney get the five-star rating for sustainability.


Industry News “As we’ve seen in the commercial property sector, buildings with improved green standards are more attractive to new owners and residents who demand reduced operating costs and better environmental performance.” There were 188,000 people (73 per cent of the population) living in apartments in the City of Sydney area in 2013, which were responsible for: • 39 per cent of water use; • 11 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions; and • 14 per cent of waste generation.

COMMUNITY GIVEN OPPORTUNITY TO HELP DEVELOP SEQ’S LONG-TERM WATER SUPPLY PLAN Seqwater is in the process of developing a 30-year-plan to meet South-East Queensland’s future water supply needs. The first phase of scenario analysis is now complete and will form the basis of a region-wide community engagement program, Water For Life – South East Queensland’s Water Future 2015–2045. Seqwater Chief Executive Officer, Peter Dennis, said the community would play a significant role in developing the region’s long-term water plan.

“Our initial assessment has shown that our current water infrastructure combined with high water security means no new water sources should be required until beyond 2030. This means no decision on future water supply infrastructure options should be needed for at least 10 years,” Mr Dennis said. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to engage with water consumers to ensure the region’s long-term water plan reflects community views and values. The good news is that, together, we have time to choose the right water supply future for our region. I encourage everyone to get involved and have their say.’’ Mr Dennis said South-East Queensland was a region of weather extremes and presented a complex challenge for long-term water planning. “This is a region which has had recent experience with both large floods and long droughts. Climate predictions show the weather will become more variable. The Water Security Program must be adaptable to these variables, including being able to respond to and reflect community views and values as they evolve.” The first phase of the Water For Life community engagement program is now open. Seqwater is seeking community feedback on how it values water, as well as what factors such as cost or the environment Seqwater should take into account when assessing future water infrastructure options. Version 1 of the Water Security Program is now available to view online. South-East Queenslanders can have their say by registering at















TOLL FREE 1300 363 163



TASWATER’S STRATEGIC DIRECTION GIVEN THE TICK As TasWater begins its third year of operations, the company has finalised its Corporate Plan for the next three years. Chairman of the TasWater Board, Miles Hampton, said: “The Corporate Plan lays out a targeted program of investment intended to drive better customer outcomes, improve compliance of water and sewerage infrastructure and significant economic benefits for the state. “I am also pleased the new Corporate Plan has been fully endorsed by our Owner Councils following a meeting with local government representatives earlier this week.” Brighton Mayor, Tony Foster, Chairman of the Owners Representative Group, said: “Councils across the state have welcomed the new TasWater Corporate Plan and offer a vote of confidence in TasWater. Not only for its work over the last two years, but we are looking forward to the ongoing management of water and sewerage services into the future. “While the process of water and sewerage industry reform has been at times difficult, there is now clear evidence of the benefits extending across the Tasmanian community.” Coming after the determination of a second Price and Service Plan by the Economic Regulator, the new Corporate Plan does face challenges given TasWater’s preferred pricing mechanism was significantly adjusted by the Regulator. “This has forced TasWater to review plans and re-assess our trajectory,” said Miles Hampton. “But while it may constrain our rate of performance improvement, we will continue to build on the progress made so far.” The Corporate Plan sets out to achieve water and sewerage pricing parity across the state and cost savings due to productivity improvements totalling $11 million since formation. The number of towns experiencing water quality below Australian Drinking Water Guidelines will drop from 26 to eight, and the number of noncompliant water storage dams will go down to five from 13. TasWater will commit $330 million over the next three years on capital spending programs, delivering significant statewide employment and economic benefits.

LOCAL LANGUAGE NAMES FOR SYDNEY PARK WETLANDS New names will be given to Sydney Park’s four wetlands to commemorate the area’s Aboriginal history. The four names proposed by the City of Sydney – Wirrambi, Guwali, Bunmarra and Gilbanung – represent species of bats, birds, lizards and grasshoppers in different Aboriginal languages. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the proposed names were an important way to promote awareness of local Aboriginal languages and culture. “The City’s historians have researched Sydney Park and have considered names of Aboriginal origin that reflect the biodiversity of the park and its wetlands,” the Lord Mayor said.


Industry News

Wetlands in Sydney Park will be given Aboriginal names to commemorate the area’s history. “The City has just completed a $10.5 million water re-use and wetlands upgrade project that is a real boost to the park’s ecology, including many native fauna and flora. “Since 2004, we have invested over $23 million in transforming a derelict former brick-making site and rubbish tip into a muchloved, attractive regional park, offering active and passive recreation for all ages.” The proposed names for each of the upgraded wetlands are Aboriginal language words for fauna that are native to the Sydney region and are now disappearing from the urban environment. The recommended names are: • Wirrambi, meaning ’bat’, relating to the newly-created habitat for microbats at the park; • Guwali, meaning ’shag’ or ’cormorant’, to recognise the waterbirds that were part of the local pre-industrial landscape; • Bunmarra, meaning ’lizard’, referring to the growing blue-tongue lizard population in the park; and • Gilbanung, meaning ’grasshopper’, an insect that is prevalent in the park.

Kevin Young, Managing Director at Sydney Water, said: “Keeping customers informed about leaks and breaks in a timely manner is critical to minimising inconvenience. So we are updating our Water Map every 10 minutes to reflect status changes from our field crews, to better inform our customers.” Sydney Water supplies over 1.4 billion litres of drinking water to homes and businesses each day. In doing so its network experiences about 50 planned outages and 600 unplanned outages per month. Unplanned outages – otherwise known as leaks and breaks – are an unavoidable reality for water utilities around the world. They are a result of various factors, including ground movement, wear and tear, and changes in water pressure, rainfall and temperature. Julie Hegarty, Councillor at Pittwater Council said: “The Water Map is a fantastic tool for Sydneysiders to find out, in near real-time, what is happening with their local water supply. The mobile version is especially useful for those who are on the go.” Sydney Water Customers can go to watermap to access the map.

The City worked closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel and the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council to identify appropriate names for the wetlands.

SYDNEY WATER LAUNCHES ONLINE MAP FOR LEAKS AND BREAKS Sydney Water has launched an online Water Map to make it easier for customers to find details about planned and unplanned water outages happening in their area. In testing since April 2015, the online map has now been officially launched with a version that has been optimised for mobiles.

september 2015 water


Young Water Professionals

IDENTIFYING TRANSFERRABLE SKILLS TO ENHANCE YOUR CAREER PATH Robbie Goedecke – AWA YWP National Representative Committee President

Under the current economic environment, opportunities for young professionals to broaden their skill sets in the water industry have been limited. While this is an immediate concern, further challenges will develop as the working demographic shifts into retirement age. We are heading into unknown territory where the skills the industry possesses today may no longer be available in five to 10 years, placing the growth of the industry into hiatus. While government and industry are providing strong leadership in this area, there is a need for individuals to take responsibility for themselves. I recently contributed to a panel discussion on transferrable skill sets and how they can be used to diversify your career. Experience is usually the key element that dictates the jobs we take on in life, but this shouldn’t pose barriers all the time. For those looking for new opportunities, don’t be discouraged by roles requiring specific skill sets. Instead, apply transferrable skill sets that enable you to develop into any role and use your existing experience to advantage. Many individuals will consider the essential skills in a job advertisement as critical to meet the requirements for the role. However, it’s often the case that a combination of desirable skills will place you strongly in the selection frame. These skills may not be directly attributed to your profession or experience and, as such, are not technical. Instead, they provide you with a foundation to meet the requirements of most roles. Consider the following career pathways. The first pathway takes you along a journey to develop

WAter september 2015

into a specialist of your chosen field. This pathway enables you to provide technical expertise to multiple clients and stakeholders and deliver highlevel leadership to those around you encompassing similar skill sets. The alternative allows you to take on a more diverse career pathway where you acquire particular skill sets from each role. You use these skills to manage or supervise diverse teams with a range of skill sets and experience. Although both pathways have benefits, it is those who have a willingness to identify and develop transferrable skill sets that enhance their employment prospects. When considering a new role, identify the value that role will provide to your career and work to ensure that value is achieved. Defining these transferable skills and how they can be recognised and applied in the workplace is challenging. Examples include working independently and as part of a team, negotiating on agreeable outcomes and a commitment to continuous development as a professional. Once you have developed an appreciation for these skills, you can use them to diversify your career path and remain challenged in your role. The water industry offers many diverse opportunities for young professionals, ranging from stakeholder engagement to infrastructure design to water operations and process improvement. There should be no barriers to achieving a fulfilling career. If you believe you lack transferable skills, now is the time to discuss with your manager and team areas that you can develop to equip you with more well-rounded skill sets to enhance your employability.

10-11 March 2016 Royal Randwick Sydney

2016 Water Innovation Forum & Expo

The ultimate showcase of water innovation, bringing together the utility, construction, food and beverage, and agricultural industries with technology providers, financiers and R&D.

Why attend? Be Excited – Share ideas on trends and the future of water innovation Do Business – Through formal business matching meetings and networking See it Big – Full scale exhibit of the latest in water innovation Interactive – New theatrette surrounded by the innovators display hubs

The Innovation Forum is a true accelerator for innovative solutions mainly because of its format allowing proximity between exhibitors and delegates. Not many events ignite such a level of dialogue between stakeholders. Jérémy Daunay, IJINUS, Exhibitor

2-day Conference + Exhibition 10-11 March, Royal Randwick Sydney

To exhibit or register visit


AWA News

NATIONAL WATER POLICY SUMMIT 2015 The Australian Water Association’s annual National Water Policy Summit will be held on 7 October 2015 in Melbourne. The Summit will discuss the key policy issues for the water sector, and advocate for the changes necessary to ensure the continual improvement of water management in Australia. The Summit will delve into key current water policy issues, including: • Progress of the Infrastructure Plan being prepared by Infrastructure Australia and key implications for Australia’s urban and rural water needs; • How and when water should be transferred between urban and rural communities; • Integrated water management, including a discussion of stormwater licensing frameworks; • How to build liveable and resilient cities. The Summit will also see released the results from the Australian Water Association/Deloitte State of the Water Sector Survey and Australian Water Association/Arup Consumer Survey, including an analysis of the differences in the perceptions of water between industry and consumers. The event will culminate in participants voting on key recommendations to inform the Australian Water Association’s water policy advocacy campaign. Register now on our website to hear from key experts on the current national water policy priorities of Australia.


averse industry that is subject to inertia built up over time. There is an ingrained resistance to the introduction of new technologies, which is difficult to break down. Exposure to other ways of working and gaining insights into the rationale of others in the industry is very valuable.” – Phil Krasnostein, Managing Director, Optimos The Webinars will be run all year round with topics including: the changing face of Northern Australia’s water development; Vietnam’s premier water conference VietWater; as well as in-depth discussions surrounding the science of water. In addition to the Webinar Series, the Innovation Programme includes the Innovation Incubator, Innovation Forum and Masterclasses, which aim to develop and support innovation talent across the country. Find out more about the Webinars and the Innovation Programme online at

TWO SPECIALIST NETWORKS JOIN FORCES TO CREATE A POWERFUL ONE-DAY PROGRAM The Australian Water Association’s Catchment Management and Water Management Law and Policy Networks have come together to deliver a national event: Valuing Catchments and Assets. To be held on 24 November in Sydney, this conference will bring you practical tips and advice drawn from real-life case studies on how to get your catchment plans through. This will be complemented by presentations that build your understanding of key regulatory and policy changes in this space. The four key themes of the event are: • National Programs and Investor Priorities in Catchment Management; • Catchment Management Policy & Planning; • Ecosystem Services: Valuing Catchments as Assets to Deliver Multiple Objectives; • Managing Risk. Please visit to register.

The Australian Water Association prides itself in delivering expertise and water industry collaboration to its members, and with the introduction of our new Webinar Series, we are making this information more accessible than ever before. The Webinar Series is part of our Innovation Programme, headed up by Innovation Manager Jerome Moulin, and brings together some of the best minds, not only in Australia but from around the world – and you can participate from anywhere in the country, from the comfort of your workplace or home. Our first two webinars – Water Innovation in Europe, with Guido Schmidt of the Secretariat of the European Innovation Partnership, and Israel to Oz! Water Utility Innovation, presented by Yossi Yaccoby of Mekorot’s Watech Division, have received positive feedback, attracting nearly 50 participants. As one attendee noted: “Thank you for inviting me to join the Israel to Oz! Water Utility Innovation Seminar. The concept of us being able to get an understanding of the way the utilities are operating in other countries is excellent. We are in a conservative, risk-

water september 2015

ARE YOU A YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONAL LOOKING TO CONNECT? If so, save the date for the 4th AWA/IWA Australian Young Water Professional Conference, which will take place 18–19 February 2016 at the University of New South Wales. As a response to further reductions to research funding in Australia, the conference theme is ‘Connect. Collaborate. Create’. It aims to demonstrate how collaboration between industry, research and government is not only of mutual benefit but can also facilitate innovation. This will be achieved by showcasing Young Water Professionals’ successful collaborative endeavours both in Australia and overseas. Additionally, it will leave Young Water Professionals with the skills to approach this changing market. Registrations open in October. For details email


AWA News

BRANCH NEWS ACT Student Careers Evening The ACT Branch held its inaugural Student Careers Evening on 20 August 2015 at the Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment and Society. Twenty-three students from the University of Canberra, the Australian National University and the Canberra Institute of Technology attended and were treated to inspirational talks by young individuals working in the water sector, a questionand-answer panel session, as well as pizza and drinks provided by event sponsor Alluvium. Noreen Vu, ACT Government Policy Advisor on water-related documents such as water-sensitive urban design, was the evening’s first presenter. Describing the route to her current role as indirect, Noreen highlighted that a career in water can be successful through persistence and taking advantage of opportunities, despite a sometimes-convoluted path into the sector. “The path into my job at the ACT Government was definitely not direct,” said Noreen. “If there was one piece of advice that I could give students it’s to take advantage of opportunities as they come up.” The next speaker was Georgia Davis, who discussed her career in international development as Program Coordinator for Thrive Network’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Program in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Georgia noted that new graduates with aspirations for an international development water career can gain employment by moving to countries where improvement in WASH is a prominent focus, rather than trying to attain such work from within Australia. “I built relationships with Vietnamese people I already knew working in the sector when I got there. I started as a volunteer, and taught English after work hours to earn money. With some hard work and good luck, I now have a great job working in their WASH program.” Dr Walter Reinhardt, a consultant at the international consulting firm Arup and member of the ACT Branch Committee, also contributed to organising the event and rose to the high bar set by Georgia and Noreen. Walter described his career in water as one that he came to indirectly through degrees in agriculture, finance, and environmental science. He outlined that his career required patience and persistence, an often-repeated theme for the evening. “I had 13 interviews before winning one of my previous jobs, and that took a lot of time. Just be persistent and keep working at getting a job, because it will happen,” he said. The evening’s final words were presented by David Barratt of Alluvium. “I’m actually quite a shy person,” said David. “So engaging with potential clients when I first took on a consulting job was hard, but I was quite surprised at how willing and nice most people are if you reach out to them. Students need to start conversations by trying to find out what they can about a potential employer. It’s a good way to break the ice – asking about them rather than ‘pitching’ yourself – and I think you’ll be surprised at how welcoming most people will be.” During the question-and-answer panel session Daniela Cortez, another Branch member who helped organise the event, highlighted the unique opportunities that a Careers Evening can provide.

“It was at an Australian Water Association Careers Evening just like this one where I was inspired to commit to the water industry,” said Daniela. “Students should not be afraid to ask questions and be proactive in pursuing their water career, particularly if it’s their passion. It’s a remarkable and rewarding career and opportunities appear when you least expect it.” Students took Daniela’s advice and stayed until well after talks were over, making the most of the opportunity to network with the speakers and other students and to ask further questions. “It was empowering to see so many students turn out from across the ACT and to see how intent they were on the speakers,” said Dr Julia Jasonsmith of Murrang Earth Sciences, another member who helped organise the event. “The speakers’ advice was frank and fearless. I hope students from a wide range of backgrounds were encouraged that they can and should pursue a career in water if that’s what they want, even if their marks aren’t the top of the class or even close to it.”

New Committee Appointments The 2015–2017 committee work has commenced with Adrian Piani, Canberra Manager, AECOM, re-elected as President of the ACT Branch and Michael Ross appointed Vice President. The committee welcomes new members Andrew Grant (ICON) and Rachel England (Alluvium) who join returning members Simon Webber, Michael Ross, Bradford Sherman, Daniela Cortez, Julia Jasonsmith and Walter Reinhardt. We would like to thank retiring members Julien Lepetit, Akshay Thakare and Vince Keogh. Following a successful ACT careers night in August, we are looking to build the profile of the Australian Water Association with students and young professionals who have just entered the industry. We are currently working on a mentor program for launch early next year and welcome input from any Association member. The Australian Water Association is participating in the ACT & Region Integrated Catchment Management Strategy and we will have events and targeted communications to engage with our members on this issue following the release of the draft strategy near the end of the year. We are already planning the annual Water Matters Conference, to be held Wednesday 15 June 2016, and the need for integrated catchment management will be a core theme of this program. Upcoming events: • ACT Awards close on 14 October (Postgraduate Award closes on 5 October with presentations on 29 October). Winners are announced on 9 December; • Debate on the Lake – 9 December.

september 2015 water


AWA News NSW New Committee Appointments With the new committee in place, Graham Attenborough, Senior

• NSW Engineers and Operators Regional Conference, Ballina, 26–27 October 2015; • NSW Legends of Water, 19 November 2015.

Manager, Operations at Water NSW, has been appointed as NSW


President and Karen Eldridge re-elected as Vice President.

‘Where The Waters Meet’ 2015 Conference

Graham’s key priorities for the next two years are to: • Increase the level of debate and advocacy on key NSW water issues, particularly among Australian Water Association members and then with government and community leaders. • Encourage new members to become involved in the Association, especially in state events and technical seminars. • Expand and strengthen the mentoring program in NSW. • Review and improve the events and technical seminar program and member communications to provide timely, relevant and simple access to information for members. The committee welcomes five new members: Daniel Lambert (Arup), Darren Romain (CH2M), David Nixon (Midcoast Water), Dianne Thomas (Beca), Emma Pryor (MWH) and Peter Haylock (Atlas Engineering Group) as YWP representative, who join returning members Adam Wilson, Ian Chase, Katherine Marshall, Lee-Anne Sylva, Nirvana McNaughton, Sascha Moege, Tim Overland, Tony Cartwright and Mark Trembath, Immediate Past President. Wilf Finn and Ivan Reolon continue to work with the committee as Chairs of the Policy Sub-committee and Awards Sub-committee respectively. On behalf of the NSW Branch, we would like to thank Mark Trembath for his term as President, and retiring members Cheryl Marvell, Sally Rewell, Kate Miles, Murray Thompson and Erin Cini for their significant contribution to the NSW Branch.

NSW Engineers and Operators Regional Conference Registrations for the 17th Engineers and Operators Regional Conference are now open. The event returns to the north coast this year and has a strong regulatory and technical program with over 25 speakers. It will take place in Ballina on 26–27 October 2015. Adam Wilson, chair of the conference organising committee, says this is a great opportunity to network with colleagues and find out the latest information on key issues that impact your business. “The conference is all about sharing knowledge – that’s important for all of us to be able to operate successfully in the current climate,” he says. “This year’s regulatory panel will be important given the changes to WICA and the possible impact of the operator of last resort provisions, Fit for the Future, and the EPA’s risk-based licensing. It’s not often we get all the regulators in one room and get the chance to ask them questions. We’ve also got seven different streams of technical papers, so there’s something for everyone on the program. I look forward to seeing you all in Ballina.” Upcoming events • Resource Recovery Seminar, 21 October, Sydney;

water september 2015

The Tasmanian Branch’s annual conference ‘Where The Waters Meet’ was held on Thursday 20 August at Wrest Point Convention Centre in Hobart. Preceding the conference at the annual Water Leaders Dinner, invited guests heard from guest speaker, Shaun Cox, former Managing Director of Gold Coast Water, South East Water and Melbourne Water, as well as former Chair of both the Smart Water Fund and the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). Shaun’s talk focused on his experience in stakeholder and community engagement, providing a number of practical insights, and was well received by the guests. Matching the conference themes – catchment management, water impacts in agriculture, and municipal water and sewerage – a fantastic range of local and interstate presenters informed and entertained the delegates in attendance. Varying topics from the historic 30km Briseis race in northern Tasmania, through to the latest technology relating to design and construction of pressure sewer systems and constructed wetlands were presented. Many strong messages were voiced, including the need for effective stakeholder engagement, strong vision and leadership in the sector, embracing innovation, the use of appropriate project management and construction delivery methods.  People’s Choice ‘Speaker of the Day’ status was shared between Ray Wright and Lance Stapleton, both entertaining presenters with different presentations and a great example of the diversity and depth of capacity in the Tasmanian water sector. Outgoing Tasmanian President, Daryl Polzin was thanked for his eight years of service to the committee and presented with a certificate by Australian Water Association Chief Executive, Jonathan McKeown. Over 25 trade exhibitions filled the sunny Boardwalk Gallery, which was buzzing throughout the day and into the evening at the JMG Networking function. As always, the conference was a great opportunity for the gathered suppliers, consultants and contractors to network. The biannual Tasmania Water Environment Merit Award (TWEMA) was presented at the Networking function. From a strong field two finalists were chosen: Nyrstar/GHD – Integrated Water Management Project at Nyrstar, Hobart; and Sense-T – Ringarooma Adaptive Water Management Project. After an extensive assessment process TWEMA Panel Chairman, Dr Terry Walker, announced Nyrstar/GHD as the winner of the Tasmania Water Environment Merit Award 2015. The quality of our speakers, combined with the support of our conference partners and the participation of our trade exhibitors, made it an excellent event for our delegates. Particular thanks must go to State Manager, Carmel Clark, as well as members of the State Committee, for the enormous effort that went into ensuring everything came together over the two days. The Tasmanian Branch Committee sincerely thanks premium partner GHD along with conference partners Zinfra, JMG, SUEZ environnement, TRILITY, BMD Constructions, John Holland, Stornoway and the dedicated trade exhibitors who make the trek to Hobart on a regular basis to attend ‘Where the Waters Meet’.


AWA News

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


Western Australia Corporate Platinum optaMAX Pty Ltd

New South Wales

Corporate Bronze

Corporate Silver

Krohne Pty Ltd

Viadux Pty Ltd

Corporate Bronze


SAFEgroup Automation Pty Ltd


Corporate Bronze

New South Wales J Murray, W Zhang

Tankworks Australia Pty Ltd

(William), W Zhang (Weiqiang), A Christie, J Duong, F Ortega, D Cunningham, N Ronis, B Galway, D Schaefer, E Camilet, J Kofron, J-C Schrotter, G Cooney, B Prinsloo, N Johnston, J Atkinson, A Jones, D Day, B Fan, A Mitchell Northern Territory N Deacon Queensland T Beales, N Szkutenko, N Ouston, J Stockeld, J Kilpatrick, J Cray, A Ventura, G Henderson, H Maro, W van der Merwe, P White

South Australia

Corporate Bronze

LogiCamms Australia Pty Ltd


Corporate Platinum

Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

Corporate Bronze Ecotech Pty Ltd

South Australia E Person, C Brock,

D Sturm

Tasmania J Barnett Victoria L Wong, E Phillips, P Pretto,

J Tait, C Ward, B Hatt, T Routley, W Mosse, L Fouche, L Nurhalim Western Australia V Ferritto, F Savignac, C McGowan, R Epworth, M Walsh


Geomembrane Technologies, Canada


M Drew, New Zealand; B Howe, Canada


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 Thu, 24 Sep 2015

SA Tour of Waterproofing the West Assets, Adelaide

October Thu, 1 Oct 2015

WA YWP My Water Career – Change and Resilience, Perth

Tue, 6 Oct – Wed, 7 Oct 2015

NAT National Water Policy Summit, Melbourne

Wed, 14 Oct 2015

QLD Topic TBA (Technical Meeting), Brisbane

Sat, 17 Oct 2015

QLD YWP Amazing Race, Brisbane

Wed, 21 Oct 2015

NSW Resource Recovery (Technical Event), Sydney

Sun, 18 Oct – Sat 24 Oct 2015

NAT National Water Week

Thu, 22 Oct – Fri 23 Oct 2015

NT Water in the Bush (Branch Annual Conference), Darwin

Fri, 23 Oct 2015

WA Regional Conference – Mandurah

Mon, 26 Oct – Wed 27 Oct

NSW Engineers & Operators Regional Conference, Ballina

November Tue, 10 Nov 2015

VIC EPA Guidelines – A Performance-Based Approach (Technical Evening), Melbourne

Wed, 11 Nov – Thu Nov 2015

NAT Innovation Incubator Masterclass, Brisbane

Wed, 11 Nov – Thu Nov 2015

QLD QWater’15, Brisbane

Tue, 17 Nov 2015

VIC Topic TBA (Technical Evening), Melbourne

Thu, 19 Nov 2015

NSW Legends of Water, Sydney

Fri, 20 Nov 2015

SA Annual Awards Gala Dinner, Adelaide

Fri, 20 Nov 2015

WA Annual Awards Gala Dinner, Perth

Tue, 24 Nov 2015

NAT Catchment Management Specialist Network National Conference, Sydney

Wed, 25 Nov – Fri 27 Nov 2015

VietWater Expo: Australian Pavilion, Hanoi

Thu, 26 Nov 2015

TAS Galah Dinner & Debate & 2015 YWP Awards, Hobart

september 2015 water


AWA News




The Australian Water Association has been hosting a series of visits by PDAMs (Perusahaan Daerah Air Minum, regional water authorities from around Indonesia). The PDAMS are keen to visit Australia to see firsthand what can be done to improve water quality and efficiency, improve sanitation and look at new technologies for sustainable cities. One subject of keen interest has been stormwater harvesting for reuse water and to protect the environment.

Ms Tran Thi Huong, Vice President and Ms Nguyen Thi Hoai Linh, Head of International Relations from the Department of Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) recently visited Sydney to meet with the Australian Water Association, NSW Trade and Industry, ANZ and the Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia to discuss how Australian expertise and technologies can be applied in the Vietnamese water sector to assist with building the prosperity of rural provinces in Vietnam. 

The Association welcomes these groups from Indonesia, both for site visits and to attend events, in particular the annual Ozwater Conference & Exhibition. The new Indonesian Government has been streamlining its foreign investment rules to attract greater foreign participation in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). It has identified an ambitious list of PPPs to build infrastructure across the archipelago. Most of the programs are in transport, toll roads, railway lines, new seaports and 14 new airports. The Indonesian Government has identified a number of water sector PPPs, where it will be seeking foreign participation. August marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Indonesia. The Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, was in Sydney to promote PPP opportunities and to attend a reception to mark this important anniversary. The Hon Mr Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, has announced he will lead a Ministerial Mission as part of an Indonesian Australia Business Week in Jakarta 17–20 November. Many business sectors will be invited to join the mission, including companies and organisations focused on sustainable cities.

The VWU has 15 million members from across Vietnam and works to enhance the life of women and promote issues of interest to women with the Vietnamese Government. In the water sector, the VWU is an active participant alongside Government in projects aimed at increasing access to clean water for rural communities. The Australian Water Association is planning a collaborative water management project with the VWU to link social enterprise development with sustainable water and wastewater management, supporting the development of social enterprises that are directly linked to enhanced water quality and security. The proposal follows several meetings in Vietnam and Australia and a site visit to Duong Lam Ward by the Australian Water Association’s Chief Executive, Jonathan McKeown. ANZ, AWA’s International Programme sponsor, is supporting the project planning by leveraging the expertise and experience of its Sustainable Finance Solutions and Corporate Sustainability teams. Katharine Tapley, Director, Sustainable Finance Solutions, ANZ Global Markets and Loans said: “We are very excited to be part of the dialogue between AWA and the VWU – it’s a natural extension to the ANZ-AWA partnership and at the same time allows us to contribute to the prosperity of the communities in which we operate through improving women’s livelihoods.” In further news on activities in Vietnam in association with ANZ, the Australian Water Association will be taking 18 Australian water companies to VietWater to showcase Australian water capability and to undertake water quality workshops. More information on VietWater can be found at

Indonesian Ambassador Nadjib riphat Kesoema (left), Geoff Gray from the Australian Water Association and mrs Nadjib at the Indonesian reception.

WAter september 2015

From left: Geoff Gray, Nguyen thi Hoai Linh, Katharine tapley, Jonathan mcKeown, tran thi Huong, Nguyen thi Hoang thuy and paul smith.

Get your business in front of the water industry Now is the time to capitalise on increased business opportunities in the sector, by securing your exhibition spot at the foremost water events happening over the next year. We can work with you to design a tailored exhibition package, so you can raise your company profile and put a spotlight on your products - at the right place and the right time. Exhibitor opportunities at upcoming events include: State Our State Branches run a number of specialist events for the local community, providing a great opportunity to boost your business profile regionally. Event



WA Annual Water Conference


23 Oct 2015

NSW Engineers and Operators Conference


26-28 Oct 2015


11-12 Nov 2015


22-23 Nov 2015

Qwater Water in the Bush NT

National Tap into the Australian water industry and get national exposure for your business and products at some of the biggest events on the water calendar. Event



Valuing Catchments and Assets


24 Nov 2015

Innovation Forum and Expo


10-11 Mar 2016


10-12 May 2016


International Want to get exposure to international markets? Exhibiting at one of these events is the way to do it! Event





25-27 Nov 2015


11-13 July 2016


9-13 Oct 2016

Singapore International Water Week IWA World Water Congress

Limited spots available! if you would like to exhibit at any of the above events, contact stephen Comey



THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN PLAN FAILS TO DEAL ADEQUATELY WITH CLIMATE CHANGE Our April issue featured a technical paper titled ‘Managing Water in the Murray-Darling Basin Under A Variable And Changing Climate’. The paper caused a bit of a stir and created dispute among Australian scientists. In this opinion piece Jamie Pittock, John Williams and R Quentin Grafton from the Australian National University state their case. Managing the risks and resilience of the MurrayDarling Basin River systems into the future requires that the Basin Plan incorporate measures to adapt to the projected impacts of climate change on both trend and variability. There is sufficient quantitative knowledge available that indicates there are significant direct and indirect risks from climate change on water availability. Yet the current Basin Plan and associated programs do not properly address climate change and there are at least seven actions required to manage climate change and water inflow risks into the future. It is our view that the failure to use current knowledge on projected impacts of climate change in the computation for the Basin Plan’s sustainable diversion limits, or provision for systematic adjustment into the future, significantly increases the risks to the ecological heath of the river systems. It also increases the uncertainty to communities, who now have no clear policy setting or process to manage the anticipated changes in water availability into the future. We conclude that action is required to revise the Basin Plan (and the Water for the Future package) earlier than is scheduled for 2022.

CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS AND STREAM FLOW RISKS IN THE BASIN Reduced water availability in the Basin due to climate change has been projected from the 1980s (Pittock, 1980; Palmer et al., 2008). The mid-latitude location makes the Basin particularly sensitive to climate-induced hydrological change (Palmer et al., 2008; Gallant et al., 2012; Grafton et al., 2012). Last decade, CSIRO projected scenarios for surface water availability in the Basin by 2030. The scenarios of ‘extreme wet’ – 7% more water, ‘median’ – 12% less, and ‘extreme dry’ – 37% less,

WATER september 2015

exhibit great uncertainty (CSIRO, 2008). The higher or lower inflows increase down the river to the sea so that, for example, an extreme dry scenario could result in as much as a 69% fall in outflows. In this context it is imperative that relevant governments enact robust climate change adaptation measures to manage increased temperatures, changes in water availability and more frequent extreme events, among other impacts. The Federal Government has adopted a regulatory Basin Plan to manage water diversion limits, supported by other programs, notably the Water for the Future package that seeks to facilitate the reallocation and better management of water among consumptive and environmental users. Of fundamental importance is the failure of the current Basin Plan to incorporate projected climate change impacts in the assessment of the ‘sustainable diversion limits’ (SDL; SSCRRAT, 2013), which are critical mechanisms to give some level of confidence to water users and managers of the river health.

SEVEN MAIN PROBLEMS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION While Neave et al. (2015) suggest ways in which the current Basin Plan may be adjusted to manage climate change from 2022, all of the measures outlined fail to deal with the primary task, which is to have means to set and adjust the SDLs in line with the anticipated impacts of climate change. In their conclusion, Neave et al. (2015) admit this when they state: “Policy challenges remain, not the least of which is how reductions in water availability due to climate change could be shared between consumptive use and the environment”. We argue that no allowance has been made in the SDLs for long-term climate change to adequately partition water use adjustment for consumptive


Opinion users and the environmental health needs of the river systems. We contend that there are seven main problems for climate change adaptation that are predictable, capable of being addressed by Australian governments and to which the Basin Plan does not adequately respond. Importantly, these issues are raised in the peerreviewed academic literature and in parliamentary inquiry evidence, but are not cited by Neave et al. (2015). We highlight seven failings of the 2012 Basin Plan and complementary measures. 1. Allocated insufficient water to reduce historic impacts Good, current ecological health of an ecosystem is likely to increase its resilience to future climatic variability and change. Consumptive use of water diverted from any ecosystem is likely to have some degree of environmental impact, and while science should inform decisions with data on thresholds and options, society must make value judgements as to the level of environmental degradation that is acceptable. Neave et al. raise the question of “whether environmental objectives remain feasible and appropriate under climate change” (2015:102), but the Basin Plan process does not address this question (SSCRRAT, 2013), as admitted by the MurrayDarling Basin Authority (Borschmann and Phillips, 2015). In the case of the Basin, the thresholds of acceptable change under the current climate have been established in two main ways. Under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Australia committed in international law to maintain the “ecological character” of designated sites unless the Federal Government declares that it will not do so in “the urgent national interest” (which it has not declared). As many of the 16 Ramsar sites in the Basin were designated in the 1970s and 1980s, Australia is committed to maintaining the ecological condition that existed at that time (Pittock et al., 2010). Further, the Water Act requires that the ‘environmentally sustainable levels of (water) take’ in the Basin Plan do not compromise ‘key ecosystem functions’ or ‘key environmental assets,’ including water-dependent ecosystems, ecosystem services and sites with ecological significance (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008; MDBA, 2010a). These are onerous environmental standards given the propensity of the River Murray system to degrade from ‘the bottom up’ with insufficient flows. Ostensibly, the Basin Plan commits to a surface water reallocation of 2,750 GL/yr on average to environmental flows that will help restore many wetlands in the Basin, and there is a less secure political commitment relying on engineering works to effectively reallocate a further 450 GL/yr on average (SSCRRAT, 2013). This amounts to a reallocation of water from consumptive use to the environment of up to 29% (Pittock, 2013). While this is substantial, there are a number of peer-reviewed (e.g. Grafton et al., 2014) and public assessments (e.g. Lamontagne et al., 2012; SSCRRAT, 2013) that suggest that this volume of water is insufficient to achieve the Federal Government’s environmental targets for the Basin. The issue is that wetlands further down river require larger river flows to water, especially those flood plain wetlands of the Riverlands in South Australia, and the Coorong and Lower Lakes where flows are needed to flush salt out to sea (Lamontagne et al., 2012; CSIRO, 2011). The initial CSIRO modelling for the Guide to the Basin Plan suggested that a reallocation of 7,600 Gl/yr on average would be required to achieve the desired ecological outcomes (MDBA, 2010b). By contrast, reallocation of 3,200 GL/yr on average to environmental flows only achieves 66% of the 112 targets set by the Authority to deliver a healthy working river (WGCS, 2012b; SSCRRAT, 2013). The South Australian Goyder Institute review states that, “While the Draft Basin Plan would bring some benefits to the South Australian environmental assets of the River Murray, few of the EWRs [environmental water

requirements] required to maintain the ecological character of the region are met (Lamontagne et al., 2012:27)”. It is notable that an objective of the Basin Plan is to use higher river flows to increase the numbers of years in which the Murray Mouth is open, so as to maintain estuarine and migratory biota, as well as enable egress of salt to the sea. The Authority’s Guide to the Basin Plan argues that: “In the long term the additional water for the environment should see the Murray Mouth open between 90% and 92% of the time [for a 3,000 GL/y reduction on current diversion limits and a 4,000 GL/y reduction, respectively], compared to 64% of the time as modelled under the current arrangements” (MDBA, 2010a:xxvi). Yet, after wetter years since 2010 and reallocation of 1957.4 GL (as at 31 May 2015) in long-term average annual yield (71.2% of the planned 2,750 GL reallocation; DoE, 2015), in early 2015 dredges were being used to keep the Murray Mouth open, which shows the failure of the interventions authorised in the Plan to date (Winter and Curtain, 2015). A number of wetlands that the Federal Government has committed to conserve, including the Riverlands and the Coorong and Lower Lakes, are, therefore, highly likely to be further degraded under the 2030 median and extreme dry climate change scenarios for the Basin. Further reallocation of water to sustain the ecological health of the river system is required. 2. Excessive consumptive water use in dry years The adopted Basin Plan does not change the rules that the State Governments use to allocate most available water to consumptive users in dry years. In the past, the argument has been that Australian biota is used to drought so can survive the odd dry year. The risk with climate change is that more severe droughts may increase the period between watering of wetlands beyond the thresholds that such species may withstand (CSIRO, 2008), as already evident from the death of large areas of floodplain forests due to excessive water diversions and drought (Pittock et al., 2010). In 14 of the 18 Basin regions current water-sharing arrangements allocate water to agriculture over the environment (Pittock, 2013). For example, in the Murrumbidgee River catchment the water-sharing rules resulted in negligible outflows into the River Murray between 1994 and 2010, while irrigation diversions remained above 1,500 GL/yr (Grafton et al., 2014). The Authority proposed in 2010: “A principle of equitable sharing of any reduction in water availability between consumptive and environment uses” to manage climatic variability (MDBA, 2010a:109). Unfortunately, due to the complexity of implementing this change in the different contexts of each tributary catchment (for instance, changing the reliability of each different class of water entitlement), this reform was abandoned. The water entitlements acquired by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder have the same legal character as consumptive water and are potentially available to manage dry years, but at best this will amount to only a fifth of all the environmental water (Pittock, 2013). The Basin Plan needs to be revised to ensure a more equitable allocation of water to sustain environmental health in dry years. 3. Increased groundwater extraction The plan does systematically regulate groundwater and surface water extractions across the Basin for the first time. While this is sound practice, the baseline diversion limit (BDL) of groundwater was increased from 1,786 GL/yr in the 2010 Guide to 2,386 GL/y in the 2012 Basin Plan, and then the Basin-wide groundwater SDL was increased from 2,095 GL/yr to 4340 GL/yr (MDBA, 2012b) and subsequently reduced to 3,334 GL/yr (SSCRRAT, 2013). Overall, this is an increase of 1,548 GL/yr, a fivefold rise in permissible groundwater extraction from the Basin. The same models and methodology were used in the development of groundwater SDLs in both the

september 2015 water



Guide to the Basin Plan and the Basin Plan and this large increase in permitted consumption is the result of changes in the assumptions underlying the models, and “consultations with the states and water users” (MDBA, 2012b; WGCS, 2012a). These assumptions and methodology are open to serious question (WGCS, 2012a; SSCRRAT, 2013) even for our historical climate and, most importantly in this discussion, make no provision for climate change. Further, Barron et al. (2011) show that most of the priority aquifers in Australia might expect water shortages under a dry scenario of climate change. Comprehensive analysis and modelling by CSIRO (2008) suggested that groundwater extraction should be capped in some systems, reduced in others and the cases for increases were modest. Further, there is little evidence (MDBA, 2012b) of rigorous assessment of these proposed increased levels of groundwater take on discharge and base flow of rivers, and which CSIRO (2008) showed could be significant in the long term. Conversely, provisions of flooding for adequate groundwater recharge have largely been neglected, such that the Plan may not adequately protect the integrity of the groundwater system itself or the groundwaterdependent ecosystems (SSCRRAT, 2013; WGCS, 2012a). A precautionary approach is required and the groundwater SDL increase in the Basin Plan should be withdrawn. 4. Established unnecessary path dependency A great number of the initiatives undertaken in the name of Basin management reform have established unnecessary path dependency with water allocations and infrastructure. As discussed, the reallocation of water to the environment falls short of the volumes needed to maintain a number of key wetlands in the target condition under the current climate, and the issuing

WATER september 2015

of new groundwater entitlements creates conditions under which further water reallocation will be more expensive and politically harder to achieve to manage future climatic shifts. Over five billion dollars (AUD) is allocated, of which about three billion has already been spent in the Federal Government’s Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program, with the bulk of these funds being spent on ‘improving’ the efficiency of water delivery infrastructure (Grafton, 2015). This infrastructure investment has been extensively criticised on a number of grounds. For water recovery it is up to four times more expensive than purchasing water entitlements, it is a subsidy for one sector of the farming community over others, and it ‘gold plates’ infrastructure in places that may not be viable for irrigation under future climates (Productivity Commission, 2010; Adamson and Loch, 2014). Such subsidies can also, in some circumstances, result in reduced net downstream stream flows (Adamson and Loch, 2014; Qureshi et al., 2010). ‘Environmental works and measures’ infrastructure is being constructed “to multiply the environmental benefits achievable from the water available […] to enable controlled landscape-scale flooding using environmental water – often in much smaller volumes than would be required without these works” (MDBA, 2011a: 56) to reduce the volume of water that needs to be reallocated to the environment (SSCRRAT, 2013). However, these works have been criticised for benefiting only small areas of wetlands, having negative environmental impacts and high opportunity costs. More importantly, this irrigation and ‘environmental’ water efficiency infrastructure is being constructed without any climate change impact assessment, so may become redundant and need to be decommissioned under a future climate (Pittock et al., 2012). In these contexts the Basin Plan and associated


Opinion path dependency programs are undertaking ‘overly narrow’ adaptation and ‘maladaptation’ (Nelson, 2010; Barnett and O’Neill, 2010). Instead, monies allocated to irrigation and floodplain environmental works and measures programs should be redirected towards the many alternative ways of generating environmental and socio-economic benefits. 5. Focused on a median climate change scenario In assessing potential climate change impacts on water availability, CSIRO did not assign probabilities to the range of projections, noting that they are each possible (CSIRO, 2008). In 2010, the Authority commented that: “While there is uncertainty associated with different predictions of the magnitude of climate change effects by 2030, there is general agreement that surface water availability across the entire Basin is more likely to decline, with Basin-wide change of 10% less water predicted” (MDBA, 2010a: 33). This misinterpretation equates ‘median’ scenario as ‘predicted’ for planning purposes. Risk management practice requires consideration of affordable measures that can reduce the risks arising from less probable, but more damaging, outcomes (Pittock and Finlayson, 2011b). This interpretation also shows that the Authority considers that the climate is likely to change in a gradual, linear manner rather than considering the risk of a greater rate of change over time, as seen with the reduction of inflows into Perth’s reservoirs (Petrone et al., 2010). Instead, there is a need for adaptation measures to be based on ‘no regrets’ and robust adaptation measures that may offer benefits under a range of climatic outcomes. Analytical tools exist to select such measures in the Basin (Lukasiewicz et al., 2013) and should be applied. 6. No water allocated to reduce the future impacts of climate change In 2010 the Authority proposed an additional reallocation of three per cent of consumptive water to offset climate change impacts in the life of the Plan based on a (mis)interpretation of CSIRO’s ‘median’ projection (Pittock and Finlayson, 2011b). The Authority abandoned efforts to reallocate water for climate change adaptation in 2011 (MDBA, 2011b), stating that it has: “formed the view that there is considerable uncertainty regarding the potential effects of climate change, and that more knowledge is needed to make robust water planning and policy decisions that include some quantified allowance for climate change. Until there was greater certainty MDBA considered that the historical climate record remains the most useful climate benchmark for planning purposes” (MDBA, 2012a: 123). Given the Authority’s position, we question under what circumstances it would ever be prepared to make a pre-emptive reallocation to reduce the likely impacts of climate change. Given the uncertainty, it would be wise to cease issuing new water entitlements, such as for groundwater, to retain greatest flexibility to reallocate water to manage climate change in the future. Retaining the option of acquiring further water is needed, but is precluded by a bill to cap the purchase of water entitlements for environmental flows to 1,500 GL (Hunt et al., 2015). Reallocation of water to account for climate change will get harder, not easier, as funds from the Australian Government’s multi-billion dollar Water for the Future package are exhausted and if water availability declines (Grafton, 2015). Further, adjustment of the SDLs is now legally complex and administratively difficult (Young, 2011). Immediate consideration should be given to applying new mechanisms, such as those canvased by Young (2011) and others, to adjust the allocation of water between consumptive use and the flows necessary for healthy river ecosystems to account for change climate. This issue will continue to cause uncertainty in Basin communities if left unaddressed.

7. Overlooked ecosystem-based adaptations The 2008 reforms of Basin management in the Water Act, as represented by the Plan, involved a narrowing of the broader natural resources management agenda to a focus on water quality and quantity (Connell and Grafton, 2011). As a result, a number of critical and complementary, non-volumetric measures to aid climate change adaptation are not adequately included in current Basin management programs. Major investments should be made in these measures, including: restoring riparian vegetation and instream habitat; modifying or removing water infrastructure to restore connectivity for aquatic wildlife; construction of thermal pollution control devices on dams to enable control over the temperature of discharged water to sustain aquatic wildlife; focusing restoration efforts on climatic refugia; and protection of the remaining free-flowing rivers (Pittock and Finlayson, 2011a; Lukasiewicz et al., 2013).

CONCLUSION The problems with Basin water management for climate change begin with the insufficient allocation of water to restore and maintain freshwater ecosystems under the current climate. This poses large risks for both water extractors and the environment. These challenges are exacerbated in two key ways. First, the 2012 Basin Plan includes no measures to address projected climate change, even though the modelling to do so was available. Second, the Water for the Future package has committed billions of dollars for infrastructure subsidies and is establishing path dependencies with water allocations and infrastructure that will need to be undone at great cost with moderate climate change. The history of attempts to better manage water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin since the time of Australian federation is one of human-induced environmental crises catalysing reforms that are weakened by political compromises (Connell, 2007). The current Basin Plan does not contain sufficiently robust measures to adapt to projected climate change. The only meaningful climate change measure adopted in the 2012 Basin Plan is a requirement to revise the plan every 10 years to incorporate new knowledge. This is simply not good enough in the world’s driest inhabited continent and a country subject to extreme weather-related risks. In response, we call for the immediate adoption of seven additional measures, rather than waiting until 2022.

THE AUTHORS Jamie Pittock (email: au) is an Associate Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at The Australian National University. His research focuses on the positive synergies and conflicts between policies related to agriculture, biodiversity conservation, climate change, energy and water. John Williams is an Adjunct Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. He is a former Chief of CSIRO Land & Water and the former New South Wales Natural Resources Commissioner. R Quentin Grafton is a Professor of Economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. He has an abiding interest in water management issues and is the Founder and Executive Editor of Global Water Forum (

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Opinion REFERENCES Adamson D & Loch A (2014): Possible Negative Feedbacks From ‘Gold-Plating’ Irrigation Infrastructure, Agricultural Water Management, 145, pp 134–144. Barnett J & O’Neill S (2010): Maladaptation, Global Environmental Change, 20, 2, pp 211–213. Barron OV, Crosbie RS, Charles SP, Dawes WR, Ali R, Evans WR, Cresswell R, Pollock D, Hodgson G, Currie D, Mpelasoka F, Pickett T, Aryal S, Donn M & Wurcker B (2011): Climate Change Impact on Groundwater Resources in Australia. Waterlines Report, National Water Commission, Canberra. http:// Borschmann G & Phillips S (2015): Climate Review Promised After Dispute With Top Water Scientists, Sydney, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Available at: (accessed 14 July 2015). Commonwealth of Australia (2008): In Act No. 137 as amended (Ed, AttorneyGeneral’s Department) Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. Connell D (2007): Water Politics In The Murray-Darling Basin, The Federation Press, Leichardt. Connell D & Grafton RQ (2011): Water Reform in the Murray-Darling Basin, Water Resoures Research, 47: W00G03. CSIRO (2008): Water Availability in the Murray-Darling Basin. A Report from CSIRO to the Australian Government, Canberra, CSIRO. CSIRO (2011): A Science Review of the Implications for South Australia of the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan: Synthesis, Adelaide, Goyder Institute for Water Research. DoE (2015): Progress Towards Meeting Environmental Needs Under The Basin Plan, Canberra, Department of the Environment. Available at: www. (accessed 10 July 2015). Gallant AJE, Kiem AS, Verdon-Kidd DC, Stone RC & Karoly DJ (2012): Understanding Hydroclimate Processes in the Murray-Darling Basin for Natural Resources Management, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16, pp 2049–2068. Grafton RQ (2015): Water: Risks, Opportunities and Public Policy, 18th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, Melbourne.

MDBA (2011b): Proposed Basin Plan, Water Act 2007, Canberra, Murray-Darling Basin Authority. MDBA (2012a): Proposed Basin Plan Consultation Report, Canberra, Murray– Darling Basin Authority. MDBA (2012b): The Proposed Groundwater Baseline and Sustainable Diversion Limits: Methods Report, MDBA publication no: 16/12, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra. Neave I, McLeod A, Raisin G & Swirepik J (2015): Managing Water In The MurrayDarling Basin Under A Variable And Changing Climate, Water, 42, 2, pp 102–107. Nelson DR (2010): Adaptation and Resilience: Responding to a Changing Climate, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 2, 1, pp 113–120. Palmer MA, Reidy-Liermann CA, Nilsson C, Flörke M, Alcamo J, Lake SP & Bond N (2008): Climate Change and the World’s River Basins: Anticipating Management Options. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6, pp 81–89. Petrone KC, Hughes JD, Van Niel TG & Silberstein RP (2010): Streamflow Decline in Southwestern Australia, 1950–2008, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, 11: L11401. Pittock AB (1980): Towards a Warm Earth Scenario for Australia, In Carbon Dioxide And Climate: Australian Research (Ed, Pearman G.I). Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, pp 197–209. Pittock J (2013): Lessons from Adaptation to Sustain Freshwater Environments in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 4, 6, pp 429–438. Pittock J & Finlayson CM (2011a): Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin: Freshwater Ecosystem Conservation Options in an Era of Climate Change, Marine and Freshwater Research, 62, pp 232–243. Pittock J & Finlayson CM (2011b): Freshwater Ecosystem Conservation in the Basin: Principles Versus Policy, In Basin Futures: Water Reform in The Murray-Darling Basin (Eds, Grafton, Q. and Connell, D.) ANU E-press, Canberra, pp 39–58. Pittock J, Finlayson CM, Gardner A & McKay C (2010): Changing Character: the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and Climate Change in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 27, 6, pp 401–425. Pittock J, Finlayson CM & Howitt JA (2012): Beguiling and Risky: “Environmental Works and Measures” for Wetlands Conservation under a Changing Climate, Hydrobiologia, 708, 1, pp 111–131.

Grafton RQ, Pittock J, Davis R, Williams J, Fu G, Warburton M, Udall B, McKenzie R, Yu X, Che N, Connell D, Jiang Q, Kompas T, Lynch A, Norris R, Possingham H & Quiggin J (2012): Global Insights into Water Resources, Climate Change and Governance, Nature Climate Change, 3, 4, pp 315–321.

Productivity Commission (2010): Market Mechanisms for Recovering Water in the Murray-Darling Basin, Final Report. March. Productivity Commission, Canberra.

Grafton RQ, Pittock J, Williams J, Jiang Q, Possingham H & Quiggin J (2014): Water Planning and Hydro-Climatic Change in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, AMBIO: 1–11.

SSCRRAT (2013): The Management of the Murray-Darling Basin, Canberra, Senate Standing Committee on Rural & Regional Affairs & Transport. van Dijk A, Evans R, Hairsine P, Khan S, Nathan R, Paydar Z, Viney N & Zhang L (2006): Risks to the Shared Water Resources of the Murray-Darling Basin, Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra.

Grigg NJ, Walker BH, Capon A, Foran B, Parker R, Stewart J, Stirzaker R & Young B (2012): System-Resilience Perspectives on Sustainability and Equity in Australia, In Negotiating Our Future: Living Scenarios For Australia To 2050 (Eds, Raupach MR, McMichael AJ, Finnigan JJ, Manderson L & Walker BH). Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, pp 54–92. Hunt G, Joyce B & Baldwin, B (2015): Coalition to Legislate Water Buyback Cap, Canberra, Australian Government. Available at: minister/hunt/2015/pubs/mr20150310.pdf (accessed 14 July 2015). Lamontagne S, Aldridge KT, Holland KL, Jolly ID, Nicol J, Oliver RL, Paton DC, Walker KF, Wallace TA & Ye Q (2012): Expert Panel Assessment of the Likely Ecological Consequences in South Australia of the Proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan, Adelaide, Goyder Institute for Water Research. Lukasiewicz A, Finlayson CM & Pittock J (2013): Identifying Low Risk Climate Change Adaptation in Catchment Management While Avoiding Unintended Consequences, Gold Coast, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. MDBA (2010a): Guide To The Proposed Basin Plan: Overview, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra. Available at: (accessed 1 November 2010). MDBA (2010b): Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan: Technical Background, MurrayDarling Basin Authority, Canberra. MDBA (2011a): The Living Murray Story. One Of Australia’s Largest River Restoration Projects., Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra.

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Qureshi ME, Schwabe K, Connor J & Kirby M (2010): Environmental Water Incentive Policy and Return Flows, Water Resources Research, 46, W04517.

WGCS (2012a): Analysis of Groundwater in the Draft 2011 Murray-Darling Basin Plan, Sydney, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. Available at: www. groundwater%20in%20the%202011%20draft%20Basin%20Plan.pdf (accessed 16 April 2012). WGCS (2012b): Does a 3,200Gl Reduction In Extractions Combined with the Relaxation of Eight Constraints Give a Healthy Working Murray-Darling Basin River System?, Sydney, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. Available at: of%203200Gl%20modeling%20with%20relaxed%20constraints.pdf (accessed 29 October 2012). Winter C & Curtain C (2015): Dredging Starts in The Coorong at the Mouth of the River Murray, [online], Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Available at: (accessed 10 July 2015). Young M (2011): Improving the Basin Plan: Options for Consideration, In Basin Futures: Water Reform in the Murray-Darling Basin (Eds, Connell D & Grafton RQ). ANU E-Press, Canberra, pp 439–448. Young WJ, Bond N, Brookes J, Gawne B & Jones GJ (2011): Science Review of the Estimation of an Environmentally Sustainable Level of Take for the Murray-Darling Basin. Final Report to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra, CSIRO.


Innovation Spotlight

THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT FOR ANDZAC GROUP A new energy-efficient aeration machine is creating waves in the wastewater industry, writes Hugh Fagan. Andzac Group may have only been around for five years, but its pontoon-mounted aeration machine, the Andzac Aerator, is set to have a significant impact on the wastewater industry. This innovative aerator has a power consumption of just 2.2kW (compared to traditional aerators that have a consumption of 22kW), making it more power efficient – and more affordable – than its rival products. As a case in point, Goulburn Valley Water is set to save over 600,00kWh and around $80,000 per year using the machine, and the dairy industry and the Australian Prawn Farmers Association in Queensland have also expressed interest. Andzac Group grew off the back of Director Andrew Nicol’s 35 years of experience as a plumber, and after a visit to a wastewater treatment plant in 2009. The company was born. The idea for the aerator was conceived after Andrew saw an old, broken-down traditional low-speed mechanical surface aerator at the plant. Someone made a passing comment that whoever could make the traditional surface aerator more efficient would stand to make a lot of money and Andrew acted on the idea quickly. In between working as a full-time plumber he developed a ‘proof of concept’, creating an initial prototype that was tested in the Edwards Lake Reservoir with local council approval. Andrew realised he had identified a niche in the market and a way to enable more efficient water aeration. The Andzac Aerator was in the prototype stage for three years and Andzac Group is still constantly refining it. Based in Thornburg, Victoria, the company has recently moved into a new warehouse where it is building a custom testing tank to further the development of the aerator.

Andzac Group employed pure perseverance to overcome these barriers. After all, as Andrew says: “If you think you have a good product you have to prepare to be around for the long haul. You can’t take no for an answer.” Andrew’s persistence paid off. After attending as many trade exhibitions and innovation forums as their budget would allow they began to create positive connections with people who could help take Andzac Group to the next level. The company still faced one final hurdle – proving that their aerator technology actually worked. Andrew stresses that the ability to pitch is crucial, as potential investors or people of interest will usually not take phone calls and it is often hard to get the right email address or point of contact. Successful pitches have led to trials with Goulburn Valley Water. Andrew also recommends organisations like the Australian Water Association and Water Services Association of Australia, which he believes ensures you get in front of the right people. Recent trials resulted in Andzac Group’s first two sales, which were quickly followed by others. They intend to take the aerator overseas and hope that their custom-built developing tank will enable further efficiencies that have never been achieved in jet aeration. Andzac Group is also in the process of designing a solar package and is investigating new technologies in the solar/battery area to enable even more power efficiencies. As sales grow and Andzac Group becomes more financially independent from the plumbing business, funds will be reinvested in the aerator to further growth by attending trade shows and getting the product in front of the right audience.

Getting to this point hasn’t necessarily been an easy journey for Andzac Group though. Reluctance on behalf of a conservative water industry to try new products proved to be a significant barrier in securing interest and support. Andrew also makes the point that it can be difficult to reach contacts within water utilities and the water industry in general, as there is a resistence to talk to new companies.

Andzac Group is one of the technology companies taking part in the Australian Water Association’s Incubator Programme, which is sponsored by Industry Capability Network (ICN), PwC and ANZ. The 12-month Programme provides innovators with a range of tailored business-to-business meetings, and myriad opportunities to promote their products to the water industry and water-using industries. Andzac Group will showcase their product at the Australian Water Association’s Innovation Forum at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney 10 –11 March 2016. To find out more about the Innovation Incubator Programme and the Innovation Forum email

Andzac Aerator installation at Kyabram for Goulburn Valley Water.

The Andzac Aerator in operation at Kyabram.

“The product’s evolution is going to be an ongoing thing,” says Andrew. “Andzac Group is always tweaking models aiming for better mixing and oxygen results.”

september 2015 water

feature article

Wastewater mains were bored and drilled under major roads.


Feature article

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE – SOUTH WEST PRIORITY GROWTH AREA WASTEWATER SERVICING PROJECT Michael Robertson and Gina Newling discuss how positive community engagement has beneficial outcomes for companies and the public alike.


ffective stakeholder engagement throughout infrastructure projects has a positive outcome for companies and the community. The South West Priority Growth Area Wastewater Servicing Project is an example of how stakeholder engagement can maintain the reputation of companies such as Sydney Water and meet the needs of the communities they service. Early stakeholder engagement saved Sydney Water time and money. It resulted in robust designs, a more efficient delivery timetable, and fewer repeat disturbances to the community. New South Wales’ population is rapidly growing and is expected to reach over eight million by 2030. A significant portion of this population will reside in Sydney’s North West and South West Priority Growth Areas. Sydney Water provides and extends water, wastewater, recycled water and some stormwater services for Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. The South West Priority Growth Area Wastewater Servicing Project will provide wastewater infrastructure for the precincts of East Leppington, Leppington North and Leppington. These rural and semi-rural areas will see significant change in coming years. In late 2012, Sydney Water engaged GHD to complete the first phase of wastewater planning, including stakeholder engagement as part of an integrated project team. GHD’s work continued as part of a joint venture with Jacobs (formerly SKM) as ENSure. Existing long-term landowners, residents and businesses needed clear information and an approach sensitive to the rapid change affecting their community. The work directly affected 54 privately owned properties and hundreds of neighbouring properties. Thirtyfive properties owned by government agencies were also affected, including those reserved for future transport projects, drainage and parks. Community and stakeholder engagement was a critical element of the process. ENSure and Sydney Water worked together to involve government agencies, local councils, the community and the private sector.

• Building and maintaining relationships of trust and confidence with stakeholders and involving government agencies in decisions about the placement of wastewater infrastructure; • Developing community and stakeholder understanding of the aspects of the project that could be negotiated as well as those that were non-negotiable; • Keeping identified stakeholders informed of project developments and providing clear, consistent and timely information to those involved in the decision-making process; • Informing landowners and business owners about any investigations and construction occurring on or near their property; • Resolving conflict between future development opportunities, as well as the timing and location of other infrastructure including road widening, energy and rail infrastructure. The engagement approach targeted two groups of stakeholders: state and local government agencies; and landowners and occupiers. ENSure and Sydney Water focused on early, regular face-to-face engagement to understand and address the interests, needs and concerns of stakeholders and landowners. This was done continually as designs were prepared, refined and finalised. The project team engaged with stakeholders to achieve robust designs, a more efficient delivery timetable, fewer repeat disturbances to the community, and reduced vegetation loss.

PiPes anD PuMPs facts 8km trunk gravity wastewater mains – in 3 carriers: • DN375 – DN525 polypropylene, polyethylene and steel • 4–8 m deep • Cast in-situ maintenance holes 5km Pressure wastewater mains – 2 mains: • OD355 and OD500

Benefits for the coMMunitY

• Polyethylene

ENSure and Sydney Water built trusting relationships during the life of the project. A core and consistent staff group worked on the project, allowing stakeholders and the project team to effectively negotiate outcomes. Early and proactive engagement with other government agencies fostered collaboration, and the resulting ‘one voice’ from government was much appreciated by the affected landowners.

Pipelines trenchless under major roads and South West Rail Link, Eastern Gas Pipeline and major water canal.

Stakeholder engagement objectives across the life of the project included:

• Duty/standby submersible pumps 100 L/s @ 56m

Two wastewater pumping stations: • ID5000 wet well, 11.5m deep • Duty/standby submersible pumps 254 L/s @ 36m • ID3600 wet well, 8.6m deep

september 2015 water


Feature Article

A joint community information session was held at Leppington Progress Association Hall.

Working with other agencies There were a number of major infrastructure projects being undertaken or planned in the area during the project. Collaborating with a number of agencies limited disruption for the community and reduced rework of Sydney Water’s plans. The project affected three local councils – Liverpool, Camden and Campbelltown. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment was also in the process of developing indicative layout plans for the release areas. ENSure and Sydney Water considered their plans for trunk drainage, future roads and key development areas. Stakeholders influenced critical aspects of the project such as pipe capacity (demand), location (where it could and couldn’t cross other infrastructure and water assets) and property access arrangements. Involving stakeholders at this early stage promoted sustainable project decisions. The route for wastewater pipes was adjusted to avoid planned drainage basins and road improvements, saving time and money by avoiding the need to relocate services in future. ENSure and Sydney Water worked closely with the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to locate infrastructure on private land identified for future widening of Bringelly Road. RMS negotiations with landowners had begun but were protracted in some cases. Negotiations to agree property adjustments of fencing, landscaping and other improvements were also in progress. RMS requested Sydney Water to build the wastewater main ahead of the road works. Construction of the South West Rail Link was in progress and a future corridor was also under investigation. ENSure worked

closely with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to prevent potential clashes between operation of wastewater systems and expansion of the rail line. The pipelines crossed the Eastern Gas pipeline, so safety in investigation and design was paramount. Early engagement with other infrastructure planning organisations helped to influence and finalise the route of the wastewater infrastructure. These included TfNSW, RMS and the Sydney Catchment Authority (now part of Water NSW). The conceptual stage of some government agency projects meant that several rounds of consultation were required, but with the benefit of a robust final design. This provided greater certainty for Sydney Water in receiving tender prices for the construction phase.

Markers of success The number of infrastructure projects underway in the area created issues for landowners. Many were confused about agencies’ responsibilities and some were unaware of the immense changes affecting them. The project team provided clear and consistent information to the community and coordinated its engagement program with other agencies. Communication material was shared with and reviewed by other agencies before publication. ENSure and Sydney Water also attended and hosted a number of joint community information sessions with the RMS and Department of Planning and Environment, which were well received by the community. Sydney Water and ENSure also resolved a number of difficult zoning and land use issues with landowners and planning agencies as a whole of government response – this was helpful to the landowners and enabled Sydney Water to progress its plans. Face-to-face meetings allowed landowners to provide input on the location of the infrastructure through their property. In many cases, conversations with landowners about property access for construction machinery and riparian zones led to changes in the pipeline designs. Meetings were generally held on site, at times convenient to landowners. A design or construction management team representative participated where needed to provide direct feedback about landowner requests. Where requests needed to be escalated, as they involved additional cost or adjustment, these were managed promptly and the landowners were informed.

Livestock operations were maintained throughout construction.

water september 2015

These were all documented in pre-construction customer agreements and included in a register for delivery contractor tendering. This allowed them to be scheduled and priced in


Feature Article along the way. In the past, consultation with landowners has not typically occurred at this level of detail during the planning phase of growth-related projects. This led to issues in construction of other projects, which can cause time-consuming redesign and complaints – this has not been a major issue with this project. At the end of each project phase, community engagement outcomes reports documented lessons learnt and ongoing issues for management during subsequent phases. These reports helped identify feedback from landowners and incorporate suggestions about how they would like to be consulted in the future. A key project challenge was to help landowners understand maps, plans and diagrams of infrastructure. ENSure used experienced personnel who could explain to landowners face-to-face: • The respective roles of local and state government; • The land acquisition process; • Construction of infrastructure; Face-to-face briefings were well received by the community. the offer to Sydney Water. An example of the flexibility and direct impact of landowners on the project is that Sydney Water agreed to bore under some properties and driveways to avoid damaging existing improvements that would have been complex or impossible to restore fully. Agreed alignments and any timing or other requests were included in the agreements. These were illustrated on an aerial photograph showing existing improvements. Some landowners and stakeholders had concerns about the potential impact of the work on their property values and amenity. These ranged from opportunities for compensation to property access queries during construction. ENSure addressed these to the satisfaction of the landowners and Sydney Water. The real benefits of this stakeholder engagement program were seen during the construction phase. The chosen alignment was robust, with only minor adjustments required. The time and effort that went into preparing pre-construction customer agreements with affected landowners was demonstrated to be of value, with reduced complex issues management in construction. Developing these plans with landowners gives them a degree of ownership over how their property will be affected, as well as a clear picture of how their property will be remediated after construction. Early community involvement as the project progressed from concept to construction allowed landowners time to digest the implications of the project and seek independent advice if desired. Another point of difference was that, unlike many other projects that include general community engagement requirements in their Sydney Water tenders, this project included specific requirements relating to each landowner’s needs. ENSure worked with Sydney Water’s contracts team to include landowner requirements for construction timing, property access and property restoration in the tender material and coached the chosen contractor in how to adhere to the agreements made with landowners. This approach guaranteed the outcomes of the stakeholder engagement process were acted upon during the delivery phase and provided certainty to tenderers during procurement.

Conclusions This stakeholder engagement program emphasised forming working relationships with affected landowners. Sydney Water’s approach to stakeholder engagement ensured the decision-making process was transparent to affected customers, informing them at every point

• Implications for existing improvements and future development opportunities; • The water servicing process for developers; • Where landowners could go for more detailed independent advice. Implementing effective stakeholder engagement plans during the design and planning stages of infrastructure projects benefits communities and service providers. It makes property access for investigations and construction smoother. Coordinating with other agencies operating in the area saves time and money. Doing as much as possible to limit the impact of multiple projects on landowners improves relationships with the community and other agencies. WJ

The Authors Michael Robertson (email: Michael.Robertson@ is the Service Group Manager for GHD’s Stakeholder Engagement and Social Sustainability Group and has over 14 years’ experience working in community and stakeholder engagement across the public and private sectors. He has developed and implemented comprehensive stakeholder engagement and communications plans, facilitated community meetings and delivered social and digital media management. Michael aims to always ensure that stakeholder engagement is integrated into the project planning, design and delivery phases of projects. Gina Newling is a Senior Consultant with GHD. She is an experienced community and stakeholder engagement professional and also a Certified Practising Planner. Gina has over 20 years’ experience in local and state government and the private sector. She has extensive experience in preparing communication plans and strategies and in all phases of the development and infrastructure project life cycle from strategic planning to construction and operation. GHD’s Stakeholder Engagement and Social Sustainability team has worked on a range of infrastructure projects including water and wastewater infrastructure planning and construction, flood and coastal management studies, regional boating plans, natural resource and water renewal projects, airports, roads and bridges, interchanges, rail and schools.

september 2015 water


Feature Article

TRADITIONAL CONSULTATION IS DEAD Joel Fredericks and Kylie Cochrane reflect on the impact of digital technology on the future of consultation on water policy and infrastructure.


e live in a world where we are more connected than ever before, and where we are exposed to an unprecedented amount of digital content. However, with the exception of the recent work on the Lower Hunter Water Plan, consultation on water issues in New South Wales has mostly used traditional face-to-face methods. Traditional consultation attracts an unrepresentative proportion of the wider community, which can impact on the implementation of infrastructure within the built environment. It is critical that governments and organisations have a more considered approach to community and stakeholder engagement on key water policy, governance, planning and infrastructure. Urban computing technologies, gamification and virtual panoramas offer opportunities to devise novel situated community engagement strategies that can engage previously difficult-to-reach, as well as new, segments of society.

Existing Community Engagement Approaches Community engagement is practised by government agencies and private enterprise with the intention to obtain public feedback on the development of infrastructure within the built environment. Through collaboration with communities, businesses and government organisations, community engagement aims towards guiding the decision-making process based on the outcomes of the engagement undertaken. Community engagement is generally undertaken as a legislative requirement, to inform communities on the creation of policies and infrastructure developments within the built environment. However, relationships between local communities and government agencies have traditionally played a consultative role, with the level of engagement reduced to only informing communities. As a consequence, the engagement process and the level of community input is controlled by government agencies, and is often attributed to political agendas of elected representatives, political party practices and bureaucratic power-brokers. Current methods of community engagement, such as face-toface workshops, community forums, public hearings and online forms, only reach certain demographics of the population. As a result of this, opinions of community members classified as ‘hard to reach’ are not reflected in the overall engagement process. It has been argued by many engagement practitioners and community groups that legally required methods of community engagement in government decision-making rarely achieve genuine engagement outcomes; create dissatisfaction among citizens who feel they are not being heard; do not significantly improve the decisions of government agencies; and do not incorporate a broad spectrum of the community. It has been further argued that some traditional engagement practices suffer from a lack of integration between governments and the public, and have been shown to have inadequate representation of age groups and demographics.

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Community Engagement AND Technologies In the last decade, information and communication technology as we know it has evolved from simply using a personal computer in the workplace or at home, to becoming an integrated feature of daily life through new forms of digital and mobile technologies. New technologies are increasingly being designed for everyday use in urban environments, such as smart phones, tablet devices, digital signage and urban screens. Researchers and engagement practitioners investigating the use of digital technologies are in the early stages of exploring the myriad opportunities new digital technologies offer for community engagement. In the new age of social interaction and communication, contemporary society has adopted the use of digital technologies in a variety of urban contexts. In particular, the use of situated digital technologies offers opportunities to engage people in localised conversations within a particular urban public space around engagement topics of local relevance. In a study undertaken in Melbourne’s Federation Square, an existing urban screen was used as a situated technology encouraging citizens to respond to community engagement questions using SMS and Twitter. This approach to the community engagement activity enabled citizens to submit their responses on the spot, in real time, which encouraged collective expression and public discourse (Schroeter and Foth, 2009). Similarly, a study undertaken in Sydney made use of a public screen in Chatswood to deploy a situated voting system that consisted of a survey running on an iPad mounted on a stand and deployed in a busy public precinct. Participants were able to submit their votes on the iPad, which then displayed all the responses on the public screen. The study identified that situated digital voting systems can be an effective strategy for attracting the attention of members of the general public and converting them into active participants (Hespanhol et al., 2015). New and innovative approaches to community engagement can actively involve community members through the deployment of small-scale but effective situated digital technologies. An example of this was seen with the installation of low-tech input devices in shops and cafés and displayed visualisations along the street. This enabled citizens to vote on locally relevant questions, encouraged reflection of local issues and generated conversations about the community (Koeman et al., 2015). ). A further example of this approach was investigated through the deployment of low-cost, open-source interactive posters for citizens to vote on community-related issues. The posters were deployed in two different contexts. The first one was placed on a street lamp post, with little supervision, and the second at a fair, with the interaction mediated by a community group who facilitated the community engagement discussions. This approach ensured greater representativeness, heightened sense of credibility to the engagement activity, and general discussion among members of the community. Additionally, it introduced potential


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Digital technologies such as tablets are useful to engage the community in public areas. barriers to engagement, due to the explicit governance by a group whose members were in a position of power relative to ordinary community members (Vlachokyriakos et al., 2014). Common findings across these previous studies indicate that it can be challenging to make members of the public aware of the engagement activity. Other issues are linked to the question of authenticity and ownership, which can lead to low participation rates. Successful strategies shown to increase participation rates are to: (1) link the consultation process with a public event; (2) locate the engagement interface within a staffed information kiosk; or (3) encourage representatives of the local community to take ownership of the engagement process. Interactive, situated digital technologies have the potential to facilitate effective community engagement by attracting varied demographics, fostering local discourse and augmenting decisionmaking processes. This approach deployed within public spaces provides citizens the option to participate on the spot, with little effort in comparison to attending traditional community engagement events. Digital technologies, such as tablets and urban screens, can be easily appropriated to engage citizens in public spaces. Gamification and virtual panoramas also allow communities and stakeholders to view the consultation in a 3D-style model that they can virtually experience at a time and place of their choice. Instead of attending a community engagement session in a set location and during set hours, they can instead view the information in their own time at home, waiting for the train, from a café etc. This approach significantly broadens the reach of water engagement and consultation programs. It can either replace or complement the more resource-intensive face-to-face approach. Communities and stakeholders are time poor. They access their information and entertainment via digital means. This is also their primary form of communication with colleagues, friends and family. In this new era of digitalisation, water authorities need to rethink their consultation and engagement approach. Water authorities that continue to use traditional consultation on its own will simply fail to engage and will be left behind. WJ

The Authors Joel Fredericks (email: Joel.Fredericks@ is a Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Consultant at Aurecon. He has extensive experience in managing challenging community engagement in telecommunications deployment and master planning infrastructure projects. Joel understands the unique pressures and priorities of urban planning and community engagement within the built environment. Kylie Cochrane (email Kylie.Cochrane@ is a Technical Director for Communication and Stakeholder Engagement at Aurecon. She has extensive experience in managing challenging stakeholder and community engagement for key rail, road and water infrastructure projects, including Sydney’s Desalination Project.

References Hespanhol L, Tomitsch M, McArthur I, Fredericks J, Schroeter R & Foth M (2015): Vote As You Go: Blending Interfaces For Community Engagement Into The Urban Space. Submitted to Communities and Technologies Conference 2015. Koeman L, Kalnikaite V & Rogers Y (2015): Everyone Is Talking About It!: A Distributed Approach to Urban Voting Technology and Visualisations. In Proceedings CHI’15, ACM Press (2015). Schroeter R & Foth M (2009): Discussion in Space, In Kjeldskov, Jesper, Paay, Jeni & Viller, Stephen (Eds.) OZCHI 2009 Proceedings: Design: Open 24/7, ACM Digital Library, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, pp. 381–384. Vlachokyriakos V, Comber R, Ladha K, Taylor N, Dunphy P, McCorry P & Olivier P (2014): Postervote: Expanding the Action Repertoire for Local Political Activism. In Proceedings DIS’14, ACM Press (2014).

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INTEGRATING ‘ONE WATER’ INTO URBAN LIVEABILITY Strong leadership and a change in organisational culture are two key drivers in transitioning to a One Water approach, writes Pierre Mukheibir of the Institute for Sustainable Futures.


iveability is the new catch phrase in urban planning, where residents get to enjoy an urban landscape that consists of green open spaces, trees to keep the concrete jungle cool, and a water system that is resilient to drought and disruptions. For the water industry this means a shift in the way we view service delivery, from one of avoiding bad impacts, to one where the services we provide add more value. This means viewing all forms of water in the urban landscape as potential resources, and not problems to get rid of. Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) considers this to be a whole-of-water approach, or a “One Water” approach, as termed by some in the US. This approach attempts to integrate planning and management of water supply, wastewater and stormwater systems in a way that minimises the impact on the environment and maximises the contribution to social and economic vitality. Regulatory drivers for issues such as combined sewer overflows and impaired waterways are driving some aspects of the One Water approach, as are resource constraints such as water scarcity, but an overall systems approach is still missing. Looming capital investment required to refurbish ageing infrastructure, upgrade and upsize existing infrastructure to meet growing demands through urbanisation and densification is putting financial strain on utilities and local government institutions, and is a further driver for decentralised systems that produce fit-for-purpose water where it is needed. Recent research led by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) found that institutional efforts to progress the concept of One Water across all aspects of the urban water cycle have been limited. Most case studies analysed reveal that they are primarily engaged with the delivery of discrete water, sanitation or stormwater services. Some have moved towards waterways protection, but very few incorporate a whole-of-water cycle approach. The research found that institutional challenges to One Water planning limited the ability for organisations to collaborate with each other both vertically and horizontally, to integrate activities within their own organisations, and to move forward with new systems that optimise green-grey infrastructure and resource recovery. This lack of a unifying culture has ensured reliance on existing institutional silos and inertia in the water industry.

Strong leadership and vision from politicians and senior positions is key to drive the One Water vision and make public funds available to incentivise the transition, and to drive implementation of One Water strategies and address institutional capacity requirements. Improved institutional co-ordination for building partnerships and long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with a broad range of agencies, including the private sector, will create the collaboration and data sharing needed for development projects to be aligned with the strategy and implemented in a coordinated fashion. This should be driven at both state and city levels. Change the current organisational culture to one that sees urban livability as the starting point. In addition, improve the knowledge and capacity of staff to include alternative approaches and recognition of urban needs, and the potential to use previously considered ‘problems’ as potential resources that could add value. It may be necessary to set up a dedicated team to implement the strategy and manage related projects, while the One Water approach is gradually mainstreamed into everyday practices and thinking. Transparent engagement with the community and both private and public stakeholders is key for confirming the vision and to support the implementation of the strategy. Use of clear branding and vocabulary can help reflect a positive message of the benefits provided by utilities, such as shifting from “treated wastewater” to “reclaimed water”. This allows for a different conversation with customers, stakeholders and policy makers. Some case examples showed that early consultation with the community and customers avoided confusion and helped in acceptance of required rate increases, fees or costs.

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Photo: City

Twenty-seven case studies drawn from Australia and the US, detailing innovative methods of overcoming institutional challenges, were documented. The case study work produced some common themes for transitioning to a One Water approach:


How to transition to a ‘One Water’ Approach

Sydney Park stormwater biofiltration pond.


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Photo: P. Mukheibir

Key themes for integrating One Water.

Central Park Sydney green building. The development and application of a common economic evaluation framework has been shown to be a major hurdle for justifying the broader benefits of integrated water cycle management approaches in water and urban planning decisionmaking. Economic assessments need to go beyond traditional cost-benefits analysis to include the recognition of non-monetised social and environmental costs and benefits. New pathways for cost-effective revenue generation should be explored that provide multiple benefits to the customers and that could cross-subsidise the creation of livability benefits. Financial constraints have been cited as a further challenge to innovation, however, as illustrated by some of the case examples, public capital funding has been allocated to key bulk infrastructure schemes to create an enabling infrastructural environment that will

encourage the private sector to invest in decentralised infrastructure. The provision of subsidies for on-site treatment and use could be an incentive for decentralised systems that relieve the need for expensive network upgrades. Enabling regulations that encourage integrated water management are rare. A key action in many of the case studies involved local government showing leadership through the enactment of regulations or guidelines to encourage or require One Water approaches. By streamlining the permitting process (for areas like non-potable recycling) through close collaboration between agencies, the compliance processes for design, construction and operation of schemes can be made more attractive for operators and owners. To support planners and policy makers, the research team has produced a guide for transitioning to a One Water approach, which provides a range of enabling actions required to begin a successful transition at the knowledge, planning and implementation stages, together with a range of illustrative examples. You can view the guide, titled Pathways To One Water – A Guide For Institutional Innovation, at IntegratedInstitutionsinfo.aspx WJ

Acknowledgements Other members of the research team were Carol Howe (ForEvaSolutions) and Danielle Gallet (Center for Neighborhood Technology). The outcomes of this project were made possible with the financial and technical support of the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF), and Water Research Australia (WaterRA).

The Author Dr Pierre Mukheibir (email: Pierre.Mukheibir@ is Associate Professor at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Pierre has over 20 years’ experience in the water and sanitation sector and is a keen champion of urban sensitive water planning. The Guidebook for transitioning to a One Water approach.

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The Sustainability of Rural Water, sanitation and hygiene in Papua New Guinea In 2014 a study team from the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program collected data from 21 rural communities in Papua New Guinea. Consultants from FH Designs, along with Trevor Nott, Edkarl Galing and Isabel Blackett of the World Bank, provided this report.


apua New Guinea (PNG), Australia’s nearest neighbour, is home to around seven million people, of whom 85 per cent live in rural communities, many of which are remote and inaccessible. Ensuring that people living in rural communities have access to water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) has been a challenge for the PNG government and recent estimates put access to improved rural water and sanitation at 33 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.1

Recent changes in the rural WASH institutional landscape included the approval of the country’s first WASH Policy in January 2015. Just two years ago, rural WASH in PNG had no clear institutional home, dispersed between the water utility, Water PNG, and the National Department of Health. With no policy, strategy, responsibilities or guidelines to bring coherence to the sector, WASH activities were driven by individual projects and organisations. Under the new policy, a National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Authority (NWSHA) is mandated to provide improved sector leadership and co-ordination. Promoting sustainability and monitoring progress are critical issues for improved service delivery in the sector. Currently, however, little is known about whether or how previous WASH schemes have been sustained, or the factors underlying strong or weak performance. To address this gap – and provide policy makers with the evidence needed to improve sustainability – the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program undertook a study in late 2014. The study team collected data from 21 rural communities in four districts (see Figure 1) investigating the sustainability of water infrastructures and sanitation and hygiene behaviour, while also considering equity and the potential for new approaches to WASH monitoring.2 A strengths-based approach3 was used with a focus on learning from success. Sample communities were selected to represent a range of implementing agencies, technical systems (gravity-fed and rainwater harvesting), geographies and hygiene and sanitation promotion approaches. Data was collected through 38 small focus group discussions with 700 participants, 21 interviews with water supply caretakers and direct observation of water supply systems, as well as sanitation surveys in 177 households.

Water supply systems The study found several excellent examples of communities that have been sustaining their water systems for many years. Three of

Figure 1. Map of PNG showing the location of the four study districts. the best performing communities (Avani, Yegusa and Brebrengka, in the Eastern Highlands) had been operating their systems for over 15 years – in Yegusa the system has been running since 1978. Clearly, sustainable operation of rural water systems is possible in PNG, and the study created an opportunity for communities to analyse for themselves what contributes to it. Water supply sustainability was assessed against two criteria: functionality and management. Four sub-criteria were applied for functionality: quantity, quality, access and reliability, which together described the level of service. Management reflected the communities’ own efforts to carry out preventative maintenance, fix problems, and expand or improve their systems. The measurements of functionality and management were combined to give an overall sustainability rating. The study’s strengths-based approach meant that nearly all systems were still providing water to some extent; six communities were rated highly for sustainability, nine improved and three sub-standard, while only two had failed completely. The sustainability rating was used as a lens through which to examine the qualitative data gathered through discussions with community members (particularly caretakers). Thematic analysis of this data contrasting high and low performing systems brought out the key factors that, from the community perspective, had most influenced the sustainability of the systems, as shown in Table 1. Gravity-fed

UNICEF, World Health Organisation Joint Monitoring Programme, 2015. This article focuses just on the sustainability of water, sanitation and hygiene outcomes. For full results of the study, including details on gender equity and social inclusion and creation of a national WASH management information system, refer to the complete final draft study report at 3 A strengths-based approach is one that focuses on learning from success rather than contrasting success and failure. It is particularly suited to small-sample case studies such as this one. 1 2

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Feature Article conclusion of program implementation.4 The study found that this was the Gravity-fed systems Rainwater harvesting systems case in the target communities but, Maintenance – accountability in performing Maintenance – acquisition of skills and despite a reasonable understanding of repairs training their role, most committees were not Water Management Committee – Water Management Committee – high performing well. For example, in the five community-driven structure level of self-reliance communities with rainwater systems, only one WMC was still active. Nevertheless, Community Ownership – systems are deemed Links to external support – heavily reliant community members were generally as communal asset; clear vision for improvements on implementing agency for maintenance supportive of the concept of WMCs. Tariffs – clear structure of collection and Ownership – owned by one or more The study concluded that WMCs are payments households rather than the community more effective when the community Conflict – resolution is manageable if the conflict System Quality – constrained by social determines their structures rather than is WASH-related systems rather than infrastructure them being imposed, when they have strong links to existing leadership and rainwater systems were analysed separately because of the fundamentally different way the two system types are managed in PNG. structures and when they have the necessary skills. Table 1. Sustainability factors.

Maintenance, along with functionality of the Water Management Committee (WMC), was identified by community members as the most important factor affecting sustainability for both system types. For maintenance, while the right skills, training and access to tools are vital, the critical finding was that someone (an individual or the WMC) needs to feel responsible for carrying out repairs. A high level of self-reliance is particularly important in remote, isolated communities in PNG, since at present there is no-one at the other end of the phone – neither government nor the private sector – who can fix the water supply system when it breaks down. In the absence of effective systems to support rural WASH down to the community level, most implementing agencies form WMCs at the

Measuring turbidity at the source, Ibonatau Community, Rigu District in Central Province. 4

Community ownership was important for gravity-systems, which are community assets, but not for rainwater systems, which tend to be controlled by individual or small groups of households. For gravity systems, all of the communities with ‘high’ functioning systems were able to express a clear ‘vision’ for their system, including ideas for how it could be improved. In many of these communities the study found evidence of investment in maintenance and, in some cases, improvements or expansion. The study found that all high-functioning systems had a clear process for collecting tariffs for operation and maintenance, but it was apparent that communities prefer paying tariffs when they are needed rather than on a regular basis. Willingness to contribute was influenced by the level of service provided. Community conflict is common in PNG, but communities reported that conflict was generally manageable when it was related to the water supply. When it was about something else – and the water supply was ‘collateral damage’ – it was more difficult to resolve. A reliance on external support was (surprisingly) a more prominent factor for rainwater systems than gravity systems.

Community mapping in Vegos community, Henganofi District in Eastern Highlands Province.

Whose members are elected or appointed by the community and serve voluntarily.

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Feature Article undermining market-based approaches and presenting challenges for scaling up to a national level.6 The mixed results suggest that further investigation of this issue is required to inform development of well-targeted subsidy approaches for PNG, which support vulnerable households without stifling household initiative and ownership. With respect to quality, all communities had been encouraged to build ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines with durable materials, but approximately half the toilets observed were simple pit toilets. These are unhygienic, harder to keep clean, provide lower amenity and are more prone to break down – all of which are potential barriers to sustainability. In terms of access, while shared toilets are not uncommon in PNG, community members were more likely to sustain a toilet of their own than one they shared with their neighbours. In communities with low toilet coverage, high rates of shared toilets were observed.

Maintenance challenges in Gufin community, Nawaeb District in Morobe Province. Communities with rainwater tanks indicated that they were reliant on the implementing agency for ongoing support – although it was not clear to what extent this was related to the approach taken by the implementing agency. For four of the five rainwater systems, the implementing agency continued to play an ongoing role and undertake almost all maintenance. While the management of rainwater tanks is not complicated, it seems to be a struggle to get households or communities to take responsibility for these assets. System quality assessed how well the infrastructure was designed and built in the first place. The study concluded that sustainability of water supplies in rural PNG is constrained by the social systems within communities rather than by the infrastructure itself.

Sanitation and hygiene The study looked at toilet use in 17 of the 21 communities, and found that sustained use of toilets ranged from high to poor. Importantly, there were households in every community that were continuing to use and maintain a toilet. In the top seven communities more than 80 per cent of households still had toilets, while in the bottom six, toilets were available in fewer than 20 per cent of households.5 The toilets were almost all simple, dry-pit toilets with self-constructed slabs. The study’s strengths-based approach meant that the sample communities most likely represent a better outcome than the average for communities generally in PNG. Very few households (five per cent) had a hand-washing facility and in only one of these was soap available. Discussions with community members, however, suggest that the initial uptake of handwashing facilities was likely to have been quite poor, indicating that this result was more related to programming quality than sustainability. From the community perspective, the study found that four factors most influenced sanitation and hygiene outcomes – subsidies, quality, access and attitudes. Within the study communities a mix of subsidy and non-subsidy approaches for toilets had been used. Neither approach was found to be significantly more sustainable than the other. Where communities had received a subsidy to build their toilets, this had tended to generate an ongoing demand for subsidies, 5 6

Overarching these other factors, the study found that the attitude of community members is critical. In the seven highperforming communities community members were convinced of the value of toilets and continued to invest in them. In the six poor-performing communities, most households that built toilets after the intervention in their community reverted back to open defecation once their toilets became unusable. Changing mindsets and generating a genuine demand for better sanitation is central to achieving sustained change. The same applies to hygiene behaviours such as handwashing, and this remains a significant challenge in rural PNG.

Applying the study findings The study findings were shared and discussed with government leaders at the national level and will feed into future efforts to drive WASH sustainability through the new national WASH policy and investments by World Bank, EU, ADB and others development partners. Overall, the study affirmed the importance of building ownership of WASH infrastructure, systems and outcomes at the community level, while ensuring back-up support system are available when required. A series of recommendations for implementing agencies and for government at the national and sub-national levels were made.

Discussing the system with community members in Avani Village, Henganofi District, Eastern Highlands Province.

 here was a correlation between the high performance of water supply systems and high performance of sanitation and hygiene systems. T The experience of handwashing facilities, where subsidised materials were used as water storage containers rather than for handwashing, highlights the sustainability risks associated with providing free materials.

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The Authors Matthew Bond (email: mattbond@fhdesigns. is an independent WASH consultant and a director of FH Designs. He has a PhD in Engineering and 20 years of development experience. Matt has worked in both the commercial development sector managing WASH projects and as a WASH consultant with international NGOs. Paul Tyndale-Biscoe (email: paultyndale@ is an independent WASH consultant and a director of FH Designs. He holds a Masters Degree in Engineering (by research) and has nearly 30 years of professional experience, 18 in international development. For the past 10 years Paul has been consulting in WASH to a range of international NGOs, multi- and bi-lateral donors across Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Leaking transmission pipe, Yoro community, Bogja District, Madang Province. For implementing agencies these included: better planning and improved technical support to communities during and postconstruction; developing flexible approaches to management based on community needs that clearly delineate responsibilities; and recognising and supporting the roles of key people and leadership within the communities. For government at sub-national level, the priorities are developing and resourcing critical links and supply chains between communities, ward councils and local level government, and clarifying the role of District and Provincial Government to provide effective WASH service delivery. At the national level, strong regulatory and technical oversight of the sector, political commitment and budgetary support (recognising the full life-cycle costs of WASH service delivery), and development of a national WASH management information system will all serve to support improved service delivery throughout PNG. Within all these actions, there is a need to ensure women play an active role in developing and managing service delivery and that greater attention is paid to understanding and responding to issues of marginalisation. With creation of the National WASH Policy and the proposal for establishing the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Authority, there are good prospects in PNG for achieving strong growth in rural WASH coverage. The WSP-sponsored study into what underpins sustainability in rural communities will help ensure that the coming wave of investment delivers long-term benefits for health and quality of life. WJ

Acknowledgement The study team extends its thanks to the four non-government organisations that facilitated the community visits in the different provinces: Touching The Untouchables (TTU), Eastern Highlands Province; Child Fund, Central Province; Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Morobe Province; and World Vision, Madang Province. The participation of these agencies and the willingness of their staff to share their knowledge and experience was central to making the study possible.

Keryn Clark (email: has 20 years’ experience managing WASH, public health and women’s empowerment programs in fragile and conflict-afflicted countries in East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. Until mid-2014 Keryn was the Program Director – WASH for DFAT in Timor-Leste. Keryn is currently undertaking a range of short-term consultancies including leading a study on the Sustainability of Rural Water and Sanitation in Papua New Guinea. Naomi Francis (email: naomif@student. is an Environmental Engineer, currently completing her PhD through the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Naomi’s research is focused on a community-based WASH program in Timor Leste. Recently Naomi led the field research for FH Designs’ study of WASH sustainability in PNG. Trevor Nott (email: is an independent WASH consultant with over 15 years’ overseas experience in the development sector working in Africa and Asia. For the last seven years Trevor has worked as a WASH consultant in PNG, and for the last three years as an advisor with the World Bank Global Water Practice. Karl Galing (email: is is a Water and Sanitation Specialist with the World Bank Global Water Practice – Water and Sanitation Program. He has more than 15 years’ experience in water resources management, urban and rural water and sanitation projects in the Philippines. Isabel Blackett (email: iblackett@worldbank. org) has over 20 years of experience in sanitation, including long-term assignments in Africa and East Asia for UNI CEF, DFID, KfW, the private sector, and other bilateral development agencies. She has worked as a Senior Sanitation Specialist in the World Bank Global Water Practice – Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) regional office in East Asia and the Pacific since 2005, focusing on the regional program, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and PNG, and also recently on the World Bank Global Water Practice emerging urban sanitation agenda.

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PROCESS MODELLING FOR MEMBRANE SYSTEMS Darren Szczepanski and Matthew Brannock from Salt Water look at the various options available in design software.


ncorporating membranes into a concept process design for water treatment plants is time consuming. Once a concept involving membranes has been established, designs have to be configured on a single train basis using vendor software. Each membrane vendor offers different parameters and functional constraints, which makes concept design an iterative process. But what if there was a better way? The five largest Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Nanofiltration (NF) membrane manufacturers have six different modelling software packages. Each package limits the user to a single train design configuration for every model run. Only a limited set of feedwater quality parameters can be modelled without considering the influence of all the other technologies in the process. This can be an issue for designers, particularly when there are recycle streams that can influence performance. Each platform has a different user interface, leaving designers with a number of pain points including: • Learning numerous software types; • Inability to directly compare different design and membrane configurations; and • Inability to collaborate on one platform with other team members to test or review membrane performance prior to selection. The conventional design approach is best suited to detailed design, once the feedwater envelope at the RO feed has been established and negotiations with the membrane vendor begin. Many of the better detailed projection software packages don’t reflect membrane market share, so a generic approach to concept design configuration and membrane selection has merit.

Membrane design software Currently, designers download and install multiple software packages, with inconsistent configuration parameters such as salt passage increase (SPI), fouling factor (FF) and a limited set of ions. These packages do not consider soluble gases, trace metals, heavy metals or pre- and post-treatment processes, although some have recently incorporated Ultrafiltration (UF) modules and chemical dosing parameters to their platforms. Designers lean on their experience with membrane product properties or vendor representatives to help guide selection of the best membranes based on application and configuration of each RO or NF train. Understanding the RO feedwater quality and how non-modelled parameters might affect performance is crucial. Open systems such as ponds and lakes can influence results where the water quality during process commissioning and operation can look quite different compared with a functional specification. These variables and predicting their impacts are based on the designer’s experience, as this information is not provided in vendor-specific projection software.

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The Reverse Osmosis System Analysis (ROSA) platform by DOW Corporation is considered the most ubiquitous tool in membrane modelling for detailed design. Many water professionals use the term ‘ROSA’ interchangeably with ‘RO projection software’, having been introduced to ROSA and the DOW Technical Manual as a guide for modelling membrane processes as young engineers. ROSA is a relatively easy to use platform that provides a small set of ions designed for configuring DOW’s FILMTEC membranes. However, it does not include all membrane parameters that may affect permeate quality over time, and is limited to modelling DOW membranes. Other membrane manufacturers continually add features to their projection software to increase membrane sales. However, these additions usually increase software complexity and discourage learning and market uptake. Table 1 outlines a comparison of common vendor projection software packages currently available. The objectives for using RO projection software are different for professionals engaged in commercial, front-end applications and consulting activities compared to detail designers engaged on a membrane project. Commercial developers, applications engineers and consultants require projection software for optioneering, concept design and writing functional specifications. For these users, a platform that is easy to use, fast and reliable in its projections and outputs is a key driver. Comparatively, process engineers engaged in developing the detailed design require vendor-specific, accurate and robust modelling software that can simulate all conditions that might trigger a contract performance clause or a membrane warranty. Hydranautics, GE and Toray have come a long way in improving their projection software. Today, these platforms allow single train model configurations to be run with additional ions in the RO feed, the addition of pre- and post-treatment processes (UF or degassing), and even incorporate anti-scalants. These software packages are ideal for detailed design, but are also more laborious so are not suited to concept design. This is especially true in concept design activities where the entire integrated process needs to be considered in a timely fashion, including the influence of upstream processes and recycle streams on RO feed quality, and the impact of membrane type and array configuration on specific ions in the treated water.

Process modelling software Approximately 50 different modelling software packages for various aspects of process design are currently available for download. Of these, Aspen is considered the most respected deterministic mass and energy balance software producer, covering many industrial processes. Most of these platforms are focused on chemical, hydrocarbon and thermal modelling for industrial processes and are prohibitively expensive for many users, costing tens of thousands of dollars per licence.


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Figure 1. Commercial modelling products compared by licence type, price and software capability.

Tendering Table 1. A comparison of common vendor projection software. At this price point, these products are not commercially viable for part-time use or team interactivity, creating a closed accessibility loop where one person within an organisation is likely to have access to the software. Of the software packages currently on the market, each typically targets specific industry modelling requirements, resulting in a mass of niche problem-solving platforms. From general purpose differential equation solving to open dynamic engine and steadystate simulations, no package provides a comprehensive fully integrated end-to-end modelling software for advanced water treatment design at a cost-effective price (Figure 1).

Teams pursuing new treatment facility opportunities start running projections pre-tender, developing concept designs based on client discussions. Months are spent gathering information, creating preliminary flow sheets, sampling site water quality and revising projected plant scope. Based on project values for some water treatment facilities being hundreds of millions of dollars, it is not uncommon for business development teams to spend up to two years pursuing opportunities pre-tender. Once a tender specification is released, the proposed concept design begins. Depending on plant complexity and scope, the design process can take up to six weeks to finalise. The business development team’s collective knowledge is passed on to the design team, which then interprets the client’s needs. Design teams work in isolation from the rest of the team – they may

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Feature Article

Figure 2. Water input table within AqMB – up to five analyses can be modelled with each scenario. be a third party consultant, or work in-house on design software, with licence restrictions. Design reviews are not usually held until initial mass balance and flowsheets have been developed. As project and process engineering teams generally work separately to the commercial team, communicating direct client understanding can get lost in translation, sometimes resulting in multiple rounds of design revisions until the team comes to a consensus. Process engineers are usually too busy during a tender to reliably model all membrane types and boundary conditions with vendor projection software. Locking down a concept design quickly to enable handover to mechanical and electrical engineers for their design tasks is the highest priority. As each case can only be modelled sequentially, input errors or revised configurations result in repeating rounds of projections delaying the tender’s progression. Team stress levels grow as the rounds of revisions to the design increase, and time to deliver a quality concept design decreases. Membrane selection may not always be necessary before commencing mechanical or electrical design; however, choosing the right membrane type and configuration may have advantages to power and chemical consumption that will influence the cost of the project. Also, making a decision much earlier in the bid cycle can buy valuable time for vendor equipment pricing and negotiations. This could all lead to better productivity and, ultimately, to lower project cost for the client or healthier margins for the bid consortium.

An integrated concept design Salt Water has developed an online SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for process simulation and concept design of physicochemical water treatment facilities that addresses many of the current deficiencies outlined above. The aim of the AqMBTM (Aqueous Mass Balance) software is to streamline the water treatment design process and allow simultaneous comparison of products from major membrane and resin manufacturers for

water september 2015

integrated process design. Users can configure multiple trains, compare membrane types in parallel and run multiple models simultaneously, reducing concept design time. With each unit operation configured in the platform’s Design Mode, AqMB will size the equipment according to user-adjustable process design parameters such as design flux and lead element flux for first pass design on all RO feedwater scenarios. The user can revise the array configuration and membrane type based on a review of permeate quality or performance parameters such as feed pressure, stage differential pressure or concentrate flow. Process design and equipment sizing can be finalised in a matter of hours instead of weeks. AqMB uses a deterministic modelling approach and has been designed for steady-state water treatment applications involving conventional and emerging technologies, and includes chemical dosing, settling, filtration, membrane, ion exchange resin, and electrolytic and thermal processes. Currently 22 out of 36 unit operation models have been added, and a time-series modelling feature is scheduled for release in late 2015. Users sign up and access the platform via the AqMB website using a single sign-on authentication. Users are then directed to their personal Overview page. This page includes previous plants created by the user, shared plants from other registered users within their company, feed scenarios and previous results from modelling different plant/feed scenarios. Upon executing a model run, the platform calculates the solubility of each stream using kinetic, redox and equilibrium relationships as defined by key water quality parameters, while accounting for the activity (deviation from ideal) of each species in solution. The execution time to solve a model typically takes from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the complexity of the process and the number of water quality analytes in the feedwater.


Feature Article AqMB solves design and membrane modelling issues for most dilute and concentrated water solutions. It is the only water treatment process modelling software to support over 40 inorganic analytes including halides, non-metals, alkaline earth metals, heavy metals, many transition metals and dissolved gases. Figure 2 shows an example water input table from within the platform. The software has in-built modelling algorithms for stream properties such as density, specific heat capacity, viscosity and thermal conductivity that are used within many of the relationships for the 36 separation and counter current unit processes. The software also uses a number of powerful numerical solvers and solubility modelling to perform the calculations required to determine component mass, energy balances and stream properties across each unit operation. Commercially, AqMB saves consultants and designers time during tendering and concept design. The software allows business development teams to test and compare the effectiveness of first-pass integrated process designs before passing on to process designers for refinement in vendor projection software. The software also allows easy exportation of design reports, flow sheets, mass balance information and equipment sizing details for budgetary pricing by vendors or fabricators, as well as quick configuration of proposal or design deliverable documentation.

Comparing membranes using AqMB

Figure 3. The plant configuration set up on AqMB for comparison of five different NF membrane types.

The AqMB software predicts the formation of insoluble compounds under process conditions while considering the influence of dissolved gases, metals and trace elements in solution. Membrane A and B values for over 60 RO and NF membranes are currently included, with more expected to be added as the platform’s capacity expands. The impact of chemical additions such as sodium bisulfite, acids and anti-scalants on species solubility and redox potential can be determined, alerting the user to inorganic scaling or membrane oxidation. AqMB highlights these impacts in the calculated suspended solids concentration, dissolved oxygen concentration and supersaturated species indicated in each stream. Primarily a concept design tool, AqMB users can also configure RO or NF operations for process modelling or forecasting water quality on existing operations by specifying all configuration parameters for each stage or train. Among the available design parameters, users can specify the array configuration, the membrane age (define a salt passage increase), fouling factor and feed pressure. Users can also configure each stage separately with inputs for feed or permeate pressure or override any B value with a per cent rejection for that ion. This last feature can be quite useful for modelling membrane performance in an operating scenario where historical data collected for the site shows a different permeate ion concentration than the value predicted by projection software for the same feed conditions. AqMB accurately calculates the osmotic pressure of a solution for both RO and NF applications. It uses the same simultaneous equations and parameters that are used in vendor projection software. The result is prediction of concentrate and permeate stream properties, ion concentrations and feed or concentrate

Figure 4. Stream properties including solubility are calculated by the AqMB platform for comparing NF membrane types.

september 2015 water


Feature Article

Figure 6. A typical seawater process design configured in AqMB was used to compare RO membranes. • Ponds • Other pre- and post-treatment processes • Degassing • Chemical dosing. The whole-of-process consideration provided by AqMB therefore reduces the time to select the most suitable membrane for further refinement using vendor projection software during detailed design.

Nanofiltration membranes To illustrate the capability of the software for membrane selection, a saline water high in calcium and magnesium sulfate was modelled in AqMB for five different NF membranes, as shown in Figure 3. Figure 4 shows the stream properties determined by the user and Figure 5 shows the outputs from running the scenario for five different NF membranes. The objective was to select a membrane that displayed a high rejection of magnesium sulfate and a low rejection for sodium and calcium compounds. During the modelling it became evident that some of the tighter membranes displayed a high rejection of sodium and calcium bicarbonate, causing major precipitation in the concentrate stream at 90 per cent design recovery. Changes in the rejection of bicarbonate and carbonate species had a marked impact on the pH of the concentrate stream, due to the change in alkalinity, which then affected the solubility of carbonate species. Figure 5. Quantitative results returned from running the AqMB plant/feed scenario for five NF membrane types. pressures based on the selected membrane type, configured parameters and vessel array. Users have the option to let AqMB calculate the array based on the specified design flux and lead element flux, or configure the number of vessels for each stage with all other membrane design parameters. Hybrid designs are also possible by configuring each stage separately. If there is a potential problem with the design, the unit operation is highlighted red on-screen. AqMB allows designers to compare membrane performance from different membranes and manufacturers using real-world design scenarios where there may be multiple: • Recycles • Clarifiers • Sand filters

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The entire exercise was completed within two hours. It provides an example where permeate and concentrate stream properties and ionic concentrations affected NF membrane performance, and interpreting this information leads to confident selection of a suitable membrane type for detailed design.

Reverse Osmosis membranes The technical selection of RO membrane types for seawater desalination applications usually comes down to a few parameters: permeate TDS, feed pressure, fouling resistance and boron rejection. The pre-treatment design can affect some of these parameters due to the impact of pH on speciation chemistry and species solubility. Accurately modelling the pH and oxygen concentration can help to optimise any chemical dosing required, and also reduce the need for an anti-scalant. Under a given set of feed conditions, six different RO membrane types were compared with the AqMB software downstream of a typical seawater process design.


Feature Article exported into Excel, shared by team members and compared (as shown in Figure 7) for effectiveness. As a result a suitable membrane was selected for detailed design quickly.

Membrane modelling – successful outcomes The conclusions on membrane selection for both RO and NF scenarios were reached in a matter of hours, while considering the impact of the entire process. AqMB was able to size the vessel array, predict scaling potential, oxidation potential, water quality and system design parameters for all conditions within the feedwater envelope. Errors encountered during modelling were clearly highlighted and a peer review was possible within the platform before finalising the process design. No other platform allows comparison of different membranes to be conducted in parallel on a single flowsheet within an entire integrated process design package.

Beyond membrane modelling Opportunities for the technology lie beyond membrane modelling. The platform is available anywhere with an internet connection. This means consultants, designers and operators have the ability to amend concept designs or view model results while in the field, validating performance in real time as sampling and quality checks occur. The multi-seated licence model of AqMB allows entire teams to access concept designs and backlogged results from different test scenarios in one place. This is advantageous for bid consortiums or engineering teams working across different organisations, locations and time zones. It encourages collaboration, reduces miscommunication and allows issues to be identified and rectified quickly. The software reduces the likelihood of licence breaches with environmental regulators and compliance costs associated with running advanced water treatment plants. It does this by projecting qualitative and quantitative properties of process streams, which may be released to the environment. The ability to produce quantitative result outputs of all streams in a plant design, at the conceptual stages of the project, also brings substantial knowledge benefits in relation to plant operability and operational costs. Issues such as potential scaling, membrane and resin effectiveness, and downtime due to frequency of cleaning and regeneration cycles, all present commercial and technical benefits to industry in effective asset management and operational planning. WJ

The Authors

Figure 7. Quantitative results returned from running the AqMB plant/feed scenario for RO membrane types compared. The design (shown in Figure 6) included ferric chloride and periodic sodium hypochlorite dosing, lamella clarification, dual media filtration and sodium bisulfite dosing. The membrane with the highest rejection was also modelled at two different vessel configurations, one with a design flux of 16.1 lmh and the other at 14.6 lmh. The results from seven RO membrane types were

Darren Szczepanski (email: darren@ is a Chemical Engineer with over 15 years of process design and project experience with membrane, resin, electrolytic and thermal technologies. His design, commissioning and plant troubleshooting experience includes installations for coal seam gas water, acid mine drainage, seawater, industrial wastewater, pharmaceutical and cooling tower blowdown applications. Dr Matthew Brannock (email: matthew@ is a Chemical Engineer specialising in water treatment plant design and brine management. He has extensive experience in using chemical speciation and computational fluid dynamic models to simulate water and wastewater treatment processes.Â

september 2015 water

technical papers

Managed Aquifer Recharge Australian Progress In Managed Aquifer Recharge And The Water Banking Frontier

A summary of the progress of MAR and future opportunities and applications

Performance Of Two Pioneering Recycled Water Infiltration Systems: Perth And Alice Springs

Outcomes of a three-year research program to facilitate MAR for water recycling

P Dillon


JL Vanderzalm et al.


G Mashiah


K Zhang


Sewerage Management Challenges Of Backlog Pressure Sewer Schemes: Clarence Valley Council’s Experience

Development of appropriate management schemes to address a range of sewerage delivery issues

Water-Sensitive Urban Design Validation Framework For Water-Sensitive Urban Design Treatment Systems Development of a validation framework specifically for WSUD treatment systems by Monash University

Stormwater Management Utilising Wastewater Injection And Multiple Aquifers To Improve Reliability Of Stormwater Harvesting Schemes This icon means the paper has been refereed

Results of a trial scheme and case study using the ASOP model

M Bailey et al. 74

Disinfection By-Products Disinfection By-Products: Not Just An Issue For Drinking Water

An analysis of three indoor public swimming pools and one heated indoor public spa in WA

RAA Carter et al.

Disclaimer: The papers in this section have been peer reviewed for relevance, clarity and contributing constructively to the sharing of knowledge about water. It is not intended that any conclusions drawn by authors may be used as validation of the performance of a process or product; AWA expressly refutes any suggestion that publication herein implies endorsement. Although reviewers consider the credibility of data presented, it is not possible for them to vouch for the accuracy of such data.

Clarence Valley Council addressed a range of challenges in sewerage delivery.





AUSTRALIAN PROGRESS IN MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE AND THE WATER BANKING FRONTIER A summary of the progress of MAR in Australia and future opportunities and applications P Dillon

ABSTRACT Australia has made great strides in applying managed aquifer recharge for stormwater harvesting, storage of recycled water for drinking water supplies, and reuse of groundwater produced during mining and coal seam gas extraction. However, in spite of highly successful applications so far, these are largely localised and the full potential of managed aquifer recharge is yet to be conceived nationally, let alone realised. Furthermore, there has been no conspicuous advance in the traditional use of managed aquifer recharge with “natural” waters for agricultural irrigation, or in water banking for water supply security. This paper summarises progress, shows the economic advantages and points to some of the opportunities before us. These opportunities invite longer time frames for planning new water resources and greater investment in aquifer characterisation that will save billions of dollars in addressing economic development and long-term water supply security. Water banking makes common sense, supported by three of Australia’s strategic national advantages: the National Water Initiative, the National Water Quality Management Strategy, and a sound scientific and technical base in managed aquifer recharge. However, it needs innovative policy drivers and institutional arrangements to achieve these benefits.

MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE This is the collective term for a wide range of techniques that include injection wells and infiltration structures to intentionally augment groundwater recharge for the purpose of recovery of water for beneficial use or for environmental protection.

Figure 1. Integrated water resources management through managed aquifer recharge (from Dillon and Arshad, in press). A range of sources of water may be used (Figure 1) to achieve integrated urban water resources management that provides both water supply and ecosystem protection. Research and recent application in Australia has been focused on “new” urban water sources, stormwater and sewage, which can be recycled and stored in aquifers to create non-potable or potable water supplies (Dillon et al., 1997, 1999, 2014; Water Corporation, 2013). Surplus desalination plant capacity (smaller scale plants putting aside small volumes each year instead of big plants to meet drought and emergency shortfalls) is used in Abu Dhabi, but is as yet unused in Australia.

AUSTRALIAN PROGRESS WITH MAR The distribution of urban MAR in Australia is quite heavily clustered in Adelaide and Perth, with more recent uptake in Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart. Progress has largely occurred

where entrepreneurial local government, water utilities or sports clubs have determined that the potential benefits exceed the costs. In some cases federal funding has been available to reduce the financial risks of pioneering projects. Recent work to develop and implement a risk management plan for the City of Mount Gambier has elevated its stormwater disposal (via 300 drainage wells that have augmented its existing drinking water supply since the 1880s) to the status of MAR (Vanderzalm et al., 2014), based on the NWQMS Guideline for MAR (NRMMC, EPHC, NHMRC 2009). However, there are opportunities for many Australian regional cities and towns that overlie limestone aquifers in particular, and also alluvial sands and gravels, to implement MAR for baseline supplies as well as gaining credits for recovery during drought. Surprisingly, in the conversation about advancing agricultural irrigation, particularly in semi-arid tropical Australia




Technical Papers



Technical Papers

ASTR stormwater


Current Potential GL/yr GL/yr




Alice Springs




ASTR reclaimed water ASR potable ASR stormwater ASR reclaimed water



Reservoir release



Pond infiltration

SA Regional towns



NSW, QLD, WA towns






National urban

Soil aquifer treatment Infiltration gallery (reclaimed water) Infiltration gallery (stormwater) ASR investigations

Primary Industries: Current: Qld, Burdekin irrig. 40GL/yr; WA Pilbara mining 20GL/yr; ...... 60GL/yr Potential: Qld/NSW CSG assoc water, >80GL/yr; national irrigation ..... >400 GL/yr

Figure 2. Status of MAR in Australia in 2015 (updated from Parsons et al., 2012). where rainfall is plentiful during the monsoon but generally absent in the dry season, there has been no conspicuous advance in the traditional use of managed aquifer recharge with “natural” waters for agriculture. While groundwater replenishment with Burdekin River water has been practised continuously since the 1960s (Figure 3) by the North and South Burdekin Water Boards to secure irrigation supplies and protect aquifers from saline ingress at very low cost (currently $0.11/kL, using CPI inflator on results in Dillon et al., 2009), this seems to go unnoticed elsewhere. In rural areas costs for these infiltration systems are an order of magnitude lower than for well injection and recovery systems. Injection wells require far less area and are suited to urban environments for potable water supply or its substitution for specific uses, and can rank as the cheapest next source of water.

accelerate in the last decade. Assisted by the National Stormwater Program about 23GL/yr capacity has been developed at 34 sites, which is approaching half of the target 60GL/yr capacity by 2050 (SA Government, 2009). Dillon et al. (2014) found that MAR with stormwater could be cost effectively used for drinking water supplies, and risk management costs, including treatment, were significantly cheaper than supporting dual reticulation to residential areas. Recycled water has been used since 2008 by Power and Water Corporation at Alice Springs for soil-aquifer treatment, which is intermittent infiltration via basins. While this initially was done primarily to prevent sewage overflows into Ilparpa Swamp and the consequent health risks, this now improved quality

water indirectly augments by 600 ML/y an overdrafted aquifer that supplies Alice Springs with its water, and potentially provides a reserve for irrigation. In 2013 Water Corporation completed a three-year trial for its groundwater replenishment program (Perth GWR in Figure 3), whereby recharge of highly treated recycled water results in a recharge credit that may add to the volume of groundwater that the Corporation is entitled to extract from the Perth Basin. Based on sound scientific evidence, effective operational performance and strong public support, this option (at about half the cost of seawater desalination, Vanderzalm et al., 2015) is being developed, initially to 14GL/yr by 2018 at a capital cost of $125m, and paves the way for ultimately 105GL/yr planned MAR capacity. Another water recycling project is underway in Melbourne in a formation thought to be capable of accepting and supplying 100 GL/yr (Dudding et al., 2006). A summary of experiences and economics of MAR with recycled water will be published shortly (Vanderzalm et al., 2015). With the forecast doubling in population of Australia over the next 50 years and increase in proportion living in state capitals from 66% to 75% (ABS, 2013), there will be substantial growth of our cities leading to more stormwater and sewage, more demand for water and food, and substitution of public open space for private gardens. These all suggest that stormwater harvesting and water recycling will play a growing role

At Fortescue’s Cloudbreak mine in the Pilbara, WA, dewatering provides a supply of brackish and saline water. The brackish water is stored in an aquifer ready for use in mineral processing and the saline water is recharged near a natural salina to annul the impacts of dewatering on the groundwaterdependent ecosystem (Figure 3). In the Surat Basin, Queensland, APLNG has investigated the reinjection of coal seam gas associated water after treatment by reverse osmosis in research undertaken jointly with CSIRO (Figure 3). This has proved technically viable and is now an option under consideration for associated water management at other sites. MAR with urban stormwater began in Adelaide in the early 1990s and after a decade of gestation has started to


Figure 3. Growth to 2015 and projected growth in Australian MAR capacity by source water type.

Figure 4. Water banking via managed aquifer recharge adds value to stored water. for our cities and, where aquifers are suitable, MAR will become the first resort for new supplies (Figure 3).

THE WATER BANKING FRONTIER A CSIRO report (Barron et al., 2011) on projected change in groundwater recharge from 2010 to 2050 due to climate change found a large spread in projections, and that median projections suggest substantial declines in recharge in southern Australia, with typical percentage recharge decline being double the percentage mean rainfall decline. In priority catchments where demand is already near the sustainable yield, forecast recharge reductions in dry scenarios were between 14% and 55%. This means retaining the current resilience to drought of these groundwater systems will require an increase in recharge during wet periods. The principle is simple: bank water when it is plentiful so that there is a resource to recover when it is dry (Figure 4). In aquifers that are over-exploited the storage space for MAR has already been created. This is a reservoir that doesn’t have to be built and is buffered from evaporation, which will increase by about 4% for each 1°C increase in temperature. Clearly there are commercial gains to be made and policy innovation is required to encourage investment in water security while taking into account the finite public good asset of aquifer storage capacity, and minimising and stabilising the cost of water so it will have the most benefit to society as a whole. The levelised costs of water supplies from four desalination plants in eastern and southern Australia built since the ‘millenium drought’ (Radcliffe, 2015) to secure capital city supplies is more than 10 times the long-run marginal costs of normal supplies in those cities. That is, utilities considered water insurance as much more valuable than increasing

Figure 5. History of storage in the Arvin Edison Water Banking System, Central Valley California (from Scanlon et al., 2012). the average year supply, and this allows considerable margin for water banking to be economically favourable, as demonstrated by Gao et al. (2014). The existence of aquifers that contain large volumes of water is of considerable benefit as a buffer on the effect of drought on surface water supplies. Foster and MacDonald (2014) argued that groundwater should be taken much more prominently into account in assessing water security. Dillon et al. (2012) and Ross (2014) showed examples of water banking enhancing the resilience of groundwater supplies to drought. In the south-west of the United States of America there are numerous water banks, generally operated by Water Districts or state departments. Arvin Edison Water Bank in the Central Valley of California is an example of a water bank that has operated since the 1960s to help buffer irrigators and downstream municipalities against drought. Over a period of 20 years that spanned two small droughts, an accumulated storage of 1,100 GL was achieved by recharging a depleting aquifer through infiltration basins. During a subsequent six-year drought about half of the credit was withdrawn (Figure 5). It is not hard to imagine how valuable the water bank would have been to water utilities during that drought. In Arizona, the Arizona Water Banking Authority has stored 4,500 GL of water between 1997 and 2014 (Arizona Water Banking Authority, 2015) from 26 systems, mainly using excess water when it was available from the Central Arizona

Project, sourced from the Colorado River. The management framework for this is discussed by Megdal et al. (2014). In Australia, which has the twin national treasures of the National Water Initiative providing a water resources allocation framework, and the National Water Quality Management Strategy, providing guidance on risk-based health and environment protection, it is surprising that water banking is still a new concept. Our sound scientific basis for MAR, with water normally recovered in the first dry season since it was recharged, should provide confidence that Australia has the capabilities to manage the next step. In fact, this has commenced in Perth with the groundwater replenishment program giving rise to a groundwater credit that may be carried over for a number of years under Australia’s most advanced policy for addressing MAR (WA Department of Water, 2010). In order to advance water banking, demonstration projects are needed, with water security as a significant driver. Coastal capital cities have already made their water security investments, but there are many regional cities and towns – as well as fixed-rooted agricultural systems and other industries – that need more resilient supplies. From our experience with MAR we would initially be targeting aquifers that will have a high recovery efficiency, such as those that contain fresh groundwater, have a low lateral hydraulic gradient and low inter-aquifer leakage, and where a groundwater allocation plan is implemented effectively. Other desirable aquifer characteristics are having an adequate storage and high rate of




Technical Papers



Technical Papers • Capability for surface water flow forecasting; • Scenarios for future climatic conditions understood by water suppliers; • Groundwater quality protection measures in place; • Whole of government (all levels) approach to water planning; • Effective risk management for water quality of treated source water; • Policies that set water reliability requirements for future water supplies; Figure 6. Mount Bold Reservoir spills (from Adelaide Now, February 2011). Water banking in an aquifer beneath water distribution systems could reduce future spill from on-stream reservoirs having no environmental requirement for spill, such as this reservoir. recovery (e.g. thick transmissive aquifers with high effective porosity), aquifers with no or low impact on groundwaterdependent ecosystems (e.g. streams) and where groundwater is well protected from pollution. These are a tighter set of constraints than for seasonal storage, and may require further hydrogeological and geochemical characterisation and more modelling scenarios to be considered than for shorter-term storages.

and capital cost of the dam and to decant water to the aquifer to avoid evaporation, algae or mosquitoes; • Near existing natural water supplies where there are occasional flows in excess of explicit agreed and uncontested environmental requirements and downstream allocations.

It will be imperative to characterise aquifers adequately in order to have confidence in water banking. It is suggested that this be done in targeted areas such as:

Identification of suitable water banking sites will depend on well-characterised aquifers, aquitards, and, for infiltrationtype recharge, unsaturated zones. Water resources management practices that favour water banking include:

• Where aquifers are already overexploited (integrated with demand management);

• Long planning horizons to allow time for investigations;

• Near reservoirs that spill (where there is no environmental flow requirement for spill); • Near reservoirs with long water residence time and high evaporation rates; • Near water recycling plants that have seasonal excess capacity over the current water demand;

• Agreed groundwater and surface water management plans; • A system of water entitlements to groundwater and surface water; • Trading of allocations and entitlements (as detailed for MAR in Ward and Dillon, 2011);

• Policies that encourage investment in building resilience of water supplies; • Institutional arrangements that allow brokering and transparent selection of options to increase water supply and its security. In Australia there are not yet any water banking authorities, although it could be argued that the Burdekin Water Boards fulfil many of the functions of a water bank (Figure 7). They undertake managed aquifer recharge activities to enhance recharge for the benefit of irrigator cooperatives, which fund this work and withdraw groundwater. The Arizona Water Banking Authority work is done by a staff of three. They link together developers, who are required by law to cover the cost of provision of water for 100 years to their new subdivisions, with proponents on their list of potential projects that are most economic and meet the need. Projects must satisfy government criteria for reliability and environment protection. In Arizona the community prefers that banking operations are a government function, and these are an adjunct to the government-funded Central Arizona Project.

• Near desalination plants with current excess capacity that is projected to reduce; • Near mining and hydrocarbon industries that need to lower groundwater pressures (by treating and storing in separate aquifers); • Along pipelines and mains water distribution systems (as proposed by Martin and Dillon, 2002); • Adjacent to any new dams to be constructed, to reduce the size


Figure 7. The generic functions of a water bank are to broker future water needs with the range of possible sources, ranked according to economic criteria, validated as compliant with government policies, and suitable for public and private funding where required beyond the current resources of water users.

A fundamental requirement is for longterm planning for water supplies and their security taking account of population growth, agricultural and industrial development and climate change. Investigations are required to prove up options, so that managed aquifer recharge can fulfil the promise of water banking with the required level of confidence. The economic benefits are significant, as WA’s Water Corporation has proved through its three-year trial at Beenyup for the Groundwater Replenishment Program. Now is the right time to embark on water source planning, because this maximises the time to prove options and accumulate storage before the next drought, when water allocations would be reduced, or before the next undesirable spill from a reservoir. The evidence on declining water availability and increased demand cannot be ignored. Now, when interest rates are at a historical low, and when the groundwater expertise that supports the mining industry has surplus capacity, water banking would be a valuable nation-building activity, and it would avoid repeats of the excessive cost impositions of enhancing water security in capital cities during drought.

FURTHER RESOURCES • International Association of Hydrogeologists Commission on MAR: • ISMAR9: 9th International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge, Mexico City 20–24 June 2016: (abstracts due 18 November 2015) • NCGRT short course on MAR, Melbourne 12–13 October 2015, Christchurch 15–16 October 2015, and a MAR session in Australian Groundwater Conference, Canberra 3–5 November 2015: • MAR Hub – Water Industry Alliance specialist cluster of competence in MAR:

THE AUTHOR Peter Dillon (email: is the NCGRT Distinguished Lecturer 2015. This paper is drawn from his lecture presented in each state and territory in mid-2015. Peter retired in 2014 after 29 years with CSIRO. He is now a Visiting Scientist at CSIRO Land and Water and Adjunct Chair at Flinders University and University of Adelaide. He continues as Co-Chair of IAH Commission on Managing Aquifer Recharge and as a committee member of the AWA Water Recycling Specialist Network.

REFERENCES ABS (2013): Population Projections Australia 2012–2101. Australian Bureau of Statistics Report 3222.0. Arizona Water Banking Authority (2015): AWBA Intrastate Report – Statewide Deliveries & Long Term Storage Credits. Barron OV, Crosbie RS, Charles SP, Dawes WR, Ali R, Evans WR, Cresswell R, Pollock D, Hodgson G, Currie D, Mpelasoka F, Pickett T, Aryal S, Donn M & Wurcker B (2011): Climate Change Impact on Groundwater Resources in Australia. NWC Waterlines #67. library/waterlines/67 Dillon P, Pavelic P, Sibenaler X, Gerges N & Clark R (1997): Aquifer Storage and Recovery of Stormwater Runoff. Australian Water & Wastewater Association. Water Journal, 24, 4, pp 7–11. Dillon P, Pavelic P, Toze S, Ragusa S, Wright M, Peter P, Martin R, Gerges N & Rinck-Pfeiffer S (1999): Storing Recycled Water in an Aquifer: Benefits and Risks. Water Journal, 26, 5, pp 21–29. Dillon P, Pavelic P, Page D, Beringen H & Ward J (2009): Managed Aquifer Recharge: An Introduction, Waterlines Report No 13, Feb 2009. Dillon P, Fernandez EE & Tuinhof A (2012): Management of Aquifer Recharge and Discharge Processes and Aquifer Storage Equilibrium. IAH contribution to GEF-FAO Groundwater Governance Thematic Paper 4, 49p. resources/thematic-papers/en/ Dillon P, Page D, Dandy G, Leonard R, Tjandraatmadja G, Vanderzalm J, Barry K, Gonzalez D & Myers B (2014): Using Urban Stormwater and Aquifers or Reservoirs for Nonpotable and Potable Supplies: Key Outcomes from the MARSUO Research Project. Water Journal, 41, 5, pp 62–67. Dillon P & Arshad M (in press): Managed Aquifer Recharge in Integrated Water Resource Management: Chapter 17, In Integrated Groundwater Management; Concepts, Approaches and Challenges. Jakeman A; Barreteau O; Hunt R; Rinaudo JD; and Ross A (Eds.) Springer.

2002/04. Aug 2002. ebook/serien/ud/DWLBC/DWLBC2002_04.pdf Megdal SB, Dillon P & Seasholes K (2014): Water Banks: Using Managed Aquifer Recharge to Meet Water Policy Objectives. International Open Access Journal of Water, 6, 6, pp 1500– 1514. NRMMC, EPHC, NHMRC (2009): Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling, Managing Health and Environmental Risks, Volume 2C – Managed Aquifer Recharge. Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, Environment Protection and Heritage Council National Health and Medical Research Council, Jul 2009, 237p. Parsons S, Dillon P, Irvine E, Holland G & Kaufman C (2012): Progress in Managed Aquifer Recharge in Australia. National Water Commission Waterlines Report Series No 73, March 2012, SKM & CSIRO, 107p. archive.nwc. Radcliffe JC (2015): Water Recycling in Australia – During and After the Drought. Royal Society of Chemistry: Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. DOI: 10.1039/ c5ew00048c. Ross A (2014): Banking for the Future: Prospects for Integrated Cyclical Water Management. Journal of Hydrology, 519, pp 2493–2500. SA Government (2009): Water for Good. A Plan to Ensure our Water Future to 2050. www. Scanlon BR, Faunt CC, Longuevergne L, Reedy RC, Alley WM, McGuire VL & McMahon PB (2012): Groundwater Depletion and Sustainability of Irrigation in the US High Plains and Central Valley. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 24, pp 9320–9325. Vanderzalm J, Page D, Dillon P, Lawson J, Grey N, Sexton D & Williamson D (2014): A RiskBased Management Plan for Mount Gambier Stormwater Recharge System: Stormwater Recharge to the Gambier Limestone Aquifer. Goyder Institute for Water Research Technical Report 14/7. php?id=20

Dudding M, Evans R, Dillon P & Molloy R (2006): Report on Broad Scale Map of ASR Potential in Melbourne. SKM and CSIRO Report to Smart Water Fund, March 2006, 49p.

Vanderzalm JL, Dillon PJ, Tapsuwan S, Pickering P, Arold N, Bekele EB, Barry KE, Donn MJ, Hepburn P & McFarlane D (2015): Economics and Experiences of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) With Recycled Water in Australia. Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence Report.

Foster S & MacDonald A (2014): The ‘Water Security’ Dialogue: Why It Needs To Be Better Informed About Groundwater. Hydrogeology Journal, 22, pp 1489–1492.

WA Department of Water (2010): Operational Policy 1.01 – Managed Aquifer Recharge in Western Australia. PublicationStore/96686.pdf

Gao L, Connor JD & Dillon P (2014): The Economics of Groundwater Replenishment for Reliable Urban Water Supply. International Open Access Journal of Water, 6, 6, pp 1662– 1670.

Ward J & Dillon P (2011): Robust Policy Design for Managed Aquifer Recharge. Waterlines Report Series No 38, January 2011, 28p.

Martin R & Dillon P (2002): Aquifer Storage and Recovery – Future Directions for South Australia. Department for Water Land and Biodiversity Conservation. Report DWLBC

Water Corporation (2013): Groundwater Replenishment Trial Final Report. www. groundwater-replenishment




Technical Papers



Technical Papers

PERFORMANCE OF TWO PIONEERING RECYCLED WATER INFILTRATION SYSTEMS: PERTH AND ALICE SPRINGS Outcomes of a three-year research program to facilitate MAR for water recycling JL Vanderzalm, EB Bekele, PJ Dillon, MJ Donn, KE Barry, AH Kaksonen, GJ Puzon, J Wylie, S Tapsuwan, P Pickering, N Arold, D McFarlane

ABSTRACT Water recycling via aquifers, one form of managed aquifer recharge (MAR), has the potential to significantly increase the proportion of water recycled in Australia. MAR provides short- and longterm storage, can sustain groundwaterdependent ecosystems, prevent saline intrusion and provide natural or passive treatment prior to recovery for use. To date, uncertainty regarding the impact of clogging on infiltration or injection rate, the water quality changes to the receiving groundwater, and the overall economic feasibility has impeded the uptake of water recycling via aquifers. This paper reports the outcomes of a three-year research program to address these knowledge gaps and facilitate MAR for water recycling. The impact of clogging and the fate of nutrients were evaluated in two schemes using novel managed aquifer recharge techniques: an infiltration gallery at Floreat, Western Australia and soil aquifer treatment (SAT) at Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Infiltration techniques for water recycling can be attractive because they are generally lower cost than well injection techniques and take advantage of the enhanced potential for natural treatment during infiltration through the unsaturated zone. In addition, a series of MAR case studies, using both infiltration and well injection techniques for recharge, were documented to share the knowledge gained through practical experience. Keywords: Managed aquifer recharge, water recycling, soil aquifer treatment, infiltration gallery, clogging, nutrients.

INTRODUCTION Increasing demand on water resources due to population growth and climate variability has led to growing interest


in opportunities for water recycling. Water recycling via aquifers, one form of managed aquifer recharge (MAR), has the potential to significantly increase the proportion of water recycled in Australia. In 2012â&#x20AC;&#x201C;13, 43 non-major urban utilities (servicing < 50,000 people) recycled 22% of 283 GL per year of sewage collected. In the same period, 24 major water utilities (servicing > 50,000 people) recycled only 12% of 1,314 GL per year of sewage collected (NWC, 2014). Rural areas have advanced faster than major cities in water reuse because there is typically less access to alternative water supplies, in conjunction with closer proximity of sewage treatment plants to municipal and agricultural demands for non-potable water. Despite the numerous benefits that MAR offers for water recycling, the uptake of this water resource practice has been slower than expected (Parsons et al., 2012). Uncertainty regarding the impact of clogging processes on infiltration or injection rate, water quality in the receiving groundwater, and economic feasibility of the scheme can influence decisions to regulate, construct and commission MAR schemes. To address these knowledge gaps the impact of recycled water on clogging and the water quality of the receiving aquifer was assessed in two water recycling MAR schemes employing novel managed aquifer recharge techniques (Bekele et al., 2015). The first of these MAR schemes used buried galleries at Floreat in Perth, Australia. Their closed nature can improve both safety and acceptance in an urban setting, while also excluding sunlight to inhibit algal growth. This scheme requires higher quality water to be used because access for

maintenance is harder than for open basins. The second scheme used soil aquifer treatment (SAT) at Alice Springs, Australia, where open basins were (and continue to be) operated intermittently to prevent mosquito breeding and with the intent to reduce nitrogen accessions to groundwater. These prototypes have wide applicability across Australia. Floreat and Alice Springs serve as national demonstration projects for recycling via unconfined aquifers for non-potable uses, generally the cheapest form of recycling and, hence, rapid uptake is expected once the process is proven and documented. The detailed investigations were complemented by a national compilation of MAR experience in water recycling using both infiltration and well injection methods for recharge, sharing lessons learnt through experience and evaluation of economic assessment (where applicable) (Vanderzalm et al., 2015). Interviews were held with operators or owners of water recycling test sites that use a variety of MAR techniques, including: infiltration basins (WA), infiltration galleries (Floreat, WA), soil aquifer treatment (Alice Springs, NT), aquifer storage and recovery (ASR; Bolivar, SA and West Werribee, Vic) and aquifer storage transfer and recovery (ASTR: groundwater replenishment, Perth and Anglesea, Vic) and are reported in detail in Vanderzalm et al. (2015).

METHOD Floreat Infiltration Gallery The Floreat Infiltration Gallery experimental field site was located at CSIROâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Centre for Environment and Life Sciences in Floreat, Perth, Western Australia, where there was an existing supply pipe and infrastructure for secondary treated wastewater. The site was located in a 31m-thick unconfined

Previous field trials of infiltration galleries at the same location reported successful operation at a low wastewater application rate of one metre per day (Bekele et al., 2013) for a period of 39 months. In this investigation an infiltration gallery constructed using six Atlantis Flo-Tank® polypropylene modules, each with dimensions of approximately 685mm (L) x 450mm (H) x 408mm (W) (Figure 1) was operated for a five-month period to test the feasibility of achieving higher infiltration rates, of three to five m/d, deemed necessary to raise groundwater levels in the vicinity of hydraulically connected wetlands (Perry Lakes). Laboratory column experiments were used to assess clogging potential and set water quality targets for recycled water to minimise the impact of soil clogging. ‘Middle’ loggers

‘North’ loggers Access tube (unlogged)

Research Institute (AZRI), approximately seven kilometres south of Alice Springs, towards the airport (Figure 2). Infiltration commenced in 2008, with four recharge basins and a total recharge area of 7,640m2. The basins were expanded from 2011–2012 and this investigation was based on five recharge basins providing a total recharge area of 38,500m2. The source water for recharge is supplied from the Alice Springs Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), where treatment is provided by a series of lagoons, consisting of an initial facultative lagoon and a series of maturation ponds, followed by dissolved air flotation (DAF) (until the end of August 2013). The DAF treatment step was upgraded to dissolved air flotation and filtration (DAFF) and UV in September 2013, to provide Class A recycled water. Recharge targets a paleochannel of the Todd River, a Quaternary alluvial aquifer consisting of coarse grained sediments overlain by finer grained clayey silts, clays and sands (Knapton et al., 2004), with a water table depth of approximately 18m below ground level.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Floreat Infiltration Gallery Preliminary column experiments demonstrated the need to filter the secondary treated wastewater before recharge, setting a target for total suspended solids (TSS) below five mg/L to prevent physical clogging. It was not possible to meet the TSS target of five mg/L; instead TSS Stu art Hw y

superficial aquifer underlain by a regional aquitard. The upper seven metres of medium-grained aeolian sand, referred to as Spearwood Sand, grades into carbonate-cemented sand and limestone (Tamala Limestone) with a watertable at approximately 10m below ground level. The sand is typical of unconfined aquifers on the western part of the Swan Coastal Plain and Perth Basin of Western Australia. Source water of secondary treated wastewater was supplied from the Subiaco Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).

Heavitre e Range

‘South’ loggers

ranged from <1 to 52 mg/L (average of 8.7 mg/L) during the five-month experiment. An infiltration gallery constructed of Atlantis Flo-Tank® modules in Spearwood Sand demonstrated that filtered secondary treated wastewater could be used to recharge the aquifer at an average rate of at least four m/d over a five-month period. A total of 750 kilolitres of filtered secondary treated wastewater was recharged to the Tamala Limestone aquifer over this period (average rate of 6.7 kL/d). During the trial, the groundwater levels in the vicinity of the infiltration gallery only changed in response to the seasonal pattern of rainfall due to the highly conductive sand and limestone and the small size of the gallery. While the average recharge rate of wastewater was four m/d during the field experiment, changes occurred spatially in gallery wastewater levels and soil moisture contents surrounding the gallery after 14 weeks (Figure 3). This increase in soil moisture in the ‘Offset’ probes adjacent to the ‘Middle’ probes at lateral distances between 45 and 65cm from the western edge of the gallery suggested the lateral spread of the wastewater plume beneath the gallery was expanding (Figure 3). Since these soils quickly respond to an application of wastewater, the increased lateral spread was potentially due to a reduction in the infiltration rate at the

Alice Springs Township


Town Basin

Heavitre e Range Blatherskite Park Ilparpa swamp

Figure 1. Construction of infiltration gallery showing locations of water level logging within the infiltration gallery. Geofabric (not shown) was used to cover the top and sides of the gallery to lessen the opportunity for roots to grow into the gallery (Bekele et al., 2015).

Water Reclamation Plant

y Ross Hw

e Rang rskite Blathe

Tod dR ive r

Outer Basin


Roe Creek Borefield

St ua rt

Roe C ree k

Hw y

Blatherskite Park

y t Hw Stuar

Alice Springs Soil Aquifer Treatment The Alice Springs Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT) project was designed to address sewage overflows into Ilparpa Swamp and reduce high demand on the deeper Mereenie Sandstone aquifer within the Amadeus Basin (Miotlinksi et al., 2010). The SAT scheme is located at the Arid Zone

Inner Basin


Alice Springs Airport

Figure 2. Location of the Alice Springs SAT scheme (Bekele et al., 2015).




Technical Papers

12 10











30 25 20 15



Influent 40 cm 15 cm 5 cm

14 12 10 8 6












0 12/11/13


0 29/10/13



Influent flow rate (m/d)





Influent flow rate (m/d)



Volumetric moisture content (Ov) (%)

Technical Papers

Volumetric moisture content (Ov) (%)



Figure 3. Comparison of soil moisture data 5, 15 and 40cm below the base of the infiltration gallery over 22 weeks. Measurement locations are a) in the middle of the gallery, and b) offset by 45–65 cm to the west of the gallery. Interruptions of wastewater flow were due to equipment problems at the Subiaco WWTP. base of the gallery as a result of clogging and greater infiltration through the side walls of the gallery. The extent of lateral flow may also have been influenced by greater volumes of recharge after a pump fault was rectified (24/12/13). Development of a biological clogging layer was indicated by an increase in the total number of microbial cells in the soil after infiltration of treated wastewater. There may also have been some physical clogging as it was not possible to meet the TSS target of five mg/L. However, the clogging appears to have been minor, as the soil moisture below the gallery remained constant or marginally declined over the remaining 11 weeks of the experiment (Figure 3). These observations support the hypothesis that the extent of clogging varied within the gallery and promoted increased flow of wastewater laterally away from the gallery. There was evidence that spatial variability developed in the soil moisture retention characteristics of Spearwood Sand at the Floreat field site due to wastewater infiltration. The majority of the samples collected below and adjacent to the gallery were not significantly (statistically) different from each other in terms of their soil moisture retention characteristics. Thus, a single hydraulic function was used to represent


sand impacted by wastewater infiltration in a HYDRUS model (Šimůnek et al., 2011) developed for the site. A different soil moisture characteristic curve was needed to fit the data for Spearwood Sand unaffected by wastewater. This suggests that passage of wastewater through the sands near the base of the gallery variably added fine material and suspended solids from wastewater. As a result, the soil matrix retained more moisture and lowered the hydraulic conductivity, affecting the direction of migration pathways for wastewater. Changes in the quality of receiving groundwater from passage of wastewater through the Spearwood Sand and the underlying Tamala Limestone aquifer during the five-month trial were assessed by comparing the concentrations in the treated wastewater entering the infiltration gallery, with water sampled from a monitoring bore located two metres down-gradient and slotted < 2m below the watertable. Potassium was used as a conservative tracer to estimate the percentage of wastewater (source water) in groundwater sampled from the down-gradient monitoring bore. The proportion of wastewater in groundwater sampled from downgradient increased to 100% after 60 days of the experiment (approximately 250 kL of wastewater recharge had been

applied). The reduction in phosphate from 5 mg/L to <0.01 mg/L was observed during the passage of wastewater through the subsurface. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was also reduced from 26 mg/L to <5 mg/L throughout the infiltration gallery trial. Changes in the groundwater concentrations of calcium, alkalinity and phosphorus suggested carbonate dissolution and phosphorus adsorption occurred during infiltration, as reported previously by Bekele et al. (2011) for a field trial conducted over 39 months in an adjacent pair of galleries. There was no evidence of nitrate removal, as aerobic conditions in the unsaturated zone and aerobic source water were not conducive to denitrification. The concentrations of total dissolved nitrogen sampled from a downgradient monitoring bore and the source water were approximately eight mg/L. Alice Springs Soil Aquifer Treatment From June 2008 to September 2014 a total of approximately 2,580 ML reclaimed wastewater was delivered from the WRP plant to the SAT basins. The expanded basin configuration has received 1,470 ML, equating to approximately 1.9 ML/d, which was sufficient to meet the licensed infiltration volume of 600 ML/yr. Conservative estimates for the capacity of the SAT scheme are considerably higher, at 1,000–1,300 ML per year (2.7–3.6 ML/d). This was based on the hydraulic performance with DAFF-treated source water, allowing a 10% reduction in recharge each year due to a decline in performance and a maintenance interval of six months every three years per basin (Vanderzalm et al., 2015). This is around twice the volume currently recharged and comparable to the volume of water treated by the Alice Springs WRP. Hydraulic loading rates of treated wastewater in basins over a three-year interval varied from Basin A (62 kL/m2), followed by Basin D (54 kL/m2), Basin C (41 kL/m2), Basin E (38 kL/m2) and Basin B (26 kL/m2) (Figure 4). It is immediately striking that the inflow to Basin B was less than the others, because of compaction by heavy earthworks on levelling the basin after it had been constructed (Bekele et al., 2015). An improvement in infiltration rate in Basin B was evident after approximately 50% of the floor material was turned over to a depth of 700mm, using a large tracked excavator, prior to the fill in March 2013. From October to November 2013, volumes to

Groundwater quality on site and down-gradient from the Alice Springs SAT scheme was influenced by recharge. Chloride and electrical conductivity indicated freshening of the groundwater, with EC reaching that of fresh source water at around 1700 μS/cm (~1000 mg/L TDS). While to date there has not been any recovery of groundwater downstream of the SAT scheme, freshening may enhance the opportunity to use this groundwater resource. Therefore, it is recommended that groundwater quality is assessed against water quality targets for a range of beneficial uses. Nitrate concentrations in groundwater were variable, especially in the immediate vicinity of the basins, but did indicate an increase in response to recharge. The presence of wastewater was detected up to 1000m down-gradient from the SAT scheme. Since the WRP upgrade, total nitrogen in SAT source water declined from >25 mg N/L to <10 mg N/L (5.2 mg/L in September 2014). Groundwater nitrate concentrations also declined at the SAT site and 200m down-gradient (<6 mg N/L). However, there was no evidence of nitrate or DOC removal during recharge, despite the presence of genes of microorganisms with potential for nitrate removal, via denitrification (nirS) and anammox (hzo), throughout the soil profile down to 1.5m (Kaksonen et al., 2015).

Figure 4. Cumulative volumes of recharge water released to the individual basins from October 2011 to September 2014. Interruptions in inflow for all basins relate to treatment plant stoppages (August 2013, November 2013) and an interval when basin performance data was not available (March 2014). Additional interruptions in inflow for Basin B represent periods when the basin was not in use. The DAF plant was upgraded to DAFF in September 2013. Pre-filtration (September 2013) improved the quality of recharge water to the SAT basins, reducing nutrient concentration and turbidity through greater removal of algae and coagulants. This improvement in the quality of recharge water resulted in higher infiltration rates in all basins (40–100% improvement), with average rates ranging from 0.2 to 1 m/d (Table 1).

the SAT basins were estimated from the total volume of water leaving the treatment plant, which may have resulted in some overestimation of volumes going to the site at times and explains the significant increase in inflow during this period. Operational data for the SAT basins during winter highlighted the impact of insufficient drying periods on infiltration rates as there was a trend toward higher infiltration rates with longer drying intervals. Self-seeding vegetation in the basins appeared to act as mulch in winter, which prevented the basins from drying, and therefore an extension of winter drying periods is required. While a winter drying interval of five to 10 days has been suggested, the preferred strategy would be to use the basin surface condition to inform operation, as previously recommended by Breton (2009). It is also recommended that an appropriate strategy be developed for management of vegetation growth in the basins.

The differences in infiltration rate among basins were likely influenced by differences in the soil profile beneath the basins. Spatially distinct zones of higher infiltration were detected using geophysical methods (time-domain EM (NanoTEM), CMD metering and DC resistivity) and recharge water temperature as a tracer. Factors affecting the spatial variations were the chemistry and mineralogy of the SAT basin soils, type and quantity of carbon present, and the inter-relationship with algae at the basin floor, which contributed to clogging both directly and indirectly through calcite precipitation.

Denitrification is thought to be inhibited by the limited reactivity of the organic material following wastewater treatment. Conversely, the anammox reaction does not require labile organic carbon and has previously been reported to occur beneath SAT basins (AWWARF, 2001) and, therefore, may provide an alternative mechanism for nitrogen removal in the subsurface under anoxic conditions. Miotlinksi et al. (2010) reported spikes of low oxygen concentration beneath the basins after the wetting period, suggesting an increase in duration of the wetting cycle may facilitate anoxic conditions favourable for nitrogen removal.

Table 1. Summary of infiltration rate, drying time and wetting time (average±standard deviation) for basins based on source water treatment (DAF or DAFF). Basin B with DAF treated source water was not included due to the impact of soil compaction on infiltration rate. Basin


DAF treated source water

DAFF treated source water


Infiltration rate (mm/d)

Drying time (d)

Wetting time (d)


Infiltration rate (mm/d)

Drying time (d)

Wetting time (d)










Not determined due to soil compaction
































CONCLUSION MAR investigations allow proponents to gain an understanding of their system and the management strategies necessary to operate schemes effectively. Soil and aquifer physical properties influence the recharge rate, which was evident when comparing infiltraton rates below one m/d in loamy sand to sandy clay loam at Alice Springs




Technical Papers



Technical Papers to considerably higher rates, around four m/d, in Perth’s Spearwood Sand. Particularly in sites with less permeable soils, care must be taken to avoid clogging, which can be caused by soil compaction, or development of a clogging layer. Clogging is a prevalent issue that can be managed through operational strategies. For ASR wells this would involve an automated system to shut down injection if the water quality deteriorates beyond a threshold value for a defined period, together with backflushing of wells periodically or when specific capacity falls to a threshold value. For infiltration galleries, basins and SAT, strategies include: setting targets for source water quality; allowing time for the clogging layer to dry, crack and desiccate; physical removal of the clogging layer based on infiltration rate criteria; and preventing or removing excessive vegetation growth ensuring protection of the quality of the receiving groundwater. The research undertaken in this project is intended to assist water service providers considering different types of MAR with wastewater in areas that have unconfined aquifers suitable for in-situ treatment, storage and transmission. The following general observations are made to enable appropriate use of these types of water recycling schemes in the future: 1. In-situ sediments and pre-treatment of wastewater by filtration directly impact the hydraulic performance of both infiltration galleries and SAT basins: • Infiltration galleries can be used to infiltrate secondary treated wastewater into predominantly medium-grained sands, typical of Perth’s coastal plain with saturated hydraulic conductivities ≥ 20 m/d at relatively high recharge rates (four m/d), but hydraulic performance will depend on maintaining TSS below a target level (e.g. five mg/L) to reduce the potential for clogging. Periodic drying of the galleries may also reduce clogging problems, but this remains to be tested. • SAT basins in Alice Springs constructed in sediments of variable grain sizes showed that infiltration was much lower than in the Perth galleries. Infiltration rates of one m/d were only achieved in the more permeable loamy sands.


In heterogeneous soils, described as loamy sand to sandy clay loam, clay-dominated lenses influenced the overall basin infiltration rates. Heavy machinery used to level the floor of one recharge basin compacted the soil and resulted in a very low infiltration rate until rehabilitated by deep ripping. Moreover, additional pre-treatment by DAFF improved infiltration rates in all basins, and basin infiltration rates remained dependent on the soil profile and on soil compaction history in each basin. • Aerobic conditions prevailed in the soil beneath both schemes. However, anoxic conditions were considered likely at the end of longer wetting periods in the SAT basins. The clogging layer in the infiltration gallery where sunlight was excluded was composed principally of biofilm, roots and solids removed from wastewater during passage through the soil. In the SAT basins where the surface was exposed to the sun (and in some cased shaded by vegetation), this clogging layer was composed principally of biofilm, algae, clay, quartz, calcium carbonate and iron oxyhydroxide. 2. Different water quality improvements can be anticipated from infiltration galleries and SAT basins: • In Perth’s Spearwood Sand, reduction in concentrations of phosphate and dissolved organic carbon was observed. The magnitudes of concentration reduction will likely depend on the recharge rate relative to rates of adsorption and biodegradation, respectively. Removal due to adsorption may have a limited capacity or may be reversed, by desorption or a limitation of sorption sites. Nitrate removal was not observed due to the prevalence of aerobic conditions. • At the Alice Springs SAT site, groundwater freshening resulted from wastewater recharge and thus provided a groundwater resource of approximately 1,000 mg/L TDS. There was no evidence of nitrate removal following recharge due to the prevalence of aerobic conditions. The improvement in wastewater treatment has, however,

reduced the concentration of nitrogen so that it is now suitable for various end uses of the water, and for environmental values of the aquifer. It is suggested to increase the wetting periods of basins to as much as four days to maximise the opportunity for anoxic conditions to develop, favourable for nitrogen removal via anammox reactions, by capable bacteria now known to be present.

FURTHER INFORMATION • projects/managed-aquifer-rechargeand-recycling-options • research-publications.html

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This research was undertaken within a recently completed three-year research project on Raising the National Value of Water Recycling by Overcoming Impediments to Managed Aquifer Recharge. The Authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (, CSIRO Land and Water, Power Water Corporation, Water Corporation, City West Water and Barwon Water.

THE AUTHORS Joanne Vanderzalm (email: joanne.vanderzalm@csiro. au) is a Team Leader with CSIRO, assessing the biogeochemical processes related to water recycling that may impact on groundwater quality or soil and aquifer clogging. Elise Bekele (email: elise. is a Senior Research Scientist with CSIRO, evaluating the feasibility of MAR for water recycling, industrial water supply, replenishment of groundwaterdependent ecosystems and preventing seawater intrusion. Peter Dillon (email: is a CSIRO Visiting Scientist and Adjunct Chair at Flinders University and University of Adelaide. In May 2015 he was awarded the Chairman’s Award of the Water Industry Alliance for his contributions to the SA water industry.

Michael Donn is a Senior Experimental Scientist with CSIRO, whose expertise is in understanding biogeochemical processes via laboratory and field experiments. Karen Barry is a Research Projects Officer with CSIRO, evaluating water quality and clogging in Managed Aquifer Recharge. Anna Kaksonen is a Team Leader with CSIRO, with expertise in the use of microorganisms and biotechnology for environmental and industrial applications. Geoffrey J Puzon is a Research Scientist with CSIRO, assessing microbial ecology in water systems and aquifers. Jason Wylie is a Research Projects Officer with CSIRO, evaluating microbial populations in water systems. Sorada Tapsuwan is a Team Leader with CSIRO, applying social and economic instruments for management of natural resources. Phil Pickering is an economist with Marsden Jacob Associates, with expertise in the water and essential service industries. Nadja Arold is an economist with Marsden Jacob Associates, with extensive experience in the regulated utility sectors, public policy and natural resources management. Don McFarlane is a Team Leader with CSIRO, leading research related to water resource assessment, water recycling and managed aquifer recharge.

REFERENCES AWWARF (2001): An Investigation of Soil Aquifer Treatment for Sustainable Water Reuse. AWWA Research Foundation and American Water Works Association, USA. Bekele EB, Donn MJ, Barry KE, Vanderzalm JL, Kaksonen AH, Puzon GJ, Wylie J, Miotlinski K, Cahill K, Walsh T, Morgan M, McFarlane D & Dillon PJ (2015): Managed Aquifer Recharge and Recycling Options (MARRO): Understanding Clogging Processes and Water

Institute. Department of Infrastructure Planning and Environment Technical Report 29/2004. Marsden Jacob Associates (2013): Economic Viability of Recycled Water Schemes, November, a report prepared for the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCOE). research-publications.html Miotlinski K, Barry K, Dillon P & Breton M

Quality Impacts. Australian Water Recycling

(2010): Alice Springs Soil Aquifer Treatment

Centre of Excellence.

Project – Hydrological and Water Quality

Bekele E, Toze S, Patterson B, Fegg W, Shackleton M & Higginson S (2013): Evaluating Two Infiltration Gallery Designs for Managed Aquifer Recharge Using Secondary Treated Wastewater. Journal of Environmental Management, 117, pp 115–120. Bekele E, Toze S, Patterson B & Higginson S (2011): Managed Aquifer Recharge of Treated Wastewater: Water Quality Changes Resulting from Infiltration Through the Vadose Zone. Water Research, 45, pp 5764–5772. Breton M (2009): Alice Springs Soil Aquifer Treatment: Operational Review and Hydraulic Performance. Master of Hydrogeology and Groundwater Management Thesis, University of Technology, Sydney. Kaksonen AK, Puzon GJ, Wylie J, Morgan

Monitoring 2008–2009 Report. Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Report, May 2010. waterforahealthycountry/2010/wfhcAlice-Springs-SAT-monitoring.pdf National Water Commission (2014): National Performance Report 2012–13: Urban Water Utilities. NWC, Canberra. Parsons S, Dillon P, Irvine E, Holland G & Kaufman C (2012): Progress in Managed Aquifer Recharge in Australia. Waterlines Report Series No. 73, National Water Commission, Canberra, March 2012. Šimůnek J, van Genuchten MT & Šejna M (2011): The HYDRUS Software Package for Simulating the Two- and Three-Dimensional Movement of Water, Heat, and Multiple Solutes in Variably-

M, Walsh T, Barry KE, Donn MJ, Bekele E,

Saturated Porous Media. Technical Manual,

Vanderzalm JL & Dillon PJ (2015): Managed

Version 2.0, PC Progress, Prague, Czech

Aquifer Recharge and Recycling Options

Republic, 258pp.

(MARRO): Microbial Aspects. CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship Report. Knapton A, Jolly P, Pavelic P, Pavelic P, Dillon



Technical Papers

Vanderzalm JL, Dillon PJ, Tapsuwan S, Pickering P, Arold N, Bekele EB, Barry KE, Donn MJ, Hepburn P & McFarlane D (2015): Economics and Experiences of Managed

P, Barry K, Mucha M & Gates W (2004):

Aquifer Recharge (MAR) with Recycled

Feasibility of a Pilot 600 ML/yr Soil Aquifer

Water in Australia, Australian Water

Treatment Plant at the Arid Zone Research

Recycling Centre of Excellence.

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Technical Papers


Development of appropriate management schemes to address a range of sewerage delivery issues G Mashiah, K McAndrew, J Hermansen

ABSTRACT Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has recently constructed three backlog pressure sewer schemes involving installation works on nearly 1,400 individual properties. Policy support was initially developed, but needed to be updated for subsequent schemes to incorporate “lessons learned”. The scope of contract works was also modified to incorporate lessons learned and improve value for money. On the final scheme, issues arose around servicing strata and dual occupancy properties, which it is understood had not previously been faced in Australian pressure sewer schemes. Appropriate management strategies needed to be developed in conjunction with the construction contractor to address these issues, which was facilitated by using the cooperative GC21 contract. Incorporating lessons learned allowed project challenges on the three schemes to be successfully addressed.

INTRODUCTION CVC, which is located on the far north coast of New South Wales (NSW), is currently in the final stage of a $170 million sewerage augmentation program involving five schemes. Three of the schemes involved extending reticulated sewerage to unsewered areas to address issues with failing on-site systems and environmentally sensitive receiving areas. The three extensions were for the village of Lawrence (287 properties), the town of Iluka (~1070 properties) and the Oyster Channel settlement (13 properties). Various constraints to gravity reticulation included the spreadout nature of development (Lawrence), flat terrain with high water tables (Iluka) and susceptibility to flooding (Oyster Channel). These constraints had historically made finding costeffective reticulated sewerage solutions


challenging. The introduction of pressure sewer technology to Australia made provision of reticulated sewerage to these areas feasible. This paper outlines “lessons learned” through the three schemes, which involved installation works on nearly 1400 individual properties, with a focus on planning and administrative lessons rather than technical or operational issues.

ADOPTION OF PRESSURE SEWERAGE AS PREFERRED TECHNOLOGY Concept planning for the Lawrence and Iluka schemes proposed that a “low flow” reticulation (either vacuum or pressure sewer) be installed. Following discussions with various utilities that had experience with these technologies, Council decided to proceed with pressure sewers as its preferred reticulation technology. An important factor in this decision was the high water table at Iluka, as the greater length of gravity property household drains to the property connection point in vacuum

systems was considered to ultimately result in higher levels of infiltration (and thus higher design flows). A significant difference between planning for pressure sewer and gravity schemes is that a pressure sewer involves installing a pump unit and discharge line on every property within the scheme area, as opposed to providing a junction at the property boundary. Discussions were held with various utilities that had installed pressure sewerage to try and learn from their experiences. Following these discussions, CVC introduced its first pressure sewer policy in 2004. Two key policy decisions were: • Council would own, operate and maintain the pressure sewer units and charge properties the standard sewer charges; • Pressure sewer pump units would be connected to the property switchboard and not separately metered. This decision was based on the availability charge that the electricity supplier would need to

Property yards can have very restricted working areas for pressure unit installation.


Technical Papers sewer mains and installation of 287 property pump units. There were only two non-residential properties (a shop and a tavern) within the village.

Pressure units in caravan parks also need to consider loads from dump points. impose if separate metering was installed for the pressure sewer pump unit. Some developers immediately took advantage of pressure sewerage, with two subdivisions (one of four lots and one of 17 lots) requesting approval for pressure sewerage reticulation in locations that had significant constraints for gravity sewerage reticulation. Council used the four lot subdivision as an opportunity to trial pressure sewer pump units from the different suppliers then on the Australian market. The pressure sewer policy proposed that Council call a five-year supply contract for supply of pressure sewer units, which was awarded to Environment One in 2007. The first pressure sewer policy covered several “what if” scenarios. Many of these scenarios were resolved with the adoption of final concept designs for Lawrence and Iluka and the award of the period supply contract, so a revised and simplified pressure sewer policy was, therefore, adopted in 2008. One policy challenge was that the policy relies on powers under the NSW Local Government (General) Regulation, which was designed for gravity sewer connections. Construction of the Lawrence sewerage scheme would provide the first “real” test of Council’s policy. Council also had further opportunity to gain experience in installing and operating pressure sewerage when the existing reticulation network within one of its coastal caravan parks (which relied

on pumps installed in septic tanks) needed upgrading. Replacing the existing caravan park reticulation with pressure sewerage was assessed as providing a cost-effective outcome (and nearly eight years later this decision has been well vindicated). Engineering consultants prepared concept designs for the schemes servicing Lawrence and Iluka as part of their larger sewerage augmentation design but, as outlined in Mashiah et al. (2014), “design and construct” contracts were chosen as the procurement methodology for pressure sewer reticulation construction on the basis that pressure sewerage required specialist design expertise and the designer had to work closely with the construction contractors. The engineering consultancies that developed the concept designs did not have specialist pressure sewer experience, and it is interesting to note that the schemes as designed and constructed had significantly smaller reticulation pipe sizes compared with the concept designs. One advantage of this approach was that scheme construction budgets were based on the concept designs, and construction tenders were thus well below the budgets.

• Background research is essential to learn about possible pitfalls prior to work commencing. One particular area where further research could have been undertaken was the ultimate lot yield of vacant zoned land. Following contract award, Council’s strategic planners suggested the ultimate residential yield from vacant zoned land would be about 700 lots, which was 20% higher than stated in the contract. As the reticulation design needed to accommodate both existing and future development, this resulted in a contract variation. The “lesson learned” was to involve Council’s strategic planning section prior to the reticulation design phase commencing.


• The area serviced by reticulation needs to be clearly defined. At Lawrence the residential and agricultural zonings are irregular and Council’s policy was that reticulated sewerage would only be provided to residential and commercial zoned properties. In some instances adjacent properties ostensibly within the town boundary had different zonings, which created an expectation from the rurally zoned properties that they would be permitted to connect to sewer. The “lesson learned” from this experience was to confirm which properties are eligible to connect to sewerage prior to contract award and then ensure that all parties involved are aware which properties are included (and not included) in the scheme.

Council’s first large-scale pressure sewerage scheme to be constructed was Lawrence, with the contract awarded to Downer EDi (Works) Pty Ltd in late 2008 and completed in October 2009. The project included 12.975km of pressure

• Properties that are known by different official and “alias” addresses can cause much confusion. The “lesson learned” was that a “master” database of properties needs to be consistent between Council and the contractor.



As this was Council’s first pressure sewerage scheme, staff were inexperienced in many planning aspects and, throughout the project, were on a steep learning curve. As famously summarised by United States Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld in February 2002, “there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know”, and CVC experienced numerous “unknown unknowns” throughout the Lawrence project. McAndrew & Mashiah (2010) outline key “lessons learned” from the Lawrence scheme, which in summary were:



Technical Papers • The Lawrence scheme required property owners to undertake all property switchboard electrical upgrades necessary to connect the pressure sewer pump controller. In many cases these works were relatively minor (additional neutral bar or earth stake), but a significant project risk was that the required electrical upgrading works would not be completed before the contractor wished to install the pressure sewer controller, which would then delay the work. Significant project team effort was thus expended in chasing property owners to undertake the upgrading work within the required timeframe, and in many cases of minor upgrading this management cost exceeded the actual cost of the electrical work. • The pressure sewer unit manufacturer should have an opportunity to comment on the contractor’s design report and drawings, and to inspect the condition of equipment on arrival on site and at commissioning. • Property connection costs are influenced by any required property household plumbing or electrical upgrading and the decommissioning costs. During community consultation property owners had been advised on connection costs based on the average cost as advised by other utilities. One particular issue at Lawrence was that some older switchboards did not meet current standards and needed complete replacement to comply with the electricity authority’s requirements. While this upgrading requirement should have applied if any electrical work was undertaken on the property, some property owners considered it attributable to the pressure sewer scheme. To address this “lesson learned”, in future schemes property owners were advised of the range of plumbing and electrical upgrading costs experienced at Lawrence in addition to the average connection cost. Twenty-five properties within the Lawrence sewerage catchment (including the two non-residential properties) are subject to flooding, and all the residential properties contained plumbing fixtures below the flood level. It was, therefore, not considered possible to prevent inflow from these residential properties during flood events. It was decided that, while it was possible to “flood-proof” the


pressure sewer units (by installing floodproof lids and providing a breather above the flood level), this would be applied to the commercial properties only and, during a flood event, the pump units servicing the flood-affected residential properties would be turned off. While the affected residential property owners were initially upset at this decision, it was pointed out that this situation was similar to their existing (pre-sewer) situation. At the first public information session following contract award, Council staff were repeatedly asked the following questions by property owners: • How soon will I have to connect to the sewerage? • What if I cannot afford the cost of connecting to sewerage? • How do I decommission my on-site system? • Can I use the decommissioned on-site system for rainwater storage? Council staff were unable to respond to the first two questions as they involved policy issues that had not been resolved. The staff attending the information session could not answer the other two questions as they had not previously investigated these questions and the requirements were managed by the Environmental Health section of Council. A key “lesson learned” from this exercise was that probable property owners’ questions need to be considered and appropriate responses must be available. The first two questions were subsequently considered by Council, which resolved that properties were required to connect to reticulated sewerage within 18 months of the service being available (unless environmental or health reasons required an earlier connection) and that, to encourage early connection, properties that connected within nine months would receive a $200 rebate and also have the on-site septage disposal fee waived. To further assist with connection costs, property owners were also offered a $2,000 interest-free loan (repayable over two years). While the availability of the interest-free loan was praised by the community and increased the number of early connections, its administration was difficult and Council therefore decided not to offer the loan for future schemes. The original intention for the Lawrence scheme was that property connections

would be undertaken only by private plumbers. During the initial community consultation following contract award, sections of the community requested that Council’s contractor undertake property connections including decommissioning of on-site systems. The contractor indicated that it was only interested in undertaking connections if the work was undertaken as a variation to the contract, as it did not wish to be responsible for the financial risk. As a result of strong community pressure, it was agreed that Council would coordinate ‘no obligation’ property connection quotes from the contractor. If a property owner accepted the connection quote, Council paid the contractor and recovered the cost from property owners. Because this arrangement was not part of the original contract, it was managed as a variation and created much additional administrative work for Council staff, which was exacerbated by tight timeframes. Due to the substantial management cost of managing property connections, it was decided that, for future schemes, property connection would not be facilitated by Council (although this would not prevent the construction contractor quoting directly to property owners, should they wish). Council is aware of pressure schemes undertaken by other utilities where the property connection (including any electrical upgrading required to undertake the connection) is undertaken by the contractor as part of the scheme construction. It is considered that there are significant equity issues involved with this approach, which is why CVC chose to have property owners cover connection costs. One particular equity issue with this approach is properties where significant switchboard upgrading is required – why should the utility customers be paying for an individual property to meet current electrical standards? One challenge for Council is that the NSW local government legislation is not considered to provide sufficient support to order properties to connect to reticulated sewerage if their existing on-site system does not have actual (as opposed to potential future) issues justifying an order on environmental or health grounds. Despite requiring all properties to connect with 18 months of sewerage being available (i.e. April 2011), as at December 2014 six properties were still to connect. Council’s Environmental Health staff have advised that they are


Technical Papers property connections. It was pointed out to these residents that property connections could not be undertaken for at least two years (which would have been the term of the interest-free loan), so this would give them time to save.

not prepared to issue orders to these properties to connect. It should be noted that the properties that have not connected are still paying a sewer availability charge. A concern raised by residents during scheme construction was the increase in residents’ power costs due to the pressure units being powered from the property switchboards. The average power consumption cost of a residential pressure sewer unit was assessed in 2011 as $20 per annum. To address this concern, Council adopted a “pressure sewer” tariff, which was set at $20 below the gravity sewer charge. This charge differential has also applied to subsequent schemes (and in 2014 was set at $25 below the gravity sewer charge in recognition of the increase in electricity charges). As discussed in Mashiah & McAndrew (2010), an issue that arose shortly after completion of the Lawrence scheme was how pressure sewer unit installations would be undertaken in new subdivisions. The Pressure Sewer policy provided that developers were to be responsible for installation of the pump unit, and permitted installation by accredited third parties, but Council did not want pump units installed before dwellings were constructed as, if there was a lengthy period between subdivision and dwelling construction, the pump unit would be out of warranty. To address this issue, developers now have the choice of either paying a bond for future installation (which can be undertaken either by Council or an accredited installer), or paying the installation cost listed in Council’s fees and charges, in which case Council will install the unit when required. Although the development approval indicates that a minimum of six weeks notice is required in the latter

case for installation of pressure sewer units, an associated communication issue that has subsequently arisen is that the Water Utility section of Council has not always been given sufficient notice that a dwelling is being constructed. The “lesson learned” is to ensure appropriate notification procedures are in place. As outlined in Mashiah et al. (2014), the Lawrence pressure sewerage scheme demonstrated the value of cooperative contracting using the NSW Government GC21 contract through successful resolution of the various issues and challenges summarised, without delaying scheme completion or exceeding the scheme budget.

SCHEME 2: ILUKA Iluka, which was the largest unsewered town in New South Wales, was the second pressure sewer scheme to be constructed, with the construction tender being awarded to Ledonne Constructions Pty Ltd in April 2011. The Iluka scheme provided pressure sewerage to 1,070 residential, commercial and industrial properties. Prior to work commencing, the Lawrence “lessons learned” were incorporated into Council’s Pressure Sewer Policy and the Iluka contract documentation. Three significant changes required the contractor to: • Undertake minor electrical upgrading of property switchboards (earth stake and neutral bars); • Maintain a “master spreadsheet” of property details through the scheme construction; • Not undertake any property connections as part of the contract. Concern was raised by some Iluka residents that they would not be offered the interest-free loans to assist with

Notwithstanding the “lessons learned” from the Lawrence project, many “unknown unknowns” were also to be experienced on the Iluka scheme. One significant issue that arose was related to more than 10% of properties having multiple owners. The designer of the Iluka pressure sewer reticulation (Steve Wallace, pers. comm.) advised he was not aware of any other Australian pressure sewer scheme that had encountered such a high percentage of multiple owner properties. Council’s pressure sewer policy did not adequately address the issue of multiple owner properties. Particular challenges were: • Servicing of dual occupancy/strata titled properties. The pressure sewer policy indicated that each property would receive a single pressure sewer unit; however, many of these properties did not have a “body corporate” power circuit and, thus, a single pump unit could not be provided unless a new common power installation was available. (The pressure sewer unit serving these properties could not be connected to an



The location of pressure units can minimise property connection costs.

Prior to construction commencing, Council determined that the same connection timeframe would apply at Iluka as had applied at Lawrence (i.e. connection within 18 months unless environmental or health reasons required an earlier connection) and that “early connection” would again be encouraged, with the $200 rebate and waiving of on-site septage disposal fee. It was made clear in project communication sent to property owners that they would be responsible for the property connection to the pressure sewer unit. It is interesting to note that, during Iluka community consultation, the same four questions regularly arose; this time the project team was well prepared with adequate responses. The four questions were also addressed in communications sent to all property owners. One postconstruction “lesson learned” at Iluka was that several residents misinterpreted the phrase regarding “waiving the on-site septage disposal fee” – they thought this meant Council would pay all costs associated with desludging their decommissioned on-site systems.



Technical Papers individual dwelling unit, as if the power to that dwelling unit was turned off, such as when the property was vacant, there would be no sewerage service to the property). The solution to this issue was to either install individual pump units for each dwelling unit or, where that was not feasible, to install a new common power installation in the name of Council. In the latter instance, which applied to 14 properties, the property is charged the “normal” sewerage tariff rather than the “pressure sewer” tariff in recognition that Council is paying for the power; and • Where a single pressure unit was installed on strata titled properties, in some cases the connection cost of individual property units differed significantly because of the different lengths of property drains required. This cost was exacerbated where new property drains needed to be constructed under driveways etc. To address this equity issue, as a variation the Contractor undertook “on property” works on strata title properties as required to cap the estimated connection cost at $5,000 per property unit. Iluka has three caravan parks, and another issue that was not addressed in the pressure sewer policy was servicing permanent resident mobile dwellings in the caravan parks, as many permanent residents had separate existing on-site systems. To address this issue it was agreed that Council would provide one pressure sewer unit per on-site system as part of the scheme. At one park it was determined that additional internal gravity pipelines would reduce the number of pump units required, and Council provided financial assistance to the park equivalent to the saving in the pump unit supply and installation costs. A subsequent issue that arose was what rebate the caravan parks were entitled to for early connection; as per the adopted policy the caravan park as a whole only received a single rebate, but all the septage disposal fees were waived. On some properties the pressure sewerage unit installation would damage the existing property sewers such that immediate sewerage connection was required concurrently with the installation. Following discussion with the contractor it was agreed that (for those properties only) the contractor would provide a quote for undertaking the property connection and that (if


accepted by the property owner) the cost would be recovered from the property owner. Owners were advised that, while they could get their own plumber to undertake the property connection, if their plumber was not available when required by the contractor then the installation on their property would not proceed and they would be responsible for the full cost of installation in the future. In response, all property owners in this situation chose to use Council’s contractor for connection. With work required on 1,070 individual properties, the community interface was identified as a potentially high risk for Iluka. As outlined in Mashiah et al. (2013), Council used an innovative community engagement methodology developed by Sustainable Futures Australia called “Dealing With our Own Situation” (DWOOS)TM, which included community representatives participating in the contractor evaluation meetings. Iluka has a high percentage of retired and elderly residents who, in many instances, felt more comfortable approaching the DWOOS representatives to discuss any questions or issues they had with the contractor. The relationship developed between the DWOOS Committee representatives and the contractor enabled early feedback about, and resolution of, community concerns, with potential property owner issues being “nipped in the bud”. This aspect is considered an outstanding success as, despite the disruption to 1070 properties, no substantiated complaints were received about the construction contractor. While the responses to the issues that arose during Iluka construction represented major scope changes to the contract, again the value of cooperative contracting using the NSW Government GC21 contract was demonstrated in that the relationships developed enabled successful resolution of the issues as a partnership between Council and the contractor within the project budget.

SCHEME 3: OYSTER CHANNEL The Oyster Channel project, which extended reticulated sewerage to 13 lots located near Yamba, was constructed during the Iluka project by the same contractor as Iluka. The main issue at Oyster Channel was flooding. Unlike Lawrence, the dwellings were located on mounds with all plumbing fixtures located above the flood level; hence inflow would not be an issue, but the

requirement of the plumbing code to locate overflow relief gullies (ORG) below the habitable floor level meant the ORGs would potentially be below the flood level. To address the flooding issue, ORGs incorporating reflux valves were installed on all properties. This has successfully enabled the Oyster Channel pressure sewer system to continue to operate during floods. Incidentally, as a result of the success of the ORGs with reflux valves at Oyster Channel, Council is currently retrofitting some properties in gravity sewer areas with similar ORGs to reduce inflow during heavy rainfall.

DISCUSSION The policy and planning requirements for pressure sewer schemes differ significantly to gravity sewer schemes due to the requirements for works on each individual property. Having policy positions that address potential pressure sewer issues means that policy decisions do not have to be made “on the run” during scheme construction with potential variations to construction contracts. CVC was in the fortunate position of initially constructing a smaller scheme at Lawrence, which allowed many issues to be identified and addressed prior to constructing the much larger Iluka scheme. However new, unexpected issues arose at Iluka that again needed to be addressed during construction. It is considered the key aspect that facilitated issues being successfully addressed was the cooperative GC21 contract used for the construction tenders, where all parties work towards a “best for project” outcome. The success of the CVC approach is demonstrated in that, across the three schemes, pressure sewer units were installed on nearly 1,400 individual properties without substantiated complaints.

PROJECT RECOGNITION The Iluka sewerage scheme was recognised with the International Water Association’s Asia-Pacific Project Innovation Award and also a Global Honour Award in the Planning Category. A key aspect of the award nomination was the successful DWOOS community engagement model.

CONCLUSION The two main factors in successful backlog pressure schemes are considered to be appropriate policy support, which addresses the various policy scenarios likely to arise, and good contractual relationships to allow “unknown unknowns” to be


Technical Papers addressed on a “best for project” basis. CVC was able to incorporate “lessons learned” from earlier schemes to improve its pressure sewer policy and contract documentation, and successfully used the GC21 cooperative contract to address new issues. Combining robust policy support with cooperative contracting facilitated smooth project implementation of CVC’s three pressure sewer backlog schemes.

This paper was first presented at Ozwater’15 in Adelaide in May.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Authors thank Clarence Valley Council for permission to publish this paper. The opinions expressed in this paper are the Authors’ own and do not necessarily represent the views of Clarence Valley Council. The Authors also acknowledge and thank Geoff Gorton of

over 20 years and was responsible for developing the procedures for both the Iluka and Lawrence projects.



Greg Mashiah (greg. au) is a Civil/Environmental Engineer specialising in water cycle management and raising community awareness. After eight years in consulting Greg joined Maclean Shire Council (now amalgamated into Clarence Valley Council) in 2001 and is now Manager – Water Cycle responsible for sewer and water management and flood studies.

McAndrew K & Mashiah G (2010): Backlog

Kieran McAndrew (kieran.mcandrew@clarence. is employed by the Clarence Valley Council in two distinct roles – Water Cycle Project Coordinator and Emergency Management Officer. Kieran oversaw the “design and construct” pressure sewer contracts at both Lawrence and Iluka. Julie Hermansen (julie.hermansen@ ) has worked in Water and Sewer administration for

Pressure Sewer Schemes – Practical Achievements and “Lessons Learned” from Sewering Lawrence. 4th Annual WIOA NSW Water Industry Engineers and Operators Conference, Bathurst, NSW, 20–22 April 2010. Mashiah G & McAndrew K (2010): Pressure Sewerage Systems – Getting the Policy


George Santayana (1905) famously wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. It is hoped that CVC’s experiences of backlog pressure sewer schemes outlined in this paper will assist other utilities to address many of the planning and policy issues they may potentially experience and make “unknown unknowns” into “known knowns”.

NSW Public Works and Chris Hennessy from NSW Office of Water, who provided comments on the paper.

Framework Right! LGSA Water Management Conference, Orange, NSW, 13–14 September, 2010. Mashiah G, Cuming P, Bragg E & Gorton G (2013): Engaging Communities At All Stages Of A Project – The Iluka Sewerage Scheme Experience. Ozwater’13, Perth, 6–9 May, 2013. Mashiah G, Gorton G & Joseph V (2014): Maximising Value in Major Sewerage Augmentations – Clarence Valley Council’s Successful Approach. Ozwater’14, Brisbane, 29 April–1 May, 2014. Santayana George (1905): Life of Reason; or the Phases of Human Progress Volume 1. Originally published by Charles Scribner’s Sons. Reprinted By Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 1980.

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Technical Papers

VALIDATION FRAMEWORK FOR WATER-SENSITIVE URBAN DESIGN TREATMENT SYSTEMS Development of a validation framework specifically for WSUD treatment systems by Monash University


K Zhang, A Deletic, D Page, DT McCarthy

Treatment of urban stormwater is common practice in Australia (Hatt et al., 2006), for protection of either downstream ecosystems or human health prior to harvesting and reuse. We have adopted a mixture of techniques to reduce stormwater’s highly variable flow and water quality, ranging from naturalbased Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) treatment systems, such as wetlands or biofilters, to those that rely on traditional highly-engineered water treatment technologies, such as media filtration systems and UV disinfection.

environment. In water treatment systems, such as engineered systems (membrane filtration, biological treatment systems), as well as passive WSUD systems, the concept of validation is also applicable. The Department of Health, Victoria (DHV, 2013) defines treatment validation as the process of demonstrating that (i) a treatment system can produce water of the required quality under a defined range of operational conditions, and (ii) it can be monitored in real time to provide assurance that water quality objectives are being continuously met.

Regardless of the treatment type or the intended end-use (release into environment or harvesting for irrigation, toilet flushing), water companies, regulators, councils and communities must have confidence in the performance of the system, both now and into the future. To date, systematic frameworks have not been available to provide this confidence in the removal performance. WSUD treatment systems are not provided credit in the stormwater harvesting treatment train for this very reason (NRMMC-EPHC-NHMRC, 2009). This is despite extensive literature from years of devoted research that indicates their good potential for nutrient, microorganism and chemical removal (Davis et al., 2009; Chandrasena et al., 2012; Payne et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2014). The issue with this research is that it does not conform to the knowledge that exists for treatment validation as used for drinking water and recycled water treatment.

Validation frameworks already exist for traditional, highly-engineered drinking water and wastewater treatment systems, such as membrane filtration, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection (USEPA, 2005; USEPA, 2006), activated sludge processes and media filtration (DHV, 2013). Furthermore, the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence is continuing to develop validation frameworks for water recycling systems through the NatVal project, which will be completed later this year (Muston and Halliwell, 2011).

TREATMENT VALIDATION Validation is a broad concept commonly used to describe a process that confirms that a product or service meets the needs of its end-users. This concept is frequently employed to protect human health (e.g. in pharmaceutical, medical device and aircraft industries (Glässer et al., 2006; Evans et al., 2007), yet it can equally be used to ensure a particular product or service protects the


There are currently no validation protocols for stormwater-based WSUD treatment systems. Existing frameworks developed for traditional technologies are not applicable to stormwater systems as they have different operational and design characteristics (including that they are not hydraulically controlled, and operate intermittently). Verification schemes for stormwater treatment devices are being explored by regulators and industry (Vaisman, 2013). Concurrently, Monash University has been contributing to this concept over the past four years by developing a validation framework specifically for WSUD treatment systems. This paper presents the developed validation framework and gives an example case study of using stormwater biofilters to remove micropollutants prior to use for drinking.

DEVELOPED VALIDATION FRAMEWORK Figure 1 outlines the proposed validation framework for WSUD treatment systems, including the three main stages (prevalidation, validation monitoring and operational monitoring). The main concepts were derived from procedures developed by the Department of Health, Victoria, for validation of wastewater recycling systems for non-potable uses (DHV, 2013). Stage 1: Pre-validation This first stage will provide the user with the necessary information for subsequent stages of the framework. A roadmap of five steps was developed in this stage (please refer to Zhang et al. (2015b) for more details): • Step 1: Identification of target pollutants. The specific pollutants and their challenge concentrations in stormwater should be determined in this step, either via a literature review or monitoring the site in question. • Step 2: Specification of treatment targets. This should be defined according to the system’s end-use (e.g. if the stormwater is used for toilet flushing, then the system would need to remove bacteria by a set log reduction, which could be defined by existing guideline documents). • Step 3: Identification of important removal mechanisms. Successful identification of the key removal mechanisms occurring in the WSUD treatment system is essential since the objective is to validate each process. • Step 4: Identification of surrogates for operational monitoring. Easy, cheap and real-time monitoring of suitable surrogates is critical to validating any treatment systems. In this step, we need to identify potential surrogates that are to be verified in the validation monitoring stage and used in the operational monitoring stage.


Technical Papers • Step 5: Establishing the operational and challenge conditions for systems. This is to determine the boundary conditions required to sufficiently test the performance of the treatment system. This is a critical step, especially for stormwater treatment systems as they experience large variations of conditions, subject to system design, catchment and climate change.

CASE STUDY EXAMPLE – STAGE 1: APPLICATION OF THE FIVE-STEP PRE-VALIDATION STAGE TO THE MONASH CARPARK BIOFILTER TO VALIDATE THE SYSTEM FOR MICROPOLLUTANT REMOVAL FOR PROTECTION OF PUBLIC HEALTH WHEN HARVESTING FOR A DRINKING END-USE Background: Monash Carpark Biofilter, with surface area 13m2, filter media 500mm, submerged zone 200mm. The biofilter was designed to treat 1 in 3 months event. The hydraulic residence time is around three hours. Methodology: Broad review of current literature was undertaken to identify the target stormwater pollutants and their 95th percentile concentrations reported (as challenge concentration) (Step1), potential removal mechanisms (Step 3) and potential surrogates (Step 4). Treatment targets (Step 2) were set as per ADWG values if treated water is used for drinking. For Step 5, MUSIC V5.1 was utilised to simulate the behaviour of the systems based on 30-year rainfall data; outputs were evaluated to identify the threshold of the key operational variables, including length of dry periods (LDPs) and volume of water treated per event. Temperature thresholds were also identified using 30 years of historical temperature data. Details regarding the methodologies are published by the authors in Plos One Journal (Zhang et al., 2015b).

!"#$%&#' ( Step 1 Identification of target micropollutants and 95th percentile concentrations ( g/L) Step 2 Treatment targets (as per Australian Drinking Water Guidelines value)

(Step 3 Identifying potential removal mechanisms and influential factors

95th conc. Australian Drinking Water Guidelines target Potential mechanisms 254 7 (Total nitrogen (mg/L) mainly adsorption, slow Total phosphorus (mg/L) 1 biodegradation 2000 1000 (Glyphosate ( g/L) Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate 50 10 (Step 4 Identification of potential surrogates For adsorption: TP, ammonia, DOC, UVA and ammonia (For biodegradation: DOC, UAV, ammonia, nitrate Step 5 Identification of operational/challenge conditions ( Variables 5th 95th Note o o Temperature (air) 5.0 C 33.0 C 5th for challenge cold, 95th for challenge hot; ( 10.6 o C 22.2 o C (Temperature (soil) LDPs 10 h 21 days 5th for challenge wet, 95th for challenge dry ( Volume (pore volume, PV) 3 PVs/4 PVs 3PVs for two consecutive events (wet), 4PVs for a single event Pollutants

(Suspend solids (mg/L)

"Based on the results in the above table, proper validation monitoring tests could be designed for the Monash Carpark Biofilter. For example,

validation monitoring tests shall be performed in both winter (ideally at temperature equal to or lower than the 5th percentile value) and summer time (at temperature equal to or higher than the 95th percentile value), with determined challenge volumes of inflow (3PVs or 4PVs) containing challenge concentrations of target micropollutants dosed into the stormwater biofilter systems. A series of testing is to be conducted to cover both challenge wet (5th percentile LDPs) and dry conditions (95th percentile LDPs). Meanwhile, removal mechanisms of target micropollutants should be validated during in-situ tests (if possible) or laboratory studies.



Figure 1. Validation framework for WSUD treatment systems – published by the authors in Plos One (Zhang et al., 2015b).

Stage 2: Validation Monitoring In this stage, the system performance under challenge conditions (identified from Stage 1) needs to be tested in order to demonstrate that it can cope in extreme conditions. The treatment performance must be validated. The most difficult part of the Validation Monitoring is that it should ideally be through field challenge tests (this is according to the currently available validation guidelines for water treatment (USEPA, 2005; USEPA, 2006; DHV, 2013). This cannot easily be done for stormwater WSUD treatment systems because field challenge tests would require us to deliver potentially megalitres of water


Technical Papers

CASE STUDY EXAMPLE – STAGE 2: ALTERNATIVE TOOLS FOR VALIDATION MONITORING Due to the difficulty in doing in-situ challenge tests for validation monitoring, two alternative tools were developed: (i) validation modelling tool and (ii) in-situ column tool. i. Validation modelling tool (Figure 2-1) The tool provides a way of using (1) a process-based model and (2) parameter estimation via simple in-situ tracer tests and laboratory experiments to ideally provide similar or conservative results compared with in-situ tests. Figure 2-1. Concept of the validation modelling tool. Results submitted to Ecological Engineering by authors (Zhang et al., submitted manuscript-b).

To test the new tool, modelling was conducted based on the laboratory batch experiments and the results were compared with the results gathered from in-situ challenge tests on Monash Car Park biofilter using fluorescein as a model pollutant. The results are shown in Figure 2-2 and the new tool provided conservative predictions, with outflow fluorescein concentration being slightly higher than the measured values in our in-situ challenge tests, making it a good alternative tool for validation monitoring. Figure 2-2. Measured and modelled results – submitted to Ecological Engineering by authors (Zhang et al., submitted manuscript-b).


ii. In-situ column (ISC) tool A new in-situ column (ISC) tool was developed for validation monitoring of stormwater biofilters. It comprises a thin stainless steel column and a small chamber with holes for outflow sampling at the bottom (Figure 2-3), which can be inserted into field biofilters in a non-destructive manner.

Figure 2-3. Design of ISC. Left: Concept and main dimensions; Mid-top: ISC before covering intake holes with the suction chamber; Mid-bottom: ISC with suction chamber sealed around intake chamber; Right: ISC in the field. Results submitted to Water Resource Management by authors (Zhang et al., submitted manuscript-a).

The tool was tested against a series of field challenge tests (FCT). It is shown again that the results produced by the ISC tool were very close to the field challenge tests. Figure 2-4. Fluorescein outflow/inflow concentrations during series of continuous tests for both field challenge tests (FCT) and in-situ column (ISC). Results submitted to Water Resource Management by authors (Zhang et al., submitted manuscript-a).

to the system within hours to hydraulically challenge them (not to mention spiking them with high concentrations, which could induce damage to downstream systems). As such, alternative tools are needed (e.g. laboratory batch tests, in-situ column experiments, and process-based modelling), and these must be verified. We verified them by choosing a small enough system that could actually be challengetested (Monash Car Park Biofilter) and comparing this ‘gold standard’ to our alternative tools. It is essential that the potential surrogates (identified in Stage 1) are confirmed during these tests, so that they can be used successfully during Operational Monitoring.

the treatment targets are being continuously met during normal operation, ideally by measuring the verified surrogates (from Stage 2) using online methods, or monitoring the actual pollutants of concern regularly. It is important that the critical limits should be set so as to assist in quick response when the treatment system goes beyond this point. Revalidation or additional onsite validation may be required if modifications are made to the validated design, control philosophy and/ or operational monitoring parameters (including critical limits).

Stage 3: Operational Monitoring In this stage, the long-term performance of the systems should be tested to ensure that

In summary, the developed validation framework provides a process with potential to support the successful



validation of WSUD stormwater treatment systems. This could greatly increase the acceptance of these systems for stormwater treatment and harvesting. However, this validation framework is still in the preliminary stage, having been tested only for micro-pollutant removal in biofilters. Far more work is needed to test and improve it, especially for its application on other treatment systems and for other target pollutants (such as pathogens). To help this process along, we are aiming to have communications with water regulators and WSUD practitioners (e.g. through workshops) to advance the testing, improvement and adoption of this framework. If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr Zhang.


Technical Papers

CASE STUDY EXAMPLE – STAGE 3: SURROGATES FOR HERBICIDE REMOVAL IN STORMWATER BIOFILTERS During our challenge tests in Stage 2 (used herbicides instead of fluorescein), we co-monitored potential surrogate parameters for herbicide removal. These results demonstrated that there were two promising surrogates – total phosphorus (TP) and ultra-violet absorbance at 254nm (UVA254), both of which showed strong relationships with our selected herbicides under various challenge conditions (∆TP and glyphosate, ∆UVA254 and triazines; Figure 3-1). The linear regressions between surrogates and herbicides removal can then be used to quantitatively assess herbicide removal under the defined boundary conditions using these ‘simple-to-measure’ surrogates. Table 3-1 presents the required reduction target of the surrogates (UVA254 and TP) to achieve the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines targets (NHMRC-NRMMC, 2011) for herbicides. Hence, if the surrogates removal is lower than the target (e.g. TP<48%), action is then needed to check the system performance.

Figure 3-1. Concept of the validation modelling tool. Results published in Water Research by authors (Zhang et al., 2015a).


Dr Kefeng Zhang (email: is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University. His research interests include validation framework for WSUD systems, demonstration and integration through urban design and water-sensitive cities modelling toolkit.

Chandrasena GI, Deletic A, Ellerton J & McCarthy DT (2012): Evaluating Escherichia Coli Removal Performance in Stormwater Biofilters: A Laboratory-Scale Study. Water Science & Technology, 66, pp 1132–1138.

Professor Ana Deletic is a Professor of Civil (Water) Engineering, Associate Dean of Research (Engineering) and a Director of Monash Water for Liveability at Clayton Campus, Monash University. Ana’s expertise is in Water Sensitive Urban Design, Stormwater Treatment and Control, Integrated Urban Water Management and Water Reuse (Recycling). Dr Declan Page is an international research leader in water recycling via aquifers, with professional experience in human health risk assessment, water quality and treatment, and stormwater harvesting and effluent reuse. Dr David McCarthy is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University. Dave’s research interests include urban stormwater management, pathogens, the urban environment and the uncertainty in water system modelling.

Davis A, Hunt W, Traver R & Clar M (2009): Bioretention Technology: Overview of Current Practice And Future Needs. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 135, pp 109–117. DHV (2013): Guidelines For Validating Treatment Processes For Pathogen Reduction-Supporting Class A Water Recycling Schemes In Victoria. Melbourne: Department Of Health, Victoria.

Payne EGI, Fletcher TD, Russell DG, Grace MR, Cavagnaro TR, Evrard V, Deletic A, Hatt BE & Cook PLM (2014): Temporary Storage or Permanent Removal? The Division of Nitrogen Between Biotic Assimilation and Denitrification in Stormwater Biofiltration Systems. Plos One, 9, E90890. USEPA (2005): Membrane Filtration Guideline Manual. Cincinnati: Office Of Water. USEPA (2006): Ultraviolet Disinfection Guidance Manual for the Final Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule. In: Office of Water (Ed).

Evans B, Glendon AI & Creed PA (2007): Development and Initial Validation of an Aviation Safety Climate Scale. Journal of Safety Research, 38, pp 675–682.

Vaisman I (2013): Independent Verification Scheme For Stormwater Treatment Devices Road Map Discussion Paper – Draft For Consultation. Iouriv Water Solutions Pty Ltd and Melbourne Water Corporation.

Glässer U, Rastkar S & Vajihollahi M (2006): Computational Modeling and Experimental Validation of Aviation Security Procedures. In: Mehrotra S, Zeng D, Chen H, Thuraisingham B & Wang F-Y (Eds.) Intelligence And Security Informatics. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Zhang K, Deletic A, Page D & McCarthy, DT (2015a): Surrogates for Herbicide Removal in Stormwater Biofilters. Water Research, 81, pp 64–71.

Hatt BE, Deletic A & Fletcher TD (2006): Integrated Treatment and Recycling of Stormwater: A Review of Australian Practice. Journal of Environmental Management, 79, 1, pp 102–113. Muston M & Halliwell D (2011): Natval – The Road Map to a National Validation Framework for Water Recycling Schemes. Adelaide, SA: Water Quality Research Australia. NHMRC-NRMMC (2011): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Canberra: National Health And Medical Research Council And Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council. NRMMC-EPHC-NHMRC (2009): Australian Guidelines For Water Recycling (Phase 2): Stormwater Harvesting And Reuse. Canberra: Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, Environment Protection & Heritage Council, and National Health & Medical Research Council.

Zhang K, Randelovic A, Aguiar LM, Page D, Mccarthy DT & Deletic A (2015b): Methodologies for Pre-Validation of Biofilters and Wetlands for Stormwater Treatment. Plos One, 10, E0125979. Zhang K, Randelovic A, Page D, McCarthy DT & Deletic A (2014): The Validation of Stormwater Biofilters for Micropollutant Removal Using In Situ Challenge Tests. Ecological Engineering, 67, pp 1–10. Zhang K, Randelovic A, Page D, McCarthy DT & Deletic A (2015): Submitted Manuscript-A. Validation of Stormwater Biofilters Using InSitu Columns. Water Resources Management. Zhang K, Randelovic A, Page D, McCarthy DT & Deletic A (2015): Submitted Manuscript-B. Validation Of Stormwater Biofilters: A New Validation Modelling Tool. Ecological Engineering.





Technical Papers


ABSTRACT Harvesting stormwater with aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is an increasingly popular method of water supply in South Australia; however, it is currently constrained by climate dependency. The injection of treated wastewater has potential for reliability improvement as well as increasing recycled water reuse. Multiple aquifer storage systems are also potential means of increasing the supply reliability of stormwater harvesting schemes (SHS). A model, referred to as ASOP, has been created to simulate and optimise these technologies and has been verified in both a trial scheme and a case study.


INTRODUCTION The combined effects of population growth, climate change and Australia’s uncertain and highly variable climate have made traditional sources of water inadequate to meet increasing water demands for potable and non-potable uses. The Murray River supplies up to 80% of Adelaide’s water (Office for Water Security, 2010), but this source is threatened by low flows during drought and increasing environmental requirements. Stormwater and treated wastewater are underutilised resources in South Australia, but they have the potential to alleviate the stresses currently placed on the Murray River without having a detrimental impact on the environment. Stormwater harvesting schemes involve the capture of runoff from urban catchments, treatment in wetlands, and storage in aquifers using injection and extraction bores. The total stormwater harvesting capacity in Adelaide is now greater than 20 GL/annum (NCGRT, 2014), but this is still only a fraction of its total potential. A significant constraint


on future development arises from the uncertainty of rainfall patterns, seasonal variations and climate. Two potential means of improving reliability have been investigated: the linking of multiple aquifers and the introduction of a wastewater injection to supplement stormwater storage in the aquifer. The water supply industry in South Australia is at a point where larger linked ASR schemes that utilise stormwater and wastewater sources are being considered. There is a need for formal design procedures and methodologies to plan storage and reuse systems, and to quantify their biophysical and economic benefits. This project extends the work of Burns et al. (2013) and significantly expands its application to the design of larger, more diverse systems. The design of these systems is complex, involving many decision variables, with a need for simulation over an extended period of rainfall history. To achieve successful solutions a new model, called ASOP, has been developed and linked with a genetic algorithm optimisation package from Optimatics, called Optimiser WSS. The research presented in this paper centred on the following objectives: 1.

To develop a new planning tool for dual wastewater and stormwater harvesting schemes.


To improve understanding of the behaviour of alternative pre-treatment methods for stormwater harvesting.


To investigate the impact of wastewater injection on supply reliability and SHS water prices.


To investigate the impact of multiple aquifer schemes on reliability and SHS water prices.


To improve model optimisation run times compared with that from existing software.

LITERATURE REVIEW A literature review has been undertaken to examine research and industry practice in stormwater harvesting to highlight the state of investigations so far and the need for further research. STORMWATER

South Australia’s pioneering uptake of stormwater harvesting is reducing the state’s dependence on traditional water resources, as well as providing economic, social and environmental benefits (Office for Water Security, 2010). W&G Consulting Engineers (2009) conducted an extensive study to identify the current practices and potential options for stormwater harvesting – at the time of its writing (2009) there were 15 operational and 33 committed SHS schemes in Adelaide. There has been a recent increase in the uptake of SHS, despite significant knowledge gaps. Burns and Mitchell (2008) identified the lack of appropriate design standards, design methodologies and water quality guidelines. Due to this lack of consistency, a widely varying set of design approaches exists. In addition, literature suggests that advanced stormwater treatment is minimal, and the storage of stormwater is far from optimal (Mitchell et al., 2007). AQUIFER STORAGE AND RECOVERY

Aquifer storage and recovery involves the storage of water in an aquifer through injection wells, with the potential to extract this water later to meet demands. The Waterproofing



Figure 1. The simulation scope of ASOP. Northern Adelaide Scheme now incorporates 18 wetlands that supply 20 ASR injection sites with biologically treated water (Pitman et al., 2010). Research into the modelling of aquifers produced groundwater management models in the 1980s and 1990s. With the advent of artificial recharge, papers have emerged that investigate the optimisation of injection schedules over a year or more (Uddameri, 2007). There has also been recent research into the integration of surface water and groundwater supplies. Limited investigations have occurred regarding the design of SHS with aquifer injection schedules, notably that of Tye and Dandy (1998). WASTEWATER REUSE

An ASR scheme in Aldinga, South Australia, currently in operation sources treated effluent from the Christies Beach WWTP and uses it for irrigation (SA Water, 2014). The incorporation of treated wastewater in ASR schemes has been successfully practised in Europe, Asia and the United States (Kazner et al., 2012). Current levels of reuse only constitute a small fraction of the total volume of effluent generated (Miller, 2006). Literature has suggested that in some cases where the wastewater is directly injected into the aquifer, further treatment beyond secondary levels has been required (Johnson, 2009). SA Water

For South Australia, the SA Department of Health and Ageing holds responsibility for protecting human health from risks associated with these schemes. The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) is responsible for the protection of the environment and the development of water reuse regulations in SA, thereby controlling the quantities of water that can be transported and reused. One of the aims of this research was to provide a quantitative assessment of these schemes to better inform the regulatory framework of their benefits. MULTIPLE AQUIFER SYSTEMS

There is a distinct lack of literature that analytically considers a combination of, or linking, multiple ASR sites into a single interconnected scheme. Such a scheme may involve above-ground conveyance of water between aquifers or a credit exchange system where natural groundwater is replenished by injection at another location. Wallbridge & Gilbert conducted a feasibility study in 2011 for a multiple aquifer scheme in Adelaide (Wallbridge & Gilbert, 2011). The study suggested a regional scheme could deliver approximately 1 GL/a by incorporating eight different stormwater treatment and harvest sites. The study highlighted that a regional multiple aquifer SHS could protect against bore failure at any single site.


The water balance component of ASOP simulates the following aspects of a harvesting scheme: • Stormwater runoff from a catchment; • Wastewater inflow from a WWTP; • Storage in treatment devices; • Treatment times and treatment rates; • Injection into and extraction from aquifer using pumped bores; • Aquifer storage levels. The governing equation for a water balance model is continuity – which states that at any storage node, total inflows minus total outflows will equal the rate of change in its stored volume during each time-step. The inflows and outflows identified for each node included the following: • The primary sources of water, such as stormwater and wastewater; • Rainfall and evaporation for the above-ground storages; • Losses from the aquifer; • Water extracted from the aquifer for distribution; • Transferred volumes from upstream to downstream nodes. Unlike the other flows, transferred volumes are conditional and dependent on the storage volumes of both nodes and can never cause a particular storage to spill. The water balance is a discrete process, so treatment time must be a whole number of water balance time steps. For each treatment node, the treatment time defines the minimum time that water



Although the recycling of treated effluent for irrigation purposes is not a new concept in Australia, its incorporation into ASR schemes is still in the early stages of development. Rigorous trials for incorporating treated wastewater into ASR schemes have recently been undertaken in Bolivar, South Australia, Beenyup, Western Australia and in Alice Springs (NWC, 2012).

advises (G Ingleton, pers com) that the treatment prescribed for wastewater to be discharged to sea is also sufficient for its injection into aquifers, at least from an environmental perspective. As a result of this, there is potentially no additional treatment costs incurred when introducing treated wastewater into these schemes.

The simulation and optimisation model, ASOP, was developed to enable the simulation of an entire stormwater harvesting scheme and to link the design options to an optimising tool. A key feature in its development was a focus on the use of efficient and organised programming techniques of C#. It provides the flexibility to model multiple sites, different treatment options, and wastewater injection at one or more sites. A representation of the scope of ASOP is presented in Figure 1. The model itself involves two components – a water balance model and a water distribution network simulation model.


Technical Papers entering that node must remain there. The treatment time was incorporated into the water balance model by modelling untreated and treated storage separately – where only treated storage is available for transfer downstream. The quantity of water processed by a treatment node is limited by storage capacity and also by their maximum treatment rate. Values for the maximum treatment rate parameter were calibrated using results from the Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation (MUSIC), software that models water quality and quantity in stormwater management schemes. In order to model the effect of limited bore injection rates it was necessary to place a limit on the transfer volume from the node upstream of the aquifer. This was taken as the total volume that could be injected in a single day using the number of bores in a particular design at their maximum injection rate. The depth of a surface treatment node is combined with its area to define the storage capacity. This depth was calibrated with results from MUSIC to ensure that the water balance was accurate.



The two treatment devices commonly used in stormwater harvesting schemes are wetlands and biofilters. In order to accurately include these devices in a water balance it was necessary to investigate how treatment rate and annual treated volumes vary with treatment size. MUSIC was utilised to undertake this research. Pollutants of concern in stormwater are primarily nutrients and suspended solids. MUSIC provides analysis of phosphorus, nitrogen and suspended solids reductions that enable evaluation of treatment train effectiveness. It was found that at typical industry sizings for wetlands and biofilters “treated” water (i.e., that which passes through the outflow pipe and is not spilled over the weir) meets water quality requirements. These requirements are reductions of 85% for suspended solids, 45% for phosphorus and 45% for nitrogen. The treatment rate of a wetland or biofilter defines how much is available for injection on a single day in the water balance model. Treatment rates were obtained for a series of wetlands, biofilters and catchment sizes. It was


found that these are sensitive to storage depth and weir width. Typical values for a wetland and a biofilter that were used in this project are 16 L/s/ha and 500 L/s/ha respectively. Annual treated volume from MUSIC was used to check the accuracy of the water balance. It was found that there were differences, particularly for biofilters. A calibration process was undertaken to match the output of ASOP to that of MUSIC. Detention depth was the calibration variable because in ASOP it only affects storage capacity and not treatment device cost. This process produced a range of “artificial” depths corresponding to the real depths in MUSIC. This calibration was undertaken for each catchment to create an accurate choice table. This choice table provided the confidence that ASOP was able to generate accurate simulation of the supply of stormwater to the aquifer. HYDRAULIC SIMULATION

A hydraulic simulation model was required to run on each day of the water balance in order to model the following: • Daily demands; • Transfers between tanks; • Demand on backup mains water supply in case of aquifer failure;

pumps and the backup reservoir are captured by ASOP to record and check the total volumes from each of these supplies. Both the aquifer and the backup supply feed into a distribution tank, which is used to provide a buffer between system demands and the supplied extraction rate. The network was controlled through a combination of EPANET’s simple controls and directly through ASOP. The use of EPANET’s more complex rule-based controls was eschewed due to some observed instability during the extended period analysis. The ability to directly control the network became critical when modelling transfer of water to the distribution tank at an empty aquifer site. ASOP handles the need to switch that site’s distribution pump off and opens a valve to fill the tank from the other sites. OPTIMISATION

Optimised stormwater harvesting systems were required for different scheme scenarios (e.g. with and without wastewater injection) in order for their relative performances to be fairly assessed. Decision variables chosen for the design of a stormwater harvesting scheme included the following: • Treatment device size;

• Nodal pressures;

• Number of ASR bores;

• Power usage of network pumps.

• Storage tank size;

EPANET, a water distribution system hydraulic simulation model, was used for this purpose and has a toolkit that was utilised in the development of ASOP. The toolkit includes multiple functions that allow for the set-up and execution of hydraulic simulations as well as the ability to retrieve important data throughout the simulation. ASOP loads initial conditions into the network through this toolkit at the beginning of each simulation day.

• Pump type;

Aquifers were modelled as large tanks in EPANET, which provided a way to monitor how the aquifer level changed due to system demands. Bores were represented as a single pump with a near-vertical pump curve – with the flow rate set at the extraction rate. Simulating aquifers in EPANET requires a linked backup supply in case the aquifer empties and can no longer satisfy continuity equations. A reservoir was used to simulate backup supply from a water utility. Flows from both the bore

• Number of pumps in series and parallel; • Pipe diameter. Each of the considered decision variables had an associated choice table that listed suitable values that the optimisation algorithm could potentially select with corresponding costs. The long run times associated with optimisation of relatively simple networks in 2013 by Burns et al. necessitated the adoption of a more powerful process. Part of this was the incorporation of Optimiser WSS from Optimatics. This software is a flexible genetic algorithm (GA) optimising tool with distributed computing capability. The use of genetic algorithms to optimise water distribution systems is well documented and Optimatics are experts in their use. Part of the development of ASOP was to create capability to write files that could be used as inputs to Optimiser WSS.



Figure 2. Verification network. To guide the GA, effective penalties are required so that constraint-violating systems that violate design constraints are penalised. ASOP is flexible and penalties can be applied to a range of parameters, but the key ones used in the research were: • Nodal pressure violations, penalised per metre of head above the minimum or below the maximum user defined limits; • Volumetric reliability expressed as a percentage, with the penalty applied for the difference between target and achieved reliabilities. The volumetric reliability was calculated as the ratio of extracted volume to the total demand of the system.

The consideration of linked multiple aquifer site schemes and associated simulation issues prompted the development of a partitioned optimisation process. The process was split into a stormwater component optimisation and an irrigation network optimisation. By doing this it was possible to significantly reduce the solution space and avoid handling separate performance metrics at the same time. The key constraint in a network optimisation is pressure violations, whereas in stormwater harvesting supply reliability is critical – and these two metrics do not compete.

MODEL VERIFICATION AND PERFORMANCE A comparison between the performance of ASOP and the model developed by Burns et al. (2013) was undertaken to both verify the accuracy of the model and demonstrate the increase in simulation speed. A simple network was used for this verification, as shown in Figure 2. On a single simulation with identical choices, ASOP calculated almost identical costs to the previous model. Any differences could be explained by modelling choices made in this research project that more accurately represent these systems. Optimisations were run with both models, with very similar choices being made by both. Table 1 presents a comparison of simulation and optimisation run times for the two models. It demonstrates that ASOP combined with Optimiser WSS achieved vastly quicker optimisations of the same network. These performance increases became invaluable when researching larger systems.

TRIAL SCHEME A trial stormwater harvesting scheme and distribution system was created with typical parameters and the flexibility to simulate several scenarios. It was used to evaluate the key research objectives – that is, the impact of multiple aquifers and wastewater injection on the performance of stormwater harvesting schemes. This set-up provided the ability for in-depth analysis without the complications of a large real-world case study.

Figure 3. Trial scheme pipe network. Pump and pipe choices for both the disconnected and connected networks were optimised prior to the multiple aquifer and wastewater investigations. The connected case was run with no water supply at Site B to ensure that when demands were zero, transmission from the Site A tank to the Site B tank would occur. Site B was chosen as the site that would fail first in the multiple aquifer system. To examine the potential of a linked system it was necessary to provide the two aquifer sites with different properties that would cause one site to fail and the other to have more than enough capacity to achieve 100% reliability. The chosen parameters are

Table 1. Comparison of optimisation and simulation run times between ASOP and the Burns et al. (2013) model. Burns et al. (2013) Simulation Run Time (s) Optimisation Run Time (hrs)

ASOP (2014)







Economic analysis in this project has been primarily based on a cost per kL of water. This has been determined as the ratio of the scheme’s total annual cost to annual extracted volume. The total annual cost included average annual operational costs, as well as a portion of the scheme’s whole-of-life costs. Dandy et al. (2013) discuss the process used to express whole-of-life costs as their corresponding net present annual costs, using a discount rate of 4% over a design life of 50 years.

The network optimisation could be run just once and only for one day of each demand pattern. The optimised network was then used for multiple stormwater runs over much longer periods of a couple of decades.

A network to meet 330 ML/annum of demand was created, as shown in Figure 3. This network was duplicated to create a second identical network (with the systems named Site A and Site B) and a total system demand of 660 ML/ annum. This corresponds to 124 L/s for 8 hours per day over 6 months – a typical approximation of reserve irrigation schedules. Two networks were generated in order to evaluate the differences between when they were separate and when they were linked – i.e. the impact of a linked multiple aquifer system.


Technical Papers

Table 2. Trial scheme stormwater parameters and constraints. Catchment Size Runoff Coefficient Maximum Wetland Size Maximum Number of Bores Injection/Extraction Rate

Site A

Site B

650 hectares

450 hectares



6.5 hectares

2.25 hectares



25 L/s

10 L/s

Stormwater was prioritised in injection – such that if the available stormwater exceeded the injection rate, only stormwater would be injected and in all other cases wastewater would only take remaining injection capacity. The wastewater inflow volume was created as a decision variable – so that the system would not be designed with more wastewater inflows than required. With advice from Josh Cantone of W&G, wastewater was priced at $0.70/kL, a value commonly charged in South Australia. Designs were created for target reliabilities by penalising solutions that did not achieve the target. The result of this process was a reliability/cost tradeoff, as shown in Figure 5. It is important to note that cost per kL is for stormwater/ wastewater components only, since including network costs has much more of an impact on low reliability solutions. A fully priced graph is shown in Figure 6.

Figure 4. Trial scheme – cost reliability relationship with and without wastewater, with only stormwater components considered.

Figure 4 illustrates that without the assistance of wastewater, the combined reliability of the two systems cannot reach more than 85%. A dual source solution can obviously achieve 100% reliability, but also with minimal increase in supply cost because larger stormwater infrastructure is more inefficient. Additionally, the wastewater volume that the GA chose for the 100% solution was 500 kL/day, which is reasonably small considering that a typical urban wastewater treatment plant treats approximately 2 ML/day. MULTIPLE AQUIFER RESULTS


System design was undertaken for both disconnected and connected scenarios with the cost-reliability trade-offs presented in Figure 5. A network optimisation for the linked system was undertaken with Site B failing so that linking pipes would have the transfer capability.

Figure 5. Trial scheme – cost/reliability relationship with and without a link, with only stormwater components considered. presented in Table 2. The extra capacity at Site A potentially gives it the ability to assist Site B in a linked scenario. WASTEWATER INJECTION RESULTS

Potential supplementation of a stormwater scheme involves the injection of wastewater into an aquifer. Wastewater optimisation


runs were undertaken with the two sites disconnected and a wastewater inflow at both. The results were compared with the performance of the disconnected sites with only stormwater injection. Optimisations of stormwater infrastructure were run over a 20-year rainfall history that incorporated below average years where the aquifers would empty more quickly than usual.

In this trial scheme, the systems on their own can only achieve a maximum volumetric reliability of 85%, whereas in the linked system a reliability of 100% is possible. This demonstrates the benefit of a linked multiple aquifer system. Until the maximum reliability of the disconnected system, the connected system costs the same or higher than the disconnected system. After this point, aquifer transmission begins to occur and the efficiency of a connected system becomes apparent. Figure 6 presents a comparison of wastewater injection and multiple


Technical Papers

Figure 6. Trial scheme â&#x20AC;&#x201C; comparison of wastewater injection and linked aquifer solutions. aquifer solutions. The prices here are whole system costs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; i.e., the cost of stormwater infrastructure, network infrastructure and backup mains water. Solutions with a reliability less than 100% meet demand not supplied by stormwater/wastewater with a backup supply from SA Water priced at the current 3.23 $/kL. The network costs are added to the supply costs. Lower reliability solutions have a higher cost because the SA Water supply is much more expensive than stormwater supply and is being added to the capital costs of the network.

The graph indicates that the advantages of wastewater injection are more apparent at high reliabilities. This is because the supply cost Figure 7. Case of wastewater remains constant at $0.70/kL, while the only way to increase stormwater volume is to have a larger wetland or more bores, which are utilised less often and, hence, the supply cost increases.

CASE STUDY ASOP was applied to a complex real system case study to evaluate the

Figure 9. Aquifer storage levels with the sites connected (1 large network).

merit of a linked system. This irrigation supply system over several council regions consists of four ASR sites (two with biofilters and two with wetlands), three booster tank locations and a treed distribution network, as shown in Figure 7. Elevations vary by more than 100m across the system of irrigation nodes. The network was optimised as four separate systems and then as one linked system. Separation was introduced at council boundaries between each ASR site. The complex interdependencies of the linked system prompted further development in ASOP so that it could handle a range of aquifer failure scenarios, while also ensuring that the booster tanks were full at the beginning of each demand period. Key network optimisation components, such as aquifer linking pipes and distribution pumps, were included in the stormwater optimisation process because it was not known which aquifers would fail. The complexity of this system was reflected in optimisation runs many times longer than for the trial scheme. The length of run time limited the simulation period to five years. One optimisation process was undertaken for the connected and disconnected cases, each with the reliability target set at 100%. The connected system was able to achieve 100% reliability, while the four separate systems achieved a net reliability of 96.5%. The total cost of water in the connected system was $1.93/kL and



Figure 8. Aquifer storage levels with the sites disconnected (four individual networks).

study configuration.


Technical Papers

Australia’s International Water Conference & Exhibition

in the disconnected system, $2.06/ kL. These cost savings came from both the network and the stormwater infrastructure – with the optimisation process able to downsize inefficient sites in the connected system.

A must attend event

Figures 8 and 9 illustrate how the for water professionals connected system was more efficient and anyone with than the individual single site schemes. commercial Theseafigures show aquifer storage water. over levels interest of injectedin stormwater the five-year simulation period. In the disconnected scenario, Site C requires oversizing to meet the demand in the network it supplies, and this oversizing is reflected in the fact that over five years the aquifer has reached storage levels far above what is required. In the connected scenario the aquifer at Site C actually empties annually, but Site D has been upsized and stores extra water to be able to meet the shortfall.



This project has successfully created a fast and flexible modelling platform to evaluate the performance of complex regional alternative water supply schemes. ASOP can successfully handle larger systems, providing insight into their behaviour by optimising for cost, hydraulic performance and reliability over an extended rainfall history. For the trial scheme with a demand of 660 ML/annum, it has been demonstrated that a multiple aquifer system can achieve 100% reliability, where the separate systems on their own can only achieve 85% reliability. Additionally it has been demonstrated that a wastewater volume of 500 kL/day in the same system is required to achieve 100% reliability, providing an attractive and sustainable backup supply. The case study provided further promising results with connectivity creating an increase in reliability and a significant decrease in cost. These results are more meaningful as this network has real parameters and is being considered for construction. This case study elucidated the complexity of designing a spatially large distribution network while also incorporating the uncertainty of stormwater supply over years of rainfall data. It required significant advances in the capability of ASOP and proved its capability on real life networks.

of stormwater and wastewater injection sites. The results presented here suggest that multiple aquifers and wastewater injection are indeed the way forward for water supply decision makers, not only in South Australia, but in any region where population growth and climate change are potentially creating water shortages. The use of ASOP highlights the role of this type of planning tool in understanding these complex schemes.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Authors wish to thank their supervisors, Dr Joshua Cantone and Professor Angus Simpson, for their valuable guidance and inspiration. The project was undertaken through the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at The University of Adelaide in collaboration with Optimatics and Wallbridge & Gilbert Consulting Engineers.

REFERENCES Baek C & Coles N (2011): Defining Reliability for Rainwater Harvesting Systems. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM 2011), Perth, Australia. Burns MJ & Mitchell GV (2008): Stormwater Harvesting: Assessing Operational System Performance. Australian Journal of Water Resources, 12, 2, pp 153–160. Burns R, Deally A, Kennedy A & Moule T (2013): Simulation and Optimisation of Stormwater Harvesting Schemes with Aquifer Storage and Recovery Sites. (Honours), The University of Adelaide, Adelaide. Johnson TA (2009): Ground Water Recharge Using Recycled Municipal Waste Water in Los Angeles County and the California Department of Public Health’s Draft Regulations on Aquifer Retention Time. Ground Water, 47, 4, pp 496– 499. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2009.00587_3.x

This paper was winner of the Undergraduate Water Prize at Ozwater’15 in Adelaide.

Kazner C, Wintgens T & Dillon P (2012): Water Reclamation Technologies for Safe Managed Aquifer Recharge. IWA Publishing, London UK.


Miller GW (2006): Integrated Concepts in Water Reuse: Managing Global Water Needs. Desalination, 187, 1–3, pp 65–75.

Mark Bailey (email: mark.bailey@student. is completing a double degree in Civil and Structural Engineering with Economics at the University of Adelaide and will graduate at the end of 2015. Diana Bethune (email: has joined WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff as a Graduate Civil Engineer in the Water Utilities Group, Sydney. She completed her Bachelor of Engineering (Civil & Structural) at the University of Adelaide in 2014.

Mitchell V, Deletic A, Fletcher TD, Hatt BE & McCarthy DT (2007): Achieving Multiple Benefits from Stormwater Harvesting. Water Science & Technology, 55, 4, pp 134–144. NCGRT (2014): Managed Aquifer Recharge With Stormwater Workshop, Adelaide, 12–14 May 2014.. NWC (2012): Progress in Managed Aquifer Recharge in Australia Waterlines. Office for Water Security (2010): Water For Good (OfW Security, Trans), Adelaide. Government of South Australia. Pitman C, Kaufmann C, Fairlie-Jones P & Haines S (2010): Waterproofing Northern Adelaide – Final Report (p 2).

Makestas 12 -Matthew 14 May 2015(email: Matthew.Makestas@aecom. Tye I & Dandy GC (1998): A Framework for Adelaide Convention Exhibition Centre com) is a & Graduate Civil Engineer with the Water and Urban Development Group at AECOM, Adelaide. He completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil & Structural) with First Class Honours at the University of Adelaide in 2014.

Optimal Design of Wetlands Incorporating Aquifer Storage and Recovery. Paper presented at the HydraStorm’98, Adelaide, Australia.


Joshua Ware (email: joshua. ware@student.adelaide. is undertaking his final year of Civil and The objectives for this research Structural Engineering with originated in the uncertainties associated Mathematical and Computer with the design of proposed larger Science at the University of Adelaide alternative water schemes in South DIVERSIFY FOSTER BUILD ACCESS EXPLORE and will graduate at the end of 2015. Australia. These projects include a mix your international and extend renowned the exhibition water business your keynote of water products knowledge opportunities networks speakers and services


Uddameri V (2007): A Dynamic Programming Model for Optimal Planning of Aquifer Storage and Recovery Facility Operations. Environmental Geology, 51, 6, pp 953–962. Wallbridge & Gilbert Consulting Engineers (2009): Urban Stormwater Harvesting Options Study. Adelaide, South Australia.

Wallbridge & Gilbert Consulting Engineers (2011): Eastern Region Alliance – Stormwater Harvesting Feasibility Study. Adelaide, PRINCIPAL SPONSORS: South Australia.

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Technical Papers

DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS: NOT JUST AN ISSUE FOR DRINKING WATER, BUT ALSO POTENTIALLY FOR SWIMMING POOL WATERS An analysis of three indoor public swimming pools and one heated indoor public spa in Western Australia RAA Carter, KL Linge, A Heitz, DS Liew, S Allard, CA Joll

ABSTRACT This study has provided a better understanding of the chemistry within the complex swimming pool water system, including the presence of disinfection by-products (DBPs), with the ultimate goal of improving understanding of any impact of exposure to pool waters on public health. In an analysis of three indoor public swimming pools and one heated indoor public spa located in Western Australia all disinfected by chlorination, dichoroacetic acid, trichloroacetaldehyde monohydrate (chloral hydrate), dichloroacetonitrile, N-nitrosomorpholine and N-nitrosodibutylamine were detected at concentrations above their respective drinking water guideline values, with dichloroacetic acid and chloral hydrate being detected up to 6.6 and 40 times higher than their respective Australian drinking water guideline limits. Reasonable concentrations of other DBPs, the N-nitrosamines, haloacetic acids and trihalomethanes, were also detected. High concentration chloramination of synthetic urine led to the formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogen, with nitrogen-containing compounds known to be present in urine being probable precursors. Improved swimmer hygiene was recommended for better chemical water quality in pools.


INTRODUCTION Swimming pool chemical water quality is currently a topic of interest internationally, with studies occurring in the United States and Europe; however, few studies have been conducted in Australia. Swimming pool chemical water quality is of possible public health concern due to the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs), an unwanted consequence of reactions of components of the pool water and


the disinfectant during the swimming pool disinfection process. Disinfection, however, is essential to protect against microbial disease risk (Montgomery, 1985), a risk that is much greater than that posed by the DBPs themselves. Elevated DBPs in drinking water have been linked to several health issues, including asthma, bladder cancer, liver and kidney issues (Villanueva et al., 2007; Villanueva and Font-Ribera, 2012). Respiratory issues have been preliminarily correlated with pool attendance, probably due to chlorinated volatile DBPs, such as chloramines (e.g. Bernard et al., 2006). From a chemical perspective, swimming pools are a complex matrix, with continual addition of a wide range of natural and anthropogenic chemicals via filling waters, disinfectant addition, personal care

products and human body excretions (Figure 1). Natural organic matter (NOM), trace amounts of DBPs and chlorine/ bromine or chloramines/bromamines may be introduced by the filling water, which is commonly disinfected distributed drinking water. Further chlorine or bromine is introduced via addition of a pool disinfectant, with common swimming pool disinfectants including those that are chlorine-based: sodium or calcium hypochlorite and chlorine gas; those that are bromine-based: sodium or potassium bromide in combination with an oxidant such as chlorine or ozone; and the chlorineand bromine-based 1-bromo-3-chloro-5,5dimethylhydantoin (BCDMH). Electrolysis may also be used in a saltwater pool in order to produce hypochlorous acid. Human body excretions (sweat, urine and saliva) and personal care products

Filling Waters: Natural Organic Matter (NOM), Disinfection By-products (DBPs), Chlorine/Bromine Chloramines/Bromamines

Human Body Excretions: Urine Sweat Saliva

Disinfectants: Cl2 / Br2

Personal Care Products: Sunscreens, Lotions, Cosmetics, Soaps, Hair Products

Figure 1. Introduction of natural and anthropogenic chemicals to swimming pool waters.


Technical Papers

There are three DBP uptake mechanisms applicable to the swimming pool environment: ingestion, absorption and inhalation. Ingestion and absorption both occur during swimming activities as some water is often accidentally swallowed and DBPs may be absorbed through the skin. For example, Dufour et al. (2006) found the average volume of water ingested by adults during a 45-minute swim was 16 mL (21 mL hr-1). Xu et al. (2002) investigated the skin permeability of trihalomethanes (THMs), reporting that THMs had the highest skin permeability of a number of DBPs, with brominated THMs being more permeable than chlorinated THMs. Inhalation is particularly important for volatile DBPs and has been reported to be the major route of human exposure to DBPs in the swimming pool environment (e.g. Erdinger et al., 2004). Apart from the German Standard DIN 19643 for THMs (German Institute for Standardization, 2012), no guidelines appear to currently exist worldwide for DBPs specifically in swimming pool waters. Due to the uptake mechanism ratio shift from ingestion (drinking waters) to inhalation (swimming pool waters), and the varying frequencies of exposure of the two types of waters, the drinking water DBP guidelines are unlikely to be directly applicable in assessing the health risk associated with DBPs in swimming pool waters. Drinking water guidelines may, however, act as indicative health guideline values in the absence of any specific swimming pool guideline values.

In this study, the occurrence of several classes of DBPs in four WA pool waters was investigated. The potential to form a key DBP, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), from chlorination or chloramination of urine, a bather load constituent, was also studied. Recommendations for improved chemical water quality in pools were developed.


Haloacetic acids (HAAs), haloacetonitriles (HANs), haloketones (HKs) and haloacetaldehydes (HAAls) were analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) according to our published method (van Buynder et al., 2009). N-Nitrosamines were analysed by GC-MS with minor modifications to the method of Charrois et al. (2004). Our GCMS method was utilised for the analysis of trihalomethanes (THMs) (Allard et al., 2012). Total and dissolved organic carbon concentrations were determined by an external laboratory. Free and total chlorine concentrations, temperature and pH were measured with portable HACH meters at the time of sampling. SWIMMING POOL WATER SAMPLES

Three chlorinated public indoor swimming pools and one chlorinated public indoor spa in the Perth metropolitan area were investigated for their water quality parameters and DBP concentrations, in conjunction with the WA Department of Health. The residual oxidant concentration in the samples was quenched (at 10 x oxidant concentration) with ascorbic acid for all analytes, except total organic carbon (TOC) and HAAs where sodium sulfite was used. Samples were collected in amber bottles (1 L) with no headspace, capped and stored at 4°C prior to analysis. N-NITROSODIMETHYLAMINE FORMATION POTENTIAL FROM SYNTHETIC URINE

The NDMA formation potential from high-dose chloramination of synthetic urine was investigated using a method adapted from Mitch et al. (2001).


The treatment processes for the pools and spa all included a chlorine-based disinfectant and a gravity filter. The temperatures of the pools ranged from 27.4 to 29.8°C and the temperature of the spa was 34.7ºC. The free chlorine equivalent concentrations were 2.6–3.16 mg L-1 and the total chlorine equivalent concentrations were 3.28–4.3 mg L-1. For all the pools, the TOC (total organic carbon) concentration was measured at 7.2, 3.6 and 6.3 mg L-1, respectively. Under the US EPA Disinfectants and Disinfection ByProducts rule for drinking waters, TOC levels should not exceed 2 mg L-1 in treated waters or 4 mg L-1 in source waters (Pontius, 1993). TOC was detected in all pool and spa waters at levels greater than this guideline value, which is of potential concern due to the increased capacity for DBP formation. This risk is amplified in swimming pool waters due to the high chlorine residual, which is essential to minimise microbial disease risk. The risk is again increased in heated spas where an even higher disinfectant residual is required, particularly in the public spa, where the TOC level was extremely high (12 mg L-1). Figure 2 shows all the N-nitrosamines detected. Of the eight N-nitrosamines investigated, five were detected in at least one swimming pool. N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a carcinogenic N-nitrosamine, was detected in all public swimming pools investigated and was the only N-nitrosamine detected in the spa. NDMA concentrations detected in this study (6–38 ng L-1) were comparable to those previously reported, as summarised by Teo et al. (2015). No current guideline value exists for NDMA in swimming pools, however it was detected at concentrations below both the current Australian and World Health Organisation’s drinking water guideline value of 100 ng L-1 (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG), 2011, World

40 30 20 10 0


Public Pool 1


NDEA Public Pool 2




Public Pool 3



Public Spa 1

Figure 2. Occurrence of N-nitrosamines in public swimming pools. NDMA: N-nitrosodimethylamine, NEMA: N-nitrosoethylmethylamine, NDEA: N-nitrosodiethylamine, NDPA: N-nitrosodi-n-propylamine, NDBA: N-nitrosodin-butylamine, NPIP: N-nitrosopiperidine, NPYR: N-nitrosopyrrolidine, NMOR: N-nitrosomorpholine. SEPTEMBER 2015 WATER


While the occurrence and implications of DBPs in drinking waters have been well investigated, less is known about DBPs in swimming pool waters. Since the required free chlorine equivalent residual in swimming pools (e.g. in Western Australia (WA), the minimum free chlorine concentration for pools and spas of temperature <26 °C is 1-3 mg L-1) is higher than that for drinking water distribution systems (minimum 0.2 mg L-1; Chow et al., 2014), and there is a build-up of organic compounds in swimming pool waters, the total organic carbon content is usually much higher (e.g. <33 mg L-1, Plewa et al., 2011) than that detected in drinking waters (e.g. 1.8-3.6 mg L-1; McDonald et al., 2013), DBP formation is likely to be a


magnified issue in swimming pool waters compared to drinking waters.

Concentration (ng L-1)

(sunscreens, cosmetics, hair products and lotions) are introduced by swimmers (termed ‘bather load’). The continual input from bather load, continual addition of a disinfectant, combined with minimal freshwater input and continual recirculation of the same water, causes these chemicals to become concentrated in swimming pool waters.



Of the nine HAAs (haloacetic acids) investigated, only four were detected in at least one pool. The HAAs detected were predominantly chlorinated HAAs, since the concentration of chlorine, after multiple additions of chlorine disinfectant into the recirculated swimming pool water, was likely to be much higher than the concentration of bromine, which originated only from the bromide in the filling water. Dichloroacetic acid was detected in all the pools, as shown in Figure 3. Concentrations ranged from 113–668 μg L-1, all of which exceed both the current Australian and World Health Organisation’s drinking water guideline values of 100 and 50 μg L-1, respectively (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG), 2011; World Health Organisation (WHO), 2004). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) imposes a 60 μg L-1 (US Environmental Protection Agencey (EPA), 1998) drinking water guideline value for HAA5: the sum of chloro-, dichloro-, trichloro-, bromochloro- and bromo-acetic acid. In the current study on pool waters, this value was exceeded solely based on the dichloroacetic acid concentrations detected. With the relatively high free



Public Pool 1 Public Pool 3

600 400 200 0

Dichloroacetic Acid

Figure 3. Occurrence of dichloroacetic acid in public swimming pools.

Chloro-, bromochloro- and dibromoacetic acids were detected in pool 1 at 80, 32 and 3 μg L-1, respectively. Dibromoacetic acid is not currently regulated individually, however, it is regulated by the US EPA’s HAA5 guideline as discussed. Concentrations of chloroacetic acid did not exceed its individual Australian drinking water guideline of 100 μg L-1 (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG), 2011), however, the US EPA’s HAA5 guideline was exceeded. Interestingly, bromochloro- and dibromoacetic acids were not detected in any other public swimming pool investigated. Chloro-, bromodichloro- and dibromochloroacetic acid were detected in at least one other public swimming pool, however, these analytes could not be quantified. Bromo- and tribromo-acetic acids were not detected in any of the pools investigated, reflecting the much higher concentration of chlorine compared to bromine. The HAA concentrations measured are consistent with other reported concentrations in pool waters, summarised by Teo et al. (2015). The concentrations of the chlorinated and/or brominated THMs (trihalomethanes) measured in the pools and spa are shown in Figure 4. All four THMs were detected in all the pools, as well as in the spa, with concentrations similar to those previously reported (Teo et al., 2015). Reflecting the dominance of chlorine over bromine in the

pool waters, trichloromethane (chloroform) was the most abundant THM (19 – 60 μg L-1) and was detected in concentrations up to 180 times higher than those of the three other THMs. The highest chloroform concentration was detected in pool 3 and the lowest in the spa; a similar trend was seen for bromodichloromethane. Dibromochloro- and tribromo-methane concentrations were greatest in pool 1, at 0.8 and 0.5 μg L-1, respectively, with the lowest concentrations being detected in the spa, 0.14 and 0.11 μg L-1, respectively. Generally, THMs were detected at their lowest concentrations in the spa, which is likely due to the combination of two factors, temperature and agitation. The increased temperature of the spa (34.7°C) compared to the pool waters (average temperature; 28.8°C), combined with sparging due to the jets and blower in the spa, likely increased the rate of volatilisation of the THMs in the spa, and therefore lower concentrations of the volatile THMs were detected. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines state that the four chlorinated and/or brominated THMs should not exceed 250 μg L-1 either in total or individually (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG), 2011). Total THM concentrations detected in pools 1–3 and spa 1 were 43, 44, 65 and 19 μg L-1, respectively, all of which are well below the current Australian drinking water guideline value. However, the total THM concentration found in all the pools investigated exceeded the German swimming pool specific guideline of 20 μg

4 3 2 1 0

Public Pool 2 Public Spa 1

Concentration (μg L-1)

N-Nitrosodi-n-butylamine (NDBA) was detected in pools 1 and 2 at concentrations of 15 and 33 ng L-1, respectively. The calculated health risk for drinking water based on cancer risk for NDBA is 6 ng L-1 (Boyd et al., 2012), with the concentrations detected in this study exceeding this by up to 5.5 times. NMOR was only detected in pool 1, at 26 ng L-1, which is well above the current Californian drinking water guideline value for this compound (5 ng L-1; Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), 2009). NDEA and NDPA were detected at trace levels, <3 ng L-1, which were lower than their current Californian drinking water guideline values of 10 ng L-1 (California Department of Public Health, 2007) and 5 ng L-1 (California Department of Public Health, 2007), respectively. The other N-nitrosamines, NEMA, NPIP and NPYR, were not detected in any of the pools investigated (limits of detection: 1.2, 1.6, 0.4 ng L-1, respectively). These elevated concentrations of N-nitrosamines, particularly NDMA, in swimming pool waters are of high importance due to their potential human health impact.

chlorine equivalent residuals in the pools, dichloroacetic acid may be chlorinated to form trichloroacetic acid, an equally toxic DBP (DeAngelo and McMillan, 1990); hence dichloroacetic acid is of concern in swimming pool waters. Trichloroacetic acid was detected in all pool waters investigated, however could not be quantified due to analytical issues.

Concentration (μg L-1)

Health Organisation (WHO), 2004), and close to the guideline value for drinking water in Canada (40 ng L-1; Health Canada, 2014). With NDMA concentrations detected in the swimming pools close to some of these guideline values, and due to its carcinogenic nature, NDMA in swimming pool waters is of high importance.

Concentration (μg L -1)

Technical Papers

Bromodichloromethane Dibromochloromethane Public Pool 1

Public Pool 2

Tribromomethane Public Pool 3

80 60 40 20 0

Trichloromethane Public Spa 1

Figure 4. Occurrence of brominated and chlorinated trihalomethanes in public swimming pools.


Technical Papers L-1 (German Institute for Standardization, 2012) and, therefore, THMs are potentially of concern in this environment. Figure 5 shows the iodinated THMs detected. Of the six iodinated THMs studied, only three were detected in all the pools and the spa, with the others being detected in at least one pool or the spa. Dibromoiodo-, bromochloroiodoand chlorodiodo-methane were detected in all waters in the ranges of 6.3-9.4, 6-10 and 2.8-7 ng L-1, respectively. While the concentrations of the iodinated THMs were much lower than the concentrations of the chlorinated and brominated THMs (ng L-1 compared to μg L-1), the presence of the iodinated THMs demonstrates the presence of iodide in the distribution system source water or the addition of iodide in the pool or spa systems. Iodinated THMs are reported to be more detrimental to human health than their brominated or chlorinated analogues (Plewa et al., 2004). Despite this, no guidelines currently exist for iodinated THMs in drinking water or swimming pool water in Australia. While the iodinated THMs were only present in trace amounts in these water samples, the toxicity of iodinated THMs may substantiate consideration of the introduction of specific iodinated THM guidelines.

Concentration (ng L-1)

Despite only trace amounts of THMs being detected, the THMs are still of high importance due to their uptake via inhalation. Dominance of exposure routes alters with water temperature, with inhalation more dominant at higher temperatures, such as those found in 20

Public Pool 1

the spa. Similarly, a strong correlation between water jets, swimmer activity and THM removal from water has been found (Kristensen et al., 2010; Marco et al., 2015), highlighting the dominance of the inhalation uptake mechanism for THMs and likely for other volatile DBPs. Further research is needed to fully understand the exposure to THMs and other volatile DBPs in the swimming pool environment prior to developing guideline values. All the haloacetonitriles, haloketones and haloacetaldehydes were investigated in pool 1, with only trichloroacetaldehyde monohydrate (chloral hydrate) and dichloroacetonitrile being investigated in all the waters, owing to elevated concentrations of these compounds being detected in pool 1, as shown in Figure 6. Of the five haloacetonitriles investigated, only bromoacetonitrile was not detected in pool 1, with trichloro-, dichloro-, chloroand dibromo-acetonitrile detected at 0.4, 11, 2.4 and 0.2 μg L-1, respectively. All four haloketones investigated were detected in pool 1. The dominant haloketone was 1,1,1-trichloropropanone, at 6 μg L-1, with chloroacetone, 1,3-dichloroacetone and 1,1-dichloropropanone detected at 2, 0.8 and 0.7 μg L-1, respectively. Of the three HAAls investigated, all were detected in pool 1. Bromodichloro- and dibromo-acetaldehyde were detected at concentrations of 2 and 0.3 μg L-1, respectively, with chloral hydrate (CH) being detected at an elevated concentration of 177 μg L-1. CH was detected in all waters investigated (Figure 6A), with the highest

Public Pool 2

Public Pool 3

Public Spa 1

15 10 5 0

Figure 5. Occurrence of iodinated trihalomethanes in public swimming pools. (B) Concentration (μg L -1)

450 300 150


Chloral hydrate (Trichloroacetaldehyde) Public Pool 1 Public Pool 2

15 10 5


Public Pool 3

Dichloroacetonitrile Public Spa 1

Figure 6. Occurrence of (A) trichloroacetaldehyde monohydrate (chloral hydrate; CH) and (B) dichloroacetonitrile in public swimming pools.

Dermal uptake of HANs (haloacetonitriles) has also been investigated in chlorinated waters, with dibromoacetonitrile being found to be the most permeable (Trabaris et al., 2012). No studies have investigated the health impacts of HANs with this uptake mechanism, and therefore haloacetonitriles may still be of importance despite only being detected at trace levels in the swimming pool waters. Excluding CH, of all the HANs, HKs and HAAls, dichloroacetonitrile is the only DBP with a current drinking water guideline value (2 μg L-1, World Health Organisation (WHO), 2004). Figure 6B shows the concentrations of dichloroacetonitrile detected. With dichloroacetonitrile being detected at concentrations up to six times greater than the recommended value, it is an important DBP in swimming pool waters. N-NITROSODIMETHYLAMINE FORMATION POTENTIAL FROM SYNTHETIC URINE

Chloramination of synthetic urine for seven days using a high chloramine dose, as proposed by Mitch & Sedlak (2001), resulted in the formation (374 ng L-1) of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is likely formed from reactions involving ammonia, urea, organic amines, inorganic chloramines, creatinine, nitrate and/or nitrite, all of which are constituents found in urine (Mosher, 1933; Tricker et al., 1992). Since chloramines generally form higher concentrations of NDMA than chlorine (Mitch, 2012), chloramine was used in this formation potential experiment to show the maximum NDMA formation potential, even though swimming pools are usually disinfected with chlorine. However, in swimming pools, ammonia is also constantly introduced via sweat and urine, and chlorination of ammonia leads to the formation of chloramines. Since dimethylamine is a constituent of urine (Tricker et al., 1992), one



Concentration (μg L -1)


concentration being found in the spa (405 μg L-1), and the lowest in pool 1 (177 μg L-1). No guidelines currently exist for CH in swimming pool waters, however all concentrations detected were up to 40 times greater than the current drinking water guidelines: 10 μg L-1 (World Health Organisation (WHO), 2004) and 20 μg L-1 (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG), 2011). These elevated concentrations are of high importance to swimmers due to the genotoxic and carcinogenic properties of CH, combined with its ability to be absorbed through the skin (Trabaris et al., 2012).


Technical Papers NDMA formation pathway from the reaction of dimethylamine and inorganic chloramines (dichloramine), proposed by Mitch and Sedlak (2001), may explain the NDMA formation observed from the chloramination of synthetic urine. Monochloramine reacts in a similar way, with this reaction occurring at least one order of magnitude slower than the reaction with dichloramine (Mitch and Sedlak, 2001). Another possible pathway for NDMA formation from urine is that proposed by Li & Blatchley (2007). Chlorination of creatinine, a compound found in human sweat and urine, leads to the formation of trichloramine and dichloromethylamine, both of which have the potential to react further, forming NDMA. Other intermediate products formed in this reaction are also of importance as they may react with other compounds commonly found in swimming pools, leading to the formation of other toxic compounds (Li and Blatchley, 2007). Masuda et al. (2000) have shown that nitrate, a constituent of urine, can react with hypochlorous acid, forming a range of intermediates that further react with dimethylamine, forming NDMA. Thus, the formation of NDMA observed from synthetic urine may originate from a range of precursor compounds found in urine. It is likely that all pathways discussed may contribute to the NDMA formed, as common compounds (such as dimethylamine) are found in multiple NDMA formation pathways. Other compounds introduced by urine may also contribute to NDMA formation. As chlorination of compounds contained in urine has been found to form NDMA, the ‘bather load’ urine input to swimming pools may be a significant contributor to the high concentrations of NDMA observed in the swimming pool/spa samples.



Public indoor swimming pools and a public indoor spa, all disinfected by chlorination, were analysed in order to provide a better understanding of pool water DBPs. In the three swimming pool and one spa water samples, elevated concentrations relative to drinking water guidelines were detected for dichloroacetic acid (DCAA; 113–668 μg L-1), dichloroacetonitrile (4-12 μg L-1), trichloroacetaldehyde monohydrate (chloral hydrate (CH); 177–405 μg L-1), N-nitrosomorpholine (15-33 ng L-1) and N-nitrosodibutylamine (26 ng L-1), with DCAA and CH being detected up to 6.6 and 40 times higher


than their respective Australian drinking water guideline values. A range of other DBPs, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), chloroacetic acid, bromochloroacetic acid and the four regulated trihalomethanes, were detected at reasonable concentrations, but not exceeding the current Australian drinking water guideline values. Trace amounts of N-nitrosodiethylamine, N-nitrosodi-npropylamine, dibromoacetic acid and all iodinated trihalomethanes were detected in at least one public swimming pool. Several other DBPs (haloacetonitriles, haloketones and haloacetaldehydes) were detected in trace amounts in pool 1, however, they were not investigated further as they were unlikely to pose a health risk at these concentrations. Although many analytes were either detected below their current drinking water guideline values or detected in trace amounts, they may still be of importance in the swimming pool environment. While drinking water guidelines are based on frequent ingestion as the dominant route of exposure, other routes such as absorption and inhalation must be considered for swimming pool waters, with inhalation particularly important for volatile DBPs, such as trihalomethanes. Detection of volatile DBPs in swimming pool waters alone may not show the complete exposure scenario and should be complemented with analysis of the air above the pool, as a total concentration (swimming pool air plus water) may exceed a combined health guideline exposure value. In the context of swimming pool waters, the different exposure routes and the different frequency of exposure, current drinking water health guidelines may not be applicable and swimming pool specific guidelines may be warranted. Chloramination of synthetic urine resulted in the formation of NDMA, likely due to reactions involving ammonia, urea, organic amines, inorganic chloramines, creatinine, nitrate or nitrite, and subsequent reactions of their by-products. It is likely that no one compound in urine is responsible for the full formation of NDMA, but that several compounds and their subsequent products contribute in a combined way. The formation study shows that ‘bather load’ urine inputs to swimming pools potentially contribute to NDMA formation in swimming pools. Therefore, improved swimmer hygiene may be an effective mitigation strategy for NDMA formation in pool waters.

RECOMMENDATIONS • The development of swimming pool specific guideline values for DBPs is of high importance due to the unique uptake mechanisms found in the swimming pool environment. • Further investigation of swimming pool air is required to fully understand the potential exposure to volatile DBPs in the swimming pool environment. • Nitrogen-containing species, particularly those found in urine, should be minimised in swimming pool waters in order to control the formation of nitrogen-containing DBPs, particularly NDMA. • Improved swimming pool hygiene should be promoted, with swimming pool patrons made aware of the implications of their swimming habits.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Western Australian Department of Health, and in particular Richard Theobald and Anne Laddie, are acknowledged for their support and assistance. Rhys Carter was a national runner-up for the Undergraduate Water Prize at Ozwater’15 in Adelaide in May, after being awarded first prize for the WA Branch competition.

THE AUTHORS Rhys Carter (email: rhys. au) has recently commenced his Doctoral Degree (PhD) at Curtin University in Western Australia, as a member of the Curtin Water Quality Research Centre (CWQRC). His focus is on the chemical water quality of swimming pools and the possible health impact of disinfection by-products within the swimming pool environment. Kathryn Linge (email: is a Senior Research Fellow at the CWQRC. Her research interests are water recycling, disinfection byproducts and mass spectrometry. Anna Heitz (email: is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Curtin and a former Director of the CWQRC. She has over 25 years’ experience in research to solve industryrelated water quality problems spanning a wide range of issues.


Technical Papers Deborah Liew (email: is a Senior Research Officer at CWQRC. She has over six years of research experience in drinking water and recycled water treatment processes. Sebastien Allard (email: is a Research Fellow at CWQRC. He has a PhD in Environmental Chemistry and more than five years of postdoctoral experience in water quality and treatment. Cynthia Joll (email: is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Curtin and Deputy Director of CWQRC. She has over 17 years of research experience in many aspects of water science, with a focus on disinfection by-products.

REFERENCES Allard S, Charrois JWA, Joll CA & Heitz A (2012): Simultaneous Analysis of 10 Trihalomethanes at Nanogram Per Liter Levels in Later Using Solid-Phase Microextraction and Gas Chromatography Mass-Spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A, 1238, pp 15–21. Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) (2011): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 6: Version 3.1; Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council, National Resource Ministerial Council. Bernard A, Carbonnelle S, Burbure CD, Michel O & Nickmilder M (2006): Chlorinated Pool Attendance, Atopy, and the Risk of Asthma During Childhood. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114, 10, pp 1567–1573; The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Boyd JM, Charrois JWA, Hofmann R & Hrudey SE (2012): NDMA and Other N-nitrosamines – Health Risk Assessment and Management. In: Disinfection By-Products and Human Health, pp 125–144, United Kingdom: IWA Publishing. California Department of Public Health (2007): NDMA and Other Nitrosamines – Drinking Water Issues, California Department of Public Health. Charrois JWA, Arend MW, Froese KL & Hrudey SE (2004): Detecting N-Nitrosamines in Drinking Water at Nanogram Per Liter Levels Using Ammonia Positive Chemical Ionization. Environmental Science & Technology, 38, 18, pp 4835–4841.

DeAngelo A & McMillan L (1990): Carcinogenicity of Chlorinated Acetic Acids. In: Water Chlorination: Chemistry, Environmental Impact and Health Effects (R Jolley, L Condie, J Johnson, S Katz,

Dufour AP, Evans O, Behymer TD & Cantú R (2006): Water Ingestion During Swimming Activities in a Pool: A Pilot Study. Journal of Water & Health, 4, 4, pp 425–430. Erdinger L, Kühn KP, Kirsch F, Feldhues R, Fröbel T, Nohynek B & Gabrio T (2004): Pathways of Trihalomethane Uptake in Swimming Pools. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 207, 6, pp 571–575. German Institute for Standardization (2012): Treatment of Water of Swimming Pools and Baths – Part 1: General Requirements; Berlin: Beuth Verlag. Health Canada (2014): Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality – Summary Table. Water and Air Quality Bureau, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Kristensen GH, Klausen MM, Hansen VA, Lauritsen FR (2010): On-line Monitoring of the Dynamics of Trihalomethane Concentrations in a Warm Public Swimming Pool Using an Unsupervised Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry System with Off-Site Real-Time Surveillance. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 24, 1, pp 30–34. Li J & Blatchley ER (2007): Volatile Disinfection Byproduct Formation Resulting from Chlorination of Organic-Nitrogen Precursors in Swimming Pools. Environmental Science & Technology, 41, 19, pp 6732–6739. Marco E, Lourencetti C, Grimalt JO, Gari M, Fernandez P, Font-Ribera L, Villanueva CM, Kogevinas M (2015): Influence of Physical Activity in the Intake of Trihalomethanes in Indoor Swimming Pools. Environmental Research, 140, pp 292–299. Masuda M, Mower HF, Pignatelli B, Celan I, Friesen MD, Nishino H & Ohshima H (2000): Formation of N-nitrosamines and N-nitramines by the Reaction of Secondary Amines with Peroxynitrite and Other Reactive Nitrogen Species: Comparison with Nitrotyrosine Formation. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 13, 4, pp 301–308. McDonald S, Joll CA, Lethorn A, Loi C & Heitz A (2013): Drinking Water: The Problem of Chlorinous Odours. Journal of Water Supply Research & Technology – AQUA, 62, 2, pp 86–96. Mitch WA & Sedlak DL (2001): Formation of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) from Dimethylamine During Chlorination. Environmental Science & Technology, 36, 4, pp 588–595. American Chemical Society. Mitch WA (2012): Nitrogenous DBPs, Formation, Control and New Frontiers. In: Disinfection ByProducts and Human Health, pp 73–81; United Kingdom: IWA Publishing. Montgomery JM (1985): Water Treatment: Principles and Design/Water Treatment: Principles and Design. New York; John Wiley & Sons. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) (2009): Air Toxics Hot Spots Risk Assessment Guidelines Part

II: Technical Support Document for Cancer Potency Factors. Appendix A. California Environmental Protection Agency. Plewa MJ, Wagner ED, Jazwierska P, Richardson SD, Chen PH & McKague AB (2004): Halonitromethane Drinking Water Disinfection Byproducts: Chemical Characterization and Mammalian Cell Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity. Environmental Science & Technology, 38, 1, pp 62–68. Plewa MJ, Wagner ED, Mitch WA (2011): Comparative Mammalian Cell Cytotoxicity of Water Concentrates from Disinfected Recreational Pools. Environmental Science & Technology, 45, 9, pp 4159–4165. Pontius FW (1993): Disinfection By-Products – A Regulatory Balancing Act. Opflow, 19, 12, pp 1–5. Teo TLL, Coleman HM & Khan SJ (2015): Chemical Contaminants in Swimming Pools: Occurrence, Implications and Control. Environment International, 76, pp 16–31. Trabaris M, Laskin JD & Weisel C.P (2012): Percutaneous Absorption of Haloacetonitriles and Chloral Hydrate and Simulated Human Exposures. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 32, 6, pp 387–394. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Tricker AR, Pfundstein B, Kalble T & Preussmann R (1992): Secondary Amine Precursors to Nitrosamines in Human Saliva, Gastric Juice, Blood, Urine and Faeces. Carcinogenesis, 13, 4, pp 563–568. US Environmental Protection Agencey (EPA) (1998): National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts. (USEPA, Ed.), Vol. 63. van Buynder P, Lugg R, Rodriguez C, Bromley M, Filmer J, Blair P, Handyside M, Higginson S, Turner N, Lord O, Taylor P, Courtney K, Newby C, Heitz A, Linge KL, Blythe J, Busetti F, Rodriguez C, Toze S, Higginson S (2009): Premier’s Collaborative Research Program (2005-2008): Characterising Treated Wastewater For Drinking Purposes Following Reverse Osmosis Treatment. Technical Report; Western Australia: Department of Health. Villanueva CM, Cantor KP, Grimalt JO, Malats N, Silverman D, Tardon A, Garcia-Closas R, Serra C, Carrato A, Castano-Vinyals G, Marcos R, Rothman N, Real FX, Dosemeci M, Kogevinas M (2007): Bladder Cancer and Exposure to Water Disinfection By-Products Through Ingestion, Bathing, Showering, and Swimming in Pools. American Journal of Epidemiology, 165, 2, pp 148–156. Villanueva CM & Font-Ribera L (2012): Health Impact of Disinfection By-products in Swimming Pools. Annals of the Ist Super Sanita, 48, 4, pp 387–396. World Health Organisation (WHO) (2004): Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Recommendations, Third Vol. 1; Geneva: World Health Organisation. Xu X, Mariano TM, Laskin JD & Weisel CP (2002): Percutaneous Absorption of Trihalomethanes, Haloacetic Acids, and Haloketones. Toxicology & Applied Pharmacology, 184, 1, pp 19–26.



Chow C, Cook D, Mussared A (2014): Guidance Manual for the Maintenance of Chlorine and Chloramine Residuals. WaterRA Project 1064, pp 1–2.

R Minear, J Mattice & V Jacobs, eds), Vol. 6, pp 193–199. Chelsea: Lewis Publishers.


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help pinpoint nuisance odours and, most importantly, the correct source. Solutions are then identified to mitigate nuisance odour, whether it be optimising suitable treatment processes, improving ventilation of buildings, or the use of odour-masking agents.

As towns and cities experience rapid urban growth and increasing density, more pressure is being placed on municipalities and Governments to provide sustainable access to water and sanitation services. With significant investment in new infrastructure being required, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable locations for essential waste and water treatment facilities. At the same time, residents are moving and living closer to existing facilities and eroding the traditional buffers between residential and industrial sites. Communities are also becoming increasingly aware of the potential odour nuisance linked to industrial facilities. Amidst these growing social pressures and community expectations, Governments are responding with increasingly stringent regulatory requirements. SUEZ has been developing new approaches to odour management with the ultimate aim of facilitating the integration and acceptance of industrial facilities within local communities. NOSE is a solution capable of identifying, treating and monitoring the odours emitted by operational activities. NOSE cuts across water and waste treatment activities from wastewater treatment to sludge recycling.

NOSE provides a combined human and technical approach to odour management. The sources and dispersion of odour are firstly identified and mapped using dedicated sensors combined with mathematical models and data such as residential complaints. The local community is then engaged with an ‘Odour Wheel’ developed specifically for the activity or neighbourhood. This ensures a common language on odour is shared between local residents and operators and enables a local ‘Nose Jury’ to effectively characterise the odour footprint. Residents are educated on how to identify the types of odour, with the wheel providing descriptive words like ‘burnt match’ or ‘eggs’ to

This dual approach is then reinforced with operational tools that enable real-time diagnosis and monitoring of a site’s odour footprint and the corresponding impact on the surrounding community. Operator alerts are developed based on defined odour thresholds. This serves to inform site operators regarding potential process variations or equipment malfunctions that are contributing to nuisance odour generation, allowing for rapid implementation of corrective actions. In Montpellier in France, near a waste facility processing 200,000 tonnes per year, housing now comes as close as 100m from the site’s boundaries. The NOSE approach has created a more constructive and positive dialogue among facility stakeholders including site management and operations staff, community residents and local government and regulatory officials. With required improvements identified and the commissioning of additional foul air treatment installations, the site has seen a considerable reduction in the number of odour complaints received.


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TURBIMAX CUS52D â&#x20AC;&#x201C; THE GAME CHANGER For as long as the measurement of lowlevel turbidity has been performed, bypass installations have been the preferred sampling and measurement technique. The bypass installation takes off a small portion of the sample from the main line and runs it to a measuring panel, which could be up to 50m away. Once analysed, the sample is directed from the flow chamber to an atmospheric drain, where at best case it is pumped back to the head of the works for re-treatment, or worst case sent to the sewer as waste. With increasing water shortages caused by growing population and climate change affecting traditional weather patterns, the acceptance of sending treated drinking water to drain is now coming under increasing scrutiny. As a side effect to this type of installation, the sample is depressurised as well as heated to ambient temperature, which results in the dissolved gases in the sample coming out of solution as gas bubbles. The gas bubbles introduce errors into the measurement as they scatter the incident light beam. To reduce these errors instrument companies utilise bubble traps, wipers or mathematical algorithms to either suppress, remove or compensate the effect of the entrained gas bubbles. When designing the new turbidity system, Endress+Hauser looked at the

current limitations of the measurement and sampling systems as well as market trends, which include the push to consider drinking water as a food and the future requirements of Food Safety and Hygienic design that this would bring. The resulting product is the new Turbimax CUS52D turbidity sensor. The Turbimax CUS52D turbidity sensor monitors drinking and process water quality directly in the pipeline. This preserves and measures each drop of water with laboratory accuracy. Self-cleaning functions for unattended operation and smart calibration tools turn the sensor into a convenient and reliable water treatment package. Turbimax CUS52D accurately and reliably (lS07027) measures turbidity, even in the clearest water. As accuracy is independent of the installation environment, the optical sensor can be applied from inlet to outlet in all water production measuring points. Thus, the inline sensor continuously monitors the water quality with a precision that often even surpasses lab measurements. Thanks to its hygienic design, which includes a polished stainless steel body, sanitary Tri-clamp process connection and FDA approved o-rings and window seals, the CUS52D can be mounted directly into the process line with the certainty that it meets the highest safety standards. As water quality guidelines become more stringent and regulations tighten, the Turbimax CUS52D sensor is ahead of the game and ensures you have a future-proof turbidity measurement system. The hygienic design allows the CUS52D to be mounted directly into the pipeline. This eliminates the need for costly bypass

installations and ensures that water and product losses are a thing of the past â&#x20AC;&#x201C; what's more, the sensor's quick reaction time improves control of the treatment process. For quick integration into the process, the CUS52D features Memosens digital technology and factory calibration already on board. Automatic venting of the corresponding Flowfit CUA252 and CUA262 assemblies further simplifies operation. Air bubbles and contamination are everyday challenges in turbidity measurement, but not with the CUS52D. Its special surface minimises the build-up of biofilms and particulates. In addition, with its ability to operate at high pressures (up to 10 bar), air bubbles are suppressed. What's more, with the optional air bubble trap for use in traditional bypass installations, even the smaller air bubbles are caught. The bubble trap contains no moving parts and utilises the sampleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motive force as it passes over a fixed impeller to centrifugally separate and remove the lighter gas bubbles from the water sample. Its clear plastic body also provides a visual indication that the bubble

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Water Business trap is working effectively, a drawback of current "black box" systems where the cause of spikes in the turbidity value (is it an increase in particles or an increase in gas bubbles?) is hard to pinpoint. In particularly persistent cases, the CYR52 ultrasonic cleaning system removes surface contamination without direct product contact so that service intervals can be perfectly planned and the turbidity measurements run unattended over a long period of time. Safety, both for employees and processes, is of utmost importance. With this in mind, Endress+Hauser has developed smart solidstate references (CUY52) for the Turbimax CUS52D with which the sensor can be verified and calibrated risk-free. As a result, neither employees nor processes come into contact with any harmful liquids e.g. Fonnazin. The solid state references are ingeniously simple to use and provide reliable and dear results with every turbidity measurement.

IDEXX WINS AWARD AND ACCREDITATION IDEXX, a global leader in rapid microbiological water testing, has announced that its Pseudalert® test, for the 24-hour detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), last year won the prestigious Product Innovation in Healthcare Award at the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management’s (IHEEM) annual Exhibition, Conference and Dinner. IHEEM is the UK’s largest specialist Institute for the Healthcare Estates Sector, devoted to developing careers, provision of education and training, and registering engineers as Eng Tech, IEng and CEng. The Awards recognise the work and commitment to excellence by public and private healthcare providers. The judging panel, which was made up of industry experts in healthcare and facilities management, awarded the top honour for innovation to Pseudalert, which uses a novel Bacterial Enzyme Technology to identify P. aeruginosa, giving either a presence/ absence or quantified result in 24 hours, less than half the time taken by traditional membrane filtration (agar-based) methods. Other companies shortlisted in the ‘Innovation’ category included Armitage Shanks, Bender UK, Britplas, Discrete Heat Co Ltd, Danfloor and Finegreen Associates. IDEXX introduced the Pseudalert test into the UK healthcare sector earlier this year, to facilitate the rapid detection and identification of P. aeruginosa in hospital water systems. In areas where patients are

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most vulnerable to P. aeruginosa infection, such as high-dependency units, neo-natal departments and burns wards, any ambiguity or delay in results is potentially serious. “We are deeply honoured to receive this recognition from the IHEEM judges, especially in view of the strength of the entries in this category,” commented Andrew Headland, Senior Business Manager, for IDEXX EMEA. “The award for Pseudalert is particularly pleasing as it illustrates that the health industry acknowledges the importance of rapid and regular P. aeruginosa testing in healthcare environments.” Pseudalert is a well-established method for rapid detection of P. aeruginosa in tap water, bottled water, pools and spas. The launch of Pseudalert in the healthcare sector comes after IDEXX completed a Pan European study in 2014 demonstrating that the product was suitable for use for this application. In June 2014, a statement was issued by IDEXX informing hospitals and facilities management organisations that Pseudalert is now compliant with the requirements of the HTM04 guidelines for hospital water testing. The simplicity of IDEXX water-testing solutions has seen other products widely adopted in testing laboratories around the world. Where access to microbiology laboratories is restricted, such as on cruise ships, oil rigs and even the International Space Station, IDEXX technologies have also been used. In other company news, IDEXX Laboratories Inc has announced that the company’s QC facility for water microbiology has received ISO/IEC17025:2005 Accreditation from the ANSIASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB). IDEXX pursued this accreditation in order to offer its customers time-saving process efficiencies and the highest level of quality assurance possible. ISO/IEC-17025:2005 accreditation is based on a thorough evaluation of a facility’s quality management system and emphasises continual product and process improvement. IDEXX earned the accreditation for their water QC testing facility after completing an extensive audit and third-party assessment. “In addition to demonstrating that IDEXX operates according to internationally accepted criteria, this accreditation underscores IDEXX’s commitment to quality, accuracy and reliability,” said Manja Blazer, senior regulatory affairs manager at IDEXX. “Now laboratories all over the world that use IDEXX water tests can decrease QC testing, saving time and reducing costs.”

ISO/IEC-17025:2005 specifies the quality management and technical requirements that laboratories must meet in order to demonstrate technical competency and adherence to strict quality measures for testing, data reporting and process control in the laboratory. In most countries, ISO/ IEC-17025:2005 is the standard that forms the basis of laboratory accreditation in order to be deemed technically competent. The scope of this ISO/IEC-17025:2005 accreditation includes IDEXX microbiology tests for total coliforms/Escherichia coli, enterococci, P. aeruginosa and heterotrophic bacteria. IDEXX can now provide customers with certificates of quality under the ISO/IEC17025:2005 Accreditation. In addition, its processes are in compliance with the new mandatory standard ISO 11133:2014 concerning the preparation, production, storage and performance testing of culture media for microbiology of food, animal feed and water.

ABWB WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD WITH AIRPREX TECHNOLOGY This struvite recovery technology, which is owned by CNP-Technology Water and Biosolids and is available in Australia and New Zealand through the Hydroflux Group, has won an international award that recognises its ability to successfully extract phosphorus-based plant fertiliser from sewage sludge. The Berlin Water Works (BWB) in Germany won the prestigious Environmental Technology Award ‘GreenTec Award 2015’ in the Recycling & Resources, Water Supplier category. Since 2010, around 6,000 tonnes of fertiliser has been extracted and sold to farms thanks to the AirPrex® system, which removes the magnesium ammonium phosphate from the sewage treatment plant cycle. In removing the phosphate, the system not only ensures that pipes and pumps are not blocked with struvite, it also delivers significant savings in both sludge dewatering polymer usage and sludge disposal volumes. “We are delighted with this award because it recognises the ability of the AirPrex system to recover valuable fertiliser and how BWB combined implementationoriented research and in-house professional’s knowledge and values," says Chairman of BWB, Jörg Simon. The AirPrex process is widely used throughout Europe where it is delivering significant cost savings. For example, several waste disposal companies have


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seen savings of around 350,000 Euros (more than $A500,000) per year. John Koumoukelis, a Director of the Hydroflux Group, says there are several benefits of using this leading technology in the treatment of wastewater at plants that can service populations ranging from 20,000 up to 1.5 million people. “While AirPrex can successfully remove struvite, which can then be on-sold as fertiliser, it can also reduce phosphorus load returned to the plant by as much as 90%, reduce polymer consumption, create higher cake solids and reduce a plant’s overall operational expenditure,” he says. For more information please visit


however, these multiply quickly within warm water infrastructure if there are no disinfection strategies in place.

Finding an economical and reliable way of controlling Legionella is no longer difficult thanks to UV-Guard’s water treatment systems. All of UV-Guard’s systems can disinfect warm and hot water systems, ensuring clean, uncontaminated water for health care providers and aged care facilities.

“Thermostatic mixing valves, commonly used in health care and hospitality industries to provide water to a preset temperature, do not provide microbial control and can, in fact, promote the growth of Legionella and other micro-organisms,” Mr Vallance said.

Legionnaires Disease is a debilitating and potentially fatal condition caused by the Legionella bacteria that thrive in warm, moist environments. Those with lowered immune systems are at higher risk of contracting the disease, which can be transmitted through hot and warm water systems, such as those found in aged care facilities and hospitals. The disease causes flu-like symptoms and can be fatal. In general, the sources of Legionella bacteria in recorded outbreaks of Legionnaires Disease have been traced to either large air-conditioning plants or hot water distribution systems that have been incorrectly commissioned or poorly maintained.

“An established and cost-effective method of Legionella control is to install a UV disinfection system on either or both the warm water outlet or return line of the water heater,” said Mr Vallance.

UV-Guard Managing Director, Richard Vallance, said low levels of Legionella are commonly found in drinking water supplies,

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Each Australian state has different regulations relating to how the Legionella risk must be controlled. The good news is that UV water disinfection can be an effective safeguard against Legionella.

UV-Guard’s S-Series system is an ideal solution for controlling Legionella as it is a robust and dependable UV water disinfection system able to provide recommended UV dose rates at flows of up to 737 litres per minute, from commercial business installations to hospitals, mining camps and more.


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Water Business “The S-Series, as with all UV-Guard products, is food grade compliant and accredited by the WaterMark certification scheme, a requirement documented within The Plumbing and Drainage Code Australia,” said Mr Vallance. “This is in comparison to some non-certified products on the market that are being imported from overseas. Customers need to be aware that they are not WaterMarked or regulated and are not in compliance with the Plumbing Code of Australia.” Plumber, Andy Murray, from Andy Murray Gas Services in Queensland, came to UVGuard looking for a solution to an outbreak of Legionella at one of his plumbing client’s aged care facilities. “The facility is housed in a very old building, and I had previously been advised by another company that the only way to fix the Legionella problem was to re-plumb the whole building, which is almost an impossible task,” Mr Murray said. “I had seen a UV-Guard system installed at another aged care facility I worked with so I called UV-Guard to help us find a solution. We’ve decided to go down the UV route with this new building,” Mr Murray said. UV-Guard’s water treatment engineers can custom-design a UV water treatment system to your specific needs and assist with water quality testing. UV-Guard can provide the following for warm water systems: • Lamps, Quartz and other spares; • Complete UV disinfection systems – the S-Series is an ideal system; • Water quality sampling, testing and management. More information about UV-Guard’s range of UV water treatment systems is available at

HERCULON TANK TOP BEARINGS HELP MEET INCREASING CLIMATE CHANGE AND PRODUCTION CHALLENGES Storage tanks today can hold upwards of 10, 20 or even 30,000 tons of liquid that must be protected from the elements and from pollution to safeguard it for use in water, wastewater, emergency fire protection and high purity industrial processing applications. Not only are tanks being built to hold their contents more safely and securely than ever before, but they are expected to

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do it for longer and in more challenging operating environments where steel, concrete and fibreglass tanks need secure roofs that can withstand expansion and contraction caused by factors such as increasing climatic and load variations. A challenge facing developers and operators of buildings and processing plants for industrial and municipal uses is ensuring their top structures can flexibly cope with internal movement from climatically induced expansion, contraction and wind and rain forces, while also coping with production stresses caused by heavy and changing loads, vibration and other factors encountered within diverse industries. Relevant industries can include mining and energy, oil and gas, ports and infrastructure, food and beverage, primary processing, manufacturing, materials handling, water and wastewater utility and emergency services. A cost-efficient solution to many of these issues is offered by Hercules Engineering through its range of Herculon Type D Tank Top Bearings (HLD/TT) Bearings, which are custom-designed for easy installation under roof beams of tank tops and other lighter structures, including some building roofs. These low-friction, easy-slip bearings are particularly useful where loads are relatively small, but both lateral and uplift forces need to be accommodated, says Mr David Booty, Manager, Hercules Engineering (a division of Cut to Size Plastics). “Light but strong and flexible tank tops are now widely employed to protect tanks and their contents from external pollution ranging from flora, fauna, dust and droppings and water-borne impurity.

The bearings used under these tops must not only support the structure, but also prevent it from cracking and breaking and becoming part of the pollution problem.” HLD/TT bearings are part of a proven range of Hercules composite slip joints and structural bearings for a wide variety of structures and weights incorporating engineered high performance combinations of engineered thermoplastics and metal facing surfaces. Complementary Type D Herculon Bearings HLD/SG are designed to accept a lateral load of 30 per cent of the vertical rated load, which can be up to 600 kN per bearing in stock sizes, with higher capacity available custom-engineered for particular applications. HLD/TT bearings consist of a thin stainless steel slide plate with two stainless steel studs flash-welded to the upper face. The lower face is highly polished and the plate is provided with two slotted holes for uplift through-bolts. This plate slides against a Herculon-coated Hercupad, which has two clearance holes drilled into it. • Five stock sizes in working loads from 50-70 kN. Larger capacities and different dimensions can be custom-engineered. • Co-efficient of friction 0.05- 0.08, depending on stress. • Expansion capacity up to ± 20mm (can be custom designed for larger movements). • Maximum rotation up to 0.01 radians. • Maximum temperature 80°C. For more information, please contact David Booty at

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Water Journal September 2015  
Water Journal September 2015  

Water - Journal of the Australian Water Association: The September 2015 issue features a diverse range of topics, from the many benefits of...