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WASTE + WATER MANAGEMENT AUSTRALIA SEPTEMBER 2019

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Editor's Column

ABN 85 007 693 138 PO Box 510, Broadford Victoria 3658 Australia Phone: 1300 EPCGROUP (1300 372 476) Int’l: +61 3 5784 3438 Fax: +61 3 5784 2210 www.epcgroup.com

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Industry News

Publisher and Managing Editor Anthony T Schmidt Phone: 1300 EPCGROUP (1300 372 476) Mobile: 0414 788 900 Email: ats@epcgroup.com

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September 2019 Volume 46 Number 2

10 Product Brief: Aussie Pumps

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Cover Feature: MASTEC FOGO Bin Rollout for Perth's SMRC

18

Renewable Energy

22 Equipment Focus: OLI Vibrators

20

26 Waste Expo 2019 28 Soil Science 32 Special Feature: Anaerobic Digestion 34 Waste and Wastewater

32

40 Product Brief: Vac Toilet 42 National Precast Feature 44 Wastewater Treatment 46 Technology Feature

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ISSN 1838-7098

About the Cover MASTEC A&D teams are rolling out over 93,000 new 240L and 140L MASTEC® bins to households across three SMRC council areas for Perth’s first residential FOGO (Food Organic, Garden Organics) service. The FOGO waste is processed into high quality compost, resulting in a significant reduction in the amount of waste being sent to landfill. Turn to Page 12 for the full story.


EDITORS COLUMN

A Question of Balance Balancing cost and environmental sustainability

Dear Readers, While it is clear that the majority of Australians are now taking more of an active interest in their ‘environmental performance’ than ever before, it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that many are confused about what impact Emission Reduction Targets, Renewable Energy Targets and Emissions Trading Schemes will have on their lives. Unfortunately, for an ever-increasing number of Australians, they feel that the biggest difference is that they can no longer afford their energy bills. Importantly, while the push for more renewable energy may not be the cause for the price increases, in the real world, it’s all about perceptions, such as: “…I don’t know anything about renewable energy, I’ll I know is that my power bills and gas bills keep going up so quickly, it’s getting to the point where I’m struggling to pay the bills.” In short, the massive increase in the cost of electricity and gas in recent years have resulted in the creation of ‘Energy Poverty’. Even as I type this I (and I’m sure I’m not alone here) can’t believe that in Australia, in 2019, that this is an actual problem …and a serious one at that! Now, without in any way wanting to denigrate or minimise the complexity involved with meeting Australia’s energy needs, it’s fair to say that for the greater majority of Australians, their thoughts about gas and electricity rarely go beyond availability when they need it and the cost. And the cost is now problematic... and people are asking why. 2

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

Put simply, many people are not only concerned about the impact of their activities on the planet, but also about the financial impact of the sustainability measures required to reduce this impact. While few would question the importance attached to the rapid introduction of widespread and effective emissions reduction initiatives, there can be no doubt that one of the most difficult challenges will be that of finding the ‘right balance’ between environmental protection and fiscal responsibility. By that, I’m not only referring to the fiscal impact that emission reduction targets have on business operations and the impact that removing or lowering targets has on the renewables industry, but also, importantly, the direct impact that these initiatives have on the household budget of every Australian family. Environmental sustainability has always predominantly been about balancing the needs of the environment with the needs of human beings. Whether this balance relates to managing the amount of waste we generate and how we handle that waste, or to the amount of water and/or other natural resources we use and the pollution and byproducts that we produce, or the amount of energy we use and the consequences of generating that energy – one thing is clear – without balance, the effects and consequences can be both significant and far reaching, and in many instances, extremely difficult to overcome. Importantly, this sense of balance must also be maintained when it comes to researching, developing and implementing

methods and systems which are designed to improve our environmental performance and reduce our carbon footprint. We cannot simply ‘cease to exist’ in order to benefit the environment. No more than we can afford to ignore issues of environmental degradation simply because finding a solution to the problem(s) will be complex and/or will require a change in thinking and methods. Finding the right balance for a sustainable future requires an holistic approach that considers all aspects of all activities (including the consequences) and, dare I say, takes into account the ‘interconnectedness of all things’ – including human beings. With that in mind, it’s also important to remember that ‘shutting down the planet’ is also not an option. Neither is taking an ‘at any cost’ mentality or, for that matter, ignoring the issue all together and setting goals that are so low that they will, for all intents, have very little, or even no impact whatsoever. There is, however, a limit to what people are willing to do and/or pay! And if the ‘cost’ is too high, we not only run the risk of losing critical public support for environmental reform, we also risk undoing much of the good work that has already been done.

Anthony T Schmidt Managing Editor


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INDUSTRY NEWS

South Australia’s first plastic-free precincts announced South Australia will have its first singleuse plastic-free precincts with the State Government recently announcing the first four locations. The Adelaide Central Market, The Parade (Norwood) and The Jetty Road Brighton Traders are the first three locations with a fourth precinct encapsulating all 21 Surf Life Saving South Australia clubs across the state. The Boomerang Alliance, who have run similar trials in Noosa in Queensland and Bassendean in Western Australia, will be working closely with traders, cafés, restaurants and retailers in these locations to go ‘single-use plastic free’. SA Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs confirmed the first four locations in the Government’s plastic-free precincts trial. “It’s so exciting to see how some of our destination shopping precincts and the iconic Adelaide Central Markets commit to going ‘plastic free,” said Minister Speirs “I’m especially pleased that Surf Life Saving South Australia has put their hand up to be part of the trial. They are among the most motivated of volunteers and our surf life savers are confronted every day with the impact of single use plastics on our coasts and beaches. “Having 21 of our surf life saving clubs decide to band together across the state to move from away from single use plastics is a national first. This kind of collaboration is the hallmark of our precinct approach. “The message from the community is clear, they expect government to lead on the issue of plastics, and it definitely feels like the time is right to reduce, remove and replace singleuse plastics where ever we can.” Surf Life Saving South Australia Chief Executive Officer Damien Marangon said his organisation were thrilled to be one of the first single-use plastic-free precincts. “As custodians of South Australia’s coastline our organisation sees first-hand the impact single-use plastics can have on our beaches and waterways,” said Mr Marangon. “When the State Government called for applications to become a plastic-free precinct we jumped at the opportunity. “SLSSA is an iconic South Australian brand and we are excited to help lead the way when it comes to reducing single-use plastics in our environment.” 4

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

The State Government earlier in the year called for Expressions of Interest to become a plastic-free precinct as well as join our stakeholder taskforce. There were 10 applications for the precincts and more than 25 diverse applicants for the stakeholder taskforce which will provide input and advice to assist in making the precinct trial as successful as possible and to make sure the views and opinions of all South Australians are heard when it comes to the next steps for banning single-use plastics in our state. “We’ve invited 13 representatives from across South Australia including local government, businesses, the hospitality sector and disability advocates to form the first stakeholder taskforce,” said Minister Speirs.

“We had strong applications from across the metropolitan Adelaide all vying to be among the first plastic free precincts in South Australia and to join the stakeholder taskforce and we we’re pleased to make these announcements today. “These first four partners are just the first step, and we expect more plastic free precincts will follow soon given the high quality of the other applications from across the state. “Our government is seeking a wide range of input on what any future phase out or replacement for single use plastic might look like and the stakeholder taskforce will play an important role in our decision making.” For more information about South Australia’s approach to single-use plastics visit: www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/plastics

“The message from the community is clear, they expect government to lead on the issue of plastics, and it definitely feels like the time is right to reduce, remove and replace single-use plastics where ever we can.”


A WORLD OF SOLUTIONS DRIVING THE CHANGE

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Coles agreement secures three new solar power plants Projects to provide 10% of Coles’ national power needs Solar power plants capable of generating sufficient electricity for 39,000 homes* will be built in regional New South Wales following a landmark 10-year agreement between Coles and global renewable power generation company Metka EGN. In the first deal of its kind to be made by a major Australian retailer, Coles will purchase more than 70% of the electricity generated by three solar power plants to be built and operated by Metka EGN outside the regional centres of Wagga Wagga, Corowa and Junee – the equivalent of 10% of Coles’ national electricity usage. The photovoltaic solar plants will supply more than 220 gigawatt hours of electricity into the national electricity grid. Producing the same amount of power from non-renewable sources would result in more than 180,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions^ every year, or the equivalent of the annual emissions of 83,000 cars**. Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the increased use of renewable energy was a major part of the company’s commitment to be the most sustainable supermarket in Australia. “Coles has been a cornerstone of Australian retail for more than 100 years, and ensuring the sustainability of our business is essential to success in our second century,” he said. “We are thrilled that with this agreement, Coles can make a significant contribution

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to the growth of renewable energy supply in Australia, as well as to the communities we serve. “We have already made changes throughout our business to use energy more efficiently, which has enabled us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 4 per cent over the past financial year and more than 30 per cent since 2009, despite growing our store network. “Over the past two financial years alone we have invested more than $40 million in energy efficiency measures including upgrading all store lighting to LED by the end of 2019 and the installation of solar panels on 30 stores.” Coles Chief Property and Export Officer Thinus Keeve said Coles was the first major Australian retailer to commit to buying renewable energy through a Power Purchase Agreement. “Agreements like this are crucial to growing renewable generation capacity in Australia because they give the developers the certainty they need to invest,” he said. As well as supporting large-scale generation projects, Coles is working with property partners to increase on-site generation of renewable power at stores and distribution centres. “We plan to install solar panels on another 38 stores this financial year and we will be working with our landlords and

property developers to identify further locations suitable for on-site solar power generation,” Mr Keeve said. The projects announced today were developed by Australian renewable energy developer Terrain Solar, with the support of advisory firm PwC, as part of a portfolio of renewable generation plants. Metka EGN acquired the portfolio earlier this year and will build, operate and own the plants. “Terrain Solar is incredibly proud of this landmark agreement that will underpin the construction of three new renewable energy plants in regional New South Wales” said Terrain chairman David Griffin. The new solar plants are expected to support more than 250 jobs in regional NSW, including over 240 during construction and 10 ongoing roles. Construction is scheduled to begin in September and the plants are expected to commence supplying power to the grid in July 2020.

* AER Electricity and Gas Bill Benchmarks for Residential Customers ^ Department of Energy and Environment National Greenhouse Accounts Factors for NSW ** Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 12 months ended 30 June


INDUSTRY NEWS

Hydraulic fracturing remains banned on 98 per cent of WA The hydraulic fracturing moratorium on petroleum titles in Western Australia that existed as at November 26, 2018 was lifted during September. It followed the gazettal of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Hydraulic Fracturing) Amendment Regulations 2019. The amendment lifts the moratorium on existing titles and prohibits fracking within two kilometres of gazetted public drinking water source areas, in national parks, towns and the Dampier Peninsula. Fracking will not be permitted over 98 per cent of Western Australia, including Broome and Kalbarri, and all exploration and production projects will be regulated under new requirements. “Companies undertaking future hydraulic fracturing activities will need to refer all exploration and production projects to the Environmental Protection Authority for assessment,” said WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston.

“A new code of practice will also be developed, prescribing minimum enforceable standards for hydraulic fracturing activities.” “Proponents considering hydraulic fracturing are encouraged to engage with the Environmental Protection Authority and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety to ensure they understand the new requirements,” the Minister added. The Western Australian Government’s policy will maintain the ban on fracking in the South-West, Peel and Perth metro area. Additionally, traditional owners and farmers will have the right to say no to oil and gas production from fracking on their land. The action to lift the moratorium is outlined in the implementation plan for the Government’s response to the scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracture stimulation in Western Australia, which was released on July 12, 2019. The Department of Water

and Environmental Regulation, and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety are co-chairing a Senior Officials Steering Group which developed the plan and is overseeing its implementation. For more information on the updated regulations and to view the map, please visit: http://www.hydraulicfracturing.wa.gov.au


INDUSTRY NEWS

Michael Prinz, Managing Director Hamburg Energie GmbH; Andreas Feicht, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy; Peter Tschentscher, First Major of Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg; Markus Tacke, CEO Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy; and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Schmitz, Technical University Hamburg (TUHH) in front of the ETES.

Siemens Gamesa begins operation of its innovative Electrothermal Energy Storage System In a world first, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) recently commenced operation of its electric thermal energy storage system (ETES). During the opening ceremony, Energy State Secretary Andreas Feicht, Hamburg's First Mayor Peter Tschentscher, Siemens Gamesa CEO Markus Tacke and project partners Hamburg Energie GmbH and Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) welcomed the achievement of this milestone. The innovative storage technology makes it possible to store large quantities of energy cost-effectively and thus decouple electricity generation and use. The heat storage facility contains around 1,000 tonnes of volcanic rock as an energy storage medium. It is fed with electrical energy converted into hot air by means of a resistance heater and a blower that heats the rock to 750°C. When demand peaks, ETES uses a steam turbine for the re-electrification of the stored energy. The ETES pilot plant can thus store up to 130 MWh of thermal energy for a week. In addition, the storage capacity of the system remains constant throughout the charging cycles. The aim of the pilot plant is to deliver system evidence of the storage on the grid 8

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

and to test the heat storage extensively. In a next step, Siemens Gamesa plans to use its storage technology in commercial projects and scale up the storage capacity and power. The goal is to store energy in the range of several gigawatt hours (GWh) in the near future. One gigawatt hour is the equivalent to the daily electricity consumption of around 50,000 households. “Decoupling generation and consumption of fluctuating renewable energy via storage is an essential contribution to implementing the energy system transformation. We therefore need cost-effective, efficient and scalable energy storage systems,” Andreas Feicht, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy said. “With the commissioning of our ETES pilot plant, we have reached an important milestone on the way to introducing highperformance energy storage systems,” Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy added. “Our technology makes it possible to store electricity for many thousands of households at low cost, providing an elementary building block for the further

expansion of renewable energy and the success of the energy transition." The technology reduces costs for larger storage capacities to a fraction of the usual level for battery storage. The Institute for Engineering Thermodynamics at Hamburg University of Technology and the local utility company Hamburg Energie are partners in the innovative Future Energy Solutions project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy within the “6. Energieforschungsprogramm” research programme. TU Hamburg carries out research into the thermodynamic fundamentals of the solid bulk technology used. By using standard components, it is possible to convert decommissioned conventional power plants into green storage facilities (second-life option). Hamburg Energie is responsible for marketing the stored energy on the electricity market. The energy provider is developing highly flexible digital control system platforms for virtual power plants. Connected to such an IT platform, ETES can optimally store renewable energy at maximum yield.


Mobile Media Blasting - Wet & Dry

Deakin researchers develop concrete solution for recycled glass Deakin University researchers in Victoria have found a new use for old glass – grinding it up as a substitute for sand to make a type of concrete commonly used in the construction industry. The Deakin School of Engineering researchers have discovered ground recycled or waste glass can be used instead of sand when making polymer concrete, a material often used in industrial flooring. Senior engineering lecturer Dr Riyadh Al-Ameri said the addition of glass resulted in a stronger product that was less costly to produce. “This research provides the evidence the construction industry needs to see the potential of glass as a substitute for sand when making polymer concrete and, potentially, concrete,” Dr Al-Ameri said. “Worldwide, the construction industry represents six per cent of global GDP, according to the World Economic Forum. “Concrete is a major construction material and sand is one of its primary components, so finding an alternative to sand makes good economic sense. “Mined sand requires washing and grading before it is added to aggregate, cement and water to make concrete. “We have found that substituting sand with ground recycled glass makes the polymer concrete stronger and is a sustainable use of one of the major types of recyclables in the domestic waste stream. “Any changes that reduce the cost of production will lead to significant gains across the industry, potentially on a global scale,” Dr Al-Ameri said. Polymer concrete is a type of concrete that uses polymers, typically resins, to replace lime-type cements as a binder. This produces a high strength, water-resistant material suited to industrial flooring and infrastructure drainage, particularly in areas subject to heavy traffic such as service stations, forklift operating areas and airports. Deakin Engineering student Dikshit Modgil worked with Melbourne-based Orca Civil Products as part of his Masters research into the suitability of recyclable glass in polymer concrete production. Orca Civil Products Director Alan Travers said the research partnership had produced results that would be useful in taking the concept further to commercialisation. “The specific type of waste glass used in this project was unsuitable for recycling back into glass and the amount that is stockpiling is becoming a community problem,” Mr Travers said. “The concept has even more appeal to us because of predicted shortages of natural, mined sands in the medium term.” Dr Al-Ameri said the next stage of Deakin’s research would look at substitutes for the aggregate in polymer concrete, optimising the substitution rate, assessing durability, and the commercialisation of the new product.

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Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

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PRODUCT BRIEF

Veolia’s timber recycling facility at Horsley Park is protected from spontaneous combustion by an Aussie self-priming 4”diesel drive high pressure pump.

Waste timber fire protection Veolia’s new waste management venture at the Austral Bricks site in Horsley Park needed a fire protection system to prevent spontaneous combustion of processed timber. They chose the cost-effective Aussie 4” twin impeller diesel powered fire pump for its performance. The new recycling facility is recovering waste timber including old pallets, timber offcuts and frames from the construction industry, and processing it to produce woodchips. The wood piles generate heat and have the potential to self-combust. The solution was to set up a fire protection system for the site using a big Aussie QPT405SLT fire pump. The pump supplies two 400 metre 3” discharge hoses connected to two fire mains. In extreme conditions the system can be used to dampen the woodpiles to reduce the core temperature, or in an emergency can be used for firefighting. A spray system has also been set up to prevent sparks during the chipping process. The pump was chosen for its high performance and flow as well as self-priming ability. Called the QPT405SLTD, the pump uses twin impeller technology to deliver pressures in excess of 125 psi and flows of up to 46,200 litres per hour. Veolia’s site manager, Stephen Bernhard, was impressed with the pump's performance and ease of set up. Its simple design makes it a cost-effective solution that is robust and easy to maintain. Apart from the exceptional capability, the pump offers user-friendly features that include the ability to self-prime from depths of 7m. That’s a huge advantage as there is no need to prime the entire suction line prior to starting the pump. Other unique features include a compact design and a 3-way outlet. That outlet offers the operator a choice of using either one 4” delivery line, or two 3” lines. The big pump is powered by a Kohler air cooled diesel engine developing 12kW power at 3600 rpm. A big 60L long range fuel tank mounted in the heavy-duty steel base enables the unit to run continuously for up to 16 hours of running times. 10

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The skid mount is a “sled” design and is fitted as standard with an integrated lifting bar that enables it to be easily moved around the site. The pump body itself is manufactured from non-corrosive highgrade aluminium. The twin impellers are also made from heavy duty alloy castings operating within heavy duty volute casings. The Aussie 4” pump will prime fast in 20 seconds from low suction heads and takes up to 2 minutes to prime from 5 or 6 metres. Further information on the new twin impeller QPT-405SLTD with Kohler air cooled engine is available from Australian Pump Industries or Aussie Pump Distributors throughout Australia.

Veolia’s Stephen Bernhard (left) and Aussie Pump’s Brad Farrugia on site for the handover of the Aussie QPT405SLT fire pump.


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COVER FEATURE

ALL SYSTEMS

FOGO! MASTEC rolls out bins for SMRC’s new residential FOGO service in Perth

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COVER FEATURE

In keeping with its focus on maximising resource recovery from the residential waste stream and minimising the amount of waste being disposed of in landfill, three of Perth’s Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) member councils are rolling out a new FOGO (Food Organic, Garden Organics) system for residents. The new service, which has been successfully rolled out across the Town of East Fremantle and the City of Melville - and is currently in the final stages of being rolled out across the City of Fremantle - includes two new bins, a change in bin collection frequencies and, perhaps most significantly, a change in the way residents sort their household waste.

W

idely regarded as ‘best practice’ residential waste management, 3-bin Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) systems have been implemented by a number of councils across Australia in recent years, and have proven to be a highly effective method of increasing resource recovery from the organic waste stream, while at the same time reducing waste-to-landfill. Although 3-bin residential collection systems are a common sight across Perth, the three SMRC councils are the first in Perth to introduce the 3-bin FOGO system. All other 3-bin systems in the Perth metropolitan area currently only offer residents a third bin for Garden Waste, and not nutrient-rich food waste. The decision to introduce a FOGO system followed on from an extremely successful trial of the system in 2017/18. Initiated in October 2017, the City of Melville 3-bin FOGO trial involved some 7,000 households as part of a joint project between the Cities of Fremantle and Melville, the Town of East Fremantle and the SMRC. The trial demonstrated that the FOGO system was able to achieve greater than 65% diversion from landfill, while at the same time reducing processing costs and enabling the production of a high-quality compost product that meets the Australian Standard.

“Introducing a dedicated FOGO bin for food and garden organics not only enables us to further improve our recovery rates and increase diversion from landfill, it also helps us to reduce the costs of processing materials.”

Pictured above: Bins for SMRC FOGO rollout were transported in bulk from MASTEC’s Adelaide manufacturing plant to a temporary depot in O’Connor, which provided a central site from which the MASTEC A&D crews could prepare and collect bins and lids for delivery throughout the city.

Thanks to the excellent communication engagement and education strategies put in place by both the SMRC and each of three councils, the move to the FOGO system received widespread community support right from the initial trial stage. Importantly, with the rollout nearing completion, support for FOGO and participation rates have both been excellent, with many residents seeing it as a practical and convenient method of reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill. SMRC Chairperson, Cr Doug Thompson, commented:

“Our member councils have been at the forefront of resource recovery in WA since the early 2000s, recovering recyclables and processing organic materials through the Regional Resource Recovery Centre in Canning Vale, which produces a restricted grade compost from the contents of the household general waste bin.” “Introducing a dedicated FOGO bin for food and garden organics not only enables us to further improve our recovery rates and increase diversion from landfill, it also helps us to reduce the costs of processing materials.” “By collecting nutrient-rich food waste alongside garden waste in the new FOGO bin, we can generate a high-quality compost from the contents of these bins for use on farms, parks and gardens, thereby avoiding organic waste going to landfill, which produces harmful methane gas,” Cr Thompson said.

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COVER FEATURE

A kitchen caddy with compostable bags was delivered with the new FOGO bins.

3-STAGE ROLLOUT As anyone who has ever been involved with rolling out a new residential waste or recycling service will attest, it is a complex and often onerous task – especially when it involves the introduction of an additional bin. The SMRC FOGO rollout not only involves an additional bin and changes to collection frequencies, it also has the added challenge of changing the way people sort and dispose of their waste. Incorporating the delivery of over 93,000 new bins (together with kitchen tidies, compostable bags and usage information) to some 46,500 households across three council areas – as well as the collection of the residents’ old 240 litre General Waste bins for repurposing and/or recycling - there can be no doubt that the SMRC FOGO rollout is a significant task by any measure. The success of the rollout across all three SMRC council areas not only stands as testament to both the hard work and thorough preparation carried out by both the SMRC and each of the three councils prior to the rollout, but also the capability and professionalism of MASTEC’s Assembly & Delivery (A&D) team. The first stage of the rollout commenced on 1 July 2019 across the Town of East Fremantle, making it the first Perth metropolitan local government to implement a 3-bin FOGO system for its community. The East Fremantle rollout involved the delivery of a new 240 litre MASTEC® FOGO bin with a lime green lid (for all the natural materials from both the kitchen and the garden) and a new 140 litre MASTEC®

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General Waste bin with a red lid (for items that can’t be composted or recycled) to some 3,000 households. As part of the rollout, residents were also provided with a kitchen tidy bin and a supply of compostable bags for collecting FOGO kitchen waste, as well as information on how to use the FOGO bin. Under the FOGO 3-bin system, residents will continue to use their existing 240 litre recycling bins for the fortnightly recyclables collection. Their old 240 litre General Waste bins have been collected for repurposing or recycling into new bins. Stage 2 of the FOGO rollout - for the City of Melville - commenced on July 8th and wrapped up on September 14th. The 10-week Stage 2 rollout saw the two new MASTEC® bins, along with the kitchen tidy, bags and information, delivered to over 32,500 households across the City. Currently nearing completion, the third and final stage of the SMRC rollout for the City of Fremantle commenced on September 16th. Taking in approximately 11,000 households, the City of Fremantle rollout is scheduled for completion mid-October.

HIGHLIGHTING THE BENEFITS OF PLANNING & COMMUNICATION As the smallest component of the SMRC contract, the Town of East Fremantle FOGO rollout was the ideal starting point for the process. It provided an excellent opportunity to establish the planning and communications protocols between all stakeholders to ensure that the rollout went as smoothly as possible. To that end, the Town established a FOGO Working Group, consisting of the CEO, depot staff, a newly appointed

waste education officer, customer services staff, the communication officer and the principal environmental health officer. A comprehensive project plan, risk assessment and communication/engagement plans were developed, and in the three months leading up to the rollout of FOGO, the team met on a weekly basis to work through the details of how the rollout would unfold. Importantly, the planning process also involved regular liaison with both the SMRC, collection contractors, the MASTEC A&D team and other staff, ensuring that all stakeholders were ‘kept in the loop’ in the lead up to the rollout. The rollout process was specifically focused on minimising the impact of the changeover on the Town’s residents, with FOGO bin deliveries scheduled to match the existing collection routes. Residents were asked to place their existing General Waste bin and Recycling bins out for collection on their regular scheduled collection day, leaving the General Waste bin out for changeover once it was emptied. Once the existing General Waste bins had been emptied, council staff (who were following the collection vehicles) taped the bins shut to prevent further use, leaving them on the verge for removal and recycling. With the old bins emptied and taped shut, the MASTEC A&D crews delivered the new bins and collected the old General Waste bins for recycling. Any bins that were put out after the scheduled collection were emptied and taped shut by council depot staff, who were also mobilised to deliver the small number of missed bins and remove any old General Waste bins that were not presented to MASTEC for collection and recycling.


COVER FEATURE

HIGHLY ACCURATE DATA As well as helping to provide a fast, efficient and streamlined Assembly & Distribution service, the MASTEC® MAStrac system has also proven itself to be an extremely effective method of verifying the accuracy of existing GIS rate / property data.

MASTEC® MAStrac HIGH-TECH BIN DELIVERY SYSTEM Together with its high-tech bin and lid manufacturing capabilities, the past decade has also seen MASTEC gain an enviable reputation across Australia as an innovator and leader in the field of bin Assembly & Distribution (A&D) services. When it comes to bin rollouts, registering bin serial numbers with property data, ensuring every household has a bin and, importantly, making sure that the task is completed in time for the commencement of the new collection service(s), are all critical factors in the A&D process. Put simply, a failure in any of these areas can spell disaster for the council and collection contractor alike. The high-tech MASTEC® MAStrac bin delivery system utilises state-of-the-art hand-held scanners, together with a specially developed proprietary software package, to provide an extremely accurate and easy-to-use method of registering and tracking bin serial numbers and, if installed, RFID tag numbers to individual properties. The purpose-designed system provides accurate, real-time information as to the status of every delivery, with the GSMenabled scanners providing a constantly updated ‘live data stream’ during the rollout process. As part of the bin manufacturing process, each MASTEC bin is ‘Hot Stamped’ with a unique serial number and fitted with a matching barcode sticker. At the time of delivery to the individual households, the bins are fitted with a second barcode sticker which is generated by the MASTEC® MAStrac software as part of the delivery route sheet preparation process. This second barcode reflects delivery address, property ID number and the type and size of the bin.

Above At the time of delivery, the bins are fitted with a second barcode sticker which is generated by the MASTEC® MAStrac software as part of the delivery route sheet preparation process. Below: The two barcodes are scanned with the lightweight hand-held scanner/transmitter and the data is transmitted live to MASTEC’s central database as a ‘combined’ record containing all of the relevant data for the bin including date and time of delivery.

In instances where there may be a discrepancy in the GIS / property data provided for the rollout (e.g. no house at location, incorrect address or, more commonly, additional dwellings on sub-divided lots that have not been updated into the property database) the A&D operator is able to enter an exception code that provides a clear explanation as to why bins could not be delivered to the address, or conversely, why additional bins will be required at a specific address. In practical terms, once the rollout is finished, the completed MASTEC® MAStrac database not only provides a detailed database of the location of every bin asset, it also provides a highly detailed and extremely accurate property database – one in which every property has been physically located and identified, and any exceptions have been noted.

With all of the relevant data now ‘physically attached’ to the bins by means of two barcode stickers, all that remains is for the delivery crews to scan the two barcodes and (if installed) the RFID tag with the lightweight hand-held scanner/transmitter. This is a quick and simple process that generally takes no longer than 10 seconds per bin to complete. The scanned data is then automatically transmitted (together with date/time stamp info) to MASTEC’s central database as a ‘combined’ record containing all of the relevant data for the bin. Importantly, the fact that the data is scanned rather than written manually, helps to eliminate problems or issues relating to incorrect information being written down and/or illegible run sheets - further improving data integrity.

For further information on the full range of MASTEC products and services please visit www.mastec.com.au or phone 1300 MASTEC (1300 627 832).

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

15


COVER FEATURE

get to know FOGO While FOGO services have been in operation for a number of Australian councils for some time now, the drive to further reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill, coupled with other factors such as ever-increasing landfill levies, changes in recycling programs and practices and, perhaps most importantly, the success of FOGO both in Australia and internationally, looks set to drive a significant increase in the implementation of 3-bin FOGO systems. Indeed, in Western Australia, the State Government’s recently released ‘Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030’ strongly supports the FOGO system, with targets for all councils in the Perth and Peel region moving to 3-bin kerbside collection systems that include separation of FOGO from other waste categories. Paul Molony, Manager Resource Recovery & Waste with the City of Melville, commented: “The 3-bin Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) system is widely recognised as a best practice waste management service that enables individuals, households and businesses to work together for an environmentally

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Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

sustainable solution to reduce waste and increase diversion from landfill.” “What’s more, unlike a number of other collection systems, the 3-bin FOGO system meets the Waste Strategy’s targets for avoidance, resource recovery and environmental protection,” he said. “Historically, Western Australia has generated the highest volume of waste per capita in Australia and has some of the lowest rates of recovery. Change is required to stop landfilling recyclable resources and implement a low waste, circular economy to extract and reuse these resources right to the end of their service life,” Paul Molony added. “We believe FOGO can play a significant role in achieving that change.”

SMRC 3-BIN FOGO SERVICE One of the key benefits of the FOGO system, is that it’s extremely easy and convenient for residents to understand and use. Indeed, working out whether an item is or isn’t FOGO, can generally be decided using one, simple ‘golden rule’:

“If it didn’t live or grow, it isn’t FOGO” Under the SMRC 3-bin FOGO system, the resident’s existing yellow-lidded 240 litre recycling bin and new red-lidded 140 litre general waste bins are collected fortnightly, while their new lime green-lidded 240 litre FOGO bin is collected weekly. Residents with a genuine need for additional capacity for General Waste (e.g. properties where there are large families with children in nappies or residents with medical issues) can request a larger 240L capacity General Waste bin, while families requiring additional recycling capacity can request a 360L capacity bin. Requests for additional capacity bins are assessed on a caseby-case basis to ensure that only residents that truly require larger bins receive them. Importantly, however, the vast majority of residents across the three councils areas have found that the new 3-bin FOGO system provides ample capacity for each waste/ recyclables stream, with only a very small number of larger capacity bins being requested.


COVER FEATURE

WHAT CAN BE PUT IN EACH BIN? 240L FOGO Bin (Lime Green Lid) Collected Weekly The FOGO lime green-lidded bin is for all food leftovers (including meat and bones) and garden organics (including grass and small prunings). Food waste can be placed into the FOGO bin either in a compostable liner, wrapped in newspaper or loose in the bin. FOGO waste includes: • Fruit and vegetable scraps, processed food and leftovers from meals such as meat, fish, chicken, bread, egg, egg shells, dairy products, rice, pasta, coffee grounds and tea bags; • All garden organics including grass clippings, flowers, weeds, herbs, small branches and leaves; • Paper towels, compostable plates, compostable bags and pizza boxes; • Pet droppings and kitty litter - either straight into the bin or in a compostable liner (biodegradable plastic liners are not to go into the FOGO bin - only compostable liners as they will break down naturally in the composting process).

240L Recyclables Bin (Yellow Lid) Collected Fortnightly The SMRC service accepts a wide range of recyclables for processing, including: • Hard plastics with lids removed; • Paper and Cardboard (excluding shredded paper); • Glass bottles and jars; • Steel and Aluminium cans.

and, of course, numerous public information sessions, the key focus was on alleviating any associated stress or anxiety about the new waste service. As well as providing residents with easy-tofollow information about FOGO (including the benefits of the move to FOGO, changes in their bins and collection schedules) the campaigns also provided details of the rollout schedule – keeping the residents fully-informed as to how and when the move to FOGO was to occur in their area. Targeted education sessions were held at council offices, kindergartens, schools, nursing homes and for local sporting groups. FOGO information and materials were also made available at local community events and at an educational stall run in conjunction with the SMRC at a major shopping centre.

140L General Waste Bin (Red Lid) Collected Fortnightly The red-lidded General Waste bin is for items that cannot be composted or recycled, such as nappies, polystyrene, plastic bags, long life tetra cartons and soft plastics.

EDUCATING FOR CHANGE Needless to say, communication and education have played a critical role in ensuring a smooth transition to FOGO, with each of the councils developing detailed community engagement and awareness strategies. From flyers and advertising in local newspapers, through to poster and banner campaigns, large outdoor Variable Message Signs, social media posts

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

17


RENEWABLE ENERGY

Five-minute forecast a win for solar energy industry Australian researchers are developing short-term weather forecasts for solar farms to help them precisely predict output as little as five minutes in advance. By Andrew Spence The $1.2 million Australian project will use data generated by real-time sky cameras, satellite images and statistical modelling to design a world-first, short-term forecasting model to more accurately predict weather conditions from five minutes up to two hours. Working alongside colleagues from CSIRO, the University of New South Wales and Genex Power, the University of South Australia is focusing on the statistical modelling component. UniSA Professor of Environmental Mathematics John Boland said inaccurate short-term forecasts relating to wind and solar generation have cost Australia’s renewable energy sector about $5 million in the past decade. He said precise selfforecasting would also help solar farms with battery storage capabilities predict when best to sell or store their electricity. “Accurately forecasting the output of grid-connected solar systems is critical to increasing the overall penetration of solar and renewables. This is important for the stability and management of the electrical system as a whole,” Professor Boland said. “Clouds can move and form very quickly, creating complex atmospheric layers which often move in different directions. The existing forecasting systems for wind and solar are designed for longer-term timeframes and have led to multiple issues over the years. “This highlights the need for reliable short-term forecasts to provide confidence to both renewable generators and the entire industry.” The 18-month project will implement short-term solar forecasting systems at five operational solar farms in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

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Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

The electricity spot price in Australia is calculated every five minutes with a settlement period of 30-minutes. The settlement time will be reduced from 30 minutes to five minutes from July 2021. Professor Boland said it was hoped the five systems would be operating at the solar farms by the end of the year so that almost a full year of testing of the forecasting tool could be done before the end of the project. He said Australia’s five-minute pricing system was as short or shorter than anywhere else in the world, making it the ideal place to develop the forecasting tool. “Because of the type of market we’ve got here, it really invigorates the research area to get things right so it will probably be better than anywhere else in the world because it presents more difficulties and opportunities. “Some of the other markets in the world are moving towards shorter time scales so what we can develop here will actually be very useful.” Similar projects, also funded through ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program, will focus on forecasting for wind farms. Professor Boland said the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) had previously used a forecasting method developed for a longer time scale that was based on a system developed for wind forecasting in Europe. “Previously it was good for between a few hours and a day ahead but once you try to scale that down to a forecast in five minutes it’s difficult,” he said. “But that’s the time scale the market works on in Australia so if the energy market operator can know better what

all the possible generators are going to produce in the next five minutes then they can manage the system much more robustly. “When that happens it not only makes it easier to manage the system, but it makes it easier to keep the wholesale prices down as well.” Australia leads the world in household solar power, with around 15 per cent of the nation’s roofs now fitted with PV panels, lowering energy costs and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. The state of South Australia leads the nation in the uptake of wind energy and rooftop solar with renewable sources accounting for more than 50 per cent of the electricity generated in the state. For the project, CSIRO will use skywardfacing cameras to look at the development and movement of clouds, UNSW will use satellite images to look at slightly longer time scale – 15 minutes or half an hour – while Professor Boland’s team at UniSA will use statistical methods and mathematical tools for short-term forecasting. “I can use statistical tools to model the seasonality, for instance, and then time series forecasts. From knowing the outputs and the solar energy available in the last few time steps we can forecast for the next time step using a simple time series model and when that is added to the seasonality model you get your total forecast. “But the key thing at the end is to put these three models together and use different compilations of them to suit different times so we have a blended model that performs better than any of the individual parts.”


TOMORROW’S SOLUTIONS. TODAY


RENEWABLE ENERGY

Gearing up for a green gas future The greening of the New South Wales gas network has taken a significant step forward. Leading energy infrastructure company Jemena has confirmed the purchase of the state’s first electrolyser which will utilise renewable energy to produce green gas for cooking, heating and hot water in homes and businesses. The 500kw electrolyser will be located in Western Sydney. The technology will utilise solar and wind power to create carbon-neutral hydrogen gas to be stored in the Jemena Gas Network – the largest in Australia. “We are making a significant investment in technology to demonstrate the network is ready to deliver clean, safe and sustainable green gas to customers,” said Gabrielle Sycamore, General Manager, Strategy and Commercial, Jemena. “New South Wales’ first electrolyser will ensure we can develop processes to store renewably generated energy in existing network infrastructure for use when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow,” Ms Sycamore said.

Moving to a decarbonised gas future The electrolyser, developed in Belgium and Canada by Hydrogenics, and brought to Australia by renewable energy systems specialists, ANT Energy Solutions, will drive Jemena’s Western Sydney Green Gas Project, a $15 million trial, co-funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The project will produce renewably generated hydrogen gas for use in NSW homes and businesses within the next five years. Importantly, the project will demonstrate the co-mingling, storage and distribution of hydrogen and natural gas in the existing network, which has the capacity to store the equivalent of 8 million Powerwall batteries. In doing so, the project will test intermittent and variable energy conversion to renewable gas, providing on-demand energy in the gas distribution network. “Gas is vital to many Australian companies and communities including the $196 billion mining and manufacturing industry and more than 6.5 million homes. Customers are increasingly looking for sustainable energy solutions and Jemena believes renewable gases such as hydrogen and biomethane can play an important role in meeting the NSW Government’s objective of net zero emissions by 2050,” said Ms Sycamore. Jemena is also working with councils, partners and stakeholders to ensure public and private transport fleets can access hydrogen for use in fuel cell electric vehicles. For more information about the Western Sydney Green Gas Project, please visit: www.jemena.com.au

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Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

Wave energy technology trialled off Tasmanian coast On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) recently announced $4 million in funding to Wave Swell Energy Limited to install a pilot-scale wave energy converter off the coast of King Island, Tasmania. The $12.3 million project will involve the design, construction, installation and operation of the UniWave 200, a 200 kW wave energy device off the coast of King Island. The project will also be integrated with the King Island microgrid operated by Hydro Tasmania, which received $6 million in ARENA funding in 2011 to demonstrate the integration of several renewable resources and energy management technologies. The device will be partially submerged as it sits on the seabed and has an opening on one side to allow the movement of the waves in and out of the chamber. Water rises and falls inside the chamber, causing the pressure of the air trapped above to change between negative and positive pressure. The pressure fluctuations force the air to pass through the turbine at the top of the chamber, generating electricity. ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project will offer additional insights into combining wind, solar and wave energy. “Wave energy has the potential to be integrated into microgrids, particularly on island locations with limited space, to reduce the need for significant battery storage due to the relative predictability and consistency of wave energy,” he said. “The tidal and wave sector in Australia is still in the early demonstration phase. Wave Swell’s unique approach to wave energy will gain valuable knowledge and help to see whether this is a viable option for generating renewable energy.” Wave Swell Energy CEO, Dr Tom Denniss said: “We are extremely pleased to have such a substantial component of the UniWave 200 King Island Project funded by ARENA.” “The project, aimed at demonstrating the commercial viability of the technology, is expected to be the first of many wave energy projects utilising this unique world leading intellectual property. ARENA’s role in the King Island project represents a vital component of the ultimate commercialisation of the technology,” he said.


OLI VIBRATORS

7 Jellico Drive - Scoresby Vic 3179 - Australia www.olivibrators.com.au Tel: +61 3 9764 9988 - info@olivibrators.com.au

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Conveying, screening, feeding, hopper emptying.

MVE-E Increased Safety Safety in hazardous environments

MVE-D Explosion Proof

Screening, feeding, hopper emptying.

Safety in extremely hazardous environments

Conveying, screening, feeding, hopper emptying.

SV

Long vibrator

Screening applications - Quarry, mining, oil. Acts as a structural member of the machine, the centrifugal force acts directly on the screen walls.

AERATORS Vibro-Aerators: VB

Flanged

Dry powders. The fastest loadout speed.

The best for circular vibrating machines

Deburring, polishing, brightening, drying. Ceramics and all other industrial sectors.

LINEAR PNEUMATIC

MVE-DC Direct Current

VIBRATORS

IP66 protection, resistant to accidental shocks

Single Impact: MARTSHOCK PS

Concrete pumps.

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AIR JET

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Air Cannons: GUNJET PG

Irregular shapes and fibrous light materials. The fastest loadout speed.

Ball: S

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Cement, lime. External mounting kit.

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Hygroscopic, sticky and humid powders. High temperature.

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Hydraulic: MVO

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EQUIPMENT FOCUS

Performance Under Pressure

Specialist vibration technology for the even the harshest environments When it comes to harsh operating environments, there can be no doubt that Materials Recycling Facilities (MRF’s) and other waste management-related facilities are right up there with the harshest. From dust, dirt and fine particulates, through to all types of materials – large or small, heavy or light – equipment in MRF’s and other similar facilities is exposed to all manner of ‘punishment’ on a daily basis. What’s more, many of these facilities work multiple shifts per day, putting the equipment under extraordinary pressure to perform for extended periods. Hardly surprising then, when it came to selecting the appropriate specialist vibratory motors for their bespoke vibrating materials handling, sorting and processing solutions, Melbourne-based equipment specialists Vibroflow turned to OLI Vibrators. Vibroflow’s Project Manager, Anthony Sokolowski, explained: “The majority of the equipment we design and build, ends up being installed in some of the harshest operating environments around. It needs to be able to stand up to those conditions for the long-term, and with OLI vibrators, we know that it can, and does.”

“We’ve been using OLI vibrators in our equipment for over 10 years and we’ve always been extremely happy with their performance. They’re robust and reliable, they perform as specified, and they’re built to last.” 22

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019


EQUIPMENT FOCUS

While it may seem a fairly straightforward solution to place a vibrating unit on a vehicle or piece of equipment to separate materials and/or get them moving, nothing could be further from the truth. Selecting the right vibratory solution is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ proposition. Specific materials respond differently to different amplitudes. Different frequencies and vibration strengths have different ranges of influence on different materials. The team at Vibroflow work with their clients to design and purpose-engineer bespoke sorting, separation and materials handling solutions to suit each individual application and material stream. Vibroflow has been manufacturing bespoke screening products for the recycling and waste management industries for over 10 years. Vibroflow designs and engineers solutions for a wide range of materials - from lightweight plastics, paper and card, through to glass, metals, soils, composts and other organic materials - and has gained an enviable reputation for both the quality, reliability and performance of its equipment. “Once we have the equipment designed, OLI Vibrators provide us with the appropriate vibratory motors to meet the specification,” Anthony Sokolowski said. “Importantly, the fact that OLI has such a comprehensive range of products and spare parts available locally, and that these products are supported by staff with both product knowledge and local industry expertise, also means we’re able to access products, spares and expertise quickly and easily. That, in turn, helps to minimise both equipment manufacturing lead times and downtime for repairs or servicing,” Anthony concluded. For further information, please visit: www.olivibrators.com.au “The vibratory motors we use, are really at the heart of everything we design and build, so we need to be absolutely certain that they’re going to perform as specified. We also need to be sure that they’re going to keep on performing for the long-term.” “After all, if the vibratory motor fails, the equipment stops – and that can bring an entire facility to a standstill,” he added. And therein lies one of the biggest challenges for most MRF’s and other waste/recyclables processing facilities. The ‘linear’ nature of most processing facilities often means that if one piece of equipment fails, the entire plant comes to a standstill. Add to that, the fact that with most facilities, the recyclables or other waste streams will continue to arrive on a daily basis – whether they’re being processed or not - and it’s easy to see why equipment reliability is such a critical factor. “We’ve been using OLI vibrators in our equipment for over 10 years and we’ve always been extremely happy with their performance. They’re robust and reliable, they perform as specified, and they’re built to last. With Oli vibrators, we can be sure that our equipment meets our customers’ needs and it won’t let them down,” Anthony said. The name OLI® has been synonymous with expertise in vibration technology for over 55 years. Part of the global WAMGROUP & WOLONG MOTOR COMPANY, OLI Vibrators Australia is a leading supplier of specialist vibrators for a range of Australian industry sectors, including the waste management and recycling industries. From loading pits and conveyors through to sorting, separation and processing equipment, and even the collection vehicles themselves, OLI Vibrators designs and manufacturers specialist vibratory motors for waste management and recycling equipment manufacturers across Australia and around the globe.

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2018

23


WEDNESDAY 23

Morning Plenary 9:30am

Policy: Victorian Ministerial Keynote, The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change; Minister for Solar Homes, Government of Victoria

Waste to Energy

SPONSORED BY

9:50am

From Landfill to WtE: EU’s Mistakes and How Not to Repeat Them - Michal Paca, Development Director, Bioelektra Group

10:20am

Panel: Strategies for Innovating and Increasing the Sustainability of Australia’s WtE Sector - Ian Guss, Director, Recovered Energy Australia/Shahana McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Bioenergy Australia / Niels Jakobsen, Senior Project Manager, Ramboll Australia / Demian Natakhan, Director, Enhar / Jeff Snyder, Senior Vice President Business Development, Aries Clean Energy

11:10am

Gasification 101 - Jeff Snyder, Senior Vice President Business Development, Aries Clean Energy

11:40am

Firing Up a WtE Plant: Case Studies from Australia and Beyond - Dr Marc Stammbach, Managing Director, Hitachi Zosen Inova Australia

Resource Recovery 12:10pm

Creating a More Sustainable and Resilient Resource Recovery Industry - Rose Read, Chief Executive Officer, National Waste and Recycling Industry Council

12:40pm

Best Practice Resource Recovery: Towards 100% Diversion from Landfill - Geoff Hill, Chief Operating Officer, Bingo Industries

1:10pm

Lunch

1:50pm

Market Development Strategies for Closing the Resource Loop - Matt Genever, Director Resource Recovery, Sustainability Victoria

2:20pm

Turning Barriers into Enablers of Regional Waste Management: Case Studies from West Coast Council & Snowy Valley Council - Isabel Axiö, Waste Consultant, Just Waste Consulting

2:50pm

Yarra City: Holistic Kerbside Waste Management Pilot - Joe Agostino, Project Officer, City Works, Yarra City Council

3:20pm

E-Waste Panel: A Roadmap for Improving Australia’s E-Waste Management System - Warren Overton, Chief Executive Officer, Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform Limited (ANZRP) / Rob Millard, Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group / James Coghill, Director, Total Green Recycling

4:00pm

Advocating for Wider Organics Resource Recovery and Beneficial Reuse - Michael Wood, Company Secretary, Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA)

4:30pm

Campaspe Community Collaborates to “Give a Scrap” - Sheri Doyle, Environmental Project Officer – Organics, Campaspe Shire Council

5:00pm

Waste Expo Australia Networking Function

THURSDAY 24

Morning Plenary 9:00am

Policy: Victoria’s New Environment Laws: A New Approach - Dr Cathy Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer, EPA Victoria

9:20am

Policy: A Long-Term Waste Strategy for NSW - Dr Kar Mei Tang, A/Executive Director, Waste Strategy and Policy, NSW EPA

9:40am

Policy: Regulatory Reform with the South Australian Waste and Recycling Sector: Where to Next - Steven Sergi, Manager, Regulatory Reform Projects, SA EPA

Collections

SPONSORED BY

10:00am

Stream welcome - James Holmes, State Manager – VIC, CSE Crosscom

10:10am

NSW Return and Earn: Towards 3 Billion Collections - James Dorney, Chief Executive Officer, TOMRA Cleanaway

10:40am

Learnings and Considerations for New Container Deposit Schemes (CDS) in Australia - Markus Fraval, Director, Strategy & Business Development, TOMRA Collection

Resource Recovery 11:10am

Collaborating with the Grocery Industry to Develop a Circular Economy - Barry Cosier, Director Sustainability, Australian Food and Grocery Council

11:40am

Providing Free Compostable Produce Bags in Supermarkets to Increase Kerbside Food Efficiency Rate - Shani Wood, Environmental officer, City of Holdfast Bay

12:10pm

Lunch

Resource Recovery 12:40pm

Partnership Panel: Towards a Circular Economy - Angela Hoefnagels, Manager, Waste and Resource Recovery, Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning / Brendan Lee,Circular Economy Manager, Closed Loop / Cameron McKenzie, Managing Director, ASPIRE / Sabina Wills, Chief Executive Officer, Keep Victoria Beautiful / Rhys Pirie, PhD Candidate, University of Queensland

1:30pm

Challenges and Opportunities for Resource Recovery in Australia: Operators’ Perspective - Pete Shmigel, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council of Recycling(ACOR)

2:00pm

Eliminating Single-Use Plastics at Darebin City Council - Kelly Barnes, Environment Officer Waste & Litter, Darebin City Council Sam Green, Environmental Education and Promotions Officer, Darebin City Council

2:30pm

Better Practice Guide for Waste Management and Recycling in Multi-Unit Developments - Sam Trowse, Project Lead (Land Use Planning), Sustainability Victoria

Landfill & Transfer Stations 3:00pm

Understanding the Challenges Facing Modern Landfill - Daniel Fyfe, Director, Australian Landfill Owners Association

3:30pm

Paving the Weigh: How Albury City Council Is Leading the Way in Resource Recovery - Andrea Baldwin, Team Leader Waste Management, Albury City Council

4:00pm

Best Practice Landfill Management - Meldina Klehic, Regional Manager Victoria Post Collections, Cleanaway

5:00pm

Waste Expo Australia Closes


2019

Conference Agenda Construction & Demolition

SPONSORED BY

A Circular Built Environment - Joyanne Manning, Principal, Australasia Resource and Waste Management Leader, ARUP

1:30pm

Ensuring Compliance to Circularity in the Construction Industry - Peter Mulherin, Researcher, RMIT University

2:00pm

Pulling Products not Pushing Waste: Repurposing in Action - Jim Appleby, General Manager – Reconomy, Transport and Infrastructure, Downer

2:30pm

Paving the Way to Greener Roads - Peter Murphy, Managing Director, Alex Fraser

3:00pm

Afternoon Break

3:30pm

Plastic Roads: Pioneering the Journey to a Circular Economy - Peter Tamblyn, Sales and Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific, Close the Loop

4:00pm

Australian-First C&D Washing Plant - George Hatzimanolis, Chief Executive Officer, Repurpose it

4:30pm

Converting Chemical Waste into Sustainable Energy - Mary Kanellos, Geocycle Operations Manager, Cement Australia

23-24 October 2019

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Register now for free

at wasteexpoaustralia.com.au

Wastewater

WEDNESDAY 23

1:00pm

12:00pm

Future Investments and Funding Priorities at ARENA - Matt Walden, Director, Business Development & Transactions, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

12:30pm

Hybrid Power Systems and Storage for Fuelling Remote Water Pumping Sites Rana Mitra, Senior Hybrid Solar Engineer, Enhar

1:00pm

Lunch

2:00pm

Halting Biosolids Stockpile Growth at Sewage Treatment Plants Ellen Tao, Senior Process Engineer, Innovation and Partnership, Melbourne Water

2:30pm

A Case Study on Industrial Wastewater: Poultry Edition - Enviro Concepts

3:00pm

Compact Trade Waste Solutions and Simplified Wash-Water Recycling - Michael Anderson, Manager of Operations, Aerofloat

3:30pm

Exploring the Viability of Opportunities for Sewer Heat Recovery - Ben Fraser, Business Projects Team Leader, City West Water

4:00pm

Achieving Low-Cost Desalination Using Novel Solar Steam Technology - Xiwang Zhang, Professor; Director, Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University; Australian Research Council Research Hub for Energy-Efficient Separation

4:30pm

End of Day One and Networking Drinks

Wastewater

1:00pm

Minimising Waste to Landfill through Organics Depackaging - Melinda Lizza, Business Development Manager, Cleanaway

1:30pm

Converting Waste to Products and Profits - Mike Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Energy

2:00pm

Understanding Buyer Behaviour to Encourage Purchase of Waste-Derived Products - Dr Mayuri Wijayasundara, Lecturer – Engineering Management, Deakin University

2:30pm

Communicating the Impact of Waste Reduction to Improve Waste Management in the Healthcare Industry - Rachel McConville, Waste Education Officer, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services / Kaushik Sridhar, National Sustainability Manager, Regis Healthcare

3:00pm

Afternoon Break

3:30pm

Exploring Opportunities for Solving Manufacturing Energy and Waste Problems - Henry Anning, Chief Executive Officer, ResourceCo Energy Systems

4:00pm

Utilising Optical Sorting Innovation to Create New Avenues for Recycled Materials - Sid Jain, Technical Sales Engineer, Satake Australia

4:30pm

Destructive Distillation: A World First Technology for Achieving Cleanly Recycled Tyres - Trevor Bayley, Chief Operating Officer, Green Distillation Technologies *Program correct at time of printing visit website for up to date agenda.

SPONSORED BY

10:30am

Sydney Water, Energy, Food Waste and the Circular Economy - Phil Woods, Service Planning Lead (Energy), Sydney Water

11:00am

Perth’s Groundwater Replenishment Scheme: From Concept to Reality - Dr Stacey Hamilton, Senior Technical Advisor – Membrane Treatment, Water Corporation

11:30am

Sniffing out Odour Problems Using NextGen Technologies: What is Possible? Robin Ormerod, Chief Scientist and Founder, Envirosuite

12:00pm

Lunch

1:00pm

Panel: Enhancing the Environmental Performance of Wastewater Treatment Robert D’Arcy, Energy & Process Efficiency Consultant, Aran Environmental Services / Steven Reddington, Senior Planner, Environment, Barwon Water

1:50pm

Enabling Large-Scale Solar Generation for Wastewater Treatment Authorities Demian Natakhan, Director, Enhar

2:20pm

An Innovative and Collaborative Approach to Septic Tank System Management - Andrew Sieber, Group Manager, Liveable and Sustainable Futures, South East Water / Peter O’Brien, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

2:50pm

How Intelligent Software Is Transforming Standalone Products into Smart Solutions for Wastewater Treatment and Submersible Pumping - Scott Thompson, Business Development Manager – Municipal and Construction, Xylem

3:20pm

End of Day Summit

SPONSORED BY

THURSDAY 24

Commercial & Industrial

SPONSORED BY


WASTE EXPO 2019

Future of waste and recycling on show at Waste Expo Australia The future of waste management and resource recovery is high on the agenda at all levels of government as Australia's largest and most comprehensive conference and exhibition, Waste Expo Australia, is set to get underway in Melbourne during October. Waste Expo Australia will be the epicentre of robust dialogue and product innovation and will be where the industry converges to revolutionise Australia’s waste management processes. Hosting more than 120 brands and featuring over 100 speakers across three conference stages, Waste Expo Australia will return to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 23 and 24. Waste Expo Australia offers premium free-to-attend conference content across the Waste and Wastewater Summits which cover seven streams attracting the largest gathering of waste management and resource professionals in Australia. The Waste Summit Conference brought to you by Oceania Clean Energy Solutions will cover six targeted streams from resource recovery, waste-to-energy, collections, landfill and transfer stations, construction and demolition waste as well as commercial and industrial waste. Key speakers will include Victoria's Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Victoria's EPA CEO Dr Cathy Wilkinson and the Acting Executive Director for Waste Strategy and Policy at the NSW EPA Dr Kar Mel Tang.

26

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

Other national and state-based bodies will be represented along with case study presentations from local governments including Campaspe Shire Council, City of Holdfast Bay, Yarra City Council and Albury City Council. Confronting the challenges and opportunities in wastewater treatment will also be tackled at the Wastewater Summit brought to you by EnviroConcepts as a feature of Waste Expo Australia. Waste Expo Australia Event Director, Cory McCarrick, said the event continues to grow with more speakers and suppliers on board this year than ever before. "We have seen an increase in the total number of exhibitors this year to 120 and around 50 of these are exhibiting for the first

time at Waste Expo Australia," McCarrick said. Some of the key exhibitors this year include Bost Group, Cleanaway, Caterpillar, HSR Southern Cross, Tricon Equipment, Applied Machinery, and Hitachi. "Add to this list our impressive line-up of speakers, there is no other waste event in Australia that gives you access to such thought-provoking content that address the major issues facing the industry coupled with the opportunities to be immersed among the key players and products for free." Another significant benefit of Waste Expo Australia is its co-location with All-Energy Australia, Energy Efficiency Expo and ISSA Cleaning and Hygiene Expo forming the nation’s most significant showcase for the waste, recycling, wastewater, renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaning industries. Across the two days at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre attendees will have unrivalled access to industry speakers and suppliers across waste management, wastewater treatment, energy generation, energy efficiency and cleaning and hygiene. Registration gives you access to all four events on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 October 2019 from 9am to 5pm each day. To register for this ultimate conference and exhibition showcase visit: www.wasteexpoaustralia.com.au


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SOIL SCIENCE

Beneficial re-use of site soils

Declan McDonald BSc (Urban Hort), M SustAg, CPSS, SSA Senior Soil Scientist | Horticultural Scientist, SESL Australia Global awareness is growing of the fact that soil is a non-renewable resource. On one hand this impacts food production; on the other, it impacts urban horticulture and urban landscaping. Once upon a time, soil for urban landscaping was dug out of Farmer Joe’s paddock and delivered to site: too easy! However, those days are over and quality soils for urban landscaping are getting harder to find, not to mention the expense of shipping large quantities of quality soil to site. The focus of many large infrastructure projects such as the Level Crossing Removal Projects and the upcoming North-East Link Road project is conservation of site soil resources for re-use. Not only does this make economic sense, it also saves on greenhouse gas emissions from avoided trucking and materials handling. And it goes a long way to guaranteeing quality outcomes (figure 1).

Figure 1. Completed section of the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Project 28

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

So how should site soil resources be shepherded so their value is protected or enhanced during the construction phases?

Soil survey It sounds simple enough. Survey the site to see what’s there! Soil surveys involve assessment of the soil quality, topsoil depth, subsoil quality, and the consistency of soil types or soil properties across the work site or along the alignment. It is very important to understand that the data sought from a soil survey is very different to that sought from a geotechnical investigation. When I’m called on to assess a site I’m often told that all the soil testing has been done. What I am provided with is a collection of bore logs which are very useful in telling me about the soil profile but tell me nothing about the capacity of the soil to support plant life. Geotechnical engineers generally want to compact a soil so that built structures do not move. This involves expelling almost all the air out of the soil and ensuring soil particles are packed closely together. In complete contrast, soil and horticultural scientists are very concerned to preserve the maximum amount of air in the soil; the enemy of productive soils is compaction while the enemy of structural soils is air. Healthy productive soil, such as in your garden, is typically comprised of 25% air. We are therefore concerned about preserving the property referred to as structure. Soil structure is the arrangement of solids and voids that characterise a healthy soil. I often use the analogy of a lung to illustrate the fact that, like lungs, soils are made up of an infinite number of large and small spaces from millimetres to nanometres in diameter. It’s in the tiny end chambers of our lungs – the alveoli – where the action of oxygen and CO2 exchange happens. Similarly, in the soil, it is in the smallest spaces that nutrient exchange happens. So, when we need to clear a site and set aside quality soil, how do we preserve these inherent qualities so that when we come to re-use that soil, it is in a suitable condition to achieve the design intent? The short answer is to minimise churning the soil and avoid compaction. That is a bit difficult to do from behind the controls of a D9! We have distilled the results of considerable research into stockpiling methods to develop guidance for stripping and stockpile management on Australian construction sites. A guidance document is available from our website (www.sesl.com.au) but the essential elements of good stockpile management are set out here.


Best practice stripping and stockpiling Achieving the best outcome in terms of protecting resource quality starts with the soil survey. This is best carried out by a qualified soil scientist. Soil Science Australia’s accreditation scheme is the CPSS – Certified Professional Soil Scientist 1. This system is to soil science what a Chartered Engineer is to engineering. The soil survey will document soil profiles and will interpret results of physical and chemical analyses against the soil specification(s) for the job. While topsoil is the major focus of beneficial re-use, an assessment of subsoil quality is also highly beneficial. The best topsoil will fail if underlying subsoils are hostile to plant growth. Treatment of subsoils following stripping provides a rare opportunity to address hostile properties and improve access to deep moisture reserves. A NATA-accredited laboratory should carry out the prescribed testing. The CPSS will determine if the soil is, or can be made, fit-forpurpose. If the soil is deemed not fit-for-purpose, advice should be provided for an alternative beneficial re-use, or disposal. The CPSS’ role is to also determine if a specific non-compliance will compromise the soil’s fitness-for-purpose or not, and if amelioration is necessary. If non-compliance does not impact on fitness-for-purpose, the CPSS may issue a certificate of compliance. Assessment of compliance against the specification shall be determined ahead of soil stripping and stockpiling. Early assessment will identify soils with re-use potential. Soils that cannot be re-used should not be stockpiled and should be designated as fill material or disposed of. The CPSS will provide guidance to address issues likely to fail compliance or otherwise impact on the soil’s fitness-for-purpose. Amelioration of soils shall be undertaken after stripping and stockpiling and before, or at the same time, that soils are reclaimed for use.

Stripping and Stockpiling Soil stripping shall be informed by the soil survey which will indicate recoverable topsoil depths and volumes. Stripping should be carried out using equipment and methods that minimise compaction. Movement and mixing of soil from excavation to placement in stockpiles should be minimised. Of utmost importance to the stripping process is ensuring that topsoil stripping does not include subsoil. Subsoil contamination of topsoil can greatly impact on topsoil re-use and subsequent plant performance. Stripping and stockpiling of topsoil should occur immediately before bulk earthworks and be done in such a manner as to minimise erosion and sediment loss from site. Stockpiles must be located in a convenient place away from any risk of running water and subject to suitable erosion control measures. They must be protected from contamination during the construction process and records kept of their source location and laboratory analyses. It is critically important that stockpiles not be trafficked. Stockpiles should be constructed by pushing material up or placing material on top, not by heavy equipment driving over the piles. The compaction that results from traffic is enormously damaging to subsequent soil performance (drainage and plant growth) and must be avoided (figure 2).

Powering a Sustainable Future

Did you know you can access the latest issue of Waste + Water Management Australia via Informit? The Informit Engineering Collection is an ever expanding resource covering aspects of waste and water management – recycling, greenwaste processing, waste minimisation, planning, safety, water treatment and water sensitive urban design. The database offers an extensive variety of resources including journals, trade publications, reports and conference proceedings.

The Collection guarantees quality through partnerships with peak professional bodies including Engineers Australia and the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, as well as Content Providers including EPC Media Group. The Informit Engineering Collection delivers hard to find content designed to complete and complement all your waste and water management requirements. Other key titles published by EPC Media include: Highway Engineering Australia Construction Engineering Australia

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1 https://www.soilscienceaustralia.org.au/

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

29


SOIL SCIENCE

Recovery of stockpiled topsoil should be carried out at the earliest opportunity to minimise the time spent in stockpiles. A summary of stripping and stockpiling essentials is shown below:

Stripping Preparation

• Clear all debris including demolition waste, timber, rubbish, wire fences, rock, bitumen, gravelled driveways etc. • Clear trees and shrub growth and slash if necessary. • Clear and / or spray stands of State Prohibited Weeds • Grasses / pasture mixes do not require spraying prior to stripping. Such materials may be included in stockpiles without treatment.

Soil stripping

• AVOID THE INCLUSION OF SUBSOIL IN TOPSOIL STRIPPING; adjust depth accordingly. • Strip topsoil according to recommendations contained in the soil survey

Stockpiling Stockpile management Figure 2. Heavy compaction results from traffic over stockpiles It is important to keep appropriate records on the position and origin of each stockpile. If an excess of topsoil is expected above which can be re-used on site, any such material must be assessed against the EPA’s IWRG621 Guideline (Soil Hazard Categorisation and Management) to determine disposal requirements. It is illegal to move soil to another site without such certification.

Figure 3. Flat top to reduce erosion and erosion control to minimise soil loss. Traffic is also excluded. 30

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

• DO NOT DRIVE ON STOCKPILES during or after construction of the stockpile • Stockpiles must be no higher than 2 m but may be flat topped. • Label stockpiles with location origin and date. • If topsoil stockpiles are to be in place longer than 1 month, sow with a seasonally appropriate annual cover crop (28 days as per EPA guidelines for major construction sites). • If subsoil stockpiles are to be in place longer than 1 month, no sowing is required. Apply gypsum to all surfaces at a rate of 200g/m2 and lightly water to prevent removal by wind • Locate stockpiles 5 m or more from concentrated water flows (including drainage lines, roadways). • Locate stockpiles away from / upslope of works areas including re-fuelling operations. • Use diversion drains upslope from stockpile. • Protect downslope sediment loss using sediment control structures (silt fencing or other approved method). • Locations should have less than 10% slope. • Locate stockpiles outside designated Tree Preservation Zones (TPZ) or more than 8m away from any retained trees. • Protect stockpiles from waste and rubbish dumping and encroachment of works.


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SPECIAL FEATURE

Anaerobic digestion: Bolstering the energy economy By Spyridon Achinas, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen, Netherlands. Email: s.achinas@rug.nl

1. Introduction Anaerobic digestion (AD) succors to the waste abatement with minor energy consumption and environmental footprint, and on the other hand, GHGs especially CH4, are effectively captured and utilized. Sole (mono-digestion) or combined use (co-digestion) of wastes is possible during the operation of biogas plants. Besides wastewater treatment, a wide variety of wastes can be managed (agricultural residues, food waste, animal slurries, etc.) Energy crops have also widely applied for energy recovery.

However, energy crops are highly enriched in carbon, demanding the supplementation with macro- and micronutrients to sustain an optimal carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio. AD for biogas production is a well-known process for renewable energy production technology due to the arrangement of its primary design structure and pathways.

2. AD process AD entails the degradation of organic matter in an oxygen-free bioreactor

Figure 1 Anaerobic digestion of biowaste towards biogas production constitutes four phases.

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Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

and is facilitated by a consortium of microorganisms. AD process mainly constitutes of four phases and their reaction pathway is depicted in Figure 1. The complex and insoluble polymers (i.e. carbohydrates, lipids, and fats) are broken down into soluble and simple compounds with the help of hydrolytic bacteria. The microorganisms such as bacteria produce extracellular enzymes, which in turn initiate hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis.


SPECIAL FEATURE

Figure 2. Biogas production in North America, Europe, China and India. All values in billion Nm³ in 2014.

In the acidogenesis phase, these oligomers are decomposed into long carbon chain acids, alcohols, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. The acetogenic bacteria convert the long carbon chain acids and alcohols into acetate. The latter phase is methanogenesis where methanogenic species convert acetate, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide into biogas that approximately consists of 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide. ,

3. Biogas fuel The primary product from AD is a gaseous fuel so-called biogas and has been predicated as an alternative bioenergy source. The main component of biogas is methane and its combustion is regarded clean as it emits less CO2 than almost all other fossil and petroleum-derivate fuels. The

biogas primarily consists of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) with small amounts of hydrogen (H2), nitrogen (N2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), oxygen (O2), water (H2O). The removal of the water vapour and the toxic hydrogen sulfide is important in order to avoid detrimental effects. The removal of the water vapor and the toxic hydrogen sulfide is important in order to avoid detrimental effects. Biogas is identified by specific gravity, heating value (lower heating value of 23.1 MJ/m3) and the Wobbe number. Wobbe Index (WI) or Wobbe number is an indicator of the interchangeability of the gaseous fuels such as natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, biogas, and town gas and is frequently defined in the specifications of gas supply and transport utilities.

There is a pressing need to accelerate the development of advanced energy technologies in order to address the global challenges of clean energy, climate change, and sustainable development. Further, by 2020 the technologies around renewable resources are expected to have reached the potential for full economic use. The International Energy Agency focuses on the most important technologies needed to achieve a global energy-related CO2 target in 2050 of 50% below current levels. Biogas is expected to fulfill a vital role in reaching the global energy targets due to various biological sources that can be used as feedstocks as well as due to the broad range of applications, such as electricity production, heating and transportation, and energy storage.

References

Table: Properties of raw biogas and natural gas. Constituent

Biogas

Natural gas

Methane

50-85%

83-98%

Combustible

Carbon dioxide

15-55%

0-1.4%

Non-combustible

Water vapor

2-7%

2-7%

Non-combustible

Nitrogen

0-1%

0-1%

Non-combustible

Hydrogen

traces

traces

Combustible

Hydrogen sulfide

Up to 4,000 ppmv

Up to 4,000 ppmv

Combustible

Oxygen

0.01-1%

0.01-1%

Non-combustible

Ammonia

traces

traces

Siloxanes

0-5 mg/m³

0-5 mg/m³

Wobbe index

4.6-9.1

11.3-15.4

SGTC (2012) Basic data on biogas. Brochure. 2nd edition. Malmö, 2012, Swedish Gas Technology Centre Ltd (SGTC). EPM (2007) The Wobbe Index and Natural Gas Interchangeability. Application Data Document 1660AD-5a, Emerson Process Management (EPM). FNR (2014) Basisdaten Bioenergie Deutschland. 2014, FNR Rostock; 2014, p. 32-46, Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (FNR). OIES (2017) Biogas: A significant contribution to decarbonizing gas markets? 2017 Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) Speight J (2008) Landfill Gas. In: Speight J (ed) Synthetic Fuels Handbook: Properties, Process, and Performance, 1st ed. USA: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc, 345-365.

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

33


WATER AND WASTEWATER

ACCC appeals 'flushable' wipes decision The ACCC has announced that is has appealed the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss part of the ACCC’s case against Kimberly-Clark which relates to claims it made to consumers about its Kleenex Cottonelle ‘flushable’ wipes. Sydney Water Spokesperson Peter Hadfield said “…the news that the ACCC has appealed the Federal Court’s decision is most welcome.” “Blockages caused by bathroom products have been a big issue for water utilities and their customers across Australia. It’s costing the community millions of dollars every year to deal with the issues that these products cause in the wastewater system and the resulting environmental impacts these products can create.” The ACCC had alleged that in representing its products as ‘flushable’ on product packaging and its website, Kimberly-Clark had misled consumers about the suitability of its wipes to be flushed down the toilet. In June 2019, the Court found that Kimberly-Clark’s ‘flushable’ claims were not false or misleading. “We are appealing this decision because we believe the Court made

an error in deciding whether it was misleading for Kimberly-Clark to represent that the Kleenex wipes were suitable to be flushed,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said. “We will argue on appeal that KimberlyClark’s flushable claims should have been found to be misleading because there was evidence of the risk of harm these wipes posed to the sewerage system, and that the trial judge was wrong to require evidence that these particular wipes had caused actual harm.” “The ACCC will also argue that the Court made an error by rejecting the ACCC’s case that Kimberly-Clark had claimed the Kleenex Wipes would break up quickly like toilet paper when flushed,” Mr Sims said. “The ACCC is aware of problems continuing to be reported by Australian water authorities as a result of nonsuitable products, such as wet wipes, being flushed down the toilet and contributing to blockages and other operational issues.” Peter Hadfield added, “We’re asking people to remember the three Ps – the only things that you should flush down your toilet are pee, poo and (toilet) paper!”

So-called ‘flushable’ wipes are a massive problem for pipes and wastewater treatment plants, as evidenced by this blockage at the Shellharbour Sewage Pumping Station.

“The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), the industry peak body, also welcomes the news that the ACCC is appealing the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss part of its case against KimberlyClark,” said Mr Adam Lovell, Executive Director. “WSAA continues to call for clearer labelling for consumers and is leading the development of an Australian Standard for Flushable Products. The Standard will be released for public comment in the next couple of months and we expect it to be finalised by the end of 2019,” said Mr Lovell. A hearing for the appeal before the Full Federal Court will be set at a later date.

Waterproofing the Rapidly Growing Hunter Region With a population predicted to rise 18 per cent by 2036, the Hunter Region in New South Wales is one of the fastest growing corridors in the country with proximity to Newcastle and Sydney. To support the sustainable expansion of this major economic hub, providing safe drinking water and wastewater collection and treatment is becoming increasingly critical. WSP is partnering with Hunter Water as Project Program Manager to drive efficiency, improvements and engagement in the delivery of its large, complex capital works program for essential water and wastewater services and networks over the next six years. Darren Cleary, Chief Investment Officer, Hunter Water says, “We are focused on enabling our thriving communities and committed to delivering safe, affordable and reliable services. We manage an asset base of more than $2.5 billion worth of water, wastewater and recycled water 34

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

infrastructure, ensuring a sustainable water future for the Lower Hunter.” The strength of WSP’s multidisciplinary delivery of programs and projects in the water, resources and transport sectors will hold the firm in good stead in the Hunter. This is demonstrated by its work on two of the largest wastewater treatment programs currently in Australia – Logan Water Infrastructure Alliance in Queensland and Lower South Creek Treatment Program in Sydney. Similarly, WSP is also helping NSW Roads and Maritime Services deliver the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade and a major infrastructure program for the Roy Hill Iron Ore project. WSP will be providing efficient and effective program management services including project management, contract management, tendering, project controls, site surveillance and specialist technical services.

Ian Chase, WSP’s NSW Section Executive for Water says, “Hunter Water’s capital investments in the region will provide sustainable services for population growth.” “Our Newcastle team, which is locally dedicated, will leverage support from our wider water and major projects experts across our global business to optimise the delivery of this program,” he added.


WATER AND WASTEWATER

Innovative Australian water treatment technology improves the health and lives of rural villagers in Bangladesh

Infinite Water, in partnership with the Bangladesh Government, successfully commissioned of a water treatment plant (WTP) to decontaminate ground water, containing high levels of naturally occurring arsenic and manganese in rural Bangladesh. Initial testing shows the pilot WTP is delivering drinking water that exceeds WHO standards to meet the needs of the Alampur Village - a rural community with a population of 3,900 in Meherpur Province, Bangladesh. Infinite Water used its innovative HYDROXON™ technology to design and build a custom WTP that can deliver 8,000 litres a day of safe, clean drinking water. Arsenic is a significant contaminant in ground water wells in Bangladesh, affecting 70% of the country with up to 77 million people at risk. High levels of arsenic in drinking water can cause cancer, skin lesions, and impair intellectual development.

Around 1 in 12 of the people living in Alampur village fall ill and 25 have died over the past 5 years because of exposure to arsenic. Infinite Water successfully treated ground water with arsenic levels of 178 micrograms per litre (µg/L), reducing them to just 4 µg/L. The WHO standard is 10 µg/L. The Bangladeshi Government’s Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE), which has responsibility for water and sanitation, has tested several other water treatment technologies but none can match the HYDROXON™ process’ ability to deliver low operational and maintenance costs, low power consumption and more than 95% water recovery. The DPHE has also indicated an interest in assessing the HYDROXON™ process for industrial sector wastewater applications Mr Saifur Rahman, DPHE Superintending Engineer, said: “We are working closely

with Infinite Water to treat contaminated groundwater to provide safe, clean drinking water in rural Bangladesh, especially in the south western areas. The early results of catalytic oxidation-based water treatment are very positive and we feel that there is a wide range of future applications for this technology in our country.” A key target for DPHE is the supply of safe, clean drinking water to 10,000 schools across Bangladesh. Currently over 100,000 children die each year from diarrheal disease linked to contaminated water. David Marquard, Director Strategy & Special Projects at Infinite Water, said: “Our ability to provide clean, safe water reliably and at low cost is changing lives. I could see this in the heartfelt thank you that Jakea Sultana, an Alampur Village Year-10 student, gave me in a video call just after the plant was commissioned. “We are excited to expand the program across Bangladesh and into other regional countries. The success of the Meherpur WTP is an additional proof point for our game changing, and life changing, HYDROXON™ technology,” Mr Marquard added. Infinite Water has started the process of identifying NGO partner organisations, such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the WHO and aid agencies, like OXFAM, to support the roll out of HYDROXON™ WTPs across Bangladesh and other developing countries in need of help. For further information, please visit: www.infinitewater.com

ABOUT THE HYDROXON™ PROCESS The HYDROXON™ process was originally invented by Infinite Water’s Technical Director, Gheorghe Duta, in response to the crisis of arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh. HYDROXON™ is a technology based on the oxidation of biological processes within the human body; making the process extremely efficient. HYDROXON™ is able to decontaminate and disinfect water while using limited amounts of energy and chemicals. The simple and efficient treatment process reduces the overall cost of treated water up to 10x. The core technology utilised in the HYDROXON™ process is in the category of non-ozone based Catalytic Advanced Oxidation (CAO), where hydroxyl radicals are produced via a catalytic process.

Waste + Water Management Australia | September 2019

35


WATER AND WASTEWATER

Water Leaders Chart the Digital Transformation Journey for Utilities

Biju George, Executive Vice President, DC Water, commented: “The digital strategy has to become a corporate strategy. It's not an option to sit there and let it happen, you have to plan for it. You have to train your employees towards that, you have to relook at every process. You have to design your systems to give you the data you need to make efficient decisions.” “If you have any doubt, just try it,” said Claire Falzone, CEO, Nova Veolia-France. “Try small at first if you don't dare to dream big. This is just the beginning of the digital water journey and if you don't adopt digital technologies, someone else will.”

Key take-aways from the report include: The International Water Association (IWA) and global water technology company, Xylem recently released a comprehensive white paper titled: “Digital Water: Industry Leaders Chart the Transformation Journey.” Examining how digitalisation is transforming the water sector, this important resource provides utility decision makers with actionable learnings to accelerate their adoption of digital solutions and address critical water challenges. The paper also introduces the Digital Water Adoption Curve, a valuable new tool to help utilities assess their digital maturity and map their digital future. Water thought leader and author Will Sarni, CEO, Water Foundry, served as a key author of the report. Global water challenges, like climate change, population growth, increasing urbanisation and ageing infrastructure, continue to intensify. The latest UN data estimates that 3.6 billion people - almost half the global population - live in areas that are potentially water-scarce at least one month per year and by 2050, more than 5 billion people could suffer water shortages due to climate change, increased demand and polluted supplies. Against this backdrop, water and wastewater utilities are turning to new and innovative solutions including digital technologies, to drive sustainable water management. “At a time when global water challenges are escalating, digital solutions offer communities around the world bold, new ways to optimise, manage and conserve this most precious resource,” said Kala Vairavamoorthy, IWA Executive Director. “‘Digital Water: Industry Leaders Chart the Transformation Journey’ leverages the 36

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insights of IWA members to help utilities learn from their peers, harness the power of digital technologies and enable communities around the world to become more watersecure,” states Kala Vairavamoorthy. “Only together can we shape our water future.” Patrick Decker, President and CEO of Xylem, said, “The world has to think and act differently about water. There simply is no other choice.” “Water challenges like scarcity, affordability and resilience are placing millions of human lives at risk, endangering our environment and the global economy, and impeding social progress. These urgent threats are not some far-off problem in the future. They are upon us and growing by the day.” “We need step-change, and digital innovation is the answer. This paper is a call to action to water stakeholders around the globe. We have the opportunity of a lifetime to solve water and to change history – let’s seize it,” Mr Decker said.

Valuable lessons from utilities on the digital journey “Digital Water: Industry Leaders Chart the Transformation Journey” provides valuable insights to water utilities at all stages of digitalisation. The report also shares key utility leaders’ insights in their own voices. “The world is moving in the direction of technology,” said Richard Appiah Otoo, Chief Technology Officer, Ghana Water Company Limited, one of the nearly 40 utilities that provided input to the white paper. “Ghana Water experienced a 14 percent increase in revenue after digital technologies increased water bill collection efficiency and provided customers with a mobile billing option.”

1. Build a holistic digital roadmap and a clear business strategy: Utilities must create internal consensus on how the digital journey will unfold, maintain the customer and business outcomes as focal points throughout the digitalisation process, and educate key stakeholders (consumers, politicians, shareholders, management and employees). 2. Create an innovation culture: Utility operators, IT staff, finance, technicians, executives, and others have to be the scouts for identifying new technologies. However, to drive adoption, utilities must focus on fostering an organisation-wide curiosity and competency for embracing digital innovation. 3. Leverage pilots for an agile mindset: Pilot projects offer a means to explore new technologies, build momentum, and create a more holistic understanding of their physical and financial effects on operations before committing to largescale implementation. 4. Develop architecture for optimising data use: Developing a data warehouse, where operational data sets become available to functions such as finance, engineering and IT specialists who can use the data to optimise business processes, is critical to creating value from data and effectively digitalising utility infrastructure and connectivity. The white paper “Digital Water: Industry Leaders Chart the Transformation Journey” is the first of a series of publications to be developed under the IWA Digital Water Programme. Access the publication at: https://iwa-network.org/projects/digitalwater-programme/


WesTech Expands Its Package Plant Product Line WesTech Engineering, Inc. recently announced the availability of the new RapiSand Plus™, the latest addition to its line of package treatment plants for municipal and industrial water and wastewater. The RapiSand Plus package treatment plant is a complete package treatment plant for high solids waters which provides both clarification and filtration within a single tank. It is designed to meet customer demands for a compact, low cost, high-performance system capable of treating high-solids and high-colour influents to produce high-quality effluents. And because both the clarification and filtration processes are from a single provider, it also meets the need for flawless integration between processes. RapiSand Plus’s two-stage system is simple and versatile. The ballasted flocculation system in the first stage mixes coagulated raw water with microsand to create a ballasted floc that settles rapidly. The mixed-media filter in the second stage removes turbidity, remaining suspended solids, colour, iron and manganese to produce a high-quality effluent. “The RapiSand Plus water treatment plant is the most advanced product of its kind because it combines the ballasted flocculation technology from our RapiSand clarifier, which clarifies flashy waters of up to 1,000 NTU turbidity, with the mixed media filter technology from our Trident® package plants, producing up to 1,400 gallons per minute of high-quality drinking effluent,” explains WesTech Product Manager Jayme Tuomala. This innovative all-in-one treatment plant is an ideal choice for customers with tight space constraints. The RapiSand Plus fits into a standard-sized building, making it comparatively easy to install. It also offers quick start-up times, reaching steady-state operation in as little as 15 minutes from power-up. And it delivers high performance while saving on installation and operations-energy costs. These benefits make the RapiSand Plus a cost-effective choice for municipal and industrial applications.

ABOUT WESTECH ENGINEERING, INC. WesTech Engineering Inc. provides process solutions for water treatment, liquids/ solids separation, and biological treatment to municipal, industrial, and minerals clients worldwide. Founded in 1973, WesTech is an employee-owned company with over 500 employees around the world and is ISO 9001 certified. For more information about the RapiSand Plus and to see WesTech’s other package water treatment plant offerings, please visit: www.westech-inc.com

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WATER AND WASTEWATER

Trapping atoms to protect Australia’s groundwater A unique new facility launched recently at the University of Adelaide, will help protect Australia’s precious groundwater from overuse and contamination, and contribute to our understanding of the impact of climate change through measurements on Antarctic ice cores. A collaboration between CSIRO and the University of Adelaide, the Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) facility uses advanced laser physics to count individual atoms of the noble gases, such as Argon and Krypton, that are naturally found in groundwater and ice cores. Measuring the ultra-low concentrations of these radioactive noble gases allows researchers to understand the age, origin and interconnectivity of

the groundwater and how it has moved underground through space and time. This is the first Atom Trap Trace Analysis facility in the Southern Hemisphere and, combined with CSIRO's complementary Noble Gas Facility at the Waite campus in Adelaide, gives Australia one of the most comprehensive noble gas analysis capabilities in the world. “Australia relies on its groundwater for 30 per cent of its water supply for human consumption, stock watering, irrigation and mining,” said Professor Andre Luiten, Director of the University's Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing which houses the ATTA facility.

Research technician Punjehl Craneat the CSIRO Noble Gas Mass Spectrometry Laboratory in Adelaide. ©Nick Pitsas

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“With climate change and periods of prolonged drought, surface water is becoming increasingly more unreliable and the use of groundwater is rising,”Professor Luiten added. “We need to make sure it's sustainable.” “Because noble gases don't easily react chemically, they are the gold standard for environmental tracers to track groundwater movements. Before this new facility, researchers wanting to measure these ultra-low concentrations of noble gases had to rely on a very small number of overseas laboratories which can't meet demand for their services,” he said. ATTA's analytic capability would also allow researchers to look further into the past of Antarctica's climate, building understanding of global environmental change. CSIRO Senior Principal Research Scientist Dr Dirk Mallants said the new ATTA facility would enable researchers to determine how old groundwater is from decades and centuries up to one million years. “This allows us to understand the sources of water, where it comes from and what the recharge rates are,” Dr Mallants said. “That then allows us to make decisions about sustainable extraction.” “This is critical where development of any kind might use or impact groundwater systems - from urban development where groundwater systems are used to supply communities, to agricultural and mining development,” Dr Mallants added. “It will provide Australian researchers, government and industry with unique capability of collaboration on national water challenges.” The new ATTA facility is partially funded under the Australian Research Council's Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme. Energy, mining and resources is a key industry engagement priority for the University of Adelaide and environmental sustainability is a research focus. The CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, and the University of Adelaide in 2017 announced a new agreement to work together to tackle some of the big issues facing Australia and the region. The two organisations agreed to build collaborations to advance research in key areas of mutual strength, with significant potential benefit to the Australian economy, society and environment.


WATER AND WASTEWATER

De Nora Water Technologies names Dr Mirka Wilderer as new CEO Leading sustainable technologies company De Nora has appointed Dr Mirka Wilderer as Chief Executive Officer of the company’s Water Technologies group. Dr Wilderer has taken the helm from retiring Theo Brandes. In her new role, Dr. Wilderer will be looking to bolster the company’s revenue growth through a strategic pipeline consisting of geographic and application market expansion, technology advancements, and improved processes that will bring an enhanced 21st century experience to De Nora Water Technologies’ global customer base. Having worked in multiple markets across Europe, Asia and the United States in the last 15 years, Dr Wilderer brings an immense wealth of water industry experience to De Nora. She was born and raised in Germany, and holds a doctorate in international management. Dr Wilderer first joined De Nora in February 2019 as global integration director. De Nora CEO, Paolo Dellachà, said, “We are thrilled to have Mirka on the De Nora management team. She has a strong

track record of successfully applying innovative solutions to leading change and managing business transformation, and I am confident that her exceptional leadership skills, coupled with the gift for fostering cross-functional collaboration, will spur strong growth for our Water Technologies business.” “As we approach De Nora’s 100-year anniversary, Mirka’s demonstrated success, enthusiasm, and entrepreneurial mindset is the fresh approach we need to achieve our goals and lead us into another century of providing sustainable technologies.” Dr Wilderer said, “I’ve spent much of my life surrounded by people with a passion and pride for caring for water, beginning with my parents who were both devoted water professionals. With a real passion for international management, I am excited to be a part of a company with a truly global footprint - a presence around the world including emerging markets like China, Japan and Brazil.

“I’m honoured to be part of the De Nora team, which has a strong reputation for its reliability and responsiveness to its customers. My vision for De Nora Water Technologies is to surge ahead in the market by leveraging the talents, experience, and commitment of our global team. Our goal is to become the partner of choice to sustainably treat a resource that touches each of our lives, making water easy for our customers.”

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PRODUCT BRIEF

Evac VacuConvert gives designers more choice by converting gravity toilets Vacuum toilets offer many advantages on luxury yachts and specialized cruise vessels including lower water consumption and a more efficient action. In the past, designers have tended to choose traditional gravity toilets because they are available in a wider range of colours and styles, but now Evac has developed a solution that gives them the best of both worlds. The Evac VacuConvert enables conventional wall-mounted gravity toilets to be easily and inexpensively turned into vacuum toilets. A special wall mounted frame, which can be concealed beneath panelling, enables them to be connected to the Evac vacuum collection system. This is compatible with a wide range of gravity toilet models and broadens the range of options for yacht interior designers. After conversion, the toilet uses just 2.5 litres per flush, a considerable water

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saving, amounting to thousands of litres over the period of a year. As designers look toward new ways of conserving water and reducing the environmental impact of vessels, the VacuConvert provides a reliable solution. The Evac VacuConvert front access panel, available as an extra, allows maintenance work to be carried out quickly and easily, if required.

ABOUT THE EVAC GROUP Evac is the world’s leading provider of integrated water and waste management systems, as well as corrosion protection systems for marine, offshore and building industries. Their cutting-edge solutions and services have been helping leading international companies to significantly reduce their environmental footprint for 40 years. With offices in 14 countries across four continents and representatives in more than 70 countries, they pride themselves on being close to their customers wherever they are located. For further information, please visit: www.evac.com


No-one in Australia goes further in recycling rubber. Every year, thousands of tonnes of tyres are dumped illegally. This is a major environmental and public health concern; but it needn’t be. In Australia, Tyrecycle is the market leader in tyre recycling, with a national network of collection and processing facilities. Our recycled rubber is used for sporting and playground surfaces, tile adhesives, brake pads and much more. It’s just another way of working towards our own goal of zero waste to landfill. To learn more about us visit tyrecycle.com.au call 1300 4 TYRECYCLE (1300 489 732) or email sales@tyrecycle.com.au


NATIONAL PRECAST FEATURE

AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS: IS YOUR PRECASTER COMPLIANT? According to National Precast’s CEO Sarah Bachmann, asset owners - both in the private and public realm - need to have confidence that the products they are buying and installing meet the requirements of the relevant Australian Standard. “As a major supplier to the construction industry, precast concrete manufacturers must play their part in ensuring the community benefits from consistently safe, high quality, environmentally considerate products,” Ms Bachmann says. While compliance to Australian Standards is generally voluntary, when they are referenced in State and Commonwealth legislation, compliance becomes mandatory. But accessing the standards can be a costly exercise. “Unlike the now free access to the National Construction Code (NCC), paying the price to access individual Australian Standards as a oneoff or paying for a subscription service, can be expensive” says Ms Bachmann. “Understanding the requirements of specific Standards is critical to our members being able to deliver minimum standards in terms of safety, quality and service,” she adds.

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STANDARDS INCLUDED IN MEMBERSHIP As it continues to raise the bar in the precast concrete industry, National Precast has added the ability to access to all precast-relevant Australian Standards – both to download and print – to the suite of services it offers members. “Adding this new service arms our members with the information they need to deliver confidence to asset owners, as it makes for easy

member access to the Standards,” Ms Bachmann comments.

PRECASTERS NEED STANDARDS Standards have an important role to play in the precast industry. Case in point are precast concrete pipes, where compliance with AS/NZS 4058:2007 Precast concrete pipes (pressure and non-pressure), is paramount.


NATIONAL PRECAST FEATURE

WHAT ARE STANDARDS? Standards are voluntary documents. They set out minimum specifications, procedures and guidelines that aim to ensure the safety, reliability and consistency of products, services, and systems. Standards should deliver a positive net benefit to public health and safety, the society and community, the environment, competition and the economy. They cover a variety of subjects, including consumer products and services, the environment, construction, energy and water utilities, and more. To ensure they keep pace with innovation, new products and technologies, they are regularly reviewed by Standards Australia technical committees. National Precast is represented on over 20 of these committees.

“One of the key requirements of AS/NZS 4058 is to ensure pipes deliver a 100-year in-service design life,” she adds. “The required testing for a concrete pipe is outlined in AS/NZS 4058 Section 4, whereby the verification of Finished Product Compliance includes Proof Load Test and Ultimate Load Test.” Prepared and published in 2007 by the joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee, WS-006, AS/NZS 4058 superseded two respective Australian and New Zealand Standards. Those two Standards were AS 4058 – 1992 Precast concrete pipes (pressure and nonpressure) and NZS 3107:1978 Specification for precast concrete drainage and pressure pipes. A 100-year design life can be expected when pipes are manufactured in accordance with AS/NZS 4058 and installed in a ‘normal’ or ‘marine’ environment. ‘Other’ environments that are more aggressive should be assessed for suitability using appropriate engineering judgement.

to check they are visibly marked with the information required by AS/NZS 4058. The risk of non-compliant pipes is a lower quality product that can lead to line failures on site. “National Precast members are checked as part of their application for membership, that they manufacture, supply and install to Australian Standards. Not all precasters do, and the consequences can be significant,” Ms Bachmann comments. “If a precaster doesn’t have an understanding of Standards relevant to their products, I’d seriously think twice about engaging them for precast supply and installation,” she adds.

ASK YOUR PRECASTER ABOUT STANDARDS Before contracting a precaster for supply and/ or installation, ask them what standards relate to their products. They should be able to give you a rundown of the standard that is relevant to each product.

THE RISK OF NON-COMPLIANCE Ms Bachmann says in order to confirm that compliant pipes are being supplied, it is important

TYPE-APPROVED ON-BOARD MASS SYSTEMS A market of type-approved OBM systems now available A selection of type-approved on-board mass (OBM) systems is now available through the National Telematics Framework. Type-approved OBM systems deliver the levels of accuracy and reliability that transport operators demand. Look for the TCA type-approval logo when choosing an OBM system for your vehicle:

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WASTEWATER TREATMENT

Improving water quality sustainably Australians often take access to clean water for granted, but the same isn’t necessarily true all over the world. As industrial emissions continue to increase, global warming contributes to worsening drought conditions, and urbanisation proceeds at a rapid pace, maintaining the quality of available water is quickly becoming a significant global challenge. The United Nations has included clean water and sanitation among its sustainable development goals (SDGs), indicating its importance on a global scale. According to the UN, millions of people including children die every year from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. More than two billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources and, by 2050, at least one in four people will live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water1. Australia already experiences severe drought on a regular basis in some parts of the country, while other parts have plenty of water. Per person, Australia uses more water than all other countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) except for New Zealand, Canada, and the United States2. Without effective and sustainable management of water and wastewater, Australia’s agriculture, mining, and manufacturing industries could suffer. Public health could also suffer, creating increased costs for the government. Much of the challenge around water quality and wastewater treatment comes down to these industries, so it’s essential to 44

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help them move towards more sustainable wastewater practices. In doing so, these industries can minimise their environmental impact, protect valuable water sources, and reduce operating costs. They can also eliminate the foul odours often associated with wastewater, which can lead to complaints from neighbouring businesses and homes. The impact of poor wastewater management is often highly publicised. For example, dying fish in the Darling River showed what happens when high-nutrient run-off from farms creates an environment where blue-green algal blooms form, depleting oxygen and releasing toxins into the water. While it’s preferable to eliminate the risk of such water contamination, it is possible to address it. For example, using a water conditioner can help remediate the water quality, reducing or eliminating smells, reducing blue-green algae, reducing the amount of sludge in the water, and changing that sludge’s composition from anoxic to anaerobic. Prevention includes treating wastewater from industries and farms. Doing so means the treated water can be recycled to help cut down fresh water use, while the waste load from the wastewater can be converted into biogas and used to produce electricity. Using an anaerobic digestion process, the organic matter in wastewater can be converted into biogas, which is then combusted to produce energy. Businesses can use this energy to offset their own energy costs and feed any excess back into the grid. This saves money and potentially

unlocks a new revenue stream. When businesses can improve the biogas yield from their wastewater, they can gain even more savings or revenue. Therefore, it’s important to invest in solutions that create optimum conditions for biogas creation. Managing wastewater is also an increasingly critical challenge for water authorities. As Australia’s sewer system ages and expands, there are increasing numbers of odour complaints and potential health and safety hazards. As this infrastructure copes with increasing amounts of wastewater, water authorities are looking for a way to minimise its impact. Like industrial businesses and farms, water authorities can address this challenge by turning wastewater into energy. Using a magnesium hydroxide-based dosing solution, water authorities can eliminate odour issues from wastewater, more effectively break down low-density, large-chain fatty acids (which can then be digested by the bacteria in the wastewater), and improve the quality and quantity of biogas created by anaerobic systems. With cost-effective, environmentallyfriendly, and non-toxic solutions available today for industry, farms, and water authorities, it is possible to dramatically improve water quality and, at the same time, generate additional income streams from the creation of biogas.

(1) https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/waterand-sanitation/ (2) https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/inland-water/ topic/australias-water-resources-and-use


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TECHNOLOGY FEATURE

Taking it to the next level U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne national laboratory uses machine learning methodology to optimise water management engineering and design processes

Rapidly changing or uncharacteristic conditions — some related to a changing global climate picture - affect our infrastructure, forcing us to rethink how we approach and control the fundamental systems that support our cities. Water treatment is already a complicated balancing act of chemical compounds, equipment monitoring and infrastructure maintenance. And water management, globally, requires more vigilance and new approaches. Adding new factors to or overburdening well-established processes places more pressure on facility personnel and engineers to get it right. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have 46

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been applying a method called machine learning to optimise engineering and design processes in a number of research fields, from automotive combustion to materials design and water management. A form of artificial intelligence, the technique learns from sample data to progressively improve predictions about new data. The results are intended to provide an optimum combination of variables that meet the needs of a proposed problem. Because machine learning relies on large amounts of data to inform optimization models, it is an ideal tool by which to understand and analyze years of data collected at water treatment plants, from fluctuating water composition to flow and usage patterns.

“As engineers, we have process and operation models to understand how highly variable waste water composition and flow rates are going to impact our treatment processes,” says Meltem Urgun-Demirtas, a group leader of process development research in Argonne’s Energy Systems division. “While we can more or less predict those things, machine learning can help us understand the hidden patterns or relationships within those highly variable conditions. The outcomes will help us operate those systems more efficiently and provide guidelines on how waste water treatment plants and processes could be designed or improved.”


TECHNOLOGY FEATURE

Operators at Argonne’s on-site wastewater treatment facility may deal with more variables than is typical and see machine learning as an opportunity for optimizing many functions, from monitoring specific chemicals to locating critical choke points in its wastewater conveyance system. “The price of doing business is we have to use chemicals in the research processes, and out of those processes comes waste,” says Peter Lynch, an environmental engineer and water pollution expert at Argonne. Like many other wastewater treatment plants around the world, Argonne’s is an older facility and not fully automated. So one of the problems operators face is not knowing when some of that waste will pose a problem. Lynch believes machine learning could help spot trends early on that can be corrected before they become larger issues. For instance, a lab or building pouring wastewater with high levels of enriched organic materials into their drains could impact operations if its presence goes undetected. Real-time sensors or machine learning models sensitive to or trained on certain pollutant measurements could alert the plant operators when those materials are coming down the lines and enable action to effectively deter failures. “Most of the time there is no impact, but once in a while there is, and it would be nice to be ready for it,” adds Lynch.

Jennifer Dunn is helping to make such predictions possible through a collaboration between Argonne and Northwestern University. She is working on the development of intelligent water systems that are built on the real-time monitoring and control of water systems, from gauging the quality of the water entering and leaving facilities to accounting for the amount of energy and chemicals used to treat the water. The use of machine learning to more accurately determine relationships between multiple system variables positively impacts operating conditions, often by way of safety, cost and environmental impact, she notes. It can also play a vital role in real-time operations adjustments when an irregular or emergency situation occurs, like an accidental spill upstream or a severe weather events. “You need to find the treatment parameters that are going to provide an optimal output based on what is coming into the facility, and that can change quickly. So you want to be aware just as quickly and machine learning can help determine the best way of dealing with those types of situations,” says Dunn. For example, unpredictable rainfall and other changing climate conditions in a number of Australia’s urban centers are placing a burden on the nation’s water management capabilities. While Perth is struggling to revitalize its water stores,

Located in Lemont, IL, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, where talented scientists and engineers work together to answer the biggest questions facing humanity.

Queensland has been suffering devastating floods, which can play havoc on flood control and negatively affect waste water treatment operations. Dunn has been working on a project called SAVEUR (Systems Approaches for Vulnerability Evaluation and Urban Resilience, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation) that looks at the influence of changing climate on existing weather events in urban environments. It is giving researchers some idea of how machine learning can provide a real-time response to extreme weather that would not only benefit waste water treatment, but water management across the urban landscape, from storm water management to flood control.

“You need to find the treatment parameters that are going to provide an optimal output based on what is coming into the facility, and that can change quickly. So you want to be aware just as quickly and machine learning can help determine the best way of dealing with those types of situations.” The project relies on sensors developed at Argonne through a project called Array of Things, a National Science Foundationfunded project with the City of Chicago. These sensor packages, called Waggle nodes, use built-in processors for immediate analysis and transmittal of data. Machine learning algorithms enable the Waggle nodes to collect and analyze highly localized data. This data is used to inform models intended to increase efficiencies or optimize controls and operations, often in real time. The SAVEUR project, headed by Aaron Packman, has been working with Argonne to add water sensors to Waggle nodes around the city of Chicago. The new sensors will help detect conditions that lead to flooding and its impact in affected areas. The sensors have already generated more data on water-level response and water storage in the urban environment than ever

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TECHNOLOGY FEATURE

before, capturing, for example, the response of nature preserves, wetlands, prairies, and parks to storm events, notes Packman, the newly appointed Water Lead in Argonne’s Manufacturing Science and Engineering program. “This is where you get into data science and machine learning approaches” adds Packman. “We can use this massive data set to assess stormwater infrastructure performance and design new approaches to reduce city-scale vulnerability.” This includes a sophisticated set of approaches using a mixture of real-time data taken from the sensors and physically based models to yield some prediction of either an infrastructure vulnerability or an immediate flooding. This, in turn, informs the design of interventions that could be used to reduce the vulnerability. “Most people working with these types of waste and water-related issues don’t have much background in data analysis and machine learning,” says Packman.

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“So there’s a huge need, and Argonne is well-positioned to deliver this computing and data science capability to solve a wide-range of problems.”

ABOVE: Designed in collaboration with Intel and Cray, Argonne’s Theta supercomputer is one of the most powerful computers on the planet.


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Profile for EPC Media Group

Waste + Water Management Australia V46.2 September 2019  

Australia's premier water management, environment, sustainability and public health magazine

Waste + Water Management Australia V46.2 September 2019  

Australia's premier water management, environment, sustainability and public health magazine

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